| 5 Tips To Becoming More Self-Confident |

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It’s more difficult than ever to be truly self-confident. We live in a world that is almost run by our social media accounts and we are plagued by others opinions of us.

In the past year I cannot begin to explain how much I have transformed. I have learnt more in the space of the past year than I ever have.

Here are my top tips for becoming more confident:

Put yourself out of your comfort-zone

I remember how much I used to hate hearing this piece of advice. It’s all well & good telling people to put themselves out of their comfort zone, but when you are on the receiving end of this advice, it’s not what you want to hear. Why? Because putting yourself out of your comfort zone is scary. The racing heart, sweaty palms, feel like you’re gonna’ faint or throw-up kind of scary. Believe me, I know. But at the end of it all, once you’ve well & truly left your comfort zone, you will feel 100x better for it. You will realise that you can thrive outside of it & you will stop pigeon holing yourself and your abilities.

Fight the inner voice

I remember sitting in meetings when I had an opinion but I just couldn’t say it out loud. It’s like when I went to open my mouth no words would come out. I think it’s the fear of looking stupid of feeling ridiculed. But look at it this way, who looks more favourable – the one who sits there without voice or opinion or the one who is strong enough to share their thoughts and opinions (whether or not you agree with them.) Your thoughts and your opinions are valid. Do not let that voice in your head tell you otherwise!

Practise affirmations

This is a practice that I’ve heard people swear by for years & to be honest, I thought it was a load of nonsense. But I will put my hands up & say, it works! There are days when I wake up feeling confident & like I can accomplish anything that day but there are also days when I feel self-conscious – unfortunately how we wake up can be out of our control. However, what you do with your mindset that day is up to you. It’s possible to change how you feel, you don’t have to accept it. On days when I feel rubbish on my own skin or if I have a big meeting coming up & I’m feeling nervous, I say the same affirmation out loud:

‘I am a confident, independent woman & no-one will mess with me.’

This may be my affirmation of choice but you can word it differently if you like. The trick is to say it to yourself in front of the mirror, while you’re diriving in the car, wherever but say it loud, say it proud & say it confidently. Repeat it over & over again until you believe it with all of your being & you will be surprised how your mindset changes. It may sound like a load of rubbish, but I ask you to try it & see what happens.

Wear what makes you feel good

This sounds conceited but it’s true & I think a lot of people out there would agree with me. When you’re happy with how you look on the outside, you feel better on the inside. When I love my outfit or I love how my makeup looks, I feel so much more confident in myself. So put on that lipstick shade that you want to, no matter how bold it may be. Put on that outfit that you just bought. Do whatever it takes to feel happy in your skin.

Think positively

You know those times when you think ‘why did I say that? I’m so stupid!’ when we get nervous? We doubt ourselves. We criticise everything we do & we pull ourselves apart. Stop it. Stop over analysing yourself & dragging yourself down mentally. In order to become more self-confident it’s important to think positively as much as you can. Praise yourself for your achievements no matter how small. Always be positive about yourself & your self-confidence will slowly blossom!

If you have any tips to share with fellow readers of Beauty & The Blouse, please feel free to share them in the comments!

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New Stuff | A Beauty Haul

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Over the past year I did a really good job of using up most of what I had & repurchased only the products that I really loved. As beauty bloggers it becomes far too easy to just shop continuously without actually using up products. I love buying new things, but I’m not about that life. However, with the using-up of so many products comes the need to replenish my bathroom cabinet & makeup storage with essentials, and occasionally, the not so essential.

So without any unnecessary rambling, here are some of my recent beauty buys:

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser – £4.99
I have been on the hunt for a new cleanser for so long and when I found out that this particular product is a dupe for the Liz Earle cleanser, I just had to try it. The Naturally Radiant Brightening Cleanser is from Superdrug’s own range which means that it’s cruelty free. YAY! It’s also packed full of natural plant extracts including:

  • Kiwi fruit extract for brightening, to even out skin tone and provide antioxidant protection against free radicals
  • Mulberry fruit extract for further brightening properties which can help to reduce discolouration and even out skin tone.
  • Cocoa butter for skin softening and conditioning

What’s not to love!

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream – £5.99
When shopping for a night cream I tend to look for anti-ageing ingredients as it’s important to start incorporating these into your skincare regime by the age of 25 (thrilling, I know.) I ended up picking this item up as Superdrug had a Buy One Get One Free offer on their Naturally Radiant line when I was buying the Hot Cloth Cleanser. Again it’s packed full of natural ingredients including:

  • Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry extracts to help revive skin’s radiance and even out skin tone.
  • Sugar Beet extract and fruit acids for rich and long-lasting moisturisation and to refine skin’s texture for smoother and more youthful skin.

This product claims to leave skin softer and smoother and more refreshed and energised after just one week of use. I’ll put it to the test & let you know my thoughts later!

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow 6% Cleansing Lotion – £19.95
If you’ve been with my blog for a while, you’ll know that I really enjoy Nip + Fab products. I like their wide range of products, how affordable they are and the great results that they give. So when I spotted this little beauty on offer (£9.75 instead of £19.95) I had to buy it.

The Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow contains a whopping 6% Glycolic acid concentrate (compared to the 5% in the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic!) so for the price, I think that’s brill. It claims to deeply cleanse and unclog pores and maintain skin hydration for smoother, brighter skin.
I can’t wait to see what this does!

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder – £17.99
This is a repurchase for me after using up every last bit of my last one. I loved this powder. I initially bought it just to set my Vichy Dermablend foundation but I ended up using it to set all of my foundations. It is a translucent setting powder that sets your makeup well without leaving a powdery or overly matte finish and still allows that glow from within to shine through.

Rodial XXL Lipliner in Baby – £3.99 (RRP £19.99)
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Rodial is in TK Maxx!
If you didn’t know, Rodial is the mother brand of Nip + Fab but sells at a much higher price point. I’ve been wanting to try some of their products for a while so was excited to find them in my trusty TK Maxx beauty section. And at such amazing prices too. I picked up this XXL Lipliner in baby which is a light, nude shade. It’s one of those ‘my lips but better’ shades which I love. Very creamy & looks natural. It also claims to contain a plumping complex. If I can find a lipliner that is a beautiful shade, feels creamy & plumps my lips too, you’ve got me sold!

Revlon Colorstay Foundation in 180 Sand Beige – £12.99
I used to wear this foundation years ago when I was starting off in makeup & I remember this being the foundation that I would wear when I wanted my makeup to last all day. After years of not using it I thought I would pick it up again to see if it is as great as I remember it to be. Oh nostalgia!

Armani Diamonds Eau De Toilette – £70
Yet again, another repurchase. I absolutely love this perfume & have done ever since my university days. It’s a soft, subtle, feminine scent and is everything that I love in a fragrance. Armani describe it as:

Gourmand-floral – The top notes are litchi and raspberry, the middle notes – freesia and lily of the valley, and the base are vetiver, cedar wood, patchouli and vanilla.

There are so many notes in this perfume from floral to fruity to sweet with a hint of musk. It is delicate yet lasts throughout the day and can be worn no matter what the season. I think this is just one of those perfumes that I will keep buying over & over again.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original – £2.99
Batiste is a holy grail for many gals out there & likewise, it is for me. It’s one of those products that I just couldn’t live without, especially as I only like to wash my hair twice per week. I usually pick up the tropical scent because I love the smell of coconut but I decided to pick up a different scent this time. The original scent is much more subtle and has that lovely clean smell. P.s. I heard a great tip for dry shampoo recently – spray it in your hair the night before & it absorbs a lot better overnight to leave your hair clean in the morning. Let me know if you try it!

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam in Ultra Dark – £17.99
If you’ve been a reader of Beauty & The Blouse for a while, you’ll know how much I love this self-tan brand. Ever since it came to the UK it is the only tan that I have religiously repurchased. I had always used the Dark shade which gave me a beautiful brown glow but while I was living in South Africa, they released the Ultra Dark version. As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to try it as I love my tan to be as dark as possible. The Ultra Dark is £3 more in price but my word is it worth it. This tan truly exceeds the Dark shade & I have well and truly fallen in love!

 

 

 

| Why Women Need To Stick Together |

Allow me to begin with the story behind this post:

I recently found myself in a situation whereby a woman I know made a rude & unnecessary comment about my weight behind my back, in front of a group of people. You may remember my post on my body weight issues in my post Body Image By The Skinny Girl. At one stage in my life it was a very sensitive topic & I had a lot of struggles throughout my childhood, puberty and secondary school. The good news is I grew out of that and learned the art of not giving a f**k about my size because life is just too short.

Now you may ask, if those comments don’t bother you, then why are you writing this post? Because after this happened I realised one thing that actually, deep down, I’ve known for long time – women don’t stick together enough.

I am very open about the fact that I am a feminist. I don’t care what negative connotations that word seems to have among certain groups. I care about making a change for myself and my fellow females & thankfully, in todays day-and-age, we’re starting to see that happening.

While there are many things that have improved for us, like a change in the gender pay gap and more women CEO’s than ever before, we still have a long way to go in our day-to-day lives. What I mean by this is, as women we need to help make the change amongst ourselves. We have to and need to stick together.

Competition is rife among women. It’s built into our very make up. Evolutionary psychology says that it is essential that we compete with other women to protect ourselves from harm and to win the man of our choice. While we may not be able to help our evolutionary adaptions, we cannot use this as an excuse as we most certainly do not need to constantly compete with one another.

If you see a beautiful girl, tell her rather than feel threatened by her. She doesn’t deserve to be brought down & made to feel self-conscious just because you decide to compare yourself to her. Instead of slating a girl for being successful & driven, support her tenacity & her strength because it certainly isn’t an easy journey to try and get to the top. That is what sticking together is. It’s not tearing other girls down. It’s praising them,  lifting them up, motivating them & supporting them.

The comment that was made about me annoyed me. It didn’t upset me. But that comment could have made someone who is less secure feel terrible. It is small comments like that whether it be about race, sexual orientation, religion, occupation or appearance, that can break someone. We never know how anyone feels about themselves, so it is not okay to think we are entitled to say whatever we want because we have ‘freedom of speech’. Think before you speak. Always.

Basically I’m trying to say, be a nice girl. Be a nice girl to yourself & be a nice girl to your fellow females. This world can be ugly enough and we don’t need to be ugly to one another.

Have the niceness of the drunk girl in the bathroom always & the world will be a much better place!

 

| June Empties |

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I haven’t written an empties post in a little while & I had been trying so hard this past month to use up my almost-empty products. Believe me, consciously trying to use up products isn’t easy when you’re consciously doing it!

Here are the products that I managed to use up in the month of June, what I thought of them & would I repurchase them:

Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam
I love this false tan & have done for years. I’ve used up more bottles of this stuff than I can count & in my opinion, it’s one of the best affordable self-tanners on the market. It dries fast, gives amazing colour & lasts well without going patchy. It also smells of coconut which does start to give off that infamous fake tan smell after a while but it doesn’t smell as bad as others I have tried in the past.
Would I repurchase? – 100% It’s an amazing product!

Artistry Exact Fit Foundation
This is a foundation that is manufactured by Amway & I wanted to put out a disclaimer that I am not an Amway independent distributor. This is the only product I ever bought from the Artistry range & I’ve got to say that I really liked this foundation. It’s quite pricey at £38.70 but it is the quality of a high-end foundation. It offers great coverage & lasts really well throughout the day. My only negative was that it can leave that horrid foundation line along your jaw if you don’t spend time blending it well. But if it’s well blended, it’s a great foundation!
Would I repurchase? – Maybe. It’s a great foundation but it’s also pricey & a pain in the butt to get a hold of! 

Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make-up Remover
I’ll put it out there that I haven’t used many different eye makeup removers in my time so I don’t have much to compare this to but I did enjoy this product. It has that lovely soft Nivea scent and it removed my eye makeup well without stinging my eyes. All in all I have nothing negative to say about this product and I love that its also incredibly affordable!
Would I repurchase? – Yes 

Rimmel Lycra Pro Nail Polish in Orange Bliss
It’s been forever since I have finished a nail polish because I only ever paint my toes & we all know how long painted toe nails last! But with my tootsies being out on show over the summer, I made sure that they were always looking pretty (as pretty as toes can that is) and polished. I really enjoyed the colour of this nail polish. It’s a beautiful orange shade with a very slight hint of coral and it just looked gorgeous with sandals & tanned feet. I also think that the formula of Rimmel nail polishes is good, especially when you consider how affordable they are!
Would I repurchase? – Yes 

Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer
I love the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation which is why I initially bought this primer. It’s incredibly affordable at £6.99. Its more of a moisturiser consistency and doesn’t leave either a matte or glowy finish on the skin but it did leave my skin feeling more moisturised which I like. Sometimes a primer can wow you & sometimes it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. For me I didn’t really notice a big difference so if it made any improvements to the longevity of my foundation, they weren’t big enough for me to really stop and take notice.
Would I repurchase? – No. I wasn’t wowed so I think its time to try something else 

Armani Diamonds Violet Perfume
I’ve got to say that I’m pretty sad that this perfume is finished as I really enjoyed it. I originally got this because I love the original Armani Diamonds and when the Violet version was released I just had to buy it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. This particular scent is described as:

A Fruity Floral Gourmand that is sweet and addictive. With base notes of Praline, a smooth, tasty chocolate filling with hazelnut and almond tones define the base of this Gourmand fragrance.

I found this fragrance to last well on the skin & to give off a strong enough scent to be noticeable without being overpowering. It’s a beautiful, feminine, fruity but floral scent that is right up my street and if you enjoy Armani Diamonds, I’m almost certain that you’ll like this one too.
Would I repurchase? – Most definitely! 

 

| 6 Netflix Series That You NEED To Watch |

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It seems like series’ have taken over our TV’s in the past couple of years & I’ve got to say, I love it. Movie’s have taken a bit of a back-seat as I would now much rather sink my teeth into a good series. I mean is there anything better than binge-watching an entire season (or two) of an exciting & riveting show?

I’m very much into crime and psychological-thrillers so 90% of this list will fall within that category. If you’ve got that mildly twisted side to you & love all things crime, murder & psychology, you’re in for a binge-watching treat.

Here is my list of incredible Netflix shows that you must watch:

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Luther 
It’s not often that you find a series that you not only get completely absorbed in, but that leaves you on the edge of your seat & holding your breath in places. Luther is a fairly dark British series about a brilliant cop as he hunts down some of the darkest of  murderers. While this is a story line that we see time & time again, Luther has done it completely differently. The murderers and criminals in this series are in a league of their own, committing crimes that I have never seen before in any over show or movie. The characters are so creatively written. There is so much suspense, creativity & brilliance involved in the making of this series & I truly commend the team who worked together to bring it to our tv screens. Not to mention, Idris Elba & his sexy, deep voice make it an easy series to watch too.

Related imageMaking A Murderer
If you haven’t seen this Netflix exclusive series yet then where have you been?! I remember when this came out a few years ago & everyone was talking about it & giving their verdict on what they thought had happened. Without giving too much away, Making A Murderer is a real life docuseries filmed over the course of 10 years. It’s the story of Steven Avery, a man who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit & after being released finds himself being accused of murder but he’s adamant that he didn’t do it. It’s series full of interviews, court room scenes, evidence, witness testimonies & it will have you completely hooked. This is one of those series that left me sad, shocked & infuriated all at one time. An absolute must watch for crime & murder enthusiasts!

 

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The Staircase
If you watched & loved Making A Murderer or even if you haven’t but really like the sound of it, add this series to your list. It’s a series with a very similar concept to that of Making A Murderer whereby a man has been accused of murder but claims that he didn’t do it. This one is a 13 part docuseries filmed over a 17 year period and sees novelist Michael Peterson accused of murdering his wife while he & his defense team claim she fell down the stairs. I won’t tell you my thoughts as I don’t want to ruin it, but this series left me so conflicted & I changed my mind on whether or not I thought he was guilty several times. You’ll be hooked!

 

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The Night Of
I haven’t heard many people talk about this series so I wanted to do my part in putting it on the map as it truly deserves it. I binge watched this Emmy Award winning, 8 episode series over the course of a week and holy heck was it great! It’s the story of a completely normal college guy who meets a girl, they go back to her house & long story short, she ends up dead but you have no idea how it happened & he is charged with murder but denies guilt. It’s an unbelievably great short series that will leave you hooked & dying (excuse the pun) to know what happened.

 

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The Affair 
A bit of a different series than those mentioned before but a brilliant one all the same. The Affair (as the name suggests) is the story of a husband, father & writer who meets a married waitress who has recently suffered a tragedy and they start an affair that has implications for many. Not only is it the story of an affair but it also delves into the emotional and psychological effects that affairs can have not only on those involved but also their loved ones. The story line sounds pretty basic when you put it on paper (or blog) but it’s a brilliant series full of emotion, sex and a few twists & turns along the way.

 

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The Fall 
Being a Northern Irish gal I felt so incredibly proud of this Northern Irish series. The Fall is possibly one of the most psychologically disturbing things I have watched on TV! While it’s disturbing, it also gives a look into the mind of a serial-killer with a depth that I’ve never seen before. You really get to know the killer & why he does what he does. The Fall put Jamie Dornan (Mr Grey) on the map after his outstanding performance as the serial killer leading a double life. The Fall is the story of a sexually motivated serial killer and a female detective (Gillian Anderson) and their cat and mouse game as she tries to catch him. He plays an arrogant, psychologically disturbed killer who believes he will never get caught. She plays a strong, empowered woman who will stop at nothing to catch the man killing women across Belfast. This series is an absolute field day for anyone who loves criminal psychology!

I’m always looking for a brilliant new series to watch so please feel free to leave your favourites in the comments!

 

|What’s New: My Latest Beauty & Skincare Buys |

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Who doesn’t love buying new makeup & skincare? I for one love an opportunity to nip into a drugstore or department store & spend my time browsing through all the goodies. As a beauty blogger I take it upon myself to call it market research & any purchases are an ‘investment into my blog.’

Having said this however, this past couple of years I curbed my spending & stopped going on shopping sprees. Instead I decided to make informed purchases & put products on a wishlist that I ticked off slowly. By changing my beauty purchases I now have more of an appreciation for the products I buy as I now have time to enjoy each & every one of them for a while before I buy the ‘next best thing.’

So without further ado, here are the makeup & skincare purchases that I have made in recent months:

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The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion
After finishing my previous moisturiser (read my review on the Celltone moisturiser here) I wanted to try something new, so I wandered into the trusty Body Shop where I found the Glow Protect Lotion from their Vitamin C range. I had never tried anything from this range before but the description completely sold me:

‘Enhance the natural radiance of your skin while helping to protect your complexion from the sun with our SPF30 moisturiser. Ideal for daily use to hydrate and help to protect, leaving the skin looking glowing.’

If I can make my otherwise dull skin look radiant, I am sold. So I snapped up this little beauty & now I am obsessed. It moisturises my dry skin well & leaves a gorgeous natural radiance. I’m not quite sure how they do it because I can’t see any obvious shimmer particles but it looks gorgeous on the skin. My dull skin suddenly looks healthy, glowy and just alive. Not only does it make my skin glow, the high spf30 will protect my skin from the sun. Yay for no ageing! It does have quite a strong citrus scent so if you are sensitive to smells then this may not be the product for you!

Garnier Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin 
I know that I am so late to the party but I finally tried my first ever micellar water (I can hear the gasps of shock from the beauty community.) I decided to bite the bullet and buy a bottle of the stuff after finding that there were nights when I really didn’t want to have to go the effort of washing off my makeup. So do I agree with the micellar hype? I understand why people really love the stuff. Its so much more effortless than using a cleanser that requires rinsing which means less time faffing in the evening & more time sleeping. The only thing I did notice was that it doesn’t quite take my makeup off as well as it shows in the ads or how people have described it to. I find myself using it on its own if I don’t have a lot of makeup on that day but if I’m wearing a heavier face I find that it’s best to use the micellar as a pre-cleanse and follow with another cleanser to completely remove every trace of makeup.

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Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in shade 001 Holo Pink 
Can we talk about how beautiful this packaging is? It’s just so luxurious! Even more luxurious is the stunning highlighter inside. This was a gift from my sweetheart & my oh my, did he do well! I’m fussy when it comes to highlighters & I don’t often wear a pink-toned highlight but this is just stunning. It’s a pink tone with faint & subtle rose gold shimmers so it doesn’t look icy on the skin which I find can sometimes happen with pinky highlighters. It’s also incredibly pigmented so a little goes a long way. Next time you’re near a Dior counter give one of the Nude Air Luminizer’s a swatch, you won’t be disappointed.

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Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink
This is such an unusual product but its one that I have really been enjoying. Dior Addict Lip Glow is described as:

‘The first colour reviver lip balm by Dior combining the comfort of a balm with a touch of colour for a tailor-made flush of pink. Its secret lies in a perfect balance between make-up and lip care, and the famous “Colour Reviver” technology. The formula reacts to the pH level of each person’s lips, releasing the ingredient and providing a natural flush of customised pink. In terms of comfort, the formula, enriched in mango butter, ensures optimum 24-hour hydration.’

In simple terms, it’s a lip product that lies somewhere between a lip balm and a lipstick. It’s incredibly moisturising and I can feel the moisture on my lips even after several hours. This shade is gorgeous because it gives my lips the sweetest hint of pink which is perfect for days when I wear little to no makeup but don’t want to look dead. I don’t think I would wear most of the colours in this range as they’re a little too bright or dark for me but this pink shade is just perfect.

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Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer
I have found a new holy grail product. I decided to purchase this little wonder after hearing that it was a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow and oh my, I was not disappointed. The Fresh & Fit Awake Primer claims to minimise your pores and give your skin a healthy glow while being packed with a range of vitamins and cranberry water. I truly cannot believe that this product has been created by the incredibly affordable brand, Essence. I have never, I repeat, never seen my skin glow like it does when I wear this product. On no makeup days I’ve even found myself putting this on to make my skin come to life. I have never tried the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow but I have no intention of buying it now. Hello new holy grail!

That’s all for my new beauty additions. I found some amazing products recently & I’m really enjoying using them. Plus, who doesn’t love a beauty haul?!  

 

 

 

| I’ve Got Some Exciting News |

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I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA for the past month but I have a good reason that I’m about to explain…

To put it simply, I moved home to Ireland!

It’s still incredibly strange to me that I’m sat typing a blog post in my living room in Ireland but yet a couple of weeks ago I was writing my posts in South Africa. Talk about a big change!

To fill you in on how this came about, I was offered a job that I couldn’t turn down. I have been given an amazing opportunity & opportunities like that don’t come around twice so it was a no-brainer that I was going to accept it. While I’m incredibly lucky in that perspective, I’m also lucky in more ways than one. I have such a supportive and encouraging boyfriend who has made sacrifices to move with me. I know that it isn’t easy to leave your family & friends behind to start a new life; I know that all too well. But I’m very lucky that he did that for me without giving it a second thought. It’s one of the many reasons that I love him so much & I’m excited to build our new life together here.

We’ve got our place & I’ve just finished the first week of my job & so far we’re settling in & it’s been lovely. It’s been a crazy month & a big adjustment for the two of us but we’re excited for the future & what it has in store for us.

I can’t wait to take you on this journey with me

 

| Declutter : The Makeup I’m Getting Rid of & Why |

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For those of you who didn’t read my makeup collection post, you may not know that I like my entire makeup stash to be made up products that are all shown love & that actually get used. I’m not one for having so much makeup that things go off before I’ve had a good stab at them. 

With this in mind, while I was going through my makeup the other day, I realised that there were quite a few products in there that I hadn’t used in a long time because I didn’t like them quite so much or because they were a little old & perhaps past their best. So I decided that it was time to say goodbye to these items because I hate holding on to things that I just don’t need.

Here are the products that I’m saying goodbye to & why:

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The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in shade Doting
I previously wrote a rave review on these liquid lipsticks which you can read here, so you may be wondering why I’m getting rid of this shade. I love all of the shades of this particular liquid lipstick that I own, except this one. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may know that I’m a pink/brown nude gal through-and-through. This particular shade is very much a peachy pink which means that it just doesn’t suit me. For whatever reason, peach just never looks cute on me so I have never reached for this & because I know it will never look good on me, it’s time for it to go.

L.A Girl Endless Semi-Permanent Lipliner in shade True Brown
As the name suggests, this eyeliner is a true brown shade & the colour is really pretty on the lips. But the colour isn’t my issue with this product; it’s the not-so-nice formula. You all know that I love the L.A Girl Pro Coverage Foundation but unfortunately this particular L.A Girl product let me down. The formula is so dry that I find it difficult to get a smooth line & it really doesn’t look good if you try to fill in your lips with it either. While the colour was pretty, the formula just wasn’t good enough & involved too much effort for me to use it any longer.

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Makeup Revolution Highlighter Palette in Radiant Lights
I am a Makeup Revolution gal through & through. I think they make amazing products for incredible prices & I’m so glad that more people are starting to hear about them. I own quite a few palettes from this brand from blush palettes to eyeshadow palettes & I had never been let down, until I got this one. There are three highlighter shades in this palette and although I love the deepest one when I have a tan, the other two just really disappointed me – especially when all of the other Makeup Revolution highlighters I’ve tried have been great. The two lighter shades had poor pigmentation & colour pay-off so I wasn’t able to achieve the poppin’ highlight that I’m usually after. I’m heading home to the UK next month & there are several palettes that I have my eye on so I decided to let this one go & make room for a better product.

 Essence Get Big Lashes Waterproof Mascara

I’ve really been enjoying Essence mascaras lately because I’ve found that they’re great mascaras for very affordable prices but one that I don’t recommend is this particular one in waterproof. The mascara itself is great as it lengthens & thickens well, doesn’t flake & wears well. But the problem is that it wears too well. This thing is a b*tch to take off. None of my makeup removers can take it off & I’m not all about pulling my eyes around & giving myself wrinkles over a stubborn mascara. Their non-waterproof mascaras are wonderful so save yourself the effort & stick with them instead!

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Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer in Charm Offensive
I really don’t have anything negative to say about this lipgloss. It really is a fantastic lipgloss – it’s pigmented, long wearing and nice & glossy. The only reason that I’m getting rid of it is because I’ve had it too long now & it’s gone off. I will repurchase another one but perhaps not in the same shade as this one was a little too pink for me.

Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lip Cream in Birthday suit (middle) & Shabby Chic (bottom)
I wrote a detailed review on these liquid lipsticks here and it was really quite negative. As you can read my full thoughts on the linked review, I’ll keep this short & sweet – I really didn’t like them. The colours are lovely but I hated the formula – dry and uncomfortable to wear. I bought these when they were first released & I’m not sure if they have since changed their formula as a few people had commented on my review saying how much they like them. But if they haven’t reformulated then I won’t be buying any more. Sorry Sleek – I still like your other products though!

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Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in Shades 171 & 170
I find that Barry M can be one of those hit or miss brands. Some of their product releases are really great & some miss the mark. Unfortunately this lipstick range is a bit of a miss for me. The colour pay off from these lipsticks is incredible but the problem is that the formula is too moisturising (I never thought I would say that!) It’s so slippery that the lipstick goes on your teeth and outside your lipline far too easily making it incredibly difficult to wear. It’s the texture of a lip balm which I don’t think is practical for such a pigmented lipstick. As I bought two purple shades I think it makes it more obvious when they slide all over my face so these lipsticks may be better in a nude shade.

NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Honeymoon
I must say that I like the Lip Lingerie range from NYX. It’s a collection of nude, liquid lipsticks so what isn’t there to like? The reason I’m no longer holding onto this particular one is because the colour just looks awful on me. It’s a greyish brown & unfortunately I just cannot pull it off. Maybe I’m not cool enough but I just look like I’m very sick when I wear this particular shade. I do recommend the Lip Lingerie lipsticks but unfortunately for me I just couldn’t make this particular shade work.

That is all of the products that I’m decluttering from my makeup stash. Unfortunately these products didn’t work for me for whatever reason & as a blogger I always prefer to be honest in my reviews, but that doesn’t mean they won’t necessarily work for you. 

| Advice That I Would Give My Younger Self |

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Gone are the days of being young, naive & a little stupid. I’m now a mid-twenties gal with some life experience under her belt & I truly feel like I’ve come a long way since my younger days. If I had the opportunity to sit down with my younger-self to have a cup of tea & a chat, here is the advice that I would give: 

You really don’t need to have your life figured out
I mentioned this in my What I learnt As A 24 Year Old Post.  When we’re young we’re told that we have to get good grades in school & that we have to go to university if we want to have any chance at being successful in life. My school drilled this into me which, now that I’m older, I don’t appreciate. It’s such an old way of thinking! At the age of 17 when I was applying to universities, I felt like I needed to have my life planned out in front of me. That if I didn’t, I would be lost like a fart in the wind & I’d never make something of myself.  I’d like to tell my younger-self that this is utter nonsense. You don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life. You don’t need to have a solid plan that you have to stick to. I only recently figured out the path that I’m good at & that I’m destined for & I’m 25. Guess what? It isn’t what I studied at university for either. Life has a way of putting you on the path that you need to be. Just enjoy the ride & don’t stress about it.

There’s more to life than your weight
I’ve told you all about my weight struggles in my Body Image By The Skinny Girl post. I’ve suffered with being underweight my whole life & I’m open about it with anyone who wants to talk about it. When I was growing up, especially during my teenage years (because we all know how difficult body image can be when you’re a teenager) I tortured myself mentally about my weight. I would cry myself to sleep over it. I would change my outfit 10 times until I found the outfit I didn’t look ‘too skinny’ in & then I would go back to feeling bad about myself as soon as I saw my reflection in a shop window or a mirror. I would take every single stare,  every single look & every single comment about my size to heart & I would let it affect me. I wasted a lot of time hating how my body looked & because of that it still affects me today – although I’m happy to say that these occasions are very rare. I realised that there is so much more to life than your weight. My weight doesn’t define me & I just wish that I realised that at a much younger age.

Value yourself
It wasn’t until I hit the age of 22 that I really began to value myself as a person – especially when it came to dating. I dated people who were completely wrong for me & that I knew were completely wrong for me. But because I didn’t value myself as much as I should have, I stayed with that person. I let them treat me in a way that I never should have allowed. I don’t know at which point the switch flipped, but suddenly I refused to have anyone in my life who didn’t add value to it & who didn’t truly make me happy. Now I’m so happy to say that since that change I have found the love of my life who is a true gentleman who treats me better than anyone else ever has or ever could. It’s so important that we value ourselves enough to demand the love & respect that we deserve.

Don’t be scared to be yourself
This is something that I think a lot of young people experience because it’s with age & maturity that we sometimes learn the art of not giving a hoot. I used to care far too much about what people thought of me. I wouldn’t go out without makeup on in fear that, heaven forbid, someone I knew saw me. I wouldn’t do certain things in case people judged me. I just wanted to be liked by everyone. Now I really don’t care anymore. The reality is that the world is full of judgemental people who will judge you no matter what you do. So instead of worrying about them or trying to please them, worry about yourself & please yourself. After-all, it’s your own thoughts inside your head that you have to deal with, not theirs.

Stay young & don’t rush to grow up
When we were young, most of us remember thinking ‘I can’t wait to grow up’. I also remember many of the adults in my life at the time telling me ‘your childhood goes so quickly so enjoy it while you can!’ Did I listen to this advice? No. I wanted to grow up too quickly. I wanted to dress older, look older, feel older & act older. Now that I am older I wish that I could tell my younger self to be immature while I can. Having no responsibilities and no ‘adult worries’ is a wonderful thing that we only experience for such a short time. You never get to be a kid again. 

My word, life is so short
It seems like only yesterday I turned 18. Today as I write this I’m now 25. I know that I am still young but what scares me is that I’m half way through my 20’s already. The years are flying past at a rate I never would have expected. I wish I could give my younger self the cliche advice that we’re all given countless times – to enjoy life because it’s so short. I want to tell my younger-self to go out and do everything that I want to do. To tick off the items on my bucket list no matter how scary they are. My years are flying by & before I know it, it’ll be tied down with a house & kids so enjoy all the adventures while the opportunity is there & throw yourself into absolutely everything you do.

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

| 5 Foundations You Need To Buy|

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As a beauty-lover I am always on the hunt for the next perfect foundation that will make my skin look as flawless as possible. But with so many options out there it can feel a little overwhelming. Over the years I’ve tried countless foundations from inexpensive to high-end & I’ve found a few solid favourites along the way. Here is my list of the 5 foundations that you must buy: 

Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation 
I have used this foundation for years & have mentioned it on here a couple of times before. Vichy Fluid Corrective Foundation is marketed as a high coverage foundation that is suitable for minor to moderate skin concerns including acne & blemishes, rosacea, vitiligo, tattoos and scars. As it is targeted in this way you can imagine how fantastic the coverage is. When I initially bought this foundation I was a little concerned that it would be incredibly heavy because of how high the coverage is but it is the complete opposite. It’s so incredibly light on the skin & that’s because it is formulated with a 25% pigment concentration (much higher than your average foundation) instead of being a thick consistency. It’s also non-comodogenic so if you suffer from acne or breakouts, it shouldn’t clog your pores & cause additional breakouts. It’s also hypoallergenic so won’t irritate sensitive skin. All in all, if you have skin concerns or if you don’t, this product is fantastic & at £20 it’s more than worth the money!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
It’s a foundation that has won numerous awards & is famous across the world & for good reason! It’s a foundation that gives great coverage and lasts so well throughout the day – they don’t call it ‘stay-in-place makeup’ for no reason! If I’m going to an event & need my makeup to stay on the entire day without going patchy or wearing off, this is the foundation I’ll always choose because it never lets me down. It also comes in a whopping 36 shades & caters to women of colour. A big plus in my books! A word of warning however to my dry-skinned ladies out there – if you use this foundation it’s important to moisturise your skin well beforehand for a smooth finish & to avoid it clinging to any dry patches.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover
This foundation is a similar concept to the Vichy foundation in that it’s packed full of coverage and can be used to conceal scars, acne, birthmarks, sun spots and varicose veins. I personally don’t need foundation to cover these things, but I do love a high coverage foundation & that is exactly what the Maximum Cover offers. It’s incredibly light for such a high coverage foundation and it’s also non-comodogenic so won’t clog your pores. I like to use this foundation on it’s own and I also like to mix it with other foundations to up their coverage. I’ve also seen other lovely ladies using this as a concealer so it’s a versatile product! This foundation isn’t quite as long-lasting as the Double Wear Stay-In-Place foundation so I do recommend that you set this foundation with a powder to avoid transfer and to keep it in place for longer.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation
If you follow me on Instagram (you can follow me here if you aren’t yet) you’ll have seen me testing this foundation on my stories for the first time. Honestly, this foundation completely blew me away! I had seen beauty bloggers raving about this foundation & I finally bought into it & they really weren’t wrong. I must say I don’t like the smell of this foundation but when the formula is so good, I can handle it. It has a medium to full coverage (it’s definitely buildable) with an almost matte finish. As a dry-skin girl I’m normally reluctant to pick up matte foundations but the finish of this foundation is beautiful & didn’t look dry on my skin at all. It lasts so well throughout the day & looks just as good when I go to take my makeup off as it did when I first applied it – I just can’t believe that its a $5 foundation! In South Africa you can pick it up at your local Clicks store but if you’re in the UK it’s a little harder to get a hold of. I found it on Amazon & I really recommend that you pick one up for yourself. It’s my best beauty find of 2018 so far!

L.A Girl Pro Coverage Foundation
I bought this foundation after the beauty community was raving about it and claiming that it was a dupe for the infamous Makeup Forever HD Foundation – Of course I had to try it too. This foundation is so lightweight yet offers high coverage with a beautiful dewy finish. It looks absolutely gorgeous on the skin & leaves me looking dewy & healthy. Although it can move around on your face if you don’t set it so I recommend using a powder to set your foundation to avoid this. L.A girl is such an affordable brand and this foundation is no different – the value for money is unbelievable! I picked up the shade Natural but it’s a little dark for me so I’ll be purchasing a shade down next time!

You may spot in the picture that there is a 6th bottle (the very first one) & notice that it is clearly a lot darker than my foundation shades. I wanted to include it in this post because I think that it’s a fantastic product that you need in your makeup bag:

The Body Shop Darkening Shade Adjusting Drops
This little wonder product, as the name explains, darkens the shade of your foundation. If like me you wear fake tan quite a lot, it’s such a wonderful product. Simply add a drop or two into your current foundation & wallah! it now matches your tan. Not only does this make life easier, it also saves a fortune on having to buy 2 or 3 different shades in a foundation in order to match your skin. The Body Shop also offer lightening drops which will lighten the shade of your foundation if it is too dark for your skin. What a great idea from The Body Shop.

I love discovering new, wonderful foundations so please feel free to leave your personal favourites in the comments. 

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