Thursday, 30 June 2016

Kindness and the EU Referendum



I, like many of you, am struggling to get my head around the events of the last few weeks here in the UK. Like many of you I have a very strong opinion on the EU referendum, and like many of you the outcome was not the one I wanted. I wasn't going to put pen to paper on this blog – I wasn't sure if politics had a place here – but the volatile atmosphere and possible impact of what has happened, and what continues to happen, has left me wanting to address it.

I'm twenty-four years old, and although not particularly old (and probably not that wise) I have been privileged to explore of my own free will some of the most beautiful places in Europe, from the cities of Paris, Munich and Amsterdam to the beaches of Greek islands and beyond. I have also had the privilege to study alongside, and now work with, people from all manner of backgrounds and of all kinds of nationalities. I do not take it lightly that this privilege is being taken away - it has really enriched my outlook on life and provided me with eye-opening experiences.

It sickens me to know that out there are large working class communities who've been duped into thinking European immigrants are to blame for our nation's failing services and poor economic outlook, instead of the real culprit: government cuts. The Spanish waitress serving your meal didn't do this. The Polish delivery driver bringing your order didn't do this. The Greek surgeon tending to your wounds didn't do this.

I could go on and on about the referendum itself (anyone who knows me will probably agree that I already have!), but the thing that's struck me most in the 7 days since the verdict is that the Leave result has been used to legitimise racism, xenophobia and abuse. It's not OK. Without understanding, without empathy, and without kindness, we lose what it means to be human.

Like many of you, I've always identified more with forward-thinking, outward-looking European values than with the stiff, insular and close-minded British attitude that seems far too prevalent these days. I'm not sure where or how young progressive people will fit into this bleak new 'Great' Britain. I don't know if there's any coming back from this, or how we'll actually fix it, but I know it starts with understanding, empathy and kindness.
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Saturday, 18 June 2016

3 makeup looks for girls with dry or sensitive eyes

I've made no secret over the last 6 months of my battle with allergic reactions, blepharitis and dry eye syndrome. With my eyes being extra sensitive, almost always sore and sometimes watery, I rarely if ever am able to tolerate makeup like mascara, and haven't used eyeliner or eye shadow since my symptoms started last year.

Since being diagnosed I've spoken to many women in a similar boat - many of us used to use makeup to make ourselves feel good and found it made us more confident, and now we're left feeling a little naked and kind of defective. 

I've done a lot of research and experimenting with different makeup looks that don't require eye products, and I'm finally adjusting to the fact that I can't follow that popular YouTube tutorial or try the latest mascara. I thought I'd share my findings in the hope that the ladies out there with all manner of eye problems can make themselves feel just as beautiful as they once did.

Barely there

You can still create a refined, natural makeup look that appears 'put together' without the aid of mascara or eyeliner. A dewy base, good highlight, nude lip and meticulously tamed brows could breathe new life into an off-duty look. When I opt for a look like this I also tend to go for wavy, tousled hair as leaving it straight tends to look too harsh.


Strong brows

Since I'm no longer able to make my eyes pop with eye shadow, I've been keeping  my brows in tip top shape and ensuring I always have a pencil or gel to hand for touch-ups. Plenty of models and celebs demonstrate beautifully parred-back looks that retain that strong signature brow to frame the face.


Bold lips

Being unable to withstand eye makeup can be particularly tricky when it comes to getting glammed up for a night out or special occasion. In these instances a good lipstick is definitely your friend. I put the money I would previously have spent on eye shadow palettes and tube after tube of mascaras into experimenting with lip products and have finally found a red that suits me, a nude for everyday wear and a stain for times when it needs to last all day.

Do you suffer with dry or sensitive eyes? How have you adjusted your beauty routine?


The images in this post were taken from my 'Beauty' board on Pinterest. Like what you see? Give me a follow for more!
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Monday, 13 June 2016

What my parents brought me back from America!


My mum and dad recently returned from a long holiday in Florida, and while I was gutted I couldn't go, my only request was that they bring me a little something back. I feel like a pretty lucky girl because as it was my birthday while they were away I ended up with quite a haul! I did a little research beforehand on what the most worthwhile products would be to bring back from the USA, and I wasn't disappointed.

Sephora

Not a day goes by when I don't wish Sephora had stores on UK soil, or at least a concession somewhere. I spend so much time lusting after products online but never liked the idea of paying duties and customs charges and waiting ages for stuff to arrive. Special props to the store assistant who basically asked my clueless dad what he wanted and came back with everything!

Not pictured here is a Sephora green tea sheet mask, mainly because I couldn't wait longer than a day before using it. I absolutely love this mask as it calms and mattifies without drying and after massaging the residue in it left my skin looking much clearer the next day.

I also stocked up on a Sephora cream lip stain in Marvelous Mauve. It's by far my favourite shade and the one I bought almost a year ago in Paris is starting to run out and dry up slightly due to at least bi-weekly use. They really are a great product - extremely long lasting even with eating and drinking, and not drying on the lips.

I was so so happy to get hold of two shades of the Kat Von D everlasting liquid lipsticks too. I went for Lolita, a rosey colour, and Santa Sangre, a vibrant red with slightly orange tones. They are so easy to apply, with a long and precise wand, and are even more long lasting than the Sephora lip stains. They're so long-lasting in fact that they take a little coconut oil and a makeup wipe to remove. So worth the wait.

Bath and Body Works

If I lived in the States this would be my favourite shop! Everything smells absolutely amazing, and the store have also recently released several retro scents that no doubt remind many of growing up in the 90s.

First up were a couple of fragrance mists, in the yummy holiday fragrances of Golden Pineapple Luau and Tiki Mango Mai Tai. They remind me of the kind of body sprays I used to use as a kid but actually smell so much nicer and the scent lingers on the skin better even than some perfumes.

The candles are also a must - I haven't been able to find the scent of mine on the website but wow is it sweet and strong, just how I like a candle! There are tonnes of scents to choose from. My parents picked a pretty little candle holder to go with it.

Yummy/nerdy stuff

Although it doesn't quite fit with the clear beauty theme I've got going on here, my folks made sure I also got some edible goodies from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. Not pictured is the chocolate wand which I accidentally melted in my car and had to eat pretty quick-sharp, or the tub of gummy bears. I do however still have some Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (saving those for when I'm feeling brave), and a very much non-edible Deathly Hallows key ring which is taking pride of place.

Trips to the USA can be expensive, but if like me you can't go and know someone who can then why not be cheeky and ask them to bring a little something from the list above - I can highly recommend the lot.
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Sunday, 5 June 2016

A cheeky little beauty haul feat. Mac, Benefit and more


These days I try to control my beauty spending, but occasionally a few new items slip their way into an online basket and somehow turn up on my doorstep a few days later. There were a couple of products I'd been really wanting to try, as well as a few 'necessary' purchases too. Here's what I ended up with:

I recently spied the collection of Sinful Shine nail polish shades created by none other than Kylie Jenner herself, so I thought I'd give one a go. Unusually for me I went for Komando, a very pale pinkish shade and I have to say I'm impressed. The formula is thick and so takes a little longer to dry than some polishes, but as a result has a lovely finish and really does carry a high shine.

While browsing I threw in the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown, because while I've been loving the newly expanded Maybelline brow range lately you just can't beat this old favourite. the pencil is dark but blendable and the brush on the cap is a lifesaver on the go.

While at the airport on our way to Amsterdam (you can read more about the trip here!), I somewhat sneakily went and picked up a Mac Velvet Teddy lipstick. I'd previously been in love with Persistence, a much browner shade, but this pinker hue is perfect for summer. I've worn it almost every day since buying it.


I've also got myself back into gradual tanners in the hope that, alongside the deluxe sample of Benefit's new Dew the Hoola liquid bronzer that came in April's Birchbox, I can spend the summer looking at least a little bit like I have some colour in my skin (Dew the Hoola gets an honorable mention here as while I didn't purchase it as such, it's flippin' ace). My old favourite Dove Summer Glow has been re-branded slightly as 'Summer Revived', but still looks and smells the same so I'm not sure if it's reformulated. It's a good product for those a little afraid of the full-on fake tan look.

I'm still battling with my eye condition, which has now been diagnosed as chronic, so haven't been able to wear any eye makeup other than mascara maybe once or twice a month. It hasn't been easy but I'm getting used to using lipstick, good brows and a contour to make myself look more 'made up'. I've never been one to wear false lashes as I found the application so messy and fiddly, but I've decided to try out these Eyelure ones (number 031), which are pre-glued, to see if I can wear them without having a reaction. Hopefully I'll be able to stand them for a few hours which means I can feel a bit better about my lack of eyeliner on nights out and special occasions!

Have you picked up any great products recently?





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