The Christmas I stayed at home and ate copious amount of cheese…
I’ve been living with my partner and his parents for the past three years. For anyone that doesn’t know… We moved from our little studio apartment in Malvern to be closer to London. Which basically meant bunking with the parents to save for a little space of our own.
And every year without fail, I haul myself, my boyfriend and a bag of gifts up to the Midlands to see my friends and family. This usually involves a three hour drive up, lots of take out food and a long drive back all within around 24 hours. Then, I usually get ill and spend around a week trying to catch up on sleep etc.
This year, I decided to spend the entirety of December at home, resting up and doing some well needed life admin.
My god, team – It’s been incredible! I’ve been able to sort out all of my little nagging tasks, tidy my room, keep on top of washing, discover a new ‘Lighter’ make up style, re-invigorate my fashion sense and fit in a work Christmas party!
I’ve even filmed a few videos and actually sent clothes back in time for a full bloody refund!!
Granted, I did spend Christmas day in bed with a migraine. Boxing day, though… Boxing day was a day spent with family, food and cheese (because it’s a food group all of it’s own).
So, what have I learnt?
Take time. Take time for rest and recovery. I am not a machine. I cannot run on empty and sometimes a little sacrifice is worth its weight in gold.
So, Hi. I’m back. It’s November (now December) and I haven’t written anything on here for around 4/5 months. I would apologise, but if i’m honest. I’m not really sorry.
A lot has changed for me this past year. I started the year exhausted and I leave it enthused.
So, 2018 was supposed to be the year I ‘Made It’. The year we got the hell out of dodge and saw the world. I held it with such a high regard and then let it all slip away.
The funny thing about dreams is that if you stop believing in them, they stop happening.
But instead of dwelling on the could have, would have and shouldabeens (I’m saving those for a rainy day). I’m instead going to write about what did happen this year. I feel like that’s a way better story than wishing I could start the year again.
I made new friends!I’ve written about this previously, but I feel its worth mentioning again. Jess, Kitty and Emily, you girls are my angels and love you all so much. I can’t believe I went 28 years without having a bunch of inspiring, creative and caring girls behind me. You gave me a group of friends at a time when I had so few.
Moving away from home is always tough. Out of sight, out of mind… But I can’t complain because by loosing some old friends, I have made some life long ones. I didn’t realise how alone and isolated I had become until I started hanging out with this girl gang. Seriously, thank you babes!
I lost 5000+ Instagram followers and found my clarity. I was OBSESSED with the inner workings, the numbers, the upload schedule, the updates. You get the point. I had been consumed by the app and felt like it ruled my life. That was until I broke a light bulb and couldn’t upload anything new. I then took a spontaneous few months off. Honestly, if you’re trying to carve a living from your own little corner of the internet, then I applaud ALL of your efforts. This shit is hard af.
Since starting to post again, I have only lost followers and you know what… It sucks, it really does. But, I still have an amazing, caring following and I still want to help people so I’m just rolling with the punches. You’ve got to take the lows with the highs. You can’t just throw in the towel when the going gets tough can you. I’ve done that my ENTIRE life and it’s finally time to face the music. I know it will get better, I will get better and I can still make a career out of this. It just takes time.
My darling Adam and I made it to four blissful years together. God, I love him. He pulled me out of the depths of a deep, dark depression and showed me what love is supposed to feel like. I often ask him if he can find me again in the next life because I honestly cannot bare to be without him anymore. Did you know that, I was convinced that I would never meet my ‘true love’? I treated relationships like fashion trends. Fleeting between boys and not really putting any heart into them. That was until Adam came along. If you’re in love then you’ll know how this feels.
I never, ever knew I could feel so whole.
I went back to full time employment. Not a decision I took lightly, I’ll have you know. Within two months of being there I have also been offered one of three promotions. On thing I have always beaten myself up for is my inability to take pressure in a job and work my way up in a role. I have always cracked under the pressure of a full time job. I was convinced the other staff members hated me. Or, my home life was in shreds so I couldn’t handle keeping up appearances of having my shit together.
This time around, I did it right, I worked my ass off and it’s so nice to see the pay off.
I went a whole year without a mental breakdown. It sounds silly but it’s true. Every year prior to this one, I have had to have time off work because I’ve been unable to function. It has felt like a huge achievement to not take time off for stress or anxiety.
Am I a little sad that I’m not a millionaire business woman with all my dreams coming true? Of course I am but I’m also happy. I survived another year and I achieved some amazing things.
Everyone is on their own journey in life. We all peak at different things, in different ways and at different times. So, please don’t feel like you’re playing catch up with everyone else.
Lets see what the next year has in store, shall we?!
I tried to write an introduction to this that said I do have friends, I just don’t see them. The problem was I just didn’t say it as bluntly as that. I need to work on not over complicating my introductions. Basically, I still have friends I just don’t get to see them as often as I would like…
I moved out of my hometown and into an apartment with my boyfriend in the summer of 2014. We lived about 40 minutes away from my old neighbourhood so I was still able to see people fairly regularly.
However, when Adam and I took the plunge, moved out of our own apartment and moved in with the in-laws (to-be) something I didn’t consider was that for the foreseeable future my boyfriend would be my only physical friend. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend and we never have a dull moment but our humour, hobbies and needs aren’t always matched 100% and sometimes we both need to be around other people to recalibrate.
Obviously, I still visited all my friends back in Stourbridge, but it’s a three-hour trip and my little car isn’t the best for fuel economy.
The problem with long distance friendships is that you’re always so busy and with age added into the equation your usually just TOO busy to have that hour phone call that you used to have.
So I existed for around two years by hanging out with my boyfriend, his friends and occasionally visiting my hometown to try and cram in a quick coffee and hangs with the old gang.
That was until a certain orange haired girl graced my Instagram feed…
And I jumped at the chance to speak with her!
Jess (@Foxxtailz) has since been one of the sweetest, funniest and most supportive people I think I have ever known. I’m so grateful that we got to meet!
Since knowing her, I have also met ‘The Ultimate Squad’, been to London Edge (and going back in September), travelled to London for some amazing events AND even took a trip up to Manchester to eat cake with her and Kinga (@KingaKurekx). Phew!
She also introduced me to the ultimate manifesting, life lover and absolute babe, Kitty (@KittyCowell). Who as an added bonus doesn’t live a three hour drive away!! (yaaass)
I didn’t expect it to be so easy to just get along with a new group of people almost instantaneously. It’s not like I’m a horrible person and people hate spending time with me or anything like that. I just thought that making new friends as an adult would be tough work.
After all, these are people that should have career goals, mortgages, regular dental appointments and children. How do I fit in with such a bunch of well established put together people?!
The plain and simple truth is that you fit in because you’re not a six year old sharing (and eating) Play-Doh anymore. You appreciate people for who they are as you get older. There are new stories to be shared, new perspectives to learn and new adventures to be had! Adults (anyone over the age of twenty-two) just don’t have the time for dramas.
Let go of your fears, doubts, anxieties and just be unapologetically you. I’m sure you’ll make a tonne of new friends.
As quietly promised a few weeks ago, here is the step by step of my every day make up routine. This is not a sponsored post, nor is it a review. Just a small written guide to my methods.
Step 1: Carve In The Brows!
After the basic skincare regime (See Here), I fill in my brows. I like to do this step first as if I mess them up I’m not removing my whole face to redo them.
Using the NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade I follow the top line of my sparse hairs, then I do the same with the bottom line. Once they’re almost touching I colour them in with the brush and add the tail. Depending on how I want them to look, I will either elongate the tail outwards. Alternatively, pulling the tail down to create a more defined brow.
Step 2: Erase Your Mistakes!
Okay, So if you’re anything like me… the first step probably isn’t looking so instagrammable right now. Worry not, you can get rid of any uneven, unwanted bits by covering them with foundation! Taking a small foundation brush with a pea sized amount of the (Max Factor Healthy Skin Harmony) Foundation, I carve around the brows and cover up any overspill of brow product. Starting at the bridge of my nose I pull the foundation upwards to define the space between the brows. Then, I outline the top of the brow on both sides, following it round at the tail and finally I go in and carve out the lines beneath the brow. Any remaining product is used to cover up blemishes and dark circles.
Step 3: Build That Foundation.
Maybe my most or least favourite step depending on how rushed I am to get out the door…
I use a damp beauty blender for my foundation as I find brushes are too much effort. Putting around two pumps (EY) of foundation onto the back of my hand, I use the largest part of the Sport FX Beauty Blender to blend out the foundation around my eyebrows before it starts to dry, adding foundation as and when needed. I then cover my chin, cheeks, nose and eyes. If there is any product remaining I will add it to wherever I feel more coverage is needed. As a little side note, this product dried super quickly so you definitely want to work quickly with it.
Step 4: Set That Shit!
I’ve always found that my liquid foundation moves all over my face without a setting powder of some kind. A lot of products are very heavy on my face and end up too cakey but I’ve found this powder to be amazing. I use a basic revlon powder puff and generously shake the powder onto this, then add it to my chin, nose and cheeks first. Once patted out, I then add powder using the same method to the rest of my face (inducing eyes and undereyes).
Step 5: Eyes and Eyeshadow.
Legit my favourite step, I LOVE creating new eye looks. Even if its the same shape with different colours!
I’ll try to make this bit as easy as possible to follow.
I use three brushes, a basic fluff/packing brush and two varied sized blending brushes. Using the packing brush, I take the lightest colour (Usually a white, cream or very light beige shade) and pack the colour all over the oval of my eyelid. Then using the smaller blending brush, I take the second lightest shade (usually a light brown) and follow the corner of my upper eyelid. Then, round the curve of my brow bone and repeat in back and forth motions. I do this until it’s at the intensity that I want. Finally I take the larger blending brush and the darkest shade of eyeshadow and pack it into the hollow of my brow bone and eyelid with large back and forth motions.
Using a clean powder brush, I wipe away any fall out.
Once I’m happy with the look of my eyeshadow, I add a thin line of eyeliner complete with (wonky) cat flick. Following the natural curve of my eyelid with the tip until around 3mm before the end of my eye, then pulling the eyeliner up to create a flick. I do this so that if my eye leaks (which it always does) I don’t end up looking like a panda. Finish off withe good coating of Mascara.
Step 6: That 80’s Cheekbone.
I am obsessed with the 80’s! Ever since I got into make up, it has influenced my style. Honestly, I have probably worn this intense blusher look in varying colours for at least ten years! I know it’s not for everyone but make up is all about expression.
To start with, using a small blusher brush take some of the NYX Mate Bronzer in Medium and create a line along your cheek bone diagonally towards the edge of your mouth. You want the majority of colour to be focused around top of the cheekbone. Next using the MUA Prism Jelly Highlight in Optic take the brown shade and a larger blusher brush and at the top of your cheek bones apply the product. If this is too shimmery for you, add a little more of the bronzer to calm it down a little.
Step 7: Oh Hi Light.
Finally, we’re getting to the end of our make up journey. I SWEAR by the MUA Loose Powder Highlighter.
I usually use an angled blusher brush. Generously dip the flat edge of the brush into the product and apply it to the highest point of my cheek bone. Then i pull it up to my temples. I also add a small dot to the edge of my nose, the bridge of my nose, my philtrum and on my brow bone to lift my eyebrows!
Step 8: Contour!
Not a step that everyone will want to do but it’s definitely something thats changed my make up game! I usually contour my nose, forehead and chin.
Using the same small blusher brush that we used in step 6 and the same bronzer! I create a halo around the top of my head to give a more rounded shape. I do the same around my chin and then follow the natural line of my jaw to give a more defined edge.
Step 9: Additional Extras!
Lashes and Lips!
For red lips I use the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Lady Balls. For Nude lips, I use the NYX Lip Lingerie in the shade Bedtime Flirt.
Lashes, I only EVER use the Ardell Wispies in style 113.
Make Up Products Mentioned:
Max Factor – Healthy Skin Harmony- Miracle Foundation – Light Ivory 40
L’Oreal Paris – Infallible Mattifying Primer
L’Oreal Paris – True Match Minerals – 1.R/1.C Rose Ivory
L’Oreal Paris – Miss Hippie Mega Volume Mascara – Black
As you know, I’ve been moaning about my uneven skin tone for as long as I’ve had a blog. However, I have never spoken about my own skin care routine or how I altered my skin to be more bright and clear.
I’ve used a few exfoliating products and the occasional moisturiser in the past but never had a solid every day regime. That is until B The Agency sent me a few samples of the Yes To Grapefruit Skincare range.
My skin prior to the treatments was very patchy with red marks and dulling brown patches. I had a few blackheads, white heads and dry skin patches.
After a month (or two) of using these products, I praise the team at YesTo because my skin is incredible. It no longer has red patches, very little dry skin and NO BROWN BITS ANYWHERE! I mean, My nose still has plentiful blackheads and I’m still getting the odd demon spot but for the most part I’ve been fairly clear. I’ve also noticed my pores look smaller, but that could just be wishful thinking!
Using the Daily Facial Scrub, I rub a small (pea sized) amount in circular motions all around my face, then wash off with cold water. Dab face with fluffy towel.
Side Note, for the first week I did use this both morning and night but I found it too harsh for my skin.
Use four drops of the Vitamin C Booster, putting them on my chin, cheeks and forehead then rubbing in until dry.
Finally, Rubbing in a pea sized amount of the Uneven Skin Tone Moisturiser.
Removing the majority of my make up with a make up removal wipe (I use these from Superdrug).
Washing my face with a small amount of soap and luke warm water. Dab again with a fluffy towel.
Every other night use the Vitamin C Booster.
Every Night, use a generous amount of the Pore Perfection Night Treatment.
I was also sent a Mud Mask, which I am usually very dubious of due to an allergic reaction a few years ago. However, in the search for sunkissed skin I braved the application. The formula smelt incredible and definitely left mine (and Adam’s) skin looking noticably more bright.
I am hooked and so is Adam! We both thuroughly enjoy washing our face with the scrub every morning. All the products are heavily lemon and grapefruit scented so it also acts as a mini wake up boost! I will definitely be repurchasing the entire range once it has been emptied.
Yes To Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub
Yes To Grapefruit Uneven Skin Tone Moisturiser
Yes To Grapefruit Glow Enhancing Vitamin C Booster
Yes To Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow Boosting Mud Mask