Sleek Make Up Review

I’m sure you’re sensing a little theme here but many moons ago, I was fortunate to receive a PR package from the babes at Brand Nation. The envelope included two foundations, one liquid lipstick, one eyeshadow palette, one coloured eyeliner, one contour kit and one strobe highlighting dome. Sleek Make Up is one of the more underrated brands out there and I’m here to shout about them because they deserve more credit! I must admit, I’ve only ever used a small handful of their products before these were sent out to me. However, I am happy to report that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying using them and will be repurchasing a few when they run out!

Lets start in order of use, shall we?

Lifeproof Foundation – LP01 & LP02

This foundation is:

Sweat-Proof

Oil-Free

Buildable Coverage

Medium to Full Coverage

I received shades LP01 and LP02, the former being a perfect match for my pale yet pink complexion. First impressions left me feeling gobsmacked! I never bother with primer these days because I haven’t found one that doesn’t suck. Usually without a little primer I have to blot midway through my day… However, this foundation went an entire work day without showing signs of sweat and oil. I set it with a powder (as I always do) and didn’t give it another thought until taking it off that night. Incredible.

The Lifeproof foundation blended out really smooth and crease free. Its fairly light on the skin but is easy to build up coverage. It also dries down very matte so you need to be quick with your application. I used a damp (I hate the word moist) beauty blender to apply. By the time I was applying my powder it was almost entirely set.

Face Contour Kit – Light 884

I’m pretty sure this was hand crafted by the goddess Aphrodite. It is a perfect formula for contouring and highlighting. For those of you that don’t know already, I love a good nose and cheek contour. This product delivers!

I was sent the shade Light 884 which was a perfect coconut brown shade for contouring and a luminous peach/sheer highlight. The contour pan was exactly the right size (I say was because I have none left) for my little sculpting brushes. It sat lightly on my cheeks and nose and had maximum effectiveness. I actually started using the contour shade as a base for my blusher as I loved the tone of brown that much. As previously mentioned, I need my products to be matte and this did not budge from my face at all.

The highlight is equally as impressive, with a only slightly smaller pan size. I found the highlight a great contrasting tone to my foundation and skin tone. Its a very warm highlight with flecks of golden pink undertone. I’m not one of these girls that has a summer and winter look. I like to have a bronze glow all year round and this highlight captured that essence without any effort.

Both formulas are a powdery to begin with but turn into a smooth creamy texture as soon as they hit the skin. Be very sparing with both powders as the more you put on, the heavier they look.

i-Lust – Into The Night – Silver – Eyeshadow Palette

This six shade palette is perfect for any babe that loves a smokey eye (Eva, I’m looking at you!). There are three cream shades and three powder shades each with a white, grey and black pigment. The cream shades are very hard wearing and have a beautiful sheen to them. The powder shades are highly pigmented and look amazing when blended out.

Whilst the palette looks amazing and is small enough to pop in your overnight bag without compromise. It’s not a palette I would personally reach for very often as I don’t feel I suit darker eye shadows. However, If you can easily rock a metallic silver to black smokey eye then this Sleek Make Up palette is right up your street!

 

i-Art Precision Liquid Eye Colour – Futurism

My experience of eyeliner goes as follows:

Kohl Eyeliner Pencil – Black – Collection – £2.99

Liquid Eyeliner – Black – Maybelline – £5.99

Felt Tip Eyeliner – Black – Whatever Brand – £3-£10

You get the idea. Never in my life have I strayed far from the Black section of eyeliner colours. So, when this little pot of metallic blue eyeliner was sent my way, I was very cautious to try it. I’m a girl of habit and that habit is racoon eyes or GTFO. That being said, I needed to test it out for the purpose of this post and let me tell you I am shook. The consistancy is quite thick so I did wipe some product off the applicator brush before popping it on my eyelid. Dubious, I applied a thin streak on the inner top lid and it really dazzled! The mix of silver to blue in the line is perfect. I have blue eyes and this product really makes them standout. I will be adding this little beauty to my make up bag for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

 

Strobe Dome Face Highlighter – Pink 1158

It is no secret that I love a good highlighter. My makeup bag is overflowing with various shimmery powders and creams. I think I actually own more highlighters than socks right now…

Sleek Make Up have made this the absolute PERFECT shape (Domed) for adding a dab to your nose and cheeks! The colour is incredible, it’s a very rosy pink and has a warm gold undertone (which is perfect for me). I do prefer a powder highlighter as I love having a matte finish to my face but this product really works well on my powder. With other cream products on a powder base, i find there is a lot of pull off. This product is fine for that, but I would recommend a dabbing motion instead of a wiping motion. Also, I learnt a little trick from Jeffree Star which is to warm the cream up on your hand then dab it with your fingers onto the area (thanks Jeffrey, you babe!). The formula is very light, none sticky and subtle but it can be built up quite easily.

I’ve been using this product for a good few months now and have loads left too, so a little really does go a long way. I would recommend this for a warm glow look. With spring on the way, I think this will be an amazing addition to your make up routine!

Matte Me Metallic – Matte Lip Cream – Anodized Ruby 1167

The amount of compliments I received when wearing this liquid lipstick is insane! It was my go to over the Christmas period and actually kickstarted my red lipstick obsession (thank you, Sleek Make Up). The consistency is quite thin but very creamy. I always find that thinner formulas are better when you’re using a liquid lipstick. You can over-line your lips a hell of a lot easier without mistakes (guilty)! This product dries almost instantly too!

The shade is breathtaking! Its a deep ruby with gold metallic undertones. If I want to add some sparkle to my day to day, this is the lipstick I go too! Another amazing bonus is that it is almost transfer proof, which is good because I often get red all over me from other lipsticks. I’m a messy person, I can’t change that haha! This lipstick is definitely being added to the re-buy list once it’s run out!

Final Thoughts?

If you’re like me and you want to test the waters of a brand before diving headfirst into all of their products then I would highly recommend the Matte Me Metallic Lip Cream Range and the Face Contour Kit. However, all these products are amazing and have a great price point so none of these products will disappoint if you pop them in your shopping basket.

Have you tried any other products by Sleek Make Up? Let me know as I would love to add a few more items by this brand to my make up bag!

VickiAmaya

x

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How To Get Your Blogger Mojo Back

VickiAmaya

Hello Lovelies,

How are you?

For those of you that didn’t realise, I’ve been on a little break recently.

As a Blogger and Instagrammer, my life used to revolve around creating content that I wanted you to love. However, I wasn’t creating content that I loved. I was constantly comparing myself to others. Constantly stressed, anxious and unhappy. Spending hours flicking through photos, assessing blogs and profiles to try and find out why certain people were so popular. I would check my Instagram account about 50 times a day, liking hundreds of photos, leaving comments and obsessing over analytics.

 On the 13th February 2018, I stopped posting content on my Instagram and blog. I finally let myself breathe.

Today I want to talk to you in depth about Blogging, Instagramming and how to beat the Blogger Overload that I’ve heard so many people talk about.

“Blogger Overload”

Constantly talking, thinking, viewing and creating for your social media channels with no downtime.

Before I dive head first into how to fix this dastardly dilemma, I feel like I should first explain what happened that tipped me over the edge.

I’d been thinking and feeling that my content wasn’t up to my usual standards. The theme wasn’t as white as I wanted it, the pictures weren’t coming out as I’d hoped. They didn’t look anything like the popular photos that have hundreds of thousands of likes. The outfits weren’t good enough. My figure needed to be tucked here, there and my skin smoothed out. One of those truly crummy moments where everything can and was scrutinised…

We needed a photo to post that evening as we hadn’t been out that day to take any. I was setting up my lighting to take a mirror shot when, I dropped the bulb and it shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. I stood looking at the little specks of white frosted glass for what felt like a lifetime and then the tears started to pour.

Was I  actually, really sobbing over a broken light bulb? Yes, I really was…

The broken lightbulb meant that I couldn’t upload a new photo that evening. I would have to do a re-upload and I was vastly running out of photos I even liked enough to feature again.

Adam ran up the stairs, saw my tear stained face, the glass on the floor and ushered me out of the way. I took five ginormous breaths and tried to compose myself. How could I not have any photos to upload? What kind of person was I? I’m a fraud Instagrammer. I’m not even a good Blogger. (Seriously?!…). All thoughts of self doubt and loathing that would have never even hovered in my mind not two years prior.

It was then that I realised I needed to stop. To take a break and re-evaluate what I’m trying to do with my accounts. I needed to get back in touch with the reason I got into this in the first place and why I love doing it. The reason I call myself a Blogger and Instagrammer!

It’s all about the little steps!

One of the first things I stopped doing was checking my social media apps every day. The Vicki before this cataclysmic event would have been scrolling through her feed constantly to make sure she liked EVERY photo from her followers list (You’re all welcome btw 😂). Instead, I have been going on, replying to a few messages from friends and then closing the app off again. I feel like this has really helped to clarify that my life does not depend on social media. After all, I am a fully functioning member of the non cyber world too! *I also just realised that I’m older than the internet, wow…*

Another tactic I adopted to combat this feeling of unworthiness was to unfollow any person that I was consistently comparing myself too (harsh but true). That way, I didn’t have the conscious or subconscious thoughts of not being good enough when seeing their posts! Whilst I can target the feelings of jealousy and envy without unfollowing people, it felt good to admit defeat with this one. I’ve never been a jealous person, so I find it helpful to understand the aspect of others successes that unsettles me. Something which I can continue to research and work on!

Another great stress reliever was to unfollow ANY brand that didn’t genuinely inspire my fashion choices. I mean, why follow any brand that doesn’t inspire you? There is no obligation to follow a brand just because they followed you. Follow them because you genuinely love what they do, otherwise its just clogging up your feed.

My purchasing habits were the next thing that needed to change. Where before, I would try to find things that I felt my beautiful followers would love and appreciate. I’m now buying things that I love and genuinely want to wear! The whole reason my account grew to such a following is because I was sharing my own style. Somewhere along the way and unfortunately so, my purpose got lost and the likes became more important than my style. Whilst my page exists to inspire and support every one that follows it. I also want to create an income for me through it so I can build my little empire of empowerment. If you want to learn more about that, click here to read my “All About Me” post! (Paragraph 12 for the lazy people here!)

Okay, Don’t use Social Media, unfollow some stuff and only buy shit you love…  what else?

I’m very glad you asked! Once you’ve spent a few days back in reality where social justice warriors can’t throw keys at you and where cats are just balls of fluff you’ll probably start to feel a little more inspired . After all, you’ve not been bombarded with ugly bulky trainers (sneakers), coffee body scrubs, an a line skirt and slogan tee on the streets of London or that fucking pink cake shop (sorry blogger friends).

Use that inspiration as a basis. Get some magazines and go old school with them, cut them up and make outfits you love. Get onto Pinterest and make some clothing boards! Go back to the high street and try on different styles that you love! Once you feel you’ve really tackled the drought and your creativity is flowing, go back into your wardrobe and start rocking your style again. At least, that’s what I did and I’ve been having the time of my life! I understand that this bit is specific to fashion bloggers, but you can apply it in every area of life.

If you’re constantly surrounding yourself with stale information or marketing ploys, how can you possibly feel inspired? Creativity comes from within. You can TOTALLY take inspiration from others, but go your own way with that inspiration otherwise you’ll just be another opinion with an internet connection…

VickiAmaya

x

Valentines Outfit Ideas

VickiAmaya WInky Lux

It’s fast approaching, the day of love. The day to send flowers, chocolates, fluffy teddy bears and to get that fondue a bubblin’. Cupid’s been shooting his arrows, the shops are full of heart prints and Barry White’s greatest hits is stuck on repeat. I’m going to admit something to you all. I’m not that big on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love spending time with my boyfriend (we’re nearly four years in)! But, I can’t help but feel this celebration has been massively commercialised.

In previous years I have spent Valentine’s Day sitting in my pyjamas, watching shitty B movies and eating my body weight in junk food (the simple things haha). In fact, me and Adam and have spent a few like this too (get a guy who can do both, am I right?!)! This year, we have agreed to do the same. Well, I say agreed… in reality its because I’m working and we’re too unbothered to book a restaurant. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t put together an amazing outfit for if I were going out.

Who says romance is dead!

The Outfit

I love pairing Red with White or Red with Black, so the simplicity of this denim skirt an t-shirt combo really ticks all of my boxes. Added in a long duster coat too for these cold winter days. Pair with vans during the day and then with a simple or statement heel to elevate it into suitable night time attire. The amazing thing about all of these pieces is that they’re not too hearted and sloganed up that you don’t have re-wearability. A factor that I hold with the highest of importance when purchasing clothes for an event or occasion. Also, how cute is the little polka dot bag?! Who could resist that for £12.00!

Single?

If it is that you’re finding yourself in Singlesville: Population You, this Valentine’s Day. Why don’t you get some of your other gal pals round and have a horror movie feast and pampering session (like I used to, way back when!). Or, even better… Treat yourself to some of those Valentine’s goodies because you deserve them and no one could ever love you as much as YOU love you!

This New Year – A Revival

Vicki Amaya

Two Thousand and Eighteen

A new year, a new start. Three hundred and sixty five opportunities to learn and grow. I enter at the age of twenty eight, with gratitude, knowledge and love. I’m not sure why, but I have such a euphoric buzz about it. Everywhere I look it seems that people are calling 2018, the best year ever! Weirder still, for once – I believe it will be.

Lets Recap – 2017

At the start of 2017, I felt hopeful. There were dreams of a better life, dreams of big change and a glimmer of optimism. I had been working for an Alarm Installation and maintenance company for a little over 12 months and felt stable (for the most part). Gone was the pressure of learning how to do the job. Forgotten was the mid-year melt down of ’16. I was ready to start anew and refreshed from the Christmas break. I could go to work every day of the week, for 52 weeks of the year. No longer did I need to have time off for anxiety or depression. It was gone.

I had made two promises to myself for 2017. The first was to play more guitar and the second was to go on holiday. Fairly easy on the ol’ resolutions list, I’ll admit. Yet, these were big accomplishments for me. Never have I felt able to complete or achieve anything of note. A stable income was foreign to me. I had always needed money to pay my way. Had always needed a job to survive. Why would I spend money on a holiday, when it was needed to pay rent and bills?

Though, I felt If I wanted to see changes, I had to make changes. With a swift decision and a box of peroxide, my hair was transformed from dull blonde to bright yellow, then silver. A small decision that shaped my life for the better (As you all know)!

As January passed by, I decided to take my Instagram account and Blog more seriously. I started uploading pictures five days a week and on the 11th February 2017 my little Instagram account hit 1000 followers! Around the same time, one of my photos hit 2000 likes.

“The Highs Are So High”

In May I made the brash and ballsy decision to quit my full time, stable 9-5 job and go it alone. Diving straight into the world of the budding bloggers and Instagram influencers. Whilst, I cannot regret the decision to leave forks (just kidding, I’m not Bella Swan) the longest job role i’d ever had. Looking back, I know I could have handled the actual leaving aspect a lot more gracefully.

I think I left prematurely and without a plan but my god, I was determined as hell to make this work. One of the problems that comes with entrepreneurial endeavours is that there isn’t a step by step guide. There may have been thousands of blog posts, infographs and YouTube videos explaining how to “become a successful blogger”, but very few give the actual breakdown. The nitty, gritty need to know information.

Though I hustled, I girl bossed, I pushed through the doubt, worry and fear of failure… I was still making no money. (Side note- I’m still not)

Penniless and fearing debt, I applied for a part time role in a fashion store called Allsaints. With my wage halved but my free time overflowing I felt renewed and slightly relieved.

August brought an opportunity to backpack through Germany and Austria. My Partner, My Mum and My Nan all put forward a small loan to fund my tour. Not that I have many holidays to compare it to, but it was one of the most beautiful and liberating trips I have experienced. If you’re looking for a place to spend a few days, please visit Berchtesgaden and Salzburg.

“The Lows Are Killing Me”

In early October the cracks started to show. Although I had more free time, it came in the form of one day on and one day off work. Also, I had pulled my back muscles just prior to my backpacking adventure and two shifts back at work, I did it again. This meant having some time off to recover, which is where the negativity bias that once ruled my every move started to creep back in. Resentment for the job, physical pain and a lack of direction left me putting a mountain of unnecessary pressure on myself. Could I really quit another job just because I don’t like the hours? Were the staff really that mean to me? Was I playing out my old habit of job hopping yet again?

After many tears, a drive into the middle of the woods and an emotional chat with my manager, I took some time out to figure out my mind. I wrote a blog post about this time called An Anxiety Catch Up (Diary Post).

I returned to work in early November. The deal was I would work a four week notice period or if they could find a replacement sooner, I could leave. Although relieved, the same uncertainty of my previous abandoning ship encounter wouldn’t drown. With an equal medium for me and my manager, I asked if I could reduce my hours in order to get three consecutive days off. We both agreed that this would be better than quitting and since then it’s been a pleasure to work there.

Praise to the positive – a reflection.

If there is anything I have learnt from 2017, it’s that even the smallest indulgence of negativity can disrupt the entire infrastructure of your life. One throw away comment can shape your outlook, change your mood, thoughts and feelings all for the worse. The remainder of last year was spent focusing solely on positivity. Embracing the good in people, helping others as much as I could, reaching out to more people and giving without a want to receive.

In return, I got perfect clarity for the remainder of that year.

December

On the 13th December, I celebrated my twenty eighth birthday. I was taken for afternoon tea at Ting restaurant located within The Shard. Looking out at the bustling city below whilst sipping a flute of ten year old champagne I came to realise that I’m doing just fine with this living malarkey. Whilst it may have taken others a lot less time to figure this out, for me it is such an achievement to feel it at all. Not to dampen the tone of this post but there is a reality in which I do not exist past the point of 22.

The remaining hours that encapsulated 2017 were filled with my partner and his family. As couples, we watched films in separate rooms then joined to see in the start of the best year ever. We drank champagne (A new celebratory drink of Adam and I), we watched the hootenanny and we relished every hand tick until Big Ben rang out twelve strikes.

The New Year

Which brings us nicely back to this new year. There can be no doubt that I am still a student to the ways of the world. I still have much to learn and experience. However, I feel that I’m able to just crack on and get this year underway without any of the stress and doubt that last year brought. I haven’t made any promises to myself this year. I don’t feel that I need to set myself to targets and achievements. Instead, I have decided that this is the year that my life changes for the better, the year that everything I ever dreamed of comes true.

If you know me now, you know that I am one determined mother-lover. Watch this space lovelies, the times they are a changing’ and they’re changing me.

As always,

All My Love

VickiAmaya.

xx

Coping with Anxiety

VickiAmaya anxiety help

Coping with Anxiety can be tricky. It’s the little voice in the back of your head telling you everything is going terribly wrong. I used to suffer from anxiety and have had my fair share of niggling inner dialogue, so trust me when I say it won’t last forever and you can get away from it.

A Short Backstory – The Day I Caved!

Lets set the scene, it’s 2012. Post suicide, post medication and post giving a fuck. I was so fed up of feeling down and unsteady all the time. One sunny morning I had been getting ready to go out. It was one of those mornings where everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. i’d woken up late. Mascara had been poked into my eye, onto my nose and into my eyebrow. Eyeliner flicks were fighting like magnets to escape symmetry. Life was just not going well.

Moving swiftly from make up to hair, I had started drying it and noticed that it still felt a little greasy. I thought maybe I’d put too much product on my hair and that it just needed to dry a little while longer. However when it has finished drying, shock horror, it was still greasy! (Now I’d just like to explain that to me, having greasy hair is a big deal. Its probably one of the few things that I find very hard to accept for myself.)

I had no dry shampoo, no talcum powder and about fifteen minutes to get out the house and get to where I was going… I sat on the floor in my temporary bedroom at my nans house and burst into tears. Massive sobs that hurt my chest. Then, because of the sobbing, I started hyperventilating. I’d worked myself into such a state that my mascara had ran, my foundation along with it and I now couldn’t breathe. There was no way I could leave the house looking like I did… The only thing I could think to do was lay down and sleep.

Okay, you don’t need to tell me how overdramatic I was being over (slightly) greasy hair but at the time, cleanliness was one of my few controllable factors. If my mind was chaos, at least my appearance was acceptable (by 2012 standards).

VickiAmaya Circa 2012

Like I said, Acceptable for 2012

So, What Did You Do?

Well, sleep offers a temporary fix. In the long term, you still have all the racing thoughts, sweaty palms and throbbing heart. So, after throwing a temper tantrum and swearing the illness dead to me, I dove straight into research!

The Rubber Band Solution

One of the first and most relatable articles I read at the time described to me (I can’t find it anymore), the rubber band solution. I have already spoken about this in my previous blog post which you can read here.

The rubber band solution is a specific way to target the urge to self harm, instead of harming you wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it when you really feel you need to harm. The snap provides the same physical stimulation as self harming but is less evasive. I only recommend this as a very temporary solution as in the long term, it can be just as addictive.

The Bad Thoughts Book

So that was the self harm dealt with, now I just had to tame the build up that happened when things started to go wrong and the voices kicked in. You see, coping with anxiety is much like looking after a plant! There is a lot you know you should do, but very little that you actually implement. My second port of call was learning to control the bad thoughts. I had this genius idea (if I do say so myself) to write down any of the thoughts as soon as they jumped in the driving seat. That way, I can tell the good from the ridiculous and start to tell the nasty buggers where to go!

A word of warning, this can be quite upsetting for friends or family to read so I would keep your book/paper somewhere super safe! I actually found my own ‘thought book’ a little while ago and was horrified at some of the thoughts I used to have. One entry has three pages of “I Hate Myself” written over and over again. What’s worse is at that time, I really did.

Bonus Trick – If you’re still not feeling better once you’ve written down the contents of your racing brain, try pulling out the pages and ripping them up into tiny little pieces. This is another great way to unleash some of that angst you’ve been carrying around.

The ‘Change the Record’ tactic

This is probably one of the most beneficial things I ever found out about. I still use it now from time to time. So, a scenario for you: It’s been one of those days where your mind has been particularly cruel, you’ve been on the brink of tears at least twenty times. You just want to feel something different, ANYTHING different!

Change the Record! Force your brain to think of something else! Think about how great it’s going to be to get home and give your pet a cuddle. How when you get in you can put on your comfiest pyjamas, close the bedroom door and drown out the sounds of the world with your favourite band. Your brain isn’t going to be thinking about how bad your day has been anymore, its going to think about getting back to your happy place instead!

By hijacking your brain as the bad thoughts kick in, you’re causing a thought diversion. It doesn’t have to be about something you’re going to do either. You could think about how great it was to see your best friends last week. What you’re going to wear to the cinema in a few days time. Hell, you could even plan a little get away trip for you and your partner. The main point is to let go of those bad thoughts and instead think of something good!

The Take Five Breaths strategy

Another step that I use almost every day. This one is fairly simple, can be done anywhere at anytime and is even good for your health!

Anxiety can come at any point of the day or night. For me, it was usually mid morning while I was getting ready to go somewhere, but just recently i’ve found it’s when I have a load of thoughts that I can’t organise. I get stroppy, snappy and selfish. That’s when I stop what I’m doing (unless I’m driving) and I breathe in as deeply as I can, hold it for eight seconds and then breathe all of the air back out. I repeat this five times and at the end, I feel a lot calmer and more clear.

If you feel yourself getting worked up or are starting to get pings of panic, please try this! It really does help to relax your mind and body. You can even try it now, just to see how tense you are. I guarantee you won’t have realised until you breathe in a few times that you’ve been carrying around some anxiety.

Okay, we’re up to number five. The last tip I have for coping with anxiety. I hope the previous four have been helpful so far. I know that some steps will be more relatable than others, but I wanted to give you all an equal chance to feel less anxious.

The Tidy Space, Tidy Mind Practise

This practice has been one of my go to mantra’s in times of stress, struggle or instability. I use the practise everyday at home, work and in my car! In essence, if your living/work space is tidy then so is your mind. Nothing is distracting you from getting on with everything you need to do.

I can hear you moaning at the thought of tidying up but trust me. Tidying away all of your clutter is a brilliant way to release some of that pent up emotion and REALLY cleanse your mind of all its troubles.

I’ve always found it easier to start off small, your wardrobe, the drawers under your bed, your car etc… first of all get rid of any rubbish lying around. I’m terrible with hoarding used baby wipes. I’ll put them down anywhere but in the bin. Then you can reorder the remainder of the items to make it more streamline and easy to get anything you need.

I always like to start a new day with a blank canvas and can really tell when I’ve let my work space (or mind) get too cluttered.

Coping with Anxiety is tough, but you are tougher!

You’ve got this, it’s a bad day not a bad life.

All My Love

VickiAmaya x