Tag Archives: Beauty

Skincare Magic


I’ve never been one to believe those skincare adverts that promise to solve all your skin problems, but that hasn’t stopped me trying multiple products and regimes over the years. None of them worked well for me. I’ve spent so long not fully understanding my skin and what it needs that now I’ve finally found products that work I’m amazed by the difference I feel in my skin and myself!


I’ve stepped away from the complicated multi step routines to find that a few products really work well for me. In taking the time to understand what my skin needs I’ve discovered it needs to be clean and moisturised. Simple.

I have realised that all the stuff I was trying was drying out my skin even when trying to add moisture back in. I am prone to breakouts (and think this is beyond a skin issue) and that can really impact my self esteem. Feeling good in my skin is less about how it looks, but more about how it feels. When it’s clean, smooth, and not greasy I feel amazing and forget about the odd pimple. If it’s dry and irritated it’s all I can think about! 


So I’ve taken it back to basic. Frost I get my skin clean. Now I get my makeup off with Clinique Take the Day Off Balm. It’s a solid that becomes a cream then rinses away. It doesn’t strip the moisture from skin but removes every single bit of makeup and dirt. My skin feel smooth and soft after using this and a lot lasts quite a while. I currently need a new pot so that’s my plan for the weekend!


Then I need to add moisture. I simply use moisturiser and since finding Orba Vitamin E face cream I have not turned back. It’s so good and although it’s quite thick it completely obsorbs into the skin leaving it matte and feeling soft and fresh. 

The third thing I do, but not everyday is us the the Orba facial scrub. I find my skin still gets a bit dry and peels after a few days of makeup so this scrub gently removed the excess skin and feels super lush! 

Because it was working so well as on my face when I needed some more I also bought the body lotion and use it a couple of times a week. This is also amazing. It absorbed into my skin and leaves it feeling fresh and cared for. 
I still get breakout and currently am having the worst one for a while. I get my chin and lip waxed and every so often my skin hates it. It’s not all the time though, maybe twice a year. I think it’s hormones and diet related. I keep thinking about find a dermatologist to ask questions ask out adult acne as I definitely there is more I could do to help it out.

Overall my skin is much happier than ever!

Red Lips

I’ve been looking at different ways to making myself feel good and that has meant experimenting with make up a bit more in the last 6 months. It’s been fun and confidence building. It makes me feel good to put on make up purely for myself. I enjoy putting it on and seeing a bit of a transformation in the morning, especially when I’m feeling a little low or tired. It’s like a 10 minute morning pep talk to help me start the day feeling fresh and confident.

I started off buying a few products I’ve tried in sample versions and loved them so decided it was time to buy the full size ones. All from Urban Decay I love the Makeup Setting Spray, the Eyeshadow Primer Potion and the Naked Skin Concealer. These all make so much difference and with a good primer help my makeup stay put all day. I didn’t think it was possible, but I have been proved wrong on eyeshadow and face coverage. All I need now is way to get lipstick to stay!

My next purchases were wild cards for me! All lip based from MAC I decided to take a chance on two of their iconic shades and a lip primer to help me keep them on. The lip primer is fantastic and make my lips feel smooth. I’ve since teamed it with a sugar scrub form Lush to get rid of any dry flakes. The only thing I wish I could do would be to add this on top of the lipstick, but I’ve not tried it and don’t know if it would work!

I first went for Velvet Teddy in a matte lipstick. This is very similar to a colour I already wear, but is definitely longer lasting than the moisturising based one I have been using. This was different because it’s matte, but I love it!

It’s definitely my new everyday and office colour. I love how it looks as it is a bit darker than I would normally go and it catches my eye in the mirror. The only thing I am still getting used to is how matte it is. After a while I can feel my lips starting to dry out and I have yet to figure out how to keep the moisture in my lips. I end up licking my lips more than I would like. It’s something I need to look into.

The next one I went for was a red! A true wild card for me! This is Ruby Woo in matte and it amazing!

I first wore it at Christmas as I was dressed up as a Christmas tree. I have then wore it a couple of times, but am still feeling a little self-conscious about how bright it is. I do feel goo when I put it on though and round the house I exude confidence, but for whatever reason I am self-conscious as soon as leave the house. I have been following a few more body positive people on Twitter and Instagram and that is definitely helping as they are amazing!

The other thing I am trying to do more of, but again it is taking a bit of time to get used to it, is to take fun selfies. I love it when people I follow do fun and free selfies and I want to do that myself. it is definitely fake it until I make it at the moment, but I am doing them, which is progress!

Learning to love my body

 

  • Skincare – check
  • Make up – check
  • Therapy – check
  • Giving less of a shit – in progress
  • Hair – in progress
  • Clothes – up next
  • Body – up next

Have you ever realised it’s not your voice in your head telling you how you should feel about yourself?

That is exactly what I’ve been working through in therapy and it is truly enlightening.  Especially around the thoughts I have about my body. I find it quite sad I’ve let other people and social pressure dictate how I feel about myself and my body and I’m only just realising I don’t need to care what others think.  I’ve been working on creating identities for the voices in my head, specifically the negative ones, as this is helping me realise they are not my thoughts, but external influences being voiced.

I have a women as the thin, always made up to perfection, weight watchers leader character who provides the fake sincerity and makes everything about diet and appearance. This is the voice we think is helping us and being kind, but is really Professor Umbridge in disguise!

I also have a general type character; a uniformed shouty man who is all about the rules. Nothing is ever good enough for The General and no matter how hard you try you will never be what he wants you to be. It’s also the voice that sends you on the overeating followed by over-exercising cycle. It’s never ending. It’s all criticism and all about power and control. It makes you feel weak and useless.

Both of these voices are not mine. They are the things I’ve heard and learnt from others and think I believe, but really they are at odds with what I really value. Putting names to them allows me to see they are not internal and that I can choose not to listen to them. I’m slowly building another voice that is really from the inside, but I’m yet to fully see that voice as it’s still in the shadows and shyly taking steps out as my confidence grows.

All this history has really taken a toll on how I feel and see my body. I’m so detached from it that I probably wouldn’t recognise it if I saw it in a line up! How crazy is that?

However I’ve been working on this without really realising that is what I was doing. I was thinking about it as positive self-care. But really this goes deeper below my skin and into my being and impacts on how I really feel about myself. I’ve been concentrating on my skincare and make up in recent months to learn what my skin needs and what makes me feel good. I’ve even committed to bulk buying a few products to keep up my new run of consistency in these areas.

Skincare – Balance Me – I love this range as it’s mostly natural and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. I’ve moved away from fearing oils and although I’m not yet spot free yet, I am having fewer breakouts. I think the rest is to do with what foods I’m eating and being active.

Makeup – Hydrating primer and foundation – As I’m not yet clear of acne I’m still using foundation and concealer to cover up blemishes, but I’ve swapped to more hydrating products. Old favourites have had to go as I realised they were drying out my skin and making everything worst. So I’m now a fan of Smashbox Hydrating Primer (although I would like to find a cheaper version) and Kiko Hydrating Foundation.


Make up – Beauty Blender – I am a convert! I love these sponges for applying all forms of makeup. So much so I’ve bought the standard one, the mini ones, the pure one, and the blush one – I know, I know, I’ve bought into the brand! Honestly though the sponges are applying the makeup so well that I am using less product and getting the finish I think is natural and provides coverage. I also bought the cleaner and find that is working well and takes the product off after each use. The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to travel with them as I leave them out to dry, I’m sure I’ll figure it out though!

Therapy – This has been key for me this year to really get under the skin of my disordered eating and relationship with food and people. The only limiting factor for me is the finances and is something I need to consider going forward.

Hair – I’ve finally booked in for a haircut and colour at an actual salon! I’ve neglected my hair for the last 5 years. I’ve just let it grow, then had it cut, then let it grow, and then had it cut again, irregularly I might add. So I finally took the plunge and asked my friends who they see and booked in on their recommendation. I’ve been for a consultation and colour test and have an appointment next month!

Giving less of a shit – This is one that I’ve begun to notice I’m doing without focusing on it. As I’ve been doing my therapy and taking the time and putting the effort into looking after me this feels more and more natural. I feel like I can voice my opinions and not care if someone doesn’t agree or worry that I’ll cave in. I have the right to take up space in this world and is some doesn’t like it, they can fuck off!


There are two areas I would like to work in order to really truly love my body and those are the areas of clothes and actually seeing my body – also crazy right, but not really at the same time. These areas are the two I find the hardest. I haven’t really ever enjoyed clothes shopping as it made me face my discomfort around my body. But I am starting to find this goes hand in hand with giving less of a shit about what others think and my desire to quieten the voices who aren’t really mine. I want to go shopping for clothes that fit and look fantastic on my body exactly as it is. I want to then continue to do that as my body changes with age, whether that is gets smaller or bigger as it doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be healthy and will continue to monitor that with my doctor, but if the only problem I have is that I weigh too much and that isn’t impacting on anything else, you know what, I’m going to focus on what makes me content and I hope that will then mean I find equilibrium within my body naturally.

Simplifying My Style

As well as cooking and makeup I’m looking at my style this year. I really want to be comfortable in the clothes I wear and have them show off my personality more than they currently do.

Clothes have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve never been a girl who loves clothes shopping and tend to go out a couple of times a year and buy everything I need in one go. I’ve found I end up with a mis-mash of clothes that recently I’ve been struggling to make go together and that I feel comfortable in. I think weight has always been part of my non-love of clothes and continues to influence the way I dress myself. It’s definitely the area of my life I let other peoples opinions overrule my own thoughts and that is something I want to work on changing.

I’m going to start by looking at what I wear to work. I saw this article ages ago and it has been stuck in my mind ever since.

I loved this so much. It resonated with me at my core. I think this is because for so long I have tried to take an interest in fashion, but it is not natural to me. I would much prefer to keep it simple yet stylish. I want to spend my time thinking about and doing the things that are really important to me, rather than worry about the things that aren’t high on my priority list.

So I am creating my own work uniform – black trousers, black t-shirt top, and colourful cardigan with shoes or boots (depending on the weather. For me this keeps things simple, while letting my personality come out through my colourful cardigans.

Outside of work I am also looking to make sure my personality comes through. A lot of the time I am in jeans and tops or sports clothes for swimming. I am going to streamline things a bit more and sort out my cupboard and focus on great fitting jeans and tops. I’ll also make sure I have some smarter pieces or things can be dressed up for those occasional nights out. I will also have some really smart things for really special events like weddings!

I feel really confident about this switch in focus on this area of my life. I am going to go with my gut and wear what feels good to me and shut out the haters. I want to be body positive and this for me means I wear what I want to wear and support what others want to wear too. I don’t think I’ll ever be so confident I will show lots of skin, but I want to be as confident as I am happy to be in everything I wear. This will be a learning and growing process and will probably change as I move through my thirties and I’m looking forward to that, but for now I’m all about simplicity and feeling great!

There are two areas I do want to start cultivating fun pieces to add some quirkiness to my look. This is through fandom t-shirts and jewelry! I’ve already got my eye on these things!

These cat face earrings from Black Heart Creatives (just need to get my ears re-pierced)

 This necklace with my favourite quote inside (not pictured) from The Locket Library

Finding My Face

As well as cooking more this year, I also want to treat myself well by learning to love my face by learning to use makeup properly. Rather than just slapping it on to cover up blemishes. I want to learn what works for me and what makes me feel great about myself. This isn’t about doing it for others, this is about making myself feel good and being confident with it.  So I’ve been looking at my skincare and makeup routines and slowly adjusting and learning about better things that work for me.

Skincare is something I have always struggled with. Having combination skin that is made worse by the amount of chlorine that it has to put up with my swimming made it difficult to find something that works for me. I’ve tried Clinique 3 -step for years and then various spot focused ones to find they work for a bit and then dry my skin out or make it feel greasy. So when the latest trend of at-home parties started MyShowcase I jumped at the chance to ask about finding something for my skin from a company that isn’t just one brand.

That is when I made the switch to Balance Me and I am in love this routine. I started with the cleansing balm and the moisturiser while on my skiing trip in January, then added the serum at a different party to combat the blemishes I still get. These products work really well on my combination skin and make it feel lovely after every use. I still get blemishes as I said, but I am touching my face less and less and not picking at my skin as much which is reducing the amount of blemishes I’m getting.

I also still get some dry skin from my swimming so I also added Orba Vitamin E cream to my routine when my cheeks go dry, again from MyShowcase. This is not an everyday product for me, more like one a week I do the scruba nd follow with the cream as a deep Both brands last for a good amount of time and I’m having a party with my friends this month to learn a bit more and have a giggle with my girls.

Makeup is something I’ve just never really been that bothered about. My main use has been to cover blemishes or to add purple to my face (yes I was that bad!). So this year I am making the effort to learn more and be a bit more adventurous. I’m starting simple by finding an everyday look that is easy to do and builds up my skills. Somethings simple is also to carry around my makeup and reapply or touch up during the day, which is something I’ve never done apart from on a night out and then it was usually only lipstick.

My aim is to use minimal makeup and hopefully be able to use less foundation as my skin gets better and blemishes reduce. This for me is all about making me feel good and even sexy! I’m not looking for anything or for other people to notice, but rather I want to look in mirror and wolf whistle at myself and think ‘damn, I could do anything!’

So these are my basics – primer, foundation, concealer, eye shadow and brow kit. I also use mascara, but am yet to find my one. This is mainly Benefit, but I have switch primer to Smashbox. I love the ease of the Benefit playstick and the staying power of the other products in their range.

I’ve started to use lipstick and have nude Wild About Beauty one for everyday (not in the photo, but on my lips in the photo below) and recently have gone bold with this Clinque Pop lipstick with primer and liner. I’ve got this on lightly in the very first photo in this post. I can build it up to be bolder and have been getting better at this on a few nights out recently. It makes me feel really good and I love how long it lasts if I apply it properly and let it dry before doing anything else, like taking a drink.

I’ve also been working on my eyeliner skills and have made some great strides in the last few months. After seeing several other bloggers praise the Stila Stay All Day liquid liner I finally bit the bullet in the January sales and bought it as well as a purple sparkle version. I’ve been practicing over the last few months and finally feel good about my technique (slowly build it up) and how it looks. I think I prefer the purple as I have quite inset eyes that the black makes them feel quite dark sometimes.  The photo above I have the black on and the photo below I have the purple on. I love how well it stays on, but I’m not a fan of getting it off so it hasn’t become a daily thing for me to wear.

 

I’m feeling really good about this and I’m making the time to include doing my makeup and skincare everyday (another thing I was really bad at). I have a couple of beauty lessons coming up with the MyShowcase party and a my friend Holly found a voucher to go to the MAC store in Bath for a lesson. I’m looking forward to both!

There are still a few things I need to look into and my find the ones that work for me. Next I think it will be my hair style. I’ve just let it grow since before Christmas and now it needs a really good cut and style. I want something lighter and easier to dry as it’s fine, but thick. I also want to find my go-to products for mascara and perfume. Both of these will add to my daily routine and make me feel really good.

I’m not going to do loads of beauty type posts, but I will continue to share my adventures in making myself feel really good as I want to be part of being body positive and continue my learning in mindfulness in everyday life. I hope you enjoy it too.

 

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