Monday, 25 June 2018

Glossier: Haul and Review. What's worth the hype?

A few weeks back, I found myself giving into temptation, and clicking 'buy now' on my rather pricey Glossier basket. Today in the blog post, I thought I'd give you the low down on my purchases, what is living up the anticipation (I've been lusting after the many hyped products for such a long time), what I won't be repurchasing and all the other details you might want if you're considering a little Glossier haul yourself.

To go with the post there is a video where I unbox and try on lots of the products so you can see them in action, with my first impressions, be sure to check that out on my Youtube Channel, or at the bottom of this post.

The Balm Dot Com

I have been using The Cherry Balm Dot Com since Christmas, so I knew I was pretty in love with the formula (it gets a mention in this post and this video if you want more of my thoughts on it), however this time I decided I wanted to give some of the other flavours/scents(?) a whirl. I opted to the pack of three offered on the website (why would I not? You save a fiver), and selected The Birthday Balm, The Coconut Balm and The Rose Balm

The Birthday Balm: 

On paper, a glitter lip balm sounds all kinds of tacky, and a little too extra. However, this product really is not. The Birthday Balm has a very subtle, small, small glitter in it, which just adds an iridescent sparkle which occasionally might catch someone's eye. The balm isn't isn't super glossy looking, it gives slightly matte but moisturised finish, so the glitter adds a little something to do whilst not overdoing it. It smells like vanilla birthday cake, it's an inviting, yet sort of sickly scent.

The Coconut Balm:

This balm is my favourite of the three, mainly because I am a complete sucker for a coconut scent. It smells (and tastes) delicious. There isn't any pigment in the balm so it doesn't add colour to your lips but again gives the matte-ish, moisturised look.

The Rose Balm:

I've got to be honest, I don't love this one, I'm not even that sure why I went for it, I'm not a big fan of rose scents. There is a pastel pink tint to this balm which I think is just a little too pastel for my lips, it doesn't really show up.

The Lidstars:

The Lidstars are one of the new editions to the Glossier family, which I've been itching to try since their release. Having heard very mixed reviews, and having given them a go myself, I still cannot figure out where my opinion lies.  I either love them or hate them - it's hard to put my finger on which.

The formula is very blendable, if anything too much so, they blend down to very little, which is great when you want a casual wash of colour over the lid, but anything more than that takes a lot of building, which is such a shame because the colours look so beautiful when you swipe them across the skin, but a lot of the colour gets lost in the necessary blending process. As they dry they feel slightly sticky, I think it's important to blend properly before they dry to have a smooth finish if it's applied too thickly in places it can go sort of crusty, but you'd only ever notice that look up close on your own face. Application with them is quite messy. I like the doe foot applicator, it's easy to use, but it is hard to be precise with, however, considering the bendability of the shadows isn't much of an issue. They also crease quite easily. Having said all of this, there's easy to use, and bloody beautiful shades. I went for Cub and Slip, both shades are stunning, I'm definitely want to give the shade Lily a go next.

Generation G Lipstick in Crush

This is another one which I can't figure out if I love or hate. I definitely love the effortless look this product creates, and the shade is a beautiful cherry red which somehow looks understated. But the formula is unlike any I've worn before - it's matte, and so far I've only applied it over one of my many Balm Dot Com, but I imagine without moisturising your lips beforehand it would cling to dry patches and applying it might become more of a challenge. As for the application, it certainly doesn't glide on, it takes quite a lot of work to get a decent amount of product on, its very sheer, which is great if you want a tint of colour smudged on, not so much if you want a more intense colour pay off. This lipstick somehow doesn't quite look as though you've got lipstick on when wearing it, the light texture of the matte product makes it appear simply as though your natural lips are of a deeper pigment.

The Haloscope in Quarts:

I've got be honest, I don't love this product as much as I wanted to, but I think a lot of this is due to the hype surrounding it, and I have a very similar product which I think I might prefer slightly (Marc Jacobs Glow Stick in Spotlight - I find the shape easier to work with). I love the shade of this haloscope, it's a beautiful, subtle highlight with a slight iridescent silver tone to it. I still don't understand the purpose of the circle in middle, but surely there's a reason for it. I find this cream product takes a little warming up, but once it's ready to go, it's super blendable and easy to use. I love the way this highlight simply catches the light sometimes and looks wow, but looks natural enough. I just don't really enjoy the shape the product, I think it's too large which makes it hard to be precise when applying straight from the wand.

I only brought this SPF because I have a holiday coming up and I'm so glad that I did, it's really not your average sunscreen! First I love the pump, it just makes the process of using it so much more enjoyable. The product is a gel-like formula which comes out of the tube a clear colour with a slight white tint to it. It's really easy to smooth over the skin. You cannot see or feel it at all when it's on, which is really all you can ask for in a face SP

 I have been using the Cloud Paint in Dusk for a while now (I talk about it here) I just find it so easy to apply and I think cream consistent makes it look very natural. My only complaint would be, it's not all that long lasting. This time I opted for the shades Puff and Haze

The Shade Puff is a very pretty pink which I love, I think it works really while mixed with dusk. The pretty shade gives a very feminine look.

The Shade Haze has a much more purple tone to it, which works really well if you're after something a little deeper and more intense.

You Solid Perfume

 I am sort of in love with the scent, it's somehow both musky, and fresh. I'm still not sure where I sit with the whole solid perfume thing, but it certainly makes it very handbag friendly, and the packaging is so satisfying.

Boy Brow in Brown

 My only repurchase of the bunch. I've been using Boy Brow in Brown on my brows ever since getting it for Christmas, it makes just look fuller. I talk about it in more detail here.

Some other thoughts on the brand:

  • The branding and packaging is on point they are the perfect products to show off on the shelf
  • The option to buy multiple products for slightly cheaper is genius (I did this the balms, lidstars and the boy brow and haloscope)
  • The products are quite fun to use - this like mixing the cloud paints to create your own shade is just fun.
  • You hardly need brushes at all for these products which makes them great for travel.

Have you tried any of the Glossier Products? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Follow

Monday, 18 June 2018

Become a Thief of Time.

Two ~inspirational~ quotes which have stuck with me, are based around time. Firstly "You can't steal money, but you can steal time"

Secondly "You have the same number of hours in a day as BeyoncĂ©/Oprah/(insert successful person name here)" 

I don't remember where I first heard/read these quotes, but they must have stopped my finger when scrolling Instagram, or made me lean into a little closer to my conversation because now I think of them a lot. I think of a time a lot, of managing it, fearing wasting it. How much of it I have and don't have is something my world revolves around.

Today I wanted to talk about maximising your time, becoming a thief of the clock, making your 24 hours stretch again and again.

Naturally, some days, time seems to run away from you, and other days drag. Some days you're ticking through you to do list as fast as you're writing it, and some days, get the list written a challenge enough.

Having said that, no matter how fast or slow they might seem, there are always 60 seconds in a minute, each hour you live with last 60 minutes, and both your longest and shortest days will come to a close after 24 hours.  I mean, it's pretty damn obvious, that's how time works. Yet still, we convince ourselves it varies "I've had a long day" "Work dragged today" "Today has flown by""So little time, so much to do" - time seems to have a bit of bad wrap, when it actually constant, and the exact amount we're getting is always guaranteed. 

We live in a world, where we're overcome with guilt if we don't get everything done.  However juggling a full-time job, a side hustle, working out,  a social life, good relationships and general adult responsibilities is a lot. When you add into the mix posting regularly on Instagram, keeping up with emails,  a decent skincare routine, getting somewhere with that dreamy side project which someday might be your main project life can feel a little much

What if we could steal time? Wouldn't life be dreamy? Well, I think we kinda can.
Make those minutes count. As soon as you maximise your time, and learn to stop mindlessly wasting it, you can become a thief of minutes. Those 60 seconds that get away from you before you know it, you know the ones spent scrolling Twitter, refusing to get out of bed (no matter how desperate you are for a wee) or sitting in a towel on your bed doing nothing, they add up. There is also the time which we can't help using, which feels wasted, you know, travelling, waiting rooms, waiting in general. However, waiting rooms don't have to be just for waiting. That time is a gift if you the choice to take it. 

Write your lengthy Instagram captions on the bus, get up 20 minutes earlier to do your yoga, write a paragraph of that book on your lunch break, a tweet from the toilet, write poetry in the notes of your phone in waiting rooms. Answer emails the moment you open them.  Take your train journey as a time to practise mindfulness. Ring your friends to catch up while you're walking. Listen to podcasts while you do you make up. Always follow 5 minute rule . If it will take 5 minutes, do it immediately. Say no if you don't want to do something. 

Pay attention to how you spend your day. If you spend an hour commuting each day, consider whether you're using this time wisely. Make the time positively impact your career, your mental wellbeing, your relationships or even to just add a little tick to your to-do list.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have downtime because that's crazy, and you can't be productive all the time, but make sure your downtime, is actually benefiting you. Is it making you feel better?  That free time where you mindlessly lose an hour scrolling past beautiful girls, find yourself comparing, just kinda makes you feel a little rubbish (scrolling pass girls who inspire you, is also a completely different thing). I recently started having personal training sessions three times a week. Before I began, I wasn't aware I had three hours to spare a week - but it seems I do. If anything those evenings working out I feel as though I have more downtime, I actually relax more putting that time into exercise rather than not doing a lot and then wishing the time back a day later when I have a to-do list longer than my arm. In fact, I cannot tell you what I was giving those three hours up for before I started working out.

Don't wave goodbye to time and then wish it back.
As the saying goes, time is precious, waste it wisely. 


Monday, 11 June 2018

The New Years Resolutions: 6 Months On.

As we are halfway through 2018 (how?!) I thought I'd look through my New Years Goals and see how/if they're coming along. I think we can all agree this year is flying by, so it time to regain some focus on my goals before we're counting down to 2019. 

Let's talk about where I am with those goals I blogged about 6 months ago...

1) Write the book

Well, I've written more than last year, but nowhere near as much as I intended, I'm only 6014 words in. The thing about a big project is, it's scary. It is fear which I guess has kept me making excuses, and stopped me writing. It's left me feeling that dreaded feeling of 'not good enough'. I wanted to have more than 4 times more written by this Summer, however, realising I haven't come close to reaching that might just be the kick up the bum I need to get writing. I am going to set an alarm to remind myself each day that I need to spend the minimum of 1-hour writing. My laptop is also going to start coming with me to work so I can make the most of lunch breaks.

2) Save and make more money than last year

 Recently I had the realisation that the only way to save more money. is to either earn more money or budget better, so with that in mind I recently started putting in more hours at work. I'm hoping the 2nd half of the year will bring me a new career, which will again bring more money into my life. So far, I've not made as much as I would like, but that's changing. I recently set up a direct debit, so I put money into saving the moment I get paid.

3) Be the planner, organise things

 really struggle with this, I'm not naturally assertive, but reading back over that goal has made me text a few of my friends to make plans. I've definitely improved, but I'm still not the greatest planner. It's something I'm still working on.

4) Take better care of my body 

 I'm pleased to say, this is one I'm really doing. Although I could probably do with moisturising my legs a bit more and painting my toes nails more often, I'm eating a lot better, I'm seeing a personal trainer 3 times a week, I'm going for runs and do yoga, and I'm seeing serious changes in how I'm looking and feeling.

5) Visit more places

I definitely need to plan a few more trips, some staycations would be nice. I do have an actual beach holiday coming up at the end of the month. There has also been a little talk of a few other weekends away with friends. Hopefully, I'll soon have a driving licence and a car, so I'll then have a lot more freedom to take myself to more places.

6) Take steps towards buying a house

 Beyond setting up a direct debit to my savings, I've not moved too far forward with this one, however, it was always something which was going to come later in the year when I'm feeling more settled with that new career which I feel coming my way.

7) Gain some success and direction in my career

This is always a funny one. I feel I am taking steps they are just small ones. I've interviewed for jobs which I didn't get. But still, I turned up. Although I'm not earning from the blog, I'm beginning to feel less invisible in the blogging world, a step which needed to come first. I've noticed the comments on my blog become more thoughtful. I've gained a few follows from people I think are really valuable to the industry (I mean, hello Lucy Sheridan on Instagram and Emma Gannon on Twitter!). 

New Day Knitwear has been changed to something more personal for the founder Stacie Clark Knit, I had some coaching with Laura Jane Williams, decided to start sharing my poetry, and now Stacie has begun Crocheting my words, to be displayed in an exhibition! (more about that here)

My blog was mentioned in this post. So all in all, I'm feeling a little more visible and that's seems the start of something big. I'm also planning on spending my day applying for the most perfect job, so I'm crossing my fingers and all of my other limbs. 

With my career is feels like I've moved nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Although currently working the same job I've always worked, things are falling into place, and more than ever I believe myself when I say it's not my forever job, and the career I've been in search of for all these years in heading my way. 

8) Take Youtube more seriously

This is a funny one if anything I've done the opposite because honestly, Youtube hasn't felt like a priority. I'm at a stage where I'd rather my time went into my writing. Although I still love creating videos, and will still do it whenever I feel I have something to share with my audience, I want my focus to be on building this blog, improving my writing and finishing my book. I am however trying to make the videos I am creating the best possible quality and I think this is something which is showing. 

9) Don't accept less than wonderful

Without a doubt, I've got better at this. I don't settle so much. I put my energy into making the things I already have wonderful and I don't let people walk all over me like I used to. Having said that, I'm still not perfect at this occasion I pick heart over head and make time for someone who is flaky, I'm learning when to draw the line through which is the important part. 2018 so far, I've felt pretty contented which I think is both because of this goal and making this goal more sustainable. When I'm happy, the wonderful things come my way, and therefore I don't have the time for the things which aren't. I have the self-respect now, to drop the people who are crap to me, without making exceptions. 

Reflecting back on the goals I set myself at the start the year has really reminded me to get writing and pick up the phone and plan so trips with friends. It's also made me realise priorities change, and some things are more important than ever, and you can't necessarily do everything. I think I've moved the farthest with my goal to look after myself better, I've actually become one of those people who enjoy working out. Reading back over the goals has also given me a confidence that everything will fall into place, with my career especially where although it doesn't seem as though I've moved very far forward, I feel I'm on the edge of something. Now, I've got a book to write. 

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 4 June 2018

Living at Home at 26.

Something I often feel embarrassed about, even ashamed of, is having reached the grand age of 26, and I still live at home, with my mum. My childhood house is the place I still sleep, it's where I return after a long day at work, where I catch up with my family, have my tea cooked for me, and shut myself away in my single, box bedroom.

 I am very aware that this is a privilege. Some people aren't given the option to live with family, and I should count myself lucky, however, I've always imagined I'd be a little more independent when I got to my late 20s.  As lovely as having a parent cooking your meals, and doing your laundry, you get the point you feel like a child in the body of an adult, and there's a regretful cringe every time you're asked about your living situation. Sometimes, it makes me feel judged, often I feel as though my peers look down on me, think of me as a 'baby'. Of course, that is more than likely the handiwork of my own brain. Society has told me a should be a little more 'grow up' by now, and I feel as though I'm not ticking all of the boxes like I'm expected to.

With where I am at with my career, it seems it will be a while until I actually fly the nest, and I intend on buying when I do actually get that moving out stage, so naturally, that will even take longer. In other words, I'm going to be here a for a little while.

I've decided it's time to try to stop feeling ashamed, and worry about myself rather than what others might (but probably don't) think.

A lot of people I know moved out from home and decided against living with family because they felt suffocated, they didn't have a bond with their parents, there was tension as they outgrew the house which reminded them of childhood.

Here's the thing, I haven't.

If I actually think about it, without considering the stage comparison has convinced me I should be at, I do actually like living in my family home.

Although sometimes I dream up a home with Instagram perfect interiors, where I go home to my cat and cook whatever I fancy for tea. A place where every corner is entirely my own. The idea of knowing that walking around naked is an option (which I'll probably never take, but options are nice).

But when it comes down to it. I like the house I live in. I like my family, and I'm saving a shed load of money that will go into my home when the time finally comes.

I like coming home and hanging out with my Mum and Flo.
I like that I can sit in my sister's room to chill and  talk about the silliest things
I like that Flo makes me a cup of tea every morning,
and my mum cooks delicious meals coming up with meat alternatives for me.
I like that my auntie Carol comes round every Saturday.

Mostly I like the laughter. The giggles as me, Mum and Flo challenge each other to talk in different accents or have planking competition. And I like the comfortable quiet, while I sit on the kitchen side reading, and my Mum sits of the other end with her kindle.

I like that I have my own privacy at home. I can close the door of my bedroom and the world is mine and mine alone.

My mum and I are close, we've got a good bond, maybe even more so as I've older. As am I close with the rest of my family, and things aren't always perfect and sometimes I wish for a place of my very own.

I live in a home where I'm respected, and with people, I actually enjoy spending my time with.
The life my Mum has built for us is really something, and living in my family home, for now, keeps me close to that.

Is not really as bad as it once sounded, is it?

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