Monday, 30 November 2015

Review / Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

One of my most read posts is my Max Factor Whipped Cream Foundation. When I wrote this post I had no intention of it becoming a popular post. At the time I was mostly focused on writing fashion posts and beauty was only something that I'd dipped into at times where I was really loving a product and wanted to share my views. Max Factor Whipped Cream Foundation remained my go-to foundation for a few years after the post was written. However, my skin type has changed from when I wrote that review and I find the foundation far too masking and thick for the current state of my skin. This drastic change in my foundation needs just goes to show how individual an experience with a product is. So, while reading this review, please bear in mind your skin type may be different and you may have a completely different experience when trying out the exact same foundation as me.

I tried a few High Street foundations before I splashed out on Estee Lauder's expensive but renowned Double Wear Foundation. Priced at £30 for 30ml of product, you are paying £1 per 1ml of foundation. It is hard to justify really throwing your money at a new product, sceptical as to whether it will be perfect for you and worth that £1 per ml. The fact that the foundation has SPF 10 earned it extra brownie points (however, most foundations tend to protect the skin from those pesky sunrays anyhow.). Anyway, ponderings aside, I bought the foundation one day and I do not have many regrets. The reason I say I do not have 'many regrets' is because I wish I had scavenged the shelves of my local Boots a little more thoroughly.  I have since found a High Street foundation that costs me nearly a quarter of the price of Estee Lauder's Double Wear Foundation. I will, without question, be doing a blog post featuring this adored High Street foundation. However, for now, on with the Estee Lauder Foundation review I set out to write!

The coverage of the foundation, is without a doubt the best I have come across. The claims that the foundation 'stays is place' and the premiss of its name tells no lies. 'Double Wear' lasts the best out of any foundation I have ever plastered on my face. After withstanding thunderous rain, ghastly wind and the frightening frost of UK weather, at bedtime the foundation smugly remains intact. I wore the foundation daily throughout the course of Summer and if there's one thing that I would note about the foundation it is that I think it is definitely suited better for Winter. During Summer, I found the foundation too masking - its coverage far greater than I needed during the Summer months. While I had absolutely no experience with the foundation causing breakouts, my friend had to stop using the product as she discovered it had caused areas of her face to flare up with spots. Like I mentioned above, a relationship with foundation is personal and skin complexion plays a role in what foundation is best for you. My skin type is typically quite oily - at the end of the day I look almost as reflective as tin foil. However, this is no fault of the products I wear on my face. In fact, if anything, the foundation sets my powder in place preventing the oil from sliding into action.

The foundation is a bit of a pest once accidentally smudged onto necklines of clothes - it takes its role seriously and wants to stick to its surface. In addition, ensure you wash your face thoroughly and cleanse to get all the product off because remnants of the foundation on your skin will cause irritation and most likely lead to a spot developing. Dubbed the 'holy grail' of all foundations, Double Wear certainly is one of the best foundations to buy for purposes of long-lasting coverage. I wish I had come across the foundation in my teenage years when spots were almost as shameful as running through the street naked. The foundation has a natural-looking glow to its finish and works well with other products applied on top such as blushers, powders and bronzers. Surprisingly, the foundation does not leave your face feeling greasy despite its slightly oily, liquid consistency straight out of the bottle.

Overall, if you are looking for a foundation that covers well, lasts all day and looks au naturel - Double Wear is the foundation for you. However, if you want a foundation that isn't super covering and masking your natural skin - this is not the foundation you necessarily want to splash out on. I found the foundation perfect for me on days that I'm not going near my makeup bag for touch-ups and it is awesome for nights out. I definitely prefer wearing the foundation during these wintery months, as like I mentioned above, during Summer I found the coverage too intense and I wanted my natural skin to see some Vitamin D.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

5 Sport Casual Outfit Ideas

One of my all-time favourite things to wear at the moment is a casual, sporty-esque outfit. Just to clarify, my sporty attire does suggest that I am involved in some form of sport endeavour - I am not. (Unless walking to the fridge counts?).  I know I'm not alone with my adoration for this trend, you only have to have an Instagram account to know that the world has gone crazy for trainers and comfy attire. It's no wonder that this trend has really besotted us all - the outfits are fashionable, comfortable and so urban chic. I've put together a few sport casual outfit ideas together to stock up our Autumn wardrobes with our favourite trend!

Outfit 1

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

Outfit 4

Outfit 5


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Quitting Social Media

There's been a massive shock for all people who care about social media about the model (now ex-model), Essena O'Neill quitting social media. My first reaction was, 'why do people care?' but after watching the video and learning a bit more about Essena, I realised why there was so much spotlight over her decision. Obviously, if either you or I quit social media (assuming you're not some Instagram celeb yourself), nobody would really bat an eyelid. They may think we were suffering from some form of a premature middle-life crisis over quitting a platform that dominates life. But, they would probably resume with their own life and post an Instagram snap five seconds later. Essena O'Neill has every young girl's perfect ideal life from the outside - a perfect body, perfect lifestyle and appearing to be perfectly happy all times of the day. So, did I find it shocking that her video displayed her crying and claiming to be unhappy? Not at all. 

'Models' are chosen for a reason. They are desirable and portray a life that is elite and quite frankly, very unrealistic. However, if they posted real pictures of their real lives, their social media would be average - and what's so interesting about another average girl/guy? Who wants to see a post of a girl cuddled up in bed, no makeup, unposed, unedited and sprawled with a hot water bottle across their stomach with a hashtag 'menstrual cycle time'? Who wants to see a picture of the guy at the gym passed out because he pushed himself too hard with a hashtag 'trying to live up to society's standards'. Well, to be honest, me. It's about time social media started portraying reality rather than fantasy. You can't filter life but you can filter a photo. Life isn't perfect, you can't filter out its imperfections but you can on Instagram. The people behind the lens are normal. They have struggles and they are just as normal as you or I. Even un-famous people take to Instagram to portray their life as idyllic and flawless. The reason Instagram is such a successful platform is because it presents an image of life or a person that is perfect. 

While it's not just on Instagram that people portray this perfect life (Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter are all suspects), I am targeting the specific platform in this post because of the recent post that Essena O'Neill has brought to attention. The video that Essena O'Neill posted on her YouTube account showed the results of what a 'perfect' life bought her - absolutely nothing. Essena was tired of showing the world a false portrayal of her life, admitting to having Instagram 'photo shoots' for the perfect shot. Neither you nor I can deny that when taking a selfie, we probably have about sixty different versions of the same photo because we don't want our 'nose to look big' or we want the angle to hide that monster of a spot. I decided to write this post because quitting social media is something that I have considered a lot over the past few years. Social media, for me personally, does not bring me happiness. I have never enjoyed being ogled at on Instagram when I upload a new photo, anxiously waiting for people to like it in order to avoid social embarrassment (please reach double figures - please). However, I would be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy an observant role on the platforms at times. I occasionally enjoy seeing a video of someone working out, showing off their health driven food and seeing a piece of the world I wouldn't have been able to see if it weren't for the person travelling taking that photo. The majority of the time I avoid the apps to avoid feelings of envy and sadness. In a time where you're feeling alone or things aren't going your way - the apps can be toxic. They make you feel empty and unfulfilled. But, that's what you sign up for the minute you create an account. 

Accepting the feelings that social media inspire when you interact with the platform is the first stage in accepting the current world and its way of 'socialising'. It's a materialised form of communication and while it saddens me that people like Essena O'Neill achieve solely severe unhappiness from participating in such sites - ultimately, they are unavoidable. One of the reasons I have never closed my accounts is because in doing so, I would be cut off from how people interact today. I limit my time on the apps now to a maximum of five minutes, however, sometimes the effects of what I see do linger for a few minutes after, but I tend not to dwell on them. What I am seeing and what you are seeing on social media sites is a perfect portrayal of a false reality. Once you acknowledge that, you really can begin to enjoy the platform. Sure, there are some legit accounts out there of people who post pictures of their dog, a big ass bowl of oreos and crisps and their bloated pre-Christmassy belly - but the majority are not. If Essena O'Neill felt the need to quit the platforms to regain her happiness - good for her. However, had she only stuck it out and transformed her account to reality, I would've given her an even bigger round of applause. 


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10 Things to do on a Gap Year

photo source:pinterest 

The whole purpose of taking a gap year is to fill the 'gap' with wonderful and life enriching things and possibilities. While my gap year was unexpected and unplanned, I plan to take full advantage of the free chunk of time that has been thrown my way. Here are some of the things I plan to do on my gap year...

1. Adopt and maintain a positive energy and attitude 

 While this may not be possible every single day because fluctuations in mood are more than normal (hello woman hormones) - on the whole, I want to be more positive and radiate happiness. Every day has the potential for new opportunities so I plan on having an embracing attitude towards every day. Although I wouldn't at all describe myself as moody, negative and pessimistic - I'll admit that there are times where I'll have a little internal winge and moan to myself over the most insignificant thing (a human attribute). Erasing a few of these inner complaints will benefit me greatly. Be gone negativity!

2. Eat Clean 

My multiple food intolerances mean that unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I cannot simply eat my way to eternity on hamburgers and doughnuts. Both delicacies contain wheat and dairy - two ingredients I completely avoid for the sake of not pestering my delicate, pathetic little stomach. However, crisps and sugar are my weakness and while I'll still be eating them on occasion, I want to eat nutritious, beneficial foods! I've made the first step and I have bought some really interesting books on food nutrition and how to have a healthy, balanced diet - the next stage is putting the recipes into action!

3. Exercise

I have set foot in a gym only once in my life - I was on holiday in California and the hotel gym looked cute and quiet so I snuck in. Alien to the experience of 'going to the gym', I think my first experience was very fortunate - it was un-intimidating, unplanned and didn't cost a penny. I didn't have the scary 'gym contract' so I wasn't stuck with a membership that I couldn't maintain. However, in the new year I fully intent to sign up to a gym to ensure that I exercise at least three times weekly. I enjoy exercising, so the thought of going to the gym would actually be enjoyable for me. First - I need to save up some money! For now, I will be walking the dogs - but look out gym - I'm coming for you! 

4. Read more 

During sixth form my reading activities were mostly dominated by the reading lists for my subjects. I took mostly essay-based subjects so the reading material was quite hefty at times. It has been a while since I have had such a space of time to choose what I want to read and actually have time to leisurely sit and read without having other things weighing on me that I have to get done. I'm going to use my gap year to explore books and read more - hooray for the return of Holly the Bookworm!

5. Get employed!

Job hunting is tedious but it has to be done. In today's day and age getting a job is almost as easy as winning 'The Hunger Games' - so let's hope I'm Katniss Everdeen. Getting employed will introduce money back into my life and oh how I am missing those numbers in my bank account...

6. Explore and travel 

As much as I would love to spend my gap year travelling around the world with friends - the majority of them are all in University already. Plus, travelling costs an obscene amount of money that I, at present, do not have. However, for now, within the UK I want to travel and explore! Hopefully by the Summer I will have saved some money from my future job (that is waiting just for me) so that I can fly the UK nest and see some more of the world.

7. Start the day early 

If there's one thing I can be quite guilty of, it is getting out of bed at moonrise. While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, I would like to use the most of my day. Getting up at a 'reasonable' hour will ensure that I make the most of my hours and essentially become more productive and organised! 

8. Blog more

Now that I finally have some wonderful time set free, I will be able to blog more often. Ensuring that I stay organised enough to factor in blogging time, I have very few excuses for not keeping my blog posts more regular! This will not only be super enjoyable for me but will hopefully make my blog content more appealing  because there will be more bursts of it coming your way! I also want to try and vary my posts a little bit more - branching out (but not away) from fashion and beauty and dabbling in some lifestyle posts. This might include some healthy recipe ideas, my travels or books that I've read and have loved - the possibilities are endless! 

9. Volunteer 

Volunteering would be an awesome way for me to use my time to help out others in some shape or form. If I can find a suitable placement, I fully intent to find a volunteering job on the side of everything I am doing. 

10. Focus on me

It may sound odd but I am so excited to finally have some time to breathe in life and focus on me. Getting my health whipped back into shape has been a priority for a few months now and while I am excitingly close to a full recovery, the whole process has made me realise that I really need to take some 'me time'. In the midst of everyday life, I rarely take five minutes to step back and think about how I'm feeling and ensuring that I de-stress. I used to be quite good at putting time aside for myself like this during my GCSE years (three years ago) but as life gets busier it sometimes gets harder to factor out some time for yourself. Relaxing and de-stressing is going to be a priority for me. Even though I am on a gap year, I plan to fill it with work and there are some potentially stressful things coming up (such as re-applying for University - which I am actually really excited about). 

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