Tag Archives: beauty

OH MY GLITTER!

So, a little back story, I love makeup and a few years ago my path was brightened up when I cam accross a indie makeup company selling mineral eye shadows. I am an eyes girl specifically. I would come up with all sorts of combinations, blues with purples, pinks with greens, think peacock, then think of a box of over 100 colours to choose from. But around a year ago, I had a change in circumstance and I found myself starting to dress a lot more conservatively, including utilisation of my UD Naked 2 pallet. Now don’t get me wrong I do love UD but the pallet is safe. I was slowly being stifled, and became very unhappy. That is another blog post, but just to wind this up a little, I changed things up, I am a lot more happy. One thing that really was bothering me, despite all the makeup at my disposal, I had lost my mojo. Although, what I mean, is I lost my mojo for my day to day makeup. 

And not so so much of a secret, I am a glitter addict. As I have already said, I love to give small businesses a chance, and I especially love indie makeup companies. You see, there are some fantastic indie makeup companies out there, doing fun things with glitter, throwing rule books out of the window when it comes to colours and designs. But it can get expensive, when you take into considering exchange rates, postage and packing charges, and then custom charges it can become an expensive investment.

Et voila – the reason for this blog, I am pleased to introduce Oh My Glitter by Robyn – this is her Facebook page, Click Here

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I initially got sent a lucky dip eye shadow, a red which I was super pleased with as red is such a difficult colour to find. Now the eyeshadow is an unusual composition – It isn’t a loose powder, and it isn’t quite a dry pressed powder. It also isn’t waxy, in the same way that you will find the tattoo shadows. What they are is easy to use, beautiful to blend in a way that many traditional shadows are not, and really fun to apply. For example I apply the shadows equally with my fingers and a short tapered brush. They really are fun to experiment with. I placed an order after having so much fun with the first one for mermaid colours – that was my actual wording, and had some glitter shadows thrown in – this is the swatch of the second order :

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The shadow is really beautiful, you really only need a tiny amount, and it builds up fantastically, just keep blending it out until you have the coverage you wanted and then add layers until you get the required intensity. With the glitters now also available, you can layer up the base with a glitter which helps both pop. That said the glitters stand up all on their own – the above swatch is just one swipe. 

I cannot tell you how much fun with the eye shadows over the last week – up to and including using the normal blue and blue glitter as lip stick 🙂 

So if like me, you love supporting indie makeup brands, supporting small businesses… oh and did I forget to mention that the makeup is cruelty free and vegan? Please go check Robyn out – her facebook page is featured earlier in the blog. There are so many options – not only the colours, her basic and glitter shadows – but she does sample/tester posts and pallets. There is talk of doing subscription boxes as well. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. If you do try out her makeup out – please let me know what you think!

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I totally need Poison Apple in my next order! It looks gorgeous! 

 

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Shower like an Aussie

So, who here hasn’t used Aussie hair products? They are cute, funny, the suggestions on the back of the bottle on how to use the products are a much needed change from the usual ‘wash, rinse and repeat as necessary’. The philosophy is simple, natural ingredients from Australia that help you become the Goddess you always knew you could be. Or something along those lines. 

In the late 90’s there was an influx of hair products endorsed by celebrity hairdressers and we were slowly becoming more used to and happier to spend a little more money on our product. We were starting to come out of recessions and the idea that we needed to save every penny and wanted to be able to spend our hard earned cash on a little affordable pampering. This is the environment that Aussie Hair came in, we were ripe for a product that was new, different, that wasn’t preaching from an Ivory tower, and that was appealing to our new sensibilities that meant we wanted fresh, natural, organic. We wanted to get away from the things our parents used, from Head and Shoulders, Wash and Go and even from washing our hair with bubble bath or washing up liquid. We wanted to avoid unnaturally bright colours and chemical smells. 

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And now, who hasn’t used their hair products? They smell great, they do great! Use it little of often there must be a handful of people that have managed to avoid using the shampoo and conditions or at least been confronted by them in the bathroom.

So, here we are in 2016, and Aussie Hair have released shower gel. I don’t even know if it was really advertised, I am the sort of person that puts Netflix on and watches an entire series as background noise. I am assuming some advertising was done. And as usual, the philosophy behind them was sound, mimicking the hair products, four different types were released and CLICK HERE to see them on their website. The ingredients again are for the most part found in Australia and all have very different properties, be it moisturising or energising.

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Being the part time fan of the Aussie Hair products that I am, I was curious to see what they would be like, so when I was on my weekly shop, I had a look and found that, at £3.00 I would give them a miss. I am a big fan of looking after my skin, I moisturise religiously. But there is a limit to what I will use while standing in the shower, I just won’t buy into anything promising moisture while standing in water. So I gave it a miss, I always have plenty of shower gel on standby, and I was sure I wouldn’t be missing anything.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the body wash had gone down to £1 each. I grabbed one of each, I mean who doesn’t want a bargain. It was a weird situation, oh look I am getting a great deal. By spending the same amount I usually spend on the same product. I can’t really review the individual products as I have only started on one of the 4. It smells lovely though and does have a similar consistency to the shampoo. The only real different is the size of the bottle which is smaller than their hair range at 250 ml which is good for people like me who are blind as a bat. But then it is unfortunate as it is an average size for body wash/shower gel, it is significantly smaller than their more well known products and we are pretty visual by nature. The bottle looks smaller than my other gels. Because it is round and not flattened so even though I know it is the same nett weight… and the other issue is that it was over £3 standard price. You are being asked to spend the same amount of money on a smaller amount of product, that you spend on either washing or conditioning your hair. 

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I went shopping the following week. The price had reduced again to 75pence and only 2 varieties remained, so I popped one of each into my trolley. This week? nothing left. I had a quick look over the shelves as they had been replaced by another product but couldn’t see them. It seems that the store, like me, felt that although the product showed willing and had the best intention, it failed to deliver.

Like I said, the product itself is okay, I use it to wash my body. As long as I smell okay and feel clean, while avoiding an allergic reaction… I am happy. Do I expect to be more awake… yes, that is why I have a shower in the morning. Do I expect to feel moisturised, well that is what I rely on my body butter from the Body Shop to take care of. Body Wash to me is just that. I really don’t expect much from it, I wish I could afford to use something from Neal’s Yard, but I can’t so I don’t. I feel that it was a failed experiment, it was an idea, but actually when it comes to premium body wash, others got there sooner, and did it better. The shampoo came in at a time that we needed and were looking for something new and is firmly now in our beauty vocab for great smelling, and beautifully conditioned hair.

If you find it on offer, I would go for it, they all smell really lovely. I just wouldn’t suggest it is worth the price tag at full price. If you want to spend a little more money and be sure of using natural, organic products, The Body Shop, Lush and if you have a few more coins, Neal’s Yard are all excellent places to go.

If your hair needs TLC and you want it to smell great, Aussie Hair is a great place to start 🙂

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CLICK HERE for Neal’s Yard, CLICK HERE for The Body Shop and finally CLICK HERE

 

Oiling up at the Body Shop

So… I am getting older, it is a sad state of affairs but at some point I have to admit that I am no longer 21, and that as much as I might want to look as good as I do on line, real life doesn’t offer filters.

With that in mind, I popped into The Body Shop to try their new moisturiser. Actually, I had been sent the information and was curious. The next stop was to check in store, and speak to someone about that would be my best most. I am the sort of person who will go with something because the ingredients appeal or it smells nice and not always because it is the best fit for my skin.

I had a chat when I got in store and agreed to try the new Oils of Life moisturiser, the entire range can be found at The Body shop online here or in store. I was curious about the range as it did seem to be what I needed for my troublesome skin, and at no point did I feel pressured into buying. As an added bonus I was given a sample of the Oil and Night cream to try as well, with instructions to wear the oil under both the day and night cream.

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I, until very recently, have been rather reluctant to put oil anywhere near my face, I have combination/dry skin and it would just sit on my skin making me feel kinda grim. But times have moved on, these days we embrace oils! No, Honestly we do.

Now back to the review, the samples given were very generous (I still haven’t finished them!) and I was actually pleased with the results, putting oil on first thing then popping on moisturiser… I was pleasantly surprised at how little moisturiser was now needed. My skin genuinely felt better, more nourished. So of course, I had to try without the oil, and immediately I found that I had to tripled the amount used to cover the same area.

Now, as a combination the oil and moisturiser works really well, and you need a couple of drops of oil a tiny bit of moisturiser, so I would suggest that actually even with the cost of buying the combination of products, it will work out cheaper over time. It really does work, your skin feels fantastic.

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Now with regard to night cream, can I be honest… I don’t know how much I have let slip in previous blog posts, but I am really, really bad at taking makeup off. The only time I do a proper strip of an evening is if I am wearing a face mask, so I will be honest, I don’t wear night cream every evening. I love waking up to beautifully moisturised skin, but then I often have a shower within 30 mins of waking .. I will say though, that it does leave your skin feeling beautiful. I am somewhat on the fence about needing cream though. I do tend to wear coconut oil as a night treatment in the winter, and I don’t think that the cream is required.

My advice is that you should certainly give The Body Shop another look when it comes to their creams. This isn’t the shop with the perfume stands and kiwi lip balms of old (although, boy do I miss them) this is a shop that is embracing change, embracing new farming methods, fair trade, new ingredients and ways of working with both the environment and with communities to make it work for everyone. There are some really great new lines at the moment. And they are doing samples. So if you are unsure, and really want to give it a go at home, don’t be shy about asking!

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Fit for danger

So last night a friend shared a diet that was followed by an actress in preparation for a film role. Having followed various links on same subject it is easy to see how quickly the initial article has been disseminated in to the wider world, with the message becoming blurred.

The reason my friend shared it was her concern over young girls coming accross this article, and more like it and influencing them. Girls look toward images presented to them in the various mediums, whether it is via social media, TV, film, magazines for idea of what they should look like. As girls grow up, they look around, outside their own immediate family, and peer group to understand what is normal, social norms, what is considered attractive.

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When you are told a diet that works is 80% just fruit and veg with the images next to it of the actress having lost 12 lbs … it sounds like the perfect solution. It seems deceptively simple and easy to stick to. So of course, this will be a great idea to shift those imaged layers of fat. But it is a diet. Diets are short term. Many athletes use diets when training. You only have to follow someone like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on social media to understand the importance diet has when training. Actually please follow him, he genuinely is an inspiration.

We see it all the time as well on shows like Strictly Come Dancing, where the contestants lose weight, but what is actually happening is that they are toning up. Because they are dancing around 8 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week including the performances. This isn’t something most people will be able to replicate. It is an unrealistic look for people to attain.

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We need to change what we present to people, instead of advertising a quick fix, maple syrup diets, 80% diets that work in short terms, CRASH diets by any other name as a normal, and healthy way to get the body you want. Instead of focusing on the shape and size of the body, the focus should be on healthy living, doing things that make you happy and finding passion in your life, about spending time outside, finding a sport that you enjoy and doing it with friends, about healthy choices with food. It shouldn’t be about the size of your waist, thigh gaps, how prominent your hips or rib cage is.

The focus should be on healthy attitudes and eating, on being healthy, active and moderation. Of course there will always be sensational articles and sales pitches to do something quickly, to cheat, articles will be misquoted and torn up to suit an agenda. But if we can change the conversation so that teenagers see messages that are predominantly positive, so they are going to be able to make more educated choices about their life, so they are able to make more informed choices. So your body is not the most important thing in all transactions.

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Do that dupe

So I have been fairly outspoken about issue lately and I wanted to be a little more light hearted before I launch into the next topic! 

So this will be a review post on 2 makeup products, both Maybelline, so I hope you enjoy! 

A couple of weeks ago while in Superdrug, I saw a small eye shadow pallet that caught my eye, rose gold is the colour scheme that most closely describes it. If you are thinking Urban Decays Naked 3 pallet…. well so was I! CLICK HERE to see it on their page. Because of my combined addictions of both Wild Bangarang leggings, and wigs, I haven’t been able to justify the expense of a new makeup pallet. I have to be honest, until my birthday last year, I wouldn’t consider buying such an expensive product. When I received it as a birthday gift I was blown away by the colours, how beautifully it blended, and because I am super lazy, how it stayed perfect until the next morning (with the help of primer). I was converted. The problem is that with a limited budget, you have to be sure that you are picking the right product. How many times have you settled on Foundation or mascara to realise it just isn’t living up to the hype. Our bodies and our own image is so personal that no matter what percentage of testers thinking the product is Number 1 – it may not work for you. 

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Due to the popularity of the Urban Decay, a number of companies are now offering pallets with similar colour schemes, many in a more comfortable price range. I had tried Make Revolutions offerings but found that unlike other MR pallets, the colour payoff was not there. No company is entirely consistent. I just figured the universe was telling me to wait until I could afford the real deal. 

But I had seen the pallet – The Blushed Nudes by Maybelline and it was on my mind all week and I had got an idea for a makeup look that I really wanted to try… so I had a look while shopping. A word to the wise, I had to go to 3 different stores to find a pallet that didn’t have loose trays. These were unopened pallets but for some reason the individual trays had come loose. But I was on a mission and so I decided to keep looking and eventually found one – they seem quite popular! Now the pallet colours, for me are somewhat alien. I am more about bold colours, some of this is because I pretty much always wear my glasses for work I need something to stand out, some of it is because I am reverting to a toddler and want to throw all the colours at my face. 

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I had a look at the back of the case and after swatching the colours and being surprised at the colour payoff (then remembering I am white, white at the moment) I noticed that the 12 colours are sections off and there is a guide on the back on how to apply it. This is actually a really nice idea, nothing new, pallets have had this for years. What I did find surprising is that although the quads are set up in a similar fashion, the placement on the eye is different. I am game for anything so on Sunday I carefully applied as instructed, and because I am not the delicate of people, blended it out until happy. I also went the whole hog and contoured my face before heading out for a woodland walk. Quite pleased with the results, a neutral look which enhances the eye.

On Monday, again, I picked the next quad along, and again, contoured my face for a woodland walk. Yes, before you ask, I do put makeup on before going to the gym. For me to go anywhere for a prolonged period of time, without a stitch of makeup is a crime. But more about that in another blog. I have to say, while neither day is a look I would routinely wear, I found the shadow really pretty on, subtle and great for every day. You could easily add a much darker lip for a simple evening look in seconds. I opted for a very light lip as I don’t generally wear that either. Weekend of firsts.

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Now while I was in the store, I picked up Maybeline’s Brow Drama pomade crayon. I have been looking for something new to help with my brows. For general maintenance, I have my brows threaded or waxed (dependant on time between appointments), trimmed and tinted. That sounds like a lot, it isn’t expensive, at least not here in Northampton. However, my brows need filling in, and I have tried so many things to help. I have for many years used eye shadow but then finding the right shade is a pain, pencils are fine but I find it can be difficult to get the right shape and takes time to blend in. The brow mascara.. is … an acquired taste, and as much as I love the brow kits with wax, I always run out of wax first. The only thing that has worked for me lately is a felt tip from GOSH cosmetics but again, it is a case of letting it set and wiping off and often I forget (my way of using it, not necessarily how it was designed to be used).

Now, when I got home, I fully thought that the crayon would required some blending or other intervention by me once applied. Wrong, so very wrong. All I have to do is apply the crayon along the length of my brow and I am done. I am so happy, I cannot tell you. It hasn’t budged and hasn’t left my brows feeling or looking weird. The other benefit for me, is that my brows look natural from up close and further away. This is going to be going into my ‘must have’ pile. 

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Now, my recommendation on the eye shadow, it is a good pallet and in the same price range as other brand offerings in the drugstore. I have been pleasantly surprised by the colour pay off, and they all blend really well. The applicator included is basic, I used the brush to apply the base coat both days but I wouldn’t really do a full eye unless you are really stuck. The product itself is a little powdery rather than creamy, so be careful when picking up. The colour lasted well – I didn’t apply any base or primer because i like to give it a test free of any help! The pallet itself is a nice size and should easily fit in a makeup bag so it is a good investment for your handbag – I haven’t tried the last quad, which looks a little darker, and might be your go to to change up to a smokey eye if going out straight after work. The brow crayon is perfect, if like me you are lazy and want a simple way of filling in brows that you are happy with shape wise. 

Sorry this review has turned out longer than intended! Hope you enjoyed reading it! 

The Naked Effect

So, you may or may not be aware, but Kim Kardashian posted a series of naked selfies on line a few weeks ago. The first titled ‘when your like, I have nothing to wear’ which has resulted in a number of other celebrities following suit, including Sharon Osborne. Now don’t get my wrong, I am not a fan of the Kardashians, their life style or the environment that created them. But I have a lot of time for what the photo did, what it has done and hopefully what it will continue to do (hopefully).

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What plays on my mind is that one of my favourite artists , Pink has already condemned the selfie, although not naming anyone directly. And let us remember her song on the matter Stupid Girls You Tube Link which she illustrated her feelings on the matter rather eloquently. But I am I getting ahead of myself, her feelings on what? On using your body, and not your brain to get what you need/want/desire. Pink has long made a stand against the conventional and expected and beaten her own path, in her work and in her personal life. She is a fantastic role model for women of all ages, tackling some pretty hard topics in her music. I adore Pink. I really do.

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But on the matter of naked selfies, she is wrong. Now I am going to sidestep the issue of whether or not Mrs K W is a feminist at the moment (as it will be looked at in another blog) and just look at what she has done. She has empowered women to share their self. No makeup, no hiding, sharing a photo of yourself in a mirror selfie is pretty empowering. A while a go there was a thread in a group I spend a lot  of time. It was basically a middle finger to haters, but it was so empowering, everyone posted a mirror selfie either naked or in underwear. I was not confident enough to bare all. But I have to say it had such a strong, community spirit that I joined in wearing my undies.

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So yes, while I guess, there is a lot to be said about someone in a position of power, using that platform for good. And that should be with strong, empowering messages – stay in school, eat healthy, think positive, don’t drink and drive. But can we just hold on a moment. Just .. imagine, for a moment, that a woman looks in the mirror, and… you may want to sit down for this… DOESN’T HATE WHAT SHE SEES! What if a woman, who is famous, thinks, you know what, I am going to share my confidence in my own body with everyone. I am going to put this publicly, I am going to be in control of the images of my body, I will call the shots, and share what I want and how I want it. What if girls, and women, start being able to see that their body and its image is for their own consumption. And that by appreciating their own body, self love, by being able to objectively look at the image and see what is beautiful about it. By seeing the result of those gym sessions is paying off, by seeing the tiger marks, by realising that while their body isn’t perfectly formed, it is perfect for them.

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What if girls and women, learn that the female form is nothing to be ashamed off, it isn’t slutty to think you look good, to see that we come in all shapes and sizes. Not to feel embarrassed, to learn to look in the mirror, to love what you see. I may be reading too much into Kim K’s motivation for sharing THAT selfie, but isn’t interpretation what is comes down to. What conversation it starts, how it effects people and how minds change?

So, while I love Pink, I am sorry this time, I don’t agree with you!

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Update: Since first starting this blog post – i am not sure how obvious it is, but often I have several unfinished blog posts on the go, so it can take up to a month for me to publish a blog…. Kim K just released another topless selfie, this time with a friend. I fully commend her, and her sense of humour 🙂

Now, I want to share my beautiful friends page, Haelin Rayne is a beautiful person inside and out – if you want to see more of her work : Click Here below are some images she recently took with Absolute Images, which I adore! Celebrate the female form, it is stunning! 

Haters, gonna hate!

Two faced? No, I have many!

No secret, I don’t have one, I don’t have two, there are many faces that I show to the world. This really isn’t a surprise to many of you, as I have been fairly open, well, prolific in my love of make up, making up and changing the image you show the world. I have been equally vocal on my feelings toward body shaming of any type.

I have had comments directed at me over the amount of selfies I take, if you go onto my makeup page, and combine that with my IG … well it is the tip of the iceberg. I rarely take just the one and think it is perfect. In my defense, I am trying my best to capture whatever I managed to create with makeup. But you know, sometimes, like the last couple of days, I just feel fabulous and take a selfie. I have said it before and I will say it again, I often don’t recognise myself when I have put makeup on, and that is part of the reason.

There is nothing wrong with using makeup, wigs, extensions, corsets, padding, colour, anything that makes you feel good. Confidence is key, if it takes a dash of red lipstick, or a full contouring routine, it makes no difference. 

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So who hasn’t seen this MEME over the last few months? It has been shared, tweeted, copied, updated more times that I care to guess at. I will be the first to admit at commenting on someone else’s heavily/badly edited picture. Okay, so to me, it didn’t look so good. So what. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have no real control over how we are perceived by others 99% of the time – no matter how hard we try, something may go wrong – I for example, ran into one of my consultants at work, looking bedraggled. I had just been swept in and he asked if I was okay. It wasn’t until 10 mins later looking in the mirror, that I realised that my hair gave the impression I had been dragged backward through a bush on the way to work. (as much as I normally love my short hair, not being able to tie it up into a pony tail is testing at times!)

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My current hair style with end of day makeup, so you might say, a little different from how i look in most of my photos. Et voila :

So this isn’t a vanity post, this isn’t a post asking you to bask in the glory that is my face. (although you are more than welcome to!)  This is just a post stating, it is okay to look how you want, wear as much paint, synthetic hair, layers of clothing. Don’t let others make you feel bad for doing it. Most of the time people won’t realise what they are saying is upsetting, it is just a thoughtless and throw away comment.

The business of inspiration part 1

This week , the show was about business, and as it happened we recorded the show early at the site of a new business. It also happened to fall on International Women’s day – which was lucky! 

I asked a few of my lovely friends to discuss pros and cons of business, and it was interesting to get prospective from people’s personal experience. But it was also empowering that the respondents were all female. Because of this I wanted to spot light my amazing and inspirational friends.

Firstly we have Donna Bull MUA click here for her facebook page. Her biggest tip for being self employed/running your own business is to keep on top of paper work. She also suggested using Joist which is a great application that you can download onto your phone or tablet to help you create estimates and invoices. Donna also suggested making sure that you don’t spend all night on your phone. With much business being conducted on line, it is easy to forget to switch off. If you are interested, Donna is a fantastic makeup artist, face and body painter. She is based in Slough.

Lisa and David had a couple of suggestions – Lisa said that you shouldn’t try and learn everything at once, there is a lot to learn. Just the way it goes. And her husband David offered this bit of advice: Try something, if it works repeat it, if it doesn’t build a hypothesis on why not, then test that by trying something new, if it works repeat, if it doesn’t loop till it does. Cashflow is king for first 3 years, spend your cash wisely. Enjoy

Lisa owns and runs Espiritu Salon & Spa in Radlett click here for their website, and  click here for the Facebook page. The Salon is a gorgeous place for a mini spa day, a quick treat or a little general upkeep. Very relaxing, with a fantastic range of treatments and I recommend a visit at your earliest opportunity! 
Lisa also has a blog – go check it out!
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Katherine – who has taken a break from running her Etsy store, Handmade by Ify had this to say : Definitely the paperwork as Donna said, but also, if building the side hustle around work then it’s about being organised with your time, that’s where most people go wrong when starting a business. My main struggle was balancing motherhood and side hustling whilst working my day job… Also be patient if progress is slow at first, always be thinking what can I do in this down time? When times were quiet for sales at etsy I always built up more inventory and started designing for the following seasons stuff. Ify has taken a break from running her store – she initially started her store while at university, but after finding herself in full time employment and with a new baby wound down the shop until she could find a better work life balance. I am patiently waiting the big reopening!
Hazel runs Jax ‘n Boo with her husband as well as being a part time model – and online wax melt (and accessories) business and has the following advice: Learning to seperate business and home life, that Facebook message on you page doesn’t need to be answered at midnight when they sent it lol. Utilise social media to access a wider audience. Paperwork I agree with what Donna says, keeping on top of it so there’s not the end of year tax return panic. If you are creating your own product, pricing it correctly and not undervaluing… Oh and to remember it’s your business and livelihood, I always struggle cos I want to help people out, that’s not the way to earn yourself a paycheck though lol
 I highly recommend their products, some of my friends have had the starter kits inflicted on them as gifts – great value! I find that they are not too strong so even if you or another member of your household isn’t a massive fan of scents in the home, I am sure you will find a compromise! If you are interested, click here for their website and click here for their facebook page. 

 

Last (for this blog) we have the lovely Gillian who runs Emerald Wig Emporium Click Here for the website and Click herefor the facebook page- she is also a fantastic costumer and cosplayer! So you will be hearing more from her as I have picked her brain about a cosplay blog I am putting together. I haven’t approached her yet about the Lady Gaga wig suggestion we came up with on the show so watch this space! Now, this is what Gillian had to say : Yeah, the paperwork side of things is huge, and can become an issue down the line if you don’t get on top of it from the start.
I registered as a private limited company, Directors etc., from the very beginning, to protect my family in case there was ever an issue in the future (you must always think ahead). This meant a million times more paperwork, costs, effort and confusion – including all sorts of official scary paperwork and vat returns after the first 6 months.
I’m very organised anyway, and my hubby is an auditor/quality manager/systems developer so having him helping me was priceless. He’s created stock databases, automated order sheets and so on. Absolute time savers.

Try to restrain yourself when it comes to giving out freebies. While I’d only love to give all the wonderful people I’ve met through wig wearing, a free wig as a present, it still costs me to purchase the wig and then ship it…..this money comes out of the funds for advertising, promotional material flyers etc. and brings in no profit which can be used to increase stock variety.
It is a business after all, and if you intend growing a business, you always need to aim to increase stock variety etc.

Work hard, but have fun. I love what I’m doing, and that makes all the difference. There’s no effort involved when it’s something you enjoy.

Be fair to yourself and ignore the negative Nancy types. Hehe! You’ll never please all of the people all of the time. Dream big, and go for it.

Now I am more than honoured to count these people amongst my friends, all inspirational, finding their own path, and happy to help when and if they can. Donna is a stunning makeup artist, she genuinely can turn her hand to it all and will not hesitate to give you tips and advice, Ify is such a kind and generous person – she will help create anything you have a mind to make. She is also the inspiration behind my ‘clashes but matches’ fashion approach. Lisa and David – these are just the kindest, sweetest couple. Will do anything in their power to help and are good to have if you need advice. Hazel is a sweetie – she has had some setbacks in the last 12 months but instead of allowing it to break her, she has come back with a business. Gillian is fabulous – she has put a lot of time and effort into her new business, and is happy to share her experiences. Gillian is not only a great business woman, she is a fantastic cosplayer and I love seeing what she comes up with next. When thinking about what or whom inspires you… you don’t have to look far. Have a look at the people in your life and see what they have done, what they are doing. Every day people are setting new goals and challenges and it is fantastic to see people helping each other, building each other up. 

 

FOR THE GLORY OF MAKEUP

Yeah no secret, I love makeup, it allows me to not have one, not two.. but many faces. I enjoy creating new looks, I love special effects makeups, I adore a challenge and being inspired by a new wig.

None of which is news to you.

But something that keeps cropping up and … I know i have bought it up before. Instead of people appreciating it as an art, you have comments about how too much makeup is employed, or how a person doesn’t need makeup, as they are pretty enough, asking for makeup free photos.

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One example is Ursula Goff who shared photos on her I.G account which was picked up in this article – not entirely sure I agree that it is refreshing that she is happy to share photos. It does imply that there is some expectation on people in the spotlight, or otherwise to share all their sides… that nothing should be left private. But also to women to go natural or be brave enough to bear their faces. It doesn’t ease pressure, rather it will add pressure.

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People wear makeup for very different reasons, and it is both insulting and naive to assume that women are wearing makeup to cover themselves because they don’t feel beautiful. I cant’t speak for all women, but I wear makeup to become someone, so when I am at work, I put my ‘game face’ on – I am old enough to have been schooled in what looks professional. So let us call it my ‘professional’ face. I don’t often wear makeup at the weekend or when I am on holiday, frankly I am lazy, and my skin does need a break. But equally, give me a reason to throw paint at my face, I am your girl. I love dressing up so I spend a fair portion of my free time experimenting. It is no different than having a work wardrobe, a dossing abound the house, but not wearing PJ’s wardrobe, a going out wardrobe. So yes, it is about confidence. But don’t ever mix a woman’s perception of her own beauty is solely tied to her self confidence. We are much more complex.

A while a go I came accross a makeup artist, Nikkie Tutorials who was getting berated to the point she released a ‘no makeup’ photo for people – which of course led to people commenting on her looks.. without makeup .. ever get the feeling you won’t win? Nikki regularly shares video where you can see every step of the transformation. I understand the interest in what people look like, it helps you work out the steps, you can see how much when into the transformation, and it is interesting.

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And then there is a friend of mine who recently happened to comment on a thread on a facebook page which has nothing to do with makeup, or wigs. And yet people jumped on her, commenting on how much makeup she wears, her hair (a wig – an awesome one at that) and making some personal comments. I find it bad enough when strangers insist on passing comment or judgement on people in the public eye but to do it, unprovoked, and unwarranted? What makes a person think they have the right to make these comments? Would you walk up to a complete stranger in the street and pick apart their outfit?

I shared a video a couple of days ago on my page, a teenaged burn victim who has learnt how to use makeup to great effect to disguise the scars. But the important message she relays in her short video is that we should all be happy in our own skin. 

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Makeup is AMAZING – I adore make up, I love how different it makes me look, and feel, how it helps me change up my look so often, so that I can not even recognise myself. It is my choice to wear makeup, no one should feel forced to prove anything, makeup is a mask. It is one of many masks we all wear for various reasons and doesn’t make us liars, or responsible for men thinking our eye lids and naturally glittery. 

ENJOY THE ART PEOPLE!

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Love for Lush

So … this week is Valentine’s day, so I thought.. what could I do.. the AMAZING MothQueen Makeup has put together a gorgeous makeup look (which is pretty much the same direction I would have gone) and here is her video. I then though about pampering, which for obvious reasons, led me to Lush. Lush Northampton to be exact.

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The moment I walked into the store, I pounced on the poor, unsuspecting Elliott who happened to be near the entrance of the shop. I explained my intentions and direction I was thinking. And he immediately flipped it around. Instead of pampering yourself, why not pamper someone else? Share the love! I loved this idea and we immediately set about picking out some items.

We started with the bath bombs… obviously. Now I am generally a bubble bath kinda girl, the more bubbles the merrier! While I haven’t managed to get them to reach the ceiling – this is not due to lack of trying.. so when he reached for Lover Lamp, I wasn’t entirely on board with his reasoning. It smells divine though, a lovely sweet orange and vanilla scent which isn’t over powering and it has cocoa butter to leave your skin feeling beautiful. Perfect relaxing bath for one .. or two of you if you want to share.

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Now you could stop there, and I wouldn’t blame you. It is a gorgeous, milky bath that smells good and does good. But it is a special day, so make it that little bit more special – add a bubble bar slice. Now not just ANY one will do… You have to go big or go home … (although I would only recommend using these products in your own home…) UNICORN HORN IS BACK! YES! I have been waiting a year and why not add a third of the horn to your bath? It is the opposite of Lover Lamp, where the former is a pure, milky bath which will help you relax, Unicorn is bright and fun and will combine beautifully to help you feel happy and relaxed. Plus bubbles…. I mentioned the bubbles already didn’t I ? So off to a good start with this combination! 

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Now the next pick was a massage bar – well! What did you expect! There was a lot of debate and discussion about which one to pick, I wanted one that smelt great but wasn’t going to be off putting…  but still so many to choose from! In the end I went with Pearl, it has hints of rose, so perfect for a romantic evening and has ‘pearls’ in the bar itselfl so can be used to invigorate the skin! Perfect! I found the smell was pretty, but not in an over powering way so again it is perfect for most people and will leave your skin smelling beautiful! And you can use in in a few ways, the bars are designed to melt at body temperature so you can use directly on the skin, utilising the ‘pearls’ to help invigorate the skin, or rub between your hands and apply yourself to help the massage become that little bit more tactile.

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Now, by this time we were making our way to the back of the store and wondering what direction to go, and we.. backwards! FACE MASK! Now, if you can’t be silly with the ones that you love…. Personally i use my face masks in the bath, it is the only time I am still enough to enjoy! But given the context of the evening… this may not be advised! Now we decided on Catastrophe Cosmetic – a blueberry clay mask of power. It is a fabulous mask that ticks boxes, a good go to that is kind to most skin types, and will have your skin looking fabulous. So you can go either of 2 ways, you can use this as part of your prep, use the mask a couple of days before to make sure it is flawless for the big night in. Or you can both put the mask on as part of your big night in – it smells great but don’t mistake it for a dip for your corn chips! But if you can sit in the same room with your significant other while both wearing face masks… well! That is love! 

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Now the final part of my collection, lip scrub! I love a good lip scrub! Since I am a biter, I have to make sure my lips are properly prepped when I want to wear lipstick – now keeping in the theme – I picked The Kiss. Now unlike some of their other lip scrubs, which are all sugar… and frankly I spend as much time just licking off as I do scrubbing, The Kiss is a different creature, the scrub itself feels more like Hundreds and Thousands and leaves your lips feeling fantastic and has a little hint of pink. So, I would probably use this more as a prep product.

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But for a night in, relatively inexpensive, without all the worry of finding a table, will the food be good, what will the atmosphere be like? Just pop into your local lush, pick up these products and plan your own night – candles and alcohol (corn chips) entirely optional and up to person taste! 

I hope you have a fantastic weekend everyone – love you all!

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P.s on my page and IG account Beautifully Strange Makeup I occasionally have giveaways – they tend to be based on a few of my favourite things – I had a Valentines giveaway for a couple of lucky people. Now, I put together a lush gift set, I swapped out the fresh facemask with a couple from Superdrug (also vegan and cruelty free, check out their own product range) and I popped in The Kiss lip balm to complement the scrub. It was well received and I got the happy glow from making someone happy. Try it sometime, play it forward!