Thursday, 9 April 2015

Favourite Spring Makeup Trends

So far this week I have been outdoors without a coat on twice. I baked a quiche and ate it with salad, and swapped my Tuesday evening wine for some ridiculously lovely elderberry cider concoction. I'm sorry guys but I'm calling it - it's officially springtime in the UK now. And that means I'm going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming away from the make-up counters, because damn are there some absolutely lovely trends arising for this coming season, and I want to try each and every one of them out if I can. These are some of my favourites....

BIG Eyeliner

From Prada to Marchesca to Saint Laurent, cat eyes sticking around, and not just the fussy, flicky, 'need ten hours and to superglue my elbow to the table to achieve' sort of ones. These are thick, chunky, heavy handed, the type that sort of look like you could do left-handed with a marker pen and still wake up the next morning looking flawless even with it smudged halfway down your cheeks. They're my sort of eyeliner for sure and I am sticking with them. Interesting to see a fair amount of lower lid eyeliner too, which I've always loved, but rarely see as often nowadays. 

Bright Eyes

Not just graphic, it seems, but actually glowing, there's so many beautiful shades of eyeliner and eye shadow on these catwalks it's amazing. I'm sort of loving the iridescent white combined with glowing skin and pink lips for an ethreal kind of look, and I dare you to show me a person who doesn't look fabulous in electric blue eyeliner. I think some of these looks would be great replicated using eye shadows such as the Maybelline 24 hour colour tattoo, or Sleek's i-Divine Ultra Mattes palette, which is around for less than a tenner. 

Bare Lips

I am a big lipstick lover, but let's be real - Spring time at my work is when the ice cream van starts to visit, the air con fights valiantly against my best hydrating lipsticks, and more often than not my carefully applied 7am mouth ends up looking like a patchy, smudged nightmare by lunchtime. These slap on lipbalm and go looks are kind of refreshing for a change, and i'm definitely going to be forgoing my beloved nudes and pinks a few times to give this a try. My favourite non-glossy, non-tinted lip balms for a look like this are Carmex (£2.69 in Boots, and very often found in Poundland), Nivea Essential Care (£1.65 in Boots) and my favourite, my good old Burts Bees - Less than a fiver for the little tin, it lasts absolutely forever and you can actually feel it working. 

Brows On Parade

Where anything at all has been done to brows, it seems, they've just been neatened a bit and made darker, with most left just completely natural and messy looking. Cara Delevingne and the like have really made a massive impact here, and as someone who over-plucked a lot as a teenager, I couldn't be more thankful. I draw my naturally light brows on most days, but i'm glad that their natural thickness and all-round vigor is being appreciated as well. 

...And one i'm not so keen on

I'm sorry Vera Wang, but the only people pulling off lilac and plum eyeshadow under their eyes are actual supermodels. The rest of us don't tend to need much help in looking like we haven't slept properly in days - we can manage that on our own!

All things considered, I feel like this year's looks seem more pushy, more graphic than your typical spring pastels and bare faced freshness, and I really like it. It's strking a balance between au naturel simplicity and high-impact, low effort colour splashes, which feels decidedly modern and refreshing. I'm looking forward to giving some of it a go, especially some graphic eye looks in bright colours, and prying away my lipsticks and lipglosses for a few days. Hope you're all doing well and enjoying this little burst of warm weather while it lasts, and I'll see you all soon.

- Natalie XOX

Friday, 3 April 2015

April Goals

Spring time! Easter time! Bank holiday weekend! Marginally less rain outside! What's not to love about April? It got to TWELVE degrees outside yesterday, like seriously. That's an event in the north. March was a great month for me overall, except health-wise, which is why I haven't been around as much. Still, i'm plodding on, and hoping to start thriving rather than just surviving sooner rather than later with some new tablets and a couple of upcoming hospital appointments. I had a great time on my spa weekend, did some good deeds for Lent, planted some lovely things in the garden, and tried my best to keep in touch with friends and family far and wide, although I could have done a little better in that probably. This month? I'm storming ahead. 

  • TREAT - I'm going on a trip to London this month! I'll be watching Les Miserables at the west end, meeting up with a friend and doing some touristy type things. I want to eat great food and enjoy being with friends and family in a really cool city that I hardly ever get to visit. So excited.
  • CRAFT - I've been seeeriously neglecting my crafting lately, but I'm aiming to get back into it soon. I want a knitted patchwork blanket by next winter if it kills me, and I've got an overflowing basket upstairs of clothes that need sewing or mending in one way or another. It's as good a way to spend a lazy evening as any, and since I can do most of it while watching Netflix I've got no excuse really. 
  • FAMILY - I'm visiting my family not once but twice this month, just because, and they're hopefully coming down to see me as well. Easter in my home was always a time for new clothes, chocolate, and a whole weekend spent with loved ones, and i'm glad to be able to keep that up this year. 
  • SAVE - This is a less fun one, but a necessary one. I've been lucky enough to receive a small raise at work and a bonus lately and I'm so grateful for it, but i'm trying to put as much as I can away for when we might need it most. Supporting yourself is hard but it gets so much harder when you get down to nothing and realise you've nowhere else to turn, so i'm trying my best to build a solid foundation. 
I've got high hopes for April, readers, so it better not let me down. Me and my kitten are spending today cuddling and tidying up, before I meet up with my partner later for a bit of shopping and a walk around town. Hope you're all having great days and great months so far, and best wishes for the next four weeks!

- Natalie XOX