Friday, 21 June 2013

Seeing Stars and a Revamp

This week I went to Selfridges again, and even though I never buy anything, It's getting to be an expensive habit. I did limit myself to that one day, even though some of my favourite YouTube and beauty bloggers chose to go on staggered days and I could have gone and seen them every day if I didn't limit myself.

Charlotte Tilbury's House of Rock n' Kohl was packed full of eager young ladies waiting to meet Fleur and many others who had either booked makeup sessions with the artists or were getting free eye makeup done. I just stood back and watched it all, feeling a little awkward and uncomfortable.

I did manage to get a few semi-respectable photos Caroline Hirons, Fleur De Force and Lilly Pebbles.

I even got a bit of a makeup do from one of the makeup artists at the House of Rock n' Kohl. It was a bit dark for me though.

In other news, I redid the look of my blog. I am not sure I will keep this look (it does feel a bit too pastel). I know I haven't had the blog for very long and don't post nearly often enough either, but I looked at it and it was starting to look a little garish.

So now it's done and we'll see how it goes.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Fleur De Force: "Meet Me at The House of Rock n' Kohl!"

Selfridges seems like to be the place to be for anything good that's in any way beauty related!

This time, it's going to be a meet up with the lovely Fleur from Fleur de Force.

She will be attending Charlotte Tilbury's House of Rock n' Kohl, so this time she isn't really the main attraction but that doesn't matter to me - I'm a fan and she's the one I'm going to see.

In her blog: Fleur De Force: Meet Me at The House of Rock n' Kohl! she said "I will be there between 4-6pm this Tuesday 18th June, and would love to meet some of you if you fancy popping along. (A bit more fun that the traditional 'meet up' scenario I thought!) The pop-up shop will be in the front left corner of the shop (next to the fancy watches and jewellery!) so if you're around on Tuesday, do come and say hello!"

I am pleased!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Skin Care Can Be For Everyone

I grew up in a household where aesthetics were not very high on the priority list, and as I have mentioned before, I have never really been into beauty or skincare. I do admit that I was rather lucky that in my adolescence I did not suffer severe acne like some people have. I got the occasional breakout, mostly on my chin and forehead, but nothing particularly memorable or traumatic.

I am convinced, to this day, that the reason my skin behaved itself rather well is because I left it alone. I never put anything on my skin. I dabbled a bit with Yardley Oatmeal 3-step routine, but it didn't stick. I also never wore any foundation and very little makeup to speak of - again, I was lucky and had nothing to hide really.

While I have no regrets on that score, it is not something I recommend, however. Taking care of your skin is as important as taking care of any other aspect of your health, and be aware of your skin's condition from an early age is important as it can be a good indicator of how your general health is going.

There are a few basic things I have already learned, even though I am still in the early stages of my journey, and I thought I would share them.

A good skincare regime is not only for the beauty obsessive, its's like eating your five-a-day or drinking enough water. You can be a "normal person" with no interest in makeup and fashion and still take care of your skin properly.

The first step in good skin health is good nutrition. Not drinking enough water (Guilty!) will make your skin dehydrated. Eating badly will show up on your skin. Sugar isn't good for you or your skin and smoking will kill you and your skin tone. Stress is as evil and sinister as smoking, so stress management is important - exercise, learn to relax and vent from time to time.

Good skincare is not only for the rich and beautiful. It is not a luxury, an indulgence or even a tool to make pretty people more pretty. it is an essential part of your personal hygiene and healthcare. I do not consider myself to be hideously ugly but I certainly do not see myself as at all beautiful or attractive, and I have found that having healthy skin makes me feel better.

Many of the higher-end, higher-priced products on the market are the ones that come highly recommended by both professionals and enthusiasts, but if these products are out of reach, it does not mean that you should give up altogether. There are affordable alternatives available, and just because something has a brand name, a high price tag or claim that it's all natural, does not make it a good product to own, so be sensible when you go shopping, and do not buy your skin care from the pound store.

No matter what anyone tells you, mineral oil is not good for you. Mineral oils are petroleum based. They do not nourish the skin in any way or form. If I learned anything from my father, a doctor who knew many things, it was that mineral oil based products made you feel like they were doing something because they basically leached the nutrients out of your skin and brought them to the surface. You read the labels on food and should try to avoid poisoning your body - treat your skin with the same respect. Read labels, it's not hard.

Use the right products for your skin. This one seems self evident, but it may be tempting to throw everything at your face simply because it's in a bad state and the product you want is fashionable, trending or popular. Overwhelming your face is a bad idea. No matter how old you are, you can start somewhere and start small - A cleanser, a toner and a moisturiser; you can then move on to more products, if your skin needs it, like eye creams, oils, serums and treatments, and you don't have to blow your budget either. I don't use top-end products, I do the best I can for my skin. I even pamper myself with a mask from time to time - it's great for stress!

The most important thing I have learned so far is the bit about the cleanser. Do not use a foam cleanser. Use a cream or a balm. It may sound corny, but I really didn't believe it would make that much difference and how clean could this milk stuff make your face anyway. We're kind of taught that to get clean, you have to scrub, so I thought I was doing the right thing, but then the Beauty God Mother (Caroline Hirons) spoke and I took her advice and tried a cream cleanser. the foam cleanser was drying out my skin and not doing me any favours. A good cream cleanser will clean your face, especially if you double cleanse, and it will leave your skin feeling moist. Not all cleansers are created equal, so if yours makes your skin feel dry, tight, dirty or greasy, don't be afraid to try a new one. Also, face cloths are not expensive (£2.50 for a three pack on nice ones from Primark) and a daily routine does not take long. It makes you feel like you are taking care of yourself and that is a good way to start the day.

Your toner should not dry out your skin either, or burn for that matter.

Stick to your routine, morning and night. This is something I struggle with, but I am getting much better and I am seeing results (and starting to enjoy it - especially since I started using a cream cleanser and face cloth - don't ask me why, it just feels girly and pampery).

Lastly, very few people have the skill to use makeup to cover skin that is in really bad condition, so before you focus on perfecting the smoky eye look, focus on getting healthy, glowing skin. (Even if you can make miracles with make up, don't ignore your skin, the longer you leave it, the older you will look and your future self will not thank you).

Be kind to yourself and love your skin.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Caroline Hirons - Beauty God Mother!

Last night, I was one of the fortunate women who got to spend some quality time with the amazing legend that is Caroline Hirons. I was one of the first to arrive and left after my consultation (I was fourth in the queue), so I missed out on meeting anyone who may have come later, and missed the action/trauma of the pack of fools who tried to rob the place.

If you've read my little blog, you will know that there are 12-year-olds that know more a bout skincare than me. I am learning a lot though, and fast. (I've even been asked to give skincare advice to a co-worker - although all I did was regurgitate what Caroline says.)

Back on point. I left the house with plenty of time, but as is characteristic of me, I hopped on to the wrong train (to Farringdon instead of Victoria) and got off at City Thames Link (ie Got lost as per usual). I therefore managed to accidentally see St Paul's Cathedral and ended up arriving at about 18:10, which was still pretty early. As I mentioned, I was under the impression that it would be a general talk so I wanted to get a good spot. To my amazement and surprise, it was a one-on-one consultation (So amazing - although in the moment one forgets all one's questions).

Going blank, or in my case, not really knowing what to ask, is not really the end of the world though. There is so much for me to learn so it was a good thing that I was just "I know nothing and have no budget" because Caroline very kindly told me what skin type I had - DRY (no, I genuinely didn't know - it's not always obvious) and basically gave me a place to start from - aim to get a cleansing milk (REN Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk), a hydrating toner and a good moisturiser (Clarins HydraQuench). It is unwise to bombard the skin with all new things, so we start small and work our way up gradually. I can use Botanics for now, but should aim to change to these products when they're finished.

Caroline was understandably mortified by my current foam cleanser and how I use it ( the brush thing I bought) and I was instructed to to throw these away without delay, which I have done.

I also need to cut out sugar and drink more water if I want good skin, not to mention the smoking, which is my constant nemesis.

Despite this, and to my absolute delight, she was much impressed with the tone of my skin, when she touched my face. It's quite a nice feeling when someone like Caroline touches your skin and says "Gosh your tone! How old are you? Oh my god look at this!" "It's good it's all good!" 

After our tete-a-tete, I was taken to the Clarins counter to get some samples of their moisturiser to try. I baulked at the price of the REN (which I have found for less on Amazon) so I didn't buy any products from Selfridges, and went straight to Primark (literally - it's across the street) to get some Flannels - three triple packs of white ones tied up in ribbons. I then popped into Boots to get a cleansing cream and, since I was shopping anyway, I stopped into Superdrug and bought some Maybelline gel liner and some Colour Tattoo in On & On Bronze - what can I say, I couldn't help myself. 

Al in all, it was an amazing event and I am very glad I got a video of the whole thing. (I have decided not to post it for two reasons: 1. It needs editing and I have neither the time or the inclination; 2. I look really fat).

Just so you know, last night and again this morning I did a double cleanse with cream and flannel, followed by toner, moisturiser and separate SPF this morning (I have a sample). 

Let me just say that last night my skin felt incredible and today was amazing! My skin felt moisturised all day. Usually within a few minutes of applying moisturiser after cleansing, my skin feels tight and thirsty for more - foam cleaners must really be avoided - they are the DEVIL!

So, Thank you Caroline for saving me from myself and for saving my skin before I destroyed it completely. You are truly a Beauty God Mother!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Geek Within

At the end of May, Mr C and I went to the June McM London Comic Con, our very first one.

It was quite an experience; one that I plan to replicate soon. In fact, I have plans to attend the London Film And Comic Con in London next month, and as I discovered today, the next McM Comic Con in October.

They sure do have a lot of comic conventions here!

The day did not start out well, to be honest, and I was rather grumpy when we set off. I had planned to leave the house bright early to get the most out of the day, but as it sometimes happens, Murphy had other plans. While waiting for Mr C to get ready, I decided it would be a good idea to wear makeup, but alas! What a disaster! Liquid eyeliner FAIL! I tried and tried and failed and got frustrated and annoyed. So, after spending ages trying and missing two trains, I took all my makeup off and we left.

Mr C, who has makeup conversation imposed upon him on a regular basis, only occasionally begging me to "make some female friends to talk to about this stuff," asked me very nicely to please buy myself some gel eyeliner next and give that a try instead.

We made our way across town, and eventually arrived at our destination with only one minor detour when we took the wrong DLR train. Luckily, we weren't alone in our mistake, and we managed to follow the group and walk to the Excel Centre at the Royal Victoria Dock. It was a warm, sunny day an we enjoyed the walk, which wasn't far. We arrived, queued for 45min, got in and had a great time!

We looked at all the stalls, checked out games, and even tried out playing a card game called Dobble (We are SO buying that).

I dragged Mr C to a panel by some of the Once Upon a Time cast members, and of course, I took a ton of pictures of all the people in costume.

There were thousands of people and it was well worth the visit. I don't think Mr C wants to go to the one in October (been there done that), but I have time to convince him!