Dresses that impress

I’m not really sure how to write this blog post without sounding slightly egotistical, so instead, I will just embrace that.

Dresses are a really wonderful invention. They are so comfortable and stylish at the same time. Wearing a dress you instantly look smarter than if you were to wear jeans and a t-shirt and quite honestly if you have the right dress, it is more comfortable as well. I have been wearing mostly dresses for the past 3 years and I can’t imagine cutting them out of my wardrobe. When I go out, whether it is to work or for leisure, I often get compliments on my dresses and people asking me where I get them from. If you are one of those people then pay attention to this post, as I reveal my dress secrets.

Secret 1: Where to buy?

So no surprises here I’m sure, but I buy most of my dresses online from Amazon and eBay. I can sometimes get them from physical shops, but this would mean going somewhere funky like Brighton – which is easy for me now I work there, but wouldn;t have been very practical before. So online is the best option here, you’ll also be able to shop directly with some brands that way, and they more often have deals.

Other online retailers that I’ve used include:

Secret 2: Style

As for searching for anything online, the thing you need to know is keywords. The style of dress I wear can normally be classed as ‘rockabilly’, so that is a word I often use in searches. For example, I might search eBay for, ‘Red rockabilly dresses’ if I wanted red for a particular event. Other words I use are; 50s dresses, 40s dresses, 1050s dresses, 1940s dresses, retro dress, tea dress, or swing dress. That’s just me though, you might prefer a slightly different style, for example, wiggle/pencil dresses – I just can’t be bothered with all the undergarments I’d need to make those look good!

Secret 3: Brands

Personally, I have found a few brands I really like. I know these brands are good quality, suit my personal style and I know which size* will fit me. They have really fun funky patterns and designs as well. I will of course, also occasionally shop outside of these brands, and there are some other brands I’d like to buy more of but I can never find them cheap. Most of the below brands you’ll find on eBay for approx. £10 (sometimes second-hand, sometimes new but not worn.)

The brands I like to shop for are:

*The size might vary with fabrics, for example I know if it’s a chiffon or organza type fabric it will have no give and so I might get a bigger size. Some websites (such as Lindy Bop) have a size guide under each dress and this is always worth checking as they can vary a little from style to style.

So there you have it, my little secrets of what to search for and where to look have been revealed. I hope that you found this useful, and can go forth and look fabulous!

Sugar Lips

I’ve started using more lipsticks and lipglosses recently. I just think they really add an extra something and complete any makeup look. I might blog separately, perhaps on my vegan blog about my favourite glam lip products, but that is not the point of this post.

This post is to talk about the consequences of wearing a lot of lip products, and that’s dry/ flakey lips. I’ve learnt it is very important to keep your lips healthy so that you can continue to wear your favourite lipsticks, glosses, and stains. Part of that means regularly exfoliating your lips, to get rid of any dry skin, keeping them soft and clear.

When I started looking at buying a lip scrub they seemed expensive. I knew other people (blogger and vloggers) recommend making them at home, so I thought I’d give it a go. There are a lot of different recipes available online but I decided to go with the simplest one I could find, and I found a super simple one.

The recipe I settled on is just sugar and oil. Literally, that is all you need. So I grabbed my coconut oil, some brown sugar and a little travel pot from Superdrug to store it in. With my ingredients to hand, I started to mix them together, adding a little of each and mixing until I got a consistency I was happy with. That simple. Nothing fancy, no exact measurements.

The end result was a nice lip scrub, although it is a little messy so I might try a bit more oil next time. I tend to you it over the sink though so it doesn’t matter if a few little bits of sugar scrub fall off my finger and into the sink. After scrubbing my lips I then rinse them off with water (another good reason to do this in the bathroom) and voila! Soft lips perfect for painting!

Body Confidence

So, I have some thoughts about body confidence and I thought I’d share them here. Maybe they are helpful to someone else, or maybe it’ll just be nice for me to back them up somewhere that isn’t my own head.

My first thought is that, the best thing we can do for other people’s body confidence is lead by example! I remember as a little girl, my mum would always tell me I was beautiful and then turn around and look in the mirror and moan about this or that on her own body. To me my mum was beautiful. So if I thought she was beautiful, but (according to her) there were problems with her body, then even though she said I was beautiful that didn’t mean there weren’t problems with my own body. Couple this with media portrayals and peer pressure and I have certainly struggled with loving my body in the past. I love my body now and realise that the flaws I see as massive are often so tiny or insignificant that no-one else would really notice them.

Besides, once we learn to love ourselves we tend to be better at looking after ourselves. Think about it. If you look at your body and think it is a pile of worthless trash then that is how you will treat it. If you look at your body and see something you like, if you feel happy, then you will look after it. So feeling comfortable or happy, accepting that your body is how it is and learning to love it can be the first step to changing it by encouraging better habits. If you don;t want to change it then you don;t have to, but you will likely still be healthier because you will treat it better (I’m not just talking about food and exercise, when I feel good about my body I tend to make sure I moisturise and generally look after my whole body).

Oh, and the biggest thing is of course to not care about other people’s bodies. Seriously, it doesn’t affect you, what someone else looks like. Of course if you have a loved one and you are worried about their health you should have a gentle conversation – but even still don’t push them and don’t try to address it by making little comments or jokes. That won’t be helpful and could make them feel more insecure. Some people are naturally really thin, some people are bigger but as long as they are happy and relatively healthy it doesn’t matter. Nothing is nicer on a person than confidence, it’s attractive not only in a sexual way but in a generic way – you want to be around that person whether it is for business, social or romantic reasons.

So those are a few thought I have. As I said it has taken me years to be comfortable with my body and I still have bad days where I think I’m a hideous ogre monster woman, but even that is fine. Just recognise an off day as an off say and prepare to feel better the next day.

Remember that you are awesome, because you are you and there is only one of you in the entire world!

 

The secret to eyeliner

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By no means am I a beauty expert. Not even in my most far fetched dreams would this be true. However, I do wear makeup and I think I manage to do so without looking ridiculous. In fact, as bizarre as this is to me, people have complimented me on my makeup before, especially my eyeliner. I like to go with a slightly rockabilly style and have black eyeliner on my upper lid with a little flick or wing.

Some people have asked me how I am able to do it, and so I thought I’d just write about my two biggest eyeliner secrets.

#1 Practice makes better

It might not make you perfect, but practice will certainly make you better. It has taken many years of practising to get down the technique I use today for my eyeliner. To make my hand steadier and understand how to get a good flow takes repetition. It might be best to practice a few times when you don’t have much on that day, or when you are staying in, so you can get a feel for how to do it properly before you have a big night out. Having said this it is still a mysterious beast and I never seem to be able to do it exactly the same every time.  Maybe this is my lack of expertise but if you are a regular Jane like me, then don’t worry it you still have off days (even after years of experience).

# 2 Sometimes you have to roll with it

Be prepared to abandon your plans. Thought you’d do a nice thin line today? Well your hand just wobbled a little and now you will have to do a thicker line to cover it up. Over time you learn that sometimes it is easier and quicker to go bigger than to try and start again or fix the problem (smudging etc). You can use a cotton bud with a little coconut oil on it to try and fix little mistakes, but generally I tend to just go bigger to cover up. Which has meant going to work with slightly more glam heavy eyeliner than intended, but hey everyone just thinks I’m fabulous now!

Those are my top two tips for eyeliner and I hope they are helpful. Basically just grab a liquid or gel liner and go for it.

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P.S I use the GOSH Xtreme Liquid Gel Eye Liner Black but have used gel and felt style liners in the past. I really like this one though and find it has good staying power. Plus it’s cruelty free and vegan!

 

Tis the season…

For beautiful nails!

There are two nail products that I am really loving at the moment and I wanted to share them both with you.

I have a troubled history with my nails, as I have previously been a finger nail biter. It took a loooong time for me to stop, and now I have I am working to make my nails healthier and stronger. For this reason I don’t often like to wear nail polish as, although it helps stop me biting my nails (and looks pretty) it can often dry them out, especially if you forget to put on an undercoat because your in a rush. Sometimes you just don’t have time for 4 coats of nail polish (undercoat, 2 coats of colour and a top coat). All of the above is why I am SO super excited and in love with a new nail polish from Barry M – Coconut Infusion!

Unlike other nail polishes Barry M Coconut Infusion has coconut oil in it, which helps nourish and strengthen your nails whilst you wear it. They recommend not using an undercoat, as this will prevent the coconut oil goodness getting into your nail. So not only doe sit do good it is also easier to apply – that’s what I call a win win. As if this wasn’t enough I have also found it is super tough wearing! Last weekend I was doing lots of decorating (sanding, painting etc) and was prepared for my nail polish to be trashed by Sunday night. But there were only a couple of slight chips, which could be easily rectified so that on Monday it didn’t look like I’d lifted a finger all weekend!

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(https://www.barrym.com/product/Coconut-Infusion)

This actually brings me on nicely to the next nail product I want to rave about, GOSH Bain Dissolver nail polish remover. As pretty as nail polish can look, when it starts to chip and you realise you should probably take it off because you are starting to look too scruffy it can be a real pain in the bum. Have to use wipes or pads to scrub it all off can take a while and by the time you are done sometimes you can’t be bothered or don;t have the time to apply a fresh polish. That is why I am swooning for this new nail polish remover. You simply pop your finger in and pull it out and tah dah! No more nail polish. I had some fingers that required 2 dips but it is still so much cleaner, quicker and easier than how I’d done this task in the past. It also makes single nail touch ups easier, and you can remove polish from one nail without risking spilling/ rubbing it on any others. I believe Superdrug have an own brand version of this as well, which might be slightly cheaper, but I haven’t tried that yet.

(http://www.superdrug.com/GOSH/GOSH-Dip-In-Nail-Polish-Remover/p/404401)

Oh and both these products are cruelty free and vegan. I’m not sponsored by anyone, I just really like them and wanted to share them with you 🙂

Safe to say my nails are going to be looking much more colourful this summer!

 

 

 

 

Glasses

I wear glasses. I’ve needed them for the past 21 years, although have only really started wearing them properly in the last 5 or 6 years. By properly here I mean full time.

When I first got glasses I was 6 years old, and I was pretty good at wearing them at school. Then I decided I didn’t want to wear glasses because I didn’t look as pretty (a ridiculous sentiment I now realise). When I moved into my teenage years I did wear my glasses occasionally (my vision was getting worse and I was getting more headaches for not wearing them), but I didn’t really like any of the styles I could get from the high street. I wanted Kurt Cobain’s glasses. Well, I don’t know if they were glasses he wore often, but I remember seeing him wearing them in a picture and thinking, ‘Yes!!! Those are the kind of glasses I want!’ Alas, I could not find them and I was stuck in narrower frames.

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I went to uni, where I soon discovered I didn’t really have a choice but to wear my glasses. I was getting worse headaches and my vision was getting worse. It still isn’t awful, I can manage about 15 minutes glasses free in the morning before I get a headache, and even without my glasses I can still see, everything is just more like an original version of a 80’s TV show, just a little soft around the edge, and as for reading, forget it, no chance of me doing that without glasses! So I embraced wearing my glasses. I had ones with thick plastic frames, they were still narrow but it was a compromise. Naturally, towards the end of my teens I started feeling more confident in myself as well, and embracing ‘me’ more so it all kind of fell together. I started wearing glasses full time (not for showering or sleeping).

Then this wonderful thing happened to me, I discovered my independence! It didn’t happen at uni, well it was technically in a uni, but it was when I was working there after graduating. Financial independence really was the next step in me becoming more of my own person, and so I started to explore more of my own ways of doing things – whereas before I had just done things the way my parents had e.g. going to high street opticians and buying their expensive glasses. At that time a colleague was getting new glasses and brought in his free trial from Glasses Direct. This got me thinking, why haven’t I tried a service like this? So I started to investigate. Long story short, I’m now in love!

For the past 4 years I have gotten my glasses online from Glasses Direct and I love it. The free home-trial is great, as you can ask loads of different people and take selfies without feeling weird. After all when picking a set of frames you need to make sure they are Instagram worthy. It also means you can take a longer time to survey friends and relatives opinions (and then completely ignore them and get the ones you wanted any ways because it’s about pleasing yourself and not other people, after all it’s your face!)

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That’s me trying out sunglasses last year (you can get the lenses tinted when you buy them). Spoiler I went for number 1.

The ordering process is then also super simple, just get a copy of your prescription from your optician (note, they should give you a copy of this when you get an eye test done any way, so make sure you have it). Enter the prescription when prompted, choose lenses coating options (all much cheaper than I came across on the high street, we’re talking anti-scratch and anti-reflect which I cannot cope without now days). As I mentioned above you can then add a tint to the lenses to make them sunglasses. Place the order and then wait a couple days, to a couple weeks, and your glasses come in the post.

If you have plastic frames and you need to adjust the arms (make them shorter for example) this can easily be done with a hair-dryer and some gentle bending. I’ve done it successfully before, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Maybe I’ll make a video on how to do it at some point. In the meantime they do have advice on their website on doing all sorts of glasses adjustments.

This isn’t an advert for Glasses Direct by the way, I mean I guess it kind of is but they aren’t paying me. I wish they were. Hello Glasses Direct, if you need an advocate I am all in!

Last thing, I do have a code available as part of their ‘recommend a friend’ scheme. This is something that is open to all users. Basically if you use this link to order your first pair of glasses with them you get £30 off and I get a £15 Amazon voucher. There are certain Ts&Cs, for example the glasses have to be over £55 and not part of the boutique range, but check it out and see if there is anything you like!

https://glassesdirect.mention-me.com/m/ol/aap-domi-sinclair

 

 

 

Coconut oil as make-up remover

Anyone who knows me can testify that I wear a lot of make-up, in particular dark eye liner. I just love it.

[Insert selfie collage as evidence.]

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This looks great, but come bedtime it can be a real pain in the bum to get off. For many years I struggled with make-up wipes, rubbing my eyes red raw to get it all off and with my skin often stinging afterwards, due to the shear elbow grease that has been put into getting make-up off such a delicate area of skin. I didn’t feel this was very good for my long term eye or skin health, and longed for another answer, yet felt unsure of where to look as everything else I’d tried had failed and this just seemed the easiest solution.

Thankfully I found the answer, very much by accident, in a video posted to YouTube by Kiera Rose (who is a great YouTuber I recommend you check her out). She happened to mention that she uses coconut oil to remove make-up and I thought this sounded interesting. After doing some research of my own, I found that coconut oil does indeed seems to be one of these miracle natural products that has a 101 different uses, with make-up removal being among them.

It is also super simple to use and easy to get your hands on. You can find it in any mainstream supermarket, often with the cooking oils, although I am starting to notice it more in beauty aisles as well. Just a note, if you are using pure coconut oil it doesn’t matter which aisle you buy it from, so just get whichever one is cheapest/ looks nicest to you.

When you have your coconut oil I find it helpful to decant it into a smaller tub, just so it is easier to scoop up.

When you want to use it simply scoop a small amount on your fingers and rub them together a little to melt it a bit. Then rub it in a circular motion over your closed eyes, eyebrows, lips, wherever you have stubborn make-up you want to remove. You can then simply wipe it off with a cotton pad or similar, however once I have my face all oiled up I like to wash it off with soap and water. I then simply pat it dry with a towel and have beautiful make-up free skin 🙂

WARNING, this process will make you look like a panda temporarily.

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