Starting off: Blusher

Wow, this is mega late! I’ve been super busy at work and a bit ill recently which has delayed my blogging significantly. So massive apologies fellow SO Project bloggers!!

I really wanted to start this weeks post off with a clip of Sarah Millican’s makeup shopping story. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clip on the interwebs so it’ll just be me again.

Blusher is used to add colour back in to the cheeks; to give you a nice healthy rosy cheek glow, and to stop you looking pasty and like one of the Cullens’. I’ve not really bothered with blusher in the past as I’ve got very sensitive skin, which often results in me having very red cheeks. As I don’t like to wear full cover foundation very often, I tend to avoid blusher too.

However, last year after having discovered Estee Lauder double wear, I decided I clearly needed blusher to stop me looking so pasty faced. I researched for hours  before finding me some good advice on which shades would go well with my skin tone. This is what I found: for pale skin, lighter shades are better. Pinks & peaches or pinky peaches are good, but AVOID anything more coral coloured, it will be too dark or harsh. They are much more suited to those with a darker skin tone.

With this in mind, I went on a sopping mission and  found myself this:

Boujois shade 37: Rose Pompom.

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So to apply blusher, you simply brush on to the cheek bone and blend outwards towards your hairline; simples! If I ever feel like I’ve put to much on, I try and blend over with the makeup sponge I used to apply my foundation, normally it has small amount on non absorbed liquid on there and simply helps to tone it down. I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but that’s just my routine.

So that’s it, not much else to say really. Don’t apply too much, make sure you pick the right shade for your skin. I’m not an expert on that unfortunately.

For anymore information and application techniques please check out: The Makeup Chair and Goss Makeup Artist this is where I get all my videos from and they are full of wonderful tips and techniques. Don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!

Next week: Mascara

I will be enlisting the help of my good friend Bird for the next couple of weeks as having awful eyesight means I can’t apply eye makeup too well without my glasses on and I can’t wear contacts or get laser eye surgery, so I don’t tend to buy much or spend much money on it. She is a wealth of knowledge to me in this department.

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Forums and social networking: the good, the bad and the (I’m pretty sure they are) ugly

This may or may not come as a bit of a shock to those who know me, but I have very little confidence and possibly even less self esteem. I can often be heard to say “I hate people” but in fact I only really ‘hate’ people (in general; you are all lovely individually…okay, most of you are) because people are my biggest phobia.

I live in constant fear of new social situations; am I being polite enough, would it be best to make a joke, should I not say anything at all? When I’m out and about if someone I don’t know starts talking to me about the weather or road works or anything in general I tend to panic and have a full on physical reaction – racing pulse, shallow breathing, shaking and nausea.

Despite all of this, lately I’ve been attempting to branch out in order to reach a wider audience and also to seek advice, and talk to like minded people. So far, most of the experience has been positive. I’ve chatted to some very lovely people on Twitter through the SO project, and (hopefully) made some new friends. Unfortunately, I’ve also hit the downside pretty quickly too. Allow me to fill you in with a LONG (possibly dull) story…

I’ve always been interested in photography; I can’t go anywhere or to any kind of event without a camera, whether that be my phone or my point and shoot. It makes a good tool for blogging (as you other bloggers will know) and I also think I’m pretty good at it – composing shots and the like. I am however, a complete amateur and have recently decided I want to upgrade my camera to either a bridge or a DSLR in an attempt to learn the art of photography properly.

I went about it in what I felt was a sensible way; asked a few friends (by a few, I mean one) and once I knew what I was after and my budget, I looked at some forums. Several others seemed to be asking for similar advice to myself and I noticed a lot of responses were a bit harsh, such as there not being enough detail about budget or what the camera would be for. So, I took it upon myself to write out a fairly lengthy post, stipulating what I needed, what my budget was, my skill level (zero) etc. I thought I’d hit all the important ‘marks’; oh how I was wrong…

I mainly got cocky replies, very few being helpful. These included pointing out that bridge cameras are not DSLRs (I had noticed thank you, especially after specifying I’d prefer a bridge to a DSLR) as well as several cameras that I should buy instead that are out of my stipulated price range.  Thanks for nothing! I spent more time defending my position than receiving advice on what to buy.

I chose forums and specifically the boards aimed at beginners so that I might get patient advice from others who would appreciate I am a complete amateur and, considering the others on the forum should (in theory) also be amateurs (yes some a lot more advanced non-professionals, but still) I thought there would be some patience there. I expected some queries maybe asking for a few more specifics; am I prepared to buy second hand etc and a few suggestions of what features I should/should not be concerned with.

I went to bed on Saturday night incredibly upset, with what little confidence I still possessed battered and bruised. My husband, who is possibly one of the kindest and most patient people I know (especially with regard to my many ‘quirks’) told me not to take it to heart and try again in morning. Sure enough, when I awoke on Sunday morning, there in my inbox was a message reply posted on one of the forums. Some kind soul had taken my post for exactly what it was and offered me some constructive advice.

It was on the back of this that I then posted again in the forums and finally saw some pleasantries appear out of the woodwork. I then (in a shockingly brave move by me) decided, on the spur of the moment to join that evening’s LBloggers’ chat on Twitter. It’s (not really) ironic in that this week’s topic was positive vs negative posts, considering I’d already started writing this. There was a good range of opinion put forward and everyone was really nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the chat and spoke to some lovely people.

Roll on this morning then…I decided to put forward the idea of buying a second hand entry level DSLR, which is within my budget. On the first of the forums in question, everyone seemed to think it would be better than any bridge camera I would choose to buy. On the second however, someone suggested I should skip entry level and go for something more advanced, which I can’t afford. They have renamed my budget as ‘my self-imposed limit’. That self imposed limit, folks, is called my bank balance! Then finally, on the third, I got this:

Well, it’s not a bridge camera nor will you find it within your set budget.

Perhaps it would be better not wasting people’s time

Well **** you then!

I am incredibly frustrated, I used to enjoy posting on message boards with like minded people ‘back in the day’, but someone always comes along and ruins the fun, which is why I stopped. This was like a cold, bitter reminder.

It is a shame, as I’ve been a bit more adventurous by joining The SO project and participating in the Twitter chats on a Tuesday night, (and the LBloggers chat as well now on Sunday). This luckily for me has been a mainly positive experience (granted, I could probably be a bit more active in the chat rather than cowering overwhelmed as the links and posts roll in; but I find myself with a million tabs open, trying to read through and comment on as many as possible) and everyone has been lovely and pleasant to chat to, sharing ideas and suggesting new products to try. It was off the back of this new found confidence that I decided to try seeking help in forums. I mistakenly thought the creatures that inhabit them would be just as kind and friendly.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you had some disastrous encounters on a forum or Twitter or other social network? Do you know anything about cameras? Please comment below!

In the mean time, I’m still very much looking forward to the SO project chat tomorrow night despite me not posting this week and to the next LBloggers’ chat next Sunday!

Starting Off: Concealer

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If you hadn’t guessed already, I am bit lazy when it comes to beauty. I think this is what makes me a bit different in the starting off project; I don’t do anything complicated, I like being able to things as quickly and effectively as possible. I often like to go barefaced because of this; if my skin looks good, I’d rather not cover it up. However, there do come days when the odd blemish or the demon pimple appear and even I am vain enough to cover it up.

This week we’re looking at concealer.

TEENAGERS: After a good skincare routine, concealer is your BEST friend and secret weapon! 

What is it? Well it’s used to cover up any spots, blemishes and general imperfections on your face, including those horrid black circles under your eyes. Those of you who are younger teenagers probably won’t have this problem, though those of you who wear glasses might find that they do.

I’m relatively new myself at covering up under the eyes, (I generally just try to hide them with my glasses) so the main focus of my concealer post will look at mainly covering up blemishes and the dreaded Vesuvian-esque spot, but there will be a bit on under eyes later on.

I started wearing concealer in school, well before I started wearing makeup/foundation etc. I tended to use it when I had a massive eruption somewhere roughly the size of Lady Gaga’s hair, and only really in a dire emergency. I became a regular user when I was in college and contracted Impetigo after a college holiday to London (I’m convinced I was in fact allergic to London). Not knowing what on earth had overtaken my face, I was (with good reason) far too self conscious to leave the house and attend a friend’s birthday party till my mother kindly went and bought me some more concealer with which to cover it. By the next morning however, the rash had gone from being a few obvious but small red patches to have taken over the lower part of my face and took some considerable effort to cover up. However, for the first time in years I did notice my skin looked much better than it ever had when I hadn’t contracted a highly contagious face disease.

So, first things first, covering up a blemish. This is so much easier shown via video than described, so sorry if you’re not keen on watching videos, but this was the best video I came across and is much more detailed than I could ever describe:

This is pretty much the technique I use to do this, though I must admit before watching this I always used a finger or the applicator that came with it; I’ve never had the inclination to buy a special concealer brush (okay, okay shock horror of FGSJ does #theSOproject part 3: I only own 2 make up brushes, one for foundation and one for blusher. I’m sorry, I promise to fix this later in the project when we all start recommending make up tools) and hadn’t thought of trying to use a cotton bud, they really are genius!!

Technique aside, the main things to take from this video are:

  • Don’t use the same concealer for under your eyes as for blemishes. You want something lighter for lightening and brightening under your eyes, and you want a concealer as close to your own skin tone as possible for covering blemishes to make it look as natural as possible.
  • Foundation first or second? It’s up to you which way round you do concealer for covering blemishes. I prefer to do it afterwards, but do any under eye coverage before foundation.
  • Remember to use powder on top to avoid creasing.

My favourite choice of concealer, which I’ve used for years is without a doubt is this from Rimmel:

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It is apparently the UK’s most popular choice of concealer, I don’t know if this is true but it certainly does a good job and only costs £3.99. However, I’ve recently opted for a cheaper choice by Collection, as it was, well, cheaper costing only £1.99 and seemed to match my skin tone a slight bit better, I have yet to try it out though. Last year I also pushed the boat out and purchased myself some Estee Lauder Double Wear liquid concealer to go with my Double Wear Foundation for my wedding day, and this currently is my favourite go to product on a really bad day; when I don’t want to wear a full face of make up and would rather go bare faced or go ‘nudey faced’ as I like to call it. It doesn’t budge at all, feels really light, doesn’t crease and gives good coverage. It is however, mega expensive at £21.

I set my concealer in place with Lush’s Emotional Brilliance (big shout out and massive thank you to Pixie Anna for collecting this for me as I had completely run out!).

For those rare occasions that I do in fact use concealer under my eyes, I use my Lush Jackie Oates colour supplement (which I also use occasionally as foundation/make tinted moisturiser) and once again, set it using Emotional Brilliance. Now this isn’t something I’m great at, so again, I’ll let the video do the talking:

I tend to use the damp sponge technique though until I watched this I didn’t dampen the sponge, (yes I learnt something new AND whilst I may not own many brushes, I do love a good sponge, so there!)

So there  you have it, my imparted wisdom on concealer. Surprisingly still a relatively long post for a short subject; it’s amazing how much there is to say about one tiny product.

Next week: Foundation.

Starting off: The Introduction #theSOproject

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, feel free to check me out @fgsjblog) may have noticed that I recently posted this:

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The Starting off Project is the brainchild of Steph from Steph’s Inside Voice (http://stephsinsidevoice.blogspot.co.uk/) and the aim is for a group of bloggers (now quite a large group with well over 100 of us involved) to each post at exactly the same time over the next 10 weeks an introduction to a particular beauty product, including experiences, recommended products, how we each use it etc, to try and create a plethora of blogging knowledge for those just ‘starting off’ with their beauty regime.

I am, admittedly a bit of a dunce when it comes to using a lot of products due to a mixture of very sensitive skin, allergies, my awful eyesight (it is not good being long sighted when trying to apply certain products with your glasses off) and in all honesty, pure laziness. But that’s kind of why I really wanted to take this amazing opportunity and get involved,  I know it’s because of this that I will have a different perspective to many if not most of the other bloggers involved in the project.

The first post will be about skin care, and all posts go live Tuesdays at 6pm. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Back to school shopping…

It’s that time of year again, and as the holidays draw to an end new clothing and supplies must be purchased. So once again, I am after jeans and trousers that will look good, be the right size and preferably the right length.

Dorothy Perkins is having an online denim sale with up to 30% off, which sounded good to me.  I was all prepared to put in an order until I discovered that our local store for collection is temporarily closed during a term of refurbishment. This would mean paying full whack for delivery, and that would mean the discount would essentially not be worth anything.

I popped along to Asda, who unfortunately also let me down. Their selection, whilst quite extensive, is still much to be desired. Their trousers are also lacking in my size, as it would appear that every other woman with my figure have gotten there before me. I must however give Asda some big, and I mean BIG props for adding short and extra short lengths to their bigger sizes of both jeans and trousers. Unless they were in fact sold out in larger sizes, size 20 appeared to be the biggest I could find in extra short length. This is a massive leap forward though for us shorties and also extra shorties who are extra large or extra small.

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M&S have some nice looking jeans in their sale, but unfortunately are also sold out in my size – at least in short length. I am however tempted to buy them in a size smaller in the hope of slimming into them in the near future.

Until then though chaps, I’m still looking for back to work attire as those perfect jeans are still proving elusive…

She’s alive!!

Sorry for the (epic) delay in posts, but I am currently suffering from death by computer. Not sure how much longer the laptop is going to last, it is quite literally falling apart to the point in which I am using my tablet’s Bluetooth keyboard to type this post.

In exciting news, I have finally gone down a jean size – how happy am I?! In less exciting news, I’m still looking for some decent ones to wear. My latest mission was on my sister’s recommendation to try jeggings. They were definitely not a good look on me! They were clingy in all the wrong places and far too long (as per usual). So another one bites the dust. On a plus side, as it is summer I’ve been mostly wearing dresses and so far the lack of jeans is not a problem.

This brings me to my second first world problem: tights. Dearest Tesco, when one orders your nude tights, which are advertised as being a creamy colour and pale as a blood deprived Edward Cullen on a rainy day that is what I expect to receive. I have bought these tights from you on several occasions and they have never failed to live up to expectations until now. I certainly don’t expect to receive ‘natural’ coloured tights, which give the vague impression that I ‘naturally’ chose to cover my legs in Fake Bake. As it happens, your basics range are of such poor quality and so thin that they don’t look too odd at all, which is rather lucky. Seriously, why advertise them as one colour when clearly you are stocking another?!

Ranting aside though, I have been rediscovering my love for Lush’s Melting Marshmallow Moments and Rose Jam Bubbleroons and they’ve been doing marvelous things for my skin!