Monday, 28 May 2012

Retail Therapy - Cosmetics

As I said in my post yesterday, I indulged in a spot of retail therapy to celebrate the end of my placement. I had been planning my perfect 'end-of-placement' weekend for the best part of a term, and I had factored some fairly heavy shopping into the equation. Let's see what I got then, shall we?
So, as well as buying birthday presents for my Dad and my Stepdad (I won't show you, as I've not given the presents to them yet, and I don't want to spoil any surprises!) I also treated myself to some new makeup, brushes, and handcream.
Looking at the photo above, it may have become clear to you that I chose to buy my makeup from Bobbi Brown this weekend. If you made that deduction, well done! I salute your investigative powers. I really do. However, having spent a fairly sizable wedge of money on the setting powder, blush and eyeshadows pictured above, I couldn't justify buying high-quality Bobbi Brown brushes, so I bought my blush and powder brushes from the Boots basic/cheapo range. They aren't bad brushes, although they (like the foundation and concealer brushes from the same range) tend to lose a couple of bristles with each use.
I went to the Bobbi Brown counter in the John Lewis on Oxford Street, and a very helpful sales assistant took me through what shades would suit me, and showed me how to apply them. Pictured, is the white setting powder, and a palate including (left to right) Blush - Nude Peach; Metallic Eye Shadow - Champagne Quartz, and Eye Shadow - Taupe. All of the colours appear darker in this picture, as it is taken indoors, with minimal natural light.  So far, I am very pleased with these products. If only I'd known how useful a setting powder could be, before now! Plus, I was always against blush or rouge of any kind, believing it went against my desire to cultivate my pallor. I couldn't be more wrong - I can stay super-pale how I like it, and the blush just makes me look less like I am on death's door. It doesn't make me orange or clownlike, as long as I am sparing!
I really enjoy any procedure where someone is doing something nice for me (oo-er), such as waxing, eyelash tinting, or having my makeup done. As a result, I can't recommend the Bobbi Brown sales staff enough! I've always had good experiences with them, and they know what they are on about, which definitely enhances the experience. Of course, they are trying to make a sale, but as I've got older, I've become more confident to say what I do and don't want.
Now, I don't know if this photo is really going to help to sell any makeup to anyone, as I am not exactly Kate Moss, but I was looking for really natural-looking makeup, and I definitely got it. I get a lot of joy from applying makeup; it is like art, in a way. I find all of the blending and matching great fun, which is one of the main reasons I wear makeup. In addition, I've been feeling fairly down about my appearance of late, and it is amazing what taking the time to apply makeup to one's face can do if one is in need of some self-care.
Finally, here is the Burt's Bees Almond Hand Cream that I bought. I wanted to get this a long time ago, but the school in which I was working, was a 'nut free zone', including cosmetics. I didn't particularly want to be responsible for anyone having an attack of the bad-nuts, so I held off on this purchase despite it smelling like HEAVEN. Oh good LORD, it smells good. I mean, if you don't like almonds, you'll hate it, but if you are an almond-enthusiast like me, it is your new best friend. The consistency is fairly greasy, which is to be expected from a heavy-duty hand cream with a beeswax base, but the incredible smell makes the greasiness worth it until it sinks in. LAHVLEH!
Stay tuned, folks, for more posts about my perfect weekend, including Eurovision funtimes, and an introduction to our beautiful new kitten!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

School's Out

For my last day at my school placement, I wore one of my favourite new-ish dresses. I had made a real effort to dress in a sober and professional way, and thought I'd go WILD (if by wild, you mean 'wear a dress with a peter pan collar like normal'...) I was allowed to leave at midday, which was the beginning of a very lovely weekend! More on that later.
My neck looks freakishly long here, but I'm not complaining. I like the way this photo shows off the detail on the dress. This particular dress is simultaneously EXACTLY my thang, and quite different to my usual thang... It has a round collar, and includes a bow detail, which is definitely a common feature in my wardrobe these days, but on the other hand, that colour combination is not like any of my other dresses, nor is the pattern a defined 'thing', such as polka dots, or flowers. It reminds me of a Monet painting in a way. The cardigan has short sleeves, and I've had it for a million years. Not long after I got it, I safety-pinned this little silk rose to it, and it has stayed there ever since. Silk roses are great additions to clothes, I find. You can get them super-cheaply in craft and fabric shops, and all you need is a safety pin and you're away!
As you can see, there's not a proper 'full outfit' shot, as I do not (yet) have a remote for my camera, and self timer seems to always put me in a flap. Dan was working late a lot last week, so it was back to the old-school self-portraiture that I associate with my teenage years. I spent the rest of my weekend shopping, celebrating Eurovision, and preparing the house for our new kitten. Stay tuned for blog posts about my makeup haul and review, my outfit for Eurovision, and pictures of our newest family member.
Of course, I wore my old faithful DMs. They have been my go-to shoes for a while now, and I just love them. Once I broke them in, they easily became my most comfortable shoes. They go with almost all of my clothes (although I try not to wear them with red or pink tights), and I can wear them as happily on a country walk as I could in the middle of the city.
However, much as I love these beauties, with summer well and truly underway, I've challenged myself to vary my shoe-choices. So, after I've posted the next outfit or two, expect some shoe-variation! I bet you can't wait...
Dress: Topshop, Cardigan: The depths of the past... possibly H&M. Silk Rose: Fabric Land (Brighton).