Friday, November 18, 2011

The beauty secrets of a lazy bum.

The idea of me giving anyone beauty advice makes me giggle because I am such a lazy bum when it comes to getting all gussied up. Nevertheless, I will impart whatever wisdom I have picked up. In no specific order:

  1. I believe that healthy is beautiful. So taking care of your health is the first step towards looking and feeling your best. If I have good skin, I think it has more to do with the fact that I avoid tobacco,  alcohol and caffeine, than with what I put on my skin. Similarly, I think that my hair looks best when I try to keep it healthy by keeping my ends trimmed and not using a lot of heat or products in it. 
  2. Get your eyebrows professionally shaped at least once in your life. I'm a pretty faithful waxer, and like to get mine done about every six weeks. At least, ideally. I feel like it really helps me look more awake, and frames my eyes. Your eyes probably get the most attention of any of your facial features so you may as well make the most of them, right? Even if you are capable of grooming your own eyebrows at home, seeing a professional can help you learn new techniques or gain some new perspectives on how to look your best.
  3. Make the most of your best features - but not all at once. Personally, I like my eyes, my lips and my cheekbones. For every day makeup I like to keep my eyes and lips very simple (lip balm and mascara), but draw a bit more attention to my cheeks with blush. If I'm feeling a bit dressier, I might use a gold eyeshadow to play up my eyes a bit, or I might emphasize my lips with shiny, red lip gloss (yay!). But can you imagine what I'd look like if I did all three at once? Probably a bit like I fell headfirst into the MAC counter. Some people can pull off that look, but for the rest of us mere mortals, there is something to be said for the elegance found in simplicity. 
  4. Keep a secondary beauty stash. Somewhere you'll use it. A lot of women keep makeup for touchups in their purse, I keep a drawer in the downstairs bathroom. That way, when I need to "powder my nose," I can take a few seconds to powder my nose or brush my hair or whatever I need to. For a lazy person like me, not having to schlep all the way up to my own bathroom where I keep the bulk of my girly stuff can make all the difference in trying to look my best. 
  5. Beauty really does start within. Think kind, beautiful, generous thoughts. Give unselfishly. Smile as genuinely and as much as you possibly can. Love, and allow yourself to be loved. Find the beauty in the world and the people around you. Find happiness. There are few things more beautiful than a person who has learned to do these things. 
Personally, I think I am prettiest when I am happy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beauty secrets

Well hello,
This post very nearly slipped my mind as chaos ensued at the Stimpson household this evening (as per) but not quite. Tamsin and I are, clearly, both girls, and so this is something we're both looking forward to reading of each others.
Today, we're revealing our top beauty tips, or whatever, y'know, something to do with lip balm or something.
This is right up my street, as, for example, I keep a make-up bag in my school bag, but, not a pencil case, or, a pen.

No. 1
This is possibly a money saving tip, but, as I'm skint, I thought it was revolutionary, If, like me, your moisturiser cost you an arm and a leg (or like a finger) and it comes in a tube, when you think your out, your probably not out.
I took an empty glass moisturiser tub from my mum's bathroom, washed it and cut my tube of "empty" moisturiser in half, and then again, I was so shocked, I filled the whole tub up with what had just been stuck on the inside of the tube- It lasted me another month and a half!
This applies to anything- primer potions, lip glosses, there will be a whole lot stuck in your packaging you would have just thrown away- the reason I bought my Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream in the tub not the tube.

No. 2
Use hair oil.
If you want to, I have slightly too long for it's thickness hair, that's growing back after chopping about 5 or so inches off in June- and If I had one piece of advice it would be to use a hair oil through the length of your hair, especially if it's got a bit of length to it, I'm currently using a pure(ish) argon oil, and on my Christmas list is Moroccan oil, which I've tried in a sample and Is amazing, they're usually a bit more pricey, but the small size is about £13 here, and I'm sure It'd last for ages.
Often, I put a bit of oil on my face such as Bio-oil, before I put on my moisturiser, and It helps it sink in better as it's so concentrated, so rubbing some hair oil between your hands and just raking it through the ends makes your hair looks much sleeker.

No. 3 
Hair tools people.
I like my hair wavy, sexy, a little bit undone, and it's naturally very straight, so I have every curler going, I particularly like the brand babyliss- but I hear that it's US sister is conair, and If I had one tip for always looking on top of your game, it's to spend 5 minutes putting a few curls in your hair.
One of my pet peeves is when people use a ceramic hair curler to curl their whole hair, they often leave the curls as they are, and don't break them up, leaving them with really edged, sharp ringlets, even if you think you'll ruin it, take your hair brush, and brush your hair through from root to tip, it will still be really curly, but it'll look so much more sophisticated and cute.

No. 4 
Don't rub your concealer in.
I would always do that but you end up wiping most of the product away and especially if it's around your eyes it's bad for your skin, use your ring finger for the least pressure and pat it in.

No. 5
Try not to make things too complicated.
I am a make up junkie, and I've probably already got way too much, but with skin, just use a gentle cleanser (I've been using liz earle cleanse and polish for....ten years, probably longer, I have a vivid memory of my mum showing me how to use it just out of the box in my old house, so I could have been younger) an ALCOHOL FREE toner, otherwise it'll evaporate and dry your skin out, and a moisturiser, try to go organic where you can and don't overcomplicate things with a million products, I know that when I do I break out even more than normal (seventeen remember)

No. 6
I'm skint, always, as a student, so If I can say this, it's true. They always say a make-up artist is only as good as her tools, and recently that's something I've been really concious of, and I've been saving up and putting on my Christmas list a lot of make up brushes, The can be affordable, such as some I'm dying to get hold of,  Real techniques by Samantha Chapman- available here in the uk, and In Ulta in the USA, and Sigma, I'm also saving for some pricier ones from Jemma Kidd and MAC, I think they make such a difference to your application- and If, like me, you hate traditional foundation brushes, try a flat top buffing brush, I LOVE using one for foundation.

I guess because I'm always covering myself in lotion's and potions, I have really soft hands and feet, but for a super cheap way to have soft feet (and even hands) drown your feet in Vaseline before bed and put some old (clean) socks on, when you wake up, just get a towel and wipe off any excess Vaseline (so you don't slip) and your feet will feel like baby feet.

That's all I can think of for now, because I didn't want to be a hypocrite and tell you things that I don't do myself, However, I will leave you with a list of some of my favourite products at the moment, and obviously, as I'm a teenage girl, if anyone is looking for Christmas presents for a teenage girl, this might be about right.

Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream.
This Stuff is like a super luxurious, more concentrated Vaseline, and has a gel like texture, its sort of brown in colour, smells delicious, and I got a big pot in March, I use it a couple times a day, and it still looks like I haven't touched it, I think it'll take me about three years to get through, and you can use it for absolutely anything, for your lips, dry skin patches, burns... I love it.

Urban Decay naked palette
This is something I don't actually own yet, I've been stalking it in my local department stores and swatching it for MONTHS, it is a really gorgeous neutral eyeshadow palette, and If I'd of thought it through, I'd of got it instead of starting to make my own MAC palette, it comes with a primer potion and an eye-shadow brush, and you could do just about any neutral/smoky eye with it or just a subtle wash of colour, its £35 pounds over here, and sells like hotcakes, and I'm pretty sure every. single. woman reading would get so much use out of it, fail safe Christmas present.

Bourjois deliece de soleil bronzing powder.
Since the waiting list for Soleil tan de chanel is up until January, this is my favourite really inexpensive bronzer, any bronzer really, but the matter the better, is one product I would not be without for washed out days.

Coconut Oil
I don't find the brand matters, but put just about anywhere this stuff is amazing, also for the lengths of your hair- and my current obsession Miranda Kerr ingests four table spoons of the stuff a day? whilst that doesn't appeal to me, I love it for just about anything else, I used to have really bad eczema, and it often flares up in extreme weather, I like to put some on my skin then.

Liz Earle cleanse and polish 
As I mentioned, the gentlest cleanser ever, and it takes off all of my eye make up, it's also quite reasonably priced.

There truly are a million more, but my hands are aching, if you got this far, I really, really, really want to hear any beauty advise or must have products!
Stay tuned for Tamsin later in the week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How was your Halloween?

Did you have a good Halloween? Did you celebrate? Have you put away your pumpkins and dusted up the cobwebs for another year? Our pumpkins are still sitting somewhat forlornly outside the front door. Best intentions aside, we never got around to carving them, though, so maybe we'll just call them Fall decor for now, until someone has the presence of mind to escort them to the dumpster.

Our Halloween celebration was decidedly low-key this year. As you know, we didn't carve our pumpkins. We didn't go to the Halloween party (excuse me, "Harvest Party") at church. The only thing we bought for Espen's costume was a hat, and the rest we just pulled out of the closet. Our only real decorations were orange and black paper pumpkins and bats that we classily scotch-taped to the window, and I didn't even take pictures of those (what kind of a Mormon Mommy Blogger am I?!?) I didn't even buy candy until the afternoon of Halloween itself. Some might say I was seriously off my game.

Here's the thing, though: it was SO nice. It was just relaxed and fun. No, we didn't have anything to show off to the neighbors so they would know how cute and crafty we are, no, we didn't have the best candy, no, we don't have any photos of Espen in nothing but a diaper, coated with pumpkin guts, and no, Espen's costume probably wouldn't win any prizes. Unless the prize was for least amount of effort, or cutest contestant in a competition anywhere ever. Those would be in the bag!

In spite of all this apparent lameness, I am rating this as one of the best Halloweens ever, and here's why: I was allowed to get a glimpse of it all through Espen's eyes, and it was magical. Where we saw consumerism and cheapy costumes, Espen saw witches and dinosaurs and princesses coming to his house. Where we saw the mild embarrassment of taking our child begging door-to-door, Espen saw doors magically open for smiling friends to come out and give him candy (a recent love of his). Where we might have seen the annoyance of postponing dinner and bedtime, Espen found joy in going for a walk with his Daddy and Mama, while bees, ghosts, pirates and fairies surrounded us.

And it was magical.

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