I was born in the mid eighties, so it was in the nineties that I started experimenting with make up. It started with looking through my mums bathroom cabinet and trying out the sparse amount of products she owned. She has wonderful sparkly blue eyes, very different from the brown eyes I'd inherited from my dad, so the few products she used were aimed to enhance her icy tones. This didn't stop me adding some silvery blue to my eyelids and a shimmery pink to my lips, even though all the magazine were telling me that I should be opting for plum, dark green and bronze tones. I think at that age you just want to be able to partake in the activity of applying make up, any make up, because you want to feel grown up. The results were always very...ummm....nineties.
More recent beauty tutorials and articles have stated that blue/navy can actually look wonderful against brown eyes, so I feel I've been given the green (or blue) flag to delve into a bit more colour.
Due to the huge 90's resurgence beauty brands have expanded their portfolio on a huge level, offering a ridiculous amount of eyeliners, shadows, lipsticks and mascaras in vivid and out-there colours. I know if you are used to trying to achieve the natural look, a smokey eye being your most daring look, then it may be a bit intimidating. From someone who has pretty much had the same make up look for ten years, let me urge you to experiment. It is a lot of fun and you end up discovering some fab new looks for evenings, festivals and holidays.
Before we get into the review.....
You have may noticed a new metal addition to my face in these images...but I have a confession...It isn't real. I have toyed with getting a nose piercing for years, but because my parents absolutely hate them (and I still find it hard to rebel against their views) and because I am prone to reacting to things pretty badly, I haven't gone for it. I still had a craving for the accessory though, and seeing that it appears to be more acceptable to fake it these days, I found some really affordable silver sings on Etsy. Still not sure whether it suits me or not...What do you guys think? Be honest with me....am I too old looking to pull it off?
I wasn't sure how much I was going to like the look on me as a fairly grown up person....let's face it, I'm no spring chicken, so I didn't want to fork out a lot of money. Collection is hugely popular amongst the respected beauty bloggers, so I was happy to try theirs, even though at an extremely affordable £2.99 you may think it would be dinstinctly average a product. I also plumped for that particular one because it was that beautiful electric blue, some of the others were either turquise or a too subtle midnight blue.
The formula has a good balance..thick enough to add volume and length, but thin enough to separate the lashes. It wasn't quite as volumising and lengthening as my faithful Lancome Hypnose, but it was hard to tell if that was because it was in blue rather than dramatic black. This is a great blue mascara if you want to wear it in the day, as it isn't overpowering, but very pretty when enhanced by sunlight.
I wanted to see if I could enhance the effect of the blue, by using some other products...many of which also have that nineties vibe.
I bought this pallette for a mere £6 in Superdrug yesterday, which is a bargain when you consider what some well known brands charge. I thought this was the perfect pallette for me considering it has the more natural earthy tones as well as those wonderdul jewel tones for evening and Autumn/Winter. I applied the purple on the bottom row as I thought it would be nice paired with the electric blue of the mascara. I added highlight on my brow bone with the white and put a smidge of the pale gold in the centre of my lid.
Like the good ol' days I had a rummage through my mums cabinet and found this nineties'esque beaut of a lipstick. I thought the shimmery purple would be perfect in nailing that frosted slightly cheap look. It's ok to look a bit cheap, if you do it on purpose, right?!
MISS SPORTY - New Age
Instead of using my usual black felt liner on my top lid I thought i'd go for this blue liner I bought in Marseille. The colour is lovely, but it was more subtle than I was hoping. It's navy rather than electric, and unfortunately it's waxy nature makes it hard to swipe over the lead, and very difficult to blend. I ended up returning to my usual L'oreal Superliner just to add some definition to the edges of the lash lines.
Deborah Milano - Extra Eye Pencil
I still wanted to up the oomph factor so rummaged in my beauty drawer for those sets and palletes I had deemed too extreme in the past. I found this Maybelline Big Eyes pallette, with this stunning blue within it, which I thought would be perfect at amping up the effect of the mascara.
I added the vibrant blue along the lower and upper lash lines which instantly made my eyes look more alive.
I turned to my favourite New ID Blushes to add a bit of girly flush to the cheeks, using the lightest powder to highlight the nose bone.
I am yet to try blue mascaras from other brands, but this Extreme mascara by Collection is definitely a great introduction into coloured lashes.....but I must warn you not to watch anything sad while you wear it. I watched some kids getting puppies on YouTube and ended up with a blue face....smurf style for the win!
So, would you dare to sport a nineties blue lash??
As you will see from my recent Instagram spamming, I left the country again. This time for a weekend jaunt to Marseille with some gal pals of mine. Quite a few of us have gone through some stressful times of late, so it couldn't have arrived at a better time. We were extremely ready for chill time, rants about annoying home stuff and boys, singing loudly to Nu Metal classics, and eating lots of yummy french food.
It was quite a random collection of ladies, some of us having only met eachother briefly once in a group setting, but we had been united by a need and mission for some good ol girl time.
Going on holidays with people can be quite revealing. The change of conditions, cultures and climates can bring out different sides of people you thought you knew well, and expose the quirks you hadn't witnessed when meeting them for small doses at a time. So you can understand I was slightly daunted by the prospect of going on holiday with some ladies I barely knew, and some good pals I had never travelled with. Miraculously it all turned out pretty well....although I think they were shocked at how bad my diet was and the distinct lack of vegetables on my lunch and dinners plates.
Thankfully are mutual need for a recoup meant we were all on the same page in terms of wanting to lay on the beach, punctuating with the odd cocktail, and ending the day with a scrummy dinner in a cute square.
But as well as my lack of love of the green and healthy stuff, there was another way I differed from the gang. I am the only one minus tattoo ink. They all have very different, but all equally cool bits of artwork on their bodies, and I am still very much a blank canvas. However I did have some fake jewellerty tatts in my possession that would prove to bond the group together.
We were getting to that point in sunbathing where we felt we were turning into crispy bacon so decided to seek out a shaded spot where we could refresh ourselves with a Mojito. This seemed the perfect time to get the Bohemian Tatt Sheets out and bling our beach bods. The girls had been joking (half joking) that we would be getting matching holiday ink, so I was hoping this would keep them that at bay for a bit longer.
I used to love transfer tattoos when I was a kid, I was particularly fond of my Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle ones. But if you never indulged as a youngster, they are extremely easy to use. You simply use scissors (or careful ripping) to choose your chosen design from the sheet. Remove the clear plastic protective covering, and place the design face down on the skin. Make sure the skin is dry and clear of anything greasy. Once it has been placed on the skin exactly where you'd like it, pour or dab water on it. Make sure it is completely saturated in the water, leave for a few seconds, then lift up the paper. The metallic design should be left on your skin. SIMPLE!
We all found it surprisingly fun putting these glam temporary tattoos - I'm not sure whether it was because it made us feel nostalgic, whether it was because they were so glitzy and appealed to our girly nature, or simply because it was something we could all do together...who knows? When you think of girls nights in though, we love to do things together like all putting on face packs....
So if you have a festival or holiday coming up why not buy a set between you that you can share and have fun putting on each-other.
The weather forcast predicted sun and heat so instead of putting on a bra I went for a super skimpy bikini top so I could aim to reduce some of my blinding white bits. But alas, the forecast was incorrect....shock, horror, right?
Us Brits are used to it. We expect disappoinment. We expect rain and grey skies. No wonder we've had to develop such a rich sense of humour!
So if you're a lazy bugger like me and you don't want to change and admit complete defeat, you find a quick cover up item in your wardrobe. Quite often you'll turn to your fave throwover tee or a zip up hoodie. On this day I thought I turn to an old pale green knit jumper I haven't worn for years. It occured to me that it is the perfect summer throw on.
Its neautral tone makes it ideal for those days where the skies have clouded over but you don't want to completely transition to autumnal hues. The knit is lightweight and semi sheer so you can see the pattern of your bikini through it, and not get sweaty should the conditions turn to muggy.
I teamed with white jeans, just to keep the overall look fresh and semi summery despite its covered up nature. I know for a while White Jeans were the black sheep of the denim family....people either thought they were very upper class trying to be glam/casual (Liz Hurley) or that they looked a bit chavvy. I feel like the fashion community have embraced them again now though, realising their potential for being part of some very wearable summer looks for those in locations that don't always supply heat or rays.
Oh I've been meaning to mention this necklace for a while. I had some antique opal (my birthstone) earrings passed down to me - a family heirloom sort of thing. They were stunning but I knew I'd never wear them as I have rather sensitive ear holes. Although on occasion I would admire them in their box, they would never be showcased in the way they were intended. I didn't want to sell them, but I didn't want their beauty to be wasted. So I decided I'd get one turned into a pendant to put on a chain - I knew I would get wear out of it that way. So I took it to a few local jewellers to see if it was feasible and got a few quotes. Pictured above is the finished result. When I get enough money I'll get the other earring turned into a ring. I just wanted to tell you this, because sometimes we fall out of love with an item or think it isn't really our style anymore, but with just a little tweaking, editing or customising, it can be given a whole new lease of life and become one of your most loved possessions.
When I think of perfect heels I think Manolo, when I think of a classic two piece suit or quilted bag I think Chanel, when I think of amazing sixties prints I think Pucci....when I think of a bikini I think TRIANGL.
All of my favourite fashion, beauty and travel bloggers have posted pictures of them looking beach perfect in their various TRIANGL bikini's - with backdrops of white sands and azure water. The suits always seem to fit so well, enhancing each of their bodies and making them all look super body confident. The brand's design and aesthetic is so distinctive you can easily spot them on your insta explore page. The fact that so many brands have attempted to copy their most recognizeable sets shows how iconic they've become within this generation of bloggers, selfie takers and image makers.
I am very conservative when it comes to shopping though, I don't tend to buy designer, particularly when it comes holiday items, as I I am so prone to losing, forgetting, damaging, breaking pretty much everything that I come into contact with. It has never made sense for me to spend hundred of pounds on sunglasses I'd eventually squash with my bottom, or bury in the sand, or on a bikini I will stain with a cheap sunscreen or a spilled poolside cocktail.
I never thought I'd own a TRIANGL bikini for this very reason...then last week I get a lovely email from their blogger outreach saying they'd love to send me one. I couldn't believe it! What a lovely treat ahead of my girly weekend in Marseille. I was so excited to see whether it would do wonders for my body like it seemed to do for all those ladies I'd studied on Instagram....
The next challenge was to choose which style to go for. I never thought I'd have to make this choice, so hadn't prepared myself for how tricky it'd be.
Their most well known style is probably their structured ones, brightly coloured with the colour panels outlined by black piping. Knowing how hard it is for me to find structured/underwired bras that perfectly fit my boobs I thought that would be a risk, considering I wasn't going to be trying it on first.
To help with this quandary I looked through the beautiful array of ladies on the TRIANGL girls tab on the website and came across bronzed brunette goddess @CELINESCHH in the Chloe (California Coral). After a bit of umming and arring and conferring with my Mum and fella, we decided this was 'the one'.
You might wander why I faffed and agonised over the choice. There are a few reasons. First of all I have nightmare boobs that fluctuate drastically - they've been B's and they've been weighty E's. At the moment I'm somewhere in the middle, but it could change at any time. This makes buying underwear and bikini's a nightmare. I didn't want to request this beautiful bikini and then not be able to wear it for fear of an escaped nip or for having room for a potato in each cup. It also means that without support they are a bit of a saggy mess, because they've been filled and emptied so many times over the years. Think snooker balls in the end of sock. I thought if I go for a bikini that you tie at neck and back at least it has some room for adjustment - a good bit of hoisting.
I also know that it won't everyday I get to own something of this quality so I'd like to make the most opportunity and get something I'll adore and wear to death.
Now, for the predominant reason. As a blogger I don't feel comfortable accepting gifts unless I do post instagrams/videos/blogs about the product, which is why I only work with brands or products I genuinley like, love, or have an opinion worth sharing on. Unfortunately this approach and mindset can sometimes mean having to do something which is a bit scary.....in this case posting a picture of myself in a bikini on Instagram.
For me, so much comes with posting such a shot on Instagram. You put yourself up for scrutiny whenever you put a picture of yourself up, but even more so when exposing the body...you have to prepare yourself for whatever comments or opinions may follow. You also want to promote body confidence to the impressionable youth that will be scrolling through pictures and pondering what is 'normal'. I could go on....You also don't want people to think that because you're posting a picture of yourself in your scanties that you are arrogant or up your own bottom. Isn't it awful that we/I even think like that.....surely we should look at anyone posting a picture of themselves looking happy in their own skin as a positive thing!!
To be honest with you, a few months ago I was feeling a lot less concerned about body shape, size. tone etc, figuring that because I'm no spring chicken my priorities of changed, I have a bit more perspective on things, and know that I'd rather fret about more imporant things....rather than my wobbly bot bot and squidgy thighs. Then I saw some blof picture of myself where the sun shone on my orange peel and really showcased my recent half a stone weight gain. I found myself feeling insecure and down about my lack of fitness. I was annoyed at myself for feeling like that, particularly as I don't exercise and eat a lot of crap. I only have myself to blame.
Rather than moan and obsess about it and getting increasingly upset by the comments I was getting, I decided to either accept that at my age my metabolism isn't as majestic as it once was and that I'd have to deal with the fact that I'd continue to see changes in my body, or I'd had to start making changes to what and how much I put in my body...and/or start to fit exercise into my daily routine.
This epiphany happened 3 days before my girly weekend in Marseille, so it was too late to have any impact on the photos I'd end up posting, but even the three mornings of 10 mins Yoga and a couple of 20 minute runs made me feel bit healthier, mentally.
The material of the bikini is thick and robust ( like a wetsuit) and clings to your curves, the strength of the fabric nipping in and lifting where possible. The pants are very brief, but this is great of you are looking to maximise your tan. The baby pink hue also worked great at upping the illusion of bronzed skin. A halter neck is known for being beneficial for those with larger breasticles, so I was very pleased I opted for this design. It definitely helped me to achieve the illusion of full and uppity boobs....my mate even said that my boobs looked perky....my boobs....perky!? Having seen my boobs for the last 15 years looking everything but perky, this made me extremely chuffed, and made me want to give the bosses at Triangl a big ol smooch.
I can't tell you how cringe it is to ask your non blogger holiday friends to take blog pictures for you....hence why I haven't nailed the normal Triangl girl poses. I find it impossible to be sexy as it is, but attempting to schmize and look alluring in front of your gal pal is absolutely mortifying.
I know some people aren't that fussed about aesthetics, packaging, and the bonus superficial stuff, but I have always loved the extra details that go into a product - from a cool but functionable website, to a novelty or surprise gift with a purchase, to a personalised message from the brand, or some rather swish gift wrapping.
When the package arrived it instantly screamed quality. The top and bottom were separated into their own branded protective plastic sealed bags, and were found within a neoprine drawstring bag in the same design and colour of the bikini.
So this obvisouly looks great, but it has practical purposes too. Due to the nature of neoprine it is reccommended they are kept flat to avoid creasing and lines in the material. It's also handy if you are having one last beachy moment before heading to the airport, having a thick bag to put your wet swimsuit in.
Any excuse to put in pictures of darling Rosie
I got the fella to snap me in the bikini on a hot day in the garden the other day, because I predicted I'd find it too awkward to pose in public on my holiday with the girls. So here are some pics where you can see the bikini nice and clearly and I'm not quite as sweaty.
Like Zoe London said in her recent bikini post - finding the right set can go a long way in making you feel happy and confident on holiday. I had never understood my friends that put in some much effort and/or money into buying underwear....but getting the foundations right is so important to how you feel. So if you are only wearing your foundations (lets face it a bikini is pretty much wearing your underwear in public) it will effect how you carry yourself - the smiles will increase, and your self body shaming will decrease.
I felt so happy in this set because it was right for my body shape - giving me a helping hand where it is needed most. Finding a style that enhances your unique shape and taps into your own style preferences will change everything. I wasn't tarnishing my time away with stresses or insecurities, I was simply concerned with embracing the wonderful location and making gorg future memories with my girls.
So while I want to say a big thank to my bikini for helping me embrace my beach times whole heartedly, I also want to shout-out to the holiday girls. The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on how you feel, and being with a bunch of supportive, confidence boosting pals was instrumental in the creation of this happier bikini wearer.