What Does Make-Up Mean to You?

Why do you Wear Make-Up?

I am guessing that if you are here, then make-up is probably quite a big part of your life (or maybe not, everyone is welcome here).  But what does it mean to you? Do you feel you need it to cover something up; or is it to enhance what you already have? Perhaps you just love to play, and don’t take it seriously at all.  Perhaps it is your job.  Or maybe you are artistic, and make-up is a way to be creative.

 

20160109-DSC_0372

 

 

Having two daughters now, the eldest of which is four, has caused me to question exactly what part make-up plays in my life.  I plan to revisit the topic of make-up and children at a later date, because I think it is important.  For now though, I will say that I want my girls to find make-up fun.  I want them to know they are beautiful without, but if they want to experiment, then I will support that.

 

What Does Make-Up Mean to Me?

The way I feel about make-up is a little bit of everything above (except for the job part, make-up artistry is a bit too touchy-feely for me).  Fortunately for me, I don’t have any major flaws to cover, and I am perfectly happy going out without it to the school, or supermarket.  However, anything further, and I will apply something.  Is that because I look hideous without it? No. It is simply that I enjoy the process of priming, concealing, highlighting and all the other bits in between.  Because of various body-confidence issues, I have a complicated relationship with clothes (and food for that matter), but make-up is different.  You don’t need a never-ending budget, or even a huge amount of skill, to look presentable.  You can do the same look day in day out, or you can look like a different person from one day to the next.  I am not averse to spending an hour getting my face ready, when time allows.  This isn’t because of vanity, although I am sure to some it would seem that way.  It is simply my way of relaxing in a hectic – and at times stressful – day.

Do I wear it to attract men? In all honesty, no.  Of course, I am married, so I am not looking to attract anyone else, but I don’t apply make-up with my husband in mind either.  Is that wrong?! If I was trying to keep him interested, then I would probably go for masses of red lipstick, and fluttery lashes.  I’m not though; there is more to our relationship than that.  He’s seen me give birth four times; I think he can handle seeing me make-up free.  Is there anything wrong with wearing make-up to please your other half? Absolutely not, if that makes you happy too.

 

20160109-DSC_0340

Make-Up Shaming

So what if you choose not to wear make-up? That’s ok too. Does it mean you don’t respect yourself?  We seem to have entered a time where celebrities are so much more accessible than they used to be.  Instagram; Snapchat; Twitter and the like, all enable us to get a little peek into the lives of the super-rich.  So why do we (fuelled by certain media outlets) want to pour shame and scorn on well-known faces, who choose not to dress up to go food shopping, or to take the dog to the vet.   Does someone who chooses not to wear make-up have no self-respect, or do they have so much that they don’t need make-up to feel better about themselves? It is hard not to be judgmental sometimes – it’s certainly something I struggle with.  When you see that woman walking along the street, wearing a tracksuit, hair a mess, bare faced, do you think ‘uggh’, or ‘good for her; she doesn’t care what anyone thinks’?  Does it really matter though? After all, it should be what’s inside that counts, more than whether someone has contoured their way to oblivion.

 

So, tell me, why do you wear make-up? Is it for fun? Or do you have other reasons? Please share your thoughts below in the comments!

sssssss

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self – The PLL Effect

 

DSC_0021

 

 

I have a confession to make: I did not watch Pretty Little Liars when it was on originally – shocking right?  As is quite common for me, I waited until it was finished to decide I would see what all the fuss was about.  I am currently up to Season Three, and I can say that despite myself, I am hooked.  It has got me thinking though.  Not just about who ‘A’ is (although I have used more precious brain power on that than I should admit to) but about how perfect these teenagers are – aesthetically speaking.  I realise it is fiction, and in order to be appealing they couldn’t be awkward and spotty – it just wouldn’t be the same.  It’s just, compared to myself as a teenager, they are like a different species.

 

I try not to have regrets, but I can’t help but think what I would change about my teenage years.  What would I tell myself if I could go back and spend an hour (or 36) coaching myself on how to be a little bit less of a mess?

  • Use more sun cream:  When roasting in the back garden during the summer holidays, put cream on! Lots of it.  And don’t wear those sunglasses when you’re sunbathing – you will regret it when you have to spend the rest of the week with a red face and white circles around your eyes.

 

  • Even better, don’t roast in the garden during the summer holidays.  Embrace your pale skin! At least until fake tan becomes more user friendly.

 

  • Don’t – I repeat DON’T – pluck your eyebrows into oblivion.  Definitely don’t shave them to save time.  Just calm yourself down and tidy the stragglers – no more.

 

  • Smile! Yes, I know you are shy (unfortunately that won’t ever change) but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly.

 

  • Experiment with the length of your hair, by all means.  Just accept that short hair suits your face better and go with it.  You’ll only be frustrated (and hot) with long hair.

 

  • That doesn’t mean you should agree to the disgraceful haircut that will result in you being teased mercilessly at secondary school.  Being called Mop Top is not a pleasant experience.

 

  • Enjoy yourself! These are the best years of your life.  You’ll get married when you’re 20, so make the most of single life while you can.  That’s not to say you should be promiscuous – far from it – just be more sociable.

 

  • If you are going to insist on slathering thick foundation all over your healthy, young skin, at least choose the right shade.  And don’t just stop when you get to your jawline.

 

  • Don’t stress that you aren’t the prettiest in the room.  One day soon you will meet someone who will genuinely believe that you are the prettiest girl in every room.

 

  • Maybe think about doing some exercise, get that body fit before you hit thirty.  It will be so much easier that way.

 

  • And wear a crop top or something – that stomach will be ruined when you have your first baby and you’ll never be able to show it in public again without people gagging and turning green.

 

  • Try a little bit harder at school.  Stop worrying about what everyone thinks about you, and just concentrate.  Who knows how much you could accomplish?

 

  • And finally, don’t worry about most of these (except for the sun cream) you will be just fine.  Four children is a pretty exciting accomplishment – let someone else be the brain surgeon that you are not.  Oh, and your eyebrows will eventually grow back.

 

 

 

What about you, what would you tell yourself as a teen if you could? Or would you not change a thing?

 

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

Battle of the Beauty Sponges – Time for my Twopence Worth

Do you ever see a trend happening around you in the beauty world, and think ‘I won’t succumb, it must be a gimmick, it can’t be as good as all that’? Well, that is exactly what I thought when I noticed the kerfuffle surrounding this new little pink sponge called a Beauty Blender. I was determined I didn’t need one, and certainly not when they cost £16. And indeed I held off until very recently. I purchased a Stila Double Ended Blending Sponge last year. Then, more recently, a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. It kept niggling away at me though, and eventually (as I knew I would) I gave in and bought one. So, being me, I really couldn’t leave it at that. I decided to pit them against each other in the ‘Great Battle of the Beauty Sponges’. I also included, to make the numbers even, the Lottie London Blend and Snap Sponge, a fairly new offering from a newish brand.

 

DSC_0012-001

Firstly, let’s talk about the Beauty Blender.  It is very light and doubles in size when dampened.  It feels like a sponge. albeit a dense one.  It is very soft; and cooling on the face when damp.  It has a pointed end, which makes getting into the crevices on the face very simple.  I found that it doesn’t suck up too much product, which means that it doesn’t waste foundation (excellent), but also that it gives good coverage.  I particularly like using it on my under-eyes, as it stops the skin there looking too ‘cakey’.  I really can’t fault the application, and I can see why it is so beloved.  However, the Real Techniques sponge is also an excellent little tool.  It has a very similar texture to the Beauty Blender, it works well damp and feels soft and pleasant on the skin.  I, personally, much prefer the shape of the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, the flat side just seems to work better when applying foundation (or BB Cream), and it also has the pointy end for smaller areas.

 

DSC_0023-002
The Beauty Blender
DSC_0025
The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I happen to love Stila makeup, but the Double-Ended Blending Sponge on the other hand, me no likey.  I have mainly used it wet (I have no idea if this is what it is designed for, but dry doesn’t work either) and it just doesn’t cut the mustard I’m afraid.  When damp it feels almost slimy, and not nearly as nice on the skin as the others.  Because it is more rounded it isn’t as easy to use; I find myself using it sideways to cover the most skin in one go.  Not my favourite.  It is also quite dense, so bouncing it on the skin feels a bit like punching oneself in the face.

DSC_0024-001
Stila Double- Ended Blending Sponge

 

DSC_0026-001
Lottie London Blend and Snap Sponge

Finally, the Lottie London Blend and Snap Sponge.  I thought this sponge looked quite promising when it arrived.   It has a very similar texture – at first glance – to the Beauty Blender, and obviously it is the same colour.  It works fairly well too.  In order to test the sponges properly, I used two at a time, one on each side of my face.  When it came to comparing the Lottie London sponge with the Beauty Blender, the main difference seemed to be that the Lottie sponge drew in a lot more foundation, and deposited far less on my face.  So, great if you want a very light coverage, but not so great if you don’t like wastage.  In contrast, the application between the Real Techniques sponge (how many times can I write the word ‘sponge’?) and the Beauty Blender was identical, in my opinion.  Of course, I am not Lottie London’s target audience – apparently they are aimed at teenagers – so I don’t suppose they give a tiny rat’s a** what I think.

What about price though? The Beauty Blender sells for £16 for the original – pink – version. They also offer a white ‘pure’ sponge, mini green ones, and a large black Body Blender. These are available online, and I believe in Space NK stores.
The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge is £5.99 and is readily available online, and in Boots and Superdrug stores.
The Stila Double Ended Blending Sponge is £11.00 and seems to only be available online, it may be found in some stores, although I have never seen it.
The Lottie London Blend and Snap Sponge is £5.49, and is available from Superdrug stores and online. I purchased mine from ASOS.

My final conclusion?  The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is easily comparable to the Beauty Blender, and is almost a third of the price, so I say go for that.  I know there will be some die-hard BB fans who will think I am talking rubbish, but this is just my humble opinion.  While the Lottie London sponge is ok, if you are going to spend £5.49, I suggest you splurge the extra 50p and get the Real Techniques sponge instead.

What do you think?  Are there any even cheaper alternatives out there, that work just as well as the Beauty Blender?

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

A Little Bit of Heaven for the Skin

Well, what a week.  My family and I were – very reluctant – hosts this week.  Not to Great Aunt Mabel, but to a particularly unpleasant stomach bug.  I won’t go into detail here, but suffice to say, it was not pretty (children under the age of seven find it hard to get to a bucket in time to throw up, or at all in some cases – who knew?!).  I therefore didn’t manage to work on any of the blog posts I had planned, but I did manage to get some sneaky online shopping done.

One of the items I bought was something I had been thinking about for a little while, but couldn’t decide if I actually needed (not that this usually stops me).  This little wonder:

 

DSC_0016
Konjac French Pink Clay Facial Sponge

 

I have never really been one for using a muslin, or the like, for cleansing, but this little sponge seems to promise so much more (exfoliating, deep cleaning, PH balancing and refining of pores to name a few). I do own a Clarisonic, which I use periodically when I need a proper clear out, and I really love it but I am wary of using it too often for fear of irritation.  The sponge, though, seems gentle enough to use every day and can be used with just water, or with a cleanser which is what I have been doing.

I wasn’t sure what to expect initially, the sponge arrives a little wet and felt quite slimy (ick).  Using it on my skin though is heavenly; like being caressed by little tiny angels (ok, that’s a bit much, but it does feel very nice).  It really is like a mini facial every morning.  I went for the French Pink Clay, but The Konjac Sponge Company offer different options, depending on your skin type.  You can read further info here if you are interested in finding out more.

 

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

 

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

Passing a Little Bit of Time

When I’m not playing with makeup, or reading about makeup, or watching Youtube videos about – yep you guessed it – makeup, I like to relax by watching a little bit of Stevie the TV.  We cancelled our Sky subscription a few months ago in a bid to save some money, and extended our existing Virgin subscription to give us pretty much the same channels, but at a slightly lower cost than Sky.  Now, this is all well and good, but I HATE the set up of Virgin (or Tivo, actually).  I thought I would get used to it, but I just can’t, so the upshot is that I no longer watch any ‘proper’ TV.  So, in order to fill my evenings I have had to scour Netflix and Amazon Instant for quality programmes.  So far I have binge watched Community, That 70s Show, The Following, Orange is the New Black, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Short Poppies.  I also started to re-watch The Walking Dead (my all time favourite), but Amazon cut me off at season three.  Well, not literally, but seasons four and five are not free to watch, and I refuse to pay for them.

Anyway, I digress.  The reason for this post was to mention the film I watched last night; Wish I was Here.  It was written and directed by Zach Braff (or JD as you may also know him).  I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, despite the four stars it had on Netflix.  I can honestly say though, that it was fantastic.  It’s serious, but light hearted in places, funny, but also sad.  Just an all round mix of loveliness and humour(I could never be a film critic, could I?).  So if you haven’t already seen it, and fancy a bit of entertainment, then I highly recommend Wish I was Here.

What are your favourite shows to watch? What is your favourite genre of film, or TV?

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*

ColourPop

I am seriously obsessed with ColourPop .  It seems every (America based) Beauty Youtuber worth their salt either raves about them, or has done a collaboration with them.  What I want to know is; when will they start shipping to the UK?  According to their FAQ page, they are hoping to ship to Europe soon, but not soon enough in my opinion.  I want to get my sweaty little hands on most of the collection, but I think their highlighters would be top of my list.  Or maybe a few eyeshadows… or blushes, wait no – definitely a couple of bronzers.  I wonder if I could justify buying one of everything? Would my husband decide I had finally lost it and leave me? I’m not sure I’d even notice if he did, to be honest; I would be so busy swatching, and spreading those gloriously pigmented colours all over my face and laughing with delight.  Too much? Yes, probably.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!*