Pandemic Blues

Welcome back everyone, happy new year and all that jazz. The whole Christmas to New Year period really threw me for a loop, physically and mentally. I lost all semblance of routine.

I had two weeks off work, and was very excited to get work done on my various projects, but also just have time to relax without the ticking timer of Monday approaching. I think I habitually fell into the latter, so much time on the couch! Admittedly, an English Christmas in winter, plus lockdown, destroyed my ideals from the get go. I wouldn’t be spending any time in cafes writing my novel, or going for lovely picturesque riverside walks. I had a moral duty to stay indoors, and a desire to stay in the warmth. So why would I get out of bed before eleven in the morning? I didn’t! From bed to conch, meals fell out of step, and I either snacked far too much, or forgot to eat for hours. No energy to keep up my skincare routine, and because may partner was also home, no place to do my at home exercises unless I wanted his video game loud in the background, and an audience. Yeah, pass. Honestly, it was hard enough using a daily moisturizer to combat the dry indoor air.

I’ve gotten back into the swing of things now, but it was just unfortunate that my holiday was marred by such a permeating feeling of ‘meh’! I am envious of those who got to spend some of their time with friends and family. Even students, holed up in their accommodation, have a variety of people to talk to!

I think the hardest thing I’ve found with forcing myself back into a routine is the lack of creativity I feel inside. I’ll craft when it’s straightforward, or I have instructions, but anything that requires some more effort mentally, I just want to quit immediately. I’ll have book ideas out on a walk, but the second I get home, I’ve lost the passion. How are people out were living ful­filling lives and smashing goals when I’m here just trying to roll out of bed? Just give me a nice cafe! Please!

I think like most people, I’m afraid of finally getting out of lockdown, into a normal life again, and having nothing to show for all that time. Isn’t it ridiculous? Pandemic anxiety is real, cabin fever is real, and these two years will unfortunately be very real. I need to remember that it’s not always a realistic goal to want perfect clear skin, or to have lost weight as a result of all this time at home. There are things out of my control that factor in. Like only an hour of outdoor exercise a day, or indoor heating. At least I probably saved a lot of money on travel and food. Which I will likely blow the second I can enjoy life again. Oops!

Sorry this was such a brain dump, but let me know how you’re feeling. Similar? Have any tips for me?

Everything is Good Here

Just a quick update about me ?. I’m doing good actually, well as good as I can be during a global pandemic! All this coronavirus stuff had me worried at the beginning, but I guess wearing a mask everywhere and not being able to hug my loved ones is just my life now… so I’ll have to get used to it ??‍♀️. Can you tell I worked out how to use emojis on my computer – I’m obsessed ?. Anyway, that’s it from me for today. Until next time ✌?.

I Hate Animal Testing

So, what do you consider when buying beauty products? Is it the ingredients? The claims? The reviews? I’m not sure what sways me, but recently I’d say I’ve thought more about where my products have come from and how they’ve been tested, because who wants to fuel a brand that tests on animals? Definitely not me!

I’m not going to pretend that in my younger years I didn’t buy the cheapest beauty products on the shelf that everyone else seemed to have too. May we never forget the Maybelline Dream Matt Mousse; the worst foundation to ever exist. However, now I can afford to buy slightly more upmarket beauty products, I’ve taken a liking to finding brands that use natural ingredients and, more importantly, don’t test on animals.

I can’t believe I haven’t updated you on this, but since getting a puppy back in March, I’ve become totally animal obsessed. After doing some research into a few major beauty brands, I was shocked to learn how many of them test on animals! I’ve since made a conscious effort to spend some time looking for some cruelty-free skincare and makeup brands. One of my favourites is Q+A Caffeine Eye Serum – it really brightens the skin under my eyes and feels so cooling to apply! AND it’s vegan… what more could you want?

Anyway, more about the puppy! She’s called Jessie but more commonly referred to as the most beautiful pup in the world. I can’t even really call her a puppy anymore, she’s 8 months old now! But just look how cute she is, those eyes ?.

As you can tell I could probably sit here and write 800 words on Jessie herself, but that’s not the point of this blog. If you take one thing away from this, it’s to research your beauty brands and make sure they’re cruelty-free!!

Eyes Only an (Evil Step-)Mother Could Love

Hello! I hope everyone is having a good week thus far! I know, it’s a bit early to tell, but I always think a Monday morning can really set the tone for the rest of the week. I would be the one to think so, after the week I had prior to this one. I woke up Monday morning with the deepest bags you have ever seen. IKEA bags filled with darkness, heavy like rolls of fat which overhang the skin below. It looked like I was starting my transition into a Disney villain. Evil stepmother, anyone?

Lady Tremaine from Cinderella

And I just waddled around getting ready for work like each eyelid had been stung by a bee, swollen and squinty. It was a mess not even three cups of coffee over the course of thee hours could lift. So that really set the tone for the days to follow. Tuesday I woke up late and missed my bus, so I walked into the office half way through the daily meeting, bedraggled and puffing like I’d run a marathon. Wednesday I fell asleep on the bus home, and had to make two connections to get back home. Thursday instead of packing my water bottle, I packed a bottle of wine. I probably needed it at 10:30am when the customer emails started flooding in, but what an error! Friday brought some respite but I was asleep in bed at 5:30 and missed my regular pandemic call with my friends. It was a week.

So I thought to myself, this has to stop! I can’t be walking around looking like I had just been brought back to life by a particularly kind vampire, or maybe as a zombie. They always look so, well, dead. I want to be among the living. Did you know the proper name for puffy eyes is Periorbital puffiness! My favourite thing about that article is the name for the fat pad underneath your bottom eyelids, suborbicularis oculi fat, or SOOF! SOOF, what a name! Sorry fellas, my SOOF is a little swollen right now, come back later.

Onto Amazon I went, to find the solution to my swollen SOOF. I knew I wanted something cooling, because I usually wake up feeling quite hot around my face. I typed ‘cooling eye cream’ into the search bar, but one of the first results was an eye gel instead. I used to put my aloe vera gel in the fridge in case I got burned, so I though yes! This one even had the ingredient in it! Looked too good to be true, and much cheaper than some of the other options. Here within a day and Saturday afternoon I wasn’t even going to wait until morning. Slapped that sucker right on and aaaahhhhh how nice it felt! By this morning, I am back to princess eyes, rather than villain ones!

And that’s why I’m going to have a good week! Wish you all the same!

A Guy Learning About Makeup

I feel like a lot of you have been noticing my articles discussing women’s makeup and things of that nature. Let me just say a few things about why I now talk about women’s makeup before we move forward okay? Just because I’m a guy doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to have an opinion on makeup. Being a guy doesn’t disqualify me from knowing about women’s makeup, of course there’s nothing to say that I’m right about my opinions either but that’s the thing I’m allowed to have an opinion and those opinions can change over time as I learn more about these topics.

How are men supposed to know anything if we’re not allowed to have these conversations. I know may sound a bit preachy but it’s hard not to be when the concerns I have come from people telling me I’m not allowed to comment. I’ll see women who have way too much makeup on for my taste or from time to time just bad application of makeup and when I say something my female friends immediately try to rip me a new one. The argument isn’t whether my opinion is right or not it’s the fact that I’m allowed to have one. It’s all extremely interesting and if I’m wrong about something then you’re free to correct me and explain to me what exactly I got wrong.

The discernment which Amazon makeup primer is the best is really a matter of preference in most cases and that shouldn’t be anything surprising. Surely there’s more than one product that does well in performing what’s advertised on the label. There can’t just be one good concealer or a single actual best foundation out there. What really matters is what’s best for you specifically everything before that criterion is just quality control.

Everything’s Going Over Smoothly

Everything’s going fantastically smooth lately. You know that feeling where you’re concerned that everything might be going too well so something has to go wrong? I’ve been getting that a little bit but it’s probably just my imagination. Hopefully I haven’t jinxed anything by saying it out loud but that’s how it is. Stick around to see how my next article goes!

5 Ultimate Makeup Tips.

The modern world’s pace is getting faster and faster and keeping up has become quite the herculean task. For women who work in this fast paced modern world one tasks that may take more effort than anyone that hasn’t done it may think is the morning makeup routine. The morning makeup routine often means that a woman might have to wake up an entire hour earlier or maybe even more just to make sure you don’t run late because you’re getting ready. Here are 5 tips that might help you with the daily struggle.

Tip #1 Cleanse and Moisturize at night

A lot of women don’t take their makeup off when they get home or if they’re tired enough they might even fall asleep just wearing all their makeup. That is horrific for your skin just thinking about makes my skin want to break out. The acne and the cracks and just the general skin problems will have you spending even more time applying foundation the next day. Just clean your face the night before and put on some nice moisturizing cream before going to bed will do wonders for you.

Tip #2 Cheekbone Contouring

A nice quick tip for applying makeup in the morning is to contour your cheeks. Use a darker brown on the upper cheeks about all the way to the bone line. And use a lighter tone right above the bone line. The whole process takes a measly 5 minutes at the most and you end up looking great so definitely worth it.

Tip #3 Keep it simple

Just limit your makeup usage to mascara and lipstick, for a quick fix they provide more than enough depth to have you looking good. Darker toned lipsticks and matte varieties tend to work best for this quick fix. The idea here is that a little bit really can go a long way just adding a touch to your face.

Tip #4 Care for your eyebrows

A lot of women tend to underestimate the importance of eyebrows and constantly pluck them which often leads to skinny looking weaker eyebrows. Stop that. Go get your eyebrows threaded as they are the experts find somewhere you trust and let them do their magic. Now the idea here is that good, full, well maintained eyebrows can actually reduce the need for heavy makeup routines altogether as they help you look gorgeous as is or with very little makeup.

Tip #5 Have the right brushes

Using a single brush may seem like the smarter idea but you’re honestly wasting so much time. Have the right brushes ready for different applications of makeup. Invest in beauty brushes trust me they’re worth it.

Bonus Tip Get an Amazing Setting Spray for Makeup

Setting Spray should be a part of your routine in general already. But if it isn’t pick one up and start working that into your whole routine because it really is worth that little bit of extra time and effort.

A Prolonged Absence

I know some of you might be wondering where I’ve been recently. I’ve just got back from an amazing trip around Europe for a few months. It was unbelievable – I had such a great time.

Because of this, the blog hasn’t received much of my attention. I’m hoping to put that straight in the not too distant future though, starting with a new blog post in the next few weeks.

Let’s Talk About Hair

Moving away from beards somewhat, I decided it would be cool to talk about another area within the topic of grooming – hair!

You might be surprised to hear that this is so often overlooked, especially amongst men who like to focus on their beards. I personally subscribe to the belief that hair is as important as facial hair. Your beard can look as pristine as possible, but if your hair looks scruffy then forget about it.

You need the full package, and in this post I’ll hopefully provide my best tips on just how to do that.

If before I got diving into the different waxes and clays I use, it’s important first to touch upon the basics.

To start I feel it’s very important that you invest in a good quality, sturdy hair comb. The kind that will last you for years and years to come. My top tip? Find one created with an acetate mould. These are very sturdy and are pleasant to hold. Unlike a wooden comb, if you inevitably end up dropping an acetate comb there is a very high chance it will survive the fall and not break.

Styling hair with pomade

Once you’ve solved that conundrum it’s time to move onto to establishing which product you’re actually going to use in your hair.

The product I find myself coming back to again and again is something called pomade. Most of the time, this can have quite a thick consistency, but my personal favourites are ones that are water based. These have more of a stiff jelly kind of consistency. I’ve always thought that this type is much easier to wash out at the end of the day, and provide as good a hold as any non-water based pomade.            

After rinsing my hair, and using my acetate comb I apply this pomade every morning and slowly work it throughout my hair with the comb. More often than not I go for the classic slick backed look and this product is perfect for helping me attain that. I won’t be changing it any time soon that you can believe.       

A New Direction

I’ve been having an internal battle for the past 30 days or so – Should I stick with my guns, or try and take this blog in a new direction. I’ve decided to switch things up a bit and in the future will be writing about a more diverse range of subjects. Enjoy!