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Monday, 6 March 2017

Cosy Duvet Covers & Bedroom Hacks for Winter


This post features paid product placement by Yorkshire Linen.

There is nothing more I hate than being dragged from my bed - my boyfriend takes these things very seriously - on a Sunday morning in the middle of winter. I've got my warm fuzzy bottoms on, my squashy duvet and more often than not an extra blanket. I'm the definition of a cosy blanket burrito. This is because this winter I made my sleeping space as cosy af. Want to learn how to upgrade yours? Check out my tips below.


Get comfy, you're going to be spending a lot of time here

Just think about how much time you spend in your bedroom on a weekly basis. Sleeping, reading, drinking coffee as you flatly refuse to believe it's Monday already... You need to give your sleeping space the time and makeover it deserves by focussing on the things you want to feel whilst winding down.

For me that's being 1) warm 2) comfortable and 3) surrounded by as many padded, fluffy things as possible. I'm talking throw cushions, blankets, memory foam pillows, fluffy rugs - I can't tell you how much of a difference this makes in the mornings. But, for you this could be a mood-lifting diffuser, a humidifier or an extra sheet for when you kick off the duvet. Think about whatever works for you and do it! Remember, a good night's sleep can be priceless.


Make the space work for both day and night

Wipe that cheeky smirk off your face, here I'm talking removing artificial blue light and encouraging warmer tones into the room. Avoiding blue light right before bed - yes, that means you too, Twitter - is proven to help you fall asleep faster. So ditch the phone in favour of a book and your old lamp for the pleasant glow of a Himalayan Salt Lamp that has plenty of benefits for your health and mood, besides looking pretty.

For years I worked out of a bedroom office that meant I could never quite switch off from work. If possible shift your desk into another room or try and separate the workspace as much as possible within the space that you have so that your body knows when it's time to be active and when it's time to nap.


Declutter

In my bedroom, the space that gets most cluttered is my bedside table. Bobby pins, hair ties, empty pill packets, sweet wrappers and old receipts. It looks like I've emptied a week's worth of my coat pockets! Recently I've bought a phone charging stand to keep my cables in check and made a vow to leave any and all pocket junk elsewhere. We can't all be perfect.

Living in a cluttered and busy environment cannot be good for switching off. Throw out the clothes you never wear so that everything fits neatly into your wardrobe, remove that chair everyone uses as a clothes rack and attempt to adult your clothes into the laundry bin.



Update your decor with new duvets, sheets and nick nacks

Now you've got the basics covered, let's focus on the look. My bedroom feels a million times better when I'm snuggled up in my favourite sheets. They're such an inexpensive way of transforming the look of the room Yorkshire Linen have a great selection of duvet covers from this quirky pom-pom set that's got all kinds of Scandinavian vibes to this geometric grey set for less than £20. However, my personal favourite has to be a set that declares just how ready I am for my Sunday duvet day. Or you can hit up Primark to find this quirky printed Toucan set to brighten up your space.

Finish things off with an easy to keep houseplant, a stack of your most recent reads whether that be magazines, comics or novels and a record player for good measure. Ah, the perfect Sunday morning. Two guesses as to what I'll be up to this weekend!

Let me know what would be in your ideal bedroom in the comments below.

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Thursday, 2 March 2017

February Favourites: 2017

I'm not mentally ready for it to be March yet. To me, February always feels like a bit of a filler month. You can't really take holiday because you've just been off for Christmas, the weather is still sucky and grey and horrible for blog photos and everyone's still keen to keep to their resolutions so not much social activity happens. Obviously you've got Valentine's day stuck right in the middle there, but it's never really been my cup of tea. So, for me, February is a month for hibernating, decluttering and trying new things. Here's some of my favourites I've discovered this month:

Laundry B Frill Boho Blouse Cream

Fashion:

Frill Boho Blouse // Laundry B*

This month I stepped out of my comfort zone in terms of fashion with this breathtaking Frill Boho Blouse from Laundry B*. Modern twists on the traditional white shirt are going to be a big trend for spring. Whether that be embroidery, synching or cut outs. This beautiful specimen features a high lace collar and detailing, elegant bell-sleeves and a dropped waist - that, might I add, is perfect for hiding a food baby. It's one of those versatile pieces that can be dressed up with a fur jacket and a pair or heels or dressed down with some sleek sandals, pair of comfy leggings and a fedora.


Decor:

Aldi Marble and Copper Vintage Lamp

Recently, I've been just itching to switch up my interior decor. I'm talking repainting, retiling and redoing everything from the ground up. Trouble is, I'm currently renting and it's driving me insane! So, instead of reaching for the hammer, I've been saving so many beautiful inspo images on Instagram, hunting for accessories and window shopping various textures and patterns for my next living space. It seems to be working, for now...

Playing on our love for copious amounts of copper and marble, this vintage-inspired faux Marble and Copper Lamp from Aldi has featured in blogger Instagram stories far and wide. I purchased it after coveting this very similar model on Amazon. Not only does it scream chic, industrial decor but the light is pleasant and extremely hygge when I'm up late jotting down blog post ideas. Though it's currently sitting on my desk, I can't help thinking it would make the perfect lamp for a reading nook. Alongside a squashy pillow, cosy blanket and overstuffed bookcase.


Blogging:

Blogger Help Posts

This month I have loved writing blogger help posts! If I'm honest I'd been feeling a little lost in the world of beauty at the beginning of the month so started to wrack my brain for other content I enthused about that would make an interesting read and continues my #BloggingHacks series. I'm a true nerd at heart. From basic SEO to great apps for photography, coding tips to stock photos. I'm trying to cover just a little bit of everything to help out those who search for it. You can read the entire series here.


Netflix: 

How to Get Away with Murder

This month my favourite binge-wroth show has been ABC's How to get Away with Murder. Though, I also tuned into The Fresh Prince, Cuckoo, The OA, Lucifer and Are you the One? It's the right mix of lawyer that I loved in The Good Wife - coincidentally also finished this month - and straight up Rosewood drama to fill the gap PLL has left behind as I, along with the rest of the young female population, eagerly anticipate the last few episodes. If you're looking for some serious drama with a few twists and turns, this show is for you. I cannot wait for season three to come out on Netflix!

Harry Potter Potterhead Audiobook Prisoner of Azkaban Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Making Chores Less Boring:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I've just finished listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the umpteenth time. Twenty-nine hours of commuting, laundry and cooking time well spent. I'd completely forgotten the Percy storyline, Ginny's kickass attitude to dating and just how much I love the Weasley twins. Though, I must admit I still don't ship Harry and Cho. The whole storyline, especially the darker books, roll on Half-blood Prince, is just as magical as the first time I've read it and now I get to do it over and over again with Audible. Coincidentally, I've also been binge watching the lovely Lana on Youtube as she visits Universal, platform 9 and 3/4 and hauls the most amazing Harry Potter merch. A must-watch channel for any potterhead.


Upping the Chocolate Biscuit Game:

Border Milk Chocolate Gingers

Holy moly. Border's award-winning Milk Chocolate Gingers have knocked my beloved Chocolate Digestives off my biscuit top spot for good. They're satisfyingly chocolatey with a kick of spicy and refreshing ginger that goes perfectly with a quiet cuppa tea. I get how #spon this sounds, but I really do just enjoy these biscuits! Actually, they're my favourite adulting biscuit of choice. Read: eat one, or two and put the packet back in the cupboard like the elegant and restrained, grown woman I am.

New in Beauty Haul, Makeup Haul, Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette Ablaze, Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit, Liquid Lipstick

Beauty:

Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit

Every blogger has raved over these suspected Kylie Lip Kit dupes this month. I've briefly talked about them here and have to say that, after a few weeks of use I tend to just go straight for the liquid lipstick and negate the liner completely. My favourite shade to wear is Noble. The formula is just so comfortable. Though I find the darker two from my haul - Glory (brown), Magnificent (dark green) - have a slight tendency to ball up later on in the day. Still, for just #6 per kit I'd say that six hours of wear is more than admirable. Wouldn't you? Have you tried any of the new Makeup Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kits?

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

24 Hours in the Life of Someone with Chronic Fatigue

Sleep Tight, Lightbox, Tumblr, ME, Chronic Fatigue, Spoonie

Surprise, I have Chronic Fatigue. It's been five years and I haven't quite developed a good way of telling people. Weird, right? I tend to just blurt it out in, what I judge as, appropriate situations. Spoiler: they are often not. It usually makes the other person more awkward than I intended. Apologies if this has every been you.

Having Chronic Fatigue something I sprinkle into my blog, most often calling it ME due to the negative stigma attached to this "made up" condition that affects me every minute of every day. I've even got a few posts from that brief time I thought I was losing the plot because my student GP was unequipped to deal with it: "Young women sometimes just get this way". But, as I really have no choice in the matter, I have had to learn to live with it. The only reason I decided to dedicate a full blog post to it is the incredible 24 hours in the life of someone with OCD article Thrifty Vintage Fashion wrote that really opened my eyes to what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. I know I'll never truly understand, just like, even if I told you I never, ever wake up refreshed and am always tired you, if you've never experienced it before, wouldn't be able to fathom it. I know this because I couldn't have fathomed it. It's an incomprehensible feeling.

Everyone experiences Chronic Fatigue differently. However much I wish it was a label given to lazy people and one day I'll wake up just fine and dandy, I know it's not true because I can feel it's not true. I don't want to say I'm lucky, because, I contracted Chronic Fatigue and that's pretty shit as far as things go. I likely won't every get better. Which is hard to grasp right? For-ever. I'll be this way throughout my life. On my wedding day, at parents evenings and during retirement. I'm not sure that'll ever sink in. But, after four years of pushing my boundaries and learning what I can and can't do, I am able to hold down a relatively normal life and I know that's not always possible for those suffering from Chronic Fatige. So please don't use my experience to judge that of your friend, relative or coworker. Each to their ME-riddled own.

Disclaimer done, here's what twenty-four hours of my life with Chronic Fatigue looks like. No pity parties please.

6:40 am - First alarm goes off. You don't register it.

6:45 am - Second. Nope, nothing.

6:50 am - Third. You keep your eyes open for long enough to hit the home button but as soon as your hand returns to the duvet you're already asleep, exhausted before the day has even begun.

6:55 am - Forth. Your boyfriend nudges you awake. You find this deeply annoying instead of cute. Everything's fuzzy inside your head. Why move. Go away. Sleep.

7:00 am - With the fifth alarm, you manage to move again and keep your eyes open. The slight shift has just made you realise just how much pain you're in - usually your back, neck and legs. You don't want to have to move.

7:05 am - Sixth alarm. Owy. Owy. Owy. But slightly more awake. You drag yourself out of bed to your pre-prepared bag and clothes you had to put together the night before because you knew your brain fog would make it take three times longer in the morning and you don't have time to spare.

7:15 am - It's taken you ten minutes to get downstairs, use the bathroom and dress. Not bad considering you're feeling only half-zombie today.

7:20 am - Time for makeup whilst listening to your audio book. You're losing your lead here but skip the eyeliner and have it done in 15 minutes whilst you brain awakes to the worries of work. Your heart rate spikes, as it always does, and your Apple Watch buzzes reminding you to take a deep breath.

7:45 am - You leave the house 5 minutes late because your fatigued brain couldn't remember if it shut off the phone charger, tap or shut the fridge door. You check the door three times on your way out and make a mental note that today is Tuesday and the door is locked. Look, you're wearing that skirt, which is different from Monday so you'll remember this. Right? You get into your car and, whilst driving in the dark realise that you couldn't tell whether it was 8 am or 10 pm without a watch. Your body and mind feel the same.

8:04 am - You arrive into work late and more than likely blame it on the traffic. You vow to work four minutes late to make up for it. Computer on. E-mails up. Oh god, you have that many. Go get some caffeine, it'll help you think.

9:00 am - You spend the next hour checking and double checking your responses to e-mails because 1) you're already a terribly fast typer and 2) you don't want your brain fog to replace any words for phonetically similar words or homophones. If the pain is still there, sometimes it goes, you'll have to pop down to the shop to purchase breakfast so you can take a prescribed painkiller. You never have time to eat in a morning because it takes you twenty minutes just to move. Occasionally, you'll stink the office out with Deep Heat.

10:00 am - You're doing a kickass job and are feeling as awake as you'll ever be. To an outsider, you're functioning at one hundred percent. But you know that by now you've at least slipped up with your words once in casual office conversation. You struggle to get the right word out, say the wrong one or stutter.

2:00 pm - Due to a last-minute crisis you're late eating again. The added pressure makes it feel like a silent alarm is going off in your brain. Everything is silently screaming. Your muscles begin to complain as your heart beats faster. Think. Deep breath. Type faster. Crisis averted. Breathe. Outwardly you haven't batted an eyelid.

3:00 pm - You're on your third cup of coffee as you try and combat the 3 pm melatonin dip your ancestors used to sleep. Not long to go now.

4:04 pm - You start packing up, pleased that you're making an effort to cut down your lieu time, it's good for your health and means you won't need to nap as much after work this week. Good for you.

4:30 pm - Home. You take either one of three roads:

1) Nap because even though you tried your fatigue has just overwhelmed you and all you can manage to do is crawl up the stairs  - sometimes literally - and hide under the duvet. Sometimes you sleep for 20 minutes, sometimes for 3 hours, sometimes you're too tired to sleep at all which leaves you frustrated and fuzzy. You move out from the duvet feeling, more often than not, less refreshed. But at least you didn't have to waste energy functioning. Thinking is sometimes too hard.

2) You've got a bit more energy and just need some recovery time. Hello, coffee machine and Netflix. An hour later you feel sufficiently recharged and mooch around reading or writing a blog post. Sometimes you get really into it and write for hours. Other times you just jot down ideas.

3) You seize the day. Now, this doesn't happen very often but sometimes you come home and refuse to sleep, you muster what energy you have and you power through the next two-hour writing copy, checking e-mails and batch editing photos. Though, you wear yourself out and spend the rest of the night between beanbag and bed.

9:30 pm - Almost bedtime. You're making a real effort to start winding down before bed now, turning off the bright lights and just chilling in bed with a cup of sleepy tea, your Twitter feed and a good TV show or book. Not ideal, but it's a start. You might even have just got out of a relaxing bubble bath which makes you ready to drop. You once read that the dip in temperature mimics that of the boy as you fall asleep so you managed to get to sleep faster. Anything to avoid the fatigue related insomnia that keeps you up for hours.

10:00 pm - Lights out. Audiobook on. Find out what I'm listening to here.

10:30 pm - You're grumpy again as your boyfriend joins you. You're running on empty and all you want in the world is to fall quickly into a restful sleep. Which, spoiler, doesn't happen, ever. You vow to try and be a nicer person tomorrow but, usually, the tiredness wins out. Occasionally you get horrible fatigue-driven down periods of days at a time but today's not one of them so you don't don't dwell on your tendency to be a horrible girlfriend who does nothing tonight.

11:00 pm - With any luck, you're now sleeping like the dead. If not, you keep your audiobook on as you mentally countdown the hours until you're awake again.

12:30 am - Congrats, you've finally fallen asleep and completely lost your place in your audiobook.

3:30 am - Pee break! Darn, that sleepy tea. You rush downstairs but it takes you a good long while to fall back to sleep again. You wonder how much concealer you'll have to apply to your bags.

6:30 am - It might as well be 11 pm. You don't even hear your boyfriend's alarm as he wakes up.

Obviously not every day is the same, some days I feel better and other days I feel much, much worse. But, after holding a steady graduate job for a year and a half now I've only ever had one fatigue-related absence. Apparently, I haven't quite made it to a place where I can do a seven-minute workout just yet.

Want to find out more about my experience of Chronic Fatigue? Or ask an awkward question? Feel free. The comment below, send me a tweet or drop me a DM. I'll be happy to help. That is, if I remember to check my DMs!


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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Urban Decay Beauty Haul: Brows, Blush & Primer


When I first got into beauty blogging back in 2013, the Urban Decay Naked Palette was the product to own. Consequently, Urban Decay's beauty releases will always have a special place in my heart that reminds me of sleepless nights refreshing stats, broken sidebars and making new internet friends on Twitter. Find out what products I acquired in my latest haul below.


Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion // Eden*

I didn't think I could love a skin-toned primer more than my trusted MAC Pain Pot in Painterly. That was until I used Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden*. It's pigmented and mattifying it leaves me with the perfect bright eyes without a shadow of purple in sight. My favourite way to wear this is by using the handy doe-foot application - an upgrade to my Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin* - to apply a swipe of primer to the eye and to blend it out using my ring finger or Real Techniques Bold Metals Oval Shadow Brush.

Recently, I've been using it in conjunction with my Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Ablaze, which has a wonderful selection of warm-toned shimmers and mattes by setting the primer with Relaxed, a cream-tones matte shade and warming up my crease with Throwback, a burnt-orange for an easy to wear, everyday look.


Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush // Indecent*

Indecent* is a coral-toned matte blush that lies somewhere between natural and neon. The entire blush range comes in, what can only be described as badass packaging with a satisfying metallic clasp. Just one word of warning, this blush is hella pigmented so use sparingly with a fluffy brush.


Urban Decay Brow Tamer // Clear*

There's one really, truly brilliant thing about the packaging of this that makes Urban Decay's Brow Tamer* a thousand times better than any of the other clear brow gels I've tried. Can you think what it might be? Nope, it's not the brush, or the snazzy, new green and purple packaging. It's the fact that the tube is a dazzling shade of opaque purple.

Every single other clear brow gel I have tried comes in a clear tube which, you know is going to get gunked up the second you apply the fixing gel atop of your brow powder which, really vainly, makes for terrible product shots. Such a first world problem, I know. My eyebrows aren't particularly bushy thanks to years of regrettable over-plucking but this seems to hold them nicely in place without making them um... crunchy.

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Monday, 27 February 2017

L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Full Coverage Foundation


Are you looking for a good, all around, full coverage foundation at a drugstore price point? You need to purchase the L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Full Coverage Foundation. Immediately.

When I first saw the adverts for the L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Full Coverage Foundation, I wasn't convinced. The colour match didn't look quite right and the overall finished seemed flat. In my time as a beauty blogger I've tried my fair share of drugstore foundations promising to be full coverage and always come away disappointed. No matter how rave the Youtube review. Cue a bad skin day and I threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a go. So, how did the L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Full Coverage Foundation, with such a lengthy, promise-filled title, compare to its predecessors?

Answer: splendidly. In the few short weeks I've had, the formula has outdone my gold standard of drugstore foundation: L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Foundation. Let's break it down and find out how the coverage, formula, colour and finish work with my skin.


Coverage

There's no doubt about it that this foundation is full coverage. It promises to cover imperfections marks and dark spots and does exactly what it says on the tin, to the point where I can skip the concealer on my red and acne cheeks. It's that good.


Formula

If you're into a light and skin-like feel, this foundation probably isn't for you. The formula has a thick, almost whipped consistency that feels more like a heavy duty concealer than foundation. You notice it right from the moment you squeeze a pea-sized amount onto the back for your hand. Though, it blends beautifully so you can always using a good buffing brush to reduce the coverage when you have a good skin day.


Colour

The colour match between the L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Full Coverage Foundation in Porcelain and the L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Foundation in Light Sand is pretty similar, despite the shade difference. Both work well on my porcelain skin. However, if you're a hair lighter than me you may be left wishing for a slightly lighter shade.


Finish

Once you've finished applying it, the finish is demi-matte but, even on my dry skin, it tends to become dewy with oil throughout the day. Day, in this instance, being a stressful, nine-to-five job which may have something to contribute to my less-than-perfect finish. Though it's nothing a bit of blotting paper or powder wouldn't fix if you're into a completely matte finish.

I'll just leave you the link to the Boots website just here, just in case...

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Blog Photography Hacks: Budget-friendly Coloured Backgrounds

Blogging Photography Hacks, Budget-friendly Coloured Backgrounds, Easy, Cheap, Blogging Backgrounds, Blog Photography Tutorial

Today I'm sharing with you how to achieve beautiful, bright coloured backgrounds for your blog and Instagram on a budget. Are you ready to up your photography game?

My #BloggingHacks series is back by popular demand. You can read everything I have to say from photography hacks like this to SEO and gadgets here. Want to have a say in what content appears on charleylucy.com? Make sure you vote in my weekly content polls over on Twitter.

Let's get to it! There are three main parts in achieving the perfect coloured flatlay and, if you've already been agonising over achieving the perfect crisp, white background, I've got good news for you: this technique is so much easier.


1) Coloured card.

It's smack in the face simple. Everyone's using coloured card at quirky angles to break up their stark, white backgrounds. So why not encourage it to take up a little more space? You can pick up packs of A3 coloured card from WHSmith or Amazon for £5.99. Pastel or neon? It's up to you.


2) A well-lit space.

We all know that lighting is important but a dark and shadowy area could cause noise to build up in the background. I took these photos about on a grey and horrible day in front of large, glass french doors to make the best of a bad lighting situation. If you own a ring light or softboxes, even better.


3) An app to even the tone of the background.

Regardless of how well you take your photo, cameras these days are just too darn good and pick up every little detail. To achieve that flawless gradient and reduce noise build up you need to defocus the background. My favourite app to use to do this is After Focus, which I've talked about at length here. It's my favourite way to cheat DSLR-style shots using my phone's camera. However, you could also use the Defocus tool in Facetune.


4) Edit as usual.

Correct the lighting, the highlights and shadows and crank up that saturation to really make things pop.

I'm already loving my new Instagram feed! Head over to get some colour inspo and don't forget to tag me in any snaps, I'd love to see what you create.

A post shared by Charley Lucy (@charleylucy) on
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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Lazy Girl Skincare Routine

Lazy Girl Skincare Routine, Acne, Quick Fix Exfoliating Scrub Mask, Nip+Fab Exfoliate Glycolic Night Pad Extreme

I wish I'd paid attention to this ten years ago. My skin is, more often than not, a bumpy and inflamed mess thanks to hormones and my on again, off again attitude to skincare. Sometimes, a girl just needs to go to sleep.

Though, I've rarely ever slept in my makeup - ngl, mainly because of the mess it would make on the pillow - I have been known to use a single face wipe as my entire nighttime skincare routine. This is because of three main reasons 1) laziness, 2) staying up until I am ready to drop, 3) resigning to the fact that it doesn't matter what I do, the hormones will get me.

Slowly but surely, over the past couple of years, I've managed to develop something that resembles a skincare regime - watch my last attempt here. And only used a makeup wipe or Makeup Eraser Towel to remove stubborn liquid lipstick before a thorough cleanse.

But sometimes, I just cannot be bothered to turn on my facial cleansing brush or wait for my aloe vera gel to dry before my head hits the pillow. I want a one-step product to leave my skin feeling fresh and, in my quest to find one, have discovered a magical skincare secret: the key to great skin is exfoliation.

Mask, scrub, pads or chemical. My little hormonal bumps now cower in fear at my weekly exfoliating mask and daily scrub. Likewise the chemical exfoliants Nip and Fab's Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads for when I'm feeling fancy. Sometimes the difference it noticeable straight away, other times I notice three days later when I'm absentmindedly applying less concealer than I usually do.

If you've clicked on this post because you suffer from adult or teenage acne, I'd also recommend trying the Acne Ultra Clear: Natural Acne Treatment* I spoke about in my previous skincare routine to combat extreme breakouts.

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Red Lipsticks: Best Affordable/Drugstore

Spend today with your one true love, and I'll spend it with mine: the perfect drugstore red lipsticks. Read all about my top picks and how I keep my red lip lasting all day long below.

Red Lipstick Drugstore No7 Revlon L’oreal Maybelline Rimmel Swatches Review 1
Red Lipstick Drugstore No7 Revlon L’oreal Maybelline Rimmel Swatches Review 2
Red Lipstick Drugstore No7 Revlon L’oreal Maybelline Rimmel Swatches Review 3
Red Lipstick Drugstore No7 Revlon L’oreal Maybelline Rimmel Swatches Review 5
Red Lipstick Drugstore No7 Revlon L’oreal Maybelline Rimmel Swatches Review 4

Swatches from left to right:

Aren't they beautiful? A red lip never dates, Brick reds, orange tones and vampy burgundy's - you name it, I probably own it. Much to the disdain of my boyfriend who hates my lipstick kisses. I've exhausted the drugstore in my quest to find the perfect, wearable shade that lasts without drying out my lips - so you know these are good. Today, I decided to showcase some of my favourite, affordable classic reds in honour of Valentine's Day. Worried about what's wearable? You can find out which shades work best with your skin tone you at No7s Match Made service.

The key to the perfect nine-to-five red lip is to choose a long-lasting matte finish - see above - and apply to exfoliated and product free lips. To protect against fading, I always try and use a matching liquid lipstick or liner as a base before filling in the colour. If you're using a glossier or more moisturising finish, like the No7 Match Made Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Cherry*, this will also help prevent bleeding. Lastly, to avoid transfer onto my morning coffee mug I'll blot my lips with tissue - or occasionally a post-it if I'm really pressed for time. Lastly, I own it. Red is a confidence colour and looks fabulous on just about everyone.

What affordable/drugstore lipsticks have you been wearing lately? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Surviving Sick Days: Self-Care

Starbucks Christmas Mug, Cosy, Comfy, Reading, Blanket, Book, Surviving Sick Days Self-Care, Ill, Flu


Last week, I had to take two days off sick due to a horrendous cold/flu mutant virus decided to take hold the minute I said "I'm too busy to get ill". It left me stressed, bed-bound and unable to focus. But guess what? The world is still spinning. Below are my tips for surviving sick days and focussing on self-care. Get that out of office ready, you're going to need it.


Accept it

Skip the four other stages and move right to acceptance, you are sick. Put on that out of office and give up. Turn off the social media notifications, emails, alarms, calendar reminders and mute your phone if you have to. Stress is only going to make things worse.


Stay Indoors

By leaving the house you'll 1) feel worse and 2) probably infect the rest of your co-workers, neighbours and/or local school children. So, just do everyone a favour, draw the curtains and stay indoors. And, under no circumstances answer the door in your scruffy pyjamas you haven't changed in a day, Rudolph-red nose and Hagrid hair to pick up a neighbour's parcel. Beg and borrow all of the medication you need and stock up on tissues before you start reaching for the loo roll.


Do what you can

From Netflix to staring at the ceiling, audio books to mumbling obsceneties at your lack of ability to sleep. Spend this time how you will. If you can do something constructive, like read a book, good for you. If all you can muster is a starfish? That's fine too. Don't beat yourself up for being unproductive, you're ill, you get a free pass today.


Wallow and appreciate

Very rarely is it okay in my books to wallow in self-pity. Now is now one of those times. Go get your small violin and play, play, play. Reminisce how you underappreciate your sense of smell and ability to stand without getting a head rush and promise you'll never, ever be unappreciative again. Even though we all know you will.


Have a cheeky peek at the inbox (if you must!)

If you're like me and tend to worry about the impossible. For example: you have 400 e-mails, your out of office didn't set, you missed some last minute super urgent thing or the building has burnt down in your absence.... STOP. Wait until work hours are over and do a quick skim read over the subject lines. If there's nothing high on your priority list, it can wait until you're healthy again.


Take the time you need

This is something I'm struggling with right now as a person. I tend to think I'm superwoman and can take on all the extra hours without consequence. This obviously isn't true, especially when you suffer from ME, like I do. Now I'm lucky enough to have a friend who nags me to worry about myself. So, if you think you'd be better off with the extra day, take it. You're only good if you're health and your co-workers are too.

What tips do you have for surviving a sick day?

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