January 2016 / Charley Lucy



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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Skincare | Winter Morning Routine

Skincare Routine Dry Skin Primer Hydrate Hydration Moisturise Winter Routine Nivea Bee Good

As I have a nice combination of immensely oily and flakey dry zones at the moment - my skin likes to keep me on my toes - I generally concentrate the majority of my routine in the PM - cleansing exfoliating, using my Konjac Sponge* - a total lifesaver! -, applying liberal amounts of moisturiser and tiny drops of oil from various pipettes.

Meaning that, in the AM, I can wake up with minimal time to get an outfit together, dress correctly, eat whatever carb-filled breakfast I have in and dash out the door with as much of an effort on my face as I can muster at 8am. I need products that work, are quickly absorbed and help keep my dry zones hydrated and don't exacerbate my oily zones. Nightmare.

Bee Good's Hydrate, Smooth & Prime Serum* does exactly what it says on the tin. Two pumps and I can practically feel my skin being quenched. It's glorious. By the time I've reached for my Nivea Post Shave Balm - yes, you did read that correctly - it's practically melted into my skin.

Onto this bizarre second product, it's a causing a bit of a stir in the Youtube beauty community with it's uncanny ability to prime the skin with it's serum-like texture. After watching Kathleen Light's review video, I knew I'd end up purchasing it simply for the fact that Kathleen had recommended it. I can't pinpoint exactly how it does it or exactly what it is, it just works and my base makeup stays in place throughout the day.

Let me know what your winter skincare favourites are in the comments!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Life | Why I'm Throwing out my Plans for 2016

Stationery Notebook Journal Happiness Serenity Writing To Do List Marble Monochrome

Make yourself a tea. This is going to be a long one and I do hope it's worth it.

At the end of 2015 I was - finally - diagnosed with ME after suffering for just shy of two and a half years. Since my formal diagnosis, I've been pretty open about it on Twitter - and found a community that has helped infinitely with my mental state moving from "Yup, I'm definitely crackers." during the summer (genuinely.) whilst I was being passed from doctor to doctor having blood test upon blood test to "I'm okay with this - look how good you're doing, you might not be able to run a marathon but at least you god out of bed today." somewhere in October and, most recently to "Oh look! There's others too! I'm not the only one who attempted to cut through a JIF lemon."*

*This - whilst being a perfect metaphor for many of the stupid things I do before my brain wakes up enough to notice - was an actual tweet by a fellow ME sufferer and blogger.

But, back to plans. Up until now my life has been one huge 'When I' - when I finished primary school I knew exactly what school  I wanted to go to. There I knew what I wanted to be before leaving that school and that I wanted to go to sixth form not college. That I wanted to go to university and that, once all that was over I wanted to move into my own place. Whilst, in retrospect, these seem like relatively simple but big changes, I planned them meticulously over a period of years, consciously worrying over them and preparing for various scenarios. I was a plan-a-holic.

2015 was the year - I guess if I had to pick a year it was my year - that all that stopped. I graduated, moved, learnt to rive,  got a job. I ticked all the boxes in my life plan with two months to spare and now I find myself floating between a far off future and now-ness.

Had it been six months earlier I'd be chastising myself for replying to an e-mail a day later than I said I would or my inner voice would be sparking up telling couch-potato me that this was not the most productive use of my time and that I wasn't as good as this person or that person that went to the gym and clearly put more time into their blog. My planning was working against me.

It took me a long time to realise that the reality is that whilst I do have that time, I don't necessarily have the energy. I physically can't always be 'on' or make any kind of concrete plans. AND - future Charley - THAT'S OKAY. Sometimes I can't even speak coherently. Social engagements (and blog events too!) have to be planned around rest periods and simply being a normal human being is exhausting. There's a constant split in my attention between my fatigue, pain and inner voice that is constantly crooning about how a 'normal person' would have handled things better. Yet still I tell myself off for not accomplishing these goals whether it be on a daily, weekly or life-plan basis.

After studying psychology for so many years, I thought I would have the vaguest of ideas about the mind but I can honestly say that I still have little clue as to why I do the things I do (read: JIF lemon incident). I just know that it's all in the little improvements. From finding a way to prop my arm up on the foot of the bed so I can dry my hair without exhausting myself to realising I didn't substitute any words for their homophones in my latest e-mail. I need to focus on the little wins for a change, rather than the big ones.

So that's why I'll be throwing out my to-do list for 2016. What about you?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Beauty | This £2 Matte Palette is Perfection

The title says it all. This warm-toned, matte palette spells perfection for both the crease and the beauty budget! Interested yet?

Naturally, I purchased it for that eye-catching rust-red in the centre of the palette and have been wearing it as a crease shade for just about every day since. But, enough about that. What you're dying to know is how long it lasts right? Because what's the point wasting £2 on an eyeshadow palette if the pigment pretty much non-existent when you might as well just save for the next Naked Palette? Because obviously for £2 it will be... Well, be prepared for a shock.

On my oily eyelids, as a transition shade (see I'm not trying to trick you...) it lasts all day. All day. An eight hour, coffee- filled stint in the office. Impressed yet? The ashy toned brows also make really good brow shades in a pinch, though  I've worked my way through a fair number of shadow, I can't comment on the entire palette - yet - but for the price, I don't think I'll be complaining anytime soon!

I do love a good eBay find - don't you?

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Balm | Mary Lou Manizer

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlight Highlighter Loumanizer Dewy Strobe Strobing 2
The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlight Highlighter Loumanizer Dewy Strobe Strobing 1

The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer is by far one of my favourite highlights. It's buttery and brightening with just the right amount of pigment and sheen to leave a subtle golden glow - all without leaving a white-cast on the skin. Plus the iconic packaging gets some blogger points just for looking cute in my makeup drawer.

I reach for it daily, highlighting my cheekbones, nose and Cupid's bow and balancing it out with a soft contour. If I'm feeling a little more adventurous I'll opt for a light dusting on the forehead and chin to balance out my lackluster dry skin. But in a pinch it can also be used as an eyeshadow or an inner corner highlight which makes a staple for travelling.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Blogging | Gadgets you Need to Kick-start your Content in 2016

A large part of blogging comes from experience. It's not something you pick up over night and it takes a bit of a learning curve to figure out what works for you. Part of that comes from the tech - the behind the scenes little wonders that can do anything from transforming a shot to completely revolutionising the way you work. Here's some of the handbag-sized gadgets I couldn't be without:

Why settle for anything but the best lighting? I took this - mounted atop a miniature tripod like some kind of blogger magic wand - to a meet earlier this year as I hate when potentially gorgeous shots are spoilt by artificial yellow light. It saves a lot of time editing them afterwards too! Needless to say the other bloggers were blown away with it.

With the constant buzz of social media and... more social media. Your phone's battery is probably one of the most complained about first world problems. Whilst I don't go anywhere outside a 20 mile radius without my external battery - complete with enough USBs to charge all my devices on the go - it's nice to opt for a lighter option like this iPhone Battery case by Savfy. Which adds a little extra bulk and a whole lot of peace of mind.
This is not just your typical USB stick. As much as I hate running out of battery on my phone, I hate running out of space more. This little gadget allows me to quickly save those memories whilst I'm out and about and effectively doubles my phone's memory. Which means it is a must have if you're frequently vlogging on your phone or are snap-happy like me. It also allows for the transfer of blog photos to your tablet for editing with a range of apps like Lightroom for iOS which is incredibly handy if you're travelling a lot.

Let me know what you use in the comments below - and if you've be interested in delving a little deepr into by blogging kit! To read more posts in my #BloggingHacks series, click here.

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