So today my sister Lucy came home with some news that made me very jealous – she has a new job. This job means she gets to go to children’s parties dressed up as Queen Elsa from “Frozen”, which is one of my favourite films (I get reeeal mushy when it comes to films about sisters). Naturally, I made her sit on the bathroom floor for an hour while I did her makeup and took many, many photos.

(Unfortunately, the light in our house is always really yellow – probably something to do with a lot of yellow walls – so the pictures came out a bit orangey!)

Step 1 – Base

Lucy’s skin is really pale and she has a lot of freckles, which match her gorgeous red hair. I used two foundations – firstly, my Revlon ColourStay (in Ivory) to create a more neutral base, then her own foundation over the top (Rimmel Matte Perfection) to create an almost too perfect base, and cover up her freckles.

Isn’t she just gorgeous?

DSC00009

I used my Topshop Glow Highlighter (a pricey one, but worth the money – you get LOADS in the tub, the packaging is gorgeous and the shine makes you feel like a unicorn) on her cheekbones, browbone, nose bridge, chin and forehead to bring them out, and used a tiny bit of my “Chit Chat” bronzer (yes, that’s from the Pound Shop) to contour her cheeks.
I also used a dab of “Chit Chat” cheek tint (a wonder product, and a dupe for Benefit’s cheek tints) to bring out the apples of her cheeks and give a bit of character to her face.

After that I filled in her eyebrows lightly with my Beauty UK eyebrow palette (my absolute favourite eyebrow product, and a bargain at £3.99), and began work on her eye makeup.

IMG_0076

I used a mixture of MUA eyeshadows – a light frosty blue as a base blended with pastel purple, and then a deeper Rimmel London purple shadow in the crease of her eye. I applied a white Calvin Klein cream eyeshadow (I got it from the Pound Shop!) onto her inner eye corners to brighten them up and add a bit of a cartoony look.

I let her apply her mascara and eyeliner herself – I wasn’t holding myself responsible for poking my baby sister in the eye. She did a mini cat-eye flick with MUA’s black liquid eyeliner, and applied a couple of coats of Essence volumising mascara.
I dotted a little plum lipstick onto her lips and blended it in for a more natural looking stain, and then her makeup was done!

Next thing is covering up that hair. Luckily, she brought home her Elsa wig, so we bundled her hair into a wig cap, and managed to get the wig looking halfway decent (wig-putting-on was a new experience for both of us and was oddly stressful).IMG_0078

This look would be perfect for Halloween if you’re not into anything scary, or just for slapping on and dancing around your house to “Let It Go” if you want to feel like a Queen for a day.

Follow:

Hello Procrastination, my old friend. I’ve come to bash you over the head with a stick.

Let’s be honest here. We’ve all done it. “Ooh, I’ll just have one more biscuit and then I’ll do my homework.” “I’ll just watch 9 episodes of Gossip Girl and then I’ll tidy my bedroom”. I said both of those things today. In my head. Obviously.

The basic thing is this: procrastination is fun. That’s why we do it – it gives us something else to think about before the inevitable happens and we’re forced to – shock horror! – do something useful. Here are my tips for beating procrastination.

1) Mix business with pleasure.

My personal favourite – give yourself a little reward when you do something productive. If it’s hoovering your bedroom or writing your dissertation, celebrate! You’re fabulous and productive and amazing, and you deserve to eat a KitKat. I’m particularly enjoying the orange flavour ones at the moment.

2. To Do! (The more sensible “Ta Da!”)

Make a list. Start with the most horrendous thing first. Pop in a couple of fun things along the way – “lip sync to ‘Shake It Off’ in the mirror”; “order a pizza”; “take the most unattractive selfie and send it to your best friend”. Working your way down the list (and ticking everything off with a big fat felt tip pen) feels surprisingly good. You can even set yourself time limits. By 10PM tonight, for example, I aim to have eaten a 12 inch garlic bread with cheese. These things are important to me.

3. Tidy Sock Drawer, Tidy Mind

I actually got this one from one of “The Princess Diaries” books. The weird one where Princess Mia gets depressed and gets carried out to the car in her duvet or something. Didn’t like that one. In the book, Mia tries to avoid having to leave her bedroom by cleaning out her sock drawer and has a bit of a life crisis. I’m not recommending the life crisis part, although it might add a bit of drama.
Working in a tidy environment does wonders for productivity. When my bedroom is tidy and my open window is letting in all the fresh air (and swearing from the couple who live over the road), I feel like I’ve got my life together. This means I can get a start on my To Do list, which currently includes “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TIDY YOUR BEDROOM”.

Hilariously, I wrote this post as a way of avoiding having to do my university assignments. I’m judging myself a bit now.

Follow:

This is a little harder to write than my ordinary posts, but I figured I’d get it out of the way, and embrace honesty. C’mere, honesty, give me a hug.

Okay. I suffer with Anxiety Disorder. This has a couple of forms, most of which, unfortunately, affect me. Probably the most well-known one is General Anxiety – the sufferer feels constantly worried and tense, even if nothing is particularly affecting them or their lives. This takes a massive toll on their mental and physical health, as tension and worry can lead to physical pain. I suffer a lot with stress-triggered anxiety, which gives me quite severe neck and back pain, which usually results in broken sleep.

Another form of anxiety is Social Anxiety, or Social Phobia Anxiety. I get that too, because nature is just so kind. This creates loads of worry and tension specifically about and around other people. Luckily, this part of my anxiety isn’t as strong as it used to be. It prevented me from having friends, because I would just be terrified to even look at another person. As you can probably guess, this made college and school incredibly difficult. I do still have to leave shops, skip uni, cross roads and go out of my way to avoid large crowds of people if I’m having a bad day.

A symptom of anxiety that I experience – and is often worse than the anxiety itself – is a condition called dermotillomania, which also affects people who suffer from OCD. This basically means that I compulsively pick, scratch and squeeze my skin, usually without noticing that I’m doing it, for hours at a time.

Obviously my skin suffers from this: the age-old fable of “don’t squeeze your spots” doesn’t deter me. If I see an imperfection on my skin I go into automatic pilot – I can waste 20 minutes in front of a mirror trying to scratch off my freckles.

The most noticeable (and painful) part of dermotillomania and my anxiety is, for me, what I do to my scalp. Some people suffer from trichotillomania, which means they systematically pull out their hair. I scratch, pick and dig my nails into my scalp. This obviously means that I get a lot of cuts and blood on my head and in my hair, which is painful, and mainly embarrassing. I live with my hair in a bun to hide the scars and scabs on the top of my head. I have to usually wash my hair every day to avoid people thinking I have chronic dandruff or wondering why my hair is stuck together with blood. I know this is pretty weird and graphic, but if anyone has a similar condition to me they’ll know exactly what life is like.

If anybody suffers like me, don’t be frightened to leave me a comment talking about your experiences. The more we talk about it, the easier it gets.

Well, that was a miserable little post, wasn’t it? Don’t worry – I’m managing okay at the moment. Much more frivolous posts to follow this one.

Follow:

I recently saw a Tweet that almost made me wet myself with excitement.

It was Cosmopolitan UK, posting a review of… what was that? Poundland’s very own makeup line?!

As you know, I love Poundland. And Pound World. And the 99p Shop (oh yes, that exists). Luckily, there’s a Poundland literally a mile up the road from me, so yesterday I popped in on my way back from uni. I was not disappointed. Here’s a little overview of the stuff I picked up. There will definitely be more posts like this when I pick up the rest of the line!

Nail Polish, Base Coat and Cuticle Oil

IMG_0046

Nail polish in “Blood Red”, “Healthy Nails” base coat, and cuticle oil, all £1

IMG_0051

Nail polish in “Parma Violet” and “Purple Rain”, £1 each. I know they look almost identical on camera, but I just couldn’t choose between them!

I absolutely can’t wait to try out these purples – I’m impressed with how the colours are different to other brands that I’ve tried. “Parma Violet” is more of a ‘bright pastel’, if such a thing can exist, while “Purple Rain” has a gorgeous grey tone to create a really moody colour.

IMG_0044

“Blood Red”, perfect for A/W!

I immediately wanted to try these polishes out, so I went for “Blood Red”. The end result? Less of a “Blood Red” and more of a “Squashed Raspberry”, but still lovely; I only needed two coats and the shine is impressive for a £1 product. The base coat and cuticle oil feel really nourishing. I love doubling up my cuticle oil with a hand cream; it’s totally worth the half-hour you have to sit quietly, not daring to move in case you get big greasy marks all over everything…

Pressed Powder

IMG_0049

“Smoothly Does It” Pressed Powder in Shade 1 Translucent with Vitamin E, £1

Okay – I’m so excited for this product. I find it really hard to match powder to my skin colour – I normally get my foundation looking just right and then ruin it with orange-toned powder. This one is much cooler-toned, and will also be perfect for a Halloween tutorial I have coming up in the next couple of days… Hmm, I wonder which character has perfect pale skin? You’ll find out on Wednesday.
I wish I could have picked up some more, but it looked like everyone had the same idea as me and had stocked up, nearly emptying the shelves. I asked a shop assistant who told me they’d restock on Monday, so I’ll be popping in again then. Stay tuned for my Halloween tutorials (with accompanying video, if my video editing software falls back in love with me again), and some fashion posts coming very, very soon.

Follow:

“Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella.”
Chloe Hamilton, The Independent, October 21st 2014

The media student in me came out in full force when I read this article. I initially clicked the link with a vague feeling of outrage – how could anybody say anything mean about the lovely (and incredibly gorgeous) Zoe Sugg? Unfortunately, I feel like the points Hamilton makes in her article (which is still fairly rude and unkind) are fair. Here’s why:

I’ll be brutally honest – I can take or leave Zoella. I maybe watch half of her haul videos, then realise just how much money she’s spent on peter-pan collared dresses, and find something else to do. I envy her looks and her lifestyle – but that’s about it.

I don’t watch her vlogs – her quaint and ‘innocent’ relationship with fellow YouTuber Alfie Deyes does make me want to throw up a bit. People are just too interested – there are entire blogs devoted to the legendary “Zalfie”, and the comment sections of her vlogs are just embarassing (“they NEED to be a couple and my life would be complete”), even though Zoe herself expressed her discomfort at the attention.

However; what fashion and beauty channel on YouTube doesn’t focus on appearance or beauty? It’s a package deal. Zoe’s videos don’t always focus on fashion – she branches out (tentatively) to makeup too. I was a little irritated at the protests – ‘I’m really not very good with makeup’, she says, effortlessly gliding on the perfect winged liner and nude eye.

Zoe’s work with mental health charity “Mind” is to be admired. In fact, the first I saw of Zoella was an “anxiety advice” video – she spoke frankly (maybe a touch patronisingly) about her experiences with her anxiety disorder. As someone who suffers similarly, I found myself feeling comforted. In this area at least, she deserves to be called a role model.

I think Chloe Hamilton’s article will just lead to more popularity for Zoella. She’s likeable, funny and sweet, and I hope she wasn’t upset by the publication. She’s done amazingly for herself – a book deal, beauty line and nearly 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube. She must be doing something right!

Once you get over how perfect she is – her videos are literally like looking at a porcelain doll dressed in Topshop from head to toe – you can waste a couple of hours in her land of make-believe, where clothing companies hurl free clothes at you and Superdrug lets you loose with your own beauty line.
Oh, and she has guinea pigs. So that’s nice.

Follow: