Hello…I’ve not written on here much recently. Partly because I haven’t been organised, but also because life’s been so busy. I know, life’s always busy, but the past few months have been intense. I’ve had a lot on my plate and honestly, I’ve not wanted to post about clothes or about anything in fact.

On the plus side, getting dressed has been easier, mostly because I have fewer choices. The clothes I do have make me feel good and coordinate well, so I don’t have to think too much. I can out throw an outfit together in no time. Recently I’ve started concentrating on developing the style of my work clothes, as I wear them more than any other area of my wardrobe.

In some ways however it felt like I had let things slide. I hadn’t been concentrating on looking after myself at all. For example I hadn’t got my hair done in ages and it was getting unmanageable. I have very thick and curly hair, which is a bit like having an animal that lives on my head. When it gets out of hand it really is an untameable beast. It might have been quicker for me to get dressed, but I was wasting time on my hair. Every morning I was desperately trying to control it and hide the many greys*, roots and split ends.

Maybe it didn’t get it sorted earlier because I was a little burnt out. Maybe it’s because it’s winter and I was in hibernation mode. Either way I was generally feeling rubbish. I’m not sure what prompted it, but something clicked and I realised it was time to start taking care of myself more. So I got a fancy toothbrush **, some nice new beauty products and went for a long overdue haircut.

Admittedly I thought the stylist might faint when he saw how much hair I had. Then I had to watch him stress over what I deal with every day, but other than that it was great. It was a bit of a transformation that left me wondering why I’d put it off for so long.

With that in mind I’ve decided to concentrate on looking after myself. By that I mean sticking to good hair and skincare regimens, and using all the moisturising products! I’m also trying to enough sleep and exercise more.

Have you treated yourself lately? If not you should, you totally deserve it.

x M

*note, far too many greys. I am at the stage where I absolutely have to dye my hair. Brill.
** genuinely more excited by that than I should be

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In my bid to get rid of the excess I’ve been working on streamlining my toiletries. I’ve never been that high maintenance, so having lots of toiletries and beauty bits is silly. In the past I’ve made the mistake of being swayed by offers, when the ‘bargains’ haven’t been quite right they didn’t get used. Storing my products also hasn’t been ideal; I’d rather keep them in the bathroom but there isn’t a good mirror or lighting. Most of them are actually in my bedroom, as that’s where I use them. Sometimes I forget to check both places and end up buying duplicates.

Rather than just throwing all the second best stuff out, I’ve started making an effort to use it all up. This has turned out to be quite useful, it’s given me an idea about what I do and don’t like about them. It’s also meant I’ve incorporated moisturising into my morning routine, something I’d always needed to do. Sometimes I wouldn’t use products because of the container, not the product itself. I had some SPF face cream in a pot, it took up space and felt like effort to use. In general I like moisturiser in a pump bottle, so I distilled it into one. Finally, I’ve banned myself from having duplicates, which has made me fussier when buying something new, as I knew I’ll only have one option.

In terms of my regular products I tend to use:

To keep me on track I’ve made some rules for my toiletries:

  1. Use up what you have – unless it’s truly terrible or upsets your skin
  2. Don’t buy anything new unless you need it
  3. Find out which products work for you and stick to them, sometimes it’s worth paying more
  4. If you don’t like the containers decant into your own
  5. Be mindful of ingredients and make sure packaging is recyclable

What are your toiletry essentials? Also, If you want to read about my makeup must-haves you can here!

x M

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For years I had a huge makeup collection; spanning a cosmetics case, a small drawer and a perspex box. I had every colour of eye shadow, lip gloss and nail varnish along with multiple foundations and bases. There was costume makeup for shows, face paints, budget buys and high end brands. Most of it sat there, getting crusty because I hardly ever wore it. It was excessive, unnecessary and unhygienic. I’d forget what was there and it would be past its best by the time I rediscovered it. I thought that the more makeup I wore the better I’d look and wasn’t really aware of what suited me or my skin, so had a fair few mishaps. I also liked to experiment with colours and products so wanted variety. At least the experimentation made me aware of what products I like, the problem was that I just wouldn’t get rid of the ones I didn’t. 

Despite previous failed attempts, I just don’t wear make-up every day. This might in part be because I value the extra time in bed, I also don’t think I need or suit a lot of make-up. I have sensitive skin, so choose products carefully and the less I use the better my skin is. The only thing I do wear without fail is SPF. At work I use lip balm if I need it, if I look particularly tired some eye-brightening concealer but that is rare. At the weekend a light dusting of powder, neutral eyes and maybe tint on my cheeks. If I am going somewhere fancy I might wear ‘heavier’ make up, but I prefer letting my skin breath and tend just to smudge it anyway.

My Rules

  1. Less is more– I find it suits me not to have too much makeup. Less in my drawer means less is wasted. Less on my face means my skin is in better condition. If I don’t buy makeup often I can afford to treat myself to the lovely products I prefer!
  2. Choose carefully – Be aware of your skin type when choosing products. Having little variety means that there is no room for dud products. I allow myself to get better brands if I know I will use it more than the cheaper version.
  3. Hygiene is important – Cosmetics can be a breeding ground for bacteria which cause spots. If it is past its best just throw it out, you can always replace it. Here is a website that gives you rough guides for the life expectancy of cosmetics. If products ever change colour, texture or smell it is time for the bin! Likewise keep brushes and storage containers clean. Your skin will thank you.
  4. Use what suits you – If you like bright eye shadow and experimenting go with it. If an all year round tan is a must, that is fine too! I know those looks don’t suit me, so I stick to what does and ignore trends and marketing telling me otherwise. Your taste and skin changes over time so it is important be adaptable. Just don’t force yourself to use things you don’t enjoy or suit.
  5. Good things come in small packages – I am in love with make-up miniatures! For some things like mascara I never use up a full sized one, it gets past its best and I replace it. Miniatures are more hygienic and there is less waste. They take up less room at home and in my handbag. If like me you don’t use a lot of make-up, they might be just what you need.

My essentials  

So that’s the current content of my makeup bag, in the future I would like to pay more attention to the ingredients in products…but that is for another time! What are your makeup must haves?

x M

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