Thursday, April 24, 2014
If you didn't know already, I've been home-schooled since November last year and I've been debating whether to write this post for a while. I'm always a bit hesitant to say that I am home-schooled because of all the myths and assumptions, so for a bit of a different topic to talk about, I'm going to tell you the truth about being home-schooled.

This photo has little reference to Meenie but this photo is too cute not to share...

We're not rich. One of the most annoying and irritating things about telling people you're home-schooled is the assumption they make, referring to me & my family as 'rich'. I can tell you now that my family are most definitely not rich!

You have to be REALLY motivated. I don't have a teacher pressuring me to get my work done and you really have to be extremely self-motivated. It's unbelievably difficult to motivate yourself to sit at the table and revise when you have full access to the TV, laptop and phone! Distractions are literally everywhere.

It's difficult. It is so difficult you have no idea. At the moment, I'm studying for my GCSE's and am due to sit around 13 exams... All in something I have completely taught myself. I always find myself under a lot of pressure because if I fail, I'll only have myself to blame. Nobody in my family is a teacher/has teaching experience and I don't have a tutor. Everything that I learn, I have learnt by myself.

It's lonely. I sometimes go days without going outdoors. With everyone in my family working and being out most of the day, the only thing that keeps me company is my cat (don't worry - I'm not becoming one of those crazy cat ladies just yet... or maybe I am). 

You realize who's really there for you. In school I was surrounded by a few people that I thought were my friends. If you go to school and then become homeschooled, you'll realize who actually cares about you, even if it's the odd text saying "Hi Elise! Guess what happened in school today....". I wouldn't have enough fingers or toes to count the amount of people who I very wrongly thought would be there for me. Ah well, that's high school.

You need to be able to deal with rumors & gossip! Rumors are a part of high-school life, I understand that. However, if you're in school and you hear a rumor about you or your family, you are there to defend yourself and set them straight. Since I've been homeschooled, there's been a few rumors about me & my life from people in and out of school that I can't be there to defend. At the end of the day, you need to realise that you don't have to explain yourself to people and it's completely OK to not tell everyone what they want to know/hear. One bit of advice I always try to follow is the quote, "A lion does not lose sleep over the opinion of a sheep". If I'm happy what I'm doing, so what?

Don't get me wrong - being homeschooled isn't that bad; there are a few positives. Pyjama days, snacks and even wearing no makeup and not feeling like you're burning someone's eyes always has to be a positive! 

And... Breathe

Monday, April 21, 2014
You know me and my country walks - I don't know how I'd get through the weeks without them. I love switching my phone off and strolling along in the trees with my camera in hand. Seen as though my last nature post 'A Breath of Fresh Air' went down so well, I thought I'd make it a regular occurrence on the blog.

A few weeks ago my mum, brother and I went for a walk in a nature park. Again, my mum and brother opted for ridiculously inappropriate shoes and didn't have a pair of wellies to hand, so we couldn't stray off the guided path too much. One thing that I love photographing is nature; ducks, trees, animals, you name it, so when I'm equipped with a camera in a nature park, I'm in my element.

I also learn so much when I'm photographing as you notice so many more things that you'd usually look past. For example, who knew ducks sleep standing on one leg?! I certainly didn't. It's also fascinating watching them sleep. One-legged, twisted-necked bundles of feather perching beneath a tree. It's really nice to be able to sit and see the bare-bones of nature when you get so wrapped up in the beauty world.

This Week #11

Sunday, April 20, 2014
Yay! Another edition of This Week is finally back. I've been really into planning and scheduling posts recently and unfortunately, that means I can't often do these kind of posts. I actually love doing these posts and sharing my favourite things from that week. So, without further ado, here's my week!

Rave of the Week: I think this one has to be the Rimmel Apocalips in Across The Universe. I'm more of a matte kinda girl when it comes to coloured lips, but in a bid to venture in to the world of gloss, I picked this up and am completely in love. The perfect mixture of red vampiness with gloss for the people who are quite afraid of looking like your lips are dripping with water. Perfect.

Watch of the Week: This week I've really been loving Lauren Curtis' YouTube videos. I've been subscribed to her channel from when she first began uploading and her's is the only channel where I can watch a makeup tutorial and not find myself checking Twitter half way through. Can we please also mention Lauren's hair? Serious hair envy over here.

Back to Brunette

Thursday, April 17, 2014
FINALLY I managed to get rid of that awful ombre that's been haunting me for almost five months. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may have spotted that the ends of my hair were supposedly 'ombred' (read: ginger). I don't have anything against ginger hair and I think it looks stunning on lots of people but when I was asking for it to be blonde, you could imagine my shock.

It seemed like when I asked for ombre, she mistook me for dip-dye. There was a line running right around my head where the brunette and ginger met and it was absolutely hideous. I'd try and hide it the best I could but ponytails and buns even meant a big ginger streak at the back of my head. In an attempt to get my old hair back, I just bought a regular brown hair dye and put it on the ends. Although it didn't cover completely and there's still some lighter tones than I would have normally, I really like it and am back to being in love with my hair!

Casual Comforts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I have to admit, it is quite strange publishing full-body photos of me on the internet. Usually it's just my face and the makeup I'm wearing on that day, but I'm all for a bit of change! Today I'm coming at you with one of my most comfortable outfit ever.

I've titled this post "Casual Comforts" and this type of outfit is one that I seem to be gravitating to more and more - especially now that these Winter days are so short and all you really want to do is cuddle up in the warm! This winter is one where I've been wearing my Topshop Joni Jeans - lifesavers if you're just wanting to throw something on and look half-decent. They're also super comfy which is always a good thing!

I paired them with a plain white t-shirt from ASOS and checked shirt H&M. Every single of clothing I've ever bought from H&M has been such good quality, but their shop is a right pain to shop in. Maybe it's just me that can't tolerate crammed, busy shops but atleast it's not as bad as Primark. On my lips is Rimmel's 107 - another of my Winter staples.


The Micellaire Waters

Monday, April 14, 2014
Ahh, the beloved micellaire waters that took 2013 by storm. First Bioderma, then L'Oreal, Garnier and every other drugstore skincare brand you can think of. It's no surprise that the standard is so high - they've had to follow in the footsteps of the French pharmacy favourite, Bioderma. 

It's worth noting that if you live in the UK, Bioderma was like gold dust. We had to scour eBay to find a ridiculously over-priced 100ml bottle, but now that they're readily available on Escentual, we're able to roam free. I managed to bag a bottle as a Christmas present and half of a large bottle has lasted me almost three months. I must also add that it is amazing and really does not sting your eyes at all. It really is practically water with some amazing chemicals that dissolve makeup at first wipe. Brilliant.

So, the question is can anything compare to it? Personally, I think not. I tried the L'Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution and it had not a patch on Bioderma. It left a slightly sticky residue on my face and always felt to urge to itch and scratch my face. Bioderma does really feel like genuine water, whereas L'Oreal's version felt a bit more chemical-ly. The packaging is also so much better on Bioderma. There's barely any spillages whereas the L'Oreal bottle meant it was awkward to get the product out onto a cotton pad and most of it was spilt.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Friday, April 11, 2014
Even though I spend 95% of my time either shopping or blogging, it feels really good to sometimes just get out and get some fresh air. Now that it's Spring (or so it should be), it's the perfect excuse to get outside for a walk with my family and my camera.

Although we don't have a dog ourselves, I never tire of taking photos of other people's pups. They're always so happy and energetic and make me feel so calm and content. For me, long countryside walks are all about embracing no makeup, ratty hair and coffee in flasks. There really is nothing better than watching your mum and brother slide around in the mud whilst wearing utterly inappropriate shoes - whenever I come home I always wish I could've recorded it.

I think it's all too often that we get used to being couped up indoors, with our lives revolving around the newest Essie nail polish or Benefit's latest launch. Don't get me wrong; I'm fascinated by all things makeup but I'm really not materialistic at all. I'd happily trade all of my makeup in for countryside walks with my family. 

Learning to Love

Thursday, April 10, 2014
It's no secret that I love to buy makeup, but sometimes I buy into the hype and it's really not worth it. The majority of the time, there's products that have gradually worked their way to the back of my makeup drawer and I've not even noticed they're missing. Yesterday I made a conscious effort to dig through my stash and give them another go.

Real Techniques are the best brushes I've ever tried and have aquired quite a collection; but I just can't get my head around the blush brush. It's too big for my face so blusher gets applied from beneath my eye to next to my chin in one sweep. I also think that there's not enough bristles in the brush itself - the bristles spread out too much for me and leaves patches of pink all over my face. Not a good luck, trust me.

I also haven't gotten along with the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist. I didn't actually pay for this so it doesn't bother me that much as I got it as a birthday gift from Space NK, but I just can't seem to find a use for it. I'm not a fan of the smell and I've applied it in many ways but never seem to know what it's supposed to do. 

The YSL Touche Eclat is one of my biggest gripes. The huge £25 price tag is total waste of money for me as I really don't see the difference between this and a drugstore concealer. Because I'm so pale, it doesn't really highlight and just acts as a really sheer concealer for me. I think this is an appropriate time to be jealous of the Americans once again... At least they can return makeup. Boo.

A Spring Christening Outfit

Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Last week was the Christening of my little cousins. Christenings are always something that I struggle to find something appropriate to wear for but I spotted this gorgeous pink blazer and tried to find something to go with them. Anyway, here's what I ended up wearing.

Blazer - F&F // Shirt - Primark // Jeans - Topshop Joni // Shoes - Select
I was going to wear a dress but that'd mean fake tan - something that only comes in my path if it's completely necessary. The smell and however I apply it is awful so I try to avoid that at all costs. Plus, the weather means that it could have been raining or bright sunshine so I needed to dress weather appropriate! I was in Tesco having a little nosey around the clothing section when I found this gorgeous pink blazer in the sale, reduced to £17. It was obvious I had to pick it up.

I paired it with a white t-shirt and my favourite Topshop Joni jeans. I still felt it was a little 'too relaxed' to pair with flat shoes so I whipped out these gorgeous nude and gold heels that was lurking in the bottom of my wardrobe waiting to be worn. They're not too high that you tower over everyone but I think it just ties the whole outfit together whilst still looking fresh.

Half Face Makeup

Monday, April 07, 2014
This post has been a long time coming. In a bid to combine the #NoMakeupSelfie with the lovely Celine's post on why she wears makeup, I thought I'd do something a bit different. I get sick to death with people saying "makeup doesn't even do anything!", especially my dad. So I got the urge to draw a line down my face and do a natural makeup, then dramatic makeup one one side. Here's how it went.

I just wanted to say that I wear makeup for me - no one else. It makes me feel more confident and if it doesn't hurt anybody else, I'm completely entitled to do so. It's still amazing how a little bit of colour can give you so much confidence; for example I hate my eyes. I describe them as 'pea-like', but I know how to apply makeup onto myself to accentuate and enhance what I like and draw attention away from what I don't.

The whole point in natural makeup is to make it look natural. Lightly drawn brows, nude lipstick and a bit of mascara can really make all the difference, as you can see in the photo above. My cheeks look much healthier, as well as my eyes looking more awake. I then got the urge to do a more dramatic makeup - liner, brows and a red lip. As you can see it really does make a difference.

Now for the interesting part - I want you reading this to do your half-face of makeup and nominate who you wish. Make sure that you pop back here and leave the link in the comments below. Good luck!

A Meenie Update

Friday, April 04, 2014
It's been a quite a long time since we did a little update on Meenie, considering she changes more and more every week. She's gotten a fair few nicknames so far, with some being "Queen Meen", "Meenie-Pie" and my favourite, "Meenie Green Bean". You can catch-up on her updates and her introductions by clicking here.

She's actually come into her first heat as we speak, so it means non-stop, constant meow-ing and doing that really weird position where she sticks her bum into the air. Her new favourite place to sleep is the ironing board in my mum's room, and if she had the choice she'd literally sleep there all night. She still loves prouncing around in the bath and yesterday, I even woke up to my MAC palette pushed in the bath.

We have to be careful at night, though - last week she shut herself in the bathroom and opened the towel cupboard and dragged the bedding and towels all over the floor. God knows how long she'd been in there. She's really getting into a routine, with part of it being rushing into my room in the morning for her treats. She accompanies me whilst I'm sat in the bath and is actually meow-ing back to me when I speak. So cute.

Everyday Makeup

Thursday, April 03, 2014
Ahh, my everyday makeup - a post that I last published way back last August has fastly become my third most-viewed EVER post. I love wearing makeup (duh) and although I do love a bold lip and a statement brow, I prefer to keep it a little more toned-down for a daily basis.

My first step in my daily makeup routine is primer. I've been really loving the Porefessional by Benefit, and I can't even believe that I managed to do my makeup without it. The hefty price tag made it a bit of a "wishing I could have but I can't justify that much money" situation but I bought it as part of my Birthday Haul and I've been absolutely in love with it. I have really large pores around my nose and this minimizes and practically covers them which is amazing.

For foundation I wear the MAC Studio Fix Fluid. Again, something that I can't live without with a hefty price tag. I'm looking for a dupe if any of you guys know of any because I'm going through bottles of this like nobody's business and it's costing me so much money. I then conceal any blemishes and under my eyes with the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. For my eyebrows I use a bit of MAC's Espresso shadow on a Real Techniques angled brush. Nothing fancy there.

For an everyday glow, I use one of the MUA blushes in Shade 2. I've had this for years and it is such a gorgeous, natural shade that makes me look naturally flushed without being too "in your face!". If I can be bothered, I use a bit of the Bourjour Intuitive liner to give my eyes a bit more definition. I finally finish with a touch of mascara to make me look a bit more human-like. After that I'm good to go!

Another Failed DIY...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Seen as though this blog is a place for me to share everything, I thought I'd document a little DIY that failed massively. The DIY Sharpie Mug from A Beautiful Mess is something that I've been wanting to do for a while but every time I go out, I forget to pick up a Sharpie.

So all you need is a cup that you want to draw on and a Sharpie/any other permanent marker. You simply draw on whatever you want then place the mug into the oven for about 10-15 minutes on about 180 degrees. Now everything was fine for me up to this point - I tested my typography skills and just typed in 'tea quotes' to Pinterest. I pretty much covered the mug as well as the handle and then it was fine.

The part where this failed was when I came to wash it. The original post says that it should be fine when handwashed, but dishwasher-ing was where it perhaps flawed. Wrong. I washed this gently with normal Fairy Liquid washing up liquid and all of my efforts and time had been completely wasted. Within as little as two washes, the markings were gone and I was back to my original, boring mug. :(