Saturday, February 28, 2015

Update and Haul: For The Love of Dance

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Hi Everyone,
I cannot believe that this is the first haul of the year and it's the last day of February! This year is going by so fast, but I feel like I have achieved a few things, so I am kind of okay with that. I didn't really get too much in the mail and I haven't really got anything crazy eventful to tell you, but I guess it was enough to start a post. I finally learned how to embed some social media stuff across so there is some of that too.

^Here are some DVDs and Books I got.
From Top to Bottom:
- 'Till The Clouds Roll By' starring Judy Garland
- 'That Touch of Mink' starring Cary Grant and Doris Day
- 'The Geography of You and Me' by Jennifer E. Smith
- 'Withering Tights' by Louise Rennison 
- 'Every day' by David Levithan
- 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' by Sarah J. Maas (Sent to me from 'Bloomsbury')
- 'The Ruby Circle' by Richelle Mead

These are all purchases except for  'A Court of Thorns and Roses' which I did not request for review, but am actually really excited for. I still haven't read the rest of the 'Throne of Glass' series, so I hope that this one doesn't confuse me too much or spoil anything (it's not a spin-off is it?). I bought 'The Ruby Circle' from Target because it's the last 'Bloodlines' book and I am excited to see what happens. The rest of the books and movies I bought were from the Booktopia sale. I know I shouldn't be buying more books, but I think I will get to these pretty soon, they are all books I have really been wanting to read. 

^I did a Moyou order. 
I cannot remember what I bought exactly and it's all dispersed in my collection now, but I got three Kitty plates and one Artist Plate. I also got the Jungle Gold Stamping Polish which I am a little obsessed with. Moyou usually releases new stuff every week and I have to try not to give in...

^I also bought nail polish.
I know , I know. Like I need anymore... But there were new colours and a sale. From left to right:
- 'You Goji' by Sinful Colors
- 'Supernova' by Sinful Colors
- 'Navy' by Sinful Colors
- Nicole by OPI 'Change The World'
- 'Nirvana' by Sinful Colors
- Nicole by OPI 'Daisy's Lazy'

*Please note this photo was taken with flash and colours look very different in natural light.

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I joined an adult tap class. I have danced at one whole lesson and was sick for the rest of them. I did attend one last week where I just sat and watched to get a bit of an idea. I have done tap before. I did 9 years of dancing and I quit on the last year of high school (which would have been ten if I had of finished the year). 6 of those years were tap. I never did tap exams though as our dance teacher didn't offer exams. My new dance teacher is going to teach the exam syllabus starting at the level the other girl in my class is at. I think this is cool, because it means I don't have to start from scratch (obviously I can't actually do the exams though) and I really like the swing style tap dancing which is what she is up to. 

I have ordered a pair of shoes from the teacher and I am really excited to make some noise with my feet. I am starting to get into the whole 1930's 1940's thing lately and I really want to watch all of the musicals (with tap dancing) as I haven't seen many and to invest in all of the cute playsuits and high-waisted shorts... I am not as fit as I would like to be and I discovered a new health condition which I am hoping won't be a hindrance now that I have medication for it.

I really would like to be doing Jazz, Classical or Contemporary classes, but I am excited I at least have tap. Maybe next year there might be more adult classes available. 

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I have also joined a local Rock n' roll dance club. On every Friday I get all dressed up and go dancing. It's sort of like a dance class, but you also get to muck around a bit. I really like how relaxed this dance style is. There aren't a whole lot of rules and it's okay to make mistakes. I really like the music and the people there are really nice. There are a few different people teaching and they all have a different style. 

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I finally watched 'Snow White and The Huntsman'. I had been turned off it originally because I heard that the Queen was sickeningly creepy and there were a lot of complaints about Kristen's acting and the story-line. I'm glad I actually watched this as I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure it's the kind of movie that I will be re-watching  any-time soon, however I will recommend it. If you like fairy-tale retellings, medieval action scenes, fantasy, Chris Hemsworth and you don't completely hate Kristen Stewart than this is for you.

My Opinion on a Few Things:

- I am really glad that Taylor Swift won the BRIT and I loved her outfit/s and live performance. I am a big Lana Del Rey fan, but I honestly think that Taylor deserved this. How cute is that pants-suit/Jump suit thing she is wearing?!

- I don't think the Cinderella movie poster is photo-shopped. I think it's a combination of being naturally hour-glass shaped, a super tight corset and a very extreme puffy skirt. Have you seen Jane Powell in 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'? I doubt a 1954 movie is photo-shopped. 

- The dress looks blue to me and I honestly don't know why anyone cares about it so much. Lots of things look or sound different to lots of people why would an instagram photo of a dress be any different? 


^Here is a link to my nail pictures on facebook. There are seven photos so far in this album. 


^Here are some of the fashion boards I have created using Polyvore. I share them to Pinterest and Facebook.


^Here are a bunch of photos of beauty products I haven't reviewed (Except for the NYX Matte) let me know what you want to see first!


^And, here is a recent pinterest board I created which is a list of movie I want to see.

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That's it for today. I hope you are all having a lovely year so far and that you are all well. Did you get anything exciting in the mail recently?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Guide to All Things Lipstick


I really wanted to come up with a creative and more "specific" name for this blog post, but the truth is that I wanted to write a detailed post about buying, wearing and storing lipstick. I didn't want to say it was strictly for vintage enthusiasts, because I think this post could be a useful resource (I hope) for people who are interested in modern styles as well. I also didn't want to label this as a beginner's guide, because I feel like no matter how experienced you are, there is always something new to learn.

I'm writing this guide, for the same reason I wrote my Vintage (Style) Can Be Appropriate post and my Saving Your Pennies: Beauty post. I know there are a lot of women out there who like the look of a bold lipstick colour, but are afraid to try it out for themselves. I also thought I would try to incorporate some tips for budding vintage enthusiasts and for people who enjoy wearing lipstick already. I'm going to avoid recommending specific products in this post because I am hoping to post up some reviews in the future (haha) and I haven't tried all there is to try (especially not in the way of high-end brands). 

WHY I WEAR LIPSTICK:

As you can probably tell by now I really like wearing lipstick. I wear lipstick probably nearly every day and I own a lot of it. I really like the way that it makes my lips stand out and I feel like it balances my appearance a bit, because I naturally don't have very pigmented lips, I have pale skin and dark hair. If I only have time to put on one cosmetic before I leave the house, it's lipstick. For me lipstick is bit of a confidence booster, but I think you also have to be confident enough to wear it. I like that it's not the kind of cosmetic you use to hide an imperfection, but rather to enhance a feature.

Some people believe that women  only wear lipstick for aesthetic reasons. I don't think this is true. Sure I want to look pretty, but I'm also a big believer in everything that lipstick stands for. Wearing lipstick during the second world war was a symbol of courage. It's also a way for me to express my creativity on a daily basis. It makes me feel like I am putting in an effort and it does make my whole look feel a little more vintage-inspired. 

I don't believe that propaganda about men being more attracted to women who wear lipstick and I don't wear it to please anyone else. While magazines and websites might have statistics that say women who wear lipstick (or make any kind of effort) are more likely to impress, I beg to differ. In my experience, while I have received some nice comments (mostly from other women) I have also been given plenty of strange looks, and had some awkward conversations. 


CHOOSING AND BUYING LIPSTICK:

I think this is probably one of the most intimidating aspects of wearing lipstick, especially for beginners. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a lipstick, such as: texture, wear time, moisture, compatible colour and occasion. While it can be a little tricky at first, once you figure out what you like and what works for your colouring. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different choices available, but hopefully this guide can make it a little simpler.

As far as finishes go you can get matte, satin, gloss/cream and shimmer/glitter lipsticks. Traditionally matte colours are drier and longer lasting and creamier shades are moisturising, but don't have long wear time. However, in recent years there have been moisturising matte colours and longer lasting creamy shades, so you need to decide what you want in a lipstick and do some research to find out which ranges offer those qualities.

 I find that you generally have to choose between long lasting and moisturising, though I am starting to find that a lot of long lasting lip colours tend to be less drying than they used to be and that you can wear balm underneath. If you don't want your lipstick to budge I suggest a matte or semi-matte finish. Liquid lipsticks are great for a long staying look, but I try to get a matching lip liner to neaten up the edges as it can be difficult to apply and remove.

Choosing the colour can  be a little difficult. Typical colour guides go on skin tones (such as fair, medium, dark) or undertones (such as blue or yellow) and don't take other factors such as eye colour or hair colour into account. I have been told that I have yellow undertones, but I have worn blue-based reds before and gotten complements from strangers. I have pale skin, but I have worn darker colours plenty of times and I haven't been called a goth once. I think a mid-toned dusky pink or mauve-brown suit a lot of complexions, and are both very wearable colours, so if you are really unsure that might be a nice place to start. 


The best way to figure out what suits you is to think about what clothes you have and what colours they are. You also might find it's best to go to a beauty section of a department store and try out some testers or to get a hold of some samples. If you try a colour and you are still not sure, take a picture with your phone to help you decide. If a colour doesn't suit you, but you still really want to wear it scroll down to the "Applying lipstick" section for some tips that might help you get away with it.

Because I live in a small town, there isn't a huge range to choose from locally, so I buy a lot of my make-up online. This can be a little difficult as you don't always know what to expect. I find it's best to read some reviews and look at some swatches of the product on google images before clicking "buy". If it's a dearer product look for any cheaper options that give the same result by searching for "dupes". Sometimes paying more money is worth it, while sometimes paying extra is only because of the packaging and the designer ad campaign.

There is no rule to how many lipsticks you can buy. If you only want to try it for special occasions then one or two colours might be enough. It's completely up to you. If you don't like the feel of lipstick you can try a tinted balm, a pigmented gloss or a lip stain instead. If you can't find a matching lip liner, look for a concealer pencil. 


APPLYING LIPSTICK:

This depends on personal preference. I like to apply a lip balm before I do the rest of my make-up, apply lip-liner first (all over), apply lipstick, blot and maybe powder if I want a super matte finish. It really depends on what I am doing that day and what lipstick I am wearing (some lipsticks I own don't need or match a lipliner). I know blotting seems wasteful, but it means it's less likely to get smeared everywhere later and it actually lasts longer. I don't agree with the foundation base for lipstick as I find it too drying and if a lip colour is really glossy or creamy I will avoid using a lipliner (and instead go for a concealer pencil) as the matte texture of a lipliner can go cakey. 

As far as underdrawing or overdrawing lips goes, its up to you. If you are happy with your lips the way they are, then just stay within your natural lip line. If your lips are not symmetrical just overdraw on the otherside to make them even. I am not a huge fan of the modern way of overdrawing lips, but I do like the 1940's Method. Also keep in mind that darker colours tend to make lips look smaller and lighter shades make them look bigger. 'Retro Makeup' by Lauren Rennells is a helpful make-up guide with plenty of tips on making lipstick last and creating different lip shapes. 

It's also important to consider what clothes and make-up you are wearing with the lipstick of choice. While matching your accessories to your lip-colour might be cute, wearing a matching dress is too much. Also, if your lipstick looks out of place, you might be wearing the wrong make-up to complement it. Also, I wouldn't recommend wearing way-out colours like bright purple or orange in a conservative workplace.

Make-up Suggestions:
  • If you are wearing a colour that suits you you can get away with wearing it without make-up if you wish. 
  • If you have noticeable blemishes and under-eye circles, wearing warm-toned (yellow undertones) lip colours can accentuate these imperfections. 
  • If a colour seems too bright or too dark for your complexion (when you have no make-up on) you can try evening out your skin tone, wearing bronzer, defining your brows, wearing mascara/liner and a sweep of bronze/champagne eyeshadow.
  • If a colour really does not suit you, but you cannot be told, your best bet of getting away with it is wearing full coverage foundation, a colour correcting powder, a defined cat eye, bronzer/contour/highlight. 
  • Try not to wear dark lipstick and dark eye make-up together as this can look too heavy. Some darker lipsticks call for a little eye definition to balance out the look. 
  • Brighter lipsticks need to be accompanied by a blush. I usually go a pale coral or light pink. 

LIPSTICK ETIQUETTE:

I wouldn't say I am the most ladylike person there ever was, but I try not to be a slob. Here are a few personal rules I like to follow when it comes to lipstick.
  • I wouldn't say the rules of lipstick are as strict nowadays as they were  during the 40s and 50s. I wouldn't go fixing up my lipstick at a restaurant table or the dinner table at a formal event. However, during the day, in a less formal setting I prefer to try and be as discreet as possible without leaving the room. 
  • Try not to touch your mouth so you don't get lipstick everywhere. 
  • Try not to wear white (especially not long sleeves) if you are wearing a notoriously messy lip colour (or one that takes a bit of work to apply).
  • Carry these items with you when you go somewhere: Tissues for blotting, a tube of the lipstick, any matching lip-liners/glosses you are wearing and a compact mirror. I sometimes carry a similar shade in a moisturising formula so that I have a back-up if my lips start to go dry. 
  • Avoid eating greasy food and touch up after meal times. 
  • Drink from a straw, glass, or sports bottle, rather than a screw top bottle.
  • Try not to rub lips together too much. 
  • If you touch your face, make sure you wipe or wash hands so you don't accidentally stain other things or people. 

LIPSTICK STORAGE and HANDLING:

If you want to get your moneys worth out of your lipstick, I don't recommend tossing them around a lot or letting them roll around in the bottom of a messy bathroom drawer. Here are some more dot points.
  • Invest in a lipstick holder. This will make them easy to locate and will look pretty on display. There are plenty of cute porcelain ones on etsy for people who only have a few lip colours. If you have a lot I recommend getting one of those cheap acrylic stands from ebay or aliexpress. 
  • Do not store it in the bathroom. The steam with make them go moldy real quick. Keep them in a dry and cool place out of direct sunlight. 
  • Try not to drop them as they will break. 
  • Try to keep packaging clean as it can stain the lining of your handbag. 
  • Empty out your handbag every once in a while. You'll be surprised how many "missing" lip colours you find. 
AND NOW FOR SOME PICTURES:













As usual I hope you all enjoyed the post and found something useful in there. Please feel free to list any of your own tips or product suggestions in the comments below.

Please note:
  • I do not own these images. To view image source click on the heart icons under the photo
  • I am not a make-up artist/hairdresser. Most of this post is based on my personal opinion and experience. I also spend way too much time reading beauty guides and watching youtube. Do what you want. Take this advice with as much salt as you need.
  • I'm not forcing anybody to wear lipstick. If you don't want to wear it, that is totally cool. This guide is for people who want to wear it. 

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) By Sarah Mlynowski

THE DETAILS:
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: 07/06/11
Publisher: Harper Teen
I bought this online. 
(Mine has a different cover though)

THE BLURB:
2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house - parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.
If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.
In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.
MY REVIEW:
I was really looking forward to reading 'Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) By Sarah Mlynowski. I really enjoyed reading books from her 'Bras and Broomsticks' middle school series, when I was younger and I thought this would be a cute, light & fluffy kind of read too. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have liked to. It's not that it wasn't a good book; I just don't think it was for me.

This book was a fairly quick read. I read it during the holidays and it was stormy outside, so I'm not sure how I would have gone with it if I was working and had to put it down and pick it up later. This wasn't really the kind of book that you get addicted to because you want to know what will happen next. The plot was a little all over the place and while there was one story-line, there were a lot of other little disjointed things that happened along the way.

I didn't really like the main characters as much as I think I should have. I just kept thinking they were really immature and really irresponsible. I know that it was for the purpose of the story, but I didn't feel like I could identify with the characters at all. The story was a little scandalous, so I can imagining fans of 'Gossip Girl' and 'The Hills' enjoying this book. I liked that the characters weren't overly judgmental of each other. This was the one mature thing. I honestly probably would have been a little more judgmental in some of those scenes...

This book tackles the issue of abandonment and divorced parents. I really liked the way these parts of the book were written and the way that flash backs and correspondence regarding the family were dispersed throughout the story. This was probably what kept me interested in the novel. This book also shows us why we have rules and that responsibility is a big deal.

Overall, 3.5/5 stars. This novel did bring a smile to my face a few times, but I don't think it was really suited to me. I would recommend this book to someone enjoys teen shows like 90210 and is looking for a quick read.


Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Want To Hold Your Hand: A Playlist


Remember Valentines Day last year, when I wrote a blog post about my Top Ten Movies to watch on Valentines Day? Well, this year I thought I might do a playlist. There are a lot of great love songs out there, but I decided to choose the cute ones, because Valentines day is all about cute things like cheesy cards and Teddy bears. I am single, but I don't mind Valentine's day. It gives me an excuse to rewatch a soppy movie and eat chocolate...

I hope you all have a lovely Valentines Day regardless of your relationship status and that you enjoy this playlist I have prepared.


1. 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' by The Beatles

"Oh please say to me,
You'll let me be your man,
And please say to me,
You'll let me hold your hand"

2. 'I Wanna Be Loved By You' by Helen Kane (As Betty Boop)

"I wanna be loved by you,
Just you and nobody else but you"

3. 'Teddy Bear' by Elvis Presley

"Just wanna be, your teddy bear.
Put a chain around my neck
And lead me anywhere"

4. 'Kiss Me' by Sixpence None The Richer

"Kiss me beneath the milky twilight,
Lead me out on the moonlit floor"

5. 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' by The Four Seasons

"You're just too good to be true,
Can't take my eyes off you"


6. 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me' by She & Him

"So kiss me, kiss me, 
Make me tell you I'm in love with you"


7. 'Fools Rush In' by Ricky Nelson

"When we met, I felt my life begin
So open up your heart and let this fool rush in"

8. 'The Way I Am' by Ingrid Michaelson

"Cause I love you more than I could ever promise,
And you Take me the way I am."

9. 'Clean White Love' by Lisa Mitchell

"Whisk me away
I'll be yours for a day
In heavenly fields which we roam"

10. 'Real Love' by Regina Spektor (Beatles Cover)

"Seems like all I really was doing
was waiting for you"


I feel like I could have made that playlist a couple of times over just using Elvis and Beatles songs. There are so many great love songs out there. What are some of your favourites?


Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Summer Favourites: Beauty/Style/Music

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Hi Everyone,
After numerous stormy afternoons, going back to work, a few dance classes and a small technological saga, I'm back! As usual I thought I would share my summer favourites before summer is actually over. Summer is when I have my Christmas holidays, though because it's so hot I don't usually do all that much. Things like the beach aren't really advisable in summer (that's more of a spring thing) and I'm honestly glad I avoided it, because I managed to get really sun burnt twice at other events. 

I don't feel like I have too many favourites to share with you guys this time. I haven't really been feeling like dressing up, unless I have somewhere to go, because it's just so hot. I did get really into the make-up at the start of the holidays and I ate a lot of junk food, so my skin is super mad at me. I have been trying to avoid both. Unless I'm going out I just stick to brows and lipstick. I've been meaning to clean my make-up brushes, but we get a lot of bugs at night and I worry that they will end up with dead bugs on them which is gross. 

Excuses aside, I have had a pretty good summer. I managed to finish five books in the beginning of 2015, I have started dancing again (like actual classes), I have found some new music that I like and I've got a lot of things to look forward to. I did discover/rediscover a few favourites that I thought I would like to share with you. I hope you enjoy.

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SKINCARE:
  • I have really been enjoying the good old Maybelline Baby Lips, Blistex Lip Conditioner and the Patissiere De Bain Sugared Violet Lip Balm.
  • I know it's not really skincare, but on make-up free days I am really enjoying wearing the Avon Magic FX Primer over my moisturiser because it stops my face from going oily.
  • My Eczema has been playing up in the heat, and while this hasn't exactly cured it, I find that applying a little honey to the area before my shower calms it down and dissolves away some of the dead skin. 
MAKEUP:
  • Though I haven't really been going for the full-face make-up look the last couple of weeks, whenever I have decided to go all out I've been reaching for either my Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation or my Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation. These are both fairly new to me and I really like them. The Covergirl one is almost powder-like when it dries and the Bourjois one doesn't need primer or powder.
  • I have really been liking my Milani Colour Statement Lipsticks . I think the darker shimmery shades are my favourites. I am hoping to review these soon.
  • I really like the NYX Blush in Angel. If you can get a little heavy handed with blush, then this is perfect for you. It is almost impossible to over do it with this shade.
  • I have really been loving the ChiChi Eyeshadow BASES Palette . I think it's really good value for money and it's a great companion palette for any collection. 
  • I have also really been liking the Besame Lipstick in Portrait Pink. This is the perfect muted neutral pink colour. 
FASHION/STYLE:
  • I bought a bunch of things from Target and ASOS on clearance and I have been really loving some of them. 
  • I have also been getting a lot of wear out of my MIX Apparel T-shirts. They are affordable and no-nonsense which is great for this weather. 
  • I have really been liking Taylor Swift's style lately and I think some of the 2015 Runway Collections look really good!
MUSIC:
  • I have been revisiting my Marie Antoinette Soundtrack and The Killers CDs that I own.
  • Some songs I have had on repeat:
- 'Sunday Girl' by Blondie
- 'Snow Queen' by She & Him
- 'It's Too Late' and 'Don't Let Me Down' by No Doubt
- 'Wait for Life' by Emile Haynie feat Lana Del Rey
- 'Read My Mind' by The Killers
- 'Beggin' by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons
- 'Swimming Pool' by Emmy The Great
- 'Comic Book' by Emmy The Great
- 'Bizarre Love Triangle' by New Order
- 'Run Away' by Kayne West (I know I know, but it's so catchy)
- 'Boys Don't Cry' by The Cure
- 'All Your Loving' (close your eyes) by The Beatles
- 'Heartstrings' by Leighton Meester


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I hope you are all enjoying the last of your Summer/Winter. What have your favourites been so far this season?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie