Becoming Happier With My Appearance

I KNOW, another personal post. What am I doing?!? Yeah, the New Year has kind of put me in quite a reflective mood, so I thought…I may as well.

I discussed in my 2016 recap post how I’ve started to feel more comfortable with myself, and that also includes the way I look. Although maybe it seems trivial to write about my own appearance, I have felt pretty negative about it in this past, and it’s taken a while to try and move past that. I still am! So I guess this is a part of myself. And in particular I find it difficult to sort out the things that are society or actually me. Like am I genuinely doing this for myself, or is it part of the pressure to be conventionally pretty/skinny? GAH ALL THE THINGS ARE SO MIXED UP TOGETHER.

Firstly: I cut my hair really short at the start of last year. I like it a lot this way. I tell people that I might go back to long hair, but to be honest…I don’t think I will any time soon. Getting my hair cut has given so much more confidence, and except for sometimes dying it I don’t really need to take time to style. It makes me feel cool! Sometimes I can look more ~traditionally feminine~ and sometimes I can look more ~traditionally masculine~. In general I just LIKE MY HAIR A LOT and I’m so glad that I did cut it.

The hair kind of let me start to do all the things I wanted… I was wearing makeup only on school days, just because I felt self conscious about my skin. Argh, this is difficult, but I want to be really clear here: caring about your appearance is 100% okay! Liking makeup is 100% okay, that’s cool for you! But it wasn’t something I particularly liked, and I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for other people. I still sometimes put on makeup, but not as much, and not just out of embarrassment. (Right now I’m wearing eyeliner. I’m terrible at putting it on, but it makes me feel cool and badass.) (I’m trying to worry less about what people think, and it’s hard but I AM TRYING.)

I wrote a little about gender earlier, and thanks for kind of letting me rant there — I guess this is all related. I don’t really know if I feel dysphoria, or if it’s just discomfort with the stereotypical feminine roles or whatever so many big words but I just don’t feel like wearing skirts and dresses that much anymore. (Hence I don’t often wear them.) Although it took a little persuasion *coughs* deception on my part with my parents, but I now have trousers that I wear to school instead of a skirt. It makes me feel a lot better about myself.

Usually I wear shirts or t shirts. I own SO MANY button up shorts, guys. Flannel! Office-y shirts! Really oversized bright yellow shirts! I LOVE SHIRTS. I like the way they look, and I like the way that they make me feel. Just in general…SHIRTS. Basically my favourite item of clothing, if you couldn’t tell. I live in shirts and skinny jeans.

Many people call people my age the ‘selfie generation’ or whatever. I often see things about how narcissistic we are and stuff. I’ve personally never been that comfortable taking selfies or having photos taken of me — I didn’t even have anything to take selfies with for a long time. I still don’t take them a lot but it feels really good to document the days when I’m just feeling super nice about myself or wearing a nice outfit! I like going back and looking at those. It’s fun to see me smiling as well. 🙂 I haven’t actually put any pictures here because this is more about my own feelings than my appearance, I guess, but if you do want to see my face then you can find me on my tumblr blog.

Yes! So this was actually pretty fun to do. I think being comfortable with yourself and gaining confidence is really important. It might be easier for some people than others. Although it’s taken me a while to get where I am now, I’m glad that I feel pretty okay with how I look and people’s opinions of me right now.

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Makeup is not Beauty

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I’ve recently been listening to some of my friends say: “I hate people who wear mascara. Makeup isn’t what makes you beautiful.” And I was just thinking that, well, I agree. Makeup does not make you beautiful. I will now direct you to a post on Schmirfle Blogs.  Come back here when you have read it. You may also want to see what I already have said on this topic here.

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I hope that if you are reading this then you have followed my instructions. If not, then follow them. They’re important. If you have, then congratulations. Let’s get onto the point.

Although makeup does not make you beautiful, that isn’t the only reason people wear it. Makeup isn’t just to make you ‘pretty’ or ‘confident’ or whatever. It’s just makeup. It’s like drawing, or painting or sketching. Except on your face, and you wear it around. Although makeup can be vain, it can also be creative and fun. Makeup isn’t just for people obsessed with what they look like, and don’t judge people by it.

It’s just makeup.

Makeup Revolution Eyeshadow Review

I recently went to my aunt’s fiftieth birthday party so I took the  opportunity to make some new purchases (one of which is this purple eyeshadow). Anyway, I haven’t done a review in ages so I thought I’d give you all my thoughts on it.

Makeup revolution purple heaven eyeshadow

 

Makeup Revolution seems to be, effectively, a rebranded version of MUA. Same philosophy, similar products, same cheap price – even the packaging looks the same!

MUA & Makeup Revolution packaging comparison - similar or no?!?
MUA & Makeup Revolution packaging comparison – similar or no?!?
Swatches: with Nivea Express Hydration Primer on the right, alone on the left
Swatches: with Nivea Express Hydration Primer on the right, alone on the left

 

Anyway, this shade is called Purple Heaven so I was expecting it to be a plain purple but it’s actually more of a shimmery-blue-purple-3D-effect colour, if you know what. I mean (which you probably don’t). It doesn’t show up that well swatched as it isn’t a particularly intense colour, as you can see, but it looks nice on the eye. I applied it in a wash and then put a bit more on the outer third of the lid which worked nicely as a highlight thing.

Considering this was £1 from Superdrug, I’d say that it was excellent for the price!

NYC Sky Rise Mascara

This was another surprisingly good yet cheap buy (it is just £1.99 from Superdrug). I’m not sure if it’s beachside my lack of experience therefore more generous reviews or extensive (cough, cough) internet research that I like to do before I buy anything, but this has proved to be another nice mascara.

Nyc sky rise mascara

The brush (wand?) looks a bit odd with its swirls but it doesn’t work that differently to a normal brush. What I love about it is that the stick part of the wand – you’ll have to excuse the names that I am giving all the parts – is that it’s longer than usual so it is a lot more comfortable to reach both the lower and upper lashes.

Nyc sky rise mascara hand and brush    NCAA sky rise mascara brush

The formula flakes and smudges a little on application but it seems to last well after that; there’s always something passable at the end of the day. It gives length (as suggested) but not much volume. It gives your lashes that spider-leg look after a couple of applications.

I would buy this mascara again. The good product and awesome price has won me over. I would rate it 4/5.

Is it Spring-like where you are? The weather’s not to good over here, sadly. Still, I have the holidays to look forward to!

Apple xx

Is Makeup Vain?

Considering that I blog most of the time about ‘beauty’ (of the face/skin/makeup kind) I thought I’d share my thoughts on something that has been crossing my mind recently…

Is makeup, the thing I blog about, vain?

If you look up the single word ‘vain’ up on Google, then you’ll get this:

having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.’

Well, to get this straight, I don’t think that about myself. Still, makeup is in effect a thing that only changes what people see on the outside. Isn’t that a bit stupid? And old fashioned?

Basically, yes.

Then why do I blog about it?

Although there is a part of makeup that is like art and you can express your emotions, I don’t have the experience or money to do that kind if stuff. All in all, I share tips for cheap and easy makeup.

I don’t really feel like I should  have good reasons. We’re not supposed to judge books by their covers and take appearances to seriously etc. etc, which I definitely agree with, but somehow, against everything, I enjoy writing about beauty.

That is my reason for blogging about beauty: I love it. What about you? What do you think? Is that reason enough?

If you have any opinions about this topic then I’d love it if you commented below (I’m sometimes too scared so don’t be) or emailed me at j.applesmail@gmail.com

I’ll be seeing you all again soon,

Apple xx

Easiest Ever Contour

There are a lot of guides out there about contouring. Some are helpful, some less so. This one, like pretty much all my guides, aims to describe contouring in the easiest and simplest way. This time, with drawings, yay!

Contour = putting light and dark in various places to draw attention to parts of your face/eye/whatever. The light is usually a higher and the dark a bronzer. Sometimes the darker one will be called a ‘contour’ and the lighter a ‘highlight’, but I just use the word contour for both.

Approximately the cheekbone area
Approximately the cheekbone area

When you contour your face, the usual thing you want to focus on is cheekbones: apply highlight just on or above your cheekbones, and ideally the bronzer just below. You can find where to apply bronzer by sucking in your cheeks to make a fish face! Finding your cheekbones is a bit harder, because you actually have to feel for them. They’re usually in a diagonal-ish line going out from the bottom of your nose (they stick out a bit so you may want to use your fingers to find them, like I said earlier). You can also bronze around the sides of your forehead and nose as illustrated in the picture. (I’ve always wanted to say that).

And highlighting? After you highlight your cheekbones, highlight on your ‘expression lines’ so: around your mouth and nose. Then, highlight under and over your eyebrows to make them stand out a bit more (if you want)  and in the corners of your eyes, which will make you look more ‘awake’. This can be a good light alternative to under eye concealer, especially if you’re just us using a light concealer as your highlighter.

My not very good drawing skills present a contour diagram
My not very good drawing skills present a scary contour diagram

This isn’t really eye contouring, but a nice neutral eyeshadow is to do a wash of a shade similar or slightly lighter than your skin tone, then put a lighter one in the inner corner and a darker one on the outer edge.

Do you need to do it all? It’s up to you. Personally, I don’t do the whole lot every time because it’s a bit of a drag, but I…how do I put this? I’m not morning girl. I like to sleep. Thus, I end up with not much time. The same may not be true for you!

Valentine’s day is coming up, so although I won’t be participating in the whole give-a-card-then-let-someone-accidentally-find-out-and-tell-the-recipient tradition that is currently in operation at our school (or will I?) I am feeling the vibes. Happiness! Cute things! Hearts! Chocolate! What about you guys? What are your experiences and plans for this year’s Valentine’s?

On a side note, I don’t think I’ve ever explained my use of the term ‘guys’. I usually use it to mean the people around me, not just boys. In this case, that’s you, the readers.

I’ll be seeing you around soon,

Apple xx

Rules Are Made to be Broken (sometimes)

Rules are made to be broken. Obviously, there are some times when rules are not in fact made to be broken and you should stick to them as much as you can. In other situations, however, it’s okay, even good to bend what you know a little.

One of these situations is, for example: lengthy skincare routines!
Now, I won’t pretend that I’m any kind of skin care expert, but I know that you absolutely do not need a lengthy skin care routine. In fact, it can clog your pores and all that stuff you are putting on your face will build up and not actually do anything.

For people who haven’t heard of the four ‘basic’ steps that are widely used in skin care routines (I have to confess this is a fairly new discovery four me), the steps are cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturising. Out of these, toning is unnecessary. It does what the cleanser should do, and I don’t believe that it helps. Of course, if you think your toner works then keep using it, because if it makes you feel good then it’s obviously a good thing, but what I’m saying is that you don’t need to go out and buy a toner. Forget it.

Skin care products!
Skin care products!

Cleansing stays, even if it’s just rinsing your face with water. Wipes also work. And exfoliating? Well, exfoliating is the weird one. Some people swear by it, but I personally think that exfoliating daily irritates my spotty skin. As a compromise, I use a scrub once or twice a week and then use Clearasil Exfoliating pad-wipe-things, which cleanse and gently exfoliate in one. My advice is to not start of too harsh.

Moisturising can also be built in with suncream, primer, concealer and a whole lot else. It might seem gross, but mixing a moisturiser with a primer in the morning will stop your skin from drying whilst also priming it. Concealer and other similar products can give light coverage. You know what suncream does. This is great for people in a morning rush.

So, if you’re daunted by the things that some people say on skin care routines, be reassured that you don’t have to go out and get all that stuff! You can breathe a sigh of relief.

See you all soon,

Apple xx

Fashion vs Beauty

Which do I prefer? Fashion, or beauty? Hmm. This post will consist of pros, cons, ramblings and such (as usual). And, one twelfth of the way to Christmas is almost complete. It is totally normal to start counting down to Christmas in January, by the way!

Why Fashion is Awesomer than Beauty:

Clothes (and shoes, accessories etc.) last a lot longer than any potions or makeup, unless you grow fast.
Clothes (and all the rest) don’t run out.
Clothes can be mixed, matched and revamped a lot easier than makeup.
Fashion is two thirds of the look. Beauty is only a third, and confidence is the extra quarter. Of course, your character is way more important, but I’m not going to dissect characteristics into fractions.
You can buy vintage clothes, but never vintage make up.
You can wear a party dress without makeup to a party, but wearing party makeup with normal clothes can be an everyday look.

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Reasons why Beauty is Awesomer than Fashion:

It’s on the whole cheaper. I would spend £20 on a jumper, but not on eyeshadow.
It’s easier to ‘express yourself’.
You change clothes every day, but you don’t change faces as often.
You can pamper yourselves with face masks and stuff, but you can’t really do that with fashion.
You can recreate a look you’ve read about by buying the same products; it’s harder to buy the same clothes as that girl in the photo. They might even not sell them any more.

And what do I think? It’s hard. I think I like writing and thinking about beauty more than fashion, but clothes are more important. Not that I’m particularly knowledgable about fashion. But, it’s a close call – it’s so annoying when someone says they can’t decide, though, so I didn’t want to leave you hanging.

I hope your January is going well!

Apple xx

What I’ve Been Using: Nivea Soft Moisturiser

For a long time, I didn’t use moisturiser because I thought that it made my skin get all oily and break out (I have yet to convince my mum that it is not, in fact, absolutely evilest evil evil). If you’ve had a similiar experience, then problem here doesn’t lie in the fact that you’re moisturising, but more likely in that you’re using the wrong thing. Or maybe that your hands are really dirty. It could be either.

Nivea soft

Let me start off by saying that I do not believe it is necessary to spend over £20 on a moisturiser. If you want to, then by all means go ahead and do, but it’s not completely necessary. There are perfectly decent ones you can buy for a whole lot cheaper.

Now, a while ago I wrote a review on Simple’s Light Hydrating moisturiser saying it was nice, but it started to break me out so I’m now using Nivea Soft (I should probably change that review). I think the Nivea was about £2.75 for a 75ml tube, and you can get it from Boots or Superdrug, though they probably sell it elsewhere. Nivea isn’t exactly obscure. Anyway, it dies a good job of moisturising my skin if it gets too dry. Often I get dry patches around spots where I apply gel cream, and it works pretty well in them, too. It doesn’t break me out and is basically all round good. Yay!

Well, I’ll see you around, folks. If you’ve bought Nivea Soft as well then I’d love to know what you think.

Apple xx

EcoTools Brushes: First Impressions

Today I got a lovely surprise when I came in: the makeup brushes that I had ordered from ebay just over two weeks ago had arrived!

Ecotools

These were dead on time (the delivery could have taken another two weeks) so I am very pleased. Although, of course, there’s always a chance that stuff from eBay and sites like that could be fake, but since something like a thousand people had already bought these I thought they were okay. The only different thing is that the bag has a button rather than a zip, but from the label this set seems to be from quit a long time ago. I’m guessing they changed it? Anyway, all the brushes seem very soft and good quality for an astonishing price of £3.75 (I may have got that slightly off, sorry!). My favourite is the adorably small baby kabuki. I haven’t seen one before, so didn’t know what to expect, but it’s just SO CUTE! I have no idea how a brush can be cute, but it is.

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Anyways, I’ll give you an update on how these brushes are performing once I get down to using them properly. For now, I’ll sign off, and I’ll see you all (metaphorically, I guess) next time around!

Apple xx