Monday, 16 December 2013

A Very Big Decision

Bit of a different blog post this evening.

I love this time of year, I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the gifts for loved ones, every little national and family tradition that you absolutely must do (Watching Dr Who, drinking Buck's Fizz and not even THINKING about opening a 'main' present until after dinner) and of course the SPARKLE. However, there is also vast amounts of beautiful, indulgent, luxurious and hideously calorific food. As always, with Christmas also comes the inevitable; parties, endless Facebook and Insta selfies, and most shops brandishing their latest and greatest (and tightest) party wear.

Now I am curvy. I am a bit of a chub. I have curves that Nigella would look at and go;
'Now there are some hips and boobs'.
I am also seemingly outgoing, confident, loud and I like to think witty.
This is not entirely the case, however.

I constantly feel crap about the way I look. This is not news to around 85-90% of people these days, low self esteem and body hating are the norm, but I am fed up now. Aside from blogging and being a crazy cat lady I also do a lot of performance and dance. This surprises people. They look at me and think, 'Uh huh, course you do. Zumba's not dancing love, and neither is the YMCA at your second cousin's wedding'. Actually, I am a hip hop, ballroom, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre and street dancer. And I hate walking into that studio three times a week and having to look at my horrible body in wall to wall mirrors next to girls who, despite being my oldest and dearest friends and some of the kindest and funniest people you will ever meet, practically disappear when they stand side on to the mirrors. And I hate having to prove people wrong. Why should they presume that because my dress size is double figures I look like one of those Disney pink elephants when music is played?

Let's get this clear I am not the biggest woman you'll ever see. I am not unfit, I am incredibly strong and I do have a kind of vaguely hourglass 1950's pin up figure, but I am not happy. I look at myself and see a blob. Much like the secretary off of Monsters Inc.

So my dearest internetty Chumlas, I have made a decision. After I have consumed most probably a goose and a turkey, 56 loaves of bread, 5kg of potatoes in various forms, 30 gallons of wine, 78 boxes of Ferraro Roches, 3 boxes of the most delightful truffles called Monty Bojangles Abbie and I found in Waitrose the other day, anything with the word Cadbury written on it and enough pringles to last me until Christmas 2023, I will be losing weight. And by blogging about it, I see it as a commitment to actually do it. I cannae lie to you, can I? I will be hungry and moody and annoyed and tired and hungry and upset and hungry and exhausted and hungry - but I have to do it. My goal is to walk into a room of all of my friends far away at various Uni's across the country and for them to not believe I am the same person that they left in deepest darkest Dorset.

I plan to run, and swim, and go to the gym, and make my lovely but scary-ass South African/Portugese dance trainer motivate me. And by next christmas, I want to be slipping into a little Bodycon number with a statement necklace and strutting into all of those Christmas parties. I don't see it as losing weight anyway, I see it as trying to gain confidence. I genuinely believe that as long as you're happy with yourself and dress fabulously you are gorgeous. I think that I need to do this to be a happier me. I think that what is portrayed as 'normal' in the media is borderline anorexic and wrong. I also think that Sam Bailey was right to win the X Factor. She's amazing.

So there you have it. Wish me well Chums. Have an amazing Christmas, eat what the hell you want and join me in January to blast it away with a kick ass running playlist and eating grilled chicken. Mmmmmmm.

Be happy.
Determined Stage Make Up Face

Friday, 13 December 2013

How To Get A Perfect Matte Make Up Look

Bonjour again! This is going to be a long post but it will be worth it!

One of my pet hates (apart from these ones I talked about in my 11 questions for the Liebster Award) is having a really shiny face day to day. Don't get me wrong, I love the illuminated slightly shimmery finish everybody else seems to be able to achieve, but no matter how much Benefit High Beam I use, or how much illuminating primer I buy, I still look like I have run 800m and not bothered to fix my face afterwards.

So, now I love having a matte base whenever I do my make up, whether I'm going out or day-to-day. I have spent ages perfecting this and trying a thousand and one products to achieve a lasting matte finish, and I think I have just about got it. This process works for me, but don't take it as gospel! Just thought I'd share my ideas!

My first tip that I must stress is a matte finish does not begin and end with foundation and powder. No way. Clay face masks are your saviour when it comes to matte skin, as are squeaky clean faces! So use a decent facial cleanser and follow with a clay based face mask a couple of times a week to clear impurities, excess oil and prevent future blemishes.

On to make up!

Always use a primer. It helps your make up to stay on longer and by buying the right one it can help prevent shine and even out your skin tone. I love 17 Stay Time Primer or POREfessional and Stay Flawless Primers, both by Benefit.

Now I have spent most of my days trying to find a foundation that lasts and gives a lovely even finish that covers everything I need to cover and stays matte.

There are three matte finish foundations I have tried and LOVED recently.
The first is 17's Stay Matte foundation, the cheapest of the three but by no means any worse. I have recommended this and recommended it again to everyone I know. Their make-up in the past year or so has got so much better, and I have noticed them trying to match new products of premium brands which is a really clever idea as the brand is really good for those on a budget. The foundation does exactly what it says and is just all round brilliant. I am on my third bottle I think, and for someone who switches foundations with every outfit, that's a winner in my book.

The second is Rimmel's newest foundation, Stay Matte Liquid Mousse. 'Mousse foundations dry my face out.' WELL THIS FOUNDATION DOESN'T. Because it's a *Liquid* mousse this seems to make all the difference. Who knew? Stays matte all day and goes with my desert island product: Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. Fab-las.

The third and final foundation, also my most recent purchase is No7's Stay Matte foundation. I bought this because as we were going into winter I noticed all of my already ivory and porcelain shades of foundation were getting too orange and pink for my ever pale skin tone (Curses of a strawberry blonde welsh woman) and I knew that No7 did a shade that, let's not beat around the bush here, was practically paper white. It is called Calico and it is the closest shade I have ever bought to my natural skin tone. The foundation itself is great. Stays in place all day and provides a natural looking matte finish. It's a really good foundation.

Applying foundation with a brush or sponge always helps to stop shine as applying with your fingers means you're transferring oil onto your face from your hands. I love Real Techniques stippling foundation brush and the Model's Own foundation egg sponge. These help to create a flawless airbrush finish.

So once you've applied your primer and matte foundation, it's time to add concealer.

Instead of Matte concealer I like to use quite heavy coverage ones to cover spots, scars and under eye circles. My top three are:
- Boing! Industrial Strength Concealer by Benefit
- Touche Magique Concealer by L'Oreal
- 17 Stay Time Liquid Concealer by 17

Then go crazy with your finishing powder with a big brush. Or don't. You don't want to look like, in the words of my cousin recently in Dublin airport, 'like you've dipped your face in baby powder'.

My one product I will NEVER stop using is Rimmel's Stay Matte powder in Translucent, but I also like No7's Translucent Loose Powder and Maybelliene's new 24hr SuperStay Powder. You really need to use it to set your make up and absorb oil to really achieve a matte look.

Well done for making it all the way to the end! I hope I have given some useful tips, and I'd love to hear what products you use to achieve a matte look which stays put all day.

GG xx