Wednesday, 1 October 2014

four tips for growing out your eyebrows

i'd like to begin by mentioning that i am well aware that my brows are far from perfect, however if you read my eyebrow journey post back in may you'll know that my brows have been on a very interesting journey since i began messing around with them back in late 2011, and i'd like to think that they've come out of the whole ordeal in a much better place. i'm still working on thickening my brows up a little and growing the inner hairs so i don't need to rely so much on powder to give them the illusion of thickness, and below i'll be sharing the tips that've gotten my brows to how they are now, and how i intend to try and further grow them til they look how i desire them to.

one: swap your pencil for a powder

using a pencil to fill in my eyebrows was what led to me slowly plucking them all away. although it's not how they're intended to be used, it's easy to draw your brows in too heavily using a pencil, leading to extremely thick, dark and unnatural looking brows, which obviously then pushes you to pluck them away until filling them in then leaves them looking an acceptable thickness, which in turn leaves you with scraggly, barely there natural brows (which probably isn't a good luck for anybody.) it's a vicious cycle.

swapping to a powder was the best thing i did for my brows because it helped me get used to a more subtle, natural looking brow that relied on thicker natural brows rather than resented them, and slowly but surely i got used to my brows looking naturally thicker. it's also wise to invest in a good, small angled brush to fill your brows in with because it'll help you to fill them in perfectly and avoid going ott as you once did with your brow pencil. i'm currently using the real techniques detailer brush with the b. vivid eyeshadow in cinnamon to fill my brows in and they do the job wonderfully.

two: gradually reduce your plucking 

if you're as obsessed with plucking your brows as i was when mine were at their most sparse, i understand that it's hard to let them grow out and go wild for a little while, but it's totally necessary if you're to grow them back to their former selves. i began by restricting myself to plucking once a week, then twice a week and so on until now where i only really pluck them when there are nasty, thick stragglers hanging around way below my brow.

as a rule i tend to not pluck the inner corners or above my brow at all, but exceptions are made if i'm starting to grow a slight monobrow. to keep my inner corner hairs at bay, i tend to brush them upwards and give them a quick snip with some small scissors to stop them getting completely out of control and attempt to keep some kind of uniform shape to them. 

three: invest in a brow gel with a brush

picking up a brow gel with a brush completely changed the way i filled, plucked and felt about my brows. previous to using a brush gel, i used vaseline over my brows to set them in place for the rest of the day – meaning the hairs were then pushed to follow the shape of my brow, in a sort of 45 degree angle – and meant i was still somewhat obsessed with the 'drawn on' eyebrow look, but introducing a brow gel into my routine helped me to embrace the natural, bushy brow look, which in turn helped me to embrace my (what would've previously been unruly) brow growth. the brow gel i've been used is the e.l.f. treat & tame and it's been fantastic; it also comes in four shades so there's probably something to suit everyone!

four: make a brow wand your best friend

following on from point number three, an eyebrow wand can come in just as handy as a brush gel in helping you embrace the natural brow look. brushing through your brows with your fingers isn't quite as precise as using a brush, so giving your brows a good brush through before applying any products helps you to realise your natural shape and so comes in handy for shaping and grooming as well as enhancing them. i currently use the e.l.f. eyelash and brow wand and give my brows a good brush through morning and night to check up on their growth progress and whether or not they're growing a little out of shape and may need a little taming.

my eyebrows have become an important part of my beauty routine, and as such i probably feel a little too strongly about their wellbeing nowadays, but i thought it'd be nice to nip by and share the love just in case some of you guys were trying to grow your way out of a nasty eyebrow rut (and boy, don't i understand how nasty they can be!) as always, if you have any cruelty free eyebrow product recommendations or some helpful tips or advice, please feel free to drop them below in the comments!

Monday, 29 September 2014

brick by brick

bowler hat: h&m
boyfriend jacket: new look
dogtooth turtleneck: charity shop
necklaces: lilac edge & handmade
skirt: internacionale
shoes: dr martens

seeing as i start back at university today and as such need to get my creative life back on track, i thought i'd apply the same thought to my blog and headed into my back garden yesterday to snap a few outfit pictures because, shockingly, i managed to make it out of my house for reasons other than alcohol and throw on something other than pyjamas during the daytime!

i nabbed this boyfriend jacket from the new look sale back in may, and i've been patting myself on the back for doing so since the start of september because it's such a good alternative to my well loved leather jacket during these awkward, slightly colder months. it also makes me feel as though i'm trying to look as though i'm attempting to enter adulthood, which i assume can only be a good thing seeing as i'll be turning 21 in november and that's pretty much the definite age when you transition into adulthood, right?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

sunday synopsis

well, tonight marks the first night i've properly had the chance to sit down on my laptop all week, and it's odd because i haven't missed it all that much... probably because i've spent my week drunk or hungover, but we'll just quickly brush over that fact.

this week's been one that seems to have passed both quickly and slowly, if you know what i mean? you know, where the days seem to pass slowly, but you get to the end of it thinking bloody hell, where has the week gone?! no? yes? well it's passed in that fashion for me regardless. freshers has been somewhat tame, but still extremely exhausting, which i think is due to the sheer amount of nothingness that my week consisted of; if i was hungover, i didn't have the motivation or energy to do something, but at the same time i was far too aware of all the hours i was sat wasting, making for an altogether draining week because i was constantly in some weird kind of flux of wanting, but also not wanting, to do something. 

i'm heading into university tomorrow for the first time this year and i assume it'll be an introductory lecture where we're given the lowdown for the year (where we all get the chance to freak out about how little time there actually is within an academic year) and our first brief to begin thinking about. while i'm kind of freaking out about being a third year and no doubt the sheer amount of work i'm going to once again be tackling, i'm also looking forward to welcoming some well needed structure back into my life; i've learnt over the summer that if i'm not faced with a deadline, everything can always wait until tomorrow, and then next week, and then next month and then nothing ever gets done, or if it does it's in a rushed, "i hate myself" style panic, so it'll be nice to reclaim some normality workwise once again. 

as for now, i'm going to prepare my clothes and university bag like a giddy year seven on their first day of high school and crawl into my bed to indulge in a few episodes of freaks and geeks while i can still waste my time so indulgently without feeling horrifically guilty about it.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

saturday scribbles

i've had a completely unproductive week since moving into my student house last saturday, but hey, you can allow yourself a week for settling in, seeing friends, and getting drunk more times than is necessary during freshers week, right?!

while i've not created any new illustrations this week, i have had a play around with my doggy design and turned it into some super sweet bunting to decorate my room with and i'm thinking it looks pretty good! i also picked up a print from our freshers society stall on tuesday because it had a slight mark from pink-tac on the top left corner and so wasn't suitable for sale, and although i'm not too sure how i feel about decorating my room with my own work, i know i'm still really pleased with the illustration as a whole. 

speaking of the freshers fair, here's a picture one of our tutors snapped of me and a couple of others on my course as we were heading outside to try and sell a few prints. we had an incredibly successful day, making just over £200 by selling our own prints and freshers guides that we'd put together and we couldn't be more pleased to have kickstarted our new blood fundraising so fantastically – here's to hoping the rest of our fundraising efforts are just as successful!

Friday, 26 September 2014

youtube video appearances

i've been a little absent from my blog this week minus my usual wednesday, saturday and sunday posts due to a rather lazy freshers week, but what i have gotten up to over the last couple of weeks involves me appearing in a couple of my friends' youtube videos. if you're a long time follower of my blog, you'll know that i briefly dipped my toe into youtube around this time last year with a couple of short ootd videos, however i never decided to take to it any further and quickly gave them up. i'm still getting used to watching and listening to myself on a computer screen, but i thought i'd pop by to share my friends' channels in case you wanted to have a bit of a nosey through them!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

my unsung heroes

4: real techniques contour brush / 5: real techniques detailer brush / 6: h&m eyeshadow brush
7: collection lasting perfection concealer / 8: eyelash curlers / 9: burt's bees lip balm / 10: elf makeup mist & set

i tend to keep up with my weekly beauty post well and in all the weeks i've been posting, i've rarely (or not at all) mentioned any of the products that i use on a daily basis that have well and truly become staples within my makeup bag, so today i thought i'd show them some love and talk you through some of the items i couldn't live without. 

1 - 6: ah, makeup brushes, where would i be without you? i bought my first proper set of makeup brushes last september (i think) and i opted for the real techniques core collection, just because it seemed like a sensible place to start, and since loving them i've picked up a couple of other makeup brushes along the way. i always used to blame the products i was using when i ended up with an unsatisfying finish, but after trading in my cheapo makeup brushes for these more expensive ones i've learnt that it's definitely in the way you apply the product rather than the product itself, which has changed the way i wear makeup completely. 

7: a firm favourite amongst bloggers is the collection lasting perfection conceal, and there's really no mystery as to why because it's a fantastic little product for the £4 price tag. nowadays i tend not to wear a full face of foundation, and instead touch up any blemishes and around my eyes with this, dust with a powder and i'm good to go for the rest of the day!

8: i was at a friend's house the other day and was shocked to learn that she didn't own a pair of eyelash curlers! they're something i never mention on my blog, but every day without fail they help me to achieve a little bit more of a curl in my lashes before i go in with my mascara, and i won't be changing that fact any time soon. 

9: a good lip balm is a must for everyone, and recently the burt's bees lip balms have grown on me quite a bit. they're fairly thick to apply and feel slightly waxy on the lips, but the moisture hangs around for a while after application because it slowly seeps its way into your lips, making sure they're getting the moisture that's needed.

10: and finally, a setting mist. i've only ever used this e.l.f. offering, and it's always worked well enough for me to not want to bother looking for a replacement. the spray is very light and natural feeling, as though you're just spraying water onto your face, and doesn't leave a nasty, sticky residue behind. i've worn this every day now for as long as i can remember and it finishes off my makeup nicely while leaving my skin feeling refreshed.

what are your unsung heroes? is there something missing from my list that sits firmly on yours that i should have tried out? please do let me know!

Monday, 22 September 2014

belated saturday scribbles & sunday synopsis

i've been a bit awol on social media these last few days as i'd been out consuming my body weight in alcohol making the most of seeing friends before i left for uni, and since saturday i've been living in my new student house internetless until today so haven't really had the technology at hand to be blogging properly, but never fear because i'm back today to make up for lost time... kind of.

this last week i've further extended my a-z of doggies by creating a linework piece that has since been screenprinted and is going to be sold at our freshers fair tomorrow alongside the work of other students on my course in the hopes of kickstarting our fundraising for new blood next summer, and i'm pretty excited to see how they've come out! 

i've also been playing around with typography and more doggies while working entirely in watercolour in the same gutsy, paint straight to paper way that i originally produced my a-z of doggies in, and so far so good, i think. i've always loved the painterly textures that comes from traditional work and i'm enjoying the results i've achieved so far, so i'm thinking it's a technique i'll try and play a little bit more with throughout the coming months.

as for uni life so far, last night was the first day of freshers and i had a fantastic time out with all the people at uni who've made the last two years as special as they have been for me – here's to another couple of weeks of good nights out and lazy hangover days before the real work starts for third year!