I was recently asked by the popular high-street brand Warehouse to take part in their #WareStyleXmas campaign with 6 other selected bloggers across the UK. I took part in a photoshoot wearing gorgeous new-season Warehouse pieces, along with modelling for a video tutorial on how to style this bun up-do. The photos were included on a huge poster and leaflets given out at events held in Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland over the weekend - it was amazing to see them in person! (Please note the two-piece I was wearing was a size too big for me, hence why it may look oversized/ baggy.)
(If you want to recreate this up-do hairstyle, check out the video tutorial here.)
Morning all! I haven't written up a beauty review in months, literally. Being honest, I haven't felt entirely enthusiastic about beauty lately - I've stuck to using the products I love and that I've already reviewed on here. I rarely buy makeup anymore, apart from concealers and foundations here and there; I decided to treat myself to the famous 'Skin Base' foundation from Illamasqua a few weeks back when I was walking around Carnaby Street. I've heard endless amount of praises about this product and was delighted when I was matched almost instantly to a shade in the shop.
My first impressions were good; the match to my Casper-like skin was flawless with the shade '02' (yellow with pink undertones). It is probably one of the only foundations that has ever genuinely matched me so well (along with MUFE's Velvet Mat+ in 'Alabaster'). I thought the bottle was gorgeous, almost like a genie lamp. £27 was an okay price for 30ml of product; I'm used to paying around €30 for them regularly, as no extremely pale shades are sold in Boots etc (I've tried them ALL, before you leave me recommendations haha).
I was dying to try it out properly and I wore it the next day. I was immensely disappointedas soon as I started applying it! It latched on to any dry areas of my face, it automatically separated and looked scaly all around my T-Zone, it dragged when I tried to blend it in and it looked absolutely awful on me. No sheen, no skin showing through - I looked like a corpse. It had nothing to do with the shade mind - I always look ghost-like - it was the actual texture of the foundation that made me look 2D. I wore it out that day regardless, to see if it would improve as the day went on. It didn't. It continued to separate, my T-Zone was practically makeup-less after a few hours and I felt that any bit of moisture was sucked out of my skin. (You can see in my photographed swatch that the blended swatch on the righthand side is already looking cakey after seconds of application - on my hand!)
I decided to test out the foundation in different elements, to give it a good go for a review; I wore it in work (air-conditioning, can get hot, can't reapply for 5 hours until I'm off), outside (rain, cold, heat) and general indoors. It had the same effect each time. I have combination-oily skin, so the fact it made my skin dry was so bizarre to me - it's usually the opposite with foundation! The Pixiwoo sisters are huge fans and they have really dry skin, so maybe it only works for that skin type (although that still doesn't make sense in my head).
The only good thing about this foundation is the match to my skintone. I fell out of love with the bottle after a few uses, as it becomes hard to squeeze and get foundation out of it. I'd give 'Skin Base' merely a 2/10 for the match and the service I received in the shop. I definitely wouldn't recommend this if you're of a similar skin type to me; if you want to give it a go, PLEASE try a sample out first. I'm raging I spent £27 on something I'll probably never use. (Expect this to be sold in a blog sale soon, I know a heap of fans of 'Skin Base' are out there!)
Have you used this foundation? What did you think?
Dating - what even is it? That's what I kept asking myself as I was watching some cheesy rom-com a few weeks back and almost curling over with cringe. Over the last few months, I've made a promise to myself that I'd start writing about more personal things on here; stepping a way from fashion/ beauty the odd time to write about something a little bit different. That's when an idea sprung to mind!
Before I even jump into this tale of woe (not really), let me give you a little background on myself in regards to dating, love and all of that other mushy stuff. I'm indifferent to it at all; I've never had a boyfriend nor am I in any rush to have one, I've never been on a proper "date" nor am I in any rush to go on, I know more gay men than straight men and I'm in no rush to change that. I can honestly say I have absolutely zero to no interest in relationships or anything related to them. Yes, I've "seen" some guys in the past but nothing but drama has come out of it all. I'm 20 years young and whilst most of my gal pals have boyfriends/ go on dates, I simply just don't care. I'm not bothered because I've been hurt in the past and I'm not prepared to go through any drama of the sorts until I'm at least 30+. I'd rather lie in bed by myself on a Friday night watching Criminal Minds with a mountain of chocolate. I'm pretty okay with that too.
Now, for my big idea! Whilst pondering on my thoughts of dating, I ended up reading a heap of articles about it online. Since moving to London, I've found more women are open to online dating than back in Dublin. Grindr is a popular app for gay men; a heap of my gay pals back home use it and speak positively of it, but never have I heard a girl talk about anything of the likes until I moved here. Loads of women seem to use the "straight version", Tinder, and love it! I ended up reading articles about online dating and then subsequently scrolled for an hour or two on the most popular ones to see what all of the fuss is about. What was I missing out on?
One thing that stood out for me that night was that the majority - if not all - of the articles about online dating/ general dating experiences came from women who were pro's in the field. Women who have had at least 2-3 boyfriends, women who regularly dated and women who were confident in doing so. I came across none written by women who were disinterested/ indifferent to the subject at all. That's when my idea sprang to mind! I decided, all in the name of research, to give it a go from my viewpoint - the viewpoint of someone who quite frankly doesn't care/ want to go on dates anytime soon.
I was apprehensive at first - What if someone finds me on a dating website and it's plastered all over the internet?! What if I'm stalked and some mass-murderer comes knocking on my door because of it!? However, in the end I realised this was 2013 and it's quite normal to sign up to these websites. I knew before I even signed up to any that the chances of me going out to meet someone in person were highly, highly, highly unlikely. The thought of sitting at a table with someone I've never met, discussing ourselves over cheap wine makes me want to vom.com.
Initially, I googled "what are the most popular dating websites in the UK" and signed up to the first few that popped up. These included Match.com, OkCupid, Lovestruck, Tinder and so on. The majority of these websites suggest you fill in and set up your profile as soon as possible so people see you - most of these included questionnaires about your life and interests, photos, marital status, education etc. All pretty straight-forward. I decided to give each of these websites a day to see which one I'd stick to in the end. Unfortunately, most of these websites seem to be making a lot of £££ out of singletons looking for love; on most of them you had to pay to even read and reply to messages! Ridiculous. After a day, I stuck with OkCupid and Tinder - both simple, quick and easy to use on my iPhone.
Tinder was not my cup of tea at all after a while - after scrolling past hundreds of photos of men for nearly an hour and getting nowhere except to Thumb Ache Central - I gave up. I found it boring and deleted my account on the second day. However, OkCupid was actually surprising me! After filling in my profile and adding some photos, I ended up getting a heap of messages and within a day over 300 men "liked" me. I didn't know whether to be flattered or scared - I was just confused mainly. I've never been the girl all the guys fancy - to say my underbite turned boys off me during my teen years, would be an understatement! I wasn't used to it. I didn't take it seriously either because the majority of the men who liked me were old/ looked liked they worked in Dragon's Den.
On OkCupid, you can message people back and forth, look on profiles and answer questions for free - to see who "liked" you, you had to pay however (along with a few other benefits that I can't remember). One element of the website I really liked were the questions; you answer questions about yourself, views, religion etc and the website matches you up with people of similar views and gives you a percentage on how much you would get on with them in a relationship and/ or friendship. This saves people time and effort - especially if you think "John" is drop-dead gorgeous but actually admits to doing heavy drugs on a regularly basis. I'll pass!
I did receive some hilarious (and terrifying) messages during this escapade, for example; "you have the air of someone who could defeat a stubborn pet. Check out my profile and let me know if you can persuade my cat to do his chores." and "let’s get coffee in a well-lit public place and then rut urgently, like jackals". Christ on a bike, really? REALLY? It's safe to say I didn't reply to them.
If you liked the sound of someone, you could rate them 4-5 stars, if they rated you as high back, you'd get a message telling you "it's a match" between you both. The majority of messages I received were nice, initially. I talked casually to a few guys here and there but didn't find any of them interesting enough to ask out on a date. Nobody tugged at my heart strings. There was one guy I started talking to recently who was attractive and looked like my "type", we had a casual chat for an hour or two. He asked for my number and I reluctantly gave it to him. After bland What's App messages, a reply 12 hours later and then no reply at all - I gave up on that one. I can already hear the wedding bells, ahem..
It's nearing three weeks since signing up and researching for this post and I can honestly say internet dating (and dating in general) just isn't for me. Yes, it's a boost to the oul confidence seeing men "like" you but if they're not there in the flesh, it fizzles out. The whole point of online dating is to meet up with men and go on a date, I get that - but if you feel no spark for someone online, I don't feel the need to see them in person anytime soon.
What have I learnt during this time? Well, nothing mindblowing really. I've learnt that online dating isn't as big a taboo as I originally thought - people from all walks of life, career paths and so on use these websites. I can see how they can and do work but I honestly think you need to have the drive/ courage to do so properly. If you're like me and don't really want a relationship, online dating will merely serve as a confidence booster and a platform for a good chat here and there. Nothing that Facebook can't provide. If I ever meet the man of my dreams, I know for a fact it'll probably occur in the most random of places and times, not online.
Pros to online dating:
It's confidence boosting - "OMG, men actually like me!?"
Filling in questionnaires. This is probably just me but I've enjoyed filling out questionnaires since I was a young 'un. It's fun, okay?!
The chance you might actually get talking to someone you're actually attracted to.
It's interesting to see and experience what all of the fuss is about.
Cons to online dating:
If you're like me and have a "type", prepare to scroll past 99.9% of the lads you come across.
Expect weird and odd messages; block the weirdos instantly.
The temptation to spend money for certain perks of a website.
Thinking that everyone on the packed Tube in the morning knows you from this dating website and is plotting a plan to kidnap you.
What advice do I have for any of you looking for love out there? Definitely give online dating a go. It's one of those things that needs to be experienced by the individual to fully understand it. Be honest in your profile writing, let your sense of humour shine through, don't give too much away but just enough so that you're intriguing. Spell-check everything because there is nothing more off-putting than sum1 hu talks lyk dis past the age of 18. Seriously. Upload 3-4 pictures; none of you with your hands down your underwear and pinching a girl's boob (I've actually seen this). Go for ones that show you for who you are - I'd suggest ones of you by yourself because it's pretty confusing when there's more than one person in the photo! Does the sound of dating still make your palms sweat and your heart race with panic? If so, don't rush anything or force yourself to do anything. If someone likes you enough, they should have patience - regardless of whether or not your relationship begins online.
I will be deleting my profile tonight and won't be signing up to anymore dating platforms in the near future. I'm glad I gave it a whirl for the purpose of this post; hopefully the viewpoint of someone socially-awkward and clueless about the opposite sex is somewhat insightful and relatable to some of you. It's okay to be single, it's okay to enjoy being single and it's okay to want to be single. Remember that! Now, to hunt down James Franco..
Have you ever used an online dating website? What was your experience - did you find it beneficial/ a waste of time? Did you meet the person of your dreams online?
I recently went along to NCS' 'Bites Back' movie shoot, where zombies were created and let loose left, right and centre. NCS is a youth social action programme for 16-17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland, providing them with fantastic work and life skills - whilst making new friends. NCS 'Bites Back' was made with the help of NCS grads and celebrated everyone who took part in NCS this year. Theatrical makeup artist Alistair Reath and his team created terrifyingly spooky zombie looks on each NCS teen using fake blood, latex and cream shadows. Watch the tutorial below for a step-by-step guide on how to zombify yourself..
Last week, Westfield London invited me to go shopping in their massive main location at Shepherd's Bush. I was given £200 in giftcards to spend on fashion, beauty and food for the day. I arrived early in the morning to avoid crowds and was delighted to see most of the shops had their sales on! I picked up two giftcards at the information desk and went on my way to root through the racks.
Westfield offer giftcards in the form of debit cards, each one allowing a maximum of £100 to be put on it. They're reusable and are quite handy to pick up for someone as a present who likes a spot of shopping! One factor that Westfield could improve on is that no shops can tell you how much is left on a card. I had to go back to information each time to check - I'm quite bad with numbers, so trying to guess which card had what on it slowed down quite a few transactions. Also, a few shops don't accept the card in the shopping centre as well as a range of food stalls dotted around (cupcakes, yogurts etc). I think for a general voucher for the shopping centre, all of the shops should accept the card regardless!
I found the shopping centre itself absolutely huge - definitely not something I'm used to (think Dundrum x3). It's really spacious, bright and there's a heap of places to sit down and rest with free wifi. The range of shops is AMAZING; everything from an Urban Outfitters, Whistles, H&M, Zara, New Look and COS. The designer stores are together separately in a section called The Village; Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Prada.. you name it! The food court is fantastic, although admittedly I found it a bit overwhelming when choosing a place to eat because there was so much choice. I eventually settled for a Japanese restaurant called Chikara. I ordered the Squid stir-fried ramen dish (pictured below) with Miso soup. Altogether it was under £10; quite reasonable for such a decent helping of both the meal and soup (which were both delicious, might I add). I paid a visit to Byron later in the day and ordered one of their famous Oreo shakes to go. It was so yummy and it reminded me of Eddie's shakes back home.
Shopping-wise, I got on quite well. The sales were on like I mentioned before, so I was on the hunt for some bargains. COS had the greatest sale section for me and I walked out with three items at fantastic prices! I also picked up some bits from MAC, American Apparel, Topshop, Accessorize and more. To view all of my buys, watch my haul video below!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and would definitely go back for a spot of shopping. Unlike other giant shopping centres I've been in, it isn't claustrophobic at all and there's plenty of room to relax and catch a bite to eat. It's right beside Shepherd's Bush overground and underground, as well as a heap of buses. If you haven't been, definitely give it a whirl! I kept thinking to myself that it was like something you'd see in Panem from The Hunger Games as it was so modern and swish; a genuine treat to pay a visit to.