Sunday, 31 December 2017

Let's Talk - This Year, Next Year, What Happened? What's Happening?

Crap it's flippin 2018 tomorrow and honestly, even though 2017 flew by, I am happy to start a clean  slate and start a new chapter in my life. I just wanted to chat a bit today, I have a few things I want to talk about in terms of my blog but just mainly, want to talk about things generally.
2017 was a big year for me in lots of different ways, it had some amazing parts but also some really bad parts too. For me, in 2017, I did a lot of growing up, things happened to people around me that I needed to deal with, I made a lot of decision for myself, I worked and motivated myself to do my best and I started learning a lot about other people but mainly, what I wanted and expected from other people. I will definitely remember 2017 for some of the amazing things I got to experience which I think I would have already done a post on hopefully.
I don't really know how to approach this post as there are so many different topics I want to talk about so I think I am just going to split it into categories just so it makes a little more sense and it will also help me keep track of my thought.

In 2017, I left year 10 and started my final year of high school. Even though I have only been in year 11 for a few months, I have already felt to significant difference between the two years which is like no other year change I have been through. It has been tough for me, especially December with my mocks and GCSE work really starting to kick in. My GCSE work seems to be going okay, I am optimistic about the situation and with my mocks just over I think my confidence has been knocked a little, in some subjects more than others but hopefully come May, I will be more ready and prepared for what's in store.
With it also being my last year of high school, I needed to decide my next step, what my next two years of education were going to be. Ever since I started high school, I always said that I would stay there for sixth form but when it came to looking around at subjects and stuff, I just didn't want to get there. I never really liked my high school but I just thought, well that is where I am going to have to go to maintain the standard of education people expect from me. At the start of this year, I also had multiple career options spinning around in my brain. One day it was artist the next it was a teacher and the day after that it was a lawyer so to say the least, I had no idea. When it came to it though, I wanted to spend my next two years in education doing something I loved and felt passionate about, no science, that was never my thing and never will be, no languages because, again, just not my things but one thing that I have always wanted to learn about and pursue is my love for fashion and the industry. I did actually base a lot of my GCSE options on wanting to pursue a career in fashion, especially the design part and so since that idea was still around, it must be one I really want to do. My current high school does offer a textiles a level but it didn't really stand out to me and so I started looking beyond my school and my local area and I find a collage that sounded like everything I could have ever wanted and more. Long story short, I went to an open evening, applied, sat an interview, and I have now been offered a spot. It wasn't that simple though, my dad wanted me to carry on a my high school jut so that I wasn't narrowing my options and so the comprise was that I would go to this fashion school, get my btec in fashion and do a maths a level alongside this btec because as much as I love fashion, I need a realistic outlook on after collage and I also didn't want to stop my education in maths, I love the subjects and I'm good at it so this is my little combination. All in all though, I am so super excited and happy to be moving on somewhere fresh doing something I feel so passionate about in a place that I think will teach and inspire me so much. I just can't wait.
As from when I am writing this, I have a spot, I am currently filling out a contract and once that is sent off, that's it. I will be a fashion student which you have no idea how happy that makes me. I still have no idea what I will end up doing but I feel good and excited about my next step of education.
My blog has been a huge part of my 2017, it turned three years old in November but generally, throughout the whole year I was posting content that I loved and am still really proud of. As well as my audience growing, which I am eternally grateful for, I have grown a lot, as a blogger. I have discovered what I like and want to change with my blog, I am constantly switching it up and coming up with new ideas, and I really love that. I think this year has really brought out my creative side in terms of my blog. 
Throughout the year, your support has been amazing. From the comments I read on my most recent post and the new followers that tell me that they love my content honestly just makes me feel so warm and happy inside. I have definitely learnt to appreciate these little things over the past year but I have also learnt that the numbers don't matter. We all go through phases of not feeling good enough and wanting to be like someone else but I am walking into 2018 with a fresh start in mind and also just wanting to do what I want to do.
In 2018, I hope to explore more of a variety in terms of the genre of my blog posts. I love makeup and I think I always will but I also love other things like fashion and fitness that I would love to share on my blog to. My blog has never been about numbers or becoming famous, I have always just wanted to share and type about whatever I feel like and I hope I stay like that in 2018. 
Majority of the time one my blog, I tend to stick to a schedule, even though it changes from time to time, I do always set a time and a day that my posts go up on. As of 2018, I have decided to just post whenever I want. I do like sticking to a schedule but the only thing I will be sticking to in 2018 is that, if I have a blog post going up on a weekday it will go up at 5pm and if I have a blog post going up at the weekend it will go up at 10am. A lot of things took part in making this decision for me, I didn't want to force content out of me, I want to be a bit more spontaneous and just write what I want, when I want but also, like I mentioned, I have really important exams this year that I don't want to have to prioritise, but to get where I want to, I need to make them my number one duty next year. Hopefully you don't mind this decision, I really don't want to disappoint anyone but you will still hopefully get plenty of content from me next year.
This year has been huge for me and a massive turning point in terms of my health and fitness. I really tried to get myself in better shape but before I started going mad on a diet or working out seven times a week, I made an effort to really educate myself. I learnt a lot with the help of Youtube and I really pushed myself to do things the right way. I got a gym membership in 2017 which at first didn't go to much use but after learning about the best ways to train certain parts of your body I was going frequently and really making the most out of my workouts. In terms of my body, I am not exactly where I want to be but I am completely okay with that, I have goals I want to reach and things that keep pushing me to try harder. I am so happy with the progress I have made in 2017 in terms of my body and I hope I continue to make progress in 2018.
So that's the end of my little ramble and summary of 2017. It's been a super strange year but it had its good moments. I hope you all have an amazing new year whatever you doing, I think I am just staying in tonight with my dogs, watching a couple of films. Hopefully 2018 is going to be the best year yet, lets hope anyway.
Have a great New Year everyone!
Grace xx

Friday, 29 December 2017

Purple Sunset Daytime Smokey Eye Makeup Look

I have really loved experimenting with my eye makeup recently and when I was wearing this roll neck top from Topshop while I was staring at my new eye shadow palette wondering what to do, I had a sudden urge to play around with the purple tones. I did feel a slight urge to branch out of my oranges and reds, and so I came up with warm, purple and orange, kind of sunset eye and I thought I would write this post by talking about the eye shadow look in depth but then just listing the face and eye products as they are pretty typical for a "Grace" makeup look.
Just like I start every eye look, I filled in my eyebrows with the Freedom Duo Brow Powder in Soft Brown with an angled brow brush. I went for quite a soft brow today but with a darker colour than usual to help draw more attention to the eyes but to also help frame the face. As usual I did also set down the powder with a clear brow gel.
Just to clean up the brow a little I went in with the Rimmel Lasting Finish Concealer just on a small flat brush on the bottom of the brow to help tighten it up. I then primed the rest of my eye with Mac Painterly Paint Pot and blended that out with a damp beauty sponge.
I always have to set my eye base  with some powder and luckily inside the palette I am using today, it includes a matte creamy white shade that I just pack all over the lid to ensure that all of my crease colours blend.
The palette I chose to use in order to match my top, easily inspired, I know, was the Huda Beauty Warm Brown Mini Obsessions Eye Shadow. This palette is so crazy beautiful and hopefully a full review will be on its way but for now you can see the look I created. I started off with the light brown on the bottom row, in the middle just straight in the crease on a fluffy brush. I am making sure that I fully blend this shade as this is going to be the colour highest in the crease that I will later build on. 
Once that is fully blended, I am then going in with the middle shade on the top row which is a beautiful burnt orange shade. This is once again, going in the crease but with a finer crease brush just to ensure that there is a nice ombre. This look is all about blending, so I am really taking my time to make sure that those two shades are fully blended until I go into the darker shade. I am also trying to keep the crease colours fairly low down in the crease because I don't want to make my eyes look too small by bringing up the colours too high to the brow bone.
Anyway, I am packing the two purple shades in this palette onto the lid with a dense flat brush. I am keeping the colours fairly low down as I don't want to dive straight in and ruin the whole look. I am just packing this onto the lid and then with a small crease brush I am just blending out the purple shades into the crease a little but using a really light hand to keep the look soft. I am switching between the blending brush and the flat packaging brush to keep building up the purple shade onto the lid but to also maintain the subtle blend.
As for the lower lash line, I wanted to keep it soft as this is still a daytime look so I am taking those first two crease shades and softly blending them but not bringing them down too low.
Since that is pretty much the eyes done, all that's left is to highlight the inner corner and brow bone which is the only part of this eye look that is not matte. To stick with the warm theme of the eyes, I am using a more golden highlighter, my one of choice being the TheBalm Mary Loo Manizer Highlighter. I am just taking that on a small domed brush and packing that onto the inner corner and brow bone ensuring that it fully blends in with the look.
I chose not to use any liner with this look, so I am just going to use some mascara, my favourite one being the Collection Volumax Waterproof Mascara. This mascara has just been my ride or die recently, it is so black and it lengthens my lashes so much, I highly recommend.
That's the eye look all finished, so as for the rest of the makeup I am just going to leave the products listed here:
Primark Primer Water
Nivea Men Post Shave Balm
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation
LA Girl Pro Conceal Concealer
RCMA No Colour Powder
LA Girl Pro Powder
Mac Mineralise Skin Finish Powder in Medium/Dark
Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder in Fawn
Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Blush Godess
NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette
Misslyn Rosewood Lip Liner
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cairo
Do let me know if you like this look!
Grace xx

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

My Go-to Golden Eye and Nude Lip - Christmas Makeup 2017

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas. I actually celebrated my Christmas Day on Christmas Eve because the plan was that I would be going on holiday to Abu Dhabi on the 25th of December. I am currently writing this on the 26th of December and I am at home. Yes, that's right, my holiday was canceled and so I spent my Christmas here, which was definitely not the plan and it did take a huge toll on our Christmas spirit. Even though, right now, I don't really want to have to explain why we didn't end up going away, I might talk about it at a later date, but to lift up my spirits and just to genuinely put me in a better mood, I thought I would sit down and write about the makeup I wore on Christmas Day. Since my last makeup look (linked here) was super chatty and in depth, I thought I would leave this post to just let the pictures do the talk and I would just list the products I used at the end. I hope you don't mind that, but if you could help me out and comment which style of makeup look/ tutorial you prefer, I would really appreciate that.
Makeup Products Used: 
Primark Primer Water
Nivea Men Post Shave Balm
LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation in Fair and White
LA Girl Pro Conceal Concealer in Porcelain and Toast
RCMA No Colour Powder
Kiko Provocative Pink Blush
Mac Mineralise Skin Finish Powder in Medium Dark
Ofra X NikkieTutorial Highlighter in Everglow
TheBalm Mary Loo Manizer Highlighter

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Taupe
Rimmel Lasting Finish Concealer in Porcelain
Collection Clear Brow Gel
Mac Paint Pot in Painterly
L'Oreal Infallible Pressed Powder in Ivory
Morphe 35O Eye Shadow Palette
Collection Volumax Waterproof Mascara

Mac Oh Honey! Lip Liner
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cairo

I know this post was a little quick but I hope you enjoyed seeing what makeup I wore on my Christmas Day. Even though this was my Christmas makeup, I do think that this is a makeup look perfect for any time of the year. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and are looking forward to the new year, I know I am!
Grace xx

Friday, 22 December 2017

Red and Gold, Long Lasting Makeup Look - In Depth

At the start of December, me and my friends were lucky enough to have grabbed some tickets to Hannah Renee's Christmas Party. If you don't know Hannah, she is an amazing youtuber who mainly focuses on beauty and fashion. A lot of my friends wanted to go to this party when it first got announced and since I have been watching Hannah for so long, and have fallen in love with her personality on camera, I really wanted to meet her.
I really loved the way my makeup turned out on the day so I thought I'd share it with you as it was quite a full coverage, festive makeup look that lasted all day. Since it is nearing to Christmas and New Years also, I thought that this makeup would be perfect for anyone who wanted their makeup to last all day, as I use a few new techniques for my base makeup and I genuinely think that some of these steps really helped that staying power of my makeup.
You have been warned: This make is quite time consuming as I was experimenting this day and I was trying out new things so it did take me up to about 90 minutes which I understand is quite excessive but take this makeup how you please. You also do not need this many products or use this many steps but like I said, I was playing around and I really wanted to experiment with the lasting power of my makeup.

Just to prep my skin quickly, I used a spray primer because I find it is refreshing and will help to kick start the makeup. I use the Primark Primer Water, super cheap but it does the job perfectly and instead of sitting there with water droplets all over my face, I just take a small, fluffy face brush and just blend it in a little just to give an even distribution and to start helping the product sit in.
After that primer had sunk in, I went in with the Urban Decay Self Adjusting Complexion Primer. This primer is a little more silicon based and has a more matte finish and I figured I needed this step because I can get quite oily throughout the day and with pictures being taken, I did not want to look like a greasy mess. I love this primer because it almost feels like an exfoliant with little beads in it but I think those beads are actually skin colour adjusting because it just makes you look airbrush and evens out your skin tone in the most natural and beautiful way.
This is when I start experimenting. The night before I actually watched Holly Boon's most recent makeup tutorial which was coincidentally a long lasting base makeup look and before she applied foundation she actually applied a loose power around her pores and where her foundation tends to crease which was mainly under her eyes. I really wanted to give this a shot so I took my RCMA No Colour Powder and a damp sponge and just picked up a little powder and pressed it into the skin. I focused it around my nose, chin, forehead and a little under my eyes. I have never done this before but I found that my makeup went on so much smoother and my under eyes did not crease, so I might use this trick some more and play around with it a little. I will also link Holly's video at the end of this post so you can see her tips and her application techniques because I thought they were super useful.
I left the base just to set a little and went onto the brows because I knew my eyes and brows would need cleaning up so there was no point in me doing my foundation. To fill in my brows, I used my favourite, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Taupe. You know I love this and I am not going to go into too much depth about it but I did quite a bold and sharp brows but still softening it out at the front.
To clean up all of that mess I create after filling in my brows, I use the Rimmel Lasting Finish Concealer just on a flat shade brush. I focused most of the product on the tail of the brow as that is where I like it to be super sharp and then also dragged it underneath the brow, nearer to the front just to help blend it together and give it a sharp bottom edge.
I then primed my eyes with Mac Painterly Paint Pot and just put that all over the lid and blending both the paint pot and the concealer together so that there was no harsh lines. To fully blend all of the concealer and eye primer, I used a mini damp sponge and just blended away.
I always have to set down my eye primer otherwise everything on top does not blend properly and it all slides off anyway so I just use the RCMA Powder once again and just applied plenty of that in pressing motions all over my lid to ensure no creasing and to help my eye shadows blend properly on top.
Now I thought was a good time to set my brows as I do my eye shadow so I am just using the Collection Clear Brow Gel to do so. I love this brow gel, it's super basic but to tame the brows it is a must.
Back onto to eyes, as I didn't really know what I was doing, I wanted a white canvas to help enhance any colour I put over and the palette I was using did not include a matte white so I just used NYX Whipped Cream Single Eye Shadow
For the actual eye shadow, I am not going to go too in depth as the picture above sort of shows the sorts of colours I was using but all of these shades were from the Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette. I did start with the crease and built op gradually and as I got darker I got further and further down in my crease and started to focus the really dark colours just on my outer corner. I used a mix of warm oranges, reds and browns but the key with this is just to take your time on blending and building up the colour and pigment gradually. When it came to the lid, though, I just went all out and did a gold soft cut crease, I did dampen my flat shader brush before going into the eye shadow and applying it because I wanted it to be super metallic but also really sharp and I find I get more precision when my brush is a little wet. Just to bring the eye shadow together I just blended the crease colours and lid colours very softly but still keeping the sort of cut crease look. I also highlighted my inner corner and brow bone with this palette by mixing the two lightest shades together.
I really wanted to add more darkness to the eye look so I use the Seventen Kohl Liner in Black in my upper lash line and in the outer part of my waterline.
To finish off the eyes, I just applied a few layers of the Collection Volumax Waterproof Mascara and I find that this really holds a curl but it is also super dark and volumizing which I thought really matched the look.
Back onto the face, I used the LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation in Fair but since that was going to be way too dark for me, I mixed in a little of the white shade of this foundation too, to help create my perfect shade. I applied this onto the skin with a brush but I blended it in with a sponge, which just helps makes it looks more like skin, I find. I did also spend a long time doing this too as you want your foundation to look very seamless and flawless, but I also wanted to make sure that the product was properly pressed into the skin.
Under the eyes and to highlight, I used the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer mixed with the LA Girl Pro Concealer as this gave me the best colour and I just blended that out with a sponge too. I made sure that there was no hard line between foundation and concealer as I just wanted it to look a little more natural but I still wanted a bit of a highlighter to help brighten my eyes. 
I then, pretty much, instantly set down that concealer with the RCMA No Colour Powder and really pressed it into the skin. I did not let the powder sit on top and bake, I just took a small amount and pressed it into the concealer to set it but also not cause a super white under eye.
I did fancy a little bit of cream contour so I used the LA Girl Pro Conceal in Toast and took just a little bit of that because it is really pigmented and blended is under my cheekbones, temples and a bit on my jaw.
To help set that contour and just warm up the face a little, I used the Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Dark just on a big fluffy brush and I started to bronze with it. I usually love a super strong warm bronzer, but this is a little more subtle which I quite like. Since it is actually a face powder too, it also has quite a nice sheen to it which looks amazing in photos.
I further deepened the bronzer and contoured a little using the Benefit Hoola Bronzer as I wanted just a little bit more definition.
A classic step I must include for any look is my Kiko Provocative Pink Blush. Just on an angled small face brush, it just pulls together a look for me.
To highlight, I wanted something bold but also something that just made your skin look wet and for that look I used the Ofra X NikkieTutorials Highlighter in Everglow mixed with the Kiko Wet and Dry Eye Shadow in 208. This is my current favourite highlighter combo, it is just so intense but so beautiful and amazing. I brushed this combo just across my cheekbones, cupid's bow and the tip of my nose.
After this, I then went back to the eyes and just dragged a few of those crease colours under the eyes and applied some lower lash mascara as that just ties it all together for me.
Finally for the lips I lined them with Mac Oh Honey! Pro Longwear Lip Pencil as it is just super versatile shade that applies really nicely.
For all over the lips, I kept it matte as I was wearing my hair down and I changed the lip colour a few times but in the end, I went with the Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Likely. This lip was just super warm and beautiful which I thought really tied in well with the eye shadow. It was also super comfortable because it was not fully matte.

That's it!
I know it was a lot but I hope you found a few tips or maybe some products that you might want to try out in the future or you might even be inspired by the final outcome but I just hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was a little long, but it feels good to be back writing about how I apply my makeup. Do let me know if there are any other looks that you want me to create and whether you like this super in depth chatty style of post.

This is also the last post you are going to read of mine until after Christmas, so Merry Christmas!

Grace xx

Holly Boon's Long Lasting Makeup Tutorial -

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Book or the Film? - Wonder film review

I think it was the end of last year when I finished Wonder written by the incredible Raquel J. Palacio and at the time, I had no idea that it was going to be turned into a film. Only a couple of weeks back did I realise that Wonder the film was going to be out in cinemas and so my mum and I went to watch it.
After reading the book and hearing that it was going to become a film, I was a little cautious. I think we all get a bit like that when a great book you have read is being turned into a film, as we don't want it to ruin the characters we make up in our heads or whether they miss out key details, change plots, play with speech and text, there is just a lot that could go wrong. 
I did see the trailer and cast before watching the film which did put my crazy fears of this book being ruined aside because Julia Roberts was playing the mum of Auggie, as well as a few other well known actors/actresses. Julia Roberts for me is a well loved actress, I think she is so incredible and I could have totally imagined her playing the role of the mum in this book. As for the trailer, I immediately loved how accurate the kept it to the film with some of the key quotes and descriptions kept in mind, I was expecting great things.
As for the film, there is a lot I want to say about it but in few words quickly, I loved it. If you have came to read this post to hear what the film is about then this is probably not the best place, I would recommend watching the trailer to get an idea for the film. Quickly though the book is about a boy called Auggie who was born with facial deformity and he is starting public school for the first time. Obviously, the book is about a lot more than that but that is the baseline. 
I thought the way Auggie looked was actually very close to what I had imagined while reading the book. Having a character with a facial deformity must have been quite challenging to get right for the film because it needs to look realistic but it needs to still look like a deformity and I think that they did the job very well. 
As for the rest of the characters, I thought that each of them, for the most part, really suited their roles. Obviously, not all of them are going to be how you imagined them but after watching the film, each cast member really did match their characters.
The scenes and the way the film moved, I think, couldn't have been any closer to the book if they had tried and I loved that they did that. The book was so well written and each thing that happened in the book was so relevant that I am glad they kept it all in. 
As for the film as a whole, there are so many amazing concepts and ideas that were handled. From grieve to bullying to family difficulties to friendships, I really think that this film captures it all. I also think that it really highlights the toll bullying can take on such a vulnerable person. This film really did show the frustration and resilience these character had to go through, it shows people learning who is good for them and who is a bad influence. As cheesy as it is, this book really proves that being different and unique is something that shouldn't be hidden, it should be embraced and I think that was the best thing I took out of that film.
You have been warned, this film is incredibly emotional. I tend to be quite a emotionless person when it comes to films and books and maybe just life in general. Whilst reading the book I didn't cry but seeing it on a screen, seeing the characters react in a way I had imagined just really pulled the heartstrings. Julia Roberts for me was incredible at showing the bond between a mother and child, her emotional scenes had me in pieces. In general though, I think all of the actors/actresses really had a connection to their role and it really showed because each of them really captured the emotion for me. 
Even though I have just made this film sound heartbreaking, there are some really good pieces of humor in it, especially between some of the friendships in this film. With it being based around young children, they come out with some really funny lines. Generally speaking this is a film that will make you cry one minute but laugh the next. 
I feel like I have just babbled on so I think I am going to end it there but if you haven't already been able to tell. I absolutely loved this film and I would recommend it to anyone. I think why I loved it so much was because of how realistic it was and I also put that down to being why I was so emotional to. A lot of the family scenes in this, I could really relate to and with this film also being based around bullying, it does highlight the impact of it and also, just how cruel it can be especially of kids that age. Do let me know if you have seen this film and if not do you want to?
Grace xx