Beauty · Diary · inspiration · Makeup · Makeup academy · Makeup artist · makeup blogger · MUA · Uncategorized

1st year blog anniversary

I know I have done yet another disappearing act. I am not proud of itI’m not sure why my motivation and energy levels regarding my blog have dropped but I feel guilty and don’t want to give it up. For some time now I’ve been saying that I will post something again but my intentions are not met by actions. So finally today I am forcing myself to do it, reminding myself why I started this in the first place, a year ago yesterday.

In April 2017 I surprised myself by enrolling at the last minute to a weekly evening makeup masterclass near where I worked in North Manchester. It was something I often considered but didn’t know if it was worth pursuing. In the end, it was the realisation that by the end of the summer I would be returning to my homeland Cyprus that pushed me to go for it. My husband and I had made a decision that whether we would find jobs or not we would return to Cyprus by the end of the summer. We had had enough of Britain and felt homesick. I saw an advert in a local magazine about the makeup course that was starting the following week and finishing in the beginning of summer and I thought to myself “it’s now or never”. And I haven’t regretted it! Going on the course not only gave me a new (learning) purpose but it also inspired me to want to share my experience of it and start writing a blog about it.

I wanted to cover everything I was learning in my weekly classes but also to talk about issues related to makeup that interested me. I kept a list of topics I wanted to touch upon but also things that friends and family would mention being of interest to them. The list became quite big and sometimes the topics were too extensive or of not enough personal interest to me to feel motivated enough to cover. Somewhere along the way, reading other makeup blogs, I lost track of what mine was about. The other make up bloggers mostly do product reviews and some of the people close to me urged me to do the same. But this isn’t really me and reviews of makeup products are useful but not something I want to be doing regularly.

So, a year and a day after I first started my blog I promise to return and stay true to myself. Next post to follow soon will be on the basics of becoming a makeup pro.

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Beauty · foundation · girls bonding · Makeup · Makeup artist · makeup blogger · The Breakfast Club · Uncategorized

Girls bonding over makeup

Sometimes when I am taking my time putting on my makeup I am reminded of my teenage years and those Saturday nights my girlfriends and I would gather to get ready for going out. We borrowed each others’ tops and would spend hours helping each other do our hair and makeup. I loved that preparation time. Without realising it, we were pampering each other and getting closer as friends.

I was reminded of those times again this morning when I read an article about one of my favourite films growing up, The Breakfast Club.  The article mentioned the scene between Molly Ringwald who played Claire (aka The Princess) and  Ally Sheedy who portrayed Allison who was The Basketcase of the teenage group in the film.  Two completely different characters finally bond over a makeover after spending hours together unable to connect during school detention. 

This is one of the reasons why I love make up so much! Now that I am slowly practicing my makeup artist skills on girlfriends again I enjoy the process of enhancing their beauty while making them feel good about themselves. Plus, it’s a chance us to catch up and laugh. And let me tell you! Brushing foundation on and spraying faces to fix the make up can bring a lot of surprises and laughs 😃😁😀

Beauty · elections · Eye pencils · Eyeliner · lipstick · Love · Makeup · Makeup artist · MUA · Sanity · Shopping · Uncategorized

Impulsive makeup buys

Hands up who else is also guilty of trying a new brand of lipstick, eye pencil or shadow, liking it, buying it, only to discover when they get home that it’s almost an exact replica of a product shade they already own. This has happened to me multiple times. I must have accidentally bought at least 3 identical shades of red and 2 dark purple lipsticks around the same time; two similar blue/grey eyeshadow palettes​, 3 exactly the same shade of green eyeshadow in wet and dry form and 4 different types of purple shadow which on application ended up looking pretty much the same.

That’s because I am what you might call an “impulsive buyer” sometimes.  Does that happen to you too? Always going for the same thing just in slightly different packaging or with only a minor (unnoticeable to others) difference?

I am also guilty of absolutely detesting the idea of throwing useful things away. Even if they are not useful to me! It’s a conservative streak I have always had.  For one, growing up I was taught that throwing away leftover food is a sin. And it makes sense to not waste food in a world where there are people starving.  Similarly, I hate getting rid of belongings​. My mum actually told me off once for wearing an expensive jacket (which I thought still looked amazing years after I bought it) that was worn out.

So if I end up with lots of similar makeup products which I impulsively bought they usually just stay in my possession, collecting dust. Unless they are that bad that even I have to chuck them out eventually.

Needless to say that I own way too much makeup for my own good.

Testament to this is when four years ago I decided to have a 1-2-1 makeup lesson with a well known Cypriot makeup artist to perfect doing my own makeup. The poor guy didn’t know what he was in for when he suggested I bring along the products I have to our session. He probably thought I only had one makeup bag. Instead, I showed up on his doorstep with 4 big plastic carrier bags full of palettes and vanity bags filled with all kinds of makeup products. Even he thought I had far too many products for a non professional.

And that’s one of the reasons I decided earlier this year to do something about this and take the MUA course which in turn inspired this blog.  So at least something good (I think at least) came out of my impulsiveness 😏

Beauty · Eyes · foundation · lipstick · Makeup · Makeup academy · Makeup artist · MUA · Personal diary · Uncategorized

Rediscovering my makeup and blogging mojo

It’s been 2 months since my last blog post and it feels scary to even attempt writing again.

Initially tired from the move back home and then absorbed by my new job and trying to regain a social life in my homeland meant that I had much less time available for my previous favourite past times: playing with make up and blogging about it.  I even went into a comfort zone of make up routine where I, a person obsessed with colours, felt absolutely content wearing the same nude makeup day in, day out to go to work! Unthinkable for me who used to find nude makeup looks as boring as watching paint dry.

I knew I had lost my mojo and the longer I thought about it the scarier the thought of getting back on the saddle of makeup experimentation and blogging became.  So I decided on taking baby steps and combat my rustiness.

I started by finally putting my MUA certificate to some good use and got a discount card  from the newly opened INGLOT store in The Mall of Nicosia.  I then proceed to buy with my discount a plum matte eye shadow I had ordered from them and had to wait 2.5 months to finally receive, along with an eye shadow primer cream product called Eyeshadow Keeper that works wonders, a loose powder and the AMC pure eyeshadow pigment.  I first heard of INGLOT from my instructor in the make up academy.  She raved about their glitters and pigmented eyeshadows so I wanted to buy at least one.  The AMC colour is a glittery purple that on application looks like what I imagine to be the colour of magical unicorns!

 

The next step was to invite my friend and Maid-of-Honour Maria round for a make over last Saturday. In preparation, I thoroughly cleansed my makeup brushes the night before and spread out all my make up products on my dining table on the day.

 

I was feeling rusty and apprehensive to begin with but Maria was patient with me, open to all my suggestions and helped me regain my confidence.  Both sufferers of sun damage to our skin, we discussed full coverage foundations, the oxidisation that happens with some foundations that can lead to buying a foundation tone that on initial application looks a perfect match but after a few minutes takes a different colour tone.( I am now convinced that this is what happened with my purchase of my Kat Von D Lock It foundation which I’m finding too warm for my skin tone).

I love purple as a colour. Not only do I find it aesthetically pleasing but I find that it compliments all eye colours. A lot of girls I know seem to not like purple for their eyes but I am a proponent of it. Maria has beautiful blue eyes but she never wore purple eye shadow before.  She didn’t mind letting me show her how it would make her eyes pop and I’m glad that she liked the result as much as I did!

Not only did she like the colours I used on her but she even told me today that the whole make up look lasted her all day! So I was super pleased 🙂 🙂

The next step to regaining my make up mojo was that this morning, as I was getting ready for work I dared wear light green eyeshadow and pink lipstick after months and  last but not least I just wrote this short blog post.

 

#vanity · concealer · Diary · foundation · lip gloss · lipstick · Makeup · Personal diary · Sanity · stress · Uncategorized

Stress, sanity and vanity

I know I have gone missing from the blogosphere for 3 weeks (that feel like a century to me), but moving countries, home and jobs has had its toll on both my sanity AND my vanity! They say that moving home is as stressful as bereavement and divorce. Couple that with moving countries and changing jobs at the same time (all within a month) and you have a disproportionate amount of stress for one to handle. Hence, I have been too preoccupied with my amazing new job and spending any free time on the house move to keep same for blogging purposes.

First, my husband and I  had to pack up 3 years’ worth of accumulated belongings from our 2 bedroom rented house in the UK, get rid of unnecessary stuff and donate a number of large items. We managed not to strangle each other in the meantime which, believe me, was quite an achievement. Needless to say that during the last 2 days of non-stop packing in Manchester I could not be bothered with my hair or makeup. Let me tell you, I was not a pretty sight. I looked like a madwoman but I was beyond caring. I was physically exhausted and mentally drained; so looking pretty was the least of my worries.

Having survived phase one of the move and having moved to Cyprus we’re currently in the midst of phase 2 and the massive challenge of downsize and compromise. I struggled with accepting that my girly flat, which I already owned and personally decorated 10 years ago, has to accommodate the male space-invader who does not necessarily share my aesthetics or love for any shades of pink.  I also realised that I have to get rid of loads of my old things to make space for his, taking practicality over taste into account. 

So we’re in a different home, in another country but I still can’t get away from all the clearing out and packing (for storage purposes this time). Every day I have to reconsider what items, hidden away in a drawer or cupboard, are not really necessary to keep. Needless to say that IKEA and a drill have become our most trusted allies in preparation for the awaited phase 3: the arrival of our 62 (!) shipped boxes/furniture items. How they will fit into our 80 squared metres is beyond me and fills me with dread. So,the stress ensues.

As part of all of this, a few weeks back, while still planning the move, I had to decide how much of my makeup products I could live without for several weeks. I had to travel relatively light and I knew that as much as I was scared of keeping the majority of my makeup products in a shipping box I would have to make do with the bare minimum for a while. My birthday gift from my dear friend Asha, a makeup products MAC belt for brushes served me well in storing my brushes inside my professional makeup toolbox along with 90% of the makeup products I own.

The makeup box filled a whole, small carton box provided by the company movers and I made sure to insure it’s precious contents in case of loss or damage.

My suitcase contained mostly summer and work clothes and only 2 makeup bags containing 2 darker shades foundations, my face powder, 2 concealers, my currently favourite mascara, MAC’s mineralise powder/blusher, a lipstick and a lipgloss and a small eyeshadow palette of earthy tones. They have served me well for the last 3 weeks but I can’t wait to be re-united with my “toys” and play with them again. Getting my makeup box back will allow me to experiment with colours again and try different looks on my girlfriends in Cyprus!

For now, I go for a natural, bronzed, everyday look, trying to keep my vanity and my sanity in check.

Eyeliner · Eyes · Makeup · Personal challenge · Uncategorized

Make up your mind – The end of my personal challenge

For those of you who follow my blog, I hope that you have read my post Make up your mind! (Part 1 of my personal challenge) and know what this post is about. If you haven’t, basically, what started as a thought about seasons and makeup colours ended up with giving myself a challenge to only use the same eyeshadows (4 different shades of blue) for 2 whole months! The 4 blue shades were these:

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Blue eyeshadows

I started this on the 9th of May so on my birthday (9th July) I could finally be free! Because having to use the same colour eye shadows day in, day out is not fun! I know it’s a challenge I set myself and it’s no-one else’s fault I came to this decision but there was a reason I decided to go for this ridiculousness.  I wanted to use up certain products which take me ages to go through. Makeup junkies like me would know that with the exception of your staples (such as  foundation, concealer, face powder and maybe a couple of eye pencils), all other products, especially when you have a variety of them, can last for years.  I own eye-shadows, lipsticks, eye gels and blushers that I’ve had for over a decade.  I even have an original 70s Mary Quant golden shimmery eye shadow that my mum passed down to me when I was a teenager and I still use it occasionally (maybe once every 5 years)!

I’m sure manufacturers will say that it’s unhygienic but trust me I haven’t been poisoned or infected by any of my products yet.  I think the makeup industry is trying to make more money by trying to convince us that their products have an expiry date. Mascaras I do try to use up and throw away quickly as they can cause eye infections but everything else is fine, in my humble opinion.

My point is, when someone who loves make up like me accumulates loads of lipsticks, blushers and eyeshadows it’s very difficult to use them up and a strategy needs to be followed.

Exactly a month after setting myself this challenge, I posted my 2nd part of this “mini-series” (which unfortunately I somehow managed to delete without keeping a copy somewhere else) where I mentioned how using the same eyeshadows day in, day out was a bit boring but also convenient. In a way, it took out the having to think what to “wear” for makeup at work question in the mornings. And also, it made me become more creative with how I used the eyeshadows and how I combined them with different blushers, lipsticks and eyeliners.

On some days I used only 1 of the 4 colours, on others I would mix them up, on some other days I would use them all and sometimes I would use just the darkest colour as eyeliner.  Using different brushes made a difference to the final look as well. For example, I would use a blending brush when mixing the colours or use an angled brush to apply the eyeshadow as if I was using a gel eyeliner.

Here are some examples of the different looks I created in the 2 months of my challenge:

So what was the outcome of my challenge when my birthday arrived?

Firstly, it was an exercise of patience which paid off by finally seeing a difference in the Cien eyeshadow pot. After 2 solid months of usage it finally started to look used up with a a lot of product gone. So mission accomplished in that respect.

Secondly, it was an exercise in living more minimalistically – a useful lesson now that I’m shipping my belongings back to Cyprus and I have to live off one suitcase for 6 weeks while I wait for my stuff to arrive.

Thirdly, it was an exercise in creativity where I learnt to “play” with different brushes, lipsticks and blushers to combat my boredom of using the same eyeshadows.

Funnily enough, when my birthday finally arrived, although I was relieved that my challenge was over my first attempt at makeup that day made me look like a clown! I was so looking forward to using more vivid colours that I just went overboard. So I had to remove my makeup, remind myself that less is more and took it easy the second time around 🙂

#concealer · brunch · Coffee · exam · Food · foundation · Friends · Makeup · Makeup academy · Shopping · Uncategorized

Ladies who brunch and go makeup shopping (Part 2 / Manchester)

Even before meeting my friend Asha in London for a girls’ day out in May (the topic of my Ladies who brunch and go make-up shopping (Part 1 / London) blog post, we had planned that she would come and stay with us in Manchester for a weekend at the end of June.  It so happened that the joyful event coincided with some very positive news for me and my husband as well.  I had arranged to take that Friday off and shortly before my friend’s train was due to arrive I received a phone call from Cyprus. I was very nervous and anxious about it because I had done 2 interviews via WebEx with an international company based in Cyprus in the days leading up to it and I really wanted to hear if I had gotten the job.

Thankfully I was offered the job and was thrilled and very excited.  I told my husband and that’s when it both hit us! What we both had been wanting for some time now, to return to Cyprus, was finally happening!! So when I met my friend at the train station an hour later I told her the good news and of course we had to celebrate.  We went to my all-time favourite brunch place in Manchester for a late but massive brunch and from there I Vibered the good news to my family back home and my best friends.

My favourite brunch place is Moose Coffee . I love it so much that I have to take everyone who visits me there and give them a taste of the good life! Here is some evidence of what I’m talking about!

Asha’s visit was the weekend before my exam at the makeup academy so we were discussing about practicing a few makeup looks on her face in preparation for it. I also told my friend that my makeup instructors had mentioned that the Kat Von D makeup line had finally arrived in the UK and was only available in one place in Manchester, at the Market Street Debenhams branch so we just HAD to pay a visit before heading home.  During our previous day out in London I was saying to my friend that I thought her MAC foundation colour was a bit too dark for her skin tone (putting my newfound learning from the academy into practice) and so she wanted to see what else was out there.  For years I’ve mostly used Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation as it was the one product I could find that supposedly does a good job of full coverage so I was intrigued by the Lock It products from Kat Von D that promise full coverage (to the extent of even covering whole tattoos).

We both had a makeover to try on the foundation and ended up buying a couple of products. Asha got a foundation and I think a highlighter (it’s been 3 weeks so I may be wrong on that one).  I bought a foundation, concealer and under eye powder from the Lock It line.

I have tried all 3 of the products but currently only using the concealer on a daily basis and I have to say that I am very pleased with it! (Once I get a chance at a later stage, after I’m settled back in Cyprus I will do a proper review of all 3 products).

Once home, we opened a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate the new job/country move while all 3 us helped prepare dinner (a Greek dish, of course) and talked about what it would take to organise the move.

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Brunch the next day was at home followed by the makeup trial. We kept it to a pretty much nude look although I did manage to convince Asha in the end to let me try a bit of burgundy and purple colours on her eyes. I think she eventually grew to like the outcome but sadly I forgot to take a photo of the look.

At 3 pm we had cake and coffee planned at my local Italian coffee place where we met another friend from our university years, Caroline.  Asha and Caroline are in regular contact but apart from the occasional Facebook chat I hadn’t seen Caroline in more than a decade and it was lovely to catch up with her and also finally meet her daughter, her partner and his youngest daughter. The meeting was topped off with some FaceTime with another university friend, Ange from USA.  It was very sweet even though brief.

Our evening plan for Saturday was dinner and drinks at the nearest Solita restaurant, another favourite of ours, that specialises in massively portioned delicious burgers.

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Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re at Solita’s Prestwich enjoying massive quantities of delicious burgers

The realisation soon came to us that moving back to Cyprus meant that seeing my friend would be less frequent. We have, over the years  though, always managed to stay in touch and visit each other in our respective countries.  Asha even visited me in Athens when I was working there for 2 years.  So we know we won’ lose touch. We may even arrange a holiday somewhere else together the next time.

And who knows? Perhaps we may even throw in a makeup shopping spree somewhere in there…