Eyeliner 101 - Tips from an Eyeliner Enthusiast

Friday, 30 January 2015

Over the past year or so I got over my fear of selfies, and started posting more photos of my face on to my instagram. It occurred to me recently that while I don't get hundreds of comments, any comments I do get on said selfies are usually in relation to my eyeliner!

As a self-confessed eyeliner addict, who no longer looks like herself without a cat eye style wing above her lashes, it's always really lovely to get compliments on how I apply it. So even though I wouldn't consider myself an expert, I thought I'd do a little eyeliner tips post, for any of you who can rock a bold lip (which will never work for me) but get a bit overwhelmed when it comes to your winged eyeliner!

1. Be confident! I think one of the biggest things that causes people to run into trouble with eyeliner is being too cautious. If you're busy trying not to make a mistake, your grip on your brush/pen/whatever you're using probably won't be steady, and you're more likely to end up with the product somewhere you didn't want it to be. So don't be scared of it! It isn't a tattoo, you won't be stuck with it forever! Literally the worst that can happen is you mess up and have to start again, and if that means redoing your eyeshadow, so be it!

2. Speaking of redoing things, if you're not feeling confident yet, don't leave the eyeliner till last! I know it's tempting because it's the part you're least sure of, but it can end up costing you precious getting ready time! Put your eye makeup on first, and then if you do make a mistake and have to remove it, you're just removing your eye makeup and not ruining your base! Also, allow yourself a good amount of time to do your makeup so you're not harassed because you're running late; that can only lead to smudging!

3. Find the right product for you! Just because someone else creates a beautiful line with a gel, does not mean that's the medium for you! I'll use a gel if it's the only thing I have to hand, but I'm a liquid eyeliner girl through and through (I'd be lost without my L'Oreal Superliners!). There are plenty of options, from liquid with a brush or a liquid pen, to a gel, a kohl pencil, or even an eyeshadow used on an angled brush. Play around with different options till you find the one you're most comfortable with.

4. Experiment with different tools! Again, there are different options, so if you've tried a gel liner with a narrow eyeliner brush and it hasn't worked, try using an angled brush. These tools can make all the difference. In addition to that, figure out if you're more comfortable applying the product standing up or sitting down - I'm in such a habit of putting my makeup on standing, which means I find it trickier to apply eyeliner if I'm sitting. It sounds bizarre, but these little things really can make a big difference!

5. Plot out where you're going with it first! The more often you apply it, the more used you'll become to the direction you're taking it, but it never hurts to put a few dots in place as a guide for drawing in your lines! Pop a dot on the outer corner and a couple more leading to where you want the wing to end. Then it's just a case of joining the dots and then filling in the rest of the wing! It's probably not a bad idea to start small, too. Eventually, you will be confident enough channel your inner Amy Winehouse, but starting small makes the whole process a lot less intimidating!

6. Practice practice practice! Honestly, the old saying practice makes perfect definitely applies here. If you have half an hour at home with nothing to do, go and put some eyeliner on. It's like learning any new skill - the more often you do it, the more confident you get.

7. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out the same shape every time - that's part of what makes eyeliner so much fun! I love playing around with different shapes, narrow lines, thick lines, and crazy wings, but partly that's because despite the fact I wear it every single day of my life, I very rarely get it to look exactly the same twice. So don't be annoyed if it doesn't end up at quite the same angle every time. Embrace it!

There you have it - my tips for applying your eyeliner! I hope that was interesting, and helpful to any eyeliner newbies, and thank you so much for reading :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Writing this post reminded me of seeing this on Pinterest! You wouldn't believe the number of times this still happens to me, despite doing it every day!

7 Things (that make me happy)...

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Today I went shopping to try to find shoes for my friend's wedding this weekend. This is a task I have been putting off for a while, because the truth is, there is no type of shopping I enjoy less than shoe shopping.

Shoes are something that seem to make other people extremely excited. I have friends who collect shoes, and love nothing more than donning a new pair of heels for a night out. I could not be less interested in shoes if I tried. Maybe it's because my feet are an awkward "not quite a full size four but hardly anyone makes shoes in a three and half these days", and growing up with small, slightly awkwardly sized feet made shopping for school shoes an incredibly laborious undertaking, but for whatever reason, I just don't have the shoe bug. I learnt the hard way that I have no desire to end a night out with blisters or end up sitting on the sidelines unable to dance because my feet hurt so badly. I also look about as graceful walking in heels as an elephant, so the "but high heels make you look sexier" argument is totally lost on me. Give me a pair of boots or a flat sandal and I am a happy bunny.

This was something I was thinking about tonight while dragging all of my old shoes out of my wardrobe to figure out if any of them are appropriate for Saturday - that something as simple as a shoe can make one person so giddy with excitement, and another (like me) feel nothing but annoyance. Yet give me an afternoon browsing the makeup counters in House of Fraser and I'm like a kid at Christmas, while I know plenty of people who would consider that the epitome of boredom. Coincidentally, after abandoning the search and sitting down with my laptop, I watched a video by one of my favourite YouTubers (Jimmy0010) talking about what makes us happy. He said he thinks we don't spend enough time thinking about what makes us happy, and he ended up making a list, just out of curiosity. I actually think I probably spend a bit too much time contemplating the idea of happiness (something for another post), but I thought it was a really good thing to try out.

I've read a few blog posts/watched a few videos lately on the idea of self care, and starting to explore what self care actually is. My friend Laura wrote a blog post last week along similar lines, which I'll link here for you to go and check out, and I think reflecting on the things in our lives that are making us happy and unhappy is a healthy thing - if we stop to properly think about it it means we can start finding ways to eliminate (or at least minimise) the things that are dragging us down, and spend more time focused on the things that are genuinely making us feel good. Obviously there are the big things - family, friends, work (if you are fortunate enough to have a really fulfilling career!), but this is more about the little day to day things that bring a smile to your face!

So here is my little list of seven (my lucky number) every day things that make me genuinely happy!

1. Getting lost in my favourite television show. It's such a simple thing, but watching a couple of episodes of a really good TV show never fails to make me feel good. It's like a weird comfort blanket - any niggles or stresses in the real world can be forgotten about for a couple of hours, and you get to explore this whole other world. For me, this changes from supernatural worlds, like The Vampire Diaries, or OUAT, to really character centric dramas like Lost, or my current obsession, House. I like good character creation and clever writing, and I could sit and watch my favourite shows all day.

2. Eating - now this one can be a dangerous one, especially if like me you are a comfort eater, but food makes me genuinely happy. Whether it's eating a bit of cake on the couch watching TV, or going out for dinner with friends, I always feel a little buzz of joy when one of my favourite foods comes my way.

3. Having a hot shower. This is also a bad one, because having the shower too hot isn't necessarily good for you, but sometimes nothing beats a properly hot shower.

4. Putting on my makeup. I get so much happiness out of putting on my makeup, it is ridiculous. I don't feel like myself without my eyeliner on, and I find the entire process, from start to finish (from primer to lipstick, if you will), incredibly therapeutic.

5. Music has always had the ability to improve my mood. I have songs I seek out for every mood and I create film trailers and music videos in my head for pretty much every song I listen to. So going for a walk with my iPod blaring is always a good idea.

6. My hula hoop. Honestly, my exercising habits are appalling and, of late, practically non-existent. It's definitely something I need to work on (hello new gym membership) but I LOVE my hula hoop. If I'm feeling worked up, or have been sitting at the computer for one too many hours, doing my hula hoop for half an hour with some energetic music instantly cheers me up.

7. Tea. Nothing more really needs to be added here, other than to say that there are few situations which cannot be improved with a good cup of tea.

So there you have it! I'd love to know what every day things make you feel happy - it can be like a mini happiness project for 2015!

Thanks for reading! :)

Watch. Read. Listen.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Hello you lovely lot. I hope you're well and 2015 has been treating you kindly so far. Other than the crazy weather, I've had a perfectly nice couple of weeks :)

I thought that I'd share with you a few of the things I have been losing myself in at the start of 2015. As we all know, I love my films/tv shows/books and music, and I do enjoy having a good natter about them. I posted a lot of I've Been Watchings in 2014, which I'm planning on getting back in to, but in the meantime, here is a snapshot of my current viewing, listening and reading material!

I've Been Watching


I have devoured almost all of season one of House in a week, and my goodness, is it brilliant, or is it brilliant? I've wanted to watch this show for the longest time and just never got around to it/had the opportunity to watch it. Netflix, my beloved, helped me out with that.

House, if you don't already know, follows the work of Dr. Gregory House (played by the amazing Hugh Laurie), and his team of young doctors, Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) and Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer). House himself is a brilliant doctor, but an awkward and often difficult human being, and he just fascinates me. Each episode concentrates on the team solving an unusual medical case, while gradually drip feeding us information about the lives of the main characters in the quiet moments in between. There are some really lovely character dynamics and relationships building up through season one, and already there have been some of those "is my heart sort of expanding, because it feels like it is" moments for me. In a "this is really cute" way, not literally, of course. I won't say any more to avoid spoilers, but I would love for someone to start watching it alongside me so I can rave about it with them. And discuss the likelihood of Jennifer Morrison and I becoming best pals.

The Vampire Diaries

I finally made my way through my season 5 TVD box set over Christmas and New Year (okay, within the space of a couple of days - classic binge watching) and I really, really enjoyed it. Apparently ratings are dropping and the show is losing popularity, but I honestly thought this season was strong. Particularly the Katherine storyline - it was equal parts infuriating and mesmerising, Nina Dobrev is just so fantastic when she's playing Katherine. I also knew that the series had a traumatic finale, and despite preparing myself for something upsetting, I still cried for about twenty minutes. I am a loser.

Also, Ian Somerhalder is just fantastic, isn't he? Damon Salvatore is tv gold - extremely easy on the eye, brilliant one liners, genuinely interesting character.

I've Been Reading

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I love Amy Poehler, so getting her book for Christmas was a seriously exciting moment. I've been making my way through Yes Please, which is one of those brilliant books you can just dip in and out of (much like Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) because it doesn't have a firmly structured story to follow. It's more just musings about herself, her life, her career and the world around her, and in typical Amy style. If you are a fan of hers, you'll appreciate this. Her sense of humour comes across really strongly, as always, and she tackles what are some interesting things in amongst the more light hearted moments. There is a section where she talks in depth about the thin line between guilt and anger, and opens up about a time she apologised for something she had done years after the fact, and it was a really interesting chapter.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Alongside Amy, I'm reading Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, one of the big YA books of 2014! I downloaded it onto my kindle a few months ago, and I've only just got around to starting it, but so far I'm loving it. We all know I'm a huge television geek, and so fandom/fanfaction etc all really interests me. I love to see how completely caught up in a bunch of characters we can get, and what an amazing platform the internet is to form these sort of communities. Anyway, this book is about a girl who has just headed off to college and been separated from her twin sister for the first time. She is extremely shy and hiding from the world in her fanfiction, and so far it has really got me hooked.

I've Been Listening To

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding

This little number is from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and while I doubt any of the content of the actual movie will be as sexy as the version of Beyonce's Crazy in Love they've used on the trailer, I am enjoying this song. It builds up really nicely, and I've always been a fan of Ellie's music. This has been on repeat for days!

Blame it on Me by George Ezra

I've loved this song for ages, but I got George Ezra's album for my mum for Christmas, and it's been living in the car since! I always mean to start listening to it from further on on the album to get to know the other tracks better, but I just love this song so much! There are a couple of lines that in all honesty, I'm not sure I even know the right words, but I belt it out nonetheless!

So that's what I've had on my laptop/tv, ipod and kindle of late - I'd love to know what you've been watching, reading and listening to so far in 2015!

Have a great week :)

Thanks for reading!

15 things for 2015...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

1. Make the effort if someone's important to you. Everyone gets busy - life is a whirlwind, and it can be so easy to go months without seeing, or sometimes even speaking to friends you used to see every other day. If they're one of the good eggs you want to keep forever, remember to check in. "They haven't been in touch either" can be true, but it's usually an excuse to make yourself feel better. So reach out, even if it's just in a wee text, or Facebook message.

2. Eat some fruit and drink some water. This is more for me than for anyone else. I went through a couple of months in 2014 of really committing to this, and do you know what? I felt better. I have no idea if I actually genuinely felt better, or if it was a sort of placebo effect, but either way it's good for you.

3. Take photos. Of everything. Excellent cup of tea? Instagram it. Pretty sky at dusk? Get that on twitter. Capturing these moments is a great way of making every day seem positive, and gives you lots of nice little things to look back on if you're having a bad day.

4. Read a book by someone you admire. I'm currently reading Yes Please, by Amy Poehler, and it's giving me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Feeling like you're having a private little chat with someone you really look up to, and hearing about their ups and downs can definitely motivate you to pull your socks up and follow your dreams.

5. Watch that TV show you've always wanted to watch, and read that book that has been on your to read list forever. They've remained there for a reason, so what you waiting for?!

6. Learn to unapologetically say no. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO, as it is being called - I think I'm getting old...) is something I think we naturally start to grow out of the older we get, but if you feel like a night in your pjs watching something on Netflix and eating a takeaway instead of going to that club you hate and spending money you'd rather save for a rainy day, DO IT. Stop panicking that you'll somehow miss out if you don't go. I passed up a boozey flat party for a night on the couch with a chocolate orange and a google hangout with my girls Roisin and Gill this New Year, and it was amazing.

7. Having said that, also try to say yes more! Sometimes, after a long day at work (especially if you don't love your job) it can be so tempting to turn down a catch up with your pals because you're tired and cranky and just want to hide under your duvet and pretend you don't have to go to work again the next day. But hanging out with your friends will always make you feel better, so say yes! You don't even have to stay for long, just do it - it gives you the chance to catch up, have a rant, and let your hair down.

8. Do something that scares you. Always wanted to make a YouTube video but been nervous about it? Do it. Want to visit a friend in another country but frightened to fly alone? Do it. Taking these chances makes us braver and stronger. The worst that can happen is you find out it isn't for you!

9. Count your blessings. Be thankful for the good things and the good people in your life, every day.

10. Write things down. Journal, blog, scrap of paper you instantly shred - whatever it is, writing down how you feel is usually a cathartic experience, and can help you understand yourself a little bit better.

11. Go for a walk with only your iPod for company. There's something really soothing about taking some time out, on your own, and just letting your feet take you somewhere with your favourite songs as the soundtrack. If I'm worked up about something, this is a surefire way to calm me down!

12. Learn something. Pick up a book on a subject you don't know much about, and find out more. Education shouldn't end when we leave school/college/university. I'm currently filling up my Kindle with free books on Socrates (I'm developing a bit of a thing for philosophy y'see)...

13. Champion a good cause! We only get one shot at this life, and if we can make a difference during it, that has to be a good thing. So tweet about them, donate to them, hold a fundraiser. Just use your voice.

14. Make sure you're doing something that makes you happy. If your job is draining you and you're constantly counting down the days till the weekend or your next holiday, do something about it! Get applying for as many new jobs as you can, get on Linkedin, network and make contacts through social media - as I said, we only get one shot at this, so waste as little time as possible in something that makes you miserable.

15. Be kind and when the opportunity arises, say nice things. Tell the girl at work that you don't know all that well that you love her lipstick, tweet the stranger who just got engaged and tell them congratulations, message your friend who is going through a rough time and ask how they're doing. It seems like the simplest thing, but you have no idea what an amazing impact a simple compliment or kind word could have on someone's day.

Happy 2015 everyone - let's make it a good one!

Thanks for reading :)

Happy New Year!! (It's 2015!!!)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

sources - pinterest

Happy 2015 everyone - let's make it a good one :)

My first proper post of the year will go up tomorrow!!

Thanks so much for supporting my little corner of the internet throughout 2014.