I shudder when I think of the countless beauty faux pas I have made in the past. I have been blogging for 5 years now, picking up a tip here and a tutorial there. The progress seemed slow and at times, insignificantly small. However, when I look back at pictures of myself in those early days, I can see a huge difference now in my skin, makeup, hair and figure. Beauty blogs helped me to perfect my liquid eyeliner, Fashion blogs helped me to dress for my figure and Lifestyle blogs helped me to learn about a balanced diet, clean eating and effective ways to exercise. The end result? I lost two dress sizes, 2 and a half stone in weight, built up a more desirable wardrobe of clothes and a much more groomed appearance. It may sound cheesy but blogging has given me so much confidence in so many ways. So if you often read my blog and feel a little clueless about all the technicalities of a beauty regime, then just remember that I was there too at one stage!
I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the biggest changes I made as a direct result of blogging and reading other blogs! I have also included my favourite tutorial videos from YouTubers which will help you through each category.
There was a time when I would apply my powder with the sponge that came with it, my eyeshadow with those little crappy double ended sponge applicators and my blush with my fingers. Yes, yes I know. The day I bought my first set of proper makeup brushes was the day my makeup application technique improved by 100%! I still apply most foundations with my fingers because I feel like that gives the best finish on my skin. However, I apply pretty much every other product with a specific brush tailored to the job. Nothing blends eyeshadow quite like a nice, full fluffy brush! The Pixiwoo girls are the perfect duo to talk you through what each brush does and I also happen to be a huge fan of their Real Techniques brushes!
Foundation used to be my security blanket and a full coverage one at that. I could never have imagined walking out of the house without a fully made up face. Over time I mastered the right skincare regime, found new lightweight base products, application techniques and learnt the proper use of concealers and colour correction products. All of this gave me the confidence to wear products with a lot less coverage such as BB and CC Creams. It’s quite liberating to pair things down to the bare essentials and realise that you can still feel good about yourself. As for leaving the house with absolutely NO makeup…well I don’t think that’ll ever happen. But I guess you should never say never…
If you’re unsure which foundation to buy to suit you then check out this video from Sam & Nic where they go through the best foundation for each skin type:
When I strolled through the Bloomingdales cosmetics department in New York, I’ll never forget the sales assistant’s immortal words…”Would you like me to fix your brows?”. How dare she, I thought. I was instantly insulted and embarrassed in equal measure. Then I changed my mind and allowed her to ‘fix my brows’. That was the beginning of my eyebrow enlightenment. As soon as I got home from that holiday, I started watching tutorials on how to do my brows and which products were most effective in taming that strange collection of hair above our eyes. It took me a while to find the right shape for my face and the right product. I now exclusively use powder to fill in my brows because it looks much more natural on me. I have naturally fair hair and anything too dark, harsh or structured just looks too imposing.
Here’s a quick tip from makeup artist Wayne Goss on how to make the most of your brows!
I remember the days when I only ever applied one shade to my whole eyelid. Those were more simplistic days but I soon started to realise that there was a world of possibilities out there to shape and define the eye area. After watching many tutorials, I started to experiment with different colour combinations, smokey eyes and the virgin territory of applying eyeshadow on my lower lash line. Groundbreaking I’m sure you’ll agree! I had always assumed that due to my deep set eyes, I could only ever hope to wear pale colours on my eyes. How wrong I was.
Through watching tutorial videos, I quickly learnt how to use darker shades to create depth and the illusion of bigger or different shaped eyes. The transformative aspect of makeup is what makes it so fun for me. And shock horror, I actually started to line my waterline. That had always been a scary concept to me because I was worried I might look too ‘made up’ but it’s all about balance and finding the right products.
Here is the lovely Tanya Burr showing us all how to recreate a Mila Kunis-style smokey eye!
And this amazing video from Charlotte Tilbury shows you how to make your eyes look bigger and brighter using eyeshadow and liner:
Everyone has aspects of their face they may not be entirely happy with. Perhaps it’s a wide bridge nose, a round face or a long chin. Contouring is the key to playing down aspects of your face, whilst highlighting the great bits. My made-up face in the old days looked quite flat because I didn’t use bronzer or contouring powder to shape and define my features. I have an oval face so I’m quite lucky that it’s pretty much in proportion. However, I do like to slim my face down and create the illusion of high cheekbones by using a matte contouring powder. I also use the same powder to define my jawline which helps to avoid the dreaded ‘two chins’ look in photographs too! Learning how to correctly contour and highlight my face made a huge difference and it can really help to make the most of your natural features.
Check out this video tutorial from the amazing Lisa Eldridge which shows you how to contour and highlight the face for a natural effect:
Before I started blogging, I think I saw false lashes as something only beauty queens or drag queens would wear. Little did I know there were women walking around with them on without detection! I must admit that it did take me a long, long time to perfect my false lash application technique but what I will say is that there are two very important aspects to accomplishing this tricky task. You need to find the right style of false lash for you and you have to trim them to fit the size of your eye. I had applied false lashes many a time only to find myself poking at my eyes when the end of it jabbed me constantly. It took me a while to realise that I had to trim them down to avoid this from happening. My preference is definitely for more natural-looking false lashes (an oxymoron if ever there was one!). They just add that extra polish and glamour to your look without being overly noticeable.
The lovely Lauren Curtis shows us some of her tips and tricks to getting the hang of applying false lashes:
Back in the day, I was a nude lip girl all the way. Sometimes I ventured into pink or peach but never, EVER anything more bold than that. Then one day I decided to experiment a little. I was sent a lovely lipstick from Daniel Sandler in a hot pink shade called Flamingo. That was the turning point which started my love affair with bold lips. I have very rosy cheeks naturally and because of that, I had always assumed that bold lips were out of bounds for me. However, once I had mastered how to perfect my base products and get flawless skin, I realised a whole world of lip colour was now open to me. Nowadays I don’t even think twice about slapping on a head-turning red shade or a vibrant conspicuous pink. I enjoy a good old pop of colour and in my opinion, it’s a sure fire way to make you feel instantly sophisticated and glamourous.
Lisa Eldridge shows us how to wear a bright lip in this tutorial video:
In the early days I wore my long hair straight, straight and er…straight. My GHD’s were my best and most trusted friend. I had dabbled with heated rollers and those weird heated spongey finger things but I never mastered the technique and the result was always a bit ‘Annie’. Fast forward a few years and I just got sick of always wearing my hair the same way. I remember that during my hair trials in 2010, I had my hair curled using GHD’s, tongs and also with rollers. I loved the result and the fact that my fine hair looks twice as thick! I decided I wanted to teach myself how to get the perfect waves. It took some time to find the tools and products that worked for me but once I did, I’ve never looked back!
This video tutorial shows you how to achieve gorgeous curls in 5-10 minutes:
When I first started blogging, I was in a job that made me extremely unhappy. There was a lot of bullying going on and I started to slip into a rather dark place. I developed really bad insomnia, my eating habits got out of control and the weight crept on. I was definitely comfort eating to deal with my feelings. Enough was enough and I left that job, leaving those awful people behind. Chris had proposed and I decided to take control over my life and more importantly, my lifestyle. I made the wedding my first target point to lose a certain amount of weight. I began reading blogs about healthy eating and exercise, avoiding anything with the word ‘diet’. I wanted something that was actually sustainable and something that would help me lose the weight for good and allow me to make healthier choices. I joined the local gym, I changed my eating habits and I got to my goal weight about 6 months after the wedding. I have kept that weight off ever since. Obviously I have now put weight back on during my pregnancy but I’m confident that I can lose all of that in a healthy and balanced way. The crazy thing is that, although I’ve put 21lbs on so far in my pregnancy, I’m still no where near the weight I was at my heaviest and most unhealthy.
This is a fantastic channel which features healthy recipes, tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and also fantastic add-on exercise routines that you can do in the comfort of your own home when you can’t get to the gym! They even have a nutrition programme if you want to sign up to that. More than anything, it just helps to keep you motivated.
Leave me a comment below and share what you’ve learnt from blogging or from reading blogs?