Sunday Reflections 

Hi there, lovely people,

I’ve finally found 5 minutes to share my positive thought for this week! This weekend has been non-stop but very fun and productive, leaving little time for much else!

This week, I’m sharing a different kind of post – this one really resonated with me:

What this means to me:

For those of you that know me a little, you will know my marriage broke down in 2013. By 2015 I was officially divorced.  In the intervening period, I took some time to reflect on my break up and reconnected with friends, family and most importantly, myself. It was a long, tough, but ultimately rewarding journey. It’s amazing how easily you can lose your sense of self when you’re trying to make a relationship work!

After the divorce was finalised, 2015 was the first year I tried to date again. It was an interesting experience – the last time I had dated anyone was in my mid-twenties! A lot had changed in the time I was married, there were so many new ways to meet people! I used online sites and apps, chatted to and met a few men but no one quite fit. Until I started chatting with one particular guy in the Summer of that year, who I really clicked with…. or so I thought. Funnily enough, I then met another guy in the Autumn as well who I also thought I clicked with!

Over the last 2 years, I have gotten to know both these men, but neither one has actively tried to be with me. They say all the right things and tell me how much they like me and find me attractive, sexy etc. but nothing more has come from either ‘relationship’. This has left me rather disillusioned and cynical!

Slowly but surely, I’ve distanced myself from both of them, and men in general!  It wasn’t that hard as neither of them is reliable at getting in touch unless they want something! But, there are certain guys in my life who have proven over time that not only do they think I’m beautiful on the outside but also on the inside. They are just good friends but always show they care. One of them contacted me this week to see how I was, at a time I was feeling a little blue and frustrated.  After speaking to him, I realised the truth of the quote above.

The Message

People are often drawn to others because of their physical beauty, before falling for personality too (if they do). Over the last couple of years, I’ve experienced this many times and whilst it’s always flattering to be found attractive, it’s far more fulfilling to be seen as an amazing person that people want to be around and have in their lives. People that take the time to find the beauty within you. My friend reminded me of that just by getting in touch and giving me a positive boost.

And so I’m passing the same message to all of you! Remember who really shows you that you’re beautiful, important and worth knowing – enjoy flattery and the attention of others but don’t let it define you or make you forget those people who will truly be there for you and appreciate you for everything you are! They’re the ones to treasure.

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend and catch up soon!

Dips xxx

Weekend Wisdom and Woolies!

Happy Sunday lovelies!

It certainly feels like Autumn now! I’ve been pulling out my winter wardrobe this week and all my winter woollies! As much as I don’t like the cold, I do love Autumn-Winter fashion, especially scarves and hats!

So, whilst curled up in my fleece loungewear and big fluffy socks, I’ve been reflecting on my week and what I’ve learnt. That led me to this week’s positive thought:

Why this quote?

This weekend I celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday and the lives of my maternal grandparents. My grandmother passed away last year and my grandfather nearly 10 years ago, both from old age. My family had a small get together with close friends to mark the occasion.  To contribute, I bought a massive birthday cake for everyone to share, for my dad’s birthday, as he doesn’t like presents.

What I didn’t know was that my dad had never had a surprise birthday cake or blown out birthday candles! He told me this after we sang happy birthday to him! He loved the cake and enjoyed the candle blowing ceremony, and I realised that something most of us take for granted, something we have likely all experienced, meant the world to him.

We don’t always realise that the little things we do mean more than the big things to the people we care about. From leaving a special random note for your partner to find to doing the dishes for your mum to sending a get well soon card to an ill friend, they all show how much you care in a small way.

We often forget that something simple to us might actually be significant to someone else. When my grandparents were alive, I did everyday things for them, like helping with shopping and cooking, which now I realise meant a lot to them, and vice versa. With friends, just sending a message to let them know you’re thinking of them whilst we’re all living hectic lives, can brighten their day.

What’s the defining factor is all of these actions? Love! I bought my dad a cake to show my love and his reaction was better than I could have hoped, way better than a conventional present and card. When we do small seemingly insignificant things to show our love and appreciation, with no expectations of anything, they will often mean far more than big grandiose gestures.

So, next time you’re deciding whether to buy something or do something for someone, maybe don’t go for an obvious or grand option – show your love through small meaningful acts.  You might not think it’s enough, but I bet the recipient will appreciate it way more than you expect!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Dips xxx

IMATS 2017 – The Greatest Makeup Extravaganza of the Year!

Hello lovely followers,

I hope you are all having a great week so far!

This post has been a very long time coming! I attended IMATS back in May this year and it has been on my draft list for ages! I first attended IMATS with a friend a few years ago, long before I became a makeup artist and beauty blogger, and even then I was hooked!

So what is IMATS?

IMATS stands for International Makeup Artist Trade Show! It is the world’s largest celebration of makeup artistry and creativity. Every year, thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors, and enthusiasts attend the how to discuss, display and collect the best the makeup industry has to offer. Professionals from the fashion and film sectors also attend to provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. IMATS also features a make-up museum and the Battle of the Brushes student makeup competitions, where international makeup students race to create winning looks! It’s basically a makeup lovers paradise!

Before IMATS, there were no trade shows specifically designed for make-up artists so to address this, Emmy Award-winning make-up artist and Make-Up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in August 1997 in Los Angeles. IMATS then expanded to Europe in 2002, with the debut of IMATS London and now you can attend it in many different places around the globe – the show is held six times annually in Los Angeles; New York; London; Vancouver, B.C.; Sydney; and Toronto.

IMATS 2017

This year’s IMATS was, as expected, amazing! I booked my ticket to go months in advance for £45 and by the time the day finally arrived I was so excited I could barely sit still! It was at this year’s event that I actually found out you can sign up for a Pro card which provides lots of additional benefits depending on which level of card you qualify for. I will definitely be applying for the card for next year’s show – you can find out more here.

This year, I attended the event alone and despite arriving pretty early I still had to queue to get in. However, the buzz in the queue was great and everyone was super excited! Once I arrived at the entrance, this is what I walked into:

   

   

The atmosphere was crazy! Everywhere you looked there were people shopping, trying makeup, displaying artistic work – it was overwhelming! The first thing I decided to do was find my bearings, as there were loads of makeup brand stands I wanted to visit. Looking back and through the many photographs I took, which are all shared in this post, I am sure there were some I missed!

The Brands

Where do I start? There were some familiar loved makeup brands and then a whole host of brands I had never heard of or tried before. I was literally in heaven! I’ll start with the brands we all know and love:

  • Nars
  • Kat Von D
  • MAC
  • Inglot
  • Urban Decay
  • Beauty Bakerie
  • Lime Crime
  • Nyx
  • Makeup Forever
  • Bobbi Brown

As you can imagine all these stands were busy all day long! A few of them I could not even get close enough to look at the displays!

   

   

    

  

You can see all the brands had good sized displays and there were some lovely products to buy! Most of the items were available in their normal stores although some of the brands did have offers purely for the show. Watch out for my next post with details of all the makeup I spoilt myself with!

The lesser known brands and those that I had never heard of or bought anything from were:

  • Kryolan
  • Velour
  • Treasure House of Makeup
  • Royal Langnickel
  • Graftobian
  • Makeup Atelier
  • Sugarpill
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  • The Makeup Outlet
  • Guru Makeup Emporium
  • Bdellium Tools
  • Louise Young
  • Naked Cosmetics
  • Provoc
  • Thalia
  • Lash Unlimited
  • Ben Nye
  • Hakuhodo
  • Mehron
  • Screenface

    

    

Exploring these brands was the most fun for me! They sold general makeup and accessories to heavy duty theatrical face and body cosmetics! I got to test makeup by brands I had always wanted to try like Makeup Atelier and Ben Nye and play with lashes by Velour! One of my favourite discoveries was Guru Makeup Emporium which stocked Danessa Myricks photographic makeup – her makeup is exceptional! But my highlight had to be visiting the HakuHodo stand! This brand produces some of the finest makeup brushes in the world! There were so many to pick from, I was like a child in a candy shop! You could tell just from the feel of them that they were going to deliver excellent results and the available ranges covered every type of brush possible.

Was it worth attending IMATS 2017?

Without a doubt yes! If you love makeup and meeting other people that love makeup, this is the event you have to attend each year. You’ll see what treasures I picked up in my next post, but even without spending, it is such a fun and vibrant day out, filled with colour and variety and just by talking to the brand staff you can learn so much. I am already planning for 2018 IMATS – tickets will go on sale 6 months before the day, which will be in May again. For full information check out the IMATS website here. Who’s going to join me? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to follow and subscribe!

Watch out for my next makeup reveal post on my gorgeous IMATS purchases!

Dips xxx

Sunday’s Contemplation over Coffee

Hey there lovely people,

As promised, I’m sharing another post about positivity, specifically the importance of being grateful and appreciating the beauty of family. For me, this quote could not be any truer than it has been this week:

Why this family quote?

This past week has been filled with ups and downs, at work and in my personal life! Normally, when things aren’t going as planned, makeup is my escapism and it calms me down, but even that didn’t help! From an unplanned and significant expense to a nervewracking trip to hospital to a cancelled date to looming deadlines, this week tested my stress levels and my optimism. People who know me well will know that very little can shake my optimism but even I have limits!

But, spending time with my family and seeking their help and advice gave me back my perspective and strength.  As I have gotten older, I have truly learnt the value of family. I’m very fortunate to have a very close and unique family unit filled with strong and determined people who don’t let life overwhelm them! No matter what is thrown at them they find a way to overcome it. I like to think that tenacity has been passed down to me!

It’s easy to forget in day to day life just how amazing family support can be and often it is taken for granted. I try to remind myself regularly that no matter how much we might argue, no matter how hard times can be, my family will always try to help, support and encourage me. That’s something to be forever grateful for. I hope that each of you has amazing families you can turn to in tough times!

My final thought for you – as my family told me this weekend, “whatever will be will be so there’s no point stressing, we’re here!”

Happy Sunday! See you again soon,

Dips xxx

Guest post: A Complete Guide to Autumn Skin Care

GUEST POST: Brigitte EvansHigh Style Life

skin care-autumn

Summer is nearly over, and autumn is knocking on our doors. This means that many things are about to change, and that doesn’t include only taking a break from our summer wardrobe. New season requires a whole new approach to skin care because with the weather getting colder, your skin will become drier and more prone to cracks and damage. But let’s not stress about it; here are all the things you need to do to keep your skin healthy and radiant this autumn.

Stop using soaps

Soaps and other products that contain fragrances sure smell wonderful, and they can make you feel refreshed after a long day at the beach. However, using them during autumn can leave your skin dry. Instead, you should try soap-free cleansers and other fragrance-free products.

Use oil-based exfoliators

Exfoliation is important for removing dead skin cells and helping your skin absorb all the creams and lotions you are using for that perfect complexion. There is one thing to keep in mind during this season, though ‒ oil-based scrubs are better because they exfoliate and hydrate at the same time.

Opt for thick moisturisers

Your hydrating lotion might have been working quite fine during summer, but now, when the weather is becoming harsher, you will need to upgrade your protection to thicker moisturisers that are capable of keeping your skin hydrated even during the cold autumn months.

Don’t forget your hands

Your hands are the perfect target for chilly weather, and to prevent them from becoming cracked and dry, you should invest in a quality hand cream.

Protect your lips

In summer, you need to protect your lips from the harsh sun; in autumn, you have to shield them from cold winds – it’s the natural life cycle. Just like your hands, your lips can also crack and dry out because of the weather. Prevent that by using a petroleum-based lip balm.

Grab a youth serum

Oh, you haven’t heard about it yet? There is an ingredient that can reduce the appearance of brown spots caused by the long hours spent on the beach, smooth the texture of the skin and delay skin ageing. It is called retinol (vitamin A). Now it probably sounds more familiar. You can find it in serums or ask for a prescription retinoid.

Get your body in shape

Let’s face it, no one works very hard during summer, which means that you have probably put on a pound or two on your vacation. This is something you will most likely notice when you try to fit into your favourite pair of jeans. There is a quick and healthy solution to it, a non-invasive procedure called body sculpting, which will ensure that you are free of all those persistent pockets of fat without hurting your skin.

Don’t ditch your sunscreen

You’re not going to the beach, so you don’t need sunscreen anymore. That sentence makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Well, not exactly. The sun isn’t going anywhere, even though it seems to be losing its power. It can still affect your skin and cause it to age faster. That is why it is important to apply sunscreen every time you go outside.

Sleep on silk

Sleeping on silk may sound overly posh for your taste, but there is a logic behind this. Silk pillowcases are known to help prevent skin redness, dryness and acne breakouts. Since it is a natural product, silk is also hypoallergenic. Therefore, it is a win-win situation ‒ sleep like a diva and wake up looking like one.

What have we learned, girls? Autumn can be cruel to your skin, so don’t forget to protect your gorgeous skin from the harsh winds and cold days!

Saturday’s Positivi-tea!

Hey beautiful people!

As part of my new blog ethos to spread optimism and remind everyone of the beauty in life, (as well as on our faces!), at some point every week I’m going to share at least one happy, positive thought or message on my blog! I’m sharing today’s thought whilst sipping a mug of tea in bed, hence the title!

Makeup is just one way I find the beauty, happiness and creativity in my life – there are many great things to experience, even when life is tough going.

Today’s message is:

It’s not always easy to find the time, or the money, to do what we really enjoy. But, if you’re lucky and cultivate lots of interests, there will be a few different things you love to do which you CAN slip into your life routine, even if it’s just sitting quietly for 5 minutes with a magazine. Life is pretty short and speeds by ridiculously quickly so don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way and make time for your happiness! The worst feeling is to feel like life is passing you by and all you are doing is working and paying bills!

Here are some of the things that make me happy:

  1. Sitting in bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning, drinking tea and reading up on beauty news
  2. Playing with makeup!
  3. Blogging, of course!
  4. Taking photos for my Instagram
  5. Watching a good movie under a cosy blanket
  6. Reading a book I can’t put down
  7. Eating delicious food!
  8. Stroking and playing with my cats
  9. Baking my favourite cakes!
  10. Eating in different restaurants
  11. Visiting boutique stores
  12. Catching up with my closest friends

Share what makes you happy in the comments!

Enjoy your Saturday, catch up soon!

Dips xxx