Tuesday, 12 July 2016

2016 Prom

As I did a blog post earlier this year about finding a prom dress and the pre-prom process, I decided to follow it up with a post-prom post to show you how it went.

First and foremost, I found a dress (obviously), but it was a dress that was right for me and I didn't expect that. It came from a site called Lindybop that sells all kinds of 1950s dresses. I was instantly hooked. After hours (no exaggeration necessary) of going through the many pages of the site I narrowed it down to 5 dresses and ordered them to try on.
When they came I was so excited I actually did a little squealing and jumping before bouncing into my room to try them on. As I loved all the dresses so much I thought choosing 'the one' was going to be really difficult but, in true teen movie style, I knew the moment I tried on the last dress it was the one I was going to wear. It was just perfect, I loved the sweetheart neckline, the shape, the colour, the pattern- it was just...right.

So, with my dress sorted we went on to order an underskirt- yep, an actual underskirt, just like the ones in Grease- and moved on to shoes. The minute I saw my dress I thought, "Red shoes." It is navy blue with branches and red birds so red shoes would have gone perfectly and, well, when else does a girl get to wear red shoes? So, with my heart fully engaged and my head absolutely switched off, we went shopping for a pair of closed-toe, high-heeled shoes in the most Autumn/Winter colour there is- red. The sun of hope began to set and the dawn of realisation started to shine through, red was just not going to happen. But don't fear, there was an unexpected twist in the story, Marks and Spencer stocked a glittery, goldeny shoe in my size (which is a lot more exciting than it sounds- I'm a 3 1/2!)
Okay, it wasn't what I originally intended but I loved this shoe, it was like something Belle would wear in 'Beauty and the Beast' and I'm never one to turn down feeling like a princess.

So shoes and dress sorted I moved on to jewlery- two simple drop pearl earrings and a matching pearl necklace, my lucky penny bracelet (that I wore throughout my exams) and my two favourite rings, my mic key mouse ring from Disney and the infinity ring I got for my 16th birthday. I wanted to keep it simple and personal, to wear things that meant something to make my outfit special and full of memories.

Luckily my next-door-neighbour is a hairdresser and she did my hair in an elegant 50s inspired updo to match the theme of my outfit. It was beautiful and I cannot thank her enough for the amazing job she did.

And finally, I did my own makeup. I'd practised the 50s style so went with the classic winged eyeliner and red/pink lip (I didn't want to go all red as we were having a 3 course meal and I wanted leave the table with as much dignity as possible which meant not smearing red lipstick over my food and face).

The evening was amazing, we started by having all my friends meet at my house where we'd hired a photographer to take a selection of pictures.
 It was so much fun and so much more relaxed than trying to get the school photographer to do it with a line of 300 other people behind him.
 Then we drove to school and went in for our meal. They'd done up the hall with fairy lights, balloons and coloured mesh which were strung from all the walls. They'd also (devastatingly) plastered the notice boards with our year 7 school pictures.

After the meal we danced and listened to the handing out of several awards (which no one wanted to win) that included 'most likely to go to prison'-whose idea was that?!- and 'most likely to win the lottery and lose the ticket' or, in other words, the most unorganised person on the planet. At least we all managed to laugh about them.
Afterwards my friends and I went to an after-prom party which was nice as it was made up of just the people I'm closest to so we really got to celebrate the end of our exams and the beginning of summer.

It was a really special night and one I will remember for many years to come.

Love, Ruthie Xx

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Finding the Perfect Role Model

When it comes to the perfect role model I can't say I've always got it right. It can be a difficult, tormenting process trying live up to your favourite celebrity but I think I've finally figured it out.

The truth is, there's no such thing as the perfect role model.

No one person can be perfect for every element of your aspirations however, a combination of people you admire can come together for you to take inspiration and help you become the person you want to be.
Once I stopped using people who looked nothing like me as my beauty inspirations and saw different people's approaches and attitudes to life, I realised I could take elements of people to be inspired by without beating myself up over things I couldn't change about my body.

I'm not saying my role models are perfect or my self confidence is where I want it to be but it's certainly better than where I was last year, and I will take that as a victory.
Also, my role models won't be right for everyone because we're all different and a good role model should be someone physically similar to you and who's opinions you share and attitudes you can relate to.
These are my role models who can (hopefully) inspire you and help you to choose your own.

Physical/Body role models:
Kim Kardashian.

Okay, okay, I know. Not the most obvious role model but a very good example of how elements of people can be taken as inspiration.
I am not shaped exactly like her but I am similar in some aspects- she's not stick thin but, in fact, very shapely and, instead of being frowned upon or called 'obese', her shape is celebrated and considered beautiful. She is also very confident in her body and is not afraid to show off her shape rather than hiding it.

I think this is a very positive message for someone who suffers from low body confidence such as myself. Her own appreciation and happiness in her body makes me think maybe I can feel the same in mine rather than shying away because I don't look like all my friends.
I definitely wouldn't take all my fashion inspiration from her - there are some signature outifts I won't be repeating in myself - but I can look at her style, how does she fit her shape. Consequently I've started wearing highwaisted jeans with slightly cropped tops to accentuate my waist.

 This makes me feel more confident and happier in my skin however, if I'd looked for style inspiration from, say, Lily Collins I would have felt terrible about myself because we are totally different shapes and I wouldn't have looked as good in her style. That's why it's so important to look for someone physically similar to you.

My second body role model is Marilyn Monroe.

The fifties were generally an era when curves were celebrated and exaggerating shape was the point of the clothes. It is my favourite decade and I love the fashions, hair, makeup, music- everything! I was definitely born in the wrong year!
Marilyn was considered beautiful and a style icon. She was an actress but also a highly respected model without being skinny.

Although less practical style can be taken from her, I love to see what she used to wear and try and weave some of that timeless fifties style into my everyday wardrobe.

My beauty role models
Jenifer Lawrence, Tanya Burr and Lucy hale.
These beautiful women are my makeup/beauty role models because they have very similar
features to myself. All of them have hooded eyes and still manage to pull off the most gorgeous eyeshadow looks I never thought would be possible with eyes the shape of mine.

I've seen them do natural looks, golden hues and smokey eyes - this reasures me that, just because I don't have pronounced eyelids, doesn't mean I can't use eyeshadow and glitters just like everyone else.

Tanya Burr also has pronounced lips much like mine so I love seeing what colours and textures she uses to decide what would look good on me and what would be too much as I find they can be difficult to 'work with'.

Seeing women with similar facial features to me looking beautiful makes me feel more confident and assured in my own skin as I know how beautiful my features can look and helps me to accept them rather than trying to change or reshape them to look like someone else's.
This is what role models should be, helping you feel confident in yourself rather than just being frustrated because you can't look like someone completely different to you. They should help you realise how beautiful you look.

Onto 'actions and beliefs' role models.

I just like to think of these as people who have acted in their lives the way I want to, people who you can think 'what would....do in this situation'.
And there are many. So many people deserve admiration for their actions and inspire me in my everyday life but I've narrowed it down to two.

The first is Emma Watson

I admit, this isn't very original, but there's a reason she's admired by so many people. Her attitudes towards equality and helping others leave nothing to be desired. She is a truly remarkable person and always thinking of everyone else and this is definitely something I want to do.
She is unbelievably talented and works hard at her craft to ensure she is always the best she can be- something else I like to think of when I'm trying to improve my own skills.
Her attitude towards education is inspiring enough on its own. She always valued it and worked her hardest to make the most of it as she realises it's a privalidge not everyone has.

I tried to remember this throughout my exams (although, I must admit, I haven't got my appreciation down to a fine art yet!)
And throughout all this she is always modest and kind. This is the most important thing of all, goodness attracts goodness and she is a prime example of how you can achieve anything with the
right mindset and actions.

My final role model is Audrey Hepburn
Back to my favourite decade!

I love Audrey for the simple reason that she is impeccably graceful and elegant.

She lived her life beautifully: smiling, laughing and uttering wonderful words of wisdom.

I wish to live with such dignity and grace as she did and daily think 'what would Audrey do?'

With this ensemble of amazing people I am lucky enough to take inspiration from, I try to live my life beautifully, positively and gracefully.
Although I love looking up to others, my life is my own and made up of my own decisions and actions. It is important to remember that you are not your favourite celebrities, you are you, and that is wonderful. Be inspired and influenced but don't try to become someone else, use your role models to help you see how awesome you are and slowly, you will grow to be more confident as yourself rather than trying to change who you are.

Love, Ruthie Xx

Thursday, 14 April 2016

My Second-Biggest Battle of the Year- the Prom Dress

Through life we will face many challenges and have to overcome countless fears, big and small. Being in year 11 I am encountering my own on a day to day basis in the form of marks, grades and revision however, there is one beast looming in the background, an omnipresent and inescapable fear that I have been forced to confront- the prom dress.
Don't get me wrong, I am very excited about prom and love the idea of dresses and disney princess magic, unfortunately I am not at one with the humble ball gown. I have a painfully slow metabolism that never fails to remind me when my diet goes south; the constant battle of wanting to eat every doughnut in the pack but still wanting to wear my favourite jeans gets a little wearing after many years of the struggle. However I am learning to accept my body with its exaggerated hourglass shape that prevents me wearing any sort of leggings or tank top. Unfortunately this acceptance wears thin in the dress department. 

Today I went prom dress shopping with one of my best friends; she is unbelievably lovely, incredibly good company and absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. I was really looking forward to spending the day with her but had an unshakeable fear in the pit of my stomach when it came to the dress side of the trip. First we went into 'Coast' a beautiful dress shop where my cousin got a stunning bridesmaid dress for her sisters wedding, I felt calmer knowing she had achieved glory within those four walls. The first dress I tried on actually wasn't that bad, it was a style that suited my shape- fitted at the top and flaring out at the hips- leaving plenty of room for a food baby (an inescapable reality with the school organising a three course meal at the start of our prom- really, I'm not joking!) Unfortunately the dress front went downhill from there, when you peak early you know you're doomed! All the while my friend looked stunning in every outfit she wore- things were not looking good. 

But this is where the situation really took me by surprise. I didn't have a horrible time, in fact I had an unexpectedly amazing day, the soul reason- we laughed. Truly, any situation can be made better, even enjoyable, if you see the humour in it; so when I put on what I thought was a beautiful dress and it turned out to be the most unflattering playsuit in the world, I didn't feel like I wanted the ground to swallow me up, in fact I actually found it funny!

And this changed everything. Instead of dreading trying on our dresses or being meticulously picky when choosing them, I had fun with anything I wanted, putting on something just for fun even though there was a very large possibility it looked absolutely shocking! This strangely liberating experience has left me so shocked I turned on my computer and wrote about it, I want to remember how this felt and know that something that I'm scared about or would be easier not to do may just turn out to be the best day of the Easter break. Also, when you choose not to worry about what you look like, and wear things you want not what you feel like you should, you take back control over your wardrobe, something I'm not used to but will definitely be doing more off.

So, I haven't got a prom dress, that's something I've still got to tackle, but it doesn't fill me with nearly as much dread as before, in fact, I'm actually looking forward to it!

Ruthie Xx

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

E.l.f. Contouring blush and bronzing powder review

Last summer I was searching for a bronzer that would work for contour rather than just for warming up my face. Without much beauty knowledge or experience this proved quite a difficult task that included plenty of trial and error. My biggest problem was that I was scared of getting it wrong and appearing in public with what looked like muddy marks down my face- this proved to be my bronzer downfall. 
In fear of getting one too dark I went to the other extreme and picked the lighter shade of any product I bought. However, I hadn't realised that, in many brands, the lighter shade was more orangey toned (to reduced the overall depth of the brown) so I was buying a lot of- on my skin tone- orange based powders. In my bid to avoid an overly contoured face I'd actually achieved a maximum tangerine makeover. 
This was only enhanced by my next massive error, "Is it showing up, I don't think it is; it must be too light-better apply more." I had successfully become an Oompa Loompa and was about to take up perminent residence in a chocolate factory before I finally saw a photograph of myself. One word: mortified. But at least I'd finally come to my senses. 
What I had unknowingly been doing was applying a bronzer designed for warming my face where I was trying to contour, giving my face zero dimensions and achieving exactly the opposite of what I'd intended. 

Enter e.l.f. contouring blush and bronzing powder. I actually bought this on our trip to America from the less than sophisticated makeup supplier- Target. However, on this first day food shop I found myself wandering down the makeup isles staring idly at the 50 different shades of pink lipstick. It was in this jet-lagged, blurry-eyed and I'm-never-going-to-find-the-pop-tarts haze that I stumbled across a blush and bronzer duo that became my countouring saviour. How did I know- because it said the word 'Countouring' on the packet. I know, and no one was more distressed than me that my gradual descent into satsumaville could have been averted by a simple reading of packaging. But dwelling on the past was not going to help me so I took a big step and layed my 3 dollars out on the line for another new bronzer. 

And it was worth it. Although this bronzer is warm toned I no longer look like I've been rubbed in a bad shade of fake tan. It is buildable and easy to use, even for a beginner and I actually find it works! (Something I'm seriously not used to on the face front). It has tiny bits of shimmer in it which warm my face and give me a healthy glow without making me look like a disco ball and it does create a successful shadow beneath my cheekbones and around my temple. It blends really nicely to give me a more natural definition without totally disappearing sparking the dangerous 'I need more' cycle I found myself a perminent inhabitant of before. 
The blush is also a lovely colour, it's a bright and warm toned pink- perfect for spring and summer. It is also buildable and easy to blend and has more shimmer in it than the bronzer, doubling it as a highlighter. I like to wear the pair together and separately, both combinations create natural, glowing results. 
They are definitely not matt powders and are both warm shades for my face resulting in them getting the most use in spring and summer when my face gets a bit more colour. 

The packaging is simple and solid, it is easy to transport as both powders are pressed and in the same compact. It also has a large mirror in the lid that I use for touching up my makeup when I'm 'on the go.'

It does not contain a brush which makes the packaging smaller but means one has to be carried around separately. This does not bother me personally as I always carry the body shop miniature brush set in my bag anyway. 
Overall I was very impressed with this product, especially considering the price. It saved me from my bronzing disasters which had been haunting me from my first bronzer purchase and has taught me a valuable life lesson- always read the packaging! 

I hope this has been useful to anyone on a budget looking for a new bronzer and has reasured you that bronzing isn't as easy as everyone makes it look! 
If you'd like me to do a review on the body shop brushes or any other makeup I carry around with me  please pop a comment down below. Also, if you have any other bronzer recommendations please let me know and I will try and test them out! 
Love Ruthie xx
Ps- This was not a sponsored review

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

School Stress, Survival and Shut down


I really wanted to write a post on this topic the minute I set up my blog as it is something I am very familiar with and have experienced a lot of difficulties managing. 
I just want to start by saying I'm not a professional psychologist or have any scientific background, these are simply tips which helped me and I rely on them for ways to cope during exam season. 
School can be a very stressful time for young people, especially in later years when we're constantly being told that we must plan our futures and that our whole life rests on one month of exams. These kind of comments really get into my head especially, and once you lose control of rational thought they can become exceedingly difficult to cope with. 

The bottom (and unfortunate) line is: exams are hard, but there are ways of dealing with them that can make them manageable. This is a list of tips that I have developed over 5 years of high school to cope with the stress and pressures school and exams constantly present. 

1. Make a plan. Charging into the mountain of work randomly and spontaneously is only going to stress you out. All night study sessions, cramming and 'I'm never going to be able to do this' meltdowns are all the outcomes of plan-less revision. Take a night to really get to grips with your exam timetable and make a revision plan to suit it. Write down all the dates of your exams; it helps me to put them on a calendar in my room where I can see them clearly with the dates they're on and tick them off when I'm done- very satisfying! 
Then evaluate your subjects- how many you've got, how much you need to cover and 
which are your strongest- and fit them into a timetable making sessions for your weakest subjects more frequent. This will instantly make you feel in control and help you 'portion  out' sometimes overwhelming amounts of work. Once you can see that 'you will be able to 
do it' the revision gains a clear purpose and control and loses its panicked, last minute frenzy.

2. Prepare well. You wouldn't embark on a physical expedition with no preparation and this should be the same for mental challenges. School work can feel long, drawn out and desperately boring, especially revision, therefore it is very important to prepare before you start. 
Think about what you are going to do. You may have your revision plan and be studying physics but you can't cover the entire syllabus in a night, same goes for school projects. Therefore you need to set a goal, what do you want to achieve in this study session, how much do you need to do? Once you have this decided the night is less overwhelming and more achievable.
Next, what will you need? Don't start your work only to find you need a calculator and have
to go find it. Then suddenly you run out of paper. Then you realise you need a pencil etc. This breaks up your studying and prevents you from concentrating and getting in 'the zone'. Look at what you need before you start so when you are working it is productive and useful. 
Mentally prepare yourself. Try not to enter the study period thinking 'I'm so tired' 'I can't do this' because then you will feel tired and you won't be able to do it. Try to be positive and focus on reaching your goal; get into your study mindset and go! 

3. Get supplies. Again, you wouldn't set off on a perilous journey with no food, water or extra socks and the same applies for studying. If you deprive yourself of things such as food and water then your brain won't absorb information as well. Try to eat 'brain food' such as blueberries, nuts and seeds and make sure to stay hydrated with water (tea and pomegranate juice also make me feel more energised.) This will make you feel more alert
 and help you focus during your studying. 

4. Take breaks. My grandma always tells me that in nursing school they wouldn't let them work for more than one hour at a time. This is because the brain stops absorbing information as effectively after long periods of activity. So revision especially works best in small chunks so your brain can 'recover' and be back to absorbing information effectively again. 

5. Shut down. No matter how much work or revision I have, I always try and shut down at 9pm. Then I can have an hour of 'down time' where I can relax and spend time with my family before going to bed. It is important I use this time to try and relax as much as possible because my brain needs to fully turn off from school in order for me to get a good nights sleep and feel rejuvenated the next day. I find that if I work too late I don't sleep as well and I feel worse the following day. Therefore, to get the most out of everyday I have to shut down an hour before going to sleep. This is also beneficial for my mental well being because doing something I enjoy for an hour after a day of work is something to work towards and feel good about rather than being bogged down with overwhelming amounts of work and getting stuck in a cycle of stress and school doom. 

If any of these tips were helpful to you I would be delighted and hope that you can regain some control over your life even in the midst of school and exams. 
If you have any tips of your own please pop a comment down below, I would love to hear how you cope with this stressful period in your life and maybe you know some tips that could help me. 
Also, if you would like me to write another post with some more revision and study tips please comment so and I will compile some more things that help me! 

Thank you so much for reading and I wish you well with your studies xxx.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

This is the first blog I've ever had so, if, by some chance, you find yourself reading this I would like to say, welcome! I'd like to be able to write about whatever I want here, whether it be beauty and lifestyle tips, sharing experiences or just general life. It's really somewhere that I can be myself, almost like a diary, but one that has a purpose, one that someone could read a page of and have it help them in some way or another, even if it's with the littlest of things.
I'd like it to be somewhere I could turn to when I'm feeling rubbish, I could write about it and feel better. And it would be amazing if, in some far fetched fantasy, when other people felt rubbish they could turn to it and feel better too.
Hopefully, every time I do something good or bad I can write it here so I rememeber what to or not to do in the future. Then it would almost turn into a catalogue of life tips, experiences and memories that I could look back through it when I want to remember how I did my hair that one time or how I dealt with a particular situation. In an ideal world, this blog will be somewhere you can relate and turn to too, a place where we can all be ourselves, drop our everyday and online personas and just enjoy life for what it is.
Love, Ruthie Xx