I had my Teeth Whitened!!

After quite a while of wanting to get my teeth whitened I finally went and did something about it. I really wanted to have it done for such a long time but I was always umming and ahhing about where to have it done, whether or not I should just have it done professionally and worrying about any side effects like sensitivity. Teeth Whitening generally isn’t a very cheap treatment, especially if you’re having it done professionally so I needed to be certain about what I was going to invest my money into. But when my amazing beauty therapist said she was introducing teeth whitening to her ongoing list of services I jumped at the opportunity.

In total I had two sessions within a week of each other. After the first session my teeth were five shades whiter and can I honestly say I never realised just how stained my teeth were. At my first session, my teeth were colour matched and I was at the yellower end of the spectrum – EW!

The Procedure

  1. You’re given a disposable toothbrush and a small pot of solid toothpaste to prepare the teeth.
  2. You’re given a finger cloth which is sprayed with activator which you run across your teeth.
  3. The gels – which I believe is hydrogen peroxide – is inserted to the mouth trays which you put into your mouth and aligned with your teeth. The LED light is then aligned to your mouth and I had to twenty minute sets.

I was really happy with my results! I feel like it’s important to mention that cosmetic teeth whitening doesn’t give you the results of ‘pearly white’, immaculate teeth like you see on TV but it does make them whiter and help to remove stains. Everyone’s results will be different depending on a) how stained the teeth are b) what has caused the staining c) how well the enamel on your teeth reacts to the hydrogen peroxide.

After having your teeth whitened, you can’t eat any coloured or heavily seasoned foods for 48 hours. So chocolate, red wine, red meat, curry’s, tea & coffee and anything else that is likely to stain is a huge no! It’s harder than it seems lmao. Since having my teeth whitened I haven’t had any increased sensitivity which I’m so happy about! Peroxide can be quite harsh on the teeth and lead to a break down of enamel which is what causes sensitivity which is that horrible feeling in your teeth when you eat or drink something really cold, or hot.

Overall, I am beyond pleased with my results. I will probably have one more session somewhere down the line only to see just how white I can get them but you don’t need multiple sessions, however many sessions you have is completely your preference.

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Results after two sessions!
I had my teeth whitened at Obedient Beauty (@obedient_beauty .. instagram) based in Chingford, London.

elisekirsten xo.

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Anxiety and I..

October 10th 2017: World Mental Health Day

A day dedicated to fundraising and raising awareness about mental health, breaking down stigma’s and speaking out about the reality of our illnesses.

Roughly around this time last year I was diagnosed with depression which had a huge impact on my life, it changed everything about me but it also brought me to creating my blog. I’ll link my story with depression here. Something I don’t think I’ve really spoken or written about is anxiety and considering I’ve dealt with it for as long as I can possibly remember, I guess today would be the day to speak about it.

What is anxiety??? 

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): feelings of unease such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe – NHS. OR: Regular or uncontrollable worries about many different things in your everyday life – Mind.

Social Anxiety Disorder: extreme fear or anxiety triggered by social situations e.g parties, workplaces or any situation where you encounter others – Mind.

I’ve dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember, I’d say I was anywhere between age 13-15 when I first noticed it but I didn’t know what it was. I had the typical symptoms like increased heart rate and sweating and I think my dad was the first person I’d mentioned it to. He said it sounded like anxiety but he didn’t really explain what that meant so I guess I just ignored it for a while. As life went on, I learnt to understand what it was and how it worked for me. I realised it was based on my thoughts or worries or anything that made me feel nervous. I would have anxiety meeting new people, going to new places, interviews or exams, talking to people I wasn’t very comfortable with etc. I never went to a doctor or really told anybody about it because it really just became a part of me and I learnt to live with it.

The only time I had any help with my anxiety was when I was diagnosed with depression. I was taking anti-depressants for a few months which also helped make me feel less anxious and considering I no longer take any medication, looking back now I see how much it really helped. Anxiety affects me literally everyday and back then, I was anxiety free for months! Having depression and anxiety at the same time is the equivalent of having a devil and an angel on your shoulder. Depression meant that I didn’t care about anything, the world could pass me by and I wouldn’t have cared but anxiety was a constant reminder of everything I should have been worrying about – a mental battle. At times when I would be quite stressed out or have a lot going on, I’d wake up in the morning and my instant and first thoughts would be me worrying. Whether it was an upcoming deadline, a family issue, bills I had to pay or my incomplete but urgent to-do-list, I’d be thinking of it. First thing in the morning – anxiety.

Lately my anxiety has been extremely social and situational based. I developed social anxiety almost a year ago at a time when I had a lot going on. It started with university and I never wanted to go in, I honestly feared seeing people I knew or being around so many people. I’d avoid it at all costs and if I ever had to go, I’d go at a time when I new it would be quiet and I’d be in-and-out as fast as I possibly could. I was dealing with a situation that everyone seemed to think they knew about. At that time my stress, my pain and my problems was simply everyone else’s entertainment and gossip and I hated that. I just wanted to hide from everyone and I guess that’s where my social anxiety started.

Recently, my anxiety has been fuelled by all the recent and frequent incidents and attacks happening. I never used to live in fear and I always said I wouldn’t but it’s becoming harder not to. Acid attacks, bombs on trains, vehicles mounting pavements – I never used to think “tomorrow isn’t promised”, I just never thought like that at all but unfortunately, those are some of my everyday worries now. I hate to think that anything could happen to myself or a loved one and it makes me feel uneasy knowing there are people I’m not on the best terms with right now.

Mental illnesses are real. There is so much stigma that surrounds mental health, a lot of disbelief and a lot of downplaying, but as someone who has experienced mental illness I want to speak up and encourage others to do the same. When I was diagnosed with depression I didn’t actually speak to people about it for a while because I didn’t think I’d be taken seriously. A lot of people don’t understand it because they can’t see it and it’s not always easily explained. If someone breaks their leg, you can physically see the problem but if someone asked me to explain depression I wouldn’t know how to. Be kind, be sensitive and be as understanding as you possibly can. If you don’t know, aim to educate yourself. It’s okay to ask questions, as long as they’re not asked in an insensitive or malicious way.

If you have experienced mental illness, I encourage you to speak out. Feel free to comment below! If you want to share your story or know more about mine or just have any general questions but want to stay anonymous, you can email me at elisemathurin@gmail.com or simply fill out my contact form.

elisekirstenxo.

MFW: A Quick Trip to Milan

Being the random person I am, I booked a quick trip to Milan for a few days and I’ve just recently come back! One of my girlfriends was studying out there for a month so it seemed like the best opportunity to get away and have a little break! I’ve also really been trying to come out of my comfort zone so travelling alone to a city I’d never been to seemed  fitting. Milan is beautiful and I always describe it as an experience. I’m from London and it’s similar in many ways but for many reasons, I’d prefer to live in Milan!

Day 1:

My flight arrived at about 9:30pm to Milan Malpensa Airport and with no time to spare, I had to find my way to the hotel. I was lost. I had to get the train but at that time everyone had gone home so the ticket desk was closed and I had to work out the self-service machine. I’d managed to get a ticket which I couldn’t actually understand and my next challenge was finding the train! Everyone is really friendly, even if they don’t speak English all that well, they’ll do their best to help. Almost an hour later and with the help of an Italian lady, a ticket inspector and Google Maps, I’d met up with my friend!

I had about an hour to get ready (impossible!) because we were heading out to Roberto Cavalli’s club which aesthetically, was probably the best club I’d ever been to! Firstly, the club is outside! It’s kind of awkward to get to as you have to walk through this downhill mini forest thing but once you get there it’s amazing! You can see how much thought and effort was put into designing it and I love that! Secondly, and this is something I think UK clubs should introduce, you pay the entry fee which gives you a ticket to any free drink of your choice from the bar, how good is that?

Day 2:

Time to actually see Milan! Luckily I had my friend and the new friends I’d made out there to show me the way to the town centre. They went off to college and I was left to explore the beautiful streets of Milan. I found a cute little restaurant for some lunch then headed towards the Duomo (Duomo Di Milano) which is a huge, beautiful and historical cathedral – you can’t miss it. From there I walked around loads, did some sightseeing and shopping, and yes ladies – they have Sephora! I met up with the girls a few hours later for a quick coffee break and we went to the Marchesi 1824 which is an amazing coffee/pastry shop owned by Prada. They do the best pastries, cakes and tarts I’ve ever tasted. I had a pure hot chocolate which is exactly that, finest chocolate melted and poured into a cup with flavoured whipped cream and a honey croissant that tasted like a piece of heaven.

 

In the evening we went to Armani for drinks and dinner which was my fav place to dine! It was such a nice vibe, really yummy food and just all around a really nice place to be. For dinner I had Gnocchi with Octopus and Pornstar Martini’s all night! We were ready to head out and hoping to get into the Armani club but with private events all over the city for the upcoming fashion week, we ended up back at Roberto Cavalli which was pretty cool as they had a Vogue themed night!

 

Day 3:

My last full day! I was absolutely exhausted by this point because I’m not used to so many late nights in a row. Usually tucked up in bed by 10:30 lmao. My friends left early for college so I stayed in bed until about 1 o’clock and went to meet the girls because we decided it would be the day we all toured the city together! We tried to climb the Duomo but the queue was ridiculous so we ended up in a little museum of nothing. Seriously, we had no idea what the museum was about and there really wasn’t anything to see so we left and went to the Prada museum instead. I paid €10 to walk around and look at half hung pictures of what I don’t actually know! I love art and I’m down for abstract things but I really couldn’t get my head around what I’d just paid my money to see. I wouldn’t even call it a museum, it looked like a life sized scrap book honestly. Apparently we wasn’t even in the real Prada museum, there was a bigger site in south Milan and we could use the ticket we just paid for to get into it, so off we went!

 

Hopped on the Metro (their underground train) and once again, shocked and taken back by where we were. If you’re from London then you probably know the banter about South London being quite a rough area and a no-go zone. Clearly that seems to be the case for most large cities because South Milan was far from the glamorous side I’ve been staying in the past few days. We were all saying “how can the Prada museum be here??”. Low and behold there it was, “Fondazione Prada” which looked like an old prison. We all agreed but apparently it used to be a distillery (not convinced). At this point we’re all excited because this looks more like what we were expecting the first time round. We got our new tickets, a map of this huge prison-like building, quick info about what we’d be seeing including the cinema room, the haunted house and a number of exhibitions. Sounds great? Eh eh. Disappointed once again as it turns out that Fondazione Prada is an exhibition centre for contemporary art and culture and we just so happened to be there at the time of the Italian TV exhibition from the 70’s. There really isn’t much to say about it so I’ll leave you with these pictures..

 

We left there straight away and headed home to chill; bought a few bottles of wine and ordered in some Chinese. In the evening we went to the Dolce & Gabanna bar for drinks which was surprisingly quiet so back to Armani! The entire evening was spent with the amazing girls I’d met in Milan, having drinks and laughs before getting ready to leave at 4am for my 7am flight!

 

Flights:

Flights to Milan are seriously cheap! I was actually really shocked when I saw just how cheap they were. I used Sky Scanner to book mine and ended up flying with Ryanair. If you book at least a week in advance, your bound to find super cheap flights – when I was looking the cheapest was £48 return! Me being me, I booked my flight two days before I flew out and paid about £100. It’s about a 2 hour flight, perfect for a little nap! Also, if you’re going to be in central Milano, it’s best to fly to Linate airport as it’s closer.

Weather: 

Considering I went mid-september, the weather was lovely! Pretty similar to London’s but much warmer and they seem to consistently have more sunny days. Pack as if you’re not actually leaving London lmao. When it’s sunny you could get away with wearing shorts but at the same time, you might want a little hoodie too.

Travel: 

  • Uber: Yes! they have Uber out there just as they do in most cities. It’s not necessarily any cheaper to get an Uber out there than it is in London but they only have Uber Exec which means you’re most probably gonna be picked up in some kind of Mercedes-Benz, BMW or even a Bentley.
  • Trams & Buses: I didn’t get on either but they seem pretty easy to navigate around. If in doubt, ask anyone!
  • Metro: The metro is a huge underground world lmao. I absolutely struggled with the trains from day one but everyone else seemed to get the hang of it better than I did. The trains are relatively cheap and once you know where you’re going, it’s not that hard to get there. It really is big down there though. There’s also an express train to the airports which is just like getting on the Gatwick Express. It’s really easy to use and came in handy when my transfer cancelled on me last min!

All in all, Milan is a beautiful city that I plan on going back to one day. Being in Milan in the lead up to fashion week was an experience, I wish I could have stayed longer but I really do encourage anyone to put it on your list of places to visit!

Elisekirsten.xo

 

The Big Chop, Again!

Okay so it’s not exactly a big chop as I already did one about 6 months ago which I’ll link the blog post for here, but I have recut my hair and this time it’s even shorter! I cut my hair the first time 1) because it was damaged from straightening and colouring and 2) because I was really ready for a change and I needed that change to be something drastic, so chopping off most of my hair seemed very fitting. I’m very lucky that my hair grows really quickly which it did and almost six months later I was umming and ahhing about whether I wanted to grow it all out or cut it again and I chose to cut it!

I had quite long, thick, golden curls which I adored and so did many others. I always appreciated the comments I got for my hair, from friends and even strangers. People always had questions about “how” I got it so curly which was strange to me because it was all natural (apart from the colour), but apparently it was strange that as a black girl I had such curly hair and most people assumed I had to have some kind mix in me lmao. When I was younger, I enjoyed the attention my hair brought me but now I’m older, I’m completely over it. It becomes very boring constantly being addressed by or referred to by terms that don’t actually describe your character. It feels as though people look at you and the first/only thing they notice is your hair.

One of the main reasons behind cutting my hair was so that when people see me, they focus on my face, my voice, body language etc. If someone’s going to describe me I’d rather them describe me as the girl with a beautiful smile or say something about my character/personality because that’s a better representation of who I am. Without all my hair, people will have no choice but to look a little deeper so I decided to strip myself bare. I’m currently trying to find out the woman I am, learn parts of me I never knew and I want that to be as transparent as possible. I’m trying to emphasise that through whatever I do and blogging is a great way to express that.

When I did my first big chop I felt so free and liberated. Most of us – not just women constantly worry about what our hair looks like and with my curls, it was so much effort to make sure I looked good. On days where I just couldn’t be bothered I would still have to make some kind of effort, I could never just get up and go because I’d look like I had a birds nest on my head. Literally the day I got my hair cut I knew I made such a great choice. It takes me less time to get ready, I don’t stress about what hairstyle to do everyday/week, and I save so much money not having to buy as many hair products to maintain it all.

It might seem dramatic, but I feel like I’ve changed how people view me just from cutting my hair off. Like I said, it forces people to look past the hair and actually pay attention to me. A year ago I would never imagined going for the big chop because my hair was so precious to me but now I think “it’s just hair” and in reality it is. It might have taken me a while to come to that realisation but I’m glad I have, there are many things about myself that I thought made me who I am when in actual fact, they’re just surface level things that don’t actually represent me. I’m also a complete introvert, I’m really shy and hold back on most things and having big hair means I can easily hide behind it all. Along with finding myself, I have this challenge to do things out of my comfort zone. A year ago I would have never been comfortable even thinking about cutting my hair off, I’d hate having to trim my dead ends! But I have now found so much peace and confidence in losing what I thought made me who I am.

Once I feel satisfied building my character as I am now, I will definitely be experimenting with colours and wigs and different styles with confidence in knowing that my hair no longer plays a role in shaping who I am. The beauty of versatility.

I am not my hair, I am not my skin. I am the soul that lives within. – India Arie

elisekirstenxo.

I Overcame my Depression???

It’s coming up to almost a year since I started my blog which I began as a kind of New Years resolution. I was at a point where I had been through a lot and I was ready to start expressing myself and tell a part of my story so I started my blog and my first post outlined my story with depression. Almost a year later and of course so much has changed, so in light of finally owning my domain as well as finally feeling content with my life and being in a good place, I felt now’s the perfect time to review the past 9 months!

If you’ve been reading since the very beginning (thank you, I appreciate you!) you’ll have read my first ever post about being diagnosed with depression but if not I’ll link it here. Here’s a quick overview:

November 2016: I was diagnosed with depression and prescribed anti-depressants. I was also going through counselling too although I quickly dropped out of it. Everything in my life felt like a crumbling mess; university, friendships, relationships, my social life etc. I won’t go too far into detail because this is just an overview and I want to focus more on how I got passed this not so great chapter of my life.

I’m guessing most people won’t know this but once you start anti-depressants, roughly the first two weeks are absolutely dreadful and can actually enhance your emotions and negative thoughts whilst the drug works its way into your system, so it’s just your body’s/minds way of adjusting to it. I remember just wanting to sleep those two weeks away completely because I felt the worst I ever did. Anyway, pushed through and continued taking my medication and it really did help to level out my emotions. I felt like I could finally think a little clearer and start putting some pieces of my life together – or at least locate the glue to do so.

I quickly started feeling really positive which most would think is great but I’d found all this motivation and inspiration to fight my depression and get my life back on track almost instantly. I had great thoughts and my intentions were good I just didn’t know how to execute it properly. Only about a month later and I’d stopped taking my medication and I wasn’t in counselling anymore because I was determined to combat this by myself. I just hit rock bottom all over again, in fact I think this time was even worse. Turns out I wasn’t ready to stop taking my medication and I think it just caused a crazy chemical imbalance. I wasn’t functioning whatsoever, this time I could feel my friends & family’s worry and concern so I knew it was bad. I guess I needed an intervention and one of my close friends did just that. Every morning I’d wake up to a glass of water and my daily tablet followed by a mouth inspection to make sure I’d actually swallowed the tablet.

I felt like an invalid but I did really need that (thank you!). For the next few months I was battling with my medication. Eventually I stopped taking them prematurely again but it all worked out for the best and I didn’t fall back into depression. I focused on getting my life back together, rebuilding friendships and surrounding myself with the right people because I really needed that. At that time so much had gone on and I didn’t trust anybody, my anxiety was crazy so I was really just focused on getting back to being me.

Slowly but surely, it was working. I was blogging and that alone was like therapy for me, I was meeting new people and going places again, I started feeling good about myself finally. I did random things that made me happy like cutting all my hair off, that was one of the best decisions I’d made and I wish I’d done it sooner but everything has it’s time! It felt like I was reinventing myself whilst still finding the old me. The truth is that I still have bad days, where I don’t want to see or speak to anyone, where I cry three times in a day, where my thoughts are filled of self-doubt and worries. Days like that scare me. I get scared that I’m now more susceptible to depression again and the thought alone makes me want to curl into a ball and hide but those days pass the next day is always a better one!

I look back to where my life was 9 months ago and I literally think “wow”. At that time I never thought I’d get passed it all, I thought I wasn’t strong enough, I’d be in that dark place forever. I learnt that we are always stronger than we think and the light in the dark tunnel will always show. Sometimes it presents itself as a person who says and does all the right things just when we need it the most, sometimes its a job opportunity or life takes you somewhere you never thought you’d end up but it’s where you needed to be. It all sound cliche but your pain, your current situation is temporary. Big or small, whatever it is, you’ll overcome it and you’ll look back and think “wow”.

So far you’ve survived 100 percent of your worst days. This too shall pass. – Unknown

elisekirsten xo.

Croatia: Fresh Island Festival

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I am far from a festival girl and in fact this is the first festival I’ve actually been to and it’s abroad! I’d never really heard of Fresh Island Fest, nor was I even familiar with Croatia until a few friends of mine who’d went last year encouraged my girls and I to go. “Why not?” so we went online and bought our tickets for the festival. Let me point out this was easily the most unorganised trip we’ve ever booked yet we had no worries whatsoever. We booked our tickets early this year, we booked our flights roughly a month before the trip and our accommodation like the week before.

I wish I could add more picture content but in the nature of this little break away, I was a mess and unorganised! On arrival I was way too excited, for the duration of the break I was drunk and far too absorbed into the environment and leaving I was a state lmao. I don’t know why I thought I could write a decent post about it, I didn’t drink anywhere near my limit but I cannot remember majority of my trip lmao. Regardless, I’ll do my best to piece it all together!

Day one:

We arrived at Split airport which was one of the furthest airports from Pag so we had a two hour transfer to our accommodation. Of course just our luck, the Air BnB we booked was a scam! Through no fault of our own or Air BnB’s, we were walking the cobbled streets of Croatia not having a clue where we actually were or where we were going. This is the day I learnt just how relaxed I am on holiday because the thought of being homeless in a foreign country where we knew nothing and no one did not stress me one bit. I knew everything would work out and it did, the company found us a new apartment, gave us refunds, compensation etc. By the time we got there it was time to get ready and head out to see Young Thug!

Day Two:

Woke up: hanging. Time to get ready and leave because we needed food ASAP and it was DJ Jazzy Jeff’s pool party this afternoon. We found food then linked up with our other friends who’d rented a car and peds and headed to the pool party which was LIT. Can I just state that we were late to everything this entire holiday but it really didn’t matter because apart from the acts, you weren’t missing much. After the pool party, it was time for food and heading back to the apartments to get ready. I don’t even know who was performing this night because we all completely missed it. It was about 3am when someone said “shall we leave now” so we did! The party was still going and it was the best time! There was such a big group of us which made it even better. Being honest I don’t remember most of what happened this entire day, at one point I took a nap before we went out and I don’t even remember taking the nap. My short term memory went into shutdown lmao.

Day Three:

Our last day! During the day we had Tim Westwood’s pool party and in the evening, performing was Sean Paul and Rae Sremmurd. The pool party was PACKED, it was so different from yesterday’s. During the day’s you could also go on boat parties and I don’t think any were running on the last day so practically the whole of the festival was crammed into this one pool party, fun nevertheless! Until the very end where a group got into a fight and let me tell you, those security guards don’t play! Me and my friend were literally in between the edge of the fight and the edge of the pool trying to move away from the madness then suddenly there was this gas and people were dispersing. The security guards had let off what seemed to be tear gas so people couldn’t see or breathe and then started spraying people with pepper spray. People who weren’t even involved in the fight were effected because security were just relentless, they didn’t care, they just wanted us OUT. Thankfully none of my friends got hurt, we were defo shaken up but nothing some food wouldn’t fix!

In the evening it was time to head to the clubs where of course we’d missed the performances again, I caught Sean Paul saying bye and walking off stage and that was it lmao. This was definitely the drunkest we’d all been and once again, a blur to me! We somehow ended up having our own table which was great although I didn’t recognise half the people on it but it was a good time! A few of us left early at like 5am to head back to the apartment to get ready for our 6am transferYep… from the club back to the apartment, took a nap (more like passed out) woken up for last min packing, transfer wasn’t on time but it managed to find us anyway, 2 hour journey to the airport and got on our flight with no sleep, still ridiculously drunk, and not remembering or understanding what just happened!

I had the time of my life. 

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A Bronzy/Natural Makeup Look!

Honestly I have no idea what to call this look, I think it looks quite bronzy and soft glam-ish so lets go with that! I did a look very similar to this one about a week ago and received a few questions about it so as I’m getting back into the swing of blogging, I thought I’d make a post on it! Can we also just talk about how quickly my hair is growing out, wow!

 

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This is the look!
For anyone who might ask, my LED mirror is from Boots from their NO7 brand. I’ll list below the product details in order from beginning to end. I do use quite a few drugstore products so if you’re someone who’s not into that, read with an open mind and replace with your own if you want to recreate this look. Enjoy!

Base:

products used:

  • Clarins oil treatment
  • Emite Makeup diamond heart primer
  • Kiko radiant boost face base

Always start off by moisturising! Skincare is so important and you don’t want to apply makeup to dry skin as it will affect your makeup look. I usually use a face cream from Simple or Nivea but as my skin has been really dry lately, I used an oil to keep my skin looking hydrated and encourage a dewy look – I very rarely go for a matte finish. However, if you have naturally oily skin then I would not recommend using oils!

Eyebrows:

products used:

  • Beauty UK high brow kit
  • Kiko full coverage concealer (shade 06)

I fill my brows in lightly using my brow kit and conceal underneath using a concealer a few shades lighter than my skin to clean up the brow and highlight. I drag the concealer down onto my eyelids to use as a base/primer for my eyeshadow.

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Eyes:

products used:

  • Laroc natural shades palette

This palette is cheap as chips from Amazon and has an unreal amount of shades. They’ve also got a “summer edition” which comes as a deal. I used a few natural/skin shades to add to this bronzy look.

Face: 

products used:

  • NYX total control foundation (shade mahogany)
  • Sleek cream contour kit (shade medium)
  • Sleek contouring and blush palette (shade dark)
  • LA girl pro concealer (shade beautiful bronze)
  • NARS radiant creamy concealer (shade amande)
  • Kiko full coverage concealer (shade 06)

I recently just bought the NYX foundation and have fallen in love! I’ve used my MAC face and body foundation for years and was ready for a change and my NYX foundation is defo my fav right now. Once my foundation is blended, I highlight with the lighter shades in my cream contour kit and contour with my LA girl concealer. I go over any areas that need a little more coverage, usually around my mouth and nose with my NARS concealer. tip: blend your foundation down your neck!

I usually powder my highlighted areas with a sheer powder but chose not to for this look, I went over my contoured areas with the darker shade of my Sleek contour and blush palette to set the cream contour as well as deepen it.

Finishing touches:

products used:

  • Emite makeup powder blush (shade 108)
  • NYX liquid illuminator (shade sun goddess)
  • MAC skinfinish mineraliser (shade gold deposit)
  • Maybelline lash sensational
  • Revolution pro fix makeup spray

I use my blush just to add a bit of colour back into my face but this one is so pigmented so I add it really lightly. Next I add a few drops of my illuminator to the high points of my cheeks and go over with my mineraliser which I also add to my nose and cupids bow. I then add some mascara and would usually apply any lashes to compliment the look but today I wanted to leave it quite simple. Lastly for the face, I spray my fixing spray for an all day finish! It’s a drugstore product but easily the best fixing spray I’ve come across. If I fall asleep with my makeup on (yes, I know I shouldn’t) I wake up with all my makeup un budged.

Lips:

products used:

  • Kiko precision lip pencil (shade 305)
  • NYX butter gloss (shade praline)

And here’s the finished look…

 

 

Self-Confidence

My friends will probably disagree and say I’m lying to myself, but I’m a very shy and quiet person. I always have been and as much as I’m trying to change it, I’ve accepted that I probably always will be. For people who know me really well I’m sure I come across quite fun and confident but it really does take a lot to get me that way. I’ve just come back from a festival in Croatia (currently working on that blog post) which really highlighted some of my confidence issues.

Before going away I was stressing about having my body ‘summer ready’ especially as I’d be living in swimsuits for three days! There’s always questions like ‘is my bum big enough?’ ‘is my tummy flat enough?’ or ‘does my waist look too chubby in this bikini?’ I always have ups and downs with how I feel about my body, sometimes I’m so very confident about my body and will literally wear anything with confidence oozing off of me and other times, I want to drown in oversized hoodies. Thankfully, I felt really body confident this holiday. I mean obviously being drunk for practically 72 hours straight really lowers your inhibitions but I truly had no worries. And of course it helps having loved ones positively reinforce the things you’re doubtful of. Someone telling you ” you have no idea how beautiful you are” can really give you a boost (and melt your heart).

And then there’s my personality. I’m the type of person who gets on with any and everyone. It might take me a minute to warm up to someone but typically I get on with everyone. Without sounding big headed, I think I’ve got a great personality but something I’ve always felt a lot less confident about is going out with large groups. Months ago I developed social anxiety and so the thought of going anywhere where there was more than two people freaked me out. I’m a lot more comfortable being in groups now but I notice how I react to different groups. I notice that certain people make me want to run away into my shell and hide whereas others make me feel so confident and comfortable. Thank God I was in Croatia with the best people ever. People in general can bring out all different sides to you and I think they brought out the best version of me. Happy, confident and carefree are the only words to explain.

I feel like a lot of our insecurities are often self-made, I know mine are. Nobody can make me question myself the way I do but it stems from my interpretations of others’ views of me. E.G, my friends will say things like “I love drunk Elise” and as much as that’s a compliment, it really does stick with me and can make me question myself. What’s so special about me when I’m drunk and am I not that fun to be around when I’m not? I can’t exactly drink all the time just to feel more confident, so I’m left to either change it or accept it.  I know most of the time I’m just being silly, I’m confident that people love me for exactly who I am and being away, even just for a few days, with such a great bunch of people really gave me the boost I needed.

 

elisekirsten xo.

My Fav Summer Ideas!

Summer is FINALLY here!

(If you live in England then you know it’s only here for a few days so make the most of it!) These beautiful summer days can pop up so unexpectedly and you find yourself wanting to embrace it without any real plans so here’s some ideas and a few of my fav things to do if you live in/around London!

Beaches – we rarely get to go to the beach so it’s great for a change of scenery, sunbathing and a bit of fun!

  • southend (also has adventure island so it’s a beach day/funfair all in one!)
  • camber sands
  • walton-on-the-naze

Parks – perfect day out with a few friends. Take your speakers, a few drinks, snacks, games etc!

  • hyde park
  • Bushey/Richmond Park (has deers)
  • St James park
  • Queen Elizabeth olympic park

Days Out/Things to do – cheap and cheerful yet spontaneous and fun. Things to tick off your bucket list!

  • sky garden/rooftop gardens
  • London eye/stratford orbit
  • cable cars (along the docklands)
  • museums: national art gallery, saatchi gallery, science museum, history museum
  • the zoo/sea world

The TWENTIES

I’ve written  a similar blogpost to this which mainly focused on university and loads of people seemed to relate but I wanted to talk about the struggles of being in your twenties. It just feels like you’re too young to have it all together but too old not to. Theoretically, I would have finished my uni degree by now and been on my way to graduation but I’ve skipped that part for now, but for all my friends who I’ve watched work so hard to achieve their degrees, funnily enough we’re all sitting in the same ‘lost in life’ boat staring at each other just as confused as each other.

We’re in the big wide world now and I feel like I’ve been reborn in a sort of ‘the stalk dropped me off’ kind of way with no note for my potential carer (employer), no direction of how to get to where I’m heading and no instructions to follow. When you’re in the education system, you always know what’s next and what all the steps are, until you reach the end. Then you’re left on your own and expected to work it all out. I’m currently at a stage where; my parents, family members, older friends, my friends’ families, coworkers, strangers, the guy doing my blood test, the random old lady on the bus and many more, are all looking at me with these huge hopeful eyes and asking “what’s the plan?” Whilst making sure to avoid eye contact, I sheepishly reply “I just don’t know yet”.

I’m tired of it, seriously! At what point do people stop associating age and university together and why do people think it’s okay to ask what your plan is!? WHO said I even have a plan? Because honestly, I don’t! I don’t have a f*****g clue what the plan is. I had a plan, and when it came to carrying it out I didn’t like it, so I had to scrap that plan and I’m currently trying to make a new one. I’ll happily call myself a blogger/content creator, but it’s proving hard to make a plan in this industry. Let’s say you get a job in retail, the first few days – a week of starting, you have someone on your back showing you what to do and how the business runs. Being a blogger, you’re both the new employee and the existing employee. You’re running your business whilst working out how to run your business. For me, it’s currently trial and error and unless I just haven’t done enough research, I just don’t know what the clear cut steps are, and then you’ve got to plan the back up plan too!

Everyone says the twenties are supposed to be some of the best years of your life but right now (only 21) I feel so much pressure. Constantly looking down on myself for not doing enough or not being enough yet reassuring myself this stage is absolutely normal. I’ve spoken to (or overheard conversations of) people at all different stages of twenties.. 22, 26, even as late as 29 and yet nobody seems to be confident in this new adult life full of responsibility and plans.

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So here I am, young and trying to figure it out and if it any point I find the major key to help us all through life, I’ll be sure to let you all know but for now, just know that I get it. I can relate to what you’re feeling and I believe in you!

elisekirsten xo.