Monday blues… or reds… or purples…

So it’s nearly the end of Monday.  Everyone’s favourite day I’m sure!  It’s funny how Monday is exactly like any other weekday yet people despise it so much.  I wonder who created that stigma?  People who hate their jobs I guess…

For me, Monday doesn’t have to be a negative thing.  It should technically be the day you feel most refreshed!  You’ve usually just had at least 2 lay-ins, probably been out with family and friends relaxing and catching up, had time to chill and unwind and by Monday you should feel like a new person.  Never works out that way does it?

I try to make Mondays a positive thing.  You’ve got a whole brand new week ahead of you and to be honest, Monday is probably the only weekday that I actually get up on time and have time to do what I really want to do.

I do have a full-time job, so getting to the office on time can be an issue if I spend as much time on my make up as I would like to, but there are some shortcuts that I’ve learned over the years that help keep you on time but still allow you to look polished when you finally clock in!  “What do I need to do to help me look polished?” I hear you ask!  Ha, well I will list these steps for you now.  If you work in an office/corporate environment like I do, you might find this useful!

Step One: Moisturise

Honestly, if you work in a office like mine where the air-conditioning is constantly on, you can’t really afford to miss this step.  I find when I do, my face ends up getting really dry and my make up starts falling apart.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on moisturiser… I’m not here to tell you that you need to buy a £50 cream that’s going to give you a facelift, nose job and buy you dinner, you just need one that’s going to do it’s job: moisturise.  I personally like to use Boots Essentials Cucumber Moisturising Lotion (ironic because I hate cucumbers!) and seriously, this stuff costs like £1.50.  You go through moisturiser like crazy so why the hell should you spend all your salary on a cream?  Put that all over your face and leave it to soak in.  I tend to do this just after getting out of the shower; that way your pores are open and the cream soaks in really well.  Whilst that’s soaking in, you can go and do something else, like make a cup of tea!

Step Two: Foundation

Foundation, for me, is important.  I’ve got a really pasty blue complexion that can be very uneven.  If you’ve got good skin, skipping this step may be an option but for me, I think the first step to looking polished is even, glowing skin.

My foundation during the week is not an expensive one… I’ve got to wear this stuff every day so I don’t want to spend a fortune on it!  I’ve tried hundreds of drugstore foundations over the years, but I’ve found that one of the best ones so far is Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation (I use the colour 103 True Ivory) and this stuff seriously stays put.  I have dry skin and as long as I moisturise beforehand, the finish on this is great.  Really good coverage, blends well and stays put all day!  Make sure you blend this really well; you want your skin to look even and glowing, not cakey.  To blend, I usually use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush but if I’m pushed for time, using your fingers leaves a good finish as well.

Step Three: Powder

The product for this step can change quite often and sometimes doesn’t occur at all, but usually I will use Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder or if I’m feeling fancy, my bareMinerals Original Powder Foundation in Medium Beige N20.  The bareMinerals is seriously full coverage so I would maybe only suggest it if you’re having a bad skin day or something because coupled with your foundation, for an every day basis it may appear a bit much, but that’s entirely up to you!

After I’ve powdered, I apply The MakeUp Academy Mosaic Bronzer in Shade 1 Natural Glow.  THIS BRONZER, oh my God, it cost me like £2, seriously, and I absolutely love it.  It’s such a lovely colour, not too intense and has this really nice glowy shimmer to it which is barely detectable but leaves you looking less like a flat painting and more like an alive human being.  Saviour come Friday when I feel half dead!  So I just put that on top of my cheekbones, maybe around my temples if I’m feeling like a rebel and down each side of my nose (kind of like a contour, but much, much softer). 

Last but not least for the face, I usually apply a highlight which at the moment is, again by The MakeUp Academy, this time their Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter (had a little spree on The MakeUp Academy section of Superdrug a couple of weeks ago, spent like £10, came out with about 50 products, it’s so good!)

Now, I know what you’re thinking, this seems like a million products, but I promise you, by the time I’ve got to this step, I’m about 4-5 minutes into my make up routine.  At this point, for a standard ‘work day’ face, you wanna keep it fairly casual now, right, because it’s not a disco(!)

Step Four: Eyebrows

Can I just stop here for one minute.  Eyebrows.  This is one step I won’t leave the house without doing.  My eyebrows are horrendous when left to their own devices, honestly.  I can forget looking polished if I forget about these bad boys.

For this step I use Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Taupe using the Anastasia Beverly Hill Eyebrow Brush (number 12).  This eyebrow brush is one of the best.  It has a little spooly at the end for combing through your eyebrows and then a really nice, fine brush at the end for putting the product on your brows.

I think eyebrows can be tricky if you don’t know how to do them properly.  They can seriously help change your face but one thing I want to point out… your eyebrows are not supposed to be twins, more like sisters.  Mine on the other hand are like distant cousins but I guess you just play the hand you’re dealt!

I start off by filling in the ‘tail’ end of my brow first and then line the top and bottom really faintly.  After that, I just use the residue of what’s left on my brush to ‘colour in’ the rest of the brow, so hopefully it looks done but not like two fat slugs just come and started chilling on your forehead.

Step Five: Eyes

This is pretty simple.  I found if I wear too much eye make up to work it just looks like a mess by the end of the day.  I actually tend to avoid wearing anything on the lower lash line at all if possible because I find it just smudges like nuts throughout the day.  Just take a light brown/greyish colour, I like to use Copperplate by MAC on a fluffy blending brush (I use the 224 from MAC) and blend this through the crease really sparingly.  You want it to just look like a shadow.  Then I run some black liquid eyeliner along the lashline, flick it out if I’m feeling daring and top it off with a black volumising mascara on the top lashes only.  This actually helps your eyes to look bigger as well – because you haven’t created a line to cut off the bottom of your eye, it creates an illusion that the eye is bigger than what it is.

Step Six: Lips

I’m not going to lie, this changes on a day to day basis.  Most of the colours I wear are pretty neutral because if I don’t get the chance to top them up during the day, it means they will just wear off with no trace of any gross old crusty lipstick left on my lips.

On a typical day, for long-wearing results, I will line and fill in my lips with a flat coloured lip pencil like Stone from MAC.  If you have small lips or just want to make your lips look a bit bigger, this sort of colour is a really good one to use as it has no red it in which naturally makes the lips look smaller.  After this I might put Honey Love lipstick on by MAC and then run around the edges of the lip again with the Stone pencil.  This generally doesn’t need to be reapplied again for about 6-7 hours and that’s through drinking countless cups of tea and coffee.

And you’re done!  Finally!

No, on a serious note, you should be around the 10-11 minute mark by now… that is how quick this makeup is!

So now, if you’re not a Monday person, you can snooze that alarm for another 5 minutes and rest assured that you’re going to look refreshed and rejuvenated to the rest of your colleagues in 10 minutes flat, even if you don’t feel it!



Hey guys!

Where do I start?

After deliberating about making a blog for the last 4 years and having never found the time to actually just sit down and do it, I finally did it tonight.

You see, my ‘finding time’ fits somewhere between laying on the sofa doing literally nothing, working and sleeping.  You would think over the last 4 years I might have found something more productive to do ha!

So now I’m a bit late jumping on the old bandwagon of make up and beauty blogging and I’m not promising I’m going to show you anything you probably haven’t already seen a million times, I’m not even promising that it might be interesting(!) but what I would like to think I’m offering is a different angle, with hopefully a bit of humour and fun along the way.  It’s dissapointing I took so long really… all the amazing, unique, quirky names for a blog I had come up with over the years are taken! So upsetting.

So guys, I’m definitely no make up artist.  I can safely say, aside from Halloween and one random day I decided to wear black lipstick (why?) I hardly ever wear anything crazy on my face.  Yes I go completely overboard with foundations and concealers and powders, but what I’m hoping I can share with you is how to walk out of the house thinking “yeah, do you know what, I look bloody decent today!”  Not “I feel a little uncomfortable wearing this make up because I don’t feel like myself” (try wearing black lipstick in public, you’ll never have that feeling stronger, trust me)!

Who am I?

To give you a bit of a back story about me, I started wearing a full face of make up when I was about 11.  Yes, 11.  It was horrendous.  I’m talking full coverage foundation, blue eyeshadows, black eyeliner and bright pink blusher all topped off with the gloopiest lip gloss you have ever seen.  The worst part is, I thought I looked good!  My Mum kinda went a bit nuts whenever she see me wearing it… “what impression do you think you’re giving out…” etc.  The thing was, I didn’t really know what she was talking about.  I certainly didn’t slap all that make up on my face to make anyone else happy!  I loved it… I loved sitting in front of that mirror and putting all these products on my face; to me, my face was a canvas and I was making it look pretty and colourful!  I still feel like that.  I get out of the shower in the morning, get dressed and sit in front of that mirror.  I look at my face for a long time deciding what I’m going to do today to make me feel good; it’s a satisfying experience for me and to be honest, the only 15 minutes of actual peace I have in my day where I get to 100% truly focus on myself.  I know there may be some ladies (or gents!) out there who find the process of make up application a laborious, unfortunate task that needs to be done.  I just wanna share that it doesn’t have to be like that.

I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I’m sure I will enjoy creating it.  If you have anything you want to ask me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Maria xo