Let’s Talk: Body Confidence

Lifestyle

Body confidence.

Uhhhhiegfiesbdj. Even just writing those two words down and seeing them staring back at me makes my toes begin to curl up, which no doubt will shortly be followed by the rest of my body until I’m balled up like a little kitten. I want to start by saying that I had many reservations about writing this post; though I never know where a post is going to take me when I begin rambling, I know from the outset that a topic such as this is quite a sensitive one, one that is subject to many an opinion. It is also quite personal and will require me to chat openly to whoever is reading about my own experiences. It is only too often these days that when an individual tries to talk about body confidence, they are met with resounding groans and twenty-plus eye-rolls. That in itself is an issue.

Living in an age and society as we do, it is only fair to say that humans are their own downfall. The majority of huge social and political issues stand at the foreground of human ignorance. I think that body confidence is no different. This obsession (that only leads to remind me of that weird Black Mirror episode where every single person was judged on their social media platforms) with our online presence is beyond unhealthy but sadly, I think the effects are irreversible. Pre-conceptions of ‘beauty’ and appearance are damaging the mentality of (particularly) young children and adolescents. I’m fully aware that a post of this nature could come across as “preachy” so, to avoid that as best as I can, I’m going to chat about my own experience with body confidence, or lack thereof.

Honestly, I’d never had any major run-ins with the body police (the ones in my brain lol) until about two years ago. Up until then, I hadn’t really worried TOO much about it. Of course, I’d envied my friend’s long legs over my little stubby ‘I-have-to-take-three-strides-for-every-one-of-your-steps’ legs, or the way another friend could pull off a bandeau mini-dress because they weren’t a card-holder of the itty-bitty-titty-committee like myself, but all in all, I tried not to let it affect me in any way. I’ve always been petite, at 5ft 2, and had never felt out of proportion growing up.

Having had a ponder, I really think that what got me questioning my body confidence was starting university and turning 18. In particular, going out (both at home and at uni). I have never been (and never will be) someone who owns 20 different mini-dresses and matching pairs of heels. I am a jean-loving, trainer-wearing gal who, 9 times out of 10, is always in an oversized sweatshirt or t-shirt. That’s not to say that I’ve never been confident in my body, rather that I tend to favour comfort over anything else (stylish comfort, of course!!). Let me a paint you a nice little picture. An average night-out outfit for me is a pair of black jeans and some form of a crop top with a pair of converse or another variety of trainer. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to make an effort with my makeup and hair (hopefully making me look slightly nicer than I do having just made it in time for my 9am). So, naturally, the words “dressing up” cause alarm bells to start ringing…pretty loudly. Most of my friends absolutely love dressing up and use going out as an excuse to wear their newest dresses/jumpsuits (and so they bloody well SHOULD as they look like angels) when in reality, I can think of nothing worse. I actually get the fear when my friends try to take pictures with me on a night out because I know for a fact, regardless of whether I do look it or not, I will feel sub-standard standing next to them. Even wearing clothes similar to them, I kind of feel like a fraud, as if someone has over-taken my body and made me squeeze into this tiny outfit that in no way makes me feel good and subsequently, doesn’t make me look good. My friends will tell you that I am THE WORST person to take pictures of or with, because I just pick myself apart in every single one. I think being put in a situation where people assume you have “made an effort” to look your best, automatically invites in other peoples’ judgement, if an image is shared on social media, for example. You don’t know what your friend Chloe’s-auntie’s-friend-from-high-school is saying about your hair or your outfit. In reality, Chloe’s-auntie’s-friend-from-high-school probably doesn’t care the slightest bit that your leg’s at a weird angle or one of your eyes looks slightly bigger than the other. Whilst I KNOW this to be the case, it is harder convincing the irrational, negative part of your brain that 24/7.

These pictures show just one example of my struggle with body confidence. Now, I absolutely hate my arms. I know that’s a weird thing to hate but I rarely wear strappy tops that mean the tops of my arms are out. For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to purchase a dress with spaghetti straps for my course’s end of year party. You don’t even know how many pictures I had to take before I was finally KIND OF ACCEPTING of one of them. I felt so inadequate compared to how the rest of my friend’s looked and felt heavy and uncomfortable with my body in every photo. Even now, I still look at pictures from that night and pick out the parts about myself that I don’t like, that were only exaggerated by wearing something I didn’t feel like myself in. I also tend to ‘size up’ in a lot of my clothes, though my ‘correct size’ is usually one size down from what I end up buying. This is a habit I’ve let myself fall into as I really don’t tend to like form-fitting clothes as you can see every lil lump and bump. I know if my Mom is reading this she’ll be saying “oh don’t be stupid, you don’t have any lumps or bumps” but  the only way I can describe it is like this: you know when you have a spot on your face and every time you look in the mirror your attention is drawn to it and you feel like it’s ruining the whole vibe your face was going for today? However, when you mention it to your friend they say “oh, I didn’t even notice you had a spot”. I think that’s how it is with your body. I ended up sizing down and getting my ‘correct’ size in this dress, which only made it cling to me more and as a result, made me dislike it that much more. This should have been a fun time, but instead, I couldn’t stop thinking about how uncomfortable and wary of myself I was.

It does make me sad that I can feel this way as I’m such an advocate for seeing the beauty in people. I think all of my friends are honestly the most gorgeous people, inside and out, and I will always be the first person to jump in and tell them they look fab or tell them they’re being stupid for talking negatively about themselves. SO WHY is it so hard to do the same for yourself???? I think the main thing that I do which I definitely should stop doing is comparing myself to others. Now, I know that many people complain about the Instagram explore page promoting unreachable standards of perfection, showcasing the most beautiful girls and best looking guys. However, this is not the type of comparison I’m talking about. I KNOW that if you take a picture in a certain light and from a certain angle that it can make you look a lot thinner than you are, or create a shadowed set of abs. I’m not naive to think that I will ever be a Victoria’s Secret catwalk model or have a figure like Tammy Hembrow’s, rather I end up comparing myself to people I know. I can vividly remember studying one of my friend’s faces and picking out every feature of theirs that I was envious of, or that I felt was better than mine. How utterly awful is that?? The funny thing is that the majority of the time, if you turned around to someone and said “god, I’d kill to have cheekbones like yours” or “I wish my lips were like yours” they will repay the compliment to you and say that they want your cheekbones and your lips. This just goes to show that just because you like the way someone looks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do. If you think about, you have to see your own face and body every single day. Surely, even if you stared at the nicest face or the most perfect body every day for the rest of your life, you’d get bored of it or start to notice the tiniest of ‘imperfections’.

I do agree that a happy person is a beautiful person and that (no matter how cheesy) true beauty is found in happiness (thank you to Roald Dahl for teaching us all that sacred lesson). I think when you’re happy and secure in yourself, it glows out of you like a beacon of light and people around you just know. Like, yeah, she’s/he’s loving their life. I think there are days when I feel that happiness but there are most definitely still days where I question my body and its worth. I have, however, learnt that most of the pressure that I’ve been putting on my body to look and feel a certain way is pressure that has been generated purely by myself and not by others. My body shouldn’t need to look a certain way for other people, my body should be for me and if anyone ever tries to tell you any different, they are so wrong. Feeling as if you need to look a certain way to fit into the “trend” of what is desirable is something that happens far too often. Health comes first and with it, happiness.

Body confidence is definitely a journey and I’m currently sat on the train (probably eating some form of snack I cannot lie), chugging along at a steady pace.

Let me know how you deal with body confidence issues as I find it super interesting hearing other peoples’ perspectives on topics such as this one. Once again, a little ramble for you all, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same.

Love always,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Gee’s Book Club #1

Books

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Hellooooo my lovely friends and welcome to the first instalment of ‘Gee’s Book Club’ (something I most definitely didn’t just title this post as I had absolutely no clue what else to call it). I thought it would be cute to start sharing with you the books that I’m reading at certain points throughout the year as if you know me, you’ll know I loves me a good book or five.

Summer has always and will always mean one thing to me: more reading time!! I’ve always been a bookworm and would rather spend my days stuck in a good book than doing pretty much anything else. Admittedly, I’m one of those weird people who can easily get through a book in a day (this makes my Mom very unhappy when I try to fit 7 days worth of books into my 20kg allowance to go on holiday – soz Mom). This summer I haven’t had as much spare time as I usually do, however I have managed to sneak in a few books here and there so thought I’d let you know what I’ve been reading and if these books are worth the hype (or whether you should save your pennies because – let’s be real – student pennies are PRECIOUS).

All The Little Lights – Jamie McGuire

“Falling is easy. The hard part is getting back up.” 

I’ve been a big fan of Mcguire ever since her Beautiful Disaster series was first published. Once I find an author that I like, I tend to buy every single book they ever write which is how I ended up buying All The Little Lights. Whilst McGuire usually writes for a slightly older “new adult” audience, I believe this to be her first YA fiction. Although I am now 20, I am partial to a slightly cheesy young adult novel every now and then (guilty!). Her characters are always so well-developed, in this case Catherine and Elliot, which really helps you get sucked into her literary world. This novel in particular follows the journey of Catherine and Elliot and explores their relationship as individually they both deal with trauma and family issues (sounds vague but am conscious of trying not to drop spoilers!!!). There is a relatively unpredictable twist at the end (by ‘relatively unpredictable’ I mean that I knew there would be a twist coming but guessed completely wrong what it was lol). Whilst the storyline of this book was not the most thrilling I have ever read, I still really enjoyed it all the same. Would deffo recommend.

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng 

“Everything she had dreamed for herself faded away, like fine mist on a breeze. She could not remember now why she thought it had all been possible.”

Ng was a completely new author to me this summer but I’d seen her novel Little Fires Everywhere hovering around in the book-world. On a whim, I purchased it alongside her debut novel Everything I Never Told You. This book focuses on the disappearance and death of Lydia Lee, daughter of James and Marilyn and is written in such a way that it explores their family’s relationship before and after Lydia’s death. If I’m being honest, this book didn’t hook me a great amount and at times I felt as if I needed the plot to move at a slightly quicker pace. I didn’t feel as if the plot-line was meaty enough to make up an entire novel, rather a few chapters. However, I did really enjoy the style of Ng’s writing so I would not be adverse to reading her following novels. I’ll definitely be giving Little Fires Everywhere a go.

He Said She Said – Erin Kelly

“North London to me then was a patchwork of islanded villages, reached only by Tube and never joined up above ground; circles on a map, separate as stars.” 

I’d been seeing this book EVERYWHERE a few months ago as the newest “thriller” must-read. There definitely was a hype surrounding this novel so I had to give it a go. I’m not going to lie to you, when I first starting reading this I had no idea where this hype had come from. The beginning of the book is very slow-paced which meant I found it quite hard to get into. However, from about half-way in, I was hooked. If the whole book was as good as the second half of the book, then this could have been one of my favourite reads in a while. I don’t really want to give much away (as I can’t without spoiling!!) but essentially, this book centres around a rape trial and plays very much on the “grey area” of what is considered as “consent”. That being said, this book deals with extremely current themes which I also appreciate. I’m v glad to have ticked this off my list.

So those are the most recent books I’ve had my nose stuck in over the past few weeks. I may have a pretty similar post coming soon as my fingers miiiiiight have slipped and I just miiiiiight have ordered a few more (hate myself but love myself). As always, loads of thankyous for reading and I shall see you (well, kind of) very soon.

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

August Faves

Faves

Helloooo lovely readers!!!

Ya gal is BACK. I know that I need to stop starting each blog post with an apology for my lack of routine and consistency BUT I am really, very sorry. That being said, I thought I’d make my 8th ‘grand return’ of the year with an August Faves. I always prefer my favourites posts in the summer months as I have more time (and more money) to try new things that I can share with you guys. August has been a jam-packed month so I shall stop rambling and get into what I’ve been loving.

What I’ve Been Wearing

In a completely non-shocking manner, August has seen very little warm weather in the UK. However, this did make me happy as I’ve been able to start wearing oversized sweatshirts and jeans again (pretty much what I try to live in all year round). I was in Topshop recently, buying something or other (is it bad that I can’t remember what it was??? Does this highlight my shopping addiction???) and these jeans caught my eye in the SALE RACK. If you know me, you’ll know that sale-rack-shopping is an activity I absolutely never like to partake in as I find it extremely stressful and feel as if I can never find anything I like. Also, I feel that people stand really close to you and hover over your shoulder whilst they wait for you to finish looking (wtf is that all about???). Anywho, I saw these jeans. They’re a dark blue denim pair of flared cut-offs (the Topshop “DREE” style). Now, I’ve been looking for a pair of jeans like this for what feels like forever – I’ve tried on so many pairs that either aren’t the right colour or don’t fit nicely soooo of course I didn’t have high hopes for these. As I was already in the queue, I didn’t have time to try them on and just bought them on a whim (which I would usually never recommend) but once again, I cannot follow my own advice. In a Sisterhood-of-the-Travelling-Pants moment, they actually ended up fitting perfectly and I have already worn them to death. They retail for £40.00 full price but I managed to snag them for £23.00 which I thought was a pretty fab deal. I now want another pair in black.

A more recent purchase that I’m loving has to be this contrast stitch black jumpsuit from Bershka. I bought this for £25.99 and think it is the PERFECT transition piece to go from Summer clothing into Autumn/Winter. It’s a jersey material meaning it is suuuuuper comfy and the trousers flare out at the bottom. The tied-belt detail allows for the jumpsuit to give you a waist that is really flattering whilst not suffocating you or ‘digging in’ in any way. In fact, I loved this so much that I bought exactly the same jumpsuit in a different, more Autumnal pattern which I also cannot wait to wear. I think these jumpsuits look so nice on their own and can be dressed up (like in the pic above) but can also be dressed down with a high-necked t-shirt or turtle neck and trainers when the weather gets a lil colder (which, I hate to say it, will be very soon). Would deffo deffo deffo recommend these.

What I’ve Been Watching

If I’m being honest, I haven’t actually had that much spare time to get sucked into many new Netflix series this summer (although this makes me sad, I guess it is a good thing that I’ve actually been doing something with my life). However, I did manage to watch the new Netflix original film adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I am absolutely living for Netflix turning the books I read when I was 13/14 into films (also including The Kissing Booth) as it makes me feel weirdly nostalgic. I really enjoyed TATBILB as I thought it stayed relatively true to the original text and I used to be obsessed with Jenny Han’s books. Would deffo recommend this if you’re feeling an overeating-icecream-and-crying-with-your-friends-over-stupid-boys night.

What I’ve Been Listening To

So…I saw Hamilton. I cried. I died. I just about everything-in-between’d. That being said, naturally I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat for about six weeks. My new fave song is Wait For It and I also like Aaron Burr, Sir. Honestly the music is just so magical and I feel like no words I will ever write can do it justice so I’m just going to leave that there.

I’ve also had the Bring It On soundtrack playing constantly as in this academic year, I’ll be directing Musical Theatre Society’s production of it. Again, most of the music is written by Lin Manuel Miranda so it has the Hamilton-vibe. My fave songs are Do Your Own Thing and We’re Not Done. In all honesty, I love the whole soundtrack and I’m very scared that by the end of the show, I will definitely not love the whole soundtrack.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I really feel like there has been no good music released into the charts this summer?? Usually, summer is my favourite time for music but this year I still feel like I’m waiting for someone to release something (ANYTHING) good. I’ve been listening to Robinson and Folly Rae quite a lot but they’re not what I would class as “mainstream” artists so pls can we have some more jams.

What I’ve Been Using

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Every single time Anastasia BH brings out a new eyeshadow palette, I know I’m going to love it. With the exception of the non-blendable Subculture, ABH churns out the best palettes, in my opinion. When I saw the NORVINA press launch photos, a part of my heart squeezed at the ENTIRE ROW of shimmers and the bluey-purple shade, Soul. My lovely parents bought me the palette as a birthday prez and I have honestly used it every day since. The shadows are allllll super-blendable and have little to no fallout (including the shimmers) which I think is insane. If I had to give one teeny tiny little criticism, it would be that the only real transition colour Incense is rather dark so for pale gals like myself, if you’re using the palette exclusively, you have to use a very light hand to avoid black-eye-syndrome. Other than that, this product is gorg. It retails at the generic ABH palette price of £43.00 but I really do think you get what you’re paying for. Absolutely love.

What I’ve Been Doing

Half of my August was taken up by a summer course for Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting. It was a very intense two weeks but I had the best time and learnt soooo much. I met some fab, like-minded people and was taught by some of the most incredible teachers. I was literally like a sponge, trying to soak up every piece of information or advice they gave me.

I then had the absolute pleasure of watching one of my family friends, Alex, perform in their professional debut as Oscar in Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre. It was lovely to have a catch up and also to see Alex achieving his dreams. He was fab, as he has always been. On the note of shows, as previously mentioned, I also saw Hamilton. I felt as if I’d been waiting forever to see it and I was so nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. It honestly blew my expectations out of the water. I saw the 2nd alternate as Hamilton and he was INCREDIBLE. I’m still not really over it.

I also turned 20 this month which was a weird one. I really don’t feel like I’m old enough to be ‘in my twenties’ but I’m super excited to see what they bring. I did have a mini quarter-life crisis the night before my birthday which pretty much went like this: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!!??!!? But I quickly got over that after a G&T or four. I had the loveliest time on my birthday: I went for lunch with my brother, Tom and then chilled with my family. The next day, I went to for food and drinks at Pitcher & Piano in Birmingham with some of my favourite people – it was so so lovely.

Later on in August, I helped assistant direct a production of ‘Fame’ at my old musical theatre group which was the most rewarding experience. I got to work with two students specifically on their vocals and seeing how much they improved both technically and in confidence over the space of just a few days was so amazing (and even sliiiightly emosh – may have cried the tiniest bit out of proudness in the show).

Currently, I’m on holiday with the fam in sunny Portugal. It’s been super nice to chill out and READ BOOKS. So far, I’ve read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and All The Little Lights by Jamie McGuire, both of which I’d recommend. We’ve been chilling at the beach and eating lovely (bad) food which I’m trying to enjoy before I start my hard-core healthy lifestyle when I get back home.

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On that note, I’m thinking of my next post being something related to body confidence and/or dealing with the consequences of the pressure of physicality and appearance that young adults (in particular) face. Do let me know if that’s something you’d like to read as it’s something I’m feeling super passionate about at the moment.

Lots of thankyous for reading my rambles once again & I hope you’re having or have had a lovely Summer.

Until next time,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

The “Theatre Degree” Stigma

Lifestyle

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A few things have happened recently that have awoken the little voice inside my head that likes to come out and rant every now and then. The constant threat of funding cuts to the arts and the disappearance of subjects such as Music and Drama from GCSE option boxes across the country are just two of the reasons why I wanted to write this post. Recently, my friend Sophie performed an autobiographical piece about the injustice that undercurrents the education system, in terms of the prejudice that surrounds Theatre as both a subject and a potential career path. Her ‘political rant’ resonated a lot with me, making me think about the many times I’ve been made to feel slightly (I hate to say it but) ashamed of my choice to study Theatre at university.

When it came to choosing my degree subject almost 3 years ago now (oh my gaaaad, where has the time gone?!) there was an obvious winner in my mind from the outset. Yes, I attended Law talks at Warwick and even a Psychology open day at Cambridge, but my heart always led me back to Theatre. Anyone who knows me will understand how important a role the theatre has played in my life and these are the people who have never once questioned my decision to further my education in this field. That being said, there is definitely a prominent stigma around studying for a Theatre degree or particularly around the people who study for a Theatre degree and that is something I have always found ridiculous.

Historically, the subject of Theatre Studies has been branded as “fluffy” and has yet to be viewed on the same level in terms of difficulty as other more traditional subjects, such as Geography or Maths. Therefore, the assumption that the people studying for a Theatre degree are “less academic” and “less able” has been cemented amongst the minds of the majority. However, the stereotype that someone who enjoys learning about the theatre industry is less intelligent than someone who enjoys studying continental drift or trigonometry is honestly absurd to me. If I had a pound for the amount of times I’ve received a patronising “oh, how nice” or “oh, so do you want to be like an actress or something?” after revealing that I study Theatre at university, I would be a veeeeery rich gal.

People don’t seem to understand that my course is academic (trust me, at times it is too academic!!!). I’m still submitting essays at the end of every module, reading ridiiiiiiculous amounts of academic writing each week and attending seminars and workshops. On top of this, I am rehearsingBeing a theatre student, you are not only assessed theoretically but also practically which comes with the assumption that you will carry out a set number of hours as ‘rehearsal time’. Quite honestly, I think I spend 90% of my life rehearsing for something or other (and that is not me being an overdramatic drama student, I promise). I would absolutely loooove to invite the people who have this preconception of Theatre as a subject to sit in on one of my seminars and give their opinion on how phenomenology affects an audience’s experience or how romanticism conformed to or subverted the avant-garde movement towards postmodernism (literally just throwing all the big words that I know at you now lol).

It really does sadden me that I feel as if I have to justify my decision to study a subject that I love to other people who are too quick to judge. Theatre makes me happy. Theatre interests me. Theatre makes me want to learn. So, why shouldn’t I study for a degree in it? Because it’s not ‘academic’? Because I’m ‘never going to get a real job’? Or because I’ll ‘never have a stable income’? My response to these questions is one of self-fulfilment in the sense that I know for a fact that whatever job I do end up doing, in whichever part of the industry I decide to go into, I’ll be doing it because I love it, not because I have to be doing it. Whilst this may be an unpopular opinion of the minority, I would much rather live a life where I’m potentially not always in a constant flow of work, but when I am working it’s doing something that I’m passionate about, rather than being stuck in a 9-5 office job that I absolutely despise. I find it so disheartening when I hear people say “you’re not supposed to love your job…that’s why it’s called work,” because, honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to enjoy what you do.

Another thing that really makes me laugh is that the people who undermine Theatre as a career choice will have a favourite film, or a favourite book, or will enjoy going to watch the pantomime at Christmas, or a musical on Broadway, or will watch every ITV drama under the sun. What they don’t seem to understand is that THEATRE PEOPLE HAVE MADE THESE THINGS HAPPEN!! The industry is one that brings constant enjoyment to the lives of (may be generalising here but I’m going to roll with it) everyone, or has done at least once in their lifetime. That’s why it makes me so sad that as theatre students, it feels like we’re fighting this constant battle to defend our subject to those so quick to undermine it.

I feel as if I have fully just word-vommed onto the page but I thought it was important to fight my little corner about a subject I’m super passionate about and love with allllll ma heart.

(Also just want to take a few words to defend all my fellow Theatre guys and gals. The people that I study with and others that I know who study elsewhere are honestly some of the best, most intelligent people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Their creativity is OFF THE SCALE and their knowledge literally pours out of them every time they speak. All the love ever).

G X

Learning To Love The Frizz: My Hair Care Routine

beauty

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Ever since I can remember I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my hair. Naturally, I have been *blessed* with super curly, thick hair (as you can see above – forgive me for the snapchat filter). This may come as a complete shock to a lot of my friends reading this post as I never ever go out with my hair in its natural state (state being the key word here). The only time I will ever free the wild mess is when I’m on holiday as there is no point in keeping on top of hair-care when I’m entering the pool in an extremely ladylike fashion (catapulting) every 5 minutes. All this being said, I tend to use heat on my hair on a regular basis which I knoooow is a very bad thing to do but I also use a lot of heat-protecting products to counteract this. I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt over the years about how to manage the frizz whilst still keeping it healthy…

The Washing Process…

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I tend to wash my hair 2-3 times a week depending on how well it’s been trained during a particular period of time. A brand that I absolutely swear by in terms of hair-care is Aussie. You will rarely see me using any other shampoo or conditioner at all. As well as this, one of my all-time fave products to use on my hair is the Aussie ‘3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor’. I tend to apply this twice a week after conditioning my hair. I leave the product on for around 3 minutes before washing it out. Honestly, I promise you, your hair will never feel softer…ever. This trio of products is heaaaaaven.

The Drying Process…

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Before I dry my hair, I always apply the Wella Professionals Luminous Smoothening Oil. I’ll squirt 3 large drops into my hands before running the product through my hair with my fingers. I let this settle for around 2 minutes before brushing through to eliminate any excess product. For anyone with curly or frizzy hair, this product is an absolute godsend as it makes your hair smooth and silky after straightening. So much so, that it looks as if your hair is naturally straight and gives no indication that you’ve spent half an hour battling with your GHDs. Before I finally start to dry to my hair, I’ll spray it with the VO5 Sleek Blow-Dry Heat Protect spray which helps to keep the ends of my hair healthy whilst also increasing the shine.

From there, I’ll go on to dry my hair (on the lowest heat) before straightening and I’m good to go. This year, however, I’m making it my mission to try and embrace my natural frizz a little bit more. All of my friends tell me they’d kill to have hair like mine but most days, I would kill to have their naturally straight or wavy hair as it seems to be a lot less work and I am a lazy gal at times. But, I guess the grass is always greener!

What are your fave hair-care products? Do you have the daily struggles of dealing with curly hair?

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Soph X Makeup Revolution Highlighter Palette: Is it worth the hype?

beauty, Uncategorized

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If you’re a drugstore junkie, you’ll know that Youtuber ‘Sophdoesnails’ has recently collaborated with Makeup Revolution to bring out an eyeshadow palette and a highlighter palette. The other day I popped into my local Superdrug, saw the pretty display and OF COURSE had to buy something. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the eyeshadow palette as I already have way too many (especially with similar colours in) so instead I picked up the one filled with gorg-looking highlighters. I purchased this palette for £8.00 which I think is so reasonable, considering you get 8 shades. If you don’t want to go in-store, the palette can also be found on the Superdrug website.

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What I like most about this palette is the shade range. There is a highlighter with pretty much every undertone you could realistically use on a daily basis. My favourite shades are the top left, the top right and the pink/purple shade on the bottom row. The colours actually swatch a little lighter than they appear in the pan (as you can see below). Although I still couldn’t wear some of the darker shades on my face, I would totally use them for eyeshadow.

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The formula is pretty powdery, in the sense that they are not ‘wet’ highlighters. This being said, they don’t appear cakey on the face. I tend to mix two different colours so always run the risk of it looking like there is powder on my face but they blend super nicely into my base make-up. I definitely think this product was worth buying, it has become my new staple when it comes to highlighting.

The only slightly annoying thing is that, because of the price, the product packaging has obviously been cheaply made. I’ve had this palette for around 3 weeks and taken great care of it, however the clasp used to open and close the palette is already starting to become loose (which is what has happened to my other Makeup Revolution products). That being said, the actual product inside is amazing so don’t let that put you off purchasing your own!!

Again, just a quick apology. I know my posts have been very few and far between but I’ve been SUPER busy with general life at the moment. I promise I have a very exciting announcement coming soon so hopefully you’ll be looking forward to that!

Let me know if you’ve tried this palette and what your thoughts were.

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

Email: georgheaselgrave@btinternet.com

Tips For Dealing With Homesickness

Lifestyle

It’s a known fact that I’m a pretty homesick gal. As much as I love university and feel comfortable here, I miss my family and home so much when I’m away. I knew this would be something that I was going to struggle with before I even moved to uni as I’m really close to my family so it was always going to be difficult moving so far away. Honestly, I don’t think there is anything that can make you feel 100% better when you’re feeling down and homesick but here are a few of the things I do to make myself a little happier when I’m missing the fam…

1. FaceTime them

This one is pretty obvious and is as good as it gets when you want to see your family and friends. I usually feel slightly better after physically seeing my parents or brothers on my little laptop screen so this is definitely something I would recommend doing.

2. Become ‘busy’

Luckily, I’m always super busy when I’m at uni. Alongside my course, I have extra rehearsals, insane amounts of work and I’m on the Musical Theatre Society committee which also takes up a lot of my spare time. This means I’m rarely just sat in my house feeling sad or lonely. So, if you’re feeling like this I would definitely recommend going out with your friends, joining a society or taking on an extra responsibility which will subconsciously take your mind off feeling homesick. It definitely works for me.

3. Plan your next visit home

I’ll always plan the next time I’m going home a few weeks in advance (by booking train tickets etc) so I have something to look forward to. I find it makes it easier whenever I’m having a super homesick day as I can tell myself that it won’t be long until I’ll be home next.

What are your tips for when you’re feeling homesick?? I’d love some advice as I tend to just struggle through and cry to sad music sometimes (hahahaha).

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

Top Tips For Starting University

Lifestyle

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It’s still crazy to me that I’ve completed an entire year at university. Thinking back to this time last year, I was super excited to branch out into the world and make my own little home and community somewhere else to where I’d grown up. Whilst I was mostly excited and curious as to what university life had to offer me, I cannot lie and say that I wasn’t a little bit scared. I have a lot of friends who are the academic year below me and a few have asked me questions or have wanted some tips on what to do/not to do when starting university. I thought I’d share some of my tips with anyone who is interested (these tips are not proven facts but they worked for me and I’m still – just about – alive)…

1- Take a door stop

This is actually a piece of advice I received myself before I started university last year. Whilst it may initially seem like a silly little thing, having a door stop means you can keep your door propped open (especially during the first few weeks) which makes you appear more sociable and approachable to your flat. Even if they just pop in and say ‘hey’ on their way to the kitchen, it may lead to some conversations that start to cement your friendship.

2 – During Freshers’ Week, take every opportunity

As much as it nearly killed me off, Freshers’ Week was still one of the highlights of my first year. I went out to every event which, yes, my health eventually paid for but it was so worth it because of all the friends and memories I made. Also, if your university organises talks or activities in the day GO AND DO THEM!!!! You will honestly regret sitting in your room having not participated in any of these things. Even if they turn out to be rubbish, at least you’ve tried them.

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3 – A mattress topper will save your life

It’s a known fact that university beds are pretty much made from the hardest stone imaginable (slightly dramatic). The best thing I did was take a memory foam mattress topper which took my bed’s comfort rating from a (generous) 3/10 to a solid 8. Trust me on this one.

4 – Plan your meals in advance

If you’re non-catered, the best piece of advice I can give to you is to plan your meals ahead of time. The amount of times I had a late rehearsal then went back to an empty fridge was pretty devo. It then means you’re ‘forced’ to order a takeaway which isn’t great for your health or your bank account (let me tell you, once this becomes a habit it’s a very slippery slope lol).

5 – Join a society

During my first year, I joined Theatre Society and Musical Theatre Society. MT honestly was a saving grace last year and so many of my closest friends were made because of it. Joining a society gives you such a sense of community and belonging (especially if you’re living far away from home) so I would 100% recommend it. It also opens up friendships with people other than those on your course so you’re widening your circle as well as having a good time bonding over a subject you all enjoy.

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6 – Download the Spoons app

There is no doubt that when going out, your night will involve a Spoons at some point. Having the app was a life-saver for me as it meant you could scout a table as soon as you got inside and didn’t have to battle the queue. Also, I’m lazy so I like my alcohol being brought to me lol.

7 – Have funnnnnn

Probably not the wisest piece of advice I’ll ever give, but having fun was a big priority for me during my first year. On my course, I only needed to PASS the year (gaining over 40% in each module) to carry on so – as much as I still worked hard – I did sometimes prioritise being sociable and going out over doing work. I’m not telling you to disregard any work that you have but if you’re missing out on forming new friendships or making memories then I think, in the long run, that will be a lot more damaging to your university experience than starting an essay a little bit later than planned. What I’m saying is, if your friends invite you to the pub…GO TO THE PUB!

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8 – Get used to having limited sleep

As much as you may be sat there reading this thinking ‘there is no way I’ll be going out until 4 in the morning when I have a 9am lecture the next day‘…trust me. You will.

9 – Bond with your flat

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to put time and effort into bonding with your flatmates. I was fortunate enough to absolutely love everyone I was living with and I think a huge part of that stemmed from how much time we spent together during Freshers. Throughout the year, we’d make an effort to have flat dinners and game nights. It’s definitely beneficial if you feel comfortable and ‘at home’ with your flatmates as you’re living together for at least a year. Even if there are a few people you don’t get along with so well, there is no harm in making a bit of extra effort with them to make your living space feel more welcoming and homely.

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10 – Be yourself

University is the time when you really discover yourself (without sounding like I’m trying to be Gandhi). You make lifelong friends and decide how you’re going to shape the rest of your life. The only way you can truly be happy doing this is to be yourself. You’ll find friends who are equally as weird as you (if not weirder) and you’ll eventually fall onto your own little path so there is no point trying to be somebody that you’re not along the way.

I wish everyone starting university this year soooo much luck. It honestly is the best time ever!!

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel