It gets hard sometimes

Positivity. An empty word, a state of mind or a goal to be strived for. I am usually more of a glass half empty kind of person. Most type A personalities are due to the need to succeed and take on never-ending workloads. When loved ones call me negative its annoying, I can see where they come from but I usually have a good reason for my negativity. It usually follows a minor stressful life disaster which I will admit I can escalate into a full blown apocalypse. However while I am  not naturally positive I am eternally optimistic (whether I expect it to happen or not). Anytime I feel expressly negative I turn to quotes by greater minds than mine to help gain perspective. I drink copious amounts of tea and usually cry a lot cause it feels very cathartic and very therapeutic. Then I vow to be more positive, just be happy and ignore all the negativity. Of course thats lasts ten seconds until the kettle stops working or I get a bill for something I never purchased. And science is on my side because while I envy the Dalai Lamas zen soul and his seeming happiness, science has shown that merely telling yourself positive affirmations does not help you. Can you believe something even if it goes against your nature? And further more does being positive all the time dull the elation that comes from knowing things worked out even when you were hopeless? I have been elated a few times in my life and I still appreciate those special moments when you see something beautiful or the air is crisp and you feel it in your lungs and the world stalls for just an instant. I love those moments. The little instances when you take stock of your life and you breath  with relief that it is the way it is in that moment. For instance the last few days have been challenging. I am navigating the american legal system with no road map and a bunch of deaf-mute guides whose motto is “that thing you have never done or seen before, its your responsibility to be a master, understand it all instantly and pay up if you make an error”. So naturally Ive been a 10 on the stress rictor scale of late. And then last night after a particularly difficult day I was walking home and there was ice on all the tree branches and they were all glistening in the fading light and I just took a deep breath and smiled because seeing that kind of beauty makes me think Im going to be alright, I have some inner positivity. (I should add that a gust of wind blew then and all the dagger shaped icicles shook in the breeze and I immediately imaged my own impaling – Im ok with halfway to happy and always extra safe :))

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The Basics

We all know the importance of grooming. Looking your best doesn’t just start with the perfect pair of kicks or a emblazoned tee, its starts right back at the beginning of your day (whenever that may be :D) when you go about the daily self-perfection routine. Some take a minimalist approach while others shout “the more product the better”. Whichever category you fall into, every dedicated follower of fashion knows that taking care of the product is as important as the fancy outside packaging.

I’m a bit of a devotee to my chosen beauty products. I like to try new lotions and potions but I often find myself back with the tried and tested. I thought I would share some of my absolute beauty favorites with you, perfect for taking you from shower to show-stopper:

Step 1: Shampoo and Conditioner

My bf is a hairdresser and he recommended L’Oreal Mythic Oil Shampoo and Conditioner to help with my long-haired-girl problems. As many long-haired girls will agree, the ends of even the most lustrious locks can get dry and frizzy looking and Mythic Oil really helped elimnate this problem for me (plus it has glitter in it, oh the novelty!!).

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Step 2: Body wash

Speaking of dry things, winter can wreak havoc with your skin. First port of call is a good, if not great exfoliating body wash! I got a set of body supplies from Soap & Glory at Christmas and I must say I love them. Both the scrub and body wash smell deliciously fresh and zesty! This is a quality company that produce stylish, usable beauty products that smell incredible.

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Step 3: Moisturising the body

Soap & Glorys Butter Yourself body butter is thick and absorbs easily. And the scent stay with you all say. I also LOVE Garnier beauty oil! Its a mixture of nut oils that leaves your skin soft and radiant (this too smells divine)! Finally for when I feel like a winter ghost I use Garnier no streaks bronzer. It goes on with a tint that lets you know if you have missed and vital areas and stops the dreaded streaks. It also develops gradually and isn’t too severe, which if you are as pale as me is very important.

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Step 4: Moisturising the face

I have really sensitive skin on my face and I develop allergies to most shop brands. On top of that Im prone to breakouts. I love Kiehls cleanser (actually anything by Kiehls is amazing), its really fresh and simple and doesn’t aggravate sensitive skin. If you are looking for a similar cleanser for half the price (very important) I also use Roc make-up remover milk. This works a treat, is kind to skin and wont burn your eyes if you wear a lot of eyeliner! To moisturise I love Lancome Hydra Zen, an SPF 30 moisturiser that isn’t oily and keeps you moisturised all day. The cheaper alternative is Nivea Creme. This is wonder stuff! It costs €1 in any €1 shop and its thick and provides serious hydration. Its so great in fact that a trial by the Daily Mail found its results comparable to Creme Del La Mer (that’s some serious beauty power and brilliant news for all ladies who don’t want to spend their life’s saving on youth and beauty – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2418153/Claire-used-1-Nivea-cream-half-face–105-Cr-la-Mer-The-results-VERY-revealing.html).

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Step 5: The finishing touches

My final favourites are for volume and body. Aussie hairspray is always a winner for price, fragrance and quantity. It works a charm and doesn’t cake up your hair. TRESemmé volumising dry shampoo gives lift. volume and doesn’t make you grey at the same time. There is always that morning I forget to check I’ve brushed it out :(. I also love Lee Stafford cashmere cushion. Its a pink soft gel that you rub on wet hair to add non-sticky volume, and boy does it give you volume. Summer bouffants all round!

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All these products are available at Boots or Kiehls so keeping your shelves stocked is easy!

Beauty for all!!

K xx