Tuesday, 28 January 2014

First of all, this is a very different blog post for me to write about, as I feel it's something I'm still trying to deal with myself. On the whole, I wouldn't say I was a very confident person, so you may well be thinking "how is this going to help me if she isn't confident herself?" That's a valid point, and I guess the reason I'm writing this is so I can come back and read it myself when I'm having off days, but primarily I hope I can help some of you who may feel or have felt unhappy due to having low confidence/ self-esteem. So without further ado, I've jotted down a few ways in which you can make sure you feel happier with yourself as a person.. because you (yes, you reading this) deserve to be happy.

Ever since I was little, I've always been referred to as "the quiet one". This view that people had of me is something that always played at the back of my mind as I was growing up, and would often leave me thinking "people are going to think I'm miserable if I don't speak", or "If I don't contribute to a conversation they'll assume I'm boring". Even now I still think things like this, but one way to overcome this is to completely turn it on its head. If you constantly have that nagging little voice in your head telling you that you're boring and that you're not as funny or pretty or as good as anyone else, you'll start to believe it- which of course is going to lower your confidence. Instead of over-thinking these things and letting your inner thoughts take over, start focusing on the conversation you're having and really force yourself to listen to what is being said; you'll find it soooo much easier to respond to the person instead of worrying over not knowing what to say next or whether they like you or not.

I think everything changes once you become a teenager, and I'm not just talking physically. You become pressured into thinking you have to act or look a certain way in order to be perfect, and you trick yourself into believing that you can't be happy unless you look like a stick-thin model that's been airbrushed to the extreme. First of all, nobody is perfect. This will sound super cliché, but I truly believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What you consider to be beautiful or "perfect" is going to be different to what somebody else thinks, so don't feel as if you have to conform to being this "ideal" human being, just be yourself!

One thing I've learnt recently is that in order to become more confident, you have to learn to let step outside of your comfort zone. Yes, it's difficult, but after you've done it once it becomes easier each time you do it. To give you an example, I absolutely HATED public speaking, but as an A Level student I knew that one way or another it was going to crop up, and sure enough it did. Once you accept that there is no way of sneaking out of it, you force yourself to just get on and do it, and afterwards you feel so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not a fan of talking to large groups of people, but I've starting noticing recently that I haven't been getting myself into so much of a state. I used to blush and get panicky which would make me fluff up my words and all my sentences would get jumbled up and blah blah blah, but then I just thought: "who cares?" In the grand scheme of things, my 5-minute ramble about something English-y is not going to change the world, and it's not as if I'm being elected to become the next prime minister.

I used to be the type of person to say "no" to pretty much everything- whether it was a family gathering, a party, or just meeting up with my friends to go shopping. Any kind of social event would quite honestly terrify me, as I'd always assume something bad would happen or I'd embarrass myself in some shape or form. Of course at the time, you make up any old excuse just to avoid letting yourself get into these situations, but as you get older, you start to look back and wonder why you didn't push yourself to go ahead and do these things. The more you allow yourself to be in social situations, the better you become at being able to deal with them; resulting in you feeling totally comfortable instead of finding yourself nervous or thinking about what to say next. This is something I've definitely forced myself to do this year. I don't want to be that person sat in their room hunched over their laptop while everybody else is out having a great time, and neither should you. By involving yourself with other people you can really improve your social skills, which in turn will raise your self-esteem and confidence. The more you shy-away from things, the harder it becomes in the long run, so the next time you get invited to go somewhere, step outside of your little safety bubble and say to yourself "Yes, I'm going to go and I'm going to have a great time!"

I don't want to get all soppy and for you all to have to dig out your snorkels in case we get a little deep, but letting go of negative thoughts can make such a huge difference to your outlook on life. I've always been the person who saw the glass as half empty, and I'd always be scared of trying new things in the instance that something could go wrong. Just think, the more you sit and huff about having a rubbishy life, the less time you get to spend actually enjoying yourself. Another very relevant cliché is to live your life to the fullest. Life is too short to be unhappy, so make the most of what you have and think positively- you'll find yourself so much happier :) 

Oo-err, I'm sorry this blog post was rather ramble-y and unstructured.. there were so many different confidence-related things I wanted to write about, but I feel if I'd have included all of them you would still be sat reading this in the year 3000. In a nutshell, your confidence will improve if you start thinking more positively and become happy and content with who you are as a person. Once you learn to accept who you are, you're well on your way to living a better, happier life. I really hope this post could help you, love Chloë :)

Since the beginning of the year, I have become obsessed with porridge. I'm not really sure how, or where (or even why) this obsession began, but recently I've been loving the stuff. If you'd said to me last year "Chloe, you're going to stop eating cereals and learn to love porridge", the chances are I would have laughed in your face and replied "no chance". I loooooved cereals, you only had to check the cupboards and you'd see enough cereals to feed the 5000. My love for cereals began to frazzle out when I started hearing that they can cause havoc on your blood sugar levels. I'm by no means a expert in the science-y stuff, but cereals contain a lot of sugar, which means your blood-sugar levels go sky-high, and your body has to release insulin to try and bring your blood-sugar level back down. Obviously this isn't a good thing, so it's best to start your day off with a healthier alternative to make sure you don't find yourself reaching for chocolate every 5 minutes.

I have to admit, porridge isn't the most visually-appealing thing in the world. (I used to run a mile every time I saw the saucepan in the sink, eww.) You can definitely jazz it up though, I like to add chopped banana to mine (and arrange it in a pretty pattern to make it look, er.. pretty.) If you don't have time for all that malarkey, buy a box of instant porridge sachets. Just add milk and bung 'em in the microwave for 2 minutes.. voilà!

If you're not feeling the whole fruit thing, adding honey is another alternative to make your porridge sweeter. Honey is really good for you too, as the sugar is all natural and it tastes delicious! 

So the next time you find yourself delving into a cereal box, STOP. Porridge has waaaaay more fibre and will leave you feeling fuller for a whole lot longer than the sugary cereal will. Mmm, mmm!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hello everyone,

First things first, it's 2014, meaning it has been two months since my last blog post... *hangs head in shame*. With Christmas, coursework deadlines and a stack of books to be read, it has been pretty hectic recently, so as a result my little blog has been put on the back burner. However, the good news is I am back, hoorah! Over the festive period I wore a lot more eye make up than usual, (glittery eye shadow is an absolute necessity at Christmas, right?) So to be kind to my eyes this January, I thought I'd steer clear of dark eye shadows (and the badly-applied liquid eyeliner.. oops) and embrace the soft and natural neutrals. As a blue-eyed girl, I've always loved neutral colours, they are far more flattering and easier on the eye in my opinion. Despite never owning any of the Urban Decay 'Naked' Palettes, (*sad face*) I thought I would put together a selection of my favourite affordable, neutral-shade eye palettes, so let's begin.

Ahh, the good old W7 'Autumn Eyes' palette. I've had this for what seems like a lifetime, and it's still going strong.  The colours range from dark greys to light golds, and I particularly like that there are lighter shades in the centre of each eyeshadow (the lightest colour in the centre of the second eyeshadow makes a beautiful highlighter when used underneath the brow bone.) All of the shadows in this palette have a slight shimmer to them, but they're definitely not too overpowering. As for colour pay-off, I wouldn't say the colours are extremely pigmented by any means, but when I apply them in the morning, they do last a respectable amount of time.. and that's without using a primer beforehand! With a little bit of googling I found this online at around £3.00, COMPLETE BARGAIN.

The next set of neutrals I've been loving recently are from the Soap & Glory 'Lid Stuff' palette in 'What's Nude'. This little quad has the perfect combination of light and dark colours which are all matte, except for the bottom-right eyeshadow 'Aubersheen'- a metallic plum shade. Pigmentation wise, these are pretty good. The 'Pink T' shade is definitely the most pigmented in my opinion, followed by 'Vanilla'. The back of the packaging states that they are wearable for 8 hours which I wouldn't necessarily agree with, as after a few hours the colours do begin to fade. However I am fond of the texture of these eyeshadows, they're super-soft and not crumbly in the slightest, meaning no fall-down.. YAY. My favourite from this palette has to be the shade 'Vanilla'. It's perfect to use on the lid as a base or just underneath the brow as a highlight. I usually run 'Mudhoney' through the crease and 'Aubersheen' in the outer corners, just to add a little more definition. Out of all three palettes, this is the only one not to have a mirror, which may be a problem if you don't have one to hand. Other than that, it would be perfect for travelling and the packaging is pretty sturdy.

This is available to buy from Boots and I believe it's £10.00, which is worth every penny for four good-quality eyeshadows.

Last but by no means least is the newest neutral palette I have in my rather-small collection. I ordered this online after seeing it in one of Ruth's videos (aka A Model Recommends on YouTube.) It's the Avon True Colour Palette in 'Nudes'. There are eight colours in total, some shimmery and some matte. As with the first palette mentioned, I like how there's a mirror included in the compact; it makes it so much easier if you're out and about or travelling.

Unlike the other two palettes, there are two sponge applicators included, which is useful if you need to touch up your make-up. Personally I like to use a brush to pack on these eyeshadows, but the sponge applicators would be ideal if you don't have a brush handy or again, if you're travelling. The shades are light to apply and very subtle in colour; ideal to wear on a day when you don't want to wear too much make-up. As previously mentioned, I ordered this from Avon online (Unfortunately I can't find a link, it seems Avon are having a little play around with their website.) If I remember correctly, I think it was half price at around £6.00- even my mum couldn't resist buying one for herself! To get a real sense of what the colours are like, check out Ruth's video here :)