Monday, 1 September 2014

Manicure Monday

Spring is officially here! Which means I pull out all my pretty pastels and celebrate the prettiness of spring.
Wish you were here
Wish you were here
I really love wearing purples - it is by far my favourite nail polish colour. I realised that I have A LOT of purples and many of them look quite similar, yet I feel that are each unique.  This colour, Wish you were here, is a slightly more blue lilac purple compared to the more pinkish purples that I have.  As with all my other Morgan Taylor nail polishes, I get good wear from this.  I really love how this brand of nail polish applies, how the product levels out on your nail and gives you a very smooth, glossy finish.

I picked this colour up at Dischem for R99.95.  Dischem has a really great selection of this brand in certain stores. You can also purchase these from Retail Box, Takealot, Sorbet Salons and Rubybox.

Happy Spring Everyone! 

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Friday, 29 August 2014

Feel Good Friday!

August is one packed with special birthdays and it ends off with my parent's anniversary. This year my parents celebrate their 31st anniversary. Whenever I tell people the amount of time my parents have been together, I am usually greeted with gasps. When I ask why they had that reaction to what I said, they respond that it's shocking people can stay together for so long and not get bored. I won't go into this too indepth because that will be ranting post....I personally just do not understand that point at all.  I don't know if I am the only person who encounters this, but I find it very sad that people feel this way. So many people have given up on love it seems
I personally love the fact that my parents are still so happily married and how supportive they are of each other.  It is what I hope and wish for, for my future and for the future of my sister one day.  We shouldn't lose sight of great things in life - celebrate them and celebrating lasting love!

To my parents - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Thank you for being such a wonderful example to me and Samantha. We love you both so very much <3

Big Hugs,

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Beauty Standards Around the World

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about what makes me feel beautiful. I think this has been sparked by a lot of the events I have attended recently and the discussions I have at them. A lot of the time us bloggers chat about products we like and why we like them. I really love these discussions. I like to know why people like to use makeup, skin care or wear certain clothes. I find is incredibly insightful to hear each person's reasons and a lot of times it is all centred around their emotions - How they feel while applying makeup, when they have it on or how a certain outfit boosts their confidence. 

For me I feel my most beautiful when my skin is looking its best.  Due to the pressures I am under at work my skin has really not been playing nice with me. I don't have serious breakouts (thankfully) but it has gone incredibly dry, tight, feels uneven and is just plain dull. I have been using masks and paying extra attention to it, but to no avail.  I have been feeling so very ugly and it has affected my mood substantially. 

While surfing the web I came across a video on Beauty Standards Around the World. In short, a journalist sent a photo of herself to 22 PhotoShop experts around the world and asked them "Make me beautiful". It was really interesting to see just how differently they all interpret physical beauty.
We do tend to put a lot of emphasis on our appearance and how we are perceived by others. I'd love to be able to say something profound here, but the fact of the matter is that this isn't ever going to change. I definitely don't think there is going to be some major revolution where women will suddenly jump up and burn all their makeup and fashionable clothing - I personally wouldn't because those are the things that add some joy to my day. I think the main thing is that we shouldn't lose sight of why we wear makeup and get dressed up - is it because we enjoy it or is it so that we can be "accepted"?.

The video ends with the question, "What do you find beautiful?". We should all look in the mirror and answer "Me!". I know this is something I personally need to work on. 

I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences.

Hope you all have a great day!

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Today is a very special day in the Smith family. It is my Mom's Birthday which means I dedicate today's post to my beautiful Mom.
My Mom is an incredibly important part of my life and means so very much to me. She is supportive of everything I do and together with my Dad, they have always made sure that my Sister and I have all the opportunities they didn't have growing up. I definitely would not be where I am today without everything they have done for me. 

My Mom has always been a role model to me. She has worked her entire adult life, studied in the evenings to obtain her degree, all while looking after my sister and I. She's achieved so much in her life which makes me an incredibly proud daughter. I aspire to be like her and appreciate all that she is.

Mommy, I hope you have a very special day! I love you so very much <3

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre - Utopia (96)

I am more of a Dior fan, that goes without saying, but when I saw the Chanel in Utopia I was really smittened. I put off buying it for months after its release. When I went to repurchase my Sublime mascara I spotted it on the stand and took the plunge (it was the last one they had in stock).
Utopia (96)
Oh and just a word of warning with these Chanel cream eye shadows, the product tends to shrink a bit inside the little glass jar when exposed to air. You still have the same amount of product and it still applies very well... it just looks a little odd inside the jar. If you look carefully at my bottom right corner photo above you will notice it around the left edge of the jar.
I really love wearing purples and even though this is described as being a pink by Chanel, to me it looks more lilac than anything else. As you can see from the image above it is a very shimmer eyeshadow that catches the light perfectly. What I love about shimmer cream eyeshadows is that it is much easier to control the shimmer and you don't have to worry about the fall off under your especially do not want shimmer settling in any lines you may have around your eyes as it will draw attention to them.  

A little brush is included inside the box of the product, however I get a much better application when using my fingers.   The texture of this cream is very unique, unlike any other cream eyeshadow I have used before. It is lights, creamy but more in a gel sense then greasy cream. It is quite tough to describe. The formulation allows this product to be used as an eyeliner as well and this is where the brush comes in handy.

When applied to your lids the colour is subtle and natural but can be built up to look a bit more intense. Just give the layers a chance to dry a bit before you apply the next. If you want to speed up the process use a tiny amount of translucent powder.  What I really like about this colour is the way it brightens up my eyes. I am busy playing around with some wedding makeup looks and simply having this on my eye lids is so far close to the top of my preferred looks. the reason being that I know it will stay put and will be so easy to touch up on the day. I don't want to struggle for hours to get my makeup perfect.

This is VERY expensive and it wasn't really a "happy" spend because I knew it was ridiculous (Over R400). I however bought it with the intention of this possibly being worn on my wedding day, so it was "easier" to hand over the money. However, I don't think I could quite easily spend this much on a cream eyeshadow again.  There is no mistaking the high quality of Chanel products but the steep price increases are actually making me quite sick to my stomach. I understand that the weak Rand is to blame but now instead of saving up for 2 months to get a product, it is turning into 3 or 4 months and by that time the collections are long gone.  Sigh :( I know these are first world problems and something silly but makeup is something I enjoy and love having. For those of you who want a suggestion to a good quality, more affordable alternative, I have always loved Smashbox's 15 hour Limitless Cream Eye Shadows that currently retail for R230 at Woolworth's counters. they last incredibly well and have great pigmentation. MAC's Paint Pots are R220, I however haven't tried these before but I have heard great things about them from Bronwyn (Mother City Mom)

Gee Whiskers Tip:
Whenever you are required to dip your fingers into a product, make sure your hands are very clean. This is especially important with eye one wants a nasty eye infection. 

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX