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

Monday, 25 August 2014

#BWB Dermalogica Event

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a Bloggers Who Bless (BWB) meet at Dermalogica's Wembly Square concept store.  I have previously been to the store for a Beauty bulletin event so I knew we were in for a lot of fun (click here to read the post).  The morning started off with each of us getting our face's mapped. A face mapping is done by one of Dermalogica's qualified skin therapist, whereby they assess the various zones of your face and tell you what you are battling with in each area. I have a photo of my face mapping in the image below.  A face mapping helps you determine what products you need to be using on your skin to address any conditions you my case it is always dehydration and sensitivity.
Post facial makeup free selfie!
We were then set free to perform facials on ourselves using the products recommended to us by the therapists.  I am such a huge fan of skin care and love doing at home facials but it was so much more fun when you have company. The ladies around me are all such lovely people that we all had so much fun sharing information with each other as well as with many laughs.

When you have your first Dermalogica treatment and you haven't used their products before, you will most likely notice some tingling, heat and redness in your skin. Dermalogica's products are packed full of active ingredients that penetrate your skin cells and work from within. With most products, if you aren't feeling any kind of activity in your skin it isn't really doing its job. I know a lot of women get alarmed when they feel the activity in their skin, they mistake the sensation with that of a burn. If you give it a few moments to settle you'll usually find that it becomes less and almost not be noticeable. If you don't use many or any skin care products let the therapist know up front so that they can adjust your treatment. Remember, depriving your skin of everything it needs and then applying the products to your skin will give your system a bit of a shock.

Now I know that we were a mix of bloggers at the event but I think the beauty bloggers particularly stood out. As beauty bloggers we are often perceived as being conceited, what people don't realise is that we are not ALL like this. Many of us (the majority) are just normal ladies who just happen to really like makeup and skincare. The time we spend on doing our makeup and tending to our skin is not a vain process, it is something that is fulfilling and enjoyable - it is "me time".  Some people use that time to read, go for a walk, paint, etc. - we use that time to paint our nails, have a facial or treat our hair. It was really nice sitting at a table, makeup free and soapy faced with ladies who understood this and could relate to it. 

Thank you so much to Dermalogica and Heather (Femme Lifestyle) for organising such a wonderful morning for all of us. I had such a wonderful time. It is always great seeing my blogging friends again and meeting new people. Initially didn't fully understand what the BWB group was all about but I now know first hand it is about creating friendships and sharing ideas in a supportive environment. I really take my hat off to these ladies - you are a special group!

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Saturday, 23 August 2014


I don't usually share these types of things on my blog but I was asked to share this with my readers I felt I couldn't really say no.  Not when there is such an amazing prize up for grabs....R50 000 gift card to spend on clothes, makeup, shoes and anything else you like! The winner will also be styled by the international stylist, Sophia Branch.
Click here to find out more about the event
In order to enter the competition one simply needs to spend R300 or more at any store at Bedford before the 22nd of September. The winner will then be randomly drawn and have their makeover revealed at the #BedfordProjectStyle fashion show and event on the 4th of October at 15h00.

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX