Beauty Do’s and Don’ts For Job Interviews

Today I had a job interview.

Yeah, scary.

Thankfully, I think it went well, but it occurred to me whilst driving home that alongside all the worries about being professional, remembering your achievements, coming across as eager but not insane, and not falling over, job interviews also present some interesting beauty challenges.

While we all know not to wear Nicki Minaj-esque eyelashes (might fall off mid-sentence) or 2-inch fake nails (might make handshakes dangerous), the wisdom of most beauty choices is difficult to gauge without testing them out first in an interview situation.

Nicki: Radiant But Risky

Nicki: Radiant But Risky

So that’s what I’ve done. Based on today’s experience, I’ve compiled a short list of Beauty Do’s and Don’ts for Job Interviews. I hope you find it useful!

DO: Spritz yourself with perfume before you set off. You don’t want people keeling over from asphyxiation, but surrounding yourself with a subtle cloud of the right scent can give you an air of charm and grace before you even open your mouth.

DON’T: Wear nail polish if you’re prone to getting chips. Chipped nails look a lot worse than unpainted nails. If you’re willing to shell out for one of those amazing unchippable gel manicures, go ahead, you will look fabulous. But for me, it’s not worth the risk!

DO: Moisturise your hands the day before to add a silky edge to your professional handshake.

DON’T: Do what I did, and apply hand cream ten minutes before your interview. It won’t soak in, and you’ll waste valuable brainpower worrying about how sticky your handshake must have been.

The Body Shop Almond Hand Cream: A Fickle Friend

The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream: A Fickle Friend

DO: Wear contact lenses if they make you feel more confident. I always feel like I’m able to make more genuine, less inhibited eye contact with people when there isn’t a sheet of glass in the way. Still, DON’T forget to bring your glasses in case your contacts pop out or feel sore.

DON’T: Overdo the blusher. If, like me, being the centre of attention makes you automatically go red, you don’t want your blush to look radioactive.

DO: Bring a spare pair of tights. Or three. All manner of disasters can strike between your front door and your future job.

These Henry Holland Ladder Tights Might Look Cute, But Real Laddered Tights Are Nowhere Near As Endearing

These Henry Holland Ladder Tights Might Look Cute, But Real Laddered Tights Are Nowhere Near As Endearing

DON’T: Forget to pack a makeup bag and hair brush if you’re travelling a long way to your interview. If you’re confident in your face before you go in, you’ll be confident in yourself. Let’s face it: we’re shallow like that.

DO: Choose a long-wearing foundation/primer/powder combination. You never know how long you’re going to be there for!

DON’T: Overdo your eye makeup. Keeping the colours simple is an easy rule of thumb. Your Urban Decay ‘Naked’ palettes are your friends.

Hello friend.

Hello friend.

And finally, DO mention your beauty blog when asked about your interests. You never know, your interviewer might be just as makeup mad as you are (and very excited to hear that Naked 3 has just come out!)

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Review: Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

Hello lovelies.

A couple of weeks ago I ambled into Lush and purchased their Tea Tree Water Toner. I’ve been looking for a new toner for a while, mostly because my Lancome Tonique Douceur is running out, and I don’t think I could cope without some kind of pore-closing, essential-oiled mega potion to sort out all my skin woes.

So here it is.

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On the Bottle:

“Comes to the aid of skin that has emergencies. Tea tree is a wonder antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial ingredient for anyone with oily or spot prone skin.”

“Our toner water range is an attempt to deliver good quality essential oils to your face in the correct concentration. They are not just toners, but are aromatherapy in dilution, ready to be used at a moment’s notice.”

“They can be used for removing traces of cleansers and face products – but can also be used at any time of the day as a quick facial refresher or to cool the skin.”

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Pros:

1. The spray bottle. Leaving this on your bedside table, and squirting yourself in the face with it when your alarm goes off, is an excellent and refreshing way to properly wake yourself up in the morning. It sounds like self-torture, but it works. For that I am happy.

2. Incredibly short list of ingredients, most of which are natural. This magical potion merely contains Tea Tree Water, Grapefruit Water, Juniperberry Water, Limonene, Perfume, and Methylparaben.

3. It doesn’t smell strong and feels very gentle on the skin, which I think is important for a product aimed at acne sufferers and those with sensitive skin.

4. Good at removing those last traces of makeup. That said, I wouldn’t advise using this as a standalone makeup remover. Have a good go with a cleanser or makeup removal wipes first!

5. Makes my skin feel soft and clean. Which is sort of the point really, isn’t it?

Cons:

1. I can’t really say that this has made a major difference to the acne situation. It determinedly comes around in cycles, no matter what I put on my skin. Oh well, this is not entirely unexpected…

2. I’m assuming methylparaben is a paraben. These aren’t meant to be very good for you, so I’m very surprised that Lush have allowed parabens to be included in their products, given their “natural” ethos. Naughty Lush.

3. Not as good at removing makeup as my Lancome toner. But, to be honest, that’s a good thing. Lancome do demand more than three times the price that Lush do, after all. The Tea Tree Water is a good-value alternative.

Verdict:

While this toner doesn’t have the makeup removing powers and delicious scent of Tonique Douceur, it does the job nicely.

The antibacterial properties of the tea tree oil keep those spots under control, even if they can’t prevent them altogether, and this potion does its best to stop the infection from spreading.

After using Lush Tea Tree Water, my skin feels clean and soft. I’d like to ask more of this product, but at just £7.50 for a 250g bottle, it’s certainly not to be sniffed at.

Would I buy this again? Yes. But if I were to get a Lancome Toner for Christmas…things could change!

Hope you enjoyed this review,

Tea tree love,

Effie xx

Cleaning Makeup Brushes: An Attempt – Part 2.

I’m going to have to begin this post with an apology. After posting Part 1 five days ago, I told you all that I would post Part 2 “tomorrow”. I did not do this. Obviously.

Sorry girlies. I had a busy week with work, and then scampered off to Leeds for a Christmassy weekend away with my boyfriend. We had an amazing time adventuring, eating in restaurants, curling up watching telly in our hotel room, people watching in cafés, catching up with friends, and Christmas shopping. If you’re in a long-distance relationship too, I strongly recommend meeting somewhere in the middle, and treating yourselves for the weekend. It is THE BEST. I’ve come back feeling so peaceful and happy, and because my train home was an hour and a half late, I can get my money back for the return journey! Hooraaaay!

Photo by Christmas Markets

Photo by Christmas Markets

Anyway, I digress. Apologies for the love-haze too.

So here it is: The Verdict.

This method for cleaning makeup brushes, as championed by EmJustLikeYou in the below video, is one I have never tried before. Before now, I’ve used shampoo and warm water to deep-clean my brushes, and an antibacterial makeup brush cleaner from No.7 at Boots in between washes.

However, as I recently had a particularly hideous acne breakout, I decided that something stronger than shampoo might be needed to shift all the grease and bacteria from my poor brushes. I’ve heard lots of people say that they use washing up liquid to wash their brushes, as it’s kind to skin but tougher on spot-causing bacteria than your average shampoo. So, with the help of EmJustLikeYou, I had a go at a new technique.

Here’s Em showing us how it’s done:

Overall, I was very pleased with the results of this technique. When I’ve used shampoo before, I’ve never got the white tips of my brushes to return to their original colour. They usually have a tinge of “face beige” to them, no matter how much I clean them.

After using Em’s method, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the tips of my brushes were cleansed of not just bacteria and oil, but also the beigey tint that I had previously been unsuccessful in shifting.

See? Clean as the day I bought them. Most satisfying.

See? Clean as the day I bought them. Most satisfying. (NB: the brushes are still wet in the “after” pictures, which is why the bristles look a bit separated and weird!)

So, all in all, the technique gets a thumbs up from me in terms of cleaning power!

Where the use of oil and conditioner is concerned, I couldn’t say that adding a “moisturising” step to my brush cleaning routine made my Real Techniques or Body Shop brushes feel any softer. For good quality brushes, using oil and conditioner seems to be more of a long-term maintenance thing, rather than a short-term pick-me-up.

That said, my cheap, horribly synthetic blusher brush seemed to really benefit from the conditioner, and it now feels much nicer on my face, so that’s a plus!

Finally, while my Real Techniques brushes were dry after a couple of hours, my other brushes, especially those made from natural fibres, took much longer to dry than usual.

Consequently, I’m not sure that covering your brushes with a towel is a great tip. It stops the air getting to them, making the drying process rather longer. However, covering brushes while they dry does seem a more hygienic method, so it’s up to you to decide whether you prefer to cover your brushes or not.

So, that was my verdict on this method of deep-cleaning makeup brushes. Which methods do you prefer to use? Have you used washing up liquid before, or do you prefer shampoo? Let me know in the comments section!

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend,

Effie xx

Cleaning Makeup Brushes: An Attempt – Part 1.

Once again, the time has come to clean my makeup brushes. Grease, bacteria, and product have been building up for far longer than is acceptable. Having recently used the brushes to cover up a spectacular breakout, I figured now would be a good time for a deep clean.

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Eww. Dirty brushes.

Usually, between washes, I use a pitiful bottle of brush cleaner made by No.7, but it’s so poor, and so drying, that I thought I’d try something else.

So, this afternoon, I scoured Youtube for tutorials, and found a method I liked the sound of. It involves dishwashing soap (antibacterial, hurrah), olive oil, and hair conditioner. Mmm.

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This probably wasn’t the best conditioner to use, but I have no suggestions as to what might be. Decide at your own discretion.

Step 1:

Mix 3 parts dishwashing soap (fairy liquid) with 1 part olive oil in a bowl. I used a whole shot glass and a third of a shot glass respectively. For precision and class. Obvs.

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This is a bowl.

Step 2:

Dip your brush in the mixture, then swirl it around in the palm of your hand to create a foamy lather. You should see a certain amount of colour coming out of the brush.

Massage the mixture in, but always make sure that the brush is facing DOWNWARDS.

This ensures that minimal mixture (and later minimal water) can get into the ferrule (metal bit) of your brush. If water gets in, it could dissolve or break down the glue which holds your brush together, and cause your lovely makeup tool to disintegrate. Nobody wants that.

Step 3:

Rinse your brush, being careful to keep the furry part pointing downwards.

The girl in the video advises using cold water, as this will prevent the glue in your brush from dissolving as easily as it would in hot water.

This is solid advice, but it made my hands hurt, so I had to turn up the temperature a little bit. Sorry.

Step 4: 

Apply hair conditioner to your brushes, and massage in.

The olive oil should have done something to help moisturise your brushes, but adding conditioner to the process should keep them extra silky.

Leave the conditioner to soak in for a couple of minutes, as you would when applying conditioner to your own hair, then rinse.

Step 5:

Squeeze your brushes downwards to rid them of any excess water, then lay them out to dry on one half of a towel.

This is a method I haven’t seen before, but I liked the idea of the towel absorbing the water from the brushes.

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Brush spa!

Step 6:

Fold the other half of the towel over, to make a nice cosy nest for your brushes, and leave them to dry. The towel should now be absorbing the moisture from both sides of your brushes. Hopefully.

So, that’s it for Part 1. I will report back with Part 2 tomorrow, once the brushes have dried and I can give you all a proper verdict on this method.

In the mean time, I will leave you with this: the Real Techniques brushes are already dry. Yet, alas, the Body Shop, “MAC” (eBay, not sure if legit, don’t really care), and various other brushes are still soggy. Interesting…

It’s Awards Time Again!

Hello all,

I’m writing to thank the lovely girlie at http://thebeautydeputy.wordpress.com, who has kindly nominated me for the ‘One Lovely Blog’ Award.

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Tadaa! Isn’t that a cute logo?

As always, this award comes with a few rules:

Thank the person who nominated you,

Add the ‘One Lovely Blog’ logo to your post,

Tell everyone seven things about yourself,

Nominate seven other people,

Tell them you have nominated them!

I enjoy this award because the rules are nice and simple. Hurrah!

So, here are seven things about me:

1. Writing “here are seven things about me” makes me a bit uncomfortable. Does anybody else feel awkwardly narcissistic when they write these things, or is it just me? Either way, I hope I can offer something either amusing or informative here, to make the reading worth your while. The Beauty Deputy wrote about Disney, which is always worth reading about. Points to her!

2. I have an underactive thyroid. When I was 15, I noticed a swollen sort of tyre shape around my neck, and bounded downstairs to ask my Mum what it could be. She told me to shut up and go to bed, as mothers do, but then had a proper look and decided to take me to the doctor’s the next day. The doctor took blood tests, and sent me for an ultrasound to make sure that the swelling wasn’t caused by something nasty, like a tumour. It was a lot of fun waltzing back into school aged 15, and telling everyone I’d just been for an ultrasound! The swelling was subsequently (and still is) called my “neck baby”, as a result. Anyway, the results came back and I was tumour-free, but it became apparent that I was suffering from an underactive thyroid. Generally speaking, the condition makes you tired, but can be responsible for a whole host of other symptoms, such as sensitivity to the cold (brr!), acne,  depression, and weight problems. When I feel the least bit rubbish, I always blame it on the thyroid. In fairness, it probably is the thyroid’s fault. By way of treatment, I take 75mcg of levothyroxine every day, to make up for the hormones my thyroid can’t produce, and will be on that medication for life. It seems tough, but, if I have to suffer from a chronic condition, I’m glad it’s this one! If you’d like to know more about hypothyroidism, do let me know, and I’ll do a proper post about it.

3. I have a propensity to write too much when left to my own devices. Work regulates this for me, but there’s no limit to how long a personal blog post can be. Sorry everybody…

4. I have been in a long-distance relationship for three years. My boyfriend and I met in our first week of university. We were in the same Freshers’ group, so any memories of getting together are all rather blurred by alcohol and rampaging silliness. Still, we obviously did something right, because we’re still “on” three years later! I live in Suffolk and he lives in Manchester, which are 4 1/2 – 5 hours apart both by road and by train. Visiting is tricky and increasingly expensive, but we’re managing. It’s harder now that we don’t have another term at university to look forward to during our times apart, but we speak every day, and hopefully once our work situations settle down, we’ll be able to move in together eventually. He can do the cooking. (I’ve promised to clean.)

5. I work as a copy writer. This means that I help clients to write the text that goes into their websites, social media channels, blog posts, and press releases, to help them promote their business and create a unified sense of brand identity. At the moment I do this job as part of a small PR agency in Suffolk, but I’m hoping that my work can soon take me somewhere else in the country, and that I can really test myself with some new challenges. Watch this space!

6. I am currently living with my parents. Moving back in with your parents isn’t exactly an unnatural thing to do immediately after graduation, but I do miss my independence. Still, now that my constant whining about being cold (thanks thyroid) has finally taken its toll on Dad, and he’s actually willing to turn the heating on, it’s not so bad. I’m living rent-free (but still only just breaking even…damn you beauty addition and petrol costs…), and it’s nice to be in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, and feel close to the fam. I’m missing my sister a LOT as she’s still studying at university, but it’ll be Christmas time soon, and it’s always such a pleasure to be at home during the festive season. Hooray for festive family times!

7. I, too, love Disney. As a child, I was obsessed with Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, and Robin Hood (sexy!). Today, I absolutely adore Beauty and the Beast. Everything about that film is stunning, and the introduction gives me shivers even now. I think the potency of that film has something to do with the fact that Howard Ashman, the lyricist “who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul”, was dying while Beauty and the Beast was being made. The sadness of the situation seems to have cast a shadow over the whole film, making its darker elements powerfully emotive, and its lighter moments, by contrast, all the more triumphant. It’s such a beautiful film, made unforgettable by the magic of Disney animation, and the spine-tingling brilliance of Alan Menken’s music.

To finish off the post, here’s a cheeky list of my favourite people to follow: 

– Jacquelyn at The Little Scottish Corner (http://thelittlescottishcorner.wordpress.com)

– A Stairway to Fashion (http://astairwaytofashion.com)

– Joannaloves (http://joannaloves.com)

– Be Beautiful (http://enzaessentials.wordpress.com)

– The Friday Girl (http://thefridaygirl.co.uk)

– Amy’s Beauty Diary (http://amysbeautydiary.wordpress.com)

– Just Nice Stuff (http://justnicestuff1.wordpress.com)