Ally in Blunderland

UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Benefit : Doing Brows Right

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that Benefit recently launched a whole new range of brow products to help us ladies out in that oh so important department.
SO.. that being said, I headed down to my local John Lewis at Grand Central in Birmingham to find out a bit more about the products and in true Ally In Blunderland style.. came home with the whole lot.
 I wouldn't normally post about a whole heap of brow products like this but I'm genuinely so impressed that I basically just had to and so here we are! If you've got #browprobs then girl, I've got you sorted:

You WANT Defined, Textured Brows with Easy Product Control // 
Prep your brows with Browvo! conditioning brow primer as this will help everything stay in place as well as condition those hairs so that they're more likely to grow and you'll have thicker & more substantial brows in no time. Then, using the Ka Brow! cream/gel colour, start to work in hair like strokes to fill in your brows from the base upwards. Something I love about the Ka Brow colour is that its buildable.. so you can have as much or as little product as you like. Alternatively, you could pick up the Brow Zings kit and use the awesome 12 hour powder to build and sculpt your brows. Then, to make the brows a little less flat and a little more natural looking, just sweep through the 3D Brow Tones, highlight your brow bone using the High Brow pencil (personally I love the pink toned one) and you're good to go.

You WANT Textured, Styled but Natural looking Brows that Don't Budge //
As always, prep with Browvo! conditioning primer, and then start to fill in your brows with the Goof Proof Pencil. This pencil legitimately makes it so easy to get a great shaped brow as the pencil tip is the perfect brow shape and as daft as it sounds to have a favourite spooly? This pencil has mine. If you want a more precisely filled brow then Precisely My Brow will be your gal. This will allow you to draw on the individual hairs for a way more natural look. Then... my absolute favourite product of the whole bunch (I know.. who'dve thunk it) you're going to want to use your Ready Set Brow to set these mothers in place. And guys... let me just make one thing clear.. after using this gel your brows will not. budge. They just won't. This means that when you push your brow hairs upwards to create that desirable textured look a la Cara Delevingne... those hairs will actually stay up.. all day. Don't forget to highlight your brow bone with the High Brow pencil and you're done. You slay Cara, you slay.

You WANT Fuss Free Brows with a Hint of Texture & Colour //
5 Minutes to leave the house and looking like Shrek? Story of my life. That's just enough time to sort your brows and add a little mascara to help you feel a little more human going into the day. So, simply use the Gimme Brow in your shade to instantly transform your brows into those with texture, shape and colour and then finish off with the 3D Brow Tones to add a few subtle highlights and girl, you've still got 4 minutes to give some love to those lashes.

 If you head into John Lewis yourself to check out the Benefit stand.. make sure you take along your current brow product as they'll give you a brow makeover, teach you about all of the products, and then give you a free mini from the new collection when you say goodbye to your current product (believe me.. you'll end up putting yours in the brow bin just as I did)

Let me know if you give any of these products a go! 
I'm pretty much in love with all of them and couldn't be happier with the options I've now got for my brows!

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Breathe In

Happy Tuesday friendlings! How're we all doing today? 
I've been enjoying the mental weather on my week off from work and trying to make the most of the beautiful sunny moments between rainfall and thunderstorms. It's made a nice change to actually put together some outfits again rather than living in my uniform and pajamas - oh, and any opportunity to take my new Doc's out for a spin has been used and abused.
I managed to fill my week off with lots of socialising and I also had quite a bit of time to myself in my new place which has been a little weird. I've finally got most of my rooms sorted and having an actual sofa to sit on has been a pretty dreamy addition to my living situation. It's still taking lots of getting used to.. especially when I come home after work and there's no-one to ask how my day has been. There's also the pro's though.. like walking around in my pants whenever I want and starfishing in my bed until whatever time I like.
Asos Dungarees, Asos Bag, Doc Martens, Urban Outfitters Jumper, Jewellery Box Bracelets & Rings*, Daniel Wellington Watch 
Photo's by my favourite human: Megs 
 
I've also found some pretty sweet places to shoot near my new home so expect a few different backdrops for the forseeable! I'm planning to make a huge effort with the old blog so am hoping to have some more regular content up for you guys. It's always hard to fit in with work and shifts but it's something that I really want to make a priority. On that note.. massive thanks to all of you who have stuck with me through the periods of silence when I'm on nights or just generally having a manic life. It doesn't go unnoticed and I've got major love for you all.

Would you ever wear dungarees? Part of me feels like a 12 year old but I'm also comfy enough to just not care.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Ideas On Being Unapologetically Vulnerable

If we could firstly just all agree to move on from the fact that my elbow looks really weird in this photo then that'd be greatly appreciated. (I know.. now you've seen it you can't ignore it)

I've wrote this intro about fifty times and not once did I think it would be about elbows.

So here it is: being vulnerable is something I struggle with. Like most, I have experienced the highs and lows of life's natural journeys and through this, have seemed to reach the conclusion that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a bad thing. It's dangerous because, well.. you're clearly more open to being hurt.. ruined.. right?
Well I've been thinking (now that's the dangerous part) and actually, I'm not so sure that I believe my own thoughts anymore... They do have a tendency to steer me off track a little.
For those of you that don't know, my nine year relationship ended in January and although this is not at all what this post is about.. I feel like it's relevant just to say, 'Yeah, I gave absolutely all of myself to someone and it still wasn't enough.' And so of course, why would I then ever be open and vulnerable and honest with another human ever again in my entire life because surely this will just happen again.
Well then what...?
Well then if it just does... I just deal.
I think that it's quite natural, especially as a woman, to feel 'ashamed' of our emotions or our vulnerabilities because too often they are seen as weaknesses. How often do we apologise for showing our real reactions to things...The actual raw grit that defines us and makes us individual but yet also so incredibly human? Ever notice how everyone's ex girlfriend was a 'psycho'? I think that it's subconsciously ingrained in us to be apologetic for being 'sensitive' or as I like to call it, 'in touch with our emotions and having the ability to be empathetic' 
By keeping those parts of our self internal are we not just devaluing the most natural elements of our being? I think there's a lot to be said for intuition, gut reactions and actually allowing yourself to be seen. 
I guess what I'm tying to say is that I'm desperately attempting to live a more authentic life that has room for vulnerability and if anything, actually requires it. 
I actually believe that however terrifying it may be, it is important to allow yourself to be open and vulnerable with yourself and also within your relationship with others because otherwise.. what's the point?
Suppose I was to be 'agreeable' for the sake of avoiding tension... ( I know that this doesn't seem like something I would do in a million years but you'd be surprised).. at what point would I get what I require from that relationship, whether it be a friend or more? 
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not planning on spilling my guts to every man and his dog but more that I am trusting in those that I actually want a close relationship with because it just makes sense that when you're around those who give you all the good feelings.. that you're relaxed, open, and not anxiously overthinking everything that you say or do as to not appear 'too much'.

I think it's wrong that so many feminine traits are laced with negativity.. 'Don't cry like a girl', or even 'Man Up'... (I feel another blog post coming on), but really what I'm tying to get at here is that there is strength in exploring your vulnerabilities with others. It's all well and good to go through life with these protective layers of our personality that have the soul function of protecting us but y'know what? It's all bullsh**. No matter how much I project this 'I don't give AF' attitude to the outside world, it's me that I'm spending the rest of my life with and actually I know myself well enough to know that I do give AF about basically everything ever. 
SO, supposing I was to meet a guy... suppose I already had.. and imagine I was to actually be a little bit more into him than I felt comfortable with... but was never particularly open about this fact because, well.. y'know.. self preservation. D'you think I'm going to be any less hurt if it all went Pete Tong? I could of course convince myself that I didn't allow myself to get 100% involved so its obviously not an accurate reflection on myself but I'm not sure how much that really helps when you're halfway through a bottle of red and sobbing on the floor to Adele songs.

The thing is.. not everyone is going to find it endearing how you cry at every episode of 24 hours in A&E, are constantly walking into door frames and want to hug every old man that you see. And... I think that I'm finally coming to terms with that idea.

And so here we are. 
I'm currently in an entirely new situation and it's exciting and wonderful and also really fucking terrifying but if i actually think about it ( when I'm feeling brave, not when I'm overtired after night shifts and craving cuddles) I'd much rather embrace the opportunity of being hurt, knowing that I have been open, honest and vulnerable than float aimlessly through life, being agreeable and a shadow of myself and then end up with the potential of being hurt anyway.

Some people live their entire lives 'fitting in' and in fear of others judgement, keeping their innermost vulnerabilities locked up for no one to find, accept and love.. but I don't want to be one of those people.
So here's to being unapologetically vulnerable.
Here's to being open about my anxieties, my fantasies, and my ' I know this is stupid but..' goals for the future. 
Here's to having an open heart that allows joy to flow through it as well as pain. 
Here's to not being *stuck*.
Here's to giving 100% to the things that I'm into.
Here's to crying at the next advert with puppies on and not being even slightly apologetic about it.


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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Give Me Some Candy

Hey pals! Firstly I just want to say that if any of this doesn't make sense, I can only apologise. I'm running on two hours sleep after a night shift and I'm currently being distracted by The Incredibles and the sound of popcorn crunching in my ear.
Focus.
Last week - I think? - I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with the one and only Hannah Gale, before heading to the most wonderful afternoon tea at the St Ermin's Hotel in London. Not only was the food and drink more than a little bit dreamy, but the company was 100% ace too. I can't even explain how good it feels to hang out with people who just 'get' you. Y'know?
I don't mean that typical 'blog friend' who understands the necessity of not eating until the perfect flatlay has been taken ( although yeah, that's pretty awesome too).. but I mean more than that...
It's just good to spend time with other creatives who understand that burning desire to 'make stuff' that can feel like it's killing us whilst also giving us LIFE. 
( Of course we also had the standard girl chat about clothes.. and boys.. I'm only human.)
 Since the weather had been pretty beaut recently, I opted to get the pasties out (note: re-read that.. I did not write pasties as in.. the vegetable kind.. but pasties as in pasty legs.. with me so far?) Anyway.. I got my legs out at the first opportunity and paired this suede Topshop dress with a good old stripey shirt underneath because a) who doesn't love a bit of layering and b) It's warm but it's not that warm.
 Of course, being the 'anti-girl' that I am, I toughened it up a bit with some chunky - and super comfortable- black boots and then twirled around in the St Ermin's grounds as if I wasn't nearly ran over by a taxi on multiple occasions. That's dedication to the cause folks.
 Topshop Dress & Boots, Primark Shirt & Bracelets, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by my bae Hannah Gale

 After filling our faces with all of the cake and good things, we headed down to the Debenhams Beauty press day which was - as always - incredible, and I was super happy to run into my other partner in crime, Hayley, who had taken over their social media account for the day (and what a good job she did too). The event location was pinterest worthy and the marble bathrooms were to die for. If I could have moved in? I would have.
I then grabbed a quick bite to eat with Brother Blunderland and managed to find myself getting back to Birmingham a whole two hours late after train delays. Still.. I shared the train journey with a rather drunk man who - if I recall correctly - worked at some kind of farmers convention thing? I don't know.. but the conversation kept me awake for sure.

Have you ever been for afternoon tea in London? 
How do you layer up for the British Spring?

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

That Street Life

Oh London how I've missed you.
These photo's were taken by one of my favourite humans: Saida Cane, (go follow immediately) when I met up with her and Lauren for a day of eating, chatting and events. 
After working 7 shifts in a row, it was amazing to get a few days off together and be in a position to see some friends and actually network with brands again. I didn't quite realise just how much I'd missed 'blog life' until I did it and GAWDDDD have I missed it. We went for brunch at a place called the Farm Girl Cafe and basically, the pancakes made me die in a good way.
Like history repeating itself, I opted for ultimate comfort in my gazelles, some basic black trousers and a floaty shirt from good old Urban Outfitters. I actually think this is probably the comfiest I've ever been in London and it made a nice change to not be wearing my uniform of ripped skinnies and an oversized leather jacket.
I was also thrown into that unfamiliar trend of 'Oh God what do I wear' before heading out and actually.. rather than feeling stressed about it, it was just so good to actually be putting outfits together again. I absolutely love my job but I don't think I love it quite as much as I love boots and coats. 
Oops.
I've also found that having grey hair means that clothes can look totally different on me. Cooler tones tend to be more of my friend right now and actually I'm more than down with that as it means even more experimenting (and shopping.. maybe?)
I also just wanted to let you guys know that not only did it start to rain mid photo sesh, but we also acquired a one man audience who wouldn't leave us be and then my camera battery died.
So.. yeah.. winning at life.
Primark Trench, Bracelets & Trousers, Adidas Gazelles, Urban Outfitters Shirt, Daniel Wellington Watch

Also, sidenote: I can't help but be super aware of how I look in photo's since having a conversation about my 'posing technique'. It sounds stupid to say that I've never thought about it before because I clearly have.. I think we all have those fifty million thoughts of 'oh god I look fat at this angle' or 'you'll see all my chins from there' as soon as someone points a lens at us, right?, but I hadn't thought about how I have actually learned over time which angles I hate the least and now naturally fall into them when having photo's taken.
It made me realise that because I'm forever posting photo's of myself online, it might come across like I just stand there and don't freak about my back fat or donut knees and well, that's just not true.
Still, fake it till you make it eh?

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