A letter to all the young girls

Image result for moody teenager

Dear young girls across the world,

I found really sad to read in the news today that among 10 to 15-year-old girls, the children’s society charity reported that 14% are unhappy with their lives as a whole, and 34% with their appearance.

I actually find this statistic quite upsetting because I for one, have never struggled with being unhappy as a child. My levels of happiness have decreased since being an adult of course, that’s a given right? But to acknowledge that there is a number of young women out there, who are fundamentally unhappy with themselves and their environments, whilst by contrast the study found that boys’ sense of happiness remained stable, is a really alarming piece of information that leads me onto a number of things that could be causing this turbulence in the pre teen and teenage years of womanhood.

First of all, Instagram

Yeah, we all have it, yeah we all pick the best filter so it looks like it was 5 degrees hotter than it actually was on holiday and yeah we all mindlessly scroll through post after post wishing we were ‘that skinny’ or could ‘cook that well’ or was ‘that rich’.

But we need to wake up and smell the sausage and carrot pasta (a cheap, easy and not very instagrammable meal for anyone who is interested) and admit the fact that Instagram is FAKE.

I will tell my sister who fits into this teen age bracket that what you see on Instagram, celebrities, personal trainers, fashion bloggers, your friends afternoon tea post, most of them, are set up, they are organised, they are faked, or exaggerated, they are not representations of real life. Real life is the bunch of candid snaps of you and your mates as you lark around in the park doing cartwheels and pulling funny faces at each other, the ones you wouldn’t put on Instagram. But instead, people choose the one where they are delicately (and in some cases seductively) licking an ice cream, which they probably have no intention of eating, despite still having the metabolism of a child (god damn you, it runs out pretty soon after 19 let me tell you!)

Have fun, take photos, don’t think about poses or what looks best on Instagram. Because the thing that looks best on Instagram is not the ‘best version’ of you. It’s the staged version of you. God the only staging I was doing at 15 was pushing around the crappy crates we had in our drama classroom to make a stage out of.

Secondly, The Kardashians, and Gigi and all those other models

You don’t look like Kylie Jenner, or Gigi or Bella Hadid, and you’re sad about it. But you also don’t have millions of dollars and the desire to get your face sliced up and stiched back together before your 17th birthday. These girls PAID to look like that. They went under cosmetic procedures to look like that. They (well their equally as deluded) rich celebrity parents paid for it. You’re going to have to make do with a Natural Collection eyeshadow pallet and some sparkly lipgloss. It’s what it’s all about. Boys might ogle at Kylie and Gigi and Bella and all the other ‘models’ out there, but believe me, they are all too ugly to even get within a foot of a girl who actually looks like that IRL (I’ll give you a clue: no one actually does). So don’t sweat it that Callum in Yr12 fancies Kylie Jenner and you wished you had bigger lips. In a year’s time you’ll realise that Callum only wants a fumble up your bra at that house party of the year and that you’re actually beautiful because you’re smart and respectful of yourself. Sure, slap a face of make up on if you want, we all do it from time to time. But take it from a girl who tried to hide away from having red hair and pale skin because it wasn’t deemed ‘attractive’ enough, being a bit different or not having peroxide blonde hair and an orange tan actually works in your favour as you get older and boys like Callum fade and boys like Chris who studies medicine and your mum just ‘can’t wait to meet’ comes into the picture.

And finally, there’s all this outward confidence, but what happened to all the inward loving?

Take some time out from the pressures of being 15. You’re being grilled by your parents to do that extra French homework, and you’re also being told to tidy your room for the 5th time this week and not stay on your phone all night and why aren’t you coming to watch Coronation street? I was 15 ten years ago, and although it feels like ages (I am old n haggered lol) it really wasn’t. I still remember the fights with my parents (soz guys), and the binge eating my feelings on 6 KitKats after school and then trying to eat dinner. But your parents are nagging you because they are terrified they might have done a shit job and you’re actually going to end up working full time in McDonald’s, so prove them wrong on that one. You’re being asked to tidy your room because it’s a tip and its actually a lot easier to sleep and chill out in a tidy room and if you eat 6 kitkats after school, so what? Go on a run with your mates (not alone you’re 15 and female, society hasn’t moved on that much in 10 years on that front) or join an after school sports club because god damn it when you move to London at 21 and find out it costs £300 a month to play for a netball team when you used to play it for free, that’s a kick in the teeth.

In the words of a wise man (apart from the toe cancer thing) called Bob Marley. Don’t worry and be happy. Because you’re 15, and frankly wait until you’re 25 and having an existential crisis about whether you’re a child or an adult or if you have enough money to eat that week. That’s when you actually need to freak out.

Yours sincerely,

Girl who did it before you.

twitter.com/g_hetherington

p.s don’t you just love the picture, it’s me at 15

My Holiday Make Up & Beauty Essentials

I usually ask for Make Up vouchers for Christmas, which translates into Boots vouchers from my grandad which have come in very handy when I have £0 bank balance with 2 days to go before payday and can no longer buy meal deals with my boots points. Aside from my way to cleverly (I think you’ll agree) being able to slightly homeless style feed myself before payday, I love this time of year for all the beauty products I can try and and test without them melting off my face in summer heat. Damn you summer you were not designed for gingers. I’ve comprised a shortlist (or short list, however you choose to see it) of my favourite products to use around these drab and dark winter months and leave me a comment if you agree or have any other suggestions!

  1. Cowshed – Cow Pat – Moisturising Hand Creme 50ml – £8 instore & online

Okay so I’ve always loved Cowshed products because they smell amazing and I’m always looking for a decent hand cream that doesn’t grease up my hands and this one is the one. It’s compact so can fit in my handbag, and it smells amazing, and the formula is a little sticky at first but dries to be like a creamy velvety texture and I love it.

2. Glo & Ray – Nuage Blush in Breaking Ray – £11 online

This blusher makes me happy. Not only because it’s a warm coral tone that suits my paler complexion but it’s really not too pigmented which means you can build up a little bit of colour as you go. The handy compact comes with a little brush and mirror so it’s prefect for popping in my handbag and using for touch ups. Have to thank Blasmin for this blush which was a ‘cheer up you’ve got no phone present’.

3. Philosophy Divine Color Cream-to-Satin Foundation spf 25 LIGHT – Approx £10 online

 

 

 

Now I actually bought this foundation compact at a make up sale at my work, so I got it for £5 and I don’t actually wear it as an everyday foundation because I find the coverage a bit thick for daywear. However, it’s great on a night out because it stays put, (I find that it works really well with MUA Primer, Superdrug £2) and I also keep it in my handbag for little day touch ups because of the handy little brush that comes with it. LOVE HANDY LITTLE BRUSHES.

4. Sainsbury’s Extra Firm Hold Hairspray 300ml – £0.90 instore & online

Image for Sainsbury's Extra Firm Hold Hairspray 300ml from Sainsbury's

I bought this hairspray because I just needed one at that moment and just wanted to buy a cheapy before I got my usual Vo5 all weather facing. But you know what, this hairspray is great! My hair actually stays put all day, but getting caught in wind makes this hairspray make your hair a little notty. But for 90p, you pay £3/4 more for hairspray that does little if to nothing different.

5. Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived Fair to Medium Skin Body Lotion 200ml – £6but cheaper online 

 

I bought this buy one get one free in Superdrug so I bought the Fair to Medium and the Medium to Dark. I tend to use the Fair to Medium as a nightly moituriser and the Medium to Dark to build up colour over a few days (usually 2/3 will do the trick nicely) for when I’m going out. The forumla smells really nice, slightly biscuity but that’s really not a problem for me, and it has a smooth textures, and is non greasy and quick drying. I’ve found it to be streak free and long lasting, but I am quite the expert of fake tanning having done it for 10 years. If you leave your feet and only skim the top, then it’s going to look like you wore dolly shoes when you applied it. IT’s a good gradual tanner, one of the best I’ve used and gives me a wintery ski holiday glow but it’s not a miracle worker and you have to be aware it’s only going to develop in the places you work it in.

I’m going to be doing a few more health and beauty posts in the New Year so if you have any suggestions, please drop me a comment below.

Beauty Bible: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

I got the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer for Christmas and I haven’t gone a day without using it. I seriously have used it when all I’ve done is go to the corner shop from my mum’s house, which is about a 2 minute walk…maximum.

I heard about this in 2012, and I remember thinking ‘PAH primer, my skin will manage to work it’s way through that’ as I always get a oily T zone whether I slap on talcum powder before foundation or if I strap a baby fan to my face all day. I’ve been using a Rimmel Stay Matte Primer for the past year, and I’ve got to say, it has if only psychologically improved my opinion of my oily T zone…

So, anyway, I have a friend with totally different skin to me that swears by this and I was skeptical but, I have to say this is one of my favourite primers I’ve ever used. It’s not greasy when you put it on, it doesn’t have a strong smell. It doesn’t make your face tacky at all, and it sits really comfortably underneath my foundation. And the best thing…it lasts all day. It actually does.

I had a day of work at 9am, dinner with a friend and the cinema, returning home at 11.30pm, so I’d had my make up on since 7.30am that morning, so that’s 15 hours without even as much as a powder application. I nearly burst into tears when I realised how well it had lasted, it’s a problem that’s plagued me ever since I started wearing make up, which is annoying because I have dry skin EVERYWHERE else so why such an oily T Zone though? And this primer hadn’t dried out my skin, it hadn’t caked around my nose at all. It made me feel photo ready and photo finished all day – and that is a winning formula for me.

Overall rating: 10/10

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Beauty Bible: Elizabeth Arden Smokey Eyes Powder Eye Pencil

Now this little cheeky was a freebie from when I had a terrible facial at the Oxford Street store. I complained and I complained, and I chased and I tweeted about the treatment or lack of treatment that me and my friend received when we booked our facials at their store.

Anyway, kindly, the team at Elizabeth Arden sent me some lovely gifts to say sorry and the Smokey Eyes Powder Eye Pencil was one of them. Now I’m not really a smokey eye kind of girl. I have been known to black my eyes a bit too panda-like in the past, and when my dad made a comment about my sister (bless her) having ‘two black eyes’ from her overuse of eyeliner…it made me think just how easy it is for it to go wrong.

I normally stay away from eyeliner in the day time, and leave it to dramatise my eyes at night. I’ve never been one of those girls who can pull off a heavy look in the day, damn you grunge look, why don’t you like me? But with the arrival of this beauty (and expensive beauty, it retails at around £18) I thought why not give it a go.

I put a slight bit in the corners of eyes and smudged with the foam applicator at the other end of the brush, and considering I’d not lined my whole eyes, the effect already was pretty dramatic. I got asked at work if I was wearing more make up than usual by several colleagues and I did feel slightly self conscious that I may have entered the realm of ‘ho make up’ for work…

After a few hours, I forgot about it, and bloody rubbed my eye didn’t I! Well just as well because upon going to the bathroom, I realised that the ‘powder’ part of this pencil product was just that and it had flaked underneath my eyes, leaving me as panda-ry as ever. It’s such a shame because this light wear and tear has put me off using it for nights out now where I’ll be dancing and getting sweaty. I don’t want the fear of my eyeliner running down my face like someone on E in the Hacienda in 1991. Those are just not the vibes I’m going for. Overall I don’t rate this product and definitely not for the hefty price. Like I said, I’m not a regular eyeliner user, but for the products I have used, I’ve found cheaper ones like Collection 2000 and Miss Sporty have had better staying power than this ‘powder’ version.

Overall rating: 2/10

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The Worst Facial I Have Ever Recevied

I’d never been for a facial before – and Yasmin decided to treat me to one at Elizabeth Arden…posh right?

I’d been tweeting about it all week and finally, last Tuesday the day arrived! I practically legged it out of work and found myself out of breath but fresh faced and raring to go at the House of Fraser Oxford Street store. Yasmin had a slight face on her as I approached and I wondered why…but instead of relaying to you, here’s the email I forwarded to the Elizabeth Arden Customer Service team…be warned.

“Dear Customer Service Team,
So on Tuesday 29th July, myself and a friend came to your Elizabeth Arden stand at the House of Fraser on Oxford Street. My friend had purchased two vouchers off the site ‘wowcher’ which entitled us to a 60 minute facial, makeover and goodie bag.
Upon arrival, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to have the treatment together as planned because there had been a mix up with the bookings and we were made very aware that one of your beauticians ‘Rachel’ was having to stay later than her shift in order to accommodate for us. Her other colleague, who was much ruder than Rachel, informed us of this mix up like it was almost our fault, and that they were doing us a favour of staying behind. We were also told that the treatment would only last 45 minutes because of this mix up, annoyed at this as we had booked for 60 mins, we just agreed as we were really looking forward to our first facial experiences.
I was the first to receive my treatment and I must say despite this shaky start, Rachel is obviously a skilled beautician, she was very professional and I really enjoyed my facial. Unfortunately, towards the end of my treatment, Rachel’s colleague, the rude one from earlier, banged so loudly on the door that I jumped out of my skin. She rushed in to moan to Rachel that she ‘needed a fucking break’ and that she was refusing to do the other facial (my friend’s) until she had had one. Well to be honest, by this point, I was gobsmacked. I was quickly hurried out of the room, with not even enough time to put on my jacket which I was still attempting to put on as Rachel’s colleague marched me back towards to the Elizabeth Arden counter.
It was then my friend’s turn for her facial, and as mine had lasted roughly about 40 minutes , I expected hers too do the same. But nope. My friend was back within 20 minutes, and unlike myself was not offered a makeover but was given a goodie bag, which I was not. I had to go back into store, and ask for a goodie bag off a girl from another stall opposite, who then had to go and ask a manager because both Rachel and her colleague had disappeared, leaving the EA stand unattended, seemingly as their shifts had ended.
I understand it is frustrating to be presented with new customers when you are due to finish. I have worked in retail in the past myself, and it’s really annoying, but I would a) never show my annoyance to the customer as the EA reps did (including swearing!) and b) make a customer feel so uncomfortable in a service that they have paid for. I expected more from Elizabeth Arden if I’m honest, and it kind of ruined my first ever experience of a facial.
Thanks for taking the time to read my complaint, I hope you address this customer service issue so it is improved for future customers.
Yours faithfully,
Grace Hetherington”
So what do you think? I said it how it was…and what have I got? Nothing…not one reply…so I’m currently haranguing them via Twitter and Facebook until I’m given an answer….watch this space.

Beauty Bible: Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Mascara

 

I thought I’d do a few little beauty posts here and there since I got a massive haul of make up over Christmas and for the first week, it’s the turn of Scandaleyes mascara by Rimmel.

Now Rimmel was definitely my favourite make up brand when I was 14 and wanted to make my make up look as ‘there’ as possible, but I kind of went off the brand as I moved more towards good skincare and the natural dewy look I’ve been rocking since following Millie Mackintosh on YouTube.

But I was revisiting my high school watch of 90210 on Netflix when THE most obvious plug for the Scandaleyes mascara came on…’Oh Naomi, what mascara are you using there, your eyelashes look incredible!’ (Said Annie who was standing at least 3 metres away) ‘Oh why thanks Annie, the mascara I am using is the Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara…from LONDON’…

Although painstakingly obvious, it sparked the spider lash 14 year old in me to reinvest in Scandaleyes, and see if it lived up to my high school expectation of sky high lashes, no more no less.

I picked the Extreme Black, which is £6.99 from Boots, and made me think, how on earth did I afford to be able to buy that when I was working as a salon assistant for 4 hours every Saturday? Alas, my bank account is not much better off now at the age of 22…

On to the product: From memory this mascara brush was the bomb. It’s long, it’s fat and it has such good coverage. 2014 version, and I think my knowledge of mascara brushes has radically improved. This brush was not as good as I remember, and actually left my eyelashes a bit clumpy.

I also found the formula to be quite gloopy, and when I tried to take it off with a make up wipe (I used boots own cucumber ones) I found myself absolutely murdering my eye to try and get it off…and I hadn’t selected the waterproof version.

One thing that lived up to memory though was the lash extension you can get from this mascara. I used to build my eyelashes coat after coat to get them up to spider lash standard, (blink and make the boys wink you know) but I found just three coats achieved a ‘Wow are they real?’ look without a ‘AGH! That girl has spiders for eyelashes!’ look.

Overall rating: 6/10