Most of my time spent in the US I was looking what Si would call ‘rustic’. The outfits were generally structured round the ideal of practical, but also prime for gaining a tan. Most days I was wearing my scuffy old pair of Converse high-tops or my mud covered Dr. Martens ( and stealing socks from Si’s case of course). The first third of the holiday was spent in a car, trekking in the great outdoors or taking a dip in any water we would come across. so wearing fancy outfits wasn’t really on the agenda. There was no point in styling my hair either, in fact I didnt even bother brushing it most days – thank goodness for headscarves for keeping those sweaty flyaways from clinging to my suncreamed forehead.
So when it came to the tail end of our three week trip and our stay in Malibu for Ben and Jenn’s wedding, I was looking forward to a proper get ready process again. I’m fairly low maintenance, in fact friends often get annoyed with me on group holidays because I get ready so quick they feel pressured to hurry the hell up, but I generally just have a fairly basic routine, even for special occasions. Some might say I don’t push the boat out enough, but it all comes from a place of incompetance, laziness and being one of the sweatiest women on earth.
I could go all out on fake lashes, layers of skin smoothing products, and boob lifting technology, but my body and general being will eventually make all of those time consuming efforts utterly pointless. I briefly toyed with one of those stick on bras, because my boobs have definitely become more familiar with my waitband and not to mention noticeable wonky, but I was so sweaty it slipped down to rest on the top of my spanks, dragging the nipple down with it. No-one likes to feel like there boobs are being stretched down – definitely not feel-good vibes.
Just for some behind the scenes shinfo, I did use the black bit of string that had been attached to the Topshop price tag to make the dress a less plunging dress and more of a supportive halter neck by using it tie the straps together behind my neck (hidden by my hair).
Topshop Dress, Forever 21 Shoes, Rock and Rose Earrings
Link to the dress above (affiliate) – https://rstyle.me/~cz-aDa8C
The lack of bra wasn’t the only issue that came with choose this khaki/gold Topshop dress. I managed to get rid of the vpl my cotton Marks and Spencer knickers were delivering by swapping for spanks, which also pulled in the doughnut of podge round the belly buttons that holiday feasting gifted me. Unfortunately it did poke up slightly from the low draped back, so I had to fold the back of the spank bit down – this is more faff than I like. I also knew that it was the kinda dress that would show up just how damp I get on evening averagely warm days, so had aimed to have a full body talc session before leaving the hotel for the beautiful venue. Unfortunately Si had taken the talc with him to where he was getting ready with the groom, other best man and groomsmen.
When I stood up after the ceremony my fears were realised and I had two very dark patches where my butt cheeks had spread like mousse against the chair. Luckily my dear friend Aly was happy to shield the area till the summer breeze dried it out.
So now let’s talk about how I made my sun ravaged face wedding-ready. In terms of acne I did pretty ok on this holiday – no major breakouts, but I did have some peel on my cheeks. I’m terrible at remembering to moisturise anyway, but my neglect of a routine is even more noticeable when I’ve been exposed to the sun. There were some areas of peel on the cheek in particular that foundation was tending to cling to. In absense of any exfloiating face products I used my Liz Earle Muslin cloth to remove as much as possible as I washed my face.
I applied Body Shops InstaBlur primer first, which although not the easiest of primers to apply really does give that smooth airbrush feel, and fill in all the acne scarring and fine lines. I’ve been absolutely loving wearing The Bali Body BB cream instead of foundation recently, and many people have commented on how good my skin looks as a result. I think it’s just given me a more youthful look, its very lightweight and give you a gentle healthy glow. I applied with my The Body Shop buffing brush. You can’t achieve cakey with this product. I used my Illamasqua skin base foundation for concealing purposes, just to cover the areas of redness around my nose and some sun damage on my hairline.
To add some contour I use dsome bronzer from an Asda contour pallette, but very sparingly as I didn’t wanna look tangoed. It was the pink of this coral blusher from Asda that really perked my face up and gave it a summery flush. I then finished my skin by using the gold ‘Sunset’ colour from Asda’s four shade Highlight palette. I put it on the highest point of the cheekbone, a bit on the nose and actually a little on the centre of my dimpled chin (using a Real Techniques Brush).
All this is cruelty-free by the way, but also products I use for every day that I bother to make up my face, which is becoming and less and less as I return to Autumn hermit status. Now for the windows of the soul and how I decorated them. Again, nothing utterly innovative or difficult, my make up skills would definitely be considered ‘Beginners catagory’ but it did the job of making me look just a bit more extra than my everyday look whilst still looking like me.
I had tried to arrange a blog review collaboration that would mean that my brows and lashes would be tinted ahead of my trip, but timings just didn’t work out. After a quick google I found out that Eyelure’s home brow kit was cruelty free, so ordered one from Amazon to arrive with haste. I went for Dark Brown because my courser areas of body hair are actually naturally quie dark despite being a natural blonde. I love having a dark brow, as long as it’s still wispy and not too solid looking, it looks dramatic without looking artificial. I was so pleased with how they turned out using this home kit I decided to pack it in my holiday toiletries in case all the chlorine, sunshine, and sea water meant that it needed a top up before the wedding. It only takes 10 minutes too so is a fantastic product for a lazy beautifyer like myself.
Every other time I will be using a new product I got from an Amazon Christmas called Wunderbrow – no doubt you will have seen one of their videos on Instagram. Once I mastered how to use it (the first dap always is a bit thick and messy) I really enjoyed using this product and it really does last a whole day and more. Any heavy handedness when you apply the liquid is recitified with the spooly brush, so don’t panic. It’s also a really good ashy colour too, not the usual unsuitable warm tones that many blonde brow products come in.
On my lids I used a bargain product I got in the CVS pharmacy just a short walk from our Hyatt hotel in Malibu. The Nyx Jumbo Eye pencil in French Fries – I wanna know where they’ve been consuming these glittery bronze french fries – is so easy to use. These sorts of products are perfect for people who have little time/talent for cut creases and blending, who simply want to draw on their faces like they did as a child with a crayola crayon, and then smudge clumsily with their finger. As well as the lid, I put a little but smudged under my lower lashes too.
I was a terrible blogger this holiday – when I went to Sephora I only bought another Better Than Sex Mascara (the same mascara I’ve used for ages) and a deodorant – not exactly haul worthy. Anyway, it was nice to have a fresh new mascara to make sure my lashes were long and thick – just how I like things. I used this adorable mini Kat Von D liner that I got in a Debenhams goodie bag just to define alone the lashes of the lid.
For the lips I wanted pillowing pink lips. But when you’ve burned your lips and got a significant level of skin crust hanging off, some prep is needed first. I used to use my Lush scrubs but have recently been really enjoying this one from Nugg. It’s vegan, preservative and cruelty free, non drying with approximately 30 uses per product. It contains Jojoa wax which smooths and Sugar granules that do the exfoliating work, which is my case was extensive. The Cocoa Butter & Jojoba Seed Oil naturally hydrates and conditions too meaning my lips were being taken care of after a rough couple of weeks. For colour I applied Sleek’s Matte Me in Shabby chic. I loved the colour and the initial finish but it’s staying power isn’t great, particularly if beverages are in the mix.
I’m always a bit torn when it comes to lining the waterline or not, because I know my eyes look much bigger and doe like when I don’t, but I feel like a lined eye is such an instantly sexy look. Plus I think because I’m conscious of how tired I may look, I always think a line dramatic eye might somehow wake up the overall appearance of my face. As this wedding was starting at 5pm I thought a smokier evening look might be the way to go so swiped it on. I used my current go-to liner the Kat Von D Billie Joe Armstrong collab – Basket Case.
To create the old Hollywood waves I washed and conditioned my hair first. You’d think that goes without saying, but honestly with me it doesn’t. I will put washing off like you wouldn’t believe. But I’d spent the day by the pool with some of the gang, so I had to get the chlorine, suncream and rogue condiments out of my hair (we ordered chips). I also hadn’t conditioned my bleached hair for the whole holiday, which by that point was about 2 and 3/4 weeks (sorry hairdresser Loren, I know I promised you I’d take care of it), so it was a bit brittle and straw-like and needed some moisture to be injected back in. It seemed to do the trick and wasn’t too tangly afterwards thank goodness. I used the Remington Pro Luxe to create the soft waves by curling the hair under in small sections (including the underneath even if its a bit tricky to do on shorter lengths). I then brushed through so it didn’t look like defined curls. I didn’t need to use any product to make it stay, in fact it was in tact for the next day too.
I fell in love with these Rock and Rose sunflower earrings as soon as I saw them, and knew they’d be a big enough statement that my Missoma necklace could have a night off for once. I wonder what it gets up to when it’s not hanging on my neck. The only other finishing touch I can think of is that I dusted a bit of highligher on my collar bone….oh I shaved my legs too which was no small feat.
So, I hope this has either introduced you to some new cruelty-free products or given you an easy wedding look to try for yourself! I’ve got another two weddings coming up before the Summer is out so if I can afford any new outfits for those I’ll share those looks here too!