Make-up Commandments!

I discovered two things this weekend! 1. As a white girl I have never really gotten the hang of the undertones of black skin; not only that but I don’t have the products available to cater for it…yet! 2. I have folk on facebook, Instagram, blog and twitter and IRL who ask for makeup advice. They ask for “what’s best” for “what I recommend” or “if X brand is better than Y brand”. I’m going to insert now that I am not certified in any way whatsoever to do anyone’s makeup and I am, by no means, the most skilled at doing makeup! My talents lie in bullshit, hording and art…which is, often, bullshitting about stuff you’ve horded! Apply those things to your face, suddenly you’ve got the basic skillset for a well-equiped mediocre makeup artist! I hope I’m selling myself short here; I thrive on low expectation!

Aside from soothing my crippling self-doubt, I mention this because it raised a theory which has been following me around when I look at my collection in comparison to the concise toiletry bags on my friend’s bedside cabinets! Unless you’re a makeup/ beauty guru or blogger, do you need ALL the things? No. And does it really matter what I think is best, what I recommend or which brand is most suitable? No. But what does matter is that you aim for items that suit you best from brands that suit you best. If you’ve got a lot of disposable income then it’s likely you’ll invest in a make-up set full of high-end products. If you’re on a budget then you will have a set of drug-store with a few high-end staples. And if you’re on a tight budget, you might have a drug-store supply! This is simply a broad overview of a spectrum of make-up dependency! There are many in-betweens and it can change conditionally; do you love your lips, do you love your face, do you love your eyes. So many variables!

It’s a science, kids! Listen up! Pencils ready! What I’m getting at is the fact that no make-up guru knows all about what you should own, buy or try; without knowing you personally, they’re really gonna struggle! So! Here are some hard, fast rules!

1. Invest in what you love.

Don’t waste money on loads of eyeshadows in colours that you don’t like or won’t use. If you’re all about nudes then buy yourself a really good pallet of nudes but if you’re not really about playing up the eyes then buy a small pallet of nudes. If you’re all about mastering a decent red lip then devote your funds to a reasonable lip scrub, lip balm, lip pencil and red lipstick! Otherwise it is just money down the drain! Trends are fleeting; if you think bright blue eyeshadow makes you look like a circus time-warp from the 80’s, you’ll feel like a clown! Even common make-up practices might not be up your alley; you don’t have to highlight, strobe, contour, grout or spackle (please don’t google those, they’re not trends…yet), trust me. Especially if you’re quite happy with your face looking the shape it is! Embodying your own idea of beauty will make you feel more confident and then you will look more confident.

2. Clear out and clean up.

Boots, Superdrug, Sephora, Ulta, Debenhams…at the end of the dairy aisle in Tesco. You’re going to succumb to an impulse purchase every so often. My biggest issue is travelling away from home for the day or a week and realising I have forgotten a lipstick to touch up or a mascara on the morning of some party or other! These purchases are great in a pinch but sooner or later they end up gathering dust at the bottom of your makeup bag because they’re just not your go-to product! Another thing is that your products get shifted around (especially when you’re in a rush) so you can end up reaching into your bag for an eyeliner and coming out with a hand that could have been trapped in a Chilean mine-shaft! This can be off-putting when you want to create a look without ending up knee deep in cosmetics or with camo-stripes as foundation! Not only that but lots of nasties grow in un-kempt makeup bags and old products! Devote some time to going through your stash and sift through what is full, empty, clean, dirty, impulse-buy or make-up staple. Wipe your dirty products down, sharpen your pencils before replacing the lids, and wash your bag! It’ll hurt your heart to have wasted the money, and feel tedious, but it’ll save you agro in the long run!

3. Make some space.

This may seem a tad gratuitous, especially if you’re not a makeup fan…and if you’re not then we’re going to have that talk about why you’re here… on the off chance I haven’t swayed you into cosmetic compulsion. But another time! So yeah, space! Whether it be you’re makeup bag, a shelf, a corner, a room or an entire wing; you need a place to keep all your treasures in one place. This is aided by making that space exclusively for the application and removal of makeup! So either there is a mirror in that space or you equip that space with a mirror, it’s one decent way to keep you shiz together! The issue then comes if you’re mates are pre-drinking in the lounge while you’re stuck in the bog (toilet/restroom) or make-up area. This can be combatted in two ways; ensure you’re makeup is portable or engineer the space to be more accommodating! Whatever space you choose, this is how you avoid finding a lipstick under the sofa!

I prefaced this by saying hard, fast rules…I struggle with the 3rd so these are more like guidelines than actual rules! Though I consider myself a special case…and for “special case” see “lost cause”, I still find myself reaching breaking point and coming back to these 3 basic codes of conduct when it comes to my make-up!

What do you think? Are these some decent commandments?

Think Outside The Information Box 

Well, hello there! 
Being a Disabled Student is a very interesting experience so far. Even more interesting when you have a very recent basis for comparison. The obligatory “oh, what did you do to yourself”s or the awkward offers of help from people whom you’ve shared lecture theatres with for the last two normally abled years; those things have a sense of humanity about them because usually they take the form of interactions with humans…depending on the disability, of course…I once saw a man having an intense conversation with his lunch and I like to keep an open mind. 
My interest doesn’t stem from the well-meaning empathy of fellow students, no. It is the cold hard steel of the hoops one has to jump (something I don’t find easy ) through in order to obtain the reasonable support as a disabled student.
University is stressful, you know. In fact, in my experience, it should come with a public health warning. They could have it flash up as you press ‘confirm’ on your UCAS application like one of those error alerts: 
Potential Student, you are about to commit to 3 to 4 years of emotional turmoil, financial strain and borderline psychosis. Are you sure you wish to continue?
It’s a firm, fast shove into “adulting” and this opinion is coming from a mature student of 26. I’m also pretty sure that it causes some sort of Stockholm syndrome as this is my SECOND degree.
I am joking, of course. university can be one of the most exciting, enlightening and enthralling time of your life. Nowhere else will you be able to establish how much you can function after how much drink and how little sleep, debate with people twice your age without reprisal, and contemplate all the other careers you could have chosen that didn’t involve writing 2500 word essays that are due in 12 hours. You make friends who will be more intimate with your body parts than your own mother, and you realise that Netflix is the cheapest holiday you’ll ever take (chill or no chill). And at the end you will have a degree. A really good and useful one given the appropriate support! 
Before my CFS, support came in the form of cake and movies, a blue wkd with karaoke on a Friday night at the Union and really helpful library staff. 
Not much of that has changed out of those activities (aside from the amount of cake and alcohol consumed, and possibly the amount of time I spend in the library) but now we can add to it how I get to class, what I do in class, how many books I get out, how I write my essays, the way I sit, how often I go to class, what I do if I don’t get to class. And them hoops? There are loads and they’re razor sharp and spinning…and on fire…and they change size…and some of them are really slimy! Seriously, if a dog was jumping through them; it would be on the live shows of BGT! 
Okay, no. They’re paper hoops-forms. We’re talking forest’s worth! But there are fricken hundreds of ’em. And filling in those microscopic boxes when you’re shaking more than Taylor Swift…well…no one would pay a ticket to see it. Okay, they would if they really didn’t like T-Swizzle. But it’s arduous, flailing and involves a lot of screaming in frustration…actually quite similar to Taylor Swift. 
I find it remarkable that, in order to get support as someone with enough significant differences to warrant additional support…they certainly make you put in additional effort, more than double of the average student! Oh what cruel irony! 
However, once you’ve done some significant leg work, you do get yourself into a place where there are many people and facilities available for those applying for DSA who genuinely want to make sure you are provided for appropriately especially if you are honest and open regarding your abilities or even lack there of! And I’m not just talking about the official folk! I had a massive amount of advice from a certain postgrad student who is part of my instafamily regarding my needs assessment! It really boosted my confidence when she advised me that the assessor is there to help me and not to trip me up as I had feared! 
Aside from my PIP claim STILL remaining undecided and the usual CFS nonsense, I’m really looking forward to the trials and successes of my final year! And I can begin to relax a little and enjoy myself some more! Blue WKD for everyone! 
Shall see you anon,
P.