Life Update: Internship and Learning to Trust the Universe

Well, it’s well and truly been a while.

I hope you are all well!

Since my last blog post in February, I have been on a journey, to say the least. Without going into too much detail, a lot has happened. At the same time, I was learning myself all over again and spending most of my time creating content for a digital magazine.

So let’s start with that…

Internship:

As of November 2020, I have been interning as a features editor for Style Cartel. Style Cartel is a digital magazine that covers everything, from beauty to motherhood. I became the beauty and lifestyle editor, researching and writing content for the site. As well as that, I spend a lot of time building relationships with brands, reviewing products and working with my team to create enjoyable content.

When I applied to this role, my expectation was that I would be writing articles, perhaps weekly. It was just a few months after I had graduated and I didn’t really expect to land my dream role straight away. However, I have became so immersed and comfortable within this role. I feel genuinely grateful that I get to have this experience so shortly after leaving university.

My quality of work has gotten so much better (if I do say so myself). I find myself deeply engrossed in the process of liaising with brands and connecting with others in order to make high quality content. I am honestly enjoying this opportunity so much!

Please do check out everything that I have been writing here!

Trusting the Universe:

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the terms ‘manifesting’, ‘journaling’ and ‘gratitude’. So had I but it was only at the beginning of this year that I started to really implement these practices into my daily life.

I really learned my power and how much power I really hold. Really and truly, this was done through research and experimentation. There are so many methods out there and to be honest, they are so often thrown at you over social media, it can be easy to believe anything.

On my personal journey, I started to keep a gratitude and manifestation journal. Writing down the things that I am grateful for, thanking the Universe and my guides for teaching me patience in times where I needed it the most. Then, asking the Universe for all that I wanted. Writing it as if I have it already.

Like I said, there are so many manifestation methods out there. From the 3-6-9 method to simply creating a vision board, there is a lot to be explored. I think the most comforting thing is finding what works for you. For me, it’s simply cleansing my space, my crystals and myself with incense and Palo Santo, ensuring that I feel good within myself and putting it all on paper.

I would love to get into this deeply, however I find it such a sensitive topic. In the sense where I am constantly learning and experiencing my manifestations come to life, it would be such a passionate conversation, I wouldn’t know where to begin!

All I can say for now is, with patience, letting your desires go to the Universe truly does work. I have watched things in my life unfold and bless me within 2 minutes of asking the Universe, but also after 4 months.

I constantly remind myself that everything works in my favour, just in divine timing.

Plans for the future of this blog

There have been so many times where I am planning my weekly schedule and I tell myself that I should write something for this site. I then remind myself that it usually takes me more than a day to write something good enough to publish. From the beginning of starting this blog, I have always said that I would rather create no content than create bad content.

I spend so much time talking about beauty for work, it would be nice to bring that over to this platform.

Please do let me know in the comments what you would like to see on here!

I look forward to posting on here again soon xoxo

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Hi! 

I hope you’re all well. 

Today I’m back with another skincare post, this time, my night-time skincare routine.

According to Parvaneh Rafaeloff, MD, the skin absorbs the nutrients from your skincare products better during the night. She states that this is due to a lack of “environmental stressors at night”. So, products are able to work better as your skin is not bothered by pollution, sun damage and makeup. 


That said, my night skincare routine is as important as my daytime regimen.

The following products help to ensure that my skin is clean and treated at the end of the day:
Step 1: First Cleanse 
Via: Pinterest

Sleeping in your makeup is a big no. Even on days where I don’t wear makeup, the thought of going to bed with old products sitting on my skin makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. 

I like to start my routine by using the Nivea Micellar Water (£4.29). I simply add a few drops onto my favourite reusable cottons pads (£9.99) and gently swipe over my face, eyes, lips etc. 

It is a gentle and effective product to use as an initial cleanse, removing makeup or dirt from the skin. 

Step 2: Second Cleanse 
Via: The Coffee Canvas

Yes, then I cleanse again (spoiler: this isn’t the last cleanse). 

Although micellar water is a great product for removing makeup, it isn’t enough to remove it in its entirety. So, I then use a cleansing balm. 

Balm cleansers break down makeup, dirt, SPF, and excess oils, melting away any impurities that may be on the skin. 

The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (£26.00) is the perfect balm for all skin types. As someone with oily prone skin, the thought of using a product that contains oils seems quite daunting, but it is absolutely fantastic. 

I take quite a generous amount and massage onto my skin and neck, carefully working it onto my eyes to ensure that the majority of my mascara melts off. 

Cleansing balms really do remove every last bit of makeup, even waterproof mascara.

For a cheaper alternative, I have recently started using The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter (£11.00) and it is just as good as the Clinique one. 

Both great for removing stubborn makeup.

Step 3: Final Cleanse 
Via: Neutrogena

Yes, we’ve reached the final stage of the cleansing portion of my routine! 

At this point, I simply use my Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser (£7.99) to get rid of any remaining makeup.

This cleanser is a staple piece in my daytime and night-time routine, leaving my skin looking and feeling clean and ready for the next few steps. 

Step 4: Treatment 
Via: Paulas Choice

This step in the routine is usually where you use a specific product tailored to your skin concerns. This could be an exfoliant or spot treatment.

I’ve been using the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (£28.00), for just over 6 months and it has made such a big difference in the quality of my skin. 

As I mentioned in my last skincare post, my skin did a dramatic and unexpected turn last Spring. I was in desperate need of a product that would balance the excess oil that my skin was producing. Not only that but the other problems that came with it. Blackheads, enlarged pores and the occasional breakout. 

This lightweight liquid exfoliant helps to get rid of dead skin cells both on the surface and inside pores to reveal cleaner and more radiant looking skin. 

Salicylic Acid / BHA is a great ingredient for oily / acne prone skin as it: 

  • Purifies and exfoliates the skin 
  • Helps to clear out excess oils and reduces sebum levels 
  • Evens out skin tone and reduces discolouration 
  • Minimises pores and tightens the skin 

When it comes to adding salicylic acids to your routine, it is recommended that it is introduced gradually. Using it once or twice a week and slowly increasing the frequency is highly recommended to give your skin time to adjust to new ingredients to see how it reacts. 

Oh and of course if you’re using it during the day, don’t forget to follow with a spf.

Step 5: Moisturise 
Via: The Beautiful Bluebird

When it comes to moisturiser, there is a formula out there for everyone! I know, it can take some time to find the right moisturiser for your skin type but it is important that you find one. 

As stated by dermatologist, Dr. Idriss, “a moisturiser not only infuses your skin with hydration, but also helps trap in all the products underneath it to make the ingredients even more effective.” 

I prefer to use a light, water based moisturiser at night. The Clinique Moisture Surge (from £25.00) is a 72 hour hydrator that delivers an instant moisture boost. 

A moisturiser not only infuses your skin with hydration, but also helps trap in all the products underneath it to make the ingredients even more effective.” 

Dr. Idriss
Step 6: Oil 
Via: Anintroverttalks

Last but not least, oil. 

Contrary to popular belief, oils are not just for dry skin. Certain oils such as Jojoba and Aloe Vera can decrease excess oil in acne prone skin. 

That said, oil is a product that I decided to add to my routine a few months ago. Although my skin is rarely drastically dry, I wanted to add another layer of moisture to my routine. 

Dr. Idriss states that face oils are an “occlusive”, meaning that they seal in all the ingredients that were applied prior to the oil to keep them from evaporating quickly. When oils are layered over other products, they help to increase the moisture and leave skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. 

It is important that this is the last step in your routine as oil easily penetrates moisturisers, serums, and treatments. 

I have been using The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane (£5.50). Squalane is a non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores and is suitable for all skin types. 

As well as using it as the last step in my routine, I love adding it into my moisturiser during my daytime routine as I find my makeup goes on a lot more seamlessly. 

Let me know what your favourite skincare product is in the comments below! 

The Importance of Love Languages

What is a love language?

To me, a love language is a form of communication. A way in which we give ourselves and the people around us the correct kind of love that best suits them and their needs. This does not have to be solely directed towards romantic relationships. I find that knowing the love language of friends and family is just as important.

In 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman established the framework for love languages to help couples address and strengthen their ability to communicate better.

I’ve often found that a lot of people don’t know much about love languages. That’s when I usually send them a link to a quiz so that they can find out. Or I’ve come across far too many people on dating apps, labelling love languages as the ‘languages of love’. (French or Spanish etc). Not only did this make me cringe but highlighted that knowing your love language is important. It allows for a better emotional understanding of a relationship.

A breakdown of each love language and how to apply them to your relationships:

  1. Words of Affirmation

A lot of people believe that actions are stronger than words. Others (myself included), prefer to hear how much they are appreciated and cared for. It’s all about the true intention and emotion behind words. The thought behind written words are highly valued. This could be in the form of texts, notes and letters. Personally, I respond well to this demonstration of love.

Examples of Words of Affirmation:
  • “I feel so lucky to have you”
  • “I’m really proud of you”
  • “I just want you to know how appreciative I am of you”
  • “I am here for you if you need me”
  • For self-love, the practice of affirming mantras to yourself can take place. For example, “I am loved”, “I am proud of myself”, “I am beautiful”.
  1. Quality time

Those whose love language is quality time feel most acknowledged when their partner actively wants to spend uninterrupted time with them. No phones, no distractions, only active listening, eye contact and a full presence.

For many, the time spent together talking or hanging out is the highlight of the relationship. Quality time allows them to feel well connected.

            When two partners know how to speak each other’s love language, it’s increasingly likely that they’ll be together for the long haul.

Blinkist Magazine
Examples of Quality time:
  • Do your best to actively listen and engage when your partner is speaking
  • Plan regular date nights
  • Try and avoid cancelling plans (especially at short notice)
  • For yourself, quality time could be going to the cinema on your own, journaling, going for a walk etc.
  1. Acts of service

If your love language is acts of service, you value the act of thoughtful gestures. You appreciate when people take initiative to ease you of some of your responsibilities and as a result, you feel seen and taken care of.

If you want to fulfil this form of love language, it’s always best to remember that this act is about applying trust into the relationship.

Your partner needs to feel as though they can trust you to carry out tasks for them, mainly to provide a sense of balance in their life. Therefore, I’d recommend paying attention to their schedule and daily activities. Notice where you can help to allow them to feel at ease.

Examples of acts of service:
  • Make them breakfast, lunch, or dinner (especially if your partner usually cooks)
  • Offer to do their food shop whilst they are at work
  • Make the bed for them
  • Plan a date
Pinterest
  1. Receiving gifts

Those who appreciate gifts as their main love language feel loved when others give them ‘visual symbols of love’, as Chapman says. It’s about symbolism and the thought behind giving. The effort in choosing a gift that represents this person and the relationship.

The key is to gift something meaningful. It does not necessarily have to be expensive nor should the monetary value be of great importance. Also, try to gift someone or yourself something during any time of the year. Why limit the act of gift giving to only special occasions when they can be given at any time?

Examples of gift giving:
  • Buy them their favourite flowers or food, just because
  • Send them a surprise package during the week
  • Buy something new for your house
  • Make them a playlist of all their favourite songs or the songs that remind you of them or your relationship
  1. Physical touch

Physical touch as a love language is about feeling loved when someone receives physical signs of affection. This could be anything from kissing to holding hands.

With a form of consent, those who enjoy physical touch deeply appreciate and feel whole when embraced by the people they love.

Examples of physical touch:
  • Kiss them hello and goodbye
  • Offer them a massage when they’re stressed out
  • If in a sexual relationship, make the effort to initiate sex every now and then
  • If your partner is comfortable with this, try to maintain physical contact when in a group
Mixkit

Love languages should be something that helps to bring you closer with the people around you.

They can really make a difference in how you communicate yet help you to understand others more. Not only this, but they help you to understand yourself better. If you take the quiz, you will realise that there are different scores for each love language. Everyone has a different level of how they prefer to receive / give love.

It’s also a process. A process of figuring out how best to provide the right from of love to have a healthy and loving relationship.

The best way to begin your journey is by having a conversation with your partner about what they would like. Take the quiz together and enjoy implementing these practices into your relationship!

What is your love language? Tell me in the comments below!

Makeup in 5 – How I Do My Makeup in Five Minutes

Makeup routines are different for everybody.


Some of us dedicate up to an hour (or more) to get the perfect makeup look. Others spend the majority of their time getting ready, trying to piece together an outfit. So, end up leaving around 5 minutes to do their makeup and get out the door. Well, I am one of the latter and have found a way to achieve an effortless makeup look in 5 minutes. Oh, and only using 5 key products! 

Concealer – 

Skip your foundation and opt for a full coverage concealer. Use a shade that is closest to your skin tone as possible. Then, apply the concealer to any blemishes. Gently placing it under the eyes, chin and forehead area is enough to create a natural but full coverage makeup look.


My concealer of choice is the Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer. It doesn’t cake or crease (hence the name) and blends with the use of a makeup brush but also your fingers.

Perfect for when you don’t have much time! 

Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer
 Brows – 

From brow pencils to pomades, there are various eyebrow products on the market yet I find brow gel the easiest product to use. Gel-brow products visibly shape and groom brows whilst adding thickness and hold with just a few swipes.


A small amount goes a long way, gentle strokes creating a fuller look. My go to eyebrow gel is Glossier’s Boy Brow. A holy grail product to say the least. 

Glossier Boy Brow
Blush – 

Placed on the apples of your cheeks, eyelids and even on the lips as a lip tint, blush is a multipurpose product. From cream blush to powder, it comes in a variety of colours and formulas. Therefore, you can create a subtle look or opt for something a bit more striking, depending on your mood! 


For a cream blush, I would recommend Glossier’s Cloud Paint and as for powder, the Sleek Blush by 3 Palette. Both products tapped or brushed onto the skin creates a pigmented, flushed-from-within look.

Sleek Blush by 3 Palette
Mascara – 

With only 5 minutes to create a look, it is important to ensure that the eyes get as much attention as possible.


Mascara can instantly thicken and lengthen your lashes, adding a bit of character to your look. A conditioning and water-resistant mascara such as Glossier’s Lash Slick is perfect for sculpting your lashes. 

Glossier Lash Slick
Lips – 

Finally, the lips. The last step in finalising your speedy yet sensational makeup look. Whether you want to go for something daring or perhaps natural, a matte lipstick is the way forward.


The Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick is my absolute favourite matte lip product! Not only does it smell uh-mazing, but it is lightweight, transfer-free and super pigmented. All the qualities that a high-quality matte product should have.

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick

So, there you have it. 5 minutes, 5 products with each product helping to create a variety of looks in absolutely no time. All of which are easy to throw into your bag without taking up too much space. It’s almost too good to be true! 

STOP WASTING MY TIME

Dear Time Wasters, 


Why do you do it?


That thing where you come into someone’s life and make everything seem okay, then become the most inconsistent, lazy ass person who can’t seem to admit nor see that you’re wasting someone’s time? I’ll tell you straight up, time is precious and if you’re not adding any purpose into mine or anyone’s life, you can go. 

Now, for all my people that seem to be dealing with a time waster, you’re not alone. In fact, I have had many conversations with people about friends and partners who show the signs of someone who does not have good intentions. Or, someone who has no idea of what their intentions are (um, figure it out). 


That said, here are a few red flags that may show that you’ve got a time waster in your life (or that you’re one): 
  • They avoid going on dates / meeting up with you in general (Excuse after excuse. It’s boring!) 
  • They don’t make any real effort to be a part of your life. They seem to lack any form of interest although…they’re still there…just…stagnant
  • Their communication is severely lazy. “Sorry I took 5 days to reply to you, I’m so busy.”…Could’ve communicated that in the first place, mate!
  • Your gut instinct is telling you that something isn’t right 
How do you deal with that? Well… 
  • Get to know your boundaries. You get to decide what’s okay and what’s not
  • Don’t be afraid to communicate your expectations of how you should be treated. (E.g. “I don’t appreciate your inconsistent behaviour. I deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and you’re incapable of giving that to me.” 
  • Ask them what the deal is. Ask them why they’re suddenly not making time for you, why the effort has gone from 100-0. You deserve to know the truth, whether it be that they don’t want to be in your life anymore or that they’re seeing someone else. Express that you deserve honesty. 

And for the time wasters, there’s this thing called communication. I know and understand that the art of communication doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s a process. But please, if you’re willing to place yourself into somebody’s life, at least be open to learning and practicing how to communicate rather than selfishly leaving someone in the dark. 


So, to conclude, I will say that even though we tend to hold onto people that are in our lives for whatever reason, they are not all here to fulfil us. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of lazy communication and the obliviousness that comes with those that seem to waste our time. I can tell you for free that there is a sense of power that comes from releasing useless people from your life. Easier said than done but, let it go. You deserve better. 


Oh, and if you’ve read this and you’ve only just realised that you’ve been out here wasting someone’s time, go and apologise. It’s the least you can do. 

A Guide To Getting Your First Tattoo

Hey, 

I hope you’re all well! 

Today, I thought that I would write a bit of a different post for you all.

As I am in the midst of planning to get another tattoo, I once again find myself in the process of researching different artists, styles and locations and thought that I would give you some tips on how to have a successful tattoo experience. 

Before your appointment: 

Whether you have an elaborate idea of what you would like to get tattooed or you plan to choose a design on the day of your appointment, it is important to do your research. 

Firstly, find an artist that is compatible with the style that you want. From stick and poke to blackwork, there are many styles of tattooing. It is vital that you look for an artist that specialises in the type of style that you like.

I always begin to look for artists on Instagram. It is a great way of seeing images of their work, both of what they’ve posted and what clients have posted. That said, regardless of how you have come across an artists work, it is always important to find images and reviews of their existing work so that you can see exactly what to expect if you choose to book in with them. 

Once you have found an artist that you feel could give you a tattoo that you would love and want on your body forever, it is best to then contact your chosen artist.

From my experience, each artist that I have ever booked in with has had contact with me via email or Instagram DM however, some artists may prefer to arrange a pre-tattoo consultation. This would give you the opportunity to see the studio prior to your appointment and discuss the design of your tattoo alongside your artist. 

Here are a few things that you must include when contacting your chosen artist: 
  • With as much detail as you can, clearly describe your tattoo
  • Mention placement choice, colour and size 
  • Send images and examples of what you would like your ideal tattoo to look like 

Remember, this is your tattoo. Be open to professional opinions but always make final decisions based on what you want. I would also recommend asking approximately how much the tattoo will cost so that you can be prepared for your appointment as well as agreeing to a time and date that you know you can adhere to.

On the day of your appointment: 

I cannot stress how important it is to arrive to your appointment on time. Tattoo appointments can’t and shouldn’t be rushed. Not only does your artist need to take their time to do their work but should use the beginning of the appointment to make final checks. Go through the design, check that you are happy with everything and if not, communicate and make changes so that you are satisfied. Also, keep in mind that your artist will most likely have appointments after, so arriving on time will ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

ID is also needed to ensure that you are of the legal age, of course. 

Experiencing your first tattoo can be a nerve-racking yet exciting experience so relax and give yourself time to adjust to the environment and the artist. If possible (even though this may be incredibly difficult right now due to Covid), bring a friend / family member along if the shop will allow it. 

The key to having a great tattoo session is making sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be. 

  • Avoid tight clothing that may leave you feeling uncomfortable during your appointment 
  • Eat prior to your appointment and bring a snack if you feel as though you may need one (especially for longer sessions) 
  • Ensure that you are hydrated and bring a bottle of water along with you
After your appointment: 

Effective tattoo aftercare is a major aspect of the process. It is important that you take care of your tattoo and allow it to heal properly so that your tattoo looks as amazing as it should. 

Tattoo artists tend to recommend aftercare products based on their experiences, client experiences etc but, I would advise you to do your own research as there are many aftercare products out there.

Since getting my first tattoo, I have used the Tattoo Goo Balm and Lotion to help my tattoos heal properly. I would highly recommend the Tattoo Goo products as they can be used on both healing and healed tattoos which is great as over time, tattoos can fade and in between touch up appointments, the product allows the tattoo to appear a lot more vibrant, as if brand new again. 

Here are some more aftercare tips to make sure that your tattoo is always in the best condition: 
  • Use an unscented soap and lukewarm water to gently wash the tattoo 
  • Gently dry your tattoo by patting it with a clean towel 
  • Apply a thin layer of your chosen aftercare product (it is suggested that for the first week or so that you use an ointment and then switch to an unscented lotion) 
  • The washing-drying-moisturising process should be repeated two to three times a day

Although scabbing and itching is a completely normal part of the healing process, you do want to prevent the tattoo from drying out too much, therefore keeping it moisturised is key. 

  • Be super gentle with your new tattoo. No scrubbing, no picking, no submerging in water 
  • Take it from my experience – do not put your tattoo in direct sunlight for the first 2-3 weeks as sun exposure will fade your tattoo 

Overall, getting a tattoo is such a great experience and, in my opinion, adds a decorative form of individuality to each person. A lot of the time, people (usually those without tattoos) tend to assume that every tattoo should have a deep meaning. Whilst some people dedicate their body art to their loved ones or a personal story, others choose and create designs simply based on their likes and whatever they’re attracted to. 

Tattoos are such an expressive form of art and something that should be considered carefully but also remember to have fun with it and be as expressive as you like! 

MY CURRENT MUSIC FAVOURITES

When I started this blog (4 years ago, today), my favourite type of post to write were my monthly music playlists and what better way to celebrate 4 years of blogging than with an updated music post. Some old, some new, here are the songs/albums that have been on repeat for the majority of the year:

Kali Uchis – Isolation / TO FEEL ALIVE EP: 

I couldn’t write this piece and not start with Kali Uchis. I’ve been listening to Kali for about 3 years now and during lockdown, I revisited her debut studio album, Isolation. Admittedly, I’ve never been one to listen to albums from start to finish as soon as they’re released so I made it my mission to listen to all 15 tracks (in order, of course).

Should I have waited so long to do so? Probably not. However, it somehow felt like the right time to do so as it has pretty much become the album that has outlined my life at the moment.

Just like the past few months of my life, so many words come to mind when I think of this album and no two songs sound the same. She begins with Body Language, which has a dreamy, almost dainty feel to it. Kali, in her 2018 Pitchfork interview, stating that she ‘wanted it to feel free’ and so it does. Imagine being at a jazz bar as summer comes to a close, still comfortably warm, the sun setting and not a care in the world. That’s how one would feel as the album starts. As it continues, it gets more and more experimental.

kali-uchis-felipe-q-noguiera-landscape-2
Photo via NPR

There’s a touch of reggaeton on track 8 with Nuestro Planeta and more of a psychedelic feel on track 11, with Tomorrow (which was produced by Kevin Parker aka Tame Impala – which we will get onto very soon).

Kali released the TO FEEL ALIVE EP back in April, delving into an archive of now completed versions of existing demos. Reworking snippets that she had previously teased on various platforms over the years, the EP became a short but inventive collective of music that again provided such a dreamlike, compelling sound.

It goes without saying that Kali Uchis is one of my favourite artists, which for me is a bold statement to make as I find it very hard to pick a favourite in anything. I could listen to her at any time of the day and go from feeling sultry, almost angelic to boldly powerful. Two very beautiful feelings.

Here are some of my favourite songs across the two projects:

Isolation: 

  • Dead To Me
  • Coming Home – Interlude
  • Feel Like A Fool
  • Your Teeth In My Neck

TO FEEL ALIVE EP: 

  • Angel
  • i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE)
2. Tame Impala – Currents / The Slow Rush: 

Although many think of Tame Impala as a group, it is in fact, a one-man-band. The man behind the psychedelic music project is Kevin Parker, an Australian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. In other words, a genius. The first two songs that I had ever heard by Parker were The Less I Know The Better and New Person, Same Old Mistakes and since then, I have entered a portal of such cosmic music.

Within the past few months, I highly doubt that there has been a day where I haven’t listened to at least one track by Tame Impala. Currents, the third studio album by the musical project, is a 51-minute story that explores a stream of feelings from heartbreak to isolation, yet executed in a way that could be described as groovy but also melancholic. The magical thing for me about Parker and the masterpiece that is Tame Impala is that many genres are explored and executed perfectly. The same man that can produce a psych-rock track, such as Disciples can dabble in R&B, these hypnotic and trancing influences flowing throughout the production of many songs such as Past Life.

0b94603e7c907563c7e93fd1815396d6
Photo via – GQ Australia 

The album has often been described as a break-up album. Not one that is regretful, rather introspective. Contrastingly Tame Impala’s latest album, The Slow Rush, sits on the other side of the spectrum. Whilst the lyrics and meanings behind a few of the songs explore grief, loss, and nostalgia, it definitely has more of a freeing tone compared to Currents. With the same on-brand feel of soothing soft rock, The Slow Rush invites listeners to dance a bit more. To be free.

Here are some of my favourite songs across the two projects:

Currents: 

  • The Less I Know The Better
  • New Person, Same Old Mistakes
  • Love / Paranoia

The Slow Rush:

  • Borderline
  • Lost In Yesterday
  • Is It True
3. Peggy Gou – 

If you know me well enough, you’d know how much I love a good DJ / set (and that one of my many life long dreams is to become a DJ). I stumbled across Peggy Gou on Instagram towards the end of 2019 and was initially drawn to her sense of fashion. Soon after, I found myself listening to her tracks on a daily basis and watching sets that I wish I could’ve witnessed in person.

The South Korean DJ, producer, and fashion designer released her first track, Hungboo, in 2014 which is featured on a 19-track mix that Gou released last year. The mix, which is called DJ-Kicks, is a collection of house, jazz, techno and so much more which blends beautifully and resulted in a piece that radiates such creativity.

We-Own-The-Nite-NYC_Peggy-Gou_Audio-Obscura_Gashouder_01-02-2019_Amsterdam_By-Jonas-Lindstroem-scaled-e1576776073995
Photo via – We Own The Nite NYC

The creativity behind Peggy and her music, whether she is mixing samples from the ’80s or producing her own singles, is what has stood out to me from the beginning. Everything about her and what she does is captivating to the point where I don’t know if I should just dance or sit there and be transfixed in every piece of instrumentation that can be heard.

Speaking of being transfixed, let me take it back to the first track that I had heard from Peggy. I fell in love with the 2018 single, It Makes You Forget (Itgehane), and let me tell you, it was on repeat for weeks. Any playlist, any time I was queuing songs on Spotify, that song was there without fail. There’s a lot to it without being complex. From conga drums to cymbals and Gou providing the vocals in her native Korean, the song is a sleek and stylish piece that automatically makes you want to dance and forget everything else at that moment.

Here are some of my favourite songs by the artist:

  • It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)
  • Starry Night
  • Han Pan
  • Jen High

Spotify users, be sure to check out each link to listen to all of the songs mentioned in this post! ❤

MY DAYTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE

Skincare. One of the many things that bring me joy. I could spend hours researching different products and brands, watching skincare routines on YouTube, and spending just as much money on new products.

My skin has predominantly always been rather normal, with the tendency to get a bit oily before that special time of the month. Sometimes a bit dry due to the consistent change in weather. However, at the start of lockdown, I realised that my skin was oilier than ever before. Although sebum (oil) is a necessary component of healthy skin, sometimes the body produces too much, which can cause enlarged pores and blackheads.

Although we have access to products that can change the quality of our skin, it is important to remember that your skin can change at any moment. It could be due to hormones, diet, the environment and so much more. I guess suddenly being in lockdown and my daily routine changing meant that my skin went through some changes as well. After weeks of research and gradually eliminating products that were already in my routine, I learnt that the best types of products for oily skin were water-based products and products with ingredients such as salicylic acids. As mentioned, skin can change no matter what products are in use, so I ensured that the products I purchased were created with all skin types in mind, just in case my skin was to ever go back to normal.

That said, here is a run-through of my current daytime skincare routine and how these products have saved my skin:
  1. Cleanser – Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser 

This cleanser, alongside multiple other cleaners, has been in my routine for just over a year and has become the staple cleanser in my  routine. When it comes to my routine, I appreciate simplicity and that is exactly what this product offers. Glossier describes the cleanser as a ‘gentle-yet-effective creamy gel face wash for all skin types.’

Whilst cleansing the face, it leaves my skin dewy and plump without being too oily or drying.

 

 

  1. Mask – L’Oréal Pure Clay / Charcoal Detox Mask 

Looking for a mask that will reduce oil and leave your skin looking and feeling a lot cleaner? This is the mask for you. I use this mask once a week after cleansing my face, concentrating on my nose and cheeks where excess oil builds up, which is what causes pores to be a lot more visible. The mask absorbs impurities and the excess sebum, visibly clearing my pores. Oh, and it’s also very affordable which is always a bonus.

  1. Toner – La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion 

Now, toner is a product that I have only recently added to my skincare routine as I’ve read that it isn’t as necessary as perhaps a cleanser or SPF would be. However, I must say that this is a key product when it comes to balancing oily-prone skin.

The astringent lotion, an astringent being liquid-based alcohol, helps to eliminate excess oil and unblock pores. I have been using it once a day (although you can add toner to your night-time routine, I would suggest only using an astringent once a day as it can be very drying to the skin) and I have seen a big difference in my skin. I rarely ever have blackheads and my pores are nowhere near as large as they were a few months ago.

 

  1. Serum – Glossier Super Glow 

I then use a few drops of Super Glow which is a Vitamin C serum that helps to improve the appearance of dark spots, over time. I have tried many serums in the past but always resort to this one as it is not heavy and sits on the skin without giving you that sticky, tacky feeling. I haven’t seen a major difference in the appearance of any dark spots on my face, but I can say that when I use the serum consistently, my skin does appear a lot brighter. Vitamin C, in general, is also a great anti-aging ingredient, helping to maintain a smooth and youthful complexion.

  1. Moisturiser / SPF – Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Lotion SPF 25 

As stated previously, water-based products are vital when it comes to oily prone skin as they do not clog pores. I had been using the Clinique Moisture Surge moisturiser for quite a few months and although it is an amazing product, it is quite pricey therefore I started using the Hydro Boost as an inexpensive alternative.

The water-gel moisturiser is lightweight and doesn’t leave the skin appearing or feeling greasy. My favourite thing about it is that it is a moisturiser and SPF in one and SPF is such a vital part of any skincare regime.

It is a common misconception that SPF should only be worn during the warmer months however this could be further from the truth. SPF protects our skin from UV rays which come from the sun, however, UV radiation is able to penetrate through the clouds and even through windows so it is highly recommended that SPF should be worn indoors and all throughout the year. Daily use of SPF also helps to prevent premature aging of the skin caused by the sun, including age spots and wrinkles.

I highly recommend the Glossier Invisible Shield and the La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid. Two sunscreens that are both lightweight and affordable!

 

 

DATING DURING LOCKDOWN: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HINGE

What does dating mean to me?

Everyone’s got a slightly different definition of the term ‘dating’. To me, it’s simply spending time with someone that you’re interested in, using that time to get to know each other and gradually assessing whether that relationship should progress. That being said, I assumed that I would spend my years at university not only studying but dating and meeting a variety of people (I was so wrong about that) and well…it turns out that my dating experience would start in the midst of a pandemic and through the use of a dating app.

I had somehow concluded that dating apps were for people who had been unsuccessful in love and that downloading an app was their last attempt to find someone. Again, I was so wrong. My scepticism not only stemmed from not wanting to seem desperate but fearing that I would come across people that I knew in person, which is inevitable and not as awkward as you would think.

My first and quite short-lived experience of using dating apps had begun (and ended) in a matter of weeks, back in 2019. From Tinder to Bumble, I tried, and I tested, I swiped, and I scrolled and was not impressed by the options that were available. However, a close friend of mine soon recommended the app, Hinge, and it was safe to say that it changed the game. Let me explain why.

Let’s talk about Hinge:

Hinge is an app that is designed to be deleted. In other words, the aim of the app is to connect beyond just matching with someone which hopefully would lead to meeting and deleting the app, and it seems to be working. According to Hinge, ‘3 out of 4 first dates lead to second dates’ and they just so happen to be ‘the fastest growing dating app in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.’

That said, I was attracted to the direct approach from the app, an approach that gave me the reassurance that it was possible to meet someone who was open to connecting outside of the app. Was I 100% ready to do that? Not exactly but, it was nice to know that it would be a possibility that I could gradually open up to.

Hinge goes beyond just posting your name, location, and a few photos. The app allows you to share your virtues and vices such as religious beliefs, whether you are open to having children or not and so much more. App users also have the freedom to hide or share these personal forms of information if they feel as though it is not necessary to the current stage of their dating life.

You also get the opportunity to answer three rather refreshing questions or prompts from a limited list. This could be anything from your favourite movie line to sharing the way to your heart. This makes it easier to reveal your personality and preferences, enabling matches to spark a conversation about the things that you’re genuinely interested in and vice versa.

Another great thing about the app is that as the majority of the world is under some form of lockdown, with the high chance that a lot of people will turn to online dating to meet new people, Hinge now has a video call option for the chance of a remote romance. The app launched the ‘date from home’ feature and according to Verdict, after just two months of being in lockdown, 64% of users have already had a virtual date.

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t entirely ready to date when I first downloaded Hinge, which is okay. Ironically, dating apps can be used to find new friends as well as romantic partners just as long as one is clear about their intentions.

‘After just two months of being in lockdown, 64% of users have already had a virtual date’ – Verdict 

At the beginning of lockdown, as with the rest of the world, I was trying my hardest to adapt to these sudden changes that we were undergoing. It was a time where my friends and I had started to communicate a lot more, yet I still longed to find a connection with someone new. After a bit of persuading from the same friend that introduced me to Hinge in 2019, I was back on the app. This time, unintentionally taking a different approach. I wasn’t spending hours swiping and assessing profiles nor did I download the app with the intention of dating.

To my surprise, I ended up connecting with a variety of people that I never would’ve met (virtually), if it wasn’t for lockdown (and my friend who successfully got me to download the app again. Thanks, if you’re reading this). I connected with people who helped me with my final major project at uni, others that I still speak to here and there on Instagram and someone who I have been dating for a few months now… but we’ll save that story for another time.

POETRY – BODY ON BODY

Hi!

I’m back with another poem! I hope you enjoy and make sure to follow my poetry Instagram for more content: @daniellethewriter

body on body,

when two become one.

make sure you look me in my eyes

as your hands move from my neck to my thighs.

your fingers emitting electricity

as you press them upon my skin.

i am the light

you are the current.

your touch so potent

how does one have such power

that my pigment turns from a royal blue

to a deep shade of red?

i’m getting warmer

can you feel it too?

my body more expressive than words could ever be.