A Fresh Start For 2016

I've started writing this post a hundred times and still can't quite find the words. 

So I'm just going to jump in I think. 

My wonderful grandad passed away peacefully on June 9th, after a brave and tireless six month fight with the tumour in his head. In his final moments he was comfortable, at peace, and surrounded by so many people who loved him, and that's exactly what he would have wanted. He fought til the very end, and he still had his sense of humour too. He leaves behind a family that's devastated, but also so very proud to have known him, and to have been affected by the happiness that followed him wherever he went.

I want to thank my wonderful friends and readers, for all their love, support, and eternal kindness, in the past weeks, but really, since his diagnosis in December. This has been the hardest six months of my life, and having the support and love of you guys has meant the world. 

I find myself now in something of a transitional period. The last six months have revolved solely around being there, not just for my grandad but my parents too, being unable to travel or make too many plans, because we just didn't know how long we had left. Flipping open my diary, I have not one single plan, event, meeting or trip, and it feels kind of strange. 

I thought after he passed, I would throw myself back into work, but in all honesty, I still can't think of anything but him. Writing about fashion, beauty, or even life seems pointless and trivial. And so in all honesty, I feel a little lost. When you have no plans and can't think about work, what do you do?

And I know, that I don't have to be back in the starting blocks right away. I know I'm allowed to take time to grieve and adjust. But it feels weird. Is that normal? I don't know, I've never lost anyone before. 

The 23rd of June will see me attending my first ever funeral, and the thought makes me feel positively sick. Due to uni commitments, Connor won't be able to be there, and the realisation I was going to have to do this alone bought on the first panic attack I've had over the last six months. I've been so proud of the fact that throughout this awful time I've for the most part, kept my anxiety at a manageable level, but this one fact kind of pushed me over the edge. I know my family will be there, and that they will need me there, but whenever I think about it, I just want to hide. I hope the day won't be as awful as I'm building it up to be in my mind. 

I have a new planner, and it starts the Monday after the funeral, so in my mind I'm setting this as a goal for a fresh start. A time to take on a positive attitude, make plans for the month ahead, and tackle the second half of 2016 head on. My grandad would be horrified if he thought we were all moping around, and not making the most of life, so whilst right now, I'm taking some time to be sad, I'm looking forward to a fresh start, and bringing a little happy back into my life. 

My grandad was one of the happiest people I have ever met. He never complained or grumbled, he made the best of every day, and was never spotted without a smile. I'll remember him for the way he made everyone happy around him, and could always be found at the centre of a party, buying everyone another round. I only hope that when my time comes, I am surrounded by as many people, and as much love as he was in his final hours. 

Thank you again for your love and support. You guys are my little happy. 

Inside My MAC Palette

I realised that in all the time I've had this palette, I've never given you guys a walk through! My palette is home to an assortment of shadows from MAC, Benefit & Makeup Geek, and I love them all. I had a lot more but I did a big cull of the shadows a few months back and now I'm left with my absolute favourites!

Top Row:

MAC Hush: A champagne pink shade with a fine silver shimmer.
Benefit Call My Buff: A basic soft cream shade.
Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie: A soft, dirty peach shade.
Makeup Geek Creme Brulee: A warm toned mid brown.
Makeup Geek Preppy: A matte caramel brown.

Second Row:

Makeup Geek Latte: A warm matte chocolate brown.
Benefit Guilty Pleasure: A light brown with golden shimmer.
MAC Cork: A mid toned matte brown.
MAC Mulch: A warm shimmery chocolate brown.
MAC Shale: A taupey purple with a sheen.
MAC Club: A duochrome purple with a green sheen, that looks more like a deep purple.

Third Row:

MAC Quarry: A light purple matte taupe.
MAC Satin Taupe: A sheeny taupe shade.
MAC Blackberry: A matte purple.
MAC Corduroy: A warm matte deep brown.
Makeup Geek Country Girl: A brick red with silver shimmer.
MAC Cranberry: A warm berry red with shimmer.

Bottom Row:

Benefit Kiss Me I'm Frisky: A warm shimmer brown.
MAC Sketch: A deep purple with a hint of sheen.
Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie: A warm peach with golden shimmer.

Do you have a MAC palette?

My Project Life Favourites

After last month's post on how I finally made project life work for me, I thought I'd follow up with a list of the product's I've been loving using. I'm going to keep this short and sweet today because I've had a hell of a week!

Are you a project lifer?

My Haircare Routine

After mentioning the Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Spray in a post recently, I had a lot of people request I share how I use it - so I figured why not go the whole hog and share my full haircare routine!

I coloured my hair around three weeks ago and I'm super happy with the outcome. I used a L'Oreal Paris Preference dye to achieve the base colour - a warm brown, and then one of the L'Oreal Wild Ombre kits to add a subtle ombre/balayage to the tips of my hair. I love how subtle it is, I didn't want anything super intense, and this has been perfect!

Right now I'm using the Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner to fight the humidity that is pestering my hair right now. I love this because it leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft, and not at all heavy with product. I also use the Bedhead Dumb Blonde Reconstructing Conditioner every third or fourth wash just to keep my hair from getting too dry.

Before blowdrying, I use the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer to detangle my hair and add heat protection too. It's really light and doesn't make your hair feel greasy at all - a great all in one product.

Most days, I rough dry my hair with a hairdryer to about 80% dry, before going in with my Tresemme Heat Brush, which is like the cheats way of getting a blow out. I section off my hair and just brush through it, the large barrel creates a soft wave, and smooths out my hair. 

Once my hair is dry, I liberally spritz the lengths with the Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Spray. This stuff gives texture and body, without making my hair feel crunchy or product-laden. 

And that's about it really! I've been going for a natural, lived in look, very low maintenance and very simple!

What's your go to hair routine?

New Erin Condren Life Planner!

After my post last week talking about why you should invest in an Erin Condren Life Planner, the awesome team at Erin Condren got in touch and sent me over a brand new planner and a few accessories too!

I thought I'd do an unbox and flip through with my initial thoughts, but I'll definitely check back in a few weeks with my thoughts again!

Let me know what you think, fellow planner nerds!

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