You get to a point in your post-university life, where all of your once dependable drinking crew are suddenly no longer available for Friday night wine time. Once upon a time your social media feeds were filled with shots of partying and drinking, swiftly followed by the hangover posts the next day, but nowadays it seems that your feeds are filled with engagements, weddings and baby scans.

Is it just me or sometimes do you feel like you are being a bit... left behind.

I was in a relationship for the first few years of my 20s, at a time when lots of things were changing. Graduations, moving house (too many times), new jobs, and lots of friends emigrating. (because that's what Irish people do when they graduate.) When this relationship ended I realised that as I had become settled, so had all of my friends, so when I looked around me for mates to blow off some steam with I was having to contend with two sets of social calendars- my friends and their other halves.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my friends, and I love seeing them happy, but being single in your 20s is not the fun-fest everyone makes it out to be. My coupled up friends make it sound very glamorous and exciting. "Oh I'd love to be single again!" They cry, as they swipe through my tinder and match me with boys I'd never look twice at, and while I am having fun being on my own, its not a new date every night and girly nights out every weekend, it's quite a lot of wasting time with creepy guys, making enough food for 2 out of habit and then eating it all, and finding letters and pictures from your ex while unpacking your new flat and having a marathon crying sesh.

I firmly believe however, that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. It's hard to put into words how important it is to be happy and content with your own life before you can become a part of someone else's.
If you are single and actively dating, then it can be hard not to fall into the trap of settling down with the first person you have a spark with, but often these relationships just lead to disappointment and heartbreak as we are not ready to welcome someone else into our lives.

Being alone is not the same as being lonely, and as long as you have other things going for you, then you won't feel lonely and the right person will come along whether we are looking for them or not. Being alone means making decisions that suit you and not having to consider anyone else, it's eating that last chocolate by yourself and not having to pretend you didn't want it. It's having all the room you like on the sofa and not having to make room.
Being lonely is very different to this, being lonely is noticing the lack of influence on your decision making, it's eating too much because you forgot to make a smaller portion than you're used to and it's a big gap on the sofa where you think someone else should be.
Being happy in whatever position you're in is being happy in yourself and this makes it much easier to welcome someone else in.

The main thing to remember is no matter how lonely you may feel at times, being lonely is not the right reason to get into a relationship, and these things can't be forced.
So be happy with yourself, prioritise yourself and the right person will easily find their way in.
  1. Your beauty is not defined by the number of 'likes' on a selfie
  2. It's OK to say no sometimes and miss out on a night out. Sometimes rest and recuperation is vital.
  3. Friends will come and go in life, but a few will always stick by you. Make sure you always stick by them.
  4. Shit happens. You've just got to remember to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with things.
  5. But still know that big girls do cry, and crying is definitely OK from time to time.
  6. Always try and learn new things and try to expand your horizons. It will make you more interesting and help you meet new people.
  7. Find something you are passionate about. Fully immerse yourself in it.
  8. Know that when you feel inadequate or anxious, everyone you compare yourself to has those feelings too.
  9. But do try not to compare yourself to anyone else. You are living your own story and creating your own timeline.
  10. When you feel stuck in a rut, try doing something new or creative, it will help you vent your frustrations and give you a fresh outlook on things.
  11. Don't take yourself too seriously, let your hair down and have a laugh once in a while.
  12. If you don't know what to wear a little black dress will never let you down.
  13. Don't worry about what other people think of you, most people you stress about probably don't give you a second thought anyway.
  14. Nothing feels better than fresh sheets, a bubble bath and a scented candle.
  15. If it's been a really bad day add wine to the above.
  16. You've got lots of time to get your shit together, but if something urgent comes up don't bury your head in the sand.
  17. Your 20's are for experimenting, travelling and having fun. Use this decade to achieve your dreams.
  18. Don't settle for something you aren't fully happy with. Be that a relationship, a job or just your current living situation, it's never too late to let go and change direction.
  19. Say yes to life. Your comfort zone quickly becomes boring and stepping out of it is easier than it seems. 
  20. It's better to try and fail and something than to regret never trying it.



Sometimes, life is going amazingly, swimmingly well and the plans for the future that you've spent your entire life perfecting is 100% on track, but it only takes one little thing to make the whole house of cards come crashing down around you.

Whether its your job, family, or a relationship, things can literally change in an instant throwing the entire plan out of the window.

Well I'm here to say, Fuck the life plan.

As much as we like to believe the opposite, it is not possible to control your destiny. Many things come into play to get your life to where it is going, and the only things we can do to influence them is to give our all to everything, and to say yes to whatever opportunities come our way.
It might seem like a lovely idea to have a step by step plan consisting of which age you want to meet 'The One', get married, buy a house, have kids etc, but all of this just puts so much unnecessary pressure on you to get things done that sometimes we compromise our happiness and parts of ourselves to do what seems right, when really you should be doing what is right for you and no-one else.

Personally, I believe that your 20's is a time for finding yourself, loving yourself and enjoying yourself, but if you spend all of your time trying to get your shit together then you'll be unable to fully enjoy the experience your 20's should be.

Whether you want to spend your Saturday nights drinking wine with the girls and dancing all night, or curled up on the sofa with your other half watching reality telly, that's your perogative, but you should decide this based solely on what feels right for you and not what you think you're supposed to be doing. Everyone gets FOMO and I can guarantee that no-one is having as amazing of a time as their insta feed leads you to believe, so if you're ever having a down day, as all of us do, switch off your social media, take a break and re-evaluate what's important in life. Remember that even if someone else's life looks like it has a plan, chances are they've had bumps in the road to get there and they've had to readjust accordingly.

So just keep your head up, try your best and do what makes you happy, don't put up with other peoples bullshit and don't get hard on yourself for struggling sometimes, because it is your life, nobody else's and as long as you get where you're supposed to be then it doesn't matter what path you take to get there.

We all have those failsafe products that we reach for every morning to make us feel like ourselves and to help us create our standard everyday look.  

I'm not one of those people who carry a full face of makeup around in my handbag at all times, so I don't generally have a makeup bag on me, but I have got a handful of products which I rely on everyday so I pack them when I travel. 

I tend to buy mostly high street beauty brands, but I usually go for a more expensive foundation, as I think that skincare and bases are the two areas that you should splurge. My makeup bag does really reflect this, as I mainly have lower end price products in there. 

My makeup bag is Ted Baker, and was a Christmas gift from one of my best friends. It's the perfect size to hold my full face, even my brushes, and it is one of my pet peeves when bags aren't long enough for your brushes! 

I've been using Elizabeth Arden flawless finish for about 2 years now, and it has really good wear, (but I would say that if you are looking for full coverage then it might not be the right one for you) and as usual I'm one of the lightest shades available - Alabaster 02. 
For concealer I use Seventeen Stay Time, which is also amazing as an illuminator for contouring. It's one of the only concealers that I've found that is good enough to cover the dark circles under my eyes as well as being light enough for my pale skin tone. 

To do my brows I use Maybelline dream satin brows pencil, which has a pencil on one end to shape and a sponge with powder on the other to fill them in. I bought this MAC eyebrow pencil a while ago and liked it for a while, but it doesn't sharpen too well. I've stopped using it, but it has a brilliant brush on the end so I keep it solely for that reason. I definitely wouldn't repurchase it though. 
At the moment I'm loving this YSL mascara as it lifts and separates all of your lashes, including those really tiny ones that you can never usually get. I have extremely fair lashes so it's important that I can get to them all. 
The MAC eye shadow pot is one I use as a base shadow and also on its own when I'm in a bit of a rush. It's lovely layered under darker colours and makes my eyes pop on its own. I am absolutely dreadful at liquid eyeliner, but this GOSH eyeliner marker pen is so easy to use that even I can make a half decent attempt at a winged line.

I have more lip colours than any girl would ever need, but I will forever love a red lip. Red lipstick can not only transform your look from casual to dressy, but it can also take your mood to a whole new level. This combination creates one of the best red lips I've ever found, the lipliner is Barry M and the lipstick is Bourjois Rouge Jetset. The wear is fantastic, and it doesn't bleed the way others do, I've worn it for a 9 hour shift in work before and only had to reapply after eating which makes it perfect for nights out and functions.

What are your main makeup items? let me know any recommendations.








                          
I recently bought these fab white Adidas Superstars, but I don't really wear trainers very often, so I had to go back to basics with my wardrobe and have a good look through to see what i could wear them with apart from the obvious t-shirt and jeans combo. I'm quite girly in my style of dressing, and I wear a lot of dresses and skirts, so I was keen to try and style them up in a feminine way. 

Outfit One: Shift Dress
                                 

This navy Zara dress is really easy to wear. Throw it on and add some shoes and you look ready to go. The white peter pan collar adds something to it that means you don't need to add a necklace or any extra accessories. I usually team it with a black ankle boot and wear it slightly dressed up, but I thought the addition of the trainers made it a nice level of casual that didn't look lazy. Dress: Zara

Outfit Two: Dungarees

                                 

I bought these dungarees last summer and have worn them so many times, that they were definitely worth the money. I'm glad I bought a black pair, as they work layered over most of my wardrobe, but this little striped turtleneck top is a really simple look, and perfect for everyday wear. I was worried that the outfit was a little too "street" for me and that I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but I really love how it looks. I tend to match with a really simple necklace and a leather jacket over the top. Dungarees: H&M, Top: Oasis


Outfit Three: Shirtdress


                                

This is quite possibly the most comfortable outfit I have ever worn. The slouchy shirt dress is a great shape, and the tie belt means that it will suit most shapes. This outfit is the perfect combination of girly and casual, and check shirts rarely go out of style so you'll have it for years. Dress: Oasis

How would you style white trainers? let me know in the comments!


            

It's official. I am in love, and apologies to my boyfriend, but it's with an eye-shadow palette. (But he's not bad either!)

This is the perfect palette, with something for every occasion. I am not really one to go for palettes, instead preferring to go for a few staple eye colours as they are easier to transport round in your make-up bag, but I make a massively major exception for this one.

From the perfect shade for filling in my brows, to various shades of glitter to spice up your eye make-up for a night out with the girls, it has any colour you could need-even a daring shade of blue (which I've successfully avoided since the underage disco and WKD days!) but even it seems to work in a way which I wasn't expecting.

The make-up is definitely up to Urban Decays usual high standards. Highly pigmented, fully blendable shadows with the perfect amount of shimmer which you can build as much as you need. It is a brilliant all rounder.

My favourite, most used shades are Punk, which is perfect in the crease of the eye, Baby for some shimmer, Zone for the brows and Serious for a bit of smoky eye action. the other colours have all been trialled, and to be perfectly honest the only one I've not really used is the bright pink Harajuku as I just find it too bright and daring for me, but I want to try and find a look where it works so I'll just have to use that as an excuse for playing around with make-up some more.

The packaging of the palette just adds to its beauty, as the gold hardware mixed with the monochrome lid is really eye-catching sitting on your make-up space. Beautiful on the face and beautiful on your desk. Brilliant.




Once upon a time I was one of those people who wore the same makeup daily and never mixed it up, mainly due to fear of doing it wrong and looking stupid, but I recently found myself a bit braver and trying out lots of new things and I've found myself loving all things beauty.

But as with all new things, you'll find lots of products you love and some you will never use again. I decided I want to highlight all of the Fabulous products I've discovered in case people need to discover some new things too.

The Skincare
Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream- £29.50

I only had a sample size of this product, but I am desperate to get my hands on a full size one, and once I use up all my other supplies of moisturiser (Of which I have far too much!) I will be repurchasing. This tiny 8g jar lasted me a full 6 weeks, which is amazing for a sample, and shows just how little you need to use for your entire face. I have quite dry skin, and with this I only needed a little drop to make a very good base for my makeup. I found when I used this I needed much less primer as well, so it is really going to make big difference to your makeup routine.

The Hair Product
Trevor Sorbie High Shine Glosser Spray- £5.70

I was quite sceptical about this product, as I felt that for a product to make your hair glossy it would probably make your hair greasy as well, but I was really pleasantly surprised. It is great on those days when your hair could do with a bit of a lift after being blowdried, and it didn't leave any residue or build up on my hair so I didn't feel like I needed to wash my hair any quicker than normal.

The Palette
Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette- £40

Its official, I'm in love with an eyeshadow palette! I'm not going to talk too much about it, as I love it so much it is getting its own post, but this is the only palette you will ever need. It has such a mix of nude tones, bright colours, glitter and matte shadows that you can use this for all occasions, There is even the perfect shade for filling in my brows. The perfect all rounder.


The Concealer
Seventeen Phwoarr Paint - £4.99

I have quite bad redness on my skin as well as dark circles under my eyes, so you name a concealer, I've probably tried it, but found that a lot didn't have good enough wear to stay on all day while at work while still covering up well enough. This one is most definitely different. It has really good, very buildable coverage, and it stays on all day even while at work, and it doesn't crease into lines the same way other brands do. The only negative point I need to make about it, is that it doesn't come in a light enough shade for anyone with very pale skin. I use the shade Fair, as I always need the lightest shade, but this is still a touch too dark, not so bad I can;t use it, but it just means it requires a lot more blending in. It is such a good product though, that it is a negative I can work with.

The Lip Duo
Topshop Lip Liner in Ceramic, and Lipstick in Innocent- £5 and £8

If you are looking for the perfect Nude lip, stop. I have found it for you. This is definitely the best pairing I've ever found, and I keep wearing it over and over. Both products are really buildable, and together they make a lip colour that is both subtle enough for work, but good enough to wear on other days as well.

The Finishing Touch
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray- £22

If you, like me, work long days and have no time to touch up your makeup in between, then this is an absolute godsend. It feels light on the skin, so you won't feel it sitting on top like other setting sprays, but it really does make your makeup look good for longer, and it doesn't create that 'Caked On' look either. Particularly good if you like a heavy eye as I feel it helps stop the eyeshadow creasing quite as much as normal.



All images and Text copyright Niamh Stewart unless otherwise stated.. Powered by Blogger.