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Choosing what to wear to a formal event is a mean feat at the best of times, but it is only made more stressful when you are uncertain as to what your “formal” dress code actually entails. Depending on the event, location, and the hosts, “formal” can mean an entire range of things, all contrasting one another, which all can be incredibly confusing if you don’t know your hosts very well or don’t attend many formal gatherings or parties. Is it a black-tie event? Is cocktail wear appropriate? What even is a white-tie event? And how do all of these things affect what a lady can wear? The last thing you want to do is turn up underdressed, but what if you go all out and everyone else is dressed more casually? Fear not, as long as you follow these tips, you will always look your best at any formal event you attend in the future.

Long Floor Length Cocktail Dress

Consider The Location

The location of your formal event can greatly affect how you dress, regardless of the dress code, so it’s something that you must take into consideration when picking your outfit. If the event is being hosted inside, in a hall or a ballroom, then a strapless dress and heels is a sensible option. However, if it’s being hosted outside then this would not be a practical suggestion. A shawl or jacket might be required outside, to keep you from getting too cold. As well as this, you may want to choose a shoe with a thicker, lower, or no heel, to avoid you tripping on anything outside, or having your heels sink into the grass, if a grassy area is where the event is being hosted. Despite this, a sensible shoe is always a sensible suggestion, as you don’t want to have to be sat down half the evening because your feet are simply too sore for you to stand up.

Consider The Invitation

It may sound a little silly, but the medium in which your invitation arrived can often tell you a lot more about what you should wear than the invitation does itself. If you were added into a group on Facebook, then I think it’s relatively safe to say that, while you should still look dressed up for the event you are attending, it’s not one that requires you to bring out your best ball gown and pearls. On the other hand, if your invitation came via the post on a piece of thick, gold embossed card, then you perhaps should consider investing in a fancy floor length number.

Blush Pink Floral Guest List

Get Hold Of The Guestlist

Having the list of guests to hand is incredibly useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, it provides you with a range of different people with whom you can discuss their interpretation of the ambiguous dress code. As well as this, you can also discuss what each other are wearing to ensure that you don’t turn up to the affair wearing the exact same thing as someone else.

Stick To The Basics

Regardless of the type of formal event, there are always some things that you tend to be able to get away with. One such example is a cocktail dress – Cocktail dresses are shorter and a little funkier than your traditional, full-length evening gown, and are often cheaper too, which is incredibly helpful if you’re a little strapped for cash on the run up to the party. You tend to be able to get away with a cocktail dress at weddings, or any time of “drinks party” taking place in the early evening. There are certain makeup basics that you can get away with too, such as a classic smoky eye. Many eye shadow palettes, such as the Billy B x Gallany Essentials Palette from Gallany Cosmetics, contain all the colors you need for a knockout eye makeup look. Coupling this with some liquid eyeliner, and a volumizing mascara will provide a classic, elegant makeup look.

Suit Up And Stand Out

It’s true what they say, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so if you really don’t know what the dress code entails then go all out -There are worse things than being remembered as the best-dressed guest. There are many different ways to make yourself stand out, one popular example is wearing a tailored suit and some sassy stilettos. Women wearing suits might not necessarily be appropriate for all formal events, but if the invitation states “Black Tie Event”, then why should it only be men that have right to wear one?

Keep Things In Balance

You have to remember when dressing up for a formal event not to make your appearance too overwhelming; Otherwise, you may end up missing the elegant, and classy part of the dress code. If you’re going for a bold eye look, have a more subtle lip color, and vise versa. If you’re wearing a lot of sparkly statement jewelry, ensure you wear a relatively plain dress. If you decide on a lovely sequined number, make sure to keep it floor length, to avoid looking like you’re dressed for a night out on the town.

Just Ask The Host

If all of this fails to provide you with any guidance, and you are still scratching your head a few days before the event, struggling to decide what to wear, it’s always best to simply ask the host. Trust me; They will appreciate you asking for their help and voicing your confusion a lot more than they would turning up to an event they’d put a lot of effort in, with all of their guests looking nothing like how they’d envisioned.

Hopefully, this advice has given you some inspiration as to what you would like to wear to your next formal event. Just remember that it doesn’t matter how much highlight or how many sparkly brooches you put on, if you don’t feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing, then you’re never going to look right. No matter what you decide to wear, ensure you wear it loud and proud, because confidence is your best feature, and is what will make your night as fun as you are hoping.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




We all love our makeup, right? Many women admit that being able to put a face on each day boosts their confidence and makes them feel good. Both important factors, we’re sure you’ll agree. But, all’s not well in the makeup world.

Anyone who uses makeup often will have seen the ever-increasing focus on the damage beauty products can do. In truth, this hasn’t changed in years, but the internet and social media mean that we’re more aware of the issue.

And, let’s be honest; we knew that things weren’t right from the state of our skin after that daily makeup removal. Excessive foundation use leaves skin not only dry but spotted and prone to red patches. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there’s something amiss in the chemical makeup of our favorite products.

War Paint Makeup Bag in Camo

So, you’re starting to realize that perhaps your makeup bag isn’t as good for you as you thought. Sure, it boosts your mood, but is the damage worth the payout? To help you decide, let’s look at the chemicals involved, and what damage each can do.

Parabens

Parabens had to get a mention here. The potential health risk of these chemicals is so extreme that the EU has banned them in recent years. And, even here in America, they have come under harsh scrutiny. Yet, they remain a focal feature in many beauty products.

So, why are parabens so dangerous? There’s a litany of evidence against these pesky chemicals. A Harvard study connected paraben build up to fertility problems. This makes sense when you consider that these chemicals can alter your hormones. Parabens are estrogenic, and so interfere with your estrogen levels. Which is also at the center of a worrying link between parabens and breast cancer. While studies have been inconclusive, there’s enough evidence to cause worry. Philippa Darbre, a senior lecturer in oncology and researcher in biomolecular sciences, carried out studies which found parabens in 18 out of 20 breast cancer tumors. Her study has been criticized but has led the way for similar theories in the future.

And, parabens aren’t the only chemicals which mimic estrogen in this way. It’s also important to look out for phthalates and butylated compounds which carry the same risks.

Silicones

Silicone ingredients are another problem area. Silicone may not sound like something you’d find in makeup, but most cream based products have some form of this chemical. If you’re looking for a smooth application, silicone is often the price you pay. You probably don’t need us to tell you that silicone is toxic, and so not ideal for your body to absorb. On top of which, it, too, has been proven to disrupt normal hormone functioning. While the evidence hasn’t been as awful for silicone use, there’s no denying that this can still cause issues. Some silicone chemicals, such as dimethicone, are thought to worsen acne. It isn’t really what you’re after when undertaking a beauty regime.

And, this is by no means an extensive list. You can find out more by doing your research, and turning to resources like this article. But, we’re hoping the above is enough to show you that your makeup may not be serving you well.

So, what do you do about it? You like wearing makeup, and you aren’t ready to kiss goodbye to your beauty regime. But, you’re aware that you should probably make a change. Fear not; natural beauty could save the day! And, to make the transition from cosmetic to natural, we’re going to look at the steps you should take. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day…

STEP #1 – Determine the worst offenders in your makeup bag

Once you know the chemicals which cause problems, you can decide which of your beauty items to get rid of. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that every product is going to be a problem because it’s probably not true. The chances are that you have some items which are fine for continued use. By cutting out the main offenders, you may even be able to justify letting a few questionable ingredients slip through.

Take some time to sit down and empty your makeup bag. Look at the ingredients on each item, and put them in a keep, or get rid pile. You don’t have to get rid of the ‘get rid’ things the moment you’re finished. Simply keep them separate from the rest of your collection, and set to work finding replacements.

STEP #2 – Research

You won’t be able to find alternatives without doing a bit of research. There’s no denying that this may seem like hard work. In the past, you just went to the shop and bought what took your fancy. But, while the initial stages do need effort you’ll soon find alternative methods just as easy to come by.

The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Some brands, like the ones listed here, use no chemicals in their makeup products. Once you know what brands to use, it really will be as simple as it once was.

Or, you might want to go even further by developing some homemade options. Certain key ingredients will mean you can do just about anything beauty-wise. Coconut oil, for example, is fantastic as a highlighter, makeup remover, moisturizer, and much more. It’s also worth stocking up on essential oils. Tea tree oil can rid you of spots, while almond oil can act as a natural exfoliator.

Cocoa Bronzer

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try making your beauty products from items you have in your cupboard. It’s possible to make foundations and bronzers using cocoa powder and cornstarch. Your coconut and essential oils will help you here, too. Many homemade makeups use coconut oil, vitamin E oil, and aloe vera, among others.

It’s worth bearing in mind that most of the harmful chemicals in our makeup is there to preserve a longer life. So, making your own, or buying fresh options may be all it takes to cut the chemicals.

STEP #3 – Start your new makeup collection

Once you know what you’re doing, you can set about starting your new makeup collection. As you won’t want to be wasteful, it’s worth using your get rid items until they’re gone. Use that time to accumulate a new collection you can turn to. The chances are that you already have some sort of makeup setup. We all love a makeup stand or two, and what woman doesn’t have a makeup bag she can take on the go with her?

But, times are changing, and so too should your makeup collection. You can always keep the old pieces, but it’s also worth stocking up on some new stuff. You might want to get an essential oil carrying case so that you can keep your oils in one place. You might also want to get a cute jar in which to keep your coconut oil. Empty plastic pots are also essential if you’re planning to make your own. You need to know that you have somewhere in which to keep your creations. Bear in mind that these don’t need to be huge. Your makeup will only have a short lifespan, so small pots are all you need. It might also be worth stocking up on some labels so you can keep track of what’s what!

STEP #4 – Don’t be disheartened if at first you don’t succeed

Our last, but possibly most important point, is that you shouldn’t get disheartened if you don’t succeed straight away. The main reason people fail to make a natural beauty routine stick is that they lose patience. But, it’s important you don’t do the same. Think back to when you were finding your footing in the makeup world. The chances are that you didn’t stumble across the perfect products straight away.

Your natural foray will be no different, and that’s okay. In fact, it’ll be cheaper than your first makeup excursions because you’re making a lot of the items yourself! So, give yourself a break, and don’t be afraid to admit when a recipe or product isn’t working. Take the time to determine what’s missing, and rectify the issue for next time.

To keep yourself motivated, pay real attention to any improvements in your skin. Even if you haven’t found products you love just yet, there are likely some benefits to enjoy. Use these to inspire yourself that you’re on the right path.

So, there you have it. A four step guide to a chemical free beauty regime. How fast you take these steps is down to you. You could take a year on the research stage if that’s what you need. The point is that this is your journey, and you should take it at your pace. You may well be chemical free before you even know you’re doing it. The point is that you start the journey, and see where it takes you!

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




I used to have really bad skin. In middle school, my forehead was constantly broken out. Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand how skincare worked so I was essentially burning my skin off with Stridex, causing it to produce more oil and break out more. Luckily, towards the end of high school, a friend of mine introduced me to a facial moisturizer that was actually made for skin prone to breakouts, and I got hooked.

Unfortunately, around this time, I also got hooked on full face of makeup every damn day. I was putting layers on layers of foundation on to cover the cystic acne that came from unhealthy lifestyle choices in college- not drinking enough water, drinking too much everything else, eating crap, not sleeping enough… you get the picture. My skin got very little time to breathe and I wasn’t worried a bit about providing it with any sun protection either.

While I still break out along my chin during certain times of the month, if I’m stressed/ sick, or if I don’t wash my face well enough when I do use foundation (maybe a couple times a month), my skin is so much happier with me now that I treat it with care, not aggression. This summer I’ve tried two products that I want to compare for my real-girl women on the go.

While we’re on the subject of makeup… my amazing sister in law is donating the entirety of her profit on her sales from her Limelight shop to victims of Hurricane Harvey through tomorrow night! If you were looking to try a new brand or color, now is it! Just join her VIP Facebook group  and click on any of the shopping links. I got myself a cupcake gloss!)

e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream SPF 20||Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer

While the e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream SPF 20 had heavier coverage, it might have actually been too heavy. This may be a weird thing to criticize, but it was difficult to wash off my hands after applying it and left my fingers feeling dry. That being said, it did cover up my blemishes quite nicely- almost with the thickness of a foundation. It also left the same feeling on my skin as a foundation when I removed it, which I wasn’t crazy about. I do appreciate the SPF 20 as should we all, and for $6, it really packs a punch. Honestly, for that price, I’d probably buy it again to use as foundation in a pinch while traveling or if I run out of the real stuff, but I might not go back to it for my every day.

The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer is much lighter coverage. Enhancer is definitely the right word because it certainly doesn’t cover much. The trade-off is that my skin is happier with this product and there really isn’t a whole lot I need to cover. Honestly, if I do my whole routine with bronzer, highlighter, blush and all- this works plenty well as a base. By the end of the day, my skin still feels moisturized. It is double the price of the e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream SPF 20- but that only brings it to $12.99, still making it budget friendly. There’s an SPF 20 in this one too and I have to claim it as my favorite for everyday face. Usually, it’s just this stuff, mascara on my top lashes, and out the door.


e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream SPF 20||Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer

Let me know if you’ve tried either of these and what you think. Do you have a favorite everyday beauty product?

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




One thing that we all want as we get older is… well, to look young again! There are a lot of women out there who want to look younger and find themselves worrying about it on a daily basis. We try and dress and wear makeup which helps us to look younger than we are.

However, it’s easy to go wrong when trying to look younger. Here are some common errors people make when trying to look younger that can actually make them look older! (By the way, one of those errors may simply be worrying about it too much – so stop all that worrying!)

Age Defying Face Mask

They wear too much makeup

One common error people make when trying to look younger is they wear too much makeup. They think that it will make them to look more youthful, but it often has the opposite effect. Too much makeup damages your skin and can cause wrinkles. You need to avoid wearing too many powder products such as foundation. Applying too much powder during the day can end up accentuating wrinkles. Therefore, you will end up looking older than you are! You need to use just a few products to highlight your best features and show off your beautiful appearance.

They don’t have a good skincare regime

Another common error people make when trying to look younger is they don’t have a good skin regime. You need to ensure you have a good cleanser and moisturizer which you can use every day. A lot of people think soap is good to help them maintain youthful skin. But it will make your skin dry out, so you will suffer from more breakouts. Also, be careful not to exfoliate your skin too much. It can cause redness and acne which can make your skin age quicker.

They neglect exercise

Exercise is an essential part of making sure you stay younger. There are a lot of reasons why exercise works; it reduces stress, which will give you wrinkles. It helps you sleep, which keeps your skin tight and your eyes alert. Of course, you need to make sure you’re taking on an exercise regime, you need to make sure you’re not stressing yourself out or even injuring yourself. Make sure you’re exercising safely and using a good schedule; you can read comparisons of P90x3 schedule vs P90x and P90x2. Looking younger isn’t just a case of adding things to your skin or avoiding certain skincare acts; you also need to ensure you’re taking steps to improve your overall health.

They spend too much time out in the sun

People head out in the sunshine as they think it will help them to look younger. They hope it will give them glowing and youthful skin, but in fact, too much sun will harm your skin and cause wrinkles. Also, burnt skin will lead to dark spots that can age your face. You should always use a good sun lotion when heading out in the sun, so that you can protect your skin. Don’t forget to pack it in your bag to take out with you, as you will need to top up every two hours.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




There has definitely been a rise in people showing an interest in the health of their skin over the past couple of years. With so many products on offer, it can be hard to know exactly where to start with it all. It’s not an overwhelming process unless you make it so; the most important thing that you need to consider is staying on top of your routine to be able to see a difference in your skin, as well as possibly changing parts of your lifestyle to give yourself the best start.

All Natural Foaming Face Wash

Drink More Water

Good skin starts with good hydration. Before you start with any other products, pick up the most natural product of all and start drinking more water. You should aim for at least eight glasses per day, if not a few more. This isn’t just good for your skin, but your body on the whole – and especially your brain. You’ll be increasing your focus and concentration, meaning that you’ll be able to think more clearly about what you are doing in regards to your skincare routine. Not only that, but you’ll begin to notice the difference in your skin within a couple of days; blemishes tend to clear up a lot more quickly when they’ve got water to work with.

Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize

As long as you get down the basics, you can build on from there. The Big 3 to have is a cleanser, a toner and a moisturizer. It’s a good idea to follow a guide to skin care if you aren’t sure about how much to use and where to use it. There are companies that offer what you need in bundles in order to get you the basics without having to shop around for it, but it doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to stick with the same line of products. You may find that mixing and matching suits your skin better; we all have different skin types, and while one brand may be great for your best friend, it could bring you out in a rash or leave your skin feeling more dry or oily than usual. Don’t be afraid to have a play around with what you think may suit, and if you don’t get on with a product, don’t give up on skincare all together – there will be something out there for you.

Look For Incorporated Products

Makeup brands are becoming wise as to the benefits that people are looking for when they choose their beauty products. Some foundations and facial creams have started adding in sunray filters, with UVA and UVB deflectors being present within to protect your skin. Look for the brands which have teamed up with skincare companies to bring you the best of both worlds  – it’s not too much to ask that something that you wear every day is looking after your skin rather than making it worse. It’s getting straight to the point and could be saving you quite a bit of time during your daily routine.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!