Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment

So when the Professor announced her new monthly theme post, the dog days of summer, I was excited to participate but it's a difficult one for me because I don't tend to enjoy hot weather all that much.

My favourite seasons are spring and autumn because of their transitional nature, not to mention the milder weather! I would much prefer a sightseeing holiday with museums and monuments rather than a beach holiday. So for me, although summer means camping and barbecues (which I love), it mostly just ends up with me trying to find ways to stay cool. Especially now, just ten days from my due date, this unusual heat wave we have been experiencing here in England has not been too pleasant for me. I think my next baby will have to be planned for a better time of year!

Dressing all in black is hard enough in the summer anyway, without being pregnant! So for the most part I have had to just make some style compromises and reassure myself that it won't last forever.  I'm hardly wearing foundation or heavy makeup just lately, and I really miss it. But BB creams with light eyeliner and lipstick are just fine. I don't half miss my false lashes, but unless I'm going to be spending time in an air conditioned environment that day they just aren't worth the hassle in the heat. I've also been having to wear my hair up alot more, which is annoying because my hair tends to kink really easily,  so once I have put it up its going to have to stay that way until next wash day. For some reason I also haven't even been wearing jewellery,  I don't know if it's laziness or what though, all I'm wearing at the moment is the black plastic jewellery that I wear in my stretched ear piercings and my lip ring, which I never take out anyway.

Even my dress sense has dramatically simplified itself in the heat, but limited materity wear choices might also have something to do with it, it's like a gothy-summer-maternity-capsule-wardrobe.  I have four identical black vests, one pair of plain leggings and one printed pair, two long black skirts, two short, and three oversized band shirts. I'm not even wearing cardigans or jackets, let alone socks or shoes! My feet are the most tanned part of my body!

But on the plus side, I have rekindled my love affair with all sorts of frozen goodies!  I have to drinking bottles on rotate in the freezer which I fill with juice or water, and half a million different types of ice lollies. The best ones by far have to be Asda's £1 for 6 super sour juice lollies. They are perfect for my sour cravings! Mmmm citric acid....

So for me dog days of summer is more about lifestyle adaptations than anything else. I don't drive, and walking can be difficult these days, meaning I only tend to go out on days when the bus won't be unbearably hot or someone is nice enough to drive me somewhere. But seeing as I haven't gotten around to getting myself a parasol yet (been on the wishlist soo long!) I still have my trusty umbrella!

Me at Download Festival with my zebra printed spiked leather handle brolly!

Hopefully things will cool down soon enough, summertime never lasts in England! But at least the long summer evenings mean staying out late and enjoying views like this one :)

Bristol harbourside at sunset 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Going grey...

Ok so this post isn't quite what it says on the tin. However,  pregnancy has done some weird things to my hair lately... I've found at least four blond and ginger hairs hiding amongst my root regrowth,  and one grey. Shock horror. Must bleach hair ASAP. At least I can laugh about it anyway, and blame it on pregnancy! ;)

But back to my original intention... this post is just a quick face-of-the-day, based around my new Manic Panic lipstick, reviewed  here. It can be a little difficult to choose what sort of colours to wear on the eyes with a lot of lipsticks, so when I'm in doubt I either go with plain black or I go matchy-matchy. So this time I went with grey eyeshadow for my grey lipstick, I hope you like!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Pregnancy update: pre-baby hopes and dreams

So I'm now 36 weeks pregnant and the clock is ticking faster than ever! I haven't blogged much about my pregnancy here, so if you're curious then take a peek at my pregnacy/mummy blog over at Young Goth Mama (me? Mummy blogger?! Haha!). But with only four/six maximum weeks to go I find myself really looking forwards to what I've got coming. Number one, BABY IS COMING SOON! Although so far I think I've been pretty patient, the past few weeks I have been getting increasingly excited about getting to meet our little bundle. I keep holding little baby grows and cuddling them imagining baby wearing them and cuddling me right back. I keep having dreams about childbirth, although they are actually pretty pleasant experiences and the focal point of the dream always ends up being whether baby is a boy or a girl and what he/she looks like.

I'm almost completely ready for baby's arrival now, with the exception of making up the crib bedding and other minor details. So theres also more time for me to be thinking about myself. When the pregnancy hormones are no longer in my way I'm hoping that my skin will be less dry and more manageable,  but mainly I can't wait to dye my hair again. I haven't bleached my hair throughout the entire pregnancy (because of a disastrous patch test at about 15 weeks pregnant,  plenty of other people have no problems dying their hair in pregnancy and when practiced safely is fine to do so, just not for me unfortunately) so I have about 2-3 inches of regrowth. I have continued with the non permanent dyes just to keep my colour bright, but now I'm bored again and want to go a completely new colour! I think I might keep that one a surprise ;)

I'm also really looking forward to joining Batfit along with The Curious Professor Z and many others. Yay!

Obviously after having the baby I will be having to take it easy for a while and get used to looking after both myself and a newborn, so I'm going to take it steady but I'm definitely in! Having only gained about 8 kilos so far in the pregnancy I'm feeling quitr positive,  although I have to admit I wasn't in the best of shape to start with, at least I haven't got a ton of baby weight to battle through first. The main thing for me is feeling good and having my old clothes fit me properly anyway, I really try not to even think about numbers most of the time. Which also gives me excuses to shop, as I may not have any clothes to fit me for a while when I will be in between maternity sizes and my old size.

I'm thinking about making a clothes wishlist... especially since I don't want to go overboard with it. So thats my little update :) staying positive with many exciting things coming up soon!

Ps. Heres a belly photo for you! ;)

Friday, 11 July 2014

Ethical consumerism and going cruelty free

So over the past few weeks I have been doing alot of research on this subject, and what started as a desire to seek out more natural and eco friendly products has turned into a determination to go cruelty free in my shopping habits too. It started when my pregnancy had caused my eczema to flare up, and I had to start being extra vigilant about what I used on my skin in order to avoid further exacerbation of the condition. I began to think deeply about the chemicals I was coming into contact with in daily life, and what I could do to reduce the risk of my having a reaction to these chemicals.

I had already decided to use cloth nappies and eco disposable nappies for my baby where available,  and have now converted to non biological natural laundry detergent both in preparation for my baby's arrival and to help my eczema. Not to mention how many fewer nasty chemicals I am not releasing into the water supply by doing this.

Another big issue for me was the whole cruelty free cosmetics thing. I think I must have seen it mentioned on another blog somewhere, and the more I read into it the more I couldn't understand why there wasn't more awareness on the subject, and why I myself hadn't given it much thought until now. Which I still can't work out. So I researched and researched, and found more and more huge brands that are not cruelty free,  and vowed to change my own buying habits as a cosmetic consumer.

Don't get me wrong, I won't throw away products I already own that aren't cruelty free or anything, (because that would be throwing away the majority of my makeup bag and something I just can't afford to replace) but I am making a huge effort into now avoiding the 'big baddies' when buying new products or replacing old ones. There were even products I thought were fine, like my MAC foundation. It turns out after always having brand values that were against animal testing, in the last two years (I think) MAC have quietly now gone the other way because they now sell their products in China, a country that still requires by law that products be tested on animals before they can be sold there. Disappointing to say the least. You really have to dig deep and keep checking up on companies that are and aren't cruelty free, for if and when they change their practices, it could happen under our noses at any time.  Alot of people also won't buy from brands that are cruelty free, but owned by a parent company who is NOT cruelty free. Its a whole web of complex issues that I think are very much a personal moral decision one needs to make alone. I personally would buy from a cruelty free brand owned by a 'big bad' parent company, because no matter who owns them their own values are still their own. Not to mention the fact that all products and ingredients WILL have been tested on animals at some point in time,  and theres not a great deal we can do about that now.

It is hard work to go cruetly free, especially when you already own products you like and that work well for you. I can't say I actually have many of those anyway (maybe apart from my Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner, which although I have used religiously for around four years I will not be repurchasing now with my new knowledge) but it does add a complex new criterion to my cosmetics shopping list. If I thought finding a pale enough foundation with full coverage thats suitable for my dry skin was a task, throwing cruelty free into the mix makes things even more difficult!

But the internet will guide me! When searching for a new product I use these steps; first, search what I need e.g pale foundation; secondly type is *insert recommended brand* cruelty free into my search bar (and confirm cruelty free status via SEVERAL sites); third,  I then read reviews on sites like makeup alley so I will know if said products are actually any good. And intensive way to shop, but worth it in the end.

Sorry for such a long and ranty post, I just wanted to talk a little bit about a subject that I have recently become enlightened upon, and how I can respect this planet (and its other occupants) more by just changing small parts of my everyday life. Don't even get me started on recycling.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Style icon: Mean Girls' Janis Ian

Ok so Janis Ian is a fictional character,  but she still kicks ass. Anyone under the age of 30 has surely seen teen movie Mean Girls, and if you haven't then you need to. It probably one of the most quotable films of it's decade. Hilarious.  And completely sums up most kids horrific school experiences in a most relatable fashion.

Tons more witty and defining Mean Girls quotes here

Janis Ian is probably my favourite character in the film, mostly because she is scary, sarcastic and rocks the goth aesthetic of big hair, black eyes. I like to copy her look sometimes,  mostly on days like today when I'm wearing an insanely girly white summer dress. You know, just to be subversive ;)

My best attempt at looking mean. 

I love stealing style ideas from characters and real alternative women, maybe I'll turn this one into a feature!