This week, in the jungle … Vol. 8

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Recently I was offered a free makeover at the Benefit counter in a local department store. Years ago I wore more make -up and wouldn’t feel comfortable going outside without it on. But nowadays I don’t wear much make-up and I avoid certain ingredients in my products. However, I was caught off-guard so I said yes and booked in an appointment. My makeover took place on Friday. All week I was thinking to myself just cancel, it’ll be a waste of time and your skin won’t like it; but I was quite curious about what they would do, whether I could learn anything, and how it would leave me feeling (and looking).

I met my boyfriend afterwards because if you have your make-up done you might as well go for a few drinks! As I was waiting in front of the pub for him to turn up, I felt self-conscious as the make-up artist hadn’t held the mirror up to my face long enough for me to evaluate it properly. Later, when I went to the bathroom, I had a moment to inspect the handiwork. Granted, the finish of foundation on my face looked very porcelain perfect to me and a little too doll-like, but otherwise it was quite nice I supposed; but I felt strange, not myself.

When I got home, a few drinks and a pie later, I couldn’t wait to take the layers off. Why build up a more flawless version of yourself when your freckles and beauty marks and other imperfections make you you I thought? This weekend I’ve left my make-up in the drawer and let my natural face shine. I’ve never felt more at home in my own skin.

This week’s likes:

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Learning all about different types of medicinal plants on a free herb walk – playing with my friend’s baby and then being about to give him back – A pie-date with my love – Implementing strategies for being more productive at work and feeling the better for it – Creating my own crochet designs – Meeting lovely people to discuss exciting new volunteering opportunities

Watch – I’ve been watching the latest Danish hit series to be broadcast in the UK. It’s called 1864 and grapples with a senseless war and the destruction of communities and lives that follows. It’s a harrowing watch and stays with you long after you’ve watched an episode. I find myself thinking about it before I go to sleep, or during my early morning exercise. The cinematography and landscapes have something to do with it. It’s beautiful, but bleak. On a lighter note, I love that it’s in the original Danish with subtitles. I love listening to the Danish and occasionally recognising words that are similar to German (which I speak).

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Eat – Yummy venison pie at Pieminister. Indulgent, Scandinavian-inspired porridge with homemade plum compote and sour cream. A delicious oxtail stew with polenta, recipe to follow here later this week.

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Wear – My new eco-friendly Howie’s jeans with a black tunic, purple cardigan and a simple agate stone tied around my neck with a piece of hemp string.

Listen – On the way to work, Pearl Jam and Queens of the Stone Age. At work, BBC Radio 6 music. In the background, Gaz Coombs and California Breed.

Read – I started reading A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel early this week. A couple of chapters in I began to notice the parallels between reading this and watching 1864. Circumstances hurtle youngsters into the eye of the storm; I wonder whether they will end similarly too? I’ve switched from a paperback (His Dark Materials) to my e-reader for Mantel’s doorstop of a book. I enjoy switching between the old and new technologies. I don’t think I could give up physical books entirely, but the e-reader allows me to have my precious books with me without the load on my back.

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Have you ever questioned your relationship with make-up? What’s your attitude towards natural beauty and natural beauty products? I think I might write a series of posts soon about my skincare journey and the products I would recommend. Would you be interested in reading something like that?

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