Thursday, 17 April 2014

Confidence vs. Cocky


I don't think there has ever been a better time in my life than right now to discuss the very narrow, and often blurred, line between being confident and being arrogant. Being English, I've been brought up to believe that you shouldn't talk about you're positive attributes and achievements, and to do so can be rude and arrogant. However, in the last year I've come to realise that this has been a hindrance to my life.

If you follow me on twitter, you'll know that I've been going for quite a lot of job interviews lately. Some of these interviews have been group ones, with team tasks, and some just a normal panel interview. Last year I noticed that my friends who were from a different country were progressing a lot faster and more successfully than I, despite me having higher academic grades. The only difference I noticed was that they were so much forward with their confidence in their ability than me.

It made sense that an employer would want someone who will attempt challenging work rather than someone who doubts there ability at every level. After all, if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will. Employers only get to base there opinion of you over a short period of time, therefore all they have to go on is what you do and say. If you say nothing, but are silent confident, that confidence may go unnoticed.

For the last year and a half I've put my theory to the test and the results have been pretty much unanimous. Since I've visibly believed in myself (opposed to just thinking it), the number of opportunities I've had in all aspects of my life is incredible. I am now doing my dream job, excelling at university and infinitely happier in myself. All because I turned my back on that traditional value of being confident. 

I will admit that there is a line between confident and cocky and is hopefully one I've never crossed. There's have conviction in your ability and then there's having an inflated view of yourself. However, the negative attitude surrounding someone who is positive about their characteristics and achievements confuses me. If you've worked hard and developed skills and qualifications making you suitable for a role, why are you hiding it like it's something to be ashamed of? Surely you should be shouting it from the rooftops and be proud, not embarrassed.

It's a controversial one, but I for one am glad I turned my back on that traditional value, I'm certainly a lot more positive about everything now. Like I said, without believing in my ability I wouldn't have been as driven at interviews. Funnily enough, my employer stated that it was my drive that made me stand out and got me the job. Aside from that, having confidence has made me happier in general. I'll try new things not worrying about making mistakes, but if I do, I'll shrug off then off and learn from them. I belief that I am good enough. If most people want to believe this, why do people have a negative attitude to those who do?

What do you think?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Koren Zander Pro Brush Soap in Lemon

Brush Soap - £8.50

One thing that all makeup addicts agree on is the effort needed to clean your brushes. I'm all for looking after my brushes but cleaning them does seem to be a bit of chore, even if it's only once a fortnight. Anything that can make it a little easier and quicker whilst still conditioning my brushes is going to be a winner for me. As for whether this soap ticks all those boxes? It depends on what make up products you use.

Contained in a little plastic case, the brush soap has two sides, a smooth side with a motif on, and a rough side. As the simple instructions on the lid state, you simply wet your brush, swipe it over the smooth side to apply some soap, and use the rough side to get rid of any product build-up. It's available in a variety of scents, or unscented if you prefer. I can only vouch for the lemon one, but whilst the scent is noticeable, it isn't overpowering. The scent lingers on your brushes ever so slightly once dry, but this didn't irritate my skin at all.

In practice though I found the soap didn't quite cut it for all my brushes. Whilst it was easy to use and great to store, it didn't remove all products. It worked amazing on those brushes with build up from powder based products, but struggled to remove all  of the residue from my liquid based ones. In particular, my liquid foundation (Rimmel Wake Me Up) proved to be too much for it regardless of how many times I swiped and used the rough side. I'm actually pretty gutted. This product is definitely value for money, and if you use a powder based foundation, this could make cleaning your brushes cheaper and quicker. For me, as my base is usually liquid based, it's a bit of a hassle using two different brush soaps for different brushes. 

How do you clean your brushes?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sephora + Pantone Universe: Radiant Rush Matte Lipstick

Lipstick - $18

When placing another Sephora order earlier this month, the first thing I wanted to get hold of was the lipstick from the Sephora and Pantone Collaboration. Ever since Radiant Orchid was announced as the Pantone Colour of the Year 2014, I began searching for products that fit the bill. Although I tried and found some great alternatives, I found myself still eyeing up the Sephora version. And with good reason. 

This is the best packaging I've seen this year. My favorite colour is pink so it was always going to be a winner, but even so, the ombre is beautiful. From it's outer-packing you can just tell it's going to be special and it simply screams to be displayed. The shade itself is a beautiful pink/purple hybrid with blue under tones. I say a hybrid because it's neither one or the other; ask more than one person and you're going to get a variety of answers. Pink usually doesn't flatter me, but this does and I've received a lot of complements on my lip colour when wearing it. It's bright as the swatch suggests, but not so vibrant that only the most confident can pull it off. In fact, it has that magical ability, as lipsticks generally have, of giving you more confidence when you wear it. A bit confusingly this is actually a satin finish lipstick, despite the name indicating that it is a matte. The formula is creamy and applies effortlessly. It did take two swipes to get a vivid colour on me, but that may be as my lips are quite darkly pigmented. It does tend to cling slightly to dry patches so exfoliation and an application of balm beforehand is advised. However, once on, it is virtually undetectable and doesn't dry out your lips at all.  It has a lasting power of 4-5 hours before it needs touching up, but leaves a lovely stain if you haven't got the time. From the packaging to the formula, I'm in love and keen to try more Sephora lipsticks! This may prove to be once of my most used lipsticks this summer.

I have another post coming up all about the cheek palette from this collection too, so look out for that!