n this day and age, bloggers and vloggers are constantly appearing on our social media streams. It seems that every day they have a new eyeshadow palette or a new style of high heel to show their followers. The secret here is that the majority of them get numerous PR packages containing new brand releases as gifts. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely incredible for them, but for us mere mortals who don’t appear on a PR mailing list, it certainly feels unrealistic. How do I keep up with all these new launches and new trends? The answer is, you don’t. You could try and do it cheaply, but frankly it is far easier to be smart about it. Do you really need that purple highlighting powder? Are those jeans with the rips underneath your bum really going to work for you? These are questions that you can ask yourself before you buy anything that will eventually save you time and money. Consider each purchase carefully, do I really need this? Or am I buying into the hype? Will the product suit my style and my body shape? So, try to be trend-savvy and only spend that hard-earned cash on things you really need and really love.
Ditch the clutter
This advice goes hand in hand with tip number one. Remember that pair of jeans you had four years ago that you keep because one day they will fit again? It’s time to let them go. Or at least put them away in storage. No one wants to be reminded of your freshman fifteen on the daily. Donate clothes that you haven’t worn in a year and a half. They are only cluttering up your space and are making it harder to pick an outfit you actually like. You will feel so much more zen after you finish this clean-out. I don’t know if I quite buy into the whole ‘life changing magic of tidying up’ thing, but it definitely helps you feel more in control of your life. The same goes for beauty products. Many of these products actually have a sell-by date which tell you when you should keep them until. For example, foundation is reported to last from between twelve-to eighteen months. Mascara should be changed every six months and lipstick after one year. Of course, these are only guidelines, and I definitely keep products a little longer than I should but it is something to keep in mind.
Drink more water
If I stop reminding myself to do this then I admit defeat. Drinking water helps just about everything in your life. Okay, it won’t make that guy from your elective fancy you back, but it can fix some other problems. Firstly, it has been found that drinking water can majorly help your skin. From avoiding dry skin to helping to remove impurities, your face will be sure to thank you for taking in all that H20 and will generally be more glowy. Even without the skincare benefits, drinking water makes you feel like a better human. You are less likely to aimlessly snack and more likely to feel more energetic. Ever spent a few hours in the library and come out with a pounding headache? It might not be the fluorescent lights and the impending deadlines, you may just be dehydrated. Some useful ways of taking in more water is to buy a refillable two litre container and make a pact with yourself to finish it by the end of the day. If like me, everything is ten times more fun if there is a competition, this works a treat. An additional idea is to add in some chopped up fruit segments or squash to introduce some flavour. This is a resolution I personally really have to work on.
In an ideal world, we would all be professionally preened and groomed on the daily. However, us students have to be resourceful with budgeting. Of course, it feels great to get your nails done every two weeks but that cost builds up. A shellac costs you €35 in most salons. If you are getting one every two weeks, that will cost you about €850 a year. That’s a return long haul flight somewhere when you put it into perspective. The same can be said for make-up applications, curly blow-outs, professional waxing and facials. Some things we just cannot do ourselves (at home bikini waxes – just don’t do that to yourself!), but some things we can. YouTube has endless video tutorials on how to carry out your favourite treatments yourself. If you just can’t get the knack of it, ask a friend. I have a few people who can do a smoky eye just as good as the best in the business. When you do choose to get your hair or make-up done for a big event, it will feel all the more special and you will have some extra cash to spend on your gin & tonics.
SPF is key
We live in Ireland? Where is the sun? The truth is, SPF is important in Ireland as well as in LA. Not only is sun the primary cause of premature skin ageing, but far more importantly, exposure to the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer, which has been on the rise in recent years. Wearing SPF on your skin every day can really help and you don’t need to spend an absolute fortune on it either. My favourite options actually come from the French skincare brands found in every pharmacy. They do their job but also don’t clog up your skin. When I do get into the ‘real sun’ for that week in the summer, I promise to be careful with reapplying my sun protection. As much as every Irish person loves the prospect of having a tan, being healthy and not having leather looking skin when I’m older are far more important in the long-run. Pass the Sally Hansen, please?
Fiona Keaveney – Fashion Writer