Tuesday Reviews Day 13th December 2016: Get Your Glitter On (& a giveaway!)

Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

I’ve long been particular about my style and appearance.  As an early teen I remember scouring several branches of Topshop to find the belted cardigan that most resembled the one featured on the Calvin Klein catwalk (and then getting hacked off when other stores started stocking similar ones too).  Around the same time, I saved my pocket money until I could afford to go to the big department store in a nearby city to buy the just released Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat and was super chuffed when the sales assistant gave me a load of extra samples too.

Now I’m a freelance writer with an interest in fashion and beauty, I spend even more time thinking about and researching lovely things.  When I write about articles, I try to place them in their broader context and discuss their significance and meaning too.  I don’t want my work to read like a fluffed up press releases.  That said, it seems daft for me to not find a way to simply and quickly share some of the products I come across in the line of work and pleasure if I think other people might like them.

As a result, I’ve decided to introduce ‘Tuesday Reviews Day’ to my blog.  Each week’s listicle will will feature a handful of products, ranging from bargain beauty buys to best biscuits (I’m lining up a festive special on that one already!).  I’m not an affiliate so I don’t stand to gain from recommending anything that I include – every item listed is genuinely something that I think warrants a shout out.

I hope that you find this new feature both a fit of fun and useful too.  Let me know if your thoughts on what I’ve included and whether you’ve been tempted to try any!

Last week we looked at how to get festive with your appearance without losing your sense of style by using burgundy cosmetics and accessories.  This week I’d like to put forward another perennial Christmas trend: glitter.  Anything that shimmers or sparkles seems fair game in December but it doesn’t have to be dramatic or gaudy.  There are lots of easy ways to add a bit of fairy dust to your outfits without looking like you’ve fallen off the top of a heavily decorated tree!

One style I love is a suggestion from this month’s Harper’s Bazaar to just add a glittery nail varnish around the crescent and one edge of each nail.  I don’t have the manicure skills to pull this off myself but am sure many of you out there can, or you could ask your beautician to create the effect for you.

WAH nail varnish in Roma's Ruin & Schrager's Touch || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
WAH nail varnish in Roma’s Ruin & Schrager’s Touch || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

Even full on glitter nails, whether on one finger, several or all of them, is a nod to the sparkly trend without too great a commitment.  Some sheer glitter nail varnishes look great over the top of other colours but if you’re looking for a standalone polish then check out WAH‘s offerings.  This brand du jour, with a newly opened must-visit nail salon in Soho, has two outstanding options in this field, classic gold (Roma’s Ruin) and silver (Schragers Touch).  They retail at £9 each and both are densely packed with pieces of glitter that you can build up thin layer at a time to amazing effect.

 

GIVEAWAY!

I like these two products so much that I’m going to offer them in my first Tuesday Reviews Day giveaway!  If you’d like to win both Roma’s Ruin and Schragers Touch, then simply share one of my blog posts on social media over the next 24 hours (and tag me so that I see it) and you will be entered into the prize draw.  I’ll select a winner at 21:00 GMT on Wednesday evening.

[The giveaway winner is Jill Axon]

Glitter giveaway! || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Glitter giveaway! || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Blush Sparkle

I’ll also include in the giveaway another little product that’s great for adding a bit of Christmas sparkle to your look.  I picked up a Blush Sparkle pot of Fine Snow White Sparkles  (£3.50) at the Clothes Show Live recently.  There were numerous stalls offering similar goods but what stood out for me was the subtle look that the stallholders themselves were demonstrating.  Rather than full on bling, their products were used gently as highlighter, eyeshadow and lip covering.  Also the sparkles themselves are really teeny tiny and fine, although Blush Sparkle does offer a chunkier range too (as well as lots of different colours – there’s something for everyone on their website).  Simply apply a thin smear of Vaseline then add the glitter as you wish on top.  Simple, sparkle.

Dune shoes || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Dune shoes || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

My personal favourite way of wearing glitter is on my feet.  If you’re uncertain about trying out a new trend of any sort, shoes are a good way in, allowing you to nod to a new look without the full on commitment of a head-to-toe outfit.  Almost two years ago I splashed out on some flat sparkly shoes from Dune and they’ve pepped up many a party outfit since.  If you’re looking for a pair this Christmas then Kurt Geiger is the place to go.  They’ve everything from flats to heels with bows – even sparkly trainers.  If I didn’t have my silver numbers then I’d definitely be tempted by their block heel gold ones.

 

 

Goodwill bag || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Goodwill bag || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

Like shoes, another easy way to integrate a bit of glitter into your wardrobe is with a bag.  My beaded purse, covered in small pearls, sparkles all year round but particularly gets used in December.  I picked it up at a Goodwill store but obviously charity shops don’t have guaranteed stock!  A good alternative is to look on Ebay, where you’ll find hundreds listed under glittery, sparkly or metallic bag.  They don’t have to be evening bags either.  Last week I spied a woman in Friends House Cafe toting a beautiful silver leather shopping bag that was ideal for daytime; upon enquiry I learnt it was from Kin by John Lewis but alas it’s not this season and I can’t track it down (purely for research purposes, of course!).  I regret not asking to take a picture of this beaut as it just goes to show that in December at least you can get your glitter on any time of the day or night.  Make the most of this time to sparkle.

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Longing for a Quiet December

It’s 1st December.  How the heck has that happened? 

vision-board
My 2016 vision board || raeritchie.com

Glancing to my right, I see the vision board that I made right back at the start of January and I think about the goals I was aiming for.  Some I’ve achieved, others are still outstanding.  Life has got in the way of certain plans.  The mental health issues sadly scuppered getting married (and yes, I know it’s just postponed but I still feel both sad and angry about this).  There are a few things that I just need to get on and sort out in order to get done: going horse riding, for instance, or reading Middlemarch (if finishing it within a month is ambitious then I could at least get started).

Only trouble is that I can’t be arsed.  I could go a considerable way to achieving the remaining goals which I set myself in the time that is left, only I just don’t have the inclination or the energy.  Last week I may have written (with the help of friends and readers) a blog post about the good aspects of the maligned year that has been 2016, but I still can’t wait to turn over the first page of a new calendar.  January offers a fresh start which, however mythical, feels appealing right now.

a-quiet-december
Woolacombe Beach, Devon, 31st December 2015 || raeritchie.com

What does this desire to get to 2017 mean for the rest of 2016?  Is my urge to begin again affecting my attitude toward the month we have left?  The answer is most definitely yes.

I love whole festive season but this year my enthusiasm is seriously dampened.  My partner and I had the Christmas discussion on Saturday evening and he rightfully pointed out that my sigh and groan when mentioning Christmas cards was a sign that I ought to not bother sending any this year.  We are also having debates about the tree.  Last November going to choose one from a nearby Christmas tree farm was one of the highlights of my whole year and I waxed lyrical about it to anyone who would listen.  This year we’re considering get a pre-potted one from a supermarket or maybe not even bothering at all.

This lack of vim and vigour bears no relation to actual demands or levels of responsibility.  We only have eleven gifts to get between us.  We’re even going away on Christmas Day thus are avoiding much of the season’s labour – cooking, hosting, trying to keep everyone pleased – but even so the impending holiday feels like hard work that I don’t have the energy for.

What to do?

My instinct is to go full throttle, ramping up the gears from now until the end of the month in an attempt to jump start myself into feeling Christmassy.  That would be my usual approach – forcing myself to be festive to fit in with my self-image as someone who loves Christmas.  I’d be forcing myself because of what I think it means if I don’t turn on the bells and whistles – that I’m a curmudgeonly, negative miser who doesn’t value the opportunity that this time of year offers to truly connect with family and friends while celebrating the best that life has to offer (usually in the form of edible substances).

Glade Jul (Happy Christmas) by Viggo Johansen (1891) - my favourite image of Christmas & one that for me evokes the softness and comfort of a quiet December || raeritchie.com
Glade Jul (Happy Christmas) by Viggo Johansen (1891) – my favourite image of Christmas & one that for me evokes the softness and comfort of a quiet December

I don’t want to be that person, but nor do I want to cajole myself into an emotional state that doesn’t fit.  Moreover, that approach never works.  Instead I need to go with the flow of how I’m feeling.  I need to let go of the shoulds and oughts and focus on what is.  I need to accept that however much is actually going on in my life, this festive season is a quiet one; sombre, even, given the events of the year in both my own life and the world at large.  The prospect of a quiet December makes me breathe deeply as my shoulders relax.

A quiet December, no goal setting or added demands, feels good.

A quiet December…but we may still get a tree.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you would share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

New year…but Christmas first

Anyone else out there feeling the new year vibe yet?  Or is it just me?  Please tell me I’m not alone…although perhaps I am!  Whereas a month or so ago January seemed out of sight, now it is coming into vision.  Much of what has been happening here at A Life Of One’s Own lately focuses around the end of this year and the early months of 2015.  I’ve begun planning a new year workshop and am also in discussions about running a short course on journaling in January and February. 

As well as these two events, my mind has started to scheme and hatch up other dreams and goals for 2015, both in my personal and professional life.  Maybe it’s because I’ve made more progress than I ever could imagined at the beginning of 2014 and now I’m keen to push further, to develop fresh ambitions.  Maybe it’s because the long dark nights are a bit depressing and looking ahead to the new year and the promise of spring is a means of escapism.  Either way, I have that clean slate, fresh start 1st January feeling in my bones.

There is, of course, one problem with that: namely, that there are still forty-two days to go until we get to 2015.  I don’t want to miss out on being present in the here and now, in my actual life, by dreaming and scheming for the future. 

In particular, I don’t want to miss out on all the joy and excitement of Christmas.  I want to show up for every single day and drink in the glitter and the sparkle and the warm fuzzy glow of it all. 

I want to be able to do this even though I have some major work deadlines before then.  Even though I haven’t thought about my Christmas shopping yet.  Even though this Christmas Day will be totally different from every other one I’ve ever had.  Even though I haven’t a clue when the final posting date for New Zealand is and that information would be really useful right now*. 

How am I going to do this?  By opening up to the suggestions I put forward in 24 Days Before , the advent journey that I’ve created.  I designed 24 Days Before to support participants in reaching in and reaching out at what is generally the craziest time of the year, and I’ve realized that I need that support as much as anyone – so I’ll be joining in opening the daily email along with those women from around the world who have already signed up for it.          

If you want to join us on this journey and explore ways to deepen a sense of meaning and connection during December, all the details are over on the 24 Days Before page.  

42 days until the end of the year…why not share a journey for 24 of them?

* The answer is 3rd December.  I just looked it up.  All the final posting dates from the UK are detailed here.