Why I Gave Up Acting

There is no feeling in the world like being onstage in front of an audience. Absolutely nothing on earth compares to it. The panic that fills you moments before causes your mind go completely blank. Every single one of your lines and stage directions desert you and all you’re left with is the hammering of your own heart in your chest and in your ears, like white noise or the roar of the ocean. I’ve had (and still have) numerous nightmares where I’m about to go onstage and I have no idea what I’m doing there, who I’m meant to be playing or even what the play is and all I can do is try not to freak, make it up and hope no one notices and then as soon as I get onstage I wake up. And thats what it’s like in real life, like waking up from a dream, or being in a dream. As soon as you step out, trembling, into the lights there’s a flick of a switch and there you are, being that person, saying those words. You step out of yourself, you’re not thinking about what you’re doing you’re just doing it almost on auto pilot or as if you’re being remote controlled by someone backstage. You can’t see or hear anything except the other characters, you can’t even really hear yourself.

And then you find yourself exiting stage left and you suddenly snap back and you have no memory of what just happened. “How did it go? Was I good? Did I remember all my lines? Did they laugh?” Then slowly it starts to come back to you. “I took too long trying to get it out of my pocket! My shoelace was undone thank god I didn’t trip! They laughed so much at that bit I had to wait ages before saying my next line!” You compare notes with other people but they can barely remember either. Sometimes disastrous things happen like bits of set falling down but something stops you from breaking character and you all laugh or cry about it backstage. Usually something you think was a massive fuck up hasn’t even been noticed by the audience.

You come out for the curtain call with baited breath but a smile on your face. Just because an audience claps doesn’t alway mean they’ve enjoyed it. You can feel their energy when you come out, it radiates off of them and as a performer you feed off of it and in turn it creates an energy within you. You become like a plant in the sunlight and you need that energy to survive, otherwise you wilt.

“…her blood singing, ecstatic as she’d not been since she was a child. And it was over. There was rapturous applause. The three of them gripped hands and bowed three times, their hearts high as the moon… and over her shoulder Nell saw her mother, tearful, glowing, a look of wonder in her eyes, as if now she understood.” – Lucky Break, Esther Freud

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It’s those feelings that keep you going, that’s what your chasing. Being able to feel like that on a regular basis but it’s the chase that kills you. My Drama Teacher was right, maybe I wasn’t dedicated enough to do the boring stuff like spend all day writing letters to casting directors that would never even read them. Just before drama school I helped out at The Globe for a week, as a runner and general helper to the theatre assistant. One morning she asked me to help her get on top of all the letters and headshots they’d received. She had about 5 massive folders, she looked at one and went “Well that’s from last year so we can just bin those. We’ve got to be ruthless or we’ll be here forever!”
I’ll admit I’m not always the most self motivated person (I know, mental!) I’m motivated if I’m doing something I love but I also need to see my work come to fruition, to get positive reinforcement to know that I’m not doing it all for nothing and in most jobs that is the case. If you work hard you see results in one form or another but acting doesn’t work like that. I know people that are not only great actors but spend every single day doing “the boring stuff” writing to people, networking, schmoozing, self promoting, making themselves a nuisance if they have to and they still really struggle. I also know people that are average actors but are well connected so they get by a bit more. Just being good isn’t good enough but sadly neither is working hard. It’s timing, it’s who you know, it’s what colour your skin is, how you wear your hair, your body type (I once heard a director say of someone else “she’s too curvy to play an orphan” and I can’t swear that curvy was the word they actually used.) I’ve applied to casting breakdowns that literally described me, my ethnicity, my taste in music, my background, its actually uncanny! (Once the character even had my exact name, which isn’t exactly a common one) and I couldn’t even get auditions for any of them. How are you meant to put across how perfect you are for something in a short cover letter that again most people won’t even read? You send out so many a day how do you make each one stand out? Just getting your foot in the door, that’s the hardest part.

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My last Headshot

Obviously there are times when this pays off and you get an audition and you travel across London to sit in a room full of people who look just like you, or better versions of you. You get called into another room, you’re in there for 5 minutes, maybe 10 if you’re lucky and then you’re out. Whatever you did or said in there that’s it, thats the impression they have of you and they have it on tape. Then you either hear back or you don’t. Sometime’s you’ll have to do a callback, my agent got me an audition for the stage tour of Dinner Ladies and after the initial one I had to do two callbacks. During the 2nd one I had pretty much figured out that it was between me and one other girl, the night before I had torn my ACL at my staff Christmas party. At the time I didn’t know what I’d actually done to it, all I knew was that I was in a lot of pain, my knee was about three times its normal size and I couldn’t walk. I got a taxi to the audition, limped up the stairs and prayed I wouldn’t have to move around too much. I didn’t get the part. Was it because of the knee? Was it because I just wasn’t as good as the other girl? Was it because they thought she looked the part more? I don’t know and I’ll never know. You are prepared for the rejection and you do expect it 90% of the time but at the end of the day you’re still a human being so when you get down to something like the second callback stage you begin to think ok, I actually have a chance and thats when the rejection hits you the hardest. I was on holiday in New York once and I got two rejection emails in the same morning, I just burst into tears in the lobby of The Waldorf. For whatever reason I had expected to get those parts maybe because they were both from people I actually knew in one way or another and because of that I had a bit more hope. Maybe I was just upset because I was on holiday and caught off guard. The point is you never know how you’re really going to feel or why.

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In An Ambulance Stuck In Traffic

Lucky breaks are another thing that kind of don’t really exist because it actually needs to be lucky break after lucky break after lucky break. How often do we see unknown actors in massive roles and think this is it for them now, they’ve made it but then they disappear off the face of the earth and suddenly we’re all focused on the next big thing? It’s so fickle, there’s no formula to it and because of that it’s so hard to feel like you’re progressing. I didn’t even want to be famous, I genuinely just wanted it to be my job. I just wanted to be successful enough to be able to do it everyday, to wake up in the morning and head to a job I love and be able to live off of it. Then of course there’s the money, or lack there of. So many people think its ok to get you to work for them just for the experience, just so you can add it to your CV. I get that that’s important but where do you draw the line? Why is it only artists that are expected to work fro free? So you get a dreaded side job as a waitress or a barmaid, or in a shop. Something thats flexible, that you can get cover for if anything comes up and if you’re really lucky you enjoy your side job. For me I wanted to be acting all the time so anything else I had to do I automatically resented. I didn’t want to be pulling pints for weekend revellers, I didn’t want to be serving burgers to suits until midnight. I was 28 I had no money, I was working anti social hours while everyone around me was progressing in their careers and eventually I had enough. Maybe if I’d been 25 at the time I would have stuck at it but I just knew the time had come for me and I felt distraught about it. I cried for days before I finally rang my agent to tell them, I expected to be depressed for weeks but actually it felt like a very heavy weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt free.

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In It’s Going To Be A Long War Darling

I realised that for the last few months it had been braking me. I was so tired of answering “What do you do?” with “Well technically I’m an actress but…” It depressed me, I felt like a fake, like I was lying to myself. You’re not an actress you’re a waitress. I was an actress when I was on stage, when I was in front of a camera, when the audience were cheering, when I’d wrap and the crew would clap me out but those moments were few and far between and I knew the likely hood of all of that actually becoming my regular life was slim to none. On the first day of drama school they told us to look around the room at our competition, then multiply it by the number of students in drama schools around the country then again by all of the graduates from the last five years. You do know what you’re getting into and you are prepared for it but I guess everyone has a limit.

Giving up my dream was one thing but starting again at the age of 28 was another, and it was a very scary place to be. I still feel like I’m a tiny sail boat lost in the middle of the angry ocean. I don’t know where I fit in or what else I can do. I have no idea what I’m good at because it had only ever been acting. Acting was my thing, at the end of the day thats who I am, I’m a performer. Thats why I can’t watch anything without wondering what the direction was, or what the thought was or what the initial casting call was. That’s why I love public speaking (was it 2 or 3 speeches I gave on my 30th Birthday?) That’s why sometimes when I’m alone I’ll act along to the TV. That’s why sometimes I’ll say something dumb that I don’t actually think, just to get a laugh out of a group of people. It’s been in me since I was about 3 years old and it will probably be in me forever, I just have to learn to feed it in different ways.

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Why I Became An Actor

You know when people say things like “It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember” well I was one of those people. I’ve loved acting and performing my whole life. My earliest memory is doing after school drama club at the age of 4 but it probably went back even further. I was in all the plays and poetry reading competitions and whatever else I could do to get myself on stage in front of an audience.

Weirdly, a few years later I became very shy. If we were ever at an event or family gathering I’d struggle to leave my mother’s side, I hated talking to people I didn’t know well, I didn’t like making friends with random kids in the park and this stayed with me to varying degrees (eg: I’d still have to get my friend to ask for directions or sales assistants for things if we ever went shopping up until the age of, like, 13.)

In secondary school I took up Speech & Drama again and for the first year or so, while I had friends in the class I loved it. Then my friends lost interest and the class was suddenly full of girls from other years that I didn’t know, who all had friends with them. I was alone and terrified. I didn’t enjoy it anymore so I stopped going. Then one year I was compelled to audition for the school play and I got in. Come the first day of rehearsals for Pygmalion I found myself yet again terrified and not wanting to go. I was cast as Nepommuck, the big Hungarian guy with a ‘tash that confirms Eliza’s Noble status at the Embassy reception. It wasn’t a big part in the grand scheme of things but it was in that particular scene. I had to do an accent, it was a school play so as long as it sounded vaguely foreign I’d get away with it but the idea filled me with fear. I don’t remember much of the actual rehearsal process but I do remember my English teacher coming up to me and saying that the Drama teacher had expressed her concern about how I was handling the part. In order to help me she set up a sort of workshop with two older girls who were brilliant actresses that I really looked up to. This was my idea of HELL! They were so nice and clearly just trying to help me but I just froze with embarrassment. I kept saying to myself that I knew it would be ok on the night but funnily enough this doesn’t fill a director with confidence.

Come opening night I absolutely smashed it. I did the accent, I cracked the jokes, I turned myself into a 6ft something Hungarian man even though I was a 5ft something school girl and I had the audience in the palm of my hand. The show ran for four nights and I had students, teachers & parents congratulating me after each one. On the last night everyone signed each other’s programmes and I cried all the way home. I still have that programme in a drawer along with my AS Level Theatre Studies devised script (which was awful).

I was absolutely 100% hooked on a feeling again and I had to do it forever, for the rest of my life. So I left that school because they didn’t offer Drama as an A Level and I went to boarding school for 6th form, one that had an incredible theatre! I took AS and A Level Theatre Studies. I got a B and was told by one of my teachers that I’d never get into Drama School because I didn’t put enough of the extra work in. “It’s not enough just to be good at acting, you have to be willing to work on the boring stuff too.” His words rang in my ears so I didn’t apply to Drama School, instead I applied to do Drama at Uni.

I studied Modern Drama Studies which was obviously more of a theory, essay based course but I worked hard and didn’t try to blag the boring stuff and I graduated with a 2.1. But I was still too scared to apply to Drama School, the idea of auditioning filled me with dread. So I spent nearly a year feeling sorry for myself on the sofa, not doing much of anything while everyone around me began their career journeys.

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Oh yeah hi, this is a scene from our Dissertation performance. Don’t ask…

Then my aunt got me a meeting with Jessica de Rothschild who founded the production company, Sweet Pea Productions. They were putting on a Pinter double bill at the Comedy Theatre starring Richard Coyle, Gina McKee, Charlie Cox and Timothy West and took me on as a runner. It was directed by Jamie Lloyd who is now absolutely massive. I GOT TO MEET HAROLD PINTER. It was a giant turning point for me and I’ll never forget it. The rehearsals were at RADA and the more time I spent there, often seeing a group of people singing in reception or running lines in the halls (very Fame-esque) the more I wished I had the courage to apply. I looked into schools with one or two year courses aimed at older students but I never got further than reading about them.

Then a friend of mine from Uni said she’d auditioned and got a place on the two year course for one of the schools I’d been looking at. I suddenly just thought “if she can be brave enough why cant I?” I had my old Drama teacher’s words ringing in my ears but this time all I could hear was the part about being good at acting, which I’d heard so often before but never really believed. So I applied and had auditions lined up for 3 schools and when I told Gina McKee at the after party of the play’s opening night she high fived me. After my job as runner came to an end I wrote a letter to Jamie and the cast thanking them for changing my life. My name is in the programme for Harold Pinter’s The Lover & The Collection which was shot by Sam Taylor-Johnson (nee Wood) who I also got to meet. I sent an email to my aunt gushing about how much I loved the job and thanking her for setting up the meeting but sadly she died before reading it.

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Shot for the programme cover of The Lover & The Collection

Having thought I’d totally balls’d up the interview portion, I got onto the 1 year course of the first school I auditioned for and I loved it so much that I accepted without going to my other 2 auditions (the deadline for acceptance was before my other auditions and I didn’t want to risk losing my place.) It was basically one of the best years of my life. It was really hard, really tiring and took up most of my time but I absolutely loved every minute. I was given bad parts and excellent parts, was told off and praised, given good feedback and bad but I was giving something my all for the first time in ages. They taught us how to fake fight, how to move, how to sing, how to dance, how to do accents and taxes. There were history lessons, therapy sessions, career planning talks and practice auditions in front of real life casting directors and of course, lots of performing. Nothing was really as it seemed at Drama School. They’d build you up just to knock you down, they’d cast people in romantic scenes that they knew had been in relationships, you’d get bad crits for something you thought you’d totally nailed (my Gwen Cedar in For Services Rendered guys?! I’m still not over it!) They told us most people quit within the first year because they aren’t prepared for how hard it is. I scoffed. Who doesn’t know how hard it is to become an actor?! The competition is absolutely off the chain but I know I’m good so I’ll never give up and I won’t have to. At our graduation ceremony I wept.

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The Cast of For Services Rendered at The Grange Court Theatre (aka Drama School innit)

My end of year show was definitely my best performance ever to this day. I still mentally thank the powers that be for giving me that role because it was a brilliant one. I made my friend in the audience cry and, perhaps more importantly, I managed to get an agent out of it so you could say I was pretty bloody chuffed. I booked the first job I ever auditioned for professionally and so it began… (To be continued.)

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As Nance in Female Transport (the epic end of year show)

 

Punk Rock Princess

So the other day I decided to make an early 00’s playlist of some of the Emo/ Pop-Punk songs I used to love as a teenager. During this time my tastes were a confused cocktail of a bit of all the following: Emo, Metal, New Metal, Rnb, Hip Hop (commercial stuff) and Pop- punk… (and a bit later Drum & Bass came into play).

While I had various album offerings from Nirvana, New Found Glory, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Papa Roach (DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!) etc. the following list of songs were mainly singles by bands I didn’t fully follow but would repeatedly watch the videos of for hours on end on MTV2, Kerrang and Scuzz (remember Scuzz?!?) Why I never bothered to get into them more is beyond me but it’s created kind of a cool little snapshot of time. Actually putting the playlist together made me SO emotional for some reason, I literally felt like I was on the verge of tears before I’d even listened to any of the songs. It was probably a combination of extreme nostalgia and the fact that I’m old now and get emotional at the drop of a hat.

Just to set the scene for you I was this kind of “grungey” kid in a friendship group of quite posh girls with designer handbags and heads full of highlights. I wore baggy jeans and oversized jumpers and had a nose ring (much to the horror of one of my friends who threatened never to speak to me again if I got it done…) and stood out somewhat when we were all in a group traipsing around High Street Kensington. I also was not the prettiest flower in the bunch. I was definitely not the one that all (or any) of the boys fancied and so I’d act extra sarcastic and moody to try and make up for it. Anyway blah blah I thought I’d share the playlist so here it is…

Finch- Letters To You
This is the one that started off the tearfulness. I don’t know why but even just thinking about the intro makes me emotional! EMO 4 LYFE! The video isn’t great but I just fucking love the song and I think I kind of wished that they (or someone) was singing it to me…
(See Also- What It Is to Burn)

Fave Lyric: I’m writing again these letters to you aren’t much, I know
But i’m not sleeping and you’re not here
THE THOUGHT STOPS MY HEART!!!!

 

Something Corporate- Punk Rock Princess
I basically imagined this song was about me. The lyrics totes spoke to my 15 year old self…

Fave Lyric: You can tell me why you just don’t fit in
AND HOW YOU’RE GONNA BE SOMETHING!!! (That was me. I didn’t fit in but I was gonna show those muthers dammit!)

 

The All American Rejects- Dirty Little Secret
I don’t really know why I like this song because it’s not as good as the others and also the song itself is kind of dickish but it’s super catchy and I think I liked the video.

Fave Lyric: None

 

The Donnas- Take It Off
The Donnas were just cool af and I wanted to be them. I wanted to look like them and be in a band like them and just be them for real. They were super refreshing and the video is great.

Fave Lyric: I’m on my second drink
But I’ve had a few before…
I’m tryin’ hard to think
And I think that I want you on the floor

 

OK Go- Get Over It
Just a good tune really innit?

Fave Lyric: None in particular

 

AFI- Girl’s Not Grey
I fucking LOVE this song. I love the guitar, I love the chorus I love the melody. LOVE! Also on iTunes I have the live version which is great because you can hear the crowd all singing along (and cheering at the start and finish) and it sounds just as good live. I watched this vid on TV constantly.

Fave Lyric: All of it!

 

Hot Hot Heat- Bandages
I really like the intro and also the guy’s voice and the way he says “bandages” and how it kinda sounds like Panda jizz…

Fave Lyric: I’ve been hoping your moping around the street again
I’ve been tripping from sipping the dripping dirty water tap
I’ve been poking a voodoo doll that you do not know I made 

 

Jimmy Eat World- The Middle
This is another one that makes me want to weep! The lyrics and chorus are so good. I love the video too I think it’s really clever even though it’s so simple. Another one that really resonated with me…❤

Fave Lyric: ALL OF IT ALL OF IT ALL OF IT!

 

The Distillers- City Of Angels
Ok so Brody Dalle is like the coolest girl in the world obv. Plus she has the most amazing growly voice.
Fun Fact: My (shittily done) Skull & Crossbones wearing a bow tattoo was totally ripped off from her.

Fave Lyric: So here we are Los Angeles
No angels singing in your valley of unease
I watch the sun roll down the pacific
Over hookered sunset strip

 

P.O.D.- Alive
Omg literally what the fuck. This song is NOT good but I loved the chorus and the video and I fancied the lead singer…
Fun Fact: P.O.D. stands for Payable On Demand and I’m pretty sure they were super religious.

Fave Lyric: None, they’re all pretty cringe.

 

Idlewild- You Held The World In Your Arms
Another tear jerker. Obsessed with the tune of the chorus and the strings(?) that come in towards the end ahhhh!!

Fave Lyric:  When you’re secure, do you feel much safer?
When days never change and it’s three years later
It’s like your life, hasn’t changed and it’s three years late
How does it feel to be three years late
And watching your youth drift away?
 

 

Alien Ant Farm- Smooth Criminal
I mean it’s just a good cover isn’t it? Also I fancied the lead singer again…

Fave Lyric: Really?

 

The Offspring- Want You Bad
I was mildly obsessed with with Why Don’t You Get A Job a couple of yrs before this. I wanted to look like the girl at the end of this video so much, I was obsessed with having dark hair and blue eyes.

Fave Lyric: Get out of clothes time
Grow out those highlights
Come around now can’t you see (Anti cloned girls with highlights, yeah!)

 

The Ataris- The Boys Of Summer
I love the original of this song and this is SUCH a great cover I think. Also I wanted it to be about me…

Fave Lyric: I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream
Now I don’t understand what happened to our love
But babe, when I get you back
I’m gonna show you what I’m made of 

 

Hundred Reasons- Silver 
I mean come on, this is a classic. Again I love everything about it. Couldn’t find the vid so here they are on TOTP(!!) but the singing isn’t great sadly…
(See Also- Falter)

Fave Lyric: fake plastic smiles to play games
please call my name ignore me and feel it
i thought that i had won gold
she said leave it i can’t leave this

 

Lit- My Own Worst Enemy
This is a classic sing-a-long song. Good chorus, love the intro. Decent video too, I want that leopard print bowling ball! Again, fancied the singer a bit…

Fave Lyric: None of them are that revolutionary but you gotta love PLEASE TELL ME WHHHYYYYYYYYYYYY

 

Reach For The Lasers

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Body hair and hair removal was pretty much the bane of my life. Due to my Asian heritage I have dark, thick hair that is very visible and I’ve had it since I was pretty young. If I wasn’t hairy I was covered in red dots and ingrown hairs from various methods of hair removal (when I was about 15 I was wearing a midi skirt to the park because it was a really hot, sunny day and one of the boys we were with pointed to said bumps and shouted, “What the fuck is wrong with your legs” in front of everyone and I wanted to die.) It’s something that I was incredibly self conscious about for many years, something that I would try to hide and something that I truly hated about myself.

I was about 10 when I went for my first leg wax. I was with my mum and my cousin who was a few years older than me and who I looked up to hugely and I was really nervous. Everyone was really nice, my cousin held my hand when it was painful, I was definitely not an easy customer! I winced and squirmed at the temperature of the wax, I yelled when the strips were being pulled off, I wanted to give up half way through but when it was all over I could not have been happier with the results.

Now I know you’re all thinking 10 is pretty young to be getting waxed but believe me, by then it was necessary. As anyone with an Asian heritage knows, we don’t grow up with invisible, blonde hairs. My hair was dark and definitely visible. I’d always been warned against shaving from my mother, hearing horror stories of ingrown hairs and the hair coming back thicker and stronger so my hair removal journey began with waxing.

Anyone that’s been waxed will know it’s not what you’d call a fun experience and can really vary depending on where you go and who’s doing it. Boiling hot wax being scraped against your flesh and then ripped off, it’s nothing short of eye watering. And by the way, my leg hair didn’t stop at the knee like most people, I had to wax my entire leg. Waxing has great results, you’re left with super smooth legs, no in grown hairs if it’s done properly and it can last 2-3 weeks (depending on how fast your hair grows- mine grew fast.) However it’s, painful, time consuming and you have to wait for your hair to re-grow to a certain length before you can get it done again. So there was always an in between hairy stage. This is all well and good when you’re young but as you become older it can become a problem. Obviously eventually the bikini line and underarms came into play and soon going through an in between hairy stage just isn’t an option.

So into my teen years and early 20’s I’d flit between epilating, hair removal cream and- against my mother’s wishes, shaving. For those who don’t know, an epilator is an electronic, hand held machine with loads of little tweezers that spin round plucking out all of your hair. Funnily enough I find epilating really painful, especially around the thighs. I would literally be in tears as I was doing it. However it is super convenient and as it’s plucking the hairs from the root they don’t grow back as quickly. Again, there has to be a bit of hair there to be plucked so there needs to be a regrowth period. It also took ages and I was often left with sore, red legs for the rest of the day. I wouldn’t even DREAM about trying to epilate my own bikini line (just writing that has made me shiver) so that’s where the hair removal cream came in. Easy, quick and painless but with a pretty short window before regrowth started to appear.

When I was 20 I was with my first serious boyfriend and that’s when I started shaving regularly. I needed to be smooth fast and be able to do it as often as I needed. It would take SO long I’d literally have to set aside an afternoon for hair removal of basically half my body and I’d be stubbly again by the next day. The worst part about shaving though was the ingrown hairs. This is when the hair grown downwards into the skin for some reason and because it has nowhere to go it sort of coils around itself. If they’re really bad they can get infected. Some of them you can sort of scratch out if they aren’t too deep, some can be squeezed or popped out like a black head (sorry, gross) but some are so deep it’s impossible to get them out. I remember having to perform MINOR SURGERY on my own calf once with a pair of tweezers and was left with a hole in my leg for 2 weeks. The ones you can’t get out and that don’t get infected kind of just stay there. So I spent most of my teens and early 20’s with tiny grey and red dots covering half my legs JUST WHAT EVERY GIRL WANTS!

*(The below pic is NOT of my legs)

These are NOT my legs, this is an example from the internet of what ingrown leg hairs can look like. Source: https://i.redditmedia.com/8z1haLWIcBJTAcewKBTiWGW6vZYTKAX64VrJktrMorM.jpg?w=320&s=d77163dc36efb39f9d874c208f3c2407

These are NOT my legs, this is an example from the internet of what ingrown leg hairs can look like.
Source: https://i.redditmedia.com/8z1haLWIcBJTAcewKBTiWGW6vZYTKAX64VrJktrMorM.jpg?w=320&s=d77163dc36efb39f9d874c208f3c2407

Due to all of the above I have always been INCREDIBLY self conscious of my body hair. All of my friends were blessed with that invisible hair that you can’t even see when it’s been left to grow for weeks on end and that basically falls out at the sight of a razor. I hated getting my legs out, they never really felt or looked smooth unless I’d been for a wax, and even then I still had all the ingrown hairs. The first time I went to Ibiza I was so scared about going out with my 2 super smooth legged friends I had packed tights with me even though it was like 30 degrees. The saddest part was that my legs are like my only decent feature, I’m not a fan of the rest of my body shape but I have an o.k pair of pins! Hair removal was a constant struggle for me. It was painful, time consuming and never truly gave me the results I so badly wanted.

That is until I started Laser Hair Removal. I started doing it YEARS ago when it wasn’t that easily available and it was super painful and super expensive but I’d spent so many years feeling shit about myself that I thought it had to be worth a try. To be honest with you in those early days it wasn’t anywhere near as effective as it is now. I went to a lot of different clinics over that time and I can’t count the amount of times I’ve actually had it done. However I’m so happy with the results of the last 3 or 4 years I literally want to do my entire body! I’m a different person come Summer time, I’m happy my legs out now, I finally feel confident enough to do so. Apart from my legs I’ve also had my bikini line, under arms and arms done and for me it was worth every single penny. I still go back for top up sessions (there can be areas that grow back even after you’ve completed a full course) but every time I go I come back with even less hair. Lucky for me thick pigmented hair on my skin tone is pretty much the perfect candidate for laser hair removal so I started seeing results straight away. I know it may sound shallow or trivial but this was something that deeply affected me, I was so embarrassed about my body hair, I’d had people make comments about it all my life, from teenage boys to grown men and it was absolutely mortifying!

It’s amazing that Laser Hair Removal is now so accessible to most people and it’s nowhere near as painful as it used to be. It can be done so quickly now and can be pretty affordable if you find the right place. I highly recommend my clinic, Lazeaway if you’re thinking about it and are in the London area. It really has changed my life.

So why am I telling you all this you may ask? Well female body hair is one of those things that isn’t really talked about, men just expect you to be as smooth as a fucking seal at ALL times but wince if you dare to mention what you had to go through to achieve it and I just don’t think that particularly fair. We’re all human we all have body hair, some more than others. That’s the way it is, whether you like it or not. Somewhere along the line society decided that women weren’t allowed to be hairy, not just that they weren’t allowed to be but that it was gross and weird if they were! Well I just want people to know that being hair free is not fucking easy, it’s not fun, it’s a ball ache and it’s expensive. So maybe just think about that next time you run your hand up a girl’s leg and it’s a bit stubbly.

Sephora Haul!

Video

WATCH IN HD! Click the little wheel.

Picked up a few things from Sephora… Please LIKE if you do and SUBSCRIBE if you like! x

PRODUCTS MENTIONED:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in ‘Soft Lilac’
Sephora Matte Lip Stain in 08 & 09
Beauty Blender
Anastasia Brow Wizz in ‘Ebony’
Kat von D Tattoo Liner in ‘Trooper’

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Saved By The BRUSH

Hiyerrrr.

I’m gonna do a bit of a brush lowdown today because I’m still seeing flat foundation brushes knocking around and it’s making my teeth itch.

face brushes web 2

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

The Real techniques range are the best brushes on the High Street in my opinion and actually stack up pretty well off the H.S too. The quality is excellent and they’re v. reasonably priced. They’re the brainchild of Makeup Artist and YouTuber Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo fame and the brand is growing more and more. This buffing brush has been my go to foundation brush for ages now and it is my all time favourite face brush. Soft dense bristles that are tightly packed but fan out enough to blend foundation seamlessly. It comes in the ‘Core Collection’ set with the contour brush (mentioned below) a small detail brush which makes a good lip brush and a flat foundation brush which you can throw out straight away. Its an award winning set at a great price so go buy it now from Boots, Superdrug or online.

Buffing brush web

Morphe E6 Flat Top Buffing Brush

Because I watch a lot of YouTubers from the US I tend to want to try a lot of the stuff that they use out there and boy do they all rave about Morphe brushes. Luckily there are some UK sites that have started stocking a selection so you don’t have to pay for shipping, I got mine from Cocktail Cosmetics. They are crazy cheap in the US, I think they’re a bit more pricey from here (but again you save on shipping) but are still super reasonable and really good quality. I bought this just to try an alternative to the above, I’ve seen a lot of YouTubers using flat top brushes and I do really like it, the bristles are ridic soft and does a good job of blending. I would say you definitely don’t need this if you buy the Real Tekkers one but I’m obsessed with buying brushes and really wanted to try it so I flit between the two.

Morphe flat top web

Morphe E53

I love this brush for using powder to set the area under my eyes, it’s the perfect size and shape thanks to the tapered end. It would also work really well for contour application and blending and also blusher.

Morphe under eye web

Real Techniques Contour Brush

I use this brush to apply and blend out concealer under my eyes, on my nose, forehead and chin and then anywhere I have blemishes. Again its a really good size. I apply the concealer with the wand or my finger and then use a combo of a dabbing & sweeping motion to blend out, if you just sweep you’ll rub the product off. Also would work well for contour as the name suggests but think it would be better with creams rather than powders. It comes in a set with the Buffing Brush (above) and a couple of others.

RT concealer web

Real Techniques Dup Fibre Powder Brush

I’m not sure if this particular Duo Fibre set was limited edition or not but tbh any Real Tech powder brush is gonna be good. I use it to apply finishing powder and then if I need to tone down blushes or contour I’ll blend it away with this. I like it because it doesn’t pick up too much product so you’re not caked and it blends well too. Would also work well as a bronzer brush.

Duo fibre powder web

Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush*

I use this brush for powder contour, its perfect because it has a tapered end to fit into areas where it needs to and its fluffy so good for blending. It would also work well for highlight but I think it’s pretty expensive (I was luck enough to get it for free) and you can probably find a dupe that’s just as good. It is good quality though.

CT contour web

Real Techniques Blush Brush

I’ve tried a lot of blusher brushes and this is the only one I really like, I do think it’s slightly big but it is tapered and the bristle are packed in a way that it picks up and deposits a good amount of product but also blends really well and it’s really soft. Would also work well with finishing powder or bronzer.

RT blush web

I wash all of my brushes with hand soap (gel) but baby shampoo or a gentle, non stripping clarifying shampoo would be a bit better, I also use a rubber brush cleaning glove with little bumps that I found on eBay (swirl the soapy brush around in it, the bumps get out all the remaining product). Hold them upside down so you don’t get water in the ferrel (it’ll fuck with the glue). Gently squeeze out excess water then wrap the end in a sheet of paper towel and leave on their sides to dry. I dry mine upside down in a brush holder that I also found on eBizzle. Make sure you wash all the soap out thoroughly or the brushes will be kind of sticky when they dry. I only use my brushes on myself so I’m kind of lazy with how often I do it as it’s a ball ache but obviously I’ll always wash them if I’m going to be using them on someone else.

Face brushes web 1

The Look: Graphic Liner & Neon Lips

This was a classic example of something that looked better in real life than on camera! It’s really hard when you’re taking the pics yourself and don’t have someone else directing you.

Everyone knows I’m and eyeliner kind of gal and my obsession with graphic liner is real. It’s definitely more of a fun/ editorial look (unless you’re feeling hella bold!) but I tried to do something that could be a bit more wearable. It was actually really hard to get the lines clean and even! I used an eye liner pen which I think was an error, it had more control than a brush but I do think I would have gotten a cleaner finish if I’d used a gel liner. Gotta love those neon lips doe…

Products used:

  • Estée Lauder Little Black Liner
  • Melt lipstick in Bang Bang

 

Graphic liner neon lips edit 1Graphic liner neon lips edit 2Graphic liner neon lips edit 3Graphic liner neon lips edit 4