Fall Even Deeper In Love! How To Have An Engaging Engagement

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Congratulations! You’re engaged.

 

…Now what?

 

Sometimes after a huge life event, you feel a little let down, no matter how wonderful it was. Sometimes the day after your birthday or Christmas is a little anticlimactic – and likewise, being engaged isn’t always as great as it’s made out to be – it’s not all checking out Tacori wedding rings and romance! Not only is it stressful with all the wedding planning you have to do, but you’ll be finally facing up to the reality of spending your whole lives together – and that can be very daunting. Here are some tips on how to enjoy your engagement…

Keep Communicating

 

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It’s absolutely crucial that through your engagement you keep talking to each other. If you feel like there’s more pressure on the pair of you and on your relationship than there was before, you might find yourself arguing more often. Obviously, this isn’t a relationship trait that you want to carry on into married life! If you’re having this issue, you could consider trying out couples’ counselling so you can find more productive ways to communicate with each other. When you’re talking to your partner, remember to use phrases like ‘I feel that’ and ‘I think’ instead of ‘You make me’ – they’re less accusing and will facilitate discussion instead of making your partner feel defensive about something he may or may not have intended to do. Keep talking to each other, keep sharing your hopes, dreams, worries and love, and you’ll end up with an engagement and marriage just as healthy and happy as your relationship always was.

Get Organized

 

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One of the biggest stressors during your engagement is planning the wedding itself. If you’re not naturally organised, it can be very tough to get it together enough to plan an entire wedding in a matter of months or years. It’s important to stay organised from the beginning – your spreadsheet is your bible. Make a list of your guests, and tick it off when you’ve sent each invitation and each RSVP, and make a list of everything you need to do and how much you’ve paid for each part of your wedding, along with any deadlines for bookings or further payments. Don’t trust that you’ll remember everything – make notes of all the wedding information. Also make sure that your partner gets involved. He may not be into all the talk about flowers and decorations, but he might be more into choosing food and making a wedding playlist. You’ll probably also find that he’s extremely interested in going wedding cake tasting with you!

Spend Time Together

 

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Remember that not everything should be about your upcoming wedding. Take plenty of time off from planning, and go out to dinner together, banning all talk of your wedding at the table. Make sure you relax at home together and watch movies together, and remind your friends that you’re more than your wedding and that you want to talk about other things too. You could even go on a pre-wedding vacation. Not only can you work on your tans so you have glowing golden skin for your wedding day, but a few days of quiet reflection in each other’s company will reaffirm your love for each other so you’re raring to go on the big day.

 

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator – Gilded Honey*

I’m not sure exactly where or when I first heard of Laura Geller and her famed illuminators, but they’ve been on my radar for a while. So, when a little box with Gilded Honey on the front dropped through my letter box, I got rather excited.

Honestly, I thought Laura Geller was a US only brand, but I’ve since found out you can find her products in Debenhams and online at QVC. This is important, because you’re going to want to get your hands on one of these swirls for yourself!

Although it may be the most simply packaged illuminator in my collection, I’ve been reaching for it regularly throughout the festive period. It looks rather gold in the pan, but when brushed over cheekbones and my nose, it just gives skin a healthy glow, rather than looking too sparkly or frosted. It’s also absolutely stunning when brushed over the eyelids for a sheer wash of golden shine.

When you press the formula with your finger, it feels cold and slightly squidgey, but this means it just sinks into the skin, leaving it looking absolutely poreless. Honestly – you don’t need to drink green juice every day if you’ve got one of these in your stash!

Laura Geller Gellato Swirl Illuminator is priced at £21 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Margaret Dabbs London Salon – Alderley Edge*

For someone who lives in Edinburgh, I’ve found myself spending an increasing amount of time in Cheshire. One of my favourite of the villages is Alderley Edge, a surprisingly chic little town with the best beauty salons you could imagine!

Over the summer, a new spot appeared on the high street – the rather wonderful Margaret Dabbs has opened on of her lauded salon-come clinics, which get poor, over-worked hands and feet looking and feeling their best. With a menu which offers everything from a regular file and polish to waxing, I opted to go for one of the signature Margaret Dabbs Signature Medical Pedicures to get my feet looking perfect for the party season.

The salon itself is a stunning airy space, stocked with every Margaret Dabbs product you can imagine. It’s an absolute haven to visit, and after making the four hour trek from Edinburgh, it’s exactly where I wanted to be.

Rather than most nail salons, which smell of acetone, and can be a little hectic, Margaret Dabbs was pure perfection. Prior to be shown to my treatment room (yep, all Medical Pedicures are conducted in your own little room) I had a good nose around the salon, and fell in love with pretty much every product I played with.

There was a rainbow of nail colours to choose from, all are nail friendly, and the polishes can even be bought, in case you’re after a touch-up at home. Honestly, I could have stared at the colours for hours!

Then it was time for me to head through to one of the private treatment rooms for my Medical Pedicure. Rather than most salons, whose pedicures consist of a fruity smelling scrub and a quick buff, Margaret Dabbs are all about the feet. Your technician is a highly trained podiatrist, who can spot any issues which might be occurring, and knows exactly how to get your toes looking and feeling lovely.

The entire pedicure takes place with dry feet (no soaking at all happens), and as I sipped on a glass of prosecco, my podiatrist wielded a scalpel with surgeon-like precision. Within an hour, my feet, which had been looking less than lacklustre, were soft and smooth. My nails were filed and buffed to perfection, and I felt absolutely heavenly. Honestly, I wish there was a Margaret Dabbs salon closer to me than Alderley Edge, as I would have a standing monthly appointment if I could – it was that delightful! Until then though, I’ll just have to head down to Cheshire more often!

Margaret Dabbs’ Medical Pedicure is priced at £85 and you can see their whole list of treatments here

Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid*

Before I start, I have to wish you a very Happy New Year! If 2016 was the year when contouring became mainstream, I have a feeling that 2017 might just be the year of colour correcting. Honestly, when I first read about the technique, which uses opposite colours on the colour-wheel to combat redness, dark circles or fatigue, I was a little hesitant. I like my makeup looking as natural as possible, so adding lavender and pink to the mix was more than a little daunting.

So, to get started with the whole colour correction thing, I figured I should start with the experts, and got my hands on a few tubes of Urban Decay’s Color Correcting Fluid in Lavender (to combat sallowness)  and Peach (to hide dark circles). You can also get green (I’ve since bought this and it’s amazing for combatting redness), pink (for combatting dark circles in fair skin), and yellow (for brightening).

Packaged in the same tubes as the brand’s Naked Concealers, there is a doe foot applicator, which means applying the Color Correcting Fluids is an absolute breeze. I like to apply mine to freshly moisturised and primed skin, prior to adding my foundation. Using the applicator I simply swipe the correctors over my problem areas, then get blending with my fingers.

This means I stripe peach under my eyes, green over my cheeks, and if I’m feeling a bit sallow, I add a little to my cheeks too. I’ve read a tonne of guides which recommend then blending with a beauty blending, but honestly,stle, I’ve found my fingers blend the formulas in better, making them completely disappear into my skin.

What’s absolutely incredible about Urban Decay’s Color Correcting Fluids is the way that they just melt into skin. Even under the lightest of foundations or tinted moisturisers, you can’t feel or see that you’ve got an extra layer of makeup on. Instead skin just looks absolutely flawless. I had no idea how much I would love colour correction – have you ever tried it?

Urban Decay’s Color Correction Fluids are priced at £17.50 each and are available here (UK) and here (US)

The Estee Edit – Gritty & Glow Palette*

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When Estee Lauder released their new Estee Edit collection this year, I think you could probably hear the intake of breath. Estee Lauder are one of those brands I love for the classics, so an entire makeup collection all aimed at a younger, far more instagram-friendly demographic was seriously exciting stuff.

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The Gritty & Glow Palette was the first product I got my hands on, and, it’s nothing like any other palette I own. For starters, it’s split into two parts – the Gritty (in the sparkly black) and the Glow (the silver), which magnetically snap together to form a rather wonderful full-face palette.

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The Gritty palette is focused on the eyes, and contains six seriously generously sized eyeshadows. I’m more than a little obsessed with the black glitter outer casing. It’s seriously sparkly, and is sleek enough to tuck into a bag.

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At first glance, the colour choice looks far more daring than my regular choice of neutrals, but seriously, the shadows in the palette are absolutely stunning. Ranging from a deep black (Mood) to a beautifully wearable nude (Riff), there is  shade to suit every occasion.

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When I say the shadows are buttery, I mean they almost feel like cream shadows. Trip is a galaxy-like blue with a duo-chrome shadow which flashes indigo in certain lights, is a real favourite of mine. The colour payoff is incredible, and, when used in a black smoky eye, it really elevates the look. Mood is a rather special shade too. A deep black, it flashes with blue micro shimmer, making eyes look wide-awake. The deepest shades in the palette are real showstoppers, and they elevate even the most simple makeup looks.

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Even though there isn’t a matte shade included in the palette, I love a wash of Riff over the entire lid for subtle definition, with a little of Swerve buffed into the crease. I then sweep Burn along the lash line for definition. The whole look is beautifully glowy, and the shadows last all day without creasing or fading.

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The ‘Glow’ portion of the palette is covered in silver glitter, and it has to be the glitziest makeup in my collection! Snapping easily onto the ‘Gritty’ palette thanks to magnets on the underside of each of the palettes. They’re perfect for travelling as they just snap together, and they feel super secure, so you shouldn’t open your case up to find shadows everywhere.

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The Glow part of the palette is seriously highlighter based, and includes six of the most glorious colours you can imagine. What I’ve found seriously impressive is the range of shades in the palette – from the whisper-pale Snowlit to the rich Beachy, a serious range of skin tones are going to be able to enjoy this palette.

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For me, the palest shade, Snowlit is the perfect subtle highlight. Swept across the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose and on my brow bones, it gives skin a subtle radiance. It’s wonderfully natural looking – it’s not frosty or glittery, instead you just look radiant. I also am obsessed with using 1st Light as a beautifully flattering blusher. It’s a light rose, which adds the perfect amount of colour to my winter-weary skin.

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The deeper tones, although too dark for me to use as a highlight or blush, are perfect as warm-toned shadows. Much like it’s Gritty counterpart, the Glow palette’s shades are buttery smooth, and have serious payoff. They’re a great duo of palettes which I’ll be reaching for into the new year!

Estee Edit’s Gritty & Glow palette is £42 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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