Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Why "Business Dress" Shouldn't Be a Thing in 2015

It's 7:45am and I'm in London. It's pissing it down, my umbrella is broken and my thin black blazer isn't really doing much to keep the rain off me. I've got 4 inch black stilettos on and my laptop is bundled into my coat because the laptop bag I've been given is made from a material similar to sponge, which collects water and retains it for hours upon end. It's like 'The Hunger Games; Laptop Edition' on every adventure into the city and I'd rather be soaked than required to purchase a new laptop, so the laptop gets to wear my coat for the day.

I hurl myself through the door of the customers' office and plan to head straight to the ladies to sort myself out. Oh, what's that? The lady I'm meeting is already in so I'm being escorted up to the office early for breakfast? On any normal day that would be a lovely offer. Today, however, I am close in resemblance to The Joker and I'm pretty sure I have mascara on my lips.

The woman appears in the lobby and gives me that sympathetic "Gosh, I know, the weather is absolutely awful today" speech that is usually reserved for long awkward lift journeys or coffee shop queues. I make it to a hot-desk and begin trying to transform from Business Banshee to Business Bitch using my laptop screen protector as a sort of makeshift mirror. 10 minutes later, I am in a state more similar to a normal human woman and begin to plan my day of meetings.

Looking around I begin to experience that "Shit, I'm overdressed"  feeling that a 17 year old gets when they turn up to their first houseparty in a bodycon dress. The Test & Dev team behind me are wearing hoodies, with jeans. Given the fact that the Test & Dev team have probably been sat there for 24 hours after ordering pizzas to the office last night I don't immediately feel so out of place. The CEO of the company turns up with a Starbucks in his hand, and he's in jeans too. More so than that, he's wearing Converse and he has his dog with him (a big old Boxer named Tiff). The look he gives me is one of utter dismay.

"Why the hell are you wearing a dress and heels? Have you not seen the weather outside?"

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What To Do When You Don't Know What You Want To Do in Life

When I was 14 I was asked by my school to start thinking about which "options" I wanted to choose for my GCSEs. Did I want to do History or Geography? Did I want to do IT or Business? Did I want to do something exam based or essay based? What sort of learning appealed to me more? Now let's be honest- which 14 year old girl or boy really has any sort of informed grasp upon what they want to be doing when they're 25 or 35 or 50? I picked my GCSE options mainly based on the teachers that I liked and the subjects that my friends were doing. Because I was 14.

A Levels rolled around and by this time I was 16 and completely and utterly dedicated to my career in ERP Software Sales. NAHHHHHT. I still had no idea, because I was 16 and went to a school that once recommended "Clothing" to me as a career choice. Clothing. Is that a job? I've since been reliably informed that "Clothing" is not a job role. In my free time I was watching Americas Next Top Model and 'MSN-ing' whoever I fancied that day, and in school I was making decisions that affected my entire life. This time around I chose subjects that I thought would most easily get me some top grades, largely based on how naturally I was able to understand the subject and whether the subject was essay based or exam based; I suck at essays but exams are a breeze for me.

Before I knew it, the degree decision rolled around. I knew that I wanted to do a degree because I wanted to move out; I drastically needed to put some space between myself and the 'Little Village Bubble' I had managed to create for myself. I also knew that there were pretty much zero jobs in the deep south of Wales. I decided that I would pick IT and do that in University. Yes, it included a bit of C++ coding and a bit of network configuration bullsh*t here and there but there were also modules on business and entrepreneurship that I liked the look of. I hated University, but I got my degree and the rest is history.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Laser Tattoo Removal; My Experience

When I was about 20 I decided that I would get a tattoo completely on a whim. I was in Camden on a day out with my sister and I decided that I would walk into a tattoo parlour (dingy horrible little place) and pick a design out of a book. It wasn't my first tattoo and so I didn't have any reservations about the pain or anything, I paid £20 and was out within 15 minutes. It took me about a year to start hating the design and another year to decide that I wanted to actively look at getting it removed.

I came across a lady who worked under the guise of Madame Silver and was based in Oxford, about a 45 minute drive from me. I had heard some great personal reviews from people around Reading and I wanted to talk to somebody who was respected in the industry and took extreme care during the process, rather than simply looking for the cheapest place. Luckily, I chose the perfect person as Jen Silver (Madame Silver) is probably one of the most lovely humans on Earth and managed to calm me so much that I was barely nervous about my first session, which would be a patch test, to check that I had no adverse reactions.

The laser that Jen uses is a YAG Laser. I am not going to attempt to explain the science behind laser tattoo removal but essentially what the laser does is blasts the ink with a pulse of light which creates a shockwave effect. Essentially, the ink particles are broken up into parts small enough for the body to carry away naturally. I had the misconception that the device would be touching my skin and dragging, similar to a tattoo gun. However, the laser is held a few inches away from the tattoo area and a good removal specialist will give you special sexy glasses to wear so that you can watch the process.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

15 Minute Makeup: August

We've all been in a situation where you need to go from bed to bar in a very short space of time. Maybe I decided that I wasn't going out and then changed my mind last minute. Maybe I decided to nap and the nap turned into a full-blown snooze sesh. I am really good at doing my makeup really bloody quickly because I have such a short attention span when it comes to getting ready. I thought I'd share a really simple and easy look that I've loved ever since I got my Urban Decay NAKED2 Basics Palette...

Everything I used is in this photo. The candle is there for aesthetics only; do not use the candle on your face.

I started off by applying MAC Mineralize concealer under my eyes and on any blemishes. Blend this quickly with your finger by patting rather than rubbing. Then I applied MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation with SPF 15 evenly to my entire face with a liquid foundation brush. I love liquid foundations with SPF included as I burn so easily, but also because they smell so nice! Next I applied bareMinerals Matte powder (the colour I use is called Fairly Light N10 and it's perfect) on top using a big powder brush. I find that MAC liquid foundations are very dewy and need a loose powder on top but that you can end up looking like you put your face into the bin at the Benefit counter if you layer too much powder over a MAC foundation. The bareMinerals powders are so light and they last forever as well.

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Polite Notice to Cyclists. You Twats.

As previously documented on Reviews at Random, my journey to and from work across the centre of Reading can be... Interesting. I drive, always. Mostly out of convenience and also because the journey is exactly 5.4 miles long. There aren't buses from my area that go near the office, and I'm not near a train station. It's convenient and it's practical, which is precisely why there are 98 billion other cars slowly rolling through the town centre every morning. It's a short journey right?

You could argue that I could ride a bicycle that distance (with a bit of practice and a lot less wine every evening) and it would probably take me the same amount of time and get me fitter simultaneously. It sounds perfect for somebody trying to get in shape for a wedding. I can understand why people do it.

Unfortunately, I'm never going to do that. Ever. There are loads of reasons but the main factors are as follows: First, I don't own a bike. Second, I cannot ride a bike. Third, I can't turn up for a day in the office all sweaty with my dress and heels screwed up in a bike bag. Last and most poignantly, Reading is a bloody DEATH TRAP for cyclists.
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