Saturday, 25 February 2017

BEING HELEN HIRD ILLUSTRATIONS





 
 
If you have been reading my blog for a while or follow my social media, you'll know that other than blogging I'm also a fashion illustrator. I always like to share what I'm up to on my blog and not just what I've been wearing. Not only because the two kind of go hand in hand, but because it's a massive part of my life. It's my baby if you will (second to my dog obvs). It's something that I work on completely on my own, every decision made is down to me and every paint brush stroke has come from an idea in my head that I put on paper with my own hands. I'm a one woman band. So what better people to share my passion with than my readers.
 
I have a couple of really exciting projects coming up in the next few months, the first of which is launching my new series of prints. These are the first three that went live in my shop on Thursday. A lot of hard work, time and love has gone into each and every one of them, so it's super rewarding to be able to wrap them up and post them off to all my lovely customers. It's even better when people tag me in photos of their prints up in their offices or homes. It brings a smile to my face a bit of warmth to my heart.
 I'm sure any of you who are self employed, or full time bloggers will know that when you work on your own you have to put in twice as many hours and really have the drive to do well, but it is 100x more rewarding when it's something you've accomplished all by yourself. You have to make a lot of sacrifices. On the days where I'm not working in the shop I'm all most always painting, replying to emails or updating my website. I very very rarely give myself a day off... which sometimes is hard for friends to understand. You have to be super strict with yourself, and if you have set yourself work do then get it done and tick each line off your 'to do' list. You can't just drop it and decide you'll go swanning off for coffee or shopping with one of your pals. If I let myself do this and cut myself an inch of slack, then I wouldn't have a business to run. You have to be so determined and sacrifice a lot of time. The hardest if when its a hot summers 30 degrees day and I'm inside painting with Jeremy Kyle on the tv. I literally am the biggest sun worshipping tan lover in the world, so those days are the most tempting for me. Don't get me wrong, you have to give yourself days off sometimes, or else you'd go stir crazy. Everyone needs down time do be able to work effectively, you just have to be really disciplined about how often you give yourself days off and when you do, make the most of it.
Saying all this, I don't want it to sound like a chore that I don't love doing. I do, of course, love my job. It's just really important to me to try and inspire other people to get their heads down and do what they want to do. Really, with hard work anything is possible. If you want to be a freelance make up artist, go out and do it. If you want to be a full time blogger put the mother chuffing time, money and effort in and do it. The old saying "the world is your oyster" really is true. I urge you, that is there's something you want to do or keep thinking about doing, you can do it... if you really really want to.
 
Go and pick up that pen and note pad, get yours ideas down and start the journey.
 
x 
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

BOMBER CONVERT









Zara Bomer (sold out) similar here & here | Asos Farleigh Jeans  | Adidas Stan Smiths | Asos Sunglasses | Gucci Belt  |
 
I didn't think I was the bomber type, until a week ago. I saw this little bad boy in Zara when I was shopping with my friend on her Birthday. It was the only one there and I said to her "oh I really like this bomber, but not for me". She was like "why not for you? Try it on". So I popped it over my arm with all my other bits, just to try it on. Obviously not to buy. Then BAM I put it on, the silky sleeves stroked my arms and it was love. Then that amazing thing happened that hasn't happened to me in ages. It didn't have a tag, so I took it to the til to ask how much it was... £9! 9 god damn pounds. I nearly slapped that bitch there and then in shock. (she wasn't actually a bitch, she was a very nice Spanish lady. Classic Zara). So this year I think I'm going to try and go out my comfort zone a bit more. I also forget how good it is to go shopping with other people. I usually do 90% of my shopping online, but it's so good to look round with someone and get their opinions. I never would have ordered this online in a million years, and now I'm obsessed with it. This particular friend I went with is super honest as well, which is really important. For all I know I could look like a twat in this bomber, but I've just taken her word for it and I'm going with it.
 
x
 

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

TREATING YOURSELF AT VALENTINES


 
Anyone that knows me will know I buy myself a present at every possible occasion. Christmas is my main event. Every year I buy myself something I really want, wrap it up, put a tag on with a short inspirational message/congratulations to myself and pop it under the tree. My present to myself is something I put a lot of thought in to as well, I start thinking in October "hmm... what would I like this year?" I also never open it until Christmas morning, a rule than must never be broken. Is this all really strange? Either way, I don't care. I get something I really want, and what better person to treat than yourself. Does that sound selfish? I didn't mean it to. I just mean only I will know what I really want, and I think its important to treat yourself. Last year I had worked particularly hard, so I put a tag on saying "Dear Helen, well done for all your hard work this year, love from Helen"... and when I sat and peeled open the paper on Christmas morning it was so satisfying. I urge you all to buy yourself presents and I will teach my children to do the same. I mean proper present to, that you wrap up and keep for a special day. Not just going out shopping and buying shit loads all the time. Saying this, I only realised today that I have never brought myself a Valentines present. Probably because I've had a boyfriend for the past 7 years... and is buying myself a Valentines present a step to far? To be honest, I don't think it is. I'd probably do it this year if I wasn't so poor at the moment. I had a week off last week and ate, drank and shopped way to hard, but then again, I deserved that week of indulgence! Last week can be my present to myself. Although I cant wrap it up so its not quite the same.
Anyway, if I were to buy myself a Valentines present, these are some of the things that would be top of my list (besides Idris Elba). I don't know if I have a thing for green at the moment, or if I've subconsciously picked green things to match each other. I did buy a green bomber the other day though, so maybe this is my new colour of the season!
 
The moral of this post is go and buy yourself something for Valentines. I'm sure you've done something to deserve it and if anyone thinks your weird, just blame me. The original weirdo. I also understand if you think this all super strange and want to unfollow me.
 
 
x
 
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Thursday, 9 February 2017

FRILLS WITH LAUNDRY B













Frill Poplin Blouse  - c/o Laundry Boutique | Million Ankle Boots - Topshop |
 
 
I wouldn't say I'm really a girly girl. Don't get me wrong, I love make up, clothes, Keeping up with the Kardashians and all that jazz but I'm not into florals or typically girly shapes. When I wear florals I either feel like I'm a 50 year old mum called Sandra who lives in a country house, makes jam and has an arger. Or a boy dressing as a girl. Neither of which is a look or feeling I want to channel. I tend to dress more masculine; t-shirts, high necks, oversized knits and trousers. So my new love for frills has taken me somewhat by surprise! I'm going to a wedding in May and I've even peeled myself away from my standard maxi or structured pencil dress attire and I've been looking for a flippy tea style wrap dress. Not something that has ever really been me, I feel like 2017 could be the year my style changes quite a bit. I have been finding myself typing things like 'frills' or 'ruffles' into search bars and adding them to my saved lists, but I haven't been quite brave enough to pop them in my metaphorical basket... until I clapped eyes on this Laundry Boutique number. I think I had in mind that I wanted a crisp fabric rather than a super girly, floaty material (that might be a step to far for me yet). So this crisp cotton-esque fabric was just what I was after. It's got that fresh, chic, power dressing vibe about it. My absolute favourite thing is the silhouette it creates on the shoulders. They makes me feel sassy. As you can see by the mix of two photos, I've been wearing it a lot. It also It also comes in a gorgeous sky blue colour, and because I wear a lot of blue denim in really tempted to get that one to. I think it's a style I'll live in over the spring.
Also, in case you needed any more tempting, the lovely gals at Laundry B have given all my followers a 10% discount code. All you need to do is type HELEN10 in at the checkout. They have some amazing outerwear and leopard print boots in at the moment to that I've got my eye on, so I'd take full advantage of this code!
 
So you can expect to see me in a lot of frills and ruffles in the coming months apparently!
 
 
x
 
 
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Thursday, 2 February 2017

MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE UPDATE







 
 
 
Before I start, I am about to declare my undying love for this brand but it is in no way a sponsored post. All the options are my own and I have not been approached by La Roche Posay to promote them.
 
Nearly a year ago now, you might remember this post  about my on going struggle and fear of the skin care world. My new years resolution last January was to get myself into a good routine with my skin care, as I've always toed and froed from brand to brand on a monthly basis, not really being sure what worked for me and what didn't. At the ripe old age of 26, I decided that this had to change, little did I know the third world struggles that were about to unfold. I wont go over it in to much detail, because I posted about it before, but I tried a few routines, Lush and Liz Earle to name a couple. I knew I had sensitive skin, but I didn't know quite how sensitive until I started these routines. With the Liz Earle, the first one I tired, my skin was just horrendous. It was so dry and even sore. My eyelids were red, flaky and really uncomfortable. This went on for a few weeks to the point that I couldn't take it anymore and went to the pharmacist. I was literally desperate at this point. Obiously, this doesn't mean that Liz Earle is a bad product. I'm sure it works really well for some people, but absolutely not for me. The pharmacist gave me a few samples of La Roche-Posay and talked me through what they did and how to use them. I nodded along at her advice but in my head I was 100% prepared for it not to work and for me to go back a few days later begging for a magic solution. I gave them a go though and followed what she told me, in a matter of 2-3 days my skin had fully cleared up. No dryness, redness or sore patches. I was amazed, so I went back and brought the whole lot. I haven't looked back since. Granted, this is more of a premium product, but the quality completely justifies the price tag.  
 
I have followed the routine religiously, bar the nights when I've had a few too many wines and half heartedly wipe over my face with a semi dry make up wipe. I can feel like hangover just talking about it. There are so many products in the La Roche Posay Range, but I'll talk you through my routine to give you an idea...
 
I use this every morning and evening after I have taken most of my make up off with miceller water. This is quite expensive, and with the amount of make up I wear I would get through it quite quickly without using something else to get most of it off. £2.99 miceller water is a good alternative to start off. This cleanser I super hydrating and I find I can leave quite a lot of it on my skin and it will soak in fairly quickly.
 
 
I use this after my cleansing milk only in the morning, as I use the Efflaclar duo at night. It's super hydrating without being oily and is a really good base for me then to apply my make up.
 
 
This really is my favourite product from the whole range. I use it at night after my cleansing milk and just before I go to bed. It's more of a serum than a cream, so I find by leaving it overnight it gives it time to work its magic. It's designed to correct the appearance of blemishes, unclog blocked pores, helps to refine skin texture, control the appearance of shine and fight against the appearance of marks (& breathe)... and I can honestly say it does all these things. If there's been a couple of odd days where I haven't used it I really do notice the difference. It gives me more confidence to go bare faced and it really is the one product I couldn't live without. I saw Tanya Burr use it on one of her Vlogs quite a few years a go now, she was raving about it and now I can 100% see why.
 
 
Again, this is more of a serum than a cream. I use it after my cleaner and moisturiser, day & night around my eye contours. It keeps the skin really moisturised and soft, which means any eye shadow or eye make up goes on really smoothly. It's also really cooling and soothing after a long day at work or a heavy night out.
 
 
I use this in the shower maybe only once or twice every couple of weeks. It just refreshes and brightens the skin and unclogs any pores. As my skin is so sensitive, I wouldn't use it more than this, the scrubbing would probably irritate it and make it a bit red. Don't be surprised by the tiny tube, you literally only need a pea sized amount.
 
 
... and that, my friends, is my magic routine. If you are completely stuck in a rut, are clueless on skin care or find you have super sensitive skin I really would suggest giving this a go. You can pick up samples from nearly any pharmacist, so it really is worth asking. It's something I wish I had discovered a long time a go and I finally feel like I have found a brand that will see my though all ages.
 
x
 
 

 
 
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