Posted in Beauty, Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

Tea Tree

Tea tree tells me I’m nervous,

sitting on my face,

as I step back in the game.

I was raised by feminist wolves,

in the wilds of the world,

and I feel

I should be braver,

bolder,

brighter in the face of danger,

but the tea tree,

like a concerned stranger,

seeing my frozen and unconscious stare,

into the mirror,

whispers,

“You’re worried about your skin”.

He told me,

I had pretty eyes,

my voice,

a volcano,

molten,

melancholy,

sultry syllables,

and yet,

today,

my voice shakes,

eyes teary,

tea tree,

trembling on my shaking skin,

because fear is a four letter word,

and a constant state,

when you are in love,

and need to trust someone with your heart,

and your broken out skin.

The bus driver told me,

I was beautiful,

and I shyly smiled,

hoping you’d agree.

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A Letter To My Fifteen Year Old Self

Hey,

It’s me, or rather, you, from the future. Put down the star trek fan fiction, we need to talk. I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, you having fuller lips won’t be as bad as you think. Sure, you get made fun of it for now, but in about ten years, it will be fashionable, and both men and women will pay tons of money for surgery and lip glosses that promise the plump pout you are currently embarrassed of. I mean, it will be favoured on white women over you, but it’s something.

Don’t bother fucking about with your eyebrows either, because it isn’t worth the effort. Thicker brows will be fashionable too, and let’s be real, you can’t handle pain, so waxing, plucking or threading really will never be an option for us. Now I’ve typed all that, I’m concerned that they may be out again. Luckily for you, you learn, over time, not to care anyway. They’re just eyebrows.

Onto some bad news, but with a hint of good news. You will never “grow into your nose”, and you won’t learn how to contour it away either. However, you will one day learn to accept that your face would completely change if it was different, and that is a reminder of your heritage, and you will realise the importance of keeping your past close to you, because it’s a lonely, fucked up world, and sometimes, all you will have is yourself, so it will be comforting to be able to remember where you came from. You are a concoction of so many different places and people, and that is something to be proud of, so don’t be ashamed that you look different, because that’s fine.

You’ve spent your whole life feeling like you didn’t fit in, and a lot of people around you contributed to that. A lot of kids picked on you, and called you weird or ugly. Some were even racist, which is fucked up and you’ll probably still think about it for a long time, but don’t hold onto your anger for them. It doesn’t help you, and it won’t change them. You are responsible for you. You can’t make everyone good. You survived, and that’s all that matters. Maybe they grew up to be better people by themselves, maybe they didn’t, I don’t know, because I’m busy doing my own thing, but I wish I (or you), had learned to do that sooner.

2017, which is where I am now, is going to be weird as fuck, and you should prepare for that as best you can. You’ve seen some pretty weird and fucked up things already, so I wish I didn’t have to tell you it gets worse, but I do, and I’m sorry about that. It turns out you were right about Tony Blair, but you were wrong about Kevin Spacey. You were very, very wrong about Kevin Spacey. You will discover that sometimes, evil can be hidden by nice things, and nice gestures, and a nice face, and you will never stop being astounded and disgusted by it. You will never really learn to be aloof or unsurprised by supposedly good people turning out to be awful, but maybe that’s a good thing. You were also wrong about Seamus Heaney, but he isn’t a sex offender like Kevin Spacey (probably should have mentioned that in more detail earlier, sorry), he’s just a better writer than your jealous teenage self was willing to acknowledge, and at some point, you will find it within yourself to admit that you only dislike him because he has a nobel prize, and you don’t (yet). There is still time for you, and you don’t have to dislike people because they have achieved things you haven’t, especially when you are literally still in school, and haven’t even finished your exams. He’s 53 years older than you, so it is to be expected that he will achieve things you want, before you do. Give yourself a chance to grow, and you’ll do all those things too. With this in mind, you can also stop hating about 45% of celebrities and public figures that you don’t like, because the same thing applies. You have plenty of time to collect trophies, sign books and perform.

On the bright side, there will be a new Star Trek series, with a black female lead, and a better chance of not being cancelled like enterprise, but to enjoy that, you first have to endure a Tory government, leaving the European Union, and an absolute bastard being the president of the US.

I probably should have done those one at a time, but it’s important that you understand something. Many of those things happened because of voter apathy, and I know that right now, you’re super hype for politics and desperate to vote, but in about three years, that enthusiasm will die, and one man is responsible. When you were (or are) eighteen, you will vote for the liberal democrats, because Nick Clegg makes a lot of promises. Nick Clegg will then form a coalition with the conservatives and the effects will be devastating to the country, and to you too. It will break your heart. You will lose complete faith in politicians, and it will take a long time to get it back. You get your groove back after seeing Nicola Sturgeon in a debate during the 2015 election, and will reluctantly return to the Labour roots you were raised on, because it’s the closest thing to the SNP in England (I mean, it isn’t really, but it’s the best you can do), so if we ever get a chance to do 2010 again, save yourself some heartache and just vote labour or green. It doesn’t actually matter how you vote really, in the bigger picture, because you’re registered to vote in a safe Tory seat, but it might make you personally feel better. The moral of that story is, people might let you down, specifically politicians, but not all of them are the same and many of them do want to help. Don’t give up and definitely use your vote, and encourage others to do the same, no matter how annoying it makes you feel, because people not voting led to most of 2017.

Speaking of men in 2010 who will break your heart, there will be a man that you meet on a tube train, on New Year’s Eve, he will make lots of promises and tell you so many nice things, but he will ruin your life for about two years, and to be completely honest, you’ll still be slightly broken in 2017, and maybe further on, I don’t know yet, so again, if we get the chance to do 2010 again, don’t talk to anyone on the tube. It’s frowned on anyway, regardless of how Northern your upbringing was. Keep your mouth shut and read a book in uncomfortable silence, like everyone else.

Back to how fucked up 2017 is. You will be devastated by the result of the EU referendum, and will briefly consider desperately attempting to get Spanish citizenship and leaving the UK forever. I don’t know if the UK will actually leave now, because it’s currently a bit of a clusterfuck, but whatever happens, you will be okay, and the UK isn’t so bad (at least, some parts of it, anyway). Please remember to speak English in public at all times, for your own safety, because some people will go nuts and be unrelentingly xenophobic after the referendum, but keep to yourself, and don’t talk to strangers, especially in Spanish, and you’ll probably be fine. You will have to stop pretending not to speak English to avoid gross men, as this could get you into way more trouble than before, and you may feel like this place isn’t your home anymore, but there are places where you will still feel like you belong, so hold onto that.

Donald Trump becomes president. This doesn’t directly effect you all that much, but you will hate it all the same. For a while, you will feel there is no good left in the world, but there is, I promise. You just have to look harder to find it, these days. Oh, and you will later discover that he, like many people in 2017, is the absolute fucking worst, and you will no longer feel guilty about your angry blog posts about him taking up space at Wrestlemania.

You won’t be a Broadway star, like you wanted, not in 2017 anyway, but weirdly enough, Broadway World, a website where you spent most of your childhood, writes an article about one of your books this year, so that’s a nice consolation prize. You will go to university, though, like you wanted, and you’ll be a writer, which you’re just getting interested in now as I remember. You also dip back into music, and a song you compose gets thousands of streams on Spotify. I’m aware you don’t know what that means yet, or what Spotify is, but basically, thousands of people hear your music, and that’s pretty fucking cool. It’s like music downloads, except you will get way less money in royalties, so we aren’t exactly living fancy yet, but I’m working on it.

You are currently sad. I remember it so well, and I wish I could tell you that everything magically gets better, but it doesn’t. You’ll later be diagnosed with depression, and you’ll be resistant as fuck to it, because you’re used to helping the people around you with their own stuff, and it will be hard to accept that you need help to, but take it, because it doesn’t make you weak.

Depression isn’t your only problem. I know this is all pretty bleak, and I’ll stick more goodness in this soon, but I’m just writing it as it comes. You will go through many things that will make you question who you are, and will make you feel like life isn’t worth it, this will of course not be helped by the depression you are not yet currently aware that you have, but even without depression, it’s a lot to go through. You survive. That’s all I can promise. I can’t tell you it won’t hurt, but I can tell you that you survive.

Your handwriting never gets any better, by the way, but you have a very impressive typing speed, so stop worrying about that. You will barely write by hand once you leave sixth form anyway, and you will have the convenient excuse of never writing by hand, because you want to save the planet from deforestation. To be real, though, I think people are aware that you’re just really bad at writing by hand, but many people you meet are too polite to say so.

Right now, you think you’re very smart and mature, because you listen to radio 4, and read the Guardian, but you still have lots to learn, and realistically, you’re a very young fifteen, at least emotionally. I really wish we got a second shot at 2010, or any of the years actually, because there is so much we could do differently. There is so much you didn’t know, and so much that I can’t protect you from, that still haunts me to this day, but realistically, I can’t. We can’t. All that we can do is be thankful that we made it this far, and keep going.

Your survival is all that matters. Things will be tough. Things will be devastating. You will get your heart broken (no bones though, so we still hold that record), you will be disappointed, you will feel like a failure, but you will live on and you will feel joy, and passion, and pride, and you will survive.

Whatever happens, keep fucking going. You may not get exactly what you want, and things might feel hopeless some days, but you survive, and that’s all you can do sometimes.

As I write this right now, you are happyish. Things are okay. You’re currently waiting for your new music video to process through editing software, and trying to pass the time, by saying hello to the girl you once were. You had a decent night of sleep last night, despite being caught in traffic for ages. You look a bit of a mess because you didn’t put on make up this morning, but you’re still cute, and most importantly, you are still fucking here.

Besos,

J x

PS. You don’t learn to swear less, and around 2012, you stop putting it on your new year’s resolution list, because it just isn’t fucking realistic. Sorry.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

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Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

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Posted in Beauty, Blog, Lifestyle, Personal

MYSIGN: The Elements

Mysign- the elementssneak peak jennifer juan

Hola amigos!

Today, I’m very excited to share something from one of my favourite make up brands with you. I discovered MYSIGN, after receiving one of their Aquarius Eye Wheels for Christmas in 2016. I’ve always been fascinated by astrology, and currently have an entire folder full of astrology related apps on my phone, so make up products based on my star sign were the ideal gift for me (Thanks Mum!) and I fell in love with their products right away.

MYSIGN has a new collection on the way, and I couldn’t be more excited. Launching on November 22nd 2017 is the latest collection “The Elements”, comprised of four unique eyeshadow palettes, will bring together three signs by element and celebrate the spirit, personality and style of each sign.

krista-hm
Krista Madden. Quite possibly the hardest working Capricorn you’ll ever meet.

 

MYSIGN is a brand created by one of the most innovative women in modern media, Krista Madden, in collaboration with one of the biggest names in UK beauty Makeup Revolution. Krista is not only behind one of the hottest new make up collections, but is also the founder of one of the first and longest running female focused websites BeautyandtheDirt.com, as well as founding one of the leading agencies for bloggers and vloggers, Handpicked Media. She certainly lives up to the reputation of hardworking Capricorns!

The palette is excellent value, at only £6 for 15 shades, and has a variety of colours to display the signature traits of each element. Combining cool, ethereal shades with deep and dark shades gives enough shades for a variety of looks, and adds to the value of the palette. The shadows are vibrant and long lasting, with easy application and shades for every look and occasion. As with the previous MYSIGN collection, and all collections made in collaboration with Makeup Revolution, the palette is cruelty free, and has not been tested on animals, nor does it contain any animal products, so it is completely safe for vegans.

 

IMG_9836
All the colours you need to set the spirit of your star sign free.

 

I’m an Aquarius, which I, as a creator, am so grateful for. I know some people are sceptical, but I really do see traits of my sign in my personality. I’m not always great with following the rules, I like to think I’m very forward thinking, I can be a little withdrawn, and some people can see me as a little “out there”. It would not be unfair, to be real, to suspect that I am perhaps an alien. I like to think that if I was one (surely I’d have figured that out by now, but you never know), that I’d be like Mork from Mork and Mindy, as opposed to Alien, from, well, Alien. My planetary status aside, one thing is for sure, I’m definitely a proud Aquarius, and it’s something I’m always willing to celebrate, which is part of why I love MYSIGN so much.

Now, you guys know I am no expert in make up, but the great thing about the palette, is that it allows for exploration, and learning. There is a great combination of matte and metallic shades to dive into, and I found it very easy to unleash my creativity, and create a look that displayed my individuality. I experimented with the silvery greys, a little blue and pink to create a dramatic and otherworldly look that I feel really represents the futuristic and unusual aspect of my sign.

I also used a little silver on top of my lipstick (Marshmallow – Colourpop), to help it shine a little brighter.

jennifer juan 5.jpg
“I came here from outer space, a planet called 808.” – Legendary icon and mother to everyone who asks, RuPaul

Overall, this is a great addition to the existing products that MYSIGN offers, and is a great sign of the brand’s ambition and their commitment to creating products that speak to our spiritual side. Along with the upcoming fragrance line to accompany the eye and lip products, a look that is astrologically tailored to you is no longer a fantasy, and is affordable too.

You can find the AIR palette, as well as FIRE, EARTH and WATER at TAMBeauty from November 22nd 2017, and in store at Superdrug from January 3rd 2018, for an incredible £6 each. You can also shop the original collection at TAMBeauty and discover more about the collections, as well as getting all the details on your sign, and horoscopes for the future at the MYSign website.

I hope you enjoyed exploring this gorgeous new palette with me, and I’ll see you again soon!

Besos,

J x


*Disclaimer* I was generously provided with the above palette but all thoughts, opinions, research and photographs are my own.

Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

Order “Home Wrecker” here

Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

RECENT FREE CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Are You Afraid?
Ladylike
Summer Of Love

RECENT BLOGS
Jim Chapman’s “147 Things” Review
How I wrote “Depression Is Not Real?” from Home Wrecker
It’s Time To Talk About EVE (Because Many People In The Wrestling Industry Won’t).

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Posted in Beauty, Blog, Lifestyle

Lipsticks I Love

lipsticks-jennifer-juan

Hola amigos!

I’ve previously mentioned a little bit of inexperience with make up, but I’m slowly (very slowly) figuring it out, and I’m having a lot of fun. My favourite kind of products are lip products, and so today, I thought I’d share some of my favourite lipsticks with you.

kylie-cosmetics-exposed-jennifer-juan

I’m pretty sure everyone is aware of the Kylie Cosmetics brand at this point, and as cute as they all looked, Exposed was the first of Kylie’s products that I really felt drawn to, enough to deal with the hell of customs. It wasn’t the actual charge that was the issue (£8 if you’re wondering) but the fact I had to go to the sorting office, which is on the other side of town to the post office, and up a massive hill. The struggle was real. However, it was worth it.

The lip liner was so smooth and applied so well. I’ve not got much experience with lip liners (or anything, as you know) but it was so easy to use. The scent of the liquid lipstick was divine. It was so sweet, and reminded me of baking cupcakes with my mum, and that’s always a good thing. If Kylie Jenner ever goes into fragrances, I’ll be ready to order. The liquid lipstick felt good on my lips, and was, like the liner, very easy to apply. I regret not buying the gloss at the time, but there is always next time.

 

colourpop-salt-jennifer-juan

I always liked the idea of metallic lips, but I never thought I could pull it off. Luckily for me, 2016 has been a long year of “The world appears to be imploding on itself and ending, so girl, wear whatever the hell you want.” so I just went with it. I had heard a lot of great things about Colourpop, and Diva Approved were having a sale on Colourpop products, so I decided to go for it and ordered Salt.

I knew if I was going to go metallic, it had to be gold, because as I mentioned in a previous blog, gold is kinda my thing. When I received it, I was a bit nervous, but within minutes, I didn’t care, because I felt like an Academy Award statue. I was glitzy, glamorous, and oh so fabulous. While it can look great with a gloss, it isn’t really required, because it has plenty of shimmer of it’s own, and is very moisturising, so no dry lips!

mac-selena-jennifer-juan

My love for Selena Quintanilla Perez is endless. Honestly. There is so much about her to love. Her voice, how she performed, her personality, her kindness and love to her fans, and of course, her effortless but flawless style. Selena was a beauty and fashion icon in her lifetime, with people emulating her looks, and flocking to her Texas boutiques to get some of that Selena style, so it was unsurprising when MAC cosmetics decided to honour the legendary entertainer with her own make up line.

Amor Prohibido was my favourite shade (and is also one of my favourite songs) because the colour is gorgeous, and it feels so good on the lips. It’s something that doesn’t really require too much prep work, which is helpful for someone like me, and the colour lasts a lot longer than I expected, considering how little effort I have to put in to wear it. The packaging is SO Selena, and while the release was a bit frustrating (I think MAC didn’t quite prepare for how many fans Selena still has around the world), I think the line is a great addition to her legacy, and the lipstick is just beautiful.

As they say, anything for Selenas.

colourpop-screenshot-jennifer-juan

As mentioned, I’d heard a lot of good things about Colourpop, and they recently had free international shipping, so of course, as a woman who loves lip products with sensible spending habits, I got out my bank card and went to work. I got one of the Hello Kitty lip glosses, because I love anything cute, especially Hello Kitty, and I also got Screenshot.

Screenshot felt like I was wearing a lip gloss, but looked like I was wearing a lipstick, and you can’t really ask for more than that. It was comfortable, but still retained the desired look.

It contains a little less preparation than a matte lipstick, which is useful for me, as I’m not too good at sitting still and working on that. The colour is long lasting, and looks lovely.

mua-luxe-glint-jennifer-juan

In addition to Colourpop’s Salt, I also picked up the MUA Luxe Glint metallic to try out. I was a little more nervous about this one (this is becoming a theme) because it was darker than most lipsticks I use. However, at the time I got it, Halloween was coming up, so I was like “if it looks horrible on me, I can just say I was getting in the Halloween spirit”. Ha, Halloween spirit.

Anyway. As it all turned out, the upcoming dystopia kind of took the edge off, and I thought to myself “It doesn’t look bad, it just looks different.” I’ve come to realise that I don’t think colours can look bad, they are just different to what you are used to, so you can really wear whatever you want, and it will probably be fine. I soon got used to the colour, and actually found it quite empowering, and it’s become something I wear regularly.

I hope you enjoyed this post, what are some of your favourite lipsticks?

Besos,

J x

swatches-jennifer-juan
Left To Right: Exposed Lip Liner, Exposed Lipstick, Salt, Screenshot, Amor Prohibido, Glint


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Posted in Ask Jen, Beauty, Blog, Lifestyle, Thoughts On Writing, Writing

Ask Jen- September 25th

Hannah asked “How do you come up with collection names?”

For general things that don’t have a theme, it’s normally just the most interesting poem title that I use, but if it has a theme, I can normally come up with something a bit more interested that will describe what I’m writing about.

Michelle asked “What is your favourite lipstick?”

Currently, Exposed by Kylie Cosmetics.

Gloria asked “How far did you get with learning Esperanto?”

About six lessons in. I know, I know! I found it quite difficult, so I’ve switched to Welsh, which I’m finding a lot easier to get the hang of. I doubt I’ll be writing things entirely in Welsh any time soon, but I could probably have a basic conversation right now.

Rose asked “What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?”

To write something that somebody likes, and to keep doing so, on as regular a basis as is possible for someone like me, who has a lack of discipline and way too many ideas.

Alan asked “I know you’ve said it isn’t finished, but what is your novel about?”

I don’t want to say too much, but it is a time travel romance, with some elements of magic, or something, I don’t really know at this point, because I keep changing things, because I suck.


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