Written by Rebecca Raynham
I'm not against wedding rings. If people love wearing them, then that's lovely and their choice. I have an engagement ring and a wedding ring and I wear them sometimes.
But most of the time, I don't wear them. I don't even wear them on a chain around my neck.
There are many reasons for this, First of all, I wash my hands a lot and hate the feeling of wetness underneath the ring.
I also have sensitive skin. Rings feel itchy and annoying halfway through the day and I am always taking them off and losing them.
Dan feels the same way too. He hates wearing jewelry. He has maybe worn his wedding ring three times since our wedding four years ago.
Actually, he told me before our wedding, that he probably wouldn't wear one ever and you know what? I was totally okay with it! We have never been ones to do things just because that is the way people have always done it.
Whilst planning our wedding, I met an acquaintance of mine for coffee and lunch. I told her that Dan didn't want to wear a ring and her reaction stunned me a little bit. She was clearly a bit too uncomfortable and laughed a bit too loudly. She shrieked "it's because he wants to have an affair!" whilst nearby cafe-goers gave us side glances.
I looked at her blankly. Surely, I said, if people want to have an affair, a ring won't stop them. A ring can be taken off if they want. I'm pretty sure many people have had affairs with their wedding rings left on too. In fact, I have read a psychological study, where they concluded that women find married men more attractive...
Rings don't hold any special significance to us. To me, they are just a "bit of jewelry". I like to think that our relationship transcends "bits of jewelry". Of course, if rings have a special significance to people, then I completely understand why they would wear one and not want to take it off. For me though, I don't have a spiritual, traditional or sentimental attachment to them.
For Dan and I, our marriage wasn't about me having the biggest diamond on my engagement ring, expensive wedding rings and a massive wedding. It was about us. Our relationship. Spending the rest of our lives together. We are not religious and it wasn't about being together in the eyes of God. It was a celebration of our unity in a secular sense and the team that we were.
We both got rings to swap on the wedding day, but it was mainly for the ceremony and I suppose there is a social expectation to have rings at your wedding, so we did it.
Some days it feels nice to wear them (I will also sometimes wear them in a social setting, when I am without Dan, as a way to ward off my many unwanted admirers... bahahaha I joke), but most of the time I don't.
Sometimes I feel like it's such a taboo, not to wear your wedding ring. If it isn't on, some people wonder if you've hit a rocky patch. I have had to explain a few times why I don't wear my ring, which I find quite funny, seeing as we live in a part of the world where it is seemingly quite open and used to new ideas and different customs.
But I know why. Dan knows why. We both know where we stand with each other and that's whats most important.
I would love to know, do rings have a special importance to you? Do you not wear one? Do you have an alternative to rings, such as a tattoo or other kinds of jewelry?
Written by Jules Theis
Hi I'm Jules! I am thrilled to be sharing my beauty rituals with all of you lovely This Little Bird readers. I once was a huge makeup junkie! Back in the day I would rock a smokey eye in daylight, but those were the days before I became a Mother and full time homemaker. Nowadays I am lucky if I can find the time to apply lip balm. It took a while for me to get my groove and to find a makeup routine that was quick and easy, but made me look fresh and dewy, even if I wasn't feeling so.
About two years ago I made the big decision to switch all of my beauty products to all natural and organic (or as close as I could get without losing quality). To me this is a huge switch because it's hard to invest that kind of money into buying all new makeup and skincare products, but it's also hard to find the perfect brands for each item you need. Over these past two years I have been slowly making the transition, and I have tried and tested more products than I care to admit. Now I have finally found the perfect products for each makeup item I use on a daily basis. So to help you avoid going through the trial and error process of finding the best natural products, I am happy to share them with you here!
I too suffer like Rebecca in the gene pool with dark eye circles. I've had them for as long as I can remember, but Motherhood has stepped them up to a whole new level. Some mornings it looks like I entered a boxing ring and severely lost. So if I am going to wear any makeup on my face in a day, it will always be concealer.
RMS Beauty ''Un'' Cover-up (Shade: 22)
Trying to find a natural concealer that actually concealed my flaws was a lot harder than I could have imagined. Many of them dried out my skin, didn't last long enough throughout the day, or simply couldn't cover a those damn blemishes on my face! This creamy concealer is lightweight and so hydrating, it actually makes you glow as it's applied. It can be used as both a concealer and a foundation which is such a bonus. ''Un'' Cover-up is the closest you will get to an all natural and organic concealer without losing performance. Now this concealer isn't cheap by any means, but if there is anything I have learned from all of the natural products I have tested and been disappointed in, is that you get what you pay for.
RMS recommends applying with finger tips, but for me I like to start by applying with a concealer/foundation brush and use my finger tips to blend it into my skin.
(link - https://www.rmsbeauty.com/products/un-cover-up)
I am not a huge foundation wearer. I feel there is a fine line between wearing the perfect shade and it being so obvious you've got it on. In the Summer I am a concealer and powder kind of girl, but come Winter I always feel like I need a bit more coverage. So again after trying out many foundations, I found I loved mineral foundation the best. It looks more lightweight and softer on the skin, and is much easier to apply.
Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation Spf 15 (Shade: Popcorn)
Lily Lolo is a great brand if you are starting out with natural products, because they are easy to use and the price point is great. My favourite thing about this beauty company is you can order sample sizes for different products to find the perfect shade for you. When I was first discovering this brand I ordered about 4 shades for the foundation, concealer, and finishing powder, just to make sure I had a perfect match. They also have such a large selection of shades, that you are pretty much guaranteed to find a match.
I apply this mineral foundation after I have applied my concealer with a Kabuki brush. I swirl the Kabuki into the foundation, tap to remove excess powder, use in circular motions, applying some pressure until desired coverage of product is achieved. This foundation is buildable with each layer, so start out light and go from there.
(link - http://www.lilylolo.co.uk/sp+mineral-foundation-spf-15+001)
A finishing powder pretty much speaks for itself. It finishes off your look and ensures everything lasts and stays where it needs to. Since I started using a finishing powder only about a year ago, I have noticed a huge difference in how long my makeup is set for.
Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder
I have tried a few finishing powders, but to me I wanted something simple. I wanted one that was translucent, matte with no shine or sparkle, but left my face still looking light and not caked on. This Lavera Mineral Powder checks all of those boxes for me. Be aware many mineral powders still can contain talc, this one fortunately does not and that's another reason why I like it so much. It adapts to almost every skin tone because it has no pigment, and contains almost all natural and organic ingredients.
It comes with a little powder puff applicator, but I prefer to use a powder brush to ensure light and even coverage. Once I have applied my concealer and mineral foundation, I add a light layer of the finishing powder to set it all in place.
If you tend to have an oily face even after makeup application, a finishing powder will be a game changer for you.
(link - https://www.ecco-verde.co.uk/lavera/fine-loose-mineral-powder-1)
Get ready to have your life changed! I thought every woman used luminizer on their faces because this stuff is liquid gold, but it turns out not everyone has discovered it. Luminizer can take you from tired and blah, to looking like the Queen Bey herself!
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
My friend (well now she's my best friend after telling me about this stuff) raved about this luminizer, so I bought it for myself and now I am gaga for it as well. It works with any skin colour you can imagine because it is completely translucent and it's sole purpose is to just enhance our beauty. It is no wonder this is RMS Beauty's biggest seller!
I apply with my fingertips after I have applied my concealer, foundation, and finishing powder. I put in on the bridge of my nose, apples of my cheeks leading up to my eyebrow bone, the corners of my eyes. I can't recommend it enough!
For me blush is like icing on the cake. It can take your look to va va voom level pretty quickly. You can't really go wrong with blush with each brand and product out there. Some are longer wearing and blend better than others, but to me it all comes down to colour. Once you have found the perfect colour to compliment your complexion then you are set. The one rule of thumb I always remember when applying blush is, a little goes a long way. There was a time when I used to go a little heavy handed on the blush, circa 80's Madonna style. Thankfully I have learned from my mistakes and I know, a subtle look is better for everyone.
Lily Lolo Mineral Blush (Shade: Ooh La La)
This blush is a mineral powder which I love and is from the same line as the mineral foundation I use, so they blend well together. I had a hard time picking which shade I liked, so I started with the basic pink hue Ooh La La, but I am looking forward to trying a new one for Fall and Winter.
I apply my blush after all the steps above with an angle blush brush. I start at the apple of my cheek and work outward along my cheek bone. It is always the last step I do before my face makeup is done. That's why I call it the icing on the cake!
(link - http://www.lilylolo.co.uk/sp+mineral-blus+007)
I am embarrassed to admit I never used to fill in my eyebrows until about a year ago. Before that I just groomed them and left them to their own devices. Then I started seeing all these amazing full brows all over the Internet and on Instagram and I thought to myself, maybe it's time I start paying attention to those little guys. Naturally I have thin eyebrows and don't even need to do much plucking to keep them under control, so I was looking for a basic eyebrow powder just to enhance them.
Lily Lolo Eyebrow Duo (Shade: Light)
This is the most fuss free eyebrow kit I have come across. It takes me 30 seconds to apply and then my brows are set for the day. It comes in three shades and is packaged in a cute little compact with a small mirror, so it is so great for travel as well.
I apply the pressed powder and wax with an angle brush that I only use for my brows, because the wax will make it sticky.
(link - http://www.lilylolo.co.uk/sp+eyebrow-duo+019)
Mascara has by far been the biggest struggle for me to switch over from regular to natural and organic. I have spent and wasted the most money trying out numerous natural mascaras, but the problem is the formulas just seem wrong. They take forever to apply, it seems the brush never holds enough of the product to actually apply it to my lashes, and it doesn't last. I remember trying one that I applied in the morning and by lunch it was gone, as if I forgot to put any mascara on at all. I am still on the hunt for an all natural mascara, but for now I have found this one that is vegan, chemical and paraben free, and is incredible.
Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
This mascara is honestly the best one I have ever used. After being so let down by all of the natural mascaras and feeling like my eyelashes were so short and thin, I tried this Tarte mascara as soon as it arrived in the mail and I had a 'Hallelujah' moment. I finally felt like I had eyelashes again, the kind that you can bat at cute boys on the street. The best part is the wand is so magical that you only need to swipe your lashes a couple of times and you're good to go.
This is the final step in my natural daily makeup look. I curl my eyelashes with your average run of the mill curlers and then apply the mascara, and I am done for the day. Then I'm one happy Mama with a natural face of makeup, hopefully looking a little less tired than before!
(link - https://tartecosmetics.com/tarte-item-gifted-Amazonian-clay-smart-mascara)
There you have it! In the beginning of my transition to natural and organic products, I did feel a bit like a guinea pig. So I am relieved to now have found some incredible products and brands and am excited to share them with you. We are not alone in our beauty battle and should always share if we have discovered a life changing product, like the RMS Luminizer. If I didn't pressure you enough earlier, I will do it again, you seriously need to get it for yourself. You can thank me later!
Stroller walks past local cafes, with our Stokke Xplory.
The Xplory pram is amazing! Because the seat can be positioned really high up on the frame and the handlebars can be pushed down, you can turn it into a kind of highchair when out and about. Alfred loves this and it has meant that we can eat at restaurants again, without him moaning or trying to escape!
I have been an avid blog reader for a long time now. I feel like bloggers have really upped their game in the last couple of years and there are so many good ones at the moment.
Via Instagram, I have "met" so many lovely people and discovered lots of lovely blogs.
Here is a compilation of some of my favourites, please do have a look and enjoy.