So if you saw any of my social media last week, you might know that Friday the 14th July was the day I graduated from Nottingham University. For me it was a day that i’d looked forward to for years and was a day that almost didn’t happen as I was so determined I wasn’t going to go and do a degree! Boy am I glad now that I did. The three years I spent there were brilliant and they have enabled me to land I job that I’m proud of! I thought i’d do an outfit & face of the day post and also a quick roundup of how I found the day!
I had picked my outfit months ago, having found a pair of shoes I loved and picking a dress to match them! The shoes were very very me and probably not what you’d call ‘usual graduation attire’. They were from Office and were the Hubba Hubba Fluff Ankle Trim Sandals in Grey Velvet. I paid £58 for them but annoyingly they are now in the sale for only £32! Don’t you just hate it when that happens! I have to say that they were honestly some of the most comfortable high heels I’ve worn in ages and I’m going to get so much continued use out of them!
My dress was from Missguided at ASOS and was the Tall Lace Ladder Trim Ruffle Hem Dress in Ice Grey. This was £40 and seeing as I didn’t have a bag, it brought my whole outfit in at a total of £98. I did get student discount on both items so I feel I actually paid around the £85 mark. The dress was actually from the tall section of ASOS (despite me being only 5’4) but fit absolutely perfectly! The lace detailing was gorgeous and although I did have some worries that the tiered skirt would puff out my robe, it worked exactly as I had planned! On ASOS this looks a lot more blue than it is, I would say it’s actually more mint green than anything, but a very very pale shade of it!
I did actually have my hair done at the hair dressers (I always go to Sutherland & Barnet in Nottingham City Centre) as I despise doing my own hair! They blow dried it straight and then used the GHD Creative Curl Wand to add beautiful loose waves to it. These curls lasted for days and I am totally going to be buying that wand to use at home #sorrynotsorry. My lovely hairdresser Jessica recommended sleeping in a silk scarf to keep my hair frizz free and the curls in tact. It really worked and I was so chuffed to wake up the next morning with my hair looking FABULOUS! I felt like such a princess with all my hair up in a pure silk scarf but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
I had booked for my makeup to be done on the day so I didn’t have to stress but unfortunately a last minute cancellation left me fending for myself. I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t she love makeup right? Well yes, I do, but I HATE doing it under pressure and I knew that if it didn’t go right, I would hate every single picture from the day. A
small big cry later and I put on my big girl pants and decided to go and do something about it. I headed to MAC for some inspiration and a foundation as I had just come back from holiday and all my foundations were much too light and didn’t blend with my neck! Thankfully I got a fantastic lady who spent at least half an hour with me sorting me out and for that I will be forever grateful!
So, drama over, onto the actual makeup and I am really pleased to say it went perfectly first time. Thank God otherwise a meltdown would definitely have followed! I had set aside 90 minutes in which to do it so I could start again if I had to but I think it actually took around an hour!
I started off with the MAC (there’s going to be a lot of MAC in this post sorry!) Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Primer in Radiant Yellow. This is an AMAZING primer and I feel like my make up just applied so beautifully on top of this! Cue a full sized purchase coming soon! I followed this up with some of the MAC Peachlite Strobe Cream on the high points of my face, focussing mainly on the cheek bones. I much prefer the shade of this one to the original as it was much more of a softer glow.
With my skin prepped, I applied MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC20 (I’m normally NC15) and blended it in with a buffing brush. Over the years I’ve had a real love-hate relationship with this foundation but the match and finish were absolutely spot on and it covered the many spots that had appeared, perfectly. It also stayed on ALL DAY and I am completely back to loving this foundation and wondering how I survived without it! The only thing that annoys me is the lack of pump with this, but at that point I really couldn’t be picky and I also didn’t fancy paying for one!! I followed this with a rediscovery of mine, the MAC Pro Longwear concealer! I’ve had this before and got on with it okay but I think it must just suit my skin better now as this has become a complete and utter staple ever since! I wore the shade NC30 as they come up very very light! This still gave a slight highlighting effect to my face without looking OTT. I set my concealer in place and dusted any areas that were looking shiny, with MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder and that was the base done!
When in MAC the sales assistant used a beautiful bronzer on me that I was actually going to buy but they’d sadly sold out! I believe it was the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Dark Golden which is ironic as being so pale, i’ve never had a product with the word ‘dark’ in it before. So on the day I actually used Benefit’s Hoola but have no fear, I’ll be back in MAC for that pronto! For blush, again I fell for the charms of MAC and bought the blush she’d used on me when I visited. It was the infamous Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul and boy is it bloody beautiful! It’s a subtle beige toned blush that just gives you that naturally flushed look. Finally, onto highlight we went for MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle, which thankfully I had at home. Well I’d given it to mum but swiftly took it back for the day!! Clearly the Mineralize products just work well for me as they just blended like a dream and didn’t look too heavy at all!
Quick and easy, this is just my usual: Benefit’s Ka Brow! I love this product and use it daily with an angled brush! I did randomly discover on the day that it applies better if the brush is ever so slightly wet. Random but it worked!
This was the bit I was lacking inspiration for as my dress was cool-toned so I couldn’t opt for my usual very warm toned eye look! Before I went into MAC I had messed around with some cooler shades in my collection and cobbled together something, but it wasn’t quite right. I used the Morphe 35O palette (yes there are a couple of cool-toned shades in there!) with some of the ashier browns in the crease and lower lash line and the pinky nude full on glitter in the centre. As I say there was still a little something something missing. Cue Kerrie from MAC again! She said she loved what i’d done (I was still very dubious about it all so her praise definitely helped!) but what about trying a warmer tone through the crease too so it was more of what I was used to?
At this point she could have suggested lime green and I’d have been all for it so I was only too happy to let her show me. She popped MAC’s Soft Brown Matte Shadow over what i’d done and it was literally a hallelujah moment. I don’t know what kind of sorcery is in that little pan of goodness but it just lifted the whole look. But wait, she wasn’t done there! She then popped Folie in the outer corner just to smoke it out a bit. Absolutely perfect! Unfortunately, they didn’t have Folie so I got Swiss Chocolate instead which is almost identical and what she thought she’d actually used anyway! On the day, I took Swiss Chocolate on an angled brush and popped it along as liner too.
For mascara, I took a risk and tried a new one. Thankfully the risk paid off and it stayed put and looked incredible! The mascara I’m now in love with is Tarte’s Light’s Camera Lashes. Oh. My. God. This stuff is incredible! Amazing rich dark colour, separates, lengthens, doesn’t clump. It’s literally mascara heaven. I have two samples but I WILL be buying more!!
I didn’t want too much on my lips as I wanted it to be all about the flawless base and a really good, soft smoky eye. I chose to tie in with the subtle warmth in the shadow and went for MAC’s Satin Lipstick in Mocha. I love the satin finishes and this stayed on all morning!
Finally, a quick spritz (or 10) of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray and I was good to go!
Phew that was a long ramble and I’m sorry this post is so hefty, I just wanted to get every little bit of information in! Finally I just want to say a few things on how I found the day in general. Honestly, I couldn’t have enjoyed it more! It felt very very emotional to walk across that stage and collect my degree and it will be a moment that I will treasure forever! Seeing all my friends and celebrating with my family was so special to me and the pride I felt of my achievement that day almost made me burst. Having panicked the night before about tripping on stage, I was definitely relieved to have made it across without falling!
If you are graduating then make sure you make the most of the day. Invite the people who mean the most to you and just soak up your achievement. Make sure you take lots of photos and treasure it as it’s likely that that may be the only time you graduate! In the evening we booked a lovely meal at Harts restaurant in Nottingham which was such a treat as it’s definitely more on the pricy side but was so worth it to finish off the day in style!
If you’ve already graduated, I’d love to know what you did on the day! If you are graduating any time soon then good luck, enjoy it and most definitely be proud of yourself! Please feel free to call me by my full title now: Molly Rose Ashton BSc (Hons). Don’t worry, I’m just kidding!
P.s this post is not sponsored, nor does it contain affiliate links despite featuring a hell of a lot of MAC. I mean, can you imagine if they’d sponsored little old me, I’d feel like I was graduating twice!