Category Archives: beauty

Halloween Makeup walk through #3

So okay, this might be coming a little late this year, but I genuinely didn’t get around to doing any makeup for Halloween this year. Figured better late than never.

So this look is similar to the Pin up Frankie I did last year, but I have done things ever so slightly different this time around. Still super easy to recreate at home, most of the items you will already have in your makeup bag! 

First of all, you need to get a good reference picture, I prefer to use source if I am doing something from a film, book, comic etc so that you are looking at the art in the way it was originally intended. Therefore any changes you make, you are making with full understanding of the original. You are not using someone else’s makeup, which may already have been altered for a variety of reasons, and altering further. If that makes sense. So today, this is the image I was using : 

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Now before we start, here is what I used – Snazaroo face paint in a light blue, 2 shades of blue eye shadow (dark blue in a powder shadow), black and blue liquid liner, mascara. (spray bottle of water for the face paint and makeup brushes) and a wig.

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The first step is to spray up the paint cake, I used a foundation brush to apply out of preference, but a sponge will also work. Apply over all the areas that are visible, face, ears, neck and chest (this will of course depend on what you are wearing.

While you are waiting for the face paint to dry, you can apply lipstick – I used a Colour Pop liquid matt, but anything you have in your bag will do. Once the base is dry, you can start applying the darker blue eye shadow. I used a mineral shadow because the powder is easier to pat onto the face and you don’t run the risk of rubbing your base off. I started around the eyes, roughly following the eyeline. 

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Once this has been completed, I used the blue shadow to underline the stitches – I started on the mouth and worked my way around the face. I did the neck and check last but only because I always find that area more awkward. Once the eye shadow has been applied, I used a combination of black and blue liquid liner (Nyx vinyl) to line the cut and then the crosses to represent the stitches. I also did V shaped lashes on my lower lids.

After all of that is completed, if you are planning on going out, or wearing it for a longer period of time, spray on some finishing spray and you are good to go 🙂 And it really is that simple, I tend to do makeup looks that are simple, easy and mostly use products you have in your makeup bag or cupboard 🙂 

It would be entirely possible to use a blue eye shadow as a base for this makeup, instead of face paint. It certainly wouldn’t be as bright, and might be more wearable. I haven’t tried it out yet but I will update the blog if and when I do!

If you try this out, please let me see! 

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Moths and Glitter

So a couple of weeks ago on the show, I had the beautiful MothQueen Makeup speak to us – give a little background, and generally shed a little light into her life. This was not, I will be the first to admit, entirely altruistic. I am a massive fan of her work and have followed her on various platforms for some time. I was so happy when she agreed to start a You Tube channel – her tutorial on how to do the perfect smokey eye, for me just sealed the deal.

If you would like to hear what a MothQueen sounds like, and to get a little background on her – have a listen Lifestyle:MK Halloween special ft Mothqueen Makeup

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MothQueen Makeup is entirely relatable in a way that many artists on You Tube aren’t – she is polished, poised, her editing is fantastic. But she still manages to explain things, she is approachable and it is like listening to a friend walk you through makeup application. And of course, she uses products that are easy for most of to get our hands on.

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Now most of that shouldn’t be news to you – I have blogged about MQM before now – but I have got some updates for you – since we last spoken MQM has not only competed in the NYX UK Face Awards (and did amazingly well!) but she also represented ManicPanic UK at the recent Salon International convention in London. So she is getting her face out there – her skills are being recognised.

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But another… name that you will be familiar with if you follow this blog, and or any of my other social media outlets…. Oh My Glitter. Now the lady behind this company is working for and by herself currently and it is always exciting to see what she comes up with – I did a review on her products a couple of months a go and honest she has blow me away in the 3 months since that review!

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By I digress, and there is a reason that I am writing about these lovely ladies in the same blog – they make an amazing team! MQM did a fantastic bunch of videos for Halloween, and I based my halloween makeup on her Unicorn – although modified as I was going to be playing with a headset the entire time! And she extensively used OMG products to achieve her look. In fact if you take a look at her recent videos – including a stunning and rather gothic mermaid – OMG is all over her face!

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This isn’t a collaboration in the traditional sense, and like any of the times that I review or promote products, it is based on the product and not some sort of endorsement deal. The products are so good that they can easily be used for day wear, night wear and special effects. There aren’t many products that translate so well. Of course, I do love using drugstore products for SFX makeup. But they miss that… something… GLITTER. Of course there are other brands with glitter, pressed, loose, gel. But there are few options for an eyeshadow that is frankly just so versatile and so hardwearing. And that is why it works so well for MQM. It is a match made in heaven and I am so happy! (because it makes recreating or using her looks as inspo so much easier when I can use the same product!).

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So in a bid to help make this easier for you – here are some links so you can see what is making me all fangirly and giggly!

Moth Queen Makeup You Tube

MothQueen Makeup FB page

Oh My Glitter FB Page

Oh My Glitter website

Learn by watching

So this week on the show we are looking at You Tube and of course I look at makeup tutorials for inspiration and direction from time to time. But what actually prompted this blog was a ‘light bulb’ moment. I am going to be doing a blog on eye brow products – mostly inspired by my own mother. And then I realised, there has been a monumental shift in how we learn about makeup.

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Years ago, really people of my generation and above, will say that they remember how their mother applied their lipstick, watching her getting ready for work, or to go out in the evening. Often our first makeup was ‘borrowing’ our mothers products. So our first, hesitant steps into the work of face paint would be whatever our female relatives have at hand. Obviously if you were lucky enough to have an older sister it would broaden your experience.

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We would learn what products are ‘normal’ to use, and probably be guided in colours by our mother. When we first go out into the world to pick up makeup, we would go with what is safe. Although shopping with girlfriends would involve glitter EVERYTHING and hair mascara.

Recently I was at an Urban Decay event (which I am going to be writing up) and we had 3 different age groups, and it was funny that the uni student commenting on how on point the school leavers are, and they in turn saying that the year 7’s are even more on point with makeup. Year 7’s in makeup? I am not even sure how to process it. But you will have to forgive me, I grew up in the Eighties, so that was not exactly a great decade for makeup inspiration… nor were the Nineties if we are going to be honest. However, things really have changed.

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Are we not all guilty of utilising You Tube to learn new skills? I don’t know about you but I spend plenty of time on You Tube researching makeup, seeing new ideas, learning new skills. So really the only difference is that girls first learning about makeup are using the tools available to them, no different from anyone else. It is just that when they are first experimenting with makeup they are being exposed to trends, and brands and their expectation is different. And let’s be honest, the make up market has exploded in recent years. There is a lot more choice, both drug store level, high end but many more independent brands to choose from.

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You Tube gives people, of all ages, background, ability a platform – a platform free of big advertising and marketing budgets. It is honest, it is personal. There are so many things that you can find on You Tube. I spend as much time looking at makeup as I do listening to music. You Tube is my tool for procrastination. Because you have so many awesome suggestions to go check out. And often (in my experience) it doesn’t matter what you started off looking for … you end up looking at entirely unrelated videos – just ask Robb who in last weeks show explained that while he might start off looking at workout videos… somehow he finds cat videos.

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And it offers skills, for me, there are numerous videos showing different makeup techniques, hints, tricks, dupes, a fabulous resource that will help you nail the look you are trying to polish. And what is really great about these videos is that you will find one that clicks. You will watch countless that while very well done, and easy to follow… it doesn’t quite gel. Now for tomorrows show, I am going to be following a video uploaded by Moth Queen Makeup (go find her on You Tube and Facebook – tell her I sent you!) for the radio show. To make things interesting, I will not be doing a trial run, and will try and cobble together a video myself. I have followed MQM for a while and find her videos really easy to follow and she uses a mix of products often finding products that are a lot kinder on the wallet. So… I will see how that goes and do a write up following the show!

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You Tube is a fantastic resource, you will find help for almost anything. But please, please sure a little common sense when copying anything you have learnt. If it feels wrong, makes you uncomfortable, or you just aren’t sure… don’t do it. Keep looking and see if there is another video that might offer a better solution. And one more thing – while I may be older than a lot of people watching makeup videos, and am learning tips, and tricks that many a 14 yr old will do without thinking – do not for a moment think you are too old. I see so many comments on various makeup themed groups asking if people are too old for a certain look (always discouraging when the person asking is younger!). What I love about makeup is that like any other art, it is constantly evolving and changing and we have access to so many tutorials now be it You Tube, Facebook, or any other number of social media platforms. We are no longer beholden to the makeup of our mothers, we are able to make choices, find new brands, new ways of using the makeup we already own, different looks, the possibilities are endless, and best of all – you can do it all in the comfort of your own home! 

OH MY GLITTER!

So, a little back story, I love makeup and a few years ago my path was brightened up when I cam accross a indie makeup company selling mineral eye shadows. I am an eyes girl specifically. I would come up with all sorts of combinations, blues with purples, pinks with greens, think peacock, then think of a box of over 100 colours to choose from. But around a year ago, I had a change in circumstance and I found myself starting to dress a lot more conservatively, including utilisation of my UD Naked 2 pallet. Now don’t get me wrong I do love UD but the pallet is safe. I was slowly being stifled, and became very unhappy. That is another blog post, but just to wind this up a little, I changed things up, I am a lot more happy. One thing that really was bothering me, despite all the makeup at my disposal, I had lost my mojo. Although, what I mean, is I lost my mojo for my day to day makeup. 

And not so so much of a secret, I am a glitter addict. As I have already said, I love to give small businesses a chance, and I especially love indie makeup companies. You see, there are some fantastic indie makeup companies out there, doing fun things with glitter, throwing rule books out of the window when it comes to colours and designs. But it can get expensive, when you take into considering exchange rates, postage and packing charges, and then custom charges it can become an expensive investment.

Et voila – the reason for this blog, I am pleased to introduce Oh My Glitter by Robyn – this is her Facebook page, Click Here

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I initially got sent a lucky dip eye shadow, a red which I was super pleased with as red is such a difficult colour to find. Now the eyeshadow is an unusual composition – It isn’t a loose powder, and it isn’t quite a dry pressed powder. It also isn’t waxy, in the same way that you will find the tattoo shadows. What they are is easy to use, beautiful to blend in a way that many traditional shadows are not, and really fun to apply. For example I apply the shadows equally with my fingers and a short tapered brush. They really are fun to experiment with. I placed an order after having so much fun with the first one for mermaid colours – that was my actual wording, and had some glitter shadows thrown in – this is the swatch of the second order :

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The shadow is really beautiful, you really only need a tiny amount, and it builds up fantastically, just keep blending it out until you have the coverage you wanted and then add layers until you get the required intensity. With the glitters now also available, you can layer up the base with a glitter which helps both pop. That said the glitters stand up all on their own – the above swatch is just one swipe. 

I cannot tell you how much fun with the eye shadows over the last week – up to and including using the normal blue and blue glitter as lip stick 🙂 

So if like me, you love supporting indie makeup brands, supporting small businesses… oh and did I forget to mention that the makeup is cruelty free and vegan? Please go check Robyn out – her facebook page is featured earlier in the blog. There are so many options – not only the colours, her basic and glitter shadows – but she does sample/tester posts and pallets. There is talk of doing subscription boxes as well. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. If you do try out her makeup out – please let me know what you think!

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I totally need Poison Apple in my next order! It looks gorgeous! 

 

Shower like an Aussie

So, who here hasn’t used Aussie hair products? They are cute, funny, the suggestions on the back of the bottle on how to use the products are a much needed change from the usual ‘wash, rinse and repeat as necessary’. The philosophy is simple, natural ingredients from Australia that help you become the Goddess you always knew you could be. Or something along those lines. 

In the late 90’s there was an influx of hair products endorsed by celebrity hairdressers and we were slowly becoming more used to and happier to spend a little more money on our product. We were starting to come out of recessions and the idea that we needed to save every penny and wanted to be able to spend our hard earned cash on a little affordable pampering. This is the environment that Aussie Hair came in, we were ripe for a product that was new, different, that wasn’t preaching from an Ivory tower, and that was appealing to our new sensibilities that meant we wanted fresh, natural, organic. We wanted to get away from the things our parents used, from Head and Shoulders, Wash and Go and even from washing our hair with bubble bath or washing up liquid. We wanted to avoid unnaturally bright colours and chemical smells. 

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And now, who hasn’t used their hair products? They smell great, they do great! Use it little of often there must be a handful of people that have managed to avoid using the shampoo and conditions or at least been confronted by them in the bathroom.

So, here we are in 2016, and Aussie Hair have released shower gel. I don’t even know if it was really advertised, I am the sort of person that puts Netflix on and watches an entire series as background noise. I am assuming some advertising was done. And as usual, the philosophy behind them was sound, mimicking the hair products, four different types were released and CLICK HERE to see them on their website. The ingredients again are for the most part found in Australia and all have very different properties, be it moisturising or energising.

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Being the part time fan of the Aussie Hair products that I am, I was curious to see what they would be like, so when I was on my weekly shop, I had a look and found that, at £3.00 I would give them a miss. I am a big fan of looking after my skin, I moisturise religiously. But there is a limit to what I will use while standing in the shower, I just won’t buy into anything promising moisture while standing in water. So I gave it a miss, I always have plenty of shower gel on standby, and I was sure I wouldn’t be missing anything.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the body wash had gone down to £1 each. I grabbed one of each, I mean who doesn’t want a bargain. It was a weird situation, oh look I am getting a great deal. By spending the same amount I usually spend on the same product. I can’t really review the individual products as I have only started on one of the 4. It smells lovely though and does have a similar consistency to the shampoo. The only real different is the size of the bottle which is smaller than their hair range at 250 ml which is good for people like me who are blind as a bat. But then it is unfortunate as it is an average size for body wash/shower gel, it is significantly smaller than their more well known products and we are pretty visual by nature. The bottle looks smaller than my other gels. Because it is round and not flattened so even though I know it is the same nett weight… and the other issue is that it was over £3 standard price. You are being asked to spend the same amount of money on a smaller amount of product, that you spend on either washing or conditioning your hair. 

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I went shopping the following week. The price had reduced again to 75pence and only 2 varieties remained, so I popped one of each into my trolley. This week? nothing left. I had a quick look over the shelves as they had been replaced by another product but couldn’t see them. It seems that the store, like me, felt that although the product showed willing and had the best intention, it failed to deliver.

Like I said, the product itself is okay, I use it to wash my body. As long as I smell okay and feel clean, while avoiding an allergic reaction… I am happy. Do I expect to be more awake… yes, that is why I have a shower in the morning. Do I expect to feel moisturised, well that is what I rely on my body butter from the Body Shop to take care of. Body Wash to me is just that. I really don’t expect much from it, I wish I could afford to use something from Neal’s Yard, but I can’t so I don’t. I feel that it was a failed experiment, it was an idea, but actually when it comes to premium body wash, others got there sooner, and did it better. The shampoo came in at a time that we needed and were looking for something new and is firmly now in our beauty vocab for great smelling, and beautifully conditioned hair.

If you find it on offer, I would go for it, they all smell really lovely. I just wouldn’t suggest it is worth the price tag at full price. If you want to spend a little more money and be sure of using natural, organic products, The Body Shop, Lush and if you have a few more coins, Neal’s Yard are all excellent places to go.

If your hair needs TLC and you want it to smell great, Aussie Hair is a great place to start 🙂

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CLICK HERE for Neal’s Yard, CLICK HERE for The Body Shop and finally CLICK HERE

 

Oiling up at the Body Shop

So… I am getting older, it is a sad state of affairs but at some point I have to admit that I am no longer 21, and that as much as I might want to look as good as I do on line, real life doesn’t offer filters.

With that in mind, I popped into The Body Shop to try their new moisturiser. Actually, I had been sent the information and was curious. The next stop was to check in store, and speak to someone about that would be my best most. I am the sort of person who will go with something because the ingredients appeal or it smells nice and not always because it is the best fit for my skin.

I had a chat when I got in store and agreed to try the new Oils of Life moisturiser, the entire range can be found at The Body shop online here or in store. I was curious about the range as it did seem to be what I needed for my troublesome skin, and at no point did I feel pressured into buying. As an added bonus I was given a sample of the Oil and Night cream to try as well, with instructions to wear the oil under both the day and night cream.

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I, until very recently, have been rather reluctant to put oil anywhere near my face, I have combination/dry skin and it would just sit on my skin making me feel kinda grim. But times have moved on, these days we embrace oils! No, Honestly we do.

Now back to the review, the samples given were very generous (I still haven’t finished them!) and I was actually pleased with the results, putting oil on first thing then popping on moisturiser… I was pleasantly surprised at how little moisturiser was now needed. My skin genuinely felt better, more nourished. So of course, I had to try without the oil, and immediately I found that I had to tripled the amount used to cover the same area.

Now, as a combination the oil and moisturiser works really well, and you need a couple of drops of oil a tiny bit of moisturiser, so I would suggest that actually even with the cost of buying the combination of products, it will work out cheaper over time. It really does work, your skin feels fantastic.

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Now with regard to night cream, can I be honest… I don’t know how much I have let slip in previous blog posts, but I am really, really bad at taking makeup off. The only time I do a proper strip of an evening is if I am wearing a face mask, so I will be honest, I don’t wear night cream every evening. I love waking up to beautifully moisturised skin, but then I often have a shower within 30 mins of waking .. I will say though, that it does leave your skin feeling beautiful. I am somewhat on the fence about needing cream though. I do tend to wear coconut oil as a night treatment in the winter, and I don’t think that the cream is required.

My advice is that you should certainly give The Body Shop another look when it comes to their creams. This isn’t the shop with the perfume stands and kiwi lip balms of old (although, boy do I miss them) this is a shop that is embracing change, embracing new farming methods, fair trade, new ingredients and ways of working with both the environment and with communities to make it work for everyone. There are some really great new lines at the moment. And they are doing samples. So if you are unsure, and really want to give it a go at home, don’t be shy about asking!

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Fit for danger

So last night a friend shared a diet that was followed by an actress in preparation for a film role. Having followed various links on same subject it is easy to see how quickly the initial article has been disseminated in to the wider world, with the message becoming blurred.

The reason my friend shared it was her concern over young girls coming accross this article, and more like it and influencing them. Girls look toward images presented to them in the various mediums, whether it is via social media, TV, film, magazines for idea of what they should look like. As girls grow up, they look around, outside their own immediate family, and peer group to understand what is normal, social norms, what is considered attractive.

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When you are told a diet that works is 80% just fruit and veg with the images next to it of the actress having lost 12 lbs … it sounds like the perfect solution. It seems deceptively simple and easy to stick to. So of course, this will be a great idea to shift those imaged layers of fat. But it is a diet. Diets are short term. Many athletes use diets when training. You only have to follow someone like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on social media to understand the importance diet has when training. Actually please follow him, he genuinely is an inspiration.

We see it all the time as well on shows like Strictly Come Dancing, where the contestants lose weight, but what is actually happening is that they are toning up. Because they are dancing around 8 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week including the performances. This isn’t something most people will be able to replicate. It is an unrealistic look for people to attain.

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We need to change what we present to people, instead of advertising a quick fix, maple syrup diets, 80% diets that work in short terms, CRASH diets by any other name as a normal, and healthy way to get the body you want. Instead of focusing on the shape and size of the body, the focus should be on healthy living, doing things that make you happy and finding passion in your life, about spending time outside, finding a sport that you enjoy and doing it with friends, about healthy choices with food. It shouldn’t be about the size of your waist, thigh gaps, how prominent your hips or rib cage is.

The focus should be on healthy attitudes and eating, on being healthy, active and moderation. Of course there will always be sensational articles and sales pitches to do something quickly, to cheat, articles will be misquoted and torn up to suit an agenda. But if we can change the conversation so that teenagers see messages that are predominantly positive, so they are going to be able to make more educated choices about their life, so they are able to make more informed choices. So your body is not the most important thing in all transactions.

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Wigs to the rescue

So, it has been well documented that I love wigs, I wear them as often as possible. I have my favourites, I have wigs that I wear more often, or that I wear for longer periods of time. I also have wigs that may not be treated as well as they might, I store them all over my house, on the stairs, on my desk, on stands, in bags. On top of that I style my wigs, and use them around special effects make up. 

So, as much as I love my wigs, I have to be honest and admit that they sometimes need a little TLC. You might remember a while ago, a lovely friend took in one of my more problematic wigs after it got ruined on a night out. Well, that we so well, I thought I would give her a much bigger job, and this is my review of the work on the wigs! 

The lady in question is Scarlett Von Trapp Eco-Uture CLICK HERE for her Facebook page. She also makes costumes and general dress making, up-cycling and re-purposing material to make sure it is as eco-friendly as possible as well as unique.

But that isn’t what we are here to discuss, we are here to discuss wigs, before and after! I sent 3 wigs to Scarlett, 2 were well loved wigs, and another was a poor quality Ebay wig that needed attention desperately. I only have photos of the first two, which were bought from Geisha Wigs, Watermelon and Red Riding Hood :

These were (and are) 2 of my favourite wigs and therefore the ones I would reach to immediately. I started to notice that the crimp was slowly dropping out of Watermelon, as you can see in the photo, and Red Riding Hood was a slightly defective wig from the outset but I had waited so long for it to come into stock, I rolled with it. As they started to wilt, I stopped wearing them which was sad. The third wig in the batch was another crimped wig, which was unmanageable from the outset. I attempted to straighten out the ends to help but this i also didn’t work so I ended up leaving it in a bag to be forgotten. 

I happened to be discussing this with the lovely owner and woman behind Scarlett Von-Trapp who suggested that she would love to give them a make over, so off I bundled them knowing from our previous transaction, that the wigs would be in good hands. I didn’t discuss exactly what needed doing or what I wanted prior to the wigs being received as I wanted to get an honest opinion on the wigs and what would be possible so I wouldn’t be going into the transaction is misguided expectations. 

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Once she confirmed receipt, we discussed the wigs, and initial thoughts on what she could do with them and what she felt would be best. We agreed for a simple re curl on Red Riding Hood, and she suggested tight curls on Watermelon. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was pretty excited to see what she would come up with. The last wig, the taro, I again gave her a pretty free reign on, I really just wanted a wearable wig.

At every point, I was kept in the loop, I got progress reports and pictures. Every step was discussed with pictures being sent so I could see what the wigs looked like. This is pretty important when you are dealing with people online, it isn’t as simple as popping to your local high street.  

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As you can see, quite a transformation and I really do love the progress photos, it is interesting to see the stages of the work! I am so happy now the wigs are happily back with me, and I cannot think Scarlett Von-Trapp not only for the care and attention, but for the work that she has put into the restoration of the wigs. And there are the little touches with the packaging, it is always feels as if it is an actual present you are receiving in the post. And seeing the care in the wigs, considering that Watermelon has had a complete restyle, she has made sure that the tracts and the wig cap is still in perfect condition. And I have to say, although it looks as if it should be super heavy, it is light and very easy to wear! 

A brief interlude to appreciate the wigs as they are now :

I honestly cannot recommend this lady enough, she cares deeply for her craft, for wigs, and is amazing at restoration and restyling. There is not a safer pair of hands to place your wigs in. She does do international work, and is very responsive to messages. If you are curious about what she can do and what the charges are. At no point is there any pressure to commit to anything. And like I said earlier, she also does other work so it is worth checking out her Facebook page to see what else she can help you with 🙂

Do that dupe

So I have been fairly outspoken about issue lately and I wanted to be a little more light hearted before I launch into the next topic! 

So this will be a review post on 2 makeup products, both Maybelline, so I hope you enjoy! 

A couple of weeks ago while in Superdrug, I saw a small eye shadow pallet that caught my eye, rose gold is the colour scheme that most closely describes it. If you are thinking Urban Decays Naked 3 pallet…. well so was I! CLICK HERE to see it on their page. Because of my combined addictions of both Wild Bangarang leggings, and wigs, I haven’t been able to justify the expense of a new makeup pallet. I have to be honest, until my birthday last year, I wouldn’t consider buying such an expensive product. When I received it as a birthday gift I was blown away by the colours, how beautifully it blended, and because I am super lazy, how it stayed perfect until the next morning (with the help of primer). I was converted. The problem is that with a limited budget, you have to be sure that you are picking the right product. How many times have you settled on Foundation or mascara to realise it just isn’t living up to the hype. Our bodies and our own image is so personal that no matter what percentage of testers thinking the product is Number 1 – it may not work for you. 

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Due to the popularity of the Urban Decay, a number of companies are now offering pallets with similar colour schemes, many in a more comfortable price range. I had tried Make Revolutions offerings but found that unlike other MR pallets, the colour payoff was not there. No company is entirely consistent. I just figured the universe was telling me to wait until I could afford the real deal. 

But I had seen the pallet – The Blushed Nudes by Maybelline and it was on my mind all week and I had got an idea for a makeup look that I really wanted to try… so I had a look while shopping. A word to the wise, I had to go to 3 different stores to find a pallet that didn’t have loose trays. These were unopened pallets but for some reason the individual trays had come loose. But I was on a mission and so I decided to keep looking and eventually found one – they seem quite popular! Now the pallet colours, for me are somewhat alien. I am more about bold colours, some of this is because I pretty much always wear my glasses for work I need something to stand out, some of it is because I am reverting to a toddler and want to throw all the colours at my face. 

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I had a look at the back of the case and after swatching the colours and being surprised at the colour payoff (then remembering I am white, white at the moment) I noticed that the 12 colours are sections off and there is a guide on the back on how to apply it. This is actually a really nice idea, nothing new, pallets have had this for years. What I did find surprising is that although the quads are set up in a similar fashion, the placement on the eye is different. I am game for anything so on Sunday I carefully applied as instructed, and because I am not the delicate of people, blended it out until happy. I also went the whole hog and contoured my face before heading out for a woodland walk. Quite pleased with the results, a neutral look which enhances the eye.

On Monday, again, I picked the next quad along, and again, contoured my face for a woodland walk. Yes, before you ask, I do put makeup on before going to the gym. For me to go anywhere for a prolonged period of time, without a stitch of makeup is a crime. But more about that in another blog. I have to say, while neither day is a look I would routinely wear, I found the shadow really pretty on, subtle and great for every day. You could easily add a much darker lip for a simple evening look in seconds. I opted for a very light lip as I don’t generally wear that either. Weekend of firsts.

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Now while I was in the store, I picked up Maybeline’s Brow Drama pomade crayon. I have been looking for something new to help with my brows. For general maintenance, I have my brows threaded or waxed (dependant on time between appointments), trimmed and tinted. That sounds like a lot, it isn’t expensive, at least not here in Northampton. However, my brows need filling in, and I have tried so many things to help. I have for many years used eye shadow but then finding the right shade is a pain, pencils are fine but I find it can be difficult to get the right shape and takes time to blend in. The brow mascara.. is … an acquired taste, and as much as I love the brow kits with wax, I always run out of wax first. The only thing that has worked for me lately is a felt tip from GOSH cosmetics but again, it is a case of letting it set and wiping off and often I forget (my way of using it, not necessarily how it was designed to be used).

Now, when I got home, I fully thought that the crayon would required some blending or other intervention by me once applied. Wrong, so very wrong. All I have to do is apply the crayon along the length of my brow and I am done. I am so happy, I cannot tell you. It hasn’t budged and hasn’t left my brows feeling or looking weird. The other benefit for me, is that my brows look natural from up close and further away. This is going to be going into my ‘must have’ pile. 

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Now, my recommendation on the eye shadow, it is a good pallet and in the same price range as other brand offerings in the drugstore. I have been pleasantly surprised by the colour pay off, and they all blend really well. The applicator included is basic, I used the brush to apply the base coat both days but I wouldn’t really do a full eye unless you are really stuck. The product itself is a little powdery rather than creamy, so be careful when picking up. The colour lasted well – I didn’t apply any base or primer because i like to give it a test free of any help! The pallet itself is a nice size and should easily fit in a makeup bag so it is a good investment for your handbag – I haven’t tried the last quad, which looks a little darker, and might be your go to to change up to a smokey eye if going out straight after work. The brow crayon is perfect, if like me you are lazy and want a simple way of filling in brows that you are happy with shape wise. 

Sorry this review has turned out longer than intended! Hope you enjoyed reading it! 

Detox, or to detox

So as part of the radio show, I was asked to do a piece on healthy comfort food… which … you know .. it didn’t really sit with me. Instead I am going to talk about what we eats effects how we look. I am clearly very self absorbed and shallow so this was probably an obvious fit. More so that healthy comfort foods… but I will probably go slightly off topic to include that as well! 

So let us kick off – I don’t know about you, but when I am scrolling down my news feed on FB, I seem to daily, if not more, be confronted by some advertising/promoted post about some diet/herbal/detox tea or drink. This is kinda why I have titled the blog as I have. The problem with these posts is not only are they misleading in what they are promoting but they are starting an as misleading back lash.

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You see, I see as many posts about how we have organs that detox, so the entire idea is silly so therefore we should just ignore them. Well, yes, yes we do have some very hard working organs (thank you liver and kidneys) but actually… yes we do need a little help with removing toxins. It is called water. Not merely hydrating, and please don’t kid yourself that having flavoured water, tea, juice or any number of other things is the same as drinking 6 glasses of water a day. If it isn’t plain water, out of a bottle or tap, it just isn’t the same. Of course being properly hydrated is key, so if you want to drink tea all day, do! It will help you feel better and is better than nothing. But water will pass through your body, offering hydration but not causing your organs to have to do any additional work. Plus, on its way through, it will help flush out any toxins. So yes, it will help detox your body… I mean how else is your body going to get rid of the crap it has no need for?

So if you want to have happy, healthy skin, my first tip and the most important is to start drinking water! Every body is different so I won’t tell you how much, but generally speaking, 6 small glasses throughout the day would be a great bench mark. And I promise you will start to see a different in your skin, it will both look and feel a lot better. And this is a great base to continue the work on! 

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Now chocolate – if like me, reading fashion/girly magazines with your friends between classes for anything to help you figure out the brave new world you are entering as a freshly minted teenager… something always stood out…. Chocolate. Chocolate is evil. It literally causes acne. I mean.. it is the ONLY cause for it, and the only way to avoid breakouts is to give up chocolate. Right? Wrong! Sorry, I mean … sure your skin MAY react to chocolate and cause a breakout. Or it might be more hormonal. Do you find yourself craving chocolate at certain times? Maybe monthly, or in times of stress or anxiety? That there are a few factors that are causing the outbreak. Of course, if you are feeling guilty about eating chocolate, but the bar down 🙂

Now one thing I will say, clean eating is going to be the best way to make sure you are feeling and looking good. Avoiding processed foods, knowing what you are putting into your body will of course help you so much, making sure that each of your meals have a variety of different colours is important. Clean eating isn’t really as faddy as you might think. It just means that when you are putting together your dinner, start from scratch, don’t reach for that jar of sauce. Of you want a snack pick up something like a Nakd bar which have simple and clear ingredients listed so you know what is going into your body. 

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This sounds difficult and I realise that I sound preachy – but the reason that we have become so reliant on foods which are stuffed with things we can’t even pronounce is that they are mostly preservatives. We also like things to be pleasing to the eye so we find foods colours in … technicolor for lack of a better phrase. But it only requires a little planning. I often make freezer friendly food at the weekend because I often get in later (relatively speaking) and so it stops me reaching for the takeout menu. So just make sure that when you go shopping, you have a list of what you need and get cracking.

Now, there is a lot of talk about how everyone seems to be suffering from various intolerance but that they aren’t genuine? I beg to differ – often we will pick up something be it a food or drink, out of habit or because of the happy chemicals it releases. Because what we have going on in our head may not be what the rest of our body is telling us. So if you do find that you start feeling sluggish, bloated, uncomfortable then start a food diary and this will help you pin point what is causing it. It doesn’t mean you have to stop eating that food group entirely – looking at you gluten – but you can start to make educated choices about what you are eating, moderate it and be prepared for the outcome.

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And it is also an idea to have a look down the ‘free from’ section of the supermarket next time you are in – there are some amazing foods that have simplified their ingredients for example Nakd bars, which you my have guessed, I am in love with – CLICK HERE to check their website. They have all sorts of gorgeous goodies, from the Nakd bars offering a chocolate substitute, to the Nakd Nibbles that genuinely take like sweets, and their protein bars that I have for lunch (y’all remember I am lazy). But also looking at dairy alternatives, you don’t have to be dairy intolerant, or vegan to enjoy something different – I adore coconut chocolate ice cream.. it is devise! I mean I do have a dairy intolerance, and love coconut so I MAY be a little bias… but ye gods it is ambrosia! CLICK HERE for their website! 

What I am trying to say, is that what you put in your body will effect you – how you feel, how you look, your mood, it will effect your sleep. You are entirely responsible for your body, so make sure that you are feeding it with the right fuel, and exercising it. You will slowly see a difference, it won’t be immediate, it won’t be over night, I am sorry to say. But if you really want to look and feel good, step one is making sure you work from the inside out 🙂

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