Paraben-ormal Activity!

I’m lucky enough to have avoided most skin issues; I get penny sized patches of eczema here and there on my arms and spots of rosacea when I have a cheeky drinky. And of course I have my cold-sore companion creep up. But my skin is pretty unreactive to chemicals (apart from, you know, hydrochloric acid…but I think that’s a universal skin quality).

I do know people who’s skin responds to certain products by becoming the texture of a leather handbag! I received a request to do some recon by a fellow Sassy Spoonie on Wednesday night!

Person: I DUNNO WHAT A SPOONIE IS.
ME: Keep your hair on! CLICKHERE!!!

She asked me about paraben-free concealers because she was in the market for an under-eye cover-up but couldn’t go to the market! So I took up the challenge…beginning with actually finding out what the finelinesandwrinkes a paraben was!

I found that parabens are preservatives found in most beauty products and are also used in some foodstuffs. Considering the amount of controversy there is about parabens (links to cancer, links to hormonal adjusting of skin chemistry, links to pretty much everything which is rather scary that you wouldn’t think of when putting things on your body) I’m surprised I haven’t heard of them before! Only a small percentage of the population has a paraben allergy but those who do react really badly; redness, soreness, skin sensitivity, swollen glands, fever, stomach upset if ingested. All rather uncomfortable stuff and considering make up was supposed to do the opposite of that, in my estimation, I paid real attention!

Now knowing what I was looking for and why it is important to some of my Chronically Sassy ladies (not to mention other folks) I hit my usual haunts for some swatching!

I ain’t cheap when it comes to my makeup but I certainly ain’t gonna shell out for all the concealers in the world so I went fresh faced and clean armed to try some out! I stuck to high street rather than high-end; being a Spoonie is already incredibly expensive so I don’t wanna cause any one else an extra expense just because they want a little glamour in their life!

To start; Primark, PoundLand, H&M, Makeup Revolution, Sleek, MUA …the majority of the cheapest brands on the high street; they all contain parabens in their concealers. I think this goes without saying: Something that costs you £1 is going to be all-filler-no-thriller. The lower end of the market, this was probably a bit foolish place to start!

That’s not to say that an inexpensive paraben free option didn’t present itself! So let’s start there!

NewLook has a bargain make up range. This concealer was £3.99. And contained extra Vitamin C which is perfect for rejuvenation so if you have any broken capillaries around your under eye circles then this is an extra bonus!

I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re a bit of a panda like myself as the coverage is mighty sheer! But if you’ve only got some mild discolouration then this is for you. The colour range in my NewLook store was quite limited but given the sheerness of the product I don’t think that would be an issue really. It has got some buildability but eventually you are putting a cheap product on top of a cheap product and it can look a bit chalky.

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The second cheapest concealer was All-In-One from The Body Shop at £8.50. This came in a solid retractable stick with the moisturising gel in the centre and it came in 4 shades.

I was surprised to find that even with a gel core for moisturisation this concealer had some really good coverage and it was incredibly moisturising and softening on the skin. When blended in it was smooth and it didn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles.

Getting into the more expensive areas we have Topshop concealer for £10. Following suit it was just like the others and completely paraben free however it came in a blass bottle with a plunge system for getting the product out. No I know I don’t have to use it but I am picky so bear with me; I want something that gives me just the right amount of product without any of the clean-up or waste and this didn’t allow for that.

The product is heavily pigmented and it is incredibly thick which is awesome so you don’t need a lot of it. The delivery system gives you way too much. The product itself did have some serious sticking power however it took a very long time to dry and when it was dry it was very drying. This is coming from the perspective of somebody who already has quite dry skin but if you have oily skin I think it would be a good shout.
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The final paraben-free Corrective Stick concealer I tried was from Vichy’s collab with Derma Blend. It was the most expensive by far coming in at a staggering £15. Derma blend specialises in cover-up make up for tattoos and serious scarring and this concealer presents itself as one with the best coverage.
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The product is thick, the product is buildable, the product is wearable. The colour selection is marginally Ltd even the lightest shade at the smallest amount to much orange for spot checking but for under eye circles I can imagine it being perfect. The product boasts an SPF 30 and protect against UV rays so flashback might be an issue if you’re taking/photographs but the benefits greatly outweigh those negatives; I don’t wander around with 100 W flashlight on my foreheads trying to pick out the titanium oxide levels in your make up!
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There are loads of other paraben-free options out there. This was a quick nip around my local stores to show how easy it is for you to pick something up when out and about without wasting those spoons traipsing from shop to shop.
Other brands include Lord & Berry, Tarte, NYX and Stila. These brands are only available at select boots and Debenhams stores but you can look on their website!
I hope this help’s you Sassy Spoonies and Sultry Sista’s alike get to grips with some paraben-free concealers.
Want me to do some leg work for you; leave a comment about a product you’re not sure about!
Laters!
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Roll up, Roll up!

Time for a catch up guys and dolls!

I’ve been expanding Todayspippa onto other platforms which has been really exciting but also means that I’m having to split my focus a little and move things around! So let’s work out a date night for us; I don’t like that we don’t have enough quality time together! I don’t take you places anymore! I’m sorry! Let me make it up to you!

I have a YouTube channel! It has a grand total of two videos on it at the moment but it’s still a channel. Pretty exciting, eh? I really hope you check it out and tune in, I can’t wait to see what you think and to have your suggestions!

I’m gonna give you thrice-weekly quality updates/reviews/tutorials; what ever I can!

Monday- Vlog

Wednesday- Blog

Friday- Round-up and planning blog!

And as many daily instagrammies as I can give you without you wanting to march to my house and jam my phone up my rectum!

So, yeah! This is the final Monday blog for now! But keep an eye out for Wednesday and Friday and tune in on other social media to check in with Today’s Pippa!

See you later!

Happy To Live In Sin

I held out for as long as I could but it was no use! I had to have it!

The Urban Decay Vice4 Palette now belongs to me, part of my ever reproducing collection of things! My make up is somewhat like the Daleks, when it feels an enemy is near (Mr Panda with a garbage bag) it shall seek to assimilate -all objects around become make-up- and exterminate –all the money in my purse is destroyed by make-up.

I am no fool, I understand that resistance is useless…until The Doctor arrives, I am a slave to a higher power. And so Urban Decay won out after months of defiance, Vice4 takes pride of place on the makeup go2 for my eyes and I couldn’t be happier!

I nabbed it from Debenhams for a staggering £43 (No shade; it’s worth it!) and I opened it to find it stashed in this too-cute black and holosexual zip-case with the words “Beauty with an edge” on it!

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The palette is a raised, green/pink duo-chrome web with the word VICE (as if I needed reminding of why I should be attending Make-up’s Anonymous) on it!

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It comes with the usual UD duel ended brush.

Can we talk about that for a second!

 

Urban Decay… is there a national sortage on bristles or something? I’ve seen thicker hair on a naked molerat! Sort it out!

Anyway- if I had bought this palette for the brush, that would have been irresponsible…! So back to the subject at hand!

Vice 4 is a beautiful mix of nudes, brights, shimmers, satins and neutrals and, actually, I would say perfect for a beginner whom wants to invest in high-end thanks to the range of colours and textures!

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Swatchy time!

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Next! If you’re a newbie at creating looks or putting colours together then Vice kinda does it for you!

I swatched the colours into columns (working in the palette rows) and that shows you complimentary colour combos. Go across these swatches (working down the columns of the palette) you can see some gorgeous clashing colour combinations!

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Of course if you’ve a wicked rainbow princess the you can rub this palette on your face and it will still look beautiful!

It took a while to commit myself to this palette due partly to the price tag and also due to my nostalgic adoration for Barry M. But now that I have it you couldn’t part me from it…sorry Barry, it’s been fun but sometimes a girl’s gotta stretch her wings and fly away with some high-class billionaire. I gotta taste of the good life…but we can still be friends? Every birthday, kids disco and Christmas when only Fine Glitter Dust will do?

Say! If you’ve read this far I should let you in on a secret: I’m having a giveaway on my instagram of some items from the Rosie for Autograph make-up line to celebrate reaching 400 followers. It’s international too so follow me @Todayspippa on Instagram to be in with a chance of winning!

The Beelzebub In The Brush Strokes

There is a persistent assumption about make-up; that it’s intention is to fabricate something that doesn’t already have form. It creates cheek bones on a round face, lips from a fine line, push social boundaries that were steady. It is a message to the outside world: “I wish to mask myself”.

And it can be; Kardashian highlighting, instabrows, Kylie Jenner lips. These trends revolutionized makeup and what it means to apply it. Surprisingly enough, I err more towards freshed face looks, doing very little to adjust the shape of my face. Make-up is less a fashion statement for me and more of an enhancement of my best self. And as that changes from day to day, so does my make-up. If I’m feeling in touch with my body (whether that be CFS pain/fatigue or sexy to the nines) I like to embrace that! I want to look tired when I feel tired or look sexy when I feel sexy. If I am feeling more intouch with my imagination, I will replicate that in glitter or assuming a character. I purposefully choose to adjust my outside to suit my inside.

It is a conundrum that must plague those whom see make-up at that attempt to redefine what is. It may simply be an enhancement of what already exists. An unpainted canvase, no matter how big or small, is a masterpiece waiting to be revealed

Make-up, for me, is not a statement of vanity, it is not a reflection of my insecurity. It is a method of expression, a moving element of creativity and a true statement of my inner-self.

Make-up Commandments!

I discovered two things this weekend! 1. As a white girl I have never really gotten the hang of the undertones of black skin; not only that but I don’t have the products available to cater for it…yet! 2. I have folk on facebook, Instagram, blog and twitter and IRL who ask for makeup advice. They ask for “what’s best” for “what I recommend” or “if X brand is better than Y brand”. I’m going to insert now that I am not certified in any way whatsoever to do anyone’s makeup and I am, by no means, the most skilled at doing makeup! My talents lie in bullshit, hording and art…which is, often, bullshitting about stuff you’ve horded! Apply those things to your face, suddenly you’ve got the basic skillset for a well-equiped mediocre makeup artist! I hope I’m selling myself short here; I thrive on low expectation!

Aside from soothing my crippling self-doubt, I mention this because it raised a theory which has been following me around when I look at my collection in comparison to the concise toiletry bags on my friend’s bedside cabinets! Unless you’re a makeup/ beauty guru or blogger, do you need ALL the things? No. And does it really matter what I think is best, what I recommend or which brand is most suitable? No. But what does matter is that you aim for items that suit you best from brands that suit you best. If you’ve got a lot of disposable income then it’s likely you’ll invest in a make-up set full of high-end products. If you’re on a budget then you will have a set of drug-store with a few high-end staples. And if you’re on a tight budget, you might have a drug-store supply! This is simply a broad overview of a spectrum of make-up dependency! There are many in-betweens and it can change conditionally; do you love your lips, do you love your face, do you love your eyes. So many variables!

It’s a science, kids! Listen up! Pencils ready! What I’m getting at is the fact that no make-up guru knows all about what you should own, buy or try; without knowing you personally, they’re really gonna struggle! So! Here are some hard, fast rules!

1. Invest in what you love.

Don’t waste money on loads of eyeshadows in colours that you don’t like or won’t use. If you’re all about nudes then buy yourself a really good pallet of nudes but if you’re not really about playing up the eyes then buy a small pallet of nudes. If you’re all about mastering a decent red lip then devote your funds to a reasonable lip scrub, lip balm, lip pencil and red lipstick! Otherwise it is just money down the drain! Trends are fleeting; if you think bright blue eyeshadow makes you look like a circus time-warp from the 80’s, you’ll feel like a clown! Even common make-up practices might not be up your alley; you don’t have to highlight, strobe, contour, grout or spackle (please don’t google those, they’re not trends…yet), trust me. Especially if you’re quite happy with your face looking the shape it is! Embodying your own idea of beauty will make you feel more confident and then you will look more confident.

2. Clear out and clean up.

Boots, Superdrug, Sephora, Ulta, Debenhams…at the end of the dairy aisle in Tesco. You’re going to succumb to an impulse purchase every so often. My biggest issue is travelling away from home for the day or a week and realising I have forgotten a lipstick to touch up or a mascara on the morning of some party or other! These purchases are great in a pinch but sooner or later they end up gathering dust at the bottom of your makeup bag because they’re just not your go-to product! Another thing is that your products get shifted around (especially when you’re in a rush) so you can end up reaching into your bag for an eyeliner and coming out with a hand that could have been trapped in a Chilean mine-shaft! This can be off-putting when you want to create a look without ending up knee deep in cosmetics or with camo-stripes as foundation! Not only that but lots of nasties grow in un-kempt makeup bags and old products! Devote some time to going through your stash and sift through what is full, empty, clean, dirty, impulse-buy or make-up staple. Wipe your dirty products down, sharpen your pencils before replacing the lids, and wash your bag! It’ll hurt your heart to have wasted the money, and feel tedious, but it’ll save you agro in the long run!

3. Make some space.

This may seem a tad gratuitous, especially if you’re not a makeup fan…and if you’re not then we’re going to have that talk about why you’re here… on the off chance I haven’t swayed you into cosmetic compulsion. But another time! So yeah, space! Whether it be you’re makeup bag, a shelf, a corner, a room or an entire wing; you need a place to keep all your treasures in one place. This is aided by making that space exclusively for the application and removal of makeup! So either there is a mirror in that space or you equip that space with a mirror, it’s one decent way to keep you shiz together! The issue then comes if you’re mates are pre-drinking in the lounge while you’re stuck in the bog (toilet/restroom) or make-up area. This can be combatted in two ways; ensure you’re makeup is portable or engineer the space to be more accommodating! Whatever space you choose, this is how you avoid finding a lipstick under the sofa!

I prefaced this by saying hard, fast rules…I struggle with the 3rd so these are more like guidelines than actual rules! Though I consider myself a special case…and for “special case” see “lost cause”, I still find myself reaching breaking point and coming back to these 3 basic codes of conduct when it comes to my make-up!

What do you think? Are these some decent commandments?

Rosie-tinted Glasses

I can’t remember the first time I saw Rosie Huntington Whitley but I distinctly recall some serious green-eyed monster stirrings because she was long and lithe in comparison to my 5ft 3inches of curvaceous glory…once I got over that mind you, I admired her English-rose allure and classic, glamorous style! It was she that inspired me to start dressing a little more demurely, choosing an understated approach to sexy!

Fast-forward to this year and I find out that she’s released a make-up line exclusive to Marks & Spencer! And that it was carefully selected to suit her ‘Devonshire cream-tea in the spring time’ aesthetic! AND that it is not tested on animals, hypoallergenic and suitable for vegans! Wow! So I snapped up a couple of pieces to do a bit of a review!

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I nabbed a powder bronzer (£18) , cream blusher (£14) , concealer (£14) , eyeshadow palette (£18) , liquid liner (£14) and lipstick (£14)! They come in super chic and shiny black boxes with Rosie-gold (see what I did there?) details.

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The products all have sturdy, heavy rose gold metal casings which really mimic seriously high end products rather than high street, and so it should considering the price you pay for each item! Each one is etched with Rosie for Autograph and her wee signature rose!
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I chose the Deco Diamonds palette which has 3 shimmery colours and 1 matte, all relatively cool shades of shadow! The colour payoff is subtle but buildable and the texture is relatively smooth on all but the lightest and most shimmery cream colour with is a tad gritty and doesn’t go on as smooth as it could which is a shame for the price! But the pans are generous in size so that is a plus.
The Bronzed Beauty bronzer is embossed with a Rosie rose and has a smooth, matte texture but it a tad on the orange side for my liking. It might be more suitable for summer wear. Applying it sparingly might help too so I’m not going to compost it just yet!
Natures Blush has a balmy texture which proves to have some sticking power and brings a pleasant, sheer, dewy hue to the skin!
The miracle concealer comes in limited shades so I got something inventively named “1”. I assumed this to be the lightest but it’s less of a concealer and more of an illuminator with a salmon tint to combat any bluish under eye circles. It was a little too creamy for my liking and, without a primer, I’m sure it would shift and melt!

I got the lipstick for its name. Honestly. I wanted to pay homage to the young folk! It is called I Love You So Much (ILYSM) -yes. Yes it features the acronym- and its this gorgeous, near coral pink. The product is sheer and build-able making it a very versatile shade!

I’ve saved the best till last! This liner! This liner! It is worth the weight of its packaging and all the pennies I spent on it! It has a firm, tapered felt tip and the pigmentation is wonderful! It creates a sharp wing effortlessly and there is no need to go over it to improve the coverage! I love it! I got it in the shade Intense Black and it dries to that colour and is flexible so there is no cracking or smearing after a day’s wear. I was even subjected to some serious drizzle which it survived, intact, with no end to reapply! This is definitely going to be a staple!

All in all I’m not sure all the products are worth what they are priced but there are some serious front runners for some everyday staples including two items I have tried in store but saved for a special event that might benefit you guys if you stick around. The shadows, the blush, lipstick and CERTAINLY the liner and worth a go. I would skip the bronzer and the concealer for the price you pay vs. product pay off/colour.

Tune in soon to find out how you can get your hands on two of the other products that I loved from this collection!

Blink and You’ll Miss It! 

Michelle Keegan is beautiful in my opinion and, as seems to be the trend, has blossomed enough for a make-up company to snap her up to advertise something! I harbour a little bit of envy for her, to be honest, and who wouldn’t? The girl is hot, with a hot man and a hot lifestyle (many many Marbella holidays).
Enough of my girl-crushing, let’s talk product!

I was doing my usual procrastination on YouTube (because that’s how you earn a degree) and up MK popped up with a new Revlon mascara!

Revlon have created an easy-to-shop line of mascara’s, each colour coded for a different look. And I chose the All-In-One with the red top; volume, length and colour!

The packaging is really pleasant; the tube is matte black and the lid is lipstick red. It sort of resembles a dry marker. Not appealing to all but there is something distinctly pleasing about the reminder…possibly the smell? Which, while I remember, is actually quite strong! I don’t think I would want to accidentally stick myself in the eye with the brush.

However the brush is so dinky that an eyeloke wouldn’t cause too much damage. And it narrows at the top which means you can reach every lash but the bristles are few and short. This sort of affects the separation of the lashes somewhat so they seem to taper groups of them to points. However! If you have a lash comb then that shouldn’t be too much of a problem!

The product is thick and has fine fibres through it which gives a lot of volume! And it is super black creating a really classic, glamorous look!
I took this pic come the end of the day and there was no flaking or smudging after 5 hours wear and that is a major plus in comparison to other drugstore mascaras I own!

All in all this is a winner…and if it brings me closer to being Michelle Keegan, I am completely on board!