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!

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.

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.
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.
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!
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!

Above All Thinks I Believe In Lips! 

LA Splash; you gots some ‘splainin’ to do! 

Instagram, tumblr, facebook; social media is loaded with support for LA Splash cosmetics! And I was desperate to get my hands on just one! I invested in something similar to curb the craving but nothing satisfied! Sometimes you get that hunger on, like when you could really do with a hotdog and you eat everything but a hotdog and find you’re still hungry? 

I finally got my hands on Dutchess, one of your beautiful studio shine lip lustres which I really hoped was a product that I wouldn’t be able to live without. 


Let’s begin with the colour! A deep rich cool toned matte red with a dusting of red glitter. It glides on smooth and, I cannot stress this enough, stays on. This will not come off. Period. Not that you would want it to, the colour is that damn gorgeous. Prepare to wake up all done up even if you sleep in it; like Snow White from the glass coffin, you’ll be ready to party as soon as true loves smooch comes along.



That is if Prince Charming doesn’t receive some sort of friction burn from the petrified wood that your lips become! Okay…it’s not that bad…but it certainly feels like a badgers arse after it dries to that perfect shimmery satin finish! Mr Panda advises that it is probably similar to giving a blowjob with a condom on…not that he has ever done such a thing (ladies and gentlemen, this is a near direct quote from my boyfriend. Welcome to my life. It is odd). He has let me know that it isn’t unpleasant. Just dry.

It didn’t come off though!

It doesn’t crack, slip or peel which is good because if you put on more than one layer, things start to go south pretty quickly. It flakes and, if you try to put on a clear lipgloss (counterintuitive considering it is a satin lustre and not a gloss), you end up with lips that need resurfacing!

I have found the best way to get it off was with the help of a friends cocoa oil which she uses to take the ash off her elbows and knees! Worked a charm! Anything else: soap, water, acetone, white spirit, exorcism by a catholic priest…this stuff will not budge. Trust me! 


So if you want to seductively lick your lips (do it once, you will consider a nipslip as your flirtation of choice instead) go ahead! But, as I said, you will do it once and then decide against it. It’s not a nice feeling. Like licking a piece of paper when you’re really thirsty. Then your lips get a little tacky as they dry…and feel EVEN drier as a result! 

Sad fact of the matter is…I’m a sucker for pigmentation, comfort be damned! I want it bright, brash and sexy and this is what this gives you! Unforgiving, unrelenting, unmoisturising, undeniably seductive colour! 

No top-gloss, no double coats, no touch ups and no moisture…but who cares when you have lips the juicy colour of Satine’s Smouldering Temptress dress from Moulin Rouge! 


“My little strawberry, how could he possibly resist but gobbling you up!”