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!

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?

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!

Kisses Like Sugar! 

You recall the bubblegum from Venus Lush lipstick Passion that I reviewed a while ago? Well here’s something to get your sweet tooth aching even more! From the people that brought you the shade of choice of the triple breasted hooker in Total Recall, I bring you some more lip goodies that will have you licking your lips so vigorously and salaciously that no Martian…Venution? Alien! That no alien will be able to resist!

Lush Cosmetics released their Valentines Day lip bits just in time for the weather in Portsmouth to turn a teensy bit more frightful (I’m from Scotland; I have no idea why people are so bundled up…isn’t it still summer!?). My lips respond to this minor change in temperature by drying up like the harsh, cratered surface of an unterraformed planet. Not to be caught off guard by such things, I nabbed some stuff to beat the cracks into submission and ensure my smooch-pillows stayed as snoggable as possible (yes…I just called my lips smooch-pillows…I have gotten over the embarrassment of that and so should you!).

 

Ooft…ain’t no kisses happening here!

I nabbed The Kiss lip scrub made by Tomek, your friendly neighbourhood Lush buddy:
A combination of caster sugar, sea salt and cocoa butter with red edible hearts and a pink “glimmer lustre” (I didn’t really see that part personally but there was a little pink tint to my pasty wasteland smackers after application!) It contains Sicilian mandarin and almond essential oils and smells and tastes like strawberry fricken candyfloss! Yummy!

I’m skeptical of the purpose of the edible hearts other than the fact they are super duper cute!  The scrub is gentle and sort of tickles, I like to apply it to my lips with my ring finger and rub it across the skin in circular motions with the tip until I can’t resist just sticking out my moist tongue and tasting…this is beginning to sound a bit too erotic. I have very sensitive lips; remember that time I made us both feel uncomfortable when I called them “smooch-pillows”? Ha! Yeah! That was…mortifying…but it shows you how delicate they are! It’s just not an abrasive scrub. I’m not sure if it was because I needed to put it on again or because I loved the sensation but it certainly didn’t do my lips any damage to reapply! And that time I rubbed my lips together instead of using my finger and pouted like a living sour patch kid, before lapping it off like a happy space puppy! The Panda watched; The Panda was bemused.

Thanks to the cocoa butter and essential oils there wasn’t much need for any further products…but I wanted to apply some anyway! Plus they were still a tad on the super dry side after the very awkward and lopsided 3 mile walk The Panda and I took! So I popped on some Buttered Brazils lip balm lovingly created by Shida which contains Brazil nut butter, obviously, but also dark chocolate of all things! Yummy! AGAIN!

 

It’s got a grainy texture at first and then rubs in to being super moisturising without being sticky!

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Totally smoochable smooch-pillows!

It wasn’t necessary but I shoved on this Body Shop Born Lippy Balm in strawberry (a common purchase for the last 13 years or so because it literally tastes like strawberry laces) to give my lips a little more of a rosey glow!

Behold! My newly terraformed, plump peckables are all luscious and ready for any thing! Like my Plum-Plum Girl Rouge Velour from Bourjois!

 

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I think I’ve used so many food themed products on my lips that you could literally eat my lips! I’m off to find me a xenomorph egg, get me a facehugger!

Yeah… that’s the xenomorph queen getting off with an MIB agent…this stuff exists, don’t ask me where I find it (look at the link) but this actually exists!

Polish that Chrome-don’t!

Disclaimer: You can tell by my wratchet cuticles and lack of nail real-estate, that like to chomp my nails to pieces and I am not a fan of manicures…and if I do anything to my nails then it is expensive and nail ruining acrylics! You’ll see my dedication to these procedures by the fault lines on my nails! I built this chrome rose city on rocks that roll. So bear that in mind as you read through this blog! ONWARD!


Hey there guys and dolls!


I went for a little splurge a few days ago and nabbed some bits that I never really go for…nail bits! I am all mouth so my claws don’t need much prep…which is good because their isn’t much to prep in any case!


I have a confession to make; I find rose gold cosmetics undeniably sexy! It began with my Naked 3 pallet by Urband Decay…and has progressed from there. There is something about that innocent pink with that inner glow of gold and shimmer that just reminds a girl of post-candlelit coitus perspiration.


BUT I’m still waiting on a certain eyeshadow piece to arrive before I can spritz some sensual dew over the interwebs so we’re gonna explore something different today!


Nail polish!


This is Models Own Chrome Rose polish which I snapped up for £4.99 at Superdrug!



Let’s talk packaging first! It’s massive, and heavy, and thick and super-duper shiny! One might even say ‘chromey’. To be fair…it is as close to chrome as the polish is going to get but we’ll get to that in a sec. The bottle itself is the embodiment of the model stereotype…all style….veeeeerrry little substance! The bottle is completely opaque but the polish is super duper light so I’m tempted to say (without upending the lot into a measuring cup) that we have some blubber thick glass to contain the 11ml dribble of product. The bottle coulda easily been narrower and taller but I’m guessing it needed to be a plus size to accommodate MODELS OWN stamped all across the front! I’m being picky possibly…but wait; There’s more!




The reason it could be narrower and taller is partly due to it then being able to accommodate a brush more suitable to normal nail application! This is a really wide brush and SUPER stumpy so it’s really awkward to see your nail beyond the lid of the polish and it’s really difficult to get precise coverage without rose gold plating your cuticles and fingers in the process!



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To the product; in my completely unprofessional and inexperienced opinion, I appreciate the polish itself being highly pigmented meaning one coat is all you need HOWEVER it takes on the texture of the brushstroke which a gel topcoat didn’t really blend away. Though pigmented, the product is thin and sinks into every nook, cranky and dent so make sure you don’t have a single chip…or, you know, unbuffed ghetto dents from your old acrylic sets!



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Colour wise this is more of a rosy bronze than a rosy gold HOWEVER that completely depends on how like your rose metallics. Whatever metal it is, it’s rosey! It’s more a shagged out Beyoncé glow than a shagged out Jennifer Lawrence glow. But she’s not bent over the chrome exhaust of a triumph motorcycle. The high shine isn’t really there. It’s more of a metallic than a chrome even with a high shine gel topper. Not that I expected a MinX style finish but certainly more of a gloss. This dries to almost near matte!




Let us compare. The fore and middle finger nails are two layers of a metallic polish by O.P.I without a top coat and they are almost exactly the same as the MO nails with a top coat. If not even shinier! Then pop on a top coat and HOLY HELL, MARY GOARN BLIND!



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Perfect example of you get what you pay for…and I don’t buy nail polish. The O.P.I was a gift! So even that phrase doesn’t apply! Ha! You get what other people pay for…said every mob wife ever!




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I think the pros outweigh the cons on this one for me so I wouldn’t buy Models Own polish again.



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And so I didn’t feel like I wasted all my time I popped on some pink rhinestones because I’m AWLLLL about the blang blang!

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