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!

Think about the past: An OOTD

Hello to you dearest folk! Where have I been? Where HAVEN'T I been? It's been two weeks; A girl can get around!

Halloween hit me like a fully loaded long distance lorry with faces and makeup to
do and much lazing about on the sofa watching Rocky Horror Picture
Show with people whom didn't know that the Time Warp actually CAME
from somewhere and wasn't just some guy in Benidorm attempting to pied
piper your children to sleep stupor so you can drink yourself into a similar position.

Agadoo on the other hand probably was invented for that purpose!

Then there was a zombie night out and uni and friends body 'noped' out considerably until Tuesday when
it began to become a little more...responsive. Please don't ask me to
demonstrate this by doing the Time Warp; I am not capable though
slightly "under sedation"! (If you don't get this reference, you have failed the test and you can't be my friend."

Thought I would deliver unto you a quick outfit of the day from the
11th of November.

I come from a family with limited but respectable military
involvement. My grandfather built ships on the Clyde coast and my
great grandfather drove munitions trains. I have known many men whom
have been to war, whom have trained for war and have served their
country aiding family and friends of those affected by war. So imagine
my irritation when it came to Poppy Day... And I had no poppy on
leaving the house!

HOWEVER! I stood on ceremony to dress myself accordingly!


Simple black skater skirt from New Look paired with a sleeveless
monochrome pinstripe blouse also from New Look tucked in and a slim
belted waist with a gold accent from River Island.

And for my extra splash of red? A beautiful, Cardinal red cashmere
scarf which I received as a gift from my grandmother.

I wanted to feel decidedly feminine with my shoes, some pointed lace
ups from New Look with a little heel and some tights...though it was
unseasonably warm!


I popped on my South Leather Jacket and chose to co-ordinate with my
red floral stick for the day...probably also as a subconscious nod to
my shame of not having a poppy on my chest (which I picked up later
when I got into town).

I felt super sassy (and self conscious) with so much leg out and
possibly even a little bit sexy which is the first time in a long
time. I think it helps that my hair is back to being fiery red which
makes me feel super fiery!

The Think They Call Yuppie Flu.

Today was a Spoonless day that I tried to make into a Spoonfull day…whoops! 

That was a huge mistake. I got up, I got dressed, I put on make up, I went to University. For approximately 15 minutes. It was at that point that Flick asked me if I was sure I could manage and I replied: Nope. This was a bad idea. 

So I took my bloated, feverish, exhausted, pained ass home and put it to bed…but not before I had an enjoyable encounter with a taxi driver who introduced me to the worst term for my illness in the worst way.

“Is that Yuppie Flu?” 

“Sorry?” I responded.

“Yeah… I fink they call that fing yuppie flu.”

“I don’t think so…” I had no idea what he was talking about, of course. But part of my brain was quietly whirring while he wittered on about “cutting back on alcohol” and “sleeping alright”. 

Yuppie (noun) = demeaning term for Young Urban Professional. Term coined in the 1980’s.

Flu (noun) = Temporary virus causing fever, convulsions, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, muscle pain and fatigue, temporary cognitive processing issues.

Yuppie…well mildly. I consider my self young and professional but the term is so…course. Yuppie; like parading around with daddy’s suitcase in mummy’s high heels. And flu? So I’ll just take some Benadryl and all will be well, will it? It didn’t sit right with me.

Without even saying a word I am sure he must have sensed that he had insulted me because he began to overly explain himself and apologise; that he meant no offence. 

“Yeah. A lot of people get yuppie flu. Worse than normal flu. Like that fibromy-whatsit! But that’s sumfin else, like pain? I’m sure you’ll get over it, eh?”

Being of usual sound, mind and body…even I was surprised at my own response. 

“No. You manage CFS. With medication, and mobility aids and adjustments to your activity.” 

“That explains the stick, then, hmm?” He didn’t sound convinced in the slightest, snorting and casually wiping his nose with his hand with such nonchalance; as though I could wipe away my illness just as easily. Baring in mind that I had shooting pains up and down my wrists…no wiping of any kind was going to be done unless absolutely necessary. 

“The stick…the fact I’ve gone from working 20 hours a week while a full time student to zero…that I dropped two grades of degree in 3 months…that I take 15 pills a day…don’t get to swim my usual 3 times a week…that you’re giving me a lift rather than me cycling.”

I’ll admit it…I was blunt in the face of his ignorance. Far more blunt than usual because I couldn’t really see where he was going because my eyes haven’t been behaving today and I was exhausted to the point of slurring like a drunkard. And he went silent for a minute in the face of that bluntness. 

“Really that bad, eh?” I saw him glance warily at me, finally understanding that he may have actually insulted someone with a genuine illness and not just a young-professionals excuse to skive off after graduation. 

I didn’t answer him. A mixture of being too exhausted and a want to save my energy to someone who didn’t open a conversation about my illness based on such a derisive assumption. 

“Well I hope you have a better day or two soon, okay?” 

I researched the term to buggery. Seems like you don’t even need to know where it came from or what it means to understand that it’s a cloak and dagger way for idiots to be assholes. 

Yuppie Flu (noun)= Derogatory term for CFS. 

And apparently a well known derogatory term as far as I can tell! 

So, yes, Portsmouthian Taxi Driver. I’ve got Yuppie Flu. It’s permanent but treatable so I will eventually have another good day. You, on the other hand, were the twat who insulted the sickening cripple when she trusted you to kindly take her home … and there ain’t no treatment for that.