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!

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.

I Think That About Wraps It Up: 2015

Hey chaps and chapesses!

It has been a different Christmas for me; very Scottish! I have spent the last 8 Christmases in England; the North is far more indulgent and, as I have found, stressful in its own way.
There is a reason why I live over 300 miles away. We are all very different and regularly need our own space from each other. I, personally, enjoy the fleeting moments I spend with my family, appreciating them all the more for their rarity. We spent 20 years or so living in each others pockets, after all! And I think it is fair to say that as hilarious it is to take a day trip to an asylum or, in my family’s case, receive a visit from a psychopath, one would not choose to take a holiday there or make said psychopath a permanent housemate. The same applies to my other half’s family; a cup can be generously filled until overflowing and then it just makes a big old mess. Best to depart while there is still room for more!

New Year and I get on really well most of the time; I like the idea of people feeling hopeful, even just the smallest notion of hope! It makes me feel light and bubbly. My physical health certainly made life a little unbearable at some points this year but I am proud to say that I have come through it an feel so much stronger and more powerful for it!

This festive season gave me many opportunities to show off the range of glitter in my collection but I’m going to relish the coming months and an excuse to use some pastels and pinks sans sparkle! Only one more glitzy party look left for Hogmanay!
The Panda gifted unto me a new Sleek pallet which is going to inspire many mermaidian looks in prep for spring summer time.
Say! Let’s have a quick swatching session!
So until the new year here is a pictoral rundown of the things I have done to my face this Christmas along with all the wee pet names I have given them!


Right Royal Rudolph – Purple and Gold lid with a pinky-red lip!


Frost On Asphalt – Grey and black smoked out crease with a frosty white inner corner and a blushing pink lip!


Jingle All The Way – Gold lid with a matte brown cut crease and double wing paired with a just bitten lip.


The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy- Smokey out pink and purple shadow with a frosty purple lip gloss.



Tinsel On The Tree- Smoked out green crease, blended into a gentle wing with a silver glitter lid and a glossy nude pout.



Silent Night- Navy blue smokey eye with a silver glittery inner corner paired with a glossy nude-pink lip!



Christmas Morning- Perfect present red pout with a plum, red and gold blended winged liner.


Holiday Shortbread- Soft, neutral shadow with a light mauve lip and small lick of liner!

So that’s it; Happy New Year!


See you for the first proper 2016 post coming soon in the form of a SALES HAUL!

I shall see you anon!


Think-le All The Way!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!!

Today’s look is a play on the Christmas carol “O’ Christmas Tree”. I like to imagine silver bells dangling from boughs of frosted green; super pretty!

This post is a tad different from yesterday! Do you see what I’m doing here? I’m giving some different layouts a good try! If my Instagram brought you here then you know I put on a wee video this morning showing you snippets of my application process. If my Instagram didn’t bring you here then you’ve joined us mid-story! You wouldn’t want to open the book when Harry was just being sorted into Gryffindor would you? Of course you wouldn’t!! You’ll have missed meeting Hagrid and buying the wand and getting the Hogwarts Express! Shame on you! Get to Instagram and find @thinkpippa and take a look at the video!

Now! The rest of you were obviously at the midnight launch dressed up, make up brushes at the ready- ah! You’re back from Instagram are you, fair weather reader? Excellent!

So today’s trial layout is simply posting a pic of the look and listing the things I used. No pictures or what have you because I’m resting! Putting this much glitz on ones face it a bit of a killer when you’re mid-M.E relapse prompts a sexy exorcist style vomit intermission and a sofa session. But I took it as an opportunity to try this.

I’m gonna post the look-layout like this:


And then give you a list of all the products I used like this:


Lime Crime Eyeshadow Primer
Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese
Bourjois Smoky Eyes Eyeshadow Trio in Vert Jungle
Bourjois Smoky Eyes Eyeshadow Trio in Vert Trendy
Bourjois Ombre a Paupieres Eyeshadow in Noir Emeraude 07
Urban Decay Naked 3 Pallet in Strange
Urban Decay Naked 3 Pallet in Nooner
Barry M Dazzle Dust in #8 Iridescent Silver
Miss Sporty Clear Mascara (for getting the glitter to stick)
Stargazer Holographic Glitter
Collection 24h Felt Tip Liner in Teal
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara


Bare Minerals primer
Clinique Redness Reducing Foundation in Shade 2
Vichy Derma-Blend Foundation in Opal
Smashbox Photoset Finishing Powder
Laura Geller Baked Gelato Vivid Swirl Blush in Plumberry

Makeup Revolution Lip Liner in
MAC Crème d’Nude Lipstick
MAC Nymphette Lipglass.

And then lie back and relax while you frantically Google  what the products look like and then attempt to find dupes in your collection! I am awfully wicked aren’t I? Muwahaha!

But in all seriousness, I find this sort of make-up post seriously annoying and it is why, when it comes to looking for looks to try, I make a bee-line for YouTube! But experimenting is fun; I want to make ALL the rookie mistakes! Speaking of YouTube; Some of my fave MUA’s are Chrisspy, Glam and Gore, NikkieTutorials and Carli Bybel! Each of them has their own speciality but they’re all fantastic! If you haven’t checked any of them out then you really should and, if they ask (like, say, they bring your attention to the comment section), tell ‘em who sent ‘ya!

I am really loving doing these Christmas looks. I started at the beginning of the week with a “Jingle All The Way” look, which I like to think evokes the sassier of Santa’s reindeer, all glitzed out in gold reigns and jingle bells!


My house is a tad bare at the moment because I’m not decorating! I am spending my first Christmas in 8 years all the way up in Scotland with my family! Super-duper excited! I hope you are feeling the Holiday spirit where you are!

Stay tuned for tomorrows Christmas eve look which I’m feeling will be inspired by Silent Night!

I Think Shit’s Gonna Get Serious.

It’s difficult to admit when you’re having a relapse. That feeling of weakness and utter degradation of having to have your partner, your world, your reason for breathing come into the bedroom to make sure your back is supported by pillows, that you’re not in pain. And you’re extremely aware that you smell similar to the back end of a rhino and you didn’t remove yesterdays make-up. But you keep fighting; you walk tall even though your back is killing you. You stand upright even though it is exhausting and your balance is shot to shit.

I forever speak in riddles, jokes or hyperbole…shall I go for some honesty here? It’s rare so prepare yourself.

I speak in we’s and you’s when I am at my most vulnerable. It is a coping mechanism I created to feel less alone so when I failed at something I could always say “we are trying something new” or “we decided to take a walk”. I is usually reserved for when I screw up.

I is ownership. I is a way of identifying what feelings are mine. I is how my heart beats faster when something has touched me. I is a very strong individual.

But I didn’t come from nothing. I sometimes forget that the path I left behind is strewn with mistakes and problems and paths untravelled and abandoned dreams, relationships, toys, people etc.

I’m rambling. What I am getting at is that I have fought my way through a lot of stuff…and I often fall into old habits of taking my strength for granted. And I think it is something we (I) often do; usually when we (I) want to be taken care of or when we (I) make a mistake or when we (I) long for someone to understand where we’re (I’m) coming from… (See all the ‘we’? I must be hitting a nerve!)

Riley and I had a conversation tonight and, to cut a long (and private) story short, she reminded me of how important learning to love myself was to how my life is now. And how I don’t think I would go back and change anything that has happened in it for the world because I trust that I was doing it for the right reasons at the time. And I love the person that made those decisions then as much as I love myself now. I was doing what I could. I regret some of them, sure. And I would have done things differently if I had the brain and love for myself that I have now. Insert long sentence of self loathing.

But…hindsight is 20/20, lense power adjusted due to experience. Cant have one without the other.

I am going to share something important with you. And it is possibly triggering so please mind the gap- shit’s about to get deep. It’s a poem. And it is a poem that was the turning point in my recovery from before. It was when I became this girl; a girl on fire. I love with wild abandon, I live for the moment and I know my own strength. I think, often, we are too humble and take our strength for granted… so I’m going to type this out to you to remind myself where my strength comes from…and when I discovered it. And maybe it will touch you so you remember where your strength comes from. I wrote this when I first entered recovery for PTSD in 2013.

Clothes are short cut; short but short of nothing but the word “no”
Is embroidered on me from head-to-toe.
Cross stitch, pearl stitch with not a stitch
On but stinking piss
Seaming down my legs. “You okay?”
No- no way.
Go ‘way.
There. Stay.
And don’t come near.
Because I fear- of course, I fear!

Lonely light. Camera type? No. No dice. A lonely price
for pissing in the private night.
“You okay?”
I’m fine, okay? Stay that way? No, not today.
Skin, black. Night, black. All black. All over, Jack!
All over me.

It doesn’t hurt me, no agony in that cavity
where his fingers have no right to be.
Blind in my prefontal cortex
A dissassociated vortex
Of no thought, every thought;
Distraight notions of how and what I should feel next.

Mind is gone; all is wrong. From this point on we’re physical
and nothing is so trivial
than how long I have to think
and drink in the thought
of the brink being close
and the stench of some unwanted, foreign stink.

His hands crawl upon the former wretch; A motionless wall of flesh
while I become a being, fresh
with primal bite and primitive, spite-
ful screaming to the waking night.
And he will run from what he has done,
from whom he’s done.
As I, with mighty fury, have won.

Tomorrow morning views two inches of local paper’s news:
Girl fucked up in Festing Mews.
And four more years of closing doors
and drunk dance floors; still screaming
while that Girl is reeling
to break free from feeling
every thought, no thought. Nothing.

Empty girl is forever mourning another morning
of empty motion and no emotion.
But not this morning. Nothing for it.
Grin and bare it.
And stare it down this time.
The trial is not behind, or in front but now.
And wow….
I am powerful.

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.

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