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-le It With Sugar!

Thought I would pop up a chipper make up post. Especially since yesterday was a teensy bit on the morbid side!

I do enjoy a bit of cathartic blogging but, let’s move onto something a bit more Christmas-y and a bit less life-time movie!

So today’s look is based on the Sugarplum Fairy from The Nutcracker ballet. I decided to get going on some decent glitter looks now that Christmas is only 2 days away!


Sugar Plum Fairy!

I started with my usual Lime Crime shadow primer and then popped on a generic white chunky eye pencil on the lid, blending it up to the brow.

I got a bit creative with my pinks after that mixing Barry M #95 and Makeup Revolutions Angelic together and pressing it on top the eye lid and blending it into a gentle wing.


I blended Rimmel Monoshadow in Audacious Amethyst into the crease, up into the brow and toward the inner and outer corner. Topped that with Accessorise shadow in Ultra Violet! This has a gorgeous cobalt duo-chrome that makes me die … Though not literally because, you know, it’s make-up…not anthrax!

Before too much shimmer took over, I blended Barry M #DD99, a dark matte purple, into the outer corner and 1/4 of the way into the crease.

Back to the main lid, and I patted a light dusting of Topshop’s Holographic shadow on top of the pink then dusted it with a mix of Barry M Pink Glitter and MAC’s 3D glitter in Lavender!
I used Natural Collection Soft Pink as a matte highlight on the brow.
I went commando with my brows!

I did my usual base of Bare Minerals primer, Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation in Ecru and Smashbox Photoset finishing powder. Then went back to the eyes blending my make-shift pink mix on the lower lid towards the corner, Accessorize Ultra Violet at the middle and Barry M #DD99 (matte purple) at the outer lower corner.

I used Max Factors Metallic Lilac liquid liner on the upper lash line with the finest and smallest wing and a small bit of Rimmel black kohl liner at the outer lower lash line for definition. I topped it off with black Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara!

Lips are Galactic Mauve by Maybelline!

On the apples of my cheeks is Lancôme BLush Subtil in Rose Paradis with Bobbi Brown shimmer brick in Rose on the cheek bones!

I feel like I’m sounding very clinical; do I sound very House MD to you? It’s because I’m fricken EXHAUSTED and long to be A coma guy! *yawn*!


Got another make up look coming right at you tomorrow! MORE GLITTER!!! MORE GLITTTTEEERRRR!!!

Make Somethink Up

I make no secret of this…I have WAY too much make up for someone who doesn’t actually do make-up for a living. I’ve seen the make up bags of friends and it’s pretty much a two lipstick, one pallet, one eyeliner, foundation, powder and mascara kind of deal. And I don’t judge…okay I do judge when the don’t have even just ONE make up brush of any shape or form. But I completely understand that one average sized make up bag is enough for one person.

What I’m trying to say is that: I am Pippa Cooper and I am addicted to make-up. Remorselessly and with no pending plans for recovery. So when I was offered a ticket to the Estée Lauder Staff Shop…I would have unapologetically cut a bitch to spend only 5 minutes in that place. Needless to say that it takes more than 5 minutes to fully engage in prayer here, my house of worship. It takes approximately an hour to achieve enlightenment. 

The staff shop is invitation (or, of course, staff only) and you can purchase products for up to 30% off RRP. Combine this with some of the purchases being a gift… It makes for, what I deem to be, my first blog haul! 

The decent thing about a staff shop, I found, was that there was less faffing with customer service. It’s there if you need it, and exemplary at that, but I felt far more relaxed browsing there than in any department store. Possibly because if you are there then you are more than likely be a bit versed in what you’re shopping rather than someone who doesn’t have to consider a 12 step program to curb their foundation habit!

One of the draw backs is that you’re not going to get the most well known products of any brand. So don’t expect to wander in and pick up Velvet Teddy or Ruby Woo. Foundation in your colour might be difficult too as the selection of colours in each brand is limited too. 

Those minor issues aside…wow. Just…wow! The selection of brands and the range of products available across the shop is amazing! I could have stretched my hour or so into two or three more. Easily! 
Onto the purchasing! 

First: I’ve been after a new perfume for a while and was drawn to the bottle of My Ny by DKNY. It’s sweet but tart and rich without being overwhelming which is a middle ground between my summer and winter fragrances. The bottle looks like it was painted by Picasso; very cubist… So, yoink!

Second, I snapped up this Bobby Brown Shimmer Brick as an illuminator. It’s got a pretty pink tone but has some lighter ones so I could use it as a blusher and a strobing product! AND it came with a brush! 😀 

Next! A black mascara from the MAC: Toledo collection in Vinyl to replace my many drug store ones that are running out! 


I nabbed a goodie bag which had 4 Mineralize lipglass’ in it! 3 nudey/transparents (names IN the photo) and one interesting green sheen… Dunno what to do with that one! There was also a Cremesheen Lipglass (name under the photo too!) in a beautiful autumnal purple-y colour! 


One of my favourites that I nabbed was this sweet purple tone holo glitter by MAC! Eep! It’s perfect for Halloween (I am going as Jem!!) or for any wintery looks I might wanna add a bit of glitz too! Because everything, even the British winter weather, is better if it sparkles…apart from your time of the month…wait…no, that would definitely be far better with glitter! 

COLOUR: 3D Lavender

I love lashes but most of the time I don’t have a steady enough hand to put them on. So on a less-shakey day I like to pop on eyeliner AND lashes! I was due a new liquid liner so I got a MAC Liquidlast liner in an off black….last it does!!! And I picked up some #41 lashes from MAC too! NOT PICTURED was a suggestion from my friend/ticket inside which was the MAC Eyebrows Pencil in Spiked! 


Finally, from the staff shop, was the Smashbox Photoset Finishing Powder which I’ve seen so many YouTubers and Drag Queens use that I HAD to pick up! And I can’t wait to use it and replace my Rimmel one which is almost completely empty! 


As a last little snippet (which should surely prove my level of addiction) two days before going to the staff shop, I nabbed some duo-chrome eyeshadows from Topshop! Buildable and blendable, I LOVE them! 


LEFT TO RIGHT: Holograph, Shuffle the Cards


So, yes! That’s the haul and, in all seriousness, I’m so grateful for today and everything I got today and how I’ve spent my morning and who I’ve spent it with! It sort of reminds me of things I’m good at and how people know these things about me. And of course I share these skills for free. I can’t wait to pamper my friends for gradball next year… Should I get there! 

Shall see you anon!

P.s. If you want to win a tshirt with a rose gold tinkerbell on it (and who doesn’t) go to my Instagram and comment your happy thought on this “WIN THIS TSHIRT” pic! Be one of 3 to nab it!