Sunday, 19 June 2016

Beauty or just bad taste? Have brands crossed the line?

This is a piece of writing I wrote for A level English language coursework. I wanted to put it onto my blog as I felt I wanted to almost open a discussion about whether people agree with this text or not. I'd be really interested in finding out about what people think regarding this topic. Thank you in advance. Son x

Nowadays sex seems to be everywhere. People are no longer shocked at seeing a virtually naked woman on the side of a bus or billboard, everyone discusses sex and people have appeared to become immune to taboo language.
As an all-round beauty fanatic myself, I have thoroughly delved into the ever-expanding world of make up products and associated paraphernalia. The one thing that never fails to shock me: the continual release of new make-up products with cringe-worthy, sexualised names.

The beauty industry is already seen by many as superficial and materialistic. Why then would the product creators want to feed further into this reputation by naming products with overt euphemisms, negative stereotyping of women’s attributes and the attempt at satire through puns and wordplay. “Glow job” the name of a highlighter sold by the brand Soap and Glory, targeted at Pre-teens will be found stocked at your local Boots, accompanied on its shelf with the lip-gloss “Sexy Mother Pucker”. Yes, an attempt at creating a humorous tone, but really?! In my opinion, neither humorous nor empowering, in fact just highly awkward.
I’d like to believe that I’m no prude and a good old punny product name makes me chuckle just as much as the next person. “Taupe-less Beach” and “Don’t pretzel my buttons” are two of my favourites. These are neither distasteful nor offensive.

In this ever expanding world of beauty, it’s expected that brands endeavour to leave their mark, creating innovative products that will evoke attention and potentially stick in the consumer’s mind. This entails the need for witty names in order to stand out from the rest of the bunch. I think we are all in agreement that the plethora of nude lipsticks titled “Light Pink” give us no excitement. However, if the quality of the mascara really is “Better Than Sex” the product should speak for itself, grabbing and drawing in consumers through its intended use and not its euphemistic choice of name.

When a make-up product is sought after for its controversial, ideological name rather than the quality of the formula itself, should that not be when the consumer market and company owners collectively say, enough.
The term “sex sells” seems highly appropriate after taking into account the title of bestselling mascara “Better than Sex”. Now, I could see why a person could be tempted by a mascara claiming to make your lashes look better than the act of fornication. But imagine how horrified you would be as a parent having your 12-year-old daughter asking whether she could have “this beautiful blush called Deep Throat” for her birthday!

“Underage Red”, a lipstick that has seen tremendous scrutiny this past year, its connotations not being sexy, alluring or glamourous but insinuating child sexualisation. People are even arguing that the name promotes statutory rape and paedophilia. If I saw this product in the shops, no matter how amazing the formula, colour or packaging is, there is no way I would be volunteering my money to a brand so incredibly inconsiderate in their choice of language. Company owner, Kat Von D attempted to defend her name choice with an explanation about teenage feminine rebellion and her 16-year-old self's first love affair with lipstick. To me, this just sounds like a sad excuse that very few are going to buy into.
A brand with an abundance of product names to make you recoil in embarrassment is Urban Decay. In my opinion one of their most disturbing and looney names is “Lube in a tube”. Why? Have I missed the memo? Why would anyone want to smother a Durex substitute or doctor’s utensil onto their lips, I certainly wouldn’t! Should there be an imaginary moral line outside of which brands should be shunned for their inappropriate linguistic choices? In my opinion; yes.

Multi-millionaire and make up brand owner Charles Revlon once said: “In the factory we make cosmetics; in the store we sell hope”. So, what exactly is the cosmetic industry selling? Shimmering and seductive promises of being better in bed – or at least a desperate stab at looking as though one would be?
Ending on a more positive note… The beauty industry definitely has its fair share of incredibly ingenious product “namers”. My all time favourite brand for their hilariously pun filled nail polish labels has got to be OPI. “Berlin there done that”, “How great is your dane?” “Tickle my France-y”, “yoga-ta get this blue”. Why can’t brands take this kind of inoffensive humour as an example and steer clear away from derogatory sexualised terms?

Friday, 17 June 2016

Urban Decay Palettes - Are They Worth The Hype?

Urban Decay have built up such an established reputation for themselves, everyone has heard of the Naked palettes and for good reason in my opinion.
I have found through my experience with the 4 Urban Decay palettes that I own that they are some of the best quality shadows in such beautiful shades. 
My Naked Basics palette is amazing for travelling with and brill for the girls that just want a super natural look. Although there are only 6 shades in this it is a versatile product that can create tonnes of different looks. I often smoke out the black shadow with a pencil brush along my lash line to make my lashes look thicker and create a kind of smoky look.
While on the topic of versatile the Shadow Box is the one to beat on unlimited looks achievable with just this one palette. It's full of neutrals, bright pops of colour and really cool out there shades. I love this when I want to experiment with my eye looks.
The Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes are both very neutral although I believe that the second palette is slightly pinker in tone. The formula of all the shadows are unbeatable, super creamy, blendable and pigmented and these 2 are no exceptions. I love the amount of shades you get in the really compact beautiful casing which makes them all superb to travel with. 
I must admit at the moment I am reaching for the second edition slightly more than the rest as it is new to me and I have really been enjoying the different looks you can create. My favourite shades from all 4 palettes are; Foxy (Basics), Bordello (Shadow Box), Tease (2), YDK (2), Sin(1), Hustle (1)
I just need the thrid Naked palette and then my collection is complete!
Blog post on Naked Basics palette here
Naked 2 Palette Blog post here
Urban Decay Shadow Box blog post here

Have you got any Urban Decay palette?
Which is your favourite?
Lots of love,
Son x

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm

After recently purchasing this (£48- I know, crazy!!!) and reading all of the raving reviews I wanted to put it through my own tests. In the past I have dabbled in the odd exfoliator but in general I find that a lot of them upset the balance of my extremely sensitive skin. Therefore I am very cautious when it comes to scrubbing my face and tend to stick to cream/ oil cleansers with a flannel to cleanse the skin. However, I have recently felt that my cleansers aren't getting rid of all the grime all of the time and so I wanted to invest in a product that could make my face feel squeaky clean without stripping it of all moisture. 
This seriously does the trick!! The Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm is really moisturising and gentle on the skin whilst giving it the attention it needs. I always feel that it has got rid of any make up residue that happens to linger after cleansing, it gets rid of dullness and it makes my skin feel amazing. Not to mention the whole host of amazing ingredients within this including lots of vitamins, minerals and essential oils. The price tag is something to bear in mind but I'm a firm believer in looking after your skin with good quality products, so for me I don't mind. 

Have you tried this, if so what did you think?
Lots of love,
Son x

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Top 5 Glow Gettas'

Highlighters have become huge in recent years and it's clear why. A dull looking complexion can be completely transformed with the help of the wondrous highlighter.
My five top picks are all incredible at creating a really dewy, healthy glow.

At number one it has just got to be Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop. Definitely on the more pricey side but 100% worth it! This is the perfect shade for all different skin tones and the finely milled, creamy formula enables effortless blending for maximum glow without looking cakey or streaky.

Secondly my Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow Palette. This beauty is perfect for on the go as it has a wonderful bronzer accompanying the gorgeous highlighter. Both are incredible at creating a sculpted finish and the highlighter is for when you really want to make a statement. I'd say this one is definitely more for night outs or when you really want that pop as the powder is not particularly fine so more noticeable than the Becca powder. 

Thirdly comes MAC's Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. This is a cult highlighter that has been thoroughly loved within the beauty industry for years. I must admit when I first got this a few years ago I found it too intense but recently I have been loving it for days when I want that really gorgeous bronzey, fresh faced look as this has a slight warm undertone to it. Perfect for summer too.

Fourthly the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in the shade Bronze, this is one for deeper skin tones as it is considerably darker in colour. However, as there are 5 different shades within the compact it is easy to change up the look depending. You could even just pick out the darker tones to use as a bronzer and I have also used this as a beautiful eyeshadow. Extremely versatile and such a beautiful, creamy formula.

Last but not least, the drugstore alternative to the higher end options. Sleek's Contour kit in the shade Light. This is a great dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury alternative and unlike Charlotte's product won't cost you an arm and a leg. The highlighter is slightly more cool in tone and not as pigmented but I think it looks great on days you don't want to go overboard and just want a feint shimmer to the tops of the cheekbones. 

What are your top picks for highlighters?
Lots of love,

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Lipstick Collection and Storage

After changing up my make-up storage a million and one times, I feel like I'm finally happy with how my lipstick collection looks, so I decided to share it with you. I believe my sister got these drawers/ storage system from ebay, so here are a few links to similar ones similar (£11.99) same (£10.99) Lipstick stand without drawers (£2.08). I hope this helps people looking for things like this. 

So, up top to the right in the lipstick slots I have all of my fave lipsticks from MAC, Kiko, Nars, Rimmel, No7, Hourglass and Laura Mercier. I think this stand is so handy to keep lippies well organised and easy to see, therefore it's easy to use all of them instead of just reaching for the same one everyday out of convenience.

To the left hand side of the top compartment I keep all of my lipliners in an old The White Company candle holder. This is the perfect size for all my liners and again they are easy to grab and see. 

In the back two compartments I keep my liquid lipsticks and chubby sticks, such as my Kat Von D liquid lipstick, Nars velvet matte lip pencils, Sephora matte lip creme and Clinique chubby sticks. 

In the top drawer I keep some of my random, less loved lippies, ones that I reach for less often or am not as keen on. 

The bottom two drawers house the majority of my lip balms, which I reach for on a daily basis. I love how I can lay everything out flat and in sight in these drawers as they are pretty shallow. In the third drawer are a few lipsticks that I'm on the verge of throwing out as I'm really not a fan, although finding it hard to part with as they have some kind of memory/ meaning. (I'm a make-up hoarder!) For example the two Natural Collection Lipsticks were my first every lipstick purchases and I just can't seem to throw them away!

Let me know if you want me to go into depth of any of these!
I am also currently sorting out the rest of my collection, so will do some posts on that when it's all up to my standards!
Lots of love,
Son x

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

New In Products

As it was my birthday recently I was spoilt rotten by my loved ones! I also took it upon myself to update my collection and purchase a few new products myself. (Although I definitely didn't need to!)
Firstly, my wonderful sister kindly got me the Urban Decay Naked palette, I have got number 2 and also Naked Basics, both of which I adore! The first edition however, has been my most reached for eyeshadow palette since I got it nearly a month ago. The shades are perfect for everyday looks as well as creating gorgeous smokey looks for evenings. I think this palette would be beautiful on so many skin tones as a lot of the shades are really neutral, so very wearable!

Secondly, my best friends hooked me up with a new Benefit Bad Gal Lash mascara, I had bought myself a tiny size of this in Canada a good few months ago and I must have rambled on about how  much I loved it and needed to buy a new one. Second tube of this and I'm loving it even more than before. I feel that this has the ability to transform my straight, stumpy lashes into looking really long and full. 

I then got my hands on the Clarins Ombre Iridescente eyeshadow in the shade Silver Pink. I already have one of these and oh my at how amazing the formula is!!! It's a cream to powder finish which means it glides onto the lid and blends out seamlessly. I also am a massive fan of this colour, which is similar to my all-time-favourite MAC's All That Glitters.

On to lipsticks, my first a purchase stemming from curiosity, the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker matte Lipstick in the shade Pommie Girl. Soap and Glory have just released a whole line of lipsticks with lots of different finishes, so I decided I just had to give one a try. This colour is really pretty, a mauvish pink, with an even better formula- although it's matte it's super creamy and easy to apply and doesn't dry the lips out at all. 

Finally, I took the plunge and bought myself the deepest darkest lipstick I own to date. The Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in the shade Glastonberry. I've heard so many good things about this line of lippies and also this shade in particular. I'm pretty sure it will look amazing with lots of eye looks and to be honest, I'm going to Glastonbury this year so I just thought I might as well go for this shade! I will do a post soon on swatches and a full in depth review of this soon. 

Lots of love,
Son x

Sunday, 5 June 2016

An Experience To Cherish.

My lovely mum decided to treat my sister and I to a magical experience of making our own silver rings to keep forever. We spent the day at a cosy and welcoming jewellery school (File and Forge) where the lovely Emma showed us the ropes and taught us everything we needed to know about making our very own gorgeous silver rings. We started off with a copper prototype, which turned out to be an extremely useful exercise as all three of us downsized the sizes of our fingers (inadvertently praying for slimmer fingers?). We each decided, after snooping around the collection of already made rings, on what pattern/ design we wanted. My mum had planned well in advance to stamp the initials of  our 6 family members around the circumference of her ring. My sister opted to create texture on the surface of her silver by using sandpaper. I loved the effect a thin hammer gave to the rings I had seen and so decided to go with that for my own. 
After many injuries, lots of laughter, cakes and cups of tea, we came away with such beautiful keep-sakes that we can cherish forever, as long as our fingers stay the same size! 
It was one of the loveliest experiences I have taken part in and it was amazing to take some time out of my daily routine to be able to bond with some of my favourite people.
I would recommend this experience to everyone!

Lots of love,
Son x

Sunday, 28 February 2016

New In: Skincare

I have a new found love for skincare products and I've been really conscious about what goes onto my face. After implementing the same routine, using the same products for way too long my skin became extremely dry, dehydrated and dull looking. Therefore I decided to branch out and get it looking healthy again. The first item on the list was the Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, I must admit that this cleanser is no bargain at (£40) but well worth the money as it drastically improved the condition of my skin. The consistency is that of a cleansing balm combined with lots of essential oils to really nourish the skin whilst cleansing it. The smell is definitely not my fave but I can get past that for the results. It makes your face feel squeaky clean without feeling stripped of all moisture. A big love!

Secondly, a product that I gifted to my boyfriend is the Super Facialist Anti Blemish Mask by Una Brennan. This won't break the bank unlike the cleanser as it is £10 from Boots, I must confess, I have only used this mask once myself but it left my skin feeling incredibly and I know my boyfriend felt and saw an improvement in his skin. It is a really purifying mask that gets rid of any and all gunk trapped in pores and on the surface of the skin. I think this is amazing and a great alternative to my fave Origins Clear Improvements Clay Mask which is double the price!

Lots of love,
Son x

Friday, 29 January 2016

My Top 4 Make-Up Tools

In my opinion make up brushes and sponges are essential to creating a really flawless make up look and after testing out my fair share of make up tools I like to think I have found some treasures.

For my base I have been non stop using my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge, I find that this, when damp can buff my foundation into the skin like no other, I don't get any streaks and my foundation doesn't sit on my skin horribly. Baking with this is also super easy as it has a tapered end which gets right into the corners of your under eye area. I now have 4 of these 2 which I use every day for various steps in my routine and then 2 back ups!

For contouring and bronzing I use my Real Techniques Contour Brush, this is super fluffy and the perfect size to chisel out those Kim K cheekbones, almost! I haven't found a brush better than this for bronzing up my face and adding glow into my cheeks.

Using my Sixplus concealer brush to blend in my concealer create a flawless effect, it's the perfect shape and side and density to work concealer in anywhere on the face and I just love love it! I got this in a set from Amazon (Similar here) which was about £6 for 9, what a bloomin bargain! and I can honestly say it is so worth the price and more!

The do it all eyeshadow brush Zoeva Luxe Soft Crease Brush/ 221. This is a serious dupe for Mac's 217 blending brush, it can pack shadow onto the lid and blends it out seamlessly. The bristles are amazingly soft and I just find this my go to brush when working with any kind of eyeshadows.

What are your top beauty tools?

Lots of love,
Son x

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

KIKO Haul With Swatches

 After receiving some gorgeous gifts from Kiko for Christmas, the quality of which I was seriously impressed with, I decided to bite the bullet and order a load of their best selling products. I am beyond excited to have a play with all of these goodies and I am planning on doing more in depth reviews of them all after I've tested them all out, so watch this space!
First of all my eye was caught by the "Smart Lip Pencils" They were on sale for £1.20! I had heard that people were comparing these to Macs lipliners and at a tenth of the cost I decided to try them out for myself and I bought 5! These shades all look gorgeous and on first swatch they feel really creamy with really good pigmentation! I think that I will get away with wearing these on their own as they don't feel at all drying, I especially love the shade 710, it looks like my perfect berry toned autumnal shade!

I then stumbled across this Dark Circle Tone Eraser, again on sale this was only £4.40, it is a really yellow toned corrector that claims to cancel out purple toned under eyes, which I struggle with profusely. Again I will report back on whether I like this product.

As I am coming to an end of my all time fave Rimmel Nail polish that I have blogged about for years, I wanted to try and find a replacement and this one looked like the perfect shade! It is in the shade 48, a gorgeous deep berry red which is the most wonderful shade for all year round! This was only £2.50!

I wanted to try out a liner and this space grey one looked really beautiful. It is a really dark cool toned grey with a tiny bit of silver glitter running through it. I think that this will look great on the bottom lash line or smudged out on the top lash line. Again only £1.20 how could I resist?!

Finally these Infinity Shadows, I have heard so much about these and how amazing they are and once Tati (Glamlifeguru on youtube) raved about them I really wanted to give them a whirl. I got the shades 204, 210, 218 and 289. They feel really creamy and blendable and not at all chalky, the pigmentation is great and they are so super soft. I honestly think that the shade 210 will become one of my all time shadows as it is right up my street! These were £2.40, when you compare that to Mac's £13 these are cheap as chips!!
Again I will let you know how I get on with all of these products, so keep your eyes peeled.

Have you ever tried anything from Kiko, if so what did you think?
Lots of love,
Son x