BEAUTY | Red Lips VS Cold Weather: ELF Studio Matte Lip Colour in Rich Red & ELF Studio Lip Exfoliator Review

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There are a lot of things about myself that I like to complain of, but my perpetually dry lips might be the most exasperating problem I face whilst getting ready in a morning.  Unlike bad skin or dark circles, which can be fixed with foundation or concealer, sometimes the only thing lip products do is draw attention to the problem.  I consider myself a bit of a lipstick connoisseur, and I struggle to pass a beauty counter without having a gander at the beautiful matte or sheer treasures that await me inside.  But if you combine my unruly lips with this lust for the perfect red shade, there’s gonna be a problem.

And that is where these babies come in.  The ELF Studio Lip Exfoliator (£3.75) is one of those products that has changed my life (is that lame to say?).  The only product that used to be able to tame my unyielding dry skin was Vaseline, but since I found out that they aren’t cruelty free, I’ve been struggling a bit.  And we all know how I feel about animal testing.

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As is painfully obvious, my lips (and skin, what a great day to choose to do this review) are pretty dire.  So flaky, so dry, so gross. Ewww.  BUT the Elf Lip Exfoliator is pretty fantastic and super easy to use.  You just wet your lips a little, apply like you would a lipstick and massage in circles, then wipe it away with a damp piece of cotton wool or something.  I love when you use a product and you can see some sort of colour as you clean it off, and there’s always some sort of residue on the cotton wool, which I take as a good sign.  After this you just put on your lip balm of choice.  At first I used Burt’s Bees because it’s been a long time favourite of mine, but then I switched to using Balance Me’s Hydrating Rose Otto & Shea Butter Salve, because I figured if you use a moisturiser after a facial exfoliator, you should use something hydrating after a lip one too.  And it seemed to be a good choice, as the butter really does put the moisture back into your lips.  And this provides the perfect base for applying your red lip– free from all those nasty chapped surfaces!

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I like lipstick so much because despite being twenty one, I still look about sixteen, so it helps me feel a little bit more like a REAL ADULT.  So I’m pretty much always on search for the perfect red.  I’ve tried countless different ones, from drugstore to more high end brands, but ELF Studio Matte Lip Colour in Rich Red (£3.75) is definitely my new favourite.  I love the pen style applicator, as it makes it so easy to apply, which can always be tricky with reds.  The staying power is pretty good too, and lasted me a good few hours (including a sandwich and countless coffees) before I needed to reapply.  It also moisturises and hydrates your lips, which is super handy in winter.  I definitely prefer these to the Revlon Lip Butters, but maybe that’s just because I’m more of a matte lip person than a sheer one.

Aaaaaand there we have it. I think a good red lipstick pretty much transforms a look. I was wearing a very basic outfit today, and an even more basic makeup look, and the lipstick did a good job of making me feel a little bit more presentable.  Even if I didn’t leave the house, it’s still nice to feel empowered when you’re lying on your stomach in your front garden, trying to pull your cat out of a bush.

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BEAUTY | Why Do People Think Their Mascara Is More Important Than Tortured Animals?

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I’ve been a vegetarian for almost ten years now, and although I really don’t like the idea of eating animals, I can understand why lots of people still choose to do so. I’ve also never considered myself one of those preachy vegetarians, because as long as you’re not trying to force beef down my throat (it happened in year eight and was pretty traumatising), we’re not going to have a problem. That been said, what I don’t understand is why people still buy makeup tested on animals. Even vegetarians (and some vegans) that I know still do it. And I know I shouldn’t sermonise, but I just think that the suffering and torture of millions of animals is more important than buying the perfect lipstick shade.

It’s not even like if you chose to cut out products tested on animals you’re only going to be able to buy really nasty, obscure, or expensive brands. Of course you’re gonna get the high end expensive stuff like NARS, just like you would if you didn’t care about cruelty free products, but there’s also plenty of amazing brands like Urban Decay, Barry M, Sleek, and ELF that all make great products without making cute little animals suffer. Recently I found out that Revlon is no longer cruelty free, which is gonna severely affect my bordering-on-ridiculous lipstick collection, but not for one minute did I think ‘aaaah fuck it, it’s only a rabbit’. Because although now I’ve had three failed attempts at becoming vegan, I just can’t shake the belief that makeup is not important enough to warrant that cruelty. My mum recently said that she doesn’t like the idea that cosmetics are tested on animals, and that she just ‘doesn’t think about it’. Which I think is a pretty stupid way to go about life, because if we don’t question the things we don’t agree with, nothing will ever change.

I’m not gonna include a list of brands that don’t test on animals, because there are plenty of websites out there that do it so much better than I could. But I do suggest you have a quick Google and see how many of the products in your makeup bag are contributing to the problem. And if you do want to start going cruelty free, a helpful tip is to look for the BUAV bunny logo next time you want to purchase something. Also please remember that this isn’t only about makeup: your toothpaste, shampoo, soap, shower gel, everything is more than likely to have been tested on an animal at some point in its creation. And don’t just check the FAQ sections on brand websites, because if a company says that it ‘is against animal testing’, it is probably the same as how I feel about wearing leggings as pants: I don’t condone it, but I still partake in it behind closed doors.

If you’re still not convinced, and even if you are, you should definitely check out the Lush campaign against animal testing. My last post was pretty feminism orientated, and as great as it is that people are paying more attention to the war on women, animal rights should be moving forward right along side it. I’m all for fucking the patriarchy, but sometimes all humans are as awful as each other.

Brb as I go hug my cat and watch Legally Blonde 2 forever.

(Side Note: if you read this and do use products tested on animals, please let me know why, I’m not gonna attack you– I’m genuinely interested and discussion is fun and important and good!)

On Miley and Misogyny

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In the first semester of my last year at university, I took a Gender Studies class. It definitely helped shape the way I view gender and sexuality and all that other super interesting stuff that people really should talk about more. Then in my second semester, I took a class called Disney Studies. You might think that taking the classes in this order has ruined Disney for me, but it hasn’t. I understand that Disney can be a little problematic at times, but they started making feature films in the 1930s, and of course society then was very different to nowadays. But I don’t even want to talk about Disney– I want to talk about life after Disney, in particular, Miley Cyrus.

First of all, I get why people are complaining that she’s been a little risqué, especially when the Disney Channel are still playing repeats of Hannah Montana. She is bound to still have younger fans. But she’s a twenty year old girl, of course she’s going to want to shed her child star image. As far as I’m aware, she’s not even signed to Disney anymore. So it’s really not up to her to keep acting like Miley Stewart or Hannah Montana for the sake of your children. It’s up to you to parent them, not a celebrity they may or may not like. If you think that seeing Miley twerk, pose naked in a music video, or talk about drugs is gonna corrupt your kids, you’re probably not doing the best job of parenting. Just like me watching violent and scary movies as a kid hasn’t turned me into a serial killer, seeing celebrities I like party or take their clothes off hasn’t made me want to do the same either. I made my own choices, television didn’t decide for me.

But it’s not all about the parents. Even people in the same generation as Miley are criticising her– but this is a much wider problem that I’m not going to get into. I’m sure everyone has done something embarrassing or questionable at one point in their adolescent or young adult lives, and just because yours didn’t take place at the VMAs doesn’t make it any less awful. Miley grinded on Robin Thicke. Yep. One my my best friends once grinded on a guy from our college and everyone found it awkward and hilarious, but no one started an Internet hate campaign about her. My problem with this is, if you think Miley grinding on Robin is wrong… why isn’t it bad that this thirty-six year old married man with a three year old kid is rubbing his junk on a twenty year old girl? Because guys can do that? Because they’re supposed to get laid as often as they can? When women can only be a virgin or a slut with no in between? I’m not saying I condone what Miley did, but I’m also not saying I’m against it. It’s her body and her choices, and I shouldn’t have an opinion on it. And neither should you.

But the VMAs and We Can’t Stop are old news, right? Now everyone’s talking about Wrecking Ball, which I think is a pretty awful video, but not because she takes all her clothes off. And I understand what people are saying about how being naked shows how vulnerable she is, and I get that, I really do (I did an English degree, making up ridiculous meanings is what I do). And it was directed by Terry Richardson, so of course she was gonna be naked. Miley can be naked all she wants, especially when she looks so damn good without any clothes on. But besides that, Wrecking Ball was Miley’s obligatory tortured-soul-love-ballad, which has become something of a right of passage for former child stars. And before she takes her clothes off, Miley is wearing a very simple white outfit with minimal makeup. Sound familiar? Yeah, of course it does, Demi Lovato did it in Skyscraper two years ago. I like that video better, but again, it’s not because Miley’s naked. Are we getting the general idea of this post yet? If Miley wants to be naked, then let her be naked. Admittedly, when she starts licking the sledgehammer, things get a little weird. And even me and my BA in Bullshit find the ‘oooooh it’s because she loves the pain he causes her’ excuse a little thin. But I’m not saying she’s an abomination, or a slut, or anything else. I just don’t get it, and that’s okay.

Miley obviously wants to break free of her Disney image, and that’s totally normal and we should respect that and stop telling her she has younger fans. Because she’s always going to have younger fans, so when does it stop? Demi was a Disney star; now she has a successful music career, is a judge on the X Factor, and plays a gay character on Glee. Selena Gomez was a Disney star in the same era too, she even guest starred on Hannah Montana; then she played a party girl in Spring Breakers and released a new album just before Miley is releasing hers. I actually like the video to Come & Get It a lot more than Wrecking Ball and We Can’t Stop, but like I keep saying, that’s not because of the clothes she’s wearing. Selena could have easily done that video in a cute little underwear set like Miley did and I still think it would be a better child-star-transitioning-to-adult-video than what Miley created.

I’m still not really sure what the point of this blogpost was, as I don’t think I’ve really contributed that much to the discussion. But I keep seeing all these Miley Cyrus arguments pop up on my Twitter and Facebook feeds and I find myself writing the same defence replies each time, something that is quite hard to do in 140 characters. I in no way consider myself an expert in feminism or any of the gender arguments that float about in today’s society, I just like to think that I’m an okay human being who doesn’t judge people for how they choose to express themselves artistically based on years of patriarchal propaganda. However, I also don’t want people to think that my love of Miley Cyrus has blinded this post– because I really did not like Sonny With A Chance, but openly admit that Skyscraper is a better song than Miley’s new stuff. Disney Channel bias aside, I just think people should stop judging each other.

If you don’t like her music that’s fine, but you really don’t need to call her a slut, because it makes you sound like a misogynist 😀

FASHION | September Wish List (Like a Six Year Old Wearing Her Mum’s High Heels)

Usually I would justify a September Wish List as ‘back to uni clothes’, but I can’t do that anymore seeing as I am now a perpetually unemployed graduate.  The unemployed thing is key here though, as I can’t actually afford to buy clothes anymore, so making wish lists will have to suffice.  But I am starting to think about adulthood and being a real life grownup, and where some people may think the way you act shows how adult you are, I prefer a more aesthetic approach.  So here is my wish list of kind-of-grownup-looking clothes, that maybe I will buy when I get an actual job in an attempt to look professional and less like a twelve year old.  And maybe then I’ll be able to make decent looking collages.

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Popper Front Boyfriend Coat, Topshop, £58; Knitted Angora Cable Cardi, Topshop, £48; Petite Spot Print Shirt, Topshop, £32.

I have a thing for oversized coats.  I think it comes from having no choice in the sizing when I was a kid; as I was a Topshop Junkie from age eleven, when even size sixes drowned me.  Now when I can actually get clothes to fit me, I just wanna pretend to be thirteen again.  Also, y’know, they’re great for layering blaaah blaaah blaaaaah.  I can’t even begin to justify this cardigan, it’s just that today is the first day of post-summer-2013 knitwear wearing so I’ve got a little bit carried away.  I just think it will match my new penchant for ginger hair, okay?  And the shirt is just cute and I like wearing black ’cause I’m a total goth. That’s as deep as it gets here.

ImagePeg Trousers In Floral Print, ASOS, £17.50; Tan Lock Strap Tote Bag, Miss Selfridge, £39; Green Check Ponte Jacket, Miss Selfridge, £45.

I LOVE UGLY TROUSERS. I can’t help it. It’s an addiction. I’m still searching for that perfect pair which has just the right ugly/awesome balance, I’m taking this very seriously.  I picked this bag because I really need to come to terms with the fact the Zara City Bag in tan is never going to come back in stock and it breaks my heart just thinking about it.  Also my mother just bought herself a gorgeous brown Mulberry bag and I’m jealous, but would actually have to sell my kidney on the black market to afford my own.  And oh look wow, yet another oversized jacket/blazer thing. I told you I had a problem. I just wanna be a little androgynous princess!

I can definitely see myself wearing these to get brunch or something and being a proper grownup.  Brunch definitely seems like the most adult meal to get.  I’m already teaching myself the lingo: mortgages, tax return, and Sainsbury’s Basics.