2016 Favourites

I think we can all let out a collective sigh of relief that 2016 is over. It was a particularly depressing year – at least on a pop cultural level – but despite loving to revel in mutual loathing, first and foremost I am a blogger, so a 2016 favourites post was necessary. Consider it a form of purging. Out with old, in with the new. Except this stuff which I kinda sorta loved.

Favourite Book: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I love me a good fantasy series – but sometimes it’s hard to find a good balance between the grittiness of adult fantasy and the playfulness of YA fantasy: enter V.E. Schwab. The themes of this book are most definitely adult, there are no overplayed love triangles or teenagers born to save the world. But still, the series manages to catch a sense of adventure that others don’t, all the while building a detailed and engaging world for the characters. The last book in the trilogy comes out soon and I am not sure how I’ll cope.

Favourite Beauty Product: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita

By no means new to 2016, but new to me. 2016 was the year Spanish Sephora finally got its act together and started stocking Kat Von D. I own four of these babies now (and plan on a million more), but Lolita is the ultimate one for me. It’s a dusty/purpley/nudey colour that never fails to make me feel a little more put together on days when I’m otherwise just meh. A pro tip is to pair it with Barry M’s lipliner in Blush. Kylie who?

Favourite TV Show: How To Get Away With Murder

I was sooooooo late to the bandwagon on this show, but once I started, boy was I hooked. As increasingly ridiculous as it has gotten, I can’t look away. The twists still hook me and the reveals still shock me. Also it’s like a little glimpse into Paris Gellar’s future since the Gilmore Girls revival ruined her character. If you secretly think you’d make a kickass lawyer, this one’s for you.

Favourite Movie: The Visit

Technically a 2015 release, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it until the new year so it totally still counts. I think this movie is proof that M. Night Shyamalan either makes really great movies or really terrible movies. The Visit is definitely a return to the likes of SignsThe Sixth Sense, and The Village.  I may have a soft spot for found footage horror movies, but this is probably the best since The Blair Witch Project. But if you don’t like horror, it works as a comedy too. Best of both worlds!

Favourite Album: California by Blink-182

When Fall Out Boy came out with Save Rock and Roll, I loved it because they had grown out of their pop punk phase gracefully. When Panic! At The Disco released Death of a Bachelor, it was clearly the same band with a more mature take. But when Blink-182 released California, it was as if it was still 2003. As much as I love that my favourite teenage bands are growing up with me, something about this album had just the right amount of nostalgia and growth for me. And now I don’t have to be embarrassed about not really listening to current music, because Blink have my back.

Maybe I’ll branch out more in 2017, but for now, fantasy, murder, and pop-punk are doing me just fine ❤

 

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Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Review

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I’m very loyal to foundation. If I find one I like, that’s it. Which means I do a hell of a lot of research before I invest my money. Which is exactly what I did with this foundation, Too Faced’s Born This Way. There’s definitely a divide among among the reviews I read, so I’m here to add my opinions into the mix. ‘Cause I’m so important, obvs.

First off, again, an explanation of my skin type. Dry as Pride Rock when Scar’s ruling the place. This means I need something which won’t cling to any dry patches. It’s also super sensitive. And is there really a point to foundation if you’re just causing more of what you’re tying to cover up?

So how did this foundation measure up against this skin type?

PROS:

  • Blending:

The formula for this foundation is super impressive. It’s creamy without being too thick, and doesn’t run all drippy-like all over your face before you blend it. I’ve tried both a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and a Beauty Blender during application and found that the Beauty Blender works like a dream.

  • Coverage:

I was originally a little wary about this foundation’s coverage, as I’ve never really used such a full coverage formula before. But with a name like ‘Born This Way’, I had to have faith that it would create the natural looking finish that I wanted. And it does. My blemishes are covered without the help of any extra concealer, unless it’s a particularly nasty blemish duh. I think it looks natural enough. I’m obviously wearing foundation, but not enough to make me feel self conscious or overdone when I go out.

CONS:

  • Dry Skin Compatibility:

My main drive to buy this product was its inclusion of coconut water to help hydrate the skin. Maybe I expected too much of this foundation, but occasionally I feel it draws more attention to my dry skin than if I wasn’t wearing it. Admittedly, this is only a real problem on areas that are super dry (for me, my T-Zone), but it’s something to watch out for when shopping for a dry skin-friendly product.

  • Staying Power:

I apply my foundation at about 6:30AM (I know, kill me) and by the time I get home around 3PM, I’m starting to feel a bit… bleeeeeh. I don’t know the word. Just less put together, I suppose. Obviously no foundation is going to keep me looking great for twelve hours, but if I do stay out longer for any reason, I don’t really want to have to think about lugging around a bottle of foundation and a Beauty Blender in my bag. I try and counteract this by adding some concealer (or hiding behind a red lipstick), but it’s not the same. Admittedly, I don’t use a primer, but I’m thinking of remedying this shortly, so maybe I’ll have to update my findings. But as of now, the staying power of this foundation isn’t perfect.

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(1: wearing only the foundation, so you can see how it clings to dry skin, particularly on the bridge of my nose and mouth area. 2: with the rest of my makeup [and clothes lolol] applied)

Overall, I really like this foundation. Of the four foundations I’ve used in the last five years (seriously), I would rate this at number two in terms of quality, but number one in terms of the product actually being cruelty free.

I feel comfortable wearing this, which with a name coming from a Lady Gaga song, I think was the aim all along. I use the shade porcelain, which is maybe slightly too yellow toned for my skin, but it’s the lightest shade available in Spain, sooooo… whateva.

So if you’re looking for a mid to full coverage foundation that doesn’t feel like you’re smothering concrete on your face, this one’s for you. I wouldn’t exactly say it makes me skin look ‘born this way’ in the natural sense, but certainly in the way that (sadly) foundation covered skin has now become the norm. But hey, that’s a whole other blogpost. Just know that its hydration powers are a little exaggerated.

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer VS Barry M Flawless Concealer


So a couple of weeks ago I posted about my favourite cruelty free beauty products, including a certain Soap & Glory concealer. In the same post, I also said that my Barry M concealer is a good substitute for whatever the former can’t handle. Well, since then I maaaaay have had a change of heart. Kinda. I wrote the last post when I was attempting a foundation-less life, but am now enjoying my time with the Too Faced Born This Way foundation (review coming soon). And I’ve now realised that all concealers are equal… but some are more equal than others. Here’s what I’ve decided about my two go-to concealers.
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Concealer– The Pros:

  • A very creamy, buildable consistency
  • Thick, but not too thick
  • Pretty heavy duty stuff
  • Works great without foundation

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Concealer– The Cons:

  • It’s kind of terrible at under eye colour correction
  • Loses its staying power throughout the day

Barry M Flawless Light Reflecting Concealer– The Pros:

  • Due to its brush applicator, it’s easy to apply
  • That light reflecting thing is really true to its name
  • Super brightening for the undereye area
  • A great addition to foundation

Barry M Flawless Light Reflecting Concealer– The Cons:

  • Pretty lacklustre without foundation… not thick enough to really cover those super aggressive blemishes
  • You seem to go through a lot alarmingly quickly

So as you can see, these two cruelty free budget concealers do two very different (but equally important) jobs. If you need just a little extra help whilst wearing a full face of makeup, then Barry M is your man. But if you’re ditching the foundation for a few extra minutes in bed, it’s Soap & Glory to the rescue.
Honestly, I love them both. And I use them both. And I’m glad I own them both. They’re cheap, they’re useful, they’re pretty damn awesome. I say: go nuts, buy them both! They’re really great additions to my daily makeup routine, and I think they’ll be great additions to yours too.