Primark mermaid glow highlighter – a cult product for £3.50 

product review

I urge you one and all to stop wasting your money on expensive highlighters! I know the struggle; they look so attractive and shiny, but this highlighter from Primark ticks all the boxes. It ensures that you look like a real life mermaid, if ever there was one! 

Full review 

Firstly, it is only £3.50, so not really a huge investment. The highlighter also comes in other colours, should you not prefer a shiny white mermaid metallic look. 

It is ultra pigmented! In comparison to my Urban Decay highlighter (I have the powder highlighter in ‘Sin’), I can’t say there is much difference in quality. The Primark highlighter has longevity, I have been wearing it for around two weeks now; and everyday it stays put for the entire day. I know this because on my way home from work, I happened to just catch my reflection in glass and my cheeks were shining to the high heavens. Of course I smiled to myself. 

The next time you visit Primark be sure to grab one of these – if there’s any left. Sure, the packaging is rather basic maybe compared to more expensive highlighters. But you know what, I like it. It’s simplistic and it does the job, pretty darn well may I add. 

[Perhaps not the best pic to show off the highlight, but it’s there glowing away if you look close enough] 
[…Andddd swatch 😍, you can really see the high pigmentation here] 

Sessions by Kate Hughes; amazing pop-up make-up master-classes

Events & launches

I attended the website launch for ”Sessions by Kate Hughes”. What could be better than a professional make-up master-class that strips make-up artistry back down to basics AND travels to you and your friends!? Sessions by Kate Hughes is just that. It’s a pop up make-up academy which runs over a five day duration and the complexity of make-up skills taught increases daily. All you need to bring along is (your face obvs) and your own brushes!

Kate Hughes has been an established MUA for the last 30 years, and so this business is a natural progression. Armed with lovely business partner Zo, they are destined to become an amazing success.

More about the sessions

Seeing as professional make-up is provided, what particular brands are used? Kate herself has commented, ‘’although we love the high end brands, we want the classes to be accessible and affordable, Lord and Berry is a favourite of ours, and we use a lot of Mac and NYX’’.

Anyone with any level of skill can attend the classes; make-up artistry is stripped down to basics and re-taught. Everything from foundation application to contouring is covered. Kate also mentioned her brand is launching a make-up brush range soon – all beauty obsessives keep your eyes peeled.

What also sets aside Kate’s lessons from conventional master-classes, is that additionally you are taught raw business skills. Including how to pursue a career in make-up artistry, how to network your business online, social media management and more.

Lush red velvet cup-cakes with glitter lips, so fetch

However, what really made this event outstanding, (aside from the amazing red velvet cup-cakes with glittery lips on and Prosecco on tap), was the refreshing atmosphere. When attending a beauty event, there is often a misconception that the professionals in this industry are catty/bitchy. This event was nothing like that – everyone who attended was so humble and lovely. It was fantastic to see bloggers / MUA’s/ journalists all sharing ideas and complimenting one another. It was a real promotion to girl power and entrepreneurship. An absolutely inspirational event with a really uplifting feel, if you ever need your make-up skills brushing up – highly recommend Kate and her wonderful business partner Zo.

Nerve deception: Social media Vs. Reality

opinion piece

I watched ”Nerve” last Friday at the cinema, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the film, a brief overview:

”Nerve” refers to a game in the film, it is based on a social media concept. The game offers service users the option to become watchers or players. Watchers follow their favourite players, and become part of an underground community. Players must complete dares generated by watchers, every dare will win you money – but if you bail out at any point you lose all the money you have previously earned. Each dare becomes increasingly dangerous, and the protagonist whom becomes a player after she is mocked by her friends for never taking risks; becomes alarmingly immersed in the game. After a set-up by watchers, her and the said friend who criticised her, have a huge argument. And she tells the police all about the game, and how dangerous it is. She is warned at the beginning of joining as a player, that snitches get stitches. So she gets knocked out, and wakes up in a cell with a TV screen talking at her (Orwellian vibes at this stage). Because she snitched she has now become part of a third category within the game. Neither player nor watcher, she is now a prisoner. The only way out to be in the final round of the game, and win – or she is trapped forever. In the end, she fakes her death and she wins and the game is shut down by her geeky programming friends.

Although this is a somewhat far-fetched concept of an online game, particular elements explored within the film are comparable to issues identified within social media.

Focusing on Instagram, (as I feel this was the closest of the social media platforms to the game) these were the parallels I found:

Addiction & Insecurity- Within the film, players will go to extreme lengths to complete dares / because completing dares equals more followers, more likes, and therefore more on-line fame.

This also occurs on Instagram. Users will go to extreme lengths to increase popularity online:

There is huge pressure on social media for participants with a number of ‘’followers’’ to maintain a certain image, and also to be constantly active. The flow of the online world moves at an alarmingly fast rate – and you are expected to keep up. The mixture of these pressures, plus general insecurities, and exploitation of the female form online can have adverse effects on personal identity and body image. This can consequently lead to premature sexualisation of young females.

There has been a blur between porn and normality, which expands online through to social media. As McNair describes, ‘’…this revolution in the means of communication has fanned the growth of a less regulated, more commercialised, and more pluralistic sexual culture (in terms of the variety of sexualities which it can accommodate), and thus promoted what I will describe as a democratisation of desire…’’ (McNair, 2002:11)

Blur between online & reality – ”Nerve” encapsulates it’s users by using money incentives, but in addition to this users want to gain followers, and online fame as discussed above. This immersion into the game created a blur between reality and online.

This can be seen on Instagram also.

A poignant example of this is the case of Essena O’Neill, an 18 year old ‘’Insta-famous’’ female who had thousands of followers, and was addicted to social media. She would go to extreme lengths to convey a ‘’perfect’’ lifestyle and appearance on Instagram.

“I’ve spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status, and my physical appearance,” she writes in her last Instagram post, which shows a cartoon character wearing a television set on his head with “We Are A Brain-Washed Generation” written on the screen. “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real. Its contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It’s a system based on social approval, likes, validation, in views, success in followers. It’s perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgement.” (Chung, 2015, The Huffington Post):

Conclusion:

Although the concept of a murderous game online initially seems completely unrealistic; After further analysis, it can be said specific attributes of ”Nerve”, and how users interacted with it, are comparable to Instagram. Instagram addiction is a real issue, and users who can no longer establish between reality and the online realm, can potentially run the risk of causing detrimental affects to their mental health, social interaction and possibly even physical health in extreme cases (there has been reported cases of suicides due to social media related issues). Relying on social media for social approval is never a good thing. I don’t think this is the last we will be hearing about it, unfortunately.

 

 

That’s so hot: best of summer 16

product review

Even if this summer in England was a complete wash-out (quite literally); there is still an intense need to compile favourite / much needed beauty products for summer. Who even needs an excuse to buy more?

  1. Serum me up baby

Chanel -Hydra beauty serum, £78 for 50ml

Let’s be honest buying and using Chanel products can make anyone feel like Audrey Hepburn. The epitome of class; this hydrating serum is a must-have. It smells divine, and it is multi-purpose. Can be used as a primer before make-up application, as a daily moisturiser or treatment for skin. Plus it looks great on your dressing table. (Yes I am that superficial).

Quick tip: Try to buy Chanel products at the duty free section at airports, I got this serum for around £45, which is almost half price.

2. Mattify me

NYX – Matte blotting paper, £3.50 for 50 sheets

NYXX is slowly becoming my favourite beauty brand. Such good value for money – and these blotting papers are a life saver. If, like me after 3 hours your make-up looks like you’ve been dipped in a chip fat fryer; then you need these blotting papers. They soak up excess oil without spoiling your contour, and they fit in your handbag. Cuuuuute.

3. Baby,baby

Maybelline – Baby skin instant pore eraser, £7.99 for 22ml

If the blotting papers aren’t adequate defence against major grease, I would recommend this primer. The trick to achieving a matte face (espesh in summer when humidity makes your face melt off like an Ikea candle), is attacking it from all angles. Prep is the best defence, and with this primer you’ll be as matte as matte can be.

4. Good enough to eat

Hawaiian Tropic – SPF 25 lipgloss in island berry, £6 for 20ml

This does actually smell good enough to eat. And it’s brilliant because it gives a seductive glossy finish to lips, and is intensely moisturising plus has SPF 25 to protect lips from harmful UV rays. If you are going abroad this summer to a country with a hot climate – don’t leave without this sexy (practical) gloss.

5. Milky

L’Occitane – Milk veil with almond proteins, £28 for 250ml

If there’s one thing summer does do – it can seriously dehydrate your skin. This milk veil is the perfect moisturising treat for skin, apply morning and night (after bathing is the best time). This will make you smell gorgeous, and your skin will be as smooth as silk. This milkshake will bring all the boys to your yard!

Get your ”glow up”: 4 highlighters that suit everyone

product review

IMG_5042 1

 

Now, let’s face it glitter & shimmer have been the awe of every girly girl in the world for decades, however this year has been a game changer for ”the glow”. It is mandatory to have shimmered cheeks so very shimmery that light bounces off your pearlescent cheekbones and slaps any haters around the face. I have decided that 2016 is officially the year of the highlighter. The glow, the fleek, the shimmer. But who knew there were so many types of highlighters!? I’m going to give you the low-down on the 4 main types.

1). The perfecting bronzer, Kiko, £16.90

Bronzer is a comfortable (powdered) classic, an easy way to add colour and glow to your face. Use a particularly shimmery one to maximise your glow. Perfect for those of you who are glow virgins.

2). The liquid ”high beam” complexion enhancer, Benefit, £19.50 (for full size)

Liquid highlighters are slightly more tricky to apply; during contour stage number two rub some on your brow and cheek bones to add depth, and enhance complexion. For extra glow, when your make-up is finished, rub a small amount onto your cheekbones over existing make-up. These can often last months, they are highly concentrated, you only need to use a tiny bit each application.

3). The radiant shimmer blusher, Bare Minerals, £18.75 (for the entire radiance collection)

If you aren’t careful with this one you will end up looking like a clown that has puked up giltter blusher onto your own face, or a drag queen with hugely exaggerated make-up. Yes, this is a blusher but it’s concentrated. Tap with a blusher brush, flick some into the air, and then apply to your cheekbones. Remove excess with a clean tissue.

Although that being said, this is a handy multi-purpose product. If you like rosy cheeks, and glowing cheeks – bang you have a blusher and highlighter in one. These mini radiance pots also double up as eye-shadows and powders.

4). The iridescent gold powder highlighter, MUA, £3

This highlighter is genius. Can give even the chubbiest cheeks structure, I am living proof of this theory  (check out featured image, ft. good lighting to bless me). The cheapest of the options, but coincidentally also the best (saved the best til last). The powder highlighter is easy to apply, brush gentle strokes onto cheekbones either beneath foundation, or on-top; or if you want to really push out the boat and look like a human unicorn – both. A really really great value product that lasts ages, and is so on trend. Invest now. Pop that glow!

 

 

Jimmy Choo Vs Christian Louboutin

opinion piece

It’s the equivalent of Porsche vs Ferrari, only in the fashion world (except neither of these brands are German or Italian); Parisian fashion powerhouse that is Christian Louboutin, with its iconic and decadent red soles…against the Malaysian, London based masterpieces that are Jimmy Choo’s, handmade to perfection with their ever so recogniseable stitched white label.

I have owned two pairs of each (soon to be more if I’m frank about it), so we’re on a level playing field here. Especially aimed at younger females, who may only be able to afford one pair of luxury shoes – you need to be well informed, the last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned cash.

Starting with the drop dead gorgeous red soles, (I could lick the sole it’s that attractive) on the aesthetics they get a 10/10 every time. They epitomise glamour and class. However, and this is not only my opinion but something I have heard amongst many Louboutin owners – the practicality of the shoes is almost non-existent. Have you ever tried walking on stilts? Me neither, but the Louboutin experience is pretty close to how I would imagine it’d be. Although I opted for the slightly risque 120 mm version; unfortunately almost all of the shoes have this needle thin heel, and no platform at the front to support your foot. But, they still look so beautifully edible. The smell of the leather is orgasmic. Verdict – a worthy investment for a special occasion, but check the website thoroughly before ordering as they now have chunkier heels available which should be easier to walk in. (Beware that Loubs also usually come bigger so get a size smaller then your usual measurement, this will help with the skyscraper heels, giving you slightly better support).

photo (40)Jimmy Choo’s are just as luxuriously glamorous; with their handmade half sizes they fit like a glove and not to mention their high quality leather finishes. Just as beautiful as the Loubs, but perhaps more variety. Which in a way adds to their practicality, you can choose a heel height and width, safe in the knowledge that you won’t break your ankle walking further then 10 steps on a night out. The shoes pictured, I purchased recently and omg. The comfort is unbelieveable. They feel like wedges, like flats, almost as soft as my converses. Seriously, 11/10 for practicality. In terms of pricing, although Jimmy Choo is usually more expensive, they do have an outlet store in Bicester village (Oxford), which means great opportunities to grab bargains. My pair were only £143. Verdict – Although both brands are as prestigious as one another, and both shoes are as stunningly beautiful I think if you have to choose just one – for me it has to be the Loubs. I can’t get over the red sole. It’s too iconic, it’s one of those items every girl must own before she’s 25. Although they are pricey, and difficult to walk in, at the right occasion I’m sure they’ll do me justice. And next time I’ll get chunkier heels, which aren’t paper thin, because frankly I quite like my ankles intact, kinda need them to walk you know. Shiny on you crazy red sole!