How Much Is My Face Worth?

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

I've seen this kind of post a lot round the blogosphere recently (these ones by Kat and Emily are particular favourites!) and it didn't take long for me to start wondering how much my own face was worth. It's strange  I've never really given it much thought before, and I think that's because if I do think about how much something costs, I just think of that individual item (and whether it was worth the money!)

The make-up I use on a daily basis varies but these are the products I tend to reach for when I want to look polished with minimal effort  cream formulas are so much easier to blend. (I can just hear my mum screeching 'This is minimal?!' but yeah, for me it is, Mumma).

Primer: Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid, £14.99
Foundation: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia, £31
Concealer (for spots): Kiko Full Coverage Concealer in 01 Light, £7.50
Concealer (for under the eyes): GOSH Click 'n' Conceal in Light, £6.99
Powder: Lily Lolo Finishing Powder in Translucent Silk, £13.49

Total: £73.97

Blush: Rosie For Autograph Cream Blush in English Rose Flush, £14
Highlighter: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, £17.50

Total: £31.50

Eyes and Brows
Brows: Seventeen Brow's That! Brow Kit, £5.99
Eyeshadow: Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Jean, £22
Mascara: GOSH Rebel Eyes Mascara in Black, £8.99

Total: £36.98

Lip liner: GOSH Velvet Touch Lip Liner in Angel Kiss, £4.99
Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Bitch Perfect, £23

Total: £27.99

Grand Total: £170.44

Wow, okay, that's not as much as some posts I've seen but it's still a lot  not far off from hitting £200! Even though I knew the total was going to be high I'm still a bit shocked; it just goes to show you how it all adds up, I guess.

Have you ever done a post like this before? Leave me your links if you have, I'd love to read them! And if not, how much do you reckon your total would be? Let me know in the comments!
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Stocking Up On Cruelty-Free Basics

Monday, 20 June 2016

Kiko Lip Liner, GOSH Eyebrow Pencil, GOSH Concealer, Superdrug Eyelash Curler

And by basics, I mean make-up basics; the kind of things I reach for on a daily basis. It's funny though  my definition of basic probably isn't the same as yours (although I find that fellow beauty addicts are more likely to have things in common) and it certainly isn't the same as my mother's, for example. I shudder at the thought of leaving the house without wearing eyebrow pencil, whereas for her it's all about the eyeshadow and mascara. Anyway, as usual I ran out of everything at the same time so a trip to town was in order. Here are my thoughts on the products I picked up.

Beauty Basics (swatches)

Kiko Automatic Precision Lip Liner in 505 Red, £5.90
Okay, so I know red lip liner isn't an essential for a lot of people, but it is for me. This is the perfect match for theBalm's Meet Matte Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Loyal, my go-to red at the moment, and it only costs £5.90. The pencil glides on without being too soft and once there it stays put, helping to define the lips and, I've noticed, increase the wear-time of the lipstick you apply over the top. It has a sharpener and a blender at the other end, too, so you really do get value for money. There's just one thing  I haven't been able to wrench the cap off the blender yet! (I'll keep trying.)

GOSH Eyebrow Pencil in Brown, £5.49
Not quite the shade for me; Brown is a little too light. Unfortunately the only other shades available are Grey Brown, which is even lighter, and Soft Black, which is too dark for my hair and too harsh next to my skin. I do like that it comes with a spoolie on the other end though  they are invaluable for brushing out brows and distributing product evenly  and the pencil itself is firm without dragging. All in all, the GOSH Eyebrow Pencil is not one to discount, but do check the samples more thoroughly than I did before buying.

GOSH Click 'n' Conceal in Light, £6.99
After a bit of a lukewarm start with Click 'n' Conceal I've found what it truly excels at: covering my undereye circles. It's peachy enough to hide any blue tones but also light enough to blend in with my extremely pale skin. The coverage isn't quite as full as that of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer but it still makes a noticeable, my skin but better kind of difference and that's all I need right now.

Superdrug Eyelash Curler, £1.99
I do love the effect eyelash curlers have  who can resist having such a wide-awake flutter?  but I also don't want to spend a fortune on them. Fortunately the Superdrug Eyelash Curler costs a mere £1.99 and really squeezes the eyelashes (without breaking them, I hasten to add!), creating a pretty curl that lasts. Bargain.

What beauty bits have you bought recently? And what are the basics you can't live without? Let me know in the comments!
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Tropic Travel Essentials — What Am I Taking With Me?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Tropic Organic Elixir; Tropic Tamanu Rescue Healing Balm

It's just over a month until I head off on my holidays and my thoughts have turned to packing. We're only taking hand luggage with us and since I'm terrible at packing light (especially when it comes to beauty products) I'm having to think long and hard about what I need to take with me. I've spent the last couple of months testing out Tropic's Travel Essentials* (v), £32, so my skincare will be sorted at the very least. The Travel Essentials come in a cute little bag with magnetic closure and you also get a Bamboo Cloth to use with the cleanser. There are five products in total: a cleanser, a toner, a moisturiser, a face oil, and a balm.

I get very excited when I have the chance to try out a new (new to me, at least) cruelty-free brand. I think there's an assumption that going cruelty-free massively limits your options and while it does mean that you can't just buy whatever you feel like from Boots anymore, there are plenty of wonderful brands out there that don't test on animals or sell in China  you just have to do a little Googling to find them.

As it turns out, when Tropic contacted me a few months back I realised I had heard of them: Tropic is the skincare brand created by Susan Ma, who was once a contestant on The Apprentice (bloody love The Apprentice). It started out with a body scrub that Ma made in her kitchen in 2004; fast-forward twelve years and the line features all kinds of products, including skincare, bodycare and make-up. When they got in touch with me I was very impressed to learn that Tropic is cruelty-free, vegan, and Leaping Bunny certified  exactly the kind of thing I like to share with you all on this blog.

Tropic Travel Essentials

Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier (v) (£16 for 120ml)
The scent of the Smoothing Cleanser is very similar to that of Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish, as is the creamy texture. I'd say this is a little more subtle though and consequently it's much more gentle on the eyes when used to remove make-up. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped of moisture and it's light enough to use in both the morning and the evening; basically, it does everything I like a cleanser to do.

Will I take it with me? Yes.
Would I buy the full-size version? Yes.

Vitamin Toner Pore Refining Mist (v) (£14 for 120ml)
The Vitamin Toner is nice enough and it certainly leaves my skin feeling refreshed, but I wouldn't say it was essential. Generally I like toners to either be spot-busting or exfoliating and while this doesn't aggravate my skin, I haven't noticed a positive difference either. It's going to be wonderful for cooling me down on the plane, though.

Will I take it with me? Yes.
Would I buy the full-size version? No.

Skin Revive Nourishing Cream Concentrate (v) (£22 for 50ml)
A light but moisturising cream that sinks in quickly and always leaves my skin feeling comfortable. It's lovely and I've really enjoyed using it, but it doesn't do anything that my usual (£2.99) day cream doesn't.

Will I take it with me? Yes.
Would I buy the full-size version? No. I begrudge paying anything over a fiver for a daily moisturiser, tbh.

Organic Elixir Age-Defying Facial Oil (v) (£30 for 50ml)
Okay, so I know 22 is too young to be thinking about anti-ageing but in this instance I don't care; I frickin love this stuff. It smells a teeny bit like marzipan, softens my skin, and doesn't irritate any spots. In fact, recently I switched to using my day cream at night because I want to save what remains of this for my holiday. This coincided with my acne flaring up again and as soon as I switched back to the oil, my skin calmed right down. Just goes to show how good plant oils can be for oily, blemished skin like mine!

Will I take it with me? Yes.
Would I buy the full-size version? Possibly. £30 for 50ml is a bit much but oils do tend to last for months and months, so I imagine the cost-per-use would work out quite reasonably.

Tamanu Rescue Healing Balm (v) (£8 for 10ml)
It can take forever to squeeze the product out of this tube when the weather is cold but it's so worth the wait. The Tamanu Rescue Healing Balm is thick, non-sticky, and dries matte so it's ideal for wearing underneath lipstick (especially liquid ones, which have a tendency to cling to dry patches). The tube is small enough to carry in the dinkiest of bags and you only need a tiny bit so I imagine this will last me aaaaages. A keeper for sure.

Will I take it with me? Yes.
Would I buy the full-size version? Hell yeah.

Have you ever tried Tropic products before? What do you take on holiday with you? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan
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The 18 Stages Of... The British Bank Holiday BBQ

Monday, 13 June 2016

Italian Red Wine

Oh, the humble BBQ — a staple of summertime in Britain. Supermarket magazines would have you believe that these BBQs take place over long, sunny afternoons, with a variety of meats being served and homemade picnic food on the side. But let's face it: we all buy some decent looking burgers and sausages (with some veggie alternatives, if that's your thing), some rolls, and that plastic-looking cheese that comes wrapped in clear film, dig out a half-empty bottle of ketchup from the cupboard, and eat inside because it's raining. Occasionally someone will suggest staying outside and you will sit there, hoodie zipped up, hunched over a disappointing sausage (steady on) until some brave soul politely points to 'those evil clouds' and you all head in, secretly relieved.

Sound familiar?

5:35pm: Check tomorrow's weather report, which predicts we will have glorious sunny spells, with cloudier skies on Monday.

8:30am: Wake up and look out of the window to see grey clouds and fog.

9:30am: Discover the pollen count is still out in full force after being struck by a rather alarming sneezing fit.

9:34am: Shove antihistamines down throat and hope for best.

9:45am: Shower and attempt to get dressed  — what does one wear when we are predicted to have all types of weather? Go for layers.

10:30am: Start putting make-up on, paying extra attention to concealing bright pink nose. Consider red lipstick before remembering what happened last time (all on the chin and none on the lips. Sexy). Opt for muted coral instead.

12:04pm: Set off for Auntie Sue's. Mum sings. My brother and I wish we were as deaf as Dad.

12:54pm: Arrive at Auntie Sue's. She's put most of the food in the oven ('Don't want food poisoning,' she says, and quite right) but we stubbornly continue to refer to this gathering as a BBQ anyway.

1:03pm: Auntie Sue shows us the Christmas wreaths and reindeers she's been making. In May. We all admire them, except Auntie Sandy, who watches from a distance and apologises for having 'sausagey fingers'.

1:22pm: Uncle Dickie opens the Italian wine Giulia gave us. I don't even like wine, to be honest, but this is gorgeous: smooth, full-bodied, and sophisticated. Even Mum approves ("'ere, Sue, get yer gob round this!")

1:51pm: Lunch is served. On the menu? Burgers and sausages, plus buns, cheese, and onions to go with them, chicken, roasted veg, potatoes, and, rather randomly, onion bhajis. Not complaining — I'm not a curry person but I do love all the extras.

2:12pm: Finish eating and sit back in our garden chairs, satisfied.

'Do you want a coffee, Mike?' asks Auntie Sue. Uncle Mike looks delighted.

'Ooh, yes please, Sue,' he replies eagerly.

'Off you go then, put the kettle on!'

Uncle Mike does not look so delighted anymore.

3pm: Sit down to watch the opening ten minutes of the rugby.

3:41pm: Finish watching the first half, having not moved for forty minutes. Bombarded with 'Who are you supporting?', even though I no longer live in Wales, I've never supported Wales anyway, and we don't have any Welsh ancestry.

3:52pm: Accidentally set off a Mexican wave of yawning.

4:20pm: Customary quiz about my future plans occurs and I make the mistake of telling them all how stressful job hunting is.

'You'll go grey at thirty,' Mum says.

'You went grey because you had kids. I don't want kids; I shall have dogs.'

'Oh, no,' says Uncle Dickie's mum, Anne, 'you need to have children. Otherwise you'll grow old and be alone.'

'I have people, I won't be alone.'

'Yes you will.'


4:21pm: Sit there contemplating the pros and cons of a life in solitude until Uncle Dickie says, 'Mother, four of your five children live abroad!'

5:46pm: Arrive home clutching leftovers in one hand and an empty wine bottle in the other. Collapse on sofa.

Have you ever seen the meme that says 'Where do you see yourself in ten years time?' and the reply is just a photo of a woman pushing a pram full of really cute dogs? That's gonna be me, sorry, Anne! Actually, I'm not sorry; it's entirely my choice.

What are your bank holiday traditions? Let me know in the comments!
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Neglected Products — What Should Stay and What Should Go?

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Neglected Cruelty-Free Products

When you're a beauty junkie I suppose it's inevitable that you'll end up with a stash of products you no longer use. I so badly want to have a minimal make-up bag but I am a hoarder, pure and simple. Occasionally though, I go through a phase where I feel the need to get rid of everything at an alarming rate, normally at the start and end of the academic year (although I won't have that from now on, hello grad life). This year was no exception so I thought I'd share some of the products I unearthed and finally make a decision — should they stay or should they go?

Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Body Lotion, £21.50
I think this tube was a free sample with a magazine? It's nice enough but there's something about the smell that means I reach for other products more. I don't know what it is, because the scent isn't particularly unpleasant or anything; it's just not really my thing. But the lotion does leave my skin feeling soft so I think I'd be foolish to throw it away, especially since I always seem to run out of all my full-size body lotions at once.
Stay or Go

NARS Illuminator in Orgasm, £23
This was a freebie with a NARS order last year and I've only used it as a highlighter so far, which doesn't really work when your skin is as pale as mine (the Orgasm shade is quite warm). However, when I looked at the website to find the link and price for this post I read that you can also wear it over or under foundation, or mix it with your base to create a dewy look, so I think it's worth experimenting before I call it a day.
Stay or Go

Neal's Yard Remedies Rosemary and Cedarwood Hair Treatment (v), £6.50
I had high hopes for this treatment but it's just too much for my fine hair to take, even when I use it sparingly. It also takes forever to wash out, even with multiple shampoos, and who has the time for that? Those of you with thicker hair might get along much better with it though.
Stay or Go

Makeup Revolution Matte Concealer Stick in 02 Fair, £1
I've discovered that this concealer doesn't really do much, no matter how much I layer it on, and you can only put on so much before it starts getting cakey. Fortunately I've found a solid Kiko concealer that's a much better shade match (the Makeup Revolution one is quite yellow toned) so I have no need for this anymore.
Stay or Go

Barry M Lip Paint in Pale Nude, £4.49
Although I told myself I would I just haven't been reaching for this lip paint — it's a little too pale for me and I think it washes me out unless I've done quite heavy eye make-up. Most of the time I just use a little bit of cream eyeshadow and some mascara and therefore opt for a slightly brighter lip. I love you, Barry M, but Pale Nude just doesn't suit me.
Stay or Go

Have you had a clear out recently? Do you keep things minimal or are you a massive hoarder like me? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan
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10 Things Pale People Hear All The Time In Summer

Monday, 6 June 2016

In Spain a few years ago. No idea what I'm doing in the pool, just loving life I guess! Whatever floats your boat, Past Me

It's that time of year again when people start making the odd comment about my (admittedly very white) skin. If you've read the title of this post and you're also incredibly pale like me, then it's likely you know exactly what those comments can be and are shaking your head as you think of them.

I'll explain: I'm talking about comments that are meant as advice or jokes (or just tumble out of people's mouths without them thinking) but are actually pretty rude/annoying/narrow-minded, even if the speaker doesn't intend to be any of those things. A rather large amount of people are incredulous at the fact I'm happy with my natural skin colour, something which is irritating on the surface but also kinda sad when you think about it a bit more  are we really that conditioned to think that not having a tan is a travesty?

(One thing I want to make very clear is this: my problem is not with pale people  or any people, for that matter  who use tanning products. My favourite thing about beauty is the choice it offers us, so if you wanna get your tan on then by all means go for it. My problem is with those who seem to have an issue with the fact I don't want to tan and am quite happy being pale.)

Oh my God, you're so white!
Really? I'd never noticed. Thank you, kind sir, for enlightening me. I will move forwards with a weight lifted from my shoulders.

Seriously, though, I can't believe how white you are.
It's a pretty standard thing when you've got ancestry like mine. Please stop staring at me like I'm a car crash.

Your legs are blinding me!
Don't look/wear sunglasses/you are clearly not being blinded.

Aren't you gonna use fake tan?
Nah, I'm good.

Fake tan would make such a difference on you, you need to try some!
I'm sure it would, but I don't want it to use it.

You know, you can get gradual tan if you're worried about looking orange.
I can't be bothered to use it. Also, I'm happy the way I am, ta.

Can I hold my arm next to yours?
Sure, go ahead. I'm sorry you need to use me to boost your fragile ego.

Doesn't being so pale bother you?

I could never walk around looking like that.
You don't have to?

A little bit of colour would do you good, you know.
That's what make-up is for. I don't put Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks on my wishlists for nothing, you know.

A little bit of a sarky post but damn, it feels good to get that off my chest. Moral of the story? You do you  as long as you're happy then you're sorted.

Have you ever experienced comments like these before? And how do you feel about tanning? Let me know in the comments! 
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