Monday, 10 September 2012

Hair & Beauty Wishlist for A/W 2012

I am a girl who is always on the lookout for new products, and especially love looking at the new hair and beauty products that come out each season. From the cool pastels in spring, to the bright neon nail varnishes in summer, to the sophisticated berry tones in Autumn. Just like with fashion, trends come and go with beauty and change from season to season. There are so many products that have caught my eye this season... these are the ones that I would love to try. Some have just been released, and some are already staples within the hair and beauty industry. Allow me to take you through my wish list!

In no particular order...

Illamasaqua Skin Based Foundation in 02 - £27

I have always wanted to try some Illamasqua make-up as I find the dramatic looks they create so fascinating, it is almost like a work of art than simply just make-up. I also have gained interest in this particular foundation because the Pixiwoo sisters seem to feature it alot in their videos, and if make-up artists rate a product highly then you know it has to be good. I am incredibly wary of foundation shades - anything even a slight bit too dark then it will look plain WRONG on me... however this foundation looks just perfect for me, and incredibly pale which is why I am keen to try it. Hopefully I will get this foundation in time to feature it on my channel when I get it going!

Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Emerald Lust - £62

Ok ok ok ok OK... I have to admit this is a bit of a dreamy indulgent addition to my wishlist, but can you blame me?! The colours in this Tom Ford Palette look so divine in the picture... I can't imagine how vivid and beautiful they would look on an actual eye! I think these colours would really suit my blue eyes.

Babyliss Pro Volare V2 Compact Dryer
- £84.95

My hair is incredibly thick, anyone who touches my hair in a salon always says so! I would love to achieve a professional blow dry at home, and although I have pretty much mastered the technique and own more barrel brushes than can ever be normal.... I feel as if my dryer lets me down. Generally, on the UK high street there isn't a great deal of choice of hairdryers available, and they all tend to cost under £30. Although this is fantastic for my pocket... my hair is yet to thank me in terms of showing my vitality and bounce. I believe what I am lacking is a powerful dryer, and this is one of the dryers I have been considering. It is available in either red or black, is made in Italy and has a FERRARI engine! Now that's what I call power!

Redken Smooth Down Masque - £17.25 (price varies dramatically depending on retailer!)

Again with my thick unruly hair! Nothing I have ever done technique wise or any product I have ever used has totally conquered the frizz/flyaways my hair inevitably gets, no matter what I do. I have heard so many amazing things about the Smooth Down range curing frizz like no other product, which is why I really want to try it. I have tried the Redken colour extend masque, as well as various Redken treatments at my hairdressers, and really love the range. However at anywhere up to £22 for 250ml... this product is staying on my wishlist and not my immediate list for now!

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Cuticle Oil - £7.09

Lately I've noticed my nails seem so beat up for some reason! When I recently applied my Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight polish (see previous post for review!)... the application wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, due to my nail bed being chipped and uneven. I have heard great things about nail oils, and would love to try this one by Sally Hansen, to give my nails extra strength and shine.

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Eye Palette - £48

Yes, more of the BBDT luvin. If money was no object for me, I would buy this palette right now!! I love ladylike make-up... you know ultra sophisticated, glamorous colours... dusty pinks with that hint of sparkle. Grown up glitter glamour... not cheap and tacky or too in your face, just the right balance. Everything about this palette I am in love with, even though I will probably never be lucky enough to own it! The case is metallic and looks almost like it's made of precious metal, with gorgeous colours inside ranging from your bases, to your daytime shimmery tones... right up to evening glamour. I'm afraid I will have to make do with the Desert Twilight nail polish at a more pleasing £6 off ebay for now (not that I mind!)

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish - £9

If you haven't tried The Body Shop's ultimately AMAZING showergels, you are missing one hell of a treat. The smells are so rich and divine, they truely lift my spirits and sometimes make the whole house smell nice. I am also a massive fan of body scrubs... they are brilliant for exfoliating the skin, and have a multitude of benefits and uses. As the Satsuma showergel is one of my favourite varieties, I have always wanted to try the body scrub too.

Expect a longer list sometime in the near future.... I just can't help myself!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Pale and Proud

Before I start my Pale Skin Make-Up channel properly, I thought I would discuss pale skin in terms of it's history and perception throughout time. In terms of my own history, I am of Irish Decent, therefore have natural very pale skin. Throughout school and my life, I have never been satisfied with the range of pale make-up that is available for fairer tones which is one of the reasons I decided to start this project. As I have delved deeper into products for pale skin, I have also discovered a rather disconcerting undertone to my research.

It really saddened me recently, when I typed in hashtags related to fair/pale skin into twitter, to research potential followers who may be interested in my project. The language and overall tone of 95% of the tweets were to put it simply, vile and offensive. The tweets contained everything from suggesting pale skin was "creepy not sexy" (written by a make-up artist I might add!), to pale skin being "disgusting". One user even wrote "Pale Skin" after a  "ThingsIhate" trending tag.

We are all entitled to our own opinions of course, but it really does make me question why pale skin has gained such apparent distaste, at least in the world of social media. Controversially, why is it seemingly acceptable to say such abhorrent things about pale skin tones, when it is most definitely not and could even lead to prosecution, if you were to comment similar things on darker skin tones?

The to and fro from pale skin loving and hating, has been going on throughout time, as writes:

"Pale skin has been seen as desirable for centuries now. Historically it was perceived as a sign of prestige and evidence of a luxurious lifestyle.

Historically, pale skin became a trend as it was a symbol of status. Only workers or laborers spent long hours outdoors in the sun, therefore if you had the privilege of an indoor lifestyle you often had a paler complexion than your working counterparts."

Basically what this excerpt is saying, is that in past era's, it was actually seen as upper class to be pale, because it meant you did not work outside in a hard labourous occupation. My how times have changed!

I have experimented with fake tan about 3 times in my life. There was a time at university when being located in the North East of England, I began to feel self conscious when surrounded by so many fake tanned people (if you don't know what I am on about, go watch Geordie Shore!). Not only did it leave me with streaky arms, but it really made me think. Why am I doing this to myself? To feel better about wearing my shorts? To fit in with everyone else?

You can judge the result for yourself here:

Here I am at an end of year event stood next to a friend of mine from college. Some of you may argue I look so much better with a bit of colour in me. Maybe I do.... but it's just not me, I didn't feel like me and I certainly didn't look like me. I felt exactly what I was... someone trying to blend in with what everyone else was doing. This may sound a little over dramatic, but it felt almost like I was betraying my own skin tone and heritage for that matter.

The argument I am trying to raise is not that I believe fake tan is betraying your own skin tone, before you ask. I realise life is too short to make those sorts of generalisations about everyone. I also understand that a tan makes people feel confident, happier and like they have just been on holiday which is perhaps why it is so popular, aside from shows like TOWIE and Geordie shore.
My point, is simply this; I am pale, of Irish decent. I am happy with my natural skin tone and know there are also millions others like me. I don't understand why I have to spend hours trawling the internet for specialist companies and brands that do foundations pale enough for me, because make-up companies (high street ones especially) feel there isn't the need to stock my kind of shade in their stores.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of Dainty Doll Cosmetics, which was set up by Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts. In the following video, which is worth a watch, as she describes the range and why she decided to bring out a line specifically for the fairer skinned.

However as much as I applaud Nicola (and I really do) , I see Dainty Doll as a starting block rather than a solution to the whole problem. I do not think it is acceptable that just one person has come forward to bring out an exclusively pale range of foundations.... when there are endless cosmetics companies out there already, that should be investing more into catering for all spectrums of their consumers skin tones.

We have become a world whereby fake tan, hair, teeth, eyelashes, boobs etc, is seen as beautiful and desirable, over being totally natural and true to "how God made you". As much as I also believe in "Each to their own", and seriously don't wish to judge the choices of others (yes
really), I just wish the same could be given back to me, and to others who want to embrace their pale skin, not cover it.

It makes me sad that young teenagers, are becoming increasingly self conscious about being pale, especially when it comes to going back to school and college after the holidays, whereby most students have probably been on holiday and have caught a tan. I myself had all sorts of weird comments directed at me in school, such as "Errrrrr. *long stare* What race are you?!" Daft really, but I know for sure I got off lightly as the fake tan phenomenon was yet to explode when I was at school, as it was long before the days of TOWIE. 

As well as making cosmetics companies wake up and smell the... non-tinted-without-a-hint-of-self-tan-moisturiser, and start stocking paler shades... I just want to make pale skin acceptable again. Yes, it's an almighty big dream... but me writing this blog and filming my channel has to be a step in the right direction, right?!

I am going to conclude this blog with images of high profile people who I think represent pale skin just brilliantly in the following shots:

Dita Von Teese


         Daniel Radcliffe

Nicola Roberts (founder of Dainty Doll)

Keira Knightly

Anette Olzen

Tom Sturridge


Jacqueline Jossa

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight

I often keep a keen eye on the beauty section on the Selfridges website. Of course, it's more of a dream like shop for me as there's no way I'd be able to afford half the stuff on there... but well, a girl can dream. A couple of weeks back I came across the limited edition "Desert Twilight" collection from Bobbi Brown. The eye palettes looked absolutely sumptuous, but so did the nail polishes too. The shade I really took a liking too, was the one named "Twilight" which is a rich browny/purpley/metallic/shimmery kind of tone.

I noticed that this shade quickly vanished from the online store in Selfridges, and although it can still be purchased from other selected retailers... if it's run out in Selfridges then it isn't going to be around for long! So, imagine my delight when I found one bottle of this on ebay, and ended up winning it for £6! At £11 plus p&p anywhere else, it had at first seemed a little steep... so I was amazed to get it so cheap, brand new and still boxed.

I tried this polish on last night, with a collection 2000 base coat as the previous polish I had on my nails had made them a little dry and beat up. This was the first time I have tried a high-end polish and I really did notice a difference in application.. it went on really thick and distributed well, needing just one coat.

The interesting thing about this polish, is it can seem a different colour and finish, depending on what light you are in. In the picture, the colour seems a little flat and more muted than it does in the bottle. But, put it under any light and you get a much more chocolately shade come through, with a subtle hint of sophisticated glitter.

All in all, I really am glad I bought this nail polish as I don't have any colours similar to this in the 20 odd polishes I own. It would be a total 5 stars if it shined a little more in normal light, but you can't have everything! I definitely recommend looking up the Desert Twilight Collection... before it all sells out!