Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Daily Pale

In just one day, the Daily Mail published two seperate articles whereby pale skin was discussed in a derrogatory manner. One on Christina Hendricks, and the other on Daniel Radcliffe.

I felt I had to respond to this on my blog, as this is a place whereby pale skin is celebrated. As I have said before, whether a person chooses to tan or not... this is fine and totally up to the individual. My issue has never been about the choice of whether to tan or not - rather those who choose to embrace their pale skin being made to feel self concious about it, through the media, society and peers. Not to mention within cosmetic companies, who don't make shades light enough for those with fair skin.

I find it disgraceful that the media and people in general, would face prosecution to label a person with any darkness in their skin in an derrogatory manner, however to comment on the lightness of a person's skin is perceived as being fine and almost comedic. It really should be an even playing field, especially if people are brave enough not to be a sheep when it comes to fake tan - and actually embrace the skin tone they were born in - regardless of the tone it happens to be.

Even the Butcher's choice advert (a brand of dog food over here in the UK) labels the farmer as "Mean and Pasty".... Pasty being a well known term for pale skin. Such labels along with "Milkbottle", "Ghost", "Casper's Cousin" etc, are commonplace within society.

Back to the Christina Hendricks article, and honestly I find it sad that out of all her accomplishments and even the hype surrounding the event she was attending.... ALL Jason Chester could possibly comment on, was the lightness of her skin. I'm not exactly clued up on Christina's entire CV... but knowing she is an accomplished actress, savvy dresser and well.. ultimately quite successful, why is her skin tone the only thing you can talk about as a national newspaper?! 

In my view creating a whole article on someones skin tone, is as bad as discussing someones weight. The media need to realise that using body issues - whatever that might entail -  to sell stories, can only have a negative effect, particularly on the impressionable. Whether someone has gained a few pounds, or has had a bad hair day, or maybe looked tired when the paparazzi shoved cameras in their face as they were leaving their hotel... why is this really any of our business, and what good does it actually do bringing it to our attention?

We are human, we are all different. We have good days, bad days... bad skin days.... bad hair days... amazing skin and hair days (if we are lucky). Sometimes we look tired or frustrated, have frown lines, spill coffee down our top..... essentially we are not perfect. Some of us also wish to rock pale skin too. This is why we should care when someone, whether it be the media or even in the street, makes fun of you or someone else for having pale skin, because what harm is pale skin actually doing to you, and why should anyone feel the need to change the way they look?

Interestly, the article then features pictures other stars that attended the event, such as Jennifer Garner and Solange Knowles. Now, where was the part in the article that bashed these stars for the colour of their skin? Oh wait, no that would be wrong and the newspaper could even be shut down for it because it would be racist. So why single out the pale skinned attendee? 

Perhaps the only saving grace of this article, is the comments section of which, the most popular comments all point out just how offensive the content of the article is to those with pale skin, as well as some who called her look "stunning". Unfortunately for those reading this article and many like it, it is the content written within it, is what packs the most punch, and gets across to the most amount of people. 

As much as my blog is primarily make-up reviewing, I do intend to highlight issues that bother me when they arise. I am proud of my pale Irish skintone, that I have inherited from my Dad's side of the family. I don't feel a need to cover this with tanning lotion, but at the same time what I REALLY don't feel the need for - is negative articles, language and general opinion in relation to mine or anybody elses skin tone, whether light or dark, red, purple or Simpson's yellow. 

Sure, The Daily Mail is often known as "The Daily Hate", however it is not the only publication or indeed person - who gain satisfaction from making others feel self conscious, simply for having fair skin. This is why I felt it was important to bring this to your attention, because we cannot let this continue - it must be stamped out.

Beauty is not simply for those who wish to tan, nor is fashion, clothing or make up. We all need to embrace each others differences, not spread hate or negativity. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


If anyone reading this has seen my passport picture circa 2007 whereby I only have half a right eyebrow - you'd be forgiven for thinking maybe brows isn't my area of expertise, but we all have to start somewhere right?!

So it was my birthday eve, and I noticed that my brows were a little lackluster. I usually pluck my brows or get them waxed, however it had started to bug me that I couldn't quite get the shape I had wanted -  a natural curve whereby the brow is at is highest point then gently slopes back down again. Nothing resembling a clown mind - just a nice, natural shape. 

I had watched my Auntie use the Biju brow service in my local House of Fraser in Grimsby many a time. She would lie there and be threaded and tinted, whilst myself and my cousin were banished to another shop. It was the fact she had used the service for a quite a while now, that made me trust they knew what they were doing, especially as she always seems so pleased with the results.

The Biju brow bar has 7 UK locations, and in other locations a greater variety of treatments are performed such as leg waxing. Generally, an appointment is something I'd advise as the two treatment chairs are always busy whenever I walk past. However I happened to go in on a Sunday, which was a slightly less busy time, and so I was able to get my brows done straight away. I had picked up a leaflet the week before to check out prices, and it said not to remove any hair from your brows for at least a week prior to your treatment, so I made sure I followed this advice (hence the dodgy before pic).

Firstly, the therapist asked if this was my first time using the service, and how I usually tame my brows. She then asked what sort of shape I would like to be achieved, and told me that if it became too painful we could take a break (always a sentence guaranteed to put you at ease!)

In order to thread each eyebrow, I had to put one hand over my closed eye, whilst using my other arm to hold up the skin on my forehead. This is essentially to help sculpt the brow, and be able to perfect the shape as much as possible.

So I guess the big question at this point, is what was the pain like? I have to say that after having my brows previously waxed at a salon, threading does hurt considerably more. However, the pain is very short-sharp, therefore somehow more bearable than you would expect considering it does bloody hurt! It also made my eyes water quite a bit, and later they did look quite bloodshot which is unusual for me. 

Beauty treatments are often a compromise of putting up with some kind of pain or discomfort in order to achieve a good result - so when you think about it like that, it's not so bad. Also, to do each eyebrow is surprisingly quick, and the whole treatment was complete in under 10 minutes. 

If you are worried about the pain, I can tell you that although it's more painful than waxing - it's no where near as painful as an injection in the roof of my mouth, that I had to have once at the dentist (lovely I know!) .. so generally unless you have absolutely no pain tolerence at all, you should be fine.

After the threading was finished the therapist trimmed my brows to ensure they were perfectly neat. She then rubbed some Rose water on some cotton pads over my eyes a few times to sooth them, and then she filled in my brows lightly with a pencil.

At this point, my brows were hurting a little and I could also feel half the redundant brows stuck to my face (definitely don't wear foundation to your appointment like I did!) I guess this happens because you are lying almost flat, and unlike with waxing, the hairs are not trapped within a strip. This is a little annoying, but thankfully short lived.

Overall, I was really pleased with the finished look (minus the redness of course). I also want to say how lovely the therapist was. Sometimes it can be a little hit and miss in beauty environments. Although the majority of those in the industry are lovely, sometimes it can be intimidating and you can come across people who act as if they are a cut above, because they work in the beauty industry, that ultimately ruins the experience. Given I had never met this lady before, I think I was really lucky because she genuinely seemed nice and confident in her abilities, which definitely puts you at ease when having a treatment done. She also explained to me throughout the treatment, that threading is a much more effective way of removing hairs from the brows because it is more accurate. There may have been more to that explanation, only I was trying not to wince with the pain...

My treatment cost £13.50, which I found reasonable considering how happy I was with the results... my brows are no longer pin straight! I am not sure how this compares with other salons who offer threading, however I do believe this is more than what I have ever paid for my eyebrows to be waxed. It is certainly worth trying, and try not to be put off by the pain because it's short lived and if it's really that bad, you don't have to do it again afterall. I was advised the results should last around 4 weeks so I shall be keen to see if this is true or not.

I have already received complements off family members who said my brows look really nice with their new shape, and so with comments like that it makes the pain and money spent well worthwhile. After all, brows frame the face and can really open up your eye area so getting them maintained can have a surprising impact on your overall look.

If you'd like to find out more about Biju and see it's list of UK locations, you can do so here.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Sleek Foundation Tester Kit

Today I thought I'd review the Fair/Light tester kit by Sleek. I have often thought this would be a wonderful idea if more companies made similar testers that you could order online, so you could truelly try before you buy. The Fair/Light kit is the lightest range of shades that Sleek make, and contain the following 5 shades: Linen, Oyster, Oatmeal, White Rose and Shell.

Currently, Sleek are not selling the Fair/Light tester kit on the website in the Creme to powder format. However, they are selling it in their “New skin revive format” which you can find here. The difference between the two, is that Creme to powder is a compact foundation, and skin revive is liquid foundation.

I will always have a soft spot for Sleek, after winning Clothes Show tickets and a generous gift bag from them, for both me and my cousin last year. However I have to be honest, in that I was a little disappointed at how dark these shades are, once I applied the swatches to my arm. White Rose and Shell in particular, are much more suited to tanned skintones, and I wouldn't class them as “light” at all.

Also, I wasn't sure what to make of the finish when I applied the lightest shade Linen to my face. The finish was slightly cakey for my liking, however it's really up to the individual and some may work better with the finish than I did. I think if I was going to purchase the lightest shade “Linen”, then I would definitely buy the liquid version of this shade, over the crème to powder format.

At £2.99, I definitely recommend buying this tester kit if you have been wanting a Sleek foundation but don't want the disappointment of the shade being incorrect, especially as there is always the risk of the foundation oxidising on the skin, and becoming even darker.

My overall opinion of this kit, is that Linen - the lightest shade Sleek make - is the only shade I would consider to be suitable for pale skin tones. It is a similar shade to NC15 in Mac, however is lighter than this. It would be great if Sleek could remake this palette, and begin with an off-white as the lightest shade, and perhaps end with Linen. Maybe I'm asking for too much here, but I definitely think there is a market for extremely pale foundations - even if it's just for mixing with other products.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Bonjour Bourjois!

It's not easy buying blusher when you don't have the skin tone to carry off the majority of shades. This is probably why I probably only own about 3 blushers, compared to stacks of eyeshadows I seem to have falling out of every drawer. I have heard a lot about the new Bourjois Cream Blushers, and it was after seeing Ruth Crilly talk about shade “01 – Nude Velvet” that made me really want to try it.

Admittedly, Ruth isn't particularly pale, however what I liked is that when she applied it, the effect it gave didn't immediately take over the whole look, as some blushers can. This can especially be the case, when you are working on a pale canvas.

The colour is undoubtedly the best thing about this product. All too often blushers on pale skin either look too childhood doll like (too pink), or too muddy (too orange/brown). The colour of this blusher is a light terracotta shade, which really does blend in nicely to the cheek. I find this blusher incredibly easy to apply, and can be worked in with hands with barely any effort at all. I like to blend it out with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

I also feel that because it's a cream blusher, it is a lot more natural looking that a powder blush. As much as I love both formats, the cream blush effect really does look a lot more effortless and played down, so is definitely suitable for everyday wear.

Pricewise, £7.99 isn't bad considering how impressive the product is. The packaging also features a lovely little mirror, which is ideal for on the go touch ups.

To sum up, I think this is a great natural looking blusher that is ideal for everyday, when a heavier blusher can sometimes feel too much. The colour isn't offensive, and the finish is buildable and blendable. I would recommend swatching it to double check this shade is for you, however as far as I'm concerned - this is pale suitable. If you'd like to purchase this online, you can do so here.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Not Such A Bad Romance

As well as selling beautiful bags and jewellery, Accessorize also sell a really impressive range of make-up with plenty of nail polish to boot. On my nails currently is the shade “Romance”, which a lilac-but-not-quite-purple colour. I picked this up from the Marble Arch branch of Superdrug, however after visiting my home branch of Superdrug yesterday in Grimsby, I am now pleased to find that they are now selling Accessorize make-up too.

Whilst out yesterday, I also picked up a ring from Dorothy Perkins in the sale for an amazing £3! I don't purchase rings that often, however this one really caught my eye. I am definitely tempted to buy more in the future.