Category Archives: makeup

What is in a name

Would a rose smell as sweet … 

Okay this isn’t about names, at least not entirely. As some of you reading this will know, I don’t go by my given name on some social media platforms, predominantly Facebook. I have taken a gender neutral name which for the most part seems to be taken as a male name. I KNOW RIGHT? Assuming my gender like that. Coupled with this, apparently my profile pictures cause some confusion. 

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So my attempt at a degree of anonymity on line does appear to be bearing some fruit? Well I signed up to Sarahah on a whim at the weekend and combined with my then profile picture (a cat), I picked an illustration a friend had completed earlier which I kinda liked. 

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I didn’t really get much interaction, even after talking to my friend about this, and further inspired by an anonymous comment made about never using my own picture as a profile (profile pictures tend to be set as public, reasoning is to make it easier to tell if you are stalking the right person) which is untrue. However, I used a festival makeup look selfie I had taken a couple of weeks ago that I was pleased with. I changed both my profile picture on FB and within the app. 

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Now I have mentioned my perceived ambiguity on social media previously and how it can lead to frustrating and upsetting interactions. In groups that I spend time in which are mixed gender, it is often assumed that I am male. Luckily the downright rude comments are kept to a minimum. I didn’t realise how much of a different changing a profile picture would have to my interactions.

This is small scale compared to experiments where men pretend to be women on social media etc etc but it just proves again that we are all dealing with people on how they present themselves. I was going to write a blog on Cat-Fishing (a term I am going to assume that you are all aware of) and how this makes me uncomfortable.

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It is all linked in. I don’t tend to put up many makeup free/normal selfies of myself. I don’t encourage tagging in such photos either.  So while I do argue that most of my profile pictures are of me, they are of a version of me, a better version of me. With good skin, great hair, looking like a drag queen, a fairy, a unicorn, mermaid… I won’t go on but you get the idea. So I guess because I do control what images of me go on social media, I am editing how people can perceive me. This is cat fishing to a degree, as much as I struggle against it. 

I guess the problem here is that, there is no winning. Text lacks body language, and inflection and sound in order to be able to take cues from a person that one would normally expect when first meeting someone. So as much as I might struggle again using a ‘normal’ photo of me, my profile picture will be what most people use to base their initial and subsequent interactions on. That is if they don’t already know me outside the SM bubble, or if they do end up meeting me. The latter can be utterly terrifying, it is like you are being unmasked at the end of a Scooby cartoon.

 

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Sex sells, pretty brings gazes, it is not news to anyone. When you are picking a profile picture how much effort do you put into it. Do you just pick the first selfie you have, do you pick something more meaningful, a memory, event, your pet, child. All the considerations or lack thereof will all have a bearing on how you are interacted with. In the same way they are generally. When you get dressed in the morning, no matter what your personal style is, you know that people you interact with will respond to it. So, it is no different in this context. I chose cover myself in a little anonymity on line, and that is fine. I have no problem with it. But now I have written this reflective account, it is interesting to see how much different just changing a profile picture can make your interactions. 

Sorry if anyone was expecting a feminist rant 🙂 I am sure I can come up with one later! 

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Halloween Makeup walk through #3

So okay, this might be coming a little late this year, but I genuinely didn’t get around to doing any makeup for Halloween this year. Figured better late than never.

So this look is similar to the Pin up Frankie I did last year, but I have done things ever so slightly different this time around. Still super easy to recreate at home, most of the items you will already have in your makeup bag! 

First of all, you need to get a good reference picture, I prefer to use source if I am doing something from a film, book, comic etc so that you are looking at the art in the way it was originally intended. Therefore any changes you make, you are making with full understanding of the original. You are not using someone else’s makeup, which may already have been altered for a variety of reasons, and altering further. If that makes sense. So today, this is the image I was using : 

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Now before we start, here is what I used – Snazaroo face paint in a light blue, 2 shades of blue eye shadow (dark blue in a powder shadow), black and blue liquid liner, mascara. (spray bottle of water for the face paint and makeup brushes) and a wig.

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The first step is to spray up the paint cake, I used a foundation brush to apply out of preference, but a sponge will also work. Apply over all the areas that are visible, face, ears, neck and chest (this will of course depend on what you are wearing.

While you are waiting for the face paint to dry, you can apply lipstick – I used a Colour Pop liquid matt, but anything you have in your bag will do. Once the base is dry, you can start applying the darker blue eye shadow. I used a mineral shadow because the powder is easier to pat onto the face and you don’t run the risk of rubbing your base off. I started around the eyes, roughly following the eyeline. 

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Once this has been completed, I used the blue shadow to underline the stitches – I started on the mouth and worked my way around the face. I did the neck and check last but only because I always find that area more awkward. Once the eye shadow has been applied, I used a combination of black and blue liquid liner (Nyx vinyl) to line the cut and then the crosses to represent the stitches. I also did V shaped lashes on my lower lids.

After all of that is completed, if you are planning on going out, or wearing it for a longer period of time, spray on some finishing spray and you are good to go 🙂 And it really is that simple, I tend to do makeup looks that are simple, easy and mostly use products you have in your makeup bag or cupboard 🙂 

It would be entirely possible to use a blue eye shadow as a base for this makeup, instead of face paint. It certainly wouldn’t be as bright, and might be more wearable. I haven’t tried it out yet but I will update the blog if and when I do!

If you try this out, please let me see! 

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Moths and Glitter

So a couple of weeks ago on the show, I had the beautiful MothQueen Makeup speak to us – give a little background, and generally shed a little light into her life. This was not, I will be the first to admit, entirely altruistic. I am a massive fan of her work and have followed her on various platforms for some time. I was so happy when she agreed to start a You Tube channel – her tutorial on how to do the perfect smokey eye, for me just sealed the deal.

If you would like to hear what a MothQueen sounds like, and to get a little background on her – have a listen Lifestyle:MK Halloween special ft Mothqueen Makeup

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MothQueen Makeup is entirely relatable in a way that many artists on You Tube aren’t – she is polished, poised, her editing is fantastic. But she still manages to explain things, she is approachable and it is like listening to a friend walk you through makeup application. And of course, she uses products that are easy for most of to get our hands on.

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Now most of that shouldn’t be news to you – I have blogged about MQM before now – but I have got some updates for you – since we last spoken MQM has not only competed in the NYX UK Face Awards (and did amazingly well!) but she also represented ManicPanic UK at the recent Salon International convention in London. So she is getting her face out there – her skills are being recognised.

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But another… name that you will be familiar with if you follow this blog, and or any of my other social media outlets…. Oh My Glitter. Now the lady behind this company is working for and by herself currently and it is always exciting to see what she comes up with – I did a review on her products a couple of months a go and honest she has blow me away in the 3 months since that review!

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By I digress, and there is a reason that I am writing about these lovely ladies in the same blog – they make an amazing team! MQM did a fantastic bunch of videos for Halloween, and I based my halloween makeup on her Unicorn – although modified as I was going to be playing with a headset the entire time! And she extensively used OMG products to achieve her look. In fact if you take a look at her recent videos – including a stunning and rather gothic mermaid – OMG is all over her face!

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This isn’t a collaboration in the traditional sense, and like any of the times that I review or promote products, it is based on the product and not some sort of endorsement deal. The products are so good that they can easily be used for day wear, night wear and special effects. There aren’t many products that translate so well. Of course, I do love using drugstore products for SFX makeup. But they miss that… something… GLITTER. Of course there are other brands with glitter, pressed, loose, gel. But there are few options for an eyeshadow that is frankly just so versatile and so hardwearing. And that is why it works so well for MQM. It is a match made in heaven and I am so happy! (because it makes recreating or using her looks as inspo so much easier when I can use the same product!).

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So in a bid to help make this easier for you – here are some links so you can see what is making me all fangirly and giggly!

Moth Queen Makeup You Tube

MothQueen Makeup FB page

Oh My Glitter FB Page

Oh My Glitter website

Oiling up at the Body Shop

So… I am getting older, it is a sad state of affairs but at some point I have to admit that I am no longer 21, and that as much as I might want to look as good as I do on line, real life doesn’t offer filters.

With that in mind, I popped into The Body Shop to try their new moisturiser. Actually, I had been sent the information and was curious. The next stop was to check in store, and speak to someone about that would be my best most. I am the sort of person who will go with something because the ingredients appeal or it smells nice and not always because it is the best fit for my skin.

I had a chat when I got in store and agreed to try the new Oils of Life moisturiser, the entire range can be found at The Body shop online here or in store. I was curious about the range as it did seem to be what I needed for my troublesome skin, and at no point did I feel pressured into buying. As an added bonus I was given a sample of the Oil and Night cream to try as well, with instructions to wear the oil under both the day and night cream.

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I, until very recently, have been rather reluctant to put oil anywhere near my face, I have combination/dry skin and it would just sit on my skin making me feel kinda grim. But times have moved on, these days we embrace oils! No, Honestly we do.

Now back to the review, the samples given were very generous (I still haven’t finished them!) and I was actually pleased with the results, putting oil on first thing then popping on moisturiser… I was pleasantly surprised at how little moisturiser was now needed. My skin genuinely felt better, more nourished. So of course, I had to try without the oil, and immediately I found that I had to tripled the amount used to cover the same area.

Now, as a combination the oil and moisturiser works really well, and you need a couple of drops of oil a tiny bit of moisturiser, so I would suggest that actually even with the cost of buying the combination of products, it will work out cheaper over time. It really does work, your skin feels fantastic.

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Now with regard to night cream, can I be honest… I don’t know how much I have let slip in previous blog posts, but I am really, really bad at taking makeup off. The only time I do a proper strip of an evening is if I am wearing a face mask, so I will be honest, I don’t wear night cream every evening. I love waking up to beautifully moisturised skin, but then I often have a shower within 30 mins of waking .. I will say though, that it does leave your skin feeling beautiful. I am somewhat on the fence about needing cream though. I do tend to wear coconut oil as a night treatment in the winter, and I don’t think that the cream is required.

My advice is that you should certainly give The Body Shop another look when it comes to their creams. This isn’t the shop with the perfume stands and kiwi lip balms of old (although, boy do I miss them) this is a shop that is embracing change, embracing new farming methods, fair trade, new ingredients and ways of working with both the environment and with communities to make it work for everyone. There are some really great new lines at the moment. And they are doing samples. So if you are unsure, and really want to give it a go at home, don’t be shy about asking!

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Do that dupe

So I have been fairly outspoken about issue lately and I wanted to be a little more light hearted before I launch into the next topic! 

So this will be a review post on 2 makeup products, both Maybelline, so I hope you enjoy! 

A couple of weeks ago while in Superdrug, I saw a small eye shadow pallet that caught my eye, rose gold is the colour scheme that most closely describes it. If you are thinking Urban Decays Naked 3 pallet…. well so was I! CLICK HERE to see it on their page. Because of my combined addictions of both Wild Bangarang leggings, and wigs, I haven’t been able to justify the expense of a new makeup pallet. I have to be honest, until my birthday last year, I wouldn’t consider buying such an expensive product. When I received it as a birthday gift I was blown away by the colours, how beautifully it blended, and because I am super lazy, how it stayed perfect until the next morning (with the help of primer). I was converted. The problem is that with a limited budget, you have to be sure that you are picking the right product. How many times have you settled on Foundation or mascara to realise it just isn’t living up to the hype. Our bodies and our own image is so personal that no matter what percentage of testers thinking the product is Number 1 – it may not work for you. 

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Due to the popularity of the Urban Decay, a number of companies are now offering pallets with similar colour schemes, many in a more comfortable price range. I had tried Make Revolutions offerings but found that unlike other MR pallets, the colour payoff was not there. No company is entirely consistent. I just figured the universe was telling me to wait until I could afford the real deal. 

But I had seen the pallet – The Blushed Nudes by Maybelline and it was on my mind all week and I had got an idea for a makeup look that I really wanted to try… so I had a look while shopping. A word to the wise, I had to go to 3 different stores to find a pallet that didn’t have loose trays. These were unopened pallets but for some reason the individual trays had come loose. But I was on a mission and so I decided to keep looking and eventually found one – they seem quite popular! Now the pallet colours, for me are somewhat alien. I am more about bold colours, some of this is because I pretty much always wear my glasses for work I need something to stand out, some of it is because I am reverting to a toddler and want to throw all the colours at my face. 

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I had a look at the back of the case and after swatching the colours and being surprised at the colour payoff (then remembering I am white, white at the moment) I noticed that the 12 colours are sections off and there is a guide on the back on how to apply it. This is actually a really nice idea, nothing new, pallets have had this for years. What I did find surprising is that although the quads are set up in a similar fashion, the placement on the eye is different. I am game for anything so on Sunday I carefully applied as instructed, and because I am not the delicate of people, blended it out until happy. I also went the whole hog and contoured my face before heading out for a woodland walk. Quite pleased with the results, a neutral look which enhances the eye.

On Monday, again, I picked the next quad along, and again, contoured my face for a woodland walk. Yes, before you ask, I do put makeup on before going to the gym. For me to go anywhere for a prolonged period of time, without a stitch of makeup is a crime. But more about that in another blog. I have to say, while neither day is a look I would routinely wear, I found the shadow really pretty on, subtle and great for every day. You could easily add a much darker lip for a simple evening look in seconds. I opted for a very light lip as I don’t generally wear that either. Weekend of firsts.

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Now while I was in the store, I picked up Maybeline’s Brow Drama pomade crayon. I have been looking for something new to help with my brows. For general maintenance, I have my brows threaded or waxed (dependant on time between appointments), trimmed and tinted. That sounds like a lot, it isn’t expensive, at least not here in Northampton. However, my brows need filling in, and I have tried so many things to help. I have for many years used eye shadow but then finding the right shade is a pain, pencils are fine but I find it can be difficult to get the right shape and takes time to blend in. The brow mascara.. is … an acquired taste, and as much as I love the brow kits with wax, I always run out of wax first. The only thing that has worked for me lately is a felt tip from GOSH cosmetics but again, it is a case of letting it set and wiping off and often I forget (my way of using it, not necessarily how it was designed to be used).

Now, when I got home, I fully thought that the crayon would required some blending or other intervention by me once applied. Wrong, so very wrong. All I have to do is apply the crayon along the length of my brow and I am done. I am so happy, I cannot tell you. It hasn’t budged and hasn’t left my brows feeling or looking weird. The other benefit for me, is that my brows look natural from up close and further away. This is going to be going into my ‘must have’ pile. 

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Now, my recommendation on the eye shadow, it is a good pallet and in the same price range as other brand offerings in the drugstore. I have been pleasantly surprised by the colour pay off, and they all blend really well. The applicator included is basic, I used the brush to apply the base coat both days but I wouldn’t really do a full eye unless you are really stuck. The product itself is a little powdery rather than creamy, so be careful when picking up. The colour lasted well – I didn’t apply any base or primer because i like to give it a test free of any help! The pallet itself is a nice size and should easily fit in a makeup bag so it is a good investment for your handbag – I haven’t tried the last quad, which looks a little darker, and might be your go to to change up to a smokey eye if going out straight after work. The brow crayon is perfect, if like me you are lazy and want a simple way of filling in brows that you are happy with shape wise. 

Sorry this review has turned out longer than intended! Hope you enjoyed reading it! 

Two faced? No, I have many!

No secret, I don’t have one, I don’t have two, there are many faces that I show to the world. This really isn’t a surprise to many of you, as I have been fairly open, well, prolific in my love of make up, making up and changing the image you show the world. I have been equally vocal on my feelings toward body shaming of any type.

I have had comments directed at me over the amount of selfies I take, if you go onto my makeup page, and combine that with my IG … well it is the tip of the iceberg. I rarely take just the one and think it is perfect. In my defense, I am trying my best to capture whatever I managed to create with makeup. But you know, sometimes, like the last couple of days, I just feel fabulous and take a selfie. I have said it before and I will say it again, I often don’t recognise myself when I have put makeup on, and that is part of the reason.

There is nothing wrong with using makeup, wigs, extensions, corsets, padding, colour, anything that makes you feel good. Confidence is key, if it takes a dash of red lipstick, or a full contouring routine, it makes no difference. 

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So who hasn’t seen this MEME over the last few months? It has been shared, tweeted, copied, updated more times that I care to guess at. I will be the first to admit at commenting on someone else’s heavily/badly edited picture. Okay, so to me, it didn’t look so good. So what. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have no real control over how we are perceived by others 99% of the time – no matter how hard we try, something may go wrong – I for example, ran into one of my consultants at work, looking bedraggled. I had just been swept in and he asked if I was okay. It wasn’t until 10 mins later looking in the mirror, that I realised that my hair gave the impression I had been dragged backward through a bush on the way to work. (as much as I normally love my short hair, not being able to tie it up into a pony tail is testing at times!)

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My current hair style with end of day makeup, so you might say, a little different from how i look in most of my photos. Et voila :

So this isn’t a vanity post, this isn’t a post asking you to bask in the glory that is my face. (although you are more than welcome to!)  This is just a post stating, it is okay to look how you want, wear as much paint, synthetic hair, layers of clothing. Don’t let others make you feel bad for doing it. Most of the time people won’t realise what they are saying is upsetting, it is just a thoughtless and throw away comment.

The business of inspiration part 1

This week , the show was about business, and as it happened we recorded the show early at the site of a new business. It also happened to fall on International Women’s day – which was lucky! 

I asked a few of my lovely friends to discuss pros and cons of business, and it was interesting to get prospective from people’s personal experience. But it was also empowering that the respondents were all female. Because of this I wanted to spot light my amazing and inspirational friends.

Firstly we have Donna Bull MUA click here for her facebook page. Her biggest tip for being self employed/running your own business is to keep on top of paper work. She also suggested using Joist which is a great application that you can download onto your phone or tablet to help you create estimates and invoices. Donna also suggested making sure that you don’t spend all night on your phone. With much business being conducted on line, it is easy to forget to switch off. If you are interested, Donna is a fantastic makeup artist, face and body painter. She is based in Slough.

Lisa and David had a couple of suggestions – Lisa said that you shouldn’t try and learn everything at once, there is a lot to learn. Just the way it goes. And her husband David offered this bit of advice: Try something, if it works repeat it, if it doesn’t build a hypothesis on why not, then test that by trying something new, if it works repeat, if it doesn’t loop till it does. Cashflow is king for first 3 years, spend your cash wisely. Enjoy

Lisa owns and runs Espiritu Salon & Spa in Radlett click here for their website, and  click here for the Facebook page. The Salon is a gorgeous place for a mini spa day, a quick treat or a little general upkeep. Very relaxing, with a fantastic range of treatments and I recommend a visit at your earliest opportunity! 
Lisa also has a blog – go check it out!
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Katherine – who has taken a break from running her Etsy store, Handmade by Ify had this to say : Definitely the paperwork as Donna said, but also, if building the side hustle around work then it’s about being organised with your time, that’s where most people go wrong when starting a business. My main struggle was balancing motherhood and side hustling whilst working my day job… Also be patient if progress is slow at first, always be thinking what can I do in this down time? When times were quiet for sales at etsy I always built up more inventory and started designing for the following seasons stuff. Ify has taken a break from running her store – she initially started her store while at university, but after finding herself in full time employment and with a new baby wound down the shop until she could find a better work life balance. I am patiently waiting the big reopening!
Hazel runs Jax ‘n Boo with her husband as well as being a part time model – and online wax melt (and accessories) business and has the following advice: Learning to seperate business and home life, that Facebook message on you page doesn’t need to be answered at midnight when they sent it lol. Utilise social media to access a wider audience. Paperwork I agree with what Donna says, keeping on top of it so there’s not the end of year tax return panic. If you are creating your own product, pricing it correctly and not undervaluing… Oh and to remember it’s your business and livelihood, I always struggle cos I want to help people out, that’s not the way to earn yourself a paycheck though lol
 I highly recommend their products, some of my friends have had the starter kits inflicted on them as gifts – great value! I find that they are not too strong so even if you or another member of your household isn’t a massive fan of scents in the home, I am sure you will find a compromise! If you are interested, click here for their website and click here for their facebook page. 

 

Last (for this blog) we have the lovely Gillian who runs Emerald Wig Emporium Click Here for the website and Click herefor the facebook page- she is also a fantastic costumer and cosplayer! So you will be hearing more from her as I have picked her brain about a cosplay blog I am putting together. I haven’t approached her yet about the Lady Gaga wig suggestion we came up with on the show so watch this space! Now, this is what Gillian had to say : Yeah, the paperwork side of things is huge, and can become an issue down the line if you don’t get on top of it from the start.
I registered as a private limited company, Directors etc., from the very beginning, to protect my family in case there was ever an issue in the future (you must always think ahead). This meant a million times more paperwork, costs, effort and confusion – including all sorts of official scary paperwork and vat returns after the first 6 months.
I’m very organised anyway, and my hubby is an auditor/quality manager/systems developer so having him helping me was priceless. He’s created stock databases, automated order sheets and so on. Absolute time savers.

Try to restrain yourself when it comes to giving out freebies. While I’d only love to give all the wonderful people I’ve met through wig wearing, a free wig as a present, it still costs me to purchase the wig and then ship it…..this money comes out of the funds for advertising, promotional material flyers etc. and brings in no profit which can be used to increase stock variety.
It is a business after all, and if you intend growing a business, you always need to aim to increase stock variety etc.

Work hard, but have fun. I love what I’m doing, and that makes all the difference. There’s no effort involved when it’s something you enjoy.

Be fair to yourself and ignore the negative Nancy types. Hehe! You’ll never please all of the people all of the time. Dream big, and go for it.

Now I am more than honoured to count these people amongst my friends, all inspirational, finding their own path, and happy to help when and if they can. Donna is a stunning makeup artist, she genuinely can turn her hand to it all and will not hesitate to give you tips and advice, Ify is such a kind and generous person – she will help create anything you have a mind to make. She is also the inspiration behind my ‘clashes but matches’ fashion approach. Lisa and David – these are just the kindest, sweetest couple. Will do anything in their power to help and are good to have if you need advice. Hazel is a sweetie – she has had some setbacks in the last 12 months but instead of allowing it to break her, she has come back with a business. Gillian is fabulous – she has put a lot of time and effort into her new business, and is happy to share her experiences. Gillian is not only a great business woman, she is a fantastic cosplayer and I love seeing what she comes up with next. When thinking about what or whom inspires you… you don’t have to look far. Have a look at the people in your life and see what they have done, what they are doing. Every day people are setting new goals and challenges and it is fantastic to see people helping each other, building each other up. 

 

FOR THE GLORY OF MAKEUP

Yeah no secret, I love makeup, it allows me to not have one, not two.. but many faces. I enjoy creating new looks, I love special effects makeups, I adore a challenge and being inspired by a new wig.

None of which is news to you.

But something that keeps cropping up and … I know i have bought it up before. Instead of people appreciating it as an art, you have comments about how too much makeup is employed, or how a person doesn’t need makeup, as they are pretty enough, asking for makeup free photos.

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One example is Ursula Goff who shared photos on her I.G account which was picked up in this article – not entirely sure I agree that it is refreshing that she is happy to share photos. It does imply that there is some expectation on people in the spotlight, or otherwise to share all their sides… that nothing should be left private. But also to women to go natural or be brave enough to bear their faces. It doesn’t ease pressure, rather it will add pressure.

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People wear makeup for very different reasons, and it is both insulting and naive to assume that women are wearing makeup to cover themselves because they don’t feel beautiful. I cant’t speak for all women, but I wear makeup to become someone, so when I am at work, I put my ‘game face’ on – I am old enough to have been schooled in what looks professional. So let us call it my ‘professional’ face. I don’t often wear makeup at the weekend or when I am on holiday, frankly I am lazy, and my skin does need a break. But equally, give me a reason to throw paint at my face, I am your girl. I love dressing up so I spend a fair portion of my free time experimenting. It is no different than having a work wardrobe, a dossing abound the house, but not wearing PJ’s wardrobe, a going out wardrobe. So yes, it is about confidence. But don’t ever mix a woman’s perception of her own beauty is solely tied to her self confidence. We are much more complex.

A while a go I came accross a makeup artist, Nikkie Tutorials who was getting berated to the point she released a ‘no makeup’ photo for people – which of course led to people commenting on her looks.. without makeup .. ever get the feeling you won’t win? Nikki regularly shares video where you can see every step of the transformation. I understand the interest in what people look like, it helps you work out the steps, you can see how much when into the transformation, and it is interesting.

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And then there is a friend of mine who recently happened to comment on a thread on a facebook page which has nothing to do with makeup, or wigs. And yet people jumped on her, commenting on how much makeup she wears, her hair (a wig – an awesome one at that) and making some personal comments. I find it bad enough when strangers insist on passing comment or judgement on people in the public eye but to do it, unprovoked, and unwarranted? What makes a person think they have the right to make these comments? Would you walk up to a complete stranger in the street and pick apart their outfit?

I shared a video a couple of days ago on my page, a teenaged burn victim who has learnt how to use makeup to great effect to disguise the scars. But the important message she relays in her short video is that we should all be happy in our own skin. 

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Makeup is AMAZING – I adore make up, I love how different it makes me look, and feel, how it helps me change up my look so often, so that I can not even recognise myself. It is my choice to wear makeup, no one should feel forced to prove anything, makeup is a mask. It is one of many masks we all wear for various reasons and doesn’t make us liars, or responsible for men thinking our eye lids and naturally glittery. 

ENJOY THE ART PEOPLE!

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Impulsively Cosmetic

So for a little change of pace, I thought i would do a do a quick review on a makeup brand that I was directed by a good friend, and amazing makeup artist MothQueen Makeup. I love a good indie company – not just makeup, although my makeup renaissance was in part due to an Etsy makeup store. It is nice to find small companies and see what they have to offer. Often they are more flexible than larger companies, and able to follow trends a little better because they aren’t as restricted in the same way, can try new things, be more experimental.

CHECK OUT IMPULSE COSMETICS

Now, I am not the biggest lipstick fan – I was never really a girly girl and could never keep up with reapplying lipstick. I have to say though all the gorgeous super stay lipsticks are calling to me. I do worry about how much wear I would get out of them, and what colour would make most sense? I would probably be doing makeup looks with them, what is my go-to…. so many thoughts.

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But because I am curious, I had a look at what Impulse have on offer – they have samples! SAMPLES! This is music to my ears! As my friends over at Jax n Boo can tell you! I am not sure why, just tiny anything… so I had to grab myself 4 colours, I didn’t actually pay much attention to the colours – whoops! But who doesn’t like a surprise?! (and what was I saying about being able to try new things and experiment!)

Now, I am working long hours, which basically mean I get no natural light while in my home so I have had to nab photos from t’interweb – but they are genuine products and I urge you to have a looksie at the website yourself.

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I got 4 very different colours, a brown, purple, pink and a red – I was pleasantly surprised that picking them by name along gave me a nice range! It could have ended pretty badly! Like I said already, I don’t often wear lipstick but fortuitously I had an excuse to wear lipstick last Sunday as I had a day in London. I was a little terrified of ending up with just the remnants of the lipstick, so I ended up wearing the brown. Now, on top of not being a regular lipstick wearer, I also suffer from dry lips which makes me bite them. 

Now to back track a little, the colours are beautiful, they don’t change massively which is something that can happen when lipsticks dry. I love the matt, iridescent quality to them. They go on easily and are easy to blend in so will look good for ombre style effects on lips (it is on my ‘to do’ list). The only problem is, that I didn’t prep my lips, I didn’t use my Lush lip scrub or any lip balm. 

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So please make sure before you put anything long lasting on your lips – that they are well hydrated and prepped. Long lasting lipstick by its nature doesn’t have any moisturising properties. That said, the brown lip stick did really well, I have to say that by the time I got on the train home, I was furiously biting my lips… but all told the lipstick did well! I am really impressed. The colour was great and survived a day out, on poorly prepped lips, where greasy food was consumed and some furious biting of now dry lips…. yeah they stick like glue! So I have of course bought some more samples to try out. I have also got some glitter to try out – an orange mix and a red mix – just thinking of the right makeup look. So I really hope that you have a little look at the site. I am officially in love and have found a fab new indie makeup store to buy from! 

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I am so picking up the 8-Bit eye shadow collection with my next order! 

Cosplay by Roxy Lee

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached was Roxy Lee – like Mistress Zelda, I first found Roxy Lee through Geek Girls and now spend most of my time stalking her on her Facebook Page.

If you recognise the name, it is because Roxy Lee is my mentor when it comes to make up – her skills are fantastic, what first attracted me is her ability to put together some pretty epic special effects looks using items found in the average makeup bag. She is always there to answer questions and a mother bear to her friends as well as putting together some ass kicking cosplays – which you will find on her page. And now over to the lady herself :

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  1. How did you first get started in cosplay
  • I was actually a booth babe for a known comic series called “Bad Kids go to Hell” Funny enough I was modelling at the time and looking to branch out into something more interesting and answered an ad! I did it voluntarilly and had the time of my life and found a culture I never knew existed. You could say I kinda accidentally fell into this world and thank god for that!
  1. Why do you cosplay?

– Honestly there are times I don’t have the motivation, drive or energy to cosplay and that goes hand in hand with what is going on in my life at the time. But mainly I cosplay when I am in a great place mentally and emotionally as it helps me feel creative and express myself. But mainly I just enjoy the artistic side of it, I love the feeling of accomplishment I receive once completing something I am proud of, and the outpour of support from viewers and those who share my work is beyond a feeling I can express. I also love attention. Not many will openly admit that but I do. I am a born performer lol. It also helped me meet some of my greatest friends, people whom have accepted me for me and not bullied me for my interests.

  1. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay

Easy, people, creativity, feeling of accomplishment, pride, attention, fun!!! Performance, love and a feeling of being understood and accepted.

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  1. How do you find the community
  • We would need a lot more than this page to explain my stance on this at the moment but I will say it isn’t a very good one lately. The community is becoming something different and as sad as it is I still remain accepting of peoples choices and direction. But it is making it extremely hard for certain artists to be noticed in their work to create a business out of it. And the negativity, bullying, harassment and judgement is starting to get to me. Call me jaded I guess. The things I stated above of why I loved this community and this hobby are slowly diminishing. Which adds to the lack of motivation to create new costumes. It is vicious cycle. I got into this community for acceptance and quickly realized that was the last thing on the list for a lot of people. I think I will mainly stick to my makeup for the time being as that is my happy place haha.
  1. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type

I wear what I feel best in, comfort and mobility are huge factors as I love to really get into character and move around a lot in photo shoots. I tend to pick characters I can easily portray as closely as possible or resemble as much as humanly possible also. I don’t like to wear wigs all that much so a character that I can fit my hair into, or dye or cut to resemble is a plus. But for myself personally I costume to my comfort in my body, not my body type. If I cosplay as a character, say my arkham asylum ivy, she has an open exposed shirt. I am not comfortable with that but still wanted to wear her outfit, so I simply wore a buttoned up blouse instead. Bam problem solved! But I also tend to wear costumes I can add my spfx background into, and basically every costume I wear I add blood and cuts into anyway haha.

  1. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?

Little bit of all worlds. I don’t stick to one type of cosplaying. I have bought pieces from thrift stores and modified them or pieced them together, I have made entire cosplays from scratch, I have commissioned others to create armor and guns for me and I have borrowed other costumes from friends just to try something I normally wouldn’t for shits and giggles. I don’t hold a standard to any one cosplayer. Their cosplay is their cosplay experience. It is all personal. I do however tend to add something of my own into every costume for creative purposes.

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  1. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?
  • Sure, I was once told I was fat as Lara Croft even though I was probably at my thinnest and felt really great about myself haha and was an athletic ass kicking lara croft, I knew this. So it didn’t affect me as much as it might have. I am a curvy girl and I am perfectly ok with that but it did not make it right for this stranger to try to make me feel uncomfortable about my own body. I was also in a situation where two people were taking about how they wanted to rape me in a costume as if I wasn’t even present on my own page reading it as a person, that one upset me and I spoke out about it, it kinda received a viral amount of support from people so that was awesome to see so many people stand up to these bullies. But other than that my page is an extremely safe place with wonderful people that I admire and respect and adore. But as an admin at Geek Girls and manager at Super Cosplay Girls I see the harassment every single day, and it starts to weigh on you.
  1. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?
  • Myself and many of the Geek Girls faced a sick man who was stalking, harassing and threatening us with horrible murderous actions and rape for months. Simply because we cosplayed and simply because some of us (many of us didn’t do this) had sexualized images. He was horrendous in what he would say and I wont repeat it but it scared us. He would make new accounts and harass us for weeks at a time non stop. He actually threatened to come kill us at our events. We went to the police with that one and it is an on going case. It is sad because he finally admitted to myself and another girl that he did it because he felt rejected by women like us and just wanted to see us naked…. Da fuq? I didn’t sign up for that.
  1. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

Never ever let someone tell you to just deal with it. And to not stand up for yourself or that you deserve it or encouraged it because of what you do or who you are. They are absolutely wrong. Everyone will react differently to an unsafe or potentially harmful situation. We all have different coping mechanisms. You deal with these problems as you see fit. Never allow someone to make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in your own environment and do not be afraid to speak out about it or call them out on their behaviour. Do not condone it. Ban and delete them as soon as possible, do not give them the option to repeat their behaviour or defend their actions. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom to harass. You are the boss in this situation. You control it. Never forget that you are in control. The worst possible thing you can do is allow these people to take that away from you.

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