Monday, September 1, 2014

How much is your face worth? The cold hard facts......

A fun post today on facebook got me thinking. It asked how much is your face worth? Calculate just how much money the make-up you are wearing right now costs!


As today is a day off from work and I have been as far as the shops and no further. I calculate this at :

£42.

Which is still quite high. This does not take into account the cost per wear which would be crazy. I estimate that I have had my powder two years. If I wore this every day which I don't it would be something like 0.006 cent per day. Which is not bad and possibly really bad math!

Now lets look at a day on.

£269.

This is estimated on foundation, powder, shimmer, brows, three eyeshadows, mascara, primer on eyelids, eyeliner, blusher, lipstick and three concealers. Yes three seperate shades of concealer to do different jobs. That is a bit shocking!

The total cost of my shower.

£46.50

This is my three shampoo and conditioner. I use a regular one and a once off blonding shampoo. I also use a face wash and a body wash too. Although it would be nice to have one that did both.

The total cost of my skincare routine.

£141.

This is a exfoliator, moisturiser, wipes, toner, make-up remover, eye make up remover - oh I didnt and possibly couldn't calculate how many cotton wool pads and buds I go through too. This is regular skincare stuff and not including my facial treats such as masks, etc.

Amazing. I had no idea I was blowing this amount. It's an overall total of :

 £456.50

I'm actually a little stunned here. This is the total price not including discounts or deals like three for two which I normally get on shampoos. If I paid full price - this is how much my collection is worth. Holy hell. That 456.50 is around HALF of my college fees per semester!

I know there is a lot worse in my kit. I am guilty of buying a lot worse. There are expensive things in there that I rarely use. Brushes are not included in this estimate either. I would say my brush collection is in the region of 2,000. If I was to calculate it which I can't because I will cry.


I don't exactly shop cheap. I LOVE expensive product and my range includes :

LOW : Primark wipes, Boots cotton wool pads and buds, Aussie haircare,  Boots Botanics range and Model's Own nail varnish, Barry M nail varnish and eyeshadow pigments.

Medium : MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, Origins, Make Up Forever, M Store and Bumble and Bumble hair care.

High : Kiehls and Jo Malone perfumes.

I mainly shop a higher medium or a low. I know I keep my hygiene stuff as low as possible including Primark Tea Tree wipes (for make up freelance because any MUA knows that you whip through wipes while working and its not worth using expensive wipes) and also cotton anything because I go through it so quickly. I shop higher medium for my make-up and skincare because I really care about my skin. I know most people would class MAC or any of those other at high price points but to me, there is more expensive out there. If you compare the prices of Dior or Chanel to Origins for example.
I don't really shop that high because I haven't really seen an expensive purchase worth the cost that I can't get at medium prices. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil is the only Kiehls product I religiously love and will constantly buy. It sorts my dry skin patches in a way that no other brand is able for and I can see a difference. Jo Malone is another one. I love the smell. But don't we all?

So how much is your face worth?

The 9 Recycling Commandments : Listen, Learn and Actually Do It.

There is nothing more scary then the wardrobe toss.

I recently went through my wardrobe back home and got seriously fierce with myself. I forced myself to chuck years of manic dressing into NINE bin bags to take to a charity shop. The thing is, I had never done a clear out.

Since I move a lot, my wardrobe would get packed up then six out of ten bin bags would arrive at my new location and the others would go to my parents house. This meant that there was a serious back log of clothing. I found several hundred bras as well!

The problem is, now that I am no longer in reach of my parents house to dump all my old clothes, I am stuck with them here! I don't like to throw anything away because, I might need them again. However, I'm sure there are things in there that I don't need.

Cleaning out my make-up is never this hard. I just isolate the colors I know I don't need and get rid!  I think because they have a use by date - it makes it easier. If you haven't used a lime green eyeliner by then then you never will.

I think September makes it a pressing urge as well. I get to thinking about reinventing my look and changing things around.  I want to make a difference and that means getting rid of all the old crap lying around. There are some serious gems in there. I regret only a few items from my nine bag purge. I regret throwing my Kate Moss maxi skirt from her first Topshop collection.....yeah it was too big but I could have altered it right???

So here are my rules for a purge :

1 - If it doesn't fit you and you haven't altered it - get rid. You never will. I have some serious items that are way too big after a weight drop meant that I am stable at a weight that isn't changing anytime soon. Clothing that I bought when I had puppy fat doesn't fit anymore and won't.

2 - Forget as many memories as you can. I have clothes that sentimental meaning. Oh I can't throw that dress because I wore it on such and such a date. Yeah you can. Be strong.

3 - If you haven't worn it - chuck it. I had clothing in my wardrobe that I never wore. I mean clothes with labels attached. If I hadn't worn that dress in three years with a label on it.....chances are that I never will.

4 - Accept that your style changes. My style changes a little. I'm always slightly gothic and slightly punk. I wish I had accepted this. I wasted so much energy on clothing that I liked the look of but didn't fit my style. This included me getting rid of two dresses with polka dots in pastel shades. When would I ever wear that???

5 - Find a charity you like. This is a big one. Donate the clothing to a charity you like and trust. I have to admit that when I dropped off the massive bags to the charity, the woman was so rude to me that I decided then and there - I'm never giving you guys clothing again. Ironically, the charity had collections of Dunnes, Primark and Tesco clothing and I was donating Topshop, Urban Outfitters and some occasional designer goods like YSL. I thought to myself, that the charity worker had been so rude and mean about my age. No seriously - my actual age. When I dropped off the nine bags, my mother went to speak to her and she was LOVELY. When I went in the second time with a further three bags - big change. She was really unimpressed and just rude. The only thing I can think of is, my age. She also almost refused a pair of £250 boots because she didn't know the brand! It was only when her assistant jumped in and almost offered me money on the spot for them that she relented. So yeah, they lost my custom. I would publish the name of the place here but since it's a charity - I'm not going to. But yeah, find a worthy cause and donate.

6 - Inspect. Seperate. Recycle or Bin. Charity shops do not want a skirt so battered that its gone see through and ripped. Nor do they want your old collection of thongs. Think about it a little. Then do it.

7 - Get mates over. I did this when I left Dublin. I cleaned out my wardrobe and put everything I owned and didn't wear into a bag. I called three mates over and said I will hold up items and if your hand goes up first - its yours. No money involved. It turned out to be great fun. I got rid of three bags at the end and only a small fraction got binned. Job done!

8 - Can you change it? You can actually alter things to make a better outfit of them. Those boyfriend jeans you never wear? Why not crop them into shorts? Why not add something? You can give an outfit an entire new lease of life by doing it.

9 - Be clean. The amount of people who don't wash or iron things before handing them into charity. Also, accept that when recycling make-up - CLEAN IT. I have the fear about old make-up from mates because people just don't clean their make-up. This means that eye infections, cold sores and other such beautiful things get passed from friend to friend. Joys.

I hope this helps!

Can we stop the madness now please?

Maybe I am just cynical but I don't see the point in this?

I wear dark and bright matte lip colors which stain and dry my lips. I compensate for this by using my regular remover and my regular wipes.

I also use scrub, conditioner and lip primer too. I just don't see the point in seperate wipes for lips. If this carries on then we will have eye make-up remover wipes, nail varnish remover wipes, foundation remover wipes and lip wipes......etc.

I give it five minutes before I arrive home drunk and use the nail varnish wipes to remove my eye make-up.....

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Illamasqua's christmas campaign from two years ago is still as shocking today

Dear lord no.

In the uproar this week about the top at Zara, this turned up in my inbox from a reader. It's a campaign from two years for Illamasqua that the company withdrew after serious complaints from customers.

I've never seen it before but since this blog has form on reporting offensive campaigns and collections with a view to getting them removed. I thought I would show this because I find it horrific.

How did someone okay this?

This is horrible! There is also an all white version of this which doesn't carry the same history or offense because, well, this is universally not an okay thing. I'm glad the company apologised and removed the image but is the damage done? How much does saying sorry as a company actually do?

I know this is from two years ago and therefore done with but I'm still amazed at how shocking it is.

Ebay make a collection of Real Technique dupes......

Apparently the turquoise set I just posted about in my Real Techniques post is a fake! Well, an Ebay collection of brushes.

If I was the Pixie Woo people, I'd be pissed about this. Look at how identical the brushes, the packaging and the color system is!

I have no word on the state of these brushes or if they are decent or not but I thought I would warn people who are looking for brushes based on my post - they are not the real deal! In fact, I would actually avoid them as they seem sneaky and suspect. I don't like how close they are to the RT brushes. It seems a bit deceptive and deliberately so.

Shop carefully people.

Real Technique Brushes. Decent brushes at decent prices.

I am an obsessive collector of make-up brushes. I do mean obsessive. There are brushes from MAC, NO.7 (don't ask), Make-up Forever, Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay in there. In three jars. It's getting so bad now that I need a fourth jar.

I could buy a brush belt....but meh.....I like jars.

I have my favorites in there. There are brushes I use over and over again. However, I have found that lately, one brand is creeping into my daily use - Real Techniques.

I have been after the last two brush sets for months now and I am happy to report - I got them!

I'm impressed with the price point which is about £24 for the most expensive set which has my new favorite duo fibre powder brush in it. The best set is the orange one (I'm sure these have better names then colors but I'm too lazy to find out) which has foundation brushes in it. I also love the white set with the duo fibre brushes in there. The purple set is an eye kit which most brushes you'll need for a great smokey eye. These are fast becoming PRO tools as well as tools for make-up obsessed fan.

I know Boots have a buy one get one half price on the individual brushes at the moment but not the gift sets. Although I can see evidence of a fourth set in turquoise which means yet another trip to Boots is going to have to happen.

But yeah, it's nice to finally have decent brushes at decent prices. Invest. It's worth it.

LOOK BOOKS : NEW LOOK AW14

 I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with New Look. Sometimes I find things, sometimes I don't. I've given up on their shoe collection as they are made for women with smaller feet then I. I learned that the hard way when I had horrific blisters caused by their shoes in my early twenties. It was one of the better places for cheap shoes in Limerick at the time. Now, I don't go to New Look. In fact, I've pretty much forgotten about them.
However, I was happy with their AW14 look book, there are some genuine gems in there! I love a good rock-ish boot and a wooly winter coat. The collection has these in abundance! In fact, I was left with an urge to shop. I have to say that this is the only collection so far to do that to me. I don't know if it caught me on a day where I was already interested in furthering my winter collection or if I just loved the collection. Either way, I liked it.















Thursday, August 28, 2014

H&M have scored Lady Gaga......

H&M have scored a Christmas ad with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett........


Urgh Christmas......I can't even imagine it yet. It's too early!

Zara have apologised after T-shirt offends everyone......but its not the first time.

Zara have been forced to apologise yesterday after releasing a children's T-shirt that looked like this:

The company have had to issues apologies before for inappropriate clothing and this is just the latest episode of offensive high street stores.

"The item in question has now been removed from all Zara stores and Zara.com. The garment was inspired by the classic Western films, but we now recognise that the design could be seen as insensitive and apologise sincerely for any offence caused to our customers."

The company claimed the shirt was based on a western sheriff concept as the word sheriff is written on the star. However, the wording is too small and invisible and also, when do western sheriffs wear stripes??? 

They were also questioned in 2007 about a handbag that appeared to feature swastikas and an offensive white is the new black T-shirt.

 Amazing. Does no one watch the history channel? listen in school? I think someone could do with a little history and diversity and sensitivity training at the Zara buyers office......

Monday, August 25, 2014

Aqua by Aqua is my dream graduation dress

 I've promised myself that when I graduate from college I will do so, in an Aqua By Aqua dress. I love it. I keep finding really unique dresses and jumpsuits there and have been a fan of their quirky styling since 2010.  Naturally, I have a long time to go as I don't graduate for another 5 years but it never hurts to be the early bird right?
I really like this blue number that comes in three colors and is on sale for £135 on the Aqua website. Love it. I am not sure I would go for white but the blue I like. The white is a little close to my actual skin color as I am a bit pale....bit pale being an understatement!

This skirt.

Often times, the more successful things in your wardrobe are the more simple pieces of clothing. Case in point, this skirt.

This is from River Island and gorgeous. It will also go with anything you throw at it and is perfect for winter as well.

£25 from River Island which you can find here

The last ever True Blood happens tonight.

So tonight marks the end of True Blood.

I know this has already happened in America but spare a thought for those of us still left to watch the final episode - so no spoilers!

I have been watching True Blood since 2009 and I've really enjoyed this season. It dipped a bit for me a few seasons ago but I hung in there! I'm also sad about the loss of Mad Men this coming year as well. Two great shows with nothing in the pipeline for replacing them. We still have American Horror Story which returns in October with Freakshow and Walking Dead which also returns in October. I am not forgetting Girls which will return at some point but haven't confirmed a new start date. I need a new show though......

Any suggestions?

THE 2014 VMAS : Every look that you need to see.

 So the VMAs were on last night and in the time honored tradition of people who didn't get invited to the party.....let's bitch about who did!
 Jourdan Dunn looking hot. Simple yet smoking hot. Then again, you could quite possibly put a bin bag on this woman and throw her down a catwalk and she's still gorgeous. Makes me sick.
 Laverne Cox. Love this woman. Also, legs for days......
 Ireland Baldwin and Angel Haze - I actually love these two. I love how open they are about their relationship and how they shot the critics down by announcing they are a couple and not just friends. It's great to have a strong lesbian relationship in the open that the younger generation (and the older) can look up to and its great to have visibility in the media too. However, I do think Baldwin's dress could have been a bit more fitted as it just seems to hang there. She has a great figure but this doesn't do the body justice.
 Gwen Stefani. I don't quite know what I think of this. It's perfect as per normal with Stefani but there is something not sitting quite right with it for me. I can't quite figure it out.
 Taylor Swift. I can't. I just can't. I can't look away from her crotch. I want to.....but I can't. It's like a badly fitting nappy and those shoes! Those shoes are possibly nice away from a playsuit that doesn't match or quite clash properly with it. Good legs but....oh that crotch.
 Miley. I really don't mind this one. It's not her usual standard of cheap looking hotpants or rubber bras so its fine. I'ts just....find. Although, I think the pants having that weird looking stomach band is a bit odd. It's looks like a leather obi belt shoved onto a pair of pants. Meh.
 Jennifer Lopez. Stunning woman but that dress looks like a cheap trashy prom dress rip off. It's awful. It doesn't even appear to fit properly as she poses. Could have done better with this one. She has a great figure but this, this just looks cheap. As do the shoes.
 Rita Ora. Smoking. Love it. Although I fear a strong wind will whip that straight off!
 Kim K. I really don't know what to think about this one. I'm sure its some form of designer something but there is something that doesn't work about it. I think its the lack of waist on it. She has a tiny waist which is totally swamped in this. I see where she was going with it but it falls flat. I think the awful print and fabric really doesn't help it either.
 Katy Perry. I had to look at this twice before I believed it was a thing that actually happened. I am guessing this is a pisstake of the Spears/Timberlake denim outfit from the 00s which became the poster outfit for bad taste. I have to say, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Good lord child. Make it stop.
Beyonce. Gorgeous but I feel as if this has been done before by her. Can we have something a little edgier and different please? Mind you, if the formula isn't broke - should it be messed with?

I have to say that the VMAS aren't exactly the Met Gala but I'm torn between the worst outfit of the bunch. I am thinking Amber Rose for her silver thong and mesh get up but then there is Katy Perry and her denim.....thing. Best outfit of the night I think belongs to either Jourdan Dunn or Rita Ora. Although I have to wonder if Dunn should just get an honorable mention for her simple black number. Which was little more then a bandana and a skirt?

Okay Ora it is!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coming out as a Secret Smoker and how to be an open quitter.

A fashionable essay about a horrible habit.

I did something stupid a few years ago and picked up smoking. There, I admitted it. I have to admit that up until this year, I was a secret smoker. I was only out to a certain group of friends and not to my family or landlords. It was a stupid thing to do and I really wish it had never happened - but it did.

It really was one of those things. It started as simple as, I kept going to fashion shows with a designer friend and kept borrowing her cigarettes. Soon I bought my own to keep going. I watched shows like Sex and the city which made it seem like something we were all in on. It was just a fabulous thing that people did.  I spoke to a close friend who was quitting and she said, smoking was part of her personality and part of her identity as an alternative creative person. She said this while rolling a roll up fag in the wind....so part of that was to justify the effort of it. I have to agree though, I LOVE smoking. I loved being alternative, creative and we all smoke right? right?

Fast forward a few years.

I have recently noticed that my group of hardcore smoker friends are starting to split. Two of my closest friends have quit this year and it just isn't the same. A bitching session over coffee where the two of us would smoke ourselves stupid and at our leisure, is just me having a guilty fag out her window now. Also, smoking with the boy has become this too. It used to be us sharing a fag moment together and now, it's just me slipping out the front door of bars to the smoking area. Oh FYI, I have been told by boys as well that they hate my habit. My habit has lasted longer then boys.

Oh and smoking areas are about to become a lot less glamor filled too. Every summer, smoking areas become filled with nice people, fashionable people (go to the right bars for this) and hot people. Once it becomes winter, those people go back indoors and to the comfort of a nice warm pub fire. You become one of the people huddling under small shelters trying to catch a break from the rain and the wind alone. The hardcore are outside and it is not pretty. In fact, its bloody cold.

I am rapidly becoming sick of it. I'm sick of the guilty fags, the sitting in cold smoking areas and the shame. I want to quit. I've never posted about smoking here before because, I genuinely have tried to quit but also, because fashion people smoke but never talk about smoking.

Smoking is one of those things we all do but few admit to having an issue with. I have shared fags with the best of them. I owe my career as a make-up artist to having a fag with someone who then recommended me for a job and the rest is history, I have had fags with people who have given my inside scoops, tricks and tips over the years. The reason? Fags are a secret society with few members who stick together.

But it's getting harder. The prices have risen, there are friends getting health complications and friends quitting for good. There are multiple different ways of quitting and people are very vocal about them. So I am going to try. Better then that, I am going to post my progress here so we can all catch up on it and maybe, some of you will understand what it is to attempt. I am not saying it is going to be successful but I need to try.

WHATS ON : BELFAST FASHION WEEK AW14

I do love a good fashion week.

This year, Belfast fashion week is celebrating TEN YEARS! (Ten years ago I was only 19!!! Dear lord!!!) and this year promises to be quite the celebration!

It runs from the 15th - 19th of October with three nights of fashionable runway shows including Sushi Saturday (yum), fashion Friday and style Sunday! Better then all this is the charity showing of Mean Girls which is also (scarily) having a ten year anniversary! I do love Mean Girls -any excuse for Tina Fey!

Tickets for this event are on sale now with details at http://www.belfastfashionweek.com/

An essay about September clothing lust. Please tell me that it isn't just me?

I love fall.

The reason for this is simple. Fall is when I clean out my wardrobe and start thinking about all the wonderful things I really need. I start planning how I am going to spend my money and what foolishly fashionable things I could really use in my wardrobe. Fashion is not blind to this. If you think about it, the September issue is the heaviest issue in the fashion journalism season because of the adverts and also, fashion's night out is also in September. The reason?

Because women buy in September.

It's a month and a season full of possibilities....and I am no exception to this. I have plans for so many things. I need a new coat, new skinny black jeans, new boots, new flats, new socks (don't ask), tights and a few winter jumpers.

However the coat issue is more pressing. I realised that my faithful River Island coat will possibly not survive another winter (it has done two to be fair) as the lining is starting to rip and will possibly be in slivers soon. I could stretch it to Christmas and replace it in the sales as the one I own now was done this way and means I paid £45 instead of £75. However, I'm not going to wait. I never do.

I really do invest in coats. They last. I still mourn the loss of a beautiful and expensive Topshop coat that I owned for three years. It was sleek, sexy and had shoulder pads. I don't know if you remember the Balmain inspired shoulder trend but I do. I recently watched a Gossip Girl where Serena had those shoulder things and it just looks odd as all hell now.

As for flats? I am in my element now. I have been wearing a pair of horrible black boots which I hate all summer because it is next to impossible to find decent boots during summer. I hate flip flops and I hate pastels which means I can't get shoes. Hence, the horrible ones I have been wearing.  This means a trip to Primark to stock up on cheap flat shoes because I wear through flat shoes very very fast so I don't bother getting nice ones because I destroy them at work. It also means another attempt to break in my Docs and yet another pair of lovely wintery strappy spikey grunger boots. Yessssss. Except now the high street is on my side and I can actually find some for nothing!

Socks and tights are just a winter must have. I rip tights constantly so I replace constantly. You can never have enough tights.

Skinny jeans are also another thing. I'm an unusual size - flat bum, massive thighs and small waist. Oh and did I mention, I'm 6ft bloody tall? So most jeans come up to just under my knees. (okay maybe not that bad) I am confident that I have found 'the ones' at ASOS which are skinny, high waisted and possibly long. They aren't that bad at £28 as well.

Winter also makes me change my cosmetics. Lipsticks get darker, eyes get more dramatic and I start switching my skincare to more sensitive ones to avoid the oil stripping stuff I need in the sweaty summer months. I'm excited about this.

So yes....September is all about change but I embrace it. This is just the practical stuff I am envisioning.....there is a whole world of silly things like fringed bags, head dresses and long shoulder grazing earrings that are also in my mind......but for now....a coat.

LOOK BOOKS AW14 : H&M

 Feast your eyes ladies and gentlemen! Another look book has come in - H&M AW14! While I am not usually a fan of H&M, they can be a bit hit or miss. This book is also, the same. Some pieces are really quite nice such as the leather trousers but some are definatly a miss - for example those trousers also come in a slightly off camel color. Shudder.

There are some genuinely nice pieces. I write this while wearing a H&M dress so I am aware I can't be too scathing! I must say that walking around their stores is a minefield. There are so many awkward pieces and badly made items. I came across tops cut too short, trousers cut too small and leggings that were just made completely wrong. I also know that with H&M, I cannot fault them for basics! I have a black skirt which I bought almost four years ago which I love and wear a lot of the time for work - it cost me €3. I am also wearing a black plain maxi which cost me £15 and it does perfectly.

There is also a sleeveless black waistcoat coat thing in the window of their Nottingham branch that I fancy being involved with. It would be rude not to at £7.99!!!!










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