powder posts

Illamasqua Favourites

November 8, 2014

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It’s been precisely three months and twenty-six whole days since I wrote about my favourite topic: make-up. So, with the wonderful Reading rain preventing me from wandering out to the gym/shops/every takeaway in the land, I shall instead bestow upon you my recent obsessive purchases from cult brand Illamasqua.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the brand at present, Illamasqua’s ethos revolves around a complete freedom of expression, which culminates in its cult following from drag queens and make-up artists worldwide – oh, and their pigmentation is definitely something to call home about. Whilst I’m also a sucker for fancy packaging, this brand really takes the biscuit and offers a jaffa cake. Have a gander at my picks:

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EMPTIES: July

July 13, 2014

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So, last week I graduated with a 2:1 BA Hons English Literature with Creative Writing (and a cheeky first in my dissertation), no biggie – and now I’m on the sad pursuit of the graduate gravy train: population 357485792849347598370187349875. If you know of any copywriting or social media marketing vacancies going (quite literally anywhere, I’m game for a change of scenery), hit me up if you’d be so kind. If you provide me with a successful link, I’ll provide you with a lifetime supply of Jaffa Cakes (or “insert favourite cake/biscuit” – but you’re a lemon, ’cause Jaffa Cakes are the edible bee’s knees). Until I manage to secure a job and shake the dole-y shroud that’s currently drowning me, I’ll be well and truly in your faces through the medium of the ol’blog – apologies in advance if you get sick of my overly verbose ramblings and shoddy iPhone snaps.

Today I have my second ever empties post, primarily because I am almost professionally naff at keeping hold of products until their cessation, mainly because I a) lose them b) have commitment issues and discard everything to the back of a drawer within a week. However, a year after my last empties post, we have something of a breakthrough – and this is only because I’ve just moved out of my flat and unearthed a wealth of sad, abandoned empty products, huddled together in the nooks and crannies of my old dorm room.

MAC Lipstick in ‘Russian Red’ – £15

I’ve just about lost count of how many of these I have collated and finished/snapped/had stolen from my younger sister – but this will be an eternal repurchase for me. I mean, when is pillar-box red going to go out of style?  I’ve actually somehow managed to time it so I’ve ran out of two of these, so I’m currently using Viva Glam 1, which is a surprisingly nice red despite its pink tone in the tube. 10/10

MAC Sheertone Blush in ‘Peaches’ – £18

Another must-have in the empties pile is this delightfully summery shade, again from MAC. For anyone else in the paler-than-pale club, you’ll be with me on the importance of finding that perfect medium between a subtle injection of life into the cheeks, and the ultimate fail of clown cheeks (which are disturbingly easy to achieve in bad lighting). I’m on my second one of these now and will be tempted to find a pinkier shade next. 9/10

Benefit Porefessional – Sample 

If you’ve ever picked up a magazine or basically, if you have a vagina and a reasonable interest in beauty, you’re probably as inundated with these samples as I am: does anyone ever actually invest in Porefessional? Once my decent stash has disintegrated (still got at least one more brand new one), I’ll still be very tempted to buy the fullsize of this product, despite it being a rather pricey £24.50 bank-drainer. Its non-oil formula is great for temperamental skin like my own, although I have been prone to the occasional major breakout whilst using this product, but I don’t think it’s solely to blame. It really does help with base application and I like the little protective layer between my skin and my rather thick slap. 8/10

MAC Prep & Prime Transparent Powder – £20

For probably the first time with a MAC product, I’m going to say it: this isn’t much to write home about, guys. Granted, it definitely does some favours with regards to its truly transparent pigmentation – practically every powder (Rimmel’s Stay Matte aside, surprisingly) I’ve ever used leaves me looking a strange shade of Wotsit, but it didn’t exactly do much for the overall effect. Minimal mattefying occurred and it gave a slightly more polished finish, yet I was never convinced. Then it went and disintegrated on me, so I don’t think I’ll be after this one again. 6/10

CK Shock – Prize

I won this alongside a bunch of other Beauty Cupboard treasures from Cosmopolitan last year, and decided to give it a whirl once I’d ran out of my trusty Gucci Guilty – it’s pretty nice! I’m usually one for musky floral scents, so this was a light change for the summer and saw me through until I finally got my paws on Viktor + Rolf’s Flowerbomb, which has to be one of the most moreish scents going – although I’m getting mildly bewildered by the amount of people thinking it smells like Palma Violets. 8.5/10

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – £19.50 

I did a review of this mascara a while back, go have a gander! 9/10

December Wishlist.

December 14, 2013

Okay, this is going to be a wishlist post but, despite it being the glorious month of Christmas, I’m not going to make this a Christmas wishlist (though family members: I wouldn’t say no to these *cough cough*). Fortunately of late, I’ve been offered a number of freelance projects which, after my recent run-in with a ‘Manchester’-based Elance client who turned out to be from Nigeria (and, oddly enough, a bonafide con artist), has been blissful to both my mental well-being and my bank account. Here’s what has me a-dribblin’ this month (most of it is still painfully out of my budget, don’t fret):

  • Alexa for Eyeko – Eyeliner and Mascara Set – £35: Which came first, the love for liquid eyeliner, or the love for Alexa Chung? I will never know, but do I know that most of us fashion-types will jump at anything that Alexa Chung has even raised a perfectly-gelled brow at. After spending about three quarters of the year fighting with an endlessly running out Rimmel liquid liner, I think it’s finally time to treat myself to this beauty. And if I walk out the house looking even 1/1,000th like Miss Chung, that surely can’t hurt. It claims to nourish and thicken lashes with prolonged usage, which is an interesting concept. Truly, I couldn’t give a crap – as long as it’s blacker than my namesake and stays in one place, I’m sound.

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Ditch The Slap For Summer.

June 17, 2013

Summer’s here, sun cream’s flying off the shelves and we’re all out in the garden having BBQs. Well, perhaps one weekend each month we have the luxury of such weather, being begrudging citizens of the United Kingdom. The first thing we see after the teensiest hint of sunshine is an absolute fake-tan army, patrolling the streets, our shitty beaches, or even just loitering around the local Spar with a couple Calippo lollies – a complete onslaught of orange. I hate it. It’s probably one of my most anti-beauty blogger opinions, and may even get me banished from the blogosphere but, I bloody hate fake tan. It’s nigh impossible to get done properly, unless you’re in the know and of a well-padded bank account, which we all know accounts only for the tiniest minority of Britain’s population. Instead, we get faced with young girls and ladies committing one of many ‘sun’-kissed sins: streaks/OTT orange pigmentation/different coloured foundations to fake tan – it goes on and on. Not to mention the grim side effects. You’re either going to smell funny, drip brown liquid over all your belongings/bedsheets/boyfriends, or take the other option and get cancer, or just botch up your facial skin quality by whapping on the slap and causing breakouts.

Now, how much of Britain’s fake tan obsession do you think spurns from the media, or peer pressure? I’d say a damn good amount. When I was in high school, I was relentlessly bitched at by the chavvy girls due to my ghostly white complexion, usually in a guise of being utterly perplexed that I didn’t bother slapping colour on me that was a good 10 shades darker than the Snow White pigment I was born with. As long as you take care of your skin properly, it doesn’t matter what damn colour it is. If you consistently shave, exfoliate and moisturise, your skin will look radiant and healthy in the sun regardless! You don’t have to add further stressors to your life by thinking you can’t leave the house without a 2cm layer of paste all over you. It’s just bizarre to me.

But I’m not the only one who feels like embracing my natural tone and working with it. Here are some pale celebrity goddesses:

Rooney Mara

 

Taylor Swift

Nicola Roberts

Amanda Seyfried

Charlotte Free

My main change to my beauty regime that, unless I’m going on a night out, I have completely and utterly cut out foundation – sticking instead to using just moisturiser, concealer when necessary, and the odd bit of powder on my t-zones. This has been going on for nearly a month now and I cannot begin to explain how much of a difference it has made my complexion. My skin is clearer than its ever been, my freckles are proudly mooching around my cheeks and the overall finish is much cleaner and natural. Being so pale, I find it difficult to find any foundation that actually suits me for more than a season anyway, so I thought I’d brave being naked for a while and get to the root of the problem, that foundation was only covering up and worsening anyway!

I say: give it a try. And if it doesn’t work, you can send me nasty emails. But I’m pretty damn sure you’ll see great results and you’ll learn to feel comfortable with the quality and shade of your own skin tone within no time – no more wasting time and money on bottles of orange gunk – let the warmth of summer bring out your natural glow. If you’ve tried to cut out any beauty product recently – let me know how it went! Here’s a blatant piss-take photo from my holiday in March, where I braved Morocco without bothering with fake tan:

Tweet me @Ebzo

May Empties.

May 26, 2013

I’ve never done an ’empties’ post before, probably  due to the fact that I’m a sketchy individual and have a lot of beauty commitment issues – but for the first time I’ve noticed, I have a handful of products that I’ve actually managed to get through.

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WIMH: What’s In My Handbag?

April 25, 2013

I’m bizarrely obsessed with these posts, seeing what ladies keep in their bags is oddly interesting – or maybe I’m just really nosey. For starters, I’m just going to put this out there: I never really carry a handbag. My bag of the day generally revolves around whether I’m in university or not and, if I am, it usually has to be a larger bag so that I can fit my MacBook and textbooks in there too – so I’m more of a satchel or backpack kinda girl. However, for the purpose of this post, I’ll just cut it down to the basic handbag-y items that I shove in my satchel:

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Review: Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation in Porcelain.

March 28, 2013

Moisture Rich? They weren’t kidding.

After over six months of religiously using M.A.C’s Matchmaster foundation, the time came for change. Thankfully, this coincided with Christmastime so I dragged my Nan to Chester for the day to hit the Debenhams make-up counters: hard. If you’re pale, like me, you’ll be all too aware of the annoyance that comes with being turned away by nearly all brands with “We don’t have anything to suit your shade” and probably stick to one foundation for life – I do not blame you. But it got to the stage with my M.A.C foundation where I’d either lost some colour between the April when I bought it, and the December when I replaced it, or for some reason it just didn’t suit anymore, so change was a-comin’.

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Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com