About Me

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Vegan. Ex-makeup artist. CFS/ME sufferer. Cares about human rights, equality, animal rights, conservation/climate change.

Chitika

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Current Skincare Favourites!

I am, I confess, a skincare-oholic. I love products, lotions and potions that promise to make my skin clearer, brighter, younger, firmer. I am ruthless, though. However appealing a product may be, it has to work to become a permanent fixture in my skincare regime. So many products give me blackheads and blocked pores, so I have to be very careful to only use noncomedogenic products and oils. That being said, I think I've found a pretty effective regime, so I wanted to share it with you!

Make up removal

I love Superdrug's Clearly Youthful Cream Cleanser for removing my make-up at the end of the day. It dissolves my makeup with ease, plus it contains AHA/BHAs to give my skin a bit of an exfoliating boost. When my skin is feeling dry or rough, I leave it on for a minute before wiping it off with a warm wet flannel. This cleanser is not supposed to be used on the eyes, so I rub a little petroleum jelly over my eye make-up before wiping it off with my damp flannel.

If I'm super tired I will use a wipe to remove my make-up. I usually use Superdrug's Micellar Cleansing Wipes, but lately I've been trying Faith In Nature 3 in 1 Facial Wipes, which are good, but I'd prefer if they were fragrance-free.


Cleansing



Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser is amazing. It's a gently foaming cream that cleanses thoroughly, yet still leaves my skin soft and supple. I use this morning and evening, with my Superdrug Konjac Sponge or a flannel if I need extra exfoliation before makeup application.

Serum

I'm currently starting to see results from Active Solutions Vitamin C Serum from Sr-Skincare. Vitamin C has such a potent effect on the skin, it can reduce the appearance of sun damage, boost collagen and promote skin healing, plus it helps protect your skin from oxidative damage. I use this morning and night after cleansing. Twice weekly I mix in 1 pump of Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. I've definitely been noticing an improvement in fine lines.


Moisturiser

Even though my bottle has clearly been through the wars, I've had great results from using Hemp Oil to moisturise. It's noncomedogenic, super moisturising, plus it helps regulate oil production. 

Sunscreen


I believe the most powerful anti-aging product is always going to be sunscreen - that's why I'm on the factor 50 all summer long! This summer I've been using Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 50. I really like it, but I do wish it was fragrance-free. 

Lip Balm

No skincare post would be complete without lipcare! 


Lately I've been loving Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint in Vanilla Hibiscus. I get super dry lips, and this is so creamy and moisturising I can't help but slather it on all day! It's supposed to be a lip tint, but it's so translucent it doesn't really add any colour at all. I would consider one of the darker colours to actually give my lips a tint, but I'm fine with using this like a regular balm.

If I'm leaving the house I'll use Superdrug's The Little Protecting Pink Tin SPF 15 before my lipstick. Sorry, mine's got bashed up a bit in my bag!



Mask

A firm favourite of mine is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask.


You just mix it with a little raw apple cider vinegar to form a paste, then apply to clean skin and let dry. It's really great for unblocking stubborn clogged pores. I would recommend using it at night, though, as it leaves you with a slight pink flush! I like to mix in some oats to make it more moisturising.

So those are my skincare favourites! Feel free to leave your vegan skincare favourites in the comments!

Til Next Time,
Emma
xXx

Friday, 14 August 2015

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box, August 2015

Subscription boxes are always something that sounded like such a good idea to me. It's like getting a present from yourself with great new products to try! I've been dying to get my hands on The Vegan Kind Beauty Box, and yesterday mine arrived! It was like Christmas morning!

I recorded my first Youtube video, unboxing it and giving my first impressions. Let me know what you think - I've been nervous about making a video, so feedback would be appreciated!


I'll be reviewing the products later, when I've had some time to test them out, so check back soon!

Til Next Time,

Emma 
xXx

Friday, 7 August 2015

Conceal Dark Circles, the Vegan Way!

Covering dark circles is one of the top things clients ask me about. Whether they're caused by lack of sleep, allergies, or hyperpigmentation, they can make you look tired, drawing attention away from pretty eyes.

But don't worry! Help is at hand! My simple tutorial will have you disguising dark circles like a pro!
I've had dark circles since I was a child. Mine are hereditary, and don't fade no matter how much sleep I get! This makes me the perfect model for this tutorial! Our cruelty-free, vegan dark circle fighting arsenal. These are my favourite products to use, they perform so well.

  • Small, synthetic hair concealer/lip brush
Step one

Start with moisturised, primed skin. Apply a small amount of peach or orange corrector to the darkest part of the circle. Your finger will apply too much, use a small brush. Step two


Blend it up to the lower lashline with your finger using a gentle patting motion. Step Three


Using your finger, apply high coverage concealer to the dark circle using a patting motion. Continue to pat, adding more if necessary, until the circle is covered and the concealer is blended into the surrounding skin. Blend a little over the upper eyelid to counteract any darkness there. Avoid using a concealer that is too light, as the circle could turn grey. I'm using a shade darker than my normal skin tone. Step four




Using a powder brush, apply mineral foundation or concealer to the entire eye area. Use a patting or dabbing motion to press it into the concealer. This will set your concealer and add more coverage. Step five Finished! Apply the rest of the your makeup and you're ready!




Let me know if you enjoyed this tutorial. Are there any other tutorials you'd like to see from me? Til Next Time, Emma xXx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How to Depot/Repackage Indie Eyeshadow Samples ft Shiro

A short while ago I delved into the world of indie make-up. There are a lot of great brands out there, and so many innovative formulas and finishes. Naturally, the best way to try out new shades is to buy a sample, but they come in those annoying baggies that are so hard to work with. The solution? Repackage them into little pots! 

I recently ordered a lot of samples from Shiro's Anniversary Sale, and I want to show you how I depotted - or should I say de-baggied - them.

This was a very fiddly task - you don't want to waste any of that precious make-up, or cover your carpet in it. Best to lay a towel down first. 


Step 1
Get some 2ml pots from eBay or Amazon. Arrange them like so, and spray them evenly with 70% alcohol or surgical spirit. This is a very important step, as it ensures your containers are sterile - we don't want any nasties growing in out makeup! Allow to dry fully.

2ml pots disinfected with alcohol spray
Sorry about the powder spillage on the towel, this wasn't my first batch!
Step 2
Take your baggie, and hold it in the top left hand corner. Shake it vigorously so that centrifugal force pulls all the powder to the right/bottom of the baggie. if you hold it up to the light, it should look something like this:

Sample baggie repackaging

Step 3
Now, using clean, sharp scissors, cut the top off of the baggie so that the seal is completely removed. The seal will catch powder as you try to empty the bag.

Cutting Sample baggie

Step 4
Before you pour your sample into the pot, take the sticker on the sample bag and place it on the lid of your pot. You may have to trim it.


Step 5
If you try to pour out the powder straight away, the sides of the baggie will stick together and make it very difficult. Carefully open the baggie like so to prevent this.

Open Sample Baggie

Step 6
Pour carefully. You may need to tap the bottom to get the last of it out.


Step 7
If your pots come with a sifter, insert this now. (Note - these should have been sanitised with alcohol like the pots)


Step 8
Screw on the lid and you're done! 


Do you want to see the rest of my haul?

Eye shadows


Neutral Cool, Neutral Warm and Bright
I got Neutral Cool, Neutral Warm, and Bright Sample Packs.

Shiro Neutral Cool Sample Set
Neutral Cool Sample Set

Shiro Neutral Warm Sample Set
Neutral Warm Sample Set
Shiro Brights Sample Set
Brights Sample Set
Shiro Samples
Extra Samples

Shiro Red in My Ledger
Shiro Red in My Ledger Gloss
I adore this lipgloss, it's become my new favourite lip product! You can apply it thinly or thickly for a different intensity, and it wears off to a beautiful stain on the lips!

Hope this post has been informative. I've been loving the products, Shiro has gained a fan in me!

Til' next time,
Emma
xXx

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Very Late Princess...

You may remember, that on the 12th of May, I posted about fundraising for ME Awareness Day, by dressing up as a princess. Except I didn't actually dress up as a princess that day, as I felt too ill. The thing about having ME, is that you feel 'too ill' an awful lot. My depression has also been worse lately, I seem to have lost all motivation, the past month or so. 

Actual footage from my life.
Me trying to get stuff done.
So, I didn't get around to taking my princess pictures for a while, and I haven't got around to posting them until now. What can I say, I like leaving you in suspense!

Do you want to see my princess pics? Go on, then...


I chose to base my look around how ME makes me feel. Grief, for the life I could've had. Frustration, from having to push through debilitating fatigue in order to do anything. Envy, watching others live their lives, healthy and unencumbered. Basically, I threw a pity party on my face, with make-up. I'm carrying a powder brush to represent my (sometime) job, and a spoon to represent the 'spoon theory' explanation of illness, and me as a 'spoonie'.


Product list!

Face-
 - I actually forgot I was wearing this, it's why I have a bit of a white cast from the flash on my face and neck - oops!
Foundation in Alabaster and Porcelain, as concealer.
Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation in China Doll.
Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Cool Contour Palette in 1 to highlight, and 2 and 3 to contour.

She bravely posted a side profile pic. #schnoz

Eyes
E.L.F Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
Diggy Diggy Hole by Shiro on lid and undereye.
A touch of an acid green shimmer Yaby Shadow on inner corner
A mixture of forest green and brown matte Yaby Shadows on crease and inner socket.
Barry M Black Kohl liner all around eyes, on waterline and tightline.
Brows Smoking by Neve Cosmetics. 

Tears Mystery by Beauty Without Cruelty mixed with acid green shimmer from Yaby and Holographic glitter from OCC. Mixed with E.L.F Mixing medium and a touch of clear OCC Lip Tar.

Mascara - Barry M Lash Vegas
Ardell Demi Wispie Lashes

Lips
Women's Weapons by Shiro Mixed with E.L.F mixing medium and clear OCC lip Tar. Topped with 1 from Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Cool Contour Palette in centre of lips.

What do you think of the look? Hopefully I can raise some money for ME Research UK! I have already raised £40 (yay!) at the time of writing on my JustGiving page, so I should get a bit more now that I've come up with the goods, right? I'm really hoping to get to my goal of £100. If you can, please donate! It's so important, ME research is extremely under funded.
In order to encourage you to donate, I present to you these silly pics from my princess 'shoot'.

Theodore getting on on the fun.

Spoooooooon.

Ballgown & socks, the new fashion trend, because sometimes princesses have cold feet!
Click here to donate, or text CFSM51 £3 to 70070. (Or replace £3 with how much you want to donate.) It really means a lot to me.

It means a lot to kitty, too.


That's all from me for now. I have a couple of posts in the pipeline, so don't be too surprised if you see another post soon!

Til Next Time,
Emma
xXx

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

M.E Awareness Day, The Princesses & M.E

I'm taking a break from beauty related posts to write about something more serious,  and a lot less fun. Today, 12th May, is ME Awareness Day. As an ME sufferer, I wanted to share with you my story, and what it's like to have this disease. 

I first began suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in 2008. Onset is usually triggered by a viral infection - I caught cold sores that didn't heal for six months, accompanied by a constant feeling of being run down and worn out. After a plethora of tests and referrals, I was finally diagnosed with CFS/ME in early 2010. In the early days of my illness, I ignored it as much as possible. I was functioning at about 60% of full health - throwing myself into my work and occasional social life, and sleeping or resting every spare minute I got. 
Then in late 2010, one week into a three week TV series shoot, I fell ill with suspected swine flu. The stress of the long hours, combined with the shock of a sudden death in the family, made me particularly susceptible. Since then, I fluctuate between 50% and 20% of normal functioning.

So what does it feel like to have CFS/ME? Think of a time when you've had a really bad flu or virus, and you're over the worst of it, but you aren't better yet. You're weak as a kitten, your muscles and joints ache, and simple tasks like getting out of your chair, washing your hair or preparing a meal take monumental effort. This is daily life with ME. 

'Hang on,' I hear you say, 'you can't be that ill, I saw you down Romford/ doing makeup/ up the pub' (delete as appropriate). Let me explain to you the concept of 'spoons'. 
Physically, I feel like lying down or sleeping 24/7. Mentally, I want, no I have to do stuff otherwise I'll go completely mad. 

So in order to do anything at all, I have to use willpower and determination to get myself moving, when really I feel like curling up in bed. But when I do any physical activity, I'll pay for it the next day. This is where 'spoons' come in. Imagine energy is measured in spoons (don't ask why, just go with it.) A healthy person has 10 or 15 spoons a day to spend on activities, until they run out and feel tired. With CFS/ME and some other illnesses, you might only get 5, or maybe 3 per day. 'Wait,' I cry,  'that's only enough for breakfast, showering and getting to the bus stop! What about the rest of my day?'  
'Shh,' says the devil on my shoulder, 'just push through it, borrow some spoons from tomorrow.' 
I try to go about my day, walking slowly, needing to sit down here and there. 
Then tomorrow comes and I feel even more like hell than usual. I spend the day in bed, I don't get up to eat, I barely manage to drag myself to the bathroom. This is known as spoon deficit, but doctory types like to call it post-exertional malaise.

It's not recommended to push yourself or overdo it, but what choice do I have? The other option is staying in bed every day, and that gets boring and lonely very fast. I have ambitions, I want a life. And so do the millions of other sufferers around the world. However, there are currently no biological treatments offered for ME. Because the disease is so poorly understood, sufferers are only offered therapy or counselling to help them cope, along with painkillers or antidepressants (because, let's face it, this disease sure sucks the fun outta life). Some doctors until recently even thought the disease was psychosomatic, or 'all in the mind', but research has proven there is a real biological cause

Lives are ruined by this disease. Most never recover, some are left bedridden, some even die from it. We need more research to find effective treatments, and maybe even a cure, for this debilitating illness. 
This is why I am joining The Princesses and ME, to try to raise money for ME Research UK.



It started when a group of friends with ME started comparing themselves to princesses. 
The similarities - (taken from Me, Myself and M.E)

"Sleeping for a very long time like Sleeping Beauty
Being really uncomfortable in our beds and the slightest things annoying our conditions like the Princess and the pea
Feeling like we've been locked away  in a tower like Rapunzel
Wanting legs that work like Ariel (find me Ursula now!)
Being out past midnight is way too late for us to stay out like Cinderella and just like her brainfog would probably mean we left something behind
We have a large propensity for hope
The bed head of Princess Anna from Frozen (anyone else love that moment and think hey she's just like me)
And we are in search of a fairytale"

In order to raise money for ME research, I will be dressing up as a princess! I did aim to do it today, but in true ME fashion, I felt too ill - I had a stinking cold to contend with, on top of everything! This is also why I am posting it at 11pm at night!

I tried to take a quick selfie, but I look as ill as I feel! So take this fancy princess pic of my teddy, Theodore, as an IOU, and watch this space for fabulous princess Emma!



It would mean such a lot to me if you could make a donation. It doesn't matter how small, every little helps! The charity I've chosen does not test on animals, and funds research working towards effective treatment or a cure for ME.
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
 
Thanks for reading,

Til next time,

Emma
xXx

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Review: Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Cool Contour Palette & a Brief History of Contouring

Apart from my birth (obvs), one of the great things that happened in the 80s was the rise of the contour. The art of sculpting the cheekbones using makeup moved from stage and film, into fashion and everyday wear. Women and men were using colour to give their faces definition and enhance their features. It was awesome, but in the bold blush colours of the day, it didn't look natural. At all. 



What do you mean? We woke up like this! (Pics via Google Images)

In the 90s, the contour trend waned a little, although makeup god Kevyn Aucoin was giving celebs and top models the sculpted look, using lighter and darker shades of foundation to add light and shade.

Technique diagram, from Kevyn Aucoin's Book 'Making Faces'

Fast forward to the 2000s and it was all about the tan. Everyone and their Nan was on the sunbeds and fake tan. People smelled of dirty biscuits, and calling a girl 'pale' or 'white' was the harshest of insults. Contouring was in again, and this time it was done with bronzer, applied in an orange-brown stripe under the cheekbones.

Britney, being a Slave 4 Bronzer. Pic via Google Images.

The problem with all of these techniques is that they don't take into account the colour of actual shadows. Shadows are not hot pink, bronze, or even a darker foundation colour. They are a cool greyish taupe. And this is where I think Lunatick Cosmetic Labs has got it spot on with their Cool Contour Palette.


The palette itself is coffin shaped, and is decorated with Ouija boards, ghouls and monsters! But even if you're not a fan of creepy kitch, the 5 shades inside will more than make up for it.

The shades don't have names, so I have imaginatively called them, from L-R, 1,2,3,4 & 5.
I think the lightest shade, 1, is supposed to be a highlight. With shades 2-5, you can create a truly real looking contour on the lightest to the darkest of skintones. It doesn't look like makeup, it looks like shadow, a true hollow in your skin. 



The colours are extremely pigmented, so you only need a little on your brush. They work wonderfully as eyeshadows, too. They have a silky texture, which means they blend easily into the skin with little effort.

One swipe, no primer.
I've really enjoyed using this palette, but I'm afraid this can't be a 100% glowing rave review. When I first received it, I noticed there seemed to be a little powder that had leaked between the outside of the palette and the plastic it was wrapped in. Uh-oh. This was what I found when I first opened it -


As you can see, the powder has leaked a little and made a mess inside the palette.  Each pan came with a glass counter on top to help you re-press the powders. Hmm, this doesn't bode well. You see, as soon as you touch the surface with finger or brush, the powder turns from pressed to loose and goes everywhere! Massive pain in the bum! I was worried the powders would break and go everywhere during transport in my kit, but luckily they have stayed intact so far. I've put one of the counters in my kit so I can re-press them before I pack my things away. I've tried spritzing them with alcohol before pressing them, to see if they would stay solid longer, but as soon as I touched them with a brush, they turned powdery again. 

Does this put me off the product? I think the colours and performance outweigh the negatives, but I kind of wish Lunatick Cosmetic Labs had just made them loose contouring powders, and sold them separately, with an option to buy the full set. I do think it's worth having all the colours though, because they do all work wonderfully as eyeshadows, too. Plus you can blend them together to get the shade that is right for you. 


Keep an eye on my Instagram, I'm going to post a pic of this in action in a day or two!

Til Next Time,

Emma
xXx

This product was purchased by me. My reviews and opinions will always remain unbiased and impartial. Please see skimlinks disclosure in the sidebar.