I’m a self-confessed makeup addict and love trying new things. Read my product reviews, tips and thoughts on upcoming launches. For more information on how I review makeup products on my blog, read Makeup On My Blog | What’s In A Review?.
I have a relatively pale, cool toned complexion (NC15 MAC for reference), blue eyes and dark brown hair. My skin type is best described as normal.
I tend to favour neutral tones and have a thing for nude lipsticks. I love grungy eye looks and don’t feel complete without a good eyeliner flick.
I love to try new products and techniques. And share them with my readers on my blog.
My blog originated as a beauty blog but has transitioned to cover a wider range of topics. I’m passionate about transparency and honesty in blogging. I purchase the vast majority of products featured myself and always give honest reviews.
Before deciding to banish products tested on animals from my makeup bag, I had a preconception that going cruelty-free would be quite limiting. However the majority of brands -big and small- are actually entirely cruelty-free. Whilst I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much of my favourite makeup and skincare is cruelty-free, it does highlight that those who aren’t really have no excuse. MAC Cosmetics were one of the first makeup brands I got into and I’ve got a lot of MAC in my collection. And whilst I’ve moved away from them over the years, one product remains a firm favourite: Prep & Prime Fix+.
As my current bottle has got ever closer to being finished, I went on the hunt for a suitable replacement from a cruelty-free brand. I’m a big believer in making small changes and just swapping out one product for a cruelty-free alternative is a move in the right direction.
I’ve been meaning to do this for a thousand years (slight exaggeration). I’m focusing on not buying any new products, just using what I have and ridding my collection of products which aren’t cruelty-free. So each month I’m going to talk briefly about the products I used and what I thought of them.
Initially I planned to not feature any products on my blog which aren’t cruelty-free. However i’ve change my mind and I’m going to include all my empties and state clearly if they’re cruelty-free or not. This gives me a chance to talk about what I might replace them with and the brand’s status. So without further rambling, these are the products I finished in May!
It feels good to be back here. My original blog that is! This post has been in the making for a while and I’m disappointed really that it’s taken this long. I am boycotting makeup and skincare which isn’t cruelty free or from a brand who are committed to ending animal testing. Read on to find out why and what that means for my blog.
If I only had to have one palette for Spring, this would be it. I had been planning on treating myself to Backtalk since it was announced and thankfully when it arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. Which is good, given I simultaneously broke my ‘must swatch in person’ and ‘no buying new releases’ rules in one fowl swoop.
I think I read once you’re not supposed to wear pink after 30. But then again, you’re probably not supposed to wear Nike Airmax post 30. Or spend several hours a day playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. But whatever, rules are meant to be broken (or in the case of ones like that, entirely ignored).
I’m a sucker for pretty eyeshadow palettes. Just yesterday I found myself coveting the new Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette, despite it costing a whopping sixty quid and containing colours I have in lots of other palettes. I’d like to own it just so I could perch on the edge of my bed like Gollum and stroke it, whilst muttering ‘my precious’ and pushing to the back of my mind, the kidney I had to sell.
But on a serious note, there’s just something inspiring about a new palette. I’d love to be able to look at my eyeshadows and think of all the warm toned Autumn looks I could make. But us mere mortals who are not MUAs normally need more of a push. Like a nicely arranged, warm toned palette and the subsequent looks which pop up online for inspiration.
As I wrote recently in my post about hitting pan, I’m not buying any new makeup for a while. I want to use what I’ve got and that especially applies to eyeshadow palettes. So I’m trying to give them all more love. But I have to admit, I play favourites. There are just some which I find myself reaching for over and over. The palettes which I think everyone should own.
I love finding a bargain. And have been eyeing Primark’s new -ish- beauty range for a while. Whilst everything looks really pretty and they have a big selection of products, I’ve been wary. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying cheaper makeup for the sake of it. And I’ve heard mixed reviews of the quality. Whilst browsing for a new onsie I could cram my bump into, I noticed their magical looking brush sets. And had to have a closer look. I apply my highlighter with a MAC 129 brush as it’s more precise. Or my Zoeva fan brush, which is tiny in comparison to these chunkier fan brushes which have been popping up everywhere.
I’m having a lazy day and am still in bed at lunch time. Living the dream. The new series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians is on Hay-U. And pregnancy pains make this the most comfy place to sit. Now I’m on maternity leave, it’s great to be able to take things at a slower pace. It’s all been a bit quiet on the blogging front and I haven’t written anything in weeks. But I’m back today with a new post, about a new skincare / makeup product I have tried (and loved). The Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow, tinted moisturiser.
The upshot to blogging about makeup and beauty, is always being in the know when something new launches. Occassionally I get sent products to try. And every day I read other blogs, featuring various products. Naturally since blogging about makeup, I’ve accumulated more. But every so often I have to remind myself that I don’t need that latest release. It’s ok to be selective and hold out for things you love. The last eyeshadow I found myself hitting pan on was Sin, from my original -& beloved- Naked palette. The one which was released in twenty-ten. SEVEN years ago!
This photo is how makeup should look. Battered. Used. Like it’s been shoved unceremoniously in many a handbag, suitcase or drawer. Not exactly the normal blogger aesthetic. But real. And the sign of a much loved product.
Maybe if I had given in and bought the latest Anastasia Beverly Hills palette -Subculture- I could have improved that pan hitting ratio dramatically (shade intended). But I’ve refrained. And intend to do so, until i’m hitting pan on a lot more of my products. All makeup should get this much use. Every product I’ve raved about on my blog should be too wrecked after a year to photograph for the blog. If it’s not, it hasn’t been used enough. And I probably could have lived without it!
Sell By Dates
Makeup is largely not self preserving. And should be thrown away after a while. I’ve heard various horror stories about using old makeup. But in all honesty, I never pay attention. Mascara and lipstick being the exception. Some of my lipsticks I’ve kept for years. Others go off and have to be cut or chucked. I hate wasting stuff, so do this only if it’s needed. Mascara shouldn’t be kept for more than 6 weeks, which is why I never buy high-end mascara. Although if I’m honest, I keep mine for a lot longer than the 6 weeks advised.
I’m not suggesting anyone else should do this. Purely that to me, throwing out perfectly good makeup is incredibly wasteful. I exercise common sense, if it looks gone off, fine. If it still works, smells / looks normal … Why would I throw it away?
I bought some of my MAC brushes 10 – 12 years ago. The MUA told me that if I looked after them, they would last for 10 years plus. I took this seriously as at the time, they felt extortionately expensive. After years of careful care, they are still going strong. Although I have to admit they’re so much better made than the new brushes. Especially the duo-fibre ones which lose hairs constantly.
Every few years I have a big clear out. And I’m always horrified at how much makeup I don’t use. I’ve got a lot better with this in recent years. But it’s so easy to buy something and not like it. Or use it as much as you imagined. I’ve become a lot more sensible with purchasing. And regularly gift things to friends, or sell if unused.
I love having a nose at other blogger’s makeup collections. But some videos / posts can feel so obnoxious. Think extreme hoarders. Only with expensive, unused makeup. I admire the bloggers and influencers who get tons of PR sent products. But who make sure they donate them. And pass them on, so they’re not wasted.
Falling For The Hype
With so much excitement around new launches, it’s easy to get caught up. I’ve stopped buying products on their launch dates. As that can really go either way! I loved the Naked Heat palette I picked up, without swatching. But was so glad I didn’t rush into buying SubCulture. As I have a feeling I may have been really disappointed.
As I’m always saying, makeup is so subjective. The best way to avoid buying items you won’t use, is to check them out fully yourself before buying. The trend of limited edition releases is showing no sign of going anywhere. Brands creating panic by limiting stock, so everyone rushes to get one. I’m personally fed up of this. Especially from huge brands who it’s pretty obvious have no concerns about their stock selling. And who will release run after run after launch.
I’m not buying anymore makeup, unless it falls into one of two criteria. It’s a refill for something I use all the time. Or it’s especially special. Something which after consideration, I still think worth getting. These items should be few and far between.
I want to actually use the products in my collection. To enjoy them, not hoard them. There will be tons of eyeshadows in each palette I’ve barely used. Enough to fill several new palettes over. I want to force myself to use colours I’m less comfortable with. And to get excited about new purchases again. As they’ll be more of a rarity.
My Tarte In Bloom palette is one of my most used. I’m venturing towards hitting pan on a few shades. So of course got really excited about the upcoming launch of a new one, the Tarte Toasted palette. However the shades are incredibly similar to that of the Naked Heat palette. And various others I own. This would be a prime example of a wasteful purchase for me. So it’s one I’m going to try and avoid.
I’ve written it on my blog. So I now have to stand by it. I’ll check in next year and be totally honest about how well I stuck to my self-imposed project hitting pan, spending ban.
I’m sure you’ve seen the meme. The one which says something about having two moods. Or two modes and no in-between when it comes to makeup. Maximum glam and a fully beat face. Or vaguely resembling a swamp monster. I always chuckle when I see it because it’s scarily accurate. I’m very much guilty of being all or nothing when it comes to makeup. My ‘no makeup’ makeup look included 7000 products. And took a good hour. My makeup bag consisted of four drawers, filled with products. There was no traveling light. Or just throwing a few things in my handbag to touch up.
Reviews can be incredibly useful. I never make a purchase without reading several (wether I’m buying a lipstick or a hoover). However when it comes to makeup, it’s sometimes hard to work out who to trust. I tend to read reviews on the product website. Before going off in search of independent reviews on blogs and social media. By reading a mixture of these, you can build up a picture and notice if there’s any disparity between consumers, smaller bloggers and big influencers.
Sadly this is often the case. Some products get praised by big influencers, only to leave many consumers disappointed after their purchase. I’m at the stage where I almost automatically distrust a product if it’s highly promoted by celebrities and influencers.
At what point do reviews stop being useful and become just another advertising tool for brands?
As a blogger -albeit a little one- how much am I a part of the problem? I know as a consumer, I’m no stranger to the annoyance of having to wade through and work out what is trustworthy or relevant. I hope that this post will go some way towards explaining how reviews on my blog work. My thoughts on the wider issues of disclosure and working with PR. And what factors I’m considering when I try a new makeup product.