Monday, January 26, 2015

Why I Wear Makeup & Feminism

So today I'm just going to write about why I choose to wear makeup. If you know me in person, you're more than likely to know that I am an enthusiastic feminist. For those of you who aren't sure what feminism is, or what it stands for, it is simply believing that all genders should be equal. It is not pulling men down so women can be more powerful, it is not about emasculating men and it certainly is not about hating men. Not all feminists are the same, some focus on equality in the work place and others focus on LGBT but they all have the common goal of gender equality. 

For me, feminism is about choice. I believe all people on this planet should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it is not oppressing another person. Therefore I think that women and men should be able to wear makeup if they want to. The act of wearing makeup itself does not actively harm or oppress another person when it is being worn. Of course there are arguments against this, such as animal cruelty and the treatment of workers in factories, but for this post I am merely talking about the freedom of expression through makeup, it is not a post about the industry. Freedom of expression is for all genders, so if you're a 7 foot male basketball player and you want to wear sparkly blue eyeshadow on your eyelids, you have my full support. 

Personally, I wear makeup most days. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I have a hair pulling disorder called trichotillomania. I have been dealing with this for around half of my life, I have gone through patches of no eyebrows or no eyelashes and sometimes even without either of them. So for me, makeup has helped me cover up my problem areas. Although I am very open about my hair pulling, I don't particularly want people to stare at me when I'm just trying to live my life. As a result, I do tend to wear brow and eye makeup every day. I end up wearing a full face of makeup often purely because I enjoy doing it.

I want to make it clear that I do not wear makeup for anyone but myself. I think it's very important to make sure that your self happiness and self worth is not linked to how "beautiful" you are. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are bombarded with attractive (very airbrushed) women everywhere we go, so it can be very difficult to remain happy within yourself if you're basing your self worth on your attractiveness in comparison to women who almost don't exist. I speak of women in my example but of course the pressure is also there for all genders. 

So? Why do I wear makeup? Because it is fun! It's the adult equivalent of a huge art and crafts world where you can go mad, drawing painting and creating something wonderful and pretty and then parading their masterpieces around with pride for the rest of the day! Finding the perfect shade of nude pink lipstick is the equivalent of finding the right indigo colour to complete your rainbow. I like being creative, especially as I do spend most of my time studying my degree (unless drawing hearts all over my work counts). It is an outlet for me to try new things and to not have any rules to follow, if I want to wear a red lipstick, it's not as if someone is going to tell me off and give me a C, it is just a bit of fun. Although my Dad did try his best to do so once when he told me that my lipstick was "hideous". I told him that he didn't know what he was talking about and carried on wearing it because A) it was fabulous and B) I was wearing it for myself, not him. 

When I started using makeup, I didn't have the same healthy attitude as I have now. I used it when I was younger to look prettier so that I would get noticed in school by boys and to make sure I fitted in. Now that I am older (well, 21) I know that it doesn't matter. Anyone who judges you on what you look like and how much makeup, or lack of thereof, you wear is just not worth your time. You become friends with someone to have fun, to laugh and for emotional support. I can never say that I've ever had a friend that I'm only friends with because I like looking at him/her, it's just bizarre. So I hope that if there are any younger people reading this that you take this on board and concentrate on enjoying your life, with or without makeup, and to do it in whatever way your comfortable with. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my post! If you would like to keep updated with me and my life, feel free to follow my new Instagram account: @g_beauty_blog 

Also if anyone was interested, the "hideous" lipstick was a MAC lipstick - Diva, here's a very high quality picture of it. And yes, we were in Paris and all he had to say to me was his opinion on my lipstick.

G Beauty

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Current Makeup Favourites

My Current Makeup Favourites 

As it is my first post, I thought I'd share with you my current favourite products. I don't necessarily wear them together but they are things I definitely reach for often. Enjoy!

Foundation: Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

This is my favourite foundation. Ever. Nothing has ever even come close to it. It is a long wear foundation that really does stay on all day. The range of colours is good, there are over 30 different shades and I am currently using Desert Beige 2N1. I have used a few different shades, mostly because I tan easily in the summer and then go paler in winter. It boasts 15 hour staying power and I would agree that it does do the job. It really does last all day, from when I'm going to lectures or waitressing part time, it doesn't budge all day. Other makeup, for example blush and bronze sit nicely on it as well. I have been recommended to put blush/bronzer on straight away for staying power but I personally prefer to wait until it has dried properly as I find it's much easier to blend. It does set quickly so you do need to work quickly with it. I tend to put my Clinique moisturiser on first, which makes it easier to work with and gives you longer to really blend it into your face. I have combination skin and it works perfectly for me. It is particularly good for covering blemishes and acne prone skin. However, it is a very thick foundation so I wouldn't recommend it for people who have a lot of acne and want it to clear up quickly, but it is good for covering it up. For people with dry skin, I would recommend putting on a thick moisturiser on first. I find it looks its best after I have done a thorough wash of my face, I am currently using the Clinique 3 Step set, in which i will describe in a future blogpost about my skincare routine. The price is quite hefty (£29.50) but I do find it lasts me a long time and a little bit goes a very long way.

Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer

This concealer is creamy and thick. I love the way it goes onto the skin and its texture. As you can see I only have the sample size but it has lasted me a very long time. I have been using it for at least 6 months, perhaps not everyday but probably at least 3-4 days a week. I am fairly certain it lasts all day and I think it works well in combination with the Double Wear foundation. I haven't tried many different concealers but I definitely prefer it to a stick type formula. I tend to only use it under my eyes and just use my fingers to blend it in. I sometimes put a small amount on my nose to create the illusion of a smaller nose. It's price is again, not cheap (£21.50), but my 4.7ml sample size has lasted a very long time so I may consider purchasing the full size at some point. I have it in the shade 02 Light Medium.

Bronzer: Clinique True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in 02 Sunkissed 

I've been using this bronzer since I was around 13 and I love it. I have used other well known bronzers, such as Too Faced Chocolate Soleil and Benefit's Hoola, but I still prefer the Clinique bronzer. I find it blends much easier than the others and it seems to be the perfect colour for my skin tone. I use it for contouring, so in my cheek bones and I take it up to my temple and a bit on my chin. It comes with a small flat brush which can be used well on the cheek bones, but I personally think it's a bit too thin and creates too much of a harsh line. (I will go into details on what brushes I use for what and how in a future blog post). This bronzer does have glitter in it but I never notice it on my skin, that may be down to me being so used to it but I don't think I've ever had anyone telling me that my bronzer is too glittery. It does tend to be down to personal choice when it comes to glitter in bronzers, but I personally love it. It is £24, which is expensive but it lasts a very long time, I bought this one in May 2014 and it still has tonnes of product left in it.

Blusher: Nars Blush in Orgasm

I know it's cliché but I really like this blush. I only recently got hold of my own but I seem to be using it all the time. It really does go with everything and it's a fail safe if you're not sure what blush would go with the look you have created. It is described as "peachy pink with golden shimmer" on the website, which I guess is the best way to describe it. It looks pink but when you swatch it the colour reflects a goldeny peachy gorgeous colour. It can be built upon to create a deeper colour but not too much, it is hard to go overboard with it. It suits me with my paler skin at the moment and I'm sure it will look even nicer when I have more of a tan, as I can imagine the golden shimmer will complement it nicely. At £22.50 I would say it's worth the price as it is very versatile.

Highlighter: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle 

I really love this product, it looks so pretty and the colour is perfect for me. It's a sort of champagne bronze pinky peach colour and it highlights my cheeks nicely. It's not too obvious on the skin and I much prefer the bronze highlighters than the more pearly white colours most highlighters are. It's more natural looking as it is generally closer to the colour of the actual skin. I tend to only use it on my cheeks and temple area and a little bit on my nose. It can be used for under the brow area but I tend to use my High Brow Glow instead as it is easier to work with in that area. For £23, you get a lot of product and I would recommend it if you're looking for a new highlighter!

Brow Highlighter: Benefit High Brow Glow

I have only recently got this product but I use it all the time. I love the pink champagne colour, I much prefer it over the normal High Brow. I tend to just put it underneath my brows, and it stays all day and night. I sometimes use it in the same way as some use concealer under the brows to create a more crisp line. I love putting in my brow arch, it highlights the brows perfectly and it really does open the eye more. The pencil shape makes it so much easier to use. I haven't seen many other products like this on the market and so it is a relatively unique product. It has a soft creamy crayon texture and I use my fingers to blend it out. It definitely isn't necessity (especially at £15.50) but I do really love using this product and I think it does add that little bit extra to your face.

Eyebrows: Estée Lauder Brow Colour in Brown

I received this small palette years ago as part of a Christmas present but only started using it last summer. Unfortunately I can't seem to find a link for it online and I don't think I have ever seen it in store so it may have been discontinued. However, I have trichotillomania and I pick heavily on my brows especially during stressful periods. Brow powder, I have found, is the best way to cover it up and giving you the most natural looking brows. I haven't tried any other powders but I'm sure there are hundreds of very similar products on the market. Using a good brush will give you a great shape to your brows, whether you have a little or a lot of hair. I like using the Makeup Forever Aqua Brow as well but I do think powder gives the most natural look. I prefer powder over pencil as my skin can get quite sore in the area and putting on pencil can be quite painful. This product glides on wonderfully and its really easy to correct any mistakes I make with a cotton bud. The colour suits my hair nicely and you can build it to create a light or dark brow.

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Palette

If there is one eyeshadow palette that everyone should own, it is the Naked palette. I had heard a lot of good reviews on it before and it really does live up to hype. I use every colour in the palette and despite having a lot of other eyeshadow palettes I still will reach for this one a lot. The two matte shades: Naked and Buck are two of my all time favourites, especially for a really normal day time look. I put Naked on my lid and then Buck into the crease, it takes two seconds but makes a huge difference. For a darker day time look I wear Toasted and Hustle, this worked particularly well in the summer when I had a tan. There are various different combinations you can do for a night time look, it's perfect for a nude smokey eye (a favourite of mine). The shadows are all so easy to blend and they're all so pigmented. There are two shadows at the end (Creep and Gunmetal) which are great for late evening, clubbing looks. I also like using Creep to create an eyeliner look by using a small angled flat brush. There are two highlighter colours as well which I like using under the brow and in the corners of my eyes. All in all, it really is a perfect palette. It has a colour to suit every occasion and the quality is excellent. At £37 it puts each separate shadow at £3.08 each, which technically makes it a bargain.

Mascara: Natural Collection Lash Length Mascara

This is the only high street product I have on this list (oops) but it probably is my favourite product of all time. I have naturally long lashes and it works perfectly for them. It separates and lengths them perfectly, I feel like they really do just accentuate my natural lashes. The brush is a relatively normal bristle brush and the product itself is light weight and easy to clean off your skin. It doesn't clump and builds wonderfully. For a normal day I will curl my lashes with a curler and then put on two layers of mascara on. You can easily just wear one layer but for me personally I like two. If I have darker makeup on I tend to put a few more layers on, sometimes curling my lashes between each layer. There are a few other mascaras in their range, I like to use Lash Build and Lash Definition as well. Lash Build seems to be very popular as it's always sold out in the store. I used to chose Lash Build over Lash Length but I found that longer length made my eyes look nicer than having voluminous shorter lashes. It's really easy to take off with a makeup wipe or makeup remover and it doesn't take out lashes with it when you take it off. The best part of this mascara is its price - £1.99! In the past, there was often a 3 for £5 deal on all Natural Collection products. Obviously I always bought 3 mascaras then, which I prefer doing anyway as I don't use the same mascara every day. I find if you use them every day they dry out very quickly. I like to alternate my mascaras every day and for the incredibly cheap price, I can afford to do so. The only downside is that it is a Boots own brand and so I'm only able to get it whilst I'm in the UK. I've been using this mascara for years and am yet to find one similar that just gives you the results you want - long natural looking lashes.

Lipstick: MAC Rebel (Satin Finish)

This isn't my normal day to day lipstick but it is definitely my favourite. I absolutely love the colour, it's perfect for autumn and winter and it just looks fabulous. The colour is a beautiful plum purple which really does stand out. It is a satin finish, so it doesn't last as long as a matte or a retro matte, but it does last a long time without drying out your lips. Satin finishes are probably my favourite as they are creamy enough but not at all sheer. It is pigmented enough to not need a lip liner as well. I like wearing this one if I'm going out for drinks and want to make my makeup a bit more dramatic. It is also quite versatile in the way that you can wear it with a little or a lot of eye makeup. The price is cheap for a high end lipstick, but expensive for a lipstick at £15.50. I am a big fan of MAC lipsticks and will hopefully do a blog post on the ones I already have!

I have tried to be as informative as I can about these products and hope it helps you in finding something new to add to your collection! If you would like to ask any questions, please do feel free to comment on my page - I would love to hear from other makeup obsessed people! I really enjoyed writing this post and hope there will be more to come.

Lots of G love xx

Here's a photo of me wearing all of the makeup mentioned in this post! Follow me on Instagram! @g_beauty_blog

G Beauty

About Me

Bonjour à tous!

My names Gweni and I am a Law with French student, currently on my year abroad in Strasbourg! Makeup has been a passion of mine for a long time and I decided to finally make a blog so that I can share all my thoughts with you on the internet.

Makeup is just my hobby, I do not have any qualifications in the makeup industry and so I guess you could call me "self taught". Everything I post on here is my own opinion, I am not at all sponsored so if I say a product is good - I genuinely think it's good.

Please feel free to comment and hope you enjoy my blog.
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