My Blog List

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Gurus on Youtube

I just wanted to say a few things about something that I've noticed on youtube lately, in regards to "gurus". I am subscribed to several different beauty channels and I am very picky about what I watch. I watch some of the big ones such as Kandee Johnson, Pixiwoo (the first ones I ever watched and still my favourite, if I could only watch one it would be those girls without question), Pixi2woo (Tanya is a close second), and I also watch some not so big ones such as Petjachannel (she's one of my favourites too, I don't nderstand how she's not more popular) and of course I support the Irish gurus like LittleKiva and Siobhan of Letzmakeup (not just cos they're Irish, those girls are brilliant, professional makeup artists). I'm very much attracted to the skills of the artist making the video, and personality helps because I can't stand to watch a video made by someone who doesn't seem to care enough to put an effort in, and equally I don't like OTT bullshit!

One guru who I've started to watch recently, and what came with it is what's prompting me to write this now, is Samantha Schuerman. I, like many others, started off watching her beauty channel. For someone who is not a trained makeup artist I felt she had an amazing knack for makeup, and the more I watched, the more I started to like her as a person. She seems to be such a nice girl, she's quirky in a nice way and can have a laugh about herself. I can't even put my finger on it, I just liked the girl. I learned more about her as I watched her videos too, and this led me to start watching her daily vlogs on her other channel Schuermanshow. I haven't been watching for very long, maybe a couple of months, and to be fair, I liked the little family, I enjoyed watching their videos, but my life wasn't over if I missed one.

When I started watching was around the time of Sam and Jay's (her husband) 2 year wedding anniversary, and they were receiving lots of gifts in the post. I personally found this a bit strange, not so much that Sam and Jay were receiving presents, but more because people actually spent money on this family that were practically strangers to them. Anyway, as time went on, I started to notice a recurring trend in the comments section of their videos - lovers and haters. There are literally fights happening all the time between the 2 groups, it's so extreme that it is actually beyond a joke now. At first I thought it was mental that people seemed to be so offended by the Schuermans (for an array of different reasons, some valid, some ridiculous), but then I was gobsmacked by the people who were jumping to their defense. Nobody could say one remotely negative thing about the Schuermans, no matter how small (sometimes it wasn't even intended to be negative) without getting a torrent of abuse by their "supporters". To be honest, I'm not even going to go into the details of it, too much has been said and done and it's very tiring and time-consuming, not least for the Schuermans themselves.

I understand that when someone puts themselves out there on the internet for people to watch, they're going to face some scrutiny and criticism as well as receiving support and encouragement. And of course everyone is entitled to an opinion, that's what the comments section is for. However, the extremity of the views in regards to the Schuermans has effectively ruined the whole thing. It got so bad that, the other day, Sam herself had enough and decided to shut their channels down, without warning. I personally think that this was the right thing for them to do, but after a couple of days they decided to start a new channel (due to their fans begging and pleading with them to do so). Now I completely get it that they felt they had the support of their fans and were going to start clamping down on internet bullying, because that is what they were dealing with. However, now they are receiving a backlash of a different kind, and Jay in particular seems to be unable to do anything right in their fans eyes. Everything he says is taken the wrong way (God forbid the man wants to defend his family), and he has now said that they will take a break until the new year. Of course he got a backlash for that too.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not the Schuermans #1 fan by any means, and some of the points people made against them I would agree with to an extent. What I don't agree with is attacking a young family from behind a computer screen, for what appears to me to be no good reason. The hatred towards them, and also the adoration people have for them has ruined the whole thing for me, and I bet lots of other people too. The fights, the nastiness, the personal insults - there's just no call for it. I know I've given detail about the Schuermans but in reality, most gurus experience it.

I was recently led to a website called, which is exactly what it says it is. They have a "Trash a Guru" section, with sections for most of the big names in youtube, and the users literally do just that, trash gurus. Most of the gurus on youtube seem to be aware of it, with Sam of Pixiwoo even commenting once to defend herself and Nic (her sister) against stupid accusations. While I reiterate again that everyone is entitled to their opinion, this website is the most disgusting, nasty place on the internet as far as I'm concerned. The claims made against some of the gurus are horrible, spiteful, exaggerated and while some have truth to them, most absolutely do not, and the people who are involved in some of the debates should be ashamed of themselves. Why do people think it's ok to act so disgracefully towards another human being just because it's on the internet? They wouldn't behave like that to someone's face. And I bet the people involved are normal, everyday people who go about their daily business without calling anyone any names or any drama, they probably have friends and family who think they're brilliant. They should stop and ask themselves how they'd feel if the show was on the other foot.

I think the Schuermans should be left to have their Christmas in peace and that goes for anyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there for people to rip apart. I just don't condone bullying behaviour in any form, no matter who it's against - nobody deserves it. Make your point constructively and respectfully and then move on. It's been turned into a whole fiasco and it didn't need to go down that road at all. So what I say is, think about what you say, if there's a need to say it, how you say it, and the age-old saying "Treat people how you like to be treated", then hopefully we can all make the internet and youtube a nicer place to be!

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Skincare

This is a post about skincare over the Christmas period. At this time of year, it's easy to forget about looking after your body but it can be done with a little bit of extra effort! Many of us are going to spend time drinking lots of alcohol, eating too much and not getting enough fresh air, so let's just think for a minute about the little things we can do to stop ourselves getting too run down when all the festivities are over. These are just my own personal tips, and even I will have to pull myself together and make some sort of effort to follow them (I hate when people pretend to practice what they preach!):

1. I can't stress how important it is to at least try to drink some water every day at any time of year (I know I know, heard it all before!), but it's especially important at this time of year because we're drinking a lot more alcohol than usual, and alcohol just really dehydrates your body. It will start to show in your skin, it will appear dull and not so plump (if you gently pinch your cheek between your fingers and it appears dimply, it is probably dehydrated!). Not just your skin though, your body just needs it to keep it going as regular. It's not always recommended to drink fluids with your meals, so I recommended sipping a glass about half an hour before you eat your big Christmas lunch (this has another benefit which I'll mention later!). I usually feel very thirsty if I haven't drank enough water in a couple of days and take this opportunity to knock a pint of water back  - I instantly feel better afterwards. So if the only way you're going to drink it is knocking back a glass when you think of it, go for it! Try to alternate your alcoholic beverages with glasses of water too, even if you only manage a glass or 2 more than usual, it's better than nothing!

2. One thing that's very easy to forget and is very common is taking off your makeup before you go to bed! I can honestly say I DO do this, no matter how many drinks or how tired I am. Because my skin is very blemish/spot-prone and oily, it does me no good at all to sleep in my makeup. Even if you don't have this sort of skin type, it will benefit you so much to take off your makeup. Your skin is at work when you are asleep, it's why we have different products specifically designed for use at night-time, so by sleeping in your makeup you're not giving your skin the best chance to breathe, rest, recuperate. Even from a cosmetic point of view, makeup can sit in your fine lines and wrinkles and exaggerate them, effectively aging you prematurely. So if nothing else, think about that when you come in from a night out and head straight to bed! Even using a makeup wipe to take the bulk of it off will help a bit but I'm usually against them because they just don't work well enough - if you're going to cleanse with a lotion, soap, whatever you use, make sure you do it twice (once removes the day, twice removes the makeup!).

3.In regards to what I was saying about drinking water before your Christmas lunch, or any meal for that matter, a non-skin related benefit it has is to stop you eating so much! It's a well known trick that dieters use to help them lose weight, drinking water fills up your stomach and you won't feel up to eating quite so much! The best thing about it is, the bloating effect is only temporary and surprisingly, drinking water can actually help keep your stomach flatter!

4. Do make sure you get a decent night's sleep, we all have time off over Christmas and use it to your advantage! In saying that, try to have a good balance - if you go to bed late, by all means get your 8 hours, but don't lie in bed all morning and waste your day moping around the house! It's not good for your mind, skin and body to stay indoors all the time (and I know, I spend more time that I'd like to at home on my own :( ). Fresh air does your body so much good, whether it's after the big dinner or you're feeling a bit hungover, maybe go for a little walk. It doesn't have to be a power walk, a little stroll will clear your head, help your food digest and get your lungs breathing fresh air rather than the stale air circulating in many houses (it's too cold to keep the windows open for very long!). You'll find you get a great night's sleep afterwards too, WINNING!

So to wrap up, I know it's easy to get lazy and forget to look after ourselves but even just doing these few things will help and they don't require a lot of time or effort. The tips I've given are very general because it's hard to tailor them to everyone, but you can vary them to suit yourself. Your body and skin will thank you for it in the long run! Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and come out the other side in one piece ;)

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas Party Makeup!

Tis the season to go all out with your makeup!

I LOVE Christmas, for so many reasons, and from a makeup point of view it's one of the best times to try new looks, to go for full-on glamour and, best of all, wear glitter!!!
I'm not a fan of the red and green look though, green eyes and red lips - that's ok for the Christmas tree but I personally think that it's a bit old-fashioned and not very complimentary, I most definitely cannot pull it off (and I'm not afraid to try!). However, I do love rich green smokey eyes, and my advice would be to compliment them with soft, peachy cheeks and lips.
J.Lo Does it beautifully!
                                                                                          Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes

The key thing with this look is a good eyeshadow base. Preferably this base would be a very similar colour to the eyeshadow used, as this will add intensity and dimension, but this is not essential. If you don't have a base the same colour, you can just use your usual eye primer or base, as long as it has little or no colour, then gradually build up the colour by patting the eyeshadow on with a flat, synthetic brush if you have it - it also may be a good idea to apply your foundation afterwards in case of fall-down, but by patting the colour on this shouldn't be a huge problem.
I also recommend applying a lighter colour to the inner corners of the eyes to brighten them as this is quite a dark and intense colour. This can be a shimmery white with silver or gold undertones, or even a shimmery gold would be stunning! This look needs lots of eyeliner and mascara to balance it, and if you're comfortable applying and wearing false lashes, go for it! Another point is, you can use these tips to apply any intense colour such as purple, navy or even bronze/gold.

A hugely popular look this season is the cat-eye flicked eyeliner, and I think this look can be built up and worn very intensely on the eyes with the rest of the face being kept subtle, or keep the eyeliner quite minimal and neat and wear it with red lips!
Bobbi Brown, Mac and Clinique are just some of the brands who do brilliant gel or cream eyeliner pots - you can use an angled or a small pointed eyeliner brush to apply it. If you're not too confident applying eyeliner this way, I'd recommend using an angled brush to start out and maybe use a black eyeshadow first to plot out where you're going to apply the gel eyeliner. To get the angle right, look down into a mirror or tilt your head back so your eyelids are lowered (because your eyes are looking down) and starting at the outer corner of the eye, follow the angle of your lower lashline and direct it towards the end of your eyebrow. Practice makes perfect and remember, it's only makeup and it can be fixed!

For the red lips, I advise applying a lip primer or balm first, even a few minutes before you start your makeup to give it a chance to sink into the lips. Lipliner is a must for red lips, use it to line the lips and define their shape - it can be applied slightly outside the natural lipline to make them look fuller as darker colours can make the lips look smaller - and then fill in the lips with the lipline; this acts like a stain so when your lipstick wears off, it won't be nearly as noticeable. Apply your lipstick and follow with a gloss if you like, or for an alternative twist on the look, after applying your red lipliner, apply a darker red/burgundy lipliner in the corners of the lips and all the way around to give a 3D effect, and fill in the centre of the lips with a matte/cream lipstick to give a velvety effect. Keep the cheeks sculpted with a matte bronzer or shader and add very little colour, maybe just a tiny hint of pink on the very apples of the cheeks. Highlight the cheek and brow bones and even down the nose and above the upper lip if you like, but don't go too mad if lots of photos will be taken! If you're feeling really brave, you could even add some glitter to your eyelids for extra sparkle and glamour - Barry M do an amazing white Dazzle Dust with gold undertones and it's such good value!

So, with all that in mind, remember to try new things but be comfortable, if it's way out of your comfort zone then don't wear it, it could ruin your night! Keep it balanced, make sure your skin is flawless and add a little contouring to make sure you look your best (if you're not sure about contouring, check out Pixiwoo's tutorials on youtube, they're so informative and easy to follow). Be happy with how you look and make sure your best features stand out and you can't go wrong!

Enjoy everyone, and thanks for reading!


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Soap & Glory - The Fab Pore Facial Peel

I've always been a fan of Soap & Glory products but up til recently I had only really used their shower gels and scrubs (which smell yum and are really good products), so I was interested to see this product as I had never considered using their skincare products before.
This is what it says on the boxThe Fab Pore™ has an intensive pore refining action with our exclusive PORESHRINK-R COMPLEX™. Ideal for greasy, spot prone or problem skin, or for a strategic attack on a misbehaving T-zone.
It contains, among other things; kaolin, a clay which has a "drying-up", antibacterial effect; salicylic acid, well known as a brilliant ingredient for spot-prone skin, and glycerin, a humectant (attracts water), so it stops the skin from drying out too much.
It has a mild, minty fragrance which isn't too strong and is quite refreshing. The product itself is like a thick cream with little blue beads which melt as you massage the product into the skin. It's recommended to use the product on particularly oily areas that have open pores, such as the t-zone, and they say not to rub it too much into sensitive or blemish-prone areas as the product has an exfoliating effect which can cause irritation.
I have been using the Fab Pore as a mask (I don't know why it's called a Facial Peel because it doesn't peel off, maybe it's meant to make you look as if you've had a chemical peel??) and I've been applying it twice a week, it says 2-3 times a week but I don't want it to irritate my spots any more and make them worse than they already are! I will say that I really like the product, my skin feels nice after it and I think it does actually reduce the appearance of my large pores. It has all the ingredients my skin needs and it's nice to use a mask that is ready to use as I usually mix my own masks. I follow it with a sweep of witch-hazel all over my face and a light moisturiser.
I have noticed in the online reviews of the product that it was meant to come with a muslin cloth - mine didn't. I wouldn't pick up a product if I thought someone tampered with it so this could be a fault on the manufacturer's behalf. I personally don't like using muslin cloths as I find they are a bit too rough for my skin and my spots usually get worse after using one, but I still would've liked to get one with this as I paid for it and could've used it for something else!
To sum up, I like the product, I feel it works for me and I'm happy to continue using it, but maybe when I run out I might try a different mask. I can always return to this one if I don't find another one I like!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

How to pick the right Drugstore Foundation

I suffer from very oily skin and mild acne, so I'm always on a mission to find foundation that suits my skin and delivers what it claims to deliver. Lately I've been focusing a bit more on drugstore foundations, because I find it's not always easy to pick a foundation that suits your skin type and tone in a chemist. The lighting is often bad and can cause you to pick up a foundation that you thought suited you, only to get home and find it's too dark/light, too yellow/pink, and they often have ridiculous claims such as eliminating pores or lasting for 25 hours or something like that.
I think the trick is to not take these claims seriously and I highly recommend trying the testers, wearing them out and about for a good while, an hour if possible, and then decide if it's the right one for you. Definitely try 2-3 at a time so you can see which matches the best, because if you have just one tester on, you may think it's a close enough match to your skin but you have nothing to compare it to!
Another tip is, it's not always the best idea to test the foundation on your face and try to match the colour to your face. Your face may be darker or lighter than your neck and chest (the neck on many women is usually lighter as it doesn't get as much sun as the face and chest, your chin and jawline can cast a shadow on it), so I think the best thing to do is to match your foundation to your chest. It can easily be applied to the neck too so everything will match.
I do think that we shouldn't kid ourselves about our colouring either. Obviously a tan is nice to look at and it can make us feel better, but in winter especially, we wear tan less and less, so we need to ensure we're not still wearing the same foundation. If you're a pink tone, accept it; if you are quite pale, accept it; if you have very oily or very dry skin, accept it and use these points to help you pick the right foundation. The opposite is also true - if you like to wear false tan occasionally, your normal foundation may not match and you will need to pick a darker, yellow based foundation. There's nothing worse than looking back on your photos of a great night out and your face is pink and pale in comparison to the rest of your body, and the artificial light we often end up applying our makeup in can be deceiving!
So the point is, read the bottle, check it's got ingredients that either won't affect your skin or may even benefit it (foundation for oily skin should be oil-free and non-pore blocking and foundation for dry skin should contain some sort of moisturiser like glycerin), try the testers and be honest to yourself about what shade/tone suits you, wear a good primer underneath that also suits your skin type and will help it last and you can't go too far wrong.
On that note, here are a few drugstore foundations that I've tried recently and what I thought of them:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation - this is a brilliant foundation for oily skin once you have a good primer underneath, it has good coverage but still maintains a little dewiness, which is nice as most foundations for oily skin have a matte finish, it lasts all dry and doesn't really seem to affect my skin one way or another in terms of oiliness or drying my skin out. I'm wearing this foundation on a daily basis at the moment and so far I've no complaints. One downside of the foundation is it only comes in 8 shades and they seem to be mostly yellow based, so some people may miss out.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation - This foundation claims to be extremely long lasting and sweat-proof; I don't know if that's true but it's still a good, long-lasting foundation all the same. It has a slightly more matte finish so I recommend using a silicone-based primer underneath as it will help the foundation to glide on and blend easily. It has high coverage which is good for my blemish-prone skin, but again, it doesn't have a wide range of shades - only 6 in total.

Max Factor Smooth Effect Foundation - This foundation is oil-free and claims to have a smoothing effect, as the name suggests! I'm not sure if this foundation is great for blemish-prone skin, I bought it because it's oil-free so I knew it wouldn't do anything to make my skin worse. It's a fairly light foundation that doesn't have a lot of coverage, but even so, I like it because it has more of a semi-matte finish so wasn't too drying and it was fairly long-lasting. I think it would be good for normal-oily skin types and for people who don't need a lot of coverage, maybe just some evening-out. Of the 3 foundations I mentioned, it's the worst in terms of colour range - it only has 4 and they seem to all be yellow-based/neutral (nothing pink-based at all!)

So apologies for this blog post being long again but foundation really is something I could talk about all day and I've only scratched the surface of all the different types here! I will say that I have bought all the foundations mentioned with my own money, so my reviews are fair and honest. I don't necessarily like to bash products but when a product is generally good I will mention any small downsides, just so anyone reading this can be fully informed if they go to buy anything I mention!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 26 November 2011

New Blog!

So, I've started up this blog for a number of reasons, and would really like to hear from anyone who is in or has been in a similar situation and how they're dealing with it. Basically, a year ago I made one of the biggest decisions of my life, which was to quit my job to do a makeup course. This was a huge risk as my partner's job was coming to the end of it's contract and the economy in Ireland has been so bad (as I'm sure many people already know), plus the course cost quite a lot of money, so we potentially were going to be in a bad situation if it didn't work out. I got support from my family and friends, I think my mam was especially happy as she always wanted me to go to college and knew I couldn't stick dead-end retail jobs forever (I was especially unhappy in the job I was in at the time). So I went into the course, worked hard, learned a lot, made some friends, got good results and ended up with a diploma in makeup artistry and a cert as a beauty specialist, which I'm quite proud of!

Well, moving on, to say that this last year has been the most eventful of my life is an understatement! After I finished the course I looked for makeup-related jobs and even did a tiny bit of freelance work in my hometown; this didn't go very well as I didn't drive so it wasn't easy to get around, and I didn't have a massive makeup kit (although the case I had was too heavy to carry for more than about 5 or 10 minutes walking), plus as I said, things aren't so great in Ireland so getting your makeup done was a luxury most people couldn't afford. Also, my partner's contract wasn't renewed (which is what we were afraid of but didn't think it'd actually happen!) so were both basically jobless, and life was very tough for a while (not as tough as some people have it, but tough for us, who never had to worry about money before). Then, things just totally changed. My partner, who works in the food science industry and had been looking for jobs nonstop, was offered a job in the UK, which he took.

In the space of about 3 weeks, he had the interview, was offered the job and moved over to the UK ahead of me. We knew that it would be hard to leave our families behind but it definitely was the right thing for us to do. We were apart for 3 months, with just 2 short visits in between, and it was one of the toughest things our relationship has ever gone through. I had to stay behind to sort a few things out, like the house we lived in and getting our things over to the UK. But eventually it passed and in early September I arrived! So that's just a bit of the back story, I don't want to go on about it too much, it just explains how I came to be living in the UK and I hope it explains why I feel the need to start blogging.

So one of the reasons I came here too was because I knew I'd find it much easier to find a job in the makeup industry, and I knew the best place for me to start would be on makeup counters. I know some people may not agree with that but as I explained, freelance didn't work so well for me at the time and I think I'll learn a lot working on a counter. I am trained but I don't think you can ever learn everything there is to know about makeup, techniques and products are changing all the time. But finding a job has not been as easy for me as I thought it would be, I've had a few reality checks. I have had an interview recently but that's all I'm saying about it for now because I don't want to jinx it!

I suppose then, in light of everything I said so far, why I want to blog is, first of all, I know virtually nobody in the UK, and while my partner goes to work, I spend my days job-hunting, watching makeup tutorials, reading blogs and other related things. So I pretty much have nobody to talk about makeup with! My partner tries but he's a man (not saying all men aren't interested in makeup, obviously there are some well known male makeup artists), he wants to watch football and play the playstation! So I'm hoping I'll find some people to chat about it with and also it's just another way for me to vent about it! Another reason is, I think it'll be a more useful, constructive way for me to fill my time.

I know this blog entry is very long but it's my first and I just wanted to give a bit of background, they won't all be this long! The blog itself will be mostly makeup and beauty related, whether that's to do with my new venture into the makeup industry or whether it's product reviews or anything else along those lines. I think I'll also talk a little bit about my new life in the UK too, and what goes on in my day to day life or if anything exciting happens!! I hope to learn a few things so I'm happy to hear any suggestions anyone has (about anything!), and maybe I can give advice to someone who needs it if I've had a problem similar to theirs or whatever, speaking from my own experiences.

So I'll leave it at that for now! Thanks for reading!