Saturday, 16 April 2011

Roxie Reviews: ELF Cosmetics

Recently I purchased five products from the £1.50 range of ELF Cosmetics online. I was really impressed with the website, the delivery and the majority of the products considering their price. For £1.50 you can't really go too wrong! The delivery was was £2.95 (not £2.50 like I said in the video) so that really wasn't too bad either.

For my nails I tried the Matte Finisher nail polish; I haven't tried any matte nail finisher before so I thought I'd give it a go and I was thoroughly impressed. I've had it on my nails a couple of days now and the shine has turned from matte to satin but anything that is matte will gain a shine with wear. I would definitely try this shade again.

I had been warned away from their foundations and powders by a friend, and for £1.50 I think I'd give them a miss anyway because good foundations tend to need to be expensive anyway. I toyed between their Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder and their All Over Color Stick. In the end I went for the Color Stick in Golden Peach and truth be told, I wish I'd gone for the bronzing powder. Although the pigmentation of the Color Stick was good it just wasn't right for my skin tone at the moment, and would have suited a more olive skin tone or holiday skin. However, they do do other shades - pinks, highlights, and plums - so I might give those a go when I get more money.

Moving onto eyes I was disappointed that ELF don't do a single eyeshadow - apart from their mineral range, priced at £3.00 - and instead you have to buy a duo, trio or quad selection. I went for a quad of the Brightening Eye Color because I wanted a bit of colour in my mini-haul. 'Punk Funk' certainly didn't disappoint! I was amazed that eyeshadows at around 38p each could be so pigmented! From just swiping them on my hand without a primer I was so impressed with the colour pay off. I've yet to wear them on my eyes so I don't know how long they will last but hopefully they'll be amazing.

I bought two lip products: one lipgloss and one liquid lipstick. The Hypershine Lipgloss in Vixen has just enough tint to have an effect on your lips, it's long wearing and quite moisturising. The range of colours for this product from ELF is also really extensive so there is sure to be a colour to suit everybody. However, the Luscious Liquid Lipstick was really disappointing. Traditionally a lipstick is much more colour pigmented than a sheer lipgloss, but this one from ELF has so little colour in it, regardless of what the website advertises. The image of the colour I chose (Ruby Slipper) shows a highly colourful deep red, but when I applied it to my lips it barely made a difference! So, for the lips I would definitely get the lipgloss again in varying shades, but I will keep well away from!

In my opinion ELF is well worth a visit, but beware, it's quite a lucky dip with what you'll get! But for £1.50, you're not exactly breaking the bank if you decide you don't like it, are you?

Here's my youtube review of my products so you can actually see them!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Changing Colours of My Hair

Friends, family and people I just generally know always comment on my hair. It has seen many a colour in its nineteen years of existence ranging from it's natural colour (ew), to dark brown, red and almost white. This morning I rebleached my hair, thus commencing my third term as an unnatural blonde. It made me think: how many colours have I actually had? So, sit back, get a cuppa because this is probably gonna be a long one, and enjoy as I take you on a magical, mystical tour of the ever changing thing that is my hair.

First up we have the natural hair, cue sick bags. This picture was taken at my prom in the summer of 2008, but it had already been through two drastic changes...

First I took the stupid decision aged 14 that I know longer wanted beautiful blonde hair so bought myself a bottle of cheap brown hair dye which basically resulted in a phase in my life that I refuse to look at photos from.

Oh it's so bad! Apologies Tiff :P

So when I realised what a disgusting mistake I had made I went to the hairdressers to have it highlighted. This is the first, and only time, I have been to the hairdressers to have my hair dyed. It suited me at the time, and I like the look on other ladies, but it's too much up keep for me!

Christmas 2006

That soon grew out and cue the first picture from prom. It was back to natural hair for me but that didn't last long! In the summer of 2008 I dyed my hair bleach blonde. However, the silly person I am didn't lighten my hair first so it resulted in a disgusting bright orange which only calmed down in the next few dyes. This, thankfully, was never documented on camera! I kept the platinum blonde until about March 2009 so I guess it's the hair colour I've kept the longest and the one I always return to.

Photo thanks to Hollie Calton

From the platinum blonde I tried to go brown again but the blonde underneath peeped through quickly. I suppose it looks like my professionally highlighted? This look really didn't last long, about six weeks I think.

For some strange reason after that I thought red hair would suit me. It was a dark red, granted, and I'm still not sure if it suited me. But, I think the fuss afterwards to get my hair back to blonde - via ginger - was too much and I highly doubt I will ever go back there.

Then, oh God then, then came the ginge! I had tried to neutralise the red by adding a dark ash blonde to it (the grey tones in ash are supposed to compensate the red tones) but alas, the result was ginger. The ginger stuck around for a long time too but not on purpose! I think I was a ginge - or strawberry blonde as I insisted at the time - for about six months whilst I battled to get my hair blonde again before finally giving in and reaching for the bleach.

This is my Yvette Fielding phase...never again

Then in March 2010 I realised there was only thing for it: Bleach! I reached for the bottle (of hair dye, things weren't that bad with my hair!) and a voila I was a blonde again!

For a brief phase in my platinum blonde of 2010 session I added a splash of colour! I had two streaks of pink in my hair and loved having them! I fully intend on putting them back in once my current hair is white enough!

With the cold nights drawing in my summer blonde hair didn't seem right so once again I went dark. I probably liked it for about a month and then I thought "Nah, I really want my blonde back now." even though I'd had lots of lovely comments on my dark hair.  It started off really dark, almost black, and then, due to the bleach, it faded and faded.

Then it faded. And yes, I had sniffed the sherry in this photo

And now we reach today! I'm blonde again! It's brassy but give it time!

What will be next I wonder? Hopefully I'll stay a blonde for a long time!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Conformity Police Are Out to Get Me!

Currently I'm sat at my dining room table (although I'd love to be outside!) with Poirot on in the background - he's just getting to the whodunnit bit - and I am perfectly content. This is why I realise that, although I love being a student, I really do love homelife, the south coast and being surrounded by people that do not conform to popular society.

Within ten minutes of being off the train I was with fellow vintage ladies at the Vintage Hair Lounge, Classy Chassis and Catherine Wright from Hepwright's Vintage Emporium - I will explain why I was there in another blog, but I think it will be very exciting! And let me tell you! I have truly missed being in an environment where people are not told "Oh...that's not from Topshop, is it?" or "Why do you were that and not things that normal people wear?"! I was wearing just my Freddie's of Pinewood dungarees and black boots with my hair tied up in a blue headscarf - so the regular attire for when I can relax at home - but I was still being complimented on my appearance and did not stand out from the crowd.

At 6'+ I stand out in most crowds - except at family gatherings where I am surprisingly short - and I am really self consious about it. I was bullied as a child for being so tall and lanky and I think the damage has stuck with me throughout my teenage years, and I fear it will be with me forever. In addition to the whole height issue, I have choosen to wear clothes that are not the norm, are not usually from the highstreet, and are rarely seen worn by other people on a daily basis - who else has a rockabilly in the office?  I think other stereotypes are becoming more accepted but rockabilly/vintage is still a little marmite to society (by that I mean you either love it or you hate it). But all the comments have started to get to me and towards the end of the second semester I found myself completely giving up on vintage clothing and styling (even my rolled fringe disappeared!) and mentioning it in conversation because I was so fed up of being shot down or being told I was weird.

As well as this, maybe its the fact that we were new students desperate to find friends that we just clustered to the first people we met. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the girls I live with, but even they are judgemental on the way I dress and my lifestyle at home. I think these comments are the ones that cut the deepest because they are the people I am closest too whilst being so far from home. However, Liverpool as a city is a city that has its own independent style and anyone who doesn't wear it is a foreigner to Merseyside. It is there that I get odd looks, points, and even comments muttered under the breath and these cut me too. I know a lot of you will be screaming "So what?!" but I really am that self concious and perhaps a little paranoid of being different or judged.

I did not want this blog to be a self-pitying entry but the subject has been weighing me down. So, I will take these three weeks at home to wear whatever I like before returning to the judgemental place I call university and going undercover to protect myself from the conformity police that are coming to get me! And I truly hope they never catch me because I really don't want to be average!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Pink Springtime Inspired Make Up

Spring is here! Yay! So here is my tutorial on a springtime inspired look using pretty pinks!


Products Used:

- Urban Decay's Primer Potion
- Rimmel SpecialEyes in 'Moonstone'
- Urban Decay's eyeshadow in 'Sphynx'
- Urban Decay's eyeshadow in 'Fishnet'
- MAC's eyeshadow in 'Star Violet'
- Barry M's kohl pencil in 'Black'
- 17's Blushed in 'China Pink'
- Model's Own Lip & Cheek Tint in 'Rouge Blush'

Friday, 1 April 2011

1930s Drama for 2011 Television

Over the last three and a half months the BBC has treated it's audience to not one, not two, but three dramas set in the 1930s. I had originally wanted to publish this post after the last episode of South Riding but I never got around to it (oops!) but when the latest 1930s based drama, 32 Brinkburn Street, came to an end it was the perfect excuse! Personally, I've loved that this often overlooked decade has been shown to the public, portraying all different areas of Britain and different social statuses too.

At Christmas the long awaited Upstairs, Downstairs was televised - cue online battles between Upstairs, Downstairs fans and Downton Abbey - and I loved it! The cast was glamourous, the script entertaining and the storylines covered serious issues of the time - like the chauffeur Harry Spargo (played by the delicious Neil Jackson) and Lady Persie's (Claire Foy) involvement with the British Union of Fascists - whilst making them relevant to today. I'm so glad it was recommissioned for a full series after the three part taster, and I can't wait to see what's to come for the Holland's and their troupe of servants!

Next came the dramatisation of Winifred Holtby's 1936 novel South Riding. Set in a backwards South Yorkshire town, it sees the transformation of the inhabitants with the arrival of the heroine, Sarah Burton, played by Anna Maxwell Martin. I must admit I've never read the book (although it is now on my very long, ever growing list) but the BBC's portrayal was very interesting. However I felt it was a little rushed, especially in the third, and final, episode, and left me feeling "Oh, was that the end?". Perhaps if it had been divided into more episodes it would have been better? Still, it was an interesting drama, showing the hardships of the decade in reflection to the still rather lavish life lived by those Upstairs in Upstairs Downstairs.

Finally we have the afternoon drama shown this week entitled 32 Brinkburn Street. The show is split between 1931 and 2011, and follows the lives of Frank Ogilvie and his family in both eras. The storyline in 1931 is a little far fetched - so perfect for an afternoon viewing with a cuppa tea and slice of cake! - and include a bricked up corpse of a murder victim (but who is it!?) and an Irish man on the run who has an affair with his landlady. The writers cleverly connected the two eras with similar characters, like elderly relatives that feel unwelcome, teenagers growing up, and fathers struggling with various addictions. The show was strangely addictive, if a little cheesy, but it was a nice depiction of everyday 1930s life - although I don't think my family ever had as much drama in their lives as the Ogilvie's!

So, with the award winning King's Speech and the BBC's influx of 1930s shows, can it be said that the 30s is the decade for 2011? I hope so! I truly hope so!