Since my last post about youtube channels, I’ve realized I didn’t really cover all my favourites. There are so many other channels I love! And they deserve attention as well. So here are some more!
TophCam This channel is run by a skincare aficionado named Chris, and he does very thorough and frequent reviews of the things he’s using and trying. His approach is spiritual and serene without being fluffy.
MissEffortlesslyChic This is a little different for me – a channel dedicated to natural and organic beauty. I’m not interested in these kinds of product in general, in fact I’m a huge skeptic – but I really like these reviews. Plus, her dry sense of humour is really funny.
Stephanie Nicole I suspect most people follow her already, but I absolutely adora Stephanie Nicole’s channel. She’s the most thorough reviewer I’ve seen – her videos are long and info-dense, with spreadsheets and everything. Her takedown of J*ffree St*r is legendary.
VintageOrTacky I think this is the channel I’ve been following for th e longest time out of the ones I’ve featured. It’s run by a girl called Cora who does primarily beauty-related videos with both skincare and makeup, with reviews, tutorials and swatches. Once in a while there’s a plus-size fashion video as well!
Rian Phin Not stritcly a beauty channel, Rian does a lot of personal,cute & casual videos featuring everything from thrifting guides to beauty reviews and funny anecdotes from their life. I really love their personality too, and they have many interesting critical perspectives on things like consumer ethics and feminism.
Ok, so now I think I’ve listed all my favourites. If you have a channel you like – maybe one that isn’t super well known already – please let me know!
When I first saw these palettes on social media, I knew I was going to buy this one. I’m extremely tired of nudes, and was on the hunt for bold, bright colours. This is part of the ‘Cover Shot’ collection which features 7 different eyeshadow palettes, most of which are pretty neutral.
The actual packaging is very simple, bare-bones. It doesn’t feel super sturdy but it makes up for it by being really small. It’s basically the size of an iPhone 5, a godsend for people like me who don’t like unnecessary bulk. Isn’t the point of a palette to have several colours in a portable format? I also like that the back has the names clearly labelled with a pan layout.
Inside are these bright matte rainbow shades – red, orange, yellow, blue and violet. The larger pans at the top are so-called “transformer” shades, sheer shadows with one being a pearlescent light pink and the other a blue-brown with teal shimmer.
From left is ‘Fling’,’Wait,What?’,’Bolt’,’Sellout’,’Poolside’ and ‘No shame’ with ‘Techno’ and ‘Stormy’ on top. I’d argue these are not only organized by shade, but by quality as the red is amazing and the purple is garbage.
Here’s a hand swatch (without primer) – as you can see the purple is really patchy while the warmer shades are smooth and evenly pigmented. Across the board, these are very powdery so they kick up a lot when you put a brush to them, and there’s a lot of fallout as well. They’re definitely workable, but take a little more time to get to cooperate. The shimmer shades are significantly smoother, as is the norm.
Here’s a look I did using all the matte shades to do a kind of rainbow look. I found the warm shades much easier to work with than the cool shades, and I think that comes across in how each eye looks as well. The green was all right, but the blue and purple really frustrated me. I found the cool shades also had much more fallout. I think this palette would be good for people looking to experiment with bold shadows without having to hunt down individual pans or shell out absurd amounts, but if you’re looking for something user-friendly I wouldn’t recommend it. For this look I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, and found the shadows wore without creasing for 8 hours.
I’m happy I bought it because I really like having these strong colours on hand (and I like that the pans are small!), but in the future I’ll probably put my trust in Sugarpill for bright mattes.
THE RUNDOWN Price: $29/29.5EUR Size: 6.2g/.21oz Pros: Unique colours, very compact. Warm shades perform really well. Cons: Inconsistent quality, price by weight isn’t that competitive. Repurchase? Overall, I like this palette for its format and colour range more than its quality. If a comparable product with higher quality was accessible to me, I’d get that instead. So no, I wouldn’t repurchase.
For the past three years, I’ve been wondering if I have a lip balm addiction. I always keep one on me and usually keep a backup in all of my bags, and even keep count of how many tubes I have used up during the year. Though we’re only two thirds through February, I’m about to finish my sixth balm. In 2016, I managed to finish approximately 36 tubes (I say approximately because I don’t count lost and unfinished tubes and if I use the bigger metal pots, I count them as two or three tubes.) As for what I’m using right now, I’m using Dr. Lip Bang’s Lip Freak Buzzing Lip Balm in Atomic Cherry (what a mouthful!). It’s not my favorite brand since it creates a buzzing sensation on my lips, but I’m too dedicated to the cause of finishing each tube to stop.
When Saffron asked me to write for her blog, I was interested in finding out whether addiction to lip balm and other salves for your lip was a real issue or just a bunch of rumors. I was also wondering if it was true that companies put ingredients into their balms that make your lips dry so customers will buy more. Apparently, the answers are yes and no. According to a few articles fromRefinery 29 andNew York Magazine, the action of putting something on is often more of a psychological need than a physical need. As of right now, both dermatologists and psychologists are up in the air about whether to label over-use of lip balm as an addiction or not.
A lot of people who frequent Lip Balm Anonymous, an online forum for people who struggle with lip balm addiction, describe their use as a euphoric sensation, a crutch, or a necessity. These people will panic if they do not have something to cover their lips, which does sound like an addiction, but in reality, the body doesn’t physically demand it. I know in my situation, I immediately want to put on a new layer of balm as soon as I can tell my lips do not have any residue on them. Because of this, people constantly ask me if I eat the tube or pot that I am currently using. Of course, I laugh over it and say no and roll my eyes—I guess frequent users of lip balm always get this question.
Getting back to urban legends revolving around chapstick: point blank, companies do not use addictive additives or ingredients that make your lips dry. If you do find a product drying, chances are you are having an allergic reaction and that’s why your lips feel dry instead of more hydrated. Of course, when you first put on the balm, your lips feel better because there’s some moisture on it, but if you wake up in the morning and your lips are feeling crusty or chapped, it’s most likely because you’re having a small allergic reaction.
A lot of people are allergic to castor oil, vitamin E, lanolin, fragrances or flavor, and even beeswax Just because one product makes your lips feel weird, doesn’t mean that all brands will. Compare ingredients until you pinpoint what it is that makes you react. For instance, I’m a huge Burts Bees fan, but I know their hydrating (coconut and pear flavor) balm actually dries out my lips more than any other Burts Bees product, doing the opposite of what it’s intended to do. I didn’t stop using all of their products, just the one that causes irritation.
In general, when I buy balm, I try to buy from local sellers. I’ve noticed homemade balms work the best since most of their ingredients are natural and are usually less irritating. Also, they’re cheaper and have fewer ingredients to track down. If I’m talking corporate, I will buy Burts Bees (of course avoiding the aforementioned hydrating pear and coconut flavor).
I also adore the small Baltimore, Maryland company,Buttered Buns Studio. Some of their products are inspired by pop culture which can be a little cheesy; usually, I just stick to their lip balm. Their balms are incredibly soft and they smell great too. Their mix of a breathable feeling on my lips yet with a fun and not overpowering flavor and scent is something I really appreciate. Whenever I see them at events, I always stock up. I’m not picky though, I’ll use children’s cartoon merchandise balm if that’s what’s given to me, as long as it isn’t a flavor like chocolate or bubblegum. Even as a kid, I avoided Lipsmacker-type flavors like that.
No matter what, people are going to argue that some companies put ground up glass in their product, or that an brand will make their lips drier. As we’ve all just read, it’s about allergic reactions more than anything else. Trial and error is your friend in this situation and find what works best for you. Ignore these people, and remind yourself that you probably have the better lips than them because you know the facts. That’s what I do, and look where that brought me: writing an article on my overuse of lip balm.
Having a bad day while in walking distance of a Chanel counter has proven to be risky to say the least. I was only supposed to buy one thing, but I bought three (Two eye stylos, which I will review in a separate post). Oops.
My main object of desire was the Rouge Allure Ink liquid lipstick. Now, I’m not a fan of liquid lipsticks, I think they’re both unglamorous and uncomfortable (unusually it’s one or the other, not both!). But I am a fan of Kristen Stewart. She looks really hot in the ad! And the formula sounded promising. So there.
I picked ‘Experimenté’ which is the darkest shade, a deep blue-based red. Can I just say that the packaging is awesome? It’s a frosted glass bottle with a black plastic cap that has a metal bezel at the top, engraved with the Chanel logo. Super fancy and luxurious to say the least. The applicator is a slim doefoot, pretty standard for liquid lip products.
The actual product is a fairly thin liquid, I wouldn’t say it’s as watery as ink but it’s on the thinner side as far as liquid lipstick goes. Not mousse-like at all. In many ways it’s completely different from your run-of-the-mill matte liquid lip. I appreciate that, Chanel. The application is pretty foolproof – lip lines can be a little tricky with a doefoot, but this actually works really well with a lip liner. (I use a cheap nyx one with this. scandalous.) The colour is even and dense, I have basically no complaints about the formula. Best of all? No scent. No taste. Just colour. Halleluja, Amen.
In terms of wear time, Rouge Allure Ink is pretty standard and compares to a regular matte lipstick. It wears off in a flattering way, not crusty or dry-looking, it fades more like a stain. This won’t survive a sand-blasting like a normal matte liquid lipstick, so you will need to reapply after eating. I think reapplying lipstick is chic so I don’t mind that at all.
By the way, you can use a lip liner as a base for this to alter the shade – I darken mine slightly with a burgundy lip pencil, but you could just as well warm it up by using a more yellow-red base or lighten it with pink.
This is one of the better liquid lipstick formulas I’ve tried – comparable to the Armani Lip Magnet (which I’m actually going to marry once the law allows) but with cuter packaging and a less practical applicator. I’m curious to see how the Sephora lip “stain” compares to my two luxury favourites (would there be interest in a comparison or dupe post? I have several product dupes in different categories and thought I might do a series. Let me know.)
THE RUNDOWN Price: $37/35.5EUR Size: 6ml/0,20oz Pros: Intensely and evenly pigmented, pretty packaging, comfortable, wears nicely Cons: Expensive, conventional shade range Repurchase? I would! Armani’s version is a tiny bit better in my opinion, but the Chanel packaging is cuter. That’s how shallow I am.
When you get too anxious to function, the best way to calm down is to distract yourself with a simple task that takes concentration, but not too much, and puts you in contact with your physical self. For me, that’s a beauty routine, like skincare or makeup. I’ve talked about it before and I’ll be talking about it again probably.
One particularly bad evening led me to try a colour combo that I love – red and lilac. Red and pink is the colour scheme of the hour, but I think red looks good with lilac as well (and turquoise! and chartreuse!) so here’s what I came up with.
I wanted to try an eyeliner from colourpop that I’ve had for ages but never had occasion to use, and it turned out to have dried out a lot. It just crumbled and fell off even after using a face mist to soften it with. Boo. I managed to get down a base layer at least.
I tried scraping off a layer of liner to see if the bottom of the product was still useable. Barely. Maybe it’s the formula, or the fact that this is over a year old. The colour is “Cry Baby”. Either way, I put a soft wash of Sugarpill Love+ eyeshadow and then put the Colourpop liner over it.
I used some MAC Blush in Full Of Joy on my cheeks and topped it with Hippo highlighter, also from Colourpop. Since the liner was impossible to work with I ended up using a L’Oreal colour correcting palette and it worked just fine, but probably won’t be longwearing. I haven’t tried using the concealers as actual concealers, but I’ll probably try them as creme shadows or even blushes. I like the texture but the colour range is silly.
Then I used a NYX Colour Mascara in Forget Me Not on both lashes and brows – this doesn’t really show in the photo but was VERY purple in real life. The foundation I’m wearing is Apoliva Foundation (reviewed here) and the lipstick is Chanel Rouge Allure Ink in Experimente (which I’ll be reviewing shortly.) I think it turned out pretty nice despite product mishaps and it definitely made me feel better!
Youtube is undeniably the platform of choice for beauty blogging these days, and there are many beauty channels I love. There’s a tendency for hyperbole, illegal marketing techniques, drama and 700 identical neutral cut crease eye looks which can be really tiring, which is why it’s all the more lovely to see people breaking the mold.
I don’t know what’s happened to her, she hasn’t updated her channel in years. I hope she’s in good health. Either way she was one of the first youtubers who introduced me to sensible skincare, all her videos are so well-researched and informative without being difficult to understand. I miss her a lot.
Meghal & Natasha
These twins make some of the chicest, most contemporary and well-shot makeup videos I’ve seen and I’m more or less in love with everything they make. Very editorial-style makeup that you don’t see a lot elsewhere.
Speaking of hyperbole, this drag queen is a hero and voice of reason in a sea of “YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE!!!!!” with videos about politics and activism mixed with makeup tutorials and everyone’s favourite – the Anti-Hauls.
Everyone’s skincare role model more or less, Caroline Hirons is the benevolent queen of the skincare blogosphere. Not the most frequently updated channel but she’s a good one. I love her no-nonsense attitude and sense of humour.
Kaya has a channel with about equal parts makeup and skincare, and is very knowledgeable and clear in what she expects from a product. I like the romantic aesthetic of her makeup looks and share much of her skincare philosophy.
Probably the only “big” youtuber I follow at this point, her channel is more lifestyle than beauty and she just comes off as a really sweet and genuine person. Plus she and her boyfriend both have amazing taste which I really appreciate.
Also a pretty “big” youtuber, Jackie Aina is not only a very skilled makeup artist, she has a hilarious sense of humour and is never afraid to criticize brands when they act foolish. Her “trends we’re leaving behind” videos are the funniest things I’ve seen, probably.
Mei has a really cute aesthetic with a lot of soft colours, gentle music and sweet makeup looks. She’s also really funny and kind of foulmouthed which I love.
There’s an undeniable link between cosmetics and food. Going through my own collection, I find items shaped like, named after and scented like food – primarily sweets and fruits. I have a lip gloss that looks like a cupcake, and nearly every lip product I own smells like vanilla or toffee. The NYX Butter Glosses, which I’ve mentioned before, smell like the caramel syrup you put on ice cream, and all the colours are named after desserts like Black Berry Pie or Strawberry Parfait. I use a lip scrub that looks and smells like strawberry jam, even including little strawberry seeds as the exfoliating grit. You can buy Lip Parfait, Body Butter, Shower Jelly, Milk Chocolate Bronzer, Cheek Soufflé, Pudding Tint, Wine Lip Stains and the list goes on. Companies pride themselves on scenting products to evoke peaches, root beer and even lemon cake and advertise said scents as part of the appeal and profile of their items. Debra Merskin found, in a study of lipstick colour names, that food-related colour names were by far the most common among the 1700+ products analysed. Bite Beauty, a lipstick brand that advertises that all its ingredients are food-grade, has recently launched a lipstick formula named Amuse-Bouche where every single shade is named after food- over 40 lipsticks with names like Sorbet, Kale and Cotton Candy.
Furthermore, editorials and promotional photos often use food as a theme, cementing the link between beauty products – applied topically – and food that is ingested. Makeup is photographed as food, and food is photographed as makeup. And if that’s not enough for you – why not cookie cutters shaped like nail polish bottles, cakes with fondant makeup bag decorations and molecular gastronomy tools that let you make edible lipsticks. There’s even a youtube channel where a girl makes various “edible” makeup products – food items that look like beauty blenders or eyeshadows. Foundation shades like caramel or vanilla or coffee names your very skin an item of consumption – I’m sure there’s something to be said here about the link between the male gaze and female body as object for male pleasure.
Certain brands, the ones that have more overtly feminine profiles, feature food themes constantly – Too Faced for example. They have blushes shaped like chocolate boxes, eyeshadow palettes shaped like chocolate bars and even palettes inspired by peanut butter and jelly or peaches. Korean brands like Etude house and Tony Moly feature similar lines, Etude House being girlier with cookie and chocolate themed items and Tony Moly featuring everything from eggs and tomatoes to coffee cups and mangos. Food even features as an ingredient – there’s actual cocoa powder in certain Too Faced products, actual eggs in Tony Moly products, and many other brands include things like honey, goat’s milk, citrus fruits or tea. Brands like The Body Shop and SkinFood feature food items as central ingredients in their entire product lineup, from face masks to body lotions.
Despite all this, food and eating is still a difficult topic for women. A lot of us have a complicated relationship to food, eating, our appearance and our self-worth, often denying ourselves that slice of cake because we’re “watching our weight”. Turning a tool for our own beautification into an ersatz source of nourishment makes the whole ordeal rather ironic. You can apply sugar to your lips to scrub them smooth and plump, but that sugar mustn’t enter your mouth. A dessert may be applied topically, never ingested – the title of this blog post was found in an image promoting a cosmetics company!
This shatters the dreamy ideal of cute, light-hearted sweetness that permeates beauty culture, reminding us that we must deprive ourselves of the pleasure and nourishment that is eating in order to become our most beautiful self. Evoking sweets and treats through packaging, naming, and scenting a product is in a way the only acceptable form of contact with those forbidden calories. We’re encouraged to consume, but never at the expense of our waistlines. Lipsticks are ok, but that serving of fries strictly off limits. But then, of course, no form of female consumption is ever truly accepted – they want us to do it, sure, but we’ll always endure ridicule for it. If we’re not allowed food, then at least we can buy makeup – but wait, that makes us stupid and vain. As if that vanity wasn’t forced on us. As if we could disregard our appearance and go unpunished. So, at the end of the day, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t anyway!
So I say this: have the lipstick AND the fries. You can, and should, have your cake and eat it.
Whether you’re discussing the American “Flapper”, the French “Garconne”, the Japanese “Moga” or the German “Neue Frau”, the new woman of the 1920s has become a fixed, international symbol of her time. With her bobbed hair, heavily made-up face and slim figure, the new woman met your gaze from the magazine covers, print ads, movie posters and satire drawings of any major city.
The most conspicuous and – in the eyes of men – often very controversial sign of the new woman was her appearance. From the rich waterfall of curls, tightly-laced corsets and long skirts that both concealed and exaggerated her figure the new woman took scissors in hand to cut both hair, hemline, and corset laces. Necklines deepened, colours intensified and silhouettes streamlined. In stark contrast with the soft and gentle beauty ideal of the turn of the century, the woman of the Jazz age was sharp, bold and blunt in both appearance and character. The time of child-bearing hips and ample bosoms was past. The new body (which, as always, was shaped by clothing and not vice versa) was to-the-point, just like the interior decor, literature and architecture in the new, rational world.
As radical as the change in body and clothing was the transformation of a woman’s face. Colour cosmetics were now an accessible fashion item, no longer limited to fallen women and morally questionable actresses. Powder, rouge and lipstick was delivered in new, practical and fashionable packaging that could easily be kept in a handbag for daily touch-ups. By nightfall, a cake of rouge or a miniature lipstick could just as simply pop into a fashionable bracelet or be attached to a stocking welt to be accessed at the bar counter or even on the dance floor. To apply makeup in public was no longer frowned upon in the way it had before, when beauty products had been limited to your bedroom vanity. This private sphere was invading the masculine public sphere – women powdered their noses on the tram, the dance floor, and at the café. In addition, an elegant powder compact was a symbol of feminine status, a sought-after fashion item.
Here, in contrast to previous ideals, natural beauty had no place – brightly-coloured rouge and lipstick was liberally applied in imitation of the glamorous and exotic faces of movie stars. Makeup, which during this time period would enhance eyes with mascara and kohl, became a method of expression in direct defiance of past idealized womanhood.
Like most modernities, the new woman was not an uncontroversial figure. Criticism often originated with several political ideas, such as the conservative voice that criticised the New Woman’s masculine qualities. Men in particular were distressed by the boyish silhouette and short hair of their female contemporaries, claiming it as unflattering and downright ridiculous. The androgynous nature of fashion in this era gave inspiration to many a caricature and satirical cartoon that made fun of women’s appearances, often printed in the same magazines using said woman’s likeness in advertising and fashion spreads.
These negative responses show us a form of male anxiety about the destabilization of patriarchal gender roles and the uncomfortable questions posed by the meshing of male and female gender expression. If a woman can look like a man and move somewhat freely in male territories, what place does the man have, what rights are he entitled to? And consequently: Can men compete with these new, modern women – for work, status, or female romantic partners?
Through revolutionary new technologies like film, more sophisticated photography and effective print methods, images had the ability to spread like they never could before. Culture became increasingly visual, and in the cityscape there were countless surfaces, in home as well as public environments, covered with images. Magazine covers, film posters and adverts all utilized photographs or illustrations to entice the gaze of prospective customers.
A perfect motif, the new woman was used to sell everything from newspapers and amateur cameras to shoes and movie tickets. She was fashionable and desirable to both male and female consumers, and much like the advertising of today, her likeness sold not only products – but a lifestyle. She offered women not only the figure and fashion of the day, but an exciting new world where women were independent, urbane and sexually liberated – if only you purchased the right brand of soap, the right cold cream and right magazine, you could be as modern and attractive as the woman in the ad.
Like any ideal, that of the new woman was difficult to achieve. To be as glamorous as a film star or advert model meant hard work and to no small extent hard cash. Hair grew and needed to be cut, lipstick ran out and needed to be replenished, and clothes went out of style and needed to be replaced. Despite her relative economic independence, most self-sufficient women in the 1920s didn’t live on a generous budget. Not to mention the fact that being fashionable was often expected of female employees – making it necessary to spend money to make money.
Thereby, the new woman was not only a form of liberation but imposed a plethora of new expectations and demands to achieve. To many women, this meant living beyond your means to maintain work and social status. Even without being laced into a physically constricting corset, this new woman had a whole new set of restrictive ideals to achieve through consumption. We have more than we think in common with her – seeing her echo back at us from tube adverts, shop windows and to no small extent the internet of conspicuous consumption. Just like her, we must buy the dream as advertised.
I went to see the Gerda Wegener exhibit at Millesgården in Stockholm with my friend Oli and it was so lovely, I just wanted to crawl into the frame of the paintings and live there! Gerda has come to some attention recently because of her wife and muse Lili Elbe – one of the first trans women to go through medical gender-affirming treatment. She modeled for many of Gerda’s paintings, embodying the “new woman” of the 1920s.
Shiseido is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Rainbow Face Powders they launched in 1917 by re-releasing them as a set in packaging that looks just like the original. As a beauty history fan this is very exciting – but also very expensive at $ 200.
Wanna read a really stilted, marketing-oriented article explaining millenials, beauty influencers and how to market to us mysterious, unpredictable young women? Probably not, but here it is. Trigger warning: Jeffree Star is involved.
INSPO: Spring Pastels (Please god let winter end…)