Friday, 12 April 2013

Snail Slime

Hi there. I've been recently getting really interested in trying some products that contain snail slime. It could of course be just a gimmick but apparently the mucus of a certain species' of snails contains loads of skin loving ingredients like allantoin and glycolic acid so I feel it could be worth a try. Now loads of people will probably find the idea of putting something that comes from a snail on your skin kind of disgusting, and that's fair enough, but I am not one of them. I bloody love snails and in fact have had their slime on my face before.


Me around the age of 15/16 with some friends.

The problem is that I cannot tell if the slime is collected in a way that is cruelty-free. Obviously it is not vegan friendly and whether or not the actual product I might choose is cruelty-free depends on the company that makes it but I cannot work out if the actual slime is produced under cruel or painful conditions for the snail.   I’ve been trying to research about it but I can’t really find a straight answer. It seems to be basically cruelty-free, the snails aren’t killed or seriously hurt but I’ve heard they ‘agitate’ the snails which could hurt them a bit. Agitation isn't a very specific term, it could mean they are hurt or made uncomfortable but on the other hand it just might mean they are wiggled around a bit or something! If anyone knows more about it please, please let me know.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Just a few funny faces

Hullo everyone. Things are a bit hectic with me at the moment so as usual I am being rubbish with blogging. What a surprise! Lillian being a bit rubbish? Never! :P
Anyway I've just popped on to drop off a few faces, hope you like!

I wore my hair in a pony-tail for the first time in many years:





Behold my incredible lack of jawline!:


I  know I was wearing Sleek Candy Cane on my lips, have forgotten everything else though because I am rubbish.

Here is a photo of the one time I wore makeup on my trip to the arctic circle. There was absolutely no point in me glamming up as I was wearing ridiculous amounts of layers that covered most of my face. My hair looks awesome here though! All I'd done was blowdry it and it turned into a brilliant big mane.


   

Squinting. The sun was bright on the snow!

  

Wearing:
Face: Homemade Conjurers Cosmetics powder foundation, Sleek Pumpkin blush by 3 in Squash
Eyes: a few colours from the Sleek Storm palette, black mascara
Lips: Revlon lip butter in Candy Apple (applied very sheerly)

 And finally some absolutely terrible photos of a really fun glam look! I was drunk and used my phone as a camera hence the terrible terrible shots:








I'm going to redo this look as a tutorial soon because I like it.

How's everyone doing?





Friday, 22 March 2013

Pre-emptive Spring time

So pretty much everyone in the UK is currently getting pissed off at our dismal weather, even me and I usually love winter! But there's too much of a good thing and now I'm bored of being cold and wet and walking through mud and there being no spring flowers! 
Anyway I tried to cheer myself up by dressing in my most Spring-ish outfit and then Claire and I went to Westfields and I ate too much food.

 


Milkshake in Butlers Chocolate Cafe (my home from home)
  

I got photobombed eating my lunch!


Here's a close up of my necklace which is amazing: 

 

Wearing:
Dress: Bernie Dexter
Tights: Asos
Shoes: Clarks
Necklace: Les Nereides





Makeup:
Face: Illamasqua Skin Base foundation in 01, Sleek blush by 3 Pumpkin in Squash
Eyes: MUA Heaven and Earth Palette, Sugarpill eyeshadow in Mochi, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss, Illamasqua Medium pencil in Vow, Black mascara
Lips: OCC Lip Tar in Narcissus

I absolutely love my dress, the print is amazing, it fitted beautifully and I loved that it showed up my super sloping shoulders. The company, Bernie Dexter has a bunch of absolutely beautiful clothes. Unfortunately they've just gone and discontinued all plus sizes. No idea why, they just decided not to make them anymore. So obviously I won't be giving them any more of my fat money! >:(

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Google Reader thingamybob

So you may have seen that google has decided to get rid of it's 'google reader' service. I am a bad bad blogger and don't fully understand what this means so I direct you to these posts which explain it better than I ever could.
Something I am genuinely baffled by is that I honestly don't know if I use google reader! To read the blogs I follow I just log into blogger and then the blogs are all listed there. Is that google reader? 
Sorry I'm a moron.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Barry M Textured Nail Effects Nail Paints

Hi! Today you get a look at my terrible stubby fingernails. I've been trying out these new Textured Nail Effects polishes by Barry M and I really like 'em!


These are pastel coloured polishes with a special gritty effect. The pink is called Kingsland Road, the yellow Station Road, the green Ridley Road and the blue is Atlantic Road.

They retail for £3.99 each but I picked them up at 2 for £6 from Superdrug (at the same time they were at 3 for 2 in Boots which would have saved me about 3p :P If you shop around you can usually find a deal on Barry M somewhere)

Now have a look at them and please ignore my poor ravaged cuticles. I've posted lots of photos to try and show the textured effects.






I don't know if you can see in the pictures but the yellow has a slight shimmer to it, the others are matte.

The effect is very easy to apply, you just paint it on like any polish and the grit gets more pronounced as it dries. Applying it really feels no different from a regular polish either. These photos all show 2 coats of polish over a base coat (they were all nearly opaque in 1 but the extra coat made the grit more defined as well as making it completely opaque). Oddly I found that, though the bottle specifies to use one, the effect is much more pronounced if you don't use a base coat so in the future I probably won't bother with one. I've heard some people say these are a nightmare to remove but I didn't have a problem at all, it's much easier than glitter!

The feeling of these on the nails is an acquired taste. At first I felt really creeped out touching them but then I got a bit obsessed with it! It doesn't feel too gritty, just sort of bumpy, and luckilly they didn't catch on my tights at all. These lasted about 4-5 days before the started chipping, which was pretty good considering you can't really use top coat on them. Oddly the different colours had different rates of chipping, the yellow was the first to go, then green, then blue and finally pink.

Anyway I really like these. I love the easter-egg colours and the gritty texture takes them away from being too pastel and ice-creamy. £3.99 is a good price for a polish but like I said shop around. If you like the effect but are interested in other colours then in the US Milani have just released some (see swatches here at Nouveau Cheap) or Nails Inc have a few but they are much more expensive (still might get the pretty grey one though). What do you think?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Ich Liebe Dich

For Valentines Day I was given a necklace I've wanted for ages, this gigantic Tatty Devine Gingerbread heart. I'm a very lucky girl and wearing it felt like a Bavarian Flava Flav.





Wearing:

Necklace: Tatty Devine
Dress: Topshop
Tights: Can't remember, been in my room for ages
Boots: Old Doctor Martens (They're falling apart. I need a new pair!)

Claire said I looked kind of punky which was not what I planned but oh well. Takes me back to my teenage years.
My huge necklace isn't available anymore but there  is this smaller version here :)



Face: Homemade Conjurers Cosmetics powder foundation, No 7 Ballerina Beauty blush
Eyes: No7 stay precise eyeliner, some colours from the MUA Heaven and Earth palette, black mascara
Lips: Mac Strong Woman lipstick

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Officially Number 2 at funny faces!

 I got an email yesterday from a reader in Spain to let me know that I am FAMOUS!
She was watching a TV program which shows youtube videos and other funny stuff from the internet and one section was a ranking of funny faces and who should appear at number 2 but yours truly!



Apparently  "This is the face you make when your mother tells you that you both share the same cyber-boyfriend" :P In real life I think I was pretending to be a monster.

I can't find it in myself to be annoyed that I've been on TV without giving permission, it's just too stupid and funny!

Thank you very much to Lua for the screencaps and telling me about this!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

50 things about me

Hullo. I've seen this doing the rounds recently, I think it started with the wonderful Charlotte of Lipglossiping, and thought I'd join in because I love writing lists like this and can't find my camera lead so proper blog posts are delayed :P
I must say it was very hard to think of 50 facts but here we go!

1. I can't ride a bicycle.
2. I once won a karaoke competition while drunk singing This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both of Us by Sparks.
3. I can stretch all my fingers backwards at a right angle from my palms. 
4. I couldn't blow bubblegum bubbles until I was 18. Now I love doing it.
5. My favourite colour is the pink of the pink snooker ball.
6. I've lived in London (specifically Merton) my whole life.
7. I have an odd voice. People from other countries usually get that I'm English but other English people often think I'm foreign or at least not a Londoner.
8. I have a fear of going underwater so am not a very strong swimmer.
9. I don't ever want children. I don't like them much and have a phobia of pregnancy. 
10. I absolutely love dancing. I'd like to take classes but I'm too shy.
11. I have a sort-of fear of rubbing flour and butter together.
12. I took German for GCSE instead of French. I can't really speak it at all anymore but I can sometimes translate it to English (I did this for Claire with Herr Lipp in the League of Gentlemen).
13. I collect Mickey Mouse ears and have about 30 pairs.
14. I have a lot of Monster High dolls and mini LaLaLoopsy's.
15. I really like watching bad bad films. Some favourites are Grease 2 (one of my favourite films!), Blood Feast 2, Absolute Beginners, Can't Stop the Music (the village people musical) and The Room.
16. The first gig I went to was part of Blur's Parklife tour when I was about 6.
17. I have a small heart shaped birthmark at the top of my left boob.
18. I have a yo-yo weight problem. I've been as small as a 14 on top 12 on bottom and as big as a 22/20 and everywhere in between.  
19. When I was a small child I wanted to be a lady Farmer like Sophie from the Dick King Smith books. 
20. I mush prefer drinking through a straw than the alternative.
21. I do practically all the cooking in my house.
22. I've been a vegetarian since I was about 8.
23. I'm attracted to skinny and slightly chubby men, I really don't like muscles. 
24. I spend a lot of time making up band names.
25. I have inexplicably managed to become friends with members of 2 of my favourite bands. Now I need to do the same with Ron and Russell Mael!
26. I'm in a band with one of them except we have only come up with our name.
27. When I was little I had a speech impediment that I just grew out of. I couldn't say 'k' sounds so 'duck and snake' became 'dut and snate' or 'l' sounds so 'Lillian' came out like 'Yeeyan'. And I had a lisp.
28. I really like computer games. Some of my favourites are Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy 9, The Sims, Just Dance, Skyrim, Arkham Asylum and various marios, sonics and Zeldas. 
29. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan.
30. My favourite artists include Peter Blake, Manet, Degas, Dr Seuss, Liselotte Eriksson and David Hockney. 
31. I can quote practically the whole of Labyrinth off by heart.
32. I have a small gap between my top front teeth. It used to be a lot bigger and I feel sad now it's so small.
33. My family basically never call me 'Lillian'. It's always 'Squill' or 'Squilly' or similar. 
34. I'm a very fussy eater. I mainly like Italian food and sweets.
35. I don't drink tea or coffee and rarely have fizzy drinks.
36. Possibly a result of this is that I'm a caffeine light weight. If I have a glass of Coke I won't be able to sleep for hours and hours.
37.  I can kick 5 feet in the air. I know this from practicing kicking the top of Claire's head.
38. I have severe social anxiety and depression and also general anxiety and agoraphobia.
39. I don't like being in the dark but find it much better if I close my eyes.
40. I am a huge cry-baby. Everything makes me cry. I even cry when I am really angry which makes arguments awful as people think I'm doing it on purpose.
41. I really like the idea of getting married and having a lovely wedding but I think I'd be too shy and anxious to walk and say my vows in front of people.
42. My Mum and Dad split up when I was a kid but never got divorced because they couldn't be bothered.
43. I have an extreme hatred for spirit mediums such as Colin Fry.
44. I have an obsession with David Bowie. I like doing an impression of him. At one point in my mind he was in the Bratz film.
45. I love Batman but wasn't keen on the Christopher Nolan films (Dark Knight was OK because Heath Ledger was amazing). I love the Tim Burton films, the animated series and The Brave and the Bold best and read the graphic novels but can't get into the actual comic books.
46. I am allergic to pineapple, Kiwi fruit and some sweet ingredient which is in Pear drops and green Jolly Ranchers. If I eat any of them I have breathing difficulties.
47.  As a child John Shuttleworth once threw me a chocolate bar as he feared I had missed my tea because I was watching his show.
48. I've never watched a James Bond film. I plan to see some soon though.
49. I met a Possum while on holiday in Florida and I'm sure he smiled at me.
50. I was dropped on my head just hours after I was born. Luckilly it was only onto a bed.


Where's my medieval knight?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cosmetic Legislation in the UK

A couple of days ago I went on a day course to learn all about the legalities of selling cosmetics in the EU. I found it very interesting and thought, even if you have no intention of ever selling makeup or toiletries, other people might at least like to know the effort brands go to to sell their products.
There's so much information that this is not going to be comprehensive by any means  but it will give you the basic idea of what's required. 
After reading this I think it will make it clear why there are so few indie cosmetic companies operating in the EU! Firstly the costs are prohibitive and secondly there is a hell of a lot of paperwork involved! (and I'm not even going into trading standards or any of that irritating stuff as it's not specific for cosmetics).

OK so while you might think making cosmetics at home would have rules similar to making food products at home it isn't. With food the regulations mostly apply to you (needing to get certificates in hygiene and so on) with cosmetics it mainly applies to the safety of your products with less interest in you. You do however need to make a Good Manufacturing Policy (GMP) which contains information such as where you intend to make your products, how you will ensure proper cleanliness, how you will take efforts to keep supplier information (such as batch numbers of ingredients in case you come across a problem) and so on. This is an official document which you must sign as a promise to comply with what you've written. When Trading Standards check you out they will check out your work area and stuff but I think otherwise you're just trusted to be sanitary (it's in your best interests anyway, noone's going to want to buy from you if they find dirt/hair in your products!)

So as I said the main regulations are surrounding your products, and this is where it gets expensive! Every product you make needs to have the recipe assessed by a cosmetic chemist. Each go will be around £150 but that's an estimate. Now when I say every product I don't mean that if you have a line of moisturisers with the same recipe but different scents they will all have to be tested there's some leeway. You can get away with making moisturisers with different scents and slight changes in ingredients (such as different oils or butters used) as it will make little difference to the recipe anyway. But if you wanted to start a toiletry range then you'd need different assessments for your soaps, creams, scrubs, and so on. If your recipe is found to be unsafe (though it's unlikely if you've done your homework) then you will not get your money back and you will have to have it assessed again when you've made changes to the recipe.

Right so once you've have your formula safety assessed you might think you're good to go. Not so. If your chemist suggests it you'll have to supply samples of your product and send it for 'challenge testing'. This is likely to only be for products that contain water and so MUST  have a preservstive (some girls on the course were basically shuddering at the idea of using a preservative because they were so focussed on the idea of being 'all-natural' but I don't understand that mindset. To me it's better to use something, even parabens, that may be slightly frowned upon as a naughty chemical substance that have an unpreserved product that will harbour bacteria, grow mould and possibly harm your health). Challenge testing involves the technicians messing with your product, exposing it to nasty things and testing the bacteria levels to see if your preservative is strong enough. This will take about 6 weeks and costs around £200 a pop. And again if it doesn't pass then you have to go through it all again. Yay! 

That luckily is where the product testing ends but there's still a lot of rules to follow. Labeling is a huge thing with very strict rules to follow. You also need to keep a document called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for EVERY ingredient you use. Luckily you can find the MSDS's for most things by googling or you ask your suppliers for them. With fragrance oils though you MUST get them from your supplier because they change dramatically. 

And finally for each batch of product you make you need to keep a manufacturing log including the weights, date of manufacturer, method of manufacturer, batch number and so on.

Phew! There's more to it then what I've described of course but that's the basics and you can see how rigid and difficult they sound. However I do actually think this is a better system then they have overseas because it really shows that you can trust the sellers and their products so we have far fewer Glittersniffer type horrors over here. 

I hope you found that interesting. If not then here's a picture by way of apology: 



Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Swatcharama - Sleek True Colour Lipsticks

This is quite a small Swatcharama as I only have 5 Sleek lipsticks so far, but they've just released a load more colours and some of them are screaming at me to buy them so I might be updating this soon :P

The True Colour lipsticks come in two varieties: Sheen and Matte currently I only have one Sheen. The Matte ones are completely opaque and brilliantly matte but are quite dry which makes them harder to apply. On the lips they're slightly drying but not badly so, they look great (I love matte lipsticks) and last for absolutely ages. They're really stuck on the lips so last through eating and drinking with no problems. The Sheen one is slightly less opaque but still very pigmented and has a lot more 'slip' which makes it easier to apply and it's not at all drying, however it doesn't last as long. It still stays put for a good while but will fade away especially through eating and drinking.

Anyway, swatches:
 'Amped' a bright, blue-based pink (Matte):


'Candy Cane' A deep, almost red yellow based pink (Sheen):


'Heartbreaker' basically the same as Candy Cane only matte (Matte):


'Mystic' Like Amped's deeper cousin, it's even more blue and is on the verge of being properly purple (Matte):


'Papaya Punch' a light, bright coral (Matte)