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)

Saturday 2 February 2013

Illamasqua inspired eyeliner

I don't usually post promo images but I'm making an exception for these from the new Illamasqua 'I'mperfection' collection. They are amazing!

Gorgeous aren't they all? At the moment I have no money for makeup (thanks in part to the Illamasqua sale that just ended) but when I do that green gloss is MINE!

The last photo shows one of the signature looks of the collection, the speckled eye. I absolutely loved this idea. It's so simple and yet I don't remember having seen it done anywhere before! It reminds me of a feather or snow. Both good things!

So anyway I had a go at recreating the look and I absolutely love it on me!



Face: Illamasqua Skin Base in 02, Sleek concealer and Correcter in 1, Illamasqua powder blusher in SOPHIE
Eyes: MUA matte eyeshadow in 16, Illamasqua eyeshadow in Blink, Illamasqua Precision Ink liquid eyeliners in Scribe and Abyss, MUA pencil eyeliner in Snow White (on waterliner), black mascara
Lips: No 7 Moisture Drence lipstick in Waterlily

OK I think I went a bit overboard on the white but I think it looks great and I felt absolutely gorgeous!
It was dead easy to do too. I think I might try adding some pink or other colour ala Robyn. Will you be trying this look? What do you think of the campaign images?