Illamasqua & The Anti-Fascism Pledge

I’ve recently discovered that Illamasqua have an anti-fascism pledge (you can read it here), so it seems like a great time to a) talk about Illamasqua and write a review of their Demise eyeshadow palette, and b) assert my stance, with them, as firmly anti-fascist and utterly anti-Trump, his supporters, and everything they stand for.

As per Illamasqua’s pledge, I never knowingly or intentionally discriminate against race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion; and I add in the qualifiers “knowingly” and “intentionally” only because of phenomena like internalised misogyny and internalised racism that I am doing my best to unlearn. I recognise the privilege I have as a white woman as far as possible, and I do what I can to educate myself about all of these issues. I’m not perfect – nobody is – but we all have to start somewhere, and I really believe that, especially during this awful Trump-era we’re living in, it’s so important for us to learn how best we can help the many marginalised groups that his rise to power is hurting.

So, with the heavy stuff out of the way, and with renewed respect for a brand I already thought was pretty cool: let’s talk about the Illamasqua Demise eyeshadow palette!

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Illamasqua is 100% cruelty free, and has a wealth of vegan products available, though Demise doesn’t seem to be listed as one of them.

I got this lovely little palette for £10.20 during a massive sale Illamasqua were having in January. At full price it will cost you £34, and it’s worth it for the beautiful, blendable shadows, but it’s also a little more than I could have afforded so soon after Christmas, so I’m glad I managed to scoop it up in the sale.

The shade that first attracted me to the palette, as I’m sure it has so many others, is the red-gold: Wilt. It has much more pink in it than shows up on the photo – it could be described as a more sparkly version of Urban Decay’s Fireball, except for the formula: while the other three shades are powder, Wilt is cream. I actually use the shade a lot less than I thought I would for this reason, as I find the cream quite hard to work with, but where the cream shadow maybe lets the palette down a little, the other three more than pick up the slack.

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Gimp, the dark blue shade, is so pigmented that adding even a tiny smudge to darken a look can go very wrong if you’re not extremely light-handed – trust me, I learned this the hard way! It’s also a retired shade that Illamasqua has brought back, as part of this palette, by popular demand – in the aptly named Extinct collection, to which the palette belongs.

Lost, the light shade, looks like a creamy off-white in the pan, but is actually a beautiful shimmering white gold and an excellent highlighter.

And Interitus, the burgundy, is not dissimilar to Urban Decay’s new single shadow, Relish (which I love), and theBalm’s Matt Kumar, from the Meet Matte Trimony palette – in short, a popular shade at the moment, and just as blendable and as full of pigment as the other two powder shadows in the palette.

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The four shadows are housed in a nice sturdy case, and it’s not much larger than palm-sized, so it’s excellent for travelling with. And although I ultimately decided against taking it to Spain with me when we went last month, that was more to do with my own anxiety about something happening to it than anything else!

I’m glad that I bought this palette, and I look forward to getting good use out of it. I may not have bought it when I did if not for the fact that it was on sale, but I’m pretty confident that it would have sneaked its way into my collection somehow.

And considering the solidarity that Illamasqua is showing with those who need it most, considering the respect that they have earned from me and from many others with this act, not to mention the hope I’m sure they’ve instilled in those minorities who are feeling Trump’s rise to power and its attendant horrors most keenly right now, I hope that many more products do.

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My Work Make-Up Staples

I’ve mentioned a few times that I can only wear minimal make-up to work, so I thought I’d make a post about the make-up that I do wear!

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Sorry about the photo quality! My camera is temporarily out of action, so I had to use my phone. But these are the products that I use regardless, as few and as humble as they are.

First up – Benefit’s Gimme Brow and Ready, Set, Brow!

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I’ve mentioned these products before. I got them as freebies in a couple of different magazines, and honestly, I don’t really know how I lived without them now – especially Ready, Set, Brow!.

Gimme Brow adds a bit of thickness and a touch of colour to my brows, and Ready, Set, Brow! keeps all the hairs in place. And it really, really does. I wear a forehead-wandering hairnet and a cap at work, and my brows still look fine when I take the cap off at the end of the day.

Icona Milano Waterproof Mascara

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I received this product in my July Glossybox! I’ve never actually had a waterproof mascara before, but so far, I’ve been really impressed, which is how this has ended up in my staples so soon. I’m on my feet all day at work, rushing around and working with hot ovens, so I didn’t even think it was possible not to have smudgy mascara at the end of it, but I’ve been proven wrong.

Maybelline Matte Maker mattifying powder

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Obviously I’ve had this for a while since it’s not a ‘new’ product any more as it claims on the packaging, but it was buried in my make-up bag for a while and I’ve only recently pulled it back out. As I mentioned, it can get quite sweaty in my job, so I don’t like the idea of putting much on my face, but on days where I feel like I need a little help I reach for this. It’s very light coverage (and also a much lighter shade than it looks in the photo), so it’s perfect to lightly swish over my problem areas. I use it to set my out-of-work make-up too!

Blistex Lip Brilliance tinted lip balm

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This is another one I’ve had for ages, but it’s pretty reliable. It moisturises my lips, it smells lovely, and the very slight tint makes me feel just a tiny bit more made up.

Compact Brush

I bought this very recently to go on holiday, but I can’t remember where from, oops! I added the little stickers myself anyway so it was just a plain little compact brush, mostly likely from Boots or Superdrug.

I had one of these years ago and I loved it, and for some reason I never replaced it when it got broken. The little mirror is great for check-ups (or hurried on-train application of work make-up) and obviously it’s always handy to have a brush on you. The hairnet/cap combo I have to wear is not kind even to my short flicks, so this is a must in my work bag.

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It still looks like a fairly decent amount when the products are pictured together, but on my face it’s nothing! Granted, this photo is from after a day of work, so the powder and lip balm have all but disappeared, but I didn’t touch up my brows or lashes at all before this was taken, and I think they look just fine.

I don’t have a ‘before’ photo handy, but this is really a vast improvement on my completely natural brows. They don’t have much of a tail on their own and they certainly don’t hold this kind of shape through a day’s work!

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June Glossybox Unboxing

Contains June Glossybox spoilers!

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This is, I think, my fourth Glossybox, and although there have been some products that I won’t really use, I’m yet to be disappointed!

I actually got mine last week, but what with one thing and another, I haven’t had a chance to properly photograph it until today.

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So let’s have a look at what we’ve got!

1. Spa to You Natural Konjac Sponge | RRP: £6.99

I’ll admit, I’d never heard of this product, so I’ve done a little bit of research. The Konjac Sponge Company says that:

[t]he Konjac Potato or Konnyaku is a perennial plant native to Asia, and can be found growing wild at very high altitudes. A totally natural food source, Konjac is 97% water, rich in mineral goodness and low in calories. Naturally alkaline, Konjac is pH neutral which leaves skin perfectly balanced.

According to the same website, the Konjac sponge is made of 100% natural vegetable fibres, is packed with minerals and antioxidants, is non-toxic, 100% free from impurities and pollutants, earth friendly, 100% cruelty free & certified vegan, naturally sustainable, environmentally safe, 100% colouring free, 100% additive free and 100% biodegradable!

And the Spa to You website itself mentions how hydrating and moisturising the sponge is, so this will hopefully be perfect for me and my poor eczema-ridden skin.

2. Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer | Travel Size | Full Size RRP: £24

If there are two things I’m in short supply of, it’s energy and moisture – the latter in terms of my skin, the former more broadly – so I was interested to try this product. And I’ve only used it a couple of times, but so far, I really like it. I can’t say much yet for what it’s doing for my skin long term, but it certainly does feel good after using it, and it also smells absolutely lovely which is always a bonus for me.

3. & 4. De Bruyère After Sun Lotion Monoï | RRP: £9.48 and Ladival Sun Protection Spray  SPF 15 | RRP £19.99

I’m squishing these two together, because… I live in Scotland. We don’t see the sun very often. So I really have no idea how good these products are, and I may not for some time! However, what I will say is that they are both full size, which means that these two products alone are worth almost triple the cost of the box. On that basis alone I’m quite impressed, and I’m really hoping that I get a chance to use these soon!

5. Emité Make Up Lip & Cheek Tint | RRP: £12.50

Another full-sized product! Skin care is great, but it’s always a little more exciting for me to find a make-up product in there. I’d never used a lip and cheek tint before, but as a friend of mine recently gave me a Benetint mini that she didn’t want (!!), I thought I’d try out both and do a little comparison.

So, from left to right: no tint, Emité tint, Benetint. I didn’t try them on my cheeks right away because, honestly, they look so pigmented and dark on the applicator that I just couldn’t imagine it working, even though I know that’s what it’s made for. After I took the photos for this post I did then give it a go on my cheeks and after some initial uncertainty (putting on blush and feeling it go on wet is so odd) I actually think it worked quite well!

But anyway, back to the lips. To be honest, I haven’t really made up my mind about either of these. I feel like the Emité tint was a touch easier to apply, as it had a doe foot applicator as opposed to the nail polish brush-like one that Benetint had, but that may just be a case of preferring what I know. Benetint had the advantage in at least one sense though: it smells like roses!

I could see myself wearing either of these to work, though, as I’m not allowed to wear heavy make-up and these are both subtle and long-lasting.

6. Bonus product | Aussie Hair Care 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner | RRP £1.09

I can’t believe how much value you get out of a Glossybox – they quite often include a bonus product. Last month it was a little bag of popcorn (which I adore), and this month it was a small sachet of deep conditioner. I’ve never used any Aussie products before, but I’ve heard good things, and as my hair is bleached blonde a bit of deep conditioning would be welcome!

If you don’t subscribe to Glossybox and you have a spare £10 or so a month, I’d definitely recommend it! It’s like a little present to yourself with the added bonus of not actually knowing what it’s going to be.

What subscription boxes are your favourites? (I’m thinking of signing up to some more since I have a job now!)

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