When it comes to your face, just do you!

We can do what we like with our faces. They are OUR faces. I don’t wear makeup often, and haven’t done for a couple of years and here’s why.

First of all, I am incredibly lazy. I could happily spend the rest of my life watching netflix surrounded by cats. So if I have to choose between more time in bed and wearing makeup, my bed will always win. I’ve always been fairly confident about being makeup free since my school days. We weren’t allowed to wear makeup until 6th form.  We had to report to our housemistress every morning for ‘the face wipe test’ and it didn’t matter where we were, if a teacher thought we had makeup on they would use the public humiliation technique to scar us from ever daring to cover up a spot again. This seemed cruel and unnecessary (and still does to some extent). Teenage girls are walking insecurities. I had horrible acne that would later leave scars that took years to fade. I hated my nose and was convinced people wouldn’t notice it if I drew attention to my eyes so I would line the hell out of them. But on that first makeup free day, the world did not end. Turned out everyone had spots, and no one looked that much different without our poorly applied makeup. I still had boyfriends and no one set themselves on fire at the sight of my real face. Even though I think it is unfair not to let teenagers at least wear concealer for their spots, I cannot deny it gave me a confidence in myself that has never left. So thank you, school. Kind of.

photo (3)Regular Barbz

Obviously as soon as I left school I learnt how to apply makeup properly and embraced how fun and transformative it can be. I really love painting faces, and still do. However a couple of years ago I went a long time without makeup and I got to know my face all over again and I became really attached to it. I am really fond of my unique face with all its lumps and bumps and when I wear makeup now I don’t feel 100% comfortable. I still love applying it and trying out new products, but I take it off again relatively quickly, and I probably only wear it now about once a month. I know it seems weird to feel more comfortable without makeup, but I just prefer to see my unaltered face looking back at me in the mirror. It upsets me that women who choose not to wear makeup are labelled as lazy or slobs.

On the other end of the spectrum, it also upsets me when people judge men and women who wear a lot of makeup or who need makeup to feel comfortable. As much as we can choose not to wear makeup, we can also choose to wear as much makeup as we want. When I do wear makeup for a night out I wear A LOT! And I’m sure I speak for most people who wear makeup when I say we do not do it to attract people, we do not care if you think it’s too much, we do not care if you think we are prettier without it. Our main concern isn’t pleasing strangers. We wear it because it’s fabulous and makes us look fierce and it’s fun to apply. We can be creative and reflect our personality with the canvas that is our face and the paint that is our makeup. It is art, and anyone who thinks otherwise is unenlightened. And for some people, a signature makeup look can be part of their personality. It reflects who they are, so if they feel uncomfortable without makeup it is not because they are insecure, it is because they don’t feel like themselves.

546544_3665003356589_803011674_nParty Barbz

Our faces are our faces, and they are not there to please onlookers. Dolls, do what you want with your faces! Paint them up, or leave them be. They are YOUR canvas to decide what to do with.

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My new favourite shampoo: Sulphate Free!

Sulphates, usually in the form of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), have been used in shampoos for decades. They act as a de greaser and a foaming agent, removing oils from your hair and helping the shampoo to reach that lather that makes us feel like it is really cleaning our hair. They are also used by mechanics to clean car engines. They don’t remove oils from our hair, they strip the oils away, leaving our hair dry and brittle. 

The more we find out about the effects of sulphates on hair, the more popular sulphate-free shampoo becomes. The worst effect they have? Stopping hair growth. Sulphates can cause scalp irritation and blockage of pores, blocking your hair from growing. It’s no wonder when you find out that dermatologists use sulphates to simulate a skin condition in order to test treatments. 

I am currently using this inexpensive shampoo which my hair just loves

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I love the way this shampoo makes my hair look. It almost looks instantly thicker and longer. The last shampoo that did this was John Frieda’s Full Repair. 

This particular shampoo from the Everstrong range focuses on dry and brittle hair, making it supple and less prone to breakage. I’ve only used it for a couple of washes so far, but I think my hair can tell the difference. Sometimes hair gets used to a certain shampoo, however, and it stops working after a few weeks. I have heard that this is because of sulphates, so this one shouldn’t stop working, but I’ll let you know. 

Ditch the tights: Get your skin ready for Spring!

Spring time is upon us, and even though the weather is still fluctuating, there are some days (like today) where you feel like it’s just about acceptable to start baring your legs. But after a long British winter, our skin is left feeling dry, pale and dull. Hopefully this post will help prepare you, and your skin, for long sunny days to come and help you to look and feel your best.

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I am a self confessed goo hoarder. So I have tried to narrow this list down to just one of each different type of goo…there may be a couple of overlaps..

The first thing you will want to do to get your skin ready for show is moisturise it. If you are anything like me, you haven’t moisturised much over the whole winter period because who is going to see your skin in winter? This is where the overlap occurs because there are three different moisturises pictured above if you exclude the coconut oil and aloe vera. Which can also be used. But they all have their different times and places. First of all, the Bathina Body Oil by Benefit (£26.50). This came out at the end of last summer so I haven’t had many opportunities to use it, but when I am having a pamper evening, I’ll apply this all over after a nice long bath just to feel soft and smell nice, winter be damned. You spray it directly onto the skin so you don’t have to get your hands oily if you just want to spray it on your legs and chest before you leave the house.

The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Oil is, yes, another oil but it is much cheaper (£4-ish). I love cocoa butter so much, it is a classic and it smells like chocolate so why would anyone not love it? I use this oil in tanning. Moisture is essential in maintaining a tan – natural or fake. So in the summer I apply this every morning and evening to make my tan last longer.

Then there’s the Agent Provocateur L’Agent Silk Body Elixir (£30). This exact product is now discontinued which is a huge shame because it is an exact smell-a-like to Chanel No.5. And it leaves the skin unbelievably soft and silky. You can still get the Body Elixirs but with different perfumes. I use it very sparingly so I don’t run out. Basically only on special occasions, like those parties where even your skin needs to dress up.

So that’s moisturisers. Now for those of you who need a bit of help with your tan or who don’t like to damage your skin, Xen-Tan is my all time favourite fake tan. And believe me, when it comes to tanning I know my stuff. I was bleach blonde and caramel tanned from the ages of 18-20 and over that time I tried all the different fake tans, but this one is the best for your money. These days I sun bed (it is my only vice) so I don’t really use fake tan but I still keep a bottle for emergencies. I have a tanning mitt but because Xen-Tan goes on with a guide colour it is easy to wash it off your hands after application, just use a bar of soap and hot water. Once you wash the guide colour off it is streak free and because the undertones are green, it is olive toned, not orange.

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See how tanned! I miss those days 😦

For those of you who are sun worshipers like me, I love to use Aloe Vera gel as an after sun because it has an instant cooling effect and works really well on burns. Aloe Vera can also be used as a moisturiser AND as a hair treatment, but read my post about hair porosity because if you have low porosity hair, this will dry it out. Another sun essential is SPF for the face. I have to admit I don’t really use sun cream (which I don’t condone, unless you are a naturally dark skin type like I am and don’t burn) but I do apply factor 15 to my face on holidays and because recently I have been doing lots of acid peels on my skin, I have to use factor 30 even in England to protect the lower layers of skin that are now exposed. In general using an SPF on your face daily is a great way to protect your skin from ageing.

Finally, Coconut Oil. This has so many uses, it would need to do another post just to list them, but the one I recommend it for in this article is shaving. I know it sounds weird but it has to be tried to be believed. You can use coconut oil for shaving and because it leaves a residue on your legs, you don’t even have to moisturise afterwards. I would just advise rinsing the bath out thoroughly afterwards so it’s not slippy. Or keep it au naturel and don’t shave at all. Whatever you prefer, both are good.

And the most important rule to look amazing for spring…smile! The sun’s out! 🙂