OILY SKIN SAVIOURS | 3 Make Up Products You Need In Your Make Up Bag

Thursday, 26 February 2015
Euhnella Oily Skin Saviours 3 Make Up Products You Need

I don't know what your skin likes to do for fun but mine likes to produce excess oil leaving me with enough shine on my T-Zone area to safely guide sailors back to shore. Since I'm a killjoy, I like to find products that will stop my skin's oil-slick impersonations and give me at very least of couple of hours with nice, matte skin. When I find products that work well for me, I hold on tight and use them religiously until my skin rebels and goes back to doing its oily thang. Right now, my skin stays matte throughout most of the day and it's thanks to these three products

THE PRIMER | The Body Shop Instablur
I love, love, love this primer. I've already raved about it in this blog post, and will rave about it forever, and by forever I mean until it breaks me out or I find a better primer, but for now it is my go-to. If you have oily skin, you need this in your life because it not only primes your skin for make up and lengthens the its staying power, it also smooths out your skin, minimising the look of blemishes and large pores. On a lazy day I just smooth this on, fill in my brows and I'm good to go.

All the benefits of BB cream but with none of the oiliness that tends to accompany them in a nice compact powder that you can apply directly for a light-to-medium coverage or use to set your liquid foundations - in other words, perfect. I didn't realise this is what I had been looking for until I found this. I've written more about it in this post here, but all you really need to know is: mattifying, beautifying, gorgeous velvet finish. (Just make sure to build it up slowly or the only word you'll think when you look in the mirror is cakey, and not the good kind).

THE FIXING SPRAY | KIKO Milano Make Up Fixer 
If I had to describe this in one sentence it would be: a super-affordable make up fixing spray that sets all your hard work into place without irritating your skin. It has become a beauty essential in my make up bag as a finishing touch just to extend the life of the mattifying effect of my products (check out this post for a full review). On an average day at university, my make up is done by 5.30am and I don't get back in until 6pm, and with the make up fixer, I know I don't need to worry about my make up during that time.

Have you tried any of these? Do you have a make up product you cannot live without?

REVIEW: KIKO | Make Up Fixer

Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Euhnella KIKO Make Up Fixer Review

If your skin is on the oilier side, you will have no doubt experienced the phenomenon of make up either sliding off your face or simply disappearing so that by the end of the day, you look very little like the fresh-faced beauty you did in the morning. Primers help a tremendous amount, but sometimes you just need that little extra help to keep everything all in place: enter KIKO Milano Make Up Fixer, the fragrance-free fixing spray that's about to become your make up best friend. 

Before this, I had never tried a make up fixing spray. I'd seen countless Youtubers finishing off their make up looks with either the Urban Decay De-Slick or the Mac Prep + Prime Fix + but given the price tags of these products, I was hardly going to go out and get them without being sure it was a product I'd even get much use out of. So when I spotted the KIKO Make Up Fixer at just €7.90, I knew I had to give it a try - and it has not disappointed.

The first couple of times I used this were more practice runs to perfect my aim (spraying something on your face with your eyes closed whilst holding it roughly 20cm away isn't something that comes naturally to me), but even from the first patchy applications, I noticed a massive difference in the staying power of my make up. Everything just stays relatively put - and matte. One of my pet peeves is mattifying products only remaining mattifying for a couple of hours before my skin wins out - the KIKO Make Up fixer helps the make up last that much longer in the battle against the shine. 

I just love this little beauty: thanks to the Chamomile in this product it's gentle on the skin and feels quite cooling, it's hypoallergenic so it hasn't broken me out and I am really happy that it's fragrance-free. After the initial cosmetic alcohol smell which is quite sharp, it fades away and you forget you even sprayed this bad boy until you look at yourself in the mirror in the evening and are amazed that you still have make up on your face. (Well, I'm amazed anyway).

I highly recommend this if you've been meaning to try fixing sprays but don't want it to leave a gaping hole in your bank balance or if you have oily skin - you need this in your make up bag. 

Have you tried make up fixing sprays? Do you have a favourite?

REVIEW: 'Damned' by Chuck Palahniuk

Monday, 23 February 2015

"According to my wristwatch I've been dead for three months, two weeks, five days and seventeen hours. Subtract that from infinity and you get some idea why loads of doomed souls abandon all hope."

Meet Madison Spencer, the thirteen year old narrator of 'Damned' by Chuck Palahniuk, who takes you with her on a journey of self-discovery as she finds herself wandering around the depths of Hell after a marijuana overdose. At first glance, 'Damned' seems like a coming-of-age story that borrows satirically from our coming of age favourites: Judy Blume's 'Are You There God, It's Me Margaret' and 'The Breakfast Club'.

It's not an easy book to get into: it took me a few months, reading a couple of pages every now and then, wondering if I'd ever progress or come to warm to this teenage girl, who's the product of rich parents who love her in your stereotypical 'we have no time to love you, and aren't quite sure if we know how, having kids seemed like the right things to do for our image' kind of way, and thinks she's a lot more clever than she actually is. At some point, I wondered if I disliked her because she's clearly what a white male author thinks a thirteen year old girl is like. Maybe it's meant to be satire. Who knows.

Luckily, the book picks up about two-thirds in, and becomes rather difficult to put down as the plot begins to thicken and point of the book starts hitting you in the face with each turn of the page (I found myself having a few 'oh, so that's what that was all about moments'), and you're getting all excited that the book is finally as interesting as the amazing covered promise and then - BAM. You fall off the edge of a cliffhanger, screaming 'DAMNIT PALAHNIUK - HOW DARE YOU MAKE IT INTO A SEQUEL' Basically, it ends much better than it starts, and the plot (and its twists), rather than the characters, leaves you wishing for more. 

On Goodreads, I gave this 4/5 stars, which was probably (definitely) too generous. Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favourite authors, so the writing itself is enjoyable, the cultural references are a nice way to give yourself brownie points when you understand them, and I think I might have let out the odd chuckle here and there, but it took me bloody ages to get into, Madison is about as annoying to read as you imagine annoying thirteen year olds to be, and once I finally got into it, it ended in a bloody cliffhanger. The chances of me rushing out to buy the sequel 'Doomed', are currently very low.

Overall, I give this 3/5 stars, and would recommend it to people who like their fiction peppered with culture references, and sitting somewhere between satire, humour, horror and 'I'm not sure if that scene was entirely appropriate'. Definitely not Palahniuk's best work, but he could do worse. 

Have you read Damned? Are you a Chuck Palahniuk fan?

3 things I hold to be true about feminism | #Fembruary

Sunday, 22 February 2015
Euhnella | Three Things I Hold To Be True About Feminism #Fembruary

Over on doitfortheirony, Jacky made February #fembruary, a month for opening up the discussion about feminism in a casual, conversational environment, which is something that isn't always easy given the stigma that comes with openly declaring yourself feminist or simply taking a feminist stance on certain issues. Feminism is something that has become important to me over the past couple of years, and I would have kicked myself if I didn't join in. Today I want to share with you, three things that I hold to be true about feminism (emphasis on the I).

|| Feminists are not born, they are made || 

This may seem self-evident but you'd be surprised at how prevalent the assumption is that some people are just born thinking that men and women should have equal rights, and whilst others are just born thinking that men are inherently better, and that's the way it's always been, and that's the way it's always going to be. No, that's the result of a patriarchal society, a society in which the men hold the primary power and predominate in all areas of society. You might have noticed that whilst women are told to 'stay in the kitchen', male chefs dominate the restaurant industry or how (some) male politicians try and regulate female reproductive systems whilst doing nothing to regulate their own - all of that, and more, is the manifestation of the patriarchy.

We're all born into patriarchal societies (with the exception of a few remote tribes here and there) so the only way to be a feminist, is to educate yourself and become one. Even a person who is born to the most open-minded, feminist, equality-orientated parents will only go so far in their thinking if they don't read up on feminist issues, find out what the problem is, where the problem even came from and explores for themselves what the solutions could be. That's why feminism is for everyone - there are no class barriers, no financial brackets: just information about the world in waiting to be discovered and understood, and in most cases, changed. 

|| Education is the greatest weapon against the patriarchy || 

I recently came to the realisation that education is a necessary prerequisite to feminism. Education world-wide for men and women of all levels of society is necessary for the understanding that equality between both sexes is important. The patriarchy thrives on men and women being uneducated, and therefore ignorant. It tells a man that he is better than his female counterpart, that he is stronger, superior and deserving of more, and that should a woman try and raise herself up to his level, she is wrong, she is to be laughed at, she is to be put in her place. Without at the very least primary, or even secondary education, it is difficult to see how a man would question this - why he would give up this power that was given to him, why he would allow his position to be taken away without much, and often violent, resistance. Similarly, how are we to expect an uneducated woman who has been raised and taught all of her life that she is inferior, that her place in life is in relation of the men around her, this is how it is and this is how it is always going to be, to question the only thing she has ever known?

It is not mere coincidence that the feminist movement is often seen as a middle-class one, because it is often they who are educated to the degree of being able to question what is around them and say "Don't you think there's something wrong here?". Though that is not to say at all that only middle-class educated women can be feminists.

|| There is no one-size fits all feminism || 

I am sick and tired of the attempts to clump everyone who identifies as feminist into one category, whether positive or negative: there is no single, all-encompassing, feminism. That's ridiculous. Yes, there is the common denominator that feminism is the belief that men and women should be regarded as equal and have equal rights. However, when it comes to specific issues, context becomes extremely important, to the point where you could argue that each individual person has their own feminism. A black woman and a white woman will not have had the same life experiences, nor will a Christian woman or a Muslim woman; someone born into poverty will have had different struggles to those born into money (and the latter's struggles are no less valid) as will someone who is born into Indian culture or someone born into North American culture. What feminism looks like to different groups of people will look completely different. Even my sister and I, having been pretty much raised the same, because of the differences in friendship groups and education systems, find ourselves with different views on what feminism means to us. The same applies for male feminists - men who want equality for the women in their different societies, cultures, races and religions will be faced with different challenges. And all these differences do not take away from the fact that they are all feminists.

This is also known as 'intersectional feminism' but sometimes I find it's easier to boil it down to: there is no one-size fits all feminism. The differences in people conceptions of feminism doesn't mean that anything is wrong with feminism itself. There is no one-size fits all religion or political system, so why does feminism have to be any different?

What are some things you hold to be true about feminism?


Friday, 20 February 2015

"I need to get my sh*t together" is a recurring thought for me. 

I am amongst the horde of twentysomethings that are paralysed into inaction due to living in a society that tells you that you're still young but that everyone your age and under has already got it figured out; that makes it acceptable to watch binge-watch television series whilst also expecting you to magic out hours of productivity in the same 24 hour day; that tells you that the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world are rare unicorns but then demands to know why you're not like him, or even a fraction like him and his ilk. And when your answer is 'I don't know why I'm not on route to becoming a bajilionnaire by age 30' they have a whole range of products, advice and tips that will lead you there. That is if you're not too busy procrastinating. 

Let's face it, having your sh*t together is an art form. 

And as with all art forms, some people are born with a nature inclination towards it whilst others have to work hard to get there. And in the category of those who have to work hard to get there, there are those who, like me, didn't realise that hard work was involved. I think in the back of my mind I always assumed that when I reached 18, at which most government starts considering you an adult, I'd be handed a manual that had some sort of guideline entitled, maybe 'The basics of being an adult: how to pretend you know stuff because you are old". At age 21, there was still no guideline. As age 26 arrives with increasing rapidity, at which point no one anywhere ever will every again consider me anything but an adult, I realise that if I am going to get my sh*t together, I am going to have to work hard and figure out what it means myself.

What does having your sh*t together even mean? 

The first thought that comes to mind is: Beyoncé. There is a woman who seems to have her sh*t together: someone whose blossomed since her Destiny Child's days, a career that has yet to need a "comeback" which she juggles alongside being a (seemingly) lovely human being, mother and wife, and spawned a saying on a mug that I desperately want to get my hands on: "You have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé". 

craftsbychristii - AvenueBlue

I love this because it can mean so many different things to different people. You might scoff at it because obviously Beyoncé hours and "normal hours" aren't the same thing since normal hours don't include personal assistants, nannies, housekeepers and people to do the mundane things that might distract you from working on your passions. Just like you might point out that no one has their sh*t together - that we're just projecting our own image of "togetherness" onto people who have the qualities we deep down aspire to.

Alternatively, you might see it as a reminder that Beyoncé is also a human being, but ever single day she has used the 24 hours she was given to give her all, and over time this persistent effort her got her to where she is - and keeps her there. I don't think you reach Beyoncé status by only giving a half-hearted attempt. To me that means that you reach Beyoncé status when you give your personal all - only you can measure how much you're giving. I think that once you have your sh*t together, you stop looking at Beyoncé in awe and wpnder, as a motivational person to aspire to - when you have your sh*t together, you raise that mug up high in salute because you know that feel: your 24 hours are pretty much as you want them to be

So I am going to get my sh*t together. I might also buy a mug or a motivational print, but mainly I am going to share with you my thoughts, tips, and advice as I force myself to bracing the cold reality of life: no one can give me the life I dream of except me. The only way that one day I am going to wake up and think "I have my sh*t together" is that I work at it, and work hard. 

I'm never going to be Beyoncé, but nothing, except me, stops me from being as good as.

What do you think? What does having your sh*t together mean to you? 

REVIEW: The Body Shop | Instablur™

Thursday, 19 February 2015

If you haven't heard of The Body Shop Instablur ™ then I am afraid I have no idea where you've been. Worst of all, you don't know what a great primer you're missing out on. To say that the hype surrounding this product is well-deserved would be an understatement. I picked it up after seeing it featured in so many 2014 beauty favourites - I haven't looked back since.

My journey to a dairy-free life | The beginning

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tell someone that you're going dairy-free, and one of the immediate reactions is to think that you're doing it to lose weight or have jumped on a similar bandwagon to the gluten-free mania that we're still in the middle of (is it showing signs of letting up?). I wish going dairy-free would become a "thing" - at least then finding appropriate food would be a breeze. My reason for wanting to go dairy is simple: I'm lactose intolerant.

I've been lactose intolerant since before I can remember: my body simply doesn't produce enough lactase to succesfully break down the lactose, the milk sugar, in milk products, leaving me with a whole range of symptoms depending on what type of dairy product I eat, when and the quantity. It can be anything from hives to lethargy to a bloated, cramping stomach. I've also read theories that lactose intolerance can affect your mood, perhaps not causing, but certainly not alleviating symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. 

So I've decided to use the period of Lent as a spring-board for what will hopefully be an extended dairy-free life. I was raised Catholic so Pancake Day has always also signified the start of a 40 day period where you either gave up something, you ended a bad habit, or you took up something positive. I don't think I ever grasped the spiritual aspect of it, but it was always a great opportunity after the usual fail of New Year's Resolutions, to have another chance at picking one thing you know deep down you want to change and perhaps lacked the courage to do so on your own. 

So today, on the first day of Lent, I am beginning my journey to a dairy-free life.

I know it's not going to be easy; I've tried giving up dairy on and off over the years and always ended up cracking in the face of an enticing chocolate-coated goodness or under the pressure of being surrounded by foods that all contain lactose (I once discovered a fruit ice lolly I bought contained milk - why does a fruit ice lolly need milk?). It's overwhelming. It promises to get lonely when everyone seems to be scoffing their faces with your favourite foods just to spite you and some plain non-supportive comments such as "You always eat chocolate anyway, what's the point in changing? It's not like you're allergic. You ate ice cream just last week". As if the cravings and dairy-withdrawal aren't hard enough to deal with without added negativity.

On the plus side, it promises a life free of all the symptoms, never mind the benefits of cutting out a food that I'm not entirely sure was made for human consumption (I mean, don't you think it's a tad weird that humans are the only mammals that drink the milk of another mammal?). While it is overwhelming suddenly finding yourself with all these new menu choices you didn't even know you could make (and with ingredients you're not sure where to even begin finding), I'm looking forward to the hours I'm going to spend on Pinterest, getting into the super useful habit of meal planning, and discovering new foods as I give up old ones. And of course, I look forward to documenting my journey and sharing with you my discoveries and progress.

Have you ever considered going dairy-free? 

Beauty products I swore by in January 2015.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Time passes so quickly! I swear it was only yesterday I was gathering inspiration from '2014 favourites' and here we are with the first month of 2015 gone. January for most of us is a month of trying to recover from the festivities, deal with the cold weather and all its implications whilst all the while trying to decide if we're going to implement New Year's Resolutions or not (and if we do, we struggle with the stark realisation that just like bad habits aren't made in a day and so neither are they broken and replaced by good ones by the second week of January).

January was the month that I fell in love with the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. I'd gotten a sample size in a Glamour Edit Box ages ago but hadn't really gotten into as I was still a gel facial wash sort of girl - I like the convenience of not having to faff about with muslin cloth. However, when I got into consistently double-cleansing with this, the difference it made to my skin made me fall in love, and the herbal scent that I wasn't sure I liked in the beginning came to be a source of comfort. I don't think my skin has ever been this clear! You have no idea how gutted I was to come to the end of the tube. This is definitely a product I'll happily repurchase in the future.

One product that I loved that was in fact a repurchase was The Body Shop Overnight Serum-in-Oil. It helped my skin massively during the weather transition from spring to summer, and it helped again with the cold snaps we've had over the past couple of weeks. I have sensitive oily-to-combination skin that has a tendency to dry out right before it turns into an oil spill so moisture is a necessity.. I have been loving The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream to layer with the serum at night and return moisture to my skin after it's been ravaged by icy winds and snow blizzards. Despite the fact that it's 'intense moisture' I can even wear this during the day and it doesn't make my skin feel greasy or any oilier - just smooth, soft and moisturised.

Speaking of smooth, one night I went to apply my eye cream and noticed that the area under my skin was so soft, moisturised and healthy looking. I've been using the B. Energised Eye Cream that I picked up in Superdrug when I was last in London, and at first I wasn't sure it was even doing anything but last month I really began to see a difference, and it's one of my favourite parts of my skincare routine. The gel-like consistency is cooling, has reduced the look of my puffy eyes and does it's best against the bags under my eyes. 

For my eyes, I reached for the Yves Rocher Volume Elixir Mascara  every day in January. Not only is it a gorgeous gold, it gives me the longest, fullest non-clumpy lashes that a girl can ask for. It's perfect for those days when you want your lashes to be full, but not glamorously so, and long but almost as if they were naturally that way. I love that you can really layer it on, and the way the brush bristles are means that you have to really try hard to make your lashes clumpy. Paired with eyelash curlers, this gives the prettiest eyelashes.

Last but not least, is my Make Up Revolution Brow Dual Arch & Brow Eyebrow Pen in the shade Darkest . During January, my brows became part of my signature look, and the Arch & Brow was something I reached for every day. I love that it's double-ended: one end is a felt tip, perfect for drawing the outline and a sharper arch, and then the other end is a wax-like pencil that is great for filling in and creating that fuller brow. I really enjoyed experimenting with it, and I would highly recommend it if you're curious about the Anastasia Brow Wiz  or Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil because this is a much affordable product and will allow you to determine what kind of eyebrow pen girl you are. 

What products did you swear by last month? 

A risk not worth taking.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015
A risk not worth taking

There are some risks in life that are worth taking. One risk that isn't is: risking losing all of your documents, files and images because you didn't back them up. Now, if you're one of those ultra-sensible people who regularly back up to content of their electronic devices to secondary electronic devices for storage purposes or to the Cloud, then this post is probably not for you. However, if you're like me and when you're prompted to back up files you relegate it to the all-elusive later, then heed my warning and BACK YOUR THINGS UP. NOW. OR AT YOUR EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT.

Trust me on this - it is absolutely worth the few extra moments it'll take to regularly do so because the risk you run in not doing so is much more annoying. My laptop gave up on me a couple of days ago (it was quite old in PC years - it was coming up to its fourth birthday) and it took with it the majority of my files. And to make matters worse, this wasn't the first time it had happened. I had to reset it to factory settings a couple of months ago losing a lot of files along the way and I still didn't get into the habit of backing up documents. And its not just with my PC - I've had multiple scares about losing everything on my phone after its had a misshap with tea, andyet I didn't back them up regularly.

I have learnt my lesson now though as I realise that losing all of my documents, photos and files isn't a risk I have to take. Here's what I'm currently using to minimise this risk:

An external hardrive || This is old-school but it works. The fact that I own an external hardrive shows that I have good intentions...that I never put into practise. I recently swapped out my old external hard-drive that weighed more than my laptop for a smaller Toshiba Canvio 1TB model. It's well-worth the investment, and once I get my hands on a new laptop, you can be sure I'll be setting an alarm to back things up on a weekly basis. 

Dropbox || Dropbox and I are en route to becoming very good friends. Dropbox is a cloud storage system that provides you with 2GB of storage (that can be upgraded to 1TB if you subscribe). What I like is that you can access it from all your devices, and their Carousel app, which is specifically designed for phone photos, allows me to back up all my pictures and access them without having to go through iTunes (which is very useful when you don't have a laptop).

Microsoft One Drive || I have a Microsoft Surface 2 which means that most of everything I do is connected to my Outlook account. Whilst this has a great deal of disadvantages, the advantage is that my files on there are easily saved to the Microsoft One Drive. One Drive is similar to Dropbox but gives you 15GB instead. Google Drive would be a great alternative if you're not an Outlook person, also offering 15GB of space for free.

Evernote || The only lesson I learnt from the first time my laptop went AWOL was that writing blog posts on a cloud-based program would be much safer than writing down ideas in Word Documents. As a result I started writing my blog posts in Evernote. Their new interface makes it much easier to use, and they even have a distraction-free full screen which is great for any type of writing. What I really like is that because you can get the Evernote app on your phone, when I'm on the go and get a sudden flash of inspiration, I can write it directly into the app, and I'll be able to consult it on a laptop later or on my tablet. You get a 60 MB monthly allowance, and it's comparatively much cheaper to upgrade to Premium at just €40 a year. 

I cannot stress the importance of backing up your things as someone who has spent the past couple of days despondently wondering why I didn't shift over to the Cloud or regularly back up everything up earlier.

How do you back up your work or avoid the risk of losing everything on your laptop or phone?