Beauty

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie appears in Boots’ No7 advert

Boots‘ new No7 advert is one to watch and remember… If you havent seen it yet, get watching by clicking on the red and white play button above. I mean, let’s face it, you’re going to want to see this because it’s got the World’s leading feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, fronting it.

Firstly, as a lady, I’d like to start by saying that even I hate the term “feminism” because it makes it sound as though we, females, put ourselves above the male population. That is not true in the slightest! Feminism, in essence, is about equality; the ability to be equals in society, because right now (and previously) that has sadly not been the case… Women should be allowed to do a “man’s job”. Women should be allowed to receive as much pay as a man earns when working in the same role. Females should not be seen as the inferior gender because there shouldn’t even be an inferior:superior ratio to begin with. Feminism isn’t about “us”, it’s about “equality”. Rant over!

Chimamanda, the Nigerian world-renowned and award-winning author who has appeared on Ted Talks‘We Should All Be Feminists‘, which featured in Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless‘ track, is the woman that every lady should aspire to be. She is an ambassador for women’s rights and knows all too well the difficulties we face in employment and society in general.

As far as adverts about female empowerment and validation go, this one is by far the strongest. It sends a clear message that us girls don’t need to “not wear makeup” or “hide” our “high heels” to “be taken seriously”. We should be allowed to exist in a society that accepts us because makeup “doesn’t mean anything, it’s just makeup”. You know what (or who) means something? The lady wearing it. She who wears it, how she composes herself, how she carries herself, how she feels, what she says… Makeup is just an enhancement to our natural beauty, it’s nothing more than that. High heels and/or fitted clothes the same…

It saddens me that Chimamanda ever had to stop wearing makeup and high heels in order to get noticed. But, luckily, she “woke up” and realised that in not doing so she was portraying a “false version” of herself. For many of us, makeup and clothes give us confidence. That’s not to say we’re not confident in our skin, we just happen to love make-up and enjoy looking our best.

I’m extremely glad that she is discussing our relationship with makeup because it’s only skin-deep. Society thinks it runs deeper than that, but it really doesn’t. Let it be a known fact that we are not wearing makeup to “impress someone”, we are not wearing makeup to seduce others, we wear it because we want to.

Speaking in her Ted Talk, Adichie said that the word feminist was “so heavy with baggage, negative baggage. You hate men, you hate bras, you hate African culture.” Instead, she said, she wanted to be identified as a “happy African feminist who does not hate men and who likes lip gloss and who wears high heels for herself but not for men”.

“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.

Chimamanda recently shared a 9,000 word speech on Facebook where she described how best to raise a feminist daughter. You can read it in full HERE.

A snippet of it reads: “If she likes make-up let her wear it; if she likes fashion let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either let her be … Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are.

“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.”

During her Ted Talk, Chimamanda also mentioned the pressure of attempting to look less feminine before teaching her first writing class for fear that she wouldn’t be taken seriously.

She said: “I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt but I decided not to.

“Instead I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. Because the sad truth is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm.
“If a man is getting ready for a business meeting, he doesn’t worry about looking too masculine, and therefore not being taken seriously.

“If a woman is getting ready for a business meeting she has to worry about looking too feminine, and what it says, and whether or not it will be taken seriously.”

That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard… Imagine having to change what you wear for fear of not being listened to? The thought alone is beyond heartbreaking.

When thinking about it, anyone who has ever used the quote: “you can tell a lot about a lady by the way they dress” is being unintentionally sexist, not to mention incorrect. Clothes and makeup are luxuries, they are not necessities. The foundations of life are built on who we are, how we treat people, and the ways in which we act and not which brand of concealer we use. A lady who chooses to dress up and show up is more-often-than-not a lady who has enough time (or makes it) to get ready because she likes taking care of her appearance.

A teacher of mine once said: “if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good, you do good”, never a truer word spoken.

So, ladies, let this advert be a turning point for us in a hope that we begin to be taken seriously with or without makeup on our faces and heels on our feet. Also, this is in no way an advert that’s forcing women to wear makeup. Alicia Keys has rocked the no makeup look for years and we salute her.

Instead, this advert is supposed to empower those that do wear makeup yet feel less worthy than a man who just turns up to work in the same job but gets paid a larger salary or listened to more carefully. It’s also not a dig at men — far from it. Men, you are legends, we love and respect you wholeheartedly. We just want to be seen as equals. We just want there to be no gender inequality, we are one!

Although I am more than happy with the LUSH collection that I already own, I can’t help but want more… It’s like I’m addicted to the brand and its products. Here are some of the stuff which LUSH sells but I need!

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Coalface

A gentle soap made with antiseptic rosewood, sandalwood, and absorbent charcoal that can be used on the face and body. Sandalwood oil gives this soap a distinctive earthy fragrance. Charcoal is known for its absorbency, while liquorice root softens the skin and rosewood oil has antiseptic properties. It’s gentle enough for your face, but you can use it all over your body. Simply use as a soap and wash the day off.

This soap is targeted at people who suffer from acne-related breakouts. It’s ideal for those who wish to change from using normal liquid cleansers as it comes in the form of a soap.

However, don’t be alarmed because this isn’t going to dry your skin out like normal soaps do… In fact, this is a hydrating, preservative-free facial cleanser that works to balance out the oils, making it perfect for combination to oily skin.

Powdered charcoal absorbs excess sebum and acts as a mild exfoliator, while rosewood and sandalwood oils reduce redness and clear up blemishes. Use Coalface daily for clear, balanced skin.

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Photo Credit: LUSH

Grease Lightning

Grease Lightning is a powerful combination of ingredients that will nip any breakouts in the bud without upsetting the skin around them. We use an infusion of antibacterial and antiseptic rosemary, thyme and tea tree, as well as antioxidant-rich grape juice and witch hazel, which is astringent and anti-inflammatory and is said to soothe redness. This product is ideally applied when you feel a spot is about to erupt – prevention is better than cure.

Grease is one of my favourite films of all time, and Grease Lightning is a title of one of the songs in the movie… So, imagine my delight when I heard that LUSH has a product called exactly that?! Okay, I understand that Grease Lightning isn’t the best name for a skincare product but LUSH are very creative with names!

To my surprise, Grease Lightning has nothing to do with oiliness. Instead, Grease Lightning is a spot treatment that acts as a prevention mechanism from breakouts.

Apparently, the best way to use this product is after cleansing and toning… Just dab a bit of this gel on-top of the spot and leave it to soak in. Once soaked in, you’ll notice that the redness will begin to fade. Many reviewers have praised this product for helping to get rid of the spots and not leaving marks where they used to be.

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The Sacred Truth

Revive your complexion with ginseng and ginkgo leaf to boost blood circulation, whilst honey, yoghurt and free range eggs leave skin soft and moisturised. Wheatgrass is full of nutrients to feed your skin, whilst the enzymes in fresh papaya will strip away dead skin, helping to give you a gorgeous glow. Smoothe a generous layer of this mask onto your face and leave for 10 to 15 minutes and let the ingredients get to work before washing off gently with warm water.

I’m going to be straight with you and say that most face masks don’t work on me… I’ve tried many that seem to do nothing but break me out even more! In fact, I’d even go as far as to that I 100% believe that I developed acne through the use of a face-mask. Having said that, I trust LUSH to break the curse and prove to me that not all masks are bad for my skin.

The Sacred Truth is one that I’ve heard a lot about… Apparently, it’s an anti-aging face mask that helps to soothe, hydrate, and enhance the complexion as well as brighten skin restoring its youthfulness.

Ingredients: HoneyGlycerineKaolinTalcFresh PapayaSoya yoghurtBentonite GelOrganic Evening Primrose OilLanolinFair Trade Shea ButterExtra Virgin Coconut OilFresh Organic Free Range EggsYlang Ylang OilRose AbsoluteLavender OilRosewood OilFresh WheatgrassOrganic Ginseng Root Powder, Green Tea Powder, Ginkgo Leaf Powder, Bee Pollen*Benzyl Benzoate*Citronellol*Farnesol*Geraniol*Limonene*Linalool and Perfume.

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Cosmetic Warrior 

A gentle and balancing fresh face mask with antibacterial tea tree and fresh garlic working together to cleanse. Fresh green grapes clean and cool the skin, whilst free range eggs tighten its texture and antimicrobial honey leaves it soft and moisturised. Smooth a generous layer of this mask onto your face and leave for 10 to 15 minutes.

If you’ve got acne-prone and/or sensitive skin you should definitely consider buying this product.

Cosmetic Warrior is the only mask which promises to “combat troublesome spots, cleanses and cools the skin” but delivers [as fas as all the reviews which I’ve read are concerned].

Apparently, it clears out your pores and draws everything to the surface. So, don’t use it on the night before a special occasion incase you wake up to find breakouts that’d been trapped under your skin.

However, be prepared to stink while wearing it because it’s packed with garlic and free-range eggs. Other ingredients include: KaolinFresh Green GrapesHoneyCornstarchGlycerineTea Tree Oil*Limonene and Perfume.

If you do go ahead and purchase this, make sure you use it in 3 weeks because that’s when the ingredients will go ‘off’…

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Fresh Farmacy

Every ingredient is carefully selected for its gentleness on the skin, with chamomile, elderflower, calamine and lavender; this is nature at its kindest. In order to make this soap gentle enough to use on your face as well as your body, we took out some of the soap base and replaced it with beautiful essential oils: chamomile blue oil is soothing on the skin; lavender oil calms the mind; tea tree oil is a mild antiseptic and rose absolute is good for restoring balance to the skin.

Here’s another facial-soap that I’m eyeing up… This one is the one you should turn to when Coal Face has done its job… Once all your spots have gone, it’s a good idea to give Fresh Farmacy a go!

Fresh Farmacy is a calming soap-cleanser that cleans, refreshes and calms your skin down preventing further breakouts. It’s creamy on the skin, produces a nice lather, but not overwhelming.

This cleanser features Calamine PowderPropylene GlycolChamomile DecoctionElderflower DecoctionRapeseed Oil and Coconut OilGlycerineSorbitolSodium Lauryl SulfateSodium StearateWater (Aqua)Lavender OilChamomile Blue OilTea Tree OilRose AbsoluteSodium ChlorideEDTATetrasodium EtidronateSodium Hydroxide*Limonene*Linalool and Perfume.

It’s not just skincare stuff that I’ve got my eye on… Oh, no! I’ve also got my eye on almost all of their bath and lip products. But, it’ll take me forever to write them down. Here are a few from my selection:

Yes, these are all exclusive to LUSH as part of their Valentine’s Day collection, so get yours while you still can!

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Photo Credit: Fullips

Finally, a tool for fuller, healthier-looking lips without the injections or chemicals.  Small enough to carry in your makeup bag, simply use the Lip Enhancer before applying your lipstick or lip gloss.

Here is something that is an essential tool to any make-up bag. Fullips Lip Enhancer is my favourite way of getting naturally pouty, plump lips in seconds… All the way from America, but available on eBay, Fullips costs a mere $14.99 – compared to the price of injecting our lips with fillers.

Essentially, it’s a plastic cap [which comes in three shapes] that you place on your lips and suck into until it sticks. Once it sticks, you’ll start to feel a pulling sensation as though your lips are being suctioned. Leave it on for 15-30 seconds and then release by placing one finger in between the cap and your lips — viola!

If your lips are still not as pouty and plump as you want them to be, you can perform the action again, keeping it on for longer until you get your desired effect. However, the longer you keep it on for the likelier your lips are to bruise.

Once you’ve got the lips you’ve always wanted, you can go ahead and apply your gloss or lipstick straightaway. Don’t worry though because the plumpness lasts for hours after using Fullips.

I own a Fullips Medium Oval [as seen in the picture above]. Fullips Medium Oval can be used vertically or horizontally to target both or just the one lip. I’ve tried this product out and can officially say that it actually works without damaging your lips. I’m not going to lie, it takes a while to get used to – but once you get used to it it’ll become a staple in your make-up routine.

A little bit of advice: exfoliate your lips and the surrounding area before you use this tool to reveal smoother, softer lips. Oh, and, please wash it before and after use! #BeHygienic

For more information about Fullips, watch this video. It’ll give you insight into the company’s background and shows you how to use the lip enhancer because moving images speak louder than words, right?

Finally, I give Fullips 5***** because since turning to it for help, I cannot see myself completing my lip-look without it.

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My Fullips result