Saturday, 26 March 2016

Makeup for Ghosts

Skin comes in many beautiful different shades, and rarely are two people the same. I can’t tell you what your skin is like, but I can tell you about mine.

                         There is no filter on this. Just me, by a window. Ghost.

I am white. I don’t just mean Caucasian, which I am, but I mean basically white. I have 
very little to no skin tone at all, particularly on my torso and stomach as this literally has never seen the sun. I also have a huge burn scar on my stomach (long story) and this is entirely white.

I have a lot moles and freckles, but my overall skin tone is eerily milk white. Like The Cure, or chronically ill people. I’ve had a few jobs where when I’m new people have asked if I’m sick. No, it’s just my face, Sir.

As you know, buying make up when you’re this pale is a hideous business. If you are at either end of the spectrum, I understand, it’s very hard to find make up. Either very pale or very dark, you’re basically knackered. Here are the few products I have found that actually work.

As a side note, I have very oily skin too. Many of the products I use are made for people with oily skin. If your skin is dry, this may not work for you.

To be honest, this is the worst thing about purchasing make up when you’re pale. I am not only white but I am white with a pink undertone, and most light foundations have a yellow undertone. These are what I use and what works for me.

Illamasqua Skin Base in 02
Just for your information, they do make 01 in Skin Base, and this is white. As in clown white. No skin tone at all. This was given to me by a friend, and it is unfortunately quite expensive. However, a tiny amount goes a very long way. This is a full coverage foundation, very white with a pink undertone and perfect for me. This foundation I don’t feel would be suitable for those with dry skin- it’s very matte and can tug on the skin a little if you have dry patches. It blends well but dries very fast- be warned of this and work quickly with the product. It doesn’t oxide to a slightly darker colour. I absolutely love it. Usually retails for around £30 to £35.

Mehron Pro Celebré in Eurasia Ivory
This is an odd one as it has a totally neutral undertone. It is neither pink nor yellow, just pale as milk. This is actually stage make up, and you can buy a palette of every single shade they do if you are a professional makeup artist. They are so many shades available in this foundation- if you struggle I would really recommend checking out this brand as they offer a huge variety.

As it is stage make up, this is crazy full coverage. I use two fingertips to do my entire face. 
It comes in a small round pot and has a consistency like a cream liner rather than a foundation. It blends well with a damp sponge or your fingers but is way too thick for a brush. This is long wearing but very heavy- by careful as it can look very cakey if you get a bit application happy. Usually retails from around £25 to £35.

Rimmel Stay Matte in Ivory 100
For a High Street brand, well done Rimmel! This is truly extremely pale with a very pink undertone. Blends beautifully- obviously not as full coverage as the two above as it’s not supposed to be. Definitely not for those with dry skin, it is matte and stays matte. This one does oxide a tiny bit darker than the product- but that is to be expected. If you have a yellow undertone, this will not work for you sadly. I tend to wear this for slightly less heavy duty days- it blends beautifully with a brush and helps to control my oily skin. Retails for around £5.99.

L’Oréal True Match in Rose Ivory
So beautiful. I got this for the first time in Duty Free at the airport on the way home from holiday and it is truly magnificent. It is a liquid foundation so would be suitable for any skin type- dry or oily or combination. It blends beautifully with the brush but can tend to transfer a little- it takes some time to set. Obviously not full coverage but definitely evens out skin tone and will hide discoloration and small blemishes. Very pink undertone, gives you that beautiful “English rose” look.  Retails for between £8 and £10.

If you have a foundation you love but it’s just not light enough for you, MAC, Illamasqua, Stargazer and Barry M all make white foundation. You can mix this in to make your own shade. You can also buy a pack of little pots to put this in, if you find you’ve mixed your perfect shade.

I don’t actually use concealer so I am a bit stuck on this one- however, I do have some for the odd days where my skin has a minor breakdown. I do use colour correcting under my eyes and around some scarring I have on my chin- I actually made these myself using some skin base and some eyeshadow- cheap and weird I know but these seem to work well for me.

The two I use, when I need them are Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair 1 and Collection Cover Up Stick in Fair 1.  Both retail for around £4 to £5 and are really lovely. The lasting perfection is like a lip gloss- little tube with a doe foot applicator, the cover up stick is as it sounds, literally a stick. If I am running out of the house and not wearing makeup I use this as its incredibly full coverage for something so cheap. Stays on very well and again, good for us greasy girls.

Curiously, Collections foundation is much more orange than their concealer. Weird.

This is an absolute nightmare for pale people. Most contour colours are either bronzer, or have a red undertone to the brown. When this sets on our pale skin, it makes us look orange. The two I use because they are awesome is Nyx Powder Blush in Taupe or Illamasqua Heroine. Both are a gorgeous brown with absolutely no red undertone. Nyx is around £5 and Illamasqua around £17. The Illamasqua is darker, so if you like a strong contour this is for you. They stay very well and again, if you’re hyper oily like me this helps that it’s a powder.

If you like a matte highlight, I would recommend any of the white foundations mentioned before. If you prefer a powder but matte, you can use Stargazer White Powder, which comes loose or pressed, and retails for around £5. MAC also do a “Shivering White” powder foundation which is very nice, and retails for around £22. Look for Studio Fix Pastels on Google to find.

I prefer looking like a fairy threw up on my face, and I do love a sparkly highlight. This is hard for the ghosties, because most highlight colours are the same shade as us. I personally use Make Up Revolution Highlighter in “Golden Lights” which retails for around £3. This stuff is so pigmented it’s completely mental, and gives your face that Instagram glow. Please remember to just use a little bit or you will look like you ate something radioactive before leaving the house.

It’s not actually too bad to find powder when you’re very pale. For loose powder, I use baby powder. It works brilliantly, because it’s white.

If you’re slightly less trashy than me, the best one I have ever used is Nyx Blotting Powder in Clair. My goodness this is pale, and really doesn’t leave you with that odd blotchy look that makes your pores look like craters. Sells for about £7. Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot in Translucent (around £9) and Seventeen Miracle Matte in Porcelain (around £3.99) are both also lovely, but not quite as pale as the Nyx.

I don’t mean to imply in any way that darker skin or tanning your skin is a bad thing by the way- I just mean that this is my skin tone and what works for me. I also find that blue undertones red lipsticks work well, if you like a red lip which I do. Barry M in 121, Maybelline Super Stay in 510 Red Passion and of course the fabulous MAC Ruby Woo are all beautiful blue toned reds. If you prefer a pink, I personally think Wet ‘n’ Wild 965 Cherry Picking is a gorgeous colour.

If you do have pale skin, please do remember to take care of it. I wear Factor 50 or higher sun screen on my face every day, my personal preference being Neutrogena Dry Touch Lotion in Factor 50+.

For advice from people who really know what they're doing, you can watch Mykie on Glam and Gore on Youtube ( or John Maclean, also on YouTube, both of whom have a brilliant video aimed at the Robert Smith's of the world. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Cartoons for Grown-Ups

When I say cartoons for grown-ups, I mean cartoons that are not for children….not adult things in a cartoon. I don’t know how to explain this.

Moving on.

There seems be a phenomena of these cartoons being made and the thing is, they’re all brilliant. They really are. I love Family Guy and American Dad, I personally think that Seth McFarlane is a very funny man and he has an incredible voice, but really, it’s a fairly base level of humour, and whilst very funny it is also very offensive- absolutely nothing is off the radar, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability and so on. The subjects most cartoons would stay away from. 

However, recently there is a rise in the cartoons that are for adults but are also actually quite moving and dare I say it, even quite profound. Below are the ones that I’ve watched and really thought were sensational. 

6. South Park
I know you’re already incredibly confused, thinking I thought this post was about shows that didn’t have dick and fart humour?! If you want a show that really is hilarious social commentary that points the finger at the behaviour we all exhibit, is happy to mock politics and yes, make some jokes about poop while we’re at it, this is the show for you. I cannot even explain how funny and clever and relevant this show is. The episode where everyone starting driving a Prius and the city was engulfed by a cloud of smug? When there was the debate about the use of nuclear weapons and so the solution to keep people safe was to bury them in the sand, but only their head? Do you see what I mean?

Trey Parker, is in my opinion, an absolute genius. Not afraid to mock anyone including himself. His live work- Cannibal the Musical, Orgazmo, Basketball and Team America: World Police are absolutely hilarious. The last time I bought a series of South Park at a supermarket the girl on the till said “Oh my god, they still make this?” Yes they do, and it’s still hilarious.

Best quote:
The episode where Butters and Stan get dumped and Stan becomes a Goth to externalise the pain. The best quote for me is from Butters. “Well yeah, and I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It makes me feel alive, you know...I guess what I’m feeling is a beautiful sadness.”

5. Futurama
It really goes go without saying that Matt Groening is a master at tugging on the heart strings. The fact that Homer never stops loving Lisa, even though he doesn’t understand her, and the fact that Marge acknowledges Bart is far from perfect but she loves him anyway gets me every time. I love the relationship between Homer and Marge, and the “Do It for Her” episode with Homer and Maggie never fails to make me cry. I didn’t include The Simpsons in this list because it’s so popular I don’t feel it needs it.

But if you really enjoy having your heart hurt then Futurama really is for you. I personally feel that the show went a bit wobbly after the first four seasons, but my goodness are those seasons worth it. It is continually such a sweet, clever and funny show- it’s not too sweet as the humour balances it out.

The relationship between Leela and Fry is truly heart-breaking. Fry doesn’t ever settle for second best and when Leela falls in love with him after some worms in his tummy make him different (just watch it and you’ll see what I mean) Fry gets rids of them. He makes a lot of sacrifices for her and expects very little in return.

Futurama uses music heavily to make the point, and those are some of the saddest episodes. The episode where Fry finds out his brother missed him every day and named his son after him, ends with the shot fading to Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget About Me”. The episode where Fry’s dog Seymour waited for him every day after he disappeared ends with Connie Francis “I Will Wait For You”.

Best Quote
 For my money, the most meaningful quote has to be between Fry and Leela.
Leela: “You know what Fry, I don’t care if you’re not the most important person in the universe. It really makes me happy to see you right now.”
Fry: “Then I am the most important person in the universe”.  

4. Archer
If you are going to write a cartoon series and need it to be a success, you better call H Jon Benjamin, what a voice!

Archer is hilarious. I mean really, truly, ridiculously funny and it makes me do that hideous snort laugh I do when something really gets me. A hilarious bunch of weirdo’s have formed a spy agency and let the ridiculousness fly. I find Archer very touching which I freely admit is quite bizarre. I mean, I don’t really think it’s supposed to be. But I just find that Archer is so hilariously dysfunctional in his life, but he doesn’t ever stop trying to be better.

Best Quote
I personally feel Lana has the best quotes about Archer. Despite his protestations, she really does know Archer best.
Lana: “If you want to know why Archer is Archer, you need to go back in time and have a threesome with Oedipus and Sigmund Freud”

3. Bob’s Burgers
I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you about this show. It’s been a huge hit because it’s so clever, funny and sweet. H Jon Benjamin strikes again!

The Belcher family are only too aware of each other’s failings- Louise is an evil genius, Gene is insane, Linda may be an alcoholic, Bob is a failure, Tina is sexually attracted to zombie’s and their friends and family are all completely weird. But they absolutely love each other for exactly who they are, and would never ask each other to be anything different. I love the relationship between the three children, who remind me of a time when I was young and my brothers were my best friends too.

It really is worth a watch, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Best Quote
Tina: “I’m no hero. I put my bra on one boob at a time like everyone else.”

2. Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty is actually a take-off of “Back to the Future”, and was originally called “Rick and Marty”. Grandad Rick and his grandson Morty have a spaceship and spend their time flying around space visiting different planets, hanging out with aliens. It is particularly grotesque, I’m just giving you fair warning.

I’ll be honest, I rarely watch this episode because it makes me cry every time. Rick’s girlfriend breaks up with him via letter, and it’s read by different people because she’s an alien that takes over planets- again just watch it for this to make sense. The song played over the top is Chaos Chaos “Do You Feel It”, which is one of those odd songs where it’s fairly awful but the lyrics are everything- I have a particular fondness for the line “some days I’m built of metal, I can’t be broken, but not when I’m with you.”

Best Quote
It just has to be the quote from this episode for me, taken from the letter written by Rick’s hive-mind girlfriend Unity. After reading her letter, Rick returns to his garage-workshop, and attempts to kill himself. He passes out before he can succeed, and the song begins. 

Unity: “I realise now I’m attracted to you for the same reason I can’t be with you. You can’t change. And I have no problem with that, but it clearly means I have a problem with myself. I’m sure there’s no perfect version of me…..but I know how it goes with us. I lose who I am and become a part of you…Yours, and nobody else’s, Unity.”

1. Bojack Horseman
Please do not ask me how a show about anthropomorphic animals, the lead character of which is a horse-man type thing who was an actor with his own show and is now a failure can be so utterly, deeply, moving is possible, but it is. This show is not only truly really hilarious and features some incredible vocal talents, but is honestly so deeply moving it will leave you feeling like you’ve just fallen back to earth.

I really strongly recommend you watch this, even if soppy is not your bag. It’s just genius.

Best Quote
I couldn’t pick one so you can have several.

Wanda: “You know, it’s funny. When you look at someone through rose –tinted glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

Bojack: “You know, sometimes I think I was born with a leak, and any goodness I had just slowly spilled out of me and now it’s all gone. And I’ll never get it back in me. It’s too late. Life is just a series of closing doors, isn’t it?”

Monkey: “Every day, it gets a little easier. But you have to do it every day. That’s the hard part.”

Bojack’s Mum Bea: I know you want to be happy, but you won’t. It’s not just you, you know. Your Father and I, we, well. You come by it honestly, the ugliness inside you. You were born broken, that’s your birth right. And now you can fill your life with projects, your books and your movies, and your little girlfriends. But it won’t make you whole. You’re Bojack Horseman, and there’s no cure for that.”

I’m going to go and binge watch all of these now.