3 July 2016

Comparison is the Thief of Joy // On Makeup and Growing Up

As a 15 year old I was immersed in obsessed with the world of beauty bloggers, youtubers and gurus. To say I have become disillusioned with it all would be an understatement. 

Everyone in the community had an enormous makeup collection, and that's what I wanted. Everyone else in the community could had hundreds of followers and thousands of pageviews, and that's what I wanted. Everyone in the beauty community was being sent endless free products from huge brands, and that's what I wanted. Everyone else int he beauty community had clear skin, blue eyes and expensive clothes, and that's what I wanted.

Roosevelt once said that 'comparison is the thief of joy' and no where is this more appropriate than the beauty world. In truth, only a few people in the beauty world had all of the things I listed above, but in my head I was the only one who didn't. Behind the screen everyone else had the same insecurities as I did, the same worries about school/work and, for the most part, could never dream of having a makeup collection as expansive as the online beauty-giants, but that was a side I never saw. People only posted their 'best-bits' online. While I don't blame them because I used to do the same, from an outsider's perspective the damage this does is obvious.

The incessant, and almost competitive, portrayal of one sort of perfection was a side of the beauty community I never noticed until I left. It was a side of the beauty community I never truly noticed until my younger sister discovered it.

My younger sister has grown up on a diet of beauty youtubers and competitive instagramming. Her first phone was an iPhone, she knew the word 'snapchat' before she knew the word 'trigonometry' and she cares more about what other people think of her than she cares about what she thinks of her self. The effect of being constantly bombarded with beauty ideals has destroyed the self-esteem of a generation of teenage girls.

While 5 years ago young girls were trying in vain to live up to the photo-shopped ideal of beauty presented to us by magazines and advertising, now young girls are trying in vain to live up to the photo-shopped ideal of beauty presented to us by our friends, our sisters and our colleagues. 

When I was 12 I had a tamagotchi, I collected posters of my favourite bands from magazines and I read Harry Potter all day, everyday. As an 12 year old today, my sister has a makeup collection worth more than my phone, she 'collects' likes on her Instagrams and she watches makeup tutorials online all day, everyday.

Although I sound like a 75 year old woman throwing around phrases like 'back in my day we didn't have the internet' and 'the kids of today are obsessed with their phones, it wasn't like this when I was a girl' while shaking my head aggressively, I can assure you that is not the case. What I see is a generation of young girls trying desperately to find their own identity, while being constantly told to conform to ideals of (usually white, cis-gendered) female behaviour, language and looks and that has got to change.

A generation of feminists are calling out the advertising, film and music industries for their blatant sexism and for providing girls with unrealistic standards of beauty. A generation of feminists are campaigning for diversification and representation in the advertising, film and music industries. So why aren't we doing the same for the beauty industry? 

I am not asking beauty gurus to lay down their brushes and to pick up a copy of 'The Feminine Mystique' but I am asking the alternatives to come forward. I am asking for those who are 'different' to shout louder and I am asking those around them to amplify their voices. We don't need fewer beauty gurus but we do need more 'alternatives'. We need balance in the beauty industry and community. For every white, cis-gendered, straight female beauty guru we should have someone who is not. We need to realise that not everyone is able to achieve the image of beauty portrayed by the majority of beauty gurus because not everyone looks like the majority of beauty gurus.We need balance and we need diversity.

Comparison may be the thief of joy, but diversity may be the key to bringing it back.

N.B. I will not be removing the old posts on this blog because they were a significant part of my life and, for the most part, I am proud of what I wrote. I still hugely respect beauty bloggers and honestly believe that blogging is a healthy way to share a passion for something. However, this blog will be taking a new direction. I want to be realistic about the beauty standards young girls have to live up to, I want to be able to call people out for things I disagree with and I want to be brutally honest about the things I see online.

14 June 2015

Book Haul

As much as I love reading books on my Kindle, it just doesn't quite compare to buying the real thing and being able to hold the book in your hand as you read, turn the pages, and then fill your shelves with stories. Not to mention that the smell of the pages of a new book is up there with the smell of birthday candles just after you blow them out on a scale of great smells. So I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when the Amazon delivery man left a little package with three new books in it on my doorstep this morning.

I am a big Carrie Hope Fletcher fan, I think she is an incredible Eponine in Les Mis and I love watching her YouTube videos so when she announced she was writing a book I figured this was the one YouTuber book I would make an exception for and bring into my life. I also picked up All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman on her recommendation.

I also did something I rarely ever do, I watched the film version of The Perks of Being A Wallflower before I decided to buy the book. I am and have always been one to read the books before the watching the film but I guess I made an exception. Also movie inspired, I downloaded Travelling To Infinity by Jane Hawking after watching the Theory of Everything because the story absolutely fascinated me. I guess the only thing left to do is decide which to read first!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to share it, and leave a comment below telling me which books you think I should read next

Have a beautiful day

Gaby xx

6 June 2015

New Makeup Storage | Train Case

Searching for the perfect makeup storage solution is a task and a half, and if you have a makeup collection of any size you will understand the struggle. I bought the IKEA Alex Drawers in late 2013 and kept my makeup organised like this for a long time. Essentially, I used up a lot of space for a makeup collection that is honestly not that huge. It was really inefficient so when I received an Amazon voucher for my birthday back in March I decided to buy this train case for £25.

It is honestly a lot bigger than I had expected (dimensions: 36.5cm x 22cm x 27cm) and fits all my makeup super easily, as well as my entire nail polish collection in the large section at the bottom. It closes securely and can be locked.

On the left hand side I keep all my eye and lip products in the three tiers. At the top I keep my everyday essentials so I don't have to open the case every time I want to do a quick look. My MAC Paint Pots, Makeup Revolution Brow Kit, Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette and my BareMinerals Lash Domination mascara are my most used products on this layer.

On the second layer I keep a few other cream eyeshadows, a tonne of eyeliners and some lip crayons. On the third layer I keep all my other eyeshadow palettes including the Benefit World Famous Neutrals and my Makeup Revolution Iconic palettes

On the right hand side I keep all my base products with my favourites/most used products featuring at the top. On the first layer I always keep a tube of the Body Shop Tea Tree primer, MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation, NARS Laguna Bronzer, MAC blushes and my Sleek Contour Kit.

On the second layer I keep three more blushers, 2 bottles of Rimmel Match Perfection foundation and a Body Shop BB Cream. On the third layer I keep a few primer and BB cream samples, an anti-bacterial gel, a pair of tweezers and an eye pencil sharpener.

At the very bottom I keep all my nail polishes along the sides, a pack of Johnson's wipes, Lush lip scrub, Body Shop Lip Butters and my all-time favourite Elegant Touch False Nails.

How do you store your makeup? Let me know in the comments below

Have a beautiful day

Gaby xx

16 May 2015

Should Youtubers Write Books?

(Disclaimer: what I am about to write is my own personal opinion, I'm not saying I'm right - if you disagree with what I am saying then please feel free to let me know in the comments. Also, I am going to be making extreme generalisations in this post, what I say certainly does not apply to all YouTubers - this is just an observation on a general trend that I am beginning to see. I am also not hating on YouTubers as people, I am simply sharing my opinion on the idea of them writing books)

I'm a big believer in honest work for honest results, so I'm sure you can understand why I have an issue with YouTubers signing book deals and publishing books for the simple reason that they can. I also find it a little ironic that so many YouTubers claim to 'have always wanted to publish a book' but fail to mention this until after the book deal has been signed.

 My main problem is not the fact that YouTubers are being given book deals, but the fact that YouTubers are writing their names on the covers of books and passing them off as their own. YouTuber's books are flying off the shelves for the simple reason that YouTubers 'wrote' them. To prove a point, when it was released 'Girl Online' broke records and became the fastest selling book of all time, smashing J.K. Rowling's previous record, and the fact that 'Zoe Sugg' was written on the front certainly had a lot to do with it. With allegations emerging of 'Girl Online' being ghost written and the 'Pointless Book' being a blatant copy of the immensely popular 'Wreck This Journal' it is hard to get on board with the idea that so many YouTubers are being offered book deals.

I can totally understand that if you are offered a book deal it is highly unlikely that you are going to turn it down and while some of these YouTubers-turned-authors clearly can write, and enjoy doing so, as they were bloggers years before they were YouTubers, it is a simple fact that all mediums do not mix. Success as a vlogger/blogger is very different to success in the world of fiction and this leads me to believe that publishers are simply playing a numbers game.

What makes this whole situation worse is that the more success YouTubers are having offline (with book deals, beauty ranges and even rumoured fashion ranges), the less they seem to care about their online content. Their videos are becoming less and less creative and engaging with comedy skits and genuine content fast being replaced by haul videos and Q&As. What saddens me most is that the phrase 'love you guys, thanks for watching' is beginning to sound a lot more like 'buy my book, buy my merch and buy my beauty products and then I'll love you'.

I would love to read your thoughts on what I've written in the comments below.

Have a beautiful day

Gaby xx

16 April 2015

My Daniel Wellington

This is the Daniel Wellington Classy Sheffield Ladies' Watch in Rose Gold. All the Daniel Wellington watches have been all over the blogosphere recently, and for good reason. The whole range of watches is simple, timeless and downright beautiful.

At the end of the day, all you really need a watch to do is tell the time and with our phones in our pockets 24/7, watches are hardly necessary accessories any more. However, there is something about a beautiful watch that can finish off an outfit. I chose this watch because the rose gold detailing on the face matches any outfit and makes this watch a little more feminine. The larger dial and jet black leather strap were a little intimidating at first, I'll be honest, but there isn't an outfit I've tried that doesn't look amazing with this watch.

My old watch, a cheap and cheerful one from ASOS, was so noisy that it would drive me insane, but this watch doesn't have a second hand, and ticks so quietly that I leave it by my bed at night and it never disturbs me. 

What is your favourite accessory? Let me know in the comments below

Have a beautiful day

Gaby xx