The Make Up Counter Rant

Monday, 31 August 2015

If there one’s thing I hate about make up its high end make up counters. I’ve lost count as to how many counters I’ve approached only to either be ignored completely or be helped by someone with an awful attitude. I’ve started to give up on make up counters completely and now rely on instinct and blogger reviews to choose my items online.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand how annoying it can be to work in customer service. I work in a customer focused environment and sometimes I just want to tear my hair out, scream profanities and run all the way home but you just can’t do that. If you work in retail you have to be polite, positive and helpful at all times and as I do my best to maintain a happy image, I expect the same from other retail workers.

Let’s be real here though, not all of us are lucky enough to experience great (or even good) customer service at make up counters. I can count how many good experiences I’ve had at make up counters/stores on one hand and that’s over the course of 5 years. My first ever experience at MAC was a great one, my first time at Urban Decay was also a delightful one and my time in Sephora in New York was incredible.

That’s really it though. Every other time at a high end make up counter has been about as enjoyable as a leg wax.

I won’t bore you with every negative experience I’ve had at high end make up counters as that would just turn into a 10 page make up rant. I will say though that the main culprit tends to be MAC and I really don’t know why. The only good experience I’ve had at MAC was on a busy Saturday afternoon while the negative experiences occurred when the counter was completely deserted.

The bad customer service is also not exclusive to one counter. I’ve been to 2 MAC stores and 7 different MAC counters in 3 different countries and I was either ignored or assisted by someone who really couldn’t be bothered and didn’t even attempt to listen.

What really gets me though is how much money I’m usually willing to spend at make up counters and how little the sales advisors I’m met with care. If I’m at a make up counter it’s usually because I want to see one product in person and buy a whole bunch of other items but I’m never allowed to do that. I tend to leave a counter annoyed and buy just one or two items online. I don’t know if this is high end make up companies business strategy or not but if it is, they’re really good at executing it.

Like I said earlier I do my best to give good customer service and expect the same as a result but if I don’t get it, I just move my shopping online. I’d much rather buy my items right there and then rather than wait for them to arrive through the mail but if I’m going to get better service from a faceless website then that’s where I’m going to go.

It probably sounds like I hate all make up counters and sales advisers but I really don’t. I’m just bored of always wandering over to a high end make up stand when the wrong people are working. All I want is a nice, happy person (even if the happiness is fake) to assist me with my purchases and let me buy the frigging lipstick I want! Is that too much to ask?

Tell me about your make up counter experiences. Are they good, bad or just downright annoying?

Kenneth Jay Lane 2 Tiered Necklace

Saturday, 29 August 2015

When I was 14 I went through that delightful emo turned scene kid phase all the cool kids go through. I wore a tonne of cheap costume jewellery and thought I looked as cool as those Bebo “Fame Kids” (does anyone else remember them?). Eventually I realised I looked like an absolute imbecile and the time it took to put on and remove all of that jewellery was not worth it. I think I’m still shell shocked from those days as now my jewellery collection is extremely modest and contains only tasteful items.

As my collection is so small there is a distinct lack of various items, particularly anything gold (unless you count that 50 Cent like chain as tasteful of course). Since I noticed the gold gap I decided to hunt for a pretty, dainty gold necklace to jazz up dull outfits. My search didn’t last long as I stumbled upon this beautiful 2 tiered gold necklace by Kenneth Jay Lane.

I instantly fell in love with this necklace as soon as I spotted the tiny little picture of it online. The 2 tier style helps add a little interest to the necklace while the gold rectangles keep the necklace simple and delicate.

The necklaces arrived joined together but have since separated after they managed to get in a tangle with each other. I’ve kept them separate so now I’m in great danger of losing one of the tiers. I’m not a huge fan of them being 2 separate necklaces since I plan on always wearing them together and have a tendency to lose jewellery down the side of some form of furniture. I’m sure in a few weeks one of these necklaces will have disappeared and will resurface in 5 years from now.

Despite the fact I risk losing one of these necklaces I’m rather happy with my pick. For once I’ve chosen gold jewellery that doesn’t look like it belongs around the neck of a really bad rapper. Hopefully I’ll get a lot of use out of the Kenneth Jay Lane two tiered necklace before my disturbing love of chunky gold chains returns. If you ever see me in public looking like I should be hanging out with 2Chainz, please pull me to the side and have a serious word with me.

British Touring Car Championship

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

If you've ever been to Knockhill, the racing circuit somewhere in the east of Scotland, you'll know just how cold and wet it can be. It seems to come as a surprise when the sun comes out; so much so that even the commentators can't stop talking about the glorious weather. Of course, it isn't Knockhill without a bit of wind so I watched the majority of the British Touring Car Championship looking incredibly windswept and not very interesting.

The British Touring Car Championship rolled into Knockhill on August 22nd and 23rd. My other half and I had decided we wanted to go following our stint at the British Superbikes and we were lucky enough to be given complimentary tickets courtesy of my dad's work.

Admittedly I'm more of a motorbike fan than I am a car fan but even I can't deny the excitement of the BTCC. It draws in one hell of a crowd every year and although we turned up before the first race, we still struggled to find a spot. Usually I choose to sit at Scotmans corner for the motorbikes but this just wasn't an option for the BTCC. We found ourselves sitting somewhere on the side of the track I rarely visit and of course, the drunken idiots were out in full force around us. Ah the punishment for sleeping until 9am.

While there wasn't a huge lot of action in the location we were stuck in the BTCC was as brilliant as always. I can't imagine it's everyone's cup of tea to sit for 6 hours in the freezing cold wind watching cars whizz past them but for me, it's utter bliss. It actually makes me want to hop behind the wheel of one of the cars and go as fast as possible but as I've crashed a go kart on a straight I don't think that'll ever happen. To think I absolutely hated going to Knockhill when I was a kid!

Next month Knockhill will host the Super Lap Scotland Finale and Paul Walker Tribute and I'm itching to go. September is always a dodgy time for Scottish weather so no doubt it'll probably be snowing or something equally ridiculous at Knockhill but that's part of the fun. You never know if it's gonna be you or one of the drivers/riders who ends up skidding about on their backside.

Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray Review

Saturday, 22 August 2015

While my skin has changed a lot over the years my make up routine hasn’t. I always mix foundation with a Barry M white foundation (now discontinued, boo!) before applying some form of powder in an attempt to keep everything matte. Now that my skin has reached the oiliest it’s ever been (and will hopefully not become any oilier) I’m beginning to search for new products that will help me keep my preferred matte finish.

One item that was on my “must have” list in the fight against oil is the Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray. I never really got around to purchasing it but fortunately for me, it appeared in the Selfridges Summer Beauty Box. Hurray for impulse buys!

The whole application of the Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray isn’t my favourite thing in the world but sometimes you just have to spray yourself in the face with liquid. The bottle states that this spray should be applied in an X and T formation but I find it impossible to do this; I just don’t have enough face for Xs and Ts. I personally find that two sprays is more than enough to cover all of my skin and anything more would start to drown me.

The spray itself is very light and doesn’t emphasise any pores. It also doesn’t cause make up to settle into any fine lines nor does it cause your make up to instantly look caky and patchy. I do find it has a bit of a vodka like smell to it which makes me feel a little sick. The scent does disappear quickly but it’s not the most pleasant of scents.

When it comes to the whole keeping oil at bay thing I’m afraid to say I’m not impressed. The drying time for this spray is about 2 minutes after application and once it is dry I can see my face looks just as shiny as it does before I apply the spray. I end up applying more MAC Blot Powder after the Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray is dry as I just can’t stand the shine.

Things don’t really get much better for me during the days I’ve covered my face in the Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray. I may as well just go without it as my face is just as oily a few hours after the initial application as it is without the spray.

I’m actually a little gutted that the Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray didn’t live up to my expectations. I usually love Urban Decay’s make up but this just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it’s just me and my face…

The (Dreaded) Smear Test

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

On December 8th 2014 I had the utmost pleasure of lying in a doctor’s room at 10am with my nether regions out. No this isn’t the beginning of a really bad 50 Shades of Grey fanfiction, this is the delightful tale of the embarrassing smear test.

I was invited for my first smear test at the age of 20 (in Scotland the age for cervical screening is currently 20 – 60 years old however this will change to 25 – 64 years old in 2016) but I ignored the request. The whole idea of a smear test left me embarrassed and a little nervous so I refrained from making an appointment to have it done.

It wasn’t until I was at my local health centre about a different issue that I had my smear test. As I had never made an appointment for the test I wasn’t entirely clued up on what I was being tested for or what was actually going to happen. Basically I just took my jeans off and hoped for the best.

Let’s be real here though, the idea of getting naked from the waist down, lying on a table/bed, spreading your legs and letting a stranger fiddle about in your vagina for medicinal purposes is a little awkward. You just have to remind yourself before your smear test that the doctor/nurse carrying it out is a professional and has seen many reproductive organs in their time. They won’t picture your nether regions if they walk past you in the street that’s for sure.

Once you’re past the awkward “please don’t judge my razor burns” part the rest of the test is fairly straightforward. A speculum will be used to hold the walls of your vagina so the person carrying out the test can see your cervix. Once your cervix is in view a soft brush will be used to take some samples from it. The whole test takes around 5 minutes to complete and then you’re free to put your clothes back on, pick up your dignity and leave.

After putting my jeans back on I was told my results would be with me in 2 weeks but mine actually appeared on my 22nd birthday, 4 weeks after I had had the smear test. If there is a delay in your results appearing in your mailbox I wouldn’t worry too much but if the lead time starts to get ridiculous I would start making some calls.

Now the results themselves are usually nothing to worry about. My test showed everything is “normal” down there but if your test does come back as abnormal don’t panic. Abnormal cells don’t necessarily mean anything and these cells may return to their normal state by themselves. There is a chance that the cells will have to be removed but this is really just a precaution.

If your test comes back as abnormal and HPV (Human Papilloma virus) is found you should be invited back for further tests, this will more than likely be in the form of a colposcopy. This procedure involves the use of a microscope like device (a colposcope to be exact) to examine your cervix.

If you’re nervous about having a smear test I assure you there’s nothing to worry about. Admittedly my test was a little painful but that was due to my muscles involuntarily tensing down there. So long as you breathe slowly and do your best to stay relaxed your test you should be easy and pain free.

Cervical screening is hardly the most glamorous of things but as members of the female persuasion, it’s something we have to do for our own health. We’re extremely lucky to have access to things like smear tests and it would be silly to not take advantage of this. Make sure you find time in your life to have your test done whenever you’re invited for one, it may potentially save your life after all.

The New Lush Haul

Sunday, 16 August 2015

It was Twitter that broke my “no more Lush” ban; someone posted a picture of The Comforter in the Westfield Stratford store and that was it, my will power shattered. As soon as I saw the picture I immediately hopped onto the Lush website in hopes their Oxford Street exclusive products were finally available to us non Londoners. Of course the website did not disappoint and of course, my bank card made its way out of my purse. Oh will power how I loathe thee.

I still have a lot of Lush items leftover from my Christmas box and all of my many shopping trips to Edinburgh so I kept my order to the absolute minimum. Of course The Comforter Shower Cream had to be purchased; there is no Lush product that can beat it after all.

The Comforter is incredible in bubble bar form so I have high hopes for it as a shower cream. Since I don’t have a bath in my house The Comforter Shower Cream is an absolute dream. Annoyingly I’m going to stop myself from using it until all of my other Lush shower gels, soaps and jellies are used but I’ll treat myself to the occasional sniff of course. So much berry goodness!

I must’ve been going for a blackcurrant theme as Respect Your Elders also made its way into my basket. This deep purple soap is actually for my dad and I really only chose it because of its name.

I didn’t bother reading any reviews prior to purchasing Respect Your Elders so I was a little worried it wouldn’t be to my dad’s taste. I still have no idea if he likes it or not but if he doesn’t, I’ll happily take it off his hands as it smells delicious; if grape soda was ever made into soap Respect Your Elders would be it.

If you’re a fan of The Comforter and don’t mind chasing soap around your shower floor I would highly recommend giving Respect Your Elders a good old smell. I’m drooling at the mere thought of it.

Is it sad that I’m quite proud of myself for not going overboard with Lush this time? I usually go a little over the top so a 2 item haul is a vast improvement for me. Now I just have to fight the temptation to use The Comforter straight away. This is going to be hard

Illamasqua Luster Lipstick Review

Thursday, 13 August 2015

When I first spotted Illamasqua Luster in the Selfridge’s Summer Beauty Box I almost wet myself in excitement (lovely mental image for you there). Luster ticks every single box on my lipstick wishlist. It’s brightly coloured, it comes in sleek packaging and it probably looks atrocious on me (the last one isn’t on my wishlist, it’s just a sad fact about the majority of lipsticks I like).

On paper Luster is the perfect lipstick for me. The only issue surrounding it was my previous experience with an Illamasqua lipstick, Virgin to be exact. I really did not care for the pigmentation of Virgin and as a result I was rather worried about how Luster would perform.

As Luster is a vivid lipstick I expected vivid results and to my surprise, Luster really delivered. One quick application resulted in bright pink lips and a very happy me. Another more precise application meant even brighter lips and an even happier me. One point for Luster!

Once I was happy with my uneven bright pink lips (why couldn’t I have been born with even lips?) I began to worry about the staying power. Luster comes from the ‘Glamore’ collection which involves a lot of satin finishes and creamy formulas. Usually creamy lipsticks and I get on for a few hours before we tend to part ways. Creamy lipsticks seem to want to be on my glass, my food, my hair…basically anywhere that isn’t my lips.

As this is the case I assumed Luster would jump off my face onto anything that would have it but it didn’t quite work out that way. Sure there was some transfer whenever I had a drink or ate some food but nothing extreme. A quick little dab of my lips with my finger after eating/drinking meant Luster would even itself again and no one was any the wiser.

Since Illamasqua proved me wrong on the pigmentation and staying power I assumed I would be proven wrong on whether Luster would dry my lips out or not. I hoped it wouldn’t but sadly it did. I’ve been back on the water like there’s no tomorrow so my lips were in tip, top condition but Luster wasn’t having that. After around 8 hours of wear I could feel my lips getting a little drier and slightly flaky. A little bit of lip balm temporarily solved the issue but my lips usually stay on the drier side after I’ve removed Luster for the night.

Overall I’m really impressed with Luster. I don’t think it looks that great on me so I would think twice before purchasing this if you’re ghostly white like I am but that aside, I really like Luster. Sure I could do without it drying my lips out but hey, that’s a small price to pay for a gorgeous, obnoxious bright pink lipstick. If you’re looking for a less “in your face” version of MAC Candy Yum Yum then Illamasqua Luster is your thing!

And just to end this post on an adorable note here's Teddy attempting to assist me with blog photos. I asked him if he would help me write this post but apparently disfiguring his toy duck was more important.

Nails Inc Chiltern Street

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Gel effect nail polishes and I don’t really get on with each other. The first coat is always fine but somehow I always seem to mess up the second coat and my nail polish becomes patchy, rough to touch and just not that pretty. As this is the case I typically stay away from gel effect nail polishes but Selfridges and their delightful Beauty Box didn’t get the memo.

Nails Inc Chiltern Street is in Selfridges Summer Beauty Box and when I first saw it I didn’t really know what to make of it. Pale pink looks about as good on me as lipstick does on a pig, throw in the gel effect and I was pretty much screwed with this nail polish. Being the experimental person that I am though (oh how I make myself laugh) I bit the bullet and tried Chiltern Street regardless.

Usually pale pink nail polishes require a lot of coats to even get close to something that can be described as opaque but as Chiltern Street is a gel effect nail polish this isn’t the case. Chiltern Street gives you an even, almost fully opaque finish with just the first layer. Apply a thin second layer and your nails will be a pretty pale pink without the awful “I totally rushed this” look I rock on my nails.

Like I previously mentioned I always seem to mess up the second layer so I’ve become extra careful during the 2 minutes I have to apply nail polish before leaving for work. Chiltern Street has been in danger of giving me that usual rough to touch finish but I somehow salvage it and even it all out every time. I would love to say that’s down to my amazing polish applying skills but I think it’s more to do with Nails Inc’s formula.

As for the all-important chip resistance well, Nails Inc are on to a winner with Chiltern Street. This nail polish lasts around 2 days before the chipping starts to occur and even then, it’s hardly worth talking about. The only reason I remove Chiltern Street from my nails is because I’m bored of the colour, not because it’s chipped to the death.

Am I over the moon that Nails Inc Chiltern Street is in the Selfirdges Summer Beauty Box? No but I’m not mad about it. Like I said, pale pink nail polishes just don’t look right on me but I’m rather happy with the formula and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase a Nails Inc Gel Effect nail polish now. Perhaps Chiltern Street just started a beautiful gel effect friendship with me.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

As August 3rd was a Bank Holiday my other half decided we would hide from the inevitable rain in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

All galleries should have this lovely view

The promise of a M.C Escher exhibition was what lured us in. A print of M.C Escher’s ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’ used to hang in our high school so we both wanted to see the real thing. Stupidly we almost forgot about the exhibition until we were in the gift shop.

As we made our way into the first gallery I became a little too excited about the writing on the building. I’m still confused as to whether it’s a Jenny Holzer original or if it was inspired by her but either way, I absolutely love it. I probably babbled a little bit too much about Jenny Holzer to my other half but she was one of the artists I studied at college and I cannot get enough of her work.

It just so happened that there was a Roy Lichtenstein exhibition on and, while I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with pop art, I’’ve always admired his work in passing. Admittedly I’ve never taken the opportunity to properly look at Roy Lichtenstein’s art so it was nice to finally be able to view a lot of his pieces in the one place. Of course not all of his work was displayed but we did get to see things like Reflections: Art and Reflections on Conversation so I was happy.

We also made sure to view all of the other artwork on display. The issue with modern art is it often brings up the “how is this art?” question and I’m afraid to say this question came out of our mouths on a regular basis. I’m still trying to figure out how a wall with what appears to be multiple paint samples on it can count as art but hey, these people are being paid to create these things so I guess I shouldn’t question it.

My art knowledge isn’t what it used to be but I did manage to give my other half some useless facts about a John Bellany painting. I had to write multiple essays about many John Bellany paintings while in high school and it’s nice to know everything I wrote is still with me. I wonder if these newfound memories of mine will help me in a pub quiz.

After we filled up on our art in the first gallery we made our way into the gift shop where, as previously mentioned, we were reminded about the M.C Escher exhibition. I also got a paintbrush that has a pencil on the end so clearly this gift shop is awesome!

We slowly wandered across the road to the second gallery where we were greeted with another Jenny Holzer. I’m fairly certain this one is the real deal but please correct me if I’m wrong. There is also a rather adorable maze outside the second gallery which we were rather tempted by; if only it wasn’t just for kids!

After paying the £9.00 entry fee we made our way upstairs to find 4 rooms full of original M.C Escher work. Being the idiots that we are we started the art viewing in room 2 rather than room 1. Doing this though meant we got to see ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’ first and everything else second.

I’m still in awe of M.C Escher’s work and I can’t even fathom how much time went into creating each piece. I’m also little confused by the methods he used to create his artwork (especially when math randomly gets involved towards the end of his life) but I’m still trying to figure out how to not colour outside the lines.

Every time I go to an art gallery I always feel inspired to pick up a pencil and this visit has filled me with that inspiration again. Usually I refrain from drawing as I get really frustrated at myself but now that I have a paintbrush with a pencil on the end I have no excuse to not draw. I bet I’ll pick up a pencil, draw one line and immediately give up. Damn all those talented people who have pieces in art galleries!

Let's Talk About Sex(ual Education)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

After multiple conversations with various people I’ve come to the conclusion that we as a nation – or at least the people I know – don’t know jack about sex.

I’m sure we all know the mechanics of it, we all know what to do to try and get the other person/people involved to orgasm but that seems to be about it. I can’t recall being taught much more during my high school sex education classes other than how to put a condom on a banana.

I was thinking about the few times sex education was mentioned during my school days. In primary school we had to watch a video which involved 2 animated characters chasing each other with feathers before being forced to watch the horrors of child birth – you can tell me it’s a beautiful thing all you like, I still maintain it’s disturbing.

My high school sex education went a little bit more in depth. At 14 years old I was taught about the wonders of birth control and STIs and not much else. Sure the pain during a female’s first time was briefly touched upon but only to say that the pain is caused by the hymen tearing. Funnily enough we weren’t even taught about the hymen correctly.

At no point were we told anything that might actually be useful. Ok so I know how to put a condom on and I know that chlamydia looks disgusting under a microscope but that’s about it. No one ever said that you can fit a 2 litre bottle into a condom so when a guy tells you his micro penis is too big for a rubber you can call bull plop on it. No one ever told us that pain during sex can be a little more serious than your hymen tearing and no one, not one bloody person taught us that there’s more to consent than a simple yes or no.

I don’t even think the subject of the female reproductive system was ever brought up to guys. In primary school we were split into females and males (which is just stupid in itself) and taught about our own body parts. In high school we were taught about the penis while the vagina was left as a mysterious wonderland where blood and babies come from.

I imagine most guys know girls have periods and that we’re all very crabby when we have them (although I turn into an absolute delight during those 5 days so there’s that theory busted) and that our pink, velvety caves are very nice places to put their penises in but I’m starting to think that’s it. The amount of guys I know who think we urinate out of the same place they’re sticking their happy little friend into is ridiculous. Hell, I know guys who still think a female has a wider vagina because she’s had one too many dicks in her.

There’s probably a great deal about the penis that girls don’t know, after all I only just found out that sometimes their man juice can be yellow and it has nothing to do with an infection. I’d like to have known a little bit more about the elephant trunk looking thing that hangs between their legs in high school. It would’ve been nice to know that alcohol can cause erectile dysfunction and it’s not just something that happens to older gentlemen.

It would have also been nice to have been told that jizz tastes disgusting rather than just being taken by surprise (I should’ve paid more attention to that “funky spunk” episode of Sex and the City) and almost spitting it on the idiot who insisted he came in my mouth. I’m not entirely sure this should be mentioned during sex education though.

Sex education left me very confused as a teenager so when it came to actually losing my virginity I was a bit of a lost cause. I was prepared for pain and boy did I get it despite my hymen disappearing a long time beforehand (where it went I will never know). I didn’t know what the pain was since no one had ever mentioned anything other than that delightful bit of skin tearing. I didn’t really think I would have to google “pain during sex” 7 years after I lost my virginity but if you check my internet history you’ll see I’ve done a lot of that.

Sure education of a sexual nature shouldn’t be left entirely up to high school teachers and anyone else they chose to bring in but let’s be real here, there wasn’t many virgins left in my class by the time we turned 15. Sex education was left a little too late for my liking and it was all very basic. I think I learnt more from my brother trying to crack sex jokes than I did from people who were paid to teach us about the wonders of fornicating.

I don’t think starting sex education from a younger age is going to help eliminate teenage pregnancy nor is it going to wipe out gonorrhoea but it would at least help a few of us along in our orgasm quest. I’m not looking for techniques to be taught to a bunch of teenagers, I just want a thorough, in depth conversation that touches on a little more than how not to get pregnant. I’d also like consent to be discussed in greater detail but let’s take this one step at a time shall we?

Happy (and safe) humping xx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...