Thursday, 27 December 2018

2018 Outro.

This was a year full of challenges, lots of joy with sprinkles of anxiety attacks because what would life be without a few breakdowns? Overall a good balanced year and I had lots of important conversations with myself about myself. I've learned to not force myself to do things I don't want to do because they're expected of me, learned to stand my ground a bit more and be OK with my sudden bursts of anger which I have worked on suppressing for many years. I've let myself be myself much more, good and bad, and prioritize the people I love while still allowing myself to disappear when I need a break.

Creatively this year has been awesome!
I've decided to just not care anymore about societies ridiculous beauty standards, I have embraced my occasional pimples, facial hair, wrinkles that have started to make their appearance, even my dark circles under my eyes (which I intend on getting fillers for in a few years but for now I'm letting them be). I find it so exhausting and terribly boring seeing all these people face tuning and trying to be living dolls without any "flaws" (or humanity). I have also realized just how much I love make-up, I have always liked it but now I truly believe that it's what I want to do for the rest of my life as well as photography. While I don't ever want to lock myself into a specific genre as I love too many different styles, as my "Best nine of 2018" proved on Instagram, I don't stress about being too plain or not living up to peoples expectations. Following the changes Instagram made earlier this year with the algorithm I feel even less inclined to please others and want to reach a point where I only do things that speak to me, for me. I feel very fortunate to have made so many wonderful friends on such a diverse platform who all inspire me to keep growing and who have been encouraging me to keep up with my not so traditional Instagram beauty feed.

In short.
I'm happy and excited for the future.
I've started setting up my bullet journal which I absolutely loved and am so happy I discovered this year. Definitely helped me keep my anxiety at bay.

And to end this "outro" I hope you feel inspired to better look after yourself by perhaps having more talks with yourself and do more of what you love in the new year, for you and less pleasing of others.

Have a peaceful end to the year and wishing you all a stronger and more confident 2019.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Indie Beauty Holiday Gift Guide 2018.

I've been very fortunate to mainly have had positive experiences with the Indie community. These recommendations aren't listed in any particular order, they're all special to me. I have to say that the thing I love most about indies is the personal touch and communication. While I could easily have made this list 10 times longer I wanted to do my best at keeping it from turning into the next wall of text. All shop names are clickable and will take you straight to their shops. I hope this helps someone and happy shopping!

Moon Baby Shop

A small batch Etsy shop with focus on body care with jewelry pieces and lots of beautiful herbal creations. All vegan and everything is worth the money.
I have tried a lot of things from this store and I've not been disappointed. They do frequently add new things to their shop and change it up depending on the season. Awesome customer service, I ordered a gift for two friends a while back and had it gift wrapped, it looked lovely so don't hessite to ask for help.

F.A.I.R. Beauty Cosmetics

I almost own every eye shadow from this lovely lady.
She makes my favorite shimmers.
I'd also highly recommend the lip balms which have quickly become my new favorites, they are so nice and most importantly for me; they don't melt in the tube in the Zambian heat. All products are vegan and always send very well packaged. And I do have a discount code with her, use code "CYNTHIA" for 10% off (affiliate code). Also have plenty of hauls and swatches on the blog, just search on the side bar.

The Collective Cosmetics

A brand started by two make-up artists I follow on Instagram ( @beautanica and @josephwilliamrobinsonhale ).
You can absolutely tell how passionate they are for their brand in every post they make. I was very lucky to get The Mandela Effect Palette sent to me for participating in a contest they hosted (review can be found on the blog). Very pretty, all vegan and very much a brand that encourages and sparks creativity.

Espionage Beauty (formerly known as Espionage Cosmetics).

What can I say that I haven't said already about this brand?
I love this company to bits. It speaks to my geeky heart and fills me with joy. As a lifelong nerd I get constantly punched in the feels by the amazingness. Everything is cruelty free and they do a very good job at stating what's vegan. Lots of nails wraps, incredible make-up/eyeshadow compacts but be fast! A lot of the things take a bit of time to get restocked but are always worth the wait and speaking of things being sold out... They now have gift certificates! So if you have a nerdy someone you plan on gifting something, maybe just shoot them a gift certificate!
I do also have a discount link on the side bar here on the blog (desktop view) which gives you 10% off your purchase! And yes, this is a affiliate code but you can absolutely bet that whatever I make going back into the same company because nail wraps...

Twisted Wonderland Perfumery

I love everything about this indie!
Horror inspired body care? Yes please! I managed to try a few things a while back before our courier company stepped up their charges and it was all really nice stuff! I tried a few perfumes and soaps which were all very nicely balanced in fragrance. There's always new things and the inventory does change depending on the season which I personally enjoy as it keeps you interested and has you coming back.

I Am Sin

For those that don't know, I absolutely love following fetish models. Masuimi Max was one of the first latex and pointy shoes ladies I ever followed, well, stalked on Model Mayhem back when I gave modelling a short lived shot (something I aim to resume when I'm back in civilization). Anyhow, this vixen has a make-up line consisting of liquid lipsticks, eye shadows, gloss, blushes and now bronzer and highlighters! I have written a thorough review of a few of her lipsticks which you can find on the blog, just search in the side bar.

Southern Comforts

Ah, my heart.
I discovered this little company many years ago and has been a part of my health journey. I stopped using perfumes a few years prior to finding SoCo because I suddenly started getting nauseated by all perfume smells... Or so I thought! Turns out it was only to mainstream alcohol based perfumes... SoCo does oil based ones, not only do they last a lot longer but the fragrances they offer are so unique! I love every single fragrance I've gotten from them and they have been a big part of my aromatherapy journey. Forever grateful for finding SoCo.

Lethal Cosmetics

Berlin based ├╝ber cool company who oozes minimalistic goth grunge (that's a thing according to them and I'm all for it).
I've been a fan since they launched as a brand and I have nothing bad to say really, all vegan and cruelty free, really exciting palettes and cool lip products which all speak to me.

Brands I want to try or have only dipped my toe in:

Linda Hallberg Cosmetics

While this is a brand I haven't personally tried many things from, not for the lack of wanting but rather because I am the way I am and I struggle with decision anxiety. Everything is at a glance very basic... But that's the beauty of it. Everything is multipurpose and the possibilities are endless! I have only seen good things about this brand and from the two things I have myself I can say the praise is justified.

Menagerie Cosmetics

Ah, in case you missed it, I'm a sucker for colour.
Menagerie Cosmetics is not only a vegan brand who makes really cool palettes and more (expanding their line in the new year) but they also donate a portion to animal welfare.

Lip Slut

A brand founded to raise funds for various charities. What's not to love? With all wearable shades who wouldn't want to whip out their lipstick tube with "Fuck Trump" in bold print? Love it!

Aether Beauty

Call me a hipster all you want but I love everything this brand is about, from their packaging being free from plastic, shadows being crystal infused and the shade range. While it might look very basic I will tell you that basic is fine! It looks like the perfect palette to keep in your travel kit as it has a bit if everything for a daily face.

Salt New York

Who doesn't want a snazzy palette to keep in their purse? On their instagrammable vanity, living room table, sink, work desk, heck anywhere?! These look so luxurious and I can not for the life of me decide which colour I want!!! I like them both but we'll see... I might just have to get them both eventually for the sake of my sanity... Lol.