Your Handbag Is Talking About You!

posted in: STYLE | 22

IMG_8934Six years ago I was unemployed and on a very tight budget. Looking for something to occupy my time between interviews I started making videos on YouTube. I called myself ‘Miss Budget Beauty’ because I intended to talk about makeup and had very little money. Everything I talked about I had had for years or had bought on eBay to ‘haul’. For a little while this worked for me but once I got a job and had a bit of spending money again my budget changed and so did my content. At the time YouTube was still finding its feet, nobody was branding themselves and I had no idea that the moniker ‘budget beauty’ would prove to be so restrictive in the next few years of my accidental career.

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It took me quite a while to realise I’d created this box for myself and if I wanted to stay in it (and keep my audience) I would have to adjust my attitude. It did get silly at one point with certain viewers chastising me for recommending Revlon which they didn’t class as ‘budget beauty’ and I think that’s when my defensive ‘I’ll talk about what I like’ phase kicked in but a couple of years ago I took stock and decided to make a change. I created a new channel, Diary Of A Spendaholic where I felt that I could post anything that didn’t fall under the budget beauty header. That channel has evolved in to a bit of a catch all for everything from vlogs, to stationery, outfit videos, and then of course, luxury items.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.25.17Part of why I created the channel and called it what I did was because I’d developed a little taste for high priced handbags and wanted to share them but didn’t really have anywhere to do that. I discovered a whole world of luxury YouTubers with completely unattainable lifestyles through researching new purchases and loved the escapism of watching their closet tours. I did however sense a theme of resentment and general negativity in the comments of these videos which I had no desire to draw my way. It can be tricky to talk about expensive purchases without seeming braggy or spoiled. Nobody wants to discuss money so if you play down the cost then you don’t appreciate the item and in turn don’t derserve it (spoiled) but if you make a big fuss about how expensive it was then you’re most certainly going to be tagged as braggy.

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There is a stigma attached to those high price tags that I’m not super fond of. A very good friend of mine recently described me as (and I’m paraphrasing but you get the jist) liking my designer bags but having a heart of gold. I know that that comment came from a good place but to break it down she felt that she had to clarify that I was still a nice person even though I spent money on expensive things. I’m guilty of it myself, if a friend tells me she’s met someone who owns X that we’ve been coveting for years my first question is ‘do we hate her?’ – I’m obviously being sarcastic but what I mean is despite her having the money to spend on that thing we can’t afford is she still someone we could have a laugh with or is she a rich b*tch? Your handbag says more about you than you might think!

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Although I don’t think I’ve changed personality-wise I know that my income has directly affected my perspective over the years. I had a friend who had wanted a Mulberry handbag for as long as I’d known her, she finally got one and I thought ‘I could never spend that on a bag’. Shortly after we were shopping and she took me in to the Mulberry store to see another bag she had here eye on.. ANOTHER ONE? I thought, at this point it was getting ridiculous! I remember this clear as day and whenever someone makes a negative comment about my personal spending I try to put myself back in those shoes. It’s all relative, I once thought a Topshop handbag was a splurge and that wasn’t all that long ago. I totally judged people for spending thousands on handbags and shoes but that’s because I didn’t have thousands to spend on handbags and shoes and I thought there would be so much more I’d rather spend that money on if I DID have it.

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In six years my situation has changed completely, I still appreciate a bargain and I don’t have unlimited funds by any means but I can justify occasional luxury purchases. The most common comment I see is ‘I’d rather have a holiday’ to which I would respond, what if you could have both? Nobody knows anyone elses behind the scenes, I’ve seen people accuse instagrammers of having Sugar Daddies because they travel all the time, I’ve seen others be shamed because there are starving people all over the world and they are showing off a £3k handbag.. that person could be donating huge amounts to charity.. nobody knows and it’s not our place to ask. Do I still wonder how people afford what they do? Of course! But I try not to judge someone because they’ve chosen to wear their money, whether that be a £50 foundation or a £500 pair of shoes.


special thanks to the tweeters who helped with this post

Highlight Head To Head

posted in: BEAUTY | 3

IMG_8742I recently acquired 2 new pricey highlighters, My current favourite costs just £3 from Freedom so I wondered whether either of these new additions would give me a more expensive looking glow. The first is the blogger favourite Champagne Pop from Becca/Jaclyn Hill, the second is the new Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG. Both retail at a whopping £32 here in the UK, but are they worth that hefty price tag?

IMG_8740IMG_8722Excuse my hairy arm swatches, I thought they would show up a little better on the tanned side of my arm rather than the milky white one. On the left is Becca and on the right is Illamasqua, that will be true throughout for your reference. The main difference between the two fundamentally is that the Becca is a pressed powder and the Illamasqua is baked. This means the Illamasqua powder is in theory more versatile as it can be used wet/dry depending on the intensity you want so you could use it as a very bold champagne eyeshadow or a more subtle face powder but I’m comparing them purely as highlights today.

IMG_8693I find it IMPOSSIBLE to capture a highlight on my face so I’m going to throw some more arm swatches at you in a second but I still wanted to share what each looks like ‘on’ no matter how useless. On the left is Becca and on the right the Illamasqua, I think I can slightly make out the Becca whereas the Illamasqua looks less frosty, more natural.

IMG_8724IMG_8726IMG_8725When I first swatched the two side by side I thought Champagne Pop was the clear winner, it was bold and beautiful and everything I’d hoped for but REALLY it’s a bit much for me. It’s almost the density of an eyeshadow and when swatched on my arm it looks to have a great deal of depth and pigment but when worn sparingly on the cheek it’s a little sparkly. The Beyond Powder wasn’t an instant hit for me, it was a bit ‘blah’ and powdery, I couldn’t really see it on my face and I couldn’t believe the price. I’ve had people compliment the Champagne Pop when I’m wearing it, nobody has ever mentioned my highlight when I’ve worn the Illamasqua powder.. but I realise we’re dealing with apples and oranges here. Much as I wanted to compare the two they’re not really comparable. One is very frosty and looks great with a tan for a golden glow (Becca), the other can be used more liberally as a subtle sheen no matter how pale I am (Illamasqua). They both have their place but at £32 I still prefer my Freedom Ambient Highlight for every day 😉

HD Brows From Primark

posted in: BEAUTY | 2

IMG_8776Brow pens have never been THAT great in my experience, tough to get a very natural look with what is effectively a felt tip but some are better than others. Very fine, flexible applicators tend to be a little better but it really depends on how bold a brow you’re going for as to whether this kind of product will be for you. Another issue I’ve had in the past is colour, unlike gels, pencils and powders, ink dries to a different colour than it may first appear so finding the right shade for you can be tough. With all of this said I was intrigued to discover Primark had added 3 brow pens to their new PS..Pro line, they’re not the easiest formula to get right so it was an interesting choice and I was excited to give them a go. You can see my apply the pen in THIS VIDEO

IMG_8773The packaging is sleek and simple, I like the colour indicators at the end of each pen and the branding, nothing feels particularly cheap until you remove the cap. The pens are stiff, not really like felt tips so much as a firm marker pen nib, not ideal for creating fine strokes mimicking natural brows. I chose the very darkest shade when I tested them out because my memory told me that one faded to the most natural colour however the swatches below disprove that memory. When first swatched I thought they were pretty good, not a tremendous difference between the first and second colours which were both on the warm side but the third was a fair bit deeper and cooler. The next day, after multiple hand washes and a long soak in the tub the stains remained on my hand and I couldn’t believe the colours that were left behind. I tried to recreate this for this post by rinsing the swatches away, it didn’t quite leave the same stained effect however the main culprit I think is still obvious. That deepest shade has a quite unnatural purple undertone that you may not spot on your brows but that you almost certainly wouldn’t want the morning after wearing it.

IMG_8784IMG_8795Call me picky but it’s something that I know some of you will care about so something I wanted to mention. Overall the pens are £3 each and not too bad if you’re looking for a quick, long wearing brow product, don’t mind a bolder look and can find a shade that’s right for you. I’m not sure I’d use them again in a hurry but I’ve tried more expensive versions that I don’t love either so this may come down to preference rather than a poor product!


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