The problem with YouTube Influencers

I love makeup, it’s no surprise to anyone who knows me to read this. I have become more and more enamoured by makeup as the years tick by. This is probably down to two reasons.

  1. I’m getting older and need all the help I can get, and
  2. I view makeup as an art. I always have and the more I see of highly talented people creating amazing things with makeup, the more I fall into the rabbit hole

So I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos to hone my own skills and I really enjoy the tutorials. I’m not going to name all my favourite influencers, as there are many and that’s not what this blog is about. But it’s safe to say that I do have some goto channels and some real favourites on Instagram too.

However, recently things are getting ugly (for want of a better word) in the beauty community. Over the last few months I watched influencers have very public melt downs, have their past twitter posts come back to haunt them and launch full scale war on each other. In the last few days alone I don’t think I’ve actually watched a tutorial on YouTube, as my feed is clogged with drama channel synopsis and viewpoint and apology videos (some a little more authentic than others) from some of the most popular influencers. Businesses are literally crashing and burning as a result of everything that’s happened.

So, what is up with the beauty community at the moment?

Beauty influencers and other YouTube famous celebrities are a brand new generation of fame and entertainment. They don’t know how to deal with what they are dealt. They don’t have the training and they didn’t have big management teams around them when they were starting out. Most of them were sat in their bedrooms 5 years ago uploading their thing to the YouTube platform and still living their own everyday existence on the side. Much like normal celebs, sometimes their past will come back to bite them. In some cases, bite them hard. Now they have to deal with it, very publicly.

However, the monster that is social media that made them, can destroy them in just the same way. There are people willing them to fail, just as there are people willing them to succeed.

A lot of the influencers have made their name on ‘honest’ reviews of products and this probably means stepping on the toes of those around them that are favouring other products or even bad mouthing another collaboration or product by another influencer. It’s a dangerous and risky business to be in, and in the past the YouTube money was worth it. The problem is that, everyone is brave behind a keyboard and there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions for those that go too far.

Examples of this culture would be an influencer we will call JK (as I don’t like to give him any air time at all), an influencer who thought it appropriate to name another YouTuber as a paedophile, despite knowing this person worked with children and could destroy him. He did this without any proof at all, and the ‘proof’ he did have was heavily doctored. Did this have enough severity to end JKs YouTube channel?

No.

Despite thousands of complaints and people unfollowing him, he is still going and still being allowed to repeat what he did, to others.

My second example is of course, Logan Paul. He got away with filming a dead body (from alleged suicide) in Japan. His actions should have cost him his channel, but instead gained him thousands more subscribers and he’s still going strong.

It seems that anything goes in the YouTube world, and influencers these days know that anything is fair game, including their own reputations and dark and shady pasts. Yet they still continue to defame and use underhand tactics to get more subs.

There is no place in this world for racism, sexual discrimination, child abuse,fat shaming, ageism and any other nasty, vile ‘ism’ you can name. Yet, in the world of social media, it seems rife. It seems that if you can ‘prove’ something in your own little world, then it’s fair game to say out loud in front of a ring light and video camera, or in 40 words or less on social media. It seems that our influencers want to hit send on pictures that speak a thousand words to send a ‘message’ to their fans and to their ex friends. It seems that they want to rile their fans into going after their competition (despite saying they don’t want you to do this). This is a dangerous game and one that will surely end in real life tears or tragedy at some point.

It’s sad. I’m sad. I love YouTube tutorials and the news of new products coming soon that I login to watch. Yes, I do enjoy the drama channels ‘take’ on certain things, but not to the extreme we are seeing at the moment. I’m sad that influencers are making these dramatic mistakes and not owning them. I’m sad that they put out ‘apology’ videos that don’t seem sincere, when they should have known better in the first place to commit the issue they did.

I want to go back to watching makeup reviews, playing with makeup, enjoying the chit chat that the influencer has when applying the products.

Is that too much to ask?

No. 7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum (£38, boots.com)

Greetings! This blog is a little different from my others. I asked my Mother (aged 69) to try out some products aimed at a more mature age demographic. Below is her account of using the No.7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum.

“I have been using this product for 3 weeks now. Every day, twice a day. Morning after cleansing and before moisturisers. Evening after cleansing & before night cream.

I specifically targeted the areas most in need: furrows that had started to appear between the eyebrows, marionette lines side of nose to mouth and lip line. Although blessed at aged 69 with very good skin I have just begun getting fine lines (inevitable fact of ageing however good your skin).

After first couple of uses my skin felt and looked smoother. At two weeks my skin was noticeably plumped. Beginning of 3rd week I had a full CACI face and neck treatment and continued with the serum afterwards (my facialist actually questioned the need for a full face treatment but I was determined it was the day after my birthday and a present from my husband!).

I would not say the treatment has been spectacular, more a slow improvement. To be fair it is suggested that a full three months usage is advised – which is about right as it takes that amount of time for cell turnover, without intervention skin peeling, laser treatments etc, which are not for me.

So would I recommend to serum – yes I would, but with an open mind and a willingness to go the whole 3 month journey. And of course once started you have to keep using it. Therefore, I will report back in three weeks on my progress.”

Too Faced Glow Job Review

Radiance Boosting Glitter Face Mask.

So, I’m always up for trying a new skincare product, and when that product is called ‘pink tiara’ and boasts actual glitter in it, I’m 100% in. The radiance boosting part also excites me as due to the amount of product I use on my face, a mask is a god send to brighten up my complexion at times.

The packaging says the following:

  1. Clean and dry skin before use – this I did thoroughly
  2. Using the spatula, mix the mask to activate the glitter formula – to be honest, the glitter formula didn’t change one bit upon stirring. Also, the spatula is not conducive to being able to scoop the very gooey and sticky mask up once mixed. A little curved spoon would be good, with a flat end to spread
  3. Apply liberally. This I did (see picture below). It’s not the glittery pretty mask it boasts on the internet, but I’ve only just applied it, so let’s wait and see
  4. Wait 30 minutes … this I am doing as I type

The scent of the mask is nice. It’s a peachy smell that resembles the other Too Faced peach range. The feel on the skin is a little tingly, not irritating, just a ‘it’s doing something tingle’ if that makes sense. At £42 it is quite high end for a mask, so I am looking forward to seeing the end result. Fingers crossed it is worth it.

The mask dries down quickly. The tightness on the face is just right and the glitter stays put as well, which is a bonus for a glitter queen like myself. The peach smell also remains for the duration and my skin feels warm, tingly and comfortable.

At 15 minutes in my IPhone no longer recognises my face … so it must be doing something. The warmth has subsided a little bit and the tightness intensified, but still very comfortable.

At 30 minutes the mask is set and feels almost rubbery to the touch. It’s not rock hard, so I can still speak and frown (not that I want to frown). The peach smell is subtle now and the tingling has subsided to just a nice warm feeling. Now it’s time to peel it off. The instructions state that you should start from the outer corners and gently peel off. Remove any excess afterwards.

It actually wasn’t too hard to get it off. However I discovered that a section hadn’t dried down as much as I thought so that became a little bit messy. All in all though it did what it said on the box, it peeled away.

Afterwards …

My skin feels a little tight and sticky in places (but that might be because of the areas that didn’t set fully). My skin looks glittery too, which I am not totally against. Once I moisturise, the tightness goes but the glitter doesn’t.

Final thoughts …

This is marketed as a very glamorous product. The packaging is lovely, the scent is nice and the feeling on the skin is comfortable. Is it worth the splurge? I’m not totally convinced but I did really enjoy it. If you want something a little cheaper, try the Sephora masks. If you want to treat yourself however, the Glow Job mask is a good contender for giving your skin a healthy glow. Make sure you let it totally set as it is a real nightmare to get off the skin in its sticky/gooey state. Also be warned that some of that after glow comes directly from the glitter itself. But if you are a glitter kinda gal, then you won’t be upset by this!

Have a great day!

Farsali Jellybeam Illuminator

Having seen this all over the internet, social media and YouTube lately, I really wanted to try it. Getting it to Dubai was a task, but I managed. I already have the Rose Gold Elixir and Unicorn Essence that I love, so the Jellybeam was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Wibble Wobble

When I opened the jar it looked a little weird, wobbling around. The colour didn’t really look like it would have an insane glow just sat there all gloopy in its little pot. However, when I dipped my finger in and swatched it on the back of my hand, the glow was indeed insane! It looked a little rose gold on the back of my hand but with a silvery sheen undertone. **update: after a few hours on the back of my hand it looks a little patchy. However I am aware that it’s not designed to sit on the back of my hand.**

The description on the website says ‘apply to the face for an illuminated look. Can be mixed in with foundation or moisturizer’. This is something I am going to try. I have seen some amazing glow pictures on Instagram of influencers doing this. I also notice that a lot of reviews tell you to use your fingers to apply and tap it to blend it out. There are very mixed reviews on using anything other than your fingers. So I’m going to stick to that.

First impressions of this product is positive. It’s very pretty on the back of my hand and when I dipped my finger in. I hope that translates to my face.

Blue Honey Palette First Impressions – Kylie Cosmetics

It finally arrived! After a very long shipping process (not the fault of Kylie Cosmetics, it was my end). Is it worth the hype? Read on to find out.

I have purchased a few of the Kylie palettes over the last year, and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in the formula that makes it more longer wearing and the pigment in the brighter colours has definitely improved too. This palette is a mix of more vibrant with some muted colours to compliment, so I am excited to try them out.

The Blue Honey palette is what it sounds like: nine ultra-pigmented shadows (of both glitter and matte finishes) with wearable shades like rust, burnt orange, metallic blue, and a lovely teal.

The blue teal (royal jelly) is just a stunning metallic in the pan and the swatch too. I was worried about the transferral to the eye, but I shouldn’t have worried, it built beautifully. It was a little patchy at first but I think that was down to me being very wary of how much pigment was involved.

Another favourite is the Busy Bee colour.

A gorgeous peachy rust that blends beautifully and really warms up an eye look. I used it to warm up my crease and it just wore so wonderfully that I’m going to use it often in many of my makeup looks.

I am yet to create a full look with the palette. It just arrived and I wanted to play with it first. However, I have a brunch this weekend and I will most certainly be giving it the first proper outing it deserves.

First impressions for this palette are very positive. I look forward to showing some new looks soon.

Charlotte Tilbury Haul

I love Charlotte Tilbury products! The quality of them and the way they look and feel on the skin is just pure class. Therefore I was so excited to have time this week to visit the concession stand in Selfridges (London) and check out what’s new and what I’d like to try. I would have loved to get to the CT boutique in Covent Garden, but it wasn’t to be this time. Selfridges is a great second to the actual store though, and the service is second to none.

I’ve used the Magic Foundation in 5 medium before and loved it, but I had recently run out. So I decided to pick up another bottle of that. I love the coverage this foundation gives me, and they gave me some free samples of the primer to try with it too. I will do a day test of both the foundation with the primer very soon.

I also was drawn to the Magic Cream. It is an iconic part of the Charlotte Tilbury brand. Some would say what made the name a household name. I’ve always wanted to try it, but at £70 a jar I had to wait. It is boasted on the website as being loved by models and celebrities and claims to lift your complexion. I’ve tried many samples of the cream and the hyaluronic acid part is what interested me being over 35 and always looking for the next best thing to beat those pesky wrinkles. So I decided that I was going to invest in my face for research purposes (at least that is the story I’m sticking to if my husband asks). I have purchased the cream and I can’t wait to blog on how it works out for me.

The other items I was keen to get my hands on were the new lipstick shades. I adore the gold luxurious packaging of the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. They have a special edition shade to commemorate the Queen and her long serving monarchy, called, funnily enough, ‘The Queen’. It is a rich warm pink matte revolution shade that I cannot wait to try. I also purchased the returning favourite of the limited edition

K. I. S. S. I. N. G. Lipstick, ‘The Duchess’ (which you can see me wearing in the photo below). This is a beautifully buttery lipstick with a gorgeous sheen. It is named after the stunning Kate Middleton. I wore it to a glam event last night and loved the way it finished my look. I also picked up a couple of the soft lip pencils. These glide on and are the perfect compliment to the lipsticks.

The lovely thing about Charlotte Tilbury is the freebies you get when you purchase a substantial amount from them. Good size travel items too. This time I got a mask, a primer and a cleanser to try out. I also got some little sachets of magic eye rescue cream that I am keen to try. I’ve said this before in my previous blogs, but always ask for free samples. Some of my favourite products have been discovered through free samples.

So there we have it and I can’t wait to try it all out. Keep your eyes on the blog for future looks and tests of all these products.

Have a great day.

Too Faced Cosmetics – London Haul

Being in London this week, it seemed rude not to visit the new Too Faced store on Carnaby Street. I am not going to lie, as I got ready to leave the hotel to find the store I was very excited. I had seen the lavish launch all over Instagram back in December, and I was keen to see it in person.

The store itself did not disappoint. You can’t miss it gleaming and glittering in the dingy February gloom. I have to say that Carnaby Street is the perfect location for the brand, it is trendy and laid back in the same breath. The narrow pedestrian style street allows for the wow factor to sink in as you aren’t disturbed by the general hustle and bustle of London. Although I did visit at 10am on a Thursday morning, so Carnaby street was still pretty much sleeping.

The shop itself is beautifully laid out with all the products clearly categorised by theme and I particularly liked the ‘Jerrod Blandino favourites’ at the back of the store, that weren’t Too Faced, but products by other less known brands that were being promoted. This certainly worked on me as you will find out later!

The staff welcomed me warmly. I was served by a lovely Canadian MUA, who didn’t follow me around, but asked if I needed any assistance. I asked her for a couple of products I wanted to look at and she helped me immediately. My main reason for being there was to get colour matched for Born This Way foundation. The lady asked if I would like my whole face done with the product. This was fantastic and I got the opportunity to try some of the other products too, which in turn lead to me buying extra products. She talked me through what she was using and why it was good for my skin tone, texture etc. she used some of the rose oil that was in the Jerrod favourite section as well as the hangover primer. My skin felt and looked amazing, so this little bit of detail had me sold on the product. The MUAs in the store were both so knowledgeable and represented the brand professionally. A definite plus to my experience in the shop.

The Born This Way foundation was matched perfectly and I have to say, having worn it for the rest of the day it stayed flawless. It has more of a natural coverage to it, rather than full coverage. However it is very build-able and so it could be made more full coverage. The setting spray was the hangover 3 in 1 product, which has a light fresh smell and also found its way into my shopping bag.

I had a wonderful time in the Too Faced store. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who is looking for a lovely shopping experience. We spend our time online so much, sometimes some interaction with other makeup lovers is the perfect way to discover new products that we might not have known about. I would also recommend this to both experienced makeup lovers as well as anyone new to makeup and who wants a really good steer on what to get.

My final purchases were:

⁃ Born This Way foundation in Light Beige

⁃ Hangover 3 in 1 spray

⁃ Too Faced Chocolate Gold palette

⁃ Better Than Sex Mascara

⁃ Glow Job Face Mask

⁃ Aerin Rose Oil

– Peach Perfect Matifying Loose Setting Powder

Duty Free Shopping – captive in the departure lounge

Being an expat sees me traveling on planes quite a lot as I move between the sandpit and the U.K, visiting family and friends. Also, being into makeup, perfumes and cosmetics, spending a lot of time waiting for flights means a lot of time browsing (buying) said makeup, perfumes and cosmetics in Duty Free. However, is Duty Free a makeup lovers haven, or is it a no mans land of cute little travel sized items that we actually never really use in our daily routine? A question I feel it is time to attempt to answer.

So today, as I handed over my boarding pass at terminal 3 of LHR and passed through the magical security doors into my duty free state of euphoria, I paused and decided to actually think before I dropped my hard earned cash on another Benefit mini or MAC travel palette. I made a list of products I actually want to purchase from seeing reviews and ‘looks’ online, and decided to stick to the list. If duty free didn’t have the product, I wasn’t buying it. Granted, my husband rolled his eyes at my declaration at 4.30am in the taxi, but I was adamant this was happening.

Rounding the corner into the departure lounge I came face to face with my friends of old … Dior you tantalizing creature, luring me in with your sparkling gorgeousness. Next door, Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle tempting me with its little bow and sleek loveliness. Nope, not today. Not even a glance … well maybe a little spray just to take the edge off.

I had 4 things on my list, and by golly I was going to get them.

First stop, Benefit. I have read so much about the Hoola contour stick and I have the traditional Hoola bronzer, and love it. It is a daily go to for work. Adds just the right amount of bronze, and contouring with it is pretty fool proof. I could only imagine that the stick will have the same amount of coverage and colour pigmentation but with the creamy texture that I am currently enjoying with the Iconic London pigment sticks. I have a few of these and love them. Working with a cream contour can sometimes be a little tricky if you are not used to it. It can be unforgiving when blending if you put too much on, but the pigment sticks have more control I find. It is just like using a giant crayon to colour your skin in. I love it! So, my excitement to try the Hoola in a stick was palpable. Number 1 on my list purchased and I know I am going to use it. Granted the sales assistant did her job and I nearly ended up with some mascara and a brow kit (I have microbladed brows, so we know that would never be used). I will use the Hoola stick and post on its progress in another blog.

Second stop on my list was NARS. I really wanted to get my hands on the Man Ray Veil Cheek palette. However, this shopping list item was sadly not to be. Those of you that have been through terminal 3 at LHR recently will know they are refurbishing. So some of the concession stands aren’t available at present. One of them, being NARS. So no palette for me. Yes, I drifted past the Urban Decay stand and eyed a couple of their palettes. The Heavy Metals one caught the magpie eye in me. My husband usefully reminded me at this point of my 4.30am declaration in the taxi. After thanking him sweetly, I backed away, mentally storing the palette in my brain to furiously google on YouTube later. I am not sure if I need so much metallics in my life at this point, I’ll keep you posted.

So onto number 3 … MAC, here I come. I feel quite a home amongst the monochrome packaging, I know what I want in this shop and all I need to do is steer away from the pretty glittery Holiday 2017 collection packaging and focus on the items I have on my list. The MAC Nylon eyeshadow. A little tiny pot of highlight sweetness that I want to use on my brow bone and corners of my eyes. I’ve also seen seen one of my favourite YouTubers using it on the tip of her nose and cupids bow. It’s a lovely sheen and leaves your skin with a glow that can work in your daily routine. I’m looking forward to trying that out in one of my looks really soon. I’ll post some photos on Instagram (@lifebeginsatbeauty). The other item I really want to try from MAC is their lipstick in ‘really me’. It’s a gorgeous neutral/nude shade in the MAC rich and buttery formula. I have to make a disclaimer at this point and say that the stone lip pencil was also purchased to accompany the lip stick. So, technically I deviated from the list, but it was to enhance the lipstick choice and for that I’m not sorry.

That’s it! My list, bar the NARS palette is purchased and I am happy as I know I’m going to enjoy using them. I’m also going to enjoy sharing my looks created using them.

Overall my experiment with duty free paid off. My next move is to go through my makeup drawers and extract all the rubbish duty free makeup purchases and see if I will ever use it. I think we all know the answer to that one.

Have a great day!