Wednesday, 5 November 2014

What My Partner Thinks About Me Wearing Lolita Fashion

Hey all! Today I thought I'd discuss a question most Lolita girls ask for input in - what does your partner think of you wearing Lolita? I think we've all heard a sad story where a girl's boyfriend doesn't like Lolita fashion, or the girl wearing it, and it's truly a disappointing thing. There's also the case of whether you got into Lolita before or after you met your boyfriend, or indeed whether you met your boyfriend in Lolita.

I met my boyfriend, Rob, 6 years ago. Controversially, I was asking to work at his shop for my secondary/high school work experience when I was 15. I was just getting into Lolita that year. The first occasion I met him was to sort some paperwork for the work experience, and I was just wearing 'regular' alternative clothes. The second time I met him was at J-Con 2010 and I was wearing Lolita. He didn't say anything about it, just asked me if I was looking forward to working in his shop that next week. I was really nervous since he seemed really serious and mature haha, and also because it was one of my first outings in Lolita. >_<

As we got to know each other more and eventually began a relationship, he never really said anything about Lolita fashion, positive or negative. I think I came in one time from a meet and when he saw what I was wearing, he said 'Aww, that's cute, you should wear that to J-Con!'. A short discussion where I asked Rob what he thought about Lolita fashion resulted in 'Well, I don't really understand it but it makes you happy so I'm not bothered.'

I think that's the approach all partners should take to the fashion! I mean sure, if they love it then great but something that you do should never affect your partner. If they don't like it, it's their problem and they can choose to work past it or take another direction. I wouldn't care if Rob didn't like me wearing Lolita fashion - it makes me feel happy, and pretty and it has nothing to do with him. The occasions that I wear Lolita aren't usually occasions I spend much time with Rob, other than J-Con, in which case he is usually running around organising everything anyway, so I don't have the problem where I want to wear Lolita with him and he wouldn't want me to. However, I can see it being a problem if you wanted to wear Lolita to an occasion with your partner and they were strongly against it but again, it's not harming them so why should they care?

I would go as far as saying that if my partner abjectly hated Lolita fashion, didn't want me wearing it regardless whether I was with him or not or made me feel bad for wearing it, I would break up with him.

Some people might think that such a reason to break up is superficial, but it's not just about fashion. Sure, I love fashion, it's a large part of my life and if my partner hated my fashion, I'd break up with him and question how we even started dating in the first place; it's the fact they would be outwardly oppressing a part of you and telling you to change it due to the fact they don't like it. If they don't like your fashion and want you to change it to suit them, what else will they do that with? It's a scary thought. If you'd rather sacrifice your personal happiness to be in a relationship with such a person then I have news for you, son,

So there's my two cents on the discussion! Rob doesn't really care about Lolita fashion, it doesn't bother him that I wear it and I certainly wouldn't care if he did have anything against it. I've found the general consensus of many Lolita girls is that their partner either thinks their fashion is cute or doesn't mind it - I think any relationship where the partner hates the fashion is not destined to be a long relationship. What are your thoughts on the matter? What does your partner think of Lolita fashion?

Review: Isa Knox X2D2 Original Recovery Emulsion

*Listening to: Shores of California by The Dresden Dolls*

Hey everyone! I recently finished a sample of Isa Knox X2D2 Original Recovery Emulsion so I decided to review it before I move onto the next product! Read below to hear my thoughts on it!
Brand: Isa Knox
Name: X2D2 Original Recovery Emulsion
Price: £20-£25
Where to buy: Koreadepart, TesterKorea

Taken from Koreadepart's website:
'Relaxes skin and creates elastic and healthy face.'
'Nutritious and soft texture.'
'For dry skin.'

From's website, this emulsion promises to 'recapture the lost moisture, suppleness and healthy glow due to accumulated sun exposure and the natural course of aging. Recovering the lost youthfullness of your skin is not impossible...Trust this Recovery Emulsion to do its job. Formulated with Cambium Stem Cell that nourishes damaged skin due to aging and in the process, recovers the health and beauty of your skin.'

Pretty good promises! I couldn't wait to try this emulsion since it said it was for dry skin so I had high hopes for it.
This is the packaging of the sample - I've never really had a sample of serum before, especially not enough for two or more applications so this little bottle was pretty novel. It's packaged similar to the full sized product, with the gold and red colour scheme and scientific look.

Click to enlarge
This is the full sized product packaging, which usually holds 130ml of the emulsion; I think that's pretty good compared to some other serums and emulsions. The packaging is neat looking but it's not cute or ugly. Due to the packaging of both the sample and full sized product, you can't scrape out absolutely all the product so it's inevitable that some goes to waste. I've been scraping out the sample product with a cotton bud but I can still tell there's some right at the bottle I can't reach.
The emulsion is rather creamy and is inbetween a serum and cream/lotion...which makes sense, since it's the step inbetween. >_> It has a pleasant scent, I can't quite place it but it's kind of floral yet sweet. It smells a bit like hair conditioner to me haha, but not in a bad way. It absorbs and spreads easily with no greasy feel or residue.
Partially rubbed in.

It definitely feels moisturising and creamy, which I really liked. Some emulsions are lightweight, which is a good thing, but they just get sucked up into my skin and it says 'More! I want more!' haha. I felt that this emulsion was sufficiently hydrating for its purpose, but I of course put an eye cream and face cream on top like I always do. After applying all my products, the emulsion feels hydrating but not sticky, greasy or too rich. After it absorbs, my face feels supple, plump and soft but it's nothing to make me say 'Wow! I need this emulsion!'. It's just a nice addition to my skincare routine.
I was looking forward to trying an emulsion specifically for dry skin and I was pretty happy with the results. The emulsion made my skin hydrated, soft and supple and slotted in nicely with my current skincare routine. However, it's nothing to shout about, I feel another emulsion could do the job too. It doesn't make me want to rush out and buy it but I'd certainly consider it if I'd exhausted all my emulsion options. I can't comment on its 'recovery' benefits but I hope it prevents the visible signs of aging regardless. XD I give it 4 stars out of 5, taking one star off due to the fact it's nothing special and the price is a little hefty for a Korean emulsion. However, it is Isa Knox, which is more high-end than brands like The Face Shop, Innisfree, Skinfood, etc.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Event: Aurelio Voltaire European Tour 2014 & Halloween Tea Party in Chester ~Halloween Bonanza~

Hey everyone! What did you do for Halloween? My Halloweek was absolutely awesome and the cherry on top was having the absolutely perfect Halloween weekend afterwards *0* Some of you might know that I went to see Voltaire perform live at The Purple Turtle in London on Halloween, then the next day I went to Chester for a Halloween tea party at Mad Hatter's tea room. Welp...I'm about to gush about the whole weekend, but mostly Voltaire~ <3 I have the least amount of photos for the ultra gush-sesh (Voltaire) and tons of photos for the equally awesome yet not as miraculous Halloween tea party haha...

On Friday I got ready and headed to the coach to London...but not before almost having a heart attack and throwing up on the bus into the city centre by thinking I'd left my phone on a bin next to the bus stop, then finding it in my pocket...yes, you heard that right. Stupid story time! I was waiting for the bus into Derby city centre and rested my backpack and phone on a bin next to the bus stop. I looked at my phone and knew I had to put it in my leather jacket pocket and zip it up, or else I would lose or leave it somewhere...All was fine until I tried to find it in my backpack when I got on the bus...which of course, I couldn't. I emptied my whole backpack onto my lap, threw everything back in, stood up to see if it'd fell on the bus floor, all whilst looking like a mad woman and everyone wondering what the fuck I was doing. I tried to remember the last time I had my phone, hoping desperately that I'd left it at home, but I knew I'd rested it on that bloody bin next to the bus stop. I almost threw up thinking that I'd left it on that bin, wondering what the hell I was going to do, realising I had 5 minutes before I had to catch my coach, wondering if I could somehow tell the coach driver and take a taxi back to the dreaded bin to see if it was miraculously still there (of course it wouldn't have been)...until I brushed my hand across my coat pocket and felt a beautifully phone shaped lump. For 10 seconds, I hoped and prayed as hard as I've ever done, then when I found it in my coat pocket, everything was once again right in the world and I could take on anything...I disgust myself sometimes...

I am both Megatron and Starscream in this situation.

After getting on the coach, it was of course, selfie time.

Best one out of the lot. Also bewbs.

I added a few more Halloween accents onto my outfit once taking the dumbass I am. >_> I added red devil horns to my hair, blood dripping necklace and fake blood nosebleed. Since I didn't get a photo of my kickass outfit, I'll do my make-up:

Base: The Face Shop Face It Moisture Pore Balm, Diorskin Star Foundation in 010 Ivory, Clinique Almost Powder in Fair, Missha Signature Extreme Cover Concealer, Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in Strawberry Mousse, MAC Pro Longwear Blush in Baby Don't Go (for contouring), Canmake Highlighter.

Eyes: Stargazer Eyeshadow in Black Gold, offbrand red eyeshadow, Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner in Black, Gosh Velvet Touch Black Ink Eyeliner, Rimmel White Eyeliner, Avon Enchant Mascara, Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara, Eyemazing Amoyamo Eyelashes in Pop Rock/No. 817.

Lips: Vaseline Rosy Lips and The Saem Rouge Essential Moisture Lipstick in Blood Red.

The coach was late getting into London; it was supposed to get there at 5.10pm and doors opened at The Purple Turtle at 7pm. I wanted as long as possible to get to my hostel, dump my stuff and queue up for Voltaire. The coach didn't get there until 6pm so I made my way to the hostel (St Christopher's Inn in Camden, a mere 3 minutes away from The Purple Turtle!), indeed dumped my stuff and queued up at about 6.45pm. All day I had eaten 5 chocolate & caramel digestive biscuits and half a bar of Sainsbury's value chocolate so I stopped off at Sainsbury's and got a packet of Salt n' Vinegar crisps and I made the mistake of trying a Monster Juice energy drink because it was on offer for £1 and sure, I could use the energy all night! I don't drink energy drinks and Monster has a weird twang to it and made me feel a bit sick.

Doors opened at about 7.30pm (they were late) and although I was probably about 40th or 50th in the queue, I got straight to the fucking front row! Other people made the mistake of getting drinks and standing around talking to their friends at first. What losers. First on were The Memepunks, a party mash-up band I've mentioned before on my blog. They're great to warm up a gig. Next up were Gladstone, a sort of heavy Goth rock band who I didn't think much of, to be perfectly honest. They were okay but a bit of a mix of band members and their music just seemed very noisy without much melody to me. Then, of course, Voltaireeeeeeeeeeee~ <3

I was rightttttt at the front as Voltaire rocked the stage, performing songs including The Bottom of the Sea, Brains!, Day of the Dead, Mechanical Girl and Raised by Bats. He also performed two songs from his newest album that is yet to come out, an EP called Heart Shaped Wound. He was so awesome, really charming, funny, witty and attempted songs he didn't perform much, like Mechanical Girl and The Vampire Club, saying that when he fucked them up, they were 'limited edition' versions. XD He came really close to me a couple of times and I resisted touching him like a weirdo haha. It got to his end song, When You're Evil, when he announced that anyone who could get up on stage was more than welcome to become part of his 'Lord Beelzebub's Harmonic Choir' and sing the chorus with him! Of course, being right at the front I was straight up there, even with my daringly short dress and platforms. I got to stand right fucking beside him and sing When You're Evil with him! ...There were also other people on stage too, of course, but who cares about minor details? The point is I got to sing with Voltaire... *0* Afterwards he said he'd be at his merch table so I lined up to buy his latest album, Raised By Bats and perhaps get a photo with him if I was lucky? 

Yessssssss motherfuckerrrrrrrrrr <3 Not only did I get his CD, which he asked my name for and signed it, he took a ton of photos with me to ensure we got some nice ones, I told him I was super nervous and didn't know what to say and he told me not to be, gave me a big hug and asked to kiss me on both of my which, I said of course and almost died... <3

He was so nice, he spent so much time with each fan, taking lots of photos, signing anything, lots of hugs and kisses, etc...but of course, my autograph, photos, hugs and kisses were special ;) Afterwards I went back to my hostel at about 1am, went to sleep, dreamt that I was still at the club chatting to Voltaire, got a mere 4 hours sleep and had to get up at 5.30am to get ready for Chester the next morning!

So yeah, after 4 hours of sleep, I then got ready for the Halloween tea party in Chester...I had had so little sleep, my skincare hadn't properly absorbed so I didn't really have to apply more, other than my eye cream and moisturiser. XD As I got up at 5.30am to get ready, a girl came into our room and was only just getting back from partying! Hardcore! As I was putting on my make-up, she was taking hers off haha! I couldn't switch the light on in the main room since other people were sleeping so I had to apply my make-up using the light from the bathroom only lighting up half my face haha...I think I did pretty well, considering!

I was sort of a dolly March Hare? In reality I just threw an outfit together before I went to London and accepted that whatever shoes I wore with my Friday Halloween outfit, I'd be wearing on Saturday too... XD So it's not the greatest Lolita coordinate ever but I don't really care.

Skirt is looking dangerouslyyyyyyyyyy short here...partly due to the more upward-angled photograph, I swear!

The best part of the Halloween tea party was, of course, the tea party and seeing this cutie right here:

Jaydeeeeeeee <3

Lolita girlfriends <3

Jayde also secretly took photos of me taking selfies throughout the whole day haha...the worst part is, I didn't like any of them and deleted them! XD

After the tea party we went to the park and fed the squirrels! We bought monkey nuts and the squirrels actually come and take them out of your hands, so cute!

We had to watch out for greedy pigeons too! This one almost choked itself... *facepalm*

All in all the weekend was absolutely perfect...sure I got paranoid on public transport but nothing went wrong, I didn't lose anything or miss my trains, which I always worry about wherever I go! But seriously, the best Halloween ever, and I will never forget it (especially Voltaire <3)! Next up, I'm going to see Babymetal, Perfume, then trade at Hyper Japan so I'm currently making lots of items for Hyper Japan!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cosmetic Conglomerate Companies: Which Cosmetics Company Owns Which Brands?

Hey everyone! Today I've got a rather informative post for you all - I'm part of a beauty chat group on Facebook and we were discussing which umbrella/parent cosmetics companies own which brand. For example, the starting topic was that a girl didn't know that Estee Lauder owns quite a few brands like Bobbi Brown, MAC, Origins, etc. We then went on to discuss what companies own which brands and I decided it'd make quite a good blog post, if only to be surprised at who owns what, and perhaps to showcase UK cosmetics brands that others overseas may not know. It's similar to my Korean brands post but isn't as inclusive. There's many more Western/UK brands out there not owned by umbrella companies.

From Estee Lauder's website: 'For over 60 years, The Estee Lauder Companies has built an unrivaled portfolio of brands. Our products are sold in over 150 countries and range from entry-level prestige to ultra premium luxury.' Entry-level prestige usually means around the £10-£20 mark, whilst ultra premium luxury means anything from £80+ for a product.

Aerin - Founded by Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of Estee Lauder, Aerin is a premium beauty, fragrance and lifestyle brand.
Aramis - Premium men's fragrance brand.
Aveda - Premium haircare brand, sold and used in many salons and spas.
Bobbi Brown - Premium cosmetics brand founded by make-up artist Bobbi Brown, acquired by Estee Lauder in 1995.
Bumble and Bumble - Premium haircare brand.
Clinique - Premium cosmetics brand with a cosmeceutical brand image. Founded in 1968, it's the first dermatologist developed brand offering custom-fit skincare and makeup.
Coach - Premium clothing and fragrance line.
Darphin - Premium Parisian-based cosmetics brand, used in many salons and spas.
Donna Karen - Premium clothing and fragrance line (DKNY), acquired in 1997.
Ermenegildo Zegna - Premium mens clothing and fragrance brand.
Estee Lauder - Premium cosmetics brand.
Flirt! - Low-to-medium end cosmetics brand with a bright, young image, available at Kohl's Department store.
Goodskin Labs - Premium skincare brand with a cosmeceutical image.
Jo Malone - Premium fragrance and lifestyle brand
Kiton - Premium fragrance brand.
La Mer - Ultra premium luxury (£100+) cosmetics brand, their most famous product is 'Creme de la Mer' which starts at £105 for a 30ml pot and is £1340 for 500ml!
Lab Series Skincare forMen - Premium mens skincare brand.
MAC - Premium cosmetics brands with a professional make-up artist brand image.
Mami - Premium fragrance brand acquired in 2011.
Michael Kors - Premium fashion and cosmetics brand acquired in 2003 - in 2013 Michael Kors started producing cosmetics.
Ojon - Premium haircare brand with a naturalistic brand image.
Origins - Premium cosmetics brand with a naturalistic brand image - their tagline is 'Powered by nature. Proven by science.'
Osiao - Luxury cosmetics brand heavily focused on traditional Chinese medicine and ingredients, with all their products made in Japan.
Prescriptives - Premium cosmetics brand.
Smashbox - Premium cosmetics brand born from Smashbox Studios; their cosmetics are tried and tested under studio lights and atmosphere. Brand image and products are similar to MAC.
Tom Ford - Luxury cosmetics brand - one lipstick is like, £50.
Tommy Hilfiger - Premium cosmetics and fragrance brand.
Tory Burch - Created in 2013, a premium fragrance and beauty brand.

My thoughts: I knew Estee Lauder own a lot of brands but I never realised how many. It seems they're becoming a cosmetics powerhouse.

Lancome - Premium cosmetics brand.
Giorgio Armani Beauty - Premium cosmetics brand.
Yves Saint Laurent - Premium cosmetics brand.
Biotherm - Mid-range cosmetics brand with a cosmeceutical brand image.
Kiehl's - Mid-range cosmetics brand featuring a focus on natural ingredients.
Ralph Lauren - Premium fragrance and cosmetics brand.
Shu Uemura - Premium Japanese cosmetics brand.
Cacharel - Premium fragrance brand.
Helena Rubinstein - Premium cosmetics brand focused on anti-aging products.
Clarisonic - Premium cosmetics brand most famous for their Clarisonic Cleansing Brush.
Diesel - Premium mens fragrance brand.
Viktor Rolf - Premium fragrance brand with a cute/pretty brand image.
Yue Sai - Premium Chinese cosmetics brand.
Maison Martin Margiela - Premium fragrance brand.
Guy Laroche - Premium cosmetics brand.
Paloma Picasso - Premium cosmetics brand.
L'Oreal Paris - Low-to-mid range cosmetics brand.
Garnier - Low end haircare brand.
Maybelline - Low end cosmetics brand with a young brand image.
Softsheen.Carson - Mid range cosmetics brand tailored to consumers of African descent.
L'Oreal Professional - Mid range haircare brand from L'Oreal Paris.
Kerastase Paris - Mid range haircard brand.
Essie - Low to mid range nailcare brand.
Redken - Premium haircare brand used a lot in salons and spas.
Matrix - Premium haircare brand used a lot in salons and spas.
Pureology - Premium haircare and colour brand.
Shu Uemura: Art of Hair - Premium haircare brand from Shu Uemura.
Mizani - Premium haircard brand tailored to frizzy, curly or kinky hair types.
Carita Paris - Premium cosmetics brand.
Decleor Paris - Premium skincare brand used a lot in salons and spas.
Vichy - Mid to high end cosmetics brand.
La Roche-Posay - Premium skincare brand with a cosmeceutical brand image.
SkinCeuticals - Premium cosmetics brand with a cosmeceutical brand image.
Inneov - Mid to high end dietary supplements brand.
The Body Shop - Mid range cosmetics brand heavily focused on skincare and natural ingredients.
Roger&Gallet - Premium French cosmetics brand.
Sanoflore - Premium cosmetics brand featuring essential oils and suitable for sensitive skins.

Aussie - Mid end haircare brand focused on Australian culture and ingredients.
Avril Lavigne Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Boss Black Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Boss Orange Fragrance - Mid to high end fragrances brand.
Boss Skincare - Mid to high end skincare brand.
Christina Aguilera Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Dolce&Gabbana - Premium cosmetics and fragrance brand.
Dunhill Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Escada - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Gucci Fragrances - Premium fragrance brand.
Head and Shoulders - Low end haircare brand focused on anti-dandruff products.
Herbal Essences - Low end haircare brand.
HUGO Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Lacoste Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Max Factor - Mid end cosmetics brand.
Nice n' Easy - Low end haircare brand.
Olay - Mid end cosmetics brand formerly known as 'Oil of Olay'.
Old Spice - Mid end mens fragrance brand.
Pantene - Low to mid end haircare brand.
Perfect 10 - Low to mid end haircare and colour brand.
Rochas Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Sassoon (Wella) - Mid end haircare brand used in salons.
Silvikrin - Premium haircare brand used in salons.
Sebastian Professional - Mid end haircare brand.
System Professional (Wella) - Mid end haircare brand.
SK-II - Ultra premium luxury Japanese cosmetics brand endorsed by many Japanese celebrities.
Wella Professional Care & Style & Colour - Mid end haircare brand.

My thoughts: I thought P&G owned more cosmetics companies that this, especially since many of them are fragrance and haircare brands. I am, however, surprised that they own SK-II, since it's rare for a Western company to own an Asian cosmetics brand. However, P&G are one of the most financially successful cosmetics conglomerates with a significant turnover.

Aveeno - Mid end skincare and haircare brand.
Clean & Clear - Low to mid end cosmetics brand primarily for acne-prone and problem skin.
Neutrogena - Mid end cosmetics brand.

My thoughts: I thought Johnson & Johnson owned way more brands than this, but apparently not. They have their own self-titled brand, Johnson & Johnson, which is just skincare/bodycare.

Adidas - Low to mid end fragrance brand.
Astor - Low end cosmetics brand.
Balenciaga - Premium fragrance brand.
Beyonce - Mid end fragrance brand.
Bottega Veneta - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Calvin Klein Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Celine Dion - Mid end fragrance brand.
Cerruti - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Chloe - Premium fragrance brand.
Chopard - Premium fragrance brand.
CK One Color - Low to mid end cosmetics brand (a lot of their products can be found in Poundland and bargain bins).
David Beckham Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Davidoff - Mid end fragrance brand,
Enrique Inglesias - Mid end fragrance brand.
Esprit - Premium fragrance brand,
Guess - Low end fragrance brand.
Halle Berry - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Jennifer Lopez - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Jil Sander - Mid end fragrance brand.
Joop! - Low to mid end fragrance brand.
Jovan - Mid end fragrance brand,
Kate Moss - Mid end fragrance brand.
Katy Perry - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Lady Gaga - Mid end fragrance brand.
Lancaster - Mid end fragrance brand.
Madonna - Mid end fragrance brand.
Manhattan - Low end cosmetics brand, popular in Europe.
Marc Jacobs - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Miss Sporty - Low end cosmetics brand.
N.Y.C. (New York Colour) - Low end cosmetics brand.
Nautica - Mid end fragrance brand.
Nicole by OPI - Mid end offshoot of OPI nailcare brand.
Nikos - Mid end fragrance brand.
OPI - High end nailcare brand.
Philosophy - High end bodycare brand.
Pierre Cardin - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Playboy - Low to mid end fragrance and cosmetics brand.
Rimmel - Low to mid end cosmetics brand.
Roberto Cavalli - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Sally Hansen - Mid end nailcare brand.
Stetson - Mid end fragrance brand.
Tim McGraw - Mid end fragrance brand.
Tjoy - Mid to high end bodycare brand focused on using traditional Chinese medicine ingredients.
Tonino Lamborghini - Mid end fragrance brand.
Vera Wang - Mid to high end fragrance brand with a girly, princessy brand image, similar to Anna Sui.
Vespa - Low to mid end fragrance brand.
Vivienne Westwood - Mid to high end fragrance brand.

I was under the impression that Coty had a much bigger range of brands but it seems they're declining recently. They own a lot of celebrity fragrances and to be honest, that doesn't give me the best impression of them haha. They have managed to keep a couple of premium brands under their belt though, like Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood and OPI.

Christian Dior - Premium cosmetics brand with an elegant, sophsticated brand image. Endorsed by Natalie Portman (Diorskin) and Charlize Theron (J'Adore).
Guerlain - Premium cosmetics brand.
Givenchy - Premium cosmetics brand.
Kenzo - Premium cosmetics brand most famous for their fragrance 'Flower by Kenzo'.
Benefit - Premium cosmetics brand with a young, fun brand image. Bestselling products include Benetint, High Beam and Erase Paste concealer.
Fresh - Premium cosmetics brand.
Make Up For Ever - Premium cosmetics brand with a professional make-up artist brand image.
Acqua di Parma - Premium fragrance brand.
Loewe - Premium fragrance brand.
Fendi - Premium fragrance brand.
Nude - Premium skincare brand founded in the UK in 2007.

My thoughts: I hadn't really heard much about this company until I started doing research for this article but they have a very high class portfolio of brands.

Almay - Low to mid end cosmetics brand suitable for sensitive skins.
Charlie - Low end fragrance brand, most popular with teenage girls.
Mitchum - Mid end skincare brand, primarily deodorant products.
Ultima II - Premium cosmetics brand.
Revlon - Low to mid end cosmetics brand.

My thoughts: Revlon used to have more brands and divisions of their brand but it seems many have been discontinued or simply transitioned into the Revlon brand and products.

Dove - Low end skincare brand.
Axe/Lynx - Low end mens fragrance brand.
Lux - Low end skincare brand.
Sunsilk - Low to mid end haircare brand.
Pond's - Low end skincare brand most famous for Pond's Cold Cream.
Timotei - Mid end haircare brand.
Radox - Low to mid end bodycare brand.
Vaseline - Low end skincare brand.
Simple - Low end skincare brand suitable for sensitive skins.
Tresemme - Mid end haircare brand.
VO5 - Mid end haircare brand.

My thoughts: Like P&G, I thought Unilever owned more cosmetics brands than this. It seems other cosmetics brands like Estee Lauder and L'Oreal Paris are becoming the cosmetic powerhouses whilst Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and P&G are concentrating on more accessible brands like household and lifestyle.

Shiseido - Premium Japanese cosmetics brand that has broken the Western cosmetics barrier.
Cle de Peau Beaute - Premium cosmetics brand.
Bare Minerals - Premium cosmetics brand.
NARS - Premium cosmetics brand with a professional make-up artist brand image. One of their well known products is the NARS Blush in 'Orgasm'.
Za - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand, hard to find much information about it in the UK.
IPSA - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand.
Ettusais - Mid to high end Asian cosmetics brand.
D'icila - Mid to high end Asian cosmetics brand for mature skin.
Ayura - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand.
Soka Mocka - Premium Asian cosmetics brand with a naturalistic brand image.
Benefique - Premium Asian cosmetics brand.
D Program - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand.
Aupres - Premium Asian cosmetics brand.
Urara - Premium Asian cosmetics brand.
Elixir Superieur - Premium Asian skincare brand for mature skin.
Elixir White - Premium Asian skincare brand focused on whitening products.
Elixir Prior - Premium Asian skincare brand for 'aging gracefully'; reminds me of Lancome's Absolut line.
Aqua Label - Premium Asian skincare brand focused on moisturising products.
Senka - Premium Japanese skincare brand.
Qiora - Premium Asian skincare brand which 'focuses on the relationship between fragrance and skin'. ????
Haku - Premium Asian skincare brand focused on lightening and preventing dark spots.
Revital Granas - Premium Asian skincare brand for mature skin.
The Ginza - Premium Asian skincare brand with a 'cosmeceutical' brand image.
D-Q (Dermal Quotient) - Premium Asian dermatologically developed skincare brand.
Pure&Mild - Asian skincare brand suitable for sensitive skins.
Pure&Mild SOI - Asian skincare brand whose focus is products with no fragrance, colour, alcohol and 'created by a combination of the power of earth and science'.

My thoughts: I was surprised to learn that Shiseido owns Bare Minerals and NARS, and it was interesting to learn about the other premium Asian brands that own that I haven't heard of before.

There are a few brands known in the UK that none of these companies seem to own, i.e. Clarins, Collection 2000, Sleek, etc. It seems these companies are self-run, and in the case of Collection 2000, they are owned by a company called LF Beauty who seem to offer low end cosmetics to consumers.

Having an active interest and previously worked in beauty, I've heard lots of things about cosmetics companies and the brands they own and acquire. I heard from a man selling cheap market stall make-up that Coty was becoming bankrupt and would soon discontinue or sell their cosmetics brands, which was obviously a huge pile of bullshit. I don't know where he got the idea to say that, unless he thought I'd suddenly panic-buy all his cheap Rimmel and Constance Carroll products. >_> I also heard from a beauty counter colleague that ever since L'Oreal owned Urban Decay, I should expect their quality of products to decrease or 'never be the same again'. Again, bullshit. Again with L'Oreal, that ever since they owned Yves Saint Laurent, all their fragrances started to smell the same and decrease in quality, which I disagree with too. Their new fragrance, Black Opium, smells a lot different to their previous Opium fragrances. I also heard that Chanel owns Bourjois and that Bourjois is kind of like the Chanel 'value' range and gets all the products that aren't quite good enough for Chanel. After a quick Google, it seems that it is the other way round, in fact - Bourjois owns Chanel and it has no bearing on either brands products. It makes me feel a bit more positive about Bourjois products; not that I had anything against their products to begin with.

It seems that just because a cosmetics company buys a certain brand does not mean that the brand will then completely change and reflect the other brands the company owns. They bought the brand to expand their hold on the cosmetics world, and whatever the brand is doing right (for example, Urban Decay's famous Naked palettes or Yves Saint Laurent's fragrances), they will continue doing - it wouldn't make sense for the cosmetics company to buy a brand because their products are high quality and popular, for them to then change the products?! I think the only time it matters which company owns which brand is when it's a matter of animal testing - I have no opinion on the matter but for someone who is conscious of brands that test on animals, or companies that condone the testing on animals, might want to watch out which companies are buying and selling brands, since their policies might change.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

My Halloween Bonanza 2014!

Hey everyone! I've been wanting to blog for a few days now but I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about. I figured I'd tell you about my super Halloween bonanza I've made for myself to enjoy a week of full Halloween!

On the actual day of Halloween, I'm going to London to see one of my favourite musicians of all time - Voltaire! I never dreamed I'd get to see him live so I'm soooooo excited! I've listened to him non-stop since I discovered him last year; can you be in love with someone's voice? I'm pretty sure you can. He's being supported by Gladstone and The Memepunks; I've seen The Memepunks before. I went to see Rasputina last year in London, at the same venue, The Purple Turtle, and The Memepunks were supporting them. The Memepunks make fun mash-ups of songs, including the Inspector Gadget theme tune + Love Cats by The Cure and Dead or Alice by Bon Jovi + the Firefly theme tune! They also sang Voltaire's 'When You're Evil' at Rasputina, when I didn't know who Voltaire was and I liked the song so much I researched it and my love of Voltaire began! So thank you so so much, Memepunks! *0* After Voltaire there's a Goth club event called 'Necropolis' until 4am so I think I'll check that out too! I'm staying at a different hostel to the one I normally stay at, and it's 3 minutes away from the venue - fucking awesome!

Then the next day I'm off to Chester early in the morning for a Halloween tea party with my bestie Jayde and the other amazingly lovely girls of the North West Lolita community! I love the Halloween tea party meets, they're always so nice, relaxed and full of food!

Leading up to this kickass weekend I'll be watching horror films, playing scary video games and listening to appropriate music. I've always loved Halloween but I always let the fun come to me - if no one was doing anything for Halloween, I wouldn't end up doing anything. I think this year I've realised that annual holidays like Halloween are only as fun as you make them; people like to say 'Oh, I'm too old for Halloween/Christmas' but if you want to enjoy them, do whatever you like to enjoy it! Dress up, decorate your house, watch appropriate films, etc!

I bet you're thinking 'What? Halloween-themed music? Isn't that really cheesy?' Nope! Here are my suggestions for Halloween appropriate music that isn't cheesy in the slightest.

Aural Vampire are an electro band featuring lead vocalist Exo-Chika and Raveman. Exo-Chika is a vampire and has real vampire fangs - this is all year round, not just Halloween! Raveman is a super scary butcher, again, all year round! They did, however, bring out a single for Halloween called 'Soloween', featuring songs like 'Back to Halloween', 'Soloween' and 'Halloween Jive'. The songs are sooooo super catchy and well-made, definitely not cheesy at all! I listen to them all year round but I really love to listen to them near Halloween.

Tommy Heavenly6 is an alter ego of Tomoko Kawase - she is the lead singer of The Brilliant Green and makes music under the alter ego of Tommy February6 too; February6 is more 80s inspired electro pop whilst Heavenly6 is more pop-punk and rock. They made a 'collaboration' album called 'Halloween Addiction' which is like a story of Tommy February6 & Heavenly6's back story, tied in with Halloween. My favourite songs from the album are 'Lollipop Candy Bad Girl', 'I'm Your Devil' and 'Never Ending Party Night'. The story is a little cheesy, especially with the little stories told in between songs, but in a good way! Again, I listen to the actual songs (not the story snippets) all year round but feel I can break them out even more at Halloween.

Of course, how could I mention Halloween-appropriate songs without mentioning Voltaire?! Voltaire's music is hard to fit into one genre but a lot of people say it is dark cabaret, similar to Amanda Palmer/The Dresden Dolls, Rasputina and Emilie Autumn. His songs vary from heart-melting lovely, heartbreaking, hilariously tongue-in-cheek and downright silly but he's also a performer/entertainer, comedian, author, animator and even toy maker! His songs often have eerie, creepy or Gothic themes and the fact he's having a Halloween party/concert is all the more reason to break them out at Halloween. My favourite songs of his tend to change but some classics of mine are 'Dead Girls', 'Bachelor(ette)', 'Caught a Lite Sneeze', 'The Chosen' and 'Hell in a Handbasket'. 'Bachelor(ette)' and 'Caught a Lite Sneeze' are actually covers of Bjork songs but they're sooooo great!

Yesterday I watched 'Let The Right One In', a Swedish horror film about the bittersweet love of a human and a vampire. Hearing that, it's definitely no 'Twilight' and I feel it's pitched wrong to an English-speaking audience. On the DVD cover and trailers it's pitched as a full-blown horror film but I'd say it's more of a romantic drama with horror elements in it. Oskar is a human boy who finds it hard to fit in and gets bullied, whilst Eli lives off of blood and has been 12 for a long time. Eli's gender is disputed and is portrayed as a girl for most of the film so I'd describe Eli as androgynous or gender-fluid. The film is so sweet and melancholic, it's one of my favourites.

I'm going to start playing Silent Hill 3 tonight since I've wanted to play it for a while, so what would be a better time than coming up to Halloween?! I've played Silent Hill 2 and have got Silent Hill 1 to play too at some point.

I'll try and get some photos of my outfits for the Friday and Saturday of Halloween to show you! In the mean time, have a great Halloween! Are you doing anything special for it?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review: Caolion Multi Soothing Booster Gel

Hi everyone! I just sorted out all my beauty review folders on my computer and I have soooo many reviews that are piling up haha...almost 145?! Including all the skincare I used to use and lipsticks... >_< So I'm going try to get on top of them, since there are lots that I've finished the product of, so I don't want to forget my opinion of the items!

Brand: Caolion
Name: Multi Soothing Booster [Gel]
Price: $21 (Wishtrend), $10 + $1.50 shipping (Qoo10), $27.99 (eBay)

I won this product in a $300 shopping spree from Peach and Lily. I picked a selection of products, some of which I've already reviewed, including Be The Skin Botanical Power Nutrition Toner, Essence and Cream. This seemed like an interesting product to try since it says it has tons of uses, including as a toner, cooling eye mask, cooling and soothing face mask, etc. You get 100ml of product in a squeezy tube. On the tube it says the product is mostly Aloe Vera gel and snail extract. I can't seem to find this product on Peach and Lily's website any more so it seems they don't sell it but you can find it on the above stores.

It 'soothes sensitive skin by quick absorption', 'provides ample hydration to dry skin' and 'quickly gets through the skin'.
The packaging looks quite mid end and clinical. The outer box is white and gold/yellow with black writing and an image of a grey snail with a clock for a shell. The actual product packaging is clear with a dark blue gradient on the top of the tube. The writing is black and white with the same image of the clock snail. The tube is made of flexible plastic with a white lid that snaps shut and can be squeezed to release the product. The packaging is kind of neither here nor there for me - it's not ugly but it's not cute, pretty or luxurious looking. It's inoffensive.



This is the size of the tube in comparison to my hand. There's 100ml of product in the tube. It's a pretty good size which is good, since there's lots of uses for the product so I wanted to try as many of them as possible.
The list of uses that Caolion Multi Soothing Booster includes:
'As a booster: Before using base [skin]care, apply this first to soothe and moisturise skin, and subsequent steps will work much more effective on your skin'.
You can use this as a toner, effectively. It absorbs and spreads easily, giving your skin light and soothing hydration ready to receive your other skincare items.

'As an emergency soothing pack: When your skin has turned red and irritated from external environments, this will effectively calm skin. In summertime, use it refrigerated so you can get quicker and more effective soothing'.

'As an emergency moisture pack: When your skin suddenly loses suppleness, or when using wash-off packs and mask packs feel too bothersome, take an ample amount of Multi-soothing Booster and spread it on the surface. It will soon turn moist and supple.'

Also as a make-up primer, make-up mixer (mix with foundation or BB cream for a sheer, dewy effect), as an eye pack, hydration gel for body, moisturising gel for hands and nails and as a hair treatment. I'm sure when I bought it the body, hands and hair uses weren't mentioned.

I tried it as many ways as possible, including as a toner, emergency hydration pack, eye pack and make-up mixer.

The product itself is clear, a little thick but easily spread and absorbed, and smells mostly of Aloe Vera.

As a toner, it provided quick, soothing hydration that absorbed easily and made my skin feel ready to receive other skincare products.

As an emergency hydration pack, it was very cool and soothing, and gave me a slight moisturising feel. It wasn't anything spectacular, if I needed lots of hydration I would've used a proper mask.

I got red and swollen eyes due to a nasty cold last year, so in an attempt to soothe my eyes for work, I did what was recommended for the soothing eye packs, and soaked cotton wool pads in the gel. I placed them on top of my closed eyes for about half an hour and then removed them. They felt cool and soothed afterwards, and the puffiness went down slightly but it wasn't anything drastic. However, there was a medical reason for my puffy eyes, so I have a feeling this use would be good for tired or dry eyes.

Here I demonstrated what the Multi Soothing Booster was like when used as a make-up mixer. Other products like Etude House's Nymph Aura Volumer do the same thing. You mix the product with BB cream or foundation (usually on a 1:1 ratio but you can experiment) for a sheerer, more moisturising dewy finish. Here I just used a foundation I was using at the time, I think it was Nature Republic Vanilla Sky or Makeup Forever HD Mat Velvet Foundation.

The mixer all mixed in. It makes the foundation a bit more gel like and cooling.

On the left, my bare cheek with no make-up on it. On the right, with the foundation+mixer on top. You can see the sheer coverage with a slightly dewy effect; even though the coverage is sheer, it still cools, soothes and combats any redness I had. It was pretty nice for casual errand-running days, I wouldn't use it if I had a meeting or event.
I chose this product more for the novelty of it but it seems pretty good. The many uses were interesting and it does carry them out well; however, I notice it is made up of 99% aloe vera gel, and the other 1% is snail extract, black bean extract and other items. I'm pretty sure you can just buy pure aloe vera gel from a drugstore or similar and use it for these many uses. After discovering that, I wouldn't spend $18-$27 on this product. I can't imagine the 1% snail extract and black bean extract does much for your skin, it's a very small amount. However, a product like this is great in a pinch, since I started using it as a toner when mine ran out, then I tried it on my eyes when they were puffy from a cold, etc. I'd give this item 3 stars out of 5 but wouldn't purchase again.