Untitled – National Student

Title will relate to how the cosmetic industry has taken advantage of virtual/simulated makeup….

 

Even now, VR and simulation still seem pretty crazy to me. From the simpler apps that show 3D previews of sofas in your living room, to the fully-immersive video games where you’re literally afraid to turn around; the market seems boundless.

One industry that was quick to jump on the trend was cosmetics. Cue the birth of the ‘Beautifying’ apps. These touch-up apps allow users to cover their spots, apply makeup and alter their features, all under the guise of helping you achieve ‘flawlessness’. In reality, they do nothing more than reinforce how unachievable this really is.

They provided the desired results, and while some insisted on stamping their logo in the corner *cough* Retrica *cough*, the services remained, for the most part, free. While these apps are marketed as the ‘behind the scenes’ of Instagram, it was only a matter of time before the focus shifted from being ‘consumer-driven’.

L’ Oréal… I’m looking at you.

L’ Oréal were the first (though haven’t been the only) makeup brand to capitalise on the idea with their “virtual makeup tester” app, Makeup Genius. You can just see the development team twitching after seeing teenage girls wearing virtual eyelashes; every selfie representing another lick of mascara going unsold. As they slammed their fists onto their desks shouting “No more free samples!”, a new (unofficial) motto was born: “You try it? You buy it.”

Makeup Genius allows you to virtually apply a variety of their products onto your face in real time, with the option to purchase them through the app if you like them. It shows you their latest celebrity catwalk looks, with the option to select it as a whole, try it and then buy it for yourself. The most interesting feature is the side-by-side comparison they offer. With your image divided down the centre, you get to see a fully decorated face, alongside a makeup-free half designed to remind you how shite you feel without all of it. Awful, but smart.

While the app isn’t just a selfie tool, it still decorates your face in a way that real makeup simply never could. It’s like sitting in the passport photo booth and having a lipstick drop onto your lap, a tick box for ‘Photoshop assistance’, and an automated voice whispering “now try it”.

Okay, so obviously there’s no contracted obligation to purchase the products, but seeing yourself in some glamourous lippy is going to prompt you to spill your bank details. Well you would… if the app actually worked.

First off, the results were laughable. According to their simulation, one of their mascaras will somehow see my eyelashes miraculously grow by another inch, while remaining perfectly spaced and clump-free. Cosmetics companies have been in trouble in the past for using false eyelashes on their models, so if you’re telling me this isn’t false advertising, I don’t know what is.

Secondly, apps like this would made me less likely to buy products I would have once considered. I get that shades aren’t universal, but surely bronzer isn’t supposed to leave your skin yellow. The result suggested a poor liver function, rather than two weeks in Malta. As for the ‘smokey eye’, you’d think an app that that can track subtle facial movements would be capable of blending. “Mother of all that is holy, no L’ Oréal, I can assure you Eva Longoria did not attend the Cannes Film Festival looking like this.”

Finally (though I could go on), this concept just takes all the fun away from makeup shopping. Nine times out of ten, you don’t buy bright blue eyeliner because you think it’ll look good, you buy it because it is bright blue. I don’t need an app to visibly demonstrate how ridiculous I’ll look. Please just let me make this mistake on my own. In a practical sense though, seeing a personalised virtual advert tells you so little about the product. You learn nothing about texture, comedogenicity or durability. I get the app is designed for convenience, but who wants a non-returnable lipstick that leaves your lips looking like alligator hide?

Regardless of how hilariously bad the results on the app were, the convenience of it can somewhat distort why many of us buy makeup. Enjoyment? Artistic expression? Granted, items aren’t always accessible locally, and some may not have the time to go out and shop for their cosmetics, but surely that should be the inconvenience, rather than the fact you’re not wearing any makeup. The developers know apps like this just don’t work for sampling products, so don’t try to convince me it’s a beauty tool, rather than just an easier way to remind me how much better I could look.

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10 finishing touches your garden party needs this summer!

The barbeque is blazing and you’ve finally sussed out how to keep your pool moderately warm.

The cocktail umbrellas might be screaming summer, but after barely surviving another dreary wet spring, the garden is far from it.

Here’s 10 must-haves for upping your pool party game this summer!

 

Inflatable Cactus Drinks Holder – New Look – £13.99

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Split drinks suck, and the pool is going to be gross enough without an additional Amaretto fog swirling below the surface. You’re hardly going to be doing lengths, but relaxing is far better when it’s hands-free.

 

Flamingo Neon Light – firebox.com – From £24.99

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There’s no better way to glow up your backyard beach than with a glowing flamingo – or flaminglow if you will. The price might feel a little steep, but I guarantee they’ll go down far better than those Christmas lights you’ve got in the shed.

 

Smartphone Projector 2.0 – firebox.com – £19.99

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The perfect way to keep even the least social guests busy at your party. Had a few too many and not fancy risking a dance? Simply watch the music videos instead, or at least pretend you are anyway.

 

Festival Pow Wow Music Game – notonthehighstreet.com – £10.50

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Sick of charades and too intoxicated to string a sentence? As you perch around its cardboard campfire, this game only requires you to hum the allocated song, and regardless of how badly you perform, you’re bound to entertain.

 

Tropical Beach Blankets – firebox.com – £24.99

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Summer is a time for indulgence, and if you’re not going to eat your five-a-day, at least sunbathe on it. I’ll take three of each!

 

Naked Marshmallows – nakedmarshmallow.co.uk – From £5.50

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Try out the classics or opt for the booze-infused flavours. If you can’t trust your friends around a bonfire, try dropping them into some hot chocolate instead.

 

Underwater Disco Lightshow – firebox.com – £7.99

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Perfect for making the freezing cold and sludgy pool water a little more welcoming.

 

Flamingo Ride On Float – aldi.co.uk – £6.99

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So the pool may only be 2 foot deep and 6 foot wide, but you’ll never convince me this isn’t an essential.

 

Edible Bubbles – firebox.com – £12.99

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The only time you can bite at the sky and not look insane, even when your sober.

 

Limbo Set – notonthehighstreet.com – £30

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The original. The tradition. The classic. Is it even legal to host a garden party without one?

 

 

Student Living: Creating your home from home

7 ways to make your student flat as cozy as possible…

Student accommodation is designed to be versatile.

Each room begins as a blank canvas, and decoration is both permitted and encouraged.

Here’s 7 ways to decorate your new flat to transform it into your cozy home from home.

 

Add a touch of colour:

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If posters and fairy lights really aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty of ways to beautify your room that don’t involve bundles of blu-tack. Perhaps invest in some brightly coloured bedding and bath towels. You could even take this a step further and commit to a set colour scheme, such as pastels or primaries. For those who prefer a monochromatic space, prints and patterns are perfect for making a statement, whilst preserving minimalism and simplicity.


Maximise storage:

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Storage boxes are incredibly useful at university. Much of your day will be spent in your room and so it’s important to keep things organised. When your desk is covered in books and notes, it can become difficult to switch off during your free time. Sorting your work into tidy folders is a great way to keep your space as a relaxed environment. There are plenty of cheap ways to create storage spaces from the things lying around in your flat. For example, an empty shoe box is great for bulky items such as staplers and printer ink. Cereal boxes can be used for keeping papers organised while cracker boxes are handy for stationary. Cover them in wrapping paper to add a colourful and personal touch.


Switch up your lighting:

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Lighting can have a significant effect on the ambience of a room. Warm and soft lights are a great way to create a comfortable and calm atmosphere. Small table lamps can be especially useful for studying in the evening as they’ll feel far less intense.


Brighten your space with mirrors:

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Mirrors are a great way to distribute natural light and can help create the illusion of space. Decking your walls with smaller mirrors or even unwanted CDs will fill your room with reflected multi-coloured patterns during the day.


Smell good, feel good:

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Candles are usually prohibited in student accommodation, although there’s plenty of other ways to keep your room smelling fresh and inviting. Infusers can be used as a smoke-free alternative, as can scented bath petals. These petals can be scattered in your clothes drawers to help keep your clothes smelling clean, even when they’re not.


Bring things that remind you of home:

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Moving out can be a pretty daunting idea, and during bouts of homesickness, it can become difficult for your new flat to feel very homely. While family photographs can help to ease this, another way to feel closer to home is by bringing little pieces of your home with you. I remember insisting on bringing some of our oldest tea towels, as well as one of my mum’s ornaments from the living room.


Free spaces will be filled, so there’s no need to rush:

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One of my favourite things about moving out was the process of decorating my room with everything I had collected throughout my first year. Although it may be tempting to fill up your walls as soon as you get there with pictures of school friends, it’s important to leave space for souvenirs that you’ll gather while you’re there. This will help to keep your room up to date with the things you love and enjoy. It also allows your room to become a collage of your favourite university memories, something that can be especially comforting when you’re missing home or struggling with work.

How Twitter celebrated Donald Trump’s 71st Birthday

Yesterday saw US President Donald Trump celebrate his 71st birthday, and as expected, Twitter had a lot to say.

Yesterday saw US President Donald Trump celebrate his 71st birthday, and as expected, Twitter had a lot to say.

While many celebrated alongside POTUS, others were not quite so friendly.

Here’s a round-up of the president’s ‘special’ day, as told by Twitter…

 

Many supporters tweeted at Trump to celebrate his first birthday as POTUS…


 

Donald Trump Jr also sent this adorable tweet on behalf of his children to their granddad…


 

@antoniodeltoro was excited to celebrate the day, although Trump wasn’t invited…


 

This account followed suit in delivering the traditional ‘birthday beatings’…


 

Many used the event as an opportunity to call out Trump’s recent behaviour…



 

Although others forgot whose birthday they were supposed to be celebrating in the first place…

 

And by the looks of it, a few had no idea what was going on at all…


 

The announcement that he is now under personal investigation for potentially obstructing justice was probably not his favourite present…


 

And there was also a lot of NSFW speculation over what Melania Trump gave her husband… we’ll stick with this one though…


 

 Safe to say, the best gift of the day came from these guys. No doubt the guard at the back with the large gun was more than happy to deliver it…

 

Originally posted on The National Student. 

Pretty|Cheap – 8 Favourites from the Clarins Counter!

My 8 favourites from Clarins’ skincare and cosmetics range

Let’s face it, no one likes spending money, and no matter how much you try to convince yourself that makeup is an essential, you’ll never be able to convince your bank balance.

I’m usually an advocate for spending as little as possible and simply ‘working it’ as if you’d spent double the price, but sometimes spending a little extra can get you a long way.

Clarins is my favourite example of this.

After discovering their range of skincare and cosmetics, I’ve discovered that looking good and feeling good are both achievable and affordable, even on a student budget.

After suffering from acne since my early teens, it’s fair to say I’m incredibly sceptical about what I’ll put on my face.

With this in mind, I believe the fact that my entire skincare regime and most of my makeup is exclusive to their range says a lot about both the quality of the products, and the visible results I’ve had from them.

Here are my eight favourite products, and why you should definitely try them too!

Pure Melt Cleansing Gel with Marula Oil – 125 ml – £21

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I bought this after reading how ineffective wipes can be for removing makeup. To apply, simply squeeze out a drop the size of a five pence piece and massage into your skin. As the gel liquefies, you can quite literally see your makeup melt off of your face. The beauty of this is that it even removes eye makeup, and no matter how heavy your coverage was, it only 20 seconds to wash it all off. I’m now using this every night before I go to bed with the comfort of knowing my skin is as clean as it feels.

 

Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind – 125ml – £20

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I mean it literally when I say that this leaves your skin squeaky clean. It’s that hydrating and firming that you will genuinely hear it. When massaging the cream into your skin, you’ll see the exfoliating blue pearls breaking down as they get to work on clearing out your pores. My skin is incredibly sensitive and many exfoliators I’ve used in the past have consistently resulted in painful acne breakouts. However, this has been the only one I’ve found that is gentle enough to use daily.

 

Pore Minimising Serum – 30ml – £28

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The serum just does exactly as it says. I’ve always had very visible pores around my nose and even with makeup they were always visible. I trialled this after deciding that it would be better to tackle the pores altogether, rather than just filling them up with a heavy concealer. I started using the serum about four months ago, and since then I’ve noticed that the severity of my blackheads has reduced significantly. While I use it every morning, I’d also recommend reapplying just before your makeup to maximise its effect, as its prompt results are great for that quick cosmetic fix.

 

Hydra-Essential Cooling Gel – 50ml – £36

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I apply this straight after the pore minimising serum every morning and it’s another of my absolute favourites. As a gel, it’s far lighter than creams I’ve tried in the past and doesn’t leave you with that oily glaze that many other products seem to. I’ve had this for over four months now, but as you need to apply so little, the pot is still three-quarters full. I have days now where even with my spots, my skin feels so fresh and hydrated afterwards that I’ll skip the foundation altogether. My skin would be lost without it!

 

Lotus Face Treatment Oil – 30ml – £33

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I apply a couple of drops of the Lotus Oil to my skin every evening as the last step of my routine. Many with combination skin types often avoid using oils over fears that it will only exacerbate the oiliness of their skin. However, this treatment is perfect for those with oil imbalances as it refreshes and hydrates overnight, without leaving you that greasy layer to wake up to. Many creams can be a nightmare for blocking up pores leading many of us to just drop them from our routines. However, this I’ve found helps to tighten them, leaving my skin nourished and smelling great too.

 

Truly Matte Pure and Radiant Mask – 50ml – £23

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Face masks were another territory I usually avoided because I was so afraid of irritating my sensitive skin. In the past, many gel masks had left my face feeling pretty tight and dry. This instead has a creamy texture and is much more effective at softening and deeply moisturising the skin. Another perk of this mask is that it functions as an exfoliant too, and while it can only be used once a week, it’s like the Tamarind Cleanser in the sense that it’s gentle enough for all skin types.

 

Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation – 30ml – £28

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Having oily skin, this has been the only foundation I’ve found that doesn’t melt off during the day, keeping my skin looking matte and smooth. When it came to concealing blemishes, I used to either over-apply to conceal them, or leave them completely clear hoping they’d be less irritated and disappear sooner. This is no longer a problem as it’s so highly pigmented and oil-free. This reduces its comedogenicity while ensuring you’re left with a solid and consistent coverage. It was bittersweet to learn of its recent discontinuation after hearing the great reviews surrounding its replacement – Clarins Pore Perfecting Matifying Foundation. I expect it’ll be a new addition to this list very soon!

 

Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base – 30ml – £26.50

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Each of the three available shades serve a different purpose. While their main role as a primer is to provide a lightweight base to preserve your makeup, they all offer their own additional benefits. I use a combination of two shades– 01 Rose and 02 Champagne. The shade Rose was great for brightening my skin for example, whereas Champagne was better at concealing my red areas and smoothing out my patchy complexion. While they are tailored to harmonise with different skin tones, they’re light and versatile enough that an exact colour match didn’t prove necessary.

 

Let me know what your favourite Clarins products are in the comments!

Acne myths and skincare miracles

Allow me to debunk some acne myths and expose my skincare miracles.

Many of our insecurities are usually seen as fixable or at least concealable, but what happens when the problem covers your face in bruises and oily blemishes?

After nine years of severe acne, it’s fair to say that other than the nuclear-level treatments, I’ve tried it all.

My acne has definitely improved over recent months, so for fellow suffers, allow me to debunk some acne myths and expose my skincare miracles.

“Exfoliating every day prevents spots from forming altogether”
Myth! Whilst exfoliating once or twice a week will help unclog your pores, doing so on a daily basis strips your skin of its natural oils, forcing it to overcompensate. For those with oily skin, this additional oil (sebum) will mix with dead skin cells to block up the pores you’d just cleaned out. Not good.

“Applying makeup with brushes is cleaner than using your fingertips”
Myth! Makeup brushes may improve the look of your makeup but they’re no cleaner than your fingertips. Both hold bacteria, and while washing your brushes regularly will reduce the build up, there’s no such thing as a clean brush.

“Popping zits makes your acne worse”
True! During weeks where I’ve had no new spots, my face still shows scars from pimples I’d popped months ago. Popping spots will inflame the area, increase it’s risk of infection and prolong it’s lifespan indefinitely. Last week I had a whitehead the size of a fist, but in four days it had gone. I even found it easier to cover with makeup than the red mark it would have left. Resist the urge!

“Cheap products give you spots”
Myth! Price may correlate with quality, but rarely comedogenicity. Even the most expensive brands will offer oil-based foundations, and for those with sensitive skin, these are a nightmare when it comes to clogging your pores. I recently switched from Rimmel to Clarins and I’ve fallen in love. Their EverMatte oil-free foundation wiped out most of my spots in under a week. Whilst this product cost me £28, there’s plenty of cheaper alternatives. I’d also recommend exploring their skincare range. Whilst pricey, their lotus oil, hydra-essential moisturiser, pure melt cleansing gel, and micro-pearl foaming cleanser have worked miracles on my acne, reducing it by at least 80%.

No acne treatment is universal, and as horrendous as the search for your own ‘miracles’ may be, something will eventually work, regardless of your pessimism.

 

 

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More th>n beauty

Former Miss Teen Lincolnshire Danielle Terry reveals how pageant queens can no longer rely on a pretty face.

When former Miss Teen Lincolnshire Danielle Terry entered the world of pageantry, it’s fair to say that she did so with the same apprehensions that any of us would, unnerved by the stigmatized shadow that shows like Toddlers and Tiaras cast over the cat walk.

Most expect self-love to be the cynical reason for applying, rather than a beautiful consequence. It’s a lot easier to hate someone for loving themselves than it is to encourage it, and other than masking disguised jealousy, I’ll never understand why.

Danielle at the Miss Teen Great Britain final in 2015
Danielle at the Miss Teen Great Britain final in 2015 – Paul Carrol – Monsignor Photographic

I went to secondary school with Danielle, and for someone who struggled greatly with self-image, I’d never have predicted pageantry as being the next stage in her life.

“They are not just looking for pretty girls. It’s about your confidence and grace. Nothing is about the face. Even when I had my makeup on, I still made sure I looked like me.”

The more she refuted the term ‘beauty’ pageant, the more intrigued I became. However, after reading their ethos, Miss Teen Great Britain was far different to what I’d expected.

With 50% of the overall score reliant on a successful interview, it was clear that character was important. This is far from the “How would you save the world?” rehearsed answers that judges can sob over. No, this is a real character exploration. Winning is something they earn through effort and experience, not through a spray tan and flippers.

Expanding on such experiences, she explained the plethora of charity work that the girls get involved in prior to the final. Last years contestants raised over £40,000 for Together For Short Lives.

Danielle collecting donations for Together For Short Lives.
Danielle collecting donations for Together For Short Lives.

“I had such an amazing year in the build up to the pageant. It’s not just about the actual day, it’s about representing your local area and getting involved. I wanted to do something valuable, and my platform allowed me to do this.”

Regardless of our cynicism, the face of pageantry has evolved. Greeted with her elegant posture and glamorous hair and makeup, it was initially difficult to look past the stigma, but as we spoke, I felt her confidence and her genuine desire to advance herself exude through her smile.

“I never entered with the expectation of getting a crown. I wanted to make new friends and experiences, and that’s what I did.”

For these girls, winning is now simply a bonus.

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Danielle pictured on the far left after Misha Grimes is announced as World Teen Supermodel UK – Paul Carroll – Monsignor Photographic

 

 

 

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