How often have we fallen into the trap of 'self-expression' when uploading an image? Only to seek approval or validation in the form of likes and follows. Our captions may as well say "define me", a selfie equal to a blank space desperate to be filled. It begins innocently, through capturing yourself, creating an image - a memory, even. A beautiful creation quickly consumed by the vastness of the internet, reduced to a speck of dust - left to float through cyber space. 

It calls into questions as to whether art can be created, or if art is only something which can be perceived? 

The days in which my dress is a feeling, my makeup is a dance and my words are a melody, I am self-aware, taking the pleasures of self expression and creating something for myself - of course, there are days where concealer is simply used to hide a spot. But during those days, when I have the freedom, the time, the confidence, or the awareness to wrap myself up in paints and fabrics, I feel full. I feel full from creating some form of art for myself. Of course, I choose to share these images online, on my blog. But whether I gain hundreds of views, or none at all, it doesn't take away from what I made. I create for me, I share because I am inspired by the creativity of others. I feel that we should all fill our space in the world. We should fill our spaces with the beauty, the pain, the stories and the memories, we should let it all out and splash our colour onto the world.

Basically, my point, my ever wordy and in-eloquent point, is that we don't need the likes, the retweets, the approval of our art, of our being. If that person has a million likes on their picture, it doesn't mean that the space they occupy shines brighter than yours, the flowers don't grow more colourful, the honey doesn't taste any sweeter. Instead, focus on filling your space with love, care for it, cultivate it. You can paint it black, pink or dazzle it in gold. You can dress loudly, wear no makeup, get that tattoo, or focus all your art and creativity on your work. You can create love, patience and time for your family. You can express yourself through music, dance, or film. 
You can find yourself in your favourite paper world.

 Self expression comes in many forms and we should encourage each other to create, to create beauty, and above all, to create kindness. Nobody else can fill your space, or take it away. Your space is as beautiful as you make it, no matter the numbers. Self-expression is an art which you create, for your pleasure.
This, well, it's for me.
Earlier last year, Lisa launched her first lipsticks, the Plush True Velvet Lipsticks. 
They are simply, divine. 

Lisa Eldridge is the Queen of makeup. Not only is she a world renowned make-up artist, painting some of the most beautiful faces in the world (see: instagram), she also has an incredibly informative YouTube channel, a beautiful book on the history of makeup (Face Paint: The Story of Makeup), she also has vast experience in developing cosmetics as previous creative director of No, and now Lancome (oh, and she was on 10 Years Younger for anyone based in the UK who is old enough to remember that show!). It's fair to say that she is the beauty expert, if there ever was one. 

The lipsticks are housed in a weighty, simple but vintage-inspired case with a magnetic closure. The bullet is created in a special mould which gives the effect of velvet around the lipstick. If the pure aesthetics of this lipstick isn't enough, it has an incredible formula. They are full in pigment in one swipe and glide on the lips. The formula is a plush, velvet matte which is comfortable on the lips and wears off beautifully throughout the day. It is the best matte texture I have encountered. It is comforting, yet not slippy and is matte yet not dry or flat. 

Shades (from left-right): Velvet Morning, Velvet Ribbon and Velvet Jazz. 

Velvet morning is is a hot, vibrant orange-red which mimics the dazzling orange of morning sunrise. 

Velvet Ribbon is a classic red which leans between neutral and cool toned. It mimics the classic velvet texture seen on ribbons, adorned on only the most beautiful of gifts.

Velvet Jazz is a vintage, brick-red. It brings up images of screen sirens, dimly lit jazz bars and heady cigars.

Unfortunately, the lipsticks are already Sold Out but will be restocked later this year. You can sign up to Lisa's Newsletter to be updated on restocks.

So, here's the Dose of Colors DesixKaty Collection, AKA the best influencer collab of 2018, ever.

What is it? 
It's the second makeup collaboration from the brand Dose of Colours with the two YouTube beauty influencers Desi (see link) and Katy (see link). It includes an eyeshadow palette, two highlighters, two lipsticks, two liquid lipsticks and two lipglosses.

Where can I buy it?/How much does it cost?
In the UK you can purchase this directly from the Dose of Colors US website or from Beauty Bay. The Friendcation eyeshadow palette will set you back £44, the highlights cost £22 each, the liquid lipsticks are £15 each , the lipsticks come in at £13 each and finally the lipglosses are priced at £14.

So, why is it the best collaboration?
Well, the Friendcation eyeshadow palette is the star of the show and wins the best of the best when it comes to influencer collaborations. Is it groundbreaking, never-seen-before? No. Is it wildly impressive at first glance? No. 
So, what makes it so good?

It's simple, but effective. It has blendable, everyday mattes which help create a neutral day look or helps create a base for something more dramatic. It has beautiful shimmers which can be used to create a soft effective but can be built up for a real impact. And finally, it has beautiful shimmery, glittery, delicious bold shades (wow - what descriptive adjectives I use). The shimmer shades in this palette are divine, they are packed with larger and micro glitters which dance in the light, creating dimension and sparkle without fall out or the need to prep with glitter glues. They blend into one another seamlessly and can be mixed to create purples or create that oil-slick effect. Just browse the thousands of instagram looks created with this palette to see it's magic. It is the perfect balance of day and night, introvert and extrovert, the least and the most.

The swatches below are representative of the colours but fails to capture the diamond quality of the sparkle.

Whilst I would recommend you rush out and spend your hard earned cash on the eyeshadow palette , I think the highlighters are just so-so and only worth a purchase to support Katy and Desi. The shade Fuego is a pale gold with reflecting sparkle and the shade Chasing the Sun is a warm bronze with a gold reflect. 

Why don't I love these? Simply, because it isn't smooth enough and creates neither a natural glass skin effect nor a blinding reflective effect. I find it's just ok, but my least favourite is Fuego which once it has worn down, leaves green and pink shimmer particles on the face which leave my face looking like I have eyeshadow fall-out on my cheekbone. A pass for me.

Pictured below (left-right): Chasing the Sun and Fuego.

The lipstick formulation is good but nothing amazing, however, if you love a warmer toned nude or have a medium-tan complexion, they have beautiful shades which compliment a more yellow/olive skin tone. The glosses are a beautiful formula, full of reflective shimmer. Depending on your preferences or skin tone, they have a warm gold shimmer gloss or a pink shimmer gloss. Whilst it doesn't beat the Fenty Gloss Bomb, this one comes in as a strong contender for a shimmer gloss to create impact and dazzle.

The shades below (from left-right) are: Hey Girl lipstick, Aftermath lipstick, My Main liquid lipstick and Over The Top lipgloss.

Most of this collection is still available for those who think they missed their chance. If you're wanting to get a new eyeshadow palette, I truly recommend the Friendcation palette and think that it is worth the price for those who are needing something that can give them office-glam.


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