We need to talk about … Double Standards

The news over the last number of weeks has been pretty grim and the general narrative is in no way gender neutral. Women by our very nature are nurturers, we make things better, try to cope and see apparently better at ” coping”. We are expected to be paragons if virtue and keep our knickers on whilst still being expected to give birth and keep everyone happy. It’s a mans world was something my mother regularly said.

She died when I was 21 and really it’s only taken me nearly 20 years to realise that she was right. My dad was a modern man at the time , they both worked , he did his fair share of the housework etc so my perception growing up wasn’t that Mum did everything ..

Let’s start with Ant McPartlins drink driving just weeks after an exit from rehab. Pictures emerged of a man broken desolate and looking rather contrite. Sympathy was rife for the poor victim of alcoholism and his apparent slip off the wagon.

Anybody remember Amy Winehouse being afforded the same sympathy ? No, me either. Labelled a druggie and an alcoholic shambles in every publication was the course of action shown to her. Immense ridicule and it totally overshadowed her brilliance on some level.

And poor Dec being left to do the Saturday night takeaway alone prompted worldwide support. Even old high waisted jeans himself Simon Cowell took to Twitter to offer his support. Outpouring of love for this pro who without his buddy was deemed half a man. Cop on.

Remember when Kurt Cobain died? And left Courtney Love a widow with a small child? The only thing she got really was her face plastered on tabloids and her ability as a mother questioned. Can we see what’s happening here?

Men that don’t want marriage or kids are seen a bachelors wanting a quiet life and no nagging. Women choose it? They are viewed as career women that are selfish and cold. If I were a man there is no way people would question my childless status but because I’m a woman , they do it constantly.

Twitter for me was a bad place after the recent Belfast Rape trial. The lad culture that we have become conditioned to.

This culture isn’t a new phenomenon I’m afraid.At 19 I worked in a bar and on a Sunday night this group of ” lads” came in. It wasn’t their first stop of the day and their order was always the same , Four vodkas , two red bull and two pints of Heineken. One of them in particular used to regularly make remarks sexually at me, and I used to just ignore them. One night though I had enough and said to him ” since you think I want it so much and you’re so proud of it why don’t you take it out!?” Show me this amazing appendage that you want me to experience because I am sick of hearing about it. I said it loud enough for everyone to hear. One of his friends said to me ” fair play you don’t deserve that filth ” and I looked at him fairly murderously and said : ” it’s s pity you didn’t tell him shut up then isn’t it? ” I was a bit mad at myself for allowing the creep to do what he did for months without taking him to task. I was proud that I hadn’t used any sexual words to describe his ” manhood” though because he was so vile I couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t get off on me swearing at him.

I had always refused to wear the women’s TShirt to work , opting instead for a size large in the Male polo shirt . I hid beneath baggy jeans and buffalo trainers. I tried to make myself blend in with the boys. I wanted to do my job and have a good time. There was only one other girl working there. She was as much of a lad as I was. That was 20 years ago now. Time flies but unfortunately the same lad culture still exists.

While nobody can be jailed for a what’s group chat , or ” lad banter ” we need to look quite closely at the type of macho bull that is prevalent among some men these days. The belief that women that find this attitude steeped in misogyny are “feminazis” is completely ludicrous.

Women indulge in sexual talk of course they do, they discuss their sexual lives and partners just as much as men , probably more. But that group chat was discussing a girl leaving a party hysterical and bleeding, and all the while being perceived as a merry go round and a spit roast. I’m not sure how proficient these guys are in bed but generally if a woman is enjoying it she doesn’t leave with a vaginal laceration because vaginas are designed to accommodate sex. When it’s consensual.

Referring to women as sluts isn’t ok. Men are never given this title but apparently ” top shaggers” is how we ought to refer to them. This double standard seems to indicate that women are there for male pleasure. Top tip… women enjoy sex. Women are every bit as sexual as men. Women have needs too. If you are in an intimate situation with a woman you’ll know if she’s enjoying it. Any good lover is attuned to the other regardless of their connection.

Nobody knows what happened apart from the people present and while we may not agree, a verdict has been reached and we must respect it. Not guilty.

The complainants life is changed forever. So are the four men that were found not guilty. All five were given the trial by social media and there is no doubt that there’s a lot more to come out. Statements . Regret. Shoulda, woulda coulda. Too late.

Which brings us to the question of consent. Consent is something we deal with daily .. want a coffee? No thanks, no coffee is presented. Someone looks hungry ? You offer them food , they take it great they don’t no biggie. Sex is the same. You don’t need a questionnaire or disclaimer which has been the suggestion by some. A simple ” do you want to” or ” are you ok with this ” will suffice. The same thing applies whether it’s a one night stand , some al fresco heavy petting or in a long term relationship. People shouldn’t be pressured in to consent. If the urge is really that bad? You can relieve yourself at a later stage. If in doubt don’t whip it out. That’s a mantra right there guys. If it stops at a certain point that’s ok. There’s no obligation.

There are no good rapists or bad rapists, it happens under differing circumstances but… if you don’t get consent you’re no better than someone that sets out to attack or rape someone. There’s no grey area around consent. Educate yourself.

As for the concept of ” buyer remorse ” the next day? That’s a society led thing which has conditioned women to think that they are Harlots for having a one night thing. Before I get abused for this belief , falsely accusing someone is despicable , no doubt. I think anyone that would accuse someone out of regret is wrong on every level. There’s no excuse.

But what about the children? I’m afraid my son will grow up and have too much to drink and get himself in trouble, here’s my advice :

if you would talk to your daughter about safety then talk to your son about consent.

Lastly let’s look at our constitution and the eighth amendment. Having autonomy over your body is a human right. Being able to access modern healthcare in your country where you pay tax is a human right. Men don’t have to travel for healthcare so why should women ? This isn’t about Ireland becoming a nation of murdering lunatics. This is about accessing a service that some people need for a variety of reasons. Morals don’t come into this one. It’s to repeal the 8th. Whether you believe in a virgin birth or you are an atheist your personally held beliefs are not relevant.

Trust me when I say this, the decision to end a pregnancy , viable or not isn’t an easy one. Very often external circumstances make the decision for the person. Nobody wakes up and says ” oh I’ll just casually do this “. For the record I have lost a baby , a baby that would now be almost of school going age. I had to sign the consent forms to bury him or her in an angel plot with other angel babies. My termination wasn’t my decision. I had to have it or I could have died, and all I could think of at the time was ” please don’t make me go to England” . Hysterical , distressed in a maternity hospital with newborns in the corridor. That was my fear, the stigma I might have to go England. My baby was essentially a time bomb in my womb waiting to erupt. For 12 hours that is how it felt while I waited for theatre. Safe in Cork, near my family if anything happened. Recovering , in Cork with my loved ones there for support. Others aren’t that fortunate. Can you see how wrong it is to go through that … and still count your blessings that there were no airports , no taxis to strange places and no hotels. I don’t know of a man that’s ever had to endure such atrocity. They never will. Women are human beings. Living breathing human beings. Let’s start treating them as such.

Brush Crush

I’ll keep this one short and sweet because we already know that Real Techniques are a great brand. We already know that as a brand that is designed by Sam and Nic Chapman we will always get results driven brushes but wait for the mic drop when it comes to these babies because honestly at €15.99 each they are a total steal.

Nobody said that choosing a brush was easy but what we have here are five brilliant brushes looking all cute and clean.

They didn’t stay that way for long as I put them through their paces. Here are my thoughts in order of preference of brush ( they are all super but like your mother had a favourite child I have a fave brush pecking order )

First is the blush, the reason I love this is that the slightly triangly head means you won’t go hardcore aunt Sally with the blush, I’ve tried it with Mineral, powder and cream and it performs amazingly.

Next is the contour. Need cheekbones? This one sculpts the face and jawline like no other. The densely packed bristles means that the cream contour worked like an absolute dream.

The Fan was next… glitzy , matte, glam, understated powder highlighters all appeared flawless with the help of this. Creams I didn’t feel worked as well but the powders were light and evenly applied regardless of the finish required. Iced donut? Check . Slight highlight? Check.

Next up the powder one .. great for adding a little bit of colour to the face in light sweeping motions and also for packing on a mineral finishing powder.

Lastly the foundation. A powder foundation I thought worked great with this. I found it absorbed a lot of the liquid and was a bit hard to clean. But I tried some mineral powder foundation and it buffed it in well. Coverage would be the only issue with this brush I feel.

All in all a stellar collection of brushes at ab affordable price. Cruelty free and absolutely the prettiest addition to your make up bag for SS18

Blemish Emergency Solution 

Spots are not to be picked do you hear me? NOT to be picked. Your mum told you, your beauty therapist told you and now I am telling you. Forget it. I don’t care if Mount Ethna has erupted on your face, this is not a drill. Leave it out. Blemishes respond well totopical treatments and I am not talking the Clearsil variety but rather a gentler approach. Enter Payot, Pate Grise.  On cleansed skin, apply a thick layer at night locally on small spots with a cotton bud. How it works is it brings spots to head by accelarating the maturity of them. This means that they don’t last as long and will be less sore and angry looking as they won’t have had as much time to “bake”.

 

Generally speaking I find that my Time of Month really affects my skin and I always get one or two angry ones when they do appear. I am blessed to have generally good skin but it is always handy to know this little life saver is there. I hve been known to use it  on one or two ingrown ones too. They are stubborn spots that have a hair inside, you have to treat the surface first and this is such a handy little all rounder €18.95 you can buy it online or in your local Payot Stockist

 

 

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Pure Potions for Dry Scaly Skin 

Itchy atopic skin is part of life for me everyday. While I control my Psoriasis quite well using a little prescription product the rest of my body is still dry. Bearing in mind I’m a slave to the shower I had to look to a range that was a good emollient and not over the top expensive. Off to Holland and Barrett with me and an introduction to Pure Potions, a cruelty free vegan range suitable for my skin, and face and body.

Out of all of the products I tried I loved the bath and body oil, which can be added to a bath or applied directly to the skin post shower. It smells fresh and quite natural so it’s not for anyone that loves a deep floral scent. It’s designed to be unisex so the scent is definitely not overpowering. The intensive moisturising is really great to apply to the scaled areas or the soles of your feet. This requires some heat to melt it into the skin and is a bit like coconut oil in texture.

The scalp oil is a great product for anyone that suffers with dry or flaky scalp. It’s a great alternative to some of the over the counter tar rich products that are really smelly. I can’t use it at the moment again because I’ve got hair extensions but I did give it a good road test and it’s honestly perfect for mild cases or patchy bits. It washes out well although I’d be inclined to shampoo it twice.

The face cream I gave to a friend with Eczema and the reports I received were very positive.

The while range started out in the founders kitchen when she sought a treatment for her toddler who suffered with eczema. The integrity of the brand is preserved to this day and although it’s not fancy or opulent it is practical and really soothing for dry skin.

Budget Beauties

Payday is still a week away and with that in mind I wanted to show you some pretty budget buys to help beat the January blues.

Matt lipsticks have become a staple in all of our make up bags and one of the best stain / colour combo comes from Wet’nWild and their liquid catsuit. A liner is essential with these as the pigment is so strong it’s almost like a lip paint. You can wear them alone or under a gloss. They offer comfort and long wear. Nudist Peach ( pictured) is a nice warm nude peach that is handy for bringing your make up bag into spring. Another product well worth the investment is the Mega Glow Highlighters . Offering what call a soft focus metallic finish to the skin , they act really well as a tear duct pop of glow too. Avoid if you’re very lined around the face though as the finish may look quite harsh and sit in lines or pores. This isn’t exclusive to this brand it happens across the board.

Lashes are an expensive hobby if like me you wear them every day but I do find that they open my eyes and finish the eye make up look with a glam touch. They can help you look less tired also but I do find a lighter lash with a thinner band works best. I always use Duo glue to apply them as I find this easy to use and won’t pull on the Lashes they just peel off.

The Primark (Penneys) own brand Lashes are only €1.50 and the Wispies are the ones I wear the most these days. The glue that comes with them is quite strong so I would recommend having some Duo on the side. The latest addition to the eye range is pigment and honestly you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between this €3 brand and some of the more expensive ones. Pictured is the colour Mink Pink which is a great dupe for Inglot 119.

The nude liner in Foxy Nude is a nice little addition for €1.50, I have bought quite a few of these in recent times to keep in my desk at work for emergencies. I also for €2.50 decided ya pick up the cotton bud holder which looks good on a dresser and is really practical.

Lastly is the PHr range designed for working out. The range has everything you need for a basic base. Now here is the thing I don’t really condone the concept of working out wearing make up but the mascara is quite good €2.50 and waterproof , and isn’t going to affect your skin. The other products like the highlighter stick is nice for an non glittery highlight, just apply with a synthetic brush and less is more because of the cream consistency. I think oddly women that are Menopausal mag like this range as it’s sweat proof . Penneys are as a brand always striving to improve their range and I have to say in recent times the colour /makeup range has really improved. The bits above are ones I liked and used. I think their brushes are great too and better than some of the bigger brands. They have a no frills approach and I like that.

My only bugbear is that you can’t get Wet n Wild products anymore in Penneys. It’s one of my favourite budget brands and it was so handy picking the bits I wear regularly there.

Happy Sunday and let me know if you try any of my recommendations. X

Bloggers Blaggers and Bull … a story of me with pictures

The blogger thing has quite frankly got me thinking and if I’m honest doing a bit of soul searching. Firstly I kinda ice skate quite inelegantly around the border of being a blogger, I have my own website and curate my own content , however the reason I initially started a blog was because someone said I should …. then it took off a little. Everyone is lashing out at bloggers now and to be honest I could see it coming with my ears. Last year I wrote two blogs Selfie Acceptance and Are we losing the integrity of blogging ?. One year on and the shit storm I predicted happened. It started with the BullShitCallerOuters page. The biggest eye opener of my life. I didn’t know the half of what was going on. And I’m right in the thick of it in terms of being a blogger although very clearly not an influencer. I am a good advisor though. Of that I can assure you. I don’t ever recommend products because of affiliation to a brand or PR company.

And then the HontheHuns page quickly followed suit gaining traction although it had been around a while. I actually think this page is possibly more centric in its approach. But to be honest I think the time had come for this.

So anyway between them they have been exposing editing , photoshopping and face tuning like it’s going out of fashion. That is theirs to do. Both have cited not wanting drama and reading the comments really opened my eyes. I think the general consensus is that anyone that says anything negative gets blocked. I can see both sides of this. Firstly you have the blogger getting comments about their personal appearance and lives being made by the minute. However if you put yourself out there you have to expect both positive and negative feedback. Sorry that’s a side order of instafame. Expose yourself and you will be exposed. That’s reality. But here’s the line… when you start insulting and dehumanising a person I don’t think that’s fair either. I get that people feel cheated. I understand that people feel duped ,but you cannot call someone horrible names and think it is ok. Unfollow and move along. The photoshopping is fairly obvious. I understand that not everyone knows how to do it but it’s like any advert people aren’t going to want to look bad. I don’t agree with it. It’s not right it’s not fair but you as the consumer has to make a choice. It is in your own interests that you realise content is curated , there’s a reason that there’s a pose called the blogger pose. There a reason that they fawn over certain products and people. The reason is money. Money isn’t a dirty word. It’s a currency we all need. I have made my own mistakes online I’m sure, and we can all get carried along in the hype of some dramatic online carry on. There is however a fine line between saying you don’t like the lipstick someone is wearing and “calling them on out having more lip fillers than Jackie Stallone” .

But MJ think of the childer….. I actually think that the name calling and negative carry on is as damaging to kids as the actual posts are. Everyone needs to clean up their act. Public forms of social media are completely different to What’s App groups where you might slag someone off. By all means as a consumer you have a right to complain but being personal isn’t really ok. It’s teaching the younger generation to become desensitised to this type of behaviour. It’s up to parents to do their best to explain to the younger people that being honest having integrity is far more important than anything, and to show them that they are worth more than a few likes on Instagram.

I’ve had my share of negativity and in fact three years ago I had a dose of therapy. Not retail therapy ( like people might recommend , feeling crap? Buy yourself a lipstick , no. ) but Therapy. Sit on a couch with a psychotherapist and snot into a tissue therapy. Turns out I had a lot of unresolved issues around grief and general neediness ( stems from losing my awesome parents so young) but anyway that’s a whole other blog. Go see a therapist if you can’t cope. They are awesome, and Jean was the second one I tried, the first one was bonkers.

You know what? Your mother didn’t carry you for nine months, go through labour , leaking boobs and a possible year of sleepless nights so you could compare yourself to girls on the internet. Understood? Good. Next..

The next thing is the products debacle. “They are importing it from China and it’s all crap” well now ask yourself this. Did you go into a chemist and test it? Did you check it out and see any reviews that weren’t by the person that made it? Did you make an educated informed choice ? That’s the question people need to ask. You cannot blame people for wanting to make money. You cannot blame people for wanting to earn a living. Make informed decisions. For what it’s worth I love the Sosu Lashes ( some styles but that is a choice) the glue though is horrible and tacky. Her contour pallet is good. Her highlight great. They eyeshadows ? Meh. Buy the earrings on Ali Express. Now we all know. They are allowed to approach companies and ask to collaborate. All they have to say is no. Maybe some need to work on their pitches and gain real interactive following but you don’t ask you don’t get.

Just Jordan launched Luna. *disclaimer I worked with Lisa in BT before ( just in the interests of being open ). She’s lovely and actually would tell you if you needed to fix your hair or if you had loo roll stick to your shoe or whatever. What you see on Snapchat etc is her. Anyway I digress. Her lipglosses are amazing and girly and not over the top in terms of price. Her photos are honestly what she looks like with makeup and yeah that is her actual body. You’d love to hate her but you can’t. She’s business smart and is approaching her blog like a business. She’s not duping anyone. She had a vision and went for it. Fair play Lisa ya legend.

Cherry Sue is like the Hugh Hefner of blogging. She was one of the first and her no frills attitude gives her the edge over a lot of simpering , faux self deprecating bloggers. She gives free advice and good hugs.

Louise O Connell is another lady whose determination and drive has seen her get where she wants to go. She’s a full time Nurse and is working hard to get her blog recognised and is doing a mighty fine job. I knew Lou when she had a bad fringe and a penchant for Blue Satin. She’s not changed much but the hair has.

The Beautiful Truth is my blog spirit animal. Sinead likes the same things I do and is definitely honest and approachable. She’s also a nice person with defined goals.

Katie’s Curvy Closet is another winner for me. I have to include her because she does my brows and is my therapist. She’s witty and body confident and extremely hot. She’s also funny and honest.

For Instaporn and Couple Goals I love The L Word by Laura. She’s hot and fit. She drinks cocktails and is a fierce lover of travel and fashion. She gave me my first protein ball. I love her.

In terms of make up Inspiration give me a slice of Jeanette Cronin. She isn’t afraid of glitter or lashes and is so nice. She can do my face anytime.

For a different approach to Fitness my Pilates Guru Sian Horn ( My Sayso) is a bit of gas. Although she likes vegan mayo so you might want to be cautious … just kidding she’s awesome.

When looking at bloggers ask yourself … are they aspirational or are they just someone you like, if they are neither you know what you have to do.

As I write this I am over six months into my dream job which wouldn’t have happened without GlamityJane. Working in a media and publishing house has always been a #goal of mine. Social Media has made that happen. Obviously it helped that I had a few brain cells and a bit of confidence. That confidence was hard come by though. I’ve had plenty of knocks.

You know when everyone wanted to be Carrie from Sex and the City? I saw the potential in Carrie for sure but I wanted to be Samantha. She for me was far more attractive an option. Ballsy, took care of her own needs and appearance , was a great friend , loyal , honest and was unashamedly herself. When I told people that they would look at me and be baffled. What ? Being a nympho maniac man eater is on your agenda? No. Being a woman confident in herself and her persona is. Everyone focused on the ballbreaking , one night stand loving Singleton. Nobody looked past that. She never allowed anyone to undermine her. Did she use her blonde hair and fierce attitude to get where she wanted ? She did. That is why I loved Samantha. Give me her over simpering “why doesn’t he love me in my tulle skirt pretty shoes that I can’t afford and lambswool cardigan ?” Carrie any day. Pass me a powerful outfit and a bag of sass right now please. Anyway cue 2018 and here I am. Carrie I am not ( thank god ).

Back to the bloggers and influencers. Are they Carrie or are they Samantha ? that’s what you gotta ask yourself.

BPerfect LMD Master Pallet

Last weekend I got to meet Brendan the creator of BPerfect Cosmetics. BPerfect is a brand that’s available in over 1000 outlets on the island of Ireland. As a man who has no artistry skills in terms of make up I found it a little funny that he would develop a range that was so good in terms of ease of use and quality especially as he doesn’t wear make up himself although he’s a self confessed tan lover.

The LMD face pallet is a mixture of soft focus warm tones and more dramatic smokey hues that blend quite well. The texture of the eyeshadows vary but they are soft and blend-able offering impact straight away. The pallet was Brendan’s brainchild and he enlisted Louise’s help to put the right collection of colours into it. It’s versatile in terms of use. I think to work with it effectively I’ve found that softer natural bristled brushes work really well with them. The synthetic ones I found made the pigment too loose. That however isn’t necessarily a bad thing but something to be mindful of if you are vegan.

There are lots of pros to this pallet the first one being that there’s a full range of colours and the highlight and contour are brilliant both as cheek products but also work well worn on the eyes.

The colours are all quite complimentary and there is a good range of warm and cool.

The matte colours blend quite well I did find he more sparkly ones needed a little bit of fixing spray to give maximum impact but I think I’m just extremely fussy when it comes to payoff.

See below a daytime look I created although it was evening before I got to take the shot

Then the night time more festive and dramatic look which I went heavy on the blush for.

All in all for €30 I think it would be a great gift. It’s early days as to whether it gets popped on the holy grail pile but I’m quite hopeful.