Bad Vibes from MAC

Every day, there seems to be some new trend or style that is offending someone, somewhere. During the festival season, that of cultural appropriation is huge. How often have you been to a festival and NOT seen a feather headdress or some sort of native American style? I’m all for taking inspiration from the world around you, but there is a line. And one of the most popular, if not the most popular, make up brands has dabbled over and around this line.

MAC’s Vibe Tribe collection, launching Summer 2016, has caused quite a stir in online forums. In particular, there’s a Reddit feed where you can read multiple opinions on the collection. Personally, I’m torn with the new products. Whilst I do love the packaging and am excited to try the products (as they are right up my alley!) as they are soft and quite nude based, I understand why so many are annoyed by the theme MAC has chosen for their summer collection.

The first thing I noticed that could offend is how the make giants packaged the products. The packaging is inspired by the Navajo tribe, the second largest federally recognised tribe in the United States. With over 300,000 enrolled tribe members in 2015, you can imagine the backlash MAC received from this community. It is a mixed reaction on the Reddit thread, though, as some users are saying it’s mostly the older generation who are offended by the packaging whereas the younger generations seem more enthusiastic that their culture is being picked up on by such a major company.

VIBE TRIBE_BEAUTY_RGB_300

Second, there is the advertising. In the campaign photo above, the models in the ad are pictured wearing colored feathers and tribal tattoos. Native Americans use many symbols to convey secret meanings. Take, for instance, the tree tattoo on the short-haired model. The Cherokee tribe call trees the “standing people” and teach that all of their plant relations are the givers of the Earth providing for the needs of others. Trees also provided healing medicines, shelter from their branches, a place for burrows for the small animals and provide materials to build homes. The wood was also used to create many sacred items, such as talking sticks and prayer sticks. Next, let’s look at the model with long braided hair.You can read about the signifance of long hair in native American tribes here. One of the most important extracts I read from the blog post is this;

Hair styles are important for they portray and announce participation in various events and the feelings expressed by People; the state of merriment or mourning, at a given time, or a stage of life; whether one is coming of age, marriageable or married, one’s age and tribal status. Hair can depict the Tribal Spirits one follows given the geographical location of a Peoples and the Spirits flowing through someone depending on their age as a Spirit and the spirits that one is calling on, in a given ceremony. Different styles signify the Tribe one belongs to and are worn to indicate times of peace or war

It’s common knowledge by now just how important hair is within native American culture, thus we can see why members of that community are offended. Finally, of course, there is how the actual make up is on the models. Remember how annoyed people were about non-Hindus wearing a bindi on their face? This is exactly like that. In many tribes, if not all tribes, native Americans painted their faces for rituals, ceremonies, and war. Ceremonial paint, for example, was used to hide ones identity, as well as to obtain power from the creature or spirit represented. Face paint was used to intimidate an enemy or attacker, such as when Tecumseh and his warriors met with William Henry Harrison; the warriors were all wearing war face paint, which undoubtedly struck fear amongst the US soldiers.

It’s hard for me to love this collection, due to all this, and I wish they had chosen a less drama stirring theme, such a “Beach Vibes”, “Sea Sunsets” or something! Even with this knowledge, I myself have definitely offended different cultures in my outfit choices without even knowing. It’s hard to do something these days that doesn’t offend someone. If we’re not insulting a culture, we’re being sexiest, homophobic, or blasphemous. I may get some hate, but I like the colours used in the products and what the products are. I will definitely be purchasing some pieces from the collection.

Could this be all part of MACs marketing plan to get their product out there? I wouldn’t think a big brand like MAC would need to cause such controversy, but you never know!

Staying Fresh; Yoga

Staying Fresh; Yoga

silhouette-1082172_960_720

Almost every beauty blog I read say the same thing time and time again; beauty comes from you, not from what you add on. And this is so true! To be the best you that you can be, you’ve got to take care of your insides. Now, I could go on and on about what I do to make sure that my body and skin don’t freak out on me, but that’s a whole other post! I do, though, have just one tip about how to take care of your most beautiful thing; your mind.

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to do since graduating from college is finding time to focus on me. It’s hard to find a gap where I can just breath and de-stress with all that I do in a day. But it’s SO important that I do make time! My favourite way to relax, definitely, is by cutting out the world and emptying my thoughts. Yoga allows you to do this!

I first was introduced to yoga when I was doing my Gaisce (fond memories for most Irish people!) I was keen to try yoga as my physical recreation activity, as I’d seen so many celebrities raving about it and, of course, how they used yoga to relax. Taking a class twice a week in my local community centre, I was by far the youngest student! The second youngest was roughly twenty years older than me. At first, I was a little apprehensive. Worried that I would stand out because of my age, or I wouldn’t be able to mingle and connect with the others, I was doing my best to be a wallflower. I was SO wrong though! Any yoga class I’ve taken to date has been filled with positive and friendly people. Out of any gym class, it’s certainly the best if you’re only just starting with a gym. Yoga is never too strenuous, and often after I’m more motivated to train with the actual machines there!

If you’re interested in starting yoga, definitely check out your local community centres, or if you’re a member of FlyeFit, they have a few different yoga classes to choose from!

Sticking with Skinny

For spring 2016, my favourite style of jean is being thrown out the window; skinny jeans! According to every source under the sun, my favourite jean are dead and gone for not only spring, but all 2016. On Twitter and Instagram, I’m instead being shown wider and higher rise jeans from all my favourite fashion magazines and blogs. Now, whilst I do love incorporating some trends into my current style, such as rose gold accessories (even hair!) and tennis skirts, the new jean style  is one trend I’m not going to be embracing so easily.

Celebs Raw Style; Heidi Klum, Elle Fanning, Kim K, Alex Chung

Fortunately, blue jeans of all shades are going to be a big hit all the way from now until the summer, but there is not a clean cut skinny in sight. Instead, most fashion blogs and magazines are saying that frayed or “raw” hems and ankle crops are the must have jean style for the season. I could almost accept this, bar the fact that most magazines and blogs are showing that the new jean trend definitely have a looser fit than I would like. As my body is more plus than mini, I’m not jumping on this bandwagon. I don’t exactly want to add more inches onto my body! I’ve also got some curves I’m pretty proud of, I don’t want to just hide them. I’ve spent years trying to love them and now I’m being told I should cover them up?! Typical, right?

Screenshot (29)

Topshop’s MOTO Embroidered Straight Jeans, €77

I’m staying true to the skinny jean because not only are they comfortable, but they’ve been my go to since I was 14 years old. I can’t just break a relationship like that! But like any good fashion lover, I’ll be tweaking the new trend to my liking. Instead of wearing the horrendous new looser fit trend, I’ll still be rocking my Molly’s, but they’ll just be a little bit shorter in length. I already own a pair of frayed jeans I bought accidentally in Penney’s! Now I can wear them without being too embarrassed by the dodgy hems. Who knows, I might even end up wearing straight leg jeans in the future, despite shuddering at the thought now.

Screenshot (32)

River Island’s Ripped Matilda Skinny Jeans

If you’re looking to either embrace the new trend or modify your skinny jean love like I am, the best places to look are the usual (high street) suspects; Topshop, Urban Outfitters, River Island, and ASOS.

DC’s Bombshell Fashion Collection

DC’s Bombshell Fashion Collection

Most of the time, I love living in Ireland; where else can you get a perfectly salty spice bag? Though sometimes, I wouldn’t mind buying a one way ticket to America and never coming home. There are many factors as to why I can’t do exactly that, such as not having a green card or a visa, but man, if I could, I’d be gone! One of the reasons why I’d love to move there is that if you want to buy geeky apparel, there just happens to be a lot more choice over in the states. Sure, we have Amazon, Etsy and eBay, but that can work out pretty pricey! It’d be a lot easier if we had a one stop shop, such as Hot Topic.

Hot Topic is a store that get a lot of abuse. Known as the emo hot spot (pardon the pun), many internet users love to rip the piss out of the store. There has even been a game made that makes fun of the renowned franchise! If you like playing nonsense internet games, play it. Open it up in a tab and play it after you finish this article. Seriously, it’s a pretty fun game! Violent at points, but has some nostalgic tunes for us old emo/scene kids.

Back to the point at hand; Hot Topic and geeky clothes, which it has a lot of. I’m fortunately travelling to New York in May, and already I’ve a list of apparel and general stuff I plan on getting whilst over there from Hot Topic. Heck, half of my geeky stuff are bits I’ve ordered off the stores website and delivered here to Ireland! Despite it’s reputation, it actually has some good bits for those who are into comic books, anime, gaming, and such. It’s especially good for people who are interested in comic books, and if you happen to like the recent DC Bombshell’s launch, then you’re going to love what Hot Topic have just announced; a DC Bombshell clothing collection!

Some of the Bombshell’s variant covers

The Bombshells live in a universe where female superheros guard the homefront during World War II. Originally created as a series of statuettes inspired by 1940 pinups and dieselpunk, it later sparked two runs of variant covers, the first being in August 2014 and again in October 2015, this time to coincide with the launch of their own series, DC Comics Bombshells. Since their launch, the powerful women have been cosplayed numerous times. It’s a rare sight to not see at least one Bombshell cosplay at a convention these days! Not only are they fun and new, but they’re actually pretty easy to create. The only hard task would be if you were cosplaying Harley Quinn and having to make her jacket. Fortunately, Hot Topic has solved that problem as they are selling her jacket! For a more authentic look, you can add on the elbow patches and pins, but half the work is done for you. Don’t want to be a villian and fancy being a hero? Don’t worry, look no further for the most WONDERful news! You can snag not only the Wonder Woman top, but the bottoms too.

Unfortunately, as this is an American store, the shipping costs can charge you up to €40! But they do often have half price international shipping, and if you’re buying a bit, it can actually work out pretty handy. Be mindful of import charges, they can be sneaky. Last time I bought around €100 worths of bits, paid €20 shipping, and €20 import tax. So if you’re interested in just one or two things, chip in with friends or find a long lost relation in the States, or even sneak onto Amazon or eBay to find an alternative!

Nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool collection, and you ca check them out  here.

Urban Decay’s Wonderful Collaboration with Disney AGAIN

Urban Decay’s Wonderful Collaboration with Disney AGAIN

There are few make up brands that know how to cause a stir and make people talk, some of the best gossip makers being MAC and Benefit. Another quality make up brand that can stir the pot is Urban Decay. Renowned for their Naked palette series, they have also collaberated with some of the best known celebrities of our time, two being Ruby Rose and Gwen Stefani. Just yesterday, they tweeted a very exciting photo for not only make up lovers, but die hard Disney fans as well.

Screenshot (15)

Coinciding with the late May release of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland sequel, Through the Looking Glass, they have started chatter among not only their Twitter, but also their Facebook and Instagram. Many sites such as Her.ie, The Gloss, and Teen Vogue have released articles discussing the latest make up goss, too.

Since I was a kid, I have loved the story of Alice in Wonderland. Like most people my age, I was introduced to it first through the 1951 Disney animated film, and then, of course, the novel by Lewis Carroll. When I heard that one of my favourite people ever, Tim Burton, was going to direct the 2010 live action feature film , I didn’t even think of the colourful make up that would come from it. The first palette, 2010’s Alice in Wonderland’s Book of Shadows, has sixteen colours, ranging from bright rainbow shadows to typical nudes, also included are two eyeliners and their classic eyelid primer. Not only make up lovers, but cosplayers too would have gotten a lot of use from the first AIW palette! I wish I had this palette when I was working on my old, disgusting avocado love child face for Deadpool. The burgundy (Queen) and green (Absolem) would’ve been perfect for the cartoon-y look I was going for!

urban-decay-alice-in-wonderland-palette2

The first AIW palette

Whilst not much has been released so far about the palette from UD themselves, beauty insider Instagram account @trendmood1 has posted some sneak peaks of what to expect. Along with the eyeshadow palette, there are also rumours of at least five lipstick shades too. Check out the accounts photos below to see what to expect!

Here is the first #SneakPeek inside the palette 👀👀🙀🙀 #AliceThroughTheLookingGlas#EyeshadowPalette From the upcoming Collection #UDinWonderland by @urbandecaycosmetics The Palette – featuring 20 shades $60 Also includes 5 #Lipsticks $18 each All #LimitedEdition Shades & Packaging Available online & in stores End of April/May @ultabeauty @sephora This is gorgeous!!!! Love the everything about the movie, love #makeup – Best combination What are your thoughts?🎩✨🐇 XO #Trendmood #urbandecay #urbandecaycosmetics #cosmetics #ilovemakeup #makeup #Eyeshadow #beautyblogger #bbloggers #MakeupNews #beauty #fashion #alicethroughthelookingglass #movie pic: EBay THANK U to our Fabulous makeup community for the updates! ⭐️✨💜 #LoveU

A post shared by TRENDMOOD (@trendmood1) on

Here is the first #SneakPeek – The #LIPSTICKS 💄😍🙀😍🙀 From the upcoming Collection #AliceThroughTheLookingGlas by @urbandecaycosmetics Includes 5 shades $18 each: #Alice 💄 Sheer nude with pink shift #MadHatter 💄 Bright Purple, Shimmer #Mirana 💄 Berry, Shimmer #iracebeth 💄 Bright Red, matte #Time 💄 Navy with silver shimmer All #LimitedEdition Shades & Packaging inspired by the characters from the new movie Available online & in stores End of April/May @ultabeauty @sephora @macys I'm super excited for this collection!!! The packaging look and the shades are super colorful…just like the upcoming movie (which I'm definitely going to see!!) Not going to miss this one!!! 💸💸💸 What about you ? XO #Trendmood #urbandecay #urbandecaycosmetics #cosmetics #ilovemakeup #makeup #Eyeshadow #beautyblogger #bbloggers #MakeupNews #beauty #fashion #urbandecay #UDinWonderland #movie THANK U to our Fabulous makeup community for the updates! ⭐️✨💜 #LoveU @canyonwillis @klabove @adriannarosesnow 😘

A post shared by TRENDMOOD (@trendmood1) on

The photos show off some pretty exciting and electric colours, as you would expect from not only Urban Decay but the mad mix of Tim Burton’s vision and Lewis Carroll’s story. For the time being, it’s said the palette will only be released in Sephora and Ulta stores (which Ireland has neither of, unfortunately) but here’s hoping a our homeland UD counters will receive them!

Update: SUCCESS! Us Irish folk can grab the palette (€49) from the UD counters in both House of Fraser and Debenhams. Still tracking down the lipsticks, so hang tight!