Monday, 24 March 2014

#NoMakeupNomination #CancerAwareness

This recent trend has taken my newsfeed by storm. And to be honest… I don't know how I feel about it.

I think it is great that people want to show that naturalness and naked femininity is beautiful but at the same time I understand that a lot of girls are just looking for a couple likes and attention. 

The main question everyone is asking is: Is this helping cancer awareness? 

And as far as my newsfeed goes… Probably not. (Maybe I just have crappy Facebook friends? :P)



I guess that its all rooted in those horrendous neknomination things. Turning something dumb into something worth while. I also guess that it was an attempt to appeal to the general selfie-taking masses. I get it. I just think that it was a bit lost in translation. I also think that people opposing this trend is becoming the new 'hipster' thing to do and now it is all in a downward spiral.  

As someone who has dealt with cancerous growths and all that fun stuff - it doesn't really do much for me. I don't feel supported or hopeful or any of those things -- maybe I'm just not emotional enough? :P 

I then read a link in someones status that did speak to me… 


WHY I WILL NEVER POST A #NOMAKEUPSELFIE

First of all I would like to say that it’s so special to see so many girls being proud of their natural beauty, I really do commend you on this. I truly wish that we would be this proud everyday to go make-up free, I am not one to talk often I have a little break out and you wouldn’t see me posting pictures of myself with no makeup all over Social Media – when I got asked to  partake in the #nomakeupselfie campaign I knew in my heart that it is something I would not be doing & not because of the no-make up part – for completely different reasons.
I truly believe that Social Media has become a platform where anything & everything goes – the aim of the game: lets see how many people we can get to do something cool or stupid and see if we can get this to go VIRAL.
How many online trends to we see come and go? As lovely as you all look with no make-up I must really say that I believe in no way are you helping Cancer Awareness ( now my opinion on that too is completely controversial and I will be getting to that) the only thing you are promoting is your self.
Hey look at me, look how beautiful I look with no-makeup. If this is what you wanted to show the world then you should be proud to wear no make up all the time.
How are you actively making a change? Wouldn’t it be more credible if we were to go & get ourselves a mammogram? And write on your status – I just had my breast checked and I am healthy & strong? Now that would be promoting Healthy Breast Awareness.
I think we need to make a conscious decision about how we want to use Social Media for good, make a conscious decision about what type of content you share.
I think it is so easy for us all to just hop on the bandwagon of the latest Social Media Trend without even thinking. It is so easy for us to conform to society – it’s like breeding a new trend of sheep.
Now getting onto the Cancer part – do you ever wonder why so many people nowadays are getting Cancer? Because of campaigns like the #NOMAKEUPSELFIE campaign. In no way are you doing anything positive to beat or eliminate cancer.
The Saying “ It Spreads like Cancer” – have you ever really thought about how society CREATES cancer, SPREADS Cancer and adds to the Cancer POT.
It fascinates me how people can be so naïve about the power of the mind and the subconscious. By constantly using the word CANCER, CANCER,CANCER you are creating a fearful society, one that FEARS getting cancer, thinks about Cancer all the time and therefore CREATES Cancer.
Brands should become actively aware of the power they give cancer by how much energy they give this dreaded disease.
Instead of always using the word Cancer why cant we stop feeding the Cancer cycle and use words such as Breast HEALTH, Testicular HEALTH to create campaigns that promote the health side of things.
I will tell you why – you forget how much money medical companies make off sick people – we live in a world where money is everything, money is power and the powers that be give CANCER the power to make more money.
The more they spread the fear of Cancer, the more they spread the disease, as the mind is extremely powerful and if you are fearful or getting cancer chances are you will manifest this horrible disease in some way and the more money they make of you becoming sick.
Now I am not saying do not go for check ups and completely ignore the disease – my grandmother died of breast cancer – so it is something that is close to my heart.
What I am trying to say is that stop adding to the cancer pot. Stop SPREADING the word Cancer, Stop posting, Self-promoting selfies to Promote CANCER to feel good about yourself.
Go For a CHECK UP!!! Wake up everyday and remind yourself and tell yourself that you are HEALTHY, STRONG and FREE.
Lets stop SPREADING The Cancer.
Here’s to Breast HEALTH, TESTICULAR HEALTH, BRAIN HEALTH….
I had my breasts checked last week & I’m lump Free.
I HAVE BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY ( Small ) BREASTS!!!
OH YEAH!!

I then discovered a status one of my friends made: 

I feel like this no make up selfie thing is just another excuse for you girls to have a photo shoot with yourselves. Your selfie does nothing for cancer.

Of course, numerous arguments ensued. One girl in particular commented (to defend her recently posted #nomakeupselfie) :

The selfies create awareness, just like people spray their hair for the 'shaveathon'. The selfies show how girls should be able to ppst pictures bare face and feel confident without makeup. i dont agree with your status

To which my friend gallantly replied:

My status isn't there to create offense. My grandmother died of cancer so I'm not trashing the cause I'm just stating that most girls are just doing it for a selfie and aren't donating anything towards the drive so. Thanks for your comment?

It still made me feel unsettled. There is no black and white answer to this situation. No right and wrong.

What I saw next further convinced me of this belief…

No makeup selfies: as a survivor I can reflect back to when I was terminally ill. When I first started chemo and my hair started to fall out, that was the end of the world for me. I was upset, mortified because my hair was my identity. It's what made me look like a girl and I didn't want to lose it, but eventually I lost it all. I felt ugly, crushed, and depressed that my hair was gone, never mind the fact that I was fighting for my life! I think the selfies are a great way to create awareness, and obviously not cure cancer. It's a way of the ladies showing that everyone can still be beautiful and have confidence even without something that they may wear everyday or is a major factor to their physical appearance... To the people who actually donate the money via a website or SMS, you guys even cooler 

I then realized that  it clearly can't be completely useless. It all just depends on intention.

I felt like there should be a way of marrying the two concepts together: creating cancer awareness and uplifting woman in terms of natural femininity.

So I posted my own status -- an extremely rare occurrence.

Maybe instead of taking a selfie of no makeup, take a selfie of yourself after you've had a mammogram.. Win win no?

Although unimpressive in its wording and it involves no hashtags, I feel like it is a good idea.

There is no cure as yet. A picture will not change this. But there is prevention. There is early detection. There is always hope.

Be responsible. Everyone always thinks that it will never be them, they are outsiders looking in on the struggle. Thats not true.

Have a mammogram. Take a selfie, before, during, after or all three. Create ACTIVE AWARENESS.

Take a selfie with or without makeup, however you feel beautiful. But take it feeling beautiful, proactive and educated.

Thats my feelings on the issue anyway. What are yours? :)

xox

Saturday, 8 March 2014

"I revealed too much too soon. I was emotionally slutty."

After being stuck on what exactly to post on my blog next I had to ask myself what I wanted to put out in the world. There are already far too many beauty blogs and food blogs and all of that… So what do I want to put out there? What new do I have to add to this boundless abyss that is the internet? And I came to the lame conclusion that the only answer to the question was… Me. I can't promise to offer the best review ever on some stupid hair product that at the end of the day has the same crap in it that all the other products have. But I can offer a new, fresh, personal view on things. Albeit random things. But things none the less!

I have always loved writing. I remember being little and writing in some tinkerbelle notebook stories about fairies and princes and mushroom houses (I was weird even as a six year old). And even at the age of six I was completely convinced that my fairy stories were one day going to be published. -- I wish I could say that that was my weirdest 'quirks' as a child. But alas, I was completely… eccentric. I had a favorite foot that my shoe always had to go on first, I refused to wear pants because those were only for boys and the list is endless. But that is besides the point.

MY POINT IS: My entire life I have loved writing. But another important point about my fairy stories is that I never ever finished one of them. Ever. I just abandoned them. I was and am a perfectionist and self-critical and all those horrendous artistic traits. I am terrified of finishing something because I feel like it will never be perfect -- it took me years to even be able to finish a painting.

Leonardo da Vinci said "Art is never finished. Only abandoned." and that is truly how I feel sometimes. But then at the same time I feel like theres something beautiful about something raw and slightly incomplete. Rawness is appealing to me. In a world of photoshop and instagram filters and thesauruses, naturalness and even crudeness is sexy to me.

And that is how my brain works really, it goes around and round in circles of contradicting thoughts until I feel like there is no possible definite decision and that it only has to do with what I am feeling at that exact time. Perfection or Rawness. Flip a coin.

Lets put it this way… Most woman want to go out or on a date or to an interview looking like the best version of themselves. They'll do their hair and makeup and bring out those painful shoes that make our legs look slightly better. With writing or art or photography, it is permanent. Something you can revisit over and over again. Something that can haunt you. You want it to be 'the best version of you'.
BUT THEN reverting back to the Perfection vs Raw thing… In order to be different. Memorable. Special. Perfection will not be enough. Perfection is boring. Perfection isn't real.

I want to show every weird and wonderful (more weird than wonderful) version of myself. Most of those versions I'm not even familiar with. But I'll try.

And to that one person out there that might possibly bother to read what I have to say… Firstly, I apologize :P Secondly, bear with me, I'm finding my feet. And lastly, Thank You :)


In other news… I cut off my hair for cancer.

Where'd all my hair go? :O 

*Maybe if I pull an ugly face no one will notice I have no hair?*

P.S. Sorry about the rambling xox

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Healthy Mexican Ground Beef and Avocado Recipe

Let me start off by saying that: I am by no means the next Nigella or Jamie Oliver.
I have however done tons and tons of recipe research and experimentation and I'd like to think that my travels have taught me a thing or two about food.

A few weeks ago I had an operation on my stomach to remove a hernia. Only this week was I able to start eating soft foods. I am not a baby food kind of girl so I decided to make another plan. I searched through endless amounts of recipes that weren't too rich (my stomach can't handle it).  So I'll stop babbling and just post this yummy healthy recipe that I made the other day :)

Ingredients: (for the meat) 

1 large onion, chopped
1 sweet pepper (ribs and seeds removed) chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste (I used curry flavored one - by mistake - but it was great!)
1 Tbsp Chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
Course salt and Ground pepper to taste
1 pound lean Ground meat (beef or chicken)
[I added some chopped jalepeno because I like spicy food, I also added a pepperdew chutney but that was an added bonus]


Cooking instructions: 

1. Brown meat in a pan on a medium heat until no longer pink
2. add the onion and pepper and cook until soft
3. add all the spices and pastes and stir into the meat and let it simmer for a couple minutes

VOILA! 

YOU WILL ALSO NEED:

-Wholewheat tortillas (yes. it is healthier. do it.)
- Avocado
-Lemon Juice
- Fat free greek or bulgarian yogurt
- Salt and pepper
(added cheddar cheese and lettuce is also great if you feel the need)

Basically, mush up the avocado with salt and pepper to taste, add a squidge of lemon juice.

*This is where the secret comes in* -- I won't tell if you won't..

Mix in a couple tablespoons of the yogurt into the avocado. Why? you may ask. Welllllll.. firstly it adds the taste of sour cream BUT it is super duper rich in protein and probiotics which we all know is fantastic.

Assemble together as you please -- I'm not bossy like that.

And most importantly-- SHARE. Why? Because it is so yum and so healthy.

I wish I had a picture to post of it's beautiful majesty however.. My friends demolished it as soon as it was out of the pan… :(

I have tons more yummy and healthy recipes that I will post and next time WITH pictures! (don't over exert yourself Liza :O)

xox

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

BTW I'm a Makeup Student..

So as I was sitting here on my couch avoiding a few tedious responsibilities and reading some famous beauty blogs - I won't name them because what I have to say isn't extremely kind #sorrynotsorry
Anyway, skipping over their boring ramblings about the candles in their rooms or how they put their hair in a bun, I decided to investigate what products they use and what they tend to say about products in general.

What I then realized that I have failed to mention, is that I am in fact studying professional makeup artistry and special effects (at a real college and everything!) I did intend on doing this course (full time for six months) as an almost 'filler-inner' while I wait to go to university in September while all my friends (all 3 of them) start university in February - the South African school system is dumb. Anyway, upon arriving at makeup school I realized two things:

1. Liza you are wearing far too little makeup compared to this crowd i.e. the other students

2. Liza, you completely and utterly underestimated this course.

I say the latter because I was promptly handed a textbook which was apparently one of three. This textbook contains serious things like the bones, the skin, the muscles, skin diseases, colour theory and all sorts of academic stuff.. Not the 'when to use sparkles' that I had imagined. I also say this because I soon understood that I was now in the dreaded and anticipated 'adult world'. I have to plan professional photo shoots and models and portfolios and business cards and all very serious things.

It is extremely fun too! How many of us get to 'play' with makeup everyday with a bunch of other makeup enthusiasts and have the best in the industry share their secrets with you?

It is because of these 'secrets' that I have heard and witnessed, that makes me mildly appalled at some of these self-proclaimed 'makeup gurus'.

One of the first things that one learns is what is in the products. You NEED to know what you are putting on your skin. All these women have so many followers and they are recommending products that they don't even know what is in them.

I do get the appeal of 'normal women' giving honest advice and reviews about products. I get it. But after reading various posts for over three hours.. and thats just today… for the most part… THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

Since there is so so so much to say about all the products I figured I would start with ..

FOUNDATIONS

There are many places in the makeup world where one can 'cut corners' in terms of spending. Foundation is NOT one of them. Foundation makes or breaks your look. And look at it this way… this is the product that is going over your whole face. Therefore you need to know that what you are smearing all over your face is firstly: safe. Secondly: effective. Thirdly: long lasting.

The foundations that you buy at drug stores, pharmacies or whatever you want to call it will not cut it. It will not live up to those three necessities. Most of all, long lasting.

Something else that is important to know in the new land of 'selflies' is that: a foundation that has an SPF will photograph white (this links to colour theory and the science behind sunscreen that is highly boring and unnecessary). This tends to look the worst on dark skin, it almost photographs grey/gray. I am definitely not saying that you should not wear n SPF. But I would rather suggest to opt for a Primer with an SPF as you will still have the protection but not the dead looking skin :)

BTW primer is a whole other topic that I intend to delve into later on.

there are three main types:

1. Liquid
2. Cream
3. Compact

Depending on need for coverage as well as the look one is going for one would opt for one of those three.

LIQUID

Liquid foundation would be used if one did not need lots of coverage and just wanted an even and glowing finish. Good liquid foundations are few and far between. Typically, I am not a fan of MAC's foundations, for a number of reasons:


  • They don't tend to look that great 
  • They are quite heavy 
  • The sales people never ever give you the right colour 
  • MAC is known for not being the most 'skin friendly' because of the heavy chemicals in it 
  • It seems overpriced to me 
HOWEVER 

Like most things in life there is one exception: 

MAC FACE & BODY


It is super liquidy and is a light application but can be layered to be thicker. One of the beautiful things about this product is that the more and more you blend it the more and more it glows! 

Makeup Forever has a product by the same name and is just, if not more, as beautiful as MAC's. It is slightly more expensive but if you are someone who does only apply a thin layer it lasts ages :) 


Those are the two liquid foundations that I feel are both value for money and long lasting. Inglot has also had some success, however, one needs to be careful with what products they mix with Inglot products as it does tend to be a tiny bit 'finicky'. For example, a MAC powder won't sit very well on an Inglot foundation. 

*A side note in terms of foundation colours - makeup is based on the theory that people either have red/pink undertones or yellow/orange undertones. Makeup is made in this way too. MAC for example, in their codes there is 'C' or 'W' meaning cool or warm. Bobbi Brown however disagrees with this concept. Bobbi Brown's products only have yellow undertones because they work on the theory of 'who wants to look sunburnt?'. Through more and more exploration I am swinging towards the same opinion.*

CREAM FOUNDATIONS 

I think that these are the most commonly opted for. And rightly so, because they offer coverage but are still fluid enough for an easy application. The consistency of these can vary. The thickest being an almost toothpastey consistency. These products also tend to be oil based and sometimes contains wax (as opposed to the liquids water base) but of course there are exceptions. 

I have more of a list of 'do nots' more so than 'do's' 

DO NOT BUY CHEAP CREAM FOUNDATIONS like revlon, maybelline, rimmel, stila etc etc. They are not considered 'professional products' and thus lack the quality needed. 

It is also widely said that MAC gel foundation offers extremely good coverage i.e. Studio Sculpt 



I do not personally use it because it is quite heavy for my skin, but other people swear by it. 

In my professional kit I have a big palette of Mehron. It is the range called Celebre HD Pro Foundation. At first, I wasn't the biggest fan of it and I think that that was purely because I wasn't used to the consistency of it. But.. I am now a reformed Mehron lover. This foundation is SO adaptable. And once again, the more you blend it the more it glows and looks majestic. They are highly pigmented and have an oily base. But, you can still achieve a very thin application. Their colours also work really really well for asian and african skin - which is sometimes rare. 

An individual foundation 

What my kit looks like 


Another 2 brands that I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend is obviously any skin product from Bobbi Brown and secondly, Clarins. Personally, depending the other coverage I require or the look I'm going for, I opt for Clarins. It is considered for 'older' skin but I feel like thats silly. It is a BEAUTIFUL product, in all of its forms. Again, the more you blend it, the more it glows. They are both really high quality makeup brands and have huge value for money, as well as being 'skin friendly'. 

Lastly… 

COMPACT/CAKE FOUNDATION 

This is obviously the most pigmented of all the foundations. It normally is the most 'powdery'. I find that this kind of foundation works best for dark skin, skin with pigmentation that needs to be covered and sometimes old skin. 

FOR DARK SKIN

1. IMAN 
2. Kryolan 
3. Bobbi Brown 

As a makeup artist, I have recently been introduced to the wonders on IMAN foundation - yes, Iman the supermodel. Iman's compact foundations are based on the philosophy that you don't need to set the foundation afterwards with powder. However, me having trust issues, do it anyway. Her colours names work within 'Earth' i.e. red/pink undertones and 'Clay' i.e. yellow undertones. 

I have personally seen the IMAN foundation in action and let me tell you.. it is MAGNIFICENT. For both young and old skin. HOWEVER, only for darker skin. 


Kryolan is a professional brand that I feel is sometimes very misunderstood. However, their compact foundations are also amazing. They are super duper uber pigmented and cover anything and everything. But when applied nicely, it looks flawless and matt and pretty and all those good things. 
It also works so so well for indian, black and asian skin. Which once again, is a rarity. However, unlike IMAN the lighter colours also work beautifully. Another thing that must be said about Kryolan is that it is the IDEAL product for sensitive skin. It has no bad 'crap' in it. It is literally impossible for skin to react to it. It's fantastic. Truly. And that goes for all Kryolan products. Also, once again, amazing value for money. Especially considering it is a professional brand. 


This is what a palette looks like but you can buy individual colours in three different sizes.


A note to be made about Kryolan though is that their codes MAKE NO SENSE. Truly. You have to test the colours on yourself. It;s not like MAC with their nifty C's and W's. BUT the Kryolan employees are always super clued up and down to earth and helpful. 

*Another side note: I haven't put pictures of Bobbi Brown or Clarins purely because all the products are great and therefore would require excessive amounts of pictures* 

My final DO NOT.. for now anyway :P 

DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT use any type of "mousse" foundation or blush or whatever on your face. It is awful. It is just a silly gimmick from non-professional brands. Don't bother wasting your money on gimmicks. 

A great foundation can completely change or enhance your look. Do not underestimate a good foundation. 

I hope that this little rant has helped at least one person. That would be so fantastic :)

I will do more posts on other things like "The uselessness of buying a concealer" and "Primers" and all that fun stuff 

xox



Monday, 24 February 2014

*fake* Blonde Ambition

I've been blonde for about three months now. For the most part, I absolutely love it! It did take a good month of being a rather awkward color and my hair looking like straw before I loved it though…

Like most things that I do in my life, my hair transition was rather 'spur of the moment'. Although people, and even my mother - who had once even booked me an appointment at a fancy salon to dye it a few years ago which resulted in me disappearing for the day and miss the appointment- had been telling me for years to do it.

My hairdresser, who has known me since my very first colour treatment (awwww), has a theory: Every time Liza breaks up with a boyfriend. Her hair suffers changes. And I guess that this is completely true. Yes, there is some psychological reasoning and all that crap about emotional coping mechanisms and blah blah blah. But, I don't really care. Well, this said breakup was a rather large one and thus required a massive change. Liza's answer? LETS FRY YOUR HAIR OFF AND MAKE IT BLONDE.

"Fry" is not an over exaggeration. My hair sizzled. To cut a long story short *no pun intended* I ended up having to chop my sizzled albeit bum-length hair off in Paris. My logic was: if you're going to chop your hair off, it might as well be in Paris. It was a very fancy salon and my hairstylist spoke about two and a half words of english.. if that is not trust in the French nation I don't know what is!

My new Parisian length hair 
To be honest, I am so happy that I was 'forced' into cutting it. It was highly liberating. In fact, I am planning on cutting my hair even shorter.


this is around the length that i want to go 

Just as a side note: I am not a Kardashian / Jenner enthusiast. I merely like this haircut. So sue me!

Also, I've found that the structure and thus treatment of my hair is completely different. Where before, my hair used to lovingly drink moroccan oil, it now responds much better to cream based treatments. I've also had to buy into this whole "Purple Shampoo" trend (I use the Lush one). I'm not going to go into a whole product review because I have been blonde for such a short period of time that I feel that other blogs have much more to offer. How ever, I must say that the Kerestace mask that I bought in Paris will work wonders for anyones hair. So I'll post a picture of that, just cause I'm feeling super nice and technological. #YoureWelcome



xox

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Eurotrippin' *Amsterdam *Germany *Austria *Italy *Switzerland *France

My beautiful Parisian Purchase 

Snow in Switzerland - posed in front of it but refused to take part in the snowball fight. 

feeling very french roaming the streets with a baguette

Touch Down Amsterdam! 

Flugel shots on a canal cruise in Amsterdam

"drinking coffee" in Amsterdam after a live sex show … yes. I did have nightmares. 

Tourist Photo in Amsterdam because who doesnt love random big letters? and we were too student-y to afford the Van Gogh museum. 

Magnificent Munich 

Following the gold brick road in Munich 

Beer Hall in Munich 

Gluwein in Austria, Innsbruck

Human statue in Austria 

Amazing Austria

I'm not a fan of beer but that didn't stop me from having a surprisingly yummy radler in the German Beer Hall 

Absinthe. Need I say more?

Gondola in Venice. 

First italian meal in Venice

Selfie with our very loud gondola … driver?

Getting very buzzed at dinner in Venice

They made me do it :( 

Italian hot chocolate. Love in a cup. 

Trevi Fountain. Rome. Obsessed. 

All roads lead to Rome 

Tiramisu on Christmas eve after walking on the Roman highway for 2.5 hours

Italian Christmas and the Colosseum 

This is what an italian hangover looks like. I would know. 

Christmas in Florence

Florence. Freezing. Christmas. 

Drunken Santa

Nothing says christmas like a horny italian hitting on our tour guide <3

I have no words. 

Stunning Switzerland

The door of my hotel room in Switzerland 

Fake excitement for the snow. Switzerland 

Weird but amazing indian restaurant discovery in Switzerland. 

First sight of the Arc d Triumph 

Napoleons tomb 

That big pointy thing.

That big pointy thing sparkling. 

Love lock bridge. Paris. 


Moulin Rouge Glamour 

looking sexy at the Moulin Rouge

Duck l'orange. French food <3

Laduree Macaroons on the Champs Eleysse 

Arc selfie 

My beautiful macaroons. 

French duck is better than any other duck. I oath. 

Paris wouldn't be Paris without a little romance. 

Drunk. Free champagne. Rome.


I thought that i would post a few 'sweet nothings' from my trip to europe instead of writing about it. It was truly one of the best times in my life. I think that I am a Europe-Girl at heart.

I left my heart in Rome… and Paris.