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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Monday, 11 September 2023

My actual favourite Mary Quant cosmetics cos I've worked here 3 years

A flatlay of Mary Quant makeup and skincare including mirrors, lipsticks, suncream and skincare.
Hiii this is a post I've been meaning to write for a while. But first, a disclaimer. 

Disclaimer: 

I do work for Mary Quant, so while no one's asked me to post this and I haven't been paid to post this, I do get paid by Mary Quant. Just want to be completely transparent. Everything below was purchased (and often re-purchased) by me though, although with staff discount. 

I've been working for Mary Quant for 3 years (!) now, and in the course of being here I've swatched, bought and used up a fair amount of the MQ cosmetics. I've blogged about stuff in my empties but never made a dedicated post, so today I'm rounding up my absolute faves.

Makeup: 

I've tried and enjoyed lots of MQ makeup but there are two clear faves from me:

Eye Opener Single Eyeshadows//
Swatches of two of my Mary Quant Eye Opener single eyeshadows on my very pale skin. 044 (left) and 078 (right) 044 is a beige-white glitter and 078 is a glittery champagne beige

Swatches of two of my Mary Quant Eye Opener single eyeshadows on my very pale skin. 044 (left) and 078 (right) 044 is a beige-white glitter and 078 is a glittery champagne beige.

Eye Opener// especially the Twinkle shadows. There are over 120 different single shadows to choose from at MQ, and you can either make your own Colour Palette or put a single shadow in the adorable daisy shaped Daisy Palette. I'm not an eyeshadow pro but I love glitter and I looove the Twinkle formula. I get a tonne of complements when I wear them, too. I've hit pan on several of my MQ eyeshadows, the easy everyday light brown 072 (pearl) and my current favourite 078 (twinkle) which is like a cool-toned champagne gold. Glitter 044 is another absolute staple for me too! The colour of the glitter is just perfect for an inner corner highlight and it literally brightens my day. I also appreciate that the shadows are single pans so you're never going to be stuck with tonnes of product you didn't choose. Although I'm a basic beige shadow gal at heart, I do adore the brighter shades like 035 mustard yellow (very popular with the vintage gals) and the dramatic blues and purples.

Mary Quant lipsticks from left to right: B-05, R-11 and R-10
3 Mary Quant lipsticks from left to right: B-05, R-11 and R-10
swatches of my Mary Quant lipsticks on pale skin. From left to right: P02 pale pink R-10 matte bright red R-11 matte classic red B-05 matte russet brown and R-01 cream classic red
Above: Swatches of my Mary Quant lipsticks on my very pale skin. From left to right: P02 pale pink R-10 matte bright red R-11 matte classic red B-05 matte russet brown and R-01 cream classic red.

Lipstick// Mary Quant lipstick is a very iconic product, so of course I had to get myself some of the lipsticks! The matte shades R-10, R-11 and B-05 are my faves out of the ones I own. I like the matte texture as it's comfortable and easy to work with but there are also cream and sheer lipsticks which are also suuper comfortable. In my experience, you need to reapply throughout the day but they wear nicely and wear off pretty evenly rather than leaving a weird ring around the edge of your lips.

Honourable mentions to the Nail Polish (UK/ Japan only unfortunately), the Obedient Finish Oil-Free Foundation and super cute daisy shaped Mary Quant Makeup Sponge!

Skincare: 

Go Deeper//  I love a clay mask and this one has a relaxing lavender scent which isn't too overpowering. I've just about used up the whole tube, my skin seems to really like this so I have another one ready to go. I try to do this once a week or so and my skin always looks better after it.

Pure Soft Me Exfoliating Cleanser// I was using a harsh AHA + BHA liquid exfoliator last year and I think it was too strong for my skin. In contrast, this exfoliating cleanser contains Lactic Acid so it does exfoliate and leave glowy skin, but it doesn't feel as harsh. It's a powder, which means there's less chance for the Vitamin C to go off. I have almost finished my bottle of Pure Soft Me and will definitely be replacing it when it runs out.

Block & Block Perfect Protection Sunscreen// Any long-time readers will know I adore Japanese sunscreen, I think they tend to prioritise a light, serumy formula that still has good protection. Block and Block is no exception, it's factor 50 PA++++ and works great for me. I've lost count of how many of these I've gone through. 

Misty Jet Facial Spritz// This has just been reformulated but it's a super hydrating mist containing Argan Oil. My skin loves this and I've gone through about three of these. 

Mirrors:

These are definitely a favourite amongst MQ customers, the super cute Daisy shaped Mary Quant Compact Mirror and Mary Quant Stand Mirror! I love mine and I also think they're a great lil present, especially if you know anyone who liked MQ back in the day! 

Have you ever tried Mary Quant? Do let me know! I could go on about some of these for ages, but I really wanted to keep this short and concise rather than repeating the whole catalogue. If you have any MQ related questions, please do drop a dm over on instagram @maryquant_london or email info@maryquant.co.uk .

As always, thanks for reading! 

-Amy xoxo

Bleach London Twisted Lemon Review and Before and After// 


I have seven different shampoos and they're all different ok? My updated bleached hair care routine


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Wednesday, 16 August 2023

ELEVEN YEARS of Candyflossoverkill!!!!!!

Film photo of cherry blossoms against a blue sky

I can't actually believe it. 

I summed up all my thoughts a couple of years ago actually (I did it again I missed my blogaversary), but while I'm waay less active on social media than I used to be, I do have so much affection for blogs and written content is my favourite, so I'm hanging on to my little corner of the internet. 

Regular readers: I hope you're all doing all right! 

And, I have some new hair dyes in so I should be doing some reviews over the summer ;) 

Thanks for reading, as always! 

-Amy xoxo


Bleach London Twisted Lemon Review and Before and After //


  How to keep up language learning after living abroad //


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Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Bleach London Twisted Lemon πŸ‹ Super Cool Colour// Review and before and after // This is your sign to dye your hair yellow πŸ‹

I dyed my hair yellow with Bleach London's Twisted Lemon, and now it's faded, I wanted to post my full review. 

Before we get into it, disclaimer that this dye was #gifted- I was a hair tester for Bleach about a year ago and they kindly gifted me some products as a thank you! No request to post anything, but I personally like to look for hair dye reviews, especially when I'm worried a bright dye might stain. So I wanted to review this dye anyway.

Bottle of Bleach London Twisted Lemon in the bath


Price// 

I got this for free, but it retails for £6.50 on Bleach's website here. If you have longer or thicker hair than me you should definitely get 2 bottles though! My hair is longish but it's quite thin for reference. 


Before// 

My hair was freshly bleached blonde with slightly yellowy roots: 

White blonde hair before dying it yellow

Application//

I smooshed it through my hair with gloves, making sure it was very saturated. I tried to use the whole bottle and then I left it on for over 30 minutes as I wanted it to be super bright. Bleach London super cool colour dyes are non-damaging so it's ok to leave it on for longer. I always apply to my roots first and then rub it in through the length of my hair.

Oh, I would actually recommend gloves as well... silly me couldn't be bothered and it did stain my hands yellow for a bit. 

Bleach London Twisted Lemon dye during developing. Lemon yellow is saturated in yellow dye and piled on my head.

After// 

It was so bright!! The colour is amaaaazing, I loved it and everyone around me did too! I got so so many complements, it was lovely. If you've ever wondered whether to try yellow, I would say go for it!!

It covered the light blonde and my yellowish roots perfectly. 

All the complements and the pop of yellow every time I looked into the mirror meant that this hair dye genuinely did lift my mood. 

Bleach London Twisted Lemon freshly dyed on long wavy hair

Bleach London Twisted Lemon freshly dyed on long wavy hair in artificial light

Bleach London Twisted Lemon freshly dyed on long wavy hair in artificial light

Bleach London Twisted Lemon freshly dyed on long wavy hair in natural light

Bleach London Twisted Lemon freshly dyed on long wavy hair in bright natural light

Longevity// 

Bleach say this lasts for 3-20 washes, which I agree with. I washed mine 10 times and it's all gone with no staining. 

After wash one, the colour was still super bright: 

Bleach London Twisted Lemon after one washes- the colour has faded a bit in the lengths but it's still bright

Bleach London Twisted Lemon after one washes- the colour has faded a bit in the lengths but it's still bright

After two washes it was still pretty bright: 


Bleach London Twisted Lemon after two washes- the colour has faded a bit but it's still bright

After 6 washes, the colour was a gorgeous pastel which I really liked too: 

Pastel yellow hair- Bleach London Twisted Yellow after 6 washes

And after 8 washes, it was gone from my ends but there was still a bit hanging about in my roots. 


In the end, on wash 10, I got annoyed and used a clarifying shampoo (by Toni and Guy) and followed up with Silver Shampoo and Pearlescent Conditioner. And all the yellow is gone! :) 


Did it stain my hair?// 

I was getting worried about the roots, as the yellow on them was way more stubborn than the rest of my hair. But, no staining, it's all out after 10 washes.

Creamy blonde hair- Bleach Twisted Lemon had completely faded after 10 washes

In Conclusion// 

I did actually receive another bottle of this and I really liked it so you can be sure this lemon yellow will be returning to my IG feed. But first, I am going to use one of my old faves, Bleach RosΓ©, (which I purchased with my own money and it's like the 7th time I've used that now?). But v hype for yellow hair summer!! 

Overall yes, I'm still a big Bleach London fan, and 100% recommend Twisted Lemon!πŸ‹

Thanks for reading! πŸ‹πŸ‹


Check out my short on YouTube for some footage of the hairdye in action!: 



Directions Bright Daffodil review and before and after//


Bleach London Champagne Supertoner review and before and after  


All 41 hair dye posts I've written in 7 years of blogging 

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Monday, 13 February 2023

I did a #panthatpalette in 2022... here's what I learned (as well as progress pics)

 

Hii gang! 2022 was... a rough one for me. But we got through it, all is well now thank goodness. 

One thing I really got into in 2022 was the project pan community- it's a group of people who track their progress in using up their makeup. It's really calming for me cos it's quite a lo-fi, no frills community that's in general super supportive, which is so refreshing! Reminds me of old school YouTube. I haven't posted any videos, I'm just a high-key lurker. But it's satisfying and I would totally recommend.

One of my smallish goals for myself lately is to try and stop buying consumable things I won't ever be able to use up (like beauty, stationery or even spices and fancy gin), and only to get the things I can use up. Less waste overall, better for the environment and better for my wallet. 

So, less skincare backups and less makeup coming in- I'm aiming for one in one out this year with skincare, and for more used up than is coming in for makeup which I'm on track with. I've cut way down on my beauty consumption, but there's still a way to go. Focussing on how long it will take to use things up is definitely helping me stay on the straight and narrow. As is Hannah Louise Poston's concept of "duping the vibes" of things I want with my existing makeup- i.e. you don't need the thing, you just need something that can create a similar effect.


My #PanThatPalette2022

The palette I was aiming to use as much as possible of was this Next palette. Providence unknown, I'd had it for literally over 10 years. My original goal was just to use up the the pink-beige, the brown and the orange and then I'd be done. But I managed to use up more than that so my new goal was then to hit pan on every shade in the year. 

I also supplemented the palette with other, equally old palettes. From Per Una and Autograph (both M&S brands) and H&M, along with some dregs of other things. Zero idea how old they are but they were all certainly older than 10 years. 


Progress photos: 

(These are awful cos I was originally not going to post them anywhere.... )

1: My palette on 2nd February 2022, I'd already hit a pan but this is my first photo I have: 

An eyeshadow palette with 11 shades in. One is showing the bottom pan due to use.

2: My palette on 18th February 2022, I hit two more pans: 
An eyeshadow palette with 11 shades in. Three are showing the bottom pan due to use.


3. 13th March 2022. Four pans are showing!

An eyeshadow palette with 11 shades. 4 are showing the bottom pan due to use.


4. 29th March 2022.

An eyeshadow palette with 11 shades. 4 are showing the bottom pan due to use. The pans are larger than in the last photo


5. 8th May 2022: 

An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans and one with six to the left. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 5 pans showing and 2 pans respectively.

You can see here I started to get bored and had added a second palette made up of three shades from one old Per Una palette and two shades from an Autograph palette. They were all performing ok but there was definitely some repetition going on with all the purple. 


6: 10th June 2022: 

An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans and one with six to the right. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 6 pans showing and 3 pans respectively.

7: 3rd July 2022

An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans and one with five below it. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 7 pans showing and 2 pans respectively.

8: 1st August 2022

Here I'd added a coppery shade which was the last from a Lancome palette I'd nearly finished a while ago (another one that I have no idea how old but definitely before 2017...) along with the dregs of a gold freebie Emoda shadow that I'd got in Japan. 
An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans and one with 6 below it. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 6 pans showing and 3 pans respectively.

9. 17th September 2022. I added one more palette in, this one was old from H&M. I have zero idea how it came into my possession. But, I was happy to be able to replace the light pink with another light pink as I'm told it looks good on me :)
I also took the one copper shadow on holiday with me which is why it's in the little tin separately. I had also just noticed how I was working on three oranges at once. I decided to stick to one at a time....
An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans and one with 5 to the right. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 9 pans showing and 3 pans respectively. There is one more palette below with 5 shades, two with pan showing.


10. 16th October 2022: 

An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans in the centre and one with 4 to the left. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 9 pans showing and 2 pans respectively. There is one more palette on the far right with 5 shades, two with pan showing.

11: 12th November 2022 
An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans on the right and one with 4 at the bottom. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 9 pans showing and 2 pans respectively. There is one more palette on the far left with 5 shades, two with pan showing.


12. 2nd December 2022. The Mary Quant palette pictured is in the picture cos I'd hit pan in the brown shade 072 and the eye primer and cream highlight, yay! I love that brown, it's sooo easy for me to just thrown on. 

An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans at the bottom and one with 3 at the right. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with 9 pans showing and 2 pans respectively. There is one more palette on the far left with 5 shades, two with pan showing. An additional palette with 3 pans out of 4 showing has been added in the top right.

13th and final update: 29th December 2022 

An eyeshadow palette with 11 pans at the bottom and one with 5 at the top. Both palettes have a lot of visible use with all 11 pans showing and 3 pans respectively. There is one more palette on the far right with 5 shades, two with pan showing. An additional palette with 3 pans out of 4 showing is on the far left.


The end result? 5 out of 11 shades completely used up (not bad tbh!) and pan on all of the shades. I hit pan on the deep blue shades by trying to mix them with Inglot Duraline to use them as eyeliners. I'm pleased as I definitely used up way more than my original goal, and I learned a lot. I was actually getting into it and had been planning to keep on using it up, until fate intervened and it was time to throw it away. I also finished 4 of the extra shades I'd bought in: two light pinks, the gold and the copper from Lancome. So 9 shadows finished off last year.


And here's the empty palette, cleaned for dropping off to recycle: 

An empty eyeshadow palette

What did I learn?

1. I learned how long makeup takes to use up! I didn't exclusively use this palette, but I did use it a lot. Like, over half the year, definitely. 

2. I learned that powders do go off eventually... one of the next shades definitely went off at the end of the year, which was when I decided it was time for the whole thing to go. I noticed the dark purple was irritating my eyes, so I crushed it up in order to throw it. At which point... the smell..... I hadn't noticed a smell before, but the smell from the crushed up shadow was a clear sign the whole palette should be binned.

3. Another thing I learnt is to push myself with makeup colours and experiment with application. I learnt how to do a cut crease (sort of) and I also learnt that lilac, orange and powder blue (!!) kinda suit me. And I learnt that sometimes it doesn't need to "suit" me if I'm enjoying it. And also, that people don't actually notice things like eyeshadow that much- it's just makeup and it's not that deep.

4. I also noticed that while I thought of myself as always just doing the same makeup over and over (I have actually used up several eyeshadows without particularly "panning" them, as they had just been my go-to look at the time) , I did actually chafe at "having" to keep using the same colours over and over when I didn't feel like it. So I do want some variety.

5. I've also totally gone off the idea of big eyeshadow palettes (not that I had that many, but it felt like too many...)  and am into single eyeshadows (which I think is also the trend in general atm). I often tend to go through the light and mid shades first, which is fine, but I do not need to get aaaany dark browns at all for a long time. 

And my new goal is to not have so much makeup that I end up with things that are well over 10 years old!!

I don't want to get to a minimal state by just "decluttering" and throwing stuff away only to replace it down the line, but I definitely reckon that I can chip away slowly and get things down to a more manageable size. And, I want to buy some treats now and then to keep things fresh and to replace things that have been completely used up. 

I have tossed some of the other eyeshadows I was working on last year as well as the aforementioned  main #panthatpalette, after realising they were also making my eyes water. And any makeup that is suspected of being off and has suffered a change in scent, etc. is also getting thrown away as and when that happens obviously. (Well, put into recycling schemes where possible)

So would I recommend doing a #panthatpalette ?

Yes and no. If you have a really big makeup collection or get bored easily, it's probably a shame to focus in on one palette while everything else sits there getting older. But I would recommend focussing on one eyeshadow or one blush etc. and seeing actually how long it takes to hit pan.... it might shock you. Or it might be motivation for a low buy! But I can't deny that I learned a lot from the experience and I think it was a positive for me in general. (Crikey I sound like a reality TV contestant there.)

Oh also disclaimer! I am not recommending that you put really old makeup on your eyes or your face! In fact I'm recommending you don't, probably. The expiration dates on makeup are there for a reason, so please be safe and also try a patch test on a less sensitive area, look for signs that it's gone off like difference in smell, texture etc. At some point the preservatives in there will go off.

The main thing is that it's probably best if, going forward, we don't buy so much makeup that we end up hoarding the same makeup for 10 years plus... you know? Saying that at myself mostly. But also hoping you guys learn from my mistakes... 

As for myself, I am going to continue to use up my older makeup- you'll see when it pops up in my empties! And keep sticking to my low buy with renewed vigour. Not sure I'll be doing another pan that palette per se though as it's quite limiting, although you never know! 

Let me know if you've had similar thoughts- have you ever tried a pan that palette? 

Thanks for reading! 

-Amy xoxo


Empties #32 Bleach London, Makki, Muji etc // Sustainability and beauty

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