Cake Up

I love makeup! That's why I wanted to start a 3-part series on makeup: Cake Up; Fake Up; Make Up. 
In the capable hands of Benefit Cosmetics' Amy-Lou
Shirt : Marks & Spencer | Dress : Miss Selfridge | Patent Brogues : Miss KG 
Gathered around one-too-many a mixed gender conversation/ debate, the topic of makeup - it's need/ eradication - is bound to come up. It seems some are not as avid fans of makeup as I am, for they believe it is a tool of deception by which women cake up their face in product and mask their true selves from men. This issue came up a few years back when a famous YouTuber's before and after shots were leaked to depict the very idea being thrust around by some men with meme's and captions about taking a woman swimming on the first date being floated. It seems that guys weren't all too impressed with a woman's beauty transformation, and in fact, loathed the 'power of makeup' series that was sure to follow some years after. 
Benefit HQ in Essex
Benefit Store on Carnaby Street
It's summer now, and I guess the issue is all too blinding. I love a good face of product, but even I can see its impracticalities as sweat beads down my forehead, leaving streaks in an otherwise beat-to-capacity face. After being plagued with a negative reaction to some other brand's products (which I documented on Twitter by the way, so be sure to follow me @Onyxsta), I was ordered by my dermatologist to take one or more days off; make-up free. The very thought of it made my blood boil. Now, here's the thing. Aside from that reaction, my skin has been described by cosmetologists and spa/ facial experts as 'flawless'. That's right. I have no real need for makeup, aside from the fact that I like it. I like enhancing my favourite features, and exaggerating what God blessed me with. Why was I nervous to go makeup free then? Well, much in the same way a dapper man never leaves his home without his hair carefully coiffed, or his best cologne spritzed, I feel somewhat half-done without my signature face of makeup. 
Just a few of the goodies c/o Benefit Cosmetics
Thanks to being a winner of Benefit's 'Journey to Brow Greatness' campaign, I have seen first-hand the awesome power of makeup. From a lady who had never used a single product in her life, to a cancer survivor/victor who is a vocal advocate of the level of confidence makeup has given her during recovery. Not to mention the recent Stylist Magazine issue, which highlighted the impact of makeup on one's professional career. It was found that women who wore the neutral look were regarded as more respectable and were given higher credit than barefaced or OTT makeup'ers. This is a point I was all to conscious of on the one day I went barefaced. Unaware of whether this feeling was subconsciously inflicted upon myself BY myself, I was wary of the fact I was asked less questions and approached less to help on projects on that day. Thankfully, no one asked whether or not I was feeling unwell, but there was a clear contrast in treatment between that day and others for me to note a difference. I can happily say, I miss nothing about my naked skin out there in the world. That's not to say without makeup one cannot be comfortable in their own skin, and I'm selling this idea of caking up being far better or more socially acceptable than the former. On the contrary. 
I had a conversation recently about office haters and I was advised to wear less makeup. Was this to make me more relatable? More endearing? A man isn't advised to go without his tie on dress-down fridays - if he doesn't choose to do so - in a bid to seem more likeable. Perhaps our main flaw as women is this eternal bid to be liked?! Back to my point earlier, my reasoning behind this post is not to sell makeup as the way, truth, or light (although a good highlighter sure can lead the way and tick the latter). Rather, my point is to love it all; the choice. No one is saying you must cake up all day every day, but if you choose to do so, why should you be judged? Why does that in anyway reflect your character? Self-esteem? Integrity as a woman? It doesn't! It's just a choice you have made to take an extra step in the morning to look your best. It's just something you like, or more accurately, something I LOVE! And I won't apologise for it, and neither should you. 
"I love the confidence that makeup gives" Tyra Banks

Pit that Tit

I'm a woman. I'm a feminist. Yet, I'm still guilty of doing this; pitting women against one another.
Sleeveless Coat : New Look | Shirt : TM Lewin | Jeans : Gerry Weber | Brogues : Miss KG

Broke Girl's Guide To: Side-Hustle

While living and interning in Nigeria, one thing struck me among my peers; everyone had a side-hustle. Cousins as young as 17 had hair businesses or online Christian bookstores, not to speak of my age mates who had successful clothing labels or accessories lines aside from their professional careers. It was inspiring. It struck me that the careers/ working lives in the West are far more linear. We are so focused on a singular aim, without much time or resources being invested in our other talents. See how I didn't call it a passion? 
Dress : H&M | Shirt : M&S | Brogues : Miss KG by Kurt Geiger | Socks : M&S

Beyonce Voters

During the last US general elections, Fox News' Jesse Walters coined the term 'Beyonce Voters' to describe/ refer to single ladies who voted. Walters stated that these Beyonce Voters weren't independent, as the affiliation with the megastar would otherwise have you believe. In fact, he argued that they were arguably the most dependent percentile, depending on the government for their basic needs as they cannot otherwise afford without husbands in the mix. These same single ladies make up 1/4 of the American electorate i.e. they are a powerful quota not to engage with. In the end, Obama won the single ladies by 76% in the last election. Why? Arguably it could be because his platform promised the provision of the things Walter argues these Beyonce Voters needed from the government in the first place i.e. contraception; free healthcare; and equal pay (heaven forbid we earn what we rightfully deserve considering we undertake the same workload as our male counterparts, but I digress).
Eventbrite 'Free Events' Exhibition at the OXO Tower

[D]ANGER

I was teaching my Sunday School kids about anger the other day, and in preparation for the lesson, I learned that anger is not always bad. Of course I knew that, but not in the way the message was being drummed in from the resource. "How is that?" I hear you ask...? Well, we are conditioned by society to deem the expression of anger as socially unacceptable. We are taught to control our anger from a very young age. We are cast out if we fail to adhere to said societal rules by openly expressing anger in public. It is drummed in by health professionals and the industry at large that anger is something to be curtailed because failure to do so could result in grave (for want of a better word) consequences. 
Cropped Jumper : H&M | Maxi Dress : ASOS (£3 - More #BrokeGirlsGuide tips to come)