B.O.M.B. Challenge


I’m always interested in challenges that haven’t been done to death and I recently stumbled upon this one. B.O.M.B. stands for Black Owned Makeup Brands and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. The aim is to complete a full look using only products from black owned brands. I decided to give it a go and spent a healthy sum on cosmetics from Sacha since it’s a brand that I’ve heard a fair amount about and one that is quite budget friendly.
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Makeup Without Foundation

wp-1471129694670.jpgYou have no idea how difficult it is to try to take a decent selfie in a crowded cafe with weird lights.

Lately, I’ve struggled to get excited about makeup. I’ve barely worn it and when I have, it just felt like an absolute drag. Beyond the usual ‘stressed and overworked’ reasons, it took me a while to pinpoint why this had become a thing.

See, one of the reactions I get to stress is that my skin breaks out. Not massively, but enough to where it’s noticeable if you know what it normally looks like. Late night shifts also make me neglects things like skincare and removing makeup. Applying makeup on skin that isn’t as good as it normally is just feels like an absolute chore. And so I just haven’t.

Today however, I tried a different approach. I decided to skip the two things that make me feel like I’m wearing heavy makeup: foundation & mascara.

I started out by applying concealer under my eyes (less than 6 hours sleep is so much fun) and on my nose (since it tends to look red without it). Beyond that I just did pinpoint concealing on any spots I could find. Skipped the brushes and just used my fingers. As always, the concealer I used was Urban Decay’s Naked Skin in Warm Light. I then used the beige no sebum compact powder from Innisfree and applied it all over to control for shine and slightly even out my skin tone.

I used a lib balm with a slightly pink tint to it from the Face Shop, a classic item that long time readers will have seen around for ages. It’s highly moisturising and brings a hint of colour without becoming too heavy or something you need to worry about staining or transferring.

Lastly, because my eyes tend to disappear completely when I wear a nude lip and a neutral dress colour, I used two shades from the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette. Along the upper lash line, I used the shade Cocoa Chili applied lightly just to add some definition you’d usually get from mascara. On the outer third of the waterline, I applied the shade Hot Fudge to substitute eyeliner.

Overall, this look feels very light, which is what I wanted and the main reason I used mainly powder based products. Not exactly a showstopper, but for a look that skipped out on foundation, I’m really happy with the way my skin looks.


Makeup Shopping Struggles

Although it’s a fun hobby, it is not without its struggles. Yes, sometimes this blog talks about serious stuff and sometimes it features silly lists.

  • wpid-20150815_111530.jpgDeciding which of the many Priceline’s, few Meccas, or barely there Sephora stores to visit. Or if you should take a risk with a department store.
  • Oooh a new really cool limited edition palette? Would be a shame if it sold out within minutes…
  • Testers will inevitably be smeared all over, especially if you’re looking at lipsticks.
  • The area that holds the testers will not be cleaned anywhere near often enough.
  • Elusive makeup wipes tend to hide in the centre of the store or be locked in a drawer. Asking staff for them is always awkward, so chances are you’ll be walking around with swatches on the back of your hand for quite a while.
  • Salespersons show up when you don’t need them and go missing when you do need them.
  • Someone trying to sell you an eyeshadow with the argument “it’s gluten free”. Gluten is only harmful for coeliacs who eat it. I don’t know what annoys me the most, that they assume that I don’t know how gluten works, or that they assume I might eat eyeshadow.
  • Inevitably forgetting the name of the shade you intended to buy. The solution is naturally either to buy a few different ones or stand there trying to remember the name. You most likely end up quietly listing the names of Santa’s Reindeers under your breath.
  • Trying to decide if you really do need another lipstick.
  • Feeling judged when you aren’t into a current trend. Matte lipsticks. Baking. Eyebrow products… The reaction you get tends to be the same as if you’d said there’s four Tuesdays in a week.
  • Quietly hoping no one judges the slightly patchy foundation you put on in a rush this morning.
  • Trying to find a matching foundation.
  • Looking at contouring charts and thinking “hell, I don’t even know if my face is round or square”.
  • Trying to fool yourself into thinking that you “save money” on sales after you’ve bought products you’ll probably never use.
  • If you go into the store to buy one single product, you bet it will be out of stock.
  • Yes, of course I have a loyalty card. Somewhere.
  • Overindulging in Soap & Glory purchases at Mecca because it’s one of the cheaper brands and oh so good. And there went 200 dollars.
  • Failing to estimate if you’ll buy enough products to need a basket at all. If you go “yeah nah, I’ll be fine”, you won’t be fine. You should have grabbed a basket.
  • The products on sale are brilliant, but never in a shade that matches you.
  • If it’s a special event, there will be hoards of people. They’ll grab anything they might have the tiniest interest in, sit down in the aisle and sort everything they grabbed. The things they don’t want will be discarded in random places. You’re wondering if you should join them or try to keep your dignity.
  • “This will be the last time I buy new makeup for at least six months!”. Try three weeks.
  • Suddenly wondering how far away your next pay day is.

The Second Darkest Moments

When people write about mental health issues, they tend to write about the recovery. Overcoming the Obstacle. Informative with a side of inspiration porn. This isn’t one of those posts.

This post is about the things we normally don’t talk about. The moments when you’re wondering if it’s truly worth it. If you should keep fighting. The times when we don’t reach out.

I’ve often thought about how I’d describe having PTSD to someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of misconceptions about it, especially how it is portrayed in popular culture, so many that I myself failed to pick up on what it was I actually had. It’s not full on hallucinations, at least not for me. It’s more like an echo.

Ever heard that piercing sound that happens when a microphone and speaker become too friendly? The sound that cuts through you and that you try to brace yourself for? Imagine that, but someone shouting weird fragments of the worst moments of your life into that microphone. That’s more what my flashbacks are like. Those sounds seem to come from my bones, not necessarily my brain. Just like really intense sounds, it’s both a physical and mental sensation. It’s overwhelming, very difficult to hide (I literally brace myself against it, you can see it in my jaw), and can come out of seemingly nowhere.

I don’t have those often, but I have nightmares. Multiple times per week. I remember them upon waking perhaps 50 percent of the time. Sometimes I just wake up with my heart racing and a lump in my throat. I’ve been an insomniac since the age of 1 at least. I’ve lived most of my life sleep deprived. Try sleeping three hours per night for a month.It gets to you, quickly.


Yet these aren’t the worst moments. My worst moments typically happen when there’s no one around. After the lack of sleep. After the weird air raid siren thing has caused issues again. But especially after I’ve lost something that made me happy. I guard the things that make me happy very carefully and don’t tend to speak of them. It’s a way to protect it/them, the idea that if no-one knows about your happiness then they can’t take it from you. Sadly it’s not foolproof. I must have a sign on my forehead that says “treat me like shit” considering the liberties people take against me.

Those are my darkest moments. When you no longer have things to fight for. When you’re not just worried about losing the battle, but when you realise that you don’t even know why you’re still in this battle. When you believe those echoes were whispering the truth. When you begin to believe every single hurtful, rude, or abusive thing you’ve ever heard.

This is the point of the post typically reserved for preppy positive thoughts and coping mechanisms. But the thing is, there’s no inspirational quote that helps. No cure. You just have to wait it out.

Review: NYX’s Butter Lipstick

Brand: NYX
Product: Butter Lipstick
Shade: Big Cherry
Available: Target
Price: 11.95 AUD

First Impression: This thing is pigmented, really really pigmented. It’s also creamy but doesn’t feel heavy or oily on the lips. I’ve worn this a few times by now and I’m really happy with it. You’ll get a good 6-8 hours of wear out of this product and when it does fade, it fades evenly. It’s quite resistant to staining and easily survives coffee and a meal. Overall, it’s a really impressive lipstick.

Packaging: Lightweight plastic. Looks alright. Doesn’t fall apart in your bag. Gets the job done but won’t win any design awards.

Pros: High quality. Good price. Actually pigmented and long lasting. It’s really hard to find good drugstore reds, but this one is probably in my top 5 lipsticks at the moment. Also, NYX is cruelty free, which is always a bonus.

Cons: Not available from Target’s website, so you’ll need to buy it in store.

Would I purchase this again? Yup

Elements of Good Days

wp-1467097542726.jpgThere is no such thing as a perfect day, but there sure are things that make days better. This post is merely mentioning some of them.

Good breakfast is a great way to ensure a good start to the day. Personally, I can’t eat just after I wake up and thus my breakfasts are typically more like brunches. The photo here shows one of my favourite breakfasts, the smashed avo from the PonyCat. It’s a big breakfast, but most of the ingredients are healthy and it’s a perfect treat if you suspect you’ll need a mood booster.

Work might not be a common thing to put on here, but if I can get some work done during breakfast, I know I’m at least off to a good start. This is usually when I blog, prep cases for debates, work on bureaucracy related stuff, or get some studying done. Work makes you feel productive and if you can feel productive before midday even on a day off, you’ve instantly made that day better.

Animals. I could just have left it there, but seriously, being around animals is one of the best things you can do to boost your mood. No matter if it’s our cat trying to sleep on my neck or laptop, or if it’s spending time in the stable… Being around animals simply makes me happy. My quality of life increased substantially when I moved to a house that came with a cat.

Exercise is another one of those things that can turn a day from average to good. The key to making exercise enjoyable is simple – do something you enjoy. For me, it’s either swimming or horseback riding. Both of those sports make for great exercise, swimming is a full body workout and horseback riding is leg day intensified. When it’s hot outside, going to the pool hardly feels like a chore and you can find me there almost every day. Now that it’s colder, I’ve started to return to my roots as an equestrian.

Social time is a bit hit or miss for me. Some days I enjoy a break from people and on other days I enjoy being around people. If I feel like being social, I typically have lunch with someone, chill with my housemate, or find a bunch of friends to play Cards Against Humanity with. Even just going to the movies together is a great way to enjoy someone’s company even if you don’t have the energy to do something more active together.

Luxurious showers are the poor man’s baths. Or at least my version of them. I’d love to have a bathtub, but in the meantime I’ll settle for a shower with a body scrub and some nice bath products. If you’re suffering from stiff muscles, showers are a great way to relax and loosen up a bit. In winter, one of the best things to do is simply to have a heater on in your room so that you don’t have to walk into a wall of cold after your shower.

Caffeine is my true love. My one addiction. When you’re having a bad day, have some coffee. Don’t spoil it by adding sugar, drink it black or with milk if you’re using instant coffee. If you’re going out for it, keep it to one that is coffee and milk. That’s the best way to actually feel the flavour. If you have to add 6 sugars, stop drinking coffee and just grab a soda instead. Yes, I have surprisingly strong opinions on coffee.

Spare time? Playing some games is a perfect way for me to unwind. It’s also a good way to keep your mind active. If I’m having a day where I need to distract myself from life, I play video games. Strategy games are a way to keep busy and get some intellectual stimulation. RPGs are great for when you need to get involved in a story and get some emotional rewards.

Character Creator: Aela the Huntress (Skyrim)


Skyrim has an endless lineup of side characters and one of the ones who truly managed to stand out is Aela the Huntress. She’s a Nord and a core member of The Companions, a brotherhood of warriors that the player character encounters early on in the game. If you play your cards right, Aela can become your companion or even spouse. She’s highly skilled in Archery and is mechanically in the Thief class. Aela is a strong and honourable character who clings to her beliefs no matter what. In that regard one should perhaps say that her honourable side is subject to debate.

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Rebuttal: TotalBiscuit’s Commentary on Microsoft & Sony’s E3 Conferences

TotalBiscuit is one of the few YouTuber’s who is often able to change my opinion. He is a video game critic I have immense respect for, but this time I was not persuaded.

Before I truly begin my rebuttal, I’d like to point out that I am indeed biased towards Sony. I currently have a PS2 and a PS3 (even a PSP), I cried with happiness when I watched the PS4 E3 press conference, and when I got a tattoo to symbolise my love for gaming, I chose the Playstation symbols. This blogpost is not about which company ‘won’ E3, but about the nature of console players.

The main issue IĀ find with TB’s commentary is that it is very much a PC gamer’s analysis of the world of consoles. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with PC gaming or the culture surrounding it, but there are fundamental differences between consoles and PCs. There are two primary points where I believe TB’s commentary misses the mark this time.

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Rebuttal: The Weirdest Argument Against Trans Characters


This is a debate that pops up every now and then, especially when a game with a trans character has recently been launched. I don’t have enough space to cover the entire debate in one post, so instead I wish to focus on the single most peculiar argument used against games that contain trans characters.

“There’s no reason for them to be trans”
Effectively this means that the character could just have been a “real” woman instead of a trans woman. Typically this argument comes out when a trans character’s main story line (if they even have one) does not concern their gender identity.
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