A Conscious 'Whats in My Makeup Bag'

Monday, 1 September 2014

"A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears" - Anne Raiphe

Hello my name's Charly Cox and I have two massive issues.
1. I am skeptical about the morals and ethics behind beauty blogging.
2. I can't stop buying into it.
I'm scared.

I've grown up furiously taking notes watching beauty vlogs, spending my hard earned cash (and probably my mum's too) on expensive make up that I thought had been kindly explained to me in a multitude of ukelele backed videos.
I like so many others found a safety and solace in knowing these dewy skinned ladies had tried, tested and loved what their sultry soft toned voices were reviewing and I wanted to keep up with them all.
One day I felt a deep pang in my stomach when La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo was out of stock in Boots. 
There's some serious shit going on in the world and I'm curled up in the foetal position down the aisle of a cosmetics store because I can't fight the non existent wrinkles on my face.
That's when I realised I'd been whored out by hauls and needed to rethink. 
Due to the nature of my job and the involvement I've had in the online industry in the last year or so, I've learnt a relatively disgusting amount about the truth behind the products that are being put in the videos we're all quite guilty of religiously transcribing down as though it's a biblical following.
I write this wincing, scared of who I might offend, but in truth this is something that desperately needs to be addressed. 
Most of the products you see are paid placements, some are deals that are signed with brands that can be in excess of £15,000 for a month of agreeing to feature a mascara in each of your posts or videos.
That's serious money.
That's serious money to recommend a product you don't necessarily love, to an increasingly young and self conscious audience.

Needless to say, not every beauty maven is a brand churning devil.
But when do you apply a basic level of social responsibility to not abuse your adoring audience by feeding into their insecurities and bank accounts?
You'd like to think always.

I have halted for so long to show you what's inside my make up bag because it fills me with this fiery discomfort that it might dice and stab a slippery slice of someones insecurity and encourage them to fork out money they could be spending on something much more worthwhile in hope that a side order of being beautiful is served with it.
Just because I put all of this sparkly, pretty shit on my face it's not what makes me beautiful.

You're beautiful without buying the things I've pictured.
But after a chunk of deliberation, a bucket load of requests and what seems like the largest sprinkling of irony I've ever seen- here's what I use to leave the house in the morning without wanting to burst into effervescent tears upon walking past a reflective surface.


  1. I loved everything about this, you're painfully honest without being conceited and so incredibly talented. Big things are coming your way Charly. x

  2. Wow, I really didn't know beauty bloggers/vloggers could make THAT much from a simple recommendation. I know that some girls wear makeup because they want to, but a huge amount also feels they have to and I just kind of wish we lived in a world where people were just I don't know...okay with their face...as is. And your appearance just didn't say so much about you. We've all heard the saying "No such thing as an ugly girl, just a lazy girl." Because apparently wearing sweats one day, and not feeling the need to do makeup makes us lazy. :)

  3. Love this blog, very honest and good for people to hear it.

    Hope you might like this too... http://mumstepmum.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/dear-friend-3/

  4. I loved everything about this post! So much honesty in every word and I identified with so much of it. :)



  7. As a beauty blogger (and makeup hoarder) I can honestly say I love everything you've written here. While I love beauty products, I have plenty of days where I wear nothing on my face and I'm completely okay with that. As much as I love beauty, I find there's a fine line between love and hate when it comes to the industry because I constantly see how it can make young girls feel insecure, and even unattractive without it. Anyways, I didn't mean to write such a novel here, but just wanted to say I appreciate the honest opinion, and a fabulous post as always!

    Morgan // www.blushingwit.com

  8. I absolutely adore the way you write.

  9. This is an amazingly truthful piece & I'm so glad you decided to write it. Thank you :)
    - F - www.elevatorbrain.blogspot.co.uk

  10. I just found your blog and this tops the reasons as to why it is my favorite blog I've ever read so far. I love your writing style, the way you edit/take pictures and the handwritten notes with disclaimers/quotes. I completely agree with what you've said, it has come to go from a hobby to a whole business for bloggers and I believe that it has definitely affected the way people (or the viewers in general) buy makeup. You being honest in this post and I can identify with this wholeheartedly.

    Andrea //

  11. OMG, your way of writing is amazing! Just amazing!
    I'm also new to this word of blogging, so it would mean a lot to me if anyone checked out my blog and followed? Thanks:))

  12. I honestly love your honesty Charly and though I don't really wear make up myself, I do love how being happy can make you feel confident without really having to worry too much about what you look like though I would imagine that being sparkly and feeling awesome would give you a mega whopper of happiness :) :) :) I don't know if that made sense but thank you! :)

  13. Ok, that was fucking brilliant. Love you Charly xxx

  14. The truth has been spoken - thank you. x

  15. Your blog is amazing. This post. I love it. You're a genius. I really like the way you address the audience, huge fan



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