Gwennan Rees

Blogger and Illustrator

A Beauty Post Written By A Non Beauty Blogger.

A Beauty Post Written By A Non Beauty Blogger.


I have never thought of myself as a fashion or beauty blogger. I have never thought it was something I could write about and in all honesty, it's not something that ever interested me. 

Don't get me wrong, I love clothes and shopping and makeup as much as the next gal, but really, fblogger and bbloggers don't really do it for me. If someone follows me on Instagram and all they post is selfies or flatlays of makeup, I won't follow back. If someone follows me on Bloglovin and all they blog about is fashion, I won't follow back. If a blogger I love posts about beauty or fashion, nine times out of ten I will click 'mark as read' on bloglovin and not read it.

It just doesn't interest me and that's not because I think it's false or trivial or pointless or written badly, it just ain't my thing. My problem with reading beauty or fashion blog posts is most of the time I can't afford what they're reviewing. I know a lot of beauty and fashion bloggers get items gifted to them to review and that's how they can afford to do it and that's great, like that is the dream and those bloggers must be made up because all their hard work is paying off. I support that. However, I myself just can't afford that, my lifestyle just don't pay for it. I can't justify spending a fiver on mascara let alone 45. 

The beauty blogs I DO read are basically anything to do with nail varnish (my one true love in this world) and budget and the fashion blogs I read are anything to do with Primark in the title. Luhhh me some Primark (FYI Hannah Gale did a Primark A/W update and it is TO DIE FOR.


I've had it in my head for a long time that I am a lifestyle and creative blogger and I even had a post swirling about in my brain titled 'Why I'll never be a beauty/fashion blogger' and then I kinda got thinking well why wouldn't I....? I pride myself on the variety of content on my blog and leaving out fashion and beauty seemed like a big area to miss out on. 

So it got me thinking; I don't read beauty blogs because 1. I can't afford the products and 2. I can't wear a lot of products because of my skin. 

I wrote about my battle with the world's most sensitive skin* and eczema in this post and it's one of the main reasons I can't splash out on beauty. I plain can't wear perfume or scents or foundation or even lipstick most of the time and because so much aggravates my skin, I tend to try budget makeup first (because what's the point forking out £20 if you find you can't wear it anyway) and if it works, I buy 1839072498237486378 and stick with it. 

*Not scientifically proven. 

So I thought I'd share with you some budget, skin friendly makeup that I genuinely use every day, written by someone who never thought they'd beauty blog. 

Oh and disclaimer here, this post is NOT sponsored by Avon even though it features a shed load of their products, I just really like their brand. 

1. The Hair Care.

I think I have mentioned before that my list of allergies (which is extensive) also includes an allergy to an ingredient which is in most shampoos and conditioners, meaning I have to use ones made from natural products. I used to use the Naked range which I think has been discontinued everywhere? At least I know Boots were fazing it out and their website disappeared. I now use the Kind Natured range which is equally as kind to my hair (hence the name) and hasn't made my skin flare up and smells delicious. 

Baring in mind I can't wear perfume or use hair spray because of the chemicals that create the smell, it is some miracle that I can wear dry shampoo. I first started using it in school when my skin wasn't in such a bad condition and thankfully, I have been able to keep using it. I only ever stick to Batiste Original dry shampoo, some of the other smells are a bit strong for me but is an absolute life saver. I only need to wash my hair once a week or twice at a push and this tides me over in between. I also use it for a bit of volume as my hair is super fine and super limp and I don't think you even need a recommendation on why it's so good, I don't think I've ever seen a girl use any other brand. 

Buy Kind Natured hair and shower products from Boots here. 

Shop the Batiste brand here. 

2. Makeup Remover. 

I see beauty bloggers around the country cringing with disgust - yes I use makeup wipes, no I don't cleanse and use pads and all that jazz. These Tesco own brand makeup wipes for sensitive skin are the best way for me to take my makeup off, especially as it's only my eyes really and I need something gentle. These life savers are a mere quid for 25 and also come in pad form which is super handy for taking on holiday or on a flight in your makeup bag. They're fragrance free which is massively important for my eczema and really soft and take even the heaviest makeup off really easily. They're also pretty saturated so they do dry out quickly if you leave the pack open but means they're really soothing on the skin which is especially ideal if like me you get really puffy itchy eyes in the summer. Good old hayfever making us look sexy since the dawn of time. 

The only other makeup remover I use is nail varnish remover which I also make sure is acetone free but other than that, nothing fancy, just a supermarket own brand with those Superdrug remover pads which is something insane like 38921748923758 for a quid (definitely not true but they are cheap.)

Shop Tesco makeup wipes here.  

Shop Superdrug cotton wool pads here. 

3. The Eyeshadow. 

Seen as I can't wear makeup on my face, I have long since accepted that I had to use all of my makeup on my eyes so that is always the feature. I realised pretty early on (around 14 or 15) that due to my colouring, ginger, pale and freckly, a lot of products that look fab on everyone else, just don't suit me at all. I have always aspired to that smoky eye with black liquid liner look, maybe even branching into something a bit sassy for nights out like blue or purple tones in my eyeshadow but alas, it just looks shite. I used black liquid liner for a lot of my school years until I just accepted it didn't suit me in the slightest and I resorted to what I had always know; it's brown and gold tones that do it for me. 

It's understandable really, that's my colouring (I look mental with a fake tan, like literally all orange, my head seamlessly blends into my hair, it's cute) and gold and shades of brown just bring out the au natural in me. I have used 107329468365 eyeshadows in these shades in my time but it's been this smoky eye palette that I have stuck to for the last 3 or so years. I have multiple because for a while they went out of stock and so when they came back in I stocked up in case they left me again but actually, a whole new line of colours have been released. 

This little beauty is the True Colour Eyeshadow Quad by Avon which is 4 shades of one tone and applicator in a little compact. I use this quad literally every day, using the lighter tone or just one shade for every day use and building it up when I'm going out and I have been through A LOT of applicators (you can get a pack of 10 applicators for a quid in Primark.) There are now a remarkable 16 different quads in the Avon range but it is the Mocha Latte palette I always buy (and it's down to a fiver on Avon currently.) 

The palette is numbered handily to show you which shade to use first but I have to admit, I never use all 4 at a time, the most I stretch to is 3. I start with the creamy shade which I apply everywhere from the eyelid right up to the brow and to the crease of my eye. I then use the light brown tone (number 2) which again I take from the eyelid to nearly my brow, not quite, let's not overkill here. On a day to day basis this might be where I stop with the eyeshadow but if I'm going out I'll go for one of two looks. Palette 3 is pretty glittering and pigmented so if I'm in the mood for that I will apply it just on the lid and use it as a base for liquid eyeshadow (coming below.) If I'm not feeling all that glittery I go for shade 4 which is a very pigmented dark shade of brown, verging on a shade just darker than chocolate. I use it only on my eyelid and I normally just brush the applicator I have used for the initial cream shade over it without dipping it back in just to blend it nicely as it really is dark. 

Buy the Avon True Colour Eyeshadow quad (on sale) here. 

4. Liquid Eyeshadow. 

Like I just mentioned above, if I am feeling particularly sparkly I use shade 3 in the quad palette as an undertone and then I go over my eyelid with this liquid eyeshadow, also from Avon. I use the SuperShock Vivid Liquid eyeshadow in Crimson Thrill although it's more gold than crimson but I believe they have 3 shades in all. It's really easy to use, the applicator is similar to that of a lip gloss and the colour is really pigmented and slides over the eyelid easily. It is really quite glittery so might not be your all day err day look but it's also a good coverup for when you mess up your mascara, it covers any black splodges easy and you never need more than one coat.   

Shop liquid eyeliner from Avon (on sale to £2.50) here. 

5. Concealer. 

Concealer is the only makeup I wear on my actual face and I only use it in patches. I don't have a particular one true love for concealer, I tend to go based on what is cheapest at the time my current is running out and at the moment that is Avon Colour Trend Prefect & Hide in Light which retails at £3.00 (although I think I got it on sale). I don't mind this concealer, I find it very difficult to colour match, I really am pale enough to basically have white concealer, but it doesn't annoy me enough to fork out for proper matching. 

This particular one is not all that creamy which makes it more difficult to blend in and I used to have a Rimmel London Hide The Blemish in Ivory one and that was much creamier and easy to apply - when this one runs out I'll probably go back to that. Like I say, I don't mind the Avon one but I do tend to apply it to my finger first to soften it up and then onto my face. I only really use it for covering spots or under my eyes if I haven't had enough sleep and they're looking all cute and purple and puffy. 

Shop Avon Colour Trend Perfect and Hide concealer. 

Buy Rimmel London Hide The Blemish concealer here. 

6. White Eyeliner. 

Yuh huh this one is Primark, don't sue me for my sins plz. As I mentioned above, black liquid eyeliner doesn't suit me and it turns out is the same for a black or grey pencil eyeliner too. I remember reading in Look Magazine about 4 years ago that white eyeliner was good for days where you were sleepy as it opens up your eye and makes you look more awake. So off I popped to Boots or Superdrug or the local chemist and bought a white eyeliner pencil - and haven't looked back since. Not only does it make me look more awake, it just suits me better. It's less harsh and gives my eye some definition without being as in your face as black or grey eyeliner looks on me. 

At the moment I am using a Primark one (a quid BTW) because mine ran out and it's perfectly decent. You really don't need a fancy one, just one that doesn't flake and go in your eye and this does the job. Obvs cos it's Primark I don't have a link so there's a Rimmel London one below. 

Shop Rimmel London Soft Kohl Pure White Eyeliner Pencil here. 

7. Eyeliner Crayon. 

I have played around with a few bronze eyeliner pencils since I realised black or grey wasn't my deal but it is this pencil that stands out for me. Again, even dark brown eyeliner pencils can be a bit in your face for my colouring but this one from Barry M is more like a crayon. It's soft and creamy and goes on smoothly without having to draw over and over to get the shape you want. Due to it being soft, if you want a really sharp winged look it probably isn't for you but I personally love it. It's called Bold Waterpoof Eyeliner whilst I haven't tested it in water, it definitely has staying power yet comes off easily with my makeup wipes. I get it in Bronze but they also have Gold which I'd be keen to try out and they also do shades of black, grey and silver. My only problem with it is it's £3.99 and once it's flat I can't work out what you do with it.....it isn't a traditional pencil so it can't be sharpened so if I'm missing something and just being stupid please let me know! 

Buy Barry M Waterproof eyeliner here. 

8. Lipstick. 

This admittedly is not an every day thing for me. I have angular cheilitis which is a symptom of eczema in some people and essentially means my lips become inflamed (kinda puffy, we ain't talking like Botox) and I have chapped lips permanently and 90% of the year also have chapped corners of my mouth that are really sore. Don't that paint a lovely picture for you. I am one of those people who carries a Vaseline in every coat pocket, in every pair of jeans, every handbag because it's the only thing that helps. 

If by some miracle my lips ARE alright I occasionally wear lipstick if I'm going out or feeling particularly fly it's this type of shade I wear. I desperately wanted to be one of those people who can wear dusty red or coral or vampy wine or purple lippy but alas, that infamous colouring thwarts me again. 

I would never never never have picked up bright pink lipstick in the shops if you'd paid me but this all came about from the genius (and aptly named) Genie from Barry M. Genie could put you off the first time you see it as it's, well, luminous green. It is in fact a lipstick that apparently reacts to the Alkaline in your lips and turns it a personal shade of pink, dependant on the user. Me and my friends have tried this out and indeed, we do differ in shades and the first time I used mine, it turned a bright bright Barbie pink. And ya know what, it SO suited me. 

Now if I want a break from the Genie, I buy shades of hot pink and true to it's word, they all just look right. The one photographed is an Avon one and they don't have the exact one in stock anymore but there are plenty to choose from on their website. I don't use a liner because I am the worst type of human but the Genie is really soft and just SEEMS nourishing? Like it makes your lips feel like they've got soft soothing Vaseline on rather than lipstick which can sometimes feel dying and cracking. The Avon one I have is the same and although the photographs don't do it justice, the colour is actually glittery which I was a bit wary of but doesn't show up on the lips. 

Get Barry M Genie here. 

Browse Avon lipsticks here. 

9. Mascara. 

You know when you find the PERFECT mascara and you just buy 1378472846746 and never try anything else ever again? That's how I feel about this one (plz don't judge the state I keep my mascara in, not a beauty blogger by any stretch). If I ever find out this is being discontinued I'm going to have to buy the rest of their stock because I don't know if I could live without it. It's cheap (4.50 and on sale frequently) and it's really versatile. It used to come in black and black/brown but the latter is missing from their website so IDK but whilst the shades aren't that distinguishable on your eyes, you can see the difference on the swatches. 

The mascara is part of the Colour Trend range that I shop from a lot and is the 'Plump Out' mascara. What I like about it is how many different looks I can create with it. On days where I step out of the shower and I'm looking fresh and my hair is on point, all I want is a light coat just to make my eyelashes stand out a bit. However, sometimes I need a bit more and by layering this mascara I can build up a better coverage and make my lashes stand out that bit more, something I normally complement with the darker shade in my quad palette. 

Shop Colour Trend Plump Out mascara on Avon here. 


10. Nail Varnish. 

My nails have been painted every single day of my life from when I was 17 which makes it a whopping 6 going on 7 years. I have really brittle flaky nails so nail varnish covers that (and probably doesn't help) and I have built up quite the collection. I haven't counted but I think it's somewhere round about 60+ and I have some from everywhere. I have all shades, all colours, all brands, all treatments, all nail effects....everything. And the collection keeps growing and growing. 

My absolute favourite obvs is Barry M, I mean can you really beat it unless you can afford to replace all your current stock with Essie? I know I can't. 

Shop the extensive range of Barry M nail varnishes here. 

If you've made it this far, I congratulate and thank you because I realise this post got LONG. I actually really enjoyed writing it and especially enjoyed photographing for it I would 100% recommend you try the products I've included, especially if you have temperamental skin like mine. This post wasn't sponsored, I wasn't sent anything for review or gifted anything, these are just my tried and tested favourites. 

Who knows, maybe there's a beauty/fashion blogger left in me yet. 




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