Someone mean and nasty destroyed my blog and now I am fighting to put it all back!

For the past 24 days, I have been unable to get into The Beauty Gypsy.

Neither have many of you, as your mails and messages tell me.

No, the blog is not shutting down. Not now, not ever… at least as long as I have eyes that read and hands that write. This is my world and I would be utterly lost without it.

The problem is that someone hacked into The Beauty Gypsy on July 16th and took down the whole site. Literally stripped it to shreds, in a way that restoring it has become absolutely impossible. The best that I’ve been able to do is have it taken to the wire and restore the old content. But it’s still not loading on many devices around the world, including my own. The only place I can currently see it is on my iPhone… possibly because I have cookies or some such technical mumbo-jumbo stored there, as my website developer tells me.

Why would someone do this? I’d like to believe it’s because the the blog is so cool and popular. But more probably it’s just because there are mean and nasty people in the cybersphere who just like wrecking things for kicks. You know the ones I am talking about – they are the ones who develop email viruses and malware that have trashed many a site and computer. There is no help for them except intense psychotherapy!

So after crying for over a whole week over spilt blog posts, I have now taken the jump to completely redesigning and relaunching The Beauty Gypsy. It’s not going to be an easy process. I don’t remember when I last slept for more than four hours a night – first in trying to restore the blog and now in relaunching it. And there is more caffeine and adrenaline flowing through my body than blood at the moment.

But I have a great designer on my side – hello Viva La Violet! – and in the end, all of us will have a shiny new iteration of the blog that will hopefully make up for all the lost, bleary eyed, sick to the stomach days.

Image: Studio Firma/Stocksy United

Will the blog change? No. Because I am not the one being redesigned. I will still continue inhabiting the world of my first loves: beauty recipes and cool products from around the world, with a non-commercial, non-paid-for-by-the-brands chill zone that you love.

But you will also see new columns (like the one on products not worth wasting your money over… my current favorite project), new vibes and a whole new aesthetic. I promise more information as soon as I can start typing it into something larger than this tiny iPhone screen. Seriously, you don’t realise how tiny our phones actually are until you try drafting a whole blog post onto one!

So, just please hang around for a bit more. Keep the messages coming and hop over to my Instagram (@thebeautygypsyblogger)… I really need the TLC at the moment because having a sick blog is like being sick yourself. Life is just grey and gloomy in absentia.

And tell me, what more would you like to see in The Beauty Gypsy?

#MakeupTrends: Is matte lipstick the new black?

Lately, it seems that everywhere you turn there is a matte lip staring you in the face. From Pat McGrath’s hotly anticipated MatteTrance lipstick collection to Maybelline’s Color Sensational Creamy Mattes Lip Color, it’s velvety and highly pigmented all the way.

So all-encompassing is this trend that even lip glosses have jumped onto the matte bandwagon, as evidenced by a whole slew of contenders, with Huda Khaitan Liquid Matte, Kylie Matte Liquid LipstickToo Faced Melted Matte LiquifiedNYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream and Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick to name just a few.

But fear not, the matte formulas of 2017 bear no resemblance to the chalky, dry lips of the 1990s. This time round, matte lipsticks are flattering and feel super-comfortable on the lips.

And while they might not be quite as easy to apply as a slick of sheer gloss, matte lipsticks last longer, suit all skin tones and look super-gorgeous. This look is for girls who are all grown up!

Why matte lipstick rocks!

  • Matte lipsticks have more pigment than other formulas, which means strong colour straight from the bullet.
  • Matte lipsticks have far more staying power and lasts for ages on your lips, even through endless cups of coffee and Champagne.
  • While there is a lot of pink gloss, matte lipstick comes in a medley of strong colours, ranging from berry pinks to scarlet reds to caramel browns and back again.
  • Matte lipstick is less girly than gloss and instantly creates a sophisticated aura.

matte lipstickHow to wear a matte lip

There is no room for sloppy application with matte lipstick. This one both draws and holds attention, so you have to apply it right.

  • The key to pulling off matte lipstick is to make sure it’s impactful. A neutral shade or one close to your skin tone can make you look sickly pale. Instead, opt for a strong pop of tangerine, red or fuchsia – especially since, like matte lipstick itself, they’re vintage-inspired and completely on-trend.
  • Skip the lip balm before applying a matte lipstick as it adds sheen, thereby diluting the effect. Instead use a lip primer – like MAC Prep + Prime for Lips – for hydration without the added shine.
  • Line your lips with a shade that matches your lipstick perfectly to avoid the dreaded, ’90s-inspired two-tone look. Even better, fill in your entire lips with the liner and then apply the lipstick on top.
  • For a softer look, fill your entire lip with liner, then pat lipstick on using your fingertip.
  • A matte lipstick usually takes longer to wear off around the outside of your lips (due to lack of moisture), so you’ll be tempted to re-apply. Don’t do that: since coats will only sit on top of each other, you’ll get an uneven look. Instead, wipe off the existing lipstick and then apply a fresh coat.
  • One single texture across your face looks dull and ageing, so contrast a matte lip with dewy foundation, highlighter on the cheeks, or shimmer on the eyes.

Convert any lipstick to matte

Rather than buying a new lipstick, simply matte out your current stock with translucent powder. It’s easy: after applying the lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue. Then use your fingertips to dab a translucent face powder on your lips to eliminate the shine.

For added effect, double up on the powder application in the centre of your lower lip – this play on centre sheen will create a more fashion forward pout.

What’s your take on the matte lip trend?

10 genius ways to use Vaseline in your beauty routine (it’s not just for lips!)

Who says Vaseline is boring? Simple? Yes. Classic? Always. Cheap-as-chips and value for money? Absolutely. Boring? NEVER. And to underscore that point, the fifth limited edition of it’s cult status Lip Therapy comes dressed in striking black and gold, with a delicate rose, vanilla and red berry flavour as an added bonus. Called Vaseline Rosy Lips, it’s available to dress up your day till stocks last. Want it much? You’ll have to run – not merely walk – as this one’s already selling out worldwide!

vaseline-2017Incidentally, Vaseline is such a diverse product that you can use it for a whole range of things. You will see big tubs at literally every fashion week, photo shoot, red carpet event, dermatologist’s office and hair salon, hiding in plain sight.

Here are some of my favourite ways of working it, gleaned from picking the brains of leading beauty professionals over many, many years.

1. Vaseline as eye makeup remover: A dab of Vaseline can remove even the most stubborn mascara while soothing the eye area – just massage it in gently and wash off with warm water.

2. Vaseline as body scrub: Vaseline mixed with a handful of sea salt (or sand, if you are on the beach and want to make like the Brazilians) works as a great exfoliator.

3. Vaseline as lip scrub: Apply a thick layer of Vaseline to your lips and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then scrub it off with an old (gentle) toothbrush for fabulously soft and smooth lips. Re-apply a thin layer to seal in moisture.

4. Vaseline as manicure mender: Dabbing a bit of Vaseline on the base of your nails will stop the colour from running onto the fingers.

5. Vaseline for shaving: Run out of shaving cream? Apply a thin layer of Vaseline and then shave. Don’t use water and remember to keep rinsing the razor as you go. It can be slightly greasy but will leave you with superbly soft and smooth skin.

6. Vaseline as highlighter: Professional makeup artists do this all the time, especially during catwalk shows – apply a very thin layer of Vaseline on cheeks and under the eyes for that dewy look.

7. Vaseline as cream blusher: Want a rosy flush? Mix vaseline with your lipstick to make your own cream blusher.

vaseline-old-ad8. Vaseline as fragrance fixer: Applying a thin layer of vaseline on your wrist (and other pulse points) before spraying on perfume will make the scent last much longer.

9. Vaseline to protect skin from hair dye: Every hair colourist worth their name knows this one – you need to apply a layer of Vaseline around the hairline before colouring your hair. This not only prevents stains but also protects skin from the harsh chemicals in the dye.

10. Vaseline to seal split ends: While nothing can mend split ends, rubbing in some Vaseline can temporarily seal them, creating the illusion of sleek, damage-free hair.

Did you know that the first ever Vaseline Lip Therapy limited edition – Crème Brûlée, launched in 2011 – was the fastest selling product in Selfridges’ entire history?

What does your lipstick shade say about you?

Gone are the days when we were compelled to play matchy-matchy with our clothes and lipstick. Choosing the latter is now far more intuitive and we are more likely to pick a lip colour based on who we are… or what we want to be.

Bold red? Demure pink? Femme fatale brown? Or maybe an ironical shade of blue? What secrets are your lips spilling?

Here’s the scoop from the colour psychology geniuses over at Pantone, who decode what your choice of lipstick says about you. And conversely, which lipstick to reach for when you want to make a certain impression.

lipstick shadesRed lipstick

Red is bold, sensual and look-at-me… a confident big city girl who doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet. But you’re not really quite as badass as you’d like to be… after all, it’s the signature colour of all those ultra-chic French women for a reason. Classic red would not look out of place in a country club or a silk-and-pearls restaurant. It’s a colour that you can wear from the ballrooms of the Ritz to the bohemian seediness of Paris’ Montmartre. In short, it’s the colour of a woman who is fun loving, passionate, energetic, independent and extremely adaptable. With a hefty side of lady-like chic thrown in for good measure.

Baby pink lipstick

You are feminine and girly, love dressing up, are impeccably groomed and much prefer the candy floss world of dreams and cotton clouds more than the harsh realities of modern-day living.

Hot pink lipstick

More adventurous than classic red, hot pink lips are the domain of a woman who’s fun, flirt, bold and outgoing. You enjoy spending time with your girl gang and are not easily cowed down. And you keep an eye out for trends, transitioning from vintage chic to bohemian funkiness with equal élan.

Rosy lipstick

In between the baby soft pinks and the hot fuchsia versions, lies a rosy pout, which is primarily owned by she who loves nature and the outdoors. It’s the rosiness of glowing good health and fits the personality of a woman who is cool, calm, down to earth and confident in her own skin.

Orange lipstick

Even though orange looks fun and bouncy, it’s not really an easy colour to pull off for everyone. If you gravitate towards this palette, you’re likely to be carefree, wild, vivacious, whimsical, energetic and adventurous. You don’t mind standing out in a crowd and easily throw caution to the winds.

lipstick shades3Berry or wine-stained lipstick

You shy away from being pastel pretty and revel in the power of your sensuality. You also like drama and are an all-or-nothing kind of person… doing things halfway has never appealed to you.

Nude lipstick

Nude is simply not a look-at-me colour and hence it’s perfect for women who marry comfort with discreet chic. Yet, they are also very très fashion and keep an eye out for the latest trends while playing it safe with investment pieces, rather than one season wonders. This one is unlikely to rock the boat or loudly demand to be the centre of attention!

Burgundy or purple lipstick

It’s edgy with a hefty dose of badass, making purple perfect for women who women who are edgy and appreciate a good challenge. You don’t suffer fools too gladly and like to temper trends with your own individual flourish.

Purple lipstick

More layered than red, more mysterious than a bright pink, a purple lip is usually worn by a woman who revels in her power and femininity. She’s strong, confident, sexy, individualistic and a bit unapproachable… not someone who suffers fools gladly.

Brown or plum lipstick

Forget the image of racy reds and striking fuchsias, the true femme fatale wears brown. Or plum. Women who love these deep and moody shades are most likely to have a seriously adventurous streak. They’d rather play risky than safe, love challenges, are ambitious, driven and independent.

Blue or black lipstick

While many of us may push the envelope and experiment with black nail polish once in a while, black or blue lipstick is for the seriously daring. You don’t give a hoot about society and will, in fact, go out of your way to flout traditional norms. You are powerful, like to remain mysterious and unapproachable, and run as far away from “pretty” as possible. Your fashion statement is more ironic than trendy, and remain young at heart always.

No lipstick (or maybe just a clear lip gloss)!

You look like you don’t care… because you really don’t. You are fuss free, low maintenance and are cool without caring to be cool. You are a leader rather than a follower, and just want to get on with life!

Which is your favourite go-to lipstick shade?

Also read: What does your nail polish say about you?