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The Persephone Complex

DISCLAIMER

All photos are taken by me unless otherwise stated. Please don't use any photos or text from this blog without my permission. All rights reserved. Gifted items will be marked with an asterisk (*) All reviews are completely honest and all opinions are my own.



INTERVIEWS I'VE CONDUCTED

Ruby Elliot
Vilte F
Patricia Alvarado
Caitlin Skaalrud
Forsyth Harmon
Valerie Phillips

PAST ENTRIES

The Quest For Disney Princess Lashes
How To Enjoy Even The Shittiest Days
The Beauty And The Bath: LUSH Rose Bubble Bar
Romantic Treats From The Body Shop
Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Powder
Red, Red, They Call Me Red: Valentine's Day Outfit...
Life Is Too Short Not To...
I Jumped On The Naked Palette Bandwagon
The Books That Made Me Who I Am
Sex Bomb, Sex Bomb, You're My Sex Bomb...

ELSEWHERE

TABOO Magazine
Style Vulture
Hello Margaret!
SCREENQUEENS
PopCulturePuke



Layout by Swoon for the Moon. Copywright of Holly Cassell and The Persephone Complex 2014.

The Quest For Disney Princess Lashes

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It's only been in  recent years, that statement lashes, and specifically false lashes, have become seriously big business. To many people, myself included, having thick, dark, feather-like lashes has become as much of a beauty aspiration as having clear skin or good hair. Naturally, I'd say my lashes were okay. Not exactly Spanish senorita, but decently brown and thick. They've definitely decreased in volume due to years of wearing mascara and pulling at them with Shu Uemura curlers and make-up wipes, but they're holding on, and gawd bless 'em for that. 

So how do we go about getting gorgeous cartoon lashes in real life? I've tried a lot of things to fake Disney Princess-like levels of lash power. Individual lashes will probably always be my favourite tactic, but they can be expensive, as all the types I've found are not reusable. I've never been able to get the hang of applying strip lashes, but I decided to give it another go recently, and bought these, the Oh Honey! lashes by Katy Perry for Eylure. I've tried to put them on at least five times, and only succeeded once, BUT, when I did, they looked great, so...

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Continuing the search for cartoon-lash proportions, I tried this Lash Extension Treatment* from Jica. It's basically made up of tiny black natural fibres that cling to your lashes when you run the wand through. It's an ingenius idea, really, and definitely gives your lashes a huge boost, and adds beautiful depth. The fibres are quite fiddly to apply, and I'd recommend using it whilst looking down into a mirror to stop them getting in your eye. After you've swiped the wand through, just coat with another layer of mascara, and the fibres should stay in place. Voila, naturally darker lashes!

When I can't even be bothered with the slightest attempts at falsies but still want mega-volume, I go to my favourite mascaras. It should come as no surprise that They're Real! by Benefit is definitely on my short-list. Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express is also a firm favourite, as well as Rimmel Lash Accelerator.

Have I found my perfect, no fuss Bambi-lashes product yet, you ask? Have I heck. But the search is very fun.

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How To Enjoy Even The Shittiest Days


Message Someone Special All Day Long: I love doing this. It doesn't have to be someone you're dating, although those are the best kinds of message marathons; it can be your best mate or a blogger you share a kinship with, or even someone you just met on a dating app. Some of the best conversations I've ever had were with complete strangers who I turned to in seriously hard times. Whether it's a comforting "xx" from your beloved every now and again to get you through a hard day at work, or a soul-baring session with someone you'll never meet, talking (or texting) almost always helps.

Get Ready To Go Out, Even If You're Staying Home: It's very hard to feel like a heavenly creature when you're wearing a ratty dressing gown with peanut butter stains down the front and sporting unwashed hair and sore eyes from staring at your phone screen for 125 hours straight. You've got to put down the packet of carbs, get out of bed, and turn up for yourself. I find it really therapeutic and energising to sit in front of my little dressing table mirror and do my make-up, hair, my nails, or whatever needs doing, even if I'm just going to go straight back to my laptop afterwards.

Sweat It Out: When I'm really stressed, sometimes I just cannot "calm down". It would be a futile endeavour to sit somewhere fidgeting, playing relaxing music, attempting to meditate, and just getting more and more frustrated. So I put on some techno on my headphones, something that really reflects my state of mind, and I dance or go for a run until I can't move any more. It's impossible to not feel at least a little bit better afterwards.

Do Something For Your Autobiography: What would you do if you had more emotional distance? If you didn't have to worry about the consequences? Try doing something, anything, not for what it will lead to or because it's a good idea, but because you want to tell the story of it one day. Some of the most exciting things I've ever done, I did because I was bored, and wanted a new story to tell. On a really bad day, when you're struggling to see the point of anything, take a step outside yourself, and picture your body as the main character in a crazy book you're reading. What would you like her to do next? 

The Beauty And The Bath: LUSH Rose Bubble Bar

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When I'm in the bath, I want to feel like either a character from Perfume or a Disney Princess, with my curly hair piled up on my head and a friendly song-bird whistling to me from the windowsill. Of course you can't always control whether or not the bird turns up, but you can make the water a colour fit for a mermaid. Lush feels like pretty much the only beauty brand that sells these experiences just as much as it sells products. I'm sort of working my way through everything they make now that I actually have a bath, and the other day I snapped up my very first bubble bar. It's called simply  Rose, and reminds me of the magic rose from Beauty and The Beast, my favourite Disney movie. I love anything red, pink, super-feminine, or with hearts or roses on (as I'm sure you've noticed from the look of my blog...) and I gravitate towards scents that are girly and edible; this has just enough cocoa butter in it to balance the strong fresh roses scent. It makes the water a delicate pink with glittery bubbles, and you can't get much more Disney Princess than that.

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Romantic Treats From The Body Shop

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All products*, The Body Shop

Isn't it great when you're gearing up for a dull Valentine's Day, and it turns out to be amazing? Thanks to a few majorly kind brands, I was one spoilt blogger this year. One of the best packages that came through my letterbox was a parcel from The Body Shop, including some lovely things from their new Smoky Poppy range. I nearly squealed with absolute freaking delight when I saw the huge bottle of Red Musk eau de parfum that was inside. It's a gritty, unique scent that is equal measures sexy and elegant; the kind of thing you wear on a date night when you already know you'll be going home together; or underneath a white shirt and black trousers. It has notes of (cruelty-free) spiced musk, cinnamon and tobacco. The bottle is gorgeous too, a minimalist, chunky design that feels great in your hands.

Along with my Red Musk, I also got a Velvet Stick for Lips and Cheeks in the shade Poppy Bronze, and a Smoky Poppy eau de toilette to add to my ever-growing collection of Body Shop single-note scents. I mean, seriously, I am obsessed with those things. I have at least three more on my wishlist, so go check them out if you haven't already. As for the velvet stick, it's a subtle, matte rosy gold that looks really natural on both lips and cheeks. It's a bit more difficult to spread on the cheeks so I'd recommend putting some on your buffing brush and doing it that way. It smells lovely and compliments my pale skin/red hair colouring, which is quite an ask. All in all I absolutely love this range, and particularly recommend Red Musk if you're looking for one of those androgynous, sexy scents that can be so difficult to find from cruelty-free companies.

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Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Powder

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This is definitely a purchase I made due to the EssieButton Effect. That woman could sell me pretty much anything, even if I hadn't desperately needed a new powder. Until recently I had always just gone ahead and bought whatever talc-based shite that was in front of me, and this is probably the first powder I've ever bought as a result of actually reading good reviews and hype.

It isn't perfectly transparent, so I wouldn't say all skin tones would be able to use it. I do notice it gives my make-up a very subtle yellow-tinge if I use too much, but then, I am exceptionally pale. A little definitely goes a long way, or you risk looking cakey. But it is incredibly long-lasting, easy to apply, and performs well. The only other powder I've ever liked is the Collection one that costs about £1.99, and to be honest, I'm not sure how much better this is, or if it warrants the heftier price tag (it retails at about £13). I definitely enjoy using it and I love the packaging, but as yet I'm unconvinced to repurchase. I am thinking of trying out some of their matte lipsticks next instead, as I definitely want to give this brand more chances to impress. Let me know what you think of S&G below in the comments.

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Red, Red, They Call Me Red: Valentine's Day Outfit

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Dress, Toast // Clutch, vintage 

I love red. I really, really love red. When I was a kid, my mum asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I said "red". I have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day and don't really celebrate so much as use it as an excuse to dress up/spoil whoever I'm dating/wear red. By all rights the colour should clash terribly with my hair, but to be honest I think it's one of my best; even if it wasn't, I'd still wear it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing on Valentine's weekend (I might be going to the Opera with my paramour, and if so, you'll certainly hear about it) but whatever I get up to, I'm going to wear this dress for at least part of it! I've had it ages and never had the right occasion to wear it. A knee-length red velvet dress is difficult to just throw on, you know, so I'm taking this Hallmark-sponsored shot while I have it.

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Life Is Too Short Not To...

Life is too short...not to have the best coffee: No matter what diet regimen I'm on, I will always, always have the coffee I want. Double vanilla syrup? You bet. I couldn't give less of a shit whether a cappuchino has more calories than a latte, or whether skimmed milk has less calories than soya. You got one life to live, and you need good coffee to get through it.

Life is too short...not to have the sex you want: There is nothing more soul-destroying than a sexual relationship that feels like work. Your lover should thrill you beyond belief. Compromise about what you actually DO if you like, but never, ever compromise the passion that drives it all. Passion cannot be forced or faked, and it requires both parties to lose control. Anyone can give you an orgasm. Look for someone who sets your whole body on fire.

Life is too short...not to have the hair you want: It's not shallow to want to look a certain way. Our bodies are the greatest canvases we will ever possess. We all have hair goals and idols, and frankly, why settle for anything less? Don't stress over whether something is a "smart choice" or low maintenance. Shoot for the moon. Do whatever it takes.

Life is too short...not to live where you want to live: For a huge portion of my life, I lived deep in the countryside, and I feel pretty confident in saying, never again. It simply does not agree with my personality, and I found it incredibly difficult to be happy just sitting in a house, reading, and going for walks. For some people that will sound like bliss, and if that's the case, then do it! We're all different and require different environments to be happy. We haven't got enough time to waste on living in a town completely ill-suited to our character.

Life is too short...not to block haters: A while back I was getting quite upset by some of the idiotic and misinformed responses I was getting to my tweets, and I made a decision: If someone disagrees with me, then it's not my problem. If they ask me to explain my opinion or give 50 examples why I hold it, I am not obligated to take time out of my day to educate them on current affairs. I am not a public library. Nowadays, I only really respond to people who's opinion I really respect, and who I will enjoy speaking to. So, use the block button more. It feels amazing.

I Jumped On The Naked Palette Bandwagon

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There is a cult for Urban Decay palettes, but I never knew anything about it until I started blogging. Before I started writing TPC, I never would have even considered spending 50 odd quid on a bloody piece of make-up, but that's what blogging does to you; all normal priorities go straight out the window, and before you know it you're dropping £8 on a drink and wasting ten minutes of your life photographing it, just because it matches your Instagram theme.

Back to the palette. The quality of the eye-shadows is predictably amazing, and they are highly pigmented. The shade I use the most is Nooner, a matte shade for shadowing and crease work. I also really love Dust (a light, sparkly pink) and Burnout (a purply-black that's great for lining). I use Nooner in almost every look I create with this palette; my biggest criticism about the Naked 3 is that it doesn't have enough hard-working shades like that one. Some of the shades I never use at all, mostly because I have no idea what to do with them yet! I'm still frantically Googling "Naked 3 palette tutorial" every time I get ready to go out. A big reason I wanted it so much was because I see the amazingly aspirational women on Pinterest (you know the ones, with the yoga pants and the MK bags) that manage to do INSANE artistry with Naked palettes, and a little part of me wants to be one of them. Practise makes perfect, I guess.

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