Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Cruelty-free or nothing!

I can't believe what I have seen. No more natural make-up brushes for me ever. I do not need for a raccoon or a squirrel or a horse to be skinned for me to put on a blusher. The poor creatures. This is what a raccoon hair brush comes from, and the tails sell for as little as $10 for mass production. Most of the hairs come from Asia where the animal welfare standards are practically non-existent so for all I know they could have been skinned alive. I could have lived with goat hair brushes as I know they are slaughtered for consumption anyway but raccoon? squirrel?
I know my line is supposed to be 100% organic but for this I'll make an exception. The brush fibres will be 100% synthetic and the ferrule 100% recycled aluminium/brass. The handle will be organic anyway from birch wood or the likes. I couldn't possibly sleep at night knowing I contributed to the cruelty of an innocent animal. Its just like I killed it myself.
I suppose I will plant a tree for every 3 brushes in my line or so to compensate for whatever damage I could have done while making synthetic brushes...

Brushes - Organic vs Cruelty-free

As I am currently an insomniac, I decided to tire myself out somehow and hopefully drop into my bed and guess the winning activity...sanitation of my make-up collection. Yes things need throwing out on this path to 100% organic-ness. Some things I have had since A-level and you shouldn't keep any make-up for over a year, some items even less than that. So while I was happily disposing, I came across my highly treasured make-up brushes which cost me an arm, a leg and some more. Slowly I wondered to myself, are these organic or not? So after 5 minutes of aimlessly trying to pinch hairs off the ferrule, I decided to do something smarter and got on good old google. I realised that they ARE organic as they were made from natural animal hair (pony, goat, raccoon and sable). Phewwwwwww. I happily returned to my disposal and then another nagging thought. How on earth did they get raccoon hair? Don't tell me they killed a raccoon just so I can put on a blusher! What about the sable???
So I got back on good old google ...and realised no one ever says how they got the hair they used to make the brushes. I pondered for a bit... then the solution came to me- synthetic brushes! 100% animal -free. Now why didn't I think of that?
I returned to my disposal and annoyingly, another nagging thought. What exactly is synthetic? Again I found myself on google. Synthetic is really toray, taklon or teijin fibres. These fibres are made in factories which emit goodness-knows-what and take forever to degrade!
aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! The fundamental problem - 100% inorganic! Can't a girl get 100% organic cruelty-free brushes? OK I rest my case. No more disposal as I need to go strangle my pillow...
But I do wonder which is better? Organic or cruelty-free?

Monday, 29 December 2008

Stress! Stress!! Stress!!!

I really had no idea how trying starting an organic make-up line is. If you want cheap stuff its easy but otherwise you are in for a ride. Don't get me wrong it is real fun discovering things I never knew were important and learning about chemicals that you need a biochemistry PhD to understand but I'm also a full time medical student learning about dopamine and paracetamol for some exams I will be writing in January, so time is not my best friend and neither is money. Make-up and skin care has always been my thing and I am so frustrated at the lack of range for coloured skin when it comes to natural/organic line that I decided to do something about it. You have to consider a lot of things when producing- what age range, what colour of skin, photography/bridal/occassion etc etc; packaging (which has to be enviromentally friendly); Logo; trademarks; what products etc etc. It's a bit too much for my saturated brain right now but after exams when I have dejunked some useless information, things will really get on track...

Sunday, 28 December 2008



Contact HRP

Everything you read and see on this blog represents my PERSONAL take on things unless stated otherwise and referenced accordingly. It is at your own risk if you decide to try anything I've said or recommended. If you have a problem with something I have put up on my blog please email me about it -
  • If you want to book an appointment with me for any make-up or skin consultation, please fill out this form and I will get back to you. You need to be within 40 miles of Leeds.
  • If you'd like to request a face chart or a look, send an e-mail to and use the subject 'Request'
  • If you are a manufacturer and want me to review/try/carry your products, email and use the subject 'Trial'
I am more likely to try products that are natural, pigments, brushes, from a UK brand, or made for women of colour.
  • If you want to write an article for the blog, email and use the subject 'Article'
  • If you are looking to do the kind of things I do and would like some advice/ mentorship, email and use the subject "Mentor'
  • If you are contacting me about anything else, email and use the subject 'other'

About HRP

Hi there,

My name is Mariya and I am 15 years old! No of course not, I am older but I look and sound like a teenager for some strange reason. I still get ID'd to buy paracetamol and was once refused a 12A movie till I went to get an 'adult'!

I live in UK but I am originally from Nigeria. I am truly from a royal family, but there's quite a number of them in Nigeria so it's no biggie (unless I'm home of course).

I absolutely love everything colourful. I got into beauty about 4 years ago and did bits and pieces of skin care and make-up training. I eventually took it seriously late 2008/ early 2009 and decided to take a proper course, especially in bridal make-up. It cost me a considerable amount of money but I have a 'qualification', and learned some technical/professional tips. I would have loved an NVQ but I just haven't got the time, and you honestly do not need it anyway to be a great make-up artist. All you need is an open mind, some colours and brushes and a desire to learn. I have always had a knack for art, and I did a lot of that right from my early years.
Putting a make-up kit together was not easy financially, physically, emotionally, you name it but there are companies out there that will help you, and if you have a blog or put up Youtube tutorials they will send you stuff to try/use. I'm lucky I have a powerful support network called family, who I love to death.
I am a pigment person, I love being able to make my own custom colours. Most of my make-up is natural/mineral make-up but there is the odd cosmetic pigment, waterproof mascara, colour corrector etc that I have not found a natural/mineral replacement for. As soon as I can I will put a few pictures of my kit.

As far as brands are concerned, all my bases (foundations) are from Jane Iredale (JI) and ID (bare escentuals). Most of the products are from JI, ID, Facefront, Becca, Naked, Obsessive compulsive cosmetics. Other brands in there are EFNY, Graftobian, MAC, Youngblood, Make-up forever, Artistry, Urban decay, Guerlain, Tarte, Smashbox, Stila etc. Artists have to be versatile you know. The best way to get hold of products is to go to trade fairs (usually between 10-40% discount)!
I have a lot of brushes! That will have to be a blog post of its own.
When it comes to skin care, for me Artistry is second to none. For the natural range I like to go with Aveda.
I am not a fan of animal cruelty and I support fair trade and sustainable products where possible.

Aren't you tired already? OK read on...

I do have a life outside of beauty. I have just completed a BSc in Clinical Anatomy in 1 year (I dunno what I was thinking!) and am looking forward to completing my MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) in March 2010. It does take up a lot of time, I'm sure you know medicine is quite demanding but the idea is not to let it take over your life, as with any other career. Once I'm done with my internship, I plan to take a break and get on with my beauty craze. I hope to make my own brand, which will be a natural range specifically for women of colour. Nothing is more annoying than the constant struggle to find the right foundation shade!
Other than that I love travelling and sight seeing, watching cartoons and comic- movies, cooking and reading. I read inspirational/motivating/knowledge books. The only other ones I read are Islamic books and Harry Potter (how ironic right?). Every now and again my subscriptions- Sisters, Marie Claire, Black Beauty, Makeup artist magazine, Professional beauty, Lakeland, British Medical Journal, Amagram, Wedding Ideas- come through the post and make my day a little more interesting :)

I'm one of those people they call a Lohasian and it pays off, helps me sleep at night without nytol.

I'd love to hear from you. It's OK to ask me questions or request looks/face charts or advice. I will endeavour to answer them even if I do not do so promptly because I may be busy.

Stay beautiful...
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