GOTH -Y WITH KAT VON D

Yep, yet another Kat Von D review enters the blogosphere. I know, you’re probably well aware how amazing her make up line is by now, but there’s a reason so many of us bang on about it. For cruelty free or vegan bloggers it’s just awesome to have a brand with SO many offerings, that in recent years have becoming increasingly easy to purchases online and in stories. There’s no compiling of lists and waiting patiently till you go to America, having to swallow extortionate import charges, or simply hoping/praying you find you way on their PR list. We can be purchasing the products as soon as we fall hard from them on Instagram…which we always do.

While it’s fantastic (and feels great) supporting independent and small businesses when deciding who to feature in our vegan/cruelty free beauty reviews, it’s sometimes nice to feel part of the cool blogger gang, and be able to join them in celebrating a much loved (and bigger) brand. To know for ourselves what the product feels like to apply and how incredible the packaging is in real life etc. It’s also helpful to your readers to talk about brands people can purchase easily on the high street.

I adore looking at the work of the brands official artists and all their innovative and creative looks, and also enjoy seeing beauty bloggers create their own ingenious looks inspired by the work they’ve seen posted on the @KATVONDBEAUTY page. They really are a brand that encourage thinking outside of the box. I think their approach to make up and beauty really inspire people to explore the products and tools they have, and use them in unexpected and unpredictable ways. This is why it’s such an important brand, and why it’s prominence online is so helpful in terms of embracing different types of beauty.

I also think I feel some connection to Kat Von D’s line because if I were ever to have my own products (in my dreams) – whether that be fashion, homeware, beauty, music, or film related – I would be similarly as invested (to the point of obsession) in all aspects of them. Like her I’d want to illustrate my own visuals and create my own fonts, rather than hiring someone else to do them and not feeling like they’ve managed to extract and recreate what’s in my brain accurately enough. I’d want to go to the lab, the factory, the studio (wherever they were testing that given product) and make sure everything was being done as thoroughly and ethically-sound as possible. I’d want my product to reflect me and almost be an extension of who I am. I’d like it to stand out and bring something new to the market, and I’d put in every effort to make sure it was so personal to me that it’s uniqueness was guaranteed. If it’s something that had a range of colours/styles/sizes I’d want to ensure I catered to everyone – I’d want it to be as inclusive as possible.

Kat’s also someone who has carved out a career that manages to combine both art and music, which has also been my ultimate goal too.

In short, her brand is a great benchmark for many creatives with a conscience. Although still not perfect (not all products are vegan), it’s clear she’s constantly looking to better her products year on year.

So today I’m reviewing one of her 40 shades of the Studded Kiss Creme Lipsticks. I have to admit that this is my first purchase of this particular product, having dedicated my previous splurges to her iconic Liquid Lipsticks and Eye-Liners. I feel like a lot of us are wanting to return to lipsticks after a few years of exclusive use of matt liquid lipsticks. The formula’s seem to have improved, as have their colour ranges and finishes, so we have our favourite shades and textures covered in these compact and traditional lippy packages again. Although traditional isn’t what you’d necessarily associate with Kat Von D, her packaging always adding edge, albeit very classily, to straightforward or recognisable products – in this case the allover glossy studding.

Does it Slay?

As I say throughout this blog, her packaging is ALWAYS badass – the absolute coolest. I’m torn slightly on one thing though. If I’m spending a bit more on lipstick, I like it to have a satisfying weight to it. Quite often they’ll be made in a metal to achieve that luxury feeling of heft. With the outer packaging made of plastic it’s very light-weight – which is great for someone like me who already carries bags that create shoulder dents – but it lacks the decadence a metal one would deliver. Knowing Kat’s thought processes though, there is probably a very good reason for that. I love the 3D text on the lid and the embossing on the actual lipstick itself, those details really do excite us beauty bloggers!

The lipstick has a very subtle but very yummy aroma to it, a slightly buttery almond smell. It glides on to the lips with ease, there’s no drag too, which helps you achieve a nice and accurate coverage. To get the level of saturation I was after I put on a couple of coats – I didn’t want to see any hint of my real lip colour peering through. It felt creamy and not at all drying. It lasts pretty well too, but a touch up with be required after a drink.

Slay that Slayer

Sometimes taking off very dramatic make-up like this can be a bit of a lengthy process. It will spread and smear across the face. You’ll go through different visual transformation on your way to cleanliness, that are quite terrifying to witness via the reflection staring back at you, and via the remnants on your cotton wool balls, face wipes, flannels and muslin cloths. They’ll be morning- after 90’s grunge, hungover clown, spaghetti Bolognese stain face. I found it incredibly easy to remove though, particularly considering the density and darkness of it’s colour (is black a colour, I never know..). I found that if I put my finger under my cloth and a ball of my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish on it, and then directed it to just my lips, the product shifted pretty much straight away. If done super carefully, I could have left the rest of my face make up in complete tact. Even done fairly thoughtlessly I was only left with a very temporary pubescent teens moustache effect – one swipe of the damped cloth removed that extremely easily. I was astonished that it was far less resistant that many of the red lipsticks I have similarly tried to remove with minimal mess and destruction to the rest of my make- up. It doesn’t stain your lips or the surrounding skin at all, so if you’re looking to change your look at any point during the day it’s a lot less hassle that you’d think, and evidence of your previous look can be completely removed.

Back to Black

I’m not someone who wears black lipstick a lot, in fact I think I tend to stick to it for fun or themed tutorials, and those days at home where I’m at a loose end at home and experimenting with different looks (till I’ve now using an eye liner to achieve the gothic lip). But I do always go back to it. I like how I feel in it when I put it on, even if its not a look I share with the outside world often.

I always think of my lips as rather non-descript. They’re’s nothing special or stand-out about them. They don’t have a defined or particularly luscious or characterful shape – they’re just not a focal point of my face or overall appearance I guess. However, whenever I put on this black lipstick and make sure it’s neatly guided into the corners and curves of the shape I do have, I feel like their status is elevated somewhat. I find myself liking how thin they are, rather than my usual cursing of them  because I actually think I look more Nightmare Before Christmas because of it. I find myself holding my lips differently too, because the black lip tricks me into thinking I’m someone with confidence, because someone that would wear such a dramatic look would have to be right?

Today the black lip was my starter point, and it’s power and oomph pushed me in the direction of going for an impactful eye look too. Recently I have been favouring a fairly neutral, or a glowy gold aesthetic, but today with my coaled up lips, I found myself – much like a ouija board force – moving my hand towards a striking green shade in my eyeshadow palette.

I put several layers of shimmery forest green shade over my lids, a black shadow blended into the outer corner, with a bronze highlighting the inner corner. I didn’t want this to be a ‘pretty’ look, I wanted it to be darkly fantastical, so to ensure it wasn’t looking too gentle and girly,  I used the Kat Von D Tattoo liner to create a thick flick on each eye. I then made sure impact was at it’s highest level by lining the water line with Basket Case, her collab with Greenday’s Billie Joe Armstrong (reviewed on the blog a few weeks ago).

Don’t Label Me

Another reason I love switching up my make up and fashion, via my blog and Instagram, is because I want to reduce the opportunity for anyone to pigeon-hole me. One huge thing I’ve realised as I’ve gotten older is that I absolutely hate labels, and in particular the one’s people choose to put on me (because more often than not I don’t think they represent me, or only just scratch the surface of one part of who I am). I don’t like how they can confine you, create barriers, or limit you in some way. I don’t like how one person’s idea of who they think you are could mean you wouldn’t be considered right or a good fit for something. I don’t like assumptions being made based on one small part of who I am. I also don’t like the idea that anyone thinks they have a handle on who I am in my totality, based on a collection of small observation they may have made over time without me realising. What if they’ve missed the things that represent me more accurately. What if they only remember some of the stuff I’ve posted (maybe the bad stuff), and think that captures me perfectly? I could go on about this for ages, so I’ll wind my neck in now. Like I’ve said many times before, it’s ok to be a walking contradiction, to subvert stereotypes, and to make it hard for people to put neatly in a box. I genuinely can’t think of anyone I know who fits neatly into one scene/group/style, so don’t ever change yourself just to make it easy for people.

When I talk about my eclectic style and how sometimes it’s effected by my mood, people always assume that on my grumpy or low days I will go for an edgier or more gothic look. Sometimes on those days (if i can muster to do my make up/washing at all) I will actually go for a lighter or more traditionally ‘pretty’ look. Sometimes when I wear an all black outfit, or my more overtly foxy pvc trousers, I won’t do the obvious and pair with a similarly sexy or dramatic make up look, I may feel like want to do the opposite with my face. What I’m saying is, you make the rules, and it can be pretty fun to keep people guessing…in many areas of your life.

I know brands will often likely choose to work people who more obviously fit into their aesthetic. They’ll probably choose to reblog though who are closest to mirroring their visuals or the tastes of their founder perhaps (or who have an approach that mirrors their brand mission statement), but if that person doesn’t look like you, it doesn’t mean the brand isn’t for you. Like I said in my last fashion post, don’t always go for the obvious. Yes I love music and art, and have a huge interest in so called ‘alternative culture’, AND I’m currently eating vegan – so of course this brand speaks to me rather seamlessly – but even if it didn’t, KAT VON D’s products would still be a fantastic and wise purchase for me. Plus I know to many people who take me and many of my instagrams as an accurate guide of who I am, may not think of me as the typical Kat Von D poster girl either, despite my feeling towards the brand. It doesn’t matter people…a good product is a good product, and you can be whoever you wanna be, whenever you wanna be it.

The Kat Von D ranges have so many colours that their will always be a shade for you – just because it’s KAT VON D you don’t have to go for the edgiest or more out-there shades. She actually offers some of my favourite, what I call every-day shades. Although that term should probably be de-bunked too, because every single shade should be every-day if YOU want to wear it.

Talking of her less dramatic colours, I think Lovecraft and all the Lolita shades of these lipsticks are next on my wish-list.

So if you’re someone that likes a certain type of classic sophistication and lady-like style and haven’t previously been instantly drawn to the more classy- alt stylings of Kat Von D, I urge you to treat yourself to some products and expect to be won over. The application and results are obviously the most important thing, and with her products your unlikely be disappointed. Plus, variety is the spice of life.

If like me you get instant heart eyes whenever you see any of the brand’s beautiful original hand-drawn designs on the cardboard packaging, or when you gaze over it’s incredible colour options and ingenious design, then I thoroughly recommend treating yourself to one of her Studded Kisses.

I should have known. I like studs, I like kisses…s0 what’s was not to like?!

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