Millennials and the Media

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Today at work I attended an event to celebrate International Women’s Day called How To Extend Content Reach to Women Ages 16-25. This was a big talk hoping to enable people of older generations to get ‘down with the kids’ and understand why we like social media so much.

The whole time I was sat in the audience listening to experts on outreach and consumerable content to my age group, I couldn’t help thinking, ‘yeah you’re kind of right, but you’re also a bit old to get it too’. I mean these women – who are by far some of the best in their field – most of them weren’t even that much older than my age demographic, and not to exclude the male on the panel too – were probably all just shy of 40.

But that’s all that’s needed in an age gap for people to either completely understand – partially understand – or just not understand at all, however hard they try.

So why are we as an age group so reliant on social media and consumable content? Personally, I do actually think that this is dependent on regions too. For example, I think if I lived at home in Manchester with my parents still and worked at Topshop still like I did when I was 16-18, then still at the age of 24, my content consumption would be different. I wouldn’t be seeking the reassurance of coping with living in London, the anxiety behind looking for my next job or even the kind of content I share to make myself look like a) my degree was worth it and I’m smart, b) I’m fun, kooky and laid back and c) I’m unique and different to everyone else. And we all lie to ourselves, because we all do it. Every single one of us.

Social media in particular has become this breeding ground for narcissism and even writing this, I have to make sure that I reiterate the phrase I constantly have to tell myself which I read somewhere a few years ago (ironically probably on Instagram) ‘Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s showreel’. And it’s so true, along with ‘Don’t believe the things you tell yourself late at night’. As a demographic, we have become to intense and complicated and multifaceted that we are actual subjects on actual studies about our actual thought processes behind how we use social media. When you separate yourself from the context of this…doesn’t it all seem a little mad?

I occasionally use emojis, I can read a daily mail showbiz article or two/three/seven before I go to bed, and I can scroll through Kylie Jenner’s Instagram wondering whether it’s ok to think that an 18 year old has a nice butt? But it doesn’t mean that I’m not reading a really interesting book about character analysis or that I aspire to be like Kim Kardashian. And this is the slight point that not only are middle aged people trying to understand us online are missing, it’s the point that we are the first generation who cannot be cornered into one group of content consumers, because content is so diverse and also SO available, meaning that whilst I’m tweeting about Pretty Little Liars, I’m writing a document about Workhouses and the Poor Law Act of 1834.

What the media middle agers need to now do is respect these differences and use it to make their content even more distinctive, and allow our responses as the targeted audience to do the talking. This makes it into a cycle of creating and consuming content specific to requirement.

Young people use the internet and social engagement to learn to be ourselves, and play with our identities. We don’t need to be pigeon holed, because no pigeon is the same.

 

Beauty Bible: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

I got the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer for Christmas and I haven’t gone a day without using it. I seriously have used it when all I’ve done is go to the corner shop from my mum’s house, which is about a 2 minute walk…maximum.

I heard about this in 2012, and I remember thinking ‘PAH primer, my skin will manage to work it’s way through that’ as I always get a oily T zone whether I slap on talcum powder before foundation or if I strap a baby fan to my face all day. I’ve been using a Rimmel Stay Matte Primer for the past year, and I’ve got to say, it has if only psychologically improved my opinion of my oily T zone…

So, anyway, I have a friend with totally different skin to me that swears by this and I was skeptical but, I have to say this is one of my favourite primers I’ve ever used. It’s not greasy when you put it on, it doesn’t have a strong smell. It doesn’t make your face tacky at all, and it sits really comfortably underneath my foundation. And the best thing…it lasts all day. It actually does.

I had a day of work at 9am, dinner with a friend and the cinema, returning home at 11.30pm, so I’d had my make up on since 7.30am that morning, so that’s 15 hours without even as much as a powder application. I nearly burst into tears when I realised how well it had lasted, it’s a problem that’s plagued me ever since I started wearing make up, which is annoying because I have dry skin EVERYWHERE else so why such an oily T Zone though? And this primer hadn’t dried out my skin, it hadn’t caked around my nose at all. It made me feel photo ready and photo finished all day – and that is a winning formula for me.

Overall rating: 10/10

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TV Review Week 1: Coronation Street

So I work in TV, but don’t actually get that much time to watch it, unless I don’t want to socialise with friends or you know..sleep. But I thought considering I do work in the industry, I should begin by generously spreading my opinion of TV, both good and bad….and this week, the nation’s favourite…Coronation Street was my pick.

*

“So I felt guilty about not seeing my parents recently, so I trudged home to Manchester to eat everything in the cupboards and relish the fact that I wasn’t commuting anywhere for at least 3 days.

I had some time to kill before seeing some friends from home and getting drunk in the pub that used to serve me when I was 16 and so I have to pretend that I’m at least 25 and haven’t only been out of uni a year, so I found myself watching Coronation street with the rents.

Coronation Street, Corrie, ah whatever you want to call it, is crap. I mean I used to watch Corrie when I was younger and wanted to stay up past 8pm but when I got into my teens, I was more interested in Chris Fountain in Hollyoaks than Sarah Louise’s child growing up and passing their driving test before me. Well since then, I’ve cut off all ties with Chris Fountain, especially since he released that weird rape rap song under a not so heavily disguised pseudonym and I mean word on the street is that Gail Platt is at least on her like 5th husband but yeah, I was bored and full of takeaway pizza so I thought I’d just grin and bear it for half an hour. And boy is that what I did.

So it was Tracy Barlow’s wedding day and she’s marrying this Rob guy who happens to be Carla’s brother, although at first I asked my mum if the secret she was referring to was that they were having an affair, so they’re brother sister relationship was already a bit too incestuous for me at the get go. But no, turns out, sneaky Rob killed Tina! Tina, the poor lovely Tina! Tina who was played by Michelle Keegan, who is engaged to Mark Wright of TOWIE fame, so is also obviously mentally unstable.

Anyway, Tracy finds out that beloved Rob killed poor Tina and naturally in true Tracy Barlow style, goes absolutely mental, starts calling Carla a big fat liar and is royally upset that Sneaky Rob has done a runner from the big day but of course totally 100% adamant that he didn’t have anything to do with Tina’s murder. Hmm…not the sharpest knife in the ol’drawer are you Tracy? Then again, your mum is Deirdre after all…

After much toing and froing, and hmms and some shots of people looking devastated and literally saying lines like ‘I’m devastated’, we are shown the delights of simply how bad the acting in Coronation Street is. The tone in which most characters were saying their lines was more cringey than a Year 11 drama class and really gave fellow cringe factor shows like Doctors a run for their money. At points I think I would have rather have been watching the sweat on the palms of someone on Dickinson’s Real Deal than Fizz make another gasp and Tyrone give everyone in the room side eye as his mechanical brain tries to work out what he’s going to order from the chippy.

When I watched Corrie back in the day, Les was constantly toing and froing with Janice and Richard Hillman was being the sneakiest man on the block, and there were actual story lines like Sarah Louise’s shocking barely-even-a-teen-pregnancy and Todd getting it on with that bloke we don’t remember the name of and showing the nation the first on screen gay kiss.

Nowadays it’s still being ruined by Tracy Barlow’s massive gob and Sally Webster’s inability to keep her knickers on. I’ll rate this particular episode a 4/10. Too many shots of the inside of Tracy Barlow’s wide mouth and not enough Steve Macdonald.”

 

*Thank you to the kind soul on The Huffington Post that supplied the creepiest/funniest image of Ken Barlow to date.

Next week’s review will be on the recent venture ‘Glue’, written by the talented Jack Thorne and produced by Eleven Film.

Beauty Bible: Elizabeth Arden Smokey Eyes Powder Eye Pencil

Now this little cheeky was a freebie from when I had a terrible facial at the Oxford Street store. I complained and I complained, and I chased and I tweeted about the treatment or lack of treatment that me and my friend received when we booked our facials at their store.

Anyway, kindly, the team at Elizabeth Arden sent me some lovely gifts to say sorry and the Smokey Eyes Powder Eye Pencil was one of them. Now I’m not really a smokey eye kind of girl. I have been known to black my eyes a bit too panda-like in the past, and when my dad made a comment about my sister (bless her) having ‘two black eyes’ from her overuse of eyeliner…it made me think just how easy it is for it to go wrong.

I normally stay away from eyeliner in the day time, and leave it to dramatise my eyes at night. I’ve never been one of those girls who can pull off a heavy look in the day, damn you grunge look, why don’t you like me? But with the arrival of this beauty (and expensive beauty, it retails at around £18) I thought why not give it a go.

I put a slight bit in the corners of eyes and smudged with the foam applicator at the other end of the brush, and considering I’d not lined my whole eyes, the effect already was pretty dramatic. I got asked at work if I was wearing more make up than usual by several colleagues and I did feel slightly self conscious that I may have entered the realm of ‘ho make up’ for work…

After a few hours, I forgot about it, and bloody rubbed my eye didn’t I! Well just as well because upon going to the bathroom, I realised that the ‘powder’ part of this pencil product was just that and it had flaked underneath my eyes, leaving me as panda-ry as ever. It’s such a shame because this light wear and tear has put me off using it for nights out now where I’ll be dancing and getting sweaty. I don’t want the fear of my eyeliner running down my face like someone on E in the Hacienda in 1991. Those are just not the vibes I’m going for. Overall I don’t rate this product and definitely not for the hefty price. Like I said, I’m not a regular eyeliner user, but for the products I have used, I’ve found cheaper ones like Collection 2000 and Miss Sporty have had better staying power than this ‘powder’ version.

Overall rating: 2/10

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The Worst Facial I Have Ever Recevied

I’d never been for a facial before – and Yasmin decided to treat me to one at Elizabeth Arden…posh right?

I’d been tweeting about it all week and finally, last Tuesday the day arrived! I practically legged it out of work and found myself out of breath but fresh faced and raring to go at the House of Fraser Oxford Street store. Yasmin had a slight face on her as I approached and I wondered why…but instead of relaying to you, here’s the email I forwarded to the Elizabeth Arden Customer Service team…be warned.

“Dear Customer Service Team,
So on Tuesday 29th July, myself and a friend came to your Elizabeth Arden stand at the House of Fraser on Oxford Street. My friend had purchased two vouchers off the site ‘wowcher’ which entitled us to a 60 minute facial, makeover and goodie bag.
Upon arrival, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to have the treatment together as planned because there had been a mix up with the bookings and we were made very aware that one of your beauticians ‘Rachel’ was having to stay later than her shift in order to accommodate for us. Her other colleague, who was much ruder than Rachel, informed us of this mix up like it was almost our fault, and that they were doing us a favour of staying behind. We were also told that the treatment would only last 45 minutes because of this mix up, annoyed at this as we had booked for 60 mins, we just agreed as we were really looking forward to our first facial experiences.
I was the first to receive my treatment and I must say despite this shaky start, Rachel is obviously a skilled beautician, she was very professional and I really enjoyed my facial. Unfortunately, towards the end of my treatment, Rachel’s colleague, the rude one from earlier, banged so loudly on the door that I jumped out of my skin. She rushed in to moan to Rachel that she ‘needed a fucking break’ and that she was refusing to do the other facial (my friend’s) until she had had one. Well to be honest, by this point, I was gobsmacked. I was quickly hurried out of the room, with not even enough time to put on my jacket which I was still attempting to put on as Rachel’s colleague marched me back towards to the Elizabeth Arden counter.
It was then my friend’s turn for her facial, and as mine had lasted roughly about 40 minutes , I expected hers too do the same. But nope. My friend was back within 20 minutes, and unlike myself was not offered a makeover but was given a goodie bag, which I was not. I had to go back into store, and ask for a goodie bag off a girl from another stall opposite, who then had to go and ask a manager because both Rachel and her colleague had disappeared, leaving the EA stand unattended, seemingly as their shifts had ended.
I understand it is frustrating to be presented with new customers when you are due to finish. I have worked in retail in the past myself, and it’s really annoying, but I would a) never show my annoyance to the customer as the EA reps did (including swearing!) and b) make a customer feel so uncomfortable in a service that they have paid for. I expected more from Elizabeth Arden if I’m honest, and it kind of ruined my first ever experience of a facial.
Thanks for taking the time to read my complaint, I hope you address this customer service issue so it is improved for future customers.
Yours faithfully,
Grace Hetherington”
So what do you think? I said it how it was…and what have I got? Nothing…not one reply…so I’m currently haranguing them via Twitter and Facebook until I’m given an answer….watch this space.

Beauty Bible: Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Mascara

 

I thought I’d do a few little beauty posts here and there since I got a massive haul of make up over Christmas and for the first week, it’s the turn of Scandaleyes mascara by Rimmel.

Now Rimmel was definitely my favourite make up brand when I was 14 and wanted to make my make up look as ‘there’ as possible, but I kind of went off the brand as I moved more towards good skincare and the natural dewy look I’ve been rocking since following Millie Mackintosh on YouTube.

But I was revisiting my high school watch of 90210 on Netflix when THE most obvious plug for the Scandaleyes mascara came on…’Oh Naomi, what mascara are you using there, your eyelashes look incredible!’ (Said Annie who was standing at least 3 metres away) ‘Oh why thanks Annie, the mascara I am using is the Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara…from LONDON’…

Although painstakingly obvious, it sparked the spider lash 14 year old in me to reinvest in Scandaleyes, and see if it lived up to my high school expectation of sky high lashes, no more no less.

I picked the Extreme Black, which is £6.99 from Boots, and made me think, how on earth did I afford to be able to buy that when I was working as a salon assistant for 4 hours every Saturday? Alas, my bank account is not much better off now at the age of 22…

On to the product: From memory this mascara brush was the bomb. It’s long, it’s fat and it has such good coverage. 2014 version, and I think my knowledge of mascara brushes has radically improved. This brush was not as good as I remember, and actually left my eyelashes a bit clumpy.

I also found the formula to be quite gloopy, and when I tried to take it off with a make up wipe (I used boots own cucumber ones) I found myself absolutely murdering my eye to try and get it off…and I hadn’t selected the waterproof version.

One thing that lived up to memory though was the lash extension you can get from this mascara. I used to build my eyelashes coat after coat to get them up to spider lash standard, (blink and make the boys wink you know) but I found just three coats achieved a ‘Wow are they real?’ look without a ‘AGH! That girl has spiders for eyelashes!’ look.

Overall rating: 6/10