Monday, 19 October 2015

When you don't look gay enough to go to a gay club...

This isn't the usual type of content I post on here, and I was in two minds whether or not to publish this post. However, it's something that has really affected and annoyed me so I think if something evokes that kind of feeling, it should be talked about.

I'm talking about an incident that I was involved in last weekend at the Kremlin Nightclub in Belfast. I'll set the scene...

I was out with a group of 6 friends to celebrate my 24th birthday. We had been planning to head to the Kremlin as it was one of my favourite clubs in Belfast and I've had lots of really good nights there. After a round of drinks in Union Street,we approached the club and showed the door staff our entry stamps which we had been given from members of their Promo Team further up the road.

The door staff advised that we couldn't come in because it's "Regulars Only". If it was a Regulars Only night, why were the promo team out trying to bring people in and giving out stamps? There had to be more to it than "Regulars Only."

I asked the doorman outright if this had anything to do with the way I looked. He wasn't even able to look me in the face, never mind answer my question.

The Kremlin advertises itself as a "Safe Space" for the LGBTQ community and a place which represents equality, tolerance and acceptance.Why then, do they feel that they have the right to decide if someone is "gay enough" to attend based on how they dress, speak or behave?

For someone who identifies as LGBTQ, this can be extremely damaging and isolating. It is difficult enough to understand and accept your own sexuality without facing further discrimination from within the LGBTQ community itself because you don't conform to stereotypes. Your identity is YOUR identity. No-one has the right to undermine that because you don't look the way society assumes that you should.

I know that door policies in gay venues are a contentious issue but there is a word for door policies that exclude people from a venue for no other reason than for who they are or are perceived to be, and that word is discrimination. Something that the LGBTQ community, especially here in Northern Ireland, have been trying to fight against for years and years.

As I've spoken with other people about this incident, I've been stunned by the number of people who said straight away "That happened to me too" and "I've seen that happen before." This clearly hasn't been an isolated incident and it needs to stop. I've also had a look at some of the reviews on the Kremlin Facebook page, which listed a number of incidents similar to mine and also people who had gone to the club after seeing their events advertised around the city, only to be told they're "Regulars Only" at the door. Again, why advertise these events if they're not open to the public?

I think that it's a real shame that the "premier gay venue" in Ireland have started to partake in the discrimination that they claim to be fighting against and I, for one, will not be back.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Cohorted Beauty Box - October 2015

This month I got my first ever beauty box by Cohorted. I've been trying to get my hands on one of these for months but the box has been sold out by the time I’ve got my pre-order in. This one isn't a subscription service, you literally have to fight for your box each month! Cohorted has become extremely popular over the last year due to the price of the box and the fact that you get 5 full sized, high end products in each one. Beauty boxes are a great way to add some higher end products to your collection without breaking the bank.

My box cost £19.99 and holds a retail value of £65.99 so you're only paying about 1/3 of the price of buying each product individually. The packaging is beautiful. The box is tied by a ribbon and full of black paper shreddings which the products are ever so slightly buried under. I'm a sucker for packaging so this ticked all the boxes for me.

I really like this card that comes with it, it explains everything that's in the box and outlines the retail value of each products. I was really impressed that a few of the products on their own nearly cost the same as the box itself!

Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser


I had never used Bare Minerals products before so I was very excited to try this one out. And I was not disappointed! This cleanser is so gentle on my skin and leaves it feeling soft and hydrated. It's really good for taking off excess make-up too. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with dry or sensitive skin as my skin always acts out with new skincare products but with this one, so far so good!

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipgloss in Hypnotist 

At first glance, this lipgloss looks super-scary. It leaves a peachy tint to your lips and because it's holographic, it shifts to slightly gold in the right light. It's quite long-lasting too. I don't usually wear lipgloss on its own, so I paired it with MAC's Candy Yum Yum lipstick (matte hot pink shade) and it looked amazing. It has a tingly feel which ever so slightly plumps your lips and it has a minty taste. 

Ciate Nail Varnish in Serendipity

I love this because it's so Christmassy. It takes about 3 coats to get full nail coverage but once it's on, it's on. It can equally be used as a top coat, especially against black varnish to give a look a bit of sparkle!

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin

I was dubious about this one, because it looks like it has the same texture as my least favourite skincare product, Nivea Creme. However, once this is on your skin, it sinks in like a dream and leaves your skin feeling really soft. I thought it was a bit risky putting a product for dry skin in a beauty box, as obviously that doesn't cater for everyone, I just struck lucky because I do tend to have dry skin!

Peter Thomas Roth Lashes To Die For Mascara

I was really pleased to receive this product because mascara is something that you're always going to need. I know you shouldn't open mascara before you intend to use it in case it dries out, but curiosity got the better of me this time as this is a brand that I had never heard of, let alone used before. I found this mascara lengthens and separates my lashes really well, no clumping here! It lasts all day and has a brush similar to my trusty Seventeen Falsifeye mascara. It's long-wearing, smudge-proof AND it gives a lovely curl to your lashes.

Overall, I think I will get use of all the products in my box. Personally, I would've liked 5 items from 5 different brands (as you can see, 3 of the products were from Bare Minerals) and perhaps just one skincare item. But for that price, I can't be too picky.

Unfortunately, this was the last non-subscription box from Cohorted. They have now launched a number of new subscription boxes including specific hair and skin care boxes. These are going to cost £35.99 which is pretty pricey but it would appear that they're going to increase the retail value of each box to semi-compensate. I'm going to wait and see what products are in the first few boxes before I commit to such a large monthly spend. 

If you have any beauty box recommendations, please leave a comment below or tweet me @MsMegan91 . Also let me know what you think of the Cohorted October box if you got it and if you're going to be joining their subscription service.