An Open Letter to Kat Von D…

“If you don’t know what it’s like to have people around you think you’re ridiculous, try being openly vegan.” – Kat Von D 

One of my earliest memories is being in hospital with a preventable disease. Whooping cough. I can remember quite clearly being in the children’s hospital at just 18 months of age, the bars on the hospital cot seemed so high. I remember my great uncle coming to pick us up and take me home at the end of my stay.

But it is as someone who contracted the mumps aged 21 as a result of an outbreak among the student population  – who were among the main customers at my place of work – that vaccination became an issue close to my heart. This outbreak was one of several at the time directly caused by a decrease in vaccination rates due to Andrew Wakefield’s unethical and outright faked research into the MMR which caused all sorts of scaremongering in the British press. Then prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie refused to say whether they had their child vaccinated which I think had a huge influence on parents at the time, Cherie having connections to known anti-vaccinationists as well as other pseudoscience peddlers. Vaccine uptake among 2 year-olds declined to around 80% in 2003 and 2004. This compares to around 92% in 1995 before the adverse publicity. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends immunity levels of around 95% to prevent outbreaks of disease.

I was born before there was a routine vaccination for mumps in the UK. The MMR was introduced too late for me and no catch up campaign ran at the time because we had been covered for measles and rubella and there should have been herd immunity for mumps thanks to the new vaccine for the younger ones and the older people being made immune by having been infected. It worked perfectly until Wakefield came along with his vested interests in separate vaccines. (There is now a catch up campaign however, if you were not vaccinated for either measles or mumps due to being born before 1990 see here)

My case of the mumps was severe. I ended up in hospital. I was so swollen I physically could not swallow. I physically could not move my jaw to even open my mouth to intake fluids and became severely dehydrated and was at risk of death. I had a temperature that was off the scale. It took many months to fully recover. Mumps, as you may know, can also cause swelling of the gonads (testicles or ovaries) leading to infertility in adult cases, it can cause permanent deafness, it can lead to pancreatitis, meningitis and rarely even death.

A few years later I watched a 12 month old, too young to be vaccinated, suffer needlessly through a case of rubella. I had never seen rubella, or ‘German measles’ as it’s often known, before. I bet you have never seen it either. It’s quite minor by comparison to regular measles- well unless a pregnant lady catches it at which point it can wreak havoc on her unborn baby.

So Kat, if you really think you have problems being “openly vegan”, whatever that means, perhaps you should try being disabled, openly trans, openly Muslim, Jewish or black. Perhaps you should try being at risk of death from an entirely preventable disease because of the stupidity of your own parent.

No Longer Supporting KVD Cosmetics

This was going to be a post about the 10th Anniversary palette, a palette which will be the last thing I will ever purchase from Kat Von D cosmetics and frankly if I lived in the USA I would return it.

There are so many more things I could say, I could go into why anti-vaccinationists are just plain wrong, I could go into the ableism of their ‘movement’ but all of these posts have already been written by other people so I shall just leave a few links at the bottom for anyone interested.

Kath x



Duochromes! Neve Cosmetics Palette

26987971142_d1e1482cb9_oI haven’t tried this brand before but as you know I’m always up for trying new things! Neve are an Italian brand with a few niche UK stockists.
I’ve used a few duochrome shadows including some from Makeup Geek and really enjoy them so when I discovered a palette full of just those I had to investigate!

27032165831_b20ac26a53_zIf you haven’t come across them before duochromes are shadow shades made from two colours so that they appear to change colour when viewed from a different angle or as you move away from a light source.
Duochrome seems to be a word that is only really used in the cosmetic industry for this kind of visual effect, other industries use terms like chameleon or simply refer to colour shift.

There are ten pretty huge (36mm & 3g each!) pans of product in this palette. It retails in

Huge pan size!

the UK with stockists at around £24.95 which is slightly cheaper than the current direct conversion from Euros if you were to buy direct from Neve (33,80 €) – it’s always worth checking these things! Doing the maths in pounds sterling the pans work out at a positively bargainous £2.49 each or €3.38 if you’re using the Euro price.

The palette packaging it’s self is designed to be refillable and is magnetised so should you ever manage to use up one of these babies completely you can simply drop a replacement individual pan straight into the spot.

The Swatches

Top row:


1.’Pioggia Acida’/’Acid Rain’ is a cool green with a gold shift
2.’Utopia’ is a cobalt blue with a pink shift
3.’Fenice’/’Phoenix’ is a warm copper with a slight rose shift.
4. ‘Chimera’ is a purple with a pink and copper shift.
5.’Twilight’ is grey with a glittery bronze shift

Second row:


6.’Mela Stregata’/’Poison Apple’ is a purplish-pink with a green shift.
7.’Abracadabra’ is a cerulean blue with a light green shift.
8.’Polline’/’Pollen’ is a golden yellow with a slight green shift.
9.’Veleno’/’Poison’ is a deep brown with a green shift.
10.’Mezza Estate’/’Midsummer’ is a yellow with a pink shift but mostly looks peach & pink.

I’m very impressed with the pigmentation on these as well as the lovely soft buttery feel. I think you could create a wide array of looks with the varied colour choice although you would need other shadows to work alongside these as they are mainly lid shades with being so sparkly! Handily for those of us that are also into creating lip art some of these beauties are also notable as being lip safe, those shades are 1, 3, 5, 8 & 9 based on my numbering above.

My favourite shades have to be ‘Mela Stregata’ which translates from the Italian as ‘Poison Apple’ and ‘Veleno’ which means ‘Poison’. These are the most contrasting and eye catching of all of the colour shifts in the palette and I can see these ones being used a lot! If you only like a couple of the shades in the palette don’t worry, Neve sell all of their shadows as individual pans too.

Capturing both halves of the colour shift of ‘Veleno’.

The product is produced in Italy, it’s ingredients are completely vegan as well as silicone, paraben and petroleum free for people who choose avoid those ingredients.

Have you tried any products from Neve cosmetics? What do you recommend of theirs if you have?