Thursday, 24 October 2013

October Mash Up

This month has seen the temperatures drop and the re-emergence of the COLD weather. As I type this I can hear the howling of the wind and the rain tapping on the window. Inside it's hot. The central heating is on full whack. My skin feels tight and despite the radiating fire in the corner, I still  feel cold. It's going to be a long winter.

For another month I have resisted from wearing much makeup at all, concentrating on sheer textures and getting that healthy glow. Finding soothing moisturisers and face masks that calm my irritated skin, slapping on the dark polish and having a obsessive affair with REN and Soap and Glory.

I have also been enjoying my NARS adult content palette and this month and giving myself that little bit more of a chiselled contour, went a bit crazy on the concealer hauling and enjoyed rummaging through my jewellery box.

In regards to my "October Favourite" products, I have to mention the products which I have used, basically, every day: The  Laura Mercier Bonne Mine trio palette, which has been an awesome travel companion and is so easy and fuss free, and the Laura Mercier Oil free Tinted Moisturiser:

Despite not giving the tinted moisturiser a glowing review, I did end it by saying: "...hopefully one day the penny will drop and I'll go "wow". Hopefully to be continued." And that day has come. It wasn't a quick hit it was a slow realisation that, actually, I have been wearing this everyday and my skin looks great (even without a glowing primer). It doesn't cake, I've learnt to use it with my fingers and I'm satisfied with it's over all performance. And my shading issues that I raised? Well, it doesn't seem to be a problem at all. In answer to my own question? Yes I am nuts... because I feel like its a great colour match after all.

I hope your October was swell... Oh and "Happy Halloween" too... See you in November!! xoxo

Special Effects Makeup: Cuts and Bruises

If your stuck on Halloween costume ideas check out how to create a simple Zombie or a Wednesday Addams Makeup look. However if you want to go with something more macabre, with cuts and bruises, read on. The techniques I will describe can be applied to a number of different looks: such as the cut mouth when creating the Joker, to create gory fang wounds on a vampire look, a long slash across the neck for a beheaded victim such as a gory Mary Antoinette or Anne Boleyn, or a bare knuckle boxer... Apply it to what you like. Enjoy xox
  • Mehron SynWax (doesn't need spirit gum to stick) If you do not have any moulding wax use eyelash adhesive.
  • Palette Knife, bread knife would do.
  • Vaseline
  • Fake blood (Kryolan does light and dark blood. I have dark but light would be great for superficial wounds) You can also use a classic shade of red lipstick, mixed with a cream black eyeliner, to create a dark blood affect.
  • Black cream product. I use a black cream eyeliner
  • Blue, yellow, red, black and white powder or cream (you can create any colour with these colours, so don't get bogged down with trying to find the perfect shades as you can create them yourself)
  • Old brushes (SFX makeup has the potential and ruin brushes. Don't use your good ones)
  1. With your palette knife, cut out a small amount of moulding wax. You need less than you think. You can see in my image that I have used too much. Because of which I could mould down the wax. The more seamless the edge is, the more realistic the wound will look.
  2. Apply the wax to the skin. Put Vaseline on the palette knife and your fingers at this point. As you manipulate the wax this will prevent it from sticking to your fingers. Remember to try and make your edge as seamless as possible.
  3. With the palette knife, create a cut and widen as you want it. Make it as jagged or as clean as your look requires it.
  4. fill the gap in with a black cream (eyeliner) to hide any skin and to make the cut more authentic later on.
  5. start the bruising. Around the wound you need your bruise to be strong and to look fresh. A fresh bruise is dark blue/purple so dust black around the wound. On top add red and on top of that a blue to create a deep purple. Play about. As your bruise goes further on, create a yellow/green bruise using a base of blue and top with yellow.
  6. Add fake blood in the wound and around it. Be sure to dribble the blood if your look requires it. Use as much as you need for your look.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Chisel those Cheekbones

Sculpting your face transforms your look from ok to pro. It's my favourite part of putting on my makeup. Whereas bronzers should be applied to the top points of your face to add warmth to your face, sculpting/contouring powders should be applied to the low points of your face and areas which you wish to look smaller. When you highlight an area of your face, your bringing it forward and it stands out. By shading in a feature, your making it appear more shrunken in. Therefore you normally shade under your cheekbones to give them definition, either side of your nose to make it appear thinner, across the forehead to make it look smaller too and so on and so forth, Where you contour varies on what feathers you wish to detract attention from.

My only cream contour shade is my Illamasqua cream pigment in hollow. It gives a super natural shading to the skin and once you warm the product up it blends beautifully. I would only recommend this for fair to medium skin tones as it is rather light and would perhaps be too light if your skin tone was darker.

My most frequent contour product of choice is the Sleek contour kit in Light. This is really cheap and is a great product to shade and illuminate the skin (note the highlighter). This gives a great neutral contour to the skin. It's a warm brown and gives an effortless natural contour. If I'm after a very strong contour look , i look no further than my MAC pans Coquette and (for an even stronger contour) Brun. These cool toned shadows are the perfect shading tools for a more editorial look and is great for hollowing out your features for halloween. I use these with a light hand at the corners of my cheekbones for an extra lift.

if your not one for shaping and shading your face when doing makeup then I highly suggest you pop down to Superdrug, buy a sleek contouring kit and get busy. You'll never turn back! Thanks for stopping by xoxox

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Because Winter Hates your Face #3

It suddenly got cold!! So be prepared to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated. Starting with the basics: There's nothing nicer than soothing sore, wind swept, skin with a lush Emma Hardie Cleansing balm, which also doubles up as a face mask. Or for more sensitised skin: a lush REN cleansing milk which soothes whilst it cleanses. Pampering your skin too with face masks at least once a week keeps your skin glowing. My winter faves are Dermalogica skin hydrating masque and REN's glycolactic renewal face mask (despite being a tad harsh on the skin it really does bring the glow the next morning.) My top moisturiser of choice at the moment (the minute the temperature dropped to single digits) is the Charlotte Tilbury's Magic cream. This thick cold cream type formulation feels so luxe on the skin and wakes your skin up a treat. And voila! With your skin care sorted you take winter in your stride. For more winter skin saviours check out volume one and volume two in the "because winter hates your face" series. xoxo

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Introducing REN, Freebees and Marks and Spencer's Beauty Hall

Last year my Local Marks and Sparks went through a refurbishment and reopened with a brightly lit beauty hall showcasing exotic beauty brands; the likes of which I have never seen before: Skyn, Nuxe, Formula, H2O, Mulad.. They all have one thing in common: they are pricey - This is premium skincare and I was intrigued. This summer I have only really started spending time in there and I wanted to try something. I decided to buy a REN eye gel. It has since become my favourite Eye care product ever and with a faint recollection of beauty bloggers raving about their Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask I was suckered back in. After umming and aweing between H2O, Murad and Skyn's freebee offers for about 46 minutes I decided on the REN freebee. Basically you need to buy 2 REN products and you get a REN clean skincare makeup bag with 6 samples to try out! A Rosa Centura Cleansing gel 25, vita-mineral day cream15ml,  frankincense revitalising night cream 15ml, Glycolatctic Radiance Renewal Mask 15ml, Morrocan Rose Otto Body Lotion 50ml and a Morrocan Rose Otto Body Wash 50ml. To get this bag of joy I purchased the Rosa Centifolia 3 in 1 cleansing water and the Hydra-Calm cleansing milk for sensitive skin. I'm very excited to test this lil haul out and give the low down on them all at a later date. If you haven't experienced a Marks and Spencers beauty hall yet I highly suggest you do. But be careful it's not cheap in there. x

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

YSL touch éclat et al.

My concealer purchasing has been building up to a crescendo. After one too many complaints from friends that my concealer was too flaky I decided to go down the liquid concealer route. I went the low road through Superdrug, stopped off in Wilko, and ended up in Debenhams!!! Cray Cray...

My first point of call was to get a liquid concealer which matched my faux tanned face! Please refer to Another Beauty Story. Part 2 for more on the whys and where-fore's? I picked up the Rimmel Wake me Up concealer. I like this concealer. I think it glides on the skin great and actually gives a healthy luminosity to the skin, the same way as its foundation counterpart does; except it is a thicker consistency. The coverage isn't the best but it's ok.

My second high street concealer wasn't so much fun. And that's the Collection illuminating touch concealer pen. Firstly the print on the pen came off on my hands, staining them most grossly. I therefore took pains to wipe the whole lot off. As a product itself? Well its not the best. It cakes on the skin. It doesn't blend out very well. It dulls the complexion rather than lift it. It doesn't conceal anything and is quite frankly a waste of time. It is the nude pen in the above picture. Look at it well and remember that it is no good. Do not buy!

As the summer dwindled and I got bored of faux tan I found myself in the same predicament: Flaky spots! So on a trip for toilet roll or Dettol or something in Wilko and I happened to pass a Maybelline stand (and the Fit me liquid in 105 fell in my basket and kept me company on the way home). Again I like the packaging. It's probably my favourite out of the three high street concealer offerings and I think has the best coverage too. However this doesn't blend into the skin very well either. You can see it on the skin and in harsh light isn't very flattering. My biggest qualm with this is that the colour is off. The Maybelline fit me line is split into three groups of dark, medium and light. And within these groups are cool toned and warm toned products. Despite being cool toned myslef I bought the warm toned offering as the cool toned concealer (110) was too dark.What's a girl to do?

A Days later; Loaded with cash on my way to the bank one day I happened upon my local Debenhams. Now it doesn't sell that many brands but it does stock YSL!! Probably my favourite beauty packaging out there. One does like a perusal every now and then. Feeling flash I dropped top dollar on the beauty lover fave and another product which has been on my "to buy" list longer than I can remember (ehem... Laura Mercier TM) The ultimate Touch eclat illuminating concealer pen! I think this comes in 7 shades and I have made the school boy error of picking up 1.5 (which is a tad too dark and too yellow toned for me) rather than 2, which is much lighter and better suited to my skin tone!!! However, despite the shade faux pas, It gives a beautiful subtle luminosity to the skin and it goes without saying that the packaging is BEAUTIFUL. Nothing is ever wrong with YSL packaging FYI. Where this pen shines, though, is that it blends in flawlessly on the skin. It's stunning and undetectable and for me this is where this stands out high above all the other concealers mentioned in this post. Now how do I get round the "no makeup returns" policy of Debenhams and change my shade??? ideas welcome.

Thanks for reading all about my concealer splurge. If you still can't get enough of concealers, though, please check out my other concealer reviews:

The Body Shop lightning touch highlighting pen 
Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer
MAC Studio finish concealer

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Glowing 'No Makeup' Makeup

September was an extremely hectic month which consisted of long working hours and dull and inconsistent skin. My makeup of choice therefore has been a glowing no makeup makeup. I just wanted to spruce up my skin whilst looking as natural as possible, hense the lack of mascara. After my moisturiser I have been slapping on Becca Shimmering skin perfector in pearl. This brings the glow. Then I apply Laura Mercier Oil Free tinted moisturiser in porcelain with my fingers and then buff in with a buffing brush. This gives a nice natural finish to my skin. Using the same buffing brush I apply Laura Mercier Bon Mine Trio. The highlight veil is perhaps too dark to use as a highlighter but I've enjoyed using it as a blush. Then I powder neutrogena translucent powder along my t zone. I open my eyes using my awesome Shu eumora eyelash curlers and then groom my eyebrows with Illamasqua lash and brow gel. GLOWING NO MAKEUP MAKEUP... DONE! 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Autumn Nails: Revlon Colorstay 130 Velvet Rope

Despite the image making my nails look on the raspberry side of things, trust me, this nail polish is the perfect 1940's deep red shade and is the perfect vintage shade to wear coming into the cooler months. On the nails it looks JUST like the shade in the bottle. It's lush, sexy and bang on trend. I was after the perfect red and this was everything I was looking for (I blogged about this in my London beauty Haul at the beginning of the year). The polish lasts well too, however I have put on a slicking of Seche Vite top coat to give it some serious shine. Two coats and I'm away. xoxo

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Another Laura Mercier Oil Free tinted moisturiser Review

The end of the summer saw the purchase of a much longed for product: the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted moisturiser! It has been on my wish list for literally 3 years! It always evaded me as something else was always little bit shinier or it was out of stock! Laura Mercier do 3 tinted moisturisers (normal, oil free and luminising) this one is the purple one and my shade is porcelain. It's £33 for 50ml and in the packaging stakes I rate this highly. It's a chic tube which is travel friendly and hygienic. The porcelain colour is actually a tad dark. Am I nuts? I'm sure I've read reviews that praise this for matching their NW15 skin tone perfectly! I'm darker than that (between NC15-20) and I definitely feel like this is a smidgen too dark for me.

On first application I was deflated. It was just "meh". I felt it dulled my complexion. I don't like applying it with my fingers at all and I feel that it needs lots of buffing in. Despite being a tinted MOISTURISER! I feel like I need to apply a moisturiser beforehand to give the product a bit of slip. The results aren't great but are by no means bad. It has decent coverage and I like it for that. I think it wears ok and with my one true love BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR underneath I'm on to a winner. I warm the product between my fingers before application to help it blend in better too! 

My skin looks good wearing this so it's not a complete failure but it's not wowsers for me. I want it to be so much better than it really is and that's a shame. But what I do like about this tinted moisturiser is that it gives broad spectrum SPF20 sunscreen and helps control oil. I'm not naïve enough to think this will give me ultimate protection all day, but it can't be bad can it? perfect for super oily skinned girls who already have the glow but for my needs I'm not blown away. the luminising tinted moisturiser doesn't come light enough and there's too many negative reports for the normal one to motivate me enough to drop the cash on it. I'll keep using mine though and hopefully one day the penny will drop and I'll go "wow". Hopefully to be continued. X

Saturday, 5 October 2013

September 2013 Favourites

This is a short one but the products I have literally said out loud, in real life, 100% really: "I love you" in the month of September are as follows...

REN VITA MINERAL ACTIVE 7 EYE GEL. I love this stuff and is my favourite eye moisturiser to date. I have only used creams before and they have always irritated my eyes. This stuff is magic. Its a cooling, light weight, gel and a little goes a long way. It's lightly fragranced and soothes my tired AM or PM eyes. I love the chic little tube and pump too. I'm excited to try out more REN products in the future.

SOAP AND GLORY SUGAR CRUSH BODY WASH. This smells amazing and is super moisturising on the skin. What else can I say. It has a creamy limey scent which is an amalgamation of mohitos and cream and is literally a joy to use. The packaging is cool and funky too. I'm itching to buy the sugar crush body scrub as well, which is straight up mohito scented.

BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR. This continues to be loved and is my perfect glowing base! I don't think I could live without this quite frankly and should it be discontinued I'd probably end it all. See my countless reviews and praises HERE HERE HERE HERE and, oh yeah : HERE 

WILKINSON SWORD INTUITION RAZOR. This is the best time saver, leg moisturisation saver, travel favourite and my best friend. Literally there's no need to mess about with shaving gels or nipping your knees with random razors. This balm encased razor is perfection and my perfect shower buddy. I couldn't go back to the old shaver ever.

What were your september beauty faves? I hoped you enjoyed.. xoxo