Sorry for the delay in more blog posts, I've just gone back to work after my lovely holiday and it TOTALLY wiped me out! Not helped by the fact I am still a bit jet lagged.
Normal blogging will resume tomorrow!
Keep reading, lots of love.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Hi ladies, this is my first make-up tutorial so be gentle!
Rather than do it on myself, my beeeauutiful best friend, Georgia was over and so out came the make-up and she was my model. She is just back from a sunny holiday in Gran Canaria (very jealous) and has a gorgeous tan (even more jealous) so I thought it would be great to enhance this with a subtle bronze eye look and some warmth on the cheeks. Personally, I wanted the finished look to be soft and natural looking so we kept the products pretty light because for me this is a holiday evening look and in warm temperatures, you certainly don't want to be caking on the make-up! I have photographed the final look and will list all the products I used to achieve it. If you recreate this look, please send me a link because I'd love to see, and by all means modify it to your own tastes (add liner and lashes, etc). Enjoy!
How beautiful is she?!
Anyway, how to do it..
- Your base. Georgie already had foundation on from earlier that day so prime and apply your base however you would normally. I used MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in NW20 just on any spots and blemishes and buffed it in with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush.
- The eyes. You may want to prime your eyelids prior to using any shadows, etc but I didn't do this on Georgie as she doesn't have particularly oily eyelids. First I applied a white shadow from my BeautyUK palette (see pictures below), available from Superdrug. Any white matte shadow will do. I did a wash of this all over just as a base to neutralise the lid. Then I applied Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Slippin n Dippin (dupe of MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot BTW!) all over the lid. This acts as something for the forthcoming shadows to adhere to but it is also a really nice pinky golden colour that peeks through the bronzey tones! After this I placed a few dabs of Collection 2000 Metallic Cream Eyeshadow in 4 Copper Pot on the outer half of the eye and patted it in with my ring finger. In the crease I then ran a bit of the matte brown colour (see pictures below) from my Virgin Vie Impressionist Colour palette into the crease and buffed this in with a blending brush to get rid of any harsh lines. Again, feel free to substitute this for any matte brown you own! This creates some depth and also gives the look a smokey edge. In the outer corner of the eyes, I put a small amount of the shimmery brown colour in my BeautyUK palette and again blended this out. I also ran a small amount of this along the lash line on an Ecotools Slanted Liner Brush as I felt an actual liner would be too harsh for this look. In the inner corner of the eye, I blended in some of the shimmery golden pink colour from my Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes palette and then right in the tearduct area I dabbed a small bit of the golden off-white colour from my Chilli Pepper London palette to brighten up the eye area in general! A few coats of Diorshow mascara and that's the eyes done! Georgie has stunning, full brows and so I felt no need to pencil them in so we left them how they were. However if you have sparse or unruly brows, feel completely free to fill them in or go about your normal brow routine!
- The face. With the foundation, concealer and eyes done it's now time for the face! To get rid of any fall out and also to brighten up the under eye area I buffed in a bit of Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in shade 3 Medium. For the cheeks, I contoured with Bourjois Delice de Poudre and then blended it out with whatever was left on my Real Techniques Buffing Brush so that it didn't look too harsh. On the cheeks, I applied Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy onto the apples of the cheeks and blended it out up into the temples so it just looked like a natural warm flush and over the top of this I applied a small bit of NARS Blush in Orgasm just to give that 'holiday glow'! I set the look with a very light dusting of MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, particularly in areas that the sun would hit so down the nose, chin, etc.
- The lips. To condition the lips I just put a dab of Nivea Lip Conditioner on as it's not overly greasy so won't mess with the lipstick. To 'neutralise' Georgie's lip colour I applied MAC's lipliner in Summerfruit all over the lips and then applied Please Me lipstick (also by MAC) over the top.
& the products I used:
Sooo, what do you think? Will you be giving this look a try? Let me know if you do!
Keep reading, A xxx
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Over the past year or so, a whole host of beauty boxes have appeared online and in magazines, the idea being that you subscribe to whatever ones take your fancy and every month you receive your box full of goodies and sample size products to try before you potentially splash the cash! You may be thinking, "but what if I don't like the products in my box?" .. bad luck I guess, but you could always give the things you don't enjoy to friends and family or put them in a blog giveaway. On the upside, you get to try a load of products from both well known and reputable brands and also from 'up and coming' companies or maybe more high end brands that you otherwise wouldn't have heard about.
One small problem.. which box do you choose? That is my exact dilemma! I've done my research on a handful of the boxes that seem to be the most popular and now I have the difficult choice of which box should I invest my hard earned cash in! Introducing the boxes.....
Glossybox - £10.00 per month (plus p+p)
So Glossybox describes itself as delivering "a mix of 5 exciting product miniatures packed in a beautiful box for you to test at home". They've got one thing right, the packaging is beautiful. The delicate tissue paper wrapping and bow ribbon detail really make the monthly box seem special and something you'd take great pleasure in opening. Another nice touch is the small pamphlet containing information on included products, application tips and beauty tips and tricks. I liiiiiike. As for the products inside? It seems Glossybox ask you to complete a customer profile so they can tailor your box to suit your skin type, skin tone, etc. All very lovely. And with the huge variety of brands that may pop up in your box (we're talking 50+), you are pretty much guaranteed to get something you like. Although the occasional product you don't like may crop up, it's easy enough to palm it off to a friend or family member better suited to said product and the 'positives' of this box such as the huge brand and product variety as well as the gorgeous packaging far outweigh the negatives in my opinion.
Ah Joliebox, of whom joined up with Boudoir Privé in December of last year. Joliebox initially started in France and is now the leading beauty box over there, and now this has expanded to Joliebox UK. Encompassing the 'same chic French flavour' of the original Joliebox, Joliebox UK contains 5 deluxe samples for the customer to enjoy and try out. The box itself is simple and very tasteful, plain black with the JolieBox UK logo emblazoned on the top. This makes it pretty inoffensive to customers of all ages, etc - a universally friendly box if you will. Just as with Glossybox, you receive 5 samples however from the reviews I have read, Joliebox seems more targeted at skincare products rather than cosmetics although this is not to say that Joliebox UK doesn't have some smashing make-up products nestled in there. For me personally, I prefer cosmetics to skin care so out of the two this would not be my box of choice however there are a few more boxes yet to come...
Amarya - £10.00 per month (plus p+p)
So this is one I'll admit I hadn't heard much about until I researched it. Researching the box contents was a bit tricky as the Amarya website was a tad shady on box contents and how many samples it would contain. This put me off a bit from the start but not one to be deterred, I had a looksy on some beauty blogs to see indepth and non bias reviews by paying customers. It appears that the Amarya box usually contains one full size product and 2 or 3 sample sizes. This already seems a bit 'meh' in comparison to the likes of Glossybox which contains 5 sample sizes and the occasional full size product. The packaging is also 'meh' for me. It doesn't have that expensive feel that the afore mentioned boxes do and it is the same price? I don't get that. Unlike the two boxes above, it doesn't have the pretty ribbon and the carefully wrapped tissue paper but a redeeming factor is the (very similar to Glossybox) leaflet with the product details on it. Overall, a nice box but maybe not quite up to scratch in comparison with it's contenders.
Latest In Beauty Box - Price varies (see down below)
Now this one is interesting as Latest In Beauty as a company offer a couple of different options. First is the 'Little Beauty Box' which gives you the opportunity to select three product samples from quite a variety and then you pay for it via text. Weird huh? But very convenient. Now here's the good bit, it's just £1.50 plus your standard network rate. Bargain I hear you say? Bargain indeed. The second option is the 'Themed Box', of which 6 are released every year. They are priced at £4.95 per box including p&p which I think you'll agree is another bargain. Another thing quite different about the Latest In Beauty Box is that you actually have a chance to preview the products that will be in said box before you commit to buying it. Now I don't know about you but I think this is a great idea. Some people like surprises. I am not one of those people and, as much the whole 'blind box' (I'm talking about you Glossybox) thing appeals to me to an extent, the idea of shelling out my hard earned £10 on a box full of products that I may absolutely detest is not one that has me reaching for my bank card. This one would be particularly good for people who have perhaps tried other beauty boxes only to be disappointed and like the idea of seeing what their money will be buying (or perhaps not buying) that month. The only thing that does let this particular box down is that it isn't really much of a box at all, more just a big cardboard envelope although it does have the cute pink shredded tissue paper inside to protect your pretty products from being bashed around. Overall, I think this one would be best for 1) people who don't like surprises (à la me) and also 2) those who don't want to commit to a regular subscription or just fancy treating themselves occasionally.
So the big question is: what box do I choose?
Do you subscribe to any of these boxes? If not, which box would you pick?
Let me know in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, A xxx
I thought I'd share with you my favourite MAC products that I use on a regular basis, if not daily.
All products are available from MAC Cosmetics funnily enough..
(Except the Studio Sculpt Concealer which has now been discontinued! I have an almost brand new one of these that I will sell if anyone is interested. Get in contact if you are. It is NW20.)
What are your favourite MAC items? Do you own any of these?
Thanks for reading, A xxx
Saturday, July 14, 2012
While looking around for new blogs to follow, I stumbled across this competition on the The Discount Coder Blog. Basically the task is to put together an outfit you'd wear for £100. Sounds like an easy task right? I thought so too. It wasn't! There were so many beautiful clothes it was hard to decide, so I just went for a casual outfit that anybody could wear on a daily basis. Blazers are flattering for all sizes and this gorgeous nude/rose pink shade is perfect for spring/summer to add a pop of colour.
Here are the links to all the items:
Let me know what you think of this outfit or if you do your own challenge, send me the link!
What items would you choose?
Keep reading, A xxx
So, finally a post purely about MAKE UP!
And it's a post about my top 5 blushes (incase you didn't already guess).
They are in no particular order but they are the ones I reach for the most. A couple of them are new and rest my old faithfuls! All swatches are below.
1. Rimmel Match Perfection Blush in 001 Light - £5.99 from Boots
2. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Tipsy - $25 from Sephora
I've not had this blush long, I picked it up in my first few days in New York in the Sephora at Times Square and wow, this blush is stunning. A matte coral pink, it looks pretty frightening in the pan i'll admit and it is super pigmented so it's going to last you a while but if you apply it lightly (less is definitely more) you get a wonderful warm cheek colour. I think this blush would definitely work for all skin tones, i'm an NW20/25 and it doesn't look crazy on me but I also think it would look particularly gorgeous on darker skin tones. In terms of texture it is so smooth, it doesn't have that nasty chalky feel that some matte blushes do.. At $25 ( about £16) it isn't super cheap but the quality and the lasting power of this product really speak for themselves and in my opinion, make it totally worth the money.
House of Fraser (although I got mine in Sephora)
The infamous NARS Orgasm blush, a H.G product for many bloggers and gurus. Initially, I was hesitant to shell out the money for this one because I thought maybe it was overhyped. How wrong I was. I swatched this bad boy in Sephora and put it straight in my basket. Amazing with a tan, the shimmer in this blush looks a bit O.T.T in the pan but when applied, it gives a sheer and soft glow to the cheeks - definitely not the glitterball I was expecting, although you may get this effect if you are a bit too heavy handed with it! While it's not cheap, it's another colour that I think would flatter all skin tones. Texture wise it is silky, glides on and blends like a dream. A must have in any make up bag.
I think I picked this up while looking for a blush for my prom make up. I wanted something with a glow to it but wasn't too harsh. A handful of swatches and an hour of dragging my Mum round Boots later, I came across this. When swatched next to NARS Orgasm, the similarities are uncanny. They pretty much have the exact same smooth texture and finish and golden shimmer except this one is slightly warmer. At £3.50 it is an absolute steal and so for any bargain hunters looking for a NARS Orgasm dupe, this is the one for you! You get the same amount of product as you do with Orgasm also. Admittedly the packaging leaves a little to be desired but for £3.50 you can hardly complain! I sometimes wear a touch of this blush over the top of my Rimmel Match Perfection Blush and it's a really nice combo.
Topshop (this one is currently unavailable but they have a few other nice ones so have a look)
Again, this is another one that looks rather scary in the pan but when swatched (see below!) this one is a lovely matte bubblegum pink. The colour pay off is particularly good and I wasn't expecting this given the price of it so a nice surprise. Despite the bright colour, it gives my cheeks a healthy, natural colour and I really enjoy using this blush. Although it is a pressed powder, it doesn't have that chalky and dusty texture that some do. so the application is really smooth and at £6, how can you say no!? (You can't.)
Aaaaaand finally, the swatches!
From L to R: Rimmel, Tarte, NARS, Topshop, Collection 2000
So there you have it, my top 5 blushes and I think a nice mix of colours and textures.
Hope you liked this post! What are your favourite blushes?
Keep reading, A xxx