Sunday, 22 August 2010

Beauty tips and tricks I've learnt this year (so far)

This morning I decided to road test Pixiwoo's tip, using the MAC 224 as an undereye concealer brush. And whaddya know, those girls do know a thing or two about makeup. Suddenly any concealer, however inept, blends seamlessly and works! I used my loathsome Laura Mercier Secret Concealer under my eyes, and for the first time ever, it actually delivered. It still is most certainly not one I'd recommend, but the 224 means I will not be binning it afterall. The 224 is an excellent blending brush but somewhat shapeless and huge for crease work (I have fallen for Louise Young's excellent crease brush instead, which Pixiwoo said was like "the old 224" before it was changed.)

So I have taken this as my cue to collect up other tips learnt along the way so far. And hopefully encourage anyone to share theirs below....? 

 Mascara your lashes downwards before upwards, this covers any eyeshadow fallout you might have incurred, also has the benefit of simaltaneously coating your bottom lashes.

 Only apply powder on areas you need to - i.e cheeks left glowing. Powdered cheeks are so ageing!

 Lipgloss is great as you get older, just be aware of the gruesome ones that do that horrific saliva strand thing ewwwww e.g MAC Underage et al. The ones that never do that are Guerlain (absolute fave). Then Estee Lauder (these seem good so far but are somewhat sticky), Make Up for Ever Full Couleur (not sticky at all), and let's admit certain MAC lipglasses, but be very careful... (their Liberty ones and Style Warrior ones were all safe.)

 Eyelids get greasier and more hooded the older you get. Furthermore, wrinkles start to loom menacingly as you apply your eye makeup. Time to make gel liner your staple. Applying with a brush means less tugging, and tends to stay on far longer than pencils or liquid liners. Cake liner is also good, but less weather proof/gym proof.

 Invest in good brushes. Yes they are boring at first (quickly becomes addictive, mind) and seem like a waste of "makeup money" but they make all the difference. They also can prevent needlessly scratching your face and eyes as you apply products - and they make products go further, thus saving money in the long-term. Eyeshadow applies more vibrantly and foundation is saved by expert application.

 Stationary/ Office supplies are perfect for makeup organising. As TiffanyD on Youtube explained, most makeup does look like stationary so it makes sense. Having makeup organised and depotted helps prevent buying too many dupes. And I refuse to become one of those collectors with dozens and dozens of taupe twins.

 Decide what suits you and never waver. I have finally conceded that red toned eyeshadows will never flatter me. Ditto blue toned lipsticks. MAC Lady Gaga lipstick, I tried so hard to pretend it looked great, and piled on apricot lipgloss... No. And, gorgeous rusty eyeshadows, pinky eyeshadows - I am drawn to the colours but once on my eyelids it's a disaster. If seven people in a day ask "What happened to your eye?" I've realised that means a bad makeup day. Know your limits. I am all for saying "makeup is Art - wear what you want" etc etc, but the reality is more dictatorial.

 Wear appropriate makeup. Similar to the point above, I have realised that sometimes more is less. As you get older, bright eyeshadow has to be carefully managed. Resist the easy mistake to blend upwards. Instead, blend along your natural crease, and bring colour out into a cat eye. Too much colour looks desperate and/or silly. When you are in the flush of youth it looks great, but there is something unpleasant about an old face with too much unnatural colour. Again, I hate admitting these things, but reality, again, must be observed.

What have you to share? Please comment below with any useful beauty ideas........

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Boots Limited Edition - impressed!

No I didn't get these for free... Although, Boots No.7 vouchers did make them a steal. Already sold out at my local Boots counter, I will be touring the nation's Boots stores in an attempt to get backups. (possibly)

The eyeshadow quad is nicely embossed with croc effect (I always give kudos to reptile inspiration) and perhaps in my younger days I would be enticed by the riot of jewel tones. As it was, that didn't tempt me - however, it is weirdly priced at £10.50 - whereas the lipsticks are optimistically priced at £9.75, and the eyeliner at £9.50. But as I say, throw a £5 off voucher into the mix and you're on your way.

They have two lipsticks, and the one I bought was "Nude Rebel" and it's very good quality: pigmented, smooth, moisturising and lasts well. The packaging is nice too, although the snakeskin sticker is a bit of a wasted afterthought. It's very, very soft so like some MAC lipsticks, it gets deformed in the tube and threatens to dislodge. But I love it and it's such a practical everyday shade for anyone. I nearly got the Dior lipstick the other day, but it failed to "wow me" so for £22 I rejected it. This humble Boots one felt very similar, and even if it makes no pretence to plump lips with special spheres etc, its silky almost matte finish does seem to make lips look fuller.


(looks a little brown in this photo, but it is indeed a slightly browned peachy pigmented nude)

The next thing worth getting is the Smoky eyeliner.

This comes in neat packaging too, and has a soft applicator so no dragging at all. It gives a wonderful hazed out yet bold line. But, it does give you that traditional kohl fallout. And it's far more prone to migrate than, say, a MAC Fluidline. However, its distinctive - exotic almost - smoked out line is definitely something special to add to your makeup collection. Me rocking my new smoky eyeliner and peachy lips...

  Ah, oh dear - did someone say transfer? - not the best to wear on a busy day. Both photos taken at the end of a long day. I know it's wrong but I still love that eyeliner anyway!!?

Last time it was their limited edition Highlighter which I loved, now this... apparently No.7 is now one to watch. Although there is something dreary which permeates the brand, these Limited Edition collections certainly hold a spark. Well worth a look!

Monday, 2 August 2010

YSL Pop Up makeovers at Selfridges

If you are near London, chances are that Selfridges is your beauty haven. And it's where YSL have launched their Rock and Baroque collection. To entice customers, there is going to be a ‘YSL Pop Up Nail, Eye and Lip Bar’ between 5th-8th August and the following week, Thursday 12th - 15th August. I might be tempted...

The service costs £15 which is then redeemable against purchase. I absolutely love the Rock and Baroque modern take on a French manicure. Sold as a duo, Beautiful Day looks like this:

Then again, perhaps these Pearl Voluptes may get your attention. I am drawn to that deep purple....

See you there...?

Customers can call 0207 318 1358 to book now.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The best blushing bride's blusher

Chelsea Clinton has come a long way...

As a bride, she really had the look perfected. I think a bride should have visible makeup, a wedding is not the time for a nude face. On the other hand, all-out smokey eyes and glossy lips is not right either. Nude lips also seems wrong. Yes, this is the official way to do it:

But, having said that, Megan Fox's recent beach wedding was very charming for its natural no-frills appeal. Her makeup was the epitome of natural (replete with tan lines.)

Gwen Stefani chose a colour to enliven her famous Dior wedding dress, but her makeup obeyed the rules:

Christina Aguilera, notorious for her enthusiatic approach to makeup, took advantage of the classic red lip bridal image:

Some shun the classic bridal red lip though, especially if their husband is younger and they have to look as youthful as possible... Here is Eva Longoria:

This wedding had a very vintage Midsummer Night's Dream aura, thanks to the vintage gown. But the makeup is still classic and not too hippyish. Leah Wood:

Catherine Zeta Jones looked catalogue perfect:

Despite the dashingly handsome husband, I don't like Fergie's pale lips and smokey eyes here. It is probably the most flattering on her, but really I think a bride ought to have blushing cheeks and red lips...?

There is just something so timeless about deep red lips on a bride. See Grace Kelly:

Of course to some, a wedding day is a fun day and their taste will override any given rules. Jordan seemingly sees weddings as a time for pantomime, Victoria Beckham would not trade in her fake tan and nude lips for anything, and Dita Von Teese defiantly chose a stunning purple Vivien Westwood gown, and made sure her makeup was gothic purple to match.

Aside from long-lasting and all the other mundane issues, is there even really such a thing as bridal makeup? How do you think a "blushing bride" should aspire to look?

Saucy Rain from Eyeko

Two new limted edition polishes from Eyeko: Rain, a grey blue; and a repromoted - and I hear, reformulated Saucy, a deep yet fun red.

I loved Saucy first time around, so I was glad to see "reformulated" wouldn't affect my opinion. To be honest it seemed basically the same.

Rain is an original mix of baby blue and grey, and although it has shimmer on close inspection, it applies as a creamy matte polish. I noticed it had a strong nail varnish scent à la Barry M, but aside from that it was the expected Eyeko formula - 2 coats and you're away!

As always I will quote one of Eyeko's charming, and accurate, descriptions. "Eyeko Rain Polish: Here comes the Rain...but there's always a silver lining and 2 coats of the grey-blue hue will put a smile on your face."

Since discovering Eyeko polishes, I must admit I have rarely been tempted by high end £12 a bottle variations. I think nails are one beauty product that you can economise on, and no one will suspect. Indeed, my Eyeko Posh nails has had many impressed compliments: how did I manage to get Chanel Particuliere?

With Seche Vite on top, these bottles hold the key to luxe nails.... Highly recommended. Eyeko offer free shipping and from my experience, they always arrive nicely wrapped, and fast. They even offer paypal for extra convenience. These polishes are £3.50 for a rather generous 8.5ml.

Available individually from the Eyeko website. And currently you can get these in sets of three shades for £8.50.