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Friday, 11 April 2014

Spring Green LOTD


I am sick as a dog right now, but also sick of looking like it, so some makeup was much needed! A little pop of colour from the old Sleek Circus palette – which I haven’t touched in ages! – and some fluttery lashes did the trick and perked me up a bit, even if it was only for a duvet day!
 
Spring Green LOTD

Spring Green LOTD 4

Spring Green LOTD 3


Spring Green LOTD 2


Spring Green LOTD 5

Eyes: Barry M Kohl liner in brown. Neutrals from MUA Undress Me Too Palette. Green from Sleek Circus Palette (discontinued)
Lips: L’Oreal Extraordinaire lipgloss in Nude Vibrato. Brows, Kiko. Lashes, Vintage Lash Company Gracie.
FACE: MAC Face and Body, Rimmel Stay Matte powder, Collection2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Cheeks: MAC Buff, Boots No 7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter

I do miss wearing colour! I need to do a proper, all-out bright look soon!

Are you looking forward to the warmer weather? What are your favourite colours to wear in Spring?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lip Tar Love: Nylon and Black Metal Dahlia

Let’s face it , OCC Lip Tars can be a bit of a bugger. I’ve always said if you’re not in love with the shade, they’re sometimes not worth the learning curve. Recently my friend Rachael sent me a decant of two shades which I think really are worth the fuss!
 
 
Nylon

OCC Nylon 2

OCC Nylon

If you like pink, this is pretty fucking pink. I have nothing bad to say about it – the opacity, the blue-based but notmilky colour…. it’s just darling! For a comparison, here’s Candy Yum Yum by MAC:

MAC Candy Yum Yum Swatch


Yeah. I’ve seen comparison shots where the two look very similar, but in my opinion CYY is a little bluer, a little cooler than Nylon. In the same family, but at the moment, the shade of Nylon is edging it for me.

Black Metal Dahlia

OCC Black Metal Dahlia

OCC Black Metal Dahlia 2

Hnnnngggg! Unfffffff! Raaaaawr! Other noises! Praise the baby J, this is a gorgeous, gorgeous, sexy vampy colour! This was a bit of a bugger to get on – unlike Nylon it’s got lots of glitter in it which I didn’t want to all pool in one place, and if you’re used to Lip Tars you know you want to avoid over-applying, yet this one didn’t seem to go as far as other shades I have, meaning I used a little more and it took a long time to apply. However… it’s just totally lust-worthy and well worth the faff.


Do you use OCC Lip Tars? What are your favourite shades?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Simple Girl-to-Boy Makeup

I’m practising girl-to-boy makeup at the moment for an upcoming shoot, and thought I’d share the simplest way you can do this. When doing boy-to-girl makeup, you can rely on wigs, colour cosmetics and styling a little more than you can when you’re doing girl-to-boy makeup. No, not all girls wear lots of makeup and have fancy hair, but plenty do and you do rely on stereotypes when trying to express gender with makeup almost as much as you do on physical clues.

For inspiration and instruction, I turned to Making Faces by the amazing Kevyn Aucoin. If you don’t have this book, get it. If you don't have any of his books, get them all. I referred to this page of the book where he explains how he turned Gwyneth Paltrow into James Dean. Yes bitches, that's Gwyneth Paltrow.

JD

This was a very quick look for Kevyn – he used a pre-made brow piece, so it only took him 15 minutes. However, he does into depth about how to do the brows yourself.

Man Eyebrows

Male eyebrows are often lower than female eyebrows, especially as more women than men shape their brows to open up the eye area.. I didn’t want to cover my brows and draw new ones on just to lower them for practicing, but it’s an option1 I individually drew in hairs using thin brow pencils in two colours, extending past my own brow on both ends, and used a clear brow gel to brush the hairs up and add texture. If you don't have a thin pencil, use the tiniest brush you can and a brow cake or matte shadow with mixing medium. Try and mix a couple of colours If you have thicker brows this will be a little easier than if you have non-existent blonde hairs like me!

manman

My male modelling just reads as confused. I look like Karl Pilkington here.
 
I added a very light layer of Illamasqua Skinbase - it's got quite a realistic texture - and did a little spot concealing, but nothing too polished. Moisturiser is fine, but don't do anything to change the texture of your skin in terms of smoothing or pore-filling products like primer - keep it as natural as possible. Don't bother concealing under the eyes either, as after I did my brows, I blended Wolf eyeshadow from Illamasqua, a cool brown, under my eye and across the lid, taking care to really, really blend it out to create natural looking shadows and the illusion of a deeper eye socket. I decided not to use any mascara, but I think next time I will add a bit of clear mascara to the lashes as it didn't look quite right next to the Charlie from Busted eyebrows. Then I swept the same matte eyeshadow across my jawbone to give the illusion of five o’clock shadow.


manman2

The five o’clock shadow wasn't reading very well on my camera – in real life it looked pretty good, but then, I know what I look like without it so I thought it needed to be more exaggerated. I stippled Illamasqua brow cake in Thunder into a rough goatee shape and took it along the jaw and up into my hairline. This is where I need to experiment a little more – the shadow was the right tone and I used it both wet and dry to create more depth, but I'm going to order a special stippling sponge to nail the texture - it's not quite shoot worthy yet! If you're doing this and wearing it out, make sure you use a good setting spray or, if you're really invested, alcohol activated face and body paints will last and last.

Lastly, I pursed my lips really tightly and rubbed in a tiny amount of foundation that was slightly lighter than my lips to make them look a bit more chapped and rugged. Any old foundation or concealer will do. I didn't want to do my uber-long hair, so I went with a hat. MANLY HAT.

manman3 barry m neutral palette 2

And a cheeky colour shot/comparison. I look like my dad but with a better beard – Sorry Dad!
This is a really simple way of looking more like a boy - concentrate on your eyebrows, add a little depth around your jaw and ignore what you'd normally do to your skin, and you'll be pretty much halfway there. I’ll be back again with a heavier, more theatrical version of female-to-male makeup soon – think reverse contouring, heavier brow bones, exaggerated skin texture/wrinkles!

Have you ever gone drag king/queen?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Quickie Review: Nip + Fab Viper Venom Eye Fix

 

Nip and Fab

I really have no explanation as to why I bought this product. The words 'SYN-AKE' and 'LIFTONIN' really should have had me running a mile, but Boots had a 3-for-2 offer on skincare, I didn’t know what to pick and I'd read a lot of positive press about this product. Let's see what Nip + Fab have to say:

'A refreshing eye gel in a cooling roll-on applicator with wrinkle minimising LIFTONIN® + SYN®-AKE to smooth the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles around the eye area.

Red Algae Extract reduces the look of dark circles for a radiance boosting effect. With Syn-ake, a revolutionary ingredient that works to smooth skin and liftonin for instant tightening.'

This product has a LOT of claims on it's website – that it rids you of undereye circles, smooths, tightens, grants eternal salvation, blah blah blah. I do know that there are certain peptides (proteins - that’s the SYN-AKE, apparently) that tighten on the skin when you apply which can give a temporary smoothing effect, and that this has glycerine fairly high up the ingredients list and I get on pretty well with glycerine-based products. So while sceptical, I wasn't hideously sceptical.

Viper Venom comes in a rollerball pen-style bottle. If you've used these before, you'll know that they're very cooling and refreshing to use on the skin. Granted, this is usually more down to the metal rollerball rather than the product itself, or at least, it's very hard to discern if it actually is the the product itself because of the rollerball! Nonetheless, this packaging feels nice to use.

The product is a thin, clear serum and I find the rollerball dispenses a little more than you need, so I tap it in with a finger. It absorbs quickly meaning it's great for the morning as you can apply your makeup without waiting, and as mention, the cooling nature of the applicator means it's nice to apply at night too. I have to say, I'm actually enjoying this product. I don't find it's done anything to my dark circles (unsurprising seeing as I've only been using it for a couple of weeks) but I do feel that my eye area feels a little smoother. Could well be placebo, but I'm liking it so far! I will note that I certainly haven’t stopped using my thicker, more traditional eye cream – I use this under my eye cream, or in a rush in the morning and I will still apply a cream at night. As far as I’m concerned I would be quite happy to constantly slather product under my eye area, but that’s just me!

At £14.95, I do think this is expensive for what it is as I'm sure much of the effect is down to the rollerball and the glycerine as opposed to the red sea algae, ‘Liftonin’ and whatever other mumbo jumbo ingredients this has, but as of this moment it's certainly something I would consider repurchasing.

Do you like rollerball products? What are your favourite eye products?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers!

‘Velvet’ lip products are going absolutely nowhere this Spring/Summer! If you haven’t already spotted an influx on your high street, keep your eyes peeled with MUA, Topshop and Bourjois bringing the formula down to a more accessible level than the slightly more expensive and harder-to-get Lime Crime Velvetines. MUAs offering, the MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers, come in at a measly £3 each and are available in in 5 shades, four of which I have for your visual pleasures today.

MUA Luxe Lips

MUA Luxe Lips Swatches

L-R: Kooky, Atomic, Funk, Criminal

The lip lacquers are house in a matt-effect tube with posh-looking gold print on the caps. These apply with a typical doefoot applicator.

MUA Kooky

’Kooky’

MUA Atomic

’Atomic’

MUA Funk

’Funk’

MUA Criminal

’Criminal’

Swit-swoo! Aren’t these colours gorgeous?  Out of the four shades I have (I’m missing Reckless, a blue-based red) Criminal is definitely my favourite – it’s a bright, clean, butt-kicking pink. If you’re a fan of Candy Yum Yum by MAC or OCC Nylon Lip Tar, this is the sort of shade for you. Kooky is almost a true purple and if you like the 90’s goffik sort of look that Lorde sports, this is the shade for you. Funk is bright and vibrant without being too neon or overpowering – it’s perfectly girly.

The formula for these is creamier than other versions of this type of product, meaning you have to be very careful not to apply a thicker application on one part of your lips than the other as it can dry in streaks. If you look at my swatch of Kooky, you can see why you need to go slow and steady on these! Wear time is, as expected, pretty darn good! I do find they come off when eating most things (you’ll have to have a touch-up after a big meal or oily food, but a snack or a cuppa would be fine) and that I have to be careful when I apply to the ’waterline’ of my mouth, making sure this area is dry otherwise the product doesn’t adhere well. Rather than wear away evenly, these can feel  a little ‘gummy,’ which I’m not a huge fan of. They remove easily with an oil-based remover though (a micellar water probably won’t cut it!) and if you’re just having a cheeky drink or giving someone a peck on the cheek, they’ll sure as hell stay put! The only shade I had a problem with in regards to wear was Atomic – I really don’t like how it felt on the lips compared to the others and it was a bugger to get off, feeling almost clumpy while I was removing it. As expecting, these will feel dry on the lips, but if you want the wear from a lip product, it’s pretty much tough shit!

MUA Luxe Lips Comparison

L-R, MUA Atomic, Lime Crime Suedeberry. MUA

I can’t complete this post without comparing to the Lime Crime Velvetines. In my opinion, these aren’t dupes for the LC shades. Atomic is a much brighter, truer orange as compared to the more peachy Suedeberry, and Atomic makes Pink Velvet look dull in comparison. I actually prefer the MUA shades! As mentioned, the formula for the the MUA version is much creamier and I find that makes it a little more difficult to neatly apply a second layer, especially considering the fact it takes longer to dry. As noted, I also find that the thicker formula makes it harder to apply neatly with the applicator compared to the Lime Crime, although I’d recommend using a brush for both – the look of both the products is so matte and dense there’s not much room for error.  The Lime Crime wears longer and more evenly, and feels lighter on the lips without the ‘gummy’ feeling as they wear. I can’t lie and say I prefer the MUA formula over the LC, but the differences are small. I’m a beauty blogger, I *will* find the differences!

To sum up? All of the colours are gorgeous and they’re certainly long wearing, but the formula isn’t up to par with the Lime Crime one which in my opinion is much more sophisticated. For £3 though, I can’t complain too much at all and I can only hope that MUA bring out some vampier or more unusual colours!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Quickie Review: Melt lipsticks in Space Cake and Belladonna


I bought these two sometime last winter and haven’t got round to showing you all yet! If you’re on Instagram, you’re certain to have heard of this company, with everyone going mad for their bright, unusual colours. I wanted to try them because their imagery is just gorgeous – perfect modern pin-up glamour on gorgeous alternative models – my kind of photography! Srsly, this lookbook.
572fa1003a8111e38b1d22000ae91391_7
The packaging was super, super cute – the lipsticks are in simple matte black tubes with the purple Melt logo but they don’t look or feel cheap, they’re a nice quality. My order came with a sticker and a small mirror, which was exciting (I love stickers. Give me stickers!) and was packed in pink styrofoam peanuts. The boxes both had a slightly differing Beetlejuice-esque striped design, and you get a card with some of their images on. Basically, if you want a gorgeous package in the mail, you’ll get one from Melt.
 
melt
 
melt swatches
Space Cake, Belladonna.
Melt Belladonna
Belladonna
 
 
Belladonna is where I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very red and I’m not the kind of girl to turn down a red just because she had 20 others that are very similar – I bought this shade because I just can’t resist a pretty red, and I knew I would wear it more often than a bright peach or blue. I just found the formula to be a little thin, a little dry on application, a little lacking something on this one. You can see compared to the photo of Space Cake below that the texture is different and looks much dryer – and they were taken on the same day. There’s nothing awful about it at all, but I can’t jump up and down and say ‘This formula is grrrrr-eat!” because at least for this colour, I don’t find it to be true.  I don’t *dislike* it as such and I do wear it, but I wasn’t blown away at all – for $19 you can get a much, much better red, anyway. Belladonna doesn’t appear to be on their website anymore. If I find out if it’s discontinued, I’ll update.
 
Melt Space Cake
Space Cake
mac glitter and ice cool lotd
Wearing Space Cake
 
 
First of all, wowza. It’s GREY, you guys. Grey like this, a grey creme, is not something I can remember another company doing. I know Lime Crime had Chinchilla or whatever it was called, that MAC had Grey Friday and I know there have been greyed purples and oyster grey colours floating around and OCC have some options, but I don’t recall another company with a colour like this at all. Believe it or not, ‘odd’ lip colours aren’t that odd anymore and you can get pretty much whatever colour you like these days if you look for it. Anyway, I could go on about naunces of grey and it’s undertones and it’s pink-ness or not, but this shade was new to me. I was expecting this one to be really dry as well, but the formula is much better. It’s a lot creamier than the other shade I had and I was much happier with this formula. It’s not the longest wearing  or the most hydrating, but it’s a good, solid opaque creamy formula. It’s worth noting I don’t find this one to be as matte as the website show it to be.



Would I purchase from Melt again? I don’t know. Based on Belladonna, no. Based on Space Cake, yes! These are pretty bloody expensive for a small brand at $19 a pop (more expensive than MAC which go for $16 and a shade more than Lime Crime which retail at $18) and while I don’t mind spending if I like what’s on offer, that fact that they’re reasonably pricey *and* I have to ship to the UK and deal with customs fees as well makes me a little less likely to bother. For those on a budget or who don’t want to shell out for wackier colours they’ll only wear occasionally, I just can’t seem to find anything here that makes me go ‘Yep, definitely worth twenty bucks!’ It’s all up to what you’re willing to spend personally of course, but I just wasn’t as blown away by these as I could have been.  Am I stupid and possibly bitter for letting my expectations get the better of me? Maybe. I’m certainly not saying they’re shit, or to not get them - the aesthetic of the company is to die for and it’s the type of company I’m drawn to and want to support.  I’m still really interested in their green shade, Blow, which was recently released. If it reviews well, I’ll probably pick it up as it looks stunning and hope it’s the same formula as Space Cake.
 


Melt Lipsticks are available from MeltCosmetics.com

Have you tried Melt yet? Where do you get your crazy lip colours from?

Monday, 17 March 2014

MAC Retro Matte lipsticks in Relentlessly Red and All Fired Up

 
Inspired by the classic shade Ruby Woo’s ‘one-of-a-kind texture’, toward the end of last year MAC released a series of Retro Matte colours. To anyone familiar with MAC lipsticks, this could be seen to be the biggest dick move MAC have made for a while, as Ruby Woo is widely known for being dry as hell. However, being a fan of mattes and spying some shades I’d not seen before on a recent trip to my local MAC stand, I picked up two shades.

 
MAC Retromattes

All Fired Up on the top, Relentlessly Red on the bottom.
 
MAC RetroMattes


Relentlessly Red, All Fired Up.
 
MAC All Fired Up RetroMatte Swatch
 
MAC All Fired Up.’‘Bright Fuchsia matte.’ Err, if you say so. Not fuchsia to me at all, though it’s certainly a pink-leaning red.
 
MAC Relentlessly Red Swatch
 
MAC Relentlessly Red. ‘Bright Pinkish Coral matte.’ Why on *earth* they named this shade Relentlessly Red is totally beyond me – in the words of Willam, “Girl, it’s fucking pink!”
 
Wearing MAC All Fired Up
 
Wearing ‘All Fired up’ with a deeper red liner on the lip line.

While I don’t hate these, I can’t say I’m in love with them. I don’t really know what I was expecting from this formula, there’s something about it that bothers me. I find them rather flat and feel they need a cgood couple of swipes to get to full payoff – I know you can’t always expect eye-popping vibrancy from mattes but there is something rather dull about these in real life. Well, my boyfriend complimented me when I wore them, so what do I know? They look good, I think I just wanted more from them.I  wouldn’t rush out to buy them just because of the formula, but if you happen to like the colours, I don’t actually find them that drying - which I was expecting considering they're based on Ruby Woo – certainly no more than MAC’s regular mattes.

Retro Mattes cost £15 from MAC.