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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Top 5 Pink Lipsticks for Summer!

Well, just for at the moment anyway ;) I’m not actually that huge of a pink lipstick fan (compared to other colours, anyway!)  but I always seem to pull them out in the summer and here are some I’m loving at the moment:


covergirl siren 

Covergirl Siren: I love this lipstick so much that when the dog ate my original I had to beg my lovely American ladies to send me another one! If this texture was in any other colour, I’d not be fussed at all but there’s something about this foil-like sheen that is just amazing with the pink.


Dg Love Is An Act

Darling Girl Love Is An Act: SO many blue sparkles in this! Very pretty and unique. I love DG lipsticks and can’t wait till they come back early next year.


Inglot Sleeks Gloss in 95

Inglot Sleeks Cream in 95: These thing are *so* glossy in real life and this is a beautiful, slightly milky pink that smells like candy. If you like this sort of shade, it’s worth checking out.


Make Up Store Gum

Make Up Store Lip Liner in Gum: I love this matte rose from MUS with a hint of blush and brown lashes. Gorgeous! It’s still a strong colour so you have a focal point for your look, but the colour in itself isn’t super lairy.


MAC Insanely It Swatch


MAC Insanely It: Nearly all my pink lipsticks are MAC and I’m trying to use more non-MAC lipsticks but I love the Sheen Supremes so much these snuck in! This particular shade has a hint of sparkle and I love the texture.


Alright kids, what colour are you loving for summer? What pinks don’t I have that I need?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ginger Drag

I had a wig and nothing to do, you know how it goes.

ginger drag 3
ginger drag 4
ginger drag
ginger drag 4
ginger drag 2

Eyes: MUA Undress Me Too Palette, Jesses Girl gold pigment, Maybelline gel liners in Black and Brown (brows), cheap lashes from discount shop.
Foundation: Illamasqua and Avon Concealers, Revlon Nearly Naked to blend, Jessies girl pigment to highlight, MUA blush, stage powder to set.
Lips: Brown from MUA Undress Me Too Palette, Sleek Eau La La Liner in Melba, L.A Colours lipliner in red, Rimmel Apocalips in Siren
Wig: Anabelles Wigs. Earrings, Primark.


I still can’t get the hang of using Pears soap to cover brows, I just feel like if I want to add more it messes it up underneath and I can’t get it to look smooth. Anyway, I did this really quickly because I was bored and probably could have done a much much better job, especially on the eyes, but whatever. Do what I want. I like the fact everything is pretty neutral and still looks really out there!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Quickie Review: Topshop Lip Bullets in Joyride and Heartbeat

I’m not that up to speed with Topshop makeup – I’ve tried a few bits and bobs but I’d rather spend my pocket money on Topshop’s Freedom jewellery range so never really got stuck into the makeup. One of their lip bullets caught my eye on a lunch break recently so in the name of, err, science, I bought two to test!

Topshop Lip Bullet Review

Oh Topshop, please stop with the white packaging! It looks dead cute but already the tips of my pencils are covered in the product and I know they’ll pick up smeg from my makeup bag no matter what. I do like that these are twist-up pencils though, and that they have the classic lipstick bullet shape rather then being a blunt pencil.


Topshop Joyride 2

Topshop Joyride

Ohhh, how I love this colour! Helpfully described on the Topshop site as ‘RED,’ it’s slightly less blue-based than it looks here and gives the most beautiful ‘I’ve just eaten an ice lolly’ stain but still with heaps of shine. It’s very slick and smooth on the lips and wears a whole lot better over a lipliner, but it doesn’t bleed or feather. I get around an hour with the glossiness, and it leaves a stain. While it’s slick, I wouldn’t say it was moisturising, it just happily sits there!


topshop heartbeat 2
Topshop Heartbeat

I simply can’t accurately capture this one folks – sorry! Heartbeat is an orange-coral in the tube that translates a touch more pink on the lips. I’m actually disappointed it looks as pink as it does on me because in store it looked much more orange – I’ve seen other bloggers disappointed by this as well, so be warned. It’s described on the site as ‘peachy pink’ and that’s much more accurate. There’s something about this particular shade that looks almost frosty, even though there’s no shimmer – my lips are in good nick at the moment but this is not going to be a shade that’ll fare well on dry lips. While I do like it, I much prefer the other colour I bought, even though this is the one that caught my eye! Comfort and wear time is the same as Joyride, though.


While these are nothing special, they’re nice additions to a summer makeup bag and I really love the red colour! I think they’re fairly reasonably priced, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to collect them all, but if another colour caught my eye… oh well! ;)

Lip Bullets cost £8.00 and be found in store and on

Sunday, 21 July 2013

LOTD: Sparkle and Smoke

The weather has been super hot in London at the moment and the minute the sun came out I… decided to wear a really smokey eye?! Hey, it just felt right!

sparkle and smoke
sparkle and smoke 3

sparkle and smoke 2

sparkle and smoke 3

Eyes: MUA Undress Me Too palette, Hi-Fi Paparazzi Flash Powder in Vengeance, Kiko Precision Brow Pencil in 04.
Cheeks: MAC Mocha
Lips: Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Little Red Dress

Even though I wanted some smokiness, I kept my brows light and not too precise and skipped anything on the waterline, and went for some gloss rather than a stronger red lip than I might have done. This is pretty much the only eye look I’ve done that involves more than mascara for the last few weeks though, I simply haven’t been bothered with makeup in this heat – a bit of BB cream, mascara and a bright lip and that’s pretty much been it.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Most of you will know by now that I do some makeup work on the side - it's by no means a full time job for me (yet! Fingers crossed!) but it is something I work very hard at and put a lot of hours into. A friend of mine made a comment last week that made me realise that most people simply don’t know how much work goes into a photoshoot! I did a beauty shoot just over a week ago and this post documents everything that goes into it - from my point of view, anyway! Preparations for models, photographers and stylists are of course all different but take just as much if not more time. Not all shoots involve this much planning, some require more and some less. Each one is different.

My friend Yat Tang was the photographer for this shoot and it was his concept. I’ve worked with him a few times and his work is beautiful. In a more professional setting he would be the client, and everything would need to be approved by them. He sent me this inspiration board:

flower beauty1

And then I set up my own Pinterest board to gather my thoughts and ideas as well:



Once I'd seen the models Yat had cast, I came up with a rough face chart for each and sent them to him for approval:

face chart 


One of the looks involved making a hair piece which I knew would really help take the photos to a better level.  I spent a couple of hours in the shops searching for bits and bobs for it, and I also went foraging for leaves, twigs etc. I then spent an afternoon making the head piece which was very tricksy actually! I don't always make things for shoots, but if it's applicable I like to add that extra level of my creativity and it often impresses the team as well. Other things I might make include nails and other head pieces, like this and this.


Here I am sewing hair donuts together to get the size and height I want. Hair donuts can be very expensive in some places so I bought el cheapo ones from Primark and made with the scissors!


Halfway there…


And finished! Sewing real leaves together is a pain in the butt! It’s not the most fabulous thing in the world but trust me, it looked great in the photos.

The day before the shoot, I spend up to two hours cleaning my brushes and packing and re-cleaning my kit. It doesn’t always take that long, but if I’ve left it till the last minute and have no clean brushes left, which I do all too often, it can take a while! I’ll double check everything before I leave for the shoot at least twice as I have a huge, huge fear of leaving my brushed behind! I could substitute many things for something else in my kit but no brushes = disaster!

My first model, Donna, was at 9.30pm and we shot with her until 1pm. She had a pretty simple, soft look with oranges and pinks. Her hair and makeup took perhaps an hour and a half, maybe a little longer. This sounds like a long time considering the look but it's important to get it right. Her headdress was made on the day as we were using fresh flowers. Here's a timelapse video and some BTS shots of getting ready and starting to shoot:



Beauty Shoot with Donna Time Lapse from Yat Tang on Vimeo.




As you can see, Jade isn’t dressed up at all! If you’re only shooting headshots, quite often a model will just wear what they came in or something on the top half. Lots of beauty shoots are just shot in a strapless bra.

I hope this illustrates that behind the scenes things aren't always as glamorous as people image them to be! Lots of studios in London are in unromantic places such as business parks, hidden behind car parks, on industrial estates, etc. When I first started going to studios I wondered if what I’d gotten myself into was dodgy due to the locations!

Finally, here are some of the images:





It seems like a lot of work and it is, but seeing a beautiful image you helped create is so amazing. There's nothing like it! After a shoot, there’s not much work for me and the model – obviously I have to clean a lot of brushes and my kit, but you soon get used to doing this all the time and have a little routine so it doesn’t take too long. Small things like packing dirty brushes separately from ones that haven’t been used helps a lot.

Hope this was interesting to some of you - please check out Yat, Donna and Jade's pages, and if you're in the London area, Dock House Studio.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

June 2013 Favourites

June Favourites

You know the drill, let’s get cracking!


Clockwise from top left:

Illamasqua Loose Pigment in Beguile

It’s basically just really sparkly, looks good over any colour and is super fine. How could I not love it?

Illamasqua Hydraveil

My undereyes are loving it. LOVING. Erryone’s been talking about this, you can read my full review here.

Illamasqua Concealer in CC105.

Last Illamasqua product this month, I promise! It’s a white concealer. I know. But it’s awesome a strong highlight, or as a white eyeshadow base. Love it.

L.A Colours Endless Semi-Permanent Auto Lipliner in Berries

Man, I love this thing. Actually, I love all of these lipliners and for £1.99 each I’m not sure why I don’t have more. The “all day wear” claims are of course bull, but these do last particularly well without being too drying. This berry-red shade is just too pretty.

EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush

At least, I *think* it’s that and not the large powder brush, based on the price I paid for it in Asda, which was about £5. Either way, I’ve been using this for a light sweep of bronzer and I’m in love with it. I had to buy this before a holiday having left everything else at home and I’m kind of glad I did, because it is so beautifully soft!

Darling Girl Kiss You Off Colour Rich Lip Balm in Sanctuary

Yep, it’s another berry colour! Could I be any less summery? I always love the formula on these and Sanctuary is one of my favourite colours DG has done for lips. Lip colours seem to be off the website at the moment so I’m not sure if this shade is still available or not.

Wet n Wild coloricon Nail Colour in Back Alley Deals

My friend Priscilla picked this up for me and it’s so pretty! From Wet N Wild’s Ice Baby collection last year, it’s fine purple glitter with larger magenta glitters. With no top coat it almost has that liquid sand look, with topcoat it’s unbelievably blingy. Also loving Believe Me, It’s Real from the same collection.

Sleek Blusher in Fenberry

A tiny touch of this blush gives even light skin a rosy, flushed “I’m such a pretty English Rose y’all!” kind of look. With a golden highlighter it’s drool worthy. Again, it’s a berry, again, it’s not a “summery” colour and yes, I know it’s been through the mill as a result of crappy depotting technique but damn I love it!


june faves

L-R: Beguile. CC 105, Berries, Sanctuary, Fenberry.

What have you been loving this month?

Monday, 1 July 2013

Quickie Review and Swatches: Collection2000 Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Creams

These little beauties have been out for a long time now but I’m just getting round to doing a review. Matte lip creams aren’t super easy to find in the UK, especially with the continued influx of sheerer balm-stain type products, but Collection(2000) have four shades for about £2.99 each. I have three to show you:

creme puff


cream puff 1 cotton candy 2
cream puff 1 cotton candy

Cotton Candy (1)



cream puff 2 powder puff 2
cream puff 2 powder puff

Powder Puff (2)

Not the nicest shade on my lips, but I absolutely love this shade as a cream blush:

cream puff swatches




cream puff 3 fairy cake 2

cream puff 3 fairy cake

Fairy Cake (3)

Possibly my favourite our of the shades, a beautiful rosy shade that packs a polished punch but is still appropriate for pretty much every situation.


Ultimately these products aren’t going to sit well with everyone - they kind of have a strange mousse-y texture which feels odd on the lips at first. While they dry down pretty matte, they’re not super long wearing or as dry/velvety looking as a traditional matte lipstick or something like Lime Crime Velvetines, so if you’re looking for something you won’t need to touch throughout the day, these ain’t it. However, this means they’re not drying at all, so if you steer clear of matte lip products for that reason, they’re worth a try.

While they’re not super long wearing on the lips, they really are fabulous as a cream blush, leaving a lovely dewy finish. If you’ve bought these and not tried them on the cheeks, definitely worth a go, and if you’re a cream blush lover in general, the doe foot applicator makes these a doddle to apply as blush on the go.


Have you tried these? What do you think of matte lip products in general?