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Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 Roundup: My Favourite Looks

Well, the year is nearly over! I’m still on a turkey comedown and am too lazy to write any new content, so here are my top ten looks of 2012. In no particular order…


Purple Plushie Tutorial using Sleek and Fyrinnae

Bat Romance using Sleek and Sugarpill

Heartbreaker Palette look using Sugarpill and LA Colors Jumbo Pencil

Mermaid look using Sugarpill, Inglot and Paperself lashes

Taupe Eyes and Purple Lips Tutorial using elf, Maybelline and Inglot

Rainbow in The Dark using Sugarpill and Sleek

Love+ using Sugarpill, Sleek and MAC

Government Hooker using Sugarpill and Fyrinnae

Mickey Mouse using Sugarpill, Maybelline and Darling Girl

Cryin’ using Inglot, KIKO and MAC

Ok, ok. These are all pretty out-there looks apart from the purple and taupe look, but hey. I guess that goes to show that I prefer the more out-there looks after all – I was worried I’d got boring during 2012! If I had to pick one, I’d pick the Mermaid look – I got really nice comments from the people at Illamasqua on Twitter (although a weird comment or two asking why I’d pierced my eye?! *shrug*)


Link me to your favourite looks of the year!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Quickie Review: OCC Loose Color Concentrate in Slag

On a recent trip to Selfridges, we discovered an OCC stand! In in the back of my mind, I knew that Sellies stocked OCC, but I hardly ever venture down Oxford Street as I am not mad, so I’d forgotten all about it. The Lip Tar section was demolished and they only had very odd colours left, so I happily amused myself with the pigments and glitters.

OCC Slag 2
OCC Slag
Left, alone. Right, over Pixie Epoxy.

I won’t like to you, I thought this was a pretty colour but I mainly bought it for the name! (“You SLAAAAAG!”) A very pretty antiqued gold with a green shift, it’s a lovely finely milled colour and exactly the sort of thing I love about indie cosmetics! I felt a little odd buying it for that reason, but I knew it had to come home with me.

OCC Slag
OCC Slag 2

Slightly blurry, but you can really see the pretty green shift well if you click to embiggen. I’m wearing it here just over primer!

Coming in at £8 for 2.5g at Selfridges, you can also pick these up on 3-for-2 at Cocktail Cosmetics.  I’d certainly try some of thier other colours, and I love it so much that I wore it on Christmas Day!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Wet N Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning Coloricon Eyeshadow Palette: Swatches and Looks

Recently I got a banging parcel from Wendy full of lovely US goodies including two Wet N Wild 8 pan palettes!

Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a slightly oddly named affair, being a mostly neutral palette. It’s not a palette that immediately conjures up images of dancing the night away as the name would suggest. It’s not the first time I’ve been bemused by WnW’s choice of names, but that’s not really the important part anyway! I didn’t take a picture of the palette because I are impatients, so let’s jump right in with the swatches!

Sparkle Til Morning Swatches 2
Right-hand side, on bare skin above and MUA primer below. (Highlight, lid, crease, definer.)

Sparkle Til Morning Swatches
Left-hand side, on bare skin above and MUA primer below. (Highlight, lid, crease, definer.)

A pretty nice mix, huh? This is a pretty warm palette, which I really like with my eye colour. The pinky highlight and the blue definer shade really make this palette stand out from the millions of neutral palettes that have popped up this year. All are satin/sparkly, which is good as they’re all so pretty, but a matte brown or taupe would have been really fabulous, although the darker definer shade can be buffed out so there is very little sparkle.

I’ve been reaching for this all week and it’s great for both a more polished look or if you’re in a panicked, sweaty rush in the morning (and let’s be honest, it’s normally the latter.) When I don’t know what to do with my makeup I always revert to a neutral eye with thick winged liner and have done since my teens, so I’m always happy when I find a palette that will fit in nicely with that.

Sparkle Til Morning

Nothing special perhaps, but sometimes that’s just what you need!


A pop of blue with your neutral eye? Be still, my beating heart. Another favourite look of mine, the blue in the palette really make it a winner.



Not the best looks I’ve done of late with these two, but there you are!

I couldn’t choose between this and Comfort Zone as my favourite Wet N Wild palette, but if you’re in the States and you’ve not picked this up, you’re mad. It’s certainly going to be a workhorse!


This will probably be my last post until after Christmas, so MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thank you all for sticking with me through 2012 :)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Mossy Glossy

Sometimes you just feel like doing something really ugly. Just me? Okay then…


messy gloss 1
messy gloss 2
messy gloss 3
messy gloss 4
messy gloss 5

Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Mossy Green, Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss in Violate, Inglot Sleek Cream in 99 (Black), Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Electrum, Collection2000 24/7 Liner Pen, Pixie Epoxy, eBay glitter.


I could have gone grosser, uglier, and piled on more product, but typically I thought this would be a good idea before I went to work and I didn’t want to run late. It felt good to do something nasty though – I really liked the blobby, glossy eye lashes!
I’ll be doing this again in the near future – it’s fun to play with textures if nothing else.

Would you ever try a deliberately unattractive look?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Illamasqua Mystery Selection

Last weekend I met up with the lovely Rachael (and Sarah!) and she was a total babe and got me an Illamasqua Mystery Selection box for Christmas! Woohoo! Exclusive to Debenhams, there’s an Eye and Nails box and this version, where each box comes with their liquid metal in Electrum and nail polish in Collide, along with a mystery full size Intense Lipgloss, Lipstick, Powder Blush and Eyeshadow.


Here’s what I got!


Illamasqua Mystery Box Contents 


Clockwise from top left: Liquid metal in Electrum, Powder Eyeshadow in Dance, Nail Varnish in Collide, Powder Blusher in Expose, Intense Lip Gloss in Absorb, Lipstick in Welt.

Illamasqua Mystery Box lips
Illamasqua Absorb
Illamasqua Welt

Intense Lipgloss in Absorb, Lipstick in Welt.

Well – Absorb is scary, no?! Applied full on, it’s terrifying, not to mention it’s not the easiest colour to apply straight from the squeeze tube. Applied very, very lightly though, it makes for a nice nude lip and I can see it being really useful for paling down other colours, so I’m very intrigued to play with this more.

As for Welt? I’m delighted with it! I’d seen it in a couple of other boxes and had my fingers crossed for it in mine! It’s a beautiful colour and the formula is lovely – when Illamasqua get their lipsticks right they apply like a dream and last really well and I’m pleased to say Welt falls into this category. I don’t have Boost from Illamasqua yet, but that would go great with this colour!

Illamasqua Mystery Box

L-R: Powder Blusher in Expose, Eyeshadow in Dance, Liquid Metal in Electrum.

Look at that blush! Apparently this has now got the axe, and for the life of me I can’t see why. I love me an Illamasqua blush and this soft orange is really beautiful. If this type of colour is your thing, the box may well be the only place to get it now, which is a shame!  Moving on to Dance, I can see this being a product a lot of people would be disappointed to receive as it’s a very typical “bad 80’s” colour, but I love it! It’s smooth, pigmented, not chalky in the slightest and something I don’t really have in my collection, so I’m very happy with it! I’ve had mixed experiences with their single eyeshadows and I very much like this one.

Moving on to Electrum… how pretty is it! Now… a lot of people hate the Liquid Metals and find them unusable, and I agree to a certain extent. They do feel very greasy at first! However, once you’ve had them for a while, they dry out slightly and then become much, much more useable. Until then, I’d recommend just using them on the lips and cheeks where they look beautiful and I am really, really keen to play with Electrum as a facial highlighter.

Illamasqua Collide

Collide is a highlighter pink neon – and it’s really neon! Unlike the nasty, chalky, gummy neon polishes of my teen years, this applies really wonderfully and dries very fast. I’d recommend a top coat for more shine – as a neon, it’s not going to be as glossy as most of Illamasqua’s offering. However, if you’re in the market for a pink neon polish, I don’t think you could do better than this one.

While a lot of the boxes do seem to have the same products – Rachael and a couple of other blogger I’ve spoken to have got the exact same items – it’s a really stonking deal and a great gift for a makeup junkie. Absorb is the only slightly iffy product, but only because I wouldn’t wear it on its own – it’s certainly useable and useful.

Exclusive to Debenhams, the box costs £34.20 (worth over £90) for this version or £31.50 for the Eyes and Nails selection.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Lip Maths: Wild Galactic

illamasqua galactic and wet n wild 2

Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in 918d Cherry Bomb + Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss Galactic =

illamasqua galactic and wet n wild



Loving this combination – Ilamasqua Galactic is crazy stuff! This is the first time I’ve played with it, but expect to see it more in it’s full silvery glory very soon!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Guide to Primers and Bases

Eyeshadows can be tricky buggers. Getting them to look the same colour and texture as they are in the pan, plus getting them to stay put throughout the day can be a nightmare! If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware there are products you can use to help with both of these issues. Sadly the lingo can be pretty confusing – there are primers, bases, eyeshadow “helpers,” mixing mediums, glitter glues, foiling liquids and much more!

I’m going to go through the products you can use to stop your eyeshadows from creasing and then products you can use to help increase the vibrancy of your eyeshadows. The two main categories for this are primers and bases and that’s what I’ll be focusing on today. Please be aware that everyone has different body chemistry and so different products will have different results on different people!

This is a long one, folks!

a guide to eye primers and bases


Our eyelids are one of the oiliest parts of our face and this can cause our eyeshadow to “crease,” fade, and collect in the folds of our eyelids during the day. Even people like myself with very dry skin can have oily lids. The effort involved in applying nice makeup for an important do or even a long day makes this creasing and fading REALLY annoying! Eyeshadow primers help with this by creating a barrier to stop the oils on your lids from messing with your eyeshadow, stopping them from creasing and helping to keep their vibrancy throughout the day. The reason I personally will always call products that prevent creasing a primer and not a base is that if something causes or contributes to creasing, it has no business going on first and therefore no business calling itself a primer!

Here’s what I mean by creasing – you can see the shadow is collecting in lines all over my lid where my eye naturally creases.

Primers go on first, onto clean lids before anything else, hence the name! (Primer, premier, first, blah blah blah.) Primers normally come in a a tube with a wand applicator and generally have a thin, concealer-like consistency and colour. Apply a very thin layer over a clean eyelid and blend out over the lid – you can do this with a finger or a brush. Allow it to dry for a couple of seconds and then apply your eyeshadow on top. Some brands will have a slightly tackier texture than others so can it take a while to get used to blending over the top of them. It can also take a few goes with a new primer to determine how much or little of the product you need to use! Because there aren’t really defined criteria for what makes a primer a primer, if you want your eyeshadow to stay put, make sure you’re buying a product that sets and doesn’t stay creamy or you’ll still end up with creased makeup! Most primers are in that neutral concealer-like colour, so if you’re picking up something bright green, it’s probably not meant to prevent your eyeshadow from creasing.


When deciding which primer to use, research what you’re interested in before purchasing as some primers are quite expensive! See if you can find a blogger whose reviews you trust who has the same needs as you – for example, very oily eyelids – and find out what they use. If you’re stuck, try a budget version first – the MUA one is very good and only comes in at £2.50, and e.l.f does one for only $1/£1.50, so you won’t be too out of pocket if they doesn’t work for you!

Primer examples:

Urban Decay Primer Potion*
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MUA Professional Eye Primer*
NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
Artdeco Eyeshadow Base
E.L.F Eyelid Primer


Primer FAQ

Can’t I just use foundation on my eyes?

You can use a foundation over the lid to help colour stick or to even out veins or discoloration on the lid, but you’ll still have the problem that the makeup will collect in your creases throughout the day. Powdering over the foundation will keep it in place a little longer, but you won’t get the longevity of a primer. Foundation can sometimes mess with certain application techniques as well, such as foiling.

It’s still creasing!

You could be using too much product, or too little – stick it out a little while longer and try using different amounts. Make sure you’re applying it into the creases of your eyes. It could just be the wrong product for you - many bloggers I know have had to purchase several primers before

I’ve been using my primer for a while and now it’s stopped working!

I have a few friends who this has happened to and we can’t quite work it out! Our skin chemistry can change when we’re stressed, ill, or  when we change medication or birth control. Perhaps an extreme weather change has meant your product has had to work harder! There’s not a lot you can do in this case except try different products once again! Remember to check if your product is old and to replace it if it is.

Do I really need a primer? Makeup artists on Youtube don’t use them!

Makeup artists often have different needs to normal people who wear makeup every day. An MUA may need to change makeup quickly, or they will only need it to last for a few photographs, so using a primer on the eyelids is often needless. This can go for facial primers, too! You and I, however, probably have an eight to ten hour working day, plus a commute, errands to run, kids to drop off and parties and events to go it, and need our makeup to look nice the whole time!


Now we’ve got our eyeshadow to stay put throughout the day, there are a ton of products you can use to help enhance the look of your eyeshadow, whether you want them to look more vibrant than they do on bare skin, or help the sparkles in the product to stick to your skin. Your primer will more often than not help with this problem a little bit, but as you start to become a bit more confident and experimental with your eyeshadow looks, you often want a little more help.

There are hundreds of products you can use to help do this, and they’re almost always cream products. Using a thin layer of a cream product over your eye primer can provide a base for your eyeshadow to sit on which will both make it pop and help show off the texture. As it gives your shadow something to cling to, it can help minimise the fallout (where loose eyeshadow drops onto your face) you can get all over your cheeks as well.  It’s absolutely essential to use a thin layer or it will be too thick to cling to your primer and will crease anyway. A too thick layer can also cause the products to move around on the lid during application, creating a smudgy gross mess! It can be very hard to blend on top of cream products as they are indeed creamy and sticky, which is another reason you only need to use a small amount:

base1base 3

Can you see how little I’ve applied in the right hand picture? That’s a stark white cream eyeshadow, and I took a tiny blob and spread it on my lid. You really, really don’t need to cake it on – you can see from the left-hand picture it’s enough to get my eyeshadow colour looking smooth and vibrant! This also means your base is going to last you a long time. Many makeup nerds have tons of bases (I must have at least twenty if you don’t count eyeliner pencils) but you can probably get away with just a white cream base like NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk, and perhaps a dark base if you do a lot of smokey looks.

Base examples:

NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils*
LA Colors Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils*
Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Pencils*
MAC Paint Pots*
Maybelline Colour Tattoos*
Barry M Super Soft Eye Crayon/Eyeshadow Pencils
MakeUp Forever Flash Palette
Ilamasqua Liquid Metals/Cream Pigments*
Any soft, smudgeable pencil eyeliner or gel liner


Base FAQ

Do I need a primer if I’m wearing a base?

Not always! Some cream products really are very long lasting on their own – try them in store and see if they set without smudging. If they do, you’ll be able to get good wear out of them on their own, although you might find you do still need to wear a primer anyway for really long wear. Maybelline Color Tattoos and MAC Paint Pots are good examples of this type of product.

I can’t blend over my base!

Chances are you’ve just used too much base. It can be hard to make shadow look smoothly blended out at the edges if your base isn’t blended out underneath, so be careful to do that first before you go in with your shadow.

Can I use more than one base?

Of course! I often use different coloured bases on different parts of my eyelid where I want different eyeshadow colours to stand out, although a stark matte white is pretty much just as effective.

Can I use a base over an eyeshadow?

It  *is* sometimes possible to do this depending on the product combination, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Generally, applying cream over a powder makes a nasty, curdled-looking mess so it’s always best to err on the side of it not working! This also goes for your face – don’t apply lipstick or cream blush over powdered skin!

Does it have to be sticky or creamy? Can I use a face paint, greasepaints or lipsticks?

I often use Kryolan Aqua Colours, water-activated face paints, as a base, but they will dry down and have no tackiness or creaminess, so that’s something to bear in mind. Greasepaints are renowned for being long lasting – after all, it’s stage makeup and actors sweat, cry and dance without it budging – so if you have some, try them out. Lipsticks and lip products often have colours in them that in a lot of countries aren’t legally safe for your eyes, and they are also more likely to crease as they often have moisturising properties. However, I’ve known some makeup artists use them to great effect. Do experiment with your makeup box – if you need a base, you’ve probably got something that will work. Just be careful and use eye safe products.

Are glitter glues bases?

They work in mostly the same way, and go on after your primer, but are more sticky than creamy. You still apply a very small amount, and they’re made for helping glitter or loose pigments stick to your eye while enhancing the sparkle and not falling everywhere!



Well folks, that’s your basic guide to primers and bases. I’m going to write a separate post on how to alter the looks of your eyeshadow by using glitter glues, foiling mediums, etc., and go over some techniques to create different looks with the same products. If I’ve missed anything at all or if you have any questions, please do just let me know!

*Products I own, regularly use and repurchase.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Quick Orange Look with Sugarpill and Fyrinnae

Nothing overly exciting today folks, but I liked how it turned out. I’ve been seeing a lot of looks lately with the shading on the inner and outer corners of the eye as opposed to through the crease and I hadn’t done it for a while so I thought I’d try it today. It really makes your lid colour pop and makes your eyes look rounder and larger. Obviously you can do it with deeper blacks, dark browns and navies for a more obvious look but I went quite subtle this time.


tonal orange 2
tonal orange 3
tonal orange 4
tonal orange 6

Eyes: Sugarpill Flamepoint, Fyrinnae STFU, Moonchild, and Electro Koi, UD 24/7 pencil in Perversion
Lips: Illamasqua Lipstick in Test
Cheeks: Boots No 7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter, MAC Buff, Sleek Contour Kit in Light

Flamepoint is one of my favourite shades to wear with my eye colour and I really like adding a little Electro Koi on the top to give it a little more oomph – I added a touch in the centre of the lid and the glow worked really well with the whole shading concept. Also, Fyrinnae and Sugarpill is just a bitching combination!

How do you normally define your eye looks? Have you tried this method or do you normally stick to the crease/lashline?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Lip Maths

If someone can write a whole bunch of lip and/or maths based puns for me to use for this series, I will pay you in…er, love, because I am out. Done.


Sleek Eau La La Liner in Melba + Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Romantique =

Peach Lip Maths
Peach Lip Maths 2

Rather pretty, no? I’m rather scared of wearing pale, peachy shades despite owning a ton of them, and Romantique on it’s own has never really suited me. I think I could just about pull off this combo, though, even if I’m not ecstatic about how it makes my teeth look. Colour aside, I’m really enjoying pairing the Sleek Eau La La Liners in general with other items on the lips, they’re a really nice base and they actually have a lot of colours that work well on the lips!

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Little Bittah Glittah

When I have managed to wear brights lately, my Sugarpill colours have featured a lot and Darling manages to sneak it’s way in quite often! I’d not used it with any of the Heartbreaker palette colours yet and it seemed perfect, so I  teamed ‘em up:


Darling 3
Darling 2
Darling 4
Darling 5

Eyes: Sugarpill Darling, 2am and Velocity, Sleek black, highlight from Wet N Wild Petal Pusher, Collection 2000 Glam Crystals liner in Va Va Voom and 24/7 Extreme Liner Pen in Black, Barry M Kohl in Navy.
Lips: Gosh Light N Shine Lip Glaze no 5
Cheeks: Sleek Suede

I’ve had so little time for cute, bright makeup recently that it feels like a treat to wear it! My fiancé said this was pretty and looked like a peacock but he says that whenever I wear blue of any description! I really liked this look but when I came to edit the photos I noticed I had mascara on both my lower lashlines from sneezing and I hadn’t noticed all day! Aargh!