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Wednesday 26 February 2014

Wedding Makeup Series Part 1: Should I hire an MUA for my wedding day?

Hello lovelies!  I'm getting married this year, and as a part-time MUA and beauty blogger nailing my makeup on the big day is pretty important to me. This is the first part in a series of posts about wedding makeup and I thought I'd start with a tough question...should you hire a professional makeup artist for the day?

So...should you hire a pro or not? If you're into makeup, which if you're reading this blog you probably are, it can be really a tough choice, especially with all the other expenses of the day! I would say it's almost always worth at least looking into, not matter your experience level with makeup, but first ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have other people who will need hair/makeup on the day who could benefit from a professional?
- Do you feel a lot of pressure when getting ready for an event? Are you prone to panicking/flapping/stress when you're getting ready for something important?
-Do you like feeling pampered?
-Do you have no clue about what makeup would be best for the day?
-Does the idea of having one less thing to worry about sound good to you?
-Are you someone who has no clue about how makeup works with photography?

If the answer one or more of those questions is yes, then I would definitely consider having a professional do your makeup on the day. Let's expand on those a little, shall we?
-Do you have other people who will need hair/makeup on the day?

Okay, so this one doesn't relate to you personally, but even if you're a total whizz with makeup yourself, on your wedding day you're not going to want to do your mum, mother-in-law and bridesmaids makeup, are you? If you want your loved ones to look great in photos, getting an MUA in is a pretty safe bet and will make your party feel pampered too. Plenty of people who do have an MUA on the day just hire one for themselves, however - it's your day after all (and your budget!)
- Do you feel a lot of pressure when getting ready for an event? Are you prone to panicking/flapping/stress?

I'll put my hands up for this one! I hate getting ready under pressure. Stressing about getting your eyeliner even on your wedding day isn't going to be any fun and if your family are anything like mine, is only going to result in a slapped wrist! If you've got an MUA on board, this worry is going to be elimated - you'll already have had at least one trial, you'll know what your makeup is going to look like so you can just sit back and relax. A professional will have a good handle on how long your look will take, so you won't run late, either.

-Do you like feeling pampered?

No brainer. Hire a pro!
Do you have no clue about what makeup would be best on the day?

Maybe you don't wear makeup normally, but want to look polished in your photos. Maybe you have no idea what will pair nicely with your dress, or maybe you know you make quick decisions and regret them later when it comes to your clothes and makeup, etc. Or maybe you have tons of ideas you can't narrow down! A good MUA will be able to talk through all your concerns and help you choose something that suits your looks, personality and wedding outfit all while making sure it's going to photograph well
Does the idea of having one less thing to worry about sound good to you?

Another no brainer, really!

-Are you someone who has no clue about how makeup works with photography?

Your wedding photos are not THE most important thing when it comes to your wedding memories in my personal opinion, but pretty bloody important and you'll probably  be looking at those photos for a long time! If you don't have a clue about how makeup works with photography, this is where a professional will come in handy because they really *do* have a clue! Also, photos taken with your camera (most of us have phone cameras or point-and-shooters) will look different to those taken with a professional camera, and your MUA will be experienced in this too.

A lot of people say they don't want to hire an MUA on the day because of the cost, but sadly, wedding day makeup *does* cost a lot of money. This is for a reason, people! It's a premium service, tailored to you, from a skilled professional, on an extremely important day in your life - if you are going to hire an MUA, get the best one for you that you can afford (this doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive!) and build it into your budget from the start of your planning! A lot of people treat makeup on their wedding day as a throw-away thing - if it's really not important to you, don't have a pro come in at all. A bad makeup-artist is worse than no makeup artist, and if you're not invested in having an MUA, you probably won't have taken the time to find one that's right for you. So if you're going to have one, take it seriously, budget for it and do your research. This, and any of the above, also all apply to things such as your manicure, fake tan, lash extensions or eyebrow shaping. My next post will be all about what to look for in a professional MUA, so stay tuned for that!
As for me - I'm doing my hair and makeup myself. It's a ritual I personally don't want someone else to take care of, plus I'm getting married abroad so trials, etc, aren't going to happen! I'll be writing posts on doing your makeup yourself as well, so stick around for those.

I hope this was helpful to someone out there, thanks for reading! If I've missed anything, please do let me know and I'll try to help.

Monday 24 February 2014

Darling Girl Pixie Sprinkles and Glitter Glue

Sometimes buying indie makeup can be a pain in the ass, so when you find a company that is great, you want to try every thing that they do! I’ve bought Pixie Sprinkles a few times from Darling Girl, but never tried their Glitter Glue which I know many of my blogger friends enjoy, so when I spied my little eye on some of the newer Pixie Sprinkles shades, I grabbed the glitter glue to try as well.

DG Pixie Sprinkles 2

Dg Pixie Spinkles

L-R: Mirage, Re-gifted, Gilded Ballerina.

DG Pixie Sprinkles Gilded Ballerina

Gilded Ballerina – a mix of soft pink and gold glitters.

DG Pixie Sprinkles Mirage
Mirage – Taupe?! It’s a greeny-grey sort of blend, but let’s face it – TAUPE. Taupe glitter. Tauuuupe.

DG Pixie Sprinkles regifted
Re-gifted – a blend of purple and lime green glitters.
DG Mirage 4

Wearing ‘Mirage’ on the lid


Using ‘Gilded Ballerinas’ as an accent on an Anti-Valentines look.

Pixie Sprinkles are gorgeous glitters! I have a bunch of these (21 Guns is great!), these are just the ones that came in my latest order. The thing I like about them is that they’re really fine, small shimmer particles (with the exception of Re-gifted which has a mix of large and small particles in) and I find this makes them a bit easier than to work with chunkier glitters as they’re easier to pick up with your brush. Each blend is unique and they cost $4.00 each and come in a little shaker container – a real bargain!

But what of the Glitter Glue? I’m used to Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, and this works in a  verysimilar way. It’s much less tacky and has a slightly thinner consistency, however - it's so light on the lid! If you’ve never used Glitter Glue before, it’s super easy to use. Just spread a thin a layer as possible onto the area you want to apply glitter or loose pigment onto, and then tap your product on top. It’s not that easy to blend over, so take that into consideration when you apply – for example, maybe blend your crease out first rather put glitter on your lid . You really need the tiniest amount, so this tube is going to last you forever.

Are you a glitter fan? What’s your favourite method to apply?

Friday 21 February 2014

Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses

Illamasqua are well known for their bold campaigns and fearless colour choices in their products and in my opinion, nothing embodies that view of the brand more than their Intense Lipglosses. I own eight of these beauties and I thought I would share just how gorgeous they are!

Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses
L-R: Boost, Touch, Shoot, Wanderlust, Violate, Galactic.
Illamasqua Shoot
This is Shoot – isn’t she gorgeous? This is a newer addition to my little collection and I bought her for shoots, so I haven’t really worn her yet. She’s almost totally opaque, but due to the unusual colour I would recommend wearing a green eyeliner on the lips so if the colour moves around, you won’t see any pink underneath from your natural lip (which can really ruin the look of a green shade!)

Illamasqua 'touch'
This is Touch, from the 2014 I’m The One collection for Valentines Day. Not as unique as some of the Intense Lipglosses but certainly gorgeous! This has a lovely shimmer to it.

Illamasqua Boost
illamassqua boost layerd
This is Boost – applied alone, and over a deep brown liner. Don’t you just love a duochrome? People went nuts for Boost when it was released and for good reason – it’s beautiful! This is fairly sheer for an Intense Lipgloss which tend to be thicker, but I suppose the effect is quite intense! I love the versatility of this shade.
Illamasqua Violate
Next up is Violate, one of my favourite Illamasqua products ever. I think this shade is really glamorous, and layered over a red is actually beautifully wearable. This isn’t fully opaque but you can get away with wearing it on your own.

Illamasqua Wanderlust 2
From the Creator collection, this is Wanderlust. I LOVE this shade – if you like the brown shades of the 90’s revival that’s been going on in the makeup world, this is a really nice, different addition to that sort of trend. I can’t wait to use this shade on a model with deeper skin. And on a model with pale, pale skin. I just love it!
Illamasqua Galactic
This is Galactic – very cool, but very strange! It doesn’t seem to have a base colour and seems to be made up of silver particles - if you click to see a bigger picture, you can see what I mean. This means it's hard to get a crisp line, but it's worth the work.
Illamasqua Absorb 2
This is, Absorb. Alone, it’s.. well, on me it’s quite frankly nasty and a little um, biological, but it’s a great mixing shade, so I’ve kept it hanging around! Again, pigmented and glossy.

Illamasqua frenzy

I *think* this may be Frenzy, but the label has worn off of this one so I’m not too sure. Sorry! However, I wanted to include it to show you again how lovely and pigmented these glosses are.

So there you are, thems my babies! The Intense Lipglosses do vary – some are sheerer than others, some have more of a creme finish for example – but on they whole they tend to be very pigmented, slightly thicker lipglosses that are nonetheless comfortable to wear and with fairly decent staying power. Out of these, Boost is probably the one I have to reapply most often. At £14.50, they’re certainly not the cheapest lipglosses on the market but if you want an unusual colour, I really don’t think you’ll find better quality. The only negative thing about these is that since they changed the packaging, sometimes the brushes in them are splayed which is very frustrating. However, because of the pigmentation of these glosses, you may wish to apply them with your favourite lip brush anyway.

Facade, Gender, Stranger and Absorb are next on my list. Do you have any of this range?

Tuesday 18 February 2014

L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire lipglosses in Nude Vibrato and Rose Symphony

These interesting little pots are a new addition to the L’Oreal line, with L’Oreal claiming “Lips become extraordinary with new Extraordinaire by Colour Riche™. The new vision of lip colour features luxurious micro-oils that infuse each pigment for ultimate colour richness.” I saw the word ‘oil’ along with the YSL-esque packaging and was immediately intrigued. There are 16 shades in the range, and of course my Boots only had about six, and neither of those were the orange or purple. Boo!

L'Oreal Extraordinaire

The packaging remind me almost of nail polish bottles – these are really chunky! At first glance they look pretty luxurious but the colour on them is a plastic insert, which is very odd as when you unscrew the lid, the screw part is clear plastic which allows you to see the product colour as well. Very strange. these come with a doefoot applicator.

L'Oreal Extraordinaire Swatches

The shades I have are Nude Vibrato and Rose Symphony. All the colours in the range are classical music themed.

L'Oreal Rose Symphony

Rose Symphony is a gorgeous, bright clean rose-pink shade.

L'Oreal Nude Vibrato Swatch

Nude Vibrato (I keep typing ‘Vibrator’) is a light pink-based nude. Swatched on my hand, this has more of a brown or peach tone, but reads pinker on my lips.

Sleek Acid LOTD
Wearing ‘Nude Vibrato.’

These feel very unusual on the lips – my first reaction to them was not good - they feel almost plasticy! This gives them that gorgeous vinyl look but I wasn’t sure about it at first at all! I got over the feeling and they’re pretty comfortable to wear. My lips were quite dry for these above swatches and you can see they didn’t accentuate that – I actually find them quite moisturizing! They’re not as liquid as a regular gloss, so while they’re not sticky or tacky I get decent wear from these and they don’t slide around on the lip. It’s a new texture to me and it’s quite hard to describe. The shine wears away somewhat but you’ll get a good couple of hours.

I can see these being very popular and I would be tempted to try out the orange and purple shade if I see them and they have nice tones to them. I’m not head over heels with these, but I do like them and they’ll be perfect to join my little arsenal at work.

I bought these on an introductory offer, but I recall they were £8.99 each – I can’t find them online yet. Will you be trying them?

Monday 17 February 2014

Getting back into eyeshadow: LOTD with Sleek Acid Palette

I’ve hardly been wearing eyeshadow at all this year and I feel like the last few times I’ve applied it I’ve felt like a newbie! I can’t wear whatever makeup I like to work anymore, so I tend to wear a cream eyeshadow that I can easily apply on the tube. With Christmas and going snowboarding and having various coughs and colds I’ve missed wearing eyeshadow, so on Saturday this weekend I decided to wear something bright!

Sleek Acid LOTD 2
Sleek Acid LOTD 3

Sleek Acid LOTD

Sleek Acid LOTD 4

Eyes: Sleek Acid Palette, Illamasqua liner in Scribe, Collection 24/7 Extreme pen liner.
Lips: L’Oreal Extraordinaire Gloss in
Cheeks: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat
Face: L’Oreal Eau de Teint, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

If I’ve been neglecting eyeshadow, I’ve *really* neglected this palette! I thought the neon would look great with a pop of white, although in reality I was probably a bit too rushed to make the liner look as nice as it should have. And I think I ought to have used lashes too. Oh well, it was fun and so nice to wear something bright after so long!

Is there a palette you haven’t used for a long time?

Thursday 13 February 2014

My first Lipstick Queen: ‘Dancing Queen’ trio

I’m quite excited to share my first foray into the brand Lipstick Queen with you – I literally had no experience with the brand at all before these dropped onto my doormat, not even a swatch in the shop! Lipstick Queen lipsticks start at £20 and go up to £25 for the ‘Velvet Rope’ line, which is part of the reason why I’ve not tried them before, but this set was on sale at SpaceNK for a measly £7, so I just had to try! I believe this was their offering for Christmas 2013.

Lipstick Queen is the brainchild of Poppy King, who I feel I should know who she is, but I don’t. But she made this line because she couldn’t find the perfect lipstick, blah blah. The line is said to be ‘wearable’ and has ‘classic formulations with a modern twist.’ Many reviews of the line that I’ve read say the lipsticks all have beautiful, comfortable formulas, which I am more than down with.

Lipstick Queen Disco Queen
Lipstick Queen

This is special packaging for this set and the tubes are a gorgeous brushed aluminium type look in a gorgeous pink shade. No complaints packaging wise – the box is fun and lipsticks still look classy while being funky. A+ on that front.

This “soft, moisturizing lipstick range by Lipstick Queen is a truly unique take on fashions hottest trends, iridescence.”  Alrighty, shiny moisturized lips seem to be the order of the day here.

Lipstick Queen Electric Slide
Lipstick Queen Electric Slide Swatch

’Electric Slide’

This one looks red on the tube, but comes off as sheer, light red, almost stain-like look with red iridescence. Not my favourite alone, but this looks amazing over a red lipliner:
DG Mirage 3

Very layering! Much red!

Lipstick Queen The Hustle
Lipstick Queen The Hustle Swatch

‘The Hustle’

This one is surprisingly my favourite! I’m not a huge one for nudes or light pinks, but this one again has the red shimmer in it and it just looks beautiful. Love this one, worth getting the set for this one alone.

Lipstick Queen Cha Cha
Lipstick Queen Cha Cha Swatch

”Cha Cha”

This one is my least favourite of the bunch – I feel the sparkles are very close to the base colour and that the finish isn’t as nice on the lips because of this.

Overall, I like these – The Hustle has joined my mini wardrobe of work-safe lipsticks. They’re light, moisturizing and pretty and feel lovely on the lips. The gorgeous packaging makes me feel like I’m wearing something special at work, and the colours are safe enough to wear at work where I’m only allowed to wear neutral colours. While I do find them lovely and emollient, the shimmer in the lipsticks is left on the lips a little. It’s not a chunky glitter so doesn’t make your lips look bad, but I know that would be a concern for some and I would prefer them to wear a little more evenly.  I’m still not sure, however, if I would try something else from the range. I’m not sure if this finish is present elsewhere in the line, so I’m not really sure if this is an indication of the quality of the line as a whole. I do know that the line has a lot of devotees, so who knows! I may pick up something else from Lipstick Queen in future.

If you’re keen to pick up this set, you can still find it on QVC for £22.40.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

My new favourite scent - Thierry Mugler Alien

Alright, it's not a new scent at all, but it's new to me! Beloved by so many and hated by many others, this is a pretty polarising scent! I fell in love with it a while ago but never got round to buying it for myself, so I was absolutely delighted when my in-laws gave it to me for Christmas.


Follow me on Instagram @staybeautifulmakeup!

The bottle, of course, is gorgeous - totally evocative of Mugler's exquisite otherworldly fashion designs. Purple perfume bottles are always appealing to me and the gold accents make it look super luxurious.

The scent is made up of an amber base, a woody heart and jasmine top notes. If you're not a fan of jasmine or white florals, you probably won't like this scent as it's very prominent at first. I love, love, love perfumes with amber but this is my first jasmine-y scent, and I adore it. I'm not too hot on scent descriptions, but this has a warm, woody almost spicy base underneath the florals and I can still smell these base notes close to my skin at the end of the day. Overall, it's very luxurious and sexy and not a fragrance for the shy - it kind of clubs you around the head, yet the sillage isn't crazy and won't make people on the tube next to you chocke - it wears pretty close to my skin, which I prefer. As noted, it wears extremely well on me, and one spritz is plenty. It's what I'd describe as a fancy brothel madame scent - luxurious, sexy and basically, my kind of perfume all over!

It's not an uncommon scent, but I don't care. I'm not sure wheter this will appeal to me as much during the summer months, but I know I'll be repurchasing this beauty again and again.

What's your favourite perfume at the moment? Do you have a couple of scents

Monday 10 February 2014

LOTD with Illamasqua Static

The good thing about the Illamasqua sale is that if there’s an item you want, chances are it’ll get reduced even further at the end of the sale. Being a total tightwad, I waited until what I wanted - their gorgeous purple-pink-blue iridescent pigment Static and the white liquid liner, Scribe – went down to peanuts and snapped them up.

Illamasqua Static Lotd 2

Illamasqua Static LOTD 3 
Illamasqua Static LOTD 5

Eyes: Black from Sleek Acid Palette, browns from MUA Undress Me Too. White liner is Scribe from Illamasqua, purple pigment in inner corners is Illamasqua Static applied wet. Waterline is lined with Kiko Long-lasting eyeshadow stick
Lips: Lord and Berry lipstick in Glazed Pink
Cheeks: Highlighter from Barry M Natural Glow palette (crap eyeshadows, lovely highlighter), Kiko blush in Active Mauve
Face: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, L’oreal Eau de Teint.

Nothing overly special look-wide, but you can’t beat a smoky eye in my opinion!

I can’t believe I waited so long to try Scribe – this formula is amazing! Seriously will not budge. I can’t wait to use this in a more full-on look – white eyeliner is cool as hell. Static is pretty cool too – it’s like a pink version of Sugarpill Lumi! If you like strong iridescence, you’ll love this.

How do you like to add a twist to your smokey eye?

Monday 3 February 2014

Sleek Blush By 3 in California

I hadn’t purchased a Sleek product for a very long time, but this cream blush trio from Sleek was always going to come home with me. I love peachy coral tones and I love cream blushes, but I’m also a big fan of Sleek’s powder blush formula and wanted to see if their cream formula stood up to that.

Sleek California Blush by 3

Sleek Cream Blush by 3 Palette

Housed in Sleek typically, er, sleek packaging, the palette is about half the size of Sleek’s eyeshadow palettes. You’re getting a pretty decent amount of blush here, kids.

Sleek California Blush by 3 Palette

L-R, The Surf, Newport Beach, The O.C

The Surf and The O.C are straight-up cream textures, while Newport Beach has shimmer to it – it’s somewhat-but-not-quite akin to NARS Orgasm with it’s pinky-goldness. Considering the other tones in the palette, it’s probably not going to suit most people who will buy it as a highlighter, but I like to apply it first and then add another colour in the centre to help give a softer, more diffused look.

Sleek Cream Blush by 3

Wearing Newport Beach with The Surf in the centre.

As you can see, pretty subtle on the skin. If you want craycray pigmentation, these aren’t the blushes for you. Generally that’s not what anyone wants from a blush and I love how these look on the skin.

These aren’t the most long lasting cream blushers – they don’t set like some do (probably for the best, given the packaging) but they’re decently pigmented, allowing you to work them nicely into the skin.  You’ll probably see a fade during the afternoon, but if you’re into the lovely natural look you can get from cream blushers, it’s not a biggie, plus it takes seconds to reapply with your fingertips.

All in all, there are better cream blushes out there – the Inglot AMC Cream Blush formula is pretty much the bomb – but if you’re into these shades, you could do a lot, lot worse for a tenner and the palette will last you forever.  This also appears to be a permanent addition to the Blush by 3 line up, so no need to stalk your Superdrug, where they’re available  for £9.99

Need tips on how to apply? Check out my ‘How to Apply Cream Blush’ post!