Saturday, 30 April 2011

A Spot of Saturday Afternoon Accessories Shopping

The sun was shining, it’s another spring bank holiday weekend here in London, and I was in the mood to indulge in a spot of afternoon shopping today.

I headed to Oxford Circus with a friend to look at these light-hearted Union Jack court shoes by Irregular Choice but they didn’t have them in the shop I looked at (I might try their store on Carnaby Street later on in the weekend) so we ended up spending about two hours in Miss. Selfridge and then New Look and going home with bundles of costume jewellery and accessories.  Oh yes and I did buy two completely different pairs of shoes too!

I’ve stated the prices I paid for indicative purposes only; please note that these may be subject to change.

Here are my pics, hope you enjoy!


Big cat ring (with stretchy band) - £10 Miss. Selfridge

pink plastic heart bracelet – £2 Miss. Selfridge



Horse print scarf: £2.99, New Look

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oversized bead necklace: £2, 
Miss. Selfridge

plastic flower print bracelet: £2, 
New Look
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IMG_8193 IMG_8192Oversized corsage: £2,
Miss. Selfridge

Eiffel Tower studs: £5, Miss. Selfridge


Floral canvas shoes: £9.99, New Look


turquoise suede gladiator sandals: £25, Miss. Selfridge

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Smoky Greens by Gosh

I wasn’t going to write a post today as I’ve been out at work all day and it was already dark by the time I got home so not the best conditions for taking photos, but I just got my hair cut so I thought, what the hey, might as well take some photos while my hair’s still looking freshly styled from the salon!

As it was already dark when I decided to do this post I thought I’d go for an evening look using one of my Gosh eyeshadow quads.  I bought a whole stack of Gosh eyeshadow trios a couple of months ago in Superdrug when they were selling them at half-price to clear some shelf space for their new spring colours but I haven’t posted anything about them on this blog yet.  The colours that I used for this look were actually from an eyeshadow quad that I bought as part of a gift set in the January sales.  Usually this brand sells eyeshadow trios and quads for just over £5 and just under £10 – I think they are around the £7/8 mark.  The gift set that I purchased contained an eyeshadow quad in Q32 Evergreen, an On Stage Cool Lip Jam in 102, and a Velvet Touch  Eyeliner in Black Ink.

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artificial lighting; w/o flash artificial lighting; with flash

These were the first Gosh products that I’d tried and I have to say that I’ve been really impressed by them.  The eyeshadows are lovely to work with and I like the fact that the shades deviate slightly from what you might expect in a standard green quad.

A Gosh Velvet touch eyepencil in Black Ink
1 – 4 eyeshadows from quad applied over eyepencil
B green eyepencil used under 2 - 4
5 – 8 eyeshadows from quad applied over bare skin

Here’s my finished eye makeup - I think the colours all go really well together.

IMG_8087 Here’s a pic of my new haircut.  The stylist did a great job of the blow dry.  I’m not very creative with my hair so I doubt I’ll be able to recreate this look!
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I tend to create smoky looks using the “gradient” shading method where you simply apply the colours in a gradient of light to dark from brow to lash, which works well with my eye shape as I have quite narrow eyelids.  As I don’t have a very visible crease I don’t tend to spend too much time creating dimension in the crease and instead work with the darkest colour on the lashline to build depth.

A clear view of my lids - you can see how I've hardly blended this look at all, but it doesn't matter too much as due to the shape of my eyelids.


1. Apply the lightest colour from the crease to the brow.
2. Apply a darker shade over the lid up to the crease.
3. Apply a darker shade in a triangular shape to the outer 1/3 of the lid.
I also used the shades from 2 & 3 under the eye as I don’t like to put very dark shades under my eyes as I just feel that it makes my eyes look so small they practically disappear.
4. Intensify the lash line with the darkest colour or eyeliner or both.
I finished with lots of volumising mascara.  I didn’t use any eyeliner in this look.

I used a brush set that I received as a gift with purchase when I bought a new kind of No. 7 mascara last year.  It has the perfect brushes for this kind of look.

IMG_8113 1. A large brush for applying the highlight under the brow and light colour over the lid
2. an angled shading brush for applying the 2nd darkest green in the outer corner of the lid.
3. a smudger brush for applying the darkest colour at the lashline (this is also a great shape for applying colour along the lower lash line).

I don’t wear much black eye pencil these days for a couple of reasons – one is that I have quite oily skin around the eyes so I just find that it smudges very quickly on my skin and makes me look like I have awful shadows under my eyes, and the other is that I have quite narrow eyes (gosh I’m making myself sound like some kind of Disney villain with all this talk of my narrow eyelids and narrow eyes…) and when I apply black eyepencil on my waterline it makes my eyes look even smaller, so I just tend to avoid it these days.  For these reasons I can’t give that much feedback on the eyepencil but it does have a very creamy consistency and draws an opaque line with hardly any drag, so it gets good marks for pigmentation and texture – I just can’t comment too much on longevity because I don’t really use it much at all.

I am however a big fan of lipgloss and I have to say that I really like this one.  The consistency is non-sticky and the product feels more like a gel than a gloss when applied.  This one happens to be a lovely soft peachy semi-opaque colour and just leaves a, well, lovely gleam on the lips, with a subtle bubblegum fragrance and no offensive taste.  I think it does make my lips look more voluptuous and pouty so I would recommend it for the volumising effect also.


So to sum up I really like these Gosh products and as I mentioned before I do have a whole stack of their eyeshadows so I’ll probably be posting some pics of them soon too.  You can buy Gosh products in the UK from Superdrug.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Violet Arches

I’m back to work tomorrow after my Easter holidays but I still had today off to play around with my make-up, hooray.  I find it a nice and relaxing way to spend a chilled out morning in my flat.  In keeping with the rest of the week I thought I’d go for a different colour again today and I came up with this look which involves the exact opposite of blending, though I can’t think what the word is!  I basically drew in some brightly coloured arches above my crease using just an eye pencil and one shade of eyeshadow.  It’s a little bit of a tricky look just because the lines are quite sharp and it takes a while to get them even, but I think it’s a really nice way to create a striking look with just a small amount of make up, and it is pretty quick.  Plus it’s perfect if like me you’re not the best at blending!

Here’s the finished look, with me looking more than a little smug for no reason – I was having trouble getting my camera to focus and this was one of the best photos I could get.

Creating the Look


Firstly I applied a nude finish silicon based primer all over my eyelids to just above the crease.  You could also apply an eyepencil or creamy base and pat a nude eyeshadow on top, put a teeny bit of foundation on your lids, or leave them bare depending on your skin type – the reason I did this was because although I was only going to wear colour above my crease I do have oily lids and I didn’t want the colour to smudge onto my eyelids as the day went on and my lids got oilier.

I drew the arches in using a purple eye pencil.  This is the step that actually takes the longest because although the colour doesn’t need to be even this is when you create the shape that you want.  When I wear my eye make-up like this I have to keep opening and closing my eyelids and checking the lines from various angles to make sure that they’re approximately even.  It’s also made trickier by the fact that nobody’s eyes are completely symmetrical in the first place, and certainly in my case this line doesn't quite follow the natural line of my socket bone so I have to get a bit freehand with my drawing.

You can use any kind of eye pencil, this is just the one that I happened to use.

Was getting snap happy…he he

Then you just need to pack eyeshadow on top of the lines you’ve drawn.  I like to use a small eyeshadow brush which can be turned on its side and used to create lines with its tip.  I just stroked it back and forth over the eyepencil and stretched it out slightly at the ends.

I chose was a shimmering violet eyeshadow which is really versatile - you can see in the swatches below some of the different finishes that can be achieved with this shade over different bases – I personally like the colour best when applied over a purple eyepencil because it gives a wonderfully intense, shimmery finish.


I then tidied up the ends with a cotton wool bud dipped in eye make-up remover to create an angular edge at the outer corner (you can see this more clearly in the pics below), applied a volumising mascara to my upper lashes, and, erm…that was it!  I love the fact that this kind of look is so high-impact given how little make-up it actually involves.  Oh yes and I popped some pink shimmer all over my cheekbones and temples, which is how I finish every look I wear at the moment.

Finally here are a couple more shots of the finished make-up.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Feelin’ Green

Ah, another beautiful Spring morning in London, another perfect day for bright eyeshadow!


I’ve been wearing quite a lot of blue recently but today I was in the mood for some green – and lots of it!  I decided to just go for a rounded block of colour across my whole eyelid with just the tiniest bit of definition.


Creating the Look

I applied light green eye pencil as a base across my eyelid up to the crease and smoothed it out with my ring finger to leave a very thin layer.  I do like using eye pencils as bases as glitters stick to them well and they are less drying to my skin than silicon based primers.
I patted a bright green eyeshadow over my eyelid and blended out in a round shape above my crease.  I did this twice to get the colour intensity that I was after. I then applied a teeny bit of a silvery green on the inner corner of my eye and blended up and out in an arch above my crease.

For some added definition I used a metallic green eyeliner along my upper lash line.  It adds a really striking contrast as it's metallic and lighter than the main colour on my lids, and as a result opens up my eyes rather than making them appear smaller which black eyeliner tends to do.

I was thinking about using purple mascara but just went for black for the extra definition it offers in the end.  I then tidied up my lower lash line and the outer edges of the shadow to leave the look with a modern, crisp feel using a cotton wool pad soaked in some eye make up remover – it’s the absolute easiest way to create crisp lines with your eyeshadow.  No need to muck about with fiddly masking tape around your eyes to create straight lines.

I also wore my favourite pink blush which is the Accessorize merged blusher in Starlet and dusted some pink shimmer along my cheekbones and temples.  I’m loving shiny pink cheeks this year and have decided they go with everything!

First step & last step:
The green eye pencil that I used as a base for my eyeshadow and black mascara to finish.


I used the green from the Glam Metallics range of eyeliners by Collection 2000.  There’s so much to recommend these eyeliners – great colours, huge tubes, good brushes, long wearing formula AND super cheap on top of all that.  I just have two tips when using them: try not to blink until they are dry on your eyelid as they are a bit runny and can transfer to your upper eyelid if you accidentally blink too vigourously before they’re dry, and use a spot of oil to remove them at the end of the day if you’re having trouble getting them off with just your normal cleanser.


My favourite blush + a shimmer brick to add some pink shine to my complexion.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Gold and Turquoise look

Five years ago gold was my absolute favourite make-up colour.  I wore gold eyeshadow, gold nail varnish, gold lipstick - I even had a gold mascara at one point.

Nowadays I prefer bright colours and haven’t actually worn gold for a long time.  However I wanted to use a splash of my No. 7 turquoise eyeliner again today and I had a bright gold eyeshadow that I felt would go really well with it.  Here’s the look that I came up with, which I’m just about to go to Tescos to pick up some last minute Easter Eggs in!

IMG_7672 IMG_7678
I used a small eyeshadow brush to apply the gold over the inner 1/2 of my eyelid and took it slightly above my crease by following the line of my socket bone with my brush. 
I then applied turquoise gel eyeliner in a thin triangular shape to the outer corner of my eyelid.  It’s a bit tricky to create a shape that looks good when your eyes are open because the shape of the eyelid changes dramatically from the shape you hold it at as you apply the liner.  The trick that I use it to hold my makeup brush at an angle from the outer corner of my nose to the outer corner of my eye and try to follow the angle of that line.  It’s still not easy though and I think I need more practise myself!

Finally I just popped a tiny bit of green eyeshadow along my lower lash line.  No mascara today again as it’s still so hot outside it would probably just smudge as soon as I step into the sun and start sweating.
I use a small angled brush to apply the No. 7 gel eyeliner.  I’ve not used it that many times although the top of it is so mushed up now it looks like I’ve used loads, but that’s just because it has such a soft, creamy consistency.

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I think the pot contains plenty of product and should be enough to keep me in turquoise until I get bored of the colour and move on to a new favourite.  Whenever I’ve worn it it’s lasted all day (on really long days it does smudge but there is still plenty of noticeable colour left by the end of the day) and it’s very easy to remove with some creamy make-up remover, so it’s definitely one of my spring 2011 favourites.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Peking Opera with an ‘80s twist

It’s the Easter weekend – which means loads of bank holidays off work for us lucky office workers, hooray!
The weather here in London has been absolutely gorgeous so far this week which put me in the mood for wearing some really bright make-up colours today.  I had a friend staying over and didn’t want to spend too long doing my make-up and keeping my friend waiting so I came up with this super-easy fun look that I like to think is a bit ‘80s but that my friend also said made her think of Peking Opera.

Although it's quite bright I think it's still quite wearable as most of the bright colour is just concentrated on the outside of the eye and it's balanced by matte neutrals.

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I’ve written posts about all the products I used for this look which I've linked to below.  Here’s a quick run-through of how I created it:

Sleek Paraguaya palette: I used Cameo as a base colour across the eyelid up to the crease and blended out just above, and Sandstone as a highlight under the brow. IMG_6924-1
Sleek Good Girl palette: the bright pink that I used was Pink Punch which is in the top row of the palette.
I applied the bright pink in about 2 min, just dabbing it on in a triangular shape on the outside of my eyelids with a smallish shading brush and not bothering to blend it in too well which I think created an interesting shape that wasn’t too defined.
No. 7 Gel Eyeliner in Turquoise:
I ran this along the outer 3/4 of my upper lash line for some bright, contrasting definition.
I don’t have anything on my lips in the photos above, they’re just naturally really pale.  I did put some lip gloss on just to add a bit of colour before I went out, but nothing too bright because I felt my eyes were bright enough already.
I didn’t bother with any foundation or mascara because it was so warm today I thought it would just smudge if I got too hot when I was walking about outside.  I used Urban Decay primer potion and my eye makeup was all in place after I got home after being out and about for about four hours including walking in the sun for about an hour.