Sunday, 30 September 2012

Inspired by Chilled Pink Grapefruits


These amazing eyeshadows are all from the new Sleek i-divine Respect palette, which is available now (I bought mine in Superdrug) and full of gorgeous shades just perfect for the autumn. I love this eyeshadow as it is the exact colour that I would imagine a “Pink Grapefruit” eyeshadow to be!


Again I’ve skipped the eyeliner on the upper lashline and opted to tightline with a brown gel eyeliner instead so that I don’t lose all the colour of those pretty eyeshadows on my eyelid to a harsh stroke of eyeliner – I think it keeps the look a bit softer and prettier.

I used the shades Cameo Cream (inner corner), New Jack Pink (main lid shade) and James Brown (crease and lower lash line). I also tightlined using a brown gel eyeliner.


Top row – Gladys White, James Brown, Shalamar, Count Basi Beige, Aretha Orange, Otis Red

Bottom row – Roberta Black, Vandellas, Cameo Cream, Motown Mink, O’Jays, New Jack Pink

Sleek PPQ Shangri-La i-Divine Palettes

I didn’t even know that these two babies existed let alone were scheduled for release last week so you can imagine how I gawked when I stumbled across them on the Sleek make-up stand.

There were also two lipglosses released as part of this collection, but I managed to resist them and just came home with the two eyeshadow palettes.


Wouldn’t it be fun if the palettes came in the same designs as the boxes? They’re in the typical black palettes I’m afraid, but at least they do have the names printed on the front these days.

OK, onto some more pics and swatches! I have to apologise for the lighting in these swatches which I found quite problematic due to the funny weather, but I thought that these would be better than no swatches at all.

First up is my current favourite of the two, the Respect palette, which is full of warm-toned neutral, orange and pink shades.

IMG_2373From left to right:

Top row – Gladys White, James Brown, Shalamar, Count Basi Beige, Aretha Orange, Otis Red

Bottom row – Roberta Black, Vandellas, Cameo Cream, Motown Mink, O’Jays, New Jack Pink



Some of the shades didn’t show up very well on my arm but that was because they were close to my natural skin colour, not that they weren’t pigmented. Some of these shadows had a bit of a stubborn texture to swatch, such as James Brown and Roberta Black, but they weren’t a problem to apply with a brush when I wore them on my eyes. If you’re a fan of these shades then I would say this is a good quality palette which is definitely worth picking up for £7. I think the colour scheme of this palette has actually been expertly put together, as it offers so many possibilities of colour combinations that all go together, and also a mixture of bold and neutral shades, contouring and highlighting shades.

Next up is the cool toned Supreme palette, which contains a gorgeous selection of very wearable blues and greens.


From left to right:

Top row: Blue Suede, R&B, Bronx Black, Grand Master Flash, Wah Wah White

Bottom row: La Belle Blue, Smokey Robinson, Al Green, Delfonic, Commodores Cream, Shangrilas Lemon



This is a great palette if you usually wear neutral shades but are looking to experiment with colour, as the shades are soft and buildable. R&B and Bronx Black did stain my skin unfortunately so I’ll probably skip them, but I’m looking forward to wearing the other colours to work this autumn.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

New MAC Quad for Autumn 2012



I know I have bought about a billion new MAC eyeshadows this month but after stocking up on the items I wanted from their Autumn 2012 Styleseeker collection Debenhams went and ran a 10% off all beauty special offer that was too tempting for me not to take advantage of!

I bought an empty pro-palette quad and four pro-palette refill eyeshadows. The colours in the quad above are clockwise from top-left: Tilt (shimmery blue), Parfait Amour (shimmery violet), Coquette (matt yellow brown), and Trax (shimmery plum) .

I love the colours of Tilt and Parfait Amour, and I bought Trax and Coquette to use as transition/blending colours to use on my crease and the outer corner of my eye.

It took my AGES to choose which shadows I wanted and I actually did a load of screenshots which I pasted side-by-side on Paint to see how the combinations worked! I’m really pleased with the completed quad though and love how this combination of colours turned out in real life. The swatches below are all on bare skin without any primer. These shadows are all pigmented and easy to work with.


Above right to left: Tilt, Parfait Amour, Trax, Coquette

Here’s the first look that I created out of this palette, which actually only uses three of the colours.



I’m wearing Tilt on my eyelid and along my lower lash line, with Coquette in the crease, and blended out with Trax. It’s actually my perfect smokey look – not that I think that this is the only colour combination that would work for me, but just that this combination of colour and shading is just the kind of smokey look that I love. Since I have really dark hair and fair skin already I find very dark eyeshadows difficult to wear, but these colours looks intense without being overpowering.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Funky Nails by MUA


So I finally got round to painting my nails with the fantastic colour Love U 24/7 by MUA, which is a creamy opaque purple that I bought back in the spring. The pic below is of two coats, no top coat. I think it’s a great little nail varnish for £2 and really recommend it if you like the colour. I can get 4 days wear out of this no problem in conjunction with my China Glaze topcoat.


I also had an MUA glitter crackle top-coat that I was eager to try out so I popped some on top.


Now, this product does crackle as promised but I’m not sure if I really like the final effect. I think the glitter needed to be a teeny bit more pigmented, as it wasn’t that obvious that it was anything other than a normal glitter topcoat from a distance. I do think that it worked better on my other hand where my nails are longer (see very top photo), so perhaps I’ll wait until all my nails are a bit longer before trying this out again. I also think I didn’t quite get the colour combination right, as the blue got a bit lost within the purple, so next time I’ll go for a contrasting undercoat in a gold, orange or brown.

Are You Ready for Autumn?

My eyeshadow is! I’ve got some shots to share today of my make-up from yesterday, taken with my new DSLR camera and fiddled about a bit with on Picasa.


Above: photo edited using a “Cinemascope” effect. I love how white this makes my eyes look!


Above: Looking slightly wind-swept in my close-up thanks to a healthy dose of peachy blush


Above: I’m hoping to turn grown-out eyebrows into one of the signatures of my look :)

I fancied experimenting with a neutral eye in classic autumnal shades yesterday and came up with this look. I do like the finished effect but my one regret is that I used a super-glittery eyeshadow on the inner corner of my eye that kept falling down and getting not just all over my face but also in my eyes – ouch!

The shades I used were Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (the glittery culprit) and Nylon from my Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol II on my lid and Star Myth from my new MAC duo in and above my crease. I didn’t want to use eyeliner on my upper lash line as I have quite narrow eyelids and my whole movable lid can be overpowered by eyeliner so to add a bit of extra definition I tightlined with a brown gel eyeliner instead, which is a technique that I’m becoming a bit of a fan of this season. It’s great for weekends when I want to wear heavier make-up but don’t want to wear eyeliner on my upper lashline. Usually during the week if I decide to go for eyeliner it’s the other way round and I’m all about a lovely big flick on the upper lash line and no tightlining whatsoever so it’s nice to ring in the changes!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Peach and Green

I think that peach and green is a lovely eyeshadow combination. There’s also something quite autumnal about it – a mixture of the colours of the leaves and vegetables that are coming into season at the moment perhaps, like, um…carrots and pumpkins??



I used quite soft shades in this look which I think makes a lovely brightening combo for the daytime, which was particularly useful for me this weekend as I’m recovering from a cold and I felt that my face was looking a bit washed out and dull.

These colours also looks great with more intensity as an orange/forest green combination – I posted a look with those colours here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I love…hand creams

I just wanted to do a quick post to mention these fabulous fun hand creams by the I love…range available in Superdrug. They cost the bargain price of £1.99 and come in a range of yummy smells. I have the raspberry and blackberry and coconut ones.

They have cute, retro-style packaging which makes them look much more expensive than they are.



I was trying to capture the consistency in the shot above but I’m not sure how well it comes across. These are perfect for hand cream addicts like me as they’re quite thick so you only need a small amount each time, meaning that they last longer than their runnier counterparts. So, if you like cute packaging and cheap hand cream, check these out next time you’re in Superdrug!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sparkling Cement

Today I just have a quick nail post to show off the sparkly greige nails that I’m sporting at the moment. For some reason I really like to match my nails to the weather (I don’t know why! I just always feel inspired by nature and love channelling the weather on my nails) so as the last of the summer is gently fading away and autumn is beginning to peep through these seemed fitting.


Here are the products that I used to create this look. I always use a base coat to protect the surface of my nails (I find that it really makes a difference to the condition of my nails afterwards) and at the moment I’ve just started using Illamasqua’s base coat. (I loved my previous base coat but it was by German brand P2 which isn’t readily available in the UK so I had to switch). It’s OK but a bit thin so sometimes I feel like I could do with a bit more protection underneath certain nail varnishes, eg those that are bad for staining.

The greige I used was 091 Smoky Canvas by Revlon which gives opaque coverage in 2 coats. I then added a couple of coats of O.P.I’s Care to Danse (that is how O.P.I spell it but if it’s a pun I’m not sure that I get it…) which I have a tiny mini bottle of from their NY Ballet minis collection this spring. I do like it but would hesitate to pay the asking price for a full sized bottle. Finally I finished off as always with the China Glaze No Chips Top Coat which I think is AMAZING and will be rushing out to buy again as soon as I finish it. This stuff extends the life of my nail varnishes like nothing else I have ever tried before and I at the moment I seem to be managing to average 5 days with my varnishes. Did I mention that I love this stuff??


Above left – right: Illamasqua base coat, Revlon 091 Smoky Canvas, O.P.I Care to Danse, China Glaze No Chips Top Coat, butterfly clip V&A museum shop

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Smoky Red with On the Hunt



This post concludes my introduction to MAC’s autumn 2012 Style Seeker collection which is out now. Yesterday I wore a smoky brown eye with Marché aux Puces and today I created an intense russet eye with the other eyeshadow duo that I picked up from the colleciton, On the Hunt.


The texture of this duo, like Marché aux Puces, is quite dry and does take a bit of to-ing and fro-ing from the pan to the eyelids in order to build the colour up, but that does give it the advantage of not being too intense straight away if that’s not what you’re looking for. Sometimes highly pigmented shadows can be a bit overwhelming to apply.

My top tip for working with eyeshadows of this texture is to apply them over a creamy base, such as an eyeshadow stick or pencil or a concealer. It really helps the shadow to stick and intensifies the colour payoff.  I used a heather-toned MAC shadestick on this occassion (not because I like it but rather because I’m trying to use it up so I can throw it away!), but my other favourite cream bases are BarryM shimmering eye and lip crayons.

I find red, along with yellow and black, one of the most difficult eyeshadow colours to pull off but after some experimentation I think that the key for me in being able to pull it off is to finish the look with a slick of eyeliner to create some contrast and keep the eye defined. Although it’s one of my least favourite aspects of make-up application because I find it tickles so much I tightlined my eyes for this look with my favourite brown gel eyeliner, then finished with a slick of dark brown mascara. I then finished off by blending some shimmery peach eyeshadow over my lower lash line and the inner corner of my eye.

I’m really pleased with the finished result so I’m happy that I decided to grab this palette in the end.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Smoky Brown with Marché aux Puces



Today my new Marché aux Puces MAC eyeshadow duo and Supercontinental blush (more photos here) got their first outing and I came up with this intense golden brown smoky look. I used a pinkish eyeshadow stick as a base then blended a dark brown on the inner and outer third, popped an orange gold in the centre, then blended everything out at the crease.  I did use some eyeliner, but ony on my lower lashline, and I skipped mascara to create a slightly toned-down smoky look that wasn’t too overpowering for daytime. And incidentally, 12h later the colours are still all going strong – brilliant.


I used my favourite brown eyeliner which is a gel liner by Essence. Unfortunately this brand isn’t readily available in the UK so I’ll most likely end up having to buy a much much more expensive alternative when I run out – this cost just 3 euros and I think it’s a great product. I definitely recommend checking this range out if you ever come across a stand. Fortunately I still have plenty left as I don’t use it that often so I should be OK for a while yet.


Some MAC Styleseeker for Autumn 2012

MAC have just released a new autumn collection called Styleseeker that’s full of gorgeous tones reminiscent of sunsets, falling leaves and bonfires. I was really keen to get my hands on a few of the shades as they’re a bit of a departure from the vivid blues, bright purples and jewel tones greens that I’ve been sporting this summer and I don’t really wear browns or reds so I thought it would be fun to branch out.

I picked up two of the eyeshadow duos and one of the blushes.


Above: Eyeshadow Duo in Marché aux Puces (The name is French for flea market). The individual shade names are Chessa (l) and Indie Spirit (r).


Above: Eyeshadow duo in On the Hunt (individual shades are Star Myth and Raving Mad).


Above left to right: Marché aux Puces, On the Hunt


Above: blush in Supercontinental

I’ve only worn Marché aux Puces and Supercontinental so far and I really like both. Marché aux Puces is a bit dry and takes a bit of work to pack onto the eyelids but I love the colour and am glad to have added it to my collection. Supercontinental is a soft peach that gives a lovely natural flush to the cheeks that doesn’t look powdery at all which is one of the nicest blushes I’ve ever tried.

I do think that On the Hunt is going to take a little bit of effort to make it work for me as for one red eyeshadows can make me look like I have sore eyes if I’m not careful and the texture of these shades is quite dry. I’m looking forward to playing around with this duo in any case.

Keep checking on the blog for some looks created using these products – the first one is coming right up after this post.

Monday, 10 September 2012

What was the last…?

I thought it’d be fun to do a post like this once a month or so where I just do one overview post of the most recent additions to my make-up collection. The main reason is actually to help myself figure out if I’m getting good use out of the things that I’ve been buying, but hopefully it will also be interesting/useful to post a whole bunch of mini-reviews in one go!

Soooo here’s a photo of my newest make-up babies.


Eyeshadow: I’m such an eyeshadow fan that I couldn’t really remember the last one I bought so I’ve included three. One is the MUA Dusk Till Dawn palette and there is an Accessorize baked duo in Venus and Look Beauty triple hit eyeshadow trio in Party Fever. I haven’t used any of these as much as I should have so that’s definitely been interesting for me to realise and I will try to dig these out more. It’s also interesting to note that the duo and trio both contain very similar shades so they’re clearly favourites of mine at the moment for some sub-conscious reason. I think the deep purple in both will be a great staple colour for autumn.


Mascara: Scandaleyes Show Off Mascara by Rimmel

I’m always interested in trying out new high street mascaras when they launch and I thought this one looked pretty cool. I know the bright pink won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but I quite like the packaging. Unfortunately it doesn’t do much for my lashes as the formula just doesn’t want to build up on my stumpy, sparse lashes. However I’m not worried as I will put this aside while I finish off my current mascaras and when it’s dried out and thickened up a bit I’m sure it will actually perform much better for me.


Eyepencil: MUA Intense Eyeliner in Royal Blue


I bought this because 1) I thought the colour was really cool and 2) it was only £1 – wow! That’s even more impressive when you consider that it even comes with its own sharpener in the lid. It’s really soft and intense when applied and also easy to smudge and blend out but I can’t actually remember if I’ve worn it or not yet so I can’t comment on its longevity – eek!  Another one to make more effort to use…


Foundation: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

I don’t actually buy foundation that often so I got this one months ago now but I haven’t needed to buy one since. I tend to have two or three foundations on the go at once and I only really wear it at weekends (I stick to tinted moisturiser during the week just to save time in the mornings). I really like this foundation which I use when I want a dewy finish. It’s quick thick so I only need one pump for my whole face and it’s light to medium coverage.


Blush: MAC mineralize blush in Solar Ray and Mineralize Skin Finish in Star Wonder


I bought these in July and I’ve used them loads so even though they were really expensive I’m happy that I’m getting my money’s worth out of them.  There are also loads of pictures of them on my blog now already as I keep harping on about them and featuring them in my looks posts! The only issue I have is that Solar Ray is a bit powdery and I have trouble getting it to last on my skin which is combination to oily. I have not made a dent in these yet so I think they will last for ages. In fact, I’m probably never going to see the bottom of them as I have so many blushes and love rotating them depending on the weather (yes, really!!)

Lipsticks: No. 7 Stay Perfect lipstick in Glace and Stay Perfect Lip Lacquer in Sugar Mauve


I haven’t really worn the lipstick yet but I wore the lip duo to a party on Saturday and it definitely did the business, staying on through a two-course Indian meal and two pints and a lemonade! It’s a great long lasting lip colour, but it does take ages to apply so I never wear it during the week, although I really want my lipstick to be long lasting when I’m at work. The gloss is quick and easy to apply though as it has a really good brush applicator so I would definitely be able to apply that during the week on my way to work. I have high hopes for the traditionally shaped lipstick therefore, but I have a couple of older ones that I’m trying to finish up first. I bought it as it was on half-price offer but I’m going to avoid buying any more lippies until I get through a few of the ones I have.

That’s it for this month. I feel like it was actually very useful to go through my make-up in this way and I actually learnt a lot so I will hopefully be repeating this exercise very soon!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Green and Brown

I was playing around with this green eyeshadow on Saturday as I wanted to wear a really bright colour for a party I was going to, but when it was actually on my eyes it just ended up looking a bit washed out. I took it off and wore a bright purple in the end instead, but thought that I might as well get some use out of it so I teamed it up with a brown and a light green as a highlight for this slightly washed-out daytime look instead.




The bright green and brown shadows are both from the Urban Decay Deluxe Palette (below) which I’ve decided to try to use up and throw out as soon as possible as I’ve just had it for ages and it’s been lying around neglected for years. Although many of the colours look really bright I find that unless you use a strong base (i.e a cream base in a similar colour to the shadow) they don’t appear as bright on the skin as they do in the pans. There’s a fair selection of neutrals as well so even though there’s no particular colour theme it’s quite a versatile palette.