Sunday, 5 December 2010

MyFace: Blingtone Eyeshadow

Not a huge fan of sparkly eyeshadows. I love my shimmers, but glitter- if it's not finely milled- means tacky, means fall out, means mess.

I recently purchased the MyFace Blingtone shadow in Bellbottom Blues (£10) and was so impressed with the pigmentation and the fine glitter particles. This colour is seriously gorgeous and would suit most skintones. You could do a really light wash, blending it out (this would make the glitter more apparent as you would effectively be blending away the base colour) or make it opaque. The latter was the approach I took and the overall effect definitely had impact and - thankfully - staying power. Noone wants to visit the ladies' midway through a night out and find that their glitter eyeshadow has migrated south.

Check out the swatches:

Application wise, I patted this on all over the lid with my fingers to minimise fall out and build up density (when building up the colour I find that brushes just flick the glitter about) and then blended the edges with my trusty 217.

In anticipation of fallout I did my eyes before my base which made cleaning up under the eye easy - a quick sweep with a cleansing wipe sorted it out.

Great colour for Christmas parties and for drama! Also has a bit of 1970s disco vibe to it - I felt a bit like Donna Summer in her heyday!


Alex Box Masterclass, Selfridges, London

As soon as I saw that Alex Box would be holding an intimate masterclass at London's Selfridges, I was all over it like Kate Middleton in a wedding shop. Like Cher Lloyd at a chav convention. Let's just say I was keen. From a previous post you will know that I am a massive fan of Alex and her work as the creative director of Illamasqua and international make up artist.

The masterclass was held in a private room with approximately 16-17 people in attendance, plus a few Illamasqua make up artists to lend a hand and pour the bubbly! The room was set out with tons of Illasmasqua products for us to play with and the setting meant that we were all able to see Ms Box work her magic up close.

Alex -in massively high wedges and a cool colour clash outfit - made up a stunning model from scratch, demonstrating how to create a flawless base and contour the face for a nude but edgy and defined look. She then developed this further by adding colour and texture for a more full-on, night-time editorial look. She then a transformed this into a more 'glamourous' look by adding lashes and more (as she puts it) classical motifs of glamour. Check out the pics!

What I appreciate about Alex's work aside from her technical ability (and the fact that she was able to talk at length whilst perfectly applying everything!) is that her references are so rich. Her background in fine art means she draws inspiration from 18th century art and sub-cultures and uses this to amazing effect. She can turn out something really directional and abstract as well as more classic looks and is fearless with colour. Some artists seem to be stuck in a colour rut but Alex (and Illamasqua in general) encourages experimentation and expression. She explained that Illamasqua is practically the only brand that allows their counter artists to wear progressive make up.

Illamasqua has navy lipstick in their Art of Darkness range ('Disciple') which would scare the shit out of most people, but it was perfectly applied to one lady and it didn't look crazy at all. As Alex explained, perfect application makes you look past the non-conventional colour and you just accept it as being glamourous.

She spoke about her methods of contouring, blending, colour theory, the Illamasqua product range, eyebrow shaping, what differentiates contemporary from glamour and why, and much, much more! She also took questions at the end, offering advice to the make up artists and the plain old enthusiasts amongst us. It was so much fun!

I even got a picture with her! Whoop! And she signed her book for me. Did someone say restraining order?!

Afterwards, we had the opportunity to chat to her and the other make up artists. The lovely Mark (below) taught me how to contour my face, doing one cheek for me and guiding me through the other and we had a good chat about blushers. Seriously - the Illamasqua make up artists are so lovely. They are approachable, knowledgeable, honest and happy to be engaged in lengthy convos about technique and their products.

I could have bought a whole lot more but I exercised some restraint and only bought the following:

  • Cream blush in Rude (a warm coral)
  • Powder blush (for contouring) in Create
  • Pure Pigment in Furore (a pale champagne gold good for highlighting)
The other items I wanted (and will still probably get so not sure why I am bothering to delay the gratification) were:

  • The angled blusher/ contouring brush (sold out at the time)
  • Lipstick in Over (a peach/ orange)
  • Liquid metal palette
I am definitely keen to attend more of their events and I totally recommend to anyone else!


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Halloween Make Up: LAV IT!!

For the uninitiated, 'Lav it' = 'Love it' in a thick Laaahndan (London) accent.

Now that we have got that out of the way, let's discuss Halloween make up.

Something surely is not right when you put your fancy dress halloween make up on and the responses you get are: 'Wow, you should do your make up like that more often' and 'wow that really suits you'. Erm. Not sure what to do with those comments to be honest.

I went to a fancy dress halloween party on Saturday and my character of choice was a 'nurse of death'. I chose it becuase it was cheap; I did have my eye on the Freddy Krueger outfit but at £45, I don't think so. I think i did a pretty good job on the make up - and it was made all the more fun due to the fact that it broke a few norms for me. I am into my cool browns, corals, hot pinks etc... this was a total departure as I was using black, dark lips and contouring - which I hardly ever do.

Here's a pic - not a close up because I dont do close ups darling:

You get the gist though.

I really liked the overall look. A toned down version would actually look quite wintry and definitely would be on the money in terms of the dark lips trend that seems to be hot at the moment.

Here's a break down of what I used:

Nars Sheer Glow in Barcelona
MUFE HD powder


NO blusher to be inkeeping with the pale theme (no blusher... can't tell you how hard that was. I am a blusher fiend. My hand kept reaching for the blusher but I physically had to restrain it).

Benefit Sugarbomb as a highlight

Physicians Formula Matt Bronzerin Blushing Mocha as a contour (got this in the US)


Revlon Superlustrous in Va Va Violet


Sleek palette in Storm. Used the matt black all over the lid with the intensity focused on the lid and blended out beyond the crease using my 217, then the pale gold as a highlight under the brow.

Eyelure 'Double Lash' false lashes - LAV IT!!

Sounds like a lot of make up. And that's cos it was.

Really love the Revlon lipstick. It's great for this season's trends as it has a good amount of purple in it so adds colour and integrates with your face rather than just looking scary and like it has just been plonked there. In fact, the lipstick is so nice that it warrants a post all of its own. Haven't tried it yet but I reckon it will look really good glossed up for a patent effect.
Stay tuned.

Hope you all had a good halloween.

Mwaha.Mwhahah.Mwhahahahahaahha!!!!! (cue spooky laugh)

You Are Feeling Schleepy...Very Verrry Schleepy

I LOVE this make up tutorial. It is HYPNOTIC.

I love Alex Box's creativity and the whole Illamasqua brand that she helped create - I really do think it is one of the more interesting, daring and inspiring brands out there. Their whole tag line 'make up for you alter ego' says it all really (incidentally, whilst on the subject of Illamasqua, I appear to have lost my Pure Pigment in Furore. Pissed off much? Er YEAH).

In this make up tutorial she creates a smoky eye, contoured cheeks and cupid bow lips using cool purple tones which lend themselves to a very 1920s look.

This may sound weird but watching her blend so artfully makes me feel like I've popped a tranquiliser. The music in the background is so soothing that I often just play this on loop when I am trying to get to sleep, whilst listening to Alex's instructions in the hope I might pick up some of her skills by way of osmosis.

And as for the model - she has an ethereal look and bone structure to die for.

Enough rhapsodising - here it is: Illamasqua - Art of Application - Ingenue

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Make Up Tower

I think I have found the solution to the problem that is my dressing table.

The problem I am referring to is that I didn't have a proper storage system for my cosmetics. Things were plonked on the surface in a haphazard fashion and many items rolled off and fell into the abyss behind the radiator. Indeed, many a lipstick has met this fate. My beloved MAC Ruby Woo was MIA for ages until I found it melted and mouldy behind said radiator. What a sorry ass sight that was. A Nars lip laquer - nearly new but reduced to pot of liquid goo - was also recovered from behind said radiator.

Then there are the numerous absent minded losses; I refer back to MAC Ruby Woo. MAC Ruby Woo #1 met its death behind the radiator and so I diligently repurchased a #2. Even though I don't have the balls to wear this statement red (and bloody hell is this a statement red) on a regular basis, it is a staple of my lipstick wardrobe: I just feel incomplete without a red in the collection. MAC Ruby Woo #2 was put in a 'safe place' which is so frickin' safe I have never found it again...

I set about creating a 'make up tower' out of the perspex drawers available from Muji so that I can ensure my MAC Ruby Woos and other stuff is happily housed and don't feel the need to commit suicide down the back of my radiator to escape the mess or do a runner to the 'safe place', and so for a total of just under £50, I got 6 drawers and a brush holder thing which is stackable and can grow with the make up collection. This is kind of pricey to some people (cue a sharp intake of breath) but - come on - look at how nice it is!:

This is a work in progress - I haven't finished filling it with all my stuff and to be honest I feel like buying new stuff just to put in it. How terrible is that! Anyway this little perspex construction will no doubt prevent the purchase of MAC Ruby Woo #4.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Rings an' Tings

My mum chastises me for having so many nice pieces of jewellery that sit in my jewellery box unworn. Why? Because I'm afraid I'll lose them! Silly I know - what is the point in having lovely things if you don't display them for all the world to see? Having said that, the more expensive stuff that I have is of great sentimental value and I would never forgive myself if I lost it.

I made an acquisition this week in the shape of this lovely ring from Topshop, for the princely sum of £10:

What a beaut!

This ring is quite large but doesnt restrict any movement because the underside is a lot narrower. I've got a thing for gold jewellery at the moment... and in particular...

Rose gold.

Yes, it's the stuff of Argos catalogue 'Elizabeth Duke' jewellery, but what can I say, I'm just trying to keep it real. I searched through the latest catalogue and to my dismay I couldn't find any rose gold items. Just when I thought that my taste in jewellery must have gone so far downhill that even the jewellery buyers for Argos have left me trailing in their wake, I spotted this sparkler on the Ernest Jones website (Argos --> Ernest Jones. Going up in the world, I tell you, somebody stop me!):


I want it, need it, have to have it.

But at £1050, and with no good reason other than 'I want it, need it, have to have it' it will have to remain on the wishlist. I lurve it. I am dribbling as we speak.

The ring is by a brand called Le Vian, who claim to be the choice of Hollywood stars. Yeah right! What you doing on the Ernest Jones website then?! I always think that if a brand has to proclaim such things, the likelihood is that it ain't true.

I still want it though.

And finally, I made a pair of earrings for my cousin the other day:


Sunday, 25 July 2010

Skin Care Products I'm Liking Right Now (Salicylic Acid Based)

Don't know about you, but I find it so hard to find a combination of skin care products that work on a long-term basis.

Cleansers and toners that work well for a couple of weeks will suddenly lose their effectiveness thereafter.

Finding the right ones is made doubly hard by my skin type. I have oily skin that also happens to be quite sensitive, which puts me in a bit of a skin care dilemma: the products that are effective at treating oily skin are usually those that are a little bit too harsh for sensitive skins, dammit.

BUT, the current combo that seems to be treating the oilyness without irritation are...

Clean & Clear Advantage Quick Clear Daily Treatment Wash (£3.99 from Superdrug)

Garnier Pure Active Pimple Reducing Toner (around £4 from Boots and Superdrug)

Now, I am a sucker for anything that promises quick results and these two do just that. The cleanser claims to contain 'fast acting technology' and the toner claims 'instant' results. In this day and age of instant-gratification, that's just what I want to hear.

Hello, I'll have 5 of each to go please.

The Cleanser

I really love this. It leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed, not too tight and there's no weird residue. The active ingredient in it is salicylic acid which is effective for clearing blackheads and congested skin. And guess what - I do find that spots are reduced in size and redness the following morning. I've been using it for a while now and there hasn't been any adverse reaction. Touch wood it continues...

The Toner

The toner seems to be one of the few on the market that contains the highest legal off-the-shelf content of salicylic acid (2%) and claims to reduce spots and fade marks on the skin.

It also contains 'Herba Soothe'... whatever the hell that is.

Well, the Herba Soothe seems to be working, as other 2% SA toners that I've tried left my skin sensitised and drier than the Sahara, but that hasn't happened with this one. This does however leave a moist (slightly clammy) residue on the skin, but I think it's a small price to pay. In fact, this must be what is countering the overly-drying effect of the SA.

There is definitely satisfaction to be had in looking at the cotton wool after using the toner and seeing all the gunk it has removed :S

The best thing about this combination? It costs under £10. How good is that?!


Monday, 19 July 2010

10 Questions

Work. It gets in the way of the fun stuff.

I recall a music teacher once telling me (many moons ago when I was an A level student with my head buried in text books and thus neglecting my extra curricular activities) that 'it's good to nourish the mind, but you have to nourish the soul too'.

All this working has meant that my blogging has taken a hit. And that, people, is where my soul lies. In make up. *Gasp* - how terribly shallow!

Only joking. My soul lies in spiritual and philosophical stuff. Ahem.

Anway - I plan to nourish my soul by completing the tag that seems to be going round the blogger community. Here goes...


1.Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make-up or Nice hair and no make-up?

Nice hair is all very well and good but without make up I look like Gail from Coronation Street. Those who are unfamiliar with Gail from Coronation Street should Google Image her and you you will understand the gravity of this statement.

I can definitely work the messy hair thing - and if messy means dirty in this instance, then I could always hide it under a cap or something. Assuming we are allowed props in this exercise.

With the nice hair/no make up combo, I have visions of walking down the street, swishing my nice hair and attracting the attention of some fit guy who - having only seen my swishy hair from behind- thinks he's onto a good thing. That is, until I turn around and he realises that he's pulled Gail from Coronation Street.

If Gail from Coronation Street happens to be reading this (I'm sure she has better things to do), I can only apologise.

2.Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?

Eyelashes can go. I would just wear some false ones until my ones grew back. In fact, I just bought some Girls With Attitude lashes from Boots- the super fluttery ones called 'Madame Butterfly'. They have this lovely criss-cross effect with longer lashes on the outer corner. Can't wait to wear these on Saturday!

3.Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?

On the proviso that this is a level playing field and Sephora actually reopens in London, then I would definitely go for Sephora. It has everything from perfume to skin and hair care... plus a range of make up brands such as NARS and (if we're going by what the US has) MUFE. Sephora all the way. I need a range of brands. I love you MAC, but I'm just not ready for the commitment. I can't be tied down right now. I'm just not in a good place. It's not you, it's me.

4.Would you rather wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80's perm?

There are some days where I catch sight of my hair in a shop window and it reminds me of an 80s perm. But I like it. I have positive connotations of the 80s perm - early Madonna, my mum back in the day... ahhh memories.

Lipliner and lipgloss on the other hand, is just bad to the core. I just could not pull that off without looking like an escapee from a 1990s RnB video. There just hasn't been enough clear blue water between that trend and now for it to become cool again.

5.Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?

Overdone blush. You can pretend it was meant to be that way! Some looks call for it.

6.Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?

Ooo, a tough one. Biker shorts as in lycra cycling shorts? Would the biker shorts be so tight as to give me camel toe? If so, I'd go for the MC Hammer pants. You could pass these off as harem pants I guess.

7.Would you rather have a bad orange-y spray tan or really weird tan lines that can't be covered?

As soon as the sun came out in the City, London women exhibited some amazing summer outfits. Sitting in Exchange Square was the best people watching experience ever, as I really saw London ladies prove why LDN is hailed as a style capital of the world. However, there were also a few orange tans on exhibit. There were some corkers. Orange legs like you wouldn't believe. Oompa Loompas on parade.

I would go for the tan lines. Surely this is more acceptable and far less embarassing than orange skin?

8.Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair color?

Bad hair colour. This could be rectified with another trip to the hairdressers. With a bad haircut, you have no option other than to sit... and wait.... and look like a fool in the process. A bad hair cut changes your face shape and can highlight features you don't like. I think hair colour just alters the way your complexion appears, e.g. making you look more radiant or sallow, lighter or darker.

9.Would you rather have youtube or twitter taken away forever?
Stephen Fry once said; "too many tweets make a twat". While I'm not knocking the whole Twitter thing, I would find it easier to do without it as I never bought into it in the first place. Sorry Twitter, but you gotsta go.

10. Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?
William Wallace once said; "you may take my make up brushes, but you may never take my mascara". Ok he didn't really say that, but I thought adapting this seminal quote from history would convey my feelings about this one. You will NEVER take my mascara!

Make up brushes are great but I sometimes think that fingers serve the same purpose. I'm pretty good at doing eye make up without brushes. Lips can be done without brushes, as can foundation and blusher. I prefer brushes, but the routine won't fall apart if they were to be, er, confiscated.


Sunday, 4 July 2010

Jelly Pong Pong Haul

Went to the Clothes Show in London last weekend and picked up a bag of 5 Jelly Pong Pong products for £8 - bargainous considering that individually, some of the items retail for more than £10 each.

I've never really tried Jelly Pong Pong before - it doesn't seem to be a brand that's in wide distribution in high street shops, but is sold via its own website, and the Jelly Pong Pong store in London's West End.

Anyway, it seemed like a good opportunity to experiment with their well known products without having to part with too much £££.

Here's the haul:

L-R: red make up box, Gourmet Lip Therapy in Sugar, Supermodel Stain in No Breakfast, Jelly Flush Cheek Stain in Grape Colada, Love Rouge in Taylor and Burton)

What's my overall verdict? Disappointing, disappointing, disa-pong-pong.

So let's appraise the items individually.

Jelly Flush Cheek Stain in 'Grape Colada':
Jelly Flush? Sounds like something you might hang off the rim of your toilet. And to be honest, you'd probably get a better colour pay off if you did actually rub a toilet gel over your face.

This just felt like a watery, patchy mess when I swatched it, and was no better on my face. And what's with the overpowering synthetic grape scent? If anyone remembers a childhood game called Grape Escape (factory thing where you could make your own vile grape scented drink), this smells exactly like that.

Grape Escape: The main ingredient of Jelly Pong Pong's cheek stain?

Gross. I won't be repurchasing, or indeed using at all.

Gourmet Lip Therapy in 'Sugar':
It was hardly worth the effort it took my mate and I to figure out how to get the product flowing to the applicator brush. As with the Jelly Flush, this had a sickly scent. So far this seems to be a common affliction amongst JPP products.

I put this on over lipstick and when I opened my mouth, saw stringy bits of gloopy product between my lips... rather like when you cut a slice of pizza and get the stretchy cheese bits.

Fine on a pizza, not fine on my lips.


Supermodel Stain in 'No Breakfast':
Hmm... I actually quite like this. This is a well pigmented cream that gives a nice nude effect on the lips. I would wear this. It swatches true to colour:

You can also use this on your cheeks but I won't be doing that as 1) it's a bit to greasy for oily skins to wear on the face; and 2) the colour would be all wrong for me as a blush.

I can see myself using this, so at least it's not another dud. Phew!

Love Rouge for Cheeks and Lips in 'Taylor and Burton':
One half of the pan is a lip and cheek gel and the other half is a cream-to-powder blush:

So, on a day that I wasn't at work, I decided to try out the cheek gel as a blusher. I like the colour - it gives a wash of coral/orange colour with a nice sheen, but it didn't stay put during the day and by lunchtime required touching up. I have to caveat this with the fact that I have oily skin, so on drier skins this may well have more staying power.

I also like the cream to powder blush. It looks a bit grey in the pic above, but is actually a nice mauvey-pink - see the swatch below:

L-R: Cream-to-power blush, cheek and lip gel

I would wear this as a blush on 'nude' days. As in, days where I'm wearing nude coloured make up, as opposed to going naked.

So far... 2 out of 4 products are good. Not amazing, and not worth the full price, but... good.

Now. Let's take a look at the final product in closer detail:

Yes, that's right it's a make up box that appears to be made out of Elmo from Sesame Street.

And as if a red furry make up box wasn't tacky enough, they put on a pink tassel. Which has now mostly fallen off. Nice.

Tacky does not even begin to describe it. And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

All in all - Jelly Pong Pong = extremely hit and miss.

The highs (Supermodel stain and Love Rouge - and I'm not sure they are 'highs' as such) are not really worth the lows, so if you were considering trying the products, I would visit the JPP store in the West End rather than buying off websites. At least then you can be sure of the textures, pigmentations etc.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! With all this typing I've worked up an appetite so I'm off to eat dinner.


Elle August 2010 Issue - Free Paul & Joe Sister Top

Yesterday I had to make a trip to the local petrol station to stock up on sanitary supplies.

Feeling embarassed to approach the little man behind the till with just a packet of Always Ultra (I clearly haven't matured past the 'embarassed to buy sanitary products' stage... tragic, I know), I also grabbed the August issue of Elle Magazine (£3.70), hoping it would somehow render my other purchase invisible.

It didn't. But it did come with a free gift - a Paul and Joe Sister top with frilly sleeves. And it's kinda cute!:

Not bad for £3.70.

It comes in three colours (khaki, black and I think a white/cream colour). As you can see, I went for the khaki... partly because I didn't have the choice. Why is it that shops never seem to stock the full range of free magazine gifts?! Tres annoying. Same thing happened with the Benefit giveaway that Glamour ran the other month.

To me, khaki calls out for gold jewellery so that's what I shall be accessorising with.