Makeup Medley #4.

posted on: 2 October, 2013


I’m offering you another sneak peek in to my makeup bag, and for once it’s not the usual suspects lurking within. I have to say that I’ve broken free of the products I usually reach for out of habit and have been loving using different products.

The Clinique Superprimer Colour Corrects Redness is probably something I’ve needed for a while as I have a really pink face, I feel like I’m in the minority here as everyone seems to be the opposite and I find it a mission to get yellow-toned foundations. This colour primer has been amazing for neutralising the pink tones in my face and creating a very uniform colour that is easy to work with foundation. I absolutely adore this stuff, as it also really primes and smoothes the skin at the same time, which makes it twice as amazing. It does have a yellow tint but of course it’s not unnatural and completely blends in and hides any pink tones or redness in the skin. I definitely recommend!
Another concealing gem I’ve found is the Seventeen On The Spot Concealer, which promises to help clear up blemishes whilst also concealing them, so you have clearer skin in 4 weeks. I bought this as a concealer only and I’m not all that sure about the claims but that aside, it’s a brilliant concealer that conceals all without feeling and looking like a thick layer on your skin. I’m always on the lookout for good concealers and I have to say, this is mighty fine stuff – possibly even better than the Collection concealer we all adore. Seventeen have come out with some amazing launches lately and if i’m honest, I want them all.

I’ve mentioned my love for the Bourjois Java Rice Powder before, this light illuminating powder is truly lovely and really, really flattering on the skin. I use it along cheek bones and down the nose for a burst of light-reflecting radiance and it’s super awakening when applied. It’s quite shimmery so I tend to apply it where the light hits for a light touch of radiance and then use the brush to swirl around my face so I get only a small amount, if any, on the rest of my skin. The twist-to-close packaging is also a dream because of the loose powder – I wish they would do this to all loose powders!

I have been using another mascara, one that isn’t my beloved Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume, and I have to admit that it’s working out well for me. I’m definitely late in getting on this YSL Shocking Mascara bandwagon but it’s been good to me so far. I find this is really good for curling and separating my lashes, which works for me because my lashes are already reasonably long. I adore the packing too, which is also a plus!
Finally, I’ve discovered this Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose lately and I think it’s my autumn colour. I love pigmented, glossy lip products because you can slick on and go without the need for much maintenance, which is great when you have dry lips like me!  The colour is quite a juice watermelon, not too pink and not too red which makes it quite a classy colour that goes with everything. If you haven’t already tried the Chubby Sticks, you definitely must!

Have you tried any of these products?

Some of these products may have been sent to me for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.

At-Home Gel Nails: SensatioNail Starter Kit.

posted on: 1 October, 2013

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I have to come clean here and admit that I had never tried gel nails up until this week, I usually just do my own nails at home but I spied a led lamp and some gel nails in Sally’s recently and thought I would research it – I’m not one for going to the salon and getting my nails done, I just don’t have the time and the money all adds up. By pure fate, Nailene got in touch and asked if I wanted to trial their SensatioNail Starter Kit, which comes with everything you need to get gel nails at home.

My interest in gel nails came about because I can never get nail polish to last on me, I’ve tried every brand there is of your average polish but because I’m always typing away, shooting products, doing dishes and other boring things, my nails usually chip on the first day even with a very good top coat. I had recently bought a gel top coat from Dior and loved the effect, and so eventually I wanted to actually try a gel manicure – it’s long-lasting, looks much nicer and far more glossy and now, it’s something I can do at home.
I was pretty excited to get going with the SensatioNail Starter Kit, I think I opened it right then and there (my nails were desperately in need of a manicure!) which isn’t like me. For once, the instructions and kit were actually really simple, my usual problem with kits is that there are so many warnings, introductions, steps and pieces – this puts me off as I hate anything too complicated and time-consuming.
While there is a longer instructions pamphlet, they do add in a card with basic steps for simplicity which was absolutely golden for someone like me who doesn’t have any patience.

The first step is to remove any nail polish, file nails and push back cuticle, then you had to gently buff the nail with the buffer they give you, this is to make the nail polish adhere better I believe. Then you use the gel cleanser and a lint free cloth (both supplied) to give the nails a quick clean, and apply the Gel Primer and leave to air dry.

Next, you apply a thin layer of the Gel Base & Top Coat, avoiding the skin and cuticle. One tip I always give to everyone when painting their nails is to leave a 1mm or 2mm gap between the nail polish and cuticle – I’m always asked why my nails look so neat and this is the answer, I hate seeing nails where the polish has gone in to the cuticle and made a mess – leave a gap and all your woes will be solved. Then, cap the nail by running the brush along the top and back of the nail (I didn’t really do this as I file my nails down) and then ‘cure’ the nails under the lamp for thirty seconds. The lamp is extremely simple to use, you plug it in and turn it on and press the button at the top – it will run with the light on for a minute and beep at a 30 second interval – the base coat needs to be cured for 30 seconds so this is easy work. I just checked my phone until it beeped.
After this, apply a thin coat of the gel colour polish, cap the nail and cure for 60 seconds. Then repeat this, just apply another coat of the coloured polish, cap and cure. Simple.
Then finally, apply another thin layer of the base/top gel coat, cure for 30 seconds and then wipe off any moisture with a lint free cloth – your nails will feel wet but once you give them a wipe it’s all good.

Now, things to note. My gels peeled off my left hand on second day – I believe this is because I forgot the Gel Primer on this hand AND I applied thick coats of the polishes out of habit (I’m the worst for this), my right hand however is still going strong and three days later and there’s no signs of chipping or wear which I’m really, really impressed with.
It’s really important to use the Gel Primer, it seems like it’s a key step (I just forgot to read the instructions properly, surprise surprise) and for for thin layers.
Also, it’s good to do your four fingers on each hand together, and cure them at the same time and then go back and do your thumbs together – so you use the lamp three times. Just saves time, really.

I’ve since been told that you can actually use the kit with regular polish, it doesn’t last as well (about a week) but it’s worth it for getting to use your regular polishes – just use the kit as you usually would but apply normal polish instead of the gel included and let this dry completely (you don’t need to cure it) for about a day and then apply your gel top coat and cure – I haven’t tried this yet but I definitely will be as the gel polishes can be quite pricey and I already have heaps of nail polish.

There are instructions for removal, you just soak them off in acetone – do not peel as it ruins your nails!

I have the Raspberry Wine kit but I couldn’t find this online, and the whole kit is £69.99 – I thought this was pricey until someone told me it costs around £30 to get a set done at a salon so you earn your money back after two uses which definitely makes a difference if you’re going regularly.

What do you think of this kit?

Some of these products may have been sent to me for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.

Milan With D&G: Makeup Masterclass With Pat McGrath.

posted on: 30 September, 2013

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I finally got my second half of my Milan post together, I wanted to get a feel for the products first and give myself a runway-worthy makeover. So in my last post, I talked about my trip and briefly touched on the makeup masterclass with Pat McGrath – legendary makeup artist and D&G Makeup Creative Advisor – which was held in the D&G boutique in Milan. It was absolutely beautiful inside, just look at that whole wall of leopard print!

The makeup masterclass included Pat talking us through the look for the SS14 D&G show – which was held just a few hours later so you can imagine how exhausted Pat must have been. The two models were absolutely flawless, and the makeup was more smoky than I had expected but nothing I wouldn’t wear myself (and I even tried it out as you can see!). The look included using the Dolce&Gabbana Vulcano Smooth Eye Colour Quad on the lids, extending the purple shade to form quite a smoked up wing which made the models eyes look almost unreal. The eyes were lined with the Intense Kohl Eye Crayon in Dahlia and the lashes with the new PassionEyes Mascara which really lengthened, curled and lifted the lashes which added to the mythical look.
Pat used the Glow Illuminating Powder in Eva on the face which added a soft but not shimmery glow, this is a very minimal illuminator that can almost pass as a powder so the look was ethereal but not overdone. On the cheeks, the D&G Luminous Cheek Colour in Provactive was used, which was more what you would expect of spring/summery makeup – a lovely fresh pink that was both lifting and awakening. Finally, the lips were lined with the Precision Lipliner in Cashmere and followed by the Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Rose.
I thought I would also include a little shot of my makeover by the D&G makeup artist which was actually the following evening – very bold eyes which I wouldn’t usually go for but I actually ended up liking.

That afternoon we got to go to the Dolce&Gabbana SS14 show which was held at the Metropol in Milan, a showspace that D&G actually own. My invite was so, so pretty – I shall definitely be keeping this on display! It was absolute madness outside with the crowds, photographers and people arriving in cars but once we got in we got to work spotting celebs – we were in standing but with a good view but I could only spy Anna Wintour and Anna Dello Russo. The show was absolutely breathtaking, it was set up with cherry blossoms at the end and every single model looked unbelievable – there was so much gold, red and florals to be seen, lots of gold coins in the form of belts and bags, oriental prints and pretty florals - and the models wore nymph-like up-dos with floral crowns which was just perfect. The whole thing came together perfectly and the makeup really set the whole look off. At the end, the models came out wearing all gold and walked off in a group out of the exit at the end of the runway which was incredible, they all looked completely amazing and so, so beautiful. You can see the stills from the show here.

Of course, I couldn’t resist recreating the SS14 look that Pat McGrath did on the models – I’m not one for purple shades or any colour on my lids (except neutrals) but I just had to give it a go. I used the products listed above and did my take on the look, I have to say that I really liked the purple when it came together and I even lined my waterline (something I never, ever do!) after the getting so many compliments after the D&G makeup artist tried it. I actually really like the result, it’s not out of my comfort zone and the PassionEyes mascara is absolutely incredible, I can’t believe how long and curled it makes my lashes. I think the blush in Provocative is also going to be a staple of mine, it added just a touch of glow and completed the look.

I had such an amazing trip, being surrounded by so much makeup and being in the presence of Pat McGrath was a dream come true. What do you think of the look Pat created?

Some of these products may have been sent to me for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.

Drugstore Recommendations: Makeup.

posted on: 29 September, 2013

I have discovered more than a few budget gems lately and so it was about time I rounded them all up in a video for y’all. I really think the Boots/Superdrug brands have really upped their game lately, there seems to be so many innovative or premium-worthy products coming out so regularly that it means I’m not heading to the usual high-end brands so often.

Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think – I do apologise for the outfit choice, I keep meaning to get my wintery clothes out of storage but all I had was a questionable AA hoodie. Nice.

Some of these products may have been sent to me for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.