Lovely Followers

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

I may be grumpy, but never frumpy!

I really liked this look I created for the e.l.f YouTube channel using the Studio large Palette. I think this palette is pretty amazing considering how much they've packed into it! I received so many compliments when I wore it to a party so I thought that the viewers would. However I was wrong, one viewer said it was frumpy! Excuse me for being subtle...

Anyway I hope you like it!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Winter drink for tee totallers!

I am having a dry few months, due to taking antibiotics. Mixing alcohol and those babies will make me sick - so I'd rather not go there!

Here's a recipe for my fave winter drink (except hot chocolate with cream, maltesers and marshmallows but I am drooling while I digress...)

10 cloves
half a stick of cinnamon
1 litre of apple juice
1 litre cranberry juice

To decorate: slices of apple and orange

Pop the cloves, cinnamon and apple juice in a pan to simmer for 20 minutes. Serve in glasses or mugs with thin slices of apple and orange.

For all those designated drivers, pregnant women, tee totallers and those on medication I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Look of the Day, Electric Blue Sparks!

Would you like to see the Tutorial for this look on my YouTube channel? I am almost too scared to upload it!

Dirty Purple Look some pics!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

New Year, New Job - I need to dress to Impress!

I'd be lying if I said that I thought I was well dressed. I think I dress "safe". I don't try to be fashionable unless I am absolutely sure I don't look ridiculous! Black clothes are easy to find, simple and no fuss. I look ok.

Trinny and Susannah have a lot to answer for as the thought of being man handled and shouted at always kept me from investigating a stylist. I didn't fancy being bullied in to clothes and colours I wasn't comfortable wearing.

I also didn't like to admit that I needed help in the area of style and fashion! You’d expect a make up artist to have excellent taste! Well I do, but I am just not that brave when it comes to my clothes!

The stereotypical image I had in my head was that "having your colours done" was the refuge of the businesswoman. You know, the woman who feels like she has to dress aggressively to be taken seriously. Funnily enough a few years ago, I used to be that businesswoman. I wore nothing but dull coloured boxy suits that I hated.

Meeting Ann Day was a revelation. Ann is an image consultant with Colour Me Beautiful and also a Life Coach. She has an extensive career and background in fashion, but trained with Colour Me Beautiful to become a colour analyst and image consultant. A complete make over with Ann costs £450 and includes colour analysis (which I had and will explain), Image analysis, Wardrobe planning and Full wardrobe management. It seems like a lot of money but read on before you dismiss it.

Ann Day's website

I went to Ann, as I am about to start a new job, I am keen not to revisit those suits! I want to look and feel confident though. I don’t want to sacrifice my femininity to be taken seriously by customers and colleagues at the same time. I thought better of going to my local department store for a personal shopper experience. I didn’t want to feel like I was being given the hard sell to buy clothes and accessories. All I wanted were clear guidelines so I can develop my personal style in my own time.

You know that with make up, wearing the right colours makes a huge difference to how you feel and how others see you. I think that’s why we spend so much time and money on make up! The philosophy behind Colour Me Beautiful is just the same but with clothes and make up. I decided to have colour analysis as I already know a bit about how I should dress my body shape. I am a classic athletic shape. Broad shoulders, narrow hips and long legs. So the best kind of clothes for me are those which minimise my upper body and accentuate curves on my hips.

The Wrong Colour combinations!

Ann explained it much better than I can plus she has coloured swatches to help illustrate! First we spent some time talking about hair and skin tone, she determined that my underlying skin tone is yellow/orange rather than pink or blue. This crucial bit of preliminary information explains why pastel colours make me look ill! Anne then draped palettes of different coloured swatches of materials over my shoulders to see which looked best. She said that I would know which suited immediately as they make my face “light up” and look healthy. I found this bit hard because I couldn’t see past some of the colours as I didn’t like them. It takes a bit of time to get used to colours that you may not immediately like.

Anne determined that I was a warm and deep palette as opposed to a cool and clear palette. This rings true as I don’t like wearing light colours as they make my skin look dull. The palette of colours I am going to use to help me shop for clothes and accessories is made up of 42 beautiful colours.

My Palette of 42 warm and deep colours. It's a set of material swatches attractively bound together in a purple leather wallet.

Anne then went through the entire palette draping each colour over my shoulders and talked me through how I could use the palette to build outfits. I loved each and every colour even though to begin with I wasn’t keen on colours such as lime, salmon and pewter. I felt vibrant and glowing when the right colours were placed next to me skin. As Ann puts it “people will first see you wearing the colour rather than seeing the colour wearing you”.

The Right Colour Combinations

I am so excited to have a palette as I can keep it with me when I go shopping. If you’re still not convinced about an investment of £95 for colour analysis then try this:

  1. Go to your wardrobe
  2. Take out the outfits that you wish you wore more often but don’t because they don’t really suit you.
  3. Calculate how much that clothing is worth
Is the figure more than £95? The chances are that it is. I think that having my colours done combined with my styling knowledge means that I won’t be making any expensive wardrobe errors. The next thing I am going to do is organise my wardrobe thanks to Ann’s tips. Organising my clothes as they are on the palette, from light to dark will make picking outfits really easy. Thankfully I am moving house soon so a wardrobe reorganisation won’t be a big deal! New job, new house and now new wardrobe!

Just a note, I won’t be buying loads of new clothes just yet! Lots of the clothes I have are the right sort of colours. Where I can, I am going to try and dye clothes to the new palette especially if I really love the item and don’t want to give it away!

If you’re looking for a fresh start in 2010 but don’t know where to begin, colour analysis might be just the thing!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Festive Nails

I hope you like my first festive inspired nail tutorial. It's really easy and effective. I really enjoyed making it so I might do more!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

An Everyday HD look

Here are the piccies I promised! The tutorial is here

Welcome to HD

After a bumpy start, I finally uploaded an HD video to YouTube. Thanks to Sirvinya for telling me about how she uploads her HD videos. Also my long suffering husband for fixing my browser which was being a pain! Please click in the video to see it in its full size glory!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

5 Products I don't want to live without!

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Who doesn't use this and think it's brilliant? For quick, no fuss every day looks that don't crease, this is the tube I reach for. It does make blending more tricky because shadows stick fast. I get over this by using a neutral beige (such as MAC Brule) over the lid and then add colour over the top. This makes blending much easier!

MAC Black Tied
For super quick and slightly sparkly smokey eyes, this is the business. I found this at a discount make up store on my travels. I was actually looking for a sandwich...

MAC Paintpot in Indianwood
Looks gorgeous on its own or with shadow. The basis for all great lasting and glamorous looks for me is a paint pot. I haven't found anything which has the same texture or lasting finish. However it does make my eye lids look a bit wrinkly. At 33, I don't need this!

The Body Shop Vanilla Body Lotion
Heaven in a bottle and the secret to successful first dates. I will say no more, but let you discover it for yourself. Being married, I obviously think I should pass on this secret to you single gals.

Dermalogica Precleanse
I ran out of Karin Herzog cleanser :( so I have gone back to Precleanse. I love cleansing oils and the smell of this one is just divine. It makes taking make up off a breeze specially if you're really tired! It's great for facial massage too. Teamed up with a cotton muslin cloth for great exfoliation, it's magic!

So there's my five products I don't want to live without! Which are yours?

Saturday, 5 December 2009

ooh sparkly nails!

I've never worn black nail varnish but this sparkly "Cosmic" Eyeko nail polish I was sent is gorgeous. It will only last one night though as it chips easily.

The pictures below are two coats over a clear base coat.

One tip to protect your cuticles and skin getting stained is to use the first coat to shape the varnish. Shape it so that it does not touch the sides or nail bed. The second coat to deepen the colour.

I can't stop admiring these, as night falls the multicoloured glitter comes alive!

Friday, 4 December 2009

FTC - My thoughts.

This is Mary Engle, Associate Director Bureau of Consumer Protection. Part of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US. Watch this clear video to find out more about the guidelines we bloggers and reviews are being asked to uphold. I feel that although I'm in the UK, I have a duty to be a part of the FTC endeavours to protect my readers in the US. I also feel that the FTC has done us a favour, we can now be as "honest" as we like without fear of reprisal from other reviewers, PR agencies and cosmetics companies.

All this hoo-ha is not done just to annoy us or expose reviewers as frauds. So far, it's been easy to comply with the new guidelines with a few simple disclaimer words on my blog and YouTube. There is no need to go mad with massive disclaimers, I just need to say where I have received a product or been paid (paid I wish!). I seriously don't think anyone has a problem with the fact that I get sent stuff to review? I am very pleased that I am now even more open about where I get products. I don't feel like a marketing channel because if I don't like something, then I say so and why.

I have noticed in the last few days of videos that my friends on YouTube such as Sirvinya and FilthyGorgeousMakeUp, who have always been upfront and honest, are even more "honest". It is refreshing to say the least, I am really enjoying this new found freedom.

So keep it up girls, it's liberating to the say the least. The only thing I am asking myself is why didn't I do this sooner? I guess if I am "honest" I always felt it was like boasting if I mentioned that I got them for free, weird but true. So now that I have to, it's like a weight off my shoulders. I still buy a lot of products that I use and review but perhaps it's less than you thought and I hope you aren't disappointed. I guess because I am a make up artist, I already have a full kit of stuff that I use. A product has to be pretty revolutionary and a must have for me to be interested in purchasing. So it's nice that I get sent every day products to try for a bit of fun.

Have a fun weekend!

New Liners from Eyeko

I was sent these three Eyeko Liners the other day. You can buy Eyeko online or at Superdrug.

Super Star Eyes £3.50
Pop Star Eyes £3.50
Graffiti Eye Liner in Black £5

There's also a Black glitter and silver pencil called Rock Star. Glitterly pencils do not go near my eyes as they are generally scratchy and I don't see the point of them.

First up, some swatches of the duo ended pencils called "line and shine". All the shades are wonderfully vibrant. I find the electric blue the most enticing because it is matte (no shimmer or glitter).

On the eye however, whilst the colour is amazing and electric, there is much creasing.

Electric Purple, Plum on the lower lash line + Graffiti Liner. This pencil didn't glide on as well as the electric blue. I did warm it up but it made no difference. Blending just removed the pencil, leaving it patchy.

Electric Blue with Teal on the lower waterline. This pencil went on really well and I gently blended it with a small brush with pleasing results.

I think these are amazingly well pigmented, in the photos they look genuinely electric! In real life they are more muted, which is no bad thing!

As liners, the line and shine pencils don't work very well. They kind of cake up in the lashes which can pull at them. On the water line they are fine and look good. The graffiti pens are well pigmented and work excellently on the bare lid. However over the waxy consistency of the pencils, it doesn't show up that well.

I think the nib of the graffiti pen is overly large compared to others but the point is sturdy which gives good accuracy to any line and you can get in the inner corner more easily. Good if you're in a hurry or find liquid liners just too tricky.

The blue pencil blended very easily, however the purple just went patchy. Taking off the pencil requires an oil based cleanser which melts and lifts the wax. You'll be rubbing for ages with a wet wipe or cream however.

Personally I wouldn't recommend the graffiti liner because I have pens with smaller nibs which work more effectively. I like the electric blue because I think it would work better with a shadow over the top to set it. I might try it with the e.l.f shadow transformer to add some iridescence.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Coastal Scents HD foundation swatches

Coastal Scents sent me their new HD foundation called "Undercover" to review. Here's what they say about it on their website:

"A soft focus, flawless, natural finish is needed when under the scrutiny of a camera in HD. Our foundation applies with a light weight texture, a very small amount is needed to cover your skin."

30ml of product costs $16.95 + shipping that will vary depending on where you live and any import taxes that may be due.

Well who doesn't want flawless skin? I am always wary of products claiming this so I set about scrutinising it. I've been using it for over a week now and I have to report that it's good for the price, finish and ease of use. I went to Jessops to look at HD cameras and filmed some HD footage as well. My face did look flawless on camera so what can I say, they are right.

I've swatched the tones 6-14 on my arm. I didn't bother with the shades 1 -5 as they are very light.

(left to right) Shades 6 - 14 No blending

You can see that the numbering doesn't mean that the shades get darker. Don't forget they also react differently on your skin, so what is lighter on me may be darker on you. This is due to chemical oxidation of compounds within the foundation on your skin and with the air. That's why choosing a foundation on line is tricky but not impossible.

I am tone 10 and I apply it using either a duo fibre or complexion brush. Synthetic brushes are best as they don't suck up the product. This means that you use less. I can also use the shade 13 for contouring and shade 7 for highlighting. It comes in a pump dispenser that I like, hygienic and no mess. The bottle is clear plastic with brushed metal cap and stand, very reminiscent of Prescriptives I think.

I think the packaging is great but let down by the font! This isn't the parish newsletter or home-made jam where slightly odd and childish lettering add to the charm. Serious make up buyers expect sleek, clean and "expensive-looking" lettering.

I really didn't expect much from something claiming to be HD for such a reasonable price. But my experience with e.l.f Studio has taught me to not judge before trying something. I have found that it gives a good coverage with very little product, just one pump is enough for my face. I normally use an Airbrush to achieve a finish that would be perfect for HD and photography. This is pretty good, I would certainly repurchase.

Follow these tips to get the best from your foundation.

1. I always use a silicone based primer or a good moisturiser to make it last longer
2. Stipple and blend a first layer over the face and then touch up areas needing additional coverage (such as spots, darkness, uneven skin tone) using a smaller brush and blend with a damp sponge.
3. Set with either e.l.f's HD powder or a mineral foundation/pressed powder. I like to do this as they are finely milled and natural looking.

For swatches on caucasian skin tones, check out Sirvinya's blog as she has also swatched and reviewed the foundation.

Coastal Scents Foundation can be purchased and more information can be found on their website.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Naked Nails!

I am loving nude nails right now, because it lasts ages and requires little maintenance! I can also get away with wearing it at work.

I use Jessica #371 in Breathless. I bought this from a beauty therapist for £5 a while ago after having a french pedicure. I just love how healthy my toenails looked. I have not wanted to use anything else on my toes since June.

I am now half way through the bottle which is a real first for me as I have never finished a bottle of nail varnish before!

It doesn't look like much but I like the shine and sublte pink/peach colour that I haven't been able to achieve with many french manicure nail polishes.

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