Boxing Day – to make up or not to makeup?

Having spoken to a few friends about the concept of ‘dressing up’ for Christmas Day and Boxing Day the crowd seems pretty split. Some dress like it’s any other day and therefore their makeup and outfit reflect that, some dress up like their ready for a meal with the queen and others barely leave their pyjamas! It really does seem to vary…

In our house we dress up in something nice that’s also comfortable, I tend to air towards jumper dresses and tights, skirts with boots and wooly jumpers etc. As most of the time I live in smart-jeans for work so I like to make something of an effort for Christmas Day and Boxing Day!

On Christmas Day I tend to go for something neutral with nice skin (as we always seem to have various cameras thrust in our faces) and a bold lip – normally red. On boxing day I like to go for a ‘perfected’ version of my everyday makeup which basically involves the following…

1. BASE

Illamsqua’s Skin Base in 07 – a really flawless foundation with no SPF meaning no flash back.

Soap and Glory Solar Powder bronzer – a nice matte bronzer which nicely defines the facial features.

Gosh blusher in Flower Power – a natural powder blusher that gives you just the right hint of flushed blush.

2. EYES

Urban Decay NAKED 2 pallet – a really wearable pallet I tend to use the colour chopper all over my lid and blend out with a little Suspect in the crease.

Rimmel Scandal-eyes Liner – a swipe of brown eyeliner on the upper lash line smudged out and on the lower lash line adds a little definition to the eyes.

Clinique High-Impact Mascara – a slick of a fan-like mascara works nicely and finishes off the eye look.

3. LIP

MAC Lipstick Creme Cup – a soft browny-pink-nude that pretty much flatters all skin tones.

Barry M Lipgloss in Toffee – a nice nude lipgloss that isn’t sticky and looks great over the lipstick.

This is a simple look that’s very natural and easy to do. It flatters most skin tones and works well on Boxing Day where frankly all you want to do is eat and drink more. It’s one of my favorite looks at the moment and is certainly the one I’ll be sticking too… Merry Christmas Everyone!

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All that glitters is GOLD.

With the Christmas season well and truly in full swing it’s all about glitter. For years I’d been scared of glitter for fear of looking like my 11 year old self at the school disco wearing a roll-on body glitter from Claires Accessorise.

With stars like Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and many more enjoying a little sparkle it’s as per usual all about your comfort zone and what suits. I must admit my personal tastes tend to air on on the side of caution and I like using liners and shimmer shadows to add a little something extra to my look. My favorite glitter products of the season include the following…

MAC – Eye Shadow All That Glitters

This is a beautiful shade of eye shadow which is the perfect hybrid between a bronze and a neutral. It’s the shade I use in pretty much every Christmas party look as it really does suit any skin tone. Personally I like it used layered over a real copper toned metallic cream eye shadow with winged liner and plenty of mascara. It’s not super cheap but definitely one you can get use of all year round.

http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk/product/shaded/735/363/Eye-Shadow/index.tmpl – £13

Collection – Glam Crystals Glitter Eyeliner

This is something that’s been in my makeup bag since I was about 17. It works so well for such a budget friendly product, personally I think the gold and black shades are the most sophisticated and wearable. The gold looks great on the lower lash line to add interest and a subtle glitter look. The black I belive works well on the upper lash line worn with a strong smokey eye – perfect for a Christmas party!

http://www.superdrug.com/Collection/Collection-Glam-Crystals-Gel-Eyeliner-Glitz-1/p/439414#.VJAcUCusUnU – £2.99

Topshop – Glitter Nails

I have Jessica Geleration nails done bi-monthly (which I would highly recommend by the way!) so I don’t have the chance to wear polish to be honest but I think Topshop has some serious nail game this season. Loads of nail brands are doing glitter shades and they’re not necessarily for everyone. Saying that I think they look great and if your a little sparkle-shy then a highlight on the ring finger looks sophisticated. I love a wine/burgundy shade with gold/rose gold glitter on top for the party season. It’s all about getting the colour combo right and Topshop has some great shades and formulas which rival if not better any of the high end brands.

http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/nails-473/nail-varnish-830/nails-in-white-heat-3126541?bi=21&ps=20 – £6

St. Tropez – Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil

This is a beautful, lightweight oil tan which adds a subtle hint of colour perfect for the party season. I love this product as not only does it tan it also nourishes dry skin which is great in the winter months. Not the cheapest product in the world but it’s definitely worth the pennies.

http://www.boots.com/en/St-Tropez-self-tan-dry-luxury-oil-100ml_1450970/?cm_mmc=pla-_-google-_-PLAs-_-Boots+Shopping+-+Category+-+Beauty – £16.66

The Body Shop – Vanilla Brulee Sparkler

Okay so if you love a touch of sparkle and scent this is totally for you! Looks beautiful on a dressing table and adds a very subtle hint of shimmer to the skin whilst giving off a sweet vanilla scent. This would make a brilliant Christmas present for any beauty lover and certainly the best way to do grown up glitter.

http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/gifts/view-all-christmas-gifts/vanilla-brulee-sparkler.aspx – £15

Lady in, RED.

As promised I said I’d talk through my top 5 favorite red lipsticks. I am and always have been a lover of red lipstick and it’s really hard to nail it down to only five. It’s worth noting that good red lipsticks don’t have to cost a lot, some of my favorites are only a few pounds!

1. Laura Mercier – Portofino Red

This really is your pillar box red in its truest most classic form. I would go as far to say that I’ve never disliked a Laura Mercier product and this lipstick doesn’t change that either. Its a rich red that looks great on fair and deep complexions, the only downside is due to its orange tones it can make teeth look a little off-colour but other than that it really is a beautiful colour and texture.

2. Rimmel Kate Moss – 20

This is a beautiful deep red that really dances on the lips, I believe it’s best paired with barely there makeup, a slick of mascara and your highest shoes! It’s quite a decadent shade that lasts very well on the lips. A classic, inexpensive lipstick that knocks even high end versions out of the park.

3. Sephora Lip Cream Stain – 01 Always Red

This product truly amazes me, it’s like someone bottled the most amazing formula with a beautiful colour in the handiest sleekest packaging at a very reasonable price. This comes with a cleaver doe-foot applicator and applies like a gloss, it then quickly dries to a matte lipstick and lasts ALL NIGHT. I mean it, the only downside to this product is you need some serious eye makeup remover to get rid of it. Stunning colour that looks great on fair brunettes!

4. Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick – Icon

So this is most definitely a luxurious option but is truly stunning. A deep red wine shade this is pretty much Christmas in a lipstick for me. It looks great with a soft thick brow and a large woolly scarf. It’s the ‘pick me up’ shade that makes you look tip top even when the winter lurgy strikes. A great dupe for this is Collection’s lipstick in Queen of Hearts and it’s only £2.99!

5. MAC lipstick – Lady Danger

It’s a classic, I can’t not have it in my top 5. It’s a love/hate relationship, I love the colour and I adore matte lipstick but this one requires me to exfoliate my lips, then apply lip balm and then apply this. It does really last on the lips and looks great as a summer red teamed with white jeans and tanned wedges.

Christmas Parties: where to start?

So it’s the time of year that you’ve been invited to the Christmas party and not only have you got to work out what you’re going to wear but you’ve also got to think about your hair and makeup. I’ve recently started a new job so this will be my first Christmas party within my new role. I work in a casual office for a retail company therefore my colleagues are pretty used to me turning up for work in boots or converse and jeans etc. This makes it all the harder when choosing your outfit and makeup options as you don’t want your colleagues to fall off their chairs when they see you in a dress and heels!

I work in a predominantly male orientated company also which means the concept of makeup is a little foreign and they’ll be in their jeans, shirts and shoes – GREAT. So I’m opting for a simple black dress and heels, to tan or to wear tights is still a question I’m asking myself daily but hey, that’ll probably be a decision made 5 minutes before I leave the house.

I have however got my hair and makeup planned and you know me, I love a ‘tips list’ so here goes…

1. Stick to what you know, this isn’t the time to try heavy black eyeliner or a bright lip if that’s totally out of your comfort zone.

2. Don’t use this as the first time to try fake tan, it takes a couple of goes to get the hand of it.

3. Don’t drink while you get ready, lets face it there’s probably a free bar there so wait until you arrive, it will only result in badly applied false lashes and a dodgy tide-line.

4. Blend, blend and do a bit more blending whether that’s blush, eye shadow, bronzer or foundation. Make sure everything looks nice and seamless.

5. Bring your choice of lip product with you, there’s nothing worse than eating dinner and being left with a patchy lipstick job.

What I’ll be wearing…

Base

I’ll start off by using a full coverage foundation with no SPF – it creates flash back in photos and will only leave you with a ghost face. I’ll be using NARS Sheer Glow in Deauville buffed in with a Real Techniques, Buffing Brush. Next I’ll apply the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 01 to the under-eye area, down the nose, in the center of the forehead and on the chin. I’ll use the Real Techniques, Setting Brush to blend.

Contour/Blush

Then using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush I’ll use a cream bronzer such as Boots 17 Instant Glow Tan Cream Bronzer. I’ll apply a line of this under each cheekbone, on the perimeters of my face and jaw line and a very small amount down each side of my nose. I’ll then buff like crazy to blend all the harsh lines to create a much more slender looking face. Following this I’ll use some of my Gosh Cosmetics blusher in Rose Whisper on the apples of my cheeks and a little bit of The Balm Marylouminiser to the tops of my cheek bones for a subtle glow rather than full on festive glitter.

Eyes

On my eyes I’ll use MAC eye shadow in Grain as a base and pat on MAC All That Glitters on the lid. Then I’ll use a little of MAC Woodwinked on a pencil brush and blend this into the outer corner, crease and lower lash line. To complete I’ll use a Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Coco to line the upper lash line and Clinique High Definition Mascara in Black. The last thing I do is run a little clear brow gel through my brows, I’m using a Rimmel one at the moment but any will do and pop a little MAC Naked Lunch eye shadow under my brow and inner corners to highlight.

Lips

I love lipstick so this for me is the fun part; taking MAC lip liner in Strip Down I line and fill the lips to make sure it lasts. Then I take MAC lipstick in VIVA Glam 5 and apply all over the lips. If you want to go all out then a little gloss applied to the center of the lips looks beautiful, MAC Honey Nectar lip glass would work well.

The finished look…

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The perfect PINK.

For me pink lipstick is always a little underrated but I have 5 favorite pink lipsticks that I believe would suit a range of tastes and occasions. I really am a red lip girl at heart and will do a post on on my top 5 red lipsticks in the coming days. For day-time I tend to opt for a balmy texture that I can reapply without a mirror, working in an office means air conditioning often gets the better of my skin in general therefore I want something that not only looks nice but also nourishes my lips.

However on a night out I’m all about a supercharged lipstick that pops on the lips! Plus a bright lip distracts from a multitude of sins including eye bags, bad hair days and a general lack of being bothered to go all out on eye-makeup!

1. Soap and Glory Gloss Stick in Nudist

This for me is the perfect pinky-nude daytime lip that not only flatters your skin is really easy to apply and makes your lips feel nourished and hydrated. In a crayon form this gorgeous product has a buttery, non-sticky texture that you’d have to be full on crackers not to like.

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http://www.boots.com/en/Soap-Glory-Sexy-Mother-Pucker%E2%84%A2-Gloss-Stick-3D-Super-Colour-Volume-Lip-Shine-2-72g_1277067/£8.00

2. Revlon – Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink in the Afternoon

This is a really beautiful mid-tone pink from Revlon that doesn’t wash out fair skin tones like mine. It’s a very creamy non-drying formula that is comfortable to wear. It’s not super long wearing but it’s a beautiful shade that I think works well day or night. To make it last a little longer I use the Maxfactor lip liner in Pink Petal to line and fill my lips, before applying Pink in the Afternoon.

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http://www.superdrug.com/Revlon/Revlon-Super-Lustrous-Lipstick-Pink-In-The-Afternoon-415/p/264113#.VIr9nSusUnU£7.49

3. Kate Moss for Rimmel London – Lipstick in 02

This hot pink may scare you but I advise you to try it. It’s a bold lip that really stands out and a hot pink that doesn’t make your teeth look yellow – bonus. I love the Kate Moss lipsticks to bits anyway but this is probably my second favorite colour in the range and one that I wear regularly. A comfortable, long lasting formula that looks amazing paired with the most simple base and eye makeup.

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http://www.boots.com/en/Rimmel-Kate-Lasting-Finish-Lipstick_1230439/http://www.boots.com/en/Rimmel-Kate-Lasting-Finish-Lipstick_1230439/£5.49

4. Bare Minerals – Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Speak Your Mind

I ordered a mixed box from Sephora about a month ago and it truley opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Bare Minerals lipsticks. The shade ‘Speak Your Mind’ is a nudey-pink that works really well with bronzed skin and golden, highlighted skin. It’s a very creamy formula that sets nicely on the lips without feeling drying. A beautiful shade that I wear all the time and will no doubt repurchase again and again.

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http://www.feelunique.com/p/bareMinerals-Marvelous-Moxie-Lipstick-35g £13.95

5. MAC – Lipstick in Chatterbox

Of course MAC had to have a mention and I though it’s not something I reach for daily Chatterbox by MAC really is a universal pink for all skin tones and complexions. It’s a muted hot pink that can be dabbed for a beautiful stained effect and worn with a liner such as MAC Embrace me for a real hot drop of colour. Chatterbox looks goregous on blondes, brunettes, fair and deep skin tones. It’s a creme sheen formula so creamy and comfortable, in my experience it’s long lasting and can be easily adapted for day or night!

chatterbox

http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk/product/shaded/168/310/Lipstick/index.tmpl£15.50

All these lipsticks are beautiful and as you can see if something works I have no problem with buying budget products similarly if I buy high end it’s because I really believe it’s worth it.

Keeping it fresh: Makeup Revolution – Ultra Blush and Contour Palette Golden Sugar

I’m a big fan of a palette, this is something you will no doubt come to realise! Therefore I was pretty delighted to see Makeup Revolution launch a range of beautiful blush palette’s. This isn’t something you tend to see on the high street so I had to get my mitts on one as soon as I possibly could!

They do three different shade types all of which I think would suit most complexions however I went for the one which contains 6 baked shades all of which are shot with a subtle shimmer and two contour shades both of which are matte. Personally I like bronzers and contour shades to be matte as I think it gives a much more flattering effect on the face and allows you to realistically sculpt rather than looking like a disco ball.

Anyway… the other palettes are much more typical blush shades so I went for this as you get a two in one highlighter/blush combo. It really is a lovely palette, and the best bit.. it’s only £6!!! A true bargain if ever I saw one, the colour pay off is good and there really is one for every occasion.

I personally like using the contour shades under the cheek bone, round the hair line and along the jaw with a compact brush. then I use a fluffier brush to add a little glow with one of the baked shades to the apples of my cheeks. You can obviously build this depending on your preference but I ‘go easy’ for a day time look. These beautiful blushes also work really well as eye-shadows – I’m all for using a product in a multiple of different ways!


Price: £6 Brand: Makeup Revolution Name: Ultra Blush and Contour Palette Golden Sugar

You can pick these up in some Superdrug stores or buy online at… http://www.makeuprevolutionstore.com/index.php/face/blusher/ultra-blush-and-contour-palette-golden-sugar.html

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A simple little beauty blog…

Talking to a friend of mine tonight about makeup she said I should start writing a beauty blog. So here I am writing am initial introduction to what I hope will become a place for me to really just document my favourite bits and pieces and who knows it might even be funny to read in a few years time!

I should probably say initially that I am in no way a professional, though saying that I have worked in beauty during my teens and early twenties and I guess that combined with my mum and aunts’ love for make-up have made me some what of a collector.

I read a number of beauty blogs including Pixiwoo, Vivianna Does Makeup, Lily Pebbles, Miss Budget Beauty, Tarabaybz, Glam Life Guru and Fleur De Force etc. and I also watch their YouTube channels which is I guess  is where I get my weekly fix of all things beauty!

I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with buying both high street and high end makeup. I’m in no way a makeup snob and I love using products that work… If that means a £1 lipstick or a £40 foundation you’re going to get both and all things in the middle if I keep this up.

My first post is going to be something with no fancy pictures but generally my top 5 beauty top tips…

1. Moisture, moisture, moisture…

Even if you have the oiliest complexion in the world your skin needs nourishment. I won’t go all scientific but when you don’t moisturise your skin thinks it’s being malnourished and goes into what I call ‘panic mode’ and produces excess oil to stop you from getting dry skin. Therefore if you moisturise morning and night you’re capable (to a degree!!) of controlling the oil your skin produces. I’m not saying you need something rich but skin needs plenty of moisturiser to keep your skin looking healthy. It’s also the best piece of anti-aging advice I can give too! It doesn’t have to be expensive either, you can buy a basic moisturiser for as little as £1.99 from Superdrug.

2. Colour match… Always!

I’m sure you don’t need telling but a clear sign of poor quality (doesn’t necessarily mean cheap!) makeup is when you’re wearing a shade of foundation 3 times darker than your natural skin tone. If you happen to be on a budget and can’t find a foundation that perfectly matches you then buy a shade lighter and use a bronzer to add colour in the right places! Saying that there are some amazing budget buys such as L’oriel True Match foundation, Bourjois Healthy Mix serum foundation and Revlon Colourstay foundation. All are brilliant foundations that I use regularly and none cost over £10.

3. Invest: brushes…

Two words Real Techniques… They really did change the face of beauty meaning that women all over the world could buy high quality makeup tools at a price that won’t break your bank. Saying that their are some beautiful brushs such as Bobbi Brown and Louise Young which are perhaps worth you saving your pocket money for. Either way if you apply your makeup with the right tools you’re bound to get a much better result. Personally my foundation doesn’t last particularly well when I don’t use a buffing brush! Oh and I’ve recently discovered Royal Brushes which are super duper cheap (they only cos a couple of pounds each) and work really well!

4. Don’t be afraid…

In recent years I’ve become a lot braver with my makeup simply because I’ve become more interested in it. I don’t feel scared to wear a bright lipstick to the pub with my friends whereas before I would of reserved this for a special occasion. I tend to use my evenings to try and play with products, it’s so much fun and that way you miss out the awkward moment when you try a winged eyeliner with 2 minutes to get ready… Yup not such a good look!

5. Read..

Makeup is all about trial and error and learning tips and tricks. I cannot recommend reading blogs, magazines, watching YouTube videos etc. enough! If you want to achieve a certain look why not find out how someone else does it and apply the method to yourself in your own way. For example Tati from Glam Life Guru is a size 8, slim faced woman with beautiful skin and dark hair. I have mid length hair, a round face and look nothing like Tati!! I do however like to replicate her looks in my own way and if she does a matte look with metallic eyes then I’ll change it for a dewy look with metallic eyes because I know that’s what works for me. And most importantly, there are no rules… Enjoy makeup it’s meant to be FUN!

Toodlepip for today x