Sunday, 13 March 2016

hairy eyebrows 2

Hi GUYS! I am not proud of myself in many respects (lazy, annoying, lazy, bad at lists etc.) but I am very proud of my eyebrows. They are a long term project and, let's face it, a great achievement. Anyway, I did something new just literally now and decided it was so life (brow) changing I wanted to shout about it immediately. Ok, listen up. I saw someone doing this and immediately forgot who but remembered it: put mascara primer through your eyebrows! Think about it, it's all about emphasising hairs on your face (probs would work quite well for lackluster moustaches too, but I unfortunately cannot attest). A layer of the ELF one which I bough on Amazon because it has pretty good reviews on makeupalley, works well as a sort of setting brow gel thing. It looks white on the wand but one coat doesn't look white in the eyebrows. BUT, here is the piece de resistance. You can build up a couple of layers for loads of brow volume and then lightly colour over the top with a brow "pomade" or powder or whatever. The primer makes the colour really stick to individual hairs, maintaining that attractive hairy quality that I strive for. (I do like an "instagram brow" in theory, but it looks too "done" on my scruffy face.) I have been using ELF's Lock on Liner and Brow Cream in Medium Brown, and I have to say it's pretty ace: v good cool-toned colour and long lasting. To avoid them looking drawn on, I have stopped using precise angled brushes, and just use something like the ELF smudger brush. For some reason, every single product I want to talk about today is from ELF, but I bought them all myself and everything. I just bought cheap stuff because this was all an experiment, and I do think ELF does good quality for not much $$$£$££$, plus has an extensive range. But you don't need to buy any of these things, just trust me and try putting mascara primer in your eyebrows. I am so happy with this whole thing, I just want to go out and make expressive faces at strangers.
Care-wise: still on the castor oil thing. I haven't got any empirical evidence, but I do think it works. And if you're tempted, I would highly recommend buying an empty mascara tube on eBay or something. Makes application of oil directly above your eyes much more pleasant. While on my ELF spree I repurchased the Treat & Tame, too. This is a good lazy-man's option for encouraging brow growth and sticking them in place, in one handy and transportable package.
(Note: an update on this great post.)

Sunday, 21 February 2016

UK prods to be grateful for

Guys, I don't know if you know this about me but I am a fully qualified jet setter and baller extraordinaire, and I recently went to New York City on one of my many adventures. Embarrassingly, one of my toppest things about going to other countries (apart from culture, meeting new people, pretending to be a character in a romantic film etc.) is checkin' out all the sweet makeup and beauty thingz. There is little that brings me more pleasure than aisles upon aisles of STUFF that I don't usually have access to. Weird but true and I don't think I'm completely alone. Anyway, I have grand plans to write about all the best things to try to track down in the US (having been at least twice now I am an expert and I won't be argues with on that). But, in the interest of not falling into a "grass is always greener", whiney and melancholic mentality, I thought I would also mention some cool products that you can only really get in the UK and that we should all collectively be very grateful for.

First: the weird / borings. Cotton rounds are real expensive and real "fally aparty" in America. If you live in the UK you should take advantage of buying yours from Aldi / Lidl. Not so #glam, but they're so cheap and they really are the best. "No fleecing," the packaging complains, and I agree (I think). And here are two mad thoughts I had in America: "I can't wait to get home and tone my hair" / "I can't wait to get home and dye my eyebrows". The silver shampoo I got at the "drugstore" was really crap and my hair was one big brassy tone by the time I left. I'm real happy to be back in the loving arms of my bae Pro-Voke. And while I'm pretty sure eyebrow dyes are a thing in America, the UK one I like (and not just for the name) is called Dyebrow and is cheap and easily accessible everywhere. Dyed eyebrows just look better and that's that.

Now for the slightly more exciting (if you find glitter and lipstick exciting, which I of course do). I'm not really talking specifics here, just brands that make me proud to be British (just kidding, not really at all actually). Bourjois: the BEST liquid lipsticks which are real cheap, good foundations and concealers and probably my favourite eyeshadow ever (which I believe is called "03", so poetic). Barry M: Neon lipsticks for £5, plus pigments and nail varnishes in every colour of the rainbow. And Topshop Makeup, probably low key my favourite cheap brand, which is semi available in America but not nearly as prevalent. Pictured here is Boardroom lipstick, the best dead-girl-brown in existence, and Hematite eyeshadow, a silver pressed glitter pigment thing. Maybe there's a cool way for me to make a point about how UK makeup generally caters to more experimental, fashiony type stuff or something, but I'm STILL jetlagged (1 week in and it's so borin) so I'll leave it there. Rule Brittania or whatever. XXX

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

on contouring

So guys, have you heard of this new thing called contouring? Don't worry, you fools, I am here to explain it to your tiny and ill informed brains. No; I know I am about two years too late for this, but I recently made my first semi-successful attempt at a full facial contour (ya know I've been all about that thin person head for a while now) and it has made me have some deep and meaningful thoughts.
So firstly, I love it. I was a fool to think otherwise. I look so hot and mean. Loads of makeup makes you look better, if in a maybe-a-bit-boring way. Look at my giant eyes and mouth! Look at my tiny lil button nose! Look at my hollowed cheekbones hiding a diet of mostly bagels and beer! If you want to know how someone who doesn't know anything did this, I have included the two products I used - the original Naked Basics palette and the Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder. As someone who you'll be lucky to catch wearing more than three makeups at a time, I'm not buying a contour palette (yet...). And the shades "Faint" (darkish brown), "Naked Two" (mid toned grey-brown) and "Venus" (satiny white hightlight) in combo with my usual "sculpting routine" (rubbing K.O. around the cheek area, sometimes) did a good enough job for me. The general rule is put brown in the areas you want to go away, and white in the areas which you wish existed but don't. If you want to learn how to contour, I would recommend don't try learning it from me, because I don't know anything. I also used a colour from the Lorac Pro Palette (for pros like me lol) called "Mauve" as a lipliner - a weird idea but the eyeshadow actually looked a lot more of a natural overdraw than a liner, IMO. But I couldn't photograph that because I'm in NYC (NBD) and it isn't. Ok.
But: here are my other thoughts - ready? Firstly, this took a bloody age. It's lucky I had a lot of life admin I wanted to avoid because otherwise there is no way I would have to patience for this. And some people do it every day! More power to them. Secondly, I think if I got too used to looking at myself like this I would get sad about how I looked without it - just normal sized eyes and such. Borin. It's pretty cool that you can really use makeup to make yourself look like a completely different person, but with great power comes great responsibility. All faces are good faces. Some are just hotter and meaner than others.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

"eye" hate concealer

For me, the point of makeup is either to look extremely obvious or to trick everybody into thinking there's none. And thus, for me, I can't seem to get on board with under-eye concealer. It always looks "done" just to the wrong degree - trying too hard, and not in a fun or subversive way. On others, I can sort of get on board with the yellow baked triangles look. Kim Kardashian obviously look very nice. But KK is cool by mistake, whereas I have had to try very very hard for every ounce of cool I have (not many ounces). Also, I have never found an under-eye concealer that looks any better than just letting my dark shadows fly free. 
Nonetheless, tiredness (while sometimes a testament to your cool busy lifestyle and many fun times) isn't necessarily a great look. So here are my top helpers for when I don't want to look quite so debilitated and ancient, yet want to retain my cool-girl, not-really-trying, I'm-honestly-alright-now please-stop-asking aesthetic. 
1) The Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful (make yourself really self conscious about seemingly imitating a speech impediment) is an eye cream with a light-reflecty, iridescent finish. I'm a real sucker for the  skincare-in-makeup sell, because what is more appealing than something which works for a bit now and cumulatively builds up more work for the future? This seems to be quite moisturising and such, and which doesn't offer any coverage it does sort of brighten and tighten up in a very subtle way.
2) The Rohto Cool Max Eye Drops which make your eyes feel cold in a way they possibly should not naturally (I have read things about these actually making eyes redder in the future, but YOLO, live for today, etc). They make the white parts of your eyes more bright like when Mr. Burns is the alien on the Simpsons - some of my most formative beauty inspiration.
3)  The Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk - put this in your waterline and let's just say no more about it, ok?
4) Curl your eyelashes, and if you are as irresponsible with money as I am, do it with the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers. They are honestly different from cheap ones - they make your eyes look perkier and more awake, and make your eyelashes look a lot longer because of angles and maths etc. 
But of course, also feel free to allow your tiredness to show forth like a badge of honour, and when people tell you you look tired just use it as a fun litmus test for who to never ever speak to again. 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 MVPs

 It's that time of year where I panic and realise how time is unstoppable and I'm a year closer to my inevitable death. So let's talk about beauty products. A bunch of really good guys that I have enjoyed wholeheartedly, while trying not to think about my inevitable death.
 I have relied heavily on the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle since my blonde-ing of early November. The "Shine" fellow is actually not as good as the Reconstructor, which I will buy consistently when this one runs out. I use it every wash and I truly believe it's to thank for that fact I still have a lot of average-to-pretty-good-condition hair.
 For the face skin: a trifecta of amazingness which seems to have, for the most part, sorted out my stroppy, overgrown-adolescent, overly sensitive and incredibly annoying ... personality. Sorry, face. My face. My personality has not improved this year, but at least my skin has!! The Garnier Micellar Water is my #1 cleanser and I don't even want to explore further. This works, and washing my face too much does not. Also this is cheap and easy to find. 
 A major discovery this year has been that my chin loves benzoyl peroxide like I love Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds circa season 5 (a LOT). I was using the Clean and Clear Persa Gel, which I was enjoying, but for some reason it wasn't seeming to quite do the job for me mid year. So I ordered the ludicrously big bottle from and I have to say, I prefer it. It's a thinner texture so it doesn't require as much rubbing, and the lower % BP stops things getting so dry. If you're at the end of your tether, this is worth a shot.
 I raved midyear about the Makeup Artist's Choice Mandelic Acid Peel, and we are still very much involved. I dip a cotton bud in this and swipe it all over my face about once a week and wash off after some minutes. I really think it's improved the tone, softness and clogged-factor of my skin. I bought the bottle in February and it's still more than half full, too, so amazing value for money.
 One for the weirds out there is the Demeter perfume in Thunderstorm. All I can say is, I like to smell like wet concrete, and this fulfills that desire for me. I absolutely love it.
 For lips, I have been either painting them a very bright colour with the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets, or applying lots of vanilla scented gloss. The Bourjois are seriously amazing - lip paints that dry matte but don't flake off or fade really weirdly. They have lots of really good bright and neutral-ish colours, too. Two glosses that I have relied on for attempting to look less like a caveman have been the Clarins and the Catrice Lip Perfectors. The Clarins are a bit better, but the Catrice are a lot cheaper, so take from that what you will.
 Eyebrows have been hairified courtesy of the L'oreal Brow Artist Plumper, the best thing I've ever found to fake "naturally" bushy eyebrows. I've also really enjoyed the Maybelline Full'n'Soft Waterproff, which is stupidly only available in America, but gives nice natural-ish, fluffy and curled eyelashes. The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler has had another strong year of being terrifying but making me look about 45% more awake. 
 Lastly, two things that have been giving me the shiny face that dreams (about shiny faces) are made of. The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl is my only one and only. I use it every day and a lot of it. It's a subtle enough illuminator to convince people you're just naturally very pretty and radiant, and this deception is my M.O. Something I don't mention much but use always is the Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese. The name actually makes me want to be sick, so in my mind I call it "shiny white", which is what it is. This is great for putting in the waterline to perk up tired and grumpy eyes. I also like it in the inner-eye-corner and on my cupids bow moustache area. In a pinch, this can also be dabbed onto cheekbones with fingers as a highlighter. 
 So, a year of shiny faces, bushy eyebrows, curly eyelashes and exceptionally damaged hair. If you have the same taste in those things as I do, I can recommend these products from the bottom of my heart or whatever. HNY all. XXXX

Friday, 18 December 2015

cute christmas snow angel frozen cute look for all girls very CUTE

L-R finger swatches: MAC Lazy Sunday, MUA Shade 22, Topshop Holograph, Topshop Hematite. Wrist with both Topshop Hematite and Holograph.

Now I have blonde hair and look truly and properly angelic (as all my fans keep telling me), I have started to really enjoy products which play off my new celestial vibe. Things which are cool-toned and cute, but also somewhat glittery and ethereal. And before some pedant comes along, no, I'm obviously not talking about the angels from all of those "religion" thingys, who seem to be mostly either blokes or fat babies, and come to signal the end of the world with a trumpet or something (I have an A* at Religious Studies A-Level, so don't try to tell me I'm an ignoramus). Put your death trumpets and fat baby costumes away, this is about a nice snow-queeny, flightly frostbitten but essentially angelic Christmas look.

I'll start with the real star of the show and newest inductee to the Annie Hall of Fame (makeup bag) - MAC Casual Colour in Lazy Sunday. In the pan this looks like a normal, cool toned pink cream blush, but it's so much* (*a bit) more than that. It comes off an almost white based baby pink, which is dewy and pale enough to be a dual highlight & blush. For a long time I was against pink blush as I felt it gives a real flustered mum on school run / Yarn Tethers look. (PS - if you understand the Yarn Tethers reference we must immediately become friends.) But this is pale, so you don't look at all flushed, just cutely pink. I also put this on my lips to pale them out a bit without looking concealer-y, just a very slight bit frostbitten and dead. Very slight. 

Next, a £1 product which is well worth it if you're not sure the whole dead/angel look is for you - a MUA eyeshadow in shade 22 Pearl. This is a frosted pink with subtle iridescent blue reflex. I like to use this not as an eyeshadow but as a highlight/blush: just a small dab along the cheekbone tops - not applied anywhere near as liberally as Lazy Sunday. Perfect for non-subtle winter highlighting, because it's not like you'll be in direct sunlight for more than fifteen seconds throughout the day anyway.

Now, Topshop eyeshadows have long been documented as some of my favourites for really unusual finishes and shades. These two (Holograph and Hematite) are absolutely perfect winter colours, because, when applied together, they make your eyelids look like an artistic depiction of a snowstorm. For a more "subtle" look (not that subtle because it still involves blue eyeshadow and glitter) I like to gentle press both into my inner-eye-corners with my finger, which deposits less stark colour and more just glittery shine. And if that doesn't make you feel festive, I don't know what will.