Not another nude palette..

You would think that the makeup world was already saturated with nude eyeshadow palettes. Urban Decay alone has three very high profile Naked palettes. But this one is so pretty…

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Its the new YSL NU Couture Variation Palette. There are 10 fabulous colours along the reddish/pink scale of nudes, for just £49 (aka a lot of money). Even though it is pretty damn expensive, if you love brands and you are looking for the perfect collection of nudes then why not splash out. It also comes with a handy double ended brush for flawless application. And when you think about it, 10 YSL eyeshadows for £49 is actually pretty good value.

Of course, there are tons of cheaper alternatives, but if you have the cash to burn, this is without a doubt the prettiest and the fanciest.

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Philip Treacy x Mac

Legendary milliner Philip Treacy is branching out into makeup with this latest collaboration with Mac:

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I love it when Mac collaborators actually use colour, and this 12 piece collection looks like it will deliver futuristic, out-of-this-world colour.

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Three great lipstick colours, pressed pigments and the most exciting part: the sea green and blue fluidline gel liners. Its a relief to see a collection that is different from Mac’s already huge range. Often Mac will release a collaboration and it is exactly the same as so many of Mac’s regular products, but in fancy limited edition packaging.  But I predict this line will sell out in minutes.

Philip Treacy x Mac is out in April.

NARS Roman Holiday Review

You may remember a few weeks back I posted an article about great Christmas present ideas, in which I mentioned the NARS Roman Holiday collection. Well, my parents bought me it for my birthday! I was so excited, I wore everything in there.

First up, the Nails:

photo (3)Roman Holiday Nail Varnish (featuring cat)

This comes out as a pinky/purpley/shimmery mauve.

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Its a subtle, sophisticated pink, perfect for evenings or just when you want to look fancy.

The Lipstick is a gorgeous barbie pink, without being too fluorescent, and the same goes for the blusher:

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The pictures aren’t great. The first one is a snapchat in a pub and in the second one I’m not wearing the lipstick, but they looked cute I promise. I received many a compliment.

I always think pink is a flattering colour on everyone, because its not too harsh and it softens the features. Therefore I recommend this set to everyone! When in Rome(an Holiday)..

AmfAR Gala 2014 Beauty Roundup

The annual amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) Gala is a black tie event thrown to raise money for the foundation and awareness of AIDS/HIV. Many celebrities attend and often it is a time for headline grabbing outfits, as this gets the foundation even more attention in the press. Celebrities are often criticised for their daring outfits but it is all to draw attention to the foundation and the good work it does.

This year the headlines were mainly about Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. This post with similarly be mainly about Rihanna as she looked, as always, fan-bloody-tastic.

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That makeup. Come on. Flawless!

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She has the perfect 80s orange lipstick to match her skin tone and her eye makeup, which is a burnt orange colour. All this makes her green eyes pop, and the chronic lashes for days add glamour.

The Hair

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I LOVE the sleek ponytail look. It’s something I do a lot to instantly solve a bad hair day and it’s really easy to recreate. They look great with a centre or a side parting. Rihanna is rocking hers with a side parting which adds a bit of retro glamour to her look.

Next up, Miley’s makeup was actually really cute:

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The feline flick eye liner complimented her pixie crop and works really well with her elfin features. I would like to see this look on her more often,.

Lea Michelle looked FIRE

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Lea Michelle has the best beauty team. She always steals the show for me on the red carpet. I love the brown smokey eye, it works so well with her chocolate brown eyes and caramel highlights. Her hair is big and beautiful, and even though I don’t think the bronzer is the right colour for her, it does match her highlights.

Alessandra Ambrosio

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Another example of a great sleek ponytail, this time with a centre parting. When you have an intricate dress and makeup, it is always best to go for simple and elegant hair. This ponytail works perfectly for that purpose.

Kelly Osbourne

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I like this makeup because it reminds me of one of my staple looks. I often like to go for an edgier bold liner with that barbie pink shade of lipstick. It works really well with Kelly’s unique style and it’s very youthful. I used to use the Lady Gaga Viva Glam lipstick but as it’s limited edition and mines running low, a look-a-like is Mac’s Saint Germain (£15.50).

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I can’t wait to see what these guys do for Halloween tonight!

Magnifibres VS Talc

These days it’s all about fibre mascaras that build on your natural lashes. There are plenty of products on the market that promise to deliver an extra swish to your blink, such as Fast Lash by Japonesque (£15) and Younique 3D Fiber[sic] Lashes ($29, seems to be an Avon type deal where there are individual sellers, yet to find a UK seller).

One of the first products to do this was Magnifibres Brush on False Lashes (£15.80 on beautybay.com. This price has gone up, when I first bought this product it was £10). I haven’t tried the other products, but I do own the Magnifibres and it does work. It will build your lashes noticeably however it also gives them a spidery look. Not just a spidery look, but a hairy spidery look. Like a tarantula. Some people like this look, some don’t. I personally am scared of spiders, although I do appreciate their beauty. 

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It’s basically like applying cotton candy to your lashes and painting over it. I stopped using it because it seemed to always make me feel like I had bits of it in my eyes. It wasn’t particularly comfortable to wear. I have read lots of beauty ‘hacks’ saying that you can use talcum powder to achieve the same effect as these products. So I put this to the test. 

photo 1 (3)The left side (as you look at it) is talcum powder, the right side is with Magnifibres.

The eye where I just used talcum powder is a lot more clumped together. I looks like I have exactly 4 eyelashes. It was also quite hard to apply the talcum powder to the lashes. I used a q tip and brushed it only the lashes, however not much of the powder stuck. 

The Magnifibres eye is not much better, but it is probably the way I applied it. 

 

photo 2 (3)Top: Magnifibres. Bottom: Talc

Overall, the Magnifibres did work better, as you would expect. But if applied better, the talc might work. It seemed to tangle up my lashes so it made them look worse than if I had just used mascara on it’s own, but again that could just be my own incompetence. Let me know if you have tried this and got on better than I did. 

Clinique Haul

Clinique have currently got some great products on the go, some new and some classic. After a recent splurge there, I thought I’d share with you some of the great products I copped that I’m really excited about. 

Firstly, their High Impact Curling Mascara in Black

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After a recent post about my favourite mascaras a friend told me Clinique mascara was her favourite. I had never tried any Clinique makeup before, but now I have tried this mascara I think I am a convert. I just tried it without curling my eyelashes and the specially designed wand really gripped the natural curve of my lash line so they looked great after one coat. 

The most exciting product of this haul is the Almost Lipstick

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It looks scary but it doesn’t actually appear on the lips as that colour. It is very sheer and is designed to enhance your natural lip colour. To quote clinique “When pure pigment merges with the unique, natural tone of your lips, you’ve met your match” . This product looks different on everyone, so it really gives you your own unique colour. 

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I also got a powder blush in the colour ‘aglow’. It is peach toned so now that my tan is fading it won’t look so good, but the product itself is highly pigmented with a shimmer.

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The pictures do not do justice to the glow. 

If you buy any two Clinique products right now you get all these free, plus some more face goos. Or you can buy them individually at retail price (Mascara: £18, Lipstick: £17.50, Blush: £22) 

 

 

Great Budget Beauty Buys

I absolutely love the store ‘& Other Stories’. When I go there with my Mum she spends hours looking at the clothes and shoes, and I spend hours looking at the jewellery and makeup. It is the store with something for everyone. I went in the other day and found some great beauty buys that won’t break the bank.

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First up, this Concealer Quad (£12). It consists of 4 different skin tone colours designed to suit any concealing needs. However, it should be called a contour quad because that is what it does best. With 4 vastly varied cream colours, this can be used to highlight and contour a multitude of skin tones.

And speaking of contouring, they also have a Face Contour Cream for £10

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It looks very dark but with the right amount of blending (I recommend a Beauty Blender Sponge) you will be able to sculpt and define brand new cheek bones and a thinner nose.

And lastly, my favourite, is this much more affordable alternative to NARS’ Matte Multiple (albeit they aren’t matte)

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These Multi Tint Sticks (£10) can be used, as the name implies, a multitude of ways,. Cheeks, eyes, lips, whatever you want. They come in 6 colours ranging from the very light shimmery, to a deep bronze. And the best part is you could get 3 for the price of 1 NARS Matte Multiple.

I promise I am not on the & Other Stories pay roll in any way, I just really love this shop. If you can’t get to the store itself, try their website www.stories.com.

The Battle for the Lip Product of the Summer

Two brand new hero lip products have just been released for summer. Dior Addict Fluid Stick (£26) and the Bobbi Brown Art Stick (£19)

In the battle for the hero lip product of the summer it’s Dior vs Bobbi. 

The Dior Addict Fluid Stick applies like a gloss and lasts like a lipstick. 

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There is a wide range of fun summery colours and it lasts really well. My favourite is 219 which is a gorgeous nude but they also have this seasons must have orange, a bright pink and purple. 

Then there’s the Bobbi Brown Art Stick.

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Chunky pen lipsticks were a big trend last summer and the gimmick was very exciting, but to release this a year later and still want the same hype is a bit naive in my opinion. This liner-meet- lipstick is available in 8 colours exclusively for Selfridges, so yes you have to either buy from the Selfridges website and brave their not so good delivery, or trek to your nearest Selfridges store. I am not sure why this was released now and not in the winter as they are all very wintery dark colours. None are really that fun. The pigment is strong and they have a nice sheer look but I was disappointed. However at £19 they’re not too expensive (relatively). 

So for me the winner is Dior!

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Oscars 2014 Beauty round up

The Oscars are the current topic on everybody’s lips and twitter accounts, from Lupita Nyong’o’s speech to that selfie. As a film geek I could spend many hours talking about the films and the winners (poor Leo), but this is a beauty blog and I want to focus on THE MAKEUP!

Now the Oscars is a classy event. And people seem to think that makeup isn’t classy. They will wear more makeup to make it look like they aren’t wearing any. The amount of makeup that goes into a natural look…seriously you would not believe. I’ll do a video tutorial one day maybe of my natural look. But I digress, my point is that most of the big stars didn’t do anything special with their faces. The main theme seemed to be pale skin with badly matched bronzer, red lips and tide marks. However there were some stand outs for me, albeit mostly not actors and mostly at the after parties. So without further ado here is my top 8 makeup looks of the Oscars 2014:

At number 8: Irina Shayk

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I had to google who she was, but apparently she is a Russian model who’s face was perfection at the Vanity Fair Oscars party. Her foundation matches the rest of her skin and looks even, her lips are understated and they’ve even tried a bronze smokey eye. The only criticism I have is that I don’t think bronze works with blue eyes, but she looks gorgeous.

No.7 – Gaga

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The Goddess of Love looks like perfection at both the main event and the Vanity Fair party. The makeup works perfectly with both of her costume changes. This ‘natural seductress’ look is very versatile. It looks elegant with an updo and smouldering with her hair (read: wig) down. The matching peach lips and blusher looks exotic without trying too hard and her eye makeup accentuates the natural cat eye shape of her eyes, bringing out the Venus within. I have been told a couple of times I look like Gaga (I wish) so this is a look I often aim to recreate.

No.6 – Selena Gomez:

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Selena looks gorgeous here, and again has gone for the peach tones in her skin and lips. This works really well with her complexion, dark eyes and hair. If you look closely you can see her makeup artist has achieved an almost perfect smokey eye with a cat eye purple shadow with a hint of glitter and perfectly highlighted for contrast. Majuh snaps to the makeup artist here.

No.5 – Gabrielle Union:

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The future Mrs. D. Wade always looks flawless and this is no exception. Her foundation is even all over with a gorgeous glow, her eyelashes and eyebrows are on point, and her lip colour is so on trend. And she even went with natural hair for the night. She looks truly beautiful here.

No.4 – Chanel Iman:

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Number 4 is the incomparable Chanel Iman, who looked just peng in the video for Yoncé. At the Vanity Fair party we see her with possibly one of the best smokey eyes I’ve ever seen with to die for skin and lips. The smudged out Kohl trick is an oldie but a goodie. It is just vital to remember to line the water line with a sharp darker line to contrast with the smudge. Which her makeup artist has achieved here. If you look at her eyes you can see where the water line is lined and where the smudged eyeliner and eyeshadow has been applied to achieve the smokey look. The fact that the eye is defined before it is blended out is what makes this look so attractive.

TOP THREE!

No.3 – Crystal Renn:

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Wow. Seriously. It is SEVERE up in HERE. Ms Renn looks fierce. Everything about this look is just so on point. The eyebrows, the eyeliner, the lips. It’s all to die. It is so unusual for this kind of event. It is definitely the stand out look. The cat eye flick with the inside corners of the eye lined to balance it out is a tricky but worth while look. Combined with her dark eyebrows and lips, she looks like a Bond femme fatale. 10 out of 10.

No.2 – Vanessa Hudgens (Yes, really):

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I honestly never thought Vanessa Hudgens would look so hot. She has been trying really hard to break away from her Disney image (*cough* Spring Breakers) but as we know, the harder they try, the more cringe it is to watch (Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes). But here she looks badass without having to try so hard. First of all, the eyes: the brown shadows work perfectly with her chocolate eyes, and those lashes are severe! Instead of smoking out eyeshadow underneath her lower lash line, her makeup artist has gone for the intense lower lashes look (alla Kim K) and it works. Plus the dark red lips which are so hot right now, this equals one intense look. And that’s not even mentioning THE NAILS! The shape, the length, the colour, the accessories, the rings. It’s just all working for me. Instead of looking like a Disney star trying to look like a rebel, she looks like a rebel who’s cleaned up for the night. It just works.

And finally Number ONE is OF COURSE:

Lupita Nyong’o!!!

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Everyone is just gushing about this beautiful, talented actress and I have to join in. I’ll try to just stick to the makeup though. First of all, that skin. Absolutely stunning, and I hate using the word stunning but there is no other word for it. It is flawless and the glow, even though I’m sure most of that was coming from within, made her look radiant. The peachy blusher with the coral pink lips is a master stroke and works perfectly with her skin tone and the eyes are simple yet effective.

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And thanks to you, Lupita, the whole world is going to be fishing out their school head bands to wear again.

Matte vs Glow: The big makeup debate of 2013.

Possibly the biggest beauty trend of 2013 was matte. Matte skin, matte lips, matte nails. Even cars and home interiors had their fixation with matte. I easily succumbed to matte lip and you should see my reaction whenever I see a matte black car. However I have never gotten on board with the matte skin and I’ll tell you why.

I’m a glowy girl. Always have been. I like my skin to look radiant like an angel carrying the secret to eternal youth. And it is just hard for me to get on board with a makeup trend that is specifically anti-glow. When you are young, your skin shines. Yes, this might be due to oily skin, however as you get older that oil goes away leaving your makeup free face free of shine. Therefore when we see a shiny face, we automatically associate it with youth and also with physical fitness (a post work out sweat). That is why we artificially recreate this shine by using highlighters. As we get older and lose our youthful glow we have to rely on makeup to tell the world we are still young, because god forbid society lets women age.

Have you ever noticed  that your skin looks really great after the gym? My roommate at school and I used to do cross country together and whenever we came back from a run she couldn’t get over how great her skin looked. So much so that she was sad to shower and put her makeup back on. Me, not so much. When I ran I always looked awful but that was because I had awful skin in high school and my roommate had gorgeous olive skin. My point is though, that a ‘healthy glow’ is HEALTHY. Which in turn is attractive. It is human nature to be attracted to people who look like they will survive the evening. To powder over that glow and mattify it leaves ones skin looking dull and fake.

I personally feel that matte skin makes a person look 2D. Which is unnatural seeing as generally humans are 3D. An all matte face just does not look real. Now I am not one to advocate the natural look. I love a lot of makeup. But I still like to look human. To me, these matte guys and gals don’t look real. They have to contour their asses off just to add a more human look to their face, whereas with a nice radiant foundation and highlighter on the cheekbones, contouring is hardly necessary. Here, I’ll prove it:

Let’s take Priscilla. An amazing MUA and all round bad bitch. She prefers a matte look for her own makeup

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Now is it just me, or does she not look real? Compare that look with Amrezy, a NY based makeup guru.

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One of the few people who stayed loyal to the glow in 2013 and she looks amazing. I find this look so much more attractive, flattering and desirable. And I bet she didn’t have to do anywhere near as much contouring.

I even tried the matte look out on myself not that long ago because of a dream I had, where I did it and it looked amazing. I have the perfect tools for it. For the foundation I used Chanel Perfection Lumiere (£36) with Bare Minerals foundation, veil and concealer powder over the top. I contoured using the Naked eyeshadow from the Urban Decay Naked original palette. This was the result:

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It’s fine. But I don’t think it’s anything special. Compared to my normal look of about 5 different highlighters (not an exaggeration):

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I go from looking like a plastic doll, to looking like a human with a pulse and sebaceous glands.

This article is only my opinion. But if you want to get that perfect glow I can give you my secrets.

It all starts with the primer. I use Laura Mercier Radiance Primer (£29)

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After that and BEFORE my foundation, I apply the RiRi Hearts Mac Diamonds cream colour base (£16.50 although no longer available at Mac) on my cheekbones, my brow bone, my temples, a dot on my chin and forehead.

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For my foundation I use Yves Saint Laurent Le Tient Touche Éclat (£28)

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Then finally to highlight I use a combination of NARS Illuminator in Copacabana (£22.50)

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And Mac Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Superb (£22)

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Both applied just above cheek bones and on the temples.

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Swatches! From left to right Diamonds, Copacabana and Superb.

So there you have it. My opinion on the great makeup debate of 2013. I wonder what crazy foolishness 2014 will bring us. I’ll tell you right now if people start bleaching their eyebrows like Miley Cyrus, I’m out.