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.

photo 3 (7)

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:

photo 1 (7) photo 2 (8)

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)..

Advertisements

NARS Lip Pencil Review

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas or non denominational winter holiday. I received these from my brother:

photo 1 (6)

These are five great colours consisting of 3 Satin looks and 2 matte looks.

First up is this festive dark red, Cruella (matte)

photo 2 (7)

Going lighter and a bit more orange toned, Iberico (matte)

photo 2 (6)

Then theres a classic winter Future, Yu

photo 1 (5)

And two nudes, Descanso

photo 4 (4)

and Torres Del Paine

photo 3 (6)

These pencils are great for accuracy. They wear like a lipstick but with the accuracy of a liner and no where near as drying. The satin finish gives a bit of a sheen, whilst still being highly pigmented. They are by no means sheer. And the mattes also manage the nearly impossible feat of looking matte without drying your lips. They’re comfy enough to wear all day and they are food proof, meaning the colour withstands a good meal.

I love these pencils and highly recommend them to anyone who wants a lipstick and liner in one.

Kylie Jenner Lip Tutorial

There’s been a lot of speculation recently as to whether or not Kylie Jenner has had her lips done. Which would be slightly worrying seeing as she is only just 16. I don’t even think the Kardashians would let their youngest daughter have cosmetic intervention done while she is still a minor. Therefore I personally think she has just discovered the wonders of lip liner.

photo (2)

It’s the difference between a tween doing their own makeup (left) and having a makeup artist (right). By not wearing lipstick and even getting a bit of foundation on her lips, she has made her lips look thinner. But with a good lip liner, matte lipstick, and flattering photo angle, she has managed to get people all worried that she is having collagen. These are just the wonders of makeup!

I can show you how it is done.

photo 1 (2)

Start with bare, conditioned lips. If there is any excess product on them just blot them dry. If they have any traces of lip balm or concealer left on them, the liner will not go on so easily. Most people have a bigger bottom lip, the way to make your lips look Kylie Jenner plump is to over line the hell out of the top lip so it is the same size as the bottom.

Choose a dark nude lip liner. I am using a Lipstick Queen pencil in Natural (£18)

photo 1

I always start on the bottom lip and I over-line the very bottom part of the lip, just under the natural lip line. I then fill in the corners of my natural lips with the liner. If you don’t fill in the corners, your lips won’t meet.

For the top lip I only over-line the cupids bow, by drawing just above the natural lip line, and then I join this part up with my natural lip line for the sides. If you over-line the whole of your top lip it will look too obvious and clown like.

TIP: If you fill in the dip in your cupids bow slightly, it will give the appearance of collagen injected lips. I sometimes do this when I am wearing a pink or a lighter nude, for a bit of a plumped effect.

When you are happy with your lining, apply a dark nude matte liptick.

photo 2

I am using a Chanel lipstick from the Velvet Matte collection, no.33.

To make your lipstick last longer, and to further mattify them, take a tissue and peel the sheets apart. Apply one sheet over your lips and then brush over the tissue paper with a translucent setting powder.

Now you’re good to go!

photo 2 (1) photo 4

 

To finish off the look, fill in your brows giving them as much of an arch as possible. Apply some natural eyeshadow into the outer corners of the lid, and a bit along the crease. Use some of the eyeshadow left on your brush to line under the lower lash line and then apply lots and lots of mascara. Use a white pencil for the lower water line, and a small amount of Kohl eyeliner for the top lid, only enough to make it look like the lashes are more full. Not enough to notice the line.

And that’s how to do the Kylie Jenner look. Say what you will about that family, but you can’t fault their makeup artists.

 

 

NARS: Matte Multiples Review

One of the new exciting things to come out of NARS this year is the Matte Multiples collection. A collection of colour sticks that can be used as blush, lipstick, contour, even eyeshadow. Sounds amazing, but for £30 (which is expensive, even for NARS) I had to see if they were worth the price.

Image

There are 7 shades. They can be split into lips and face but there’s nothing stopping you mixing them around. 

Here are the swatches I took:

Image

(from left to right:) Cappadoce, Vientaine, Altai (generally considered the contour sticks) and Laos, Exumas, Siam and Anguilla (for lips and blush)

Evidently they are well pigmented, however the pigmentation in Exumas and Anguilla was a bit blotchy, like when you apply a cheap lipstick and there’s lumps of pigmentation and it dries your lips out. This could be because they were a bit dried out themselves from having their lids off, or they might just not be very good. 

Cappadoce and Vientaine were also quite blotchy, although they don’t quite have the lumps that Exumas and Anguilla have. And this could be remedied by blending with a beauty sponge. 

I kept the swatches on all day to see how well they lasted and this was the result:

Image

Anguilla has almost disappeared and the blotchiness has gotten worse, however the rest have lasted quite well. Which you would expect from NARS. But for £30 EACH I would expect better. 

Overall, I wouldn’t buy. If they were even £5 cheaper I would consider it. But even if money was no object, I do not think they’re worth £30. 

Beauty Basics Part 1: the underwear of beauty

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve had the Easter weekend off. But I’m back and today I’m going to write about something that I’ve been meaning to write about since I started this blog. The basics of beauty. 

First of all, primers. If makeup were clothes, primer is the underwear. Bad underwear can make your whole outfit look ill fitting and unflattering, but good underwear can make a difference you never thought possible. It is the same with primer. You don’t know how good a difference it can make until you use one. No primer, or bad primer, and your makeup will look bad from the start and only get worse. You wouldn’t paint your house without a base coat of primer on first, so don’t paint your face without it either. 

There are three different types I use on my face. Foundation primer, eye shadow primer, and lip primer. Regular readers will know which foundation primer I currently use, and it is NARS Radiance Enhancing Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer (£24) a bit of a mouthful but it works. You can wear it on it’s own on a no makeup day for a natural glow, or as a primer to make your makeup last 8+ hours without setting spray and 24 hours with setting spray. Some more affordable primers are Smashbox which are designed to make your makeup last under the hot lights of a studio, and Benefit’s Stay Flawless 15 hour Primer. Or if you really want to splash out Laura Mercier has a range of different primers that are fantastic but expensive (£28-35).

Image

I use many different eye shadow primers, as I have a lot, but my most reliable one is again NARS. Eye shadow primer is the most important of all, because sometimes a good enough foundation can look ok without a primer, but a good eye shadow primer can make even cheap eyeshadow last all night and day without creasing or melting off no matter how hard you dance. It also gives your eyes an even base to apply shadow onto, so you don’t have to work too hard to get rid of redness. I also use various Urban Decay primers because I get a lot of these free. They are also very good and they have different types for matte or sparkly eyeshadow or even anti-ageing. 

Image

Lip primer is not essential, as you can just use a combination of lip balm and concealer, however it does make a difference. My favourite is Mac’s Prep and Prime Lip (£12.50). This is colour free so you can still add concealer over it, it just moisturises the lips and helps lipstick stay put and not to dry the lips or flake. If you want a neutralising base, Mac also do Lip Erase (£14.50) which “neutralizes and erases natural colour from the lip” 

Image

But again, not essential as concealer will do a similar job. 

Some people might think “primer, what’s that? is it worth spending extra money on for something you can’t even see?” because that is what I used to think when I was a youth, but it IS worth it. I never take makeup out with me because I simply don’t have to re apply and that saves a lot of grief on a night out. So trust me and invest. You will not regret it. 

My 5 minute Pictorial for perfect cheekbones

This is just a really quick and easy look for nice glowy cheekbones and a bit of definition. 

Image

 

 

Step 1 – First of all apply a good face primer. I use NARS Pro-prime Radiance Enhancing Primer. A bit of a mouthful but it’s amazing. 

Step 2 – Apply your foundation. I use Le Tient Touche Éclat by YSL applied with a Beauty Blending sponge.

Step 3 – Concealer. I use NARS Creamy Concealer in Vanilla. Always use at least one shade lighter than your foundation with concealer. It is better at reflecting light away from any flaws instead of drawing attention to them. Also you can use it to highlight. 

Step 4 – Hightlighter. I use a couple of highlighters but this one is NARS Illuminator in Copacabana. Apply a few dots along the top of the cheekbone. A little goes a long way. Blend with the tapered end of a Beauty Blending sponge. 

Step 5 – To contour under my cheekbones I use the Naked eyeshadow from the Naked original palette by Urban Decay and a large eyeshadow shader brush. I use this colour because it isn’t orange like most bronzers, it is just a light brown matte shade and with a small brush it adds perfect definition. Apply under the cheekbone. 

Step 6 – Blush is great for adding some colour for a day look. For a more glam evening look however I would probably avoid it. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks. I use Mac Sheertone blush in Pink Swoon.

Step 7 – This is when I use another highlighter to go over the top of the other one and blend in with the blusher. I use Mac Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Superb with a contour brush (Mac 168) and just sweep the powder up towards the temples.

And there you have it. Sculpted cheekbones without expensive cheek implants. 

Spring 2014 Beauty Highlights: What to look forward to

As the 1st of March brought us sun and daffodils, it also brought the best of the new beauty spring collections. I love this time of year because everyone is so happy to see daylight and us beauty nerds can look forward to wearing colour again and getting our skin ready for summer. One of my favourite releases with this spring is the new YSL Gloss Volupte (£21). Their Rouge Volupte has always been a staple of theirs and this new collection of lip glosses brings us some beautiful new colours for spring, and the recognition that gloss is BACK. 

Image

 

I particularly love the orange shades because as we saw at the various fashion weeks, orange is the lip colour to wear this spring. 

The next big product on everyone’s lips (and eyes) is the new NARSissist eye palette from, obviously, NARS. This palette of 15 classic NARS shadows is not yet available in the UK but you can buy it from Sephora at $79 and they will ship to the UK for a flat rate of $10 for all orders over $75. You can convert to GBP at the checkout. 

Image

 

Nordstrom also carry this product for £49.97 in GBP and they will also ship to the UK. However there is always an international shipping tax. 

For a colour blast Urban Decay’s new Electric palette looks In. Sane. (in a good way)

Image

The US release date is the 18th of March, no UK release date as of yet. This palette features Chaos, one of my favourite all time shadows. This is definitely going to be on my list. I am excited to see colour in makeup back in fashion again. Because makeup should be fun! 

So those are my ‘to watch’ products for spring. Watch this space for more spring trends. And enjoy the sun!

Mermaid Eye Makeup Pictorial.

For my second pictorial I thought I would do an eye look, and I really wanted something using ‘chaos’ from the Urban Decay Vice palette so I came up with this mermaid look. Enjoy:

Image

I used five main colours to achieve this look:

Image

Chaos, Occupy, Unhinged, Junkie and Penny Lane.

Step 1 – Apply Chaos all over lid

Step 2 – Apply Unhinged just above the crease

Step 3 – BLEND

Step 4 – Highlight with a lighter eyeshadow on the brow bone (I used Anonymous from the same palette)

Step 5 – Apply Junkie under the lower lashes and go over with Occupy

Step 6 – Apply Penny Lane in the inner corner of the eye

Step 7 – Line the eyes with Mac’s Fluidline eyeliner in Blacktrack

Step 8 – Apply mascara and/or eyelashes. I don’t use lashes when I am just experimenting with a look, only for a night out.

Step 9 – Voila! Tidy up any fall out and do any extra blending and there you have it. A look fit for my mermaid friends (yes some of my friends are mermaids, you know who you are ❤ )

Image

Image

To complete the mermaid look I applied a NARS soft touch shadow pencil in Dark Rite to my lips. This takes it from Ariel to Ursula. Who is way more of a badass.

Image

Image

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and scare my neighbours. Ursula OUT x

I’m such a NARSissist…

I was in SpaceNK the other day when I remembered I could do with some more primer. My usual – Laura Mercier – was running low. But while I was browsing I spotted a NARS primer specifically for radiance boosting. It’s cheaper than my usual at £25 so I thought I’d give it a go. 

Image

 

Image

 

The NARS Radiance Enhancing Primer Pro-Prime range (£25)

I always set my makeup with a very expensive makeup setting spray (lies, I use hairspray. It’s £4 and works better than any posh setting sprays) so even if I forgot my primer my makeup could last all day. So the real test of this product is how well would my makeup last without hairspray? Well I wasn’t going anywhere yesterday so took the risk, my skin will thank me for it cause hairspray is not good for it. And 8 hours after application my makeup was still flawless and radiant! I already knew NARS primers were great because I use the eyeshadow primer, but I wasn’t expecting this. I highly recommend.

 

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

Image

Image

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

Image

Image

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:

Image

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):

Image

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)

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

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

Image

And Mac Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Superb (£22)

Image

Both applied just above cheek bones and on the temples.

Image

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.