Behind the Lense: A call for glasses on the red carpet!

Call me biased, but I think glasses deserve a more prominent place in the mainstream, and in beauty. As someone who is short-sighted, I understand the sacrifice of vision for beauty. I can’t wear contacts because my eyes are very dry and after about 20 minutes it feels like I have shards of glass digging into my eyes everytime I blink. Whenever I have worn contacts on a night out I have had to come home early, just to take them out. Or take them out in the club bathroom and throw them away even though they’re monthlies, not dailies. Therefore my only choices are wearing my glasses, which I happen to love, or going blind. Which has it’s own perils. 

Glasses did have a moment in the sun recently, thanks to hipsters, and people even bought fake glasses just to follow this trend. That was a good time for us four-eyes. But no matter how fashionable they are, stars are still shedding their frames in favour for contacts on the red carpet. This is disappointing, and I want to call all glasses wearers who don’t like contacts to wear your pair with pride!

I personally think I look better with my glasses on! They make my nose look smaller and you can’t see fully how red and tired my eyes look. Plus not forgetting how much my cats like to rub their faces on them. 

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From a makeup artist’s point of view, I understand how you would want everyone to be able to see the work you’ve put in on your own or your client’s eyes. But some glasses add extra framing to the eyes and make them stand out even more. If you are going to a formal do, don’t be afraid to just wear your glasses! It’s way more attractive than squinting all night anyway. And these celebs look great in theirs:

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The amazing Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn’t afraid to wear hers on a red carpet.

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Neither is Christina Hendricks, albeit at a Specsavers event..

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Pure glamour on Meryl Streep

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Anne Hathaway looks even BETTER in her pair.

 

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And my favourite glasses wearer – Tina Fey. 

I am honoured to be part of this group and I look forward to seeing a further rise of glasses in the beauty world soon. 

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Why I am loving Bindis

As many of you will already know, I love the 90s and early naughties style. I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to do it, because they say ‘if you can remember it the first time don’t partake’, but no one needs to know how old I am…

Which is why I LOVE wearing bindis! It is classic Gwen Stefani mid nineties:

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And it has been adopted by today’s youth who have probably never heard of No Doubt. I hope I can pull it off, as I have an actual No Doubt CD. Remember CDs?

Here is Kylie Jenner rocking the look for Coachella:

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And Vanessa Hudgens also at Coachella:

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It’s evidently a great festival look, but since I am not a big festival go-er I just wear them out and about and round the house. It just gives an edge to your look. I love them.

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I bought mine from Topshop for £5 OR you can go to an Indian fabric shop on Brick Lane and buy hundreds for about the same price. I’m going to have a very weird tan line by the end of summer.

Summer Nails: NEON!

I am a tanning professional, and one of my favourite tricks for looking more tanned is neon. Any neon, be it clothes, accessories or jewellery will instantly make you look more brown. That’s why this season I love neon nail varnish. 

The makeup range Models Own which started with nail varnishes, has released the perfect range of polishes for this look called Polish for Tans.

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(picture from getthegloss)

This range comes in five blindingly bright colours:

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From left to right: Flip Flop, Bikini, Beach Bag, Shades and Sun Hat.

As always each polish is £5. Models Own is one of my favourite brands of nail polishes because of the low price, the easy application and fast drying. On natural nails this will last up to 3 days but when applied to false nails or nail extensions it will last as long as the nails do! And your hands will look gorgeously bronzed. Or use them in your pedicure for perfectly tanned looking toes. 

I also love their Iced Neon collection for summer

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Another great but affordable brand is Topshop Nails. Their polishes are £6 and the range of colours is amazing. They don’t have a specific neon collection but they do have this great bright pinky red:

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Tobasco Trouble £6. I adore this colour so much, I can’t even look at it. 

Utilise these colours with caution, however: may cause envy in others. 

Spring Trend: Coloured Liners

As seen in my last post, this season is all about colours. The brighter the better. One trend that was all over the faces at the various fashion weeks was coloured eye liners. Yes, really. Apparently the early naughties are back. But there are ways to do it that can actually look quite chic (cringe at the word chic).

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The top picture is actually an eyeshadow – Tangerine Dream by Mac – used as a liner with a liner brush. The bottom is from Spanish Fashion Week but the liner isn’t named.

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A couple more from Fashion Week. The top is from Paris Fashion week and the bottom is from the Kenzo show. Again both Mac, both unnamed liners. However I suspect that the bottom one is the mac Fluidline gel liner in Waveline.

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Fluidline is a great gel liner, Blacktrack being one of my every day staples. These are some of the more adventurous colours they do. As you can see some are already sold out due to the popularity of this trend. But Mac aren’t the only people who do great liners in fantastical colours.

For my american readers, check out Lime Crime Makeup. They are a 100% vegan and cruelty free makeup company that specialise in the big and bold. Here are some of their looks that I just love.

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The orange liner used here is called 6th Element. I absolutely adore this orange. And you don’t need to just be limited to using it as a liner. You can use it as eyeshadow or a secondary liner as shown in this look.

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This Blue Milk liner is to die. The top pictorial is from @jennhunny83 and the bottom picture is of @priscillaono who is the absolute don of makeup artistry. Her Ono beauty classes in LA are the best in the game and her regular clients include Amber Rose and Iggy Azalea. She loves a bright colourful eye and this liner looks great with blue hair.

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This white liner look by @ashleyswagnerxo is using Lime Crime’s Lunar Sea liner. This look also fits in with the white eye shadow trend I wrote about earlier this year. It’s fresh and cute and simple. Exactly what we need for spring.

For my UK readers, you can buy Lime Crime cosmetics from UK stockist cocktailcosmetics.co.uk or you can visit the Lime Crime website (limecrime.com) and pay the shipping costs and tax.

But if you want something you can get hold of here, Urban Decay have always had a great stock of coloured liners. My favourite Kohl liner I’ve ever used is Urban Decay’s jet black liner in Perversion. It is the blackest black and it never runs or bleeds. You can get a pack of 6 Urban Decay Kohl liners on beautybay.com right now for £18.20. Click here.

All in all I think this is a really fun trend and I can’t wait to try it.

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. 

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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. 

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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)

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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!

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.