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…

gtg-ysl-palette-beauty-crush-main

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.

Advertisements

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!

The only list of serum’s you’ll ever need

So 2013 seemed to be the year of serums. Suddenly everyone wanted them and every brand claimed to have the best one. It became a beauty must have seemingly over night. I blame YSL and their Forever Youth Liberator serum (£65-97). The buzz surrounding this product was In. Sane. But was it worth it? What does it do? What does any serum do? 

Basically a serum is another step to your beauty regime similar to and replacing your moisturiser. A serum is different to a moisturiser in that it doesn’t just hydrate the skin but it treats it for almost any specific problems. Anti-ageing, dark spots, dry skin – there’s a serum for it. A serum’s particles are smaller than those of a moisturiser meaning it penetrates deeper into the skin. A moisturiser will just sit on the top layer of the skin, which is why people with oily skin can’t use it, but a serum will deposit it’s nutrients, etc, deeper. 

So was the cost of the YSL serum worth it? Well according to my mum who bought this product, she didn’t really notice a difference, but then again she says she wasn’t really paying attention to whether it made a difference or not. But to be honest, at £65 for 30ml, you should see a difference whether you’re looking for one or not. So this one might be slightly overrated and overpriced. A good serum should be so effective that even a lay person can tell it’s working.

The next serum my mum tried was Clarins Double Serum (£55) featured on many a best buy list including Glamour, Grazia and Cosmo. This miracle juice claims to get rid of the appearance of pores, wrinkles and return a glow to your skin. Now this one my mum did like and would have bought it again if it wasn’t for the price. 

But what about the lesser known brands? Which serums are secretly changing people’s lives but we just haven’t heard of them?

A brand that is renowned by beauty writers, makeup artists and bloggers but I still think is underrated is Alpha-H. Their Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair serum (£49) is the most affordable so far. It uses all kinds of sciencey ingredients to “reduce age spots and discolouration, soothe redness and rosacea and increase collagen synthesis by up to 119% for firmer, plumper skin”. I don’t tend to go in for serums because they all tend to be for anti-ageing which can be bad for young skin, but this has me tempted. 

Image

 

The only downside for mums to be is that this product cannot be used during pregnancy. 

Another favourite brand of mine with an award winning serum is Mario Badescu which has a range of serums that seem to cater to every skin need. Their most popular however is the Vitamin C Serum (£43.50) which is on the Elle Magazine 2013 best buy list. The vitamin C in this product helps encourage collagen production, protect the skin from free radicals, reduce discolouration therefore brightening the skin.

Image

 

 

This next “gravity-defying” serum was featured on both Elle and The Independent’s best buy beauty list of 2013. It is Caudalie’s Vinexpert Firming serum (£42.75 for 30ml). This is specifically an Anti-Ageing serum so not for young skin. This baby claims to restructure the skin so that it regains its firmness and elasticity. To cite the product itself: “contours are re-sculpted, wrinkles are reduced, skin is redensified. Instant firming effect.” This product has 5 stars on feelunique.com and very positive customer feedback. 

All these products are over £40. It seems to get good results you have to pay. I have always been a believer in you get what you pay for so this makes sense to me. However I can’t leave this post without mentioning a more affordable brand that does seem to get good results. That is No.7. Their 3 main types of serum are Lift and Luminate, Protect and Perfect and Restore and Renew. These are all around the £23 mark. When a patient’s wife asked her husband’s surgeon what product they should use on his post-op scar he replied No.7 Restore and Renew, so we can guess that one is particularly good with scarring and dark spots. 

So that is my definitive list of serums, dedicated to my mum who still hasn’t found her perfect serum. I hope this helps, Mummy. 

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.