Thursday, 7 August 2014

FOTD - Recreating my wedding makeup look

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Today we're celebrating our wedding anniversary and although it feels like we got married only yesterday, it's been 5 years already. Traditionally 5 years is considered the Wooden anniversary - maybe that means that Him Indoors will give me a couple of acres of Amazon forest...  Since it's our anniversary I thought it would be fun to recreate the makeup look I was wearing on my wedding day and even though I won't be using exactly the same products, the colors will be very similar.

At the moment I have much more of a tan than I did at my wedding and for an every day look at this time of year I normally wouldn't even bother with foundation, but since I'm making a bit more of an effort with this look I applied the No 7 Instant Radiance Foundation (£12.50) in Wheat. In my opnion the No 7 foundations don't get nearly enough credit and mention in Blogiverse. Not only are they great value for money, but the matching service means that you will definitely get a shade that is as close to your skin tone as possible for a perfect seamless match. The radiance foundation is a lovely and light medium coverage foundation that adds a nice warm and natural glow to your skin but without that heavy, caked feeling on your skin. It's fairly long lasting so it should stand a fair chance during these hot sweltering days we've been having lately. Now, I know that a lot of wedding looks are quite soft, natural and paired down, but I like a defined eye - always have and always will and it's a look I wear most days of the year. So for my wedding makeup I didn't want the complete opposite or something totally out of character since after all, this is the day of all days to feel comfortable and great about yourself, so my makeup artist and I decided to do a lighter version of a defined eye that was still in keeping with what I would usually emphasize, using slightly softer colors
For the eyes I used Avon's True Colour Eyeshasdow Quad Nudes (£9) in Barely There. All of the shades have surprisingly strong pigmentation and the formula is soft and creamy that allows for gradual building up of the colours, which will last the majority of day before you start seeing them fade. As a base for the entire lid I used shade no 2, which is a beautiful muted, dusky rose colour which blends so well with shade no 4 - an intense sepia brown, and on the middle of the lid I added a light sweep of shade no 3, a chamoisee with a beautiful subtle shimmer. I also used shade no 1 as a highlighter and in the inner corner of my eye, and the pale but warm cream colour is a nice contrast to the other colours. I really like these Barely There shades and even though they definitely are on the nude side they don't disappear into the background and are anything but bland. To add some depth and eye definition I applied Rimmel's Soft Khol Kajal Eye Pencil (£2.99) in Sable Brown on the lower waterline. It has a wonderful soft and water resistant formula that stays in place even on the teariest of days, so if you've got a special occasion coming up - give this one a go!

The only mascara for me at the moment, which you'll probably remember from my July favourites,  is Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara (£9.99). Already from the start it has just the right texture, as if it's been used for a while and the wide, firm brush makes it very easy to apply layers upon layers to quickly volumise and shape the lashes as much as you want in a few seconds and the effect is amazing. It's very long lasting but also easy to remove in the evening. I'm very lucky with my eye lashes and even the bottom ones are fairly long, but these days many mascaras with their wacky and strangely shaped wands make it tricky to get a nice and smudge free application. The solution to that issuette is the famous Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (£13) which has the tiniest brush I've ever seen, making messy lines under your bottom lashes a thing of the past. I prefer to use the shade brown since I personally am not a fan of the lower lashes being too distinct and spider leggy and I think it works well, even with black mascara on the upper lashes.

For my cheeks I used my beloved Sleek MakeUp Blush (£4.49) in the most stunning shade ever - Rose Gold. I love this romantic coral shade with its golden shimmer, that makes your cheeks look so dewy and glowy making it perfect for a romantic occasion. The consistency is silky smooth and blendable and the blusher is so richly pigmented that you only need to dab your brush in it to get enough product for both cheeks - in the photo I've literally just lightly swept the brush over the apples of my cheeks, and as you can see that's more than enough for a radiant finish. When I tried to recreate my wedding day look I wasn't surprised at all to see that I had almost identical shades for all the products but one - the one item that I had to rummage around for was a lip colour and the closest I could find in my stash was the L'Oréal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick (£8.99) in Rose Symphony. This is supposedly a dupe for the fantastic YSL Glossy Stains, and there are definitely a lot of similarities. Let's look at the formula; it's soft, moisturising, silky, non sticky, intensely pigmented and with a brilliant glossy shine and it comes with a great flexible doe foot applicator. It's long lasting and when the shine has faded you're left with a noticeable stain that lasts literally ALL day. It's an excellent product and definitely a more affordable option to YSL. Rose Symphony is a warm vermillion pink shade, and although the colour I wore on my wedding day had more coral in it and the finish was not quite as glossy, the overall look is very similar. I had so much fun recreating the look again and now I'm off to pack a bag since apparently I'm going away somewhere, and I mustn't forget to take all these items with me so I can create the same look for this evening.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The latest from Jo Malone - Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

Getting a new lipstick always cheers me up, a new nail polish is sure to put a smile on my face and a new eye shadow palette definitely makes my day, but what truly makes me giddy and excited is a new perfume. Scent has always been very important to me and not only does it compliment an outfit or a look, it has the ability to inspire, comfort and relax making you the most confident person in the world, or the complete opposite if you get a fragrance that for whatever reason doesn't work for you. I don't knock any type of fragrance until I've tried it; fruity, floral, spicy, green, foody, classic, contemporary - I've tried it all, but what really draws me in is a scent that captures a mood, an atmosphere or a scene, and the latest one to do just that is Jo Malone's Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne (£40).
Many of the most well known Jo Malone scents belong to either the citrus, floral/light floral or fruity category but for me this latest addition to the "quintessentially British" fragrance library doesn't fit in any of them, and in fact it opens the door to a completely new category. It's described as a combination of fresh air, sea spray and woody notes that capture the scent of the English coast. When you first spray it you'll get a burst of zesty but soft grapefruit and an undertone of cool marine saltiness, which makes the scent initially airy and light and after that it gives way to deeper tones of subtle musky, warm ambrette seed and sensual, aromatic sage. I've never come across a composition like this and it creates a very natural, understated and dreamy fragrance with a slightly raw and gritty undertone reminding me of salty sun kissed skin. It's a sophisticated, relaxed and harmonious scent as far away from florals as you can get and I would even say that it can easily be worn by both women and men.

As much as I am enamoured with this scent unfortunately I have to say that as with many of the other Jo Malone colognes the scent doesn't last as long as I would have liked and on me it starts to fade after only a few hrs. That's not going to stop me from wearing it and it doesn't take away from that fact that it's a scentsational fragrance. I absolutely adore this modern, beachy and woody scent and it has definitely captured the spirit of summer, which will be perfect for keeping spirits up as we move into Autumn. Jo Malone has a wonderful range of scents that are now modern classics, but I love the innovative concepts and new directions we've seen this year - first with the London Rain Collection and now this amazing evocative scent. The unique Wood Sage & Sea Salt launches in September and it will be available in a hand & body wash, body creme and candle as well so you can surround yourself with the memory of summer, and we can all live the rest of the year by the sea side.  

Monday, 4 August 2014

Manic.Monday: The Queen of pink - Maybelline's Pink in the Park

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've been playing around with nail art a lot lately and have used a rainbow of different colors and looks, so today I thought I would break away from the bonanza of colors and effects, and maybe even surprise everyone by keeping it simple. Not only that - I've chosen a color that I don't wear very often... pink! I'm living proof that you can be a girly girl, without living in pink. Don't get me wrong I LOVE pink, I really do, and others look amazing in it but pink is just not a color that I'm naturally drawn to either when it comes to fashion or makeup, and truth be told the only reason I got this shade was because it was a 2-for-1 deal in Superdrug and I thought - why not?! And indeed why not - just look at it... I crown this shade the Queen of all pale pinks!

This beauty is called Pink in the Park, and it's from the Maybelline Superstay Gel Nail Color (£4.49) range which is available in 20 different colors. Having tried a lot of the different gel polishes on the market I was very excited to see how this one from Maybelline measured up with the others. The formula is quite thin and a little bit runnier than many of the other gels so you need to be careful and wipe off as much product as you can from the brush before you apply the coats, although be aware that this means that each coat can dry a little bit sheer, but personally I'd rather build up the color gradually and avoid making too much of a mess on the cuticles. The polish comes with a lovely high quality wide and flat brush that fans out over the nail, making application nice and easy if you've got the right amount of product on the brush. The polish dries quickly and the pigmentation is good for being a light shade and two coats are just perfect for creating a lovely opaque finish in just a few minutes. When the coats have dried, you'll also get a great glass like high shine finish, as you would with most gel formulas and you really don't need to apply a separate top coat.
The claim is that this formula will last for 7 days, but on me it doesn't last longer than an ordinary nail polish, so after about 3 days there was a bit of chipping on my nails that needed to be corrected and compared to other gel polishes e.g. Barry M or Nails Inc it didn't last quite as long as these brands. However, with a shade like Pink in the Park, all is forgiven - it's such a stunning, delicate cool powder pink without too strong a blue undertone, which means that it would work really well with a lot of skin tones. I'm completely in love with this shade to the degree that it's the only pink that I've reached for this season. This Queen of all pale pink shades isn't just for the park - take Her to work, to the beach, a night out - in fact wherever, just make sure that you treat Her it with the royal respect She deserves!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sleek's Gloss Me Lip glosses

As a beauty junkie I want it all, and I want LOTS of it. You can never have too much of a good thing which is why I'm completely indulging in lip glosses at the moment; gone are the days of old fashioned horrible sticky and plasticky formulas and we're now spoiled for choice with gorgeous shades from a variety of brands in all price ranges from premium beauty to more budget friendly options. The latest lip glosses to hit my radar is from one of my favourite brands: Sleek. Sleek has an amazing range of products in every colour of the rainbow, and they are all of excellent quality at very affordable prices - a beauty addicts dream! If like me you love to experiment with colour I can't recommend the amazing eye shadow palettes enough and have reviewed the lovely Garden of Eden previously (you can read that post here). But let's focus on these irresistible lip beauties - the Sleek Gloss Me Lip Glosses* (£4.99) come in simple and polished packaging that really show off the different shades, which by the way are completely true to colour from the tube so you don't have to worry about colour changes when you swatch them.
The formula is lovely and light without being runny (and it goes without saying that it's completely non sticky!), and it comes with an applicator that is quite long and thin, which makes it very easy to trace the contours of your lips for an even perfect application. I have to say that the applicator is a little bit on the stiff side for my liking, however it's not unpleasant to use in any way, and again for precision work that stiffness might be extra useful. When you apply the gloss it sets immediately on the lips with a silky smooth feeling and full coverage, so you can quickly build up the color and shine to the intensity that you prefer. You'll get hrs of wear from this lip gloss since it's so long lasting, on me it stays brilliantly glossy and next to flawless for about 5 hrs, and the pigmentation is wonderful and so intense that even after the gloss has faded, you can still see the colour as a stain on your lips. That does mean that you have be careful when you apply the more intense shades to avoid messy contours. The Gloss Me shades come in 12 gorgeous shades with 6 new shades added to the range recently from pale nudes to vibrant berry tones, and regardless of which colour you go for, the gloss is packed with shimmer that really makes your lips pop in the sun.
Left to right:
Hawaii Honey // Maria, Maria
Thai Orchid // Angel Falls

I've tried four of the most recent colour additions; Hawaii Honey - a golden coral pink, Maria Maria - a warm rusty amaranth red, Thai Orchid - a glorious intense blue toned Persian pink and Angel Falls - a pale silky beige nude. They are all so distinct pretty in their own right and work so well for different looks but the one shade I love the most is definitely Hawaii Honey, coral doesn't get any better than this and I already know that this is one shade I'll bring with me on holiday later on this month! I absolutely adore the Gloss Me texture and finish and for me, these are exceptional quality for the price you pay. You can pick up products from Sleek's fab range either directly from Sleek, or in Boots and Superdrug, so go on and Gloss Yourself Sleek!