Thursday, 3 April 2014

Top Tips- Contouring


Hey! So this is part 2 of my skincare hints and tips post, and I'm going to talk contouring and how it's THE best makeup trick in the book. I promise. 
As I'm sure you've read from so many blog posts, contouring (often called HAC-ING- Highlighting and Contouring) is THE makeup trick that can transform your face like no other. Kim Kardashian (and probably the entire Klan) famously rock this look, creating killer cheekbones, a thinner, straighter nose, and a smaller forehead. You want to know more don't you. Well I'll tell you how:

Ahhh illusions....

Step 1- Get your base right. You want to apply primer all over your face with your fingertips, then apply a little BB cream that matches your skin tone all over the face with a brush, buffing it into the skin. The Benefit Pore-fessional primer is my fave, as is the oil free primer by Laura Mercier, but for a cheaper alternative the Lumi Magique primer by L'Oreal is also really good at around £9.99! BB Creams I love include the Garnier BB Cream for Oily/Combination skin and I'm hearing Benefit's Big Easy is amazing although I haven't tried it myself!

Step 2- For this look every day, I personally just use a bit of matte bronzer (like Benefit Hoola, or the one out of the Sleek Contour Kit) with a gold-toned highlight and concealer, but for photos, or perhaps a more glam evening look/occasion- you need two foundations. First of all you need to take a really light foundation (about 2 shades lighter than your natural colour) and apply it acorss the top of your cheekbones, under your eyes in a triangle formation (or you could do this with light concealer), in the centre of your forehead and down the bridge of the nose. finish with a dab on the centre of your chin.

Step 3- Take a foundation that is two shades darker than your natural skin tone (I want to invest in a foundation stick like you can get from Bobbi Brown (£28)- will update this post when I can find a drug store dupe!) and apply it under your cheekbones, or just a bit higher if yours are a bit low. Apply it next along the sides of the nose, on the temples of your forehead, and across your jaw line. Next, take a stippling or blending brush and BLEND it all in. It will look a little extreme at first so don't worry, you've got to keep going just to get rid of all harsh lines but take care not to mix the shades.

Step 4- Now you want a shimmery highlight (I'm in love with Benefit's Watts Up) and apply that just under your eyebrows, a little above your cupids bow, along the cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose. This will add more dimension to your face and make you look glowy and youthful.

Step 5- Finish this look with a big fluffy brush and some translucent powder, this is to set the look and make you look more flawless, further reducing any obvious lines. Add a little rose coloured blush to the apples of the cheeks if you want to be like Kimmy K and add lots of mascara, smoky eyeshadow and some nude lipgloss. Tadaaa!

If that's not face transforming, I don't know what else is.
Another top tip here if is you can't be bothered with the fuss of contouring, just add a light heavy duty undereye concealer (I love Collection's stick concealer, and also Seventeens Phwoarr Paint- both really cheap and amazing). Apply it in a bit of a triangle shape, rather than just dotting underneath your eye, and pat it in first with your fingers to warm it up a little then make sure it reaches everywhere by applying the rest in with a brush. All you need to do then is swipe bronzer along each cheek bone and around your face and it only takes you 2 minutes! Applying bronzer to your jawline is very flattering if you want to hide a bit of a double chin and create a more striking jawline. 

Really hope this helped you if you haven't tried contouring before! Let me know how you get on :)

Top Tips- Contouring

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Top Tips- Perfect Looking Skin: Part 1

Hello everyone! Sorry about the delay- been so busy with deadlines this week I've had literally no time to sit down and blog, but now it's the Easter holidays (yaaay)
Here's a post I've decided to write on the top-tips I've discovered myself and read from makeup artist books etc all around creating perfect looking skin, we all want to achieve that flawless finish don't we? 

1) Remove your makeup at night well, and in winter use more moisturing products, or the 'Simple' brightening range to cheer up dull skin.

2) Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise. Seriously, whether your skin is oily or dry moisturising really is the key to achieving a flawless finish. You can get face moisturisers for sensitive skin and there's so many oil free ones which won't cause you to break out. Moisturising the skin first thing in the morning not only helps to prep and prime it but it gives it a bit of brightness to your skin after you've slept. Ones with SPF's in are also great for avoiding premature wrinkles but don't wear SPF if you're planning to have a photoshoot! (you'll get a white face) I love the Simple moisturisers with a hint of gradual tan, or the Bare Minerals skincare range.

3) Primer is your best friend! For years I didn't wear a primer and now I do I notice such an improvement in my skin, and the length of time my foundation actually stays on. A good primer will slightly colour correct your skin and disguise pores while creating a smooth surface. I've experiemtned with a few primers now (the GOSH one broke me out horrendously, beware!) but have settled on the Benefit Porefessional now, and on days when my skin needs a little pick me up love the brightening primer by Bare Minerals. 

4) Wear the best foundation for your skin type- Harpers Bazaar explains in greater detail here. But basically BB cream is an amazing and very popular product at the moment. Any skin type suits it and it can be build-able. It's my favourite choice as we head into spring. 

5) Match your foundation exactly with your skin tone! Match this with your neck and most importantly your chest. Nothing is worse than any sort of foundation line and if you want to look flawless then you want to have a consistent skin tone. If your face is a bit paler because you like to fake tan (like me) then it's worth investing in a product like the Chanel Sol De Bronze, (Bourjois do a great dupe of this) and apply it to your face as a primer- which adds a bit of a bronzed base to your foundation, perfect for summer. To match your chest it can be worth getting a large fluffy brush and sweeping the brush along the collar bone with bronzer and just below that with loose powder. 


6) As you can see there are SO many different types of face makeup brushes, and this can be confusing. Apply foundation with a good quality brush, the real techniques are my absolute faves as they are good quality and inexpensive, same goes to the Body Shop ones! To be honest, on a weekly basis I switch it up, sometimes using my foundation brush and others using a stippling brush or a buffing brush for applying foundation and think that what you use is a matter of personal preference. However, use a brush even when applying concealer as the tapered bristles can get into the crevices of your skin and blemishes better than your fingers can.

7) When you apply your foundation, REALLY press it into the skin with your brush. Apply the desired amount but be sure to work it into the skin to really well to get the perfect looking finish. 

8) Powder. Apply everything in place with a translucent powder- Mineral Vale from Bare Minerals is one of the best around, same goes for ones by Laura Mercier, but there's loads out there. Powder keeps your makeup on for longer and also slightly mattifies, meaning you look a bit more airbrushed. Be careful when using a cheap pressed powder as they do give the tendency to make you look cakey, the opposite of what we're trying to achieve. 

Remember- we want to minimise pores- that's primer, the correct foundation (consistency and colour), and translucent loose powder! The photo above on the right is just some examples of these products. 

See you soon for part 2, where I'll talk contouring and the best foundations known for creating a glowy, airbrushed and flawless finish! 

Top Tips- Perfect Looking Skin: Part 1

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Top Tips- Bigger, Brighter Eyes

Hi everyone, hope you're well! Today I decided to start a series of posts on the top tips and tricks I've learnt from reading various make up books written by artists such as Bobbi Brown and Jemma Kidd. I'm in no way a makeup artist, but these tips have really helped me and I figured I'd like to share them.

The first post will be dedicated to achieving bigger and brighter eyes. There is no question that the right eye makeup can really transform your face, and so many looks can be created just with some eyeshadow, liner and mascara. Hope some of these tips inspire or help you like they did me!

Eyes- Top Tips

1) I personally love eyeliner to define my eyes for more of a striking 'cat eye' look, which I pair with winged eyeliner on my upper lid (like the 'Feline' in the photo above). This makes your eyes look larger and more feminine instantly as it gives the illusion of a thicker lash line. Any of the looks above illustrate what a difference in liner application can make though!

2)  Celebrity makeup artist Carmindy states that for a less intense day time look, black can act like an LBD- narrowing your shape, so an off-black colour like slate or brown (especially if blonde or blue-eyed) can be more eye-opening.

3) Swipe a shimmery white shadow onto the inner corners of your eyes in a sideways V to catch the light, widening your eyes. I actually personally love a gold coloured shimmer like Half-Baked by Urban Decay in the day time. If you take this underneath the lash line it can instantly open up your eyes and create more of a 'glam' look, great for night time.
4) Use eyeshadow that compliments your eye colour. The chart above simplifies this, but basically whatever your eye colour- you just want to use shadows that are the opposite on the spectrum.
For blue eyes, anything with orangey undertones like apricot or peach will make them stand out more, and for green eyes, deep purple shades or even a more intense green will intensify your eyes. Brown eyes are neutral so do tend to suit any colour, however rose-gold colours (hiiii Naked 3 Palette) with purple undertones or even blues can do wonders.

5) Layer makeup for longer wear. Layering your eye-makeup supposedly makes it last through the day and the night. For example, after you've gone over your eyeshadow routine, line your upper lash line with a liquid liner and go over it in gel liner later, setting your eyeshadow with a similar colour shadow using a dome-shaped brush.

6) Another way to ensure longer lasting colour is by prepping your eyelids with eyeshadow primer- if your eyelids are dry you can use concealer, however, getting a proper primer is useful and reduces fallout and dreaded panda eyes.


Add Some Shimmer

“A neutral smoky eye is all about playing with dark and light,” says Linter, who used the shimmering ivory-pink shade from Lancôme’s Color Design palette in Coral Crush on lids. “Having darker tones surround a lighter one gives shape and definition—the light on the eye makes it pop.”

Lancôme Color Design Eye Brightening All-in-One 5 Shadow & Liner Palette in Coral Crush, $49;

7) Use the right tools! To be honest I don't think you need every single brush ever, and I cope just fine with about 3 or 4 eyeshadow brushes- just a flatliner to 'pat' on the colour, a basic fluffy brush to add colour to the outer lid, and then a blending brush to blend it all together. If you use a gel eyeliner like I do then a flat liner is great too. 

8) Makeup Artist Felicia Alva says that if you improve the quality of your brushes and use richer pigmented products, the application would be better immediately even without improving your technique. So I really would invest in some well pigmented eyeshadow to achieve professional looking results!

9) White eyeliner is a must for tired looking eyes! One of the older tips in the book is using white eyeliner in the waterline, and bringing it into the inner corners of the eye. Not only does this make you look more awake but it also makes your eyes look noticeably bigger. 

10) And finally, don't forget to curl those lashes! James Vincent does a great 'How to' post on eyelash curling which can be found here, and I personally think it is worth buying the right eyelash curlers- the Shu Uemera ones being the favourite of so many makeup artist professionals. 
Curled eyelashes can really open up the eyes if done correctly with the right mascara- and another tip here is to use the tip of the mascara wand to really separate and fan out the lashes, something which the Benefit They're Real mascara brush really lets you do.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any eye-makeup tips that you swear by :)
*All photos from Pinterest

Top Tips- Bigger, Brighter Eyes

Sunday, 16 March 2014

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