Archive for ‘Look/Inspiration’

April 26, 2012

Summery Eyeliner Look

The weather is absolutely horrible in the UK at the moment; it’s rainy, thundery, lightningy, windy and cold. However, I am rebelling against this yuckiness and have made use of my summer technique for eyeliner to try and make myself feel a bit better!

During the summer I like to try and do a more smudgy, smoky, carefree eye look sometimes. To achieve this kind of effect I like to line my eyes with eyeshadow rather than a pencil liner, as even the most smoky liners that I have still produce a fairly sharp edge, and smudging it can turn out uneven if I’m working quickly. I use a very small pencil brush from e.l.f. for this – I can’t stand the e.l.f. standard brushes, but the studio ones aren’t bad – and apply it as close to the lashline as I can. However, it obviously doesn’t matter if it’s a little smudgy and messy!

I usually mix colours, as I’ll want something a little less harsh than black for everyday. At the moment, my favourite shadows to work with for this look are the dark bronze, the matt brown and the black from the Sleek Storm i-Divine palette. Today, I used the palest gold colour (also from that palette) all over my lid and then used a combination of those three darker shades to line. The advantage of the pencil brush is that you can produce a line with it, but obviously, it is still a brush – you can use the same tool to smudge and smoke it out at the edges.

Today, I put a little Barry M blue eye pencil on my inner corner just for fun. On my lips is the Bourjois Effet 3D lipgloss in 07, Rosé or épic.

Here’s my look for today!

April 14, 2012

I Kind Of Want Some Lip Tattoos…

…temporary ones, of course!

I can’t deny that I used to be a bit of a goth kid when I was younger, and I still have a special place in my heart for slightly too much black eyeliner and slightly-too-loud metal music. So I definitely wouldn’t mind combining the two on a night out, going the whole way and wearing some of these scary lip tattoos from the brand Violent Lips!

These are amazing.

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And these.

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These last ones might be a bit far even for me, but I love them all the same!

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For Halloween or something these are ace! Would any of you dare to go this bright?


March 23, 2012

Spring Lip Gloss Favourites

True colour; it looks really dark in the tube but is lovely, sheer and juicy when on.

The images in this post may be confusing viewed on the home page – I’d advise clicking the title and reading it on its own page that way 🙂 Swatches of the first 3 glosses are at the bottom!

I always feel that gloss is a more Spring/Summer product, as it goes well with the more natural, glowing makeup looks that are in fashion. This year, the red lip has made an appearance on the catwalks for S/S at places such as Yves Saint Laurent and Dior – it’s quite unusual, but I love it. A good red lip can go just as well with a white linen dress and bronzed skin as it does with more wintry eyeliner and wooly clothing!

This is my YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in No. 6. It’s supposed to be a mixture of a gloss and a balm, and I love it! It goes on beautifully, and I usually only use one layer/swipe each time, as I like it to be very sheer. It is moisturising, though products that say they have a “balm effect” are never moisturising enough for me. That’s fine, it doesn’t emphasise dryness and I can always use a balm underneath as it’s supposed to look glossy and juicy. There is fine shimmer in it, but nothing too glittery.
Also, it tastes like watermelon-y heaven, which I am a big fan of.

I’m currently saving up for the gorgeous orange coral colour in the same product! (Just need to pass one of the job interviews I have lined up..!)

This is a bit more orange in reality, it looks super orange in the tube but actually looks more like this photo when on!

The gloss to the right is my Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in ‘Coral Reef’. I use this in my favourite Springtime look, as it is eye-catching and bright without being too scary or over the top. I love the high-shine effect this gloss has, and it’s nice and thick. It has a pretty good lasting time, and wears off to a fairly natural pinky colour, so I don’t have to worry that my lips are looking odd because my gloss is coming off!
It smells kind of like sweets, but it’s a very subtle scent, so shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. This gloss also has SPF 15, which is always a plus, especially when the sun’s out more and more! (Yay!)

In reality, the colour in the tube does look more orange – but don’t worry, when applied it looks much more like the photo. Orangey, but not crazy, and still with enough pink to actually look fairly natural if applied thinly.

I really love how many coral and orange-toned lip colours Revlon do. I don’t actually own that many of their products, but the ones I do have are always better quality than I’m expecting (I should probably learn from that, huh?!) and I love their nail varnish shades. I feel a splurge coming on once the student loan comes through…!

True to colour.

Bourjois lip gloss was one of the first makeup products I ever owned, and I’ve always loved it since! This gloss on the left is the Effet 3D gloss in the colour “Rosé or épic”. (I quite like the way that implies there’s ordinary rose gold, and then there’s EPIC rose gold!) It is a totally beautiful rosy bronze in the tube, but when applied it’s quite subtle. This is quite possibly my favourite gloss colour of all time, as it gives my lips a beautiful rosy shimmery (but not glittery!) golden colour without looking unnatural. It’s that perfect kind of shade that you can truly wear for everyday or for going out in the evening, and it’ll look stunning all the time!

This also claims to have an “8hour balm effect” and although I wouldn’t go that far, it does keep my lips from drying out and won’t highlight dry areas, despite containing sparkle! If I feel the lip balm urge and don’t have any around, I would apply this and know that it’ll help to save my lips from getting any worse, and soothe them in the short term.

I would repurchase this over and over – it’s a true staple of my makeup collection, and every time I apply it I remember why I love it so much! Perfect for Spring.

Fairly true to colour - perhaps a little more brown than it is in reality.

Finally, on the right, another Bourjois gloss, also from the Effet 3D line. This is the old packaging, which I actually liked better – I just thought it looked more elegant. But hey ho, the product inside is just as good now!

This is a “my lips but better shade”, and although nude, is still highly pigmented. It’s nice that they don’t scrimp on the pigment for colours like this. I wear this a lot, and although it’s not strictly a Spring shade, I’ve been reaching for it a lot lately – I’m going through a natural makeup phase, and that is because of Spring! The formula for this is slightly different, I think – this gloss doesn’t have a very long wear time, and is not sticky in the least. It still feels of medium thickness, but don’t expect it to last a particularly long time because of this; it won’t.

However, it does smell nice. Just a generic sweet smell, really – nothing major. It feels lovely on, with the same “balm-like” benefits of the newer formulation. I think perhaps their Marketing department just picked up on something that was already there when they did the new packaging!

So that’s my roundup of my favourite glosses this season – hope you’re enjoying the onset of Spring as much as I am!


Swatches: YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in No. 6, Revlon Super Lustrous in Coral Reef, Bourjois Rosé or épic.

March 16, 2012

Favourite Spring Look 2012

I’ve seen the first glimmers of Spring in London, so I’m feeling optimistic enough to post this up! I’ll be honest, it’s nothing too revolutionary – this is one of my favourite looks of all time, and I found a picture that encapsulates it beautifully:

Girl with coral lipstick

image originally from

Aside from just wanting to look like this girl in general, I LOVE the coral lips/soft brown eyes combination. My personal take on it is not exactly like this picture, but I just wanted to stick it in anyway because it’s pretty.

I wear a nude or just off-nude peachy coloured eyeshadow all over my lid, with a little dark or chocolate brown blended into the outer corner. This can look a little out of place at first, but it all comes together as long as it’s well blended.
I then use black liquid liner, but gel would work just as well, and line my upper lashline thinly, with a small flick following the upward shape of my lower eyelid where the corner is. The liner does thicken towards the outer corner, but not too dramatically.
I tightline my upper waterline with a black pencil, and leave the lower waterline bare.
I blend the slightest hint of the dark brown shadow at the outer corner of my lower lashline, keeping it subtle.
Lots of mascara!
I often skip blush with this look, or use Benefit’s boxed pressed powder in Georgia instead. (Not technically a blush – it’s really, really understated in terms of pigment.)
I then use my Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in Coral Reef – I adore this colour, it looks terrifyingly orange in the tube but it’s actually a beautiful, wearable coral.

I’m excited about coral colours now! The most important thing with this look, in my opinion, is that it looks fresh but perfect. The liner has to be crisp and exact. I so want to wear this look tomorrow, but I’m working a barely-there-makeup job tomorrow. Boo hiss!

Yay for Spring though!

March 11, 2012

Aishwarya Rai Is Stunning

…because you needed me to tell you that, right?!

Like with my slightly OTT obsession with Zhang Ziyi, I gain a slightly fixed expression when staring at Aishwarya Rai’s face, because it just shouldn’t be possible to look that flipping perfect and I’m trying ever so hard not to be jealous. (It never works.)

Aishwarya Rai

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This first look is pretty simple when it’s broken down; as usual Ms. Rai looks perfectly polished and glamorous, yet fairly natural too. From what I can make out, she’s wearing:

  • Ridiculously perfect foundation (OK, so her skin may be airbrushed a little. I sincerely hope it is anyway!)
  • A little eyeshadow or brow powder in a natural shade brushed through her brows.
  • A warm pink blush, pinker than baby pink but more natural than a hot pink.
  • A bit of pinky beige/light brown eyeshadow  across the lids – this is meant to be pretty nude, so not too pink or brown. Match to your own skin tone!
  • Thin black liquid or gel liner, as perfect as you can, and no flick or cateye effect.
  • Either nothing along the lower lashline, or a tiny smudge of the nude eyeshadow on the outer quarter.
  • Lots of volumising black mascara, but go easy on the lower lashes.
  • A striking, but not super bright, pink lipgloss. To me it looks like she’s only wearing gloss, and that it’s just really pigmented – though she could have a lipstick under it! It does look like she might have lipliner on to make the lip outline really neat and crisp, and personally I would simply use this liner all over the lip to stain without adding the heaviness of two creamy products. This colour and finish is quite similar to a gloss I have and love – Bourjois Effet 3D in 46 Rose Lyric, which gives the same glamorous high-shine finish too.

The lips really are the focus here, but they’re not hugely dramatic, giving Aishwarya the look of natural perfection that is always hers!

Aishwarya Rai

image from Google

This second look reverses the emphasis from the lips to the eyes, while again maintaining the fairly natural overall effect. Here’s my breakdown:

  • Sheer foundation/tinted moisturiser with SPF (she’s at the beach, I would never accuse her of the terrible sin of not wearing SPF!)
  • Eyebrows shaped, but less defined than before – perhaps a touch of brow pencil, or just some clear gel brushed through.
  • No blush, but a touch of matte bronzer to contour and define the cheekbones.
  • Nude beige/taupe eyeshadow, with subtle pink tones. (Reminds me of the e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeshadow in Dawn, though I’m sure a more upmarket version!)
  • Black liquid or gel liner, with a thin flick at the outer corner.
  • Black gel or pencil liner along the upper and lower waterlines, all the way into the inner corner.
  • Dramatic black mascara on upper and lower lashes.
  • A pink toned nude lipstick, no liner.
  • A clear or nude gloss over the top.

While the eye makeup is clearly more dramatic than most non-celebrities would wear to the beach, I love the understated lips and subtle bronzer. Despite the heavy-ish liner, I do think this look is beautiful for summer, which I’m trying to convince myself is just around the corner! (Come ON, London weather!)

I love Aishwarya Rai! I might have to go and watch Devdas now.

January 31, 2012

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick #362 – Cinnamon Bronze

So this isn’t exactly a review – I love this lipstick, great staying power, nice formula – enough said, right? I just wanted to say how much I love the colour of this particular lippy, especially right now in winter. I’m really sorry I don’t have an actual swatch for this. I still utterly fail on the camera front because I moved house since I last saw my battery charger, and…yeah. Never seen again. I need to buy a new one on eBay or something, that might be a plan, no?!

Until then, here’s the lipstick in this particular shade, which is Cinnamon Bronze:

A tube of red lipstick

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As you can (hopefully!) see, this is a beautiful warm, almost orangey red colour, but not too in-your-face brick red. The winter is a great time to play around with red lips, I think – before Christmas, of course it looks festive, and after – well, it still looks kind of winter-fashion-y, and can brighten up your face when the weather is dull and depressing! This colour looks pretty sophisticated and grownup; I think my mother had one like it when I was young, which might be why I like it so much!

However, I’m not a fan of the lipliner-to-heck look, especially not with a red. Of course, if you’re going somewhere very formal, you want to look polished and perfect, but for everyday I feel that red needs to look a little more casual than that. That’s why I love this slightly more natural shade; it’s still striking if you wear it strongly, but you can also play it down.

What I love to do with this – and another comparable lipstick, which I’ll also be posting about – is to warm up the lipstick on my ring finger, and then pat it on my lips gently like that. It’s still certainly possibly to build up the colour this way, but I like to add a little more to the centre of my lips and a little less on the outer edges, to make it look more natural and casual. I tend to always pat the colour on, rather than ever rubbing it in, though that’s just my method. I find that doing it this way seems to really help it stain the lips, too, meaning that even as it wears off it’ll still look pretty. Often I’ll have applied a tiny bit of lipbalm first; not enough to interfere with the lipstick application, but enough to protect my lips in the wintry weather!

I usually do this either with a thin flick of black eyeliner, or my secret combination of Guerlain rose/gold eyeshadow and just tightline my eyes. (It’s not really a secret – it’s just that the eyeshadows may be discontinued now! I have a gorgeous little Guerlain palette from a few years ago.) I maintain that even if your red lipstick is natural, it’s still a good idea to go easy on the rest of the makeup. I might not wear blusher at all as I’m so pale; I think it looks more striking without on my white white face. If I were to stick some on, it’d probably be a bit of Georgia by Benefit. It’s very subtle and peachy so it won’t clash.

So, there you are! Just wanted to spread the word about this lipstick shade – I really think it’d suit most skintones, and it’s really versatile. Yay for red lips!

December 16, 2011

I Want To Look Like Audrey Tautou

My slightly-creepy girlcrush of the month is Audrey Tautou. (I exaggerate; I don’t really have a creepy crush. Well, not that creepy.) But can you really blame me? She looks quirky enough to be instantly recognisable, and to pull off such eccentric roles as Amélie with a slight raise of the eyebrow, yet also conventionally beautiful enough to be the face of Chanel No. 5. She has that incredibly irritating French quality of seeming to be totally unconscious of her own chic, or at least, to not have thought too hard about it before stepping out of her front door.

Firstly, I know it’s a Chanel advert, but could anyone else pull off this robe quite so effortlessly? While in a vintage train carriage?

The actress leaning out of a train window in a robe.

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Or, indeed, these enormous trousers? I would look like Nelly the Elephant having just escaped from the circus in these. *shakes fist*

The actress in the hall of a hotel.

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I suppose I should talk about her makeup too – she tends to go with fairly natural looks, and as her bone structure is so good, I don’t blame her. Although she looks beautiful all the time, with her totally understated vibe, I stumbled across this picture and thought it would be a good look to investigate for myself, so here you go. Audrey on the red carpet:

The actress in a white dress.

image from

The foundation Audrey is wearing here is clearly very natural and gives her skin a beautiful radiance; she doesn’t need much coverage, so it wouldn’t be anything too heavy, and there’s certainly no cloggy face powder stuck all over it ruining the effect! If I were to attempt something similar, I’d go with NARS Sheer Glow.
Though it’s difficult to see her eye makeup, it’s fairly clear that it’s incredibly subtle and natural. As her brows are always perfectly shaped – almost a trademark with her – they frame her eyes so well that no impact is lost at all, and her eyes themselves are fairly large and pretty; they’ll draw attention all by themselves. Defining brows with a touch of lighter-than-your-hair eyeshadow, some neutral eyeshadow all over the lid (from what I have, I’d go with MAC Patina) and lots of black mascara should do the trick, though tightlining your eyes on the upper waterline ONLY would add a little more definition if you can’t do without eyeliner.
She has a beautiful, though still very subtle, blush – from the radiance of her skin, almost certainly a cream blush applied very sparingly. The apples of her cheeks are another naturally lovely feature of hers; those dimples mean that her smile transforms her face, and the blush adds to the overall prettiness that’s already there! For this effect, I would actually use Benefit’s Posy Tint – liquid blush is even more natural still than a cream, and I love the Benefit tints.
Finally, the most noticeable makeup is her lipstick, which is why I left it until last. (That’s not a great reason, is it? I just did, I don’t know why!) It’s a fairly natural shade, just a bit pinker than her actual lips, and the real impact is made by the gloss over the top. The fact that she looks red-carpet-worthy, when the most daring makeup she’s wearing is a pretty natural lipstick, makes me just a tiny bit jealous. Just a little. It’s fine. I’m fine. Ignore me. The lipcolour looks to me (and this is just a hunch) quite similar to the Estee Lauder ‘Pure Colour Sensuous Rouge’ lip colour in Peach Pleasure. It’s not a completely perfect match, but I’m writing this fairly quickly – sorry! These lipsticks have special centres with moisturising ingredients in; it’s all very exciting.

So, that’s a quick breakdown of how I’d try to recreate the understated glamour of Audrey Tautou on the red carpet! She is one of my favourite actresses, and I know that lightning-fast attempt didn’t do her justice, but I wanted to give it a shot! 🙂

September 22, 2011

On a Happier Note: Lily Cole

If I must be ginger (see previous post!), at least for a while, I think it is only fair and proper that I get to be ginger and look like this lady while I’m at it.

Lily Cole in a blue dress

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I mean, really now. It’s not enough that she has those absolutely cracking legs (I know she kind of has to, she is a model after all, but still!)
And if I’m being ginger for a while, I might want to look extremely sophisticated and stuff. I think I should be allowed to do it like this:

Lily Cole

image from

And maybe I could look this good with barely-there makeup, and manage to look innocent and cute, and not nuts or silly, while wearing some sort of suspicious flowery thing on my head? Yeah? Thanks, that’ll be great.

Lily Cole with a flower hairpiece

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Gingers unite! (Until I get my hair dyed, then you can all sod off with your beautiful fiery hair.)
I love Lily Cole, and I’m only slightly annoyed that she’s also massively clever and at a better university than me.

September 4, 2011

Well Look’ee Here! Zhang Ziyi

I’m not going to pretend I don’t have a slight obsession with Zhang Ziyi, the Chinese actress who is most famous (in my experience!) for her roles in Memoirs of a Geisha, House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I just…love…her face. It seems like a cosmic injustice that I don’t look like her.
I watched Memoirs of a Geisha the other day, and I was reminded how I’ve always thought she looked just as beautiful, if not more so, when she’s makeup-free and in her servant role as when she’s dressed up and doing her geisha thing!

Anyway, the woman really knows how to do the natural look. (Probably why I’m so jealous!) She never looks caked in makeup but she always looks fresh and lovely.
Whenever I think of ‘natural makeup’, this is the ideal:

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi

Obviously the most enviable thing here (and the hardest to replicate!) is her perfect skin. If you’re lucky enough to have that down, you’re probably pretty much sorted anyway. But other than that, it’s a lovely simple look; a subtle line of black liner, with a tiny flick at the end; mascara or very natural, feathery lashes with little or nothing on the bottom lashes; the slightest amount of brow-defining, if any; and a pale pink, subtle lip colour that looks more like a balm.

Of course, doing the whole red carpet schlep sometimes calls for more defined makeup. I don’t get the impression that Ziyi is ever going to be a Winehouse-eyeliner woman (amazing as that can look!) – she seems to like keeping her eye makeup fairly natural. But she can do a cracking red lip, upon occasion:

Zhang Ziyi with red lipstick

image from

So, there we are. I just felt like posting something other than a review, and I’ve been doing the natural makeup thing for a few days, so thought I’d share my inspiration!
I don’t want to sound all corny and say that I’m celebrating beauty, but I suppose I am!


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