Wednesday 10 December 2014

Stone Cold Sober.....Makeup for the "morning after..."

There's nothing quite like waking up with your mascara smeared across your face and red lipstick all over your pillow! The aftermath of a good night out! I know we are all very good usually and always remove our makeup before bed (I do find makeup wipes to be a Godsend on late nights - something is better than nothing) but sometimes it all just seems too much after a fun and late night. However, if you have managed to remove your makeup be sure to lather on lots of night cream to help re-hydrate the skin while you are sleeping.

After a lovely warm shower to bring me back to the world of the living, it's time to get rid of all the remnants of the night before.  On mornings like this I like to use a mild scrub to really get the dirt of the night before off and then maybe a foaming facial wash afterwards or a nice cleansing oil.  Our skin is especially tired and de-hydrated after a big night out, so I massage a serum into my face to get the blood pumping around and then apply a nice, soothing moisturiser.  Our eyes particularly feel it the next morning so any cool eye gels (you can put them in the fridge overnight) or even cool and damp cotton wool pads are a good to way to get rid of any puffiness over the eyes.

Obviously, as our skin is so de-hydrated we need to make sure we put all the water back in our body. So get drinking lots of water while doing your makeup or some Coconut Water which also helps to replace any natural electrolytes we may have lost (to be honest I have no idea what these are but it sounds good).

Then I need to apply my makeup so as not to scare the other mums and children at school! There is a great product I love by Shu Umera that I put on first and this is great for brightening dull and grey skin. Or perhaps you could apply some Clarins Flash Balm or a similar product to bring some life back to the skin.  I then mix a bit of my MAC Strobe cream into my foundation. This again will help to brighten the skin, making me look less like death!

Concealer under the eye is going to be required today.  Be careful to apply it directly on to the dark areas.  A peachy colour is good to correct green and blue tinged shadows. Our skin can also appear redder when we are hungover and a green colour corrector is good for this.

The key with makeup the morning after is not to pile more and more makeup on to your face thinking this will make you look better. The motto for these mornings is less is more...but my essentials products would have to be bronzer, blusher and mascara. 

Bronzer will help to make you look healthier and a spot of blusher always brightens the face, both these products will help you to look more awake even if you don't feel it. I would though recommend a cream blusher not a powder. The skin will be a bit drier than normal and powder products can sit in the creases and draw attention to dry areas. Another little tip is that often we get ruddy cheeks when we are hungover so you may want to dot your cream blusher a little nearer to your cheekbones rather than the apples of your cheeks.

A light, creamy eye shadow is best on these mornings as these are less work, less blending required. I like Laura Mercier but I have read good things about the Maybelline Colour Tattoos. Ones with a bit of shimmer in are good as these are light reflective. Don't apply any grey or dark coloured eye shadows as these will only make you look more tired as will any dark eyeliner. Stay away from this. Though a nude (not white) eyeliner in your waterline can help to make the eyes look whiter and bigger. Our eyes feel and look small when we are hungover so curling your lashes is a must do step. This will open your eyes up and immediately make you look more awake. Apply mascara but don't go crazy. Not too much. Go easy on your lower lashes as you don't want to attract too much attention to any darkness you may have under the eyes. Tired eyes can often be sore or red so eye drops are often helpful. I like these Boots ones.

My failsafe on days like this is a bright lipstick. A quick and easy pop of colour and it doesn't involve too much effort as I would use a chubby lip pencil. I like to use the Revlon ones. The other option is to make them look natural and healthy with a good covering of lip balm as lips dry out too and a natural looking lip gloss on top.

Apart from that Nurofen, Irn Bru (its my Scottish roots) and prawn cocktail crisps are my saviours!


Friday 5 December 2014

"Rockin' around the Christmas Tree...." Festive Party makeup

It's that time of year again when it's acceptable (well more or less) to embrace the glitter and the sparkle.  Aware as I am that I am no longer 15 (hello ever increasing lines and wrinkles) I do like to add a touch of festive glitz and glamour to my look. Though I have to be careful of the fine line that I can tread between a bit of party glitz and a drag queen!

We want to look luminous and radiant when we are out at this time of year and the one word of caution I would say when using glitter makeup etc is that we don't want to emphasise our lines and wrinkles and so we need to be careful where we apply any glitz.  Try not to put it on areas that you wouldn't want to draw attention to. So be careful around the eye area - we don't want people drawn to look at our crow's feet! Or if you want to go the whole hog with the glitter and highlighter why not? A good pair of dangly earrings should help distract people.

Party  Makeup


A good base is essential for flawless evening makeup.  You want the look to last and don't want your makeup sliding down your face by the time you sit down for your starter. A primer is a good investment as it helps the foundation stay in place and go on smoothly. I like the Smashbox one. You can also apply a product such as Clarins Beauty Flash Balm first as this helps to brighten the skin  Then, I like to start by applying a layer of highlighter under my foundation I like to use either MAC Strobe or NARS and then apply my usual foundation. Or you can mix the highlighter in with your foundation and apply it like that.

I then apply my concealer. If you are going for a heavy smoky eye or glitter there tends to be fall out from the products on to your face. So one thing you can do is to leave your concealer, and even your foundation if you like, until after you have applied your eye makeup.   What I do is hold a piece of tissue under my eye and hope this catches any fall out and have a cotton bud with eye makeup remover nearby.

For evening makeup I do tend to apply slightly more concealer under my eye than in the day as I think it helps to reflect the light and makes me look more awake. I then have a quick brush with my powder.

Bronzer goes on next, the quickest and easiest way to explain how to apply bronzer is to make a number 3 motion on the side of your face. I like to suck my cheeks in and brush where the hollow is with my bronzer to contour my face slightly.  I also brush a little down my nose too.

I then apply my blusher. I wouldn't go for a sparkly blusher. There is so much going on makeup wise that I don't think you want shimmer everywhere (if you go for a bold lip as your evening lip try and match the colours slightly or in the same colour palette and just have a light dusting of blusher as the dark lip is such a statement in itself). I then do another quick powder brush to help things stay in place.

On to the highlighter. I have two products I like here, the MAC Strobe (as above) or the TopShop Glow. I like to apply highlighter to the top of my cheekbones (dotting it on and then blending it in with my finger), under my eyebrow bone, down the centre of my nose and a dot above my cupids bow and on my forehead (I will do a future post on highlighting and contouring). Be careful to blend it in and to not apply too much as you want to enjoy the baubles not look like one!



I do believe eyebrows frame your face and I like to make mine darker and more prominent in the evening. I give them a brush through with an eyebrow brush, then fill in any sparse areas with a matt brown eye shadow on a thin brush. Then I apply the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara which is like a mascara for your eyebrows. It darkens them and gives them more definition and to look slightly fuller. I would say apply lightly or it can look like 2 caterpillars stuck to your face. Not the look we are going for!


You want your eye shadow to stay put and not crease so you can use a primer. Rimmel do one as do Urban Decay but I use my MAC Paintpot in Constructivist.  It gives a colour but also a base for your eye shadow to stick to. Smoky eyes are my go-to evening look (I will do a whole post on smoky eyes with a video hopefully soon) and I tend to go for a bronzy or silvery/grey look. My current favourite is the bronzy one and these gold and bronze colours are great for this time of year and their warm tones suit the majority of people.

Over my Mac Paint Pot I like to sweep a warm mid colour brown. I like to use a MAC one maybe called Mulch (but am afraid the name has worn off my pot) over my eye lid and also under my eyes about three quarters of the way along. (Actually before this I sweep a shimmery, creamy shade under my eyebrow to help open up my eyes). I then like to apply a dark brown shadow to the outer corner of my eyes lids and up into the crease of my eyelid and at the corners under my lashes too.  I then use a lighter colour (the lightest of the 3 I use) on my lids on the 1/3 nearest to my nose, the shade I like to use is MAC Amber Lights.  Then using a clean eye shadow brush blend it all in, getting rid of any obvious edges.  Good blending is the key to glossy looking eye makeup.

If you are in a hurry or don't feel you could apply this makeup an eye shadow chubby stick could work for you. I like the look of the Rimmel Scandal'Eyes  You literally draw these over your eyelids and can then either use a brush or finger to blend them out and neaten up.

Then for the fun!  Apply the glitter to the middle part of the eyelid. I like to use TopShop gold one (I cant find it on-line) or Barry M Dazzle Dust in Aphrodite I also use a pink one which you wouldn't think should work but somehow it does. MAC, also have some great glitter products which I love.  I put the glitter on my middle or ring finger (emptying some on to the back of my hand first) and then press it on to my eyelid. Start small. It is easier to build up than to take away. You want enough so the flecks catch the light. If you don't want to use an actual glitter a shimmery eye shadow applied in the same place will still catch the light and open up your eyes.
If you want to use glitter, but all of the above either sounds too much makeup or too much work, you can apply glitter straight on to your lid. The TopShop glitter comes with cream (neutral colour) that you put on to your lid first and then can press the glitter on. You could apply glitter straight on to your eye shadow primer.

As this look is all about looking glamorous and luminous I then apply some highlighter to the inner corner of my eyes and under my eyelashes too. I use either a Barry M pencil or MAC Pigment in Vanilla which I apply with a small thin brush.

Depending on how party like you are feeling, you can either go the full hog and apply some silver or golf glitter eyeliner on the top lid I like Collection Glam Crystals but Urban Decay also do one.  Weirdly, these eyeliners are actually easier to apply than a black liquid eyeliner as you don't have to be so precise.  I tend to either do a glittery eyeliner or glitter eye shadow but not both. If I am not using a glitter eyeliner I would use my black liquid eyeliner and line the top of my eyelids. You can flick it out if you like but I tend not to as there is already so much going on. Lastly, I apply black eyeliner to the inside of my water line.

Eyelashes next. False eyelashes are the ultimate party night out accessory. I am not that good with false eyelashes. I think they make me feel like a drag queen as I seem to always buy the ridiculous over the top ones! But I know they are very popular and they do look good. Individuals are also a good idea and I also like ones you apply just to your corner lashes as I like the appearance this gives.  False lashes are surprisingly easy to apply. Just make sure you wait until the glue is tacky and use a pair of tweezers to apply them. The glue will dry clear but I like to apply a bit more black eyeliner to make them look seamless. However I would just curl my lashes and apply mascara though I tend to layer more coats than normal to up the drama slightly.


With a dark eye it is the done thing to go with a nude lip (eyes or mouth not both - it's a bit like boobs or legs not both) and this does look fab. I would use a nude lip liner and outline your lips and then colour in your whole lips with the liner. I am currently loving MAC Spice. Over the top apply a layer of a nude, shimmery lip gloss. I really like Rimmel lip glosses. 

I have to admit though I often go for a bold lip as well as a dark eye. I would use one of the reds I mentioned on Facebook the other day but I think MAC's Ruby Woo or the L'Oreal Color Riche Julianne Red would look great. I would recommend a lip liner if you have one as it stops the lipstick from bleeding and if you cover your lips with a lip liner before applying your lipstick it acts as a primer for the lipstick or gloss you are using (try and get the colour of your lip liner as near to the colour of your lipstick as you can. We don't want to be looking like Pamela Anderson in the 90's). At the end I sweep a little powder over my lips to help set the look (obviously not if I am wearing gloss). A lip brush will give you the most professional and long lasting look but I tend to go over my lips with the lipstick and then use my finger. I don't always have the time or patience for a brush.

I keep reading that glitter lips are all the rage but I think that is a trend best kept to girls under the age of 25.  They look fantastic on these young girls whereas I would look like a clown!

If the idea of a bold lip and dark eyes seems too much, and to be honest it is, then you can go for a bold red lip. On the eyes I would do a neutral cream eye shadow and then a thick sweep of black liquid eyeliner with a nice flick at the end. A classic but classy look.

You are now ready for a night of drinking and dancing. I am thinking of doing a little follow up post on makeup for the morning after!


Tuesday 2 December 2014

"All I want for Christmas is ...." Makeup Christmas Wish list

As we are now in December (where has the year gone!) I thought it would be a good time to share some of the products that I would like Father Christmas to bring me. I am sure he must read my blog!

I have a range of products from the more luxurious and high-end to more budget friendly and perhaps more realistic products.  I do also plan to do a more general lifestyle gift guide. Always handy to have lots of things on Christmas Lists I say, well that's what I tell my son at least!


Charlotte Tilbury
I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Charlotte Tilbury makeup range but its super glamorous and luxurious. The packaging of the products is gorgeous and have the most fantastic names! I would be happy with anything from her range to appear under my tree but I have picked out a couple of favourite items

I love the look of all her eye shadow sets and the one I would put on my list would be The Dolce Vita Set (£38) which contains 4 beautiful bronze shades.  I also have my eye on The Filmstar bronze and glow (£50) which in my mind will transform me into Angelina Jolie!

If I was going to go the whole hog I would ask for one of her "Looks in One" sets. These sets contain all the products you would need to produce a a certain make up look and include eyeshadows, lipsticks etc. I have my eye on The Rock Chick but at £165 my eye will probably be the only thing on it!

Tom Ford
Again, like Charlotte Tilbury another super glam and luxurious makeup line, pretty much like the man himself! As before, I would be happy with anything from his range but everyone just raves about the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor which at £34 is very pricey for an eyebrow penicil but it is meant to be amazing and then I think I would have to choose one of his lipsticks (£37) in a timeless red, maybe Scarlett Rouge.


Brushes I think are a great gift as they don't seem exciting to buy for ourselves but good brushes are essential for achieving flawless makeup.


Bobbi Brown
There is a beautiful set of travel brushes available this year by Bobbi Brown (£89) and they come in a very glam faux snake or is it croc brown case! There are  7 brushes including a blender and powder brush along with an ultra fine eyeliner brush. I also noticed they also have a mini brush set of 4 brushes in the same glam case (£56).

Mid range

Real Techniques
I have yet to try these brushes but I have read and heard so much about them that I really want to.  A good place to start I think would be with their Real Techniques Core Collection (£14.69) which contains 4 brushes including a foundation brush and buffing brush.  I also like the look of the starter kit (£12.59) which includes 5 makeup brushes for applying eye makeup.


Mid range

I think palettes are a great beauty gift at Christmas. These often bring together a great set of eyeshadows or blushers/lipsticks in one place.  A good go to piece to have in your kit.

Nars  - The Virtual Domination Palette (£45)
This contains a bronzer, 3 blushers and a highlighting blush.  The bronzer is their fab bronzer  which I love called Laguna and a very popular blush called Deep Throat (NARS is a fan of giving their products some risqué names!)

Urban Decay - Naked3 (£37)
There are 3 palettes in the  Naked collection and I would be happy for any of these as a present, though my current favourite is the third one. I do hope my husband is reading this blog! These palettes contain 12 eye shadows and they are all ones I would wear either on their own or together if I was going for bronze smoky eye especially. The palettes all contain colours you would use and don't include the 1980's neon yellow or green! Though obviously there is always time for a good 80's Madonna moment!

Budget Friendly

Barry M

Their palettes caught my eye the other day in Boots.  The Barry M Palette Natural (£6.49) contains a lovely range of everyday wearable eye and cheek colours and they now have a follow up to this called Natural Glow 2 (£6.49).  I also like the look of the Barry M Palette Smokin Hot (£6.49) which contains the colours you would need for a night time, smoky eye look.  They come in great packaging and look very sleek. I am a bit of a fan of the Barry M range, cheap but with great colours.

I am also a big fan of their Gelly range of nail varnishes and at this time of year I love their glittery nail varnishes for putting over my usual dark colours .


The Kate Collection - £12

This set contains 3 lipsticks a lighter pink one, a medium pink and a red shade. One of my favourite dark reds is a Kate at Rimmel one. I posted a photo of this on my facebook page yesterday and 3 lipsticks for £12 is a definite bargain!