Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Category: Beauty

Day to Night: Orange Eyeshadow

Orange eyeshadow is a makeup look I’m really loving at the moment and one that is set to be huge over the next year. I find it especially compliments blue eyes and is a pleasant change from brown. It can be worn in the daytime for a natural, earthy look, or at night paired with contrasting eyeshadow shades to create a lovely reverse smokey eye.

Although I have actually used bronzing powder as a substitute in these images, I find it works just as well as eyeshadow and it really inspired me to try applying more of my makeup products in places I wouldn’t have normally thought of!

 Day:

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Face:
 MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC15
Bourjois  Little Round Pot Cream Blush in Healthy Glow
Topshop Glow Pot in Polish (browbone, cupid's bow and cheekbone)
Eyes:
 Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder (lid crease)
Lancome Grandiose Mascara (top lashes)
Lips:
 Burts Bees Lip Balm with Pink Grapefruit 

 I like to keep things pretty natural in the day and have ditched foundation as I feel it is way too heavy for my skin. I am, however, really liking peachy/apricot tones for lips,eyes and cheeks.

Applying cream blush to the apples of your cheeks with your fingers gives a freshly flushed look that doesn’t look too try-hard. Bourjois cream blush is an amazing budget find and I’m really impressed – the colour lasts ages and the warm, peach tone really brings out my freckles.

Burt’s Bees lip balm is another recent purchase that I can’t get enough of – I had really dry lips a few weeks ago and they were instantly moisturised within seconds of using this stuff! The smell is divine and also a huge plus.

If you don’t want to use bronzer for eyeshadow, I would recommend using MAC’s eyeshadow pot in ‘Orange‘.

Night:

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Face: 
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder
Eyes: 
Lancome Le Crayon Khol (waterline)
MAC Smoke Luxe Palette Deep Grey Shade (below waterline)
Eyebrows:
 Revlon Metropolitan Photoready Palette - (brown shade)

As you can see, there is really not much to add to update the look for night-time. It literally took 10 minutes which is great if you’re like me and hate spending too long getting ready! I simply added bronzing powder in a ‘3’ shape (temples, cheekbones, jawline) to add definition to my face, filled in my eyebrows and added black eyeliner along with grey eyeshadow under the eye to create a reverse smokey eye.

I would have added a nude lipstick for a matte finish on the lips but couldn’t find mine, although I feel MAC‘s Myth would work perfectly for this look. A reverse smokey eye is supposed to be a little messy and a grey/black combination not only compliments the orange on the lid, but also doesn’t look as harsh as black on it’s own.

I’m really looking forward to sharing more day to night makeup looks with you all and would love to know what you think of this orange eyeshadow look in the comments box!

Iona

xxx

Budget Highlighter Review – MUA vs. Topshop

With all the hype surrounding highlighting products, I decided to do a review of two products under £10. This video was a bit of an experiment and it certainly taught me how to use iMovie, making me wish I had listened during A Level Media as it would have saved me a lot of time when editing!

Both the MUA and Topshop products featured  have received a lot of positive reviews online, so I hope this video gives you a deeper insight into what they are actually like. I’m really hard to please and have great attention to detail, so rest assured that any reviews I do will not be sugar-coated at all.

Hope you enjoy it and feel free to let me know if there are any other products you would like me to try out!

Products featured:

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder in Pink Shimmer – £3

Topshop Glow in Polish – £9

Disclaimer: None of the products featured are being advertised through the brands mentioned or any other third parties. All views expressed are my own and both this blog post and the Youtube video have not been sponsored. 

Berry Stains

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One make-up look I am really loving right now is a standout berry lip stain. Seen on the A/W ’15 catwalks at shows such as Marc Jacobs and Carolina Herrera, lips were blotted for a just-bitten effect – a refreshing sight after months of ridiculous Kylie Jenner inspired over-lining.

A key lip colour for the winter months is set to be a deep black cherry tone to match the gothic trends that will arise towards the end of the year. Another favourite was crushed cranberry and even black was applied with a matte finish at Giles –  although I will warn you, this look may be best kept for Halloween!

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I decided to buy Revlon’s Colourstay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion yesterday and I instantly fell in love. The colour for one is a perfect deep cherry which is exactly what I was looking for. As it is still summer, it is harder to find darker lip shades so I was really happy when I came across this product. Three coats of this stuff creates a perfect tint and if the shine is too much, just blot to emphasise the stain and decrease the sheen. The colour lasts all day and did not smudge, dry out my lips or transfer onto cups when drinking which was great.

The fact that it kept my lips moisturised while offering a strong colour for hours without the need of reapplication made it a sure winner.  I am pretty clumsy and always end up smudging my lipstick so it’s nice not having to worry about the product coming off! As mentioned before, I tend to prefer higher end makeup products but I had read good reviews on this lip stain and now want it in every shade!

Revlon Colourstay Moisture Stain-  £8.99

Available at Superdrug

Sun Seeker

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There are always those staple beauty products that makeup artists swear by, leaving women intrigued by these so-called ‘wonder’ items. What is it about these apparent gems that make us reluctantly hand over more than we would normally spend on a lipstick to the vulturous shop assistant who probably saw us coming from a mile away? I guess we hope the products really are magical and we won’t have to look any further for the perfect (fill the blank) next time our makeup bag gets a little sparse.

There’s always hype surrounding new products and then there’s products that have been around long enough for us to trust that they must be on a pedestal for a reason. Personally, I hate buying anything beauty related if I haven’t done my research on it and after hearing rave reviews from industry insiders, I couldn’t wait to try Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzing Powder and eventually bought it in 01 Brunette the other day.

Initially, I was a little worried that the colour was appearing tangerine toned on my skin, but quickly realised this was down to my darker powder foundation. Once I eliminated that from the equation and paired it with a lighter liquid base, I was extremely happy with the results. It doesn’t come out too strong and can be easily reapplied to create stronger contour on the face.

The product is also advertised as being ‘moisturising’ which I definitely noticed to be true. It leaves a subtle sheen and bronze colour without looking too matte or contrastingly, adding a lot of shimmer.

All in all, I am very happy with this bronzer due to the beautiful colour, perfect consistency and ease of application – I will definitely continue buying it and could not recommend this product more, especially for the fair-skinned like myself!

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder – £35.50

available at House of Fraser

Barely There Beauty

backstage-makeup-tips2Okay, I have a bit of a confession to make. After seeing model after model on the S/S ’15 catwalks showcase a significantly simple approach to makeup, I can’t say I was particularly thrilled. ‘Wait – no make-up? Like, at all?’ I caught myself thinking. I assumed designers such as Marc Jacobs and Thakoon, wanted the everyday woman to adopt this look for the summer months, but I think I can speak for most of us by saying they have, without doubt, a huge population of stubborn ladies on their hands. Ask any girl to ditch the foundation, put their lipstick down, or contemplate not possessing  ‘on fleek’ (awful term, I know) eyebrows and you may just have Word War Three on your hands.

Then, one night whilst staring inquisitively at my lacklustre excuses for eyebrows, my opinion shifted slightly and I wondered, ‘Could these things, possibly, maybe grow?’ Cue, the wonder product Vaseline which I have been applying religiously to them since the night of the eyebrow epiphany.  Although no scientific evidence has shown Vaseline causes hair growth, I’m the kind of girl that will believe any Wikihow tutorial that’s placed in my direct vision. However, it has to be said, I have seen somewhat of a difference…on one eyebrow – but still!

May I also add here, that eyebrow threading and extreme maintenance of the anorexic caterpillars were, at one time, an EXTREMELY important part of my beauty regime. Surprisingly, their recent (slight) growth has made me think twice about reaching for my favourite Mac eyebrow pencil. They seem almost too severe when drawn in now and only appropriate at night time accompanied by smoky eyes.

Another thing that shocked me, was hearing from a make-up artist that my everyday make-up was ‘heavy’. This took me back a little. I mean, if we were to compare it to 5 years ago when I favoured a deep orange tan and heavily lined eyes that made me look like the lovechild of an Oompa Loompa and an Anime doll, the look I was sporting a month ago was practically poles apart. Since then, I have reconsidered my general look and realised that although a catseye is cute for the evening, it’s a bit much for my larger-than-life eyes during the daytime.

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For a pared-back effect, I prefer to use a light application of MAC‘s Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation applied with a powder brush, along with MAC‘s Studio Fix Concealer under my eyes or to cover any pimples. I love the high-shine effect of highlighter on the cheekbone right now, but after buying  All Over Glow Liquid Illuminator from Topshop, I have been left disappointed. It is quite hard to apply, leaves streaks and doesn’t leave as much luminosity as I would like. Here’s to not making gambles on high street fashion stores make-up lines again! Maybe I’ll try Benefit High Beam next which has proven to be a trusty product among beauty fans.

If your face is quite round like mine, it may also be necessary to contour your cheekbones, temples and jawline to add definition. The MAC bronzing powder in ‘Golden‘ is really good for this as the formula is not orange which is great for the fair skinned and you can build it up gradually.

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The eyeshadow palette that I’m currently using is Revlon‘s PhotoReady Primer + Shadow in ‘Metropolitan‘ and is the first product I have tried from the brand. Usually, I like to use MAC’s eyeshow palettes or little pots, but I am actually really enjoying this. I use the petal pink shadow on my lids and highlight my brow bone area with the lighter pink primer. It gives a nice, natural finish with a subtle glow.

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For mascara, only a light coating of L’Oréal‘s Double Extension Curl is needed.  I highly recommend this mascara – it does exactly what it advertises and I would even go as far as saying this product is better than Lancome Hypnôse.  Lips can be left completely free from product, but I’m a sucker for a good lipgloss. Try Bobbi Brown‘s Lipgloss in ‘Tangerine’ for a fresh feel which will not only compliment your natural tone but will also add a pop of colour.

It all sounds like a hell of a lot of effort for barely there makeup, but trust me, once you’ve mastered this look, it can be done in the space of 10 minutes, and it may also change the way you think about applying make-up. The main aim here is to enhance features, but not to disguise them.

MAC Large Angled Contour Brush Review

_5819696 Now, I think it’s safe to say that if you’re a female living in the 21st Century with a phone or the internet, you will have, at some point, come across the term ‘contouring’ in the past few years. Or, perhaps you are more familiar with the Kartrashians and  ‘kontouring'(It’s probably with a capital K but whatever). I’m sure Kim et al would love to say that they made this now widely welcomed makeup technique ‘a thing’ and god, it would be so easy for me to sit here and and write a post about the 7 different ways you can make yourself look like a character from Aladdin, but to be honest, that is not really a goal I’m aiming to achieve when applying makeup.

What I will admit to, is that I most DEFINITELY do need some kind of shadowing/shading element to my face, because, as we know, it is VERY round, so when my trusty Bare Escentuals bronzer, powder, blush, kinda everything brush started looking like it had seen better days, it gave me a good excuse to invest in MAC’s 168 brush which has not only had raving reviews but is used by many a makeup artist in the industry. What I like about it, is that only a small amount of powder will stay on the brush so you can add to the intensity of the shading as you wish. It’s also the perfect size, not too big or too small, plus it’s super soft.

Personally, I like to shade just below my apparent cheekbone (half guesswork when you have a baby face) , under the chin on the jawline and into the hairline. Just imagine drawing a 3 shape down the right side of your face starting at the hairline, then replicate the same shape on the left side, and you’ve pretty much got it.

Adding blush gives some colour to the face, which I certainly do need due to my fair complexion. I’m using Nars powder blush in Orgasm right now which I apply very lightly on the apples of my cheeks. I also have yet to experiment with highlighter but I have my eye on Nars the Multiple in South Beach so I will, of course, do another post on the results of that once it’s sitting in my makeup bag!

New Year

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And so it starts, the whole ‘New Year – New Me’ BS we hear time and time again when January 1st rolls around. ‘Why would you wait until a New Year to be the person you want to be? You can be that person anytime you want’ read a friend’s Facebook status. It really got me thinking.

As someone who tends to live by the ‘All or nothing’ mantra, I have definitely aimed for unrealistic goals in the past recent years. I have been the person who joins the gym on January 1st and quits by January 7th. I have tried several ridiculous diets thinking I would wake up with the body of Candice Swanepoel. I have worked so hard that my social life was non existent and I partied so much when I wasn’t working so much. I have also dated people I probably shouldn’t have because they were ‘a challenge’.

What I have come to realise recently, is that I am someone who is way too hard on themselves. Being in an industry where your job is to be criticised and you are a product not a person does take its toll. I guess it’s kind of like an addiction that creeps up on you – you get knocked back and rejected so many times but there will always be a new and exciting place to visit, an amazing agency that wants you if you lose 5 pounds or that ‘huge casting’ your agency tells you will be your big break. It’s a hard thing to quit and I have a few friends who have tried unsuccessfully to do so.

Modelling is an industry which has many pull/push factors to it. Sure, I had a lot of fun during my time travelling, but when I look back I wasted a lot of time doing jobs that just weren’t me because my agency told me to. No, I wasn’t asked to pose naked or anything like that, but I was pushed in a catalogue direction – great if you want to earn money and are good at looking cute on command. To be perfectly honest, I was never interested in earning money and although I am aware that in the industry my look would be described as ‘cute’, I’m actually pretty awkward when it comes to smiling like a Japanese Harajuku girl.  Deciding to study instead of travelling to Japan (a place I had been trying to get sent to for a year) gave me a level of freedom. I dropped the agencies that weren’t listening to what I thought was best for me and now only accept jobs that I feel benefit me creatively regardless of money.

Another thing modelling does is affect the relationship you have with your body. Before I started, I literally barely thought twice about my naturally skinny 16 year-old physique. Fast forward 4 years and it became something I was thinking about every two minutes. ‘I don’t eat carbs’, ‘I’m only eating fruit today’ or ‘I’m detoxing’ became frequent phrases in my vocabulary. After a while, these crazy diets seemed normal to the point now where I will eat a slice of bread and feel full having given up carbs entirely for 9 months two years ago. Getting out of that rut of not eating certain things is hard and something I am still trying to come to terms with. Going back to my hometown for Christmas, I ate ‘normally’ and was surprised to find it did nothing to increase my waistline. I also found that after neglecting any form of exercise, going to the gym and running on a treadmill increased my mood and made me feel better about my body even though I hadn’t pushed myself too hard. Like, I know us girls are supposed to be all about the weights over cardio right now but I kind of think ‘why not just do the things YOU love to do rather than follow the latest fads’?

Personally, I feel like I learn more about myself when I go home every year rather than the rest of my time spent in Hong Kong as it allows me to differentiate between lifestyles. I guess if I was to make any resolutions this year it would be to be realistic and to say ‘no’ more when things are either not for me or get too much.

In a roundabout way, what I am trying to get at is that balance is important, (yes I know you’ve heard it a billion times, probably from your mother) but no, really it is. It’s something I won’t learn on January 1st when I won’t wake up looking like a Victoria’s Secret model, it’s something that I, nor anyone else should put a time limit on.

I’ll work out when I feel like it, I’ll also have a burger when I feel like it and try not to feel bad. I will budget my money better so I am spending less on ridiculous things like bee pollen and am not afraid to check my bank balance.  I will make space in my day to focus on relaxing so workloads don’t take over and make me stressed. It’s more about changing won’t’s and cutting things out into will’s and taking things one step at a time

It’s a learning process.

Sunkissed Seventies

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There’s always that one girl we all know, the girl who’s hair shines a little brighter, who manages to maintain a perfect tan all year round, who, basically, masters the ‘I woke up like this’ look that we, ourselves, feel is near impossible.  For S/S 15,  ‘that girl’ was one of many as bronzed beauties owned the runway at Salvatore Ferragamo, eyes being the focus in matte apricot hues, freckles running amok on cheekbones, whilst wet golden finishes were popular at Les Copains.

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Lustrous and full, lips were painted in soft peach and antique pink tones in moisturized molten textures. Mara Hoffman saw brows being left bushy and brushed into angular shapes as skin radiated with that all year tan at Bora Aksu, highlighted flawlessly in shades of burnt orange.

Middle parted and wavy, hair fell over the shoulders with a silky shine to offer a new polished approach to this classic Seventies style.  An updated version of the braid was seen at Michael Kors where hair was loosely braided at the nape of the neck in bedhead textures, with an abundance of strands falling free around the face to embody the carefree casualness that the bohemian era brought.

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Middle parted and wavy, hair fell over the shoulders with a silky shine to offer a new polished approach to this classic Seventies style.  An updated version of the braid was seen at Michael Kors where hair was loosely braided at the nape of the neck in bedhead textures, with an abundance of strands falling free around the face to embody the carefree casualness that the bohemian era brought.

The girls gracing the catwalks perfectly portrayed mischievous runaway gypsies who had perhaps caught the sun in all the right places.

Dew Date

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Once considered undesirable, oily tresses and temples seemed to be making their mark on catwalks from Paris to New York as one of the biggest trends for S/S ’15. At DKNY hair was slicked across the forehead in strands to create a wave-like effect with an undeniable urban attitude, whilst complexions at Balmain looked freshly moisturized and delectably dewy.

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Models screamed street-smart style with the essence of a gym bunny who had just finished an intense workout, precipitation still present, gleaming from their skin and hair.

Be playful with this humidity honed look. Rework a braid in your desired style (let’s face it, this season offers too many to only pick one!) and channel your inner FKA Twigs, music’s newest golden girl who’s hair is almost as good as her hits.

Kitlist:

MAC Studio Fix Concealer

NARS The Multiple in Orgasm or South Beach

MAC Moisture Cream

NARS Lipgloss in Triple X

Tigi Catwalk Series Wet Look Gel

NARS Blush in Orgasm

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Every time I find myself exploring the jungle of makeup counters located in Harvey Nichols or Lane Crawford, I am always immediately drawn to NARS. Perhaps it’s the beautiful nude tones of the lip-gloss or the earthy browns that can be found among the eye palettes? Either way, there was one product I have been dying to try. One with a particularly provocative name.  Orgasm to be exact.

Usually, during the day, I prefer my make-up to look glowing, yet not too ‘done’. When I bought this blush, I compared it with Super Orgasm which although was a lovely colour, it had a considerable amount of shimmer which was a bit much for my everyday use. Orgasm has just the right amount of peachy pink mixed with an iridescent gold sparkle to give a subtle radiance. It’s also great because it does not build up unnecessarily on the brush. This allows you to apply the required amount, building up colour as you wish.

To compliment this blush, I  team it with a rose gold MAC eye shadow and wear Soap & Glory ‘Glow all Out’ Luminizing Face Powder on my temples. My skin being somewhat of a dull pale colour, it needs products with a sheen to allow it to look warmer. I also find the colour stays on all day and does not go to patchy compared with other blushers I have tried. This is an important factor as I have freckles and anything that fades on my cheek area makes my skin look dirty.

This is another product that has gained an InStyle Best Beauty Buys award for the best powder blush, several years in the running. It has been worn by celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel – someone who always looks fresh-faced and youthful.

Being that I am really satisfied with Orgasm, I would definitely buy it again (or any other blushers from NARS). I love the neat, compact it comes in which also contains a small mirror. This is super handy for any touch-ups you may need.

As a last note, a little goes a long way with this blush, so don’t be put off by the price – it really is worth the investment!

NARS Blush in Super Orgasm RRP $300 HK available at:

Shop 161, L1,  Three Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty

Lane Crawford, Canton Road, TST

Lane Crawford, Times Square, Causeway Bay

Lane Crawford, ifc Mall, Central

SOGO, G/F, Hennessey Road, Causeway Bay

Langham Place, Mong Kok, Kowloon

Faces, Lab Concept, Queensway,