An Experiment That Went Right

Have you ever done that thing where you’re going totally beyond what you’d normally do, picking colours out just because they’re in front of you (and because you can’t wear make-up to work and you’ve missed getting to use all your exciting products), and then somehow it all comes together and just works?

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Me too!

Originally, I was following a tutorial I found when browsing Sweet Peach looks (which you can find here, and even though I added my own elements I still think the original looks fab too!). I don’t get a chance to do make-up as often as I’d like lately, so I wanted to choose a look with care, and I knew I wanted to use my favourite palette.

I always feel slight disappointment when I get to the end of doing my make-up, no matter how good it looks, because I just love the process so much, I want to keep going! So, on this occasion, I did. And I definitely must do it more often, because grabbing the products I like looking at and just seeing how I could make them work was so much fun, and it paid off too since I ended up so happy with the look!

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Just a short post from me today I’m afraid; I’ve been feeling so burnt out lately that I just haven’t had it in me. But hopefully I’ll perk up soon and I’ll be back with more in-depth posts, including a pictorial of sorts on my sparkly purple halo eye from last week!

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This Week’s Looks

Sometimes I feel like there are so many things I want to try that I’ll never be able to get through them all!

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This was my first real attempt at a proper, sharp cut crease eye, and whilst I don’t think that’s exactly what I achieved, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out nonetheless.

I still wasn’t home from my holiday when this was taken, so I used only the two palettes I took with me – Make Up Revolution’s Flawless Matte 2, and Sleek’s original i-Divine palette. I definitely need to work more on this, but for now I’m happy!

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(Also, there was a tiny rainbow in J’s sister’s room.)

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Once I got home, I wanted to open up all my eyeshadow palettes and just stick my face in them, to be honest. I really missed them! So I sat down with my faves (Chocolate Bar and Sweet Peach, of course) and a couple of my newer purchases and basically just loaded glitter on to my eyes.

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No picture I took could do this look justice – although I’ve been playing with my camera settings for make up pictures so hopefully I might be able to capture things like this a little better! – but this one came closest. A happy mix of purples and golds from Chocolate Bar and Sweet Peach, a generous dusting of Urban Decay’s Moondust in Intergalactic and an extra pop of glitter from KIKO’s multicoloured glitter eyeliner, and I honestly just wanted to look at myself in the mirror all night.

I was really happy with how this blended out, too; I think it might even be my most seamless blending to date.

I used Sweet Peach’s Talk Derby to Me as liner for this look too and I really like how it worked out. I’ve been experimenting a little more with eyeshadow-as-liner looks lately and I love that it adds a softer line that emphasises my lashes. And I love how there are now so many options for coloured liner that I didn’t even realise I had!

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Beauty & the Alps

When you’re in the French Alps, it’s alternately very hot and very rainy, and you’re spending your days doing walks around the mountains and rafting on rivers, it’s difficult to find time to do make up, not to mention that most of those activities would take it clean off! But, on a couple of occasions, I managed to grab half an hour do some experimenting.

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I was meant to be doing everyone’s make-up, but I accidentally spent too long doing my own…

But before we get to ‘make-up make-up’, I’d like to pause for a moment on ‘no make-up make-up’.

For the most part, as I mentioned, I didn’t wear anything on my face. On the sunny days, I’d put on some of my tinted BB cream, which is SPF 20, and a coat of mascara, but too much else and I’d feel like it was all sitting too heavily.

But one product I did find to be fantastic was Benefit’s Ready, Set, Brow!. I got this for free with this month’s Marie Claire (I now have three minis from Benefit’s new line thanks to magazine freebies!), and I’m now quite concerned about what I’ll do when it runs out, because I love it.

My natural eyebrows are nothing special, but combed into shape they’re just about passable for the daytime, and Ready, Set, Brow! managed to hold them there all day – literally no mountain high enough (sorry).

Anyway, the first day that I had a chance to sit down properly with the make-up I’d brought was the day that we went out to celebrate my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday, and I was excited, because I had new toys to play with too…

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I took a leap of faith with this palette, because there were no testers around anywhere – I only had the often-inadequate illustrations of the shades on the back of the box to go on – but I’ve been on the hunt for the elusive Perfect Red for a while now and I suspected that it might be in here (not to mention that my sparkle obsession had hitherto led me away from matte palettes).

I was not disappointed. This palette is excellent, not only for its reds but for everything it boasts – light nude shades, darker nude shades, and lovely smoky violets I didn’t even know I needed.

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The names are a little off, especially since some of them pair with the ones next to them to make a phrase, leaving you with single shades called things like “Two” and “Flaw” (the lightest colour up there on the top left, with the one to its immediate right being “Less”), but I’m hardly going to complain about that, particularly since Flaw is one of my most used shades so far.

I wanted to go for something muted and understated, something nice and subtle and softly blended, but predictably, I got carried away and ended up with something a shade bolder than I’d intended.

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Photo courtesy of my boyfriend’s brother, who was our unofficial photographer for the holiday. 

As I’m sorely lacking in experience of doing make-up on others, and as I’d done J’s sister’s eyeshadow once with moderate success, I agreed to do everyone’s that evening (I offered to do J’s brothers’ too, but they didn’t seem keen); but unfortunately, I didn’t leave nearly enough time and instead conducted a hands-off lesson, calling my suggestions and recommendations out to J’s sister over our glasses of wine.

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It wasn’t exactly what I’d intended, but it was a lot of fun. On myself, I meant to go for a neutral look with a little bit of a darker shade used on my outer V, but as you can see, that transformed into something more quite quickly. I do need more practice on other people, because I’m still quite nervous about it, but I think I still managed to teach them something, and we all looked fab that evening.

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We’re a match for the beauty of the Alps themselves, in my opinion.

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This Week’s Looks!

I didn’t feel like any of these looks were interesting or bold enough to warrant their own posts, but I was happy with them, so let’s pop them all into the one!

Night Out Eyes

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I recently went out for a friend’s birthday, and wanted to try something a little different. Originally I’d intended for the darker colour to be black, but on impulse I put on a little sea green coloured KIKO shadow in the middle of my lid, and then some of my KIKO glitter liner over the top, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

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Purple & Gold

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This was surprisingly difficult to photograph – even this one doesn’t do it justice!

I swept on some light pinks from my Sweet Peach palette, and then I used my KIKO eyeliner in amethyst; but I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. The ‘lead’ of the pencil is very soft and very crumbly, and I had to go over the line several times even to get it to this intensity, sharpening in between to make up for the product lost to crumbling.

Then, I turned to my trusty Chocolate Bar and used Creme Brulée to add a pop of gold in the centre of the liner. I enjoyed the effect it created, but I’ll have to try it with another liner because unfortunately the KIKO one just didn’t hit the mark.

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Nice & Simple(ish)

I felt like doing something a little more understated after having done a bit of experimenting lately.

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How can it be just in looking at this picture that I’ve realised I need a haircut?!

Of course, I’m perpetually excited by eyeshadow, so I ended up doing a little more with it than I’d envisioned (I was pretty much trying to emulate a girl I’d seen at work the day before, who’d done the most beautiful barely-there understated eyeshadow look!), but I’m still pleased with how it turned out on the whole.

For one thing, it’s been a little while since I last did winged eyeliner, the one style of make-up that’s been my staple since I was thirteen years old, so it was a fun challenge trying to get that right again. Have you ever noticed that it just never goes on right the second time, after you’ve wiped away your first, failed attempt? One of these two eyes has been almost completely redone from scratch following a failed eyeliner wing. (In all honesty, I can’t even remember which one.)

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I also used a new purchase for this look – The Body Shop Sparkling Black Mascara, which I picked up in the sale for £3! The sparkles aren’t very prominent, though, which is a bit of a shame, but I wouldn’t say that I’m disappointed, especially since I usually go for so much glitter that mega glittery lashes on top would just look ridiculous.

Have any of you done anything interesting or creative with your make-up lately?

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June Favourites

My first favourites post! It’s not something I’ll be doing every month, because many of my June favourites are also all-time favourites and they’re not likely to change very much, but I thought it would still be fun to talk a bit about the products I’m loving just now.


Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette

(Well, you knew it was coming, right?)

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I honestly don’t think I will ever be over this palette. From the packaging to the fragrance to the beautiful colours, there’s never going to be a time where I don’t get excited over this. If I’m ever in a bad mood, I google “Sweet Peach swatches” to help me calm down, or else go and do some experimenting with it myself. The phrase “holy grail make-up” has been tossed around a bit too often for me to be keen to use it, but if there was ever a product I felt was worthy of it, it’s this one. I’m so, so glad I managed to get my hands on it (as a birthday present from a close friend, in fact!).

Lush Tea Tree Toner Water

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I was introduced to Lush toner waters a few years ago when a friend recommended Breath of Fresh Air, but recently my skin has been breaking out for some reason so after my last Breath of Fresh Air finished, I picked this up instead. These toner waters come in spray bottles and the instructions advise that you can spray them either directly on to your face, or else on to a cotton wool pad; but the first time I tried to use Breath of Fresh air straight on to my face, I didn’t realise how much product would come out and I ended up completely dousing myself! Direct-to-face application is clearly meant to take place from arm’s length.

I haven’t noticed my skin clearing up all that much as a result of using this, but the feeling of freshness that comes from using it has yet to be rivalled by anything else I’ve found, so I would still classify this as a favourite.

(Sorry about my nails. I have to keep them unpainted for work and as short as possible because of my eczema…)

KIKO Milano Glitter Eyeliner in Multicolour

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This is a new find, but it made it into my favourites before I’d even bought it.

I was in the new KIKO store in Glasgow speaking to one of the customer assistants about where I might find the primers (I’m on the hunt for a new one), but I could hardly concentrate on what she was saying because her eyes were so glittery. I mean, so glittery. I asked her what eyeshadow she was wearing, most likely with a vacant, overawed expression on my face, and she directed me to this. It’s eyeliner, she explained, but it can just be applied wherever you want some glitter. When I got it home, I went a bit mad with it all over my eyelids, on my cupid’s bow, along my cheekbones. I didn’t take any photos of that occasion, but I have worn and photographed it since. I’m still just astounded by how intensely glittery this liner is.

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I wore just a little in the centre of my eye and I couldn’t stop looking at it in the mirror. It’s amazing!

Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Mulberry 

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Not entirely sure why this one’s looking so messy, but this is a lipstick that I’ve just recently rediscovered. I picked it up in a pharmacy a while ago whilst I was waiting for my items and then it pretty much just lay buried amongst my other lipsticks until recently, when I realised what a beautiful colour it is and pulled it out again. We all know I love anything that has a bit of sparkle or iridescence, and this has what I think you could call golden micro-glitter throughout, so it’s perfect for me. It’s not the easiest to apply, but it looks beautiful once it’s on.

NYX Round Lipstick in Lala

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Again, not the greatest picture, but this lipstick represents the culmination of quite a long and extensive search. I hunted far and wide for something in this exact colour, but no matter where I looked, I kept coming back to this one. At only £4, you’d think that would be a positive, but regardless of how many times I checked and how many NYX counters I went to, they only ever had the testers left. So, eventually, I caved in and ordered it online, and I haven’t looked back. It’s easy to apply, easy to wear, comfortable, and exactly the colour I was after.

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Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream in Birthday Suit

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I already enthused about this lipstick in this post, so I’m not going to harp on about it too much, but this was another one that became a firm favourite almost immediately!

NYX Colour Correcting Concealer Palette

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This was my first foray into the realms of colour correction (other than a green concealer stick I had at the age of fifteen that I had no idea how to use), and it has also been my last, because after using this I’ve had no desire to look any further. I most often use the green, to cover redness and acne scarring, and the yellow, for my glorious dark undereye circles (made worse by my recent spate of 7am starts at work). The purple will likely go completely unused as sallowness is not something I suffer from, and the remaining three I’ve only touched on (literally) as I am not confident with contouring; but the effectiveness of those first two is such that I wouldn’t regret this purchase even if I never used the other colours again. I dab these on over primer with a finger and watch my skin magically become even.

Ted Baker Mascara 

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This mascara was part of a set that I received as a Christmas present, and it is absolutely the best mascara I’ve ever used. It’s not massively lengthening or even volumising, but as my eyelashes are quite long anyway, it’s perfect for when I want something a little more natural-looking – it’s not clumpy, and it separates lashes out whilst still allowing them a natural fluffiness. I’m not sure it can be bought separately, which is a massive shame, because I don’t know what I’m going to do when I run out.

As I mentioned, most of these products have been favourites longer than a month so this won’t be a monthly feature, but I still enjoyed talking a bit about them, and I hope you enjoyed reading about them!

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A sidenote: I’m going on holiday next week, so I’m going to spend this week writing up some posts to queue for whilst I’m away! I’ll be gone for a week, but I have plenty of ideas for posts to fill that time.

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