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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Galactic

I’m so happy with how this turned out!

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This look wasn’t planned, and in fact only arose due to a conversation in which my boyfriend told me I still had half an hour to wait before dinner. “I’ll go and play with make-up, then,” I said, and this was the end result!

It wasn’t totally unpremeditated, I admit. I have had several ideas buzzing around in my head since starting this blog, and some kind of galaxy/space look was one of them, but I hadn’t intended on doing it just yet (and certainly not in the evening when the light was fading so quickly I had to be somewhat resourceful to get decent-quality pictures).

I didn’t really have an exact technique in mind, and in fact it ended up being so experimental that I honestly couldn’t recreate the exact order in which I did things, but I set out with some brushes and Makeup Revolution’s Day to Night eyeshadow palette, and started heaping on the sparkly blues and purples, just to see where I’d end up.

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We know I’ve been relying too heavily on Chocolate Bar and Sweet Peach so this was a good chance to try something new!

Once I’d got down a good heavy base of dark blue/purple (using the shade above the “N” of “Revolution”, which comes out more purpley than it appears), I went over it using the shade one in from the left, which is much brighter once applied than it looks. I did this quite haphazardly on purpose, keeping in mind the array of mottled colours in your typical galaxy.

Then, I experimented. These are the colours I used!

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I was keen to have some red and green in there as well as just purple, blue and black, but by the time it was all layered together, these weren’t as clear as I would perhaps have liked. I dotted on some stars with the Galactica liner, but although this took a couple of attempts to achieve the look I was after, I feel that the hastily blotted first tries actually contributed quite well to the overall effect. Wax ‘n’ Wane, my classic glitter fave, was added over the top to create the illusion of smaller stars in the background, and Colourpop’s Stereo is just too deep and sparkly to miss out of a look like this.

As I mentioned, I don’t remember the exact order in which these all went on – I was just having a bit of fun and seeing what would work. I think that the variety of shades was key, though, because I didn’t want this to be a uniform blue or black space scene (as pretty as those can be). Then, as a final touch, I painted some of the Galactica liner over the ends of my lashes, to create the effect of some extra stars.

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I also used my MUA eye primer for the first time, with favourable results.

I had a lot of fun creating this look and I would definitely like to see what variations I can come up with in the future!