Getting ready in a hurry

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Got a last minute invitation to a swanky do? Or spent too much of Saturday on the sofa and now find yourself with only 15 minutes to get ready for your night out? Here are some tips for getting glam when you’re short of time.

  • Start with your base and smooth on with fingers – the heat from your hands will help it to blend seamlessly. A skin perfecting BB cream is perfect – it will multi-task as a moisturiser, primer and foundation in one. If you need a little more coverage use a long-lasting concealer on any blemishes. I love Garnier BB Skin Perfector (the oil free one).
  • If you have one, also dot a highlighting concealer (Clinique Airbrush Concealer is a great alternative to the iconic YSL Touche Eclat) under eyes in an upside down triangular shape and blend to hide dark circles. Smooth over the lids too for an even base for eye shadow.
  • Take an eye shadow in the same colour as your hair to define brows, using a flat, thin brush to stroke the colour on in the direction of hair growth.
  • Next, take an eye shadow in an eye-brightening champagne shade (like Bobbi Brown Champagne Quartz or, for a more smoky look, a muted dark colour like Mac eyeshadow in Smut) and pat onto lids with a brush, stopping before the crease and taking care to work it right up to your lash line. Taking a clean brush (I love a Mac 217 for this bit), blend the eye shadow up and out from the crease.
  • Now use a volumising and curling mascara, which will give you big, fluttery lashes and a wide-eyed look. My holy grail is Dior Show Iconic, however, I also had a brief but wonderful flirtation with a sample of Chanel’s Le Volume De Chanel recently and will be purchasing that as soon as my LVL Lashes treatment has run its course.
  • For a healthy glow that looks natural, use a blusher brush to apply bronzer (Nars Laguna has achieved iconic status for good reason) in two ‘3’ figures on each side of your face (starting in the centre of your forehead, brush down over temples, cheekbones, and across the jaw line).
  • To finish, take a cream blush and pat onto cheeks and lips. Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Blushed Rose makes everyone look about 10 times prettier! Then set everything with a light dusting of translucent powder.

Here are a few extra tips for success:

  • Using multi-tasking products, like a cream blush and lip colour, not only saves time but using the same shade ties your look together. Remember to pop in your handbag for touch ups.
  • Eye shadow pencils like Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil or Rimmel Scandal’Eyes Eyeshadow Stick are a foolproof way to create a smoky eye. Smudge onto lids using the flat side of the pencil and use the point to line your lashes. Then, take a fluffy brush like Mac’s 217 and blend up and out for a quick and simple smoky eye that will look like you spent much longer than just a few minutes perfecting.
  • Tidy, well-shaped brows will define and enhance your entire face allowing you to wear less make-up.
  • My favourite – dab highlighter in the inner corners of eyes; it instantly brightens and opens them up.

A few of my favourite things

brow favourite things

These are the products in my brow arsenal that I’m particularly enjoying at the moment:

Bobbi Brown eye shadow in Saddle
The powder itself is great quality and very pigmented but what really makes this a standout product is the shade. Saddle is a versatile brown/grey that’s perfect for a natural looking brow for brunettes and dark blondes.

Mac eye shadow in Omega
My go-to shade for blondes, this is a flattering dusty colour that gives just the right amount of definition.

Suqqu Eyebrow Liquid Pen in Moss Green
I discovered this via make-up artist to the stars Lisa Eldridge. I’m yet to come across a recommendation from Lisa that isn’t brilliant; this felt tip-like pen makes it easy to create natural hair strokes and stays put until you are ready to take it off (even then you’ll need to use a bit of effort). Don’t be put off by the Moss Green shade – this is excellent for brunettes.

Clarins eyebrow pencil in Dark Brown
The best texture and colour in a traditional pencil that I’ve found. Great for brunettes for filling in and blondes for individual hair strokes.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette
While this shade edges slightly into the reddish zone (red is bad, grey is good), I love the texture and thin nib so much I’m happy to overlook this. I need to try the shade Granite next.

Mac Eyebrows in Stud
Discovering new products is my favourite thing, but I have a long-standing love for Stud. Great dark grey/brown shade and a fine tip that is self-sharpening. One pen also lasts for ages.

For more from me on eyebrows, get in touch here.

Lipstick revelation

black cherry

A little while back I wrote about Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry as part of a favourites post. I mentioned that I liked to wear it as a stain but actually, this was the only way I thought I could wear it. As much as I longed to whack it on full density, every time I tried I ended up taking it back down to a sheerer colour because I just didn’t think it suited me any other way.

My fellow Beauty Stylist at BeautyMART, Diana, has since enlightened me and I’m not exaggerating when I say that, with a tip that now seems pretty obvious, she has revolutionised my lipstick wardrobe.

Di said, ‘Of course you can wear Black Cherry, you just need to do some sh*t-hot contouring!’ (I added in the expletive for effect, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Diana swear).  The crucial thing she also said was, ‘DON’T WEAR BLUSHER’.

I’m not kidding, since learning this tip I feel a whole new world has opened up to me. Another shade I adore but had resignedly put to the bottom of my make-up bag thinking it did my face no favours, is Revlon Colourburst Lipstick in Fuchsia. Now, since the contour-and-no-blusher rule came into my life I have been wearing it with aplomb. I’m truly delighted!
(N.B. Argh, has this been discontinued? Seems to be on the Revlon website but can’t find it available to buy…)

At the moment I’m enjoying wearing Black Cherry with a slick of either Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey or Face Stockholm Lipgloss in 46 over the top. Cosy, wintery,
red wine-y, log fire-y heaven.

Some clever ladies rocking their lipstick and contouring:

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A nude, a dark and a bright lipstick

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Instead of sharing a video I thought I’d tell you about two lipsticks that I come back to all the time and a new one that I think will join the others as a firm favourite.

The first, which I have been using for years, is DIOR Sérum De Rouge Luminous Color in Nude Serum 510.

This is so, so lovely. It makes my lips look like I almost have nothing on them, but they look like a perfect version of themselves. It also feels more like I have applied a lip balm rather than a lipstick. Dior claim that it’s anti-ageing, lip plumping and smoothing and generally very good for your lips. I’m sold. Even at £26 know I’ll repurchase time and time again.

The dark lipstick I’ve been wearing recently is Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry 477.

This is quite a big departure for me because I think that my lips are slightly on the thin side and so usually steer clear of anything that is going to emphasise this. However, I saw a make-up look using it in the December 2012 issue of Elle Magazine (page 266) and was convinced to try it. I love the look they have done (and subsequently also bought Red Lacquer which was used too) but also love wearing this patted onto lips to achieve more of a stain, which I think suits less full lips better. Lisa Eldridge has done a brilliant video on wearing dark lipstick using this technique. Having watched it I really want YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in 08 Belle de Rose too.

The lipstick that I know really lifts and brightens my face is Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick in Kiss Me which, on writing this post, I have discovered is discontinued! Terrible news! I almost didn’t continue to write about it but I love it so much I really feel I have to, perhaps you can find it on Amazon or Ebay… I can’t find it but if you do please leave a comment with the link!

The reason I love it so much is the colour, it seems to really suit my olive complexion and make my eyes brighter, even without any eye make-up. One of my favourite looks with this lipstick is loads of mascara and not much else (except eyebrows, always eyebrows). It can get a little drying if I’m reapplying it through the day but I just add a little balm to counteract this.

Those are three favourites among about 30 others, I might do another post on favourite red lipsticks soon too!