Getting ready in a hurry

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Image from

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.

Wedding make-up (when you’re a guest)

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This post is coming a little later than I planned but I’m sure so many people still have weddings to go to this year – I know I am four down with two more to go!

Similarly to bridal make-up, when you’re a guest at a wedding you want to choose products with longevity. You might not be suffering from nervous sweats like the bride but you’re still potentially spending the day in the sun, and you’ll definitely be eating and drinking.

Most likely, this also isn’t a time to go for something that is a big departure from what you usually wear. You want to enjoy the day feeling confident and relaxed and not worry that your Nicki Minaj eyelashes have come unstuck or that you have just left a two-tone lipstick mark on the mother of the bride’s cheek.

That said, there’s nothing stopping you from upping the ante a little – it’s a special occasion after all!

If you usually go for muted tones on your eyes, you could try a pop of copper which flatters all eye colours. Mac’s Woodwinked is perfect. Blend it in all over the eyelid and into the socket – the sheeny texture magically stays bright over the lid while defining the socket so there’s no need to add something darker.

For base, try adding a little moisturiser to your foundation of choice to avoid looking too cakey in the sun. Use concealer to cover any imperfections. If you’re in the market for a new base I love YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat and Garnier BB Miracle Skin Perfector Oil Free.

For lips you want to choose something that isn’t going to need touching up every five minutes. You could either go for a natural nude-y gloss (I wear Barry M Lip Gloss in 11 Coral almost every day) or there are lots of lipstick/balm/gloss/stain formulations around at the moment that are very easy to wear. Try YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain Lip in number 15 or Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendevous – both shades look fantastic with Woodwinked.

Here are a few make-up tutorials that I think work really well for a wedding guest look:

Tanya Burr’s Victoria’s Secret model make-up tutorial: Miranda Kerr (I appreciate a Victoria’s Secret model look might be a surprising choice but the make-up is so pretty and actually totally appropriate!)

Nic of Pixiwoo’s own wedding day make-up tutorial (Although a bridal look, works perfectly for a guest too).

Wedding/special occasion look by Lisa Eldridge (I’ve said before how totally, incredibly wonderful I think Lisa is – this is another beautiful look from her).

Beauty And The Bride: Wedding make-up

Eva Mendes - one of my wedding make-up inspiration photos

Eva Mendes – one of my wedding make-up inspiration photos

Whether you plan to do your own make-up or choose to have a make-up artist on the day, the most helpful thing you can do is collect lots of images of make-up looks you like. Look at them all together and pick out the themes. Have you chosen all natural styles? Maybe you’ve selected images where the skin is golden and glowing, or perhaps 60s inspired eyeliner flicks and a classic red lip? Whatever it is that you love, this will provide great inspiration for your bridal make-up.

Remember that your wedding day isn’t the time to try out a bold new look. When you walk down the aisle you want your groom to go weak at the knees at the sight of the girl he fell in love with – surprise should not be an emotion he is feeling at this point! This is the time to use your make-up to look like the best version on you.

With this in mind, along with your inspiration images, you should be thinking along the lines of enhancing what nature gave you. So, natural-looking skin (regardless of the coverage you prefer from your foundation it should always look natural), prettily defined eyes with fluttery lashes, a fresh blush of colour over cheeks, a touch of highlighter over cheekbones (and maybe also swept over forehead, down the centre of your nose and on your cupids bow – but be careful not to over-do it otherwise you risk looking more sweaty than glowy), and a lip colour that is one or two shades away from your natural colour (this will be the most flattering and won’t make your groom afraid to kiss you for fear of a) messing it up or b) donning it himself).

If you are doing your own make-up book yourself in for a consultation with brands who excel at natural make-up looks, like Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier. Chat to the make-up artist and gather as many tips as you can. Important things are how to give your make-up staying power (primer and really taking time to work products into the skin) and flattering colours for your skin tone.

These are the products I used and loved on my wedding day:

Fluid master primer – Giorgio Armani

Luminous silk foundation – Giorgio Armani

Creamy concealer kit – Bobbi Brown (LOVE this)

Sheer Bronzer  – Giorgio Armani

Pot Rouge in Blushed Rose – Bobbi Brown (as a base for powder blusher – makes it last 10 times longer)

Blush in Nectar – Bobbi Brown

Sheer Finish Loose Powder in Soft Sand – Bobbi Brown

Eyeshadow in Brule – Mac

Pigment pot in Gold Mode – Mac (to highlight inner corners of eyes) (argh – discontinued! Try Melon instead)

Eyeshadow in Stone – Bobbi Brown

Eyeshadow in Mink – Bobbi Brown (for eyebrows) (Also discontinued, try Expresso or Mahogany)

Glam Eyes Liquid Liner in Black Glamour – Rimmel (the best I’ve tried and a bargain)

Lip Pencil in No. 22 – Make Up Forever (Try Mac Lip Liner in Spice too)

Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle – Chanel

All my brushes from Make Up Forever, Mac and Bobbi Brown.

If you are getting married, or just want some personalised make-up and beauty advice, leave a comment and I will get in touch!

Wish list August 2012

Products I’m coveting right now:

YSL Volupte Sheer Candy 4 – I want to try this out, I have a feeling that I might find it a bit too sheer.

Clinique Chubby Sticks – I’m not sure what shade(s) I want… Here is an incredibly useful post about them from Zozo of The London Lipgloss

Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturiser – I got this for Christmas last year and have since finished the bottle. I haven’t bought it again yet because it’s rather expensive, but I love it so will repurchase when I’ve saved up.

Dior Amber Diamond highlighter – This has been on my wish list ever since I saw this video from Tanya Burr when she did Made in Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh’s make up – watch the video and you’ll want it too.

Dior Show Iconic mascara – Hands down the best mascara I have ever used, it is amazing. Having said that I should also mention that my friend, Nell, bought this after I had been waxing lyrical about it and was so disappointed with it that she gave it away. But, for me, it is the best for beautifully big and curl eyelashes. My current one is drying out so this is a definitely repurchase.

Dior Rouge Serum in 510 – Another repurchase; this is a really beautiful nude that makes lips look like the best version of themselves. Dior also say it is a ‘treatment’ product, plumping and smoothing lips – got to love that. I’d quite like it in a brighter colour too – I bought the raspberry shade (760) and try as I might I’ve had to finally admit that it just does nothing for me. Something about it is too grown up but a bright pink I think would be lovely.

Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau de Parfum – I don’t actually know if I want this or not yet – I haven’t smelt it! But I do want to after watching A Model Recommends’ fragrance video. Part of me hopes I don’t like it – so expensive!

Aqua Di Parma Fico Di Amalfi – Oh my goodness I want this. Discovered, again, through Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends – thank you Ruth!

Mac eyeshadows – in Mulch, Charcoal Brown, Wedge, Cranberry, and for brows, Brun, Mystery, Concrete and Coquette. All recommendations from Tanya Burr of Pixi2woo and Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo.

Diane Von Furstenberg Diane Eau de Parfum – Another I’m yet to smell but I’ve heard good things.

Mac lipstick in Ruby Woo – A classic red and Rihanna wears it.

A tinted moisturiser – For which I will look to A Model Recommends for, er, recommendations.

A foundation from By Terry – Not sure which one will be best for me yet but as these are by the lady who create YSL’s Touche Eclat I’m excited.

Suquu Eyebrow Liquid Pen – Recommended by Lisa Eldridge so you know it’s good.

Nars blush in Exhibit A and Sin – Exhibit A looks completely outrageous in the pan but used carefully it gives a beautiful and natural flush – it was recommended to me by wedding make-up artist. Sin is recommended by Tanya Burr (through Fleur de Force).

Nars bronzer in Laguna – I’ve heard so many good things about this and it’s believable shade.

Nars Velvet Matt Lip Pencil – I had forgotten about these until I just came across them on the Nars website when I was getting the links for the products above. A friend used this on a night out and it was gorgeous and lasted all night. I think she had the shade Never Say Never.