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Crack, baby crack

Crack, baby crack

Friday, 28 December 2012

This blog has moved.

I've moved from Blogger to self hosted Wordpress. I'll be re-jigging all the ways to follow my blog at Hello Cotton, Blog-lovin, etc. Not sure if I can take GFC over, though :(

Here's the new link.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

My Hallowe'en make up from last night.

Not the best of photos - it was taken on Mr Wildthyme's phone.

Our Black Cat really added to the look.

To get this look, I first prepped the skin with REN Purity Cleansing Balm, Boots Botanics Moisturiser and Benefit's Porefessional. I blocked out my eyebrows with a glue stick (Pritt Stick).

I then used Illamasqua Cream Foundation in shade 100 (white) all over with fingers and Real Techniques buffing brush. For the eyes, I used Clinique Quick Liner in Violet all over the lids(right up to and on my real brow) and waterline as a base for Illamasqua shadow in Vintage which is only available in their Neutral palette. This went over the the brow and extended right to the hairline over the temples. I added Illamasqua Obsidian (black) for contour. The brows were drawn on with a Screenface angle brush and Illamasqua eyebrow cake in Motto. I used Clinique High Impact Extreme mascara for really spikey, tarantuala leg lashes.

I used a blending brush to dust the eyebrow cake on my nose and forehead and blended it in with the buffing brush that I used to apply the foundation. 

For my cheeks, I used a Daniel Sandler eyeliner pencil in Navy as a contour. To do this, you scribble the pencil into the palm of your hand then swirl an eye blending brush into the pencil. Suck in your cheeks to see your contour line and trace under and along the cheekbone. Blend for a deathly hollow cheeked look.

I then used more of the eyebrow powder on a blusher brush to add a little more texture to the look.

For the lips, I used the Clinique eyeliner all over then brushed some Illamasqua sealing gel over it. I then swept some more of the Vintage eyeshadow over that.

To set the lot, I used No7 translucent loose powder all over. 

Finally, to remove it all after going outside like that, I slathered my face with Superdrug hot cloth cleanser and really worked it in to loosen all of the make up. I rubbed it all off with a hot flannel then repeated with REN Purity cleansing balm for a second cleanse. 

A post about hot cloth cleansing is coming up very soon. 

Did you make up for Hallowe'en last night? 

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (AKA OCC)

A very short post.

Selfridges has started selling OCC everything from Lip Tar to brushes! How did I not know about this? Bad beauty nerd. Now I really must get myself there to try them out and even buy a few products.

I've always wanted to get some lip tar but previously only being able to buy them online is a non-starter for me. I prefer to have a play about with make up in-store and then buy it if I like it. And now I can! hurrah! 

OCC is an independent brand created by a make up artist, one David Klasfield. The range is completely vegan and cruelty free. The lip tar is a highly pigmented long wear liquid lipstick and doesn't dry out. Furthermore, you only need the tiniest drop for an immediate pay-off. They have been available online for a couple of years now at Love Make-up but unfortunately, their shop is in Ware and I've not been able to get to it. 

Once I get my hands on some of these, I'll be blogging about them. 

To see the OCC range at Selfridges, click here

The American OCC website is here

Have you tried them or any other liquid lipstick?

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Monday, 1 October 2012

La Roche Posay Micellar Water.

For years I've been looking for a make up remover that is not oily and doesn't sting your eyes. I hate the film that covers your eyes when using an oil based remover so took to researching Micellar Water.

Micellar water is water with tiny groups of oil suspended in water. The oil grabs the make up and the water washes the oil and dissolved make up away onto the cotton pad. There's no need to rinse off and you can follow with a hot cloth cleanse (I'll be touching on this later on) for a good double cleanse. The waters contain no irritants and are so gentle that you can apply male up, take it all off and apply more without redness and irritation. Perfect for make up artists, which is why so many use them on a shoot.

La Roche Posay Micellar Water.
The most well known of these removers is Bioderma which is very hard to get hold of in this country (it is available in Harvey Nichols as part of the Beauty MArt but not online yet) but a lot of French brands have their own version - Avene, Caudalie, Melvita and La Roche Posay. I went for the La Roche Posay version in Boots.

I put a generous amount on a cotton pad, place cotton pad over my eye and hold it there for a few minutes, gently rocking it back and forth. I then wipe in one slow long movement and all the make up on the eye is removed. For stubborn tiny bits of make up, I dip a pointed cotton bud in the water and gently rub away the tiny bits that stayed behind after the initial cleanse. Repeat for the other eye and rub a new pad with the solution on all over my face to remove foundation.

I really should do a vid to show exactly how I take my make up off but I'm a bit scared of Youtube commenters to dare.

What do you use to take your make up off at night?

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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Illamasqua Generation Q Complement Palette.

I don't think its much of a secret that my favourite brand of make up is Illamasqua. When I discovered it a couple of years ago, I fell in love with the philosophy, the colours, the textures and all of the products I've bought since.

So far, this year, I've attended three Illamasqua classes and have failed to write up two of them. The first was about the Human Fundamentalism collection and met Spob O'Brien (head of Professional development) and Mika Johnson (key artist, Illamasqua art team). The second was on making up black skin where I learned so much about the different tones of skin and how to get a perfect finish. This class was headed by David Horne (Director of new product development and School of make up art). The third was about the new Generation Q collection and was headed by Adam John (Illamasqua Trainer for all new members of staff) at Precious About Make-up in Hammersmith. The video below shows Adam working his Illamsaqua magic.

Adam introduced us to the Generation Q collection and explained that it had been formulated especially for the older person with satin finishes rather than full on glittery shimmer for eyes and a creamier formulation for the lipsticks enriched with Vitamin E.

Too much shimmer on the lids can make them look more crinkled than they really are and so most make up counters give older women plain matte flat beige eyeshadow rather than what they really want to buy. However, too much matte can also make the wrinkles look worse than they are as well.  As Adam said, these women grew up with glamour, colour and shine in the 60s, 70s and 80s with brands like Biba so showing them that they can still wear the colours they want without emphasising the bits that they want to tone down, hence satin finishes.

He then demonstrated the new palettes on a model so we could see exactly what can be done with them and explained how to adapt it for all ages. Whilst doing this, he answered a few questions and gave a few tips to get a fantastic finish;

When powdering over cream blush to set it, mix the tiniest amount of a powder highlighter into the setting powder to keep the dewyness of the blush. It stops it all looking matte and flat.

When applying make up to the eyes and face, think of it all as a set of 'positive triangles' (all pointing upwards towards the temples, hairline and ears. This stops all the highlighting, contouring and shadow from dragging everything down. Also, when figuring out where to end the eyeshadow, use the end of a long handled brush to determine where your eyebrows end and use that line as a guide to end the shadow (making sure it blends upwards like a positive triangle).

Don't merely think of products having a specific use - use cream blush as lipstick, lipstick as cream blush, a very pale foundation as highlighter, a dark foundation as a contour etc. I remember David Horne talking about this as well - he used lip gloss on the eyes to add shine and change the entire look all over. It does stay on if you powder, add the gloss and add powder again.

Clockwise from top left - Powder eyeshadow in Slink, Liquid Metal in Focus, Powder eyeshadows in Queen of the Night and  finally, Forgiveness.

So on to the make up. I went for the Complement Palette because I'm naturally attracted to dark colours for my eyes. I will be getting the Empower Palette and the Gleam highlighter next week so keep an eye out.

It consists of 4 shadows, one cream, one shimmery, one matte and one satin formula. The cream is a slightly shimmery (without being too glittery) dark brown shade called Focus that works amazingly on its own or as a base for a smokey eye using the other colours. The high shimmer is a pale champagne highlighter colour called Slink for the browbone and inner corner. It can also be used on the cheekbone and cupid bow as a highlighter.

Forgiveness, Slink, Focus, Queen of the Night. Lipstick is Eurydice. 

All the colours look brownish on my hand - top 3 l-r Forgiveness, Slink, Queen of the Night. Bottom - Focus.

The matte shadow is a beautiful dark almost chocolatey pink shade called Forgiveness and is perfect to contour the socket or blend over the cream to create a deeper chocolate pink. The satin finish shadow is a rich dark purple with a hint of shimmer but not overpowering called Queen of the Night. Again, it can be used alone, in the socket and to create a smokey eye with the others.

Overall, this is a wonderful dark palette that makes for some serious smoking eyes on a person of any age. The colours blend well together and can be all used alone or all together day or night.

See the Generation Q collection here.

 See the Generation Q interactive lookbook here and more of Adam John demoing the products.

See Eyeliner and Spraypaint's post on the masterclass here.  She remembered loads more than me and also has pics of inside Precious About Makeup.

Visit Precious About Make Up here.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Good Things Miracle Mattifier Moisturiser.

When I was a teenager, there wasn't the range of skincare products that there is today. There were things like Biactol and Clearasil which stripped the skin of everything and subsequently produced more oil and more spots. There were Aapri skin buffing pads which left the skin feeling as if it had been attacked with a Brillo Pad. But there were no decent (and cheap) moisturisers for young skin.

 In despair at my acne, my mother took me to the GP, who prescribed Quinoderm which was just as bad. After a trip a dermatologist, I was prescribed a hormonal cream and antibiotics. When this did not work, the dermatologist suggested Clinique Clarifying lotion and the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion. My dad nearly broke down at the cost of them at the counter in House of Fraser. It worked in the end and I've used the clarifying lotion every day since I was 15. I'm still scared to give it up now but only use it once or twice a week now.

Good Things is a brand of skin care developed by Alice Hart-Davies aimed at teenagers. I feel it would be suitable for teen boys too but I highly doubt if they'd go for something in a lilac tube (maybe put the range in a gunmetal tube and lose the scent for boys?) For the face, there are two ranges - one for normal-dry skin and one for oily spot prone skin. You can mix and match to get the right regime for your skin.

I'd never heard of the brand until I was in the Carnaby St Boots looking for a new moisturiser to try out back in August. I have sensitive combination skin so was going to go for La Roche Posay but the packaging of the Good Things Miracle Mattifier Moisturiser caught my eye. The thing that particularly caught my eye was the 'Free From' stamped on the packaging. Free from parabens, animal tested ingredients and mineral oils. So far so good. The next thing that attracted me was the price - £7.99. So in the basket it went.

When I got it home, I was a little worried at the scent because perfumed moisturisers break my skin out (I'm looking at you, Garnier). My worries were unfounded for the next day, there was no breakout. It smells of blackcurrants. It reminds me of a summer pudding, scentwise. It also doesn't seem to contain any silicone at all so takes a while to work into the skin. Most people are used to silicone being in a lot of products for slip and ease of blending so this will take a while to get used to. It's also packed with goji berries, one of the super fruits.

Now, the only foundation I use on myself is Illamasqua Skin Base which is silicone based. There was no conflict between either product (sometimes, I find that Skin Base does not mix well with some moisturisers and primers but that's a whole other post) and during the hot weather in August (oh it seems such a long time ago now), the moisturiser kept my skin mostly matte and the foundation did not slide off.

After 6 weeks of continuous use (I have even tried it in place of a cleanser during hot cloth cleansing at night to take my make up off), I have to say that my skin feels a lot better, has barely broken out and is looking good.

There are no anti aging properties in this moisturiser because it is aimed at teens and teens have enough to worry about without having to think about lines and wrinkles as well.

If you're looking for a good simple cleansing and moisturising routine for yourself or teen, then you can't go wrong with this brand. The website is full of Q&As and a lot more info about the various products.

Good Things Website

Buy Good Things products at Boots.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Lisa Eldridge, No 7 and foundation.

I don’t usually blog about foundations because what is perfect for me could well be terrible for someone else. That happened with my Illamasqua Skinbase post earlier in the year. With that in mind, here is a post about foundation.

Lisa Eldridge’s announcement on the complete revamp of the entire range of Boots No 7 brought with it the surprise of a true match foundation that should match all skin tones. Basically, No7 teamed up with Pantone using their colour technology to create a definitive set of shades for all skin tones across all 7 of the formulations. To get a correct match, the No7 staff will be using a hand-held scanner to determine the shade that matches the skin tone. According to Lisa, the scanner works in all light and even in no light to find the true match.

I spent a couple of hours talking to people in a group about this new revelation and the consensus is that although the tech sounds very impressive, it remains to be seen if there will be a proper pale shade and proper dark shades in decent formulations that do live up to the claims. All too often, the brands say they have a full range of shdes but when you go to buy the foundation in the right formula and shde for you, its too dark and too pale. They’ll only have medium shades in stock. However, all No 7 counters (apart from the non-staffed stands) will have the entire range in stock. It is a massive for a drug store/medium range brand (and a Brit one at that) to have gotten there first with a tech that is so different from the norm.

So far, Illamasqua, YSL  and Chanel seem to be the only brands that do stock decent formulas and a fantastic range of shades but as ever, the formulas do not work on everyone. Not everyone can get away with Skinbase for instance. It is a marvellous foundation for me but for others, its too oily on the face. Why not use primer? Because a lot of people just want a simple routine that consists of wash face, moisturise, perhaps use a serum and on with foundation first thing in the morning.  BB creams were supposed to be the answer to that but for a lot of people, they just did not live up to the hype. Most seemed to be repackaged tinted moisturisers, which are fantastic in themselves but not when sold under the pretext that they are true BB creams that do everything.

So, how does one get the perfect foundation?

Decide your skin type and formulation. Dry skin should go for creamy formulations. Oily skin should go for oil free or powder formulations and combination skin should go for a formulation that is specifically for combination.  Obviously, this is entirely up to you – some people with combination may feel better with a powder foundation, for instance. Adapt them for your own needs once you get confident with what you personally like.

Decide your budget. This could be from £5 to no limit. It does limit your choice so be aware that its worth saving, if you can, for a more mid-range brand such as My Face. Sleek have a good range of colours.
Decide your brand. All brands want you to spend with them. So, the best way to decide the brand you want to spend with is to take a couple of empty pots and get a sample. Try it at home in daylight. You’ll know if it is the right shade for you as there’ll be no tideline and little if any patchiness. It does take some guts to ask for samples, though.

Now, colours. This is the hard bit. Some brands do not cater at all for very pale people and very dark people. Sleek is amazingly good for dark skin on a budget. Boots 17 is almost perfect for pale people on a budget. I’ve been burned before and I’m fed up of mixing white with the lightest shades. Clinique promise paleness but their palest is too dark for me by one shade. So far, for me, Illamasqua do the best range in both light, medium and dark. When I say dark, I mean Alex Wek dark. And when I say pale, I mean Snowman pale.

I really wanted to add Kevyn Aucoin foundations to my professional make up kit but the colours are limited to medium shades, sadly.

I do feel that the brands are getting somewhere with their ranges now. They do try to listen. I mean, they’re finally getting there with colours for dark skins at long last and that is fantastic. Now it remains to be seen if they can get a good range of pale that does not go orange or pink.

I’m not knocking the new No7 foundation matcher – far from it. I do have hopes that all the problems will be over and I really, really want it to work so well. I realise that not everyone will get their match but at least Boots are trying so hard. This huge project has been three years in the making and a ton of effort has been put in to get it to work. It is the biggest thing ever to happen to make up; even bigger than YSL’s Touche Eclat foundation. They (No7) promise to have the best range of colours. I’ll be at my local counter to find this for myself as I’m very, very pale.

So, opinions? Do you find getting your foundation is a pain or do you always get your match? And will you be giving the No7 shade matcher a go?

Read Lisa Eldridge's scoop on it all here.

See Illamasqua's comparison chart here.

I do not have any pics of the new range because no one seems to have any apart from Lisa Eldridge herself. There aren't even any on the Boots website.

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