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Crack, baby crack

Crack, baby crack: September 2012

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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