Makeup Essentials

makeup essentials

Halo everyone, I thought I’d share my daily makeup routine with you as I’ve basically streamlined my products and process to cut down on time. Sure sometimes I’ll skip foundation or even dare to go bare face (I probably do this way too often), but these simple 5 steps take me less than 5 minutes to perfect every morning (and you know everything takes ten times longer when its 6 p.m.).

What I love about this look is that it can also easily be adjusted to suit your budget and personal preference.  By simply adding a darker lip or more defined eye this can easily be translated for the evening. I’ll go into my beauty and skin philosophy on another post, but as you can tell I don’t believe quality is dependent on cost. I do however think that finding the right products for your skin is the most important part of selecting make-up. That being said, it is totally worth paying a little more if you can for the products that are best for you.

So without further adieu here are my essentials:

Face | 1 | 2 | 3 |

I personally have really dry skin with a lot of redness so a medium liquid foundation works best for me. Oilier skins might prefer a powder and I’ll sometimes just go for a concealer.

Cheeks | 1 | 2 |

I love how applying a blusher or bronzer can completely change your complexion. I like to offset the red/pink tones in my skin with a apricot blush or a shimmery bronzer, it instantly wakes up my skin tone.

Eyebrows | 1 |

This is the one step I simply don’t want to skip. I have full(ish) brows and like to keep them looking neat and defined. For me a brow powder works best, applied with a angled brush.

Eyelashes | 1 | 2 |

I have a massive stash of mascaras from Clinique and Estee Lauder free gifts so I generally gravitate towards them. My favourite by a mile however is the rather expensive Sumptuous Lash from  EL. It defines, curls and volumises my lashes. If I had to repurchase however I’d just go for Maybelline Colossal Lash mascara as it’s a fraction of the price and gives a similar effect.

Lips | 1 | 2 | 3 |

This is almost the only thing that changes on a day-to-day basis although I usually go for a pinkish lipgloss or lipstick. Something that looks quite natural and pretty. If I’m going out in the evening I might switch it up with a bright or dark lip shade.

I hope this is helpful! Let me know what your essential makeup products are (for everyday).

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Essence Colour & Go Nail Polishes

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I love to try new nail polishes and these new colours from Essence’s Colour & Go collection have not disappointed! I couldn’t pass up these beautiful colours at the affordable price of R27 each (Clicks & Dischem). I’ll admit the packaging isn’t as pretty as say Essie’s but for almost a R100 in price difference I can forgive the packaging. I like the flat rounded brush of the polish as it makes it easy to achieve a natural curve near the cuticle. I also found the consistency of both polishes to be perfect-as in not tacky or runny but this obviously depends on the colour. Both shades only required two coats to make it completely opaque but I did find that on some nails I had to go back a third time for a completely perfect finish. It lasted the standard 3-4 days without chipping but you might be able to push this further with a proper top coat (so disappointed in my Sally Hansen No Chip).

100_8659This medium pink is called ‘Free Hugs’ and it is the perfect spring/summer shade. So even though we’re veering into winter territory I can still have a glimpse of summer. I’ve been enjoying pairing this with a nude pink shade on my feet for an ombre effect.

100_8716At first I was a bit skeptical about my second colour named ‘Here’s my number’. I don’t like shimmery polishes in general and prefer something completely opaque or a chunky glitter, but  I was pleasantly surprised with this colour. It’s a great winter colour with a shimmery black as a base and a few larger silver and teal glitter particles giving a nice blue-charcoal finish. The sand effect was also evident whenever I brushed over it and even though it isn’t one I particularly like I suspect that others might enjoy this. . Removal wise it wasn’t as big a pain as I had expected. I did soak it in polish remover but didn’t have foil on hand (pun intended) and it worked quite well. It only required minimal rubbing.

All in all I will definitely be purchasing more of these Essence Colour & Go polishes as they really are value for your buck! Have you tried one of the Essence polishes? Were you as impressed as I am?

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Brush Guide

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Understanding which brush to use when is really important when styling your hair. To make it a little easier, I’m sharing my favourite brushes and for what I use them. Some might be very obvious, but I only recently discovered that my paddle brush is great for detangling wet hair. So I really hope this helps!

  1. Hard Round Boar Bristle Brush: This is great for blow drying medium to thick hair, especially when you’re straightening curly hair. The brush easily grips hair (wet and dry), making it easy to style stubborn hair and add body. Natural bristles also distributes hair oils evenly adding shine to the strand.
  2. Soft Round Boar Bristle Brush: This is more suited to blow drying thin hair but I loved using it to style my fringe when I still had one. It isn’t as harsh when you touch your forehead and really helped smooth my fly-aways.
  3. Ceramic Round Brush: This is a fairly new brush of mine and I’d suggest testing it before buying. I find that I can only style very small sections of hair at a time with mine as it doesn’t grip hair as easily. I think that it might be because the bristles are a little sparse. That being said, a ceramic brush can be a great alternative to curling tongs and straightening irons. The ceramic barrel heats up when blowing, effectively turning this into a heat styling tool, minus the intense heat which damages your hair. I love using this to introduce soft curls or waves to the ends of my hair and I find that they do last longer than those I create with other round brushes.
  4. Plastic Paddle Brush: This is the perfect all-rounder. If I were ever to be limited to one brush, this would be it.  I use it mostly to gently comb out my wet hair before blow drying. It is painless and detangles in seconds compared to the wide toothed comb I used for years. I also use this to brush my hair in the mornings and when I’m speed blow drying. I always use a round brush for blow drying around my face though as this doesn’t create volume.
  5. Fine Toothed Comb: I use this mainly for creating partings as it is so extremely precise. I also used this to seperate wet hair when I wanted to trim my fringe and it is great for cleaning your other brushes (simply comb out the hairs that gather in your other brushes).

 

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My favourite beauty bloggers

beauty bloggersAs I’ve mentioned before, I really am new to the beauty game and I still have a lot to learn. The fact that I am not the biggest beauty junkie means that I probably won’t ever be your first stop for beauty advice- I don’t blame you. So I’ve decided to share a few of my favourite beauty blogs and Youtube channels that will inspire and help you in your quest to master the art that is face painting. I’ve also included my favourite hair styling blogger.

  • 1. Into the Gloss: You might remember Emily from her brief stint on The Hills as Lauren’s top competitor for Vogue or simply from reading Teen Vogue, but Emily recently launched her beauty website and it isn’t bad at all. She and a bunch of contributors share their favourite products, beauty routines and funny yet informative articles like this one on all the alternatives to mascara.
  • 2. The Beauty Department: This really should be everyones first stop whether you’re a seasoned make-up artists looking for unique ideas or a novice wondering what foundation best suits your skin. They also have a plethora of youtube and image tutorials that will help you master even the most complicated braid.
  • 3. Lisa Eldridge: Make-up artist to the stars and a Chanel favourite, Lisa’s blog and youtube channel really cement her as everyone’s favourite make-up artist. She does tutorials on most of her celebrity looks (Keira Knighley being a regular client) and features both high-end brands (Chanel, YSL and Dior) alongside cheaper brands such as Bourjois and No7 (the Boots brand that she worked on). She also has a few basic tutorials on getting started -foundation, mascara, eyeliner, etc.
  • 4. Kiss, Blush and Tell: A local blog by Victoria Tatham. There is a reason she was voted Best Beauty blogger in the Feminina awards. I like the fact that she shares mostly products we can all find locally (SA) and frequently does product reviews.
  • 5. All Dolled Up: Another local beauty blog. Camilla and Jules only started early last year, so their fairly new to the beauty blogging scene but damn they have caught on quickly. I love their quick and easy video tutorials and product reviews. A big plus is how funny they seem! Really fun to watch 🙂
  • 6. The Beauty Explorer + 7. Gemsmaquillage: Yup, the Brits do have the best beauty bloggers in my opinion. It might also have a little bit to do with the fact that most of the products they mention are available in SA. Expect standard reviews and youtube tutorials with tricks like how to master the bright lip.
  • 8. The Small Things Blog: She really has some of the best youtube hair tutorials and as a professional hairdresser I also appreciate her advice on hair care and the very delicate subject of trimming your own fringe (SOOO glad my fringe has grown out!). She also does some cute make-up tutorials every now and again, but I really think its her hair knowledge that sets her apart.

If you’ve got any other suggestions on great beauty blogs or youtube channels that I  haven’t discovered yet, please do share. I’d love to know who your favourites are!

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Sparkly New Years Nails

100_7316I haven’t owned a proper glitter nail polish in years as I find that I only use it during the festive season, so it wouldn’t be worth it. I decided to recreate the look of glitter nailpolish with regular crafting glitter for New Years Eve. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than a soft atural colour complemented with golden glitter particles, but I also really like a dark nail with glitter for winter.

100_7332Materials:

  1. Revlon Colorstay Nailpolish in Natural Pink (my new favourite)
  2. Gold craft glitter
  3. Top Coat or Clear Nailpolish

100_7322Steps:

  1. Apply two thin coats of the nude nailpolish on all nails and let dry completely.
  2. One nail at a time, put three drops of polish on each nail: Place one drop at the center of the base and two drops near the tips. Spread evenly.
  3. Before the polish dries, lightly sprinkle a pinch of glitter over each nail starting at the tips and moving down and repeat on each nail.
  4. Apply a coat of clear nailpolish or topcoat once each nail has dried an you’re all set!

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Catrice Liquid Metal Eyeshadow

100_6809I am a sucker for affordable cosmetics, so I got very excited when I got to try Catrice’s Liquid Metal Eyeshadow. The colour I chose is called ‘Mauve Like Jagger’ and is a shimmery purple-grey. It is fairly buildable and is great for creating a smokey eye without looking too dull. I also like the fact that the shimmer particles are very fine, like those in high-end eyeshadows.

100_6810Whilst I love the colour, I am a bit disappointed with the packaging and how short it lasts. The packaging looks pretty enough without being overly fussy, but the clasp broke the first time I opened it and now I am in constant fear of having a cosmetic bag disaster.

Secondly, the colour doesn’t last nearly as long as I’d wish or even expect it to. It wears off after about 2 hours and then only a little shimmer remains. So I definitely recommend using either a lid primer or a longwear foundation, such as Estee Lauder’s Double Wear, as a primer.
100_6813All in all, I don’t think I would buy this again as I know that better quality shadows don’t have to be expensive and other brands offer more value for my money. It is rather a shame though, as the colour really is outstanding.

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Pink Beauty

pink beautyI always associate pink with beauty and whilst the colour can be tough and fierce, I like it most when it is unpretentiously sweet. Here are some of my top pink beauty buys- Just in time for summer!

  1. Chanel Le Blush Crème De Chanel in ‘Affinite’, available from R440.
  2. Lancôme Gloss in Love  Sparkling Lip Glaze in ‘Under the Spotlight’, available from R270.
  3. Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm in ‘Pudgy Peony’, available from R215.
  4. Essie Nail Polish in ‘The girls are out’, available from R105.
  5. DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom Intense, available from R485 for 30ml.

What are your favourite pink beauty buys?

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Shopgirl Finds: The Best Nude Nail Polish

Best Nude Nailpolishes1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I really like nude nail polishes, but I have now struggled for over a year to find a great budget friendly option that is shimmer free. I did buy a shimmery nude polish last year, but decided that this summer I will give up the search for a budget option and splurge on a quality polish. I know that I will get a lot of use out of them and think that it is worth it for the right shade. I believe  the trick is to find a colour that suits both your shade and enhances your undertone whilst still being neutral. I don’t think it has to match your skin colour, but rather just blend in with it. Here are my four favourites for different skin colours.

1. Fair Skin – Essie Nail Polish in Topless and Barefoot: The perfect soft beige pink colour, perfect for those who want to complement a slight pink undertone without wearing a shade that is too pink. It doesn’t apply streaky and it was opaque after just one thin coat.

2. Medium Skin – Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in Bare Bones: This shade is perfect for those with a neutral to yellow undertone and looks great with a tan. Two coats gave me an opaque finish and it was quick drying. My thin coat didn’t streak, as some people have complained about.

3. Olive Skin – Revlon Nail Polish in Iced Mocha: This is a nice darker beige-pink colour that looks great on those blessed with olive skin tones or slightly darker skin. Application is easy and one coat was sufficiently opaque.

4. Dark Skin- OPI Nail Polish in Suzi Loves Cowboys: This is a perfect neutral dark brown polish which doesn’t have taupe or pink undertones. I think it could work for a multitude of dark skin ladies because it is so neutral. The colour also doesn’t streak.

Do you still love the nude nail polish trend? Which is your favourite?

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Makeup for Glasses

100_6007I’ve been wearing glasses since high school and not the trendy ones, but real prescription glasses. They aren’t the most fashionable frames but rather a classic thin frame. At first I struggled to find makeup tips suitable for my glasses as they don’t have a very wide rim, ruling out the possibility of eyeliner which look so great in all the magazines. I only recently got a look that works for me and as it is pretty natural I think it would suit most glasses.

  1. Start by creating great skin, whatever this includes for you. I currently favour Clinique’s CC cream but most days I just use a little concealer on spots. The reason being that glasses not only frames your eyes, but places the focus on your face. Any flaws will be more visible.
  2. Glasses can cast a shadow on your under-eye area and make any dark circles appear darker. Conceal the under eye area in a shade that either matches your skin tone if you prefer to skip foundation or a shade slightly lighter. Be careful to skip the bridge of your nose as any makeup on that area will only rub off on the nose pads of your glasses.
  3. I always contour and fill in my brows. They are naturally quite thick, but grow sparser near the ends so I use an angled brush and brow powder to create a more defined arch and a tapered end. A strong brow goes great with thinner frames and I imagine would also look good with rimless spectacles.
  4. First curl your lashes and then use a lengthening and thickening mascara on your top and lower lashes. Leave it to dry before putting your glasses back on, otherwise it might rub off on your glasses. The curling also helps angle your lashes away from your glasses.
  5. Enhance your eyes by rimming the outer corners of your eyes with a neutral coloured eye shadow. I usually go with a warm brown or bronze and sometimes gold. This adds definition to your eyes without being as harsh as eyeliner.
  6. Finally I like adding a brighter lip to this very natural makeup look and usually favour light berry shades. I like playing with textures, so when my skin looks dewy from the CC cream I use lipstick and when my skin has a matte finish I use lip gloss.

I hope these tips help if you’re struggling with adjusting your makeup to a new pair of glasses. Please feel free to share any other tips and whether any of these tips has worked for you.

Here are the product I use:

glasses makeupL: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4   R: 1 , 2

 

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Back-to-School Hairstyle Inspiration

school hairstylesMy high school was pretty strict with our appearance and we had very specific hairstyle rules, especially with fringe lengths. All hair that touched your collar or your nose had to be tied and pinned away from your face- not very flattering. I wish I knew then of all the amazing alternatives, instead of sticking to my trusted plain pony. Seeing that the new semester is about to start, I decided to share some of my favourite styles. None of these styles should take you more than 5 minutes and they all comply with even the strictest rules. What is so great about these styles is that they aren’t limited to the classroom and I would easily wear my hair like this now simply for a change.

  1. This grown-up topsy-tail looks like a regular pony from the front with some interest at the back. This style scores plus points for being super easy and quick to recreate. Find the tutorial here.
  2. A regular topsy-tail looks extra chic when done looser with slightly wavy hair. Super easy and basic.
  3. Another variation on the classic pony is this simple twist. I recommend using a few extra bobby-pins if you want to keep the look in place all day, but it really does look amazing. Find the tutorial here.
  4. This is a cross between a ponytail and a fishtail braid. Divide the hair in half and create a fishtail braid using slightly larger pieces than you usually would. Once you reach the nape of you neck stop and tie it. Use a small piece of pony to cover the band and pin into place. If you’ve got no idea how to do a fishtail braid, this video might be very helpful.
  5. This hairstyle might be the most time-consuming, but if you’re experienced in fishtail braiding it should help. It is worth the trouble as it is super secure and can last a whole day even enduring some after-hour activities. Create three small fishtail braids and tie with small rubber bands. Once you’ve finished all three, create a regular braid and tie it together.
  6. I think the classic french braid is a nice alternative to the fishtail and it gives better hold. The last thing you want is strands falling out of place and frantically struggling to tuck them back in place in the middle of a class.
  7. The rope braid is something I’ve been experimenting with a lot recently. It is great for tying up a fringe when you’re in the dreadful process of growing it out. Find the tutorial here.  (Use Google to translate the French-unless you’re fluent in which case lucky you!)
  8.  Instead of going with two pigtails on the side of your head, place two fishtail braids at the back of your head for a more grown-up version.

I hope this helps if you’re looking for some inspiration!

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