The Perfect Party Makeup

It’s party season and time to get glam! Here is a quick list of tips on how to master the ultimate party makeup.

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Base

There will likely be food, drink and lots of dancing – you need a foundation that is going to last. I’d recommend using your most long lasting foundation – it doesn’t necessarily have to be full coverage if that’s not your jam, but don’t take any chances by using a new one. Use a tried and true – mine would definitely be the Clinique Fit Foundation (check my review if you’re not familiar with this one). If you use a new one, you don’t know how it will last; whether it will oxidise; whether it will break down and where and gurl, you don’t need that kind of stress in your life. When it comes to bronzer, blush and highlight, you can go slightly more heavy handed than usualΒ IFΒ your party is in low lighting. If not, you may end up looking like Bridget Jones when she applies too much blush to Mark’s posh dinner. Just consider the occasion and think about how much makeup would be suitable – just because it’s a special event doesn’t mean you have to apply any more makeup than usual if you don’t want to.Β That being said, if you want disco ball cheeks, go for it hun.

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Eyes

Decide ahead of time whether you want to make a statement with your eyes or with your lips – NOT both. I personally would always choose to make a statement with my eyes rather than opt for a colourful lip because I am a massive nude fan, but do what suits your style! If you’re not confident in your eyeshadow/liner abilities, you might feel more confident opting for a really strong, beautiful red/dark lip.

If you are going for a statement eye look, be sure to test it out before the event. If you have this grand vision in your head and then either can’t pull it off or it doesn’t look as good as you imagined, you’re in trouble.

Try and think about what you’re wearing ahead of time so that your makeup can compliment it, not clash with it. Don’t wear an electric blue dress and do bright blue makeup to match – if in doubt, keep it nude. On the other hand, if you’re planning on wearing a LBD, you’ll have so many more options for your makeup because your outfit is basically a blank canvas.

Party makeup often features shimmer or glitter so if they’re your jam then go for it! Shimmer shadows are usually way easier to work with and tend to go with more looks. Glitter can look a little stark sometimes and can be super annoying to get right. Make sure you practise ahead of time and have yourself a good glitter glue (The NYX one is supposed to be really good).

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Don’t forget about your lower lash line! I’m a massive fan of a nude shade in the water line to open up the eyes and shadow along the lower lash line to really emphasise your eye shape but also to make the look seem more whole. If you have all this drama on the top and nothing on the bottom, it looks weird!?

Bolder looks always look better (in my humble opinion) with more defined brows. I tend to make my brows a bit thicker than they are naturally and make sure they are nice and sharp to suit the rest of the face.

Lips

How you do your lips at an event is very much personal preference. You might like to keep it festive and opt for a true red or a deep red to make a statement. Or if your eyes are doing the talking you might prefer a nude lip to tie it all in. Or you might like to throw all the makeup rules out the window and do a bright blue. It’s totally up to you! Personally, if I’ve gone for a bolder eye look, I would pair it with a classic nude and a gloss. If I had gone for a less elaborate eye shadow look but maybe went for a killer black liner instead, that is your opportunity for a deep or bright lip. If you want to go glittery for the occasion, do it!

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Here is my take on party season makeup – I’m not really into crazy colours and glitters, so my look is nude and flawless (if I do say so myself). I love getting dressed up and putting a bit of extra effort into my makeup. My eye look was a lot more smokey than the camera is picking up and was basically my usual brown nude look but dialed up a bit and with extra shimmer!

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I hope this is useful for anyone looking to get glam this party season, or just anyone looking to try something new!

Xo

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The Best Affordable Brands for Each Makeup Step

The high end often takes the spotlight when it comes to makeup, but it’s important to remember that the drugstore also releases some amazing products. Just like the high end, not everything is a hit, so I’ve broken down my favourite affordable products for each step of your makeup routine!

Foundation

Finding your shade can be a little bit difficult in ‘drugstore*’ brands, especially if you fall at either end of the spectrum. If you find yourself in this category, your best bet brand-wise will probably be NYX. Their recent Can’t Stop Won’t Stop range was a collaboration with Youtuber Alyssa Ashley and was formulated with POC in mind. Makeup Revolution also offer a pretty good shade range. If you’re looking for something a little less matte and a little more dry skin friendly, consider Bourjois – their Healthy Mix foundation, or even the serum version (even more dry skin friendly) are both great options.

Concealer

The Maybelline concealers are great – the age rewind one is great if you don’t mind concealers with a sponge – and likewise their Fit Me range is great (even though the shade order is a bit messed up). My personal favourite and go-to for many years now is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It’s full coverage and blends out beautifully.

Brows

For me, there is only one contender here – NYX! Their Microbrow pencil is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and there is a pretty wide shade range. Their clear brow gel is another absolute winner – who needs high end!?

img_0039Blush

You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to blush from the drugstore. Brands like Milani, Kiko, NYX, Bourjois… the list is endless! The pigment is really close to more expensive products but just at a fraction of the price!

Highlighter

This one is a little harder, but Sleek and MUA tend to do pretty good highlighters. These are brands that are pretty widely available in Superdrug here in the UK and are really cost effective.

img_0048Eyeshadow

Affordable eyeshadow can be a little hard to find. I don’t find that the traditional ‘drugstore’ brands (L’Oreal, Maybelline etc.) offer much in terms of good, pigmented eyeshadow. Brands that I have decent luck with are Makeup Geek (their singles are fab, but they’re about to relaunch the brand and half their stock is sold out everywhere), Colourpop and NYX. NYX is easily the most accessible of the 3 brands and offer a great assortment of colours at a really reasonable price point. The Colourpop shadows do have a lot of fall out in the pan, but I personally don’t find that to be the end of the world.

Mascara

When it comes to affordable mascara, I am team Maybelline all the way. I was a Maybelline girl since I started wearing makeup until I started wearing Benefit Roller Lash a few years back, but Maybellina hands down makes the best drugstore mascaras on the market. I never found L’Oreal to be as lengthening and voluminising in one, plus they were always that bit more pricey.

Eyeliner

Hands down Sleek. Their white eyeliner was a staple in my makeup kit for yeeeeears for my lower water line and it would. not. budge. They are lovely creamy formula and last for a really long time! I’m not sure they have a massive array of colours, but for the basics there is none better!

Lips

For lip liners, NYX are very good and offer a great shade range. When it comes to lipstick, there is only one winner for me – Maybelline! Their colour sensational range is SENSATIONAL – there is an amazing range of shades and finishes and they come at such an affordable price point that honestly there is no beating it. Two of my favourites are nude shades 725 Tantalising Taupe and 630 Velvet Beige (pictured above). If you’re a nude fan like me, you need these in your life!

You may notice that there are some steps that are missing – that is because I haven’t found products that I like enough to recommend. I find primers to be a bit hit and miss, bronzers in the drugstore are a mess and setting sprays aren’t that widely available and the ones that are miss the mark.

Let me know what your favourite drugstore products are!

Xo

* I hate the term ‘drugstore’ because we don’t call those brands that here in the UK, but we don’t have a word for it, so I’ll use the American term.

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4 small makeup touches that will make a big difference

I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I think make the world of difference to your makeup. None of them are groundbreaking, but just little touches that will really enhance any makeup look you’re going for – no matter how natural or glam.

Brow Gel

Brow gel is the ultimate tool to make your brows look realistic. Often when you have drawn your brows on with pencil or powder, they can look very flat and one dimensional as they’re all the same colour. To bring the dimension back into your brows, finish them with a brow gel. It’s up to you whether you’d like to choose a coloured one or just a clear one, but the difference will be massive! Not only will your brows now look much more natural and as though you’re seeing them in 3D rather than 2D, you can more precisely shape them as you’d like and they’ll be glued exactly where you want them all day.

Nude waterline

If you have fair-light skin, you may find that your water line can look a little red once you have all your base products on. In order to brighten that part of your eye and look more awake and generally more put together is to line your waterline with a nude eyeliner. You don’t want to use a white eyeliner because it will look far too stark and make your eyes look a little over exaggerated and anime-esque. It would be fine for more costume makeup or if you’d like to look like an anime character. A nude eyeliner should match your skin tone, or nearly at least and will brighten the eyes in a natural way. It is one of the smallest steps that makes the biggest difference in my makeup routine. Even when I’m wearing more natural makeup, I will do this trick.

Lower lash mascara

This one is down to personal preference because some people might not like the look of lower lash mascara on them. However, I find that it opens the eye and brings the whole eye look all together. Play around with different mascaras to find the best one for you. You may find that some will transfer onto your under eye area (which is SUPER frustrating) so be sure to play around with setting techniques too.

Colour correcting

This one may not be for everyone if you don’t need it, but colour correcting your redness or dark circles before you start can make a world of difference when applying your foundation. Especially if you have redness from acne, colour correcting with a green corrector will make it much easier to cover your spots. Often the redness can still poke through foundation. However, if you apply green, it will neutralise the redness and create a much easier base to cover. Likewise for dark circles, if you use a salmon/orange corrector, it will make the area much more one tone and will improve the coverage of your foundation when you apply it.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Do you have any small touches that make a massive difference to your makeup routine? Leave them below!

Xo

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How to cover up acne

Everyone suffers from the odd break out here and there, but how do you cover your skin when you’re suffering from serious acne? Not everyone feels the need to cover their acne, but if you would like to learn a few helpful tips on how to create the illusion of a flawless base, then keep reading!

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Colour corrector

I honestly believe that this is the most important step in successfully covering your acne. Spots will likely be pink or red, and in order to cover these successfully and avoid red blemishes poking through your foundation, you NEED to colour correct. All you need is a green colour corrector. Let me tell you these do not need to be expensive in the slightest. My favourite one was actually from MUA makeup which is available in Superdrug for Β£2. Apply this using a brush to any areas of redness and blend in. Don’t apply too much – you literally just need a small amount on each spot/area of redness. You don’t want this to be particularly bright once it’s blended – it will likely go a very pale minty colour which is exactly what you want. AVOID bright green colour correctors because the green does not get covered by your foundation (LA GIRL I AM LOOKING AT YOU) and you will look like Princess Fiona. Go for a paler, mint shade rather than a true green.

Layer

As you’ll be applying lots of products to correct and conceal, you want to make sure that you are applying it in thin layers, rather than bombarding your face with thick applications of everything. You can still get really great coverage by applying bit by bit – don’t worry! It will look far more ‘natural’ (as natural as this can look) but more importantly it should avoid the classic ‘cake face’.

Spot concealer

As you’ll be applying a fair amount of foundation, don’t overload your face with concealer. Instead, spot conceal the areas you need (apply the conceal only in little dots to the desired areas) and try and use a concealer a little lighter than your usual foundation shade. This should stop your foundation looking very dark and unnatural.

Shade matching

This one is really important if you’re going to be wearing a full coverage foundation. If you have the wrong shade, it will be so obvious. Ideally, you want to match your face to your neck as your neck is paler than your face. If you are someone who likes to go a little darker with your foundation usually, I’m not sure that I’d recommend it because it may accentuate texture and make your skin look cakey.

Full coverage

This sort of goes without saying, but you’ll want to go for a full coverage foundation. You could definitely use a medium coverage one and build it up, but sheer is obviously way off here. I personally am not in favour of really HEAVY coverage foundations (EstΓ©e Lauder Double Wear) as this may be too heavy and clog your pores. This is known as the heaviest foundation in the industry and for that reason I avoided it like the plague when my acne was awful. I would stick to my Make Up Forever HD liquid or the stick version. You might want to consider what finish you want too. A dewy finish may highlight any texture you have and make every other step you’ve done previously pointless. A more matte foundation will work best here. If you have drier skin, you might want to consider going for a foundation with a demi-matte or satin finish and if you have oilier skin then a true matte finish should be fine.

No highlighter

Highlighter is a major trend at the moment and having a blinding highlight is a must… unless you have acne. The shimmer in highlight will accentuate your texture 1000000%, especially if it’s on your cheeks. You either don’t apply any, or you have to position it very carefully. I used to apply it to the top of my cheekbones (starting at the back of the cheekbone near your ear and finishing in line with your outer eye). If you have acne on your cheeks, DO NOT apply it on the apple of your cheeks or the lower part of your cheekbones. If your acne is not on your cheeks, then please by all means apply your highlight anywhere you’d like on your cheeks.

I hope that these tips have been helpful! If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments!

Β Xo

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How to do perfect brows

One of my lovely followers on my Instagram (and my best friend irl) requested a post on how to do your brows. I have been through some dark times with my brows, but really feel like for the last 5 years or so my brow game has been ON POINT.

Here’s how I master the perfect brow:

Tint your brows

If you are fair like me, or even just light eyebrows, then I suggest you seriously consider tinting them. This does NOT mean dying your brows black when you have blonde hair, nor does it mean spending a fortune. Dying your brows is great when you have lighter hair as you CAN ACTUALLY SEE YOUR EYEBROWS FOR ONCE *faints*. Naturally, I have no eyebrows – and by that I mean that the brow hairs are so light, I look like I have none. It makes it much easier for you to shape your brows (because you can see them) and it makes it much easier to draw them on, as the colour and shape is there already. I’ve been tinting my brows since I was 19 and now seriously struggle to draw them on when the colour starts to fade. You can get them done yourself if you’re not confident in doing it yourself, otherwise you can buy DIY kits in Boots or Superdrug. You can get one use kits (waste of money) or get ’10 use’ kits and use the stuff sparingly. The kit I’m using at the moment has lasted far more than 10 uses. Just BE CAREFUL of what colour you choose and how long you leave it on for. You can always redo the tint if it’s not dark enough, but if you leave it on for too long, you WILL have black eyebrows for 2 weeks.

*Disclaimer* PLEASE also put vaseline around your eyebrows before you start (not on the hair, on the skin) because the dye WILL stain your skin and you will look crazy – I know from experience… (lemon juice will NOT lighten the skin, it just burns)

Follow your natural shape

If you want natural looking brows, always follow your natural shape. Nobody has natural massive arches or suuuuuper thin eyebrows. Now you can see them (if you followed the first step), neatening up the brows underneath the arch and above the arch is easy. Comb through your brows with a little spooley first so they are all laying as you want, then comb down the tail in a diagonal line. Any stray hairs will become apparent. I always pluck my brows because I’m too scared to have them waxed or threaded, and as I’m fair I don’t have that much hair to get rid of.

Match your brows to your hair colour

To have the most natural looking brows, always try and match your eyebrows to your hair colour. I have dark blonde/light brown hair so I usually use taupe colours or ash brown at the absolute darkest. If you have blonde hair, taupe is probably a good shade for you, and a smidge darker if you really desire. For darker hair it’s pretty easy to find shades to match your hair perfectly.

Use a light hand

You can always go back in later, but if you start out too heavy then it will look unnatural from the beginning – and a little crazy.

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I like to start at the front of the eyebrow, doing small strokes upwards to mimic and enhance the brow hairs that are already there. I then take it across the top of the eyebrow and draw the outline up to the arch, and then down to the tail. I then outline the underside and fill in the brow. I like to use an eyebrow pencil to start with and then an eyeshadow afterwards. Quite often I find that only using a brow pencil doesn’t give me the right colour brow to match my hair. Pencils can often run a little red or a little light, so a brow powder or a brown eyeshadow can help even things out.

fullsizeoutput_2948The brow after the eye pencil, a little red in colour, but has a good shape

I then take an angled brush and do upward strokes at the front of the brow to give it a bit more darkness to match the rest of the brow. Then I re-outline the brows and lightly fill it in. NO HARSH LINES. While we do want nice sharp lines, we are not looking for sharpie eyebrows here.

fullsizeoutput_2949This is how the brows look just before we apply brow gel. Looking great colourwise and shape wise. You might notice that some hairs, particularly near the arch, are straying a little bit but that will all get rectified in the next step!

Set your brows

I love using a clear brow gel to set. It keeps them in place all day and looking really sharp. You can use a coloured brow gel if you wanted, but I like a clear one as I already have a colour that matches my hair. If you were to use a tinted brow gel, I’d suggest using less product before this step, or it might over do the brows.

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This is your end result!
You can see that the brow hairs at the front of the brow are up, rather than being combed down to the side like the rest of the brow hairs. I think this makes them look much more realistic. Also, there are no harsh lines here.

IMG_4483Compared to my other naked brow, you can see that all I’ve really done is beefed up the front of the brow, given it some more colour and a bit more of an arch. I know it can look a little crazy when there’s only one eyebrow done, so here’s how it looks when the full face is complete!

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I hope this was helpful! The more you practise and do your brows, the quicker it becomes to do them! Leave a comment on here or my Instagram what you’d like to see next!

Xo

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How to make your summer occasion makeup last in the heat

Whether it’s a wedding, a graduation or just a summer BBQ, you want your occasion makeup to last in the heat. Here are a few tips to make sure that your summer occasion makeup stays in place.

(Also, a little shoutout to anyone on Roaccutane – I was on it in the height of summer and I have one tip that SAVED my makeup)

1. Avoid full coverageΒ 

If you are likely to sweat or you’re worried about your makeup melting off, then apply THIN layers. If you apply a thick layer of foundation and then sweat all your makeup off between your nose and mouth, you’re gonna look crazy. By applying a thin layer of foundation/concealer, it will be much less noticeable if you do sweat any of your makeup off. Alternatively consider using a tinted moisturiser/light coverage foundation/tinted SPF (like the Kiehls one I use) to give you a light coverage.

2. Set under your eyes

If your eye makeup has a tendency to wander off down your face (bottom lash mascara – I’m looking at you!), be sure to set your under eye area with a translucent powder. It will lock it into place and stop you worrying.

3. BUT maybe consider not setting the rest of your face…

…At least not with a heavy powder. If you set your makeup and then your makeup comes off, it will be much harder to retouch those areas to exactly match the rest of your base. It’s like when you put Blutac on a wall and it removes some of the paint. You can paint over it, but there will be a difference in the thickness of layers. That’s certainly not to say that you shouldn’t set it at all – dust a powder that’s your skin tone lightly over your base. This will relieve you of that horrible wet foundation feel. However, if you’re someone that likes to bake your entire face, skip it this time.

4. ALWAYS carry supplies

If you’re likely to sweat your makeup off or need to retouch, make sure you carry a concealer, a brush and a mirror. You’ll be able to make any retouches to your melted base without having to carry your entire makeup bag.

5. Beware of sunglasses

If you’re planning on wearing sunglasses, you will have a mark on either side of your nose where your glasses have rubbed off your make up. The way I would suggest getting around this (other than wearing a light coverage foundation rather than full, or even just rocking your skin without foundation) would be to put your sunglasses on before you leave the house for a little while. Your makeup will come off, and quite significantly. However, by applying just a little concealer and blending it in with a brush, you diffuse the colour and blend in any obvious lines or smudges. This also works on the zone between your nose and mouth – just be sure that you stop sweating before retouching or it won’t have the desired effect.

BONUS: Sweaty girl tip

While I was on Roaccutane, I would get very hot and sweaty very easily, and as a result it was a NIGHTMARE to keep makeup on my face (particularly between my nose and mouth). Makeup would break up and go patchy even as I was applying it. The trick? Apply stick deodorant to your face to create a really smooth and even base. Obviously don’t use the same one that you would apply under your arms. You can get these for a few pounds and they last AGES. This COMPLETELY solved my problem, even if it is a little unconventional.

I hope these tips will be really helpful in keeping your special summer makeup looking glorious!

Xo

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