I’ve been wanting to post a little bit about make up and beauty for a while now and it has only grown legs as time has gone on because as the weather changes so do the things I want and need from my make up bag and skin products.
I was never one for wearing a ton of make up but i’ve always been into it in a sense I felt like it was paint by numbers (i actually used that term with the make up artist who did my boat race for my sister wedding… not sure it went down well!!) I don’t mean it in a derogatory sense, far from it. What I was trying to articulate then and now is that its a creative thing to me, I have a play about and the colours I use in places are usually tonal and go with someones eyes, hair and skin tone…. common sense really, no?
I had a little flirtation with being a MUA … “colour coach” I think the term was when working for a friend years back in a well known high street beauty brand and I loved it. I loved the fact that peoples faces are so varied and you can change so much about how someone looks with “paint by numbers” hahaha ok i’ll stop saying that now, I’m annoying myself! but you get the vibe, I enjoyed it, its fun.
It was always just that, fun…. until life got serious, anti wrinkle creams were age relevant and bags got bigger and darker than is ever welcomed.
When I was younger i never wore foundation, just the occasional mac tinted moisturiser because it had a good SPF in it (not good enough mind you… and how i wish i’d worn one when I was really young and always in the sun) I was lucky with my skin, never having had any spots to get over excited about or anything to want to ‘cover up’
When Luna was born I developed a mildly unhealthy relationship with watching the Kardashians and then as is now normal with the make up world got a little obsessed with ‘contouring’ for this i needed foundations and in crazy shades at opposing ends of the spectrum. I remember the girls face in boots one day as I was asking for two sample pots one of the lightest colour and another of the darkest they did, without telling her I was blending up shades to contour with. The sticks and all the amazing stuff thats out now in the uk in every drug store style brand of make up weren’t at that time so I just appeared to be a little odd. mehhh not one to care I sampled away and admittedly there were days when i’d catch sight of myself at work and think jeez I look like a drag queen… but you have to make mistakes to find your way as with all things don’t you 😉
I’d like to think we’re out of the woods now with ‘experimenting’ especially with contouring and eyebrow ‘enhancing’ …. I know what works and what I’m looking for and have certain products that I’ll use if i’m going for a fuller face, evening look and different ones for the quick 5 minute everyday face.
I have two make up bags for that very thing, the smaller 5 minute face everyday essentials and then the larger … fancy a change and all your full face or evening stuff.
Now when I was younger aside from the dark lip liner craze of the 90’s I never wore lipstick, i’d go so far as to say there was probably a good 20 years without a lippy being applied, but cut to present day and theres several within my armoury. I’m partial to a good matt nude, a bold red and a deep berry …. (although the latter is saved for winter only really if i’m honest)
My favourite nudes at the moment are Bourjois rouge velvet lipstick in 01 Hey Nude (this is a matt lipstick) and my all time favourite Two Faced la creme lipstick in Naked Dolly (moisturising) I always wear these with a nude liner, in fact I don’t wear lipstick without a liner as I feel half done and it tends to bleed regardless of the make and model.
I went for a make up consultation at Space Nk when I was quite heavily pregnant with Mars on the look out for some inspiration to revisit the world of foundations but this time with a dewy-ness that i think any tired dehydrated mum face would be in need of, to be honest I did find the entire experience a little underwhelming but did like the Nars foundation they applied. I think the rest of the make up probably put me off buying the foundation though as although I wanted a dewy glow I wanted the rest of my face to look “done” and polished in places if that makes sense. I came out of there looking a bit smudged and preferring the make up I had been wearing an hour earlier which i’d applied hours earlier in a rush at home… but anyways make up is such a personal thing i think and its hard to find someone who does your face how you feel at your best, unless you’re just blessed with one of those faces that always looks incredible regardless.
My goal was to find something that would liven up my make up routine and make me excited about putting on my face because I knew I would need this post partum, in the end i think i settled for a high street brand BB cream for speed and ease and through lack of finding “the one’ … it did the job, gave me a bit of a peachy tint and sheen in those early new born weeks and anyways I had bigger fish to fry by then so the moment was over.
Then on a random trip into boots probably in need of water wipes by the truck load or something I happened to stumble across a cushion foundation, I’d heard about them but not tried one out and was a bit dubious in all honesty. I’m now on my second and i LOVE it. Quick, easy, can build if need be, light and dewy, everything i wanted. Jackpot. The one I am currently using is the Maybeline dream cushion in 21 Nude, my only negative comment if i had to make one, if i was forced, would be that they don’t last forever….but does anything!? obviously by forever i mean as long as other foundations would of a similar price but that isn’t going to stop me loving them. I think the cheapest place I found this to be online while searching just now is Wilkos at £12.98, worth every penny!
So after the old, cleanse, tone and moisturise I get the cushion out and then begin about applying two or three under eye concealers… no joke. The rule of three works well for bags and circles as dark as these i’m sporting to balance out colour, hydrate and brighten I don’t know if its placebo or reality but whatever, thats what I do! The most recent purchase and addition to this trio is the Boujois radiance reveal concealer in medium £7.99 at boots and they have a 3 for 2 offer on at the mo i believe.
The lovely chap in my local at the time of my purchase did advise me that this wouldn’t actually do well on spots only under eye as the light reflector would just highlight the spot you are in fact trying to cover up but i assured him it was for under eye use only! He also imparted some knowledge on the number 7 version of everyones fave YSL touche eclait actually having the very same ingredients!!! little money save for you… I have yet to give that one a whirl.
I did have a very strong bond with the benefit boi-ing not so long back but i not only ‘hit pan’ as they say i was wiping the pot clean! and as of yet haven’t re invested in that one.
Anyways back to my daily 5 minute routine… next up after the eye camouflaging its a light dusting of bronzer in the contouring lines of the number 3 shape along forehead cheek and jaw, end of and down sides of nose, then a blend and highlight/set with a lose or compact powder (current one is bourjois healthy balance £8.99… smells fruity and fresh, boasts Asain fruit therapy and well, does whats asked of it, corrects and balances the skin tone out. Did i mention the 3 for 2!?!?)
Eyebrows… I love a good eyebrow pencil and i’ve used soon many diff ones, re bought and always looking at new ones that come onto the market. I just tweak the natural shape I already have and prefer a waxy kind of pencil with a fine point, retractable usually is the best i find. I bounce between two at the mo one that is uber fine (perfect for creating natural hair strokes) and another that is angled and nice and waxy)
After this i will rub on a bit of bright pink blush from a stick, highlight with a liquid highlighter that I adore… my lovely friend Larry brought it back from a trip to sephora in vegas last year, perfect colour for me, handy to use and stays put all day, its the Becca glow on the go set if you care to investigate (i think you should).
My go to areas for said highlight are along high point of cheek bone, brow bone, end of nose and cupids bow, sometimes i’ll blend in with a brush a teenie bit but the application stick in the tube is pretty good to be honest.
It was a mini kit the came with a compact highlighter too and i use this to brighten a bit in the inner corner of my eyes, I prefer the liquid one for face though and really need to reinvest… maybe on my christmas list!
Then I curl the lashes, pump and hold for a good 30 seconds each side and then apply mascara to top and bottom. I prefer mascara when its a bit old as the uber wetness of a new wand does nothing for a curled lash. Theres a glory day there just before the wand gets too dried out and old but isn’t too soggy and new!… enjoy that stage when it comes to a make up bag near you, wont you!
Just of note, along with the post partum hair loss on my head it also affects my eyelashes so in those newborn months I would forgo the curling for a liquid flick to define the eyes a bit more, lashes are an important part of me feeling ‘done’ so I faked it till I could make it once they grew back to their normal thickness and length by adding the line of black to the lash line. I do like a liquid flick but reserve it for a fuller face or days when i have more time and just want to wear more make up. Maybeline offers a good brush liquid liner and once you get to grips with it, it really takes seconds.
If i’m not bothering with lips its a slick of lip balm by way of burt’s bees or this other luscious olive flavoured tube I have from m and s (their beauty concessions in store are amazing I think and they have 20% tis monday!!)
And thats me good to go on a normal day. I’ve always been a lover of trying anything and everything from supermarket brands to really high end beauty products so my bigger make up bag is a real mixed bag of nuts, I’m still trying to get over the loss of the Barbara Daly make up from Tesco’s about 18months ago… there are threats online of petitions to bring her back but not sure of the success. I loved her stuff “sooooo much” (to be said like Ariana Grande doing her celine dion impersonation).
I went through a stage of watching a fair amount of you tube tutorials for make up and sill confess to love a bit of the following mainly on insta: pixiwoo, (sister duo that is Sam and Nic), Melissa Sophia, Kaushal beauty, Amanda Kokoeva, and the very first MUA i got into and one of my absolute faves the one and only Lisa Eldridge. She truly is a beauty inside and out, such a classic english rose, has an amazing voice when you watch her tutorials and when i’ve written to her on insta she’s one of those rare gems who actually writes back!!! LOVE her.
Skin care wise I am using a brand you might not have heard of called Amie. Its founder and owner is the mother of a friend of mine and she kindly gave me the entire the collection to try out when I was in need of something to save me from the post partum oil slick i was suffering from this time around.
I cant remember my skin changing so dramatically after Luna but this time around with Marlowe it went from combination to crazy oily and i was getting a lot of bit lumpy spots which I’ve never really had before. I’m still absolutely loving the Amie collection for my daily routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise and then the weekly treat of the scrubs and polishes etc. They are light and fresh and suitable for vegans which is something I actually look for now as before using this I was using Tropic skincare which is also vegan friendly. For anyone who isn’t familiar this is because akin to my last blog I am doing my best to lessen my impact on the environment where possible. According to a 2010 report by the United Nations Environment Programme, animal products are key cause of environmental problems including climate change, water depletion and soil erosion…. (I got that from Holland and Barrett as its late again and although i know what i mean sometimes its hard to articulate when the screen has gone blurry. It was important for me to share though because as I’ve mentioned before about people going vegan, its not just for hipster twats who you might assume jump on any trendy wagon, for me its a step in the right direction to just not have meat everyday. The damage that industrial farming does to our planet is mortifying and I really wish we could live sustainably and seasonally like once was… but thats another blog post. For now have a little perv over some of those insta accounts I mentioned and check out the Becca highlighter and Bourjois lippy 😉