Friday, 30 August 2013

All about Foundations - Colour Match

Ok so as promised I said I would do a short blog on finding the best foundation colour for you. Obviously I cant pick out one for you all so here is just a few guidelines to help you find what works best. 

A major factor is TONE this often gets forgotten. So you need to look at the tone of your skin and then the tone of the makeup. Irish skin can generally be categorised as a pink tone skin. This means, unfortunately most of us are quiet fair and you can see slight pink colours coming through our skin when were not wearing makeup. This skin usually has natural changes in the skin, like darker and lighter areas, freckles and rosy cheeks. We tend to try and make this more uniform with the help of makeup, giving our skin a more even, flawless look. 

A few years ago I went in to a makeup shop and got matched up for a Makeup Forever Foundation. I had so many good things about this foundation ....and yet I hated it. Coverage was good, but I never felt right when I put it on, I would end up taking a makeup wipe to a full face makeup, right before a night out and start again. Same thing happened with M.A.C makeup not long after that. So what was the problem? 

The problem was the tone of the makeup (which I knew nothing about then) I had been told, oh yes you have the typical Irish skin, you have pink tones, here you go this colour matches. No!! No it did not match....Because yes although I have Irish skin and pink tones coming through,... I also had about 3 layers of tan on for a night out. This changes everything. Fake tan holds yellow tones and you want your makeup to look like a natural colour with the rest of you. Now there are the cases where your pink tones are very strong and we would come through your tan but bare this in mind. I would say more often or not if you're wearing tan, you will need a yellow skin tone makeup. 

Now how do you find out what tone the makeup is? Well M.A.C have came up with a system that makes it very easy. Their foundations are split into 2 groups NC and NW (Cool and Warm) NC is cool and for yellow/olive tones. NW is warm and for pinky/red tones. So NC25 will look very different to NW25 on you, look out for these. 
Other brands don't make it so easy. You just have to look at the makeup and see what colour you can see coming through or if it has a hint of yellow or pink in it. If your at a makeup counter, they should be able to help you. Bobbi Brown I think don't have a pink tone foundation, all of them are yellow so they suit me fine. If your a little unsure, ask for samples and try yourself. Use the most natural light you can find, so at window with good light will give you the best results. 

Now COLOUR. As I said earlier you want your colour to look natural and continuous from the rest of you. So match your makeup to your neck. Don't be afraid to take your time and try testers of the makeup against your neck and chest. What you want is for the makeup to almost disappear into the skin, like a camouflage. Testing it on your arm or hand is not gonna cut it. Never go darker. If its a little lighter it can always be blended in the jawline, cheekbones and forehead with a matte bronzer. Darker foundations will age you and don't look very natural on us. Again try these out in natural light. Sometimes I would think I'd look great in my tiny bathroom with no window and lighted mirror... get into the car for work, look in the rear view mirror and I was looking like more of  a close relation of the umpa lumpa's than I cared for. For the winter try to cut down on the fake tan, lighten the colour of your makeup and let contouring give you some colour and definition, along with blush.

Hope you enjoyed this and it helps you a little in the search for the perfect foundation Colour. 

Ger x

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Brush Cleaning

Hello again, so to take a step back from beauty product's and all the pretty fun stuff, it's time we ventured into the dreaded job of BRUSH CLEANING. I personally, dread it because it usually has to take place after a long day when you want to just curl up in your bed. Since I am not taking any makeup appointments here in Jersey I found my brushes became a little neglected. So today I yesterday I decided to clean every one of my brushes. 
It is SO important to keep your brushes clean. Just imagine the bacteria that builds up in them after they may be rammed down a clutch for four hours on a Saturday night OR in bottom of our handbag as we run out the door to work.

Every couple of weeks you should be cleaning your brushes to get rid of all this bacteria and stop it getting on to our skin.(yuck) Keep fresh faced and spot free! We all know when you buy a brand new brush, its horrible having to do that first dip into the foundation or eye shadow. It instantly loses its pristine, clean and super soft hairs.  
Well now get them back looking that least for one night anyways. Although it can be a pain in the a** it is actually kind of satisfactory watching them become gleaming again in an instant. 

Many makeup brand's offer brush cleaners which are great. I have the MAC brush cleaner myself but I only use this if I need the brush straight away (like in between appointments on the same day). To get them real clean and for a fraction of the price I use Johnson's Baby Shampoo. This is perfect as you know there will be nothing too harsh that would damage our precious brushes and smell's great too!

Its very simple, just pour about €2 size amount of Johnson's Baby Shampoo on to your hand, dip your makeup brush into it and in circular motions on the palm of your hand, just blend it in to the brush. Rinse with a little warm water and repeat if needed. Be gentle with the brushes, no hard rubbing needed, just gently rub it in through the fibers. BE CAREFUL: DO NOT let the water get down into the metal part of the brush, keep it just on the brush hairs.

When the water runs clear from the brush, lightly rub the brush back and forth on a towel to get rid of any excess water. Now leave the brushes to dry on a window sill overnight. Lay them flat with the brush end coming out past the sill. It is important to dry them flat so no excess water gets down into the brush and causing it to rust or erode. Your brushes will be useless to you if this happens. 

And wake up to beautiful brand spankin' new brushes. (well almost) You'll find your makeup goes on better, you don't have to worry about going for a soft creamy colour eyeshadow and grabbing the brush you used to do a  "Mila Kunis smokey eye" last week and ruining your whole look, ten min's before work. Try it!!
Snooki's way of cleaning brushes


Above is a photo posted from Snooki from Jersey Shore's instagram awhile back, showing her "cleaning" her makeup brushes. I'm guessing any makeup artist that saw it wanted to shed a little tear. Yeah, I'm pretty sure everyone of those brushes died a horrible death as a result of this incident. This is NOT how you clean your makeup brushes. 

Do Not Soak Your Brushes in Water!!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Contour, Red Lip and Winged Liner

So earlier Today I posted up photos of a makeup look I did this morning. I just wanted something simple but that was a change from the same old brown smokey eye. So I'll just run through a step by step of what I did from start to finish. Bare with me if I start rambling, I do have a tendency to. 

Step One: Foundation

My favourite Foundation
Moisturize and prime the skin first. I used Bobbi Brown Hydrating face cream and Garniers Perect Blur as my primer. I then applied a light layer of Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish in the shade 2.5. 
I then began contouring my face.  To darken the skin I used like a pan-stick formula from UNE in the darkest shade I could find. Its called a BB Cream Bronzer in the shade S05 and I got it in boots. 
To lighten I used a contour cream from MAC pro store that I dont think are available anymore. Maybe use MAC studio sculpt cream in a few shades lighter than your everyday makeup. 

I'm sure you have all seen photo's of how to contour. I used a MAC 130 (smaller than your normal foundation brush)  to apply the darker colour just below my cheekbones down the sides of my nose to make it appear slimmer and on the outer edge of my forehead. Last just a little under my jaw.

Dont be afraid to put a good bit on, it will all be blended in later. The lighter colour is applied under my eyes,  right down to the end of my nose and diagonally to the outer corner of my eye. Fill in this whole area with the light colour. Add another little bit just on your brow bone and a thin line down the center of your nose. Lightly blend the edges so there is no harsh lines on show. Apply dots of Benefit Sun Beam across the tops of your cheeks and lightly pat in with your fingers. Apply a little blush and dust on some translucent powder anywhere that's very shiny like your T zone. (I use LA makeup academy translucent powder) 

Step Two: Eyes and Eybrows

I always do my brows first. I don't have a lot of filling in to do in mine. I just simply use MAC's Eye Brow Crayon in the colour Lingering. Using light strokes, I go along my natural brow and emphasize the arch. Don't go as heavy handed with the pen the closer you are to the inside. They can look quite harsh then. Keep them really defined at the edges and gradually getting slight lighter on the thicker inside. The outer part of the brow should be winged out and slightly down and NOT down and slightly out. Make sense? 

Now for the eyes, I kept it really simple, cover lid with a light cream/nude colour. I used a paint pot in the colour Painterly. I just gave my crease a little definition by blending a small amount of texture into it. For the winged liner I dipped my eye liner brush in Inglot black gel eye liner (this stuff is gooood, stays on so long without smudging) and draw along my lash line, drag the brush out past your lash line and curve slightly up. This part is totally up to you of how far you want it to go out and how thick do you want your flick. I would personally avoid the Amy Winehouse look, keep it simple, always keep the flick pointed at the end. Play around with it for awhile, sometimes it can be a little tricky to get both eyes the same. Just start of small and work your way up to bigger flicks. And to finish off the eyes apply loads of mascara to the top and bottom lashes, I used Rimmel's Scandal Eyes.... but I have to say its not my favourite one I have ever purchased so I am on the lookout for a new aaaammmmaaazing one. Let me know of any recommendations. I also had a applied false lashes but thought it really took away from the look so I took them off for the photos. Less is more here. I have no eye liner on the bottom lash line just keep it simple. 
MAC Russian Red

Step 3: The lips 

Whenever in doubt, pout!! Adding some colour to your lips is a quick way to finish off an unfinished look. Woke up late for work, grab your bright lippy and mascara and head out the door. Can be put on in two minutes and you're all done. Try mix your looks up and try different colours. In these photos I lined my lips with a MAC burgundy lip pencil and filled in with MAC's russian red lipstick. 

And that's it, give it a quick spray with fix + spray, Add some loose curls to your hair and you got the look.  Here are some Celebs rocking the look. Hope you liked it.
Ger x

Jessie J

Lauren Conrad

Taylor Swift

Friday, 26 July 2013

Recent Purchases

Just a quick little post on some things I bought while I was back in Ireland for a few days. So I went a little overboard in MAC as always....
MAC Fix +

Ok so in my last post I told you I bought MAC's fix + spray and I'm actually a little ashamed to say I am only buying it now. I find it so good. Usually I would be topping up my makeup in work on my morning break and again in the afternoon. Well no more, this really does give it the staying power. Especially in the heat we have been getting lately, its not easy to keep our face staying on. I would really give it a try.

Strobe Cream
Next on the list is MAC strobe cream. This can be added to makeup or underneath to give a gorgeous glow to your skin. Last year I was really bad for going on sun beds but found my skin looked very dull so invested in some luminous lotions. I bought Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator. I found it pricey and didn't see huge results. This time I went to the Bobbi Brown counter and tried out the Extra Bright Advanced Moisture Lotion, unfortunately It wasn't within my budget but I did love it and really trust their products. I tried out the MAC strobe cream and thought it showed great results. You really can see the difference, especially if you mix a pea size amount in with your foundation rather than applying before your foundation.

I needed a good nude lip liner, I went without it for so long because if I go with a nude lip I just simply go with a gloss with a bit of tint in it. I'm really fussy about getting a good shade of a nude lipstick and if I'm being honest I still haven't found the perfect one. I'll let you know when I do. Would love to know if you have any ye love?? Aaaaanyways back to the lip pencil, I bought it in the shade subculture.... from MAC, surprise surprise!!! It's really similar to my own lip colour, its perfect for a natural looking plumper lip. I SLIGHTLY overdraw my lips. (this means going outside the lines) I have by no means big full lips but I hate the look of really overdrawn lip, it never looks right, ..on me anyways.

Soap and Glory- Mother Pucker
If you really want a look of fuller lips without the cartoon, drawn on trout pout.... TRY THIS. Line your lips with a liner in a similar shade to your own. Leave the middle of your lip bare for now... now get a liner in a pale skin colour (MAC also stock these) to yours and fill in the middle part of your lips and lightly blend. To finish, put a layer of Soap and Glory's Mother Pucker clear gloss (Prepare yourself though....this will TINGLE!!) And you got beautiful fuller lips in Minutes, no needles, no trout pout!

Now on to the Eyes... I fell in love with MAC's pigment pots.... although I get carried away buying bright colours and have none for the everyday look. Well finally I stopped depriving myself of one.... I bought the shade Tan. Orange would come to mind first...but it's not its like a sparkly nude/orangy tinge colour. Perfect for all over the lid in any smokey eye look. Hopefully I will get to do a makeup look with it soon and show you properly. 

Pigments can be messy however, a lot of people recommend doing your eye makeup first do prevent it ruining your foundation. I just cant do that... I don't know why but I hate the idea of doing eyes first. I just take a little more care, wipe off any fallout with a fan brush and touch up foundation where needed.

And lastly.... I bought a brown eye kohl pencil in the shade Teddy. Its a dark brown but with a little hint of golden sparkle thats really subtle. Its nice to use a brown liner sometimes instead of the black. Its a little softer and works well with a bronzed look. This pencil is soft and creamy so its really easy to blend. This pic is me showing off Teddy, my new midi ring from Topshop, Nail polish from Topshop in Green Room and my watch from Tommy Hilfiger.

And that's that.... hope you enjoyed. 
Ger x