Essential Kit for Perfect Flicks

I discovered eyeliner when I was 14 and proceeded to smudge it all the way around my eye like Avril Lavigne did in her ‘Sk8r Girl’ video. Cringe.

Though a dramatic smoky eye just isn’t smoky enough without a bit of kohl eyeliner, nowadays I prefer the clean, precise lines that only a liquid pen can offer. So I thought I’d scoot through my essential kit for creating the smoothest curves and sharpest flicks.

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen, £6.99.

My starting point is always to trace the line I want to follow. No matter how thin and wobbly this initial line may be, it makes it so much easier to thicken later if you have a base to work from.

For this step I always use this liquid eye pen by Revlon. In my experience, these eye ‘pens’ often have a flimsy nib, making it difficult to draw a solid line without awkwardly trying to lay the pen horizontal to the eye, using the side of the nib instead of the tip.

Revlon’s offering is perfectly sturdy, with just the right amount of give as not to feel sharp against the skin. The issue with this pen is that the nib dries out quickly: its coverage is not entirely opaque and can become quite patchy. In a normal beauty review this is obviously a huge no-no, BUT, for the purpose of tracing a line that will later by thickened and defined, this flaw is really a huge bonus. A drier nib means that the flow of product is reduced, making it easier to control where the liner is going without fear of it smudging or bleeding onto the lid (which then ruins the eyeshadow that took so long to blend… we’ve all been there 😥 )

Rimmel ScandalEyes Precision Micro Eye Liner, £5.49.

So now I have traced my line, I begin to thicken it. Whether you want to taper the line as it reaches the outer corner of the eye, or widen it to create a gorgeous flick, this Rimmel eye liner is perfect. Its tip does not come to a point, but a sloped edge. So while it’s outer corner can be used to create ultra-thin wisps, its flatter edge helps draw consistent, thick lines.

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Professional Liquid Liner, £5.29.

Eye pens can sometimes leave a raw, broken edge, particularly when they begin to dry out. To correct this, my last step is to retrace the line with a liquid liner. This Rimmel liquid liner has a super fine brush that glides smoothly over the eyelid to neaten up any unwanted cracks or wobbles and is perfect for creating the sharpest of flicks.

My tip when using liquid liners would be to apply them in long sweeping motions; though the urge is to draw the line bit by bit to be ultra precise, I have found that the most fluid lines are drawn when the liner is applied with as few motions as possible. Having to continually retrace a line in order to smooth out dips and bumps usually results in eyeliner a dozen times thicker than your original line.

With these three steps – trace, thicken and define – you can go wild with shapes and styles like this 60s inspired graphic eyeliner.

So how do you achieve that perfect liner?

Hope you like!

Molly x

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My First Purchases from Illamasqua: Lipstick and Skin Base Lift

I’ve had two items on my Christmas wish list for a while now: Illamasqua’s Lipstick in ‘Posture’ and Skin Base Lift in ‘White.’ I know it may not be Christmas jussst yet, but it’s close enough so here they are!

Posture

Though Autumn is the perfect season for vampy, dark lips, I fell in love with Posture’s unusual ‘cool mauve’ colour, and thought it would bring something a little different to my usual go-to looks. Here I’ve compared it to LimeCrime’s D’Lilac to give you a better idea of how unique – and amazing! – this colour is. 10904910_10152536767286128_60703277_n-2

Along with a vivid violet lipstick, ESP, Posture was released last April as part of the brand’s ‘Paranormal’ collection and I’ve read quite a few reviews that criticise it’s ‘corpse’ appearance.

I would agree that Posture is a colour that won’t be to everyone’s taste; it’s cooler tones work well on an equally cool complexion, but may need something extra to suit those with warmer skin. I sometimes use NYX’s slim lip pencil in ‘Dark Purple’ before adding Posture over the top. This helps to add more definition to the lips as well as deepen the colour in a way that would suit all skin types.

This is my first Illamasqua lipstick and it won’t be my last. It’s texture is much similar to MAC’s matte range, if a little dryer, but that is to be expected with any lipstick that doesn’t offer a satin finish. It’s staying power is also on a par with MAC, if not that bit better, my MAC Sin tends to disintegrate and flake away if exposed to too much water (or gin…) where Posture stays put regardless.

Skin Base Lift in ‘White’

I’ve recently been experimenting with contouring; I’ve always been skeptical of the technique as it can mean caking the face with too much product, and it often isn’t a look that easily translates from the catwalk into every day life. Another obstacle I found was that, typically, highlighting demands a foundation or concealer two shades lighter than your normal skin tone. That’s where the Skin Base comes in… Here I’ve compared it to my ordinary concealer – MAC’s Studio Finish in NC15 – and the difference is huge!

Illamasqua’s Skin Base is designed as a ‘brightening concealer,’ but in my opinion it works best at brightening rather than concealing. The nature of 10928166_10152536776821128_485425217_nthe colour means that, when applied to the cheekbones, nose and forehead, the whole face looks fresh and gleaming. However, as you may be able to tell from the picture, it does not offer as full a coverage as my MAC alternative.

Maybe I have been spoiled by MAC’s rich, thick formula, but Illamasqua’s concealer didn’t cover my blemishes or under eye circles as well as I’d hoped. Mix the two superpowers together, though, and the end result is the almightiest of cover-ups!

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To top it all off, Illamasqua shared this photo on their instagram earlier today! Even more reason for me to go out and buy allllll of their things 🙂 don’t forget to check out my page: beautsoup.

What do you think of these products, would you try them out?

Hope you like!

Molly x

A Twist on a Classic: Winged Eyeliner and a Red Lip

This look is a timeless classic: a pared down eye balances a bold lip in a style that’s effortlessly feminine. Still, it’s always fun to play around with shapes and colours.

I began by covering my eyes with MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in ‘Painterly:’ what I like to think of as a discolouration corrector for the eye in a pale pink beige. With all my eww-y veins and redness hidden, I stuck to a very neutral palette using a matte taupe transition shade, a gold-speckled chocolate colour in my outer v and a frosted mushroom shade on my lid and along my lower lash line.  

To freshen up the look, I added bright white to the inner corner of my eye and brought it up under my eyebrow where it acts as a conventional highlighter. This gives the illusion of a bigger, brighter eye. To add to this effect, I also mirrored my usual winged eyeliner along the outer portion of my lower lash-line.

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For the lips, I stuck to the Monroe-esque red, but added a little deep plum to the centre to create a subtle ombré effect that makes them look full and plump (it also prevents the red-lips-yellow-teeth faux pas).

I’m still on the search for my go-to red lipstick. Being ash-blonde, green eyed and pale skinned, it’s not as simple as choosing what looks like a lovely swatch. So far, my favourite is Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge in RD142 ‘Sublime,’ a richly pigmented cool-toned red.

So how would you put your twist on a classic? Do you have any recommendations for the seemingly elusive ‘perfect red’ lipstick?

Hope you like!

Molly x

Remember to follow me on instagram: beautsoup

October Favourites

10743229_10152388564081128_2051728089_nMy October favourites are a reflection of the time of year and were mostly geared towards setting up and adding to my autumn wardrobe. That being said, my favourites for this month are all make-up or skin care based (although the backdrop to this photo is a lovely olive green tassel T-shirt I recently bought from Topshop).

Eyes – NYX Jumbo Pencil Eye Shadow Liner in ‘604 Milk’ (£5) and Pastello Eyeliner in ‘Cedrata/Gold’ (£3.99)

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NYX’s jumbo eye pencils are a mix of mineral oil and powder, a combination that makes for a gorgeously buttery application. I use this as a base for my eyeshadow, to brighten my water line and as a brow highlighter.

I’ve been looking for a gold eyeliner for a while now, but was not convinced by liquid offerings that tend to carry a ton of glitter. This Pastello pencil caught my eye as it’s a lovely gold colour with an olive undertone so it complements copper, taupe and brown eyeshadows beautifully.

I also purchased Sigma’s Warm Neutral palette this month, see my review here.

Lips – MAC’s ‘Sin’ (£15.50), No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in ’02 Plum Beautiful’ (£9.95) and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in ‘Mink’ (£7.49)10754777_10152388564001128_259433765_n

MAC’s Sin is a colour I’ve been looking for for a while now; I wanted a deep red/plum with a matte finish that would be striking enough for an autumn evening – and here it is!

MAC lipsticks are most definitely my kryptonite, I’m yet to find a brand that matches their thick, tacky texture that stays put for almost 6 hours!

The other choices have been reviewed here and here. No7’s Plum Beautiful preempts SS15’s trend for plums on the eyes and lips, while Revlon is the star of my new fascination with brown lipsticks.

Nails – Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in ‘397 Beige Babe’ (£4.49)

Prize for the worst name ever: cringy and inaccurate.

This colour is a re-make of a ‘Lycra Pro’ colour which was a little lighter, beige colour. However, the ‘Salon Pro’ version is a mid-taupe, a lovely accompaniment to the typical autumn shades: berry, burnt orange and aubergine.

Rimmel claims that these polishes are chip resistant for 10 days, which is impossible to achieve without keeping your hands away from water and sharp corners for that amount of time. If you’re willing to keep topping it up, though, I’d definitely recommend it.

Body – The Body Shop Almond Body Butter (£13.00 £6.50)

THIS IS THE BEST BODY BUTTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I am a sucker for things that smell like ice-cream and this butter’s sweet creamy scent is just the thing that you want to slather all over yourself. I have dry skin not only on my face, but all over my body, and this is the only butter that my skin soaks up like a sponge. It absorbs in minutes, but the smell remains for hours. The only issue is that it’s discontinued (I have no idea why 😦 ), so while it’s nice and cheap now, it won’t last for long.

I should start a petition or something…

Fragrance – ‘Womanity’ Eau de Parfum by Thierry Mugler (£49.50 for 50ml)

Staying with the theme of smells, this is my favourite perfume ever. Like Mugler’s other perfumes ‘Alien’ and ‘Angel,’ ‘Womanity’ has a really unique, sweet-savoury, smell – top notes of sweet green fig, a heart of caviar and base notes of elegant fig wood – that lasts all day. It’s strength means I can still smell it on my clothes when I open my wardrobe ❤

Though it’s at the top end of the price-list, Mugler has developed these beautiful eco-friendly refillable bottles, which means you can top up your supply for only a fraction of the initial price (a refillable 50ml bottle is only £38.50).

What are your favourites this month?

Hope you like!

Molly x

What I Wear To Work

I’ve recently started work at a local university (hence why my posts will now have to wait till weekends) and so, while I need to look smart and professional, a little self expression is always welcome.

Outfit

In terms of outfits, I like to stick to neutral colours – white, black, grey and navy – but play around with textures and patterns. Mohair, lace, cord and viscose help to add a bit of interest to block colours and each have their own particular way of clinging to my figure or flowing loosely. I have a definite thing for all things check and tartan and recently bought a two piece check co-ord set from Marks and Spencer. The top piece is a gorgeous peplum shape, the fit of which nicely balances out the straight legged trousers.

Make-Up

My work make-up follows the same principle as my outfit: I tend to keep my eyes neutral, but use a bold colour on my lips. Benefit’s ‘Big Beautiful Eyes’ palette is the perfect little contouring kit containing a creamy ‘industrial-strength’ concealer and three different colours to help create a gorgeous muted smokey eye.

The palette offers a concealer in ‘Boing 02,’ an alabaster pink base eyeshadow, a cocoa shimmer contour shadow and a deep chocolate liner colour, each of which have their own designated brush specially designed for their specific forms of application.

Benefit’s ‘Boing’ is a shade darker than my usual concealer so I tend to use it to cover blemishes and opt for MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 under my eyes. My base is completed with a sweep of Bare Mineral’s Touch Up Veil in ‘Light’ – a lovely lightweight compressed powder that helps to minimise shine and even out my complexion.

Finally, my current lipstick of choice is No7’s Moisture Drench Lipstick in ’02 Plum Beautiful,’ which not only has a lovely satin finish but also doubles up as a lip moisturiser.

Make-Up Bag

It’s rare that make-up applied at 6am will stay put until 5pm, so I carry a mini make-up bag with me to help top up throughout the day. Inside I carry my lipstick of choice, a dinky reel of dental floss, a mini tube of hand cream and a travel bottle of perfume. I also take my Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in ‘Fair 1:’ this concealer is considerably lighter than that in the Benefit kit so I top it up at lunch time to freshen up my face and stop my eyes looking heavy and tired.

What make-up essentials do you take to work?

Hope you like!

Molly x

Three Looks with: Urban Decay’s Electric Palette

So I got the job! And thought it was only right that I celebrate with a make-up investment. As I’ll be keeping my face relatively neutral for work, why not use Urban Decay’s Electric palette to liven up weekends?

(L-R) Revolt; Gonzo; Slowburn; Savage; Fringe; Chaos; Jilted; Urban; Freak; Thrash

The palette sees the return of ‘Revolt’ – ‘bright metallic silver shimmer with silver glitter’ – and ‘Chaos’ – ‘a bright blue matte with floating tonal pearl’ – along with 8 new show-stopping colours.

Each colour demands attention in its own right, but can also be mixed to create kooky combinations with great results.

Here, I used Fringe in my crease, Freak on my lid and Urban underneath my lower lash-line.

Some reviews that I’ve read have commented on how the brush impedes application, however, I think its thicker-than-average synthetic fibres help to apply the colour evenly. Whereas some brushes tend to hold on to the colour, this double-ended brush is comparatively clean after applying shadow to the eye. The firm bristles also allow for precision application which helps create bold definite lines. Obviously, though, this means that a softer brush may be needed to help blend colours when necessary.

Though all of the colours are undoubtedly amazing in the palette, I’ve found that the pigmentation varies and is, surprisingly, weaker in what first appear as the boldest colours.

Here, I used Gonzo on my lid, but found that three layers of shadow was necessary to achieve a decent colour. Even then the colour is not quite the same as how it appears in the palette: it seems more of a cornflower blue than a ‘bright turquoise.’ By comparison, Slowburn – used under my lower lash-line – has a brilliant colour payoff, so much so that it stains my skin slightly when I remove my make-up!

The palette offers a great range of colours that allows for lots of different looks; however, I think that a matte black or white would have made the palette perfectly rounded. In this final look, I began with a black base (GOSH Mono Eyeshadow in ‘Black 006’) and added Thrash to my inner corner, Chaos underneath my lower lash-line and Revolt on the inner portion of my lid to create a dramatic nighttime look.

Overall, I’d give this palette 8/10. The colours are gorgeous and are, in the main, easy to apply, but their versatility does depend on more neutral colours that can only be supplied by another palette.

What do you think of Urban Decay’s ‘Electric’?

Hope you like!

Molly x

Review: Sigma Warm Neutrals Palette

Cue angel song… Aaaaaah.

Sigma’s Warm Neutrals Palette  presents 12 gorgeous shadows, each with richly pigmented pink, beige and burgundy tones – perfect for Autumn.

I’ve been coveting this for so long. Having already fallen for the versatility of UD’s Naked 3, I thought that this palette – which offers some stronger, exaggerated colours – would allow me to ramp up my neutral go-to looks with a new pop of colour.

(L-R) Oyster Sand; Sugar Milk; Mild Mannered; Dove; Fawn; Cinnamon; Russet; Balanced; Cosy; Innocent; Optimistic; Warm Stone.

The palette (priced at £29.95) offers the perfect mix of matte, satin and frosty shades. The matte shades, like Cinnamon and Cosy, apply like butter and make the ideal transition colours to add some definition to your crease (as below). The satin shades, particularly Oyster Sand and Balanced, have a more powdery texture and so require some patience to get that desired colour payoff. 10736074_10152388374206128_598444932_n

My only complaints would firstly be the smell. Compared to the dizzy heights of MAC’s signature vanilla scent, Sigma’s shadows have a peculiar chemically smell (if I’m absolutely honest, it’s a little like cheap scented tissues), so it’s probably a good thing they are applied a fair distance from your nose.

Secondly, the pigments in the darker colours, like Russet and Warm Stone, while they’re great for creating dramatic looks, can collect in your brushes. Be careful to remove any access (I usually just swipe the brush along my hand) before jumping into the lighter colours or a different palette.

Special Mentions

Oyster Sand: ‘Soft, Light Pink with Periwinkle Undertones.’

This colour is so unique. As the description says, it has a blue/purple shift which picks up the light beautifully. It’s great for lightening the inner corner of your eye, but the ‘periwinkle’ shimmer isn’t neutral enough to work as a highlighter. I’ve also found it hard to make it work with the neutral colours in the palette, but it is amazing with the pinks and burgundies.

Optimistic: ‘Sophisticated Watermelon.’

Prize for the best description ever. To me, this is one step better than UD’s Naked 3’s ‘Dust.’ It’s colour is more exaggerated than ‘Dust,’ with a lovely unusual red base. I’ve always been wary with red eyeshadows as they can make my pale skin look bruised and tired. However, ‘Optimistic’ is the perfect balance of pink and red to add the right level of warmth to any look.

Russet: ‘Deep Burgundy.’

This is another great departure from the usual neutral palette; instead of the conventional greys, taupes and black, ‘Russet’ is the colour for creating an autumn inspired smokey eye.

Date Night FOTD

For this look, I combined my three favourites into a smokey eye, topped off with my must-have flick. I echoed ‘Russet’s’ burgundy colour with MAC’s ‘Sin’ lipstick and Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Nail Polish in ‘Black Cherries 193.’ And voilà!

Would you consider Sigma’s Warm Neutrals Palette?

Hope you like!

Molly x