How to Make the Most of Pure Pigments

It’s the perfect time of year for adding a touch of sparkle to your make-up routine and pigments are by far the best way to do so. With Christmas parties and New Years Eve in mind, I recently bought both Beguile – described as “light shimmer” (?) but actually an iridescent white – and Furore – “champagne peach shimmer” – by Illamasqua.

Having swatched them under bright lights in store, the colour and sparkle was self-evident, I had to buy them! But when I applied them to my lids the next day, I was a little underwhelmed by the pay off. So here is a quick guide on how to make the most of your pigments.

Of course, you could just simply apply the powder to your bare skin for a simple, stripped back look, but the party season demands something a little more dramatic. The strength of your pigment depends on the base they are applied to; below I swatched the pigment alone; with Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel; with Illamasqua’s Vintage Metallix in Courtier; and with MAC’s PaintPot in Painterly.

Beguile

Beguile

Furore

Furore

As you can tell from these pictures, the difference is striking. On my pale skin, both pigments, particularly Beguile, are barely visible when used alone and only add a slight shimmer (which could work well as a subtle highlighter, though Beguile is a little less ‘natural’ due to its iridescent pink and green tones).

MAC’s PaintPot was also pretty useless; I initially thought an eyeshadow base like this one would be perfect for pigments, but the formula is too heavy and thick to allow the powder to be distributed evenly.

courtier

For a daytime look, I was looking for a product that would carry my pigment as well as tone down the glitter. My favourite thing to do this would be Illamasqua’s new Vintage Metallix in Courtier (£16.50). This cream-gel is intended to be used alone (Courtier is a gorgeous “vintage nude” with slight gold shimmer) as a smudge-resistant eyeshadow, however it provides a light but opaque, smooth but slightly tacky base – perfect for a layer of pigment!

For nighttime looks, I needed something that would make my pigments ‘pop’ (cringe… but you know what I mean), so I opted for Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel. This dinky bottle may seem expensive at £7, but it’s uses are endless. It is a mixing medium revered amongst make-up artists for turning eyeshadows into liquid eyeliners. However, if you place a few drops on your eye lid, tap with your finger until it becomes tacky. Once your pigment is applied on top, you’ll see an unbelievable transformation: the colour is bright, the shimmer intense and the coverage even (no lumps of gunky glitter clogging your lid).

This is my version of a day and night look using Pure Pigments (Furore on the left, and Beguile on the right):

How do you make the most of your pigments?

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Hope you like!

Molly x

Bringing Back the Mod Look

I recently came across an article on Harper’s Bazaar’s website that claimed that mod hair is making a comeback (here it is incase you fancy a read). With a hair-cut like mine, there’s hardly room for “envious volume” and a “Bardot-inspired bouffant” so, not wanting the mod revival to pass me by, I thought I’d channel my 60s alter ego with a casual cut-crease and a polo shirt dress.

The Wearable Cut-Crease

Tutorials for the cut-crease abound on Youtube and with good reason: it’s a striking look that allows you to use those eyeshadows that always seem to get neglected in the palette. Because your lid is left pale or relatively light and the colour kept to the periphery, the style can withstand the darkest and brightest of colours without looking carnivalesque.

That being said, for a day-to-day look I opted for light and neutral shades. Below is my tutorial:

Step 1: Apply primer all over your eye, right up to your eyebrow, and sketch out a horizontal tear-drop shape across your lid as I have done here with a kohl eyeliner (I use Rimmel Soft Kohl Pencil in ‘Sable Brown 11’).

modeyeprog1

Step 2: Blend the eyeliner up towards your eyebrow using a similar coloured eyeshadow (I used UD’s Naked 2, ‘Taupe,’ with ‘Busted’ towards my outer v to add a bit of depth). Before I do this, I like to place Sellotape underneath my eye to help me achieve a sharp, straight line.

Step 3: Using a flat eyeliner brush and a thick concealer (I use MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 in NC15) retrace the tear-drop shape to neaten up any unwanted smudging. Apply highlighter just below your eyebrow, making sure to blend this into the eyeshadow you have just applied (I use Rimmel Glam Eyes Mono Eye Shadow in ‘Glam Ice’).

Step 4: Add a light colour of your choice to your lid (I use UD’s Naked 3 ‘Dust’). Using a liquid eyeliner, draw a line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner and another that curves up to the tip of the tear-drop shape, like I have done in the first picture.

Step 5: This step really tests your patience, but it is hugely important for the end result: gradually build up your eyeliner to create a thick sweeping line.

Step 6: For a daytime look, I like to keep eyeliner to my upper lash line and only apply the taupe eyeshadow underneath my eye.

Step 7: Finish with mascara, and/or lashes, and voilà!

Looking at photographs of Edie Sedgwick or Mia Farrow, the rest of the face should be kept light, fresh and youthful; I skipped the bronzer and opted for a little blusher at the top of my cheeks (I use No7 Natural Blush in ‘Soft Damson 10’) and used my Glam Eyes white eyeshadow as a highlighter just below my eyes and round towards my ears. I wanted to keep my lips equally pale so I used a very sparing coat of MAC’s ‘Snob,’ a light neutral pink.

Of course, there’s plenty of scope to make a cut-crease more dramatic: you can change it’s shape, it’s colouring and it’s definition, as I have done in this picture. Instead of the tear-drop shape, I’ve flicked out the corner of the arc to mimic my eyeliner; added UD’s Naked 2 ‘Blackout’ to my crease; and brought the eyeliner underneath my eye into a point at the inner corner to create a cat-eye effect.

The Outfit

modoutfit

Dress, Cooperative at Urban Outfitters;

Shoes, Dr Martens (Polley); Jacket, Barbour.

For this look, with quite intricate make-up, I wanted to wear something that was a little boyish, but at the same time feminine (a style typical of Twiggy with her pixie cut and boxy, short dresses). My polo shirt dress is perfect; though it’s colour and shape first appears simple, the material falls perfectly to create a feminine silouhette. My oversized Barbour jacket and Dr Martens, both iconic in men’s mod fashion, add a clunky, kooky feel to counter my dress, bringing the look into the twenty first century.

What elements of mod fashion will you be adopting this autumn?

Hope you like!

Molly x