November Favourites

10833916_10152439226856128_1134093714_n I confess, most of these things were bought last Friday during the sales so they are very recent favourites, but favourites all the same.

Face – MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in ‘Painterly’ (£13.50) and Benefit’s Hoola Bronza (£23.50)

As I have very dry skin, a primer usually exacerbates the look and feel of my eyelids, making them cracked and crispy. I bought MAC’s Paint Pot as an alternative and it works beautifully. The cool-toned nude is a gorgeous colour for those with pale skin, disguising any redness or blueish veins on the lid as well as evening out the skin’s texture ready for eyeshadows. The only issue I’ve faced is keeping the paint pot from drying out. I now store it upside down (as recommended on various forums) and heat it briefly with my hairdryer before applying. I’ve recently read that MAC’s ‘Fix +’ fluid is ideal for loosening the mixture so I hope to try this out soon and get back to you with my verdict 😉

I know I’m a bit late to the Hoola party, but until now I have been using a NYC Mosaic Bronzer that I bought for 99p around two years ago. I stumbled across NYC’s powder and was so pleased with the colour (not too orangey and not packed full of glitter) that I didn’t dare to try another. But I’ve since watched numerous beauty vlogs where Hoola is so obvious a choice that it barely gets mentioned. I had to go buy it. It’s soft matte brown colour is perfect for contouring the cheeks, jaw and forehead and adds a subtle, healthy glow to the skin. With a dinky fantail brush included, the beautifully designed box is a handy addition to my handbag so I can top up on the go.

Lips – Lime Crime’s Velvetine in ‘Salem’ (£13.50) and Illamasqua’s Lipstick in ‘Buff’ (£18.50)

I set out with the hope of picking up ‘Styled in Sepia,’ but it turns out that ‘limited edition’ is very, very limited when it comes to MAC lipsticks. Ilamasqua’s ‘Buff’ was initially my back-up but, in hindsight, I prefer it’s grey-taupe colour to MAC’s warmer version. It’s texture is also that bit creamier than MAC’s mattes and, oddly, Illamasqua’s matte ‘Posture’ that I bought last week.

I hesitate to call this a ‘nude’ as it is considerably darker than the brand’s other offerings ‘Starkers’ and ‘Naked,’ but it’s deep colour means it translates well from day to night, and keeps your face from looking ‘washed out’ in these colder months.

Lime Crime’s Velvetine… a highly pigmented, long lasting (!) opaque lip colour that applies like a gloss but dries completely matte. Amazing. Every colour in the range is gorgeous but I couldn’t resist this matte chocolate brown, ‘Salem.’ You might know from my earlier post (here) that I have a thing for brown lipsticks, so ‘Salem’ was an obvious choice for those days when I want an extra oomph 😍. It’s claim to be long-lasting is no exaggeration, it survived the most rigorous of food and drink challenges (the things I do for you bloggers…), and only began to wear away on the inside of the lip after 4 hours.

Clothes – Lace Tier T-Shirt, Topshop (£48)

 The majority of clothes that I bought in the sales were replacements for the basics in my wardrobe (like last year’s jumpers that have now shrunk, stretched or bobbled). This t-shirt was my special purchase and is now put away ready for Christmas cocktail hour. Despite it’s casual loose-fitting shape, the sleeves are made of a delicate lace and the colour palette – black, grey, silver and pastel green – is uniquely sophisticated. It’s a little bit of 1920s Gatsby in my wardrobe.

Accessories – Tan Handbags

I have always assumed that tan handbags are just for summer, where black bags are for winter. These, however, are surprisingly versatile and add a bit of interest to the typically bleak winter palette of grey, navy and black. Tan leather also compliments this season’s berry and burnt orange shades perfectly; a 1970s tooled leather saddle bag will take you through to Spring where the era is set to make a comeback.

What are your favourite purchases this November?

Hope you like!

Molly x

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

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

Three Looks with: Urban Decay’s Naked 2

With the cold weather setting in, the taupe-hued neutrals of Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette are perfect for autumn. Here are three different looks that move from a minimal day time effect to my go-to cat-eye and then something a little more dramatic.  

     Look One:

   – Tease blended from the outer  to inner crease and on the outer lower lash line.

Chopper on the outer portion of my lid and the middle lash line.

Half-Baked on the inner portion of my lid and inner lash line.

Booty Call along my brow bone and in the inner corner of my eye.

I’m not sure if Foxy is intended to be the palette’s highlighter, but on my (very) pale skin the yellow tones tend to make me look a little ill so I prefer to use Booty Call or, even better, Rimmel’s Glam Eyes Mono Eye Shadow in 100 Glam Ice (£4.49).

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Look Two:

Here, I just added to the colours used in Look One:

YDK (my favourite) into my crease and under my eye.

– Busted into my outer v.

– Chopper across the whole of my lid.

– Snakebite on my inner lower lash line.

Using Revlon’s Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen (£6.99), I traced a thin line along my lid (avoid drawing the eyeliner too close to the inner corner of your eye. This can make the eye look smaller if not balanced with an equally intense colour in the outer corner, as in Look Three). I use this eyeliner almost everyday so the tip is too blunt to achieve a precise flick. For that I recommend Rimmel’s Glam Eyes Liquid Eye Liner (£5.29) which has an extra thin brush – perfect for the sharpest of points!

  Look Three:

I don’t often have the time (or the patience) to risk attempting a full-on smoky eye, but when I can be bothered I always love how dramatic it looks.

The neutral colours in the palette are fairly tame: the darkest colour Blackout stands out against the subtle beiges and coppers that go before it so the key to this look is blending!

Adding to Look Two, I used:

Busted along my crease and blended up towards the brow bone.

– I stuck Sellotape along my outer eye to help me achieve a nice sharp line and then blended Blackout into my outer v towards the centre of my lid, up towards the outside of my eyebrow and finally under the lower lash line (I intentionally didn’t go too close to the root of my eyelashes so I could still see a little glimmer of Snakebite underneath my eye).

– To slightly soften the intensity of Blackout, I blended it out under my brow bone using Tease and then reapplied Booty Call as a highlighter.

I brought the eyeliner right to the inner corner of my eye, thickened the line across my lid and widened my flick for a more dramatic look. As you can tell, my eyelashes in Look One are considerably less long and lovely than in Two and Three (*sad face); I’ve been trying out Rimmel’s new ‘Wonderfull’ mascara (£7.99) but usually give in and opt for falsies. I used Eylure’s Naturalites Lashes 070 (£5.39) in Looks Two and Three, they’re a versatile length that suits both daytime and nighttime looks.

Hope you like!

Molly x