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

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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

Hallowe’en Tutorial: Creepy Doll

This look is a mixture of many I’ve found on the internet under ‘doll,’ ‘ventriloquist dummy’ and ‘mime’ make-up tutorials. While I think it’s really creepy by itself, it can easily be added to to suit your costume: you could add fake blood, stitches, coloured contacts and lipstick to make this look your own.

Step 1 to 3

1. My relationship with face paint is pretty strained; cheaper, supermarket face paint tends to dry very quickly which can make application difficult. For this look I didn’t want a bright white face just a paler complexion so I mixed the paint with my normal foundation.

My eyebrows are pretty dark so I covered them using a glue stick (rub over the brow to flatten the hairs and allow to dry completely), top with a thick concealer and a dusting of powder.

2. Heavily contour the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead and underneath the eyes using a taupe coloured eyeshadow.

3. Blend fuchsia, red and grey-blue eyeshadow into the inner corner of the eye and bring it down underneath the eye (it helps if you trace where your early morning puffiness would usually be!).

Step 4 to 6

4. Trace a crescent underneath the eye with a liquid black eyeliner.

5. Do the same on the eye lid following the shape of your eyeball to help achieve a circle shape.

6. Colour in the circle using a white eyeliner pencil (NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in ‘Milk 604’ has a great colour payoff and is really easy to blend). Remember to colour your water line!

Step 7 to 9

7. Using the same taupe eyeshadow draw an upside-down triangle from the base of the cheek towards the jawline. Darken the area around the eye with the same colour. Trace eyebrows using a eyeliner pencil (it saves the mess if you make a mistake).

8. Fill in the brows using a liquid eyeliner – be sure to arch them steeply. Contour around the brows.

9. Cover the lips in your chosen lipstick. Use a liquid eyeliner to bring a line out from the edges of the lips towards the cheek to create a creepy smirk. You could also smudge the under eye circles as I have done here.

Step 10 to 12

10. Draw along the upper lash line with an eyeliner and add wispy eyelashes to the crescent you drew underneath your eyes earlier.

11. Smiling with your mouth closed, trace the wrinkles and lines that appear around your lips with an eyeliner.

12. With your contouring eyeshadow, add vertical lines from your natural eyebrows up towards your new eyebrows and blend slightly to create frown lines. Add false eyelashes. Poof your hair. And ta da!!!

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

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