My Favourite Foundations: Rimmel, Illamasqua and MAC

You’ve heard it all before, especially of late, “It’s all about that bass base.”

Having recently bought – though I feel better about the price if I say ‘invested in’ – Illamasqua’s SkinBase Foundation, I thought it would be fitting to write a review on my three favourite bases.

Rimmel Match Perfection in 001 Light Porcelain £6.99

So when I wake up at 6am, bleary eyed and puffy faced, it feels like a waste to apply my ‘best’ foundation for work. In the stuffy air of commuter trains and busy offices, I want a light, breathable foundation that won’t leave me feeling icky by 5pm.

Colour and Coverage : Seeing these foundations side by side, it’s clear that ‘pale’ doesn’t always mean pale; too peach, too pink, too orange, I’ve tried the lot.

Rimmel’s ‘Light Porcelian’ is truly the perfect colour for me; a fairly neutral shade with a slight pink hue that helps warm up my pale bits and tone down my blotchy bits. As the consistency of this foundation is very runny, when blended out, its coverage is sheer to light. It is therefore better intended for evening out complexions rather than concealing dark circles or blemishes. That being said, it is relatively easy to build up to a light to medium coverage if you apply a layer, set with powder, and then apply another layer.

Finish and Staying Power: You’ll have to pardon my lack of technical terms, but this foundation is very ‘wet.’ It is runny when dispensed from the bottle and has a similarly moisture-rich feel on the skin which is both a good and a bad thing. The dewy, satin finish means that I can fake healthy, hydrated skin even in this bitterly cold weather. I reviewed this foundation as part of my ‘Five Steps to Dewy Skin’ (read it here) and still believe that it is the best for achieving that desirable ‘glow from within’ look.

For those with oily skin, though, it may proof just too greasy feeling. I often find that, as the day goes on, the product slides away from my nose and down between my eyebrows where my skin can get oily. On the train home from work, the last thing I’m bothered about is my foundation, but if I were to wear this foundation for an event, I would recommend applying powder throughout the day to blot the excess moisture. Overall, though, it’s not bad for only £7!

The Weekend Foundation: Illamasqua’s Skin Base in 02, £32

At the weekend, I want the same breathable feel as my weekday foundation, but with a fuller coverage. So at the other end of the price spectrum is Illamasqua’s SkinBase Foundation, my weekend foundation. I had read a lot about this foundation before committing myself to buying it and, on the whole, I’m not too disappointed.

Colour and Coverage: 02 is the lightest colour offered by the SkinBase range, excluding pure white. As you can tell from the swatch, the difference between Illamasqua’s and Rimmel’s lightest shades is huge! 02 is described as ‘Pink Undertone with Yellow’ meaning it has the same balanced tone as Rimmel’s foundation, but is a lot lighter. If anything, this is a little too light for me so I often mix it with my Rimmel or MAC products to suit my skin.

The consistency of the product shouldn’t fool you; though it is just as runny as Rimmel’s foundation, it is considerable more pigmented. So while it can only be applied in very thin layers at a time, you’ll probably need fewer layers to mask those dark circles and blemishes. This cuts out that gross greasy feeling you get with heavy foundations and avoids clogging up your pores – yay!

With a good medium coverage, the SkinBase will even out skin tones, minimise dark circles and go someway towards hiding those angry spots.

Finish and Staying Power: The finish is somewhere between satin and matte as the formula is based on a BB cream rather than a standard foundation. BB Creams are full coverage foundations with a multi-functional purpose, acting as a primer, foundation, concealer and sun-screen. Amazing, right? Well, yes – if all of these functions work perfectly. As a foundation/concealer, the SkinBase is great but susceptible to over-working. I always apply my foundations with a beauty blender and have found that with too much dabbing the foundation begins to lift away, causing uneven coverage. The product also transfers easily to my fingers without using a substantial dusting of powder to set it. This means that any touching or poking at my face can leave behind noticeable fingerprints. But I guess that’s the price I have to pay for its silky texture.

As a primer, the SkinBase is so-so. I have experienced no sliding, caking or break-down before 5-6 hours of wear. Buuuuuut (and there’s always a but), it does have a habit of settling into my pores and fine lines soon after I apply it – and by soon, I mean about 10 minutes. It similarly clings to my dry patches, so be sure to moisturise well before using it! Using a primer beforehand does limit this, though that defeats the purpose of the ‘multi-functional’ formula. Illamasqua’s Hydra Veil primer, for example, is £30 and I feel that spending £62 on an effective primer/foundation combination is too expensive.

 

The Day to Night Foundation: MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid in NC15, £21.50  

With MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid, I don’t need to use a primer, but can rely on it alone to take me from a day in the office to a night in the pub!

Colour and Coverage: As you can tell from the swatch, this is the darkest shade I own, even though it is the lightest shade produced by MAC. The colour looks so different to the two other foundations because I opted for the yellow toned (NC – Neutral Cool) rather than the pink toned (NW – Neutral Warm) shade as I felt that NW15 was that bit too pink for me to pull off (just google any comparative swatches to see what I mean).

Many people assume that Studio Fix Fluid is full coverage, but it is actually a build-able medium coverage foundation, which puts you in control of where the most product should go. This means that I rarely need to use a concealer and even when I do, it is only to cover particularly dark circles or very angry spots.

Finish and Staying Power: This foundation has a natural matte finish; it is shine-free, but not so matte as to make your face appear flat and lifeless. Perfect!

As it contains silicone and various powders, the formula can zap moisture from the skin so those with dry skin should be sure to properly moisturise before applying to achieve the most consistent finish. For those with combination or oily skin, however, this is actually a bonus. As the product absorbs excess oil, there is very little movement throughout the day. I have found that it stays even and fresh looking for around 8 hours!

As you can probably tell, I have very little negative to say about MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid. If anything the colour is slightly off, but I do lighten it with powder and highlighter. It would probably my favourite out of the 3, but I try to mix up my foundation routine throughout the week to save clogging my pores with too much highly pigmented, heavy coverage product.

So what are your favourite foundations?

Hope you like!

Molly x

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My Contouring Routine

I’m a recent contouring convert; ever since that photo of Kim Kardashian, I’ve been trying to add some definition to my face, drawing various lines in various colours in various places.

I’ve tried taupe, bronze and dark brown eyeshadows, eye pencils, creams and blushes in the hope of achieving the right look and after many attempts (and some utter disasters), I think I’ve finally cracked it!

Shading

Illamasqua’s Skin Base Lift in White and Cream Pigment in Hollow (both £17.50)

My first step is to ‘shade’ my face, or to map out where I want the light and shadow to be; I find that by first adding a subtle glow and depth to the skin, any extra definition added later to the nose and cheekbones looks more authentic. To do this, I’ve found the best products to use are cream pigments, essentially colour-rich concealers.

After applying my foundation and a very light layer of concealer around my eyes (just to even out those blueish veins), I apply the two pigments in those places that I feel need an extra oomph.

(Please excuse the damp hair and pyjamas…my getting-ready routine isn’t at all glamorous)

My favourite products for this shading are Illamasqua’s Skin Base Lift in White and Cream Pigment in Hollow. The Skin Base Lift has a beautifully silky, almost gooey, texture that blends easily with my foundation without losing any of its brightness. While it adds a visible glow to my skin, I don’t rely on this as my sole concealer. Illamasqua claims that each of the Skin Base Lifts has a peach undertone that perfectly counteracts blueish hues, particularly around the eyes. I guess having chosen the white shade, which obviously has very little peach to it, I have had to compromise on this full coverage. Nevertheless, I would recommend this product for those with pale skin who may struggle to find a contouring product light enough to make a noticeable difference.

Hollow is another product ideally suited to paler skin types due to it’s cooler tone. Before using this, I had been using Benefit’s Hoola to define my cheekbones: Hoola is known for having a cooler tone than most bronzers meaning it works well on even the fairest skin, but I personally prefer Hollow as its colour is cooler still, meaning it adds shade without any unconvincing ‘tan’ or orange hue.

Once applied, I then blend these pigments out with my beauty blender being sure to avoid any streaks, but also to keep the colours within their demarcated ‘zones.’

Defining

NYX Powder Blush in Taupe (£6.00) and Illamasqua’s Gleam in Aurora (£21.50)

For adding further, more defined, shadows to my face, I prefer to use a dark powder. As I like to add a little more colour to my nose (which, due to my combination skin, can get oily), I use a powder to avoid adding more product, which can lead to caking.

I use NYX’s Powder Blush in Taupe, a similar grey-brown to Hollow, to carve out my cheekbones with a dense blusher brush and to shape my nose with a detail brush, as shown below. As a powder, it is much easier to build up substantial colour without clogging the skin with too much product.

That being said, for my highlighter, I would have typically used a white eyeshadow with a light shimmer, until I discovered Illamasqua’s Gleam. I recently bought a bundle from eBay which included this Gleam and now I can’t stop using it.

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Many reviews I have read have complained that this highlighter’s sticky formula can lift off foundation and it certainly does (I have caused all kinds of blotches because of it) if not used sparingly. To me, it is less of a cream and more of a gel-like consistency and, though quite peculiar to work with, produces the most ethereal delicate glow.

My Gleam, Aurora, is a lovely champagne colour which works well with warmer shades of eyeshadow and lipstick on fair skin. With cooler shades of make-up, I would probably opt for a similarly cool toned highlighter – I’m waiting for Illamasqua to bring out a white/silver Gleam!

My face is now ready for eyeliner, mascara, the works! Contouring can look lovely and natural when just set with a little powder and left alone, but can also provide a base for adding a little blush or extra bronzer. In the look below, I chose to keep it simple with an ordinary contour and neutral lips and eyes.

What are your favourite products for contouring?

Hope you like!

Molly x

Three Ways with: MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix+

“You’ve spent £15.50 on a bottle of water?”

Well, no. MAC’s Fix+ may look like water, feel like water and taste like water (an accident..), but it is anything but water.

Admittedly, I searched for this under the false impression that it was a setting spray, aimed at making your make-up last longer by creating a thin film that withstands various ‘pollutants’ (hence the phrase, “hairspray for your face”). I even paid for it, brought it home, unboxed it, stared at it, bragged about it and tested it before realising that it is not a setting spray, but something much, much better.

Use 1: Skin Refresher

So if I had actually read the box, I would have noticed that MAC describes the spray as a “skin refresher” or “finishing mist.”

With my dry-combination skin, the spray works best as a “refresher” used after moisturiser. Spritzed over my face just before my primer/foundation, Fix+ gives my skin an extra kick of hydration so my base applies like a dream. The delicate scent of citrus and green tea is not only calming to the nostrils, but also to the skin – a detox in a bottle.

For those of you with oily skin, Fix+ is a must-have “finishing mist.” On those days when my t-zone is a little oilier than usual, I find myself applying layer and layer of powder in an attempt to ‘blot’ the not-so-dewy-more-like-sweaty shine that appears down the centre of my face. Fix+ is the perfect tool to avoid that overdone cake-y look caused by excessive powder applications. A few sprays and the mist is quickly absorbed into the skin (and powder), evening out the complexion to leave a beautiful glow as though you’d just woken from an 8-hour sleep on a crisp spring morning.

Use 2: Eyeshadow Brightener

I would pay £15.50 for this use alone. If you have read my last post on pure pigments, you will know that I am always searching for ways to amplify the colour of my eyeshadows and Fix+ is one of the best, if not the best, method I have found so far.

I can’t count the number of times I have typed “how to make eyeshadow brighter?” into Google. A common answer was to dampen the brush with water and simply ‘dab’ the shadow onto your eye. Not so simple. I tried this with Naked 3’s ‘Dust’ – notorious for it’s low colour pay-off – and have ruined it in the process: the shadow became damp, the water quickly evaporated and I’m left with a chalky mess 😥

The difference between water and Fix+ is that the latter contains glycerin, a chemical used in all mixing mediums as it helps retain water (i.e., no evaporated chalky mess). Fix+ is, then, a diluted mixing medium as well as a skin “refresher.” A little spritz on to your brush and the pigments in your shadows are given an immediate boost. In the picture below, I swatched from my gorgeous new MAC ‘A Harvest of Greens’ quad with and without FIx+ and the difference – particularly with the first two lighter colours – is huge!

 Use 3: Cream Thinner

Please excuse the less than elegant name… In my ‘November Favourites’ post I wrote about how my love for my MAC Paint Pot had come to a sad end due to it’s woefully short shelf-life; after only a few uses, the cream had become so thick and dry that it was impossible to blend. With a little bit of Fix+, however, the cream came back to life and was, in my opinion, a better texture than before, thinner, smoother and easier to work with.

I’m yet to try it out, but I’d imagine that the same process can be used to thin out foundations, concealers, cream highlighters and blushes. The possibilities are endless!

So how do you use your Fix+ spray? If you don’t have it yet, would you invest in it?

Hope you like!

Molly x

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?

For FOTDs and previews of my blog posts, follow my instagram: http://instagram.com/beautsoup

Hope you like!

Molly x

My Skincare Routine

I have a few confessions to make… I hate the taste of water; the only fluids I’ll willing consume are tea, gin and custard. I never manage my five-a-day (or is it seven-a-day now?) and often have cake for breakfast. And, worst of all, I am a picker; spots, blackheads, random lumps that appear on my forehead, all feel the force of my two forefingers.

All things considered, I should be prone to spots, blemishes and wrinkles. Though I have my genes to thank for my relatively clear skin, I have developed a skincare routine that helps keep break-outs at bay, as well as one for when that monster zit appears on the very tip of my nose.

Make-up Removal:  Simple ‘Kind to Skin’ Cleansing Wipes, £3.49

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I have been using these make-up removal wipes for as long as I can remember. My skin is highly sensitive to strong perfumes (even Johnson’s Baby Moisturiser stings 😦 ), but these wipes have never caused any irritation. Simple’s wipes are produced with different formulas, each tailored to different skin types – Cleansing, Exfoliating, Oil Balancing, etc. – I use Cleansing because I prefer full-coverage foundations and concealers that need an equally thorough removal. The only one I would not recommend is the Exfoliating wipes as their course texture can leave your skin feeling a little raw. 

No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-up Remover, £8.5010859346_10152459363021128_1544665499_n

The amount of eye make-up I wear means that I have to be careful not to scrub away at my eyes too much when removing mascara and eyeliner. This remover is excellent for lifting off those last bits of glitter, crusted eyeliner (eww) and waterproof mascara. As it is oil based, those with particularly oily skin may not take to this product, however, I would recommend it for anyone with dry or combination skin as it both cleanses and moisturises that delicate skin around the eye.

Cleansing and Toning: No7 Soft and Soothed Gentle Cleanser and Gentle Toner, £8.00 each

Boots No7 is a brand I completely trust when it comes to taking care of my skin. Their products are hypo-allergenic and ph-balanced so as not to cause irritation. As well as having a beautifully silky texture, they also have enough power to sink deeply into the skin, leaving it feeling fresh and hydrated.

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I know it’s kind of gross but this picture is of the cotton wool pad I use to cleanse my face. This is AFTER using a make-up wipe. Though make up wipes will remove make-up on the surface of the skin, cleansers penetrate deeper into the pores, helping to lift out the residue inside.

Obviously cleansing is crucially important, but why use a toner? Many people skip this process, but toning is essential for restoring the ph balance of your skin. When I wasyounger my mom told me that while cleansers open your pores, toners close them; I don’t have the dermatological evidence to back this up, but it does enforce the equal importance of cleansing and toning (ideally twice a day). My favourite moisturiser is also No7, I review it here.

Blemishes: No7 Colour Calming Primer, £10.50

In this col10850801_10152459363016128_1593091137_nd weather, my skin can often look red and mottled. To solve this issue I use this colour calming primer, again by No7. The lotion is green – opposite to red on the colour wheel – meaning, once blended, it is particularly effective at reducing redness and helps to even out your complexion (as you can see from the picture below).

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When I do have break-outs, I often apply this to the area using a concealer brush, working it around the spot to mute that angry red colour.  The key to this product is blending: a little goes a long way and, without effective blending, can leave your skin with a peculiar green-grey undertone. Once foundation and concealer is applied, however, the green colour is not at all noticeable.

What products are key to your skincare routine?

Hope you like!

Molly x

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

Review: Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette

You could say that I bought this palette by accident, and now I know the meaning of ‘serendipity.’

I was originally looking for Vice 2, released September last year, to add a welcome addition to my palette collection with it’s perfect mix of neutrals and bold pinks and greens. But then I saw this!

In the clam-shell style typical of Vice’s past, this palette comes complete with a full-size mirror and a double-ended synthetic brush (warning: it’s reflective cover holds no mercy when it comes to mucky fingerprints).

The colours are undoubtedly beautiful with four matte transition shades (‘Truth,’ ‘Undone,’ ‘Downfall’ and ‘DTF’) accompanying 16 shimmers. The variation in colours is perfect, with warm tones narrowly out-numbering cooler tones (it is the season for reds, coppers and browns after all!).

My favourite thing about this palette is that, if you take each row separately, it offers a ready-made combination of five colours, each set combining neutrals with an unlikely pop of colour. Champagne meets emerald, taupe meets red.

As always, I have a few complaints. While the shadows have an amazing colour payoff, they are particularly powdery. I’m not sure whether this is more noticeable here because of the number of shimmers (prone to a crumbly texture – think ‘Dust’ from Naked 3) or whether it is an unusual oversight by UD. Regardless, be careful of this excess if you have already applied your foundation and concealer!

I’m also not a huge fan of the brush; the bristles seem too sparse to effectively blend shadows together. Instead, I use it to sweep over my lid when all the blending is done, just to pick up any stray powder that may be lurking there.

Special Mentions:

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DTF: ‘Taupe Matte with Subtle Floating Tonal Pearl’

This is my favourite of the mattes. It is a perfect transition shade for a smoky eye, subtle or dramatic. I think ‘taupe’ doesn’t really do it justice, it has a purple-grey tone in a natural light that blends beautifully with warm and cool colours alike.

Last Sin:Unknown2 ‘Champagne Shimmer with Silver Micro Glitter’

Last Sin was the colour that immediately caught my eye when I lifted the lid; to me, it’s the perfect shade for the festive season and, like DTF, blends well with coppers and browns as well as blues and greens.

Dragon: ‘Bright Metallic Green Shimmer’

I’ve never tried a colour like this before; the thought of green eyeshadow has never really appealed to me, but this colour is gorgeous, whether over the entire lid or just under the lash line. It particularly suits the pink and purple shades in the top row of the palette.

Sonic: ‘Metallic Red-Copper’

I wanted to try out this colour against my skin in anticipation of buying Lime Crime’s ‘Venus’ palette which comprises of these rusty red tones. And I love it! Blended with coppers and golds, Sonic adds something a little bit different to those usual autumn looks.

In this picture I used: DTF (transition); Last Sin (lid); Bobby Dazzler (highlighter); Sonic (lower lash line) and Defy (crease). Lips: Lime Crime Velvetine in Salem (ohmygodthebestlipcolourontheplanet).

Would you consider buying Urban Decay’s Vice 3 palette?

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

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