Review: Shien Cosmetics’ Silk Matte Lipsticks

Not so long ago, a parcel arrived, here, in the middle of England, all the way from New York. A small black shipper filled with reams of black paper and three black boxes labelled ‘Shien.’ Inside, three glossy black bullets housed the brand’s debuting Silk Matte lipsticks.

IMG_0248

For founder, Shien Lee, lipstick is about femininity and empowerment; her philosophy pays tribute to its transformative power, as fitting in the office as it is on stage. “When a woman wears my lipstick, I want her to feel like she shines.” It is little wonder, then, that of 8 shades available, 5 are red – the colour that typifies universal beauty, from 50’s glam to 00’s vamps.

Following Shien’s generous offer to choose my favourites, I chose two reds: ‘Cobra Lily,’ a rich burgundy, and ‘Red Lantern,’ a bold tomato-red. For my third choice, I wanted to try a different colour altogether, so of the nude, pink and gold shades remaining, I picked ‘Gold Viper.’ This colour is unlike any other lipstick I own; in low light, it is a deep copper and, in sunlight, a beautifully unusual rose-gold.

IMG_0244

These swatches were applied straight from the bullet… without a base… or lip-liner.

Seriously.

I couldn’t believe it either.

Thanks to Shien’s innovative ‘Silk Matte’ formula, the lipsticks have all the creaminess and shine of a satin with the staying power of a matte. It’s a feat of real-life wizardry.

Though dubbed ‘ultra-matte,’ they apply more like a super-pigmented balm. Made with moisturising white camellia oil, the product glides onto the skin without feeling sticky or greasy and leaves a lovely sheen – somewhere between Vaseline and a conventional lipstick. I’m sure I’m not alone in avoiding glosses and the like due to their irritating gooiness, while matte lipsticks can feel a little dry and flaky; these lipsticks offer the perfect compromise. Once applied, the product seems to ‘set’ in place without losing its ‘silk,’ satin finish so there is little transfer when eating or drinking (or smooching…).

Of course, these lipsticks aren’t straightforwardly matte so they won’t last as long as MAC or Illamasqua matte formulations (or the seemingly impenetrable LA Splash Liquid Lipsticks), but I think a little wear around the inside of the lip is a prize worth paying for their luscious look and feel. It’s also very easy to extend their staying power: just blot and dust with a little translucent powder.

IMG_0246

I am a huge fan of these lipsticks as they add some sophistication to my makeup arsenal. My favourites would be both ‘Red Lantern’ and ‘Cobra Lily’ as I find they have a more buttery texture, stronger colour and more silky finish (pictured above-gah! so beautiful!) than ‘Gold Viper.’ The latter takes a few more coats to get the coverage just right and is more ‘matte’ in both its look and feel. Still, it is a beautiful shade.

What do you think of Shien’s ‘Silk Matte’ lipsticks? See them here: www.shiencosmetics.com

Hope you like!

Molly x

Advertisements

Team Matte Lip: My Lip Prep Routine

I guess I’m a day too late with this post, but here’s my guide to soft, smooch-able lips.

The recent trend for matte lipsticks demands a lip with no cracks and crusts and, being a particular fan of the matte look, I have had to change up my lip care routine – or, rather, invent it as I didn’t have one before.

Exfoliate: Lush ‘Bubblegum’ Lip Scrub, £5.50

My lips are particularly susceptible to dryness, especially at this time of year, and it doesn’t help that I have a bad habit of chewing at them when nervous/angry/bored/hungry. But now I’ve found10984956_10152607401591128_1105012554_n this little pot of magic.

Lush’s Lip Scrubs use castor sugar and a little sea salt to create an all-natural exfoliant that is perfect for buffing away dead skin. Just scoop a little on to your finger and away you go.The mixture also includes jojoba oil which is brilliant at hydrating the skin without leaving a greasy residue.

Like all of Lush’s products, this scrub leaves you feeling, looking and smelling good – and it makes for a tasty snack 😉

Moisturise: EOS ‘Strawberry Sorbet’ Smooth Sphere Lip Balm, £6.50

EOS’s balms burst onto the US beauty scene a few years ago, but have remained difficult to get hold of here in the UK until now.

Like the lip scrub, these balms contain jojoba oil along with shea butter, both natural super-powered moisturisers. EOS balms are also rich in Vitamin E which helps to protect skin from damaging pollutants, particularly sunlight. If your lips are very chapped, I would recommend the medicated ‘Tangerine’ scented balm which contains extra anti-bacterial ingredients to help repair as well as moisturise your lips.

Unlike Vaseline – which has, before now, been my go-to lip balm – EOS balms have a thin consistency that leaves your lips hydrated but not greasy. My favourite thing about it, apart from it’s smell of course, is that it doesn’t ‘travel.’ For me, Vaseline has a tendency to spread easily, giving the illusion of a sweaty upper lip; EOS balms, on the other hand, stay put with a natural semi-satin finish.

The shape also makes it weirdly easy and fun to use… but maybe that’s just me… ahem.

You could obviously stop here for a fresh, clean look, but I’m a sucker for a matte lippy. Lime Crime’s Velvetines are so unforgiving when it comes to dry lips as their ultra thin, ultra matte formula settles into every line and crease. But with this two-step process, the application has become so much easier – two must-haves for any lipstick junkie!

(This is Lime Crime’s Cashmere, my new favourite <3).

Do you have a lip care routine? What products do you use?

Hope you like!

Molly x

My First Purchases From NARS: Audacious Lipstick and Eyeshadow

In my local Selfridges store, the Illamasqua counter is only metres away from the NARS counter, but it had never troubled me to go to ‘the other side’ until my last visit when I caught sight of the Audacious lipstick stand.

I’d seen numerous blogs raving about them, so I thought I’d pop over and have a cheeky swatch. And that was that. I fell down the rabbit hole into a beautifully luxurious NARS-y wonderland.

Well, almost. The three sample lipsticks that caught my eye were decidedly chewed and when I summoned up the courage to buy one without testing it, I was told there was none left in stock. Frustrated and geared up to buy something, I looked over the eyeshadows, found the one I fancied, and was told that, again, there was no stock.

2015/01/img_0498-1.jpg

Eyeshadow in ‘Strada’ (£18.50) and Audacious Lipstick in ‘Anna’ (£24)

I looked e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e and eventually found them on ASOS’s site, two days later and here they are!
Packaging

As I opened the delivery box, the first thing I noticed was the size and weight of the products. The lipstick is the same shape as my Illamasqua ones, but bigger and heavier (!). It feels like a superior, quality, expensive product. The eyeshadow, too, sits in a smart, compact clam-shell style box with a cute little mirror on the inside. The only issue is its rubberised coating which shows mucky fingerprints like WOAH.

But the lipstick, in particular, is finished with little touches that makes it just that bit better than the other mid-range brands. The lid is magnetised – a handy little extra which means there’s no chance of it falling off in your handbag – and the actual lipstick is engraved with the NARS logo, which might add nothing to the product itself (especially when you’ve used so much that it begins to read ‘ARS’) – but it feels special all the same.

Colour

It was verrrrry difficult to decide what lip colour to go for; the line has 40 shades in total from the lightest nude to the deepest purple – there is a colour for every style and occasion. I’ve got a thing for dark reds/deep plums so was instantly drawn to Charlotte and Ingrid, but with Spring fast approaching, I thought it would be more worthwhile to invest in a light, versatile colour.

2015/01/img_0495.jpg After much deliberation (I even thought about blowing my wages on the whole collection at one point), I chose Anna. I’ve read quite a few descriptions on the internet where Anna is called a ‘smoky rose.’ I can see what they mean… kind of. To me, ‘smoky’ suggests dark, warm colours, like MAC’s Smoked Purple, but Anna is actually a medium, cool-toned, pink-mauve shade. It is the perfect pink; not pastel, not Barbie, but somewhere in between.

Unlike the lipstick, I didn’t choose Strada, Strada chose me ❤ It is an absolutely beautiful eyeshadow unlike anything I’ve seen before. Pastels are set to be big this Spring and many brands have released their own lilac shadows in various hues, think Illamasqua’s Creep. What is unusual, however, is Strada’s gold shift. I’ve never thought to pair lilac with gold, but assumed its cool tones would work better with an equally cool silver highlight, like Sugarpill’s Frostine. The fine gold shimmer that runs through this shadow is not only unique in itself, but also gives you more freedom to experiment with the rest of your makeup, creating new combinations of cool and warm colours.

2015/01/img_0502.jpg Application

The lipsticks in the Audacious range are dubbed as the ‘one-stroke’ wonders, so highly pigmented that there’s no need to swipe your lips more than once. I was sceptical as my lips can sometimes be a little dry meaning that one coat can look quite patchy. But it is actually true! With one coat, my lips were covered! The colour wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but they really were covered. I tend not to apply more than two coats before I am happy with the intensity of colour and the even coverage. Anna has a lovely buttery texture that allows the colour to transfer easily to the lips, but its semi-matte finish means that – without going wild at the buffet – it can stay put for almost 4 hours before wearing away from the centre of the mouth.

10933061_10152553275486128_1167534661_n

Strada, on the other hand, isn’t so pigmented. I think I’ve been spoiled by the colour-rich, crazy pigmented shades like those of Illamasqua and Lime Crime, but it certainly takes a lot more effort to bring out it’s gorgeous colour. This could well be because it is a shimmer rather than a matte shadow as shimmers are notorious for not having such a strong colour pay-off. In the picture shown below, I applied around three coats of the shadow with a soft blending brush. As it turns out, this shadow doesn’t respond well to foiling; wetting the mixture brings out the shimmer more so than the colour. To achieve the most true colour, I’d recommend using a white/extremely pale eyeshadow base instead. NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk (my hero) is perfect for this.

2015/01/img_1486.png

The intense gold colour is Illamasqua’s Furore, see my earlier blog post on pure pigments.

These won’t be my last purchases from NARS. In my opinion, the tangible quality of the products makes that extra £5-£10 well worth it. I’m already trying to choose my next lipstick, Anita or Bette?

What are your favourite NARS products?

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

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!

10808389_10152413753776128_1053403773_n

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.

10805279_10152400526731128_1525396263_n

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)

10744662_10152388564061128_655071255_n

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

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

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