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

In Defence of: Brown Lipstick

Think Jennifer Aniston in the first season of “Friends,” or a young Drew Barrymore. After a short revival last summer, brown lipstick has again disappeared… far far away. It seems to be bundled with other cringeworthy 90’s trends – scrunchies, JNCO jeans and mood rings. But if chokers and jelly sandals can make a proper comeback, there’s surely room for coffee, chocolate and chestnut coloured lips.

I was first interested in trying a brown lipstick after swatching MAC’s ‘Velvet Teddy.’ Thanks to Kylie Jenner, the shade has become extremely popular and I was intrigued to try what’s described as a “deep-toned beige” on my skin. I was really disappointed 😦. It has a warm pink undertone that is very close to my natural lip colour; and if I’m paying £15.50, I want people to notice what I’m wearing!

So before investing in a more expensive brown lipstick, like MAC’s ‘Paramount’ or Bobbi Brown’s ‘Über Beige’ or ‘Über Suede’ (£19.50), I thought I’d test out some cheaper drugstore versions.

The ‘Gateway’ Brown – NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Stockholm,’ £7.99.

Okay… this isn’t brown. But if you’re not convinced about going all out with a cocoa or latte colour, then why not try a lipstick with a cooler base instead of a pink undertone? This NYX lip cream, which I bought from an eBay stockist, would be a gorgeous nude colour for those with olive skin and, on pale skin, it’s an unusual peachy coral shade. (An added plus: it smells like cake batter!)

As much as I love its matte effect, I think it looks a little flat by itself so here I used Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lipliner in ‘Spice,’ blending the colour into the centre of my lips to create an ombre effect.

The Everyday Brown – Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in ‘Mink, 671′ in £7.49. 

Aah, I love this colour! It has a rich taupe pigment which means the colour pay off is great and makes a definite statement; it’s caramel shade is unlike anything I’ve tried before.

I do think that brown lipstick is more versatile than people give it credit for. With minimal eye make-up, it can add a kooky edge to your face with almost no effort needed. With bold dark eyes, it perfectly compliments almost any colour eyeshadow, but particularly suits metallic shades – copper, bronze and gold – that are so on trend at the moment.

Lipliner: Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lipliner in ‘Cocoa Mandoria,’ £2.99.

The Smokey Brown – Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in ‘Coffee Shimmer, 264,’ £4.99, and Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in ‘Trespassing Taupe,’ £4.49.

For this look I began with Rimmel’s ‘Coffee Shimmer,’ a super glossy russet coloured lipstick. The colour is nice, if a little nondescript, so I wanted to add a little bit more interest. As strange as it seems, my Scandaleyes shadow stick was a worthy stand-by. It has the same smooth texture and glossy finish that I would want from a lipstick and helped to cool down the warm reddish tones of ‘Coffee Shimmer.’

Lipliner: Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lipliner in ‘Capuccino,’ £2.99.

I don’t know quite how to describe it, but brown lipstick has a way of bringing your whole face ‘together.’ Where a pink-nude lip is subtle, almost meant to be ignored, and a red lip demands it’s own attention, a brown shade is somewhere between the two, perfectly complimenting and completing your look.

So have I convinced you to try it out?

Hope you like!

Molly x

OOTD: Day Trip to Oxford

Today – on what seemed like the first day of winter: dark skies, bitter winds and drizzling rain – I headed down to Oxford to catch up with my friends from university. As I spent most of my studies there wearing t-shirt dresses and jeans, I thought I’d now make an effort to look a little smarter.

OOTD: Oxford

Shirt, Zara; Jumper, Topshop; Leggings, Topshop;

Chelsea Boots, Topshop; Coat, Topshop; Scarf, River Island.

The trend for warm reds – wine, burgundy and berry shades – was most prevalent last autumn, but is back in the shops this season too. Hurray! I decided to mix last year’s waffle knit jumper with this year’s check leggings and tartan scarf, complete with my ultimate eBay bargain, my charcoal Topshop duster coat.

Layering is usually too much of a conscious effort for me; when it’s cold I typically reach for the same old thick sweater and heavy jacket, rather than building up lots of complimentary pieces. I knew I wanted to wear my duster coat (which is a beauty, but very thin) so that necessitated an under-layer that was warm, but not too bulky.

I was initially worried about how the shirt would look against a crop jumper, but I actually think it works really well. It also saved the hassle of constantly having to tuck my shirt in throughout the day!

My make-up had to be something simple (I was in a rush to make a train) so I opted for a muted smoky eye using UD’s Naked 2 Palette’s ‘Taupe’ with Bare Minerals’ Glimmer Eye Shadow in ‘Celestine.’ The latter’s light pewter shade is one of my all-time favourite shadows that’s perfect for adding a bit of sparkle without being overstated. For lips, I used MAC’s ‘Viva Glam II’ (<3) outlined with Rimmel’s Exaggerate Lipliner in ‘Eastend Snob, 063,’ a combination that thankfully outlasted all the coffees, hot chocolates and endless gossiping.

Oxford How are you incorporating this season’s shades into your day-to-day outfits?

Hope you like!

Molly x

Concealer for the Palest of the Pale

I’ve recently finished my dissertation and have the under-eye circles to show for it. Having headed to the shops to find something to hide them with, I encountered every pale girl’s worst nightmare: finding the right concealer. Over the years I’ve accumulated my fair share of ‘under-eye illuminators’ and ‘cover-up sticks,’ some great and some shockingly bad, so I thought I’d share a few of them, and my current favourites.

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1: Collection 2000 – Cover Up Stick in 01 Light Translucent, £1.99. This is a great concealer and is, dare I say it, slightly too light. It’s warm tone is great but it offers very little coverage (without having to paste it on). 5 out of 10. 

2: Collection 2000 – Lasting Perfection Concealer in 1 Fair, £4.19. Brilliant. Really brilliant. It is the perfect colour for me and the fact that it is liquid, rather than a paste, means it’s easy to apply without having to pull at my skin to blend it in. If you require a matte concealer this may not be ideal for you, but I personally like it’s dewy look. 9 out of 10.10719233_10152319045236128_576622008_n

3: Rimmel – Hide The Blemish Concealer Stick in 001 Ivory, £3.99. This is a nice colour but offers only a light coverage and remains oddly sticky. 6 out of 10. 

4: Rimmel – Stay Matte Dual Action Concealer in 010 Ivory, £4.99. I remember buying this when, after living off pick ‘n’ mix at uni, my face broke out in spots. The concealer has a green core that works to neutralise redness in the skin so it is particularly effective at covering blemishes and sore spots. 7 out of 10.

5. Revlon – Photoready Concealer in 002 Light Pale, £6.49. This is good value for money and offers a medium coverage that requires very few touch ups. 8 out of 10.

6. Max Factor – Mastertouch Under-Eye Concealer in 303 Ivory, £7.99. Ivory? I beg to differ. I found this in the very bottom of my make-up bag and am slightly worried that it is almost empty. The ‘precision tip’ sponge applicator is very useful but the colour is far from pale. 4 out of 10. 

7. MAC – Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15, £15.50. I have dry combination skin so this emollient-based (moisturising) concealer is perfect for avoiding that dreaded crepey look. I also prefer its full coverage to hide those dark circles and any veins showing just below my skin. The only issue I have found is, as a paste, the concealer is difficult to apply evenly. 9 out of 10. 10717544_10152319045231128_370844991_n

8. MAC – Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15, £17.00. I recently read that NW (neutral warm) shades are better at hiding the blue-purple tones of dark circles than NC (neutral cool) shades. I’ve always opted for cooler shades assuming that warmer ones would look too orange on my skin, however, this colour is perfect! It’s liquid application means it’s easy to distribute and, as the name suggests, it lasts amazingly throughout the day with no need for touch-ups. 10 out of 10. 

If you are looking for a full coverage concealer without that greasy feeling then MAC’s Pro Longwear is a worthwhile investment. At £17.00 though, it is a little pricey for such a tiny little bottle, so if you’re willing to top-up your make up throughout the day then I would recommend Collection 2000’s Lasting Perfection Concealer – it may not last, but it is almost, almost perfect!

Hope you like!

Molly x