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

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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

Five Steps to Fresh, Dewy Skin

For me, the colder months of the year don’t just bring fireworks and Christmas presents, but also cracked lips and a peeling nose (eww). My skin has always been woefully dry, so the trend for a fresh-faced, dewy look was one I’ve been keen to get right.

It’s taken a bit of time, but I think I’ve finally cracked it! Here are my five steps for that sought-after glow:

1. Moisturiser – No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Dry/Very Dry Skin SPF 15, £12.50.

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I’ve tried all sorts of moisturisers but this is by far my favourite. Unlike others I’ve tried, it doesn’t sit on top of my skin, but gets absorbed almost immediately. It also doesn’t over compensate by making my face feel heavy and oily.

(I’m yet to be convinced that I need a night cream too, I just use this every morning and every night).

2. Radiance Fluid – No7 Skin Illuminator: Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid, £11.00.

highlighterThis is my ultimate secret weapon. This fluid has a pearlescent finish that has no other purpose (that I know of…), but to make your face glow. It’s like 12 hour’s sleep and a long soak in the bath in a bottle! It can be used alone, under or over foundation: a light sweep is great for adding a subtle shimmer, while a thicker coat is perfect for highlighting.

My only complaint is the method of application; you have to squeeze the cream through a clumsy brush extension which can make it difficult to control how much is dispensed at any one time. Definitely worth a try!

3. Foundation and Sponge – Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation, £6.99 and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, £5. 99.

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Two months ago, I would have sworn by MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid as the perfect foundation. It offers brilliant, full coverage with a gorgeous matte finish (and smells like old school paint!).

For a dewy-look, however, this Rimmel foundation offers a great alternative – it makes my skin look and feel perfectly hydrated.

I’m also a recent convert to the beauty blender; I bought this cheaper alternative to test it out (I’ve always used my fingers to apply my base) and will never look back!

When damp, the sponge is perfect for tapping and blending foundation into the face, leaving a flawless, dewy look.

4. Highlighter – No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter, £9.95.

This is a very new addition to my make-up collection, but so far I am really impressed.

It comes in a variety of colours, but I chose a gorgeous champagne shade, which offers a healthy warm shimmer without any glitter or exaggerated sparkle.

It’s rollerball applicator is extremely easy to use and combines the benefits of a powder and a liquid highlighter: it can be blended easily like a liquid, but is light and build-able like a powder.

5. Gloss – Vaseline Lip Therapy Petroleum Jelly, £2.18.

Good old Vaseline! With the recent trend for bare-faced beauty, vaseline offers the perfect light sheen to the lips to complete the dewy look.

It can also be used on bare eyelids or on top of eyeshadows to create a unique glossy finish (like that used by MAC at London and New York’s AW14 Fashion Week).

A thin coat of Vaseline on your eyelashes before bed is also meant to nourish longer, thicker, stronger lashes (something I am in definite need of).

What are your go-to products for radiant skin?

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