Wednesday, 9 April 2014

spring favourites

when i was younger, i was two things (other than slightly acerbic in social situations and very, very cheeky) - Just Not That Into Make Up and pretty disorganised. both are hard to believe now; the former on a public level as i now have a blog documenting my cosmetic adventures, the latter more privately, as my friends can always count on me to have several pens on my person, a highly detailed budget for the year and a binder. i think i got sick of losing things all the time, but my past scattiness does have something of a good payoff: often when i go home, i find tonnes of unused makeup in some weird places. on my last visit back home, i found this MAC cream blush in "posey", and i've worn it almost every day since. it's a great deep red tone, perfect for using on the cheekbones - i tend to not do any on the apples of cheeks. a few dabs across the tops of my cheekbones, and worked in with fingers - it really doesn't need much blending - and bam, hello facial architecture. the blush is really highly reviewed on the site, and i can see why - it's super versatile and so, so pretty. i wrote before about my love for laura mercier's metallic creme eyeshadow in platinum paired with kevyn aucoin's, but it's so nice on it's own too. i use it for a super-quick glowy lid to fake 8 hours sleep, or a base for a more dramatic look. back in the skincare corner, i'm obsessed with the slightly different, newer version of the origins make a difference plus moisturiser. the girl on counter DID explain to me how it's different from the old one, but my brain's too full of fun facts about alex turner to keep that in. basically, i use it as my night cream and adore it. it makes my dry skin super-plumped and soft, even the next day, and the nights when i use something else, i can really feel it. for an extra moisture hit, i love the clinique moisture surge overnight mask* - thick and reassuring gloopy, i whack some on before bed, rub it in a bit and then sleep with it on. it absorbs quickly for minimum sticky pillow, and is clear, so it'd be good for an in-flight treatment. i also love the nuxe reve de miel lip balm - so worth the hype. it's pretty rich, but you only need one or two applications a day for the softest lips ever. it also tastes DELICIOUS. i use it about once a week to quench thirsty skin. moving into hair, i've been enjoying the new percy and reed wonder balm. perfect for sleek styles, it adds shine and a soft scent and definitely makes my hair less tangled. i use a squidge before my babyliss big hair for a more polished blow dry - maybe not so good for big, messy hair, but it's nice for a park avenue style blow dry. finally, a new nail shade - okay, so it's not that different from the purply-black luxedo, but i've been loving essie's "wicked". it's a red-black, and it's just so chic but a little goth. chip-free as per usual, i've worn this for about a month. what are your current faves?

Monday, 31 March 2014

a perfect pairing

this is a prime example of something filtering against the grain somewhat. that is to say, i posted this look on my instagram (@daniela_kate) first, and the response was intrigued enough for me to do the full works on here for you. i can't take full credit for this, as a make up artist friend told me about these two shades and how well they work together, and after a bit of experimenting, i was in firm agreement with her. i've only used powder eyeshadows in the past, but i've fallen so head over heels for both of these slightly unusual applicators - first up is the laura mercier metallic crème eyeshadow in platinum. don't let the tiny tube fool you, a little of this goes a long way. and it's just so...pretty. it's a very soft pink-toned silver that's not glittery but still reflects the light beautifully. it's perfect for a more subtle look, and opening up the eye. i tend to squirt a little onto my finger and then just dab it straight onto my eyelid, as it builds subtly and is really easy to blend. i do my whole lid and just ever so slightly above with this, and maybe give a once over with my real techniques eye shader brush. now, the metallic crème's new best friend: kevyn aucoin's loose shimmer eyeshadow in rose quartz. this is an unbelievably lovely, glittery-but-somehow-not-too-glittery shadow that compliments the platinum perfectly. the rollerball application is best suited for a whole lid application, so i use my real techniques deluxe crease brush to mop up product and then dab it firmly into the crease and a little more heavily at the outer corners, before neatening and blending with my shading brush. a little white pearlescent shadow in the inner corners - chantecaille perle is a fave - and you're good to go! a soft, pink-toned smokey eye that's perfect for day and night. just make sure you don't use up all the product just playing with it on your hands. so. pretty.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

on the babyliss new big hair

as per usual, i'm late to the party. in life, i'm usually the one going "you guys. YOU GUYS. have you heard/seen/been to this album/film/exhibition?" eighteen months after everyone else, and today's post is no exception. i've been aware of the babyliss new big hair* and the furore surrounding it for some time, but never actually had a chance to play with it. i heat-style my hair after every time it's washed, and tend to blow dry my hair and then leave it in rolled-up clips for a while to get a soft curl, but i was starting to feel a) bored of my look and b) worried the hole in the ozone layer might soon be directly above my head with the amount of hairspray i was getting through. so, i decided to give this guy a whirl. first things first, don't make your inaugural spin with this the day of a big event, cause the whole contraption takes a little getting used to. after two goes, i was confident enough to use it whenever, but just the handling and the spinning barrel can be alarming at first. plus, you need to learn how it works with your hair. i start with my hair almost-dry, and then mist it with some heat protecting spray - the lee stafford one smells good - and then section my hair off. it's kind of trial and error - i see how much will comfortably fit around the barrel, then i use the rotating bit (the barrel spins up and down, mimicking the action of a professional blow dry without giving you carpal tunnel) to work it up and down a few times, before rolling it up the root and holding it for a few seconds. i tend to get lazy near the end and the top layers are bit more...undone, but i love the effect. it's not TOO polished, but it's definitely styled; for me, it goes into super soft wavy bits, with some lift at the root. most importantly for me, my hair is SO soft and smooth after using this. when i dry my normally, there's a bit of frizz, but this calms it down perfectly. some la biosthetique creme gloss is my fave finisher - it's a shiny wax-type substance that gives a little hold and shine, worked gently through the ends of the hair. the next morning, my bumble and bumble prêt-a-powder gives me a bit of lift and banishes grease. ta da! have you tried this styler?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

face basics: how to blush, highlight and contour

let's be frank; you've probably got blusher down to a fine art. it's one of the first bits of make up most people come across, whether you lifted it from your mum or purchased it with your hard-earned pocket money. i was a late convert to blush (naturally flush cheeks, raise your hand) but now i'm a pretty active evangelist for the stuff. it doesn't have to look red, and if you're wearing a kind of base product, no one really looks great with one colour washed all over their face, so a bit of blush provides contrast and livens up the skin. plus, it's pretty! highlighting and contouring, however, have a bit of a difficult stigma attached. you don't want to go full real housewives territory, but if you want a little more definition, or the cheekbones god didn't give you, a bit of bronzer and highlighter might just be your best friends. bronze is great for an all-over golden glow, but i tend to use it more accentuating my cheekbones and shaping my face a little - i find highlighting and contouring tend to show up most in photos. when i've bothered to do it, my face just looks better without me being able to put my finger on why it does, but it's probably because the fine art helps you bring out your best features. i've tried a few different products over the last few months, and these have become my staples. my dry skin on the whole prefers liquid to powder, hence my deep affection for the NARS orgasm illuminator. peachy-pinky with a hint of a coral glow, it blends into my skin seamlessly and never leaves any lines. for highlighting, i love the BECCA shimmering skin perfector in pearl*. it's similar in colour to the MAC strobe cream, but i think this packs more of a light-reflecting punch and it's super-blendable. as for bronze, the chantecaille compact soleil* in capri is such a win for me - it's a powder, sure, but as it's not loose i find it easier to work with than most. now for application...

Sunday, 2 March 2014

best bet: radiance round up

ah, the elusive "glow". attainable through a strict diet of kale juices, ten hours sleep a night, staying out of the sun and never even thinking about wine or ice cream. or, now readily available in a tube. while oilier complexions often like to steer clear of anything "dewy", us dry skin gals are usually chomping at the bit for anything that'll boost our glow factor. even if you are more combination to oily, i'm sure any of these products would still work for you, as they focus more on glow than shine, but i understand: sometimes, a mattifying primer is your best friend and i give you leave to dive head-first into setting powder and laura mercier secret finish. i'm constantly on the look out for more radiance; my skin's basic problem is that it can look dull without make up, so i like something that's going to make it look healthy, not shiny. first up is an old favourite; the laura mercier radiance primer. slightly orange in colour, don't be scared of this golden primer: it blends in clear and gives you a really soft, subtle glow that's perfect for an evening or party look. a make up artist used this on me first, then i was hooked, after all night people told me how good my skin looked. it's got good grip to it, too, meaning you get more for your money. laura have also just brought out the radiance bronze which will be PERFECT for summer; it's quite intense but gives you a really gorgeous, golden glow and even looks good on it's own. next up, the new eve lom radiance primer. this has a lightweight texture, so i'd recommend it for oiler skin types. the whole range is full of raspberry stem cell technology (no, me neither) and promises to nourish the skin while making it looks fantastic. if you're more combination to oily, but still want something to give you that healthy, well-rested glow, i'd recommend this. for me, it was a little too lightweight, but my skin rivals deserts when it comes to thirst levels. new kid on the block is the by terry cc lumi serum: this comes in four shades, two light like this for radiance, and then two focussed more on warmth (read: tan).