Thursday, 11 September 2014

what's in my bag // london fashion week

iiiiit's that time of year again! oh yeah, fashion week. twice a year, if you care, your whole life gets upended, dehydrated, filled with canapés, and put on instagram. oh, and cara delevingne's probably there. as a beauty devotee, fashion week's not for me what it is for everyone - i do a lot of backstage beauty snapping, sitting still while show looks are recreated on me and managing to dodge street style photographers. still, the days are long, and then there's the parties after, so by the time it's all over, you reach a new level of exhaustion that's hard to describe. still, there are a few things i like to pack to keep myself sane...

my bag itself is this one* from asos - it's a great size, comfy and super chic. black goes with all, and this also doubles up as a battering ram and looks kind of saint laurent. if you squint. maybe? i also have a bag IN my bag (bagception) in the form of my the apartment x aspinal leather and suede clutch. being aspinal, it's obviously gorgeous, but it's so handy. the guys at the apartment know what's up, and this bad boy has sections for show invites and lots of handy pockets.

boring things first: a portable phone charger because iPhone batteries last as long as a vine. mine's from monster, charges from my laptop then delivers a full charge to my phone, plus it's light. food's a must-have. i always take fruit, carrots and hummus and popcorn because i'm basically always hungry. also, keep hydrated! the new vita coco lemonde flavour is yummy, low sugar and feels fancy to drink.

FUN THINGS! the new bobbi brown skin weightless powder foundation. it's so good for touch ups but you can do a full face with it. i mainly use it to get rid of shine, plus the new clarins instant smooth light reflecting eye base* is amazing for dark circles and red lids. it's like eight hours sleep in a tube, and a great base for makeup.

then, my new favourite lipstick. the new NARS audacious lip colour in raquel* - it's a gorgeous nude pink that looks really understated and goes with everything, perfect for touch ups on the go. it's so creamy and doesn't bleed, so it's longwearing. also, some oribe dry texturising spray to keep my hair full and tousled.

finally, lip balm and hand cream. the new elemental herbology nutritive lip complex and hand nutrition are DIVINE - the lip balm plumps and hydrates, and the hand cream softens cuticles, smells great and isn't greasy. alright, see ya on the other side...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

current most loved // perricone, aurelia, bobbi brown, NYX and oribe

Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Oribe Dry Texturising Spray

i need to start my saying that i KNOW my favourite thing in this post is outrageously expensive. it's a purchase best saved for payday (if you're feeling flush), a gift from a generous pal or the ultimate treat yourself. that being said, it's undoubtedly the best face mask i've ever tried; in fact it's so good, i posted a no makeup photo on instagram cause i was stunned with the results. AND I LOVE MAKEUP.

it's the perricone chloro plasma*. and boy, does it pack a punch. it's like a clay mask and glow-booster rolled into one - every scrap of oil or dirt is lifted out of my skin, my pores disappear, and more importantly, i feel the results for at least a week afterwards. even my beloved REN invisible pores only really makes a difference for a few days, but this, this is an investment in Really Good Skin. being a perricone product, it's got all kinds of fancy science in there but mainly, my skin just looks incredible.

also, i've been having a total bobbi brown moment - the new smokey nudes palette* is obsession-worthy, not just for cute mottled packaging with tiny pull-out draw, but for the wearability and longevity of all the shades. you can do something really subtle to something super dramatic - i'll do a full tutorial later, but it's so gorgeous. also, their gel eyeliner with the eye liner brush - precise, pigmented, perfect.

back on skincare, i looked to aurelia to help quench my poor dry skin - it's thirsty at the best of times, but the change of seasons makes it even worse, but the cell revitalise night cream* with jasmine, rose and other yummy smelling citrus things leaves my skin really supple. it's 100% botanical, plus has loads of peptides and probiotics to help repair anti oxidative damage. one of my colleagues stroked my face when i told her to feel how soft it was, and she literally squealed when she did it. baby smooth.

i've written about the NYX lip creams before, but they're SO GOOD and SO CHEAP. i've seen them at £2.50 on their site, but even at full price, £4.50, it's incredibly good value for something so long-lasting and comfortable to wear. i've been loving the soft matte shades at the mo. finally, oribe's dry texturising spray. there's basically nothing this can't fix - flat hair, messy hair, just-washed-lifeless-hair, you name it, this spray will give you all the tousled-ness and touchable undoneness you want.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

urban decay pulp fiction // where i've been

it's almost been a month since i made an appearance here - first of all, i can explain. something like a crazy work schedule (do you guys know i freelance over at grazia daily? cause i do, and that eats into my week a little), plus an ill-fated holiday (i fell down some stairs and also smacked my head. would have been a worse injury if i hadn't had so much oribe dry texturising spray in my hair) and some upheaval with my living situation took it's toll. all jokes aside, my tumble on holiday had me out of action for a little while and i'm still playing catch up. BUT I'M BACK NOW! and i have a whole bag heaving with new products to show you and there's so much i don't know where to start, but a leading makeup brand and a cult classic film crossover seems a good place to start, no? that's right, the urban decay x pulp fiction collection.

it's a really cute limited edition, with an eye palette, glitter eyeliner, lipliner and lipstick and nail polish - glitter's not my bag and as nice as the palette is, it's basically just a few taupe shades and some white and black, so basically everything got cast to one side apart from the RED. obviously the lip products were going to be my favourite - the lip liner's just a good ol' reliable keep-it-in-place number, but the lipstick is something else. the red, mrs mia wallace, is sort of a blue red, but also a pretty true red - it'd flatter a lot of complexions unlike my NARS heatwave which is really orangey. colour aside, the pigment is so rich and it manages to be completely opaque and still have glossy finish that doesn't fade? it's a total wonder lipstick and i'm obsessed.

now, we all know the real reason we wear lipstick is so we can tell which glass is ours at ten paces. this is great for that, but i even ate messy thai food with it on last week and really it didn't need much of a top up. i'm sold on the longevity of the colour and sheen finish - it's not like anything else i've tried. the nail polish matches the red and is super cute, but i'll know i'll be coming back to the lip colour again and again. what's new with you guys?

Friday, 8 August 2014

my perfect cat eye // how to do winged eyeliner

black eyeliner is like my THING. i'm not saying i'm unique in this: in my friendship group alone, there's at least five of us who would rather do a couple of flicks with liquid liner than brush our hair in the morning, and whenever i do a look without it, it feels like something's missing. i can't tell you how many times i've had my makeup done beautifully, like a lovely, pared-back, grecian look, only to find myself itching for just a liiiiiiitle neat black line by my lashes. so i don't fight it anymore. if i want to wear black eyeliner every single day, and not consider anything else, then so be it. that's my prerogative, right? i've tried various incarnations; kohl as a teenager, wobbly liquid as i progressed, then those pen-style ones...finally, i've settled on gel. well, that's kind of true, but we'll get to that in a minute. my current favourite is BECCA's ultimate crème eyeliner, the really black one, applied with my kevyn aucoin the eyeliner/smudger brush. i take a little, close my eye, and with the other open, start a line about three quarters of the way along my eye. there's no right or wrong way to apply liner, but never try and do the whole line in one go. it doesn't work. i do mine before mascara, too. so i do that one mark to start, then just softly glide it out, adding more product as i go, until i reach the end of my lashline, then do the other eye. then, mascara. THEN the flick. the reason i do mascara first is because it helps me see what's going to look like when it's done, and adds to the intensity. i also like to do black liner in my upper waterline to really amp it up. for the flick, i pull my eye ever so slightly then do a little upward stroke, same for the other eye. gel liner is great; so easy to control and gives great pigment. that being said, i do sometimes go over the liner with my urban decay perversion liquid eyeliner to make it really, REALLY black. learning to do this is trial and error: everyone does it differently, plus different things suit different eyes. i like my liner to accentuate my lashes, and i do this by making the flick finish near the end of my lashes, for killer peepers. for a neat, precise liner, i'd recommend gel. sounds like a faff, but totally worth it. also, i included the bottom photo, cause ay caramba, can we talk about those lashes? that's the urban decay perversion mascara in action.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

my brush collection // best makeup brushes

this is a very requested post up on couture and crumpets. i was a late adopter to brushes, choosing products that could largely be applied with fingers for quite a while (maybe i never grew out of the finger-painting stage), and while i still love an on-the-go product, as my make up skills have developed, so has my brush collection. if you want a truly flawless look, you need brushes. plus, some things, like a smokey eye, really can't be executed without at least two brushes. i don't stick to one just one brand - like make up or skincare, you'll never get everything you need from just one place. also, more expensive brands aren't always better - sometimes you're just paying for a brand name. cost can indicate a better quality, or cruelty-free product, but there's some seriously good numbers you can get for under £5. for me, these are the best makeup brushes. so, let's begin!

(L-R clockwise: kevyn aucoin the eyeliner/smudger brush, real techniques buffing brush, real techniques accent brush, charlotte tilbury powder and sculpt brush, smashbox fan brush, real techniques shading brush. centre: laura mercier cheek contour brush, chantecaille eye contour brush)

it's worth noting at this point that this is maybe only a quarter of what i own (gulp) - these are just the ones i use most regularly for everyday looks. firstly, y'all know i love me some black eyeliner, and the kevyn aucoin the eyeliner/smudger brush is perfect for this - the flat angled top helps me get a straight line with my gel line, and do neat flicks. the other end is spongy and great for smudging - i use it on my lower lash line for a lived-in smokey look. 

the real techniques buffing brush* is such a staple - annoyingly, it only comes in the set with the other face brushes, and i basically only use this one from that set. the set is worth buying if you like using a foundation brush (i don't) or use thicker concealers - i only ever use this brush and sometimes the contour one. anyway, it's amazing and i use it to buff in everything from blush to bronze for a flawless finish.

again from real techniques, this accent brush* is great for the inner corners of the eye and using towards your brow bone with lighter coloured eye shadow for a wide-awake look. i also use it on the centre of my lid for a little pop of lighter colour. it's part of the your eyes enhanced set which i really recommend.

i've written about my love for the charlotte tilbury powder and sculpt brush before but it's just so special - the tapered end makes it perfect to sculpt your cheekbones and the fatter bit is great for highlighting. and it's SO SOFT. pricey but worth it.

the smashbox fan brush and i had a stand off for a while. i was so confused by how to use it, until i started bothering to use setting powder. this is amazing for dusting translucent powder over your face without it collecting anywhere, a la angelina jolie. also good for highlighting.