Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Essentials In Life

Hola Chicas,

I'm sooooooo sorry I've been off the radar so long! Beauty Queens were not put on this earth to deal with gas leaks and the like! It's all too much to bear!

Anyhoo, down to business. I might have been off the radar but I certainly haven't forgotten about you! I've been busily and diligently testing out some credit crunch friendly essentials. When you as a girl what item should would take from her cosmetics bag to a dessert island, they usually respond with their favourite mascara or eyeliner. So I've been testing out a few cheapie liquid eyeliners and mascaras.

I've been sporting a liquid eyeline by Boots No 17 over the last week. Boy, oh, boy does that puppy have staying power! You could run a marathon and I think it would still be there when you got to the finish line! I've had it on all day at work, I've had it on at the gym and it hasn't gone anywhere. The ultimate test was last weekend when I was clearing up from some of the remodelling going on at my house. Loads of trips up and down stairs carrying heavy items for the dump and loads of traipsing around the garden. It might have only been 5 degrees outside but a girl works up quite the glow doing all that hard work! Did I still have my lovely Audrey style flicked eyeliner in place after five hours of hard work? You bet I did! The draw back with this particular item is in the precision. I'm a long time user of old fashioned cake style liquid eyeliner that you use with a separate brush. Along with most regular liquid liners, the brush on this one doesn't give you a lot of control and things can go horribly wrong very easily. Be prepared with a cotton tip to do tidy ups and don't expect to be able to do much more than the usual line and flick. This wasn't designed for artistry to be honest.

Next I compared a couple of volumising mascaras. The first was Boots No 17 and the second was Collection 2000 Fattening mascara. The Collection 2000 number has great packaging that is nice and fat along with a super fat brush. It makes you feel like you're going to have seriously chubby lashes. Neither product gave me the false fattie lash effect I was after but both did have great staying power and I've not had a panda eye all week. Not bad but I'm going to stick to splashing out on my Flextencils for the time being.

I miss you guys and I promise not to be such a stranger!!!


Rebecca xxx

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Lady In Red

When I think of classically luxurious beauty indulgence I immediately think of Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Spa. Yum yum! It gives you the feeling of being a movie star or even a fabulous lady that lunches. Clearly a girl like me really only dreams of being able to frequent such magnificent temples to all things beautiful. But you need not fret! There is a simple way to give yourself that feeling every day, several times a day without breaking the bank! It's so exciting.

I know that everyone loves and adores Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream. Unfortunately, much to my disdain, I've had to categorise 8 Hour Cream with smoked salmon, caviar and capers. All things that epitomise luxury but for some reason I just can't get along with them. I've tried ever so hard, but it just doesn't work out. As much as I love the 8 Hour Cream, it just doesn't love me. Last week I made the most joyous discovery. 8 HOUR HAND CREAM! It even has the picture of the Red Door right on the front of the tube!!!! I have it sitting on my desk in front of my computer screen at work and even though work is relentless and depressing, the picture of that little red door cheers me up every time I glance down at it.

It's not just the pretty packaging that makes me so deliriously happy. The unmistakable fragrance of the famous and revered 8 Hour Cream is all this this beautiful hand lotion. I've been spotted in the office making other people smell my hands after each application to enjoy the fragrance as much as I do. If I keep this behaviour up they're going to send me off for a psych evaluation before I know it! Perhaps I can put it down to vast amounts of stress or some such!

So the gorgeous, uplifting picture on the front, the iconic and luxurious fragrance.... I feel like I've forgotten to tell you something. It's sooooooooooooooooo softening!!!!!!!!!! My hands feel like that of Cleopatra or some such! Ooooohhhh, if I were a bottle of hand wash I'd want to marry this tube of hand cream!!!! Go ahead, you can call me weird, I'm used to it! But seriously, this hand lotion is the Queen of all hand lotions. Just try it, I bet you agree with me!


Rebecca xxx

Monday, 17 November 2008

Where there is smoke there is fire

So I tried out the No 17 Smoky Eyes Kit yesterday. I decided to stick to just what was in the kit and see how smoky we could go. The kit includes a glitter eye pencil, a pot of shimmer powder and a volumising mascara. I wouldn't say the result is the smokiest look I've ever seen but the basics are all there for sure. I love the sparkle powder that's in the kit. Its a gorgeous dark grey with the prettiest Tinkerbell sparkle through it. My favourite piece of advice to really give this smoky eye a punch (not in the picture) would be to get a nice build up of the pencil on your forefinger and use it to put down a dark base on your eyelid up to the crease. Blend it in really well using your ring finger and then put the sparkle powder over the top. It will give you an intensity you can't get from just putting the sparkle powder down straight on the lid like I did for the photo. Then line the eye both above the lashline and on the upper and lower water lines. layer on the mascara and you're good to go!
You might want to keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times.
Rebecca xxx

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Moon River

Ok Gals, times are tough and only getting tougher. But it would seem to me that it's times like this that make gorgeous Kittie Kats like us even more creative that usual. Think along the lines of Holly Golightly. I'm endeavouring to draw daily inspiration from her ability to make something fabulous out of nothing at all.

As I'm sure you're well aware, Pout closed it's doors a little while back and is no longer. I'm not quite over it yet. I had a deep and abiding affiliation to all things Pout related. In fact, my most tried, tested and gorgeous going out look was a Pout concoction. My supplies are dwindling and with parties upon parties coming nearer and nearer, I was compelled to do a dash to the stores this afternoon to re-load. Seeing as we're all in the same fiduciarily challenged situation, I thought I'd interpret it using credit card friendly products.

So, the bottom two pics are the original look using a Pout cream eye base, Pout shadow, Pout eyeliner and my Mac black liquid liner finished off with a Stila highlighter...

I did a 15 minute dash into Superdrug and came out with a few Collection 2000 goodies. There are some fab shimmer sticks that are double ended with a colour on one end and a neutral highlighter on the other. I got it in deep green and used that all over the eyelid followed with a pot of shimmer powder also in deep green. Then I lined with the Collection 2000 regular eyeliner in emerald green and put on loads of mascara. because I spent over £5 on Collection 2000 I also got 2 sets of faux eyelashes for free!!!! I LOVE free stuff! All together, my purchases came to under £17. Check out the interpretation in the middle two pics.

From there I ran across the mall to Boots. I raided the No 17 collection and came out with an emerald green metallic eye pencil, a black liquid liner, an emerald green shimmer eyeshadow and a darker green glitter eyeshadow. As I spent more than £5 on No 17 I also got a free No 17 smoky eye kit with a glitter eye pencil, a pot of shimmer powder and a mini mascara. I put the metallic eye pencil all over the lid and went over that with the green shimmer eyeshadow. I also added depth with the darker green so it wasn't too vivid and had that real smokiness. From there I used the black liquid liner and smudged it to make sure the effect stayed smoky rather than too drawn on. Check out the top two pics for how the budget interpretation turned out. All together, I spent under £15.

Watch this space for how I get on with the No 17 smoky eye kit!!!


Rebecca xxx

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Lets face it, we're all guilty of buying something just because it sounds fabulous. I'm the first to hold my hand up and announce that I've purchased based on a brilliant name alone. I'm so pleased that I've finally found something that has the best name I've ever witnessed but is also one of the best things to ever hit my make up collection! Hooray hooray hooray!!!!

"Rebecca, please spill the beans already!", I hear you scream. I have three words for you, girls. Jelly, Pong, Pong. Yes, you heard me right. Jelly Pong Pong have done the most amazing lip and cheek tint that they call Supermodel Stain. The shade I've fallen head over heels for is Slenderella. Have I overloaded you with fabulosity yet? I can't tell you how much fun I've had all day running around telling my friends I'm wearing Jelly Pong Pong Supermodel Stain in Slenderella!!!!! They think I've suddenly contracted some form of dementure but that makes it even more entertaining.

Now for the practicalities of the matter. Yes, this product has the best name ever but there is more. Yes, MORE! The entire package is the size of a large postage stamp! It's the perfect item to put in your slimmest clutch bag for touch ups on a glamorous night out. Or if you're sporting your skinniest jeans and don't want to take a bag, you can put this in your back pocket and it won't look like an over sized tampax like the silhouette of most pocketed lip glosses tend towards. Then, for the best part. The compact even manages to have a mirror in it!!!!! I'm telling you, the people at Jelly Pong Pong have thought of it all!

To recap; it has the best name ever, it's multi purpose, the colours are terrific and they go on a treat, the packaging is practical for every possible occasion and it has a mirror! If only it would do the washing up and my life would be complete!


Rebecca xxx

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Hot Chocolate

This autumn the hottest look for make up is all about chocolate, but without the calories! Yummy! If it's not your usual look then I've put together a classic but basic way to ease yourself into the super sultry look.
Products: Laura Mercier primer, Space NK Illuminating base, Daniel Sandler Wash of Colour base, Daniel Sandler Knock It On The Head concealer, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening powder, Daniel Sandler On The Loose, Stila eyeshadow in Espresso, MAC pigment in Melon, MAC pigment in Chocolate, Lancome Flextencils in black, Nars Orgasm blush, Nars Belle Du Jour lipstick, Nars Multi in Cannes.
Tools: Laura Mercier foundation sponge, Nars 7, Laura Mercier Camouflage, Pout Powder, 1/2" Contour Sable, Socket-Sable, Stila 9, Nars 9, Laura Mercier Eyebrow Groomer, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Nars 2, Daniel Sandler Lip Brush.
Start by mixing the primer and illuminator to prep the skin before applying the base and powdering down. Always give your eyebrows a groom and fill them in using the Stila Espresso. Get the best brows by running through with the comb, load the colour end of the brush with the powder. Start applying the colour at the arch of the brow, fill to the end and then go back to the start of the brow to fill in. This makes sure that you don't get a concentration of colour at one end of the brow as opposed to the other.
Dip the 1/2" Contour Sable brush into the Melon pigment and pat into the eye from the lash line up to the brow. Pat the colour rather than sweeping in order to avoid the pigment dropping down onto your cheeks.
Use the socket brush to take up some chocolate pigment and tap the colour onto the outer corner and into the crease. If you want a more blended effect than the socket brush gives, then use a clean Stila 9 to create a perfectly graduated effect.
Wet the tip of the Nars 2 brush and dip into the Chocolate pigment again. Use this to paint on a "tight" line. This is created by pushing the tip of the loaded brush into the root of the lash line. I call it "the wiggle and push". You can use wet or dry shadows when using this technique but the effect is more dramatic with a wet brush. It opens up the eye and creates definition without being too obvious.
Finish the eyes off with the usual lashings and layers of mascara.
Colour your cheeks using the Nars 9 brush and the Orgasm. Highlight using the Cannes Multi and top the look off with the Belle Du Jour on your lips for the latest look.
Honey, you look gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!
Rebecca xxx

Monday, 10 November 2008

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Most Glamorous of Them All?

I'm begging each and every one of you, please immediately go out and purchase Glamour magazine today! Each magazine includes one of three great Nails Inc shades for FREE! Need me to say it again? Okay! FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! I chose the super cute ballet pink shade but there is also a totally on trend black and a timeless red shade.

Obviously it has the usual Glamour-fabulousness including fashion look upon fashion inspiration upon fashion innovation. It also has party looks to get you all the way through party season. I love all the pieces on how to look great while our Miu Miu purses feel the effects of the credit crunch. But girls, there is NEVER an excuse not to look great. Okay, there might be a few but they're not socially acceptable so don't even consider them.

Long story short, get down to WH Smith, pick up Glamour with your fave shade of nail varnish and get reading!!!


Rebecca xxx

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Madamoiselle Chanel

I was looking for a new look to go shopping in this morning and I stumbled across this compact that my Mum sent over to me ages ago. I haven't used it yet and today felt like the perfect day for it. I love all the pretty patterns and the golden cherry blossoms in the top section! At first glance I was a bit stumped on what to do with this. The red shade isn't something I'd naturally put on. I'm so pale and can get quite red around the cheeks. Anyhoo, I thought I'd give it a go and I've fallen in love with it. By the time I was finished I really felt like a Singaporean glamour gal. All I needed was a cheongsam, as opposed to my jeans, black polo neck and quilted black ballet pumps. It certainly did the trick though!!!

Products: Laura Mercier Primer, Daniel Sandler Wash of Colour in 06, Daniel Sandler Knock it on the Head in 05, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, Daniel Sandler on the Loose in 05, Chanel Coromandels compact, Lancome Flextencils mascara in black, MAC Lipglass in Bow Belle, Rimmel pencil eyeliner in black, Stila eyeshadow in Espresso.

Tools: Laura Mercier Foundation Sponge, Nars 7 brush, Laura Mercier Camouflage brush, Pout Powder brush, Small Socket brush, Pout Small Eyeshadow brush, 000 Eyeliner brush, Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, Laura Mercier Eyebrow Grooming brush.

Start with a well cleansed, moisturised and primed face then create the perfect base by using a press and peel motion with the Wash of Colour on the Laura Mercier sponge. I love these sponges and the very best bit is that they're washable and reusable! Just pop some mild shampoo into the palm of your hand, work it through the sponge and rinse till the water runs clear. Planet friendly! Hooray! The Nars 7 brush is fantastic for all your concealer requirements as well. You can use the wider section to tackle under eye circles and the tapered tip is great for pin pointing small blemishes and erasing them completely. As always, use your fingers to blend away concealer to leave a seamless finish. The Secret Brightening Powder is one of my Hall of Fame products that it's impossible to live without. I truly believe it takes five years off everyone! Just pat it into your under eye shadows using the Camouflage brush. Finally, dust the loose powder all over with a lovely fluffy brush.

The eyes are super easy. Groom and fill your brows using the Laura Mercier Eyebrow brush and Stila eyeshadow in Espresso. Use the Small Eyeshadow brush to sweep the red colour from the lash line up into the crease and a little over. Chanel eyeshadows are a terrific texture and you won't need to worry too much about any drop off. Take the small Socket brush and blend the charcoal shadow into the crease and outer corner. If you feel like you need to blend this off more, I love using my Stila 9 brush. Don't load it with any product but just sweep away for the perfectly graduated blend. It's super soft and tapered so it gets right into the crease as well. If you're after more of a smudged effect you can also squeeze the tip of the brush between your thumb and forefinger and blend away. It's one of my top 5 brushes that I couldn't live without.

Now for the really fun bit. After running my eyeliner pencil along the inner rim of the lower lid, I dipped my 000 eyeliner brush into some water and used the gold colour in the compact as a liquid liner. I didn't just go along the top though. After running the charcoal in a smudged line using the small eyeshadow brush along the lower lash line, I also put the gold liner on the inner corner and a third of the way along the lower lash line. It helped to brighten the look up a little. Curl your lashes and layer on that mascara. Is it ever possible to have enough mascara? I've never found that point yet. Layer it on! The more the better! It's all about the false lash effect. Finally, I used the Stila 9 brush to highlight along the brow bone with the gold colour.

Top it off with a lovely thick slick of MAC Lipglass in Bow Belle for an uber glamour look. Hello, Sophisticated Lady! Put this with anything from your fave LBD to a power suit for work and you will be a force to be reckoned with!!!


Rebecca xxx

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Artist's Palette

Have you ever looked at a palette at the make up counter and thought how much you love it but you're not sure you'd use everything in it? Oh you would be surprised at how handy these wonders are! In fact, now it's winter again I've just rediscovered one of my fave Nars palettes, Emotional Rescue. It soooo lives up to the name! I can throw it in my handbag and it's going to cover all eventualities. In fact, on this rainy Saturday afternoon, I've just been having a little play and have put on a classic face that will carry me from the latest Warhol exhibit at the Hayward through to dinner and cocktails at Cafe Boheme.

Items Used:

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Space NK Illuminating Base (discontinued, boo)

Daniel Sandler Wash of Colour Base in 06

Daniel Sandler Knock It On The Head Concealer in 05

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Daniel Sandler On The Loose in 05

Stila Eyesahdow in Espresso

Nars Lip Gloss in Chihuahua

Nars Palette in Emotional Rescue

Rimmel Pencil Eyeliner in Black

Lancome Flextencils Mascara in Black

Laura Mercier Foundation Sponge

Laura Mercier Eyebrow Grooming Brush

Laura Mercier Camouflage Brush

Nars 7 Brush

Stila 7 Brush

Pout Concealer Brush (I miss Pout so much!)

Pout Powder Brush

Laura Mercier Angled Eye Colour Brush

Nars 15 Brush

Nars 17 Brush

Pout Large Eyeshadow brush

Nars 2 Brush

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

1) Mix a little illuminator and a little primer in your palm and pat into your face all over.

2) Using the foundation sponge, press the base into your face all over. A base this liquid is best applied with a sponge. Use a press and peel motion with the sponge to avoid looking like you've just got base smeared over the top of your skin. It helps to make sure you're perfectly blended. Don't forget to take the base right down your neck and over your ears a little so you don't look like you're wearing a mask.

3) Using the concealer brush use small strokes to blend away any blemishes, redness and under eye shadows. Use your finger tips to blend away the edges. The warmth in your fingers will be the perfect tool for that!

4) Using the camouflage brush, tap some Secret Brightening Powder under the eyes to highlight away the last of the dark circles.

5) Take a lovely, fluffy powder brush to dust all over with the loose powder and set your base.

6) Using the swirly end of the eyebrow grooming brush, brush through your brows so they're lovely and smooth. Using the espresso (or otherwise appropriately coloured matt shadow) push the blunt end of the brush through the brows to fill any gaps and perfect the arch.

7) Using the large eyeshadow brush load up with the Night Fairy shadow in the palette. Take it all the way from the lash line up to under the brow and don't forget to run it through your bottom lash line either.

8) Take the Stila 7 brush and run the Notorious along the lash line and fill in the outer corner of the eye into the socket and along the bottom of the brow bone for contour. Again, don't forget to run the Notorious a little along the bottom lash line.

9) Dip the Nars 2 brush into a teensy bit of water and mix the Lulu shadow into a paste for use as an eyeliner. Run the brush along the top of the lash line creating your favourite kind of flick. My personal favourite is a line not too thick that has a tiny flick at the outer corner. Using the tip of the brush, dab right into the lash line so you get a terrifically dark look around the eyes. From there I like to push the tip of the brush into the lower lash line as well.

10) Take the Nars 15 brush into the dry Lulu powder and smudge it over the liquid eye line that you've created and again across the lower lash. It helps to keep the line stay put all day long and give it some extra intensity.

11) Dab a generous amount of Himalayas onto the flat side of the Angled Eye Colour Brush and softly blend it over the brow bone to highlight and blend the rest of the smokiness.

12) For extra intensity, run the pencil eyeliner along the inner rim of the lower lash line and the upper lash line. If you haven't put eyeliner in the upper rim before it will feel super creepy but it's sooooo worth it for the amazing effect it creates! Now give your lashes a quick curl and lay on the mascara in thick lashings!

13) Generously coat your lips with the Dolce Vita lip colour. I also like a bit of gloss so went over it with the Nars gloss in Chihuahua focusing on the bow of the lips for extra fullness.

14) Give a generous dusting of the Orgasm cheek colour with the Nars 17 brush. Use your fingers to highlight with the Cannes multi along the top of the cheek bone, the brow bone, down the centre of your nose and along the jaw line. These are the key areas to highlight your face in order to define your features and create more shape for your face. (I have a super round face that constantly requires some attention to give it a little 3D!)

15) Smile, strut out of the house and just wait for all the admiring stares you're about to get!


Rebecca xxx