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Saturday, 25 August 2012

NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo

I really don't mean this to become the 'NARS Eyeshadow Review Blog' but what can I say I love their colours and textures. Vent Glace (French for 'Cold Wind') combines two cool toned shimmery shades, a platinum with slight teal undertones & a light dirty khaki taupe. 
Out of the two the left shade is definitely more pigmented and can easily overpower the other shade but when the colours used separately and over a darker base they look stunning. I really think these are great daytime cool toned colours which still manage to look fresh and demure. I've been using this duo quite a bit lately (I have nothing else like it) and paired it with MAC Coffee Eye Pencil. The colours brighten up your eye and put together with warm lips and cheeks really completes the look. In the look below I just placed them quickly over the eye to show them to you, but I suggest using a matte blending colour to soften the shimmer a little. Having said that I happen to like a messy application sometimes, just looks a little more casual. 
The light washed out the khaki taupe shade a little - I've used it around the lash lines of my eye.

Vent Glace makes for a nice break from usual browns and bronzes and still manages to look neutral. As always NARS' eyeshadows are soft, pigmented and long lasting even without a primer. 
This duo retails for £24 and is available here.

What do you all think? What colours are you wearing lately?
xxx

Holy Grail! Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Foundation #5.5

I still remember the day, March of this year and a 2 hour makeup session at the Giorgio Armani counter at Selfridges with Mother Round Cheeks. We sat there and chatted to Tran, a chatty and endearing fellow beauty enthusiast/MA. 

I had been to Giorgio Armani once before with my best friend on the hunt for her perfect foundation. We took over numerous makeup counters including Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua & Tom Ford but ultimately settled for Giorgio Armani's Designer Lift. The makeup artist then applied it for both of us then but I wasn't too confident with my colour match so decided to re-visit another day. My best friend bought it and has been using it ever since. 

Designer Lift is GA's newest foundation which promises to adapt to your skin type and balance out oily and dry areas alike, great for combination skin. As you all know I have extremely dry skin so for foundation to last on my skin, it needs to be emollient and stay that way throughout the day. So on dry skin, it is very moisturising and makes my skin feel comfortable and soft. 
Giorgio Armani states that this is a full coverage foundation but I would describe it to be a medium buildable coverage - in that 2 layers would be full coverage but still natural looking. The packaging, being glass feels luxurious and has a controllable pump as well as a cap that fits snugly on the bottle. I've applied it with several types of foundation brushes and whilst all work well, Real Techniques' Buffing Brush is my favourite for a flawless yet natural looking finish. Designer Lift applies extremely smoothly and as it's a very thin and fluid/runny consistency feels and looks incredibly light on the skin. I usually set it lightly with MAC's Careblend powder in Medium Plus and it lasts until I decide to take it off. Without powder I would say it lasts up to 6 - 7 hours (I always use Laura Mercier's Hydrating Primer before any base makeup) and with, the entire day. The finish is natural yet luminous in that it colour corrects you skin tone and adds a glamorous glow. Giorgio Armani has a large shade range and the use of 'Prussian blue pearl' in DL gives one's complexion a much brighter appearance much like YSL Touch Eclat Foundation. Another plus is that one may mix all of Armani's foundations and it won't change their texture or performance.
When applying the foundation it does have a scent, yet it's difficult pinpoint. I would have to describe it as a pleasant floral yet fresh makeupy scent. Once applied the smell fades away quickly. DL has SPF20 yet still manages to photograph well but I will say that cream foundations like Cinema Secrets photograph better.

All in all, the standard size 1oz foundation bottle would last me just shy of a year with a daily use of 1 pump. Even though it is expensive at £39, it works so well on my skin that I cannot give it up. I'm visiting home for a little bit and it's the only foundation I brought and I know I won't be missing any others. If you have the opportunity to visit an Armani counter then I'd really recommend at least trying it. I'm wearing this foundation in a previous FOTD - I would have put up a new one but my skin is looking a little worse for wear lately…

To see what shades I am in other foundations, I've listed them on the right hand side of my blog.

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate all your lovely comments!

xxx

Thursday, 16 August 2012

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow Review & Swatches & Quick Camera Update!

The last couple of weeks I've felt pretty uninspired on the beauty front and haven't really lusted after much. So a couple of weeks ago when I had £5 at Space NK I decided to pick up an item that I had been delaying for a while. NARS Galapagos (£17) is a rich, warm chocolate brown shot through with gold sparkles. Immediately I was lifted out of my stagnant trance and itching to play with it. For all you neutral lovers out there (A.K.A everyone) this shadow can be incorporated into every look. 
In the pan it stuns. Swatched dry however, it's disappointing - nonetheless it performs completely different on the eye - in a good way. One can build the intensity so that a touch of gold it visible or sheer it out as a wash of colour/deepen the socket. Whilst using it - I felt as though the sparkles turned into shimmer and its intensity quite easily. Galapagos when wet is very impressive - nonetheless I'm not very experienced with using shadows wet and was nervous as although NARS claims you can use their shadows wet I do not want to spoil the surface of the shadow so instead I load a dry brush with colour and then spray it with Fix+ or water. If anyone uses these shadows wet or any shadows wet please comment below with technique! 
NARS Galapagos swatches left to right: Dry, Wet

Essentially, it's very straightforward. NARS Galapagos cheers me up and I'm more than happy to cross it off my list.

Do you have something similar? Any thoughts..?
……………………………………………………………..
Forgive another quick update, I realise I've been a little inconsistent with my posts lately - this past week I finally decided to buy a camera and after A LOT of research I decided upon the Panasonic Lumix DMC GX1. It's a mirrorless compact system camera which in layman's terms is sort of like a DSLR in a compact form with interchangeable lenses. This camera suits me because I feel it will teach me the art of photography to a good level as well as  - plus it is a nice balanced size . Furthermore I can choose between Olympus lenses as well as Panasonic ones. If you didn't already know, up until now I had been using my IPhone for blogging. 
Image taken from Google

At the moment, I'm trying to learn everything I can about photography and how to use my camera to its full potential by watching tutorials and I'm really enjoying DigitalRevTV on Youtube which is like Top Gear with cameras. I've always wanted to immerse myself in photography and now I can so expect some shots soon!

How are you all doing?
xxx

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Must See Makeup Tutorials!

I thought I'd put together my favourite makeup tutorials around the web for all of you guys to check out! I watch countless tutorials and only a few stick with me so here they are…

1. Tanya Burr's take on Frieda Pinto's Immortals Look
I love this look so much, I practically where it every chance I get - it's sultry and laid back and makes me that way too! Tanya is one of my all time favourites, she's so down to earth, stunning and wonderful to watch and her tutorials are so exact - now the thing is I think all her tutorials are great and I would paste all of them here but that'd be pointless so I'll just point out a few!

2. Natalie's Smokey Taupe Eyes!
I rarely see really great blog tutorials but I really admire the effort that Natalie makes with hers, I know how long blogging takes sometimes so she really deserves recognition! Click HERE to be directed to her fabulous blog.

3. Nikkie's Sarah Jessica Parker's NYE Smokey Purple Eye
First things first, this girl is absolutely HILARIOUS and therefore a delight to watch! This look isn't your typical smokey eye but is absolutely stunning and eye catching.

4. Nic from Pixiwoo + Kirsten Stewart = PERFECTION
The technique in the video is easy to follow with really great results. I feel as though I do most of my smokey eyes like this now. I also learned that because I have a smaller gap between my eyes and brows than Nic does that I have to place the shadow just by my crease and blend outwards in order for it to work for me.

5. Tanya Burr takes on Beyonce's Why Don't You Love Me Look
This makeup has such interesting details that really make it unique. It' such a great going out look - I really hope you all try it - I wore this on New Year's Eve

6.  Kim Kardashian by Tanya Burr
I appreciate the beauty breakdown is this video and the way in which Tanya performs it is excellent, It's  glamorous but still not over the top.

7. Nic recreates Haifa Wehbe 
An intense Arabic look, it matte, striking and fantastic! It's really warm and complimentary.

8. Tanya Burr's Christmas Look!
The sparkly gold eyes are what makes this one for me - I probably don't have the guts to wear the lip with it  but it's still amazing!

I realise I might have gone a little Pixi crazy but I can't help it!

Which one's are your favourites?

xxx

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

NARS Modern Love Palette Review & Swatches + Update...

Like any makeup junkie, my eyeshadow collection is overflowing. From random singles to duos and quads going on to larger palettes there comes a point where there is too much choice. So when NARS' Modern Love (£39, available at ASOS) palette offers a great selection of neutral shades that can take you from day into night as well as offer a variety of other looks - with the added bonus that the shadows are soft, pigmented and a dream to blend I'd recommend it to everyone and anyone. 
Alhambra:
 A shimmery peachy pink, an amazing brightening shade for anywhere on the eye. This has no glitter and when blended out has a satin finish so it doesn't look obvious as a highlight.
Tokyo:
A whitish subtle silver, it's shimmery but again not overly so - the mix between white and silver is very flattering as it's not too cool and therefore very versatile.
Jezebel:
A shimmery maroon/brown with pink/gold shimmer. It's surprisingly wearable and probably the shade I'm drawn to the most. 
Habanera:
A shimmering taupish purple with lots of pink and aqua coloured sparkles. It's a very unique shade and as one of the cooler shades in the palette makes for a great addition.
India Song:
Another warm shade, this time a bronzey brown with gold shimmer and khaki undertones. A great staple which everyone would enjoy.
Pandora:
 An intense matte black - richly pigmented and not at all chalky, great for deepening look or lining eyes.
There are other NARS palettes such as Pleasures of Paris, Night Series etc and a couple of new ones American Dream + New Wave and even though I'm tempted I suppose I feel as though I already have the colours from NARS that I love so buying the palettes would mean buying duplicates. Having said that NARS Palettes are so well executed and contain a nice amount of product and especially if you're having your first dip into the brand I'd suggest testing them out. Unfortunately I've never seen them in store, only online - nonetheless they contain permanent shades so one could swatch them in store.

I thought I'd show you the kind of eye look I've been going for recently - mostly consisting of various warm browns put together with an array of brown eyeliners. I really like the versatility of this look and wear it day and night.
Base: MAC Nubile Paint Pot
Eyeshadow: Alhambra + Tokyo = inner corner & brow bone highlight, Jezebel + Habanera on lid & lower lash line, India Song in crease & upper lash line, Pandora = outer V and along lashes. Burberry Almond (Review here) blending out between crease and brow bone.
Eyeliner: MAC Coffee = waterline, MAC Teddy = lower lash line, Urban Decay Lucky = underneath the eye, AVON Supershock Black = tightline
Mascara: L'Oreal Telescopic, MaxFactor False Lash Effect
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish NC35, Bare Minerals Well Rested
 Eye Brushes: MAC 224, MAC 239, MAC 219, Louise Young LY13
Concealer brushes: MAC 217, Real Techniques Setting Brush
How would you use the palette? Do you have any favourites amongst the palettes and should I splurge on one more?
xxx

AND……….In other news, apologies for my absence, I took a short trip to Paris, quick tip to anyone travelling from London: TAKE THE EUROSTAR! It's a headache driving….Anyway I got lots of sun  and had a fabulous time savouring croissants and foie gras oh and did I mention the wine. Yes I think there were many bottles. I think, it's hard to remember hehe...

Also - I'm taking a Tango class tomorrow. Needless to say I'm nervous - but hey how bad can it be eh?

Hope you all are having fun wherever you are!
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