Friday, 26 June 2015

I had another baby - Friday Video

I know there has been not a lot going on here or on my YouTube recently...


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour

Since trying this eye pencil I have been avoiding Space NK because if I go in there I will buy every single product from Nudestix that they have available. In fact I'm struggling to think of even one thing that I don't like about this eye pencil... I mean. I don't like the price but this, once again, proves you get what you pay for.

Regular readers (hello!) will know that I am a little bit obsessed with eye shadow pencils and my quest to find the perfect one led me to Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour and, well this could be the perfect eye pencil. It's soft. Soft enough that if you drop it you will break it (thanks Libs) but not so soft that the pencil is going to break during application. It is the ideal consistency for using directly onto the eye lid and although I then blend with a brush, that's just my personal preference, you an use your finger or, for paler colours you technically don't need to blend at all. But I'm a make-up artist so I'm never going to advise not blending.

What's the most annoying thing about most eye shadow pencils? Sharpening. Well Nudestix have that covered by providing a sharpener in the amazing tin the pencil comes in which is itself reusable and has a mirror on the lid. Need a small make-up kit in your clutch? Use the Nudestix tin. Ace.

It's long lasting and great on it's own or as a base for powder shadows or blended with other creams. If you have oily lids then these are worth a try, they are waterproof with great colour payoff. I have Angel. I want Immortal next. Subtle, flattering colours to suit everyone.

And these are not the only string to the Nudestix bow... they do everything. Concealer, contour, bronzing, lip and cheek, blemishes, correcting. I want to try them all... and hopefully I will. When a newborn isn't nixing my spending.

What You Need to Know - Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour

Saturday, 6 June 2015

I had another baby...

James Alexander Reuben Harrod, Jim, arrived on Tuesday 2nd June so my posts may be a little erratic for the next couple of weeks. He's heaven...


Monday, 1 June 2015

Monday's Make-up Muse - Tori Amos

From the To Venus and Back sleeve - toriamos.com
Tori Amos has to be one of the biggest female influences on my life in terms of her music and the way she looks. I can still remember hearing To Venus and Back in my friends kitchen, buying it the next day and looking at the sleeve and thinking she just looked so amazing - it was the first time I tried to do my make-up to look like someone else rather than just messing about on how I wanted my face to look.

Since there I've seen her play live as often as possible and even though sometimes she wears something I wouldn't personally choose she has a fantastic and unique sense of style that I love. Though not known for her make-up particularly, she often looks pretty fresh-faced and it's much more her fashion that is dramatic, it's the look she had in the late '90s when that album came out that I loved (dark red hair, red lip, grungy black liner) and I can still see in my everyday make-up. So, as this is my blog and she's my make-up muse, that's the look I'm going to aim for in my recommendations below which are going to be pretty basic because it's pretty hard to see what she's actually wearing due to the purple tinge on all the pictures. I've looked at a lot of her live recordings from the time and thing I can safely say there was quite a lot of taupe going on... it's the '90s after all.
from galleryhip.com

Eye Shadows - the whole Tori late '90s eye look is a bit grungy - insert heart eyed emoji - satiny, smudgy, almost glossy. A light goldeny base like Make Up For Ever's Aqua Cream in 13 (Fuschia Pink apparently but mine is very pale) with a shimmery taupe over the top - my absolute favourite is Satin Taupe eye shadow by MAC.

Eye Liner - defined and smudgy. If you want ultimate definition then a liquid liner close to the lash line - Make Up For Ever's Ink Liner is my choice. Smoulder eye kohl by MAC smudged over the top with a little bit of black shadow on a Laura Mercier Smokey Liner Brush.

Skin - luminous and, in the album photos, contoured. If I want to have really dewy skin then I use Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer and Dior Star Fluid foundation if you want to skip the primer then NARS Sheer Glow. For the contour the ideal is Soleil Tan de Chanel but if you want something more high street priced then I've been really impressed by the NYX contour stick which is going to be available soon. You want to use creams here to keep the finish as luminous as possible. If you have the  House of Glam Dolls Glam Base Wheel that would be great here too - and a better option for darker skin tones.

Lips - often either red or a sort of brown. Usually glossy. To go ultimate '90s then we'll have to go with brown... well, browny nude and this will depend on your skin tone. I like NYX glosses (Tiramisu or Creme Brulee look good choices for this) , Charlotte Tilbury and MAC lipstick and lip liners.

Q Cover 1998
To Venus and Back cover - from toriamos.com

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Estee Lauder EE Cream

I was trying to be organised-ish before the baby arrives and was going through my (huge) list of things to review (not as huge as my list of things I want to try) and realised I never actually reviewed the Estee Lauder EE Cream. I did a Quick Review video of it and then raved about it to anyone who would listen soooo much that I felt like I'd reviewed it to death. I haven't. So here it is.

I'm dubious of the whole BB, CC, EE cream debacle. Surely they are all just variants on tinted moisturisers? Well yes they are but with specific claims and the Estee Lauder EE cream claims to even skin tone (the EE stands for Even Effects apparently). This 'even-ing' claim coupled with my life-long quest to find the perfect tinted moisturier is what initially led me to buy it and I have to say at first I was a little disappointed. Yes I love this product but why oh why does it only come in three colours? The lightest colour is very pale on me and the medium would be far to dark. I got the lightest and it will be fine until I get any sort of tan. However, I do love it enough that I may buy it in medium so I have the option of mixing the perfect colour throughout the summer.

The next thing you have to get used to is the light coverage. Yes this does even the skin tone but it is a very light coverage so prepare yourself for that (and have some concealer to hand if you think you'll need it). I use concealer even I use a full coverage foundation so for me this was pretty easy to adjust to but what is so lovely about this product is it's blendability and finish. You can really work this into to the skin so you get exactly the coverage you need where you need it and every time I wear this I get comments on how great my skin looks. Every. Single. Time.

It's price is a little expensive for what it is - yes I'll pay it because I really like the product - but considering you can get a Chanel foundation for £32 this is quite an outlay for a tinted moisturiser. It does have a good whack of SPF in it though. I like to wear a high SPF on my face in the summer - 30 at least - so I find it quite frustrating when my make-up has a SPF 15 because I don't like to build SPF's in case they cancel each other out. So I either use a separate SPF and can't use the make-up product or use the make-up and worry about sun damage. Not so with this that's to it's SPF30.

This is one I would definitely recommend trying before you buy but I do recommend trying if you are looking for a new base/tinted moisturiser and want something light with a dewy finish. Really beautiful and long-lasting.

What You Need to Know - Estee Lauder EE Cream

Monday, 25 May 2015

Automatic Re-Buys

I've been thinking about this post for a while and I think it's just going to have to be one that is ever expanding. But there are some things that I have spares of in reserve or re-buy as soon as they run out, automatically, without thinking about the things you usually think about when buying products - cost, reviews, necessity. As soon as they look a bit low I re-buy. Writing me has also made me realise there are certain products for which I have nothing on the re-buy list - for example mascaras. I really like a couple of mascaras but I'm still on the hunt for the perfect one so whatever I buy when I need to is usually a new one that I want to try out.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm - if you have read this blog at all you'll know how much I love this product (see my full review here and my quick review video here)  This is the cleanser I use every evening unless I am trying other cleansers out and if they make my skin react then I go back to this and it sorts it out. If I've worn a ton of make-up this gets it all off. If I'm not wearing any this feels like a moisturising treat.

Pixi Glow Tonic - the toner that got me really back into toning (see my full review here). Slews away dead cells, brightens, moisturises and firms. If you are thinking about adding a toner to your skincare routine this is a great place to start.

Origins Make A Difference + -this is a moisturiser I come back to again and again (see my full review here). It just seems to suit my skin so well. And, bizarre as it sounds, it is totally buildable in that, if I'm feeling well-moisturised and its the morning and I'm going to be adding an SPF and some make-up then a really thin layer of this is great. If I need to slap it on to dry, or a bit irritated skin in the evening I can and it feels deeply moisturising and luxurious.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula for Dry Skin - I have incredibly dry skin which can get itchy so I have tried a lot  of moisturisers. This is the one product I've found that keeps me feeling moisturised for the 24 or so hours between applications. And it's incredibly reasonably priced (see my quick review video here). Why try to find something high end when there is a fantastic product available on the high street?

Lavera Soft Eye Pencil - why they stopped putting a smudger on the end of this I'll never know but it's my second favourite soft liner pencil and, for me at the moment, easier for me to get hold of than my No 1,  Smoulder by MAC (they sell it in the shop next door). A truly soft eye pencil, vegan, non-irritating, truly black, goes on the waterline (see my full review here). What's not to like?

MAC Eye Kohl in Smoulder - always in my pro-kit and, ideally, always in my personal one too. For a '90s teen a smudgey black liner will never go out of fashion and this is the ultimate. Goes on the waterliner, properly black, long lasting and, for me, the perfect consistency.

Sleek Makeup Luminous Pressed Powder - another high street hero. Love that it will fix my make-up in place without taking away all the dewiness and radiance I spend time (and money) putting in. A must for those of us naturally prone to dullness.

Benefit Sugabomb - a blusher I have been using for years and years (see my full review here). Its personal preference but the colours for me are perfect and, though it's expensive, it lasts for a long time. 

Avon Supershock Gel Liner - the best black waterproof liner you can get, as far as I know (see my full review here). Incredibly reasonably priced, goes onto and stays on, the waterline.

Real Techniques Shading Brush - a great eyeshadow brush. Good length bristles, easy to use and keep clean, synthetic and very well priced. I always have a couple of these in my personal brush collection. I wish they did the base shadow brush separately too, it's fantastic for blending.

Butter London Flawless Base Coat - loved it from first use and still love it now. (see my full review here). No yellowness, nice strong nails, nothing nasty in it, lovely base for your colour to go onto.

Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser - smells great, easy to use, cleans brushes perfectly, no nasty chemicals (see my full review here and my quick review here).

Friday, 22 May 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shampoo and Conditioner

Shampoo
There are very few products that I am completely evangelical about after just one use but the Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shampoo and Conditioner gave me such a eureka moment I've had trouble not reviewing them before my designated 1 month trial time.

It's been a month - I'm still obsessed. In a slightly weird way where I look forward to washing my hair (surely the second most boring thing next to drying your hair). The great results haven't lessened with use and even when I mess up the styling (too much/not enough root booster etc) the hair itself looks and feels so much better. I had almost given up hope of finding a volumising shampoo and conditioner that would make the slightest bit of difference to my fine hair. But this is it.
Conditioner

I was initially surprised as to why I hadn't heard great things about this shampoo/conditioner before - Sam Chapman recommended them to me - and then I checked out the Cowshed website and boy do they not do themselves any favours. If I made this shampoo I would be singing it from the rooftops. But a very basic description awaits and only three ingredients mentioned. No where does it say that it is sulphate and silicone free which I'm sure is what makes this so fantastic. In terms of volume this isn't going to make your hair like something from Working Girl it would be good if it did but I'm in love with it anyway. Because it is free from silicone and sulphate it doesn't weigh your hair down meaning it has a chance to be naturally sleek and voluminous.

There is no frizz. None. Not even a hint of it. The price of this isn't ideal but it's worth it and though you do need quite a lot of the conditioner if you have mid-to-long-hair, a little of the shampoo goes a long way. It does contain essential oils so if you are not into that then this is not
something for you to try.

What You Need to Know - Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shampoo and Conditioner

Monday, 18 May 2015

Where to Shop - Precious about Makeup (PAM)

About PAM - If you are not a pro make-up artist you may not have heard about PAM (Precious about Makeup) and why should you? In fact it may seem as a pretty odd choice to start this 'Where to Shop' series off with a West London based shop aimed towards working make-up artists, but what I love about PAM is though it is a make-up shop, owned by professional make-up artists, run by working make-up artists for those working in the business they not only stock some fantastic brands but are the nicest people to buy from so even if you are just a fan of make-up and shopping for personal use you will be given the same lovely service and advice - not always the case in other shops!

Established in 1996 by Jan Sewell (Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything) and Kate Benton (The Royals, Love Actually, Absolutely Fabulous) as somewhere for professional make-up artists to go to purchase the products they most need in their kits and it is the go-to place for those working in film, TV and special effects. One of the aims of the shop was to create a friendly atmosphere where you are always welcomed and helped no matter what your budget, or ability and since I've been going there that is exactly what I love so much about PAM and keeps me going back.

All team members are qualified, working make-up artists which means PAM is also the go-to place if you urgently need to place an order while on set, they have a fast, reliable delivery service and you can talk to someone who knows what you need. With a studio upstairs for brand and make-up artist demos their company line has become 'never stop learning' which adds to the creative, friendly atmosphere.

They are also the leading stockists for some really great, hard-to-find brands - Make Up For Ever, Ben Nye, MUD, MaqPro and Kryolan to name but a few. 

In-store - One of the reasons I love shopping in PAM is it is the perfect mix of relaxed, busy and organised. This may sound a bit strange but the make-up artists working there are always planning the next event, organising orders or helping customers in-store or on the phone. Which means although they are happy to help there's no one hovering around making you feel like you can't have a good browse or you have to purchase something, nor do you feel like you can't ask for advice. There are a few brand stands to see - Make Up For Ever and Louise Young - but also a lot of shelves filled with lots of different, often unusual products, pots of brushes and bits for your kit that has a sort of Aladdin's cave feel about it.

Online - the current website it absolutely fine, if sometimes a little fiddly but I know a new one is under design and should be coming soon. The products are usually up-to-date but as I mentioned above this is really a shop for pro make-up artists so occasionally things are listed as not in stock when they've just come in. If you're desperate for something then it's worth calling to check and if they don't have it, they'll order it for you. International shipping available and a choice of postage options within the UK.

Discount - for working make-up artists there is a discount available between 20%-35% depending on the brand available in-store and over the phone. They are hoping to make this available online with the launch of the new website. 

What to buy - although a limited range will be going into Debenhams later in the year, PAM is the stockist for Make Up For Ever so if you are a fan of them then this is the shop to go to. Also great for weird little kit necessities, sponges, bruise wheels, cotton wool buds, latex gloves and hand palettes. Zucca bags, beauty blenders, brush cleaners, disposables, and palettes are also always in stock. Skincare, suncare, magazines, books, special fx, airbrushing, lighting and things for the studio - if they haven't got it they'll try their hardest to track it down for you.

Best Sellers - top 3's listed below by brand and product
Contact info - Precious About Makeup (PAM) 6-7 Goldhawk Mews, London W12 8PA (nearest tube Goldhawk Road). 020 8740 0808. www.preciousaboutmakeup.com. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Opening Hours - Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm. Saturday 9am-5pm
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