I can't resist a good multipurpose product. Think about "lip and cheek" products. I adore them. I happily welcome any all-rounder product in my makeup bag, as long as it helps me reduce time spent in the bathroom. I thought I would share with you which time-saver products I currently own… in case you have an obsession about anything multipurpose too.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean: the smokey eye all-rounder £5 from the Nyx online store.
NYX isn’t the easiest brand to find, but you can order from their website. They are famous for their blushers, especially Taupe, which is supposed to be one of the best (and cheapest) contouring shades for pale skins. I haven’t managed to get my hands on it yet, but I have managed to find one of their Jumbo eye pencils and I am so glad I did. They are fantastic - with their creamy texture, they are easily blendable and very easy to apply!
This eye pencil can be used: Option A)
All over the lid then blended, perfect as a base for a smokey eye Option B)
With an eyeliner brush to pick up some product on the pencil – no gel eyeliner or powder needed ! Option C)
On the waterline instead of a khôl pencil (requires some practice!)
MAC Mineralize concealer: who needs foundation?£16.50 from MAC Cosmetics
There is a bit of cheating on this one. Technically, you can do this with pretty much any concealer, but I personally think the MAC Mineralize concealer works best (on my skin type at least) because it has a light and moisturizing texture. Mixed with your day cream, it makes a fantastic tinted moisturizer, or using the Real techniques stippling brush (or any duo fibre brush), you can use it on the entire face as a thin layer of foundation. Only a small amount of product needed as it is quite pigmented!
Oriflame Eyebrow kit: it's not all about the brows
£5.95 from the Oriflame website
Something I learnt from Lisa Eldrige in her Capsule Makeup Video. If like me, you are a neutral eye shadow lover, then you can use a brow kit for both your brows and eyelids. Since brow kits usually includes 2 brown powder shades, you can use them to create a natural and defined eye makeup. Perfect for traveling !
I particularly like this kit by Oriflame because the two shades are very natural, but the kit also includes a small compartment where to keep (small) brushes.
AND, because I am crazy, I also use the lightest brown as a contour shade, because it has hints of grey, which is supposed to be perfect for contouring. Which means I don't have to invest in the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder, which I am yearning for.
There you go, throw these in your bag along with a lip and cheek product and some mascara – who would have thought you only need 5 products to cover your entire face?
Last month I was telling you about my obsession for peach pink blushers. While Summer is gone and Autumn has officially started (gosh, they were even playing Christmas songs in Starbucks the other day!), I thought it was time to share my passion for another set of shades – berries. A classic autumnal shade I cannot resist – especially as a nail polish shade.
My nail polish collection is quite minimalist. One red, one turquoise, one coral… I am quite well behaved in nail polish territory. Except when it comes to nudes (I am guilty of owning 2 or 3 of them!), and of course, berries. Here are the three shades currently satisfying my 'berry addiction': American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Berry - £9 from American Apparel
The name is self-explanatory. But for me, American Apparel is where it all started. Remember all the hype when they released their nail polish collection a few years ago? I fell for it and bought this exact nail polish, even though I was biting my nails at the time! The colour is beautiful – a deep burgundy that only requires one coat! Unfortunately, the brush isn’t the most practical – I always struggle when applying it – and the product takes a long time to dry. This shade is definitely reserved for Sunday afternoons! Rimmel Nail Salon Pro Nail Polish in 402 Urban Purple
- £4.49 from Boots
Do not trust the name of this nail polish: it looks a lot more purple in the bottle than it actually is on the nails. At £4.49, the nail salon pro range fits into the “cheap” category without letting you down on quality. Easy to apply and long-lasting, one coat needed, what more to ask for? I receive so many compliments each time I wear this shade. If I had to keep one, it would be this one! Barry M Nail Paint in Raspberry
- £2.99 from Boots
Cheap and fuss-free, Barry M’s nail paints are always a good option. Of course, they are not the most long-lasting and tend to chip very quickly, but they are easy to apply and are a great way to experiment with colours without upsetting your bank account. However, like the American Apparel nail lacquers, they take a long time to dry. But they are £2.99. You can't have everything.
Me, last on the bandwagon? YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation was released in July 2012 and caused a bit of a stir in the blogging community. At the time, I was more interested in Armani Face Fabric and didn’t get around to trying YSL's newest baby. However, during one of my (many) recent trips to Boots, I managed to grab a small sample of YSL Touche Éclat Foundation and I have now been using it for the past 3 weeks ! I am quite impressed with the size of the sample and how practical it is to use (a tiny bottle with an incorporated spatula.)
Touche Éclat covers a wide range of skin tones with 22 shades available in total, from very fair to very dark, (10 to 80) from pink to neutral to yellow (BR, B and BD*) undertones. Probably one of the most democratic foundations on the market ! I was matched to the shade B40, which seems to be a tad dark for me (in comparison to my other foundations), but once the foundation is blended it looks absolutely fine. Yet, if I decide to buy the full size product, I will probably go one shade lighter and settle for B20 or 30.
*BR, B and BD mean in french: Beige Rosé (Pink Beige), Beige and Beige Doré (Golden Beige), thus covering all skin undertones.
Application and result
Touche Éclat is very easy to apply. Fingers will be your best tool: the product glides like a dream and blends immediately into the skin for a natural finish, without leaving streaks (Hello Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer) or enhancing dry patches (NARS Sheer Glow I am looking at you).
Touche Eclat is marketed as a radiant and illuminating foundation. In comparison to Rimmel Wake Me Up, which also claims to be illuminating, Touche Eclat is more subtle and doesn’t look glittery in artificial light.
I am very impressed with the results. My main problem with "radiant foundations" is that they always end up looking shiny or glittery on the skin (at least, on my skin!) This foundation is nothing like that - it blends with the skin and seems to highlight just the right places (the cheekbones in particular) while blending weightlessly with oilier zones, such as the chin and the sides of the nose. I only powder my T-zone because I am taking the underground to go to work and it gets hot, otherwise I wouldn't !
Foundations generally don’t last well on me (by 3pm it’s usually almost gone), but this one has been great so far in terms of lasting power. The true test? A cotton pad full of foundation in the evening (and believe me, I apply a very thin layer on my skin!)
Of course, difficult to mention YSL Touche Eclat without talking about the packaging. Although I haven’t bought the full size product yet and cannot comment on the actual performance of the packaging (i.e does the lid close well, is the pomp easy to use, etc.), I can comment on its aesthetics: a beautiful glass bottle with a golden lid, the kind of beauty product you want on your bathroom’s top shelf (along with a few Chanel products!) The presence of a pomp is also a bonus. So many brands believe it's fun to pour foundation all over your table in the morning (Hello NARS Sheer Glow!)
Conclusion? I will definitely be buying the full size product when I finish my sample. Of course, at £28 it is on the expensive side, but it is worth every penny. The quality of the product, along with the beautiful and luxurious packaging, make YSL Touche Eclat a great purchase!
Have you tried YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat? What is your favourite illuminating/radiant foundation?
Sleek is a UK brand that can mainly be found in Superdrug. It is famous for its blushers, in particular Rose Gold which is supposed to be a dupe for NARS Orgasm. I haven't had the chance to try their blushers yet, but I eventually bought their Face Contour Kit because I was looking for a cheap option to try contouring (I would have loved to start with Kevyn Aucoin's Sculpting Powder, but I'd rather practice first and see if I like the look!)
The Face Contour Kit retails for £6.49, which is a bargain given than you get a contour shade and a highlighter. The kit comes in three different shades: light, medium and dark. Of course, I purchased the light one. The packaging is great: simple, elegant and fuss-free. No poor quality brush that gets dropped on the floor every time you open the compact - always appreciated.
Left: contour shade - Right: highlighter
The contour shade
is a matte warm brown, something usually very hard to find amongst drugstore brands, as they love to put glitter in almost everything! Unfortunately, this shade is a tad orange for me and therefore I have to use it sparingly to make sure it doesn't look unnatural. Aside from this "complexion issue", the powder is very pigmented and easily blendable. If you are feeling brave, you can even try to use it as a bronzer!
On the other hand the highlighter
, a champagne colour, works beautifully on my pale skin. It doesn't look glittery on the skin and the powder is perfectly blendable, like the contour shade. It gives a very subtle glow and I love to pair it with YSL Touche Eclat.
Glowing complexion guaranteed!
If you are fair and want to try contouring, you might want to look for other options. Although it is a great product for the price, the colour of the contour shade doesn't make it easy to achieve a natural look. It is off-putting especially if you've never tried contouring before. I wish Sleek would add one extra shade for lighter skins. Sleek Face Contour Kit, £6.49, available from Superdrug
(and often out of stock!)
For those of you who also want to try the blush Rose Gold
, the Face Contour Kit
is available as a 'trio' and contains the contour shade, the highlighter and the blush. Available from Superdrug
There's a problem we, make up addicts, all seem to share: we can't help but buying the same colours over and over again. Some people have too many red lipsticks, others have a plethora of bronzey eye shadows. I mean, seriously... isn't one enough? In my case, I have too many peach pink cream blushers. The saddest thing about it? I had never realized until I decided to do a blog post on cream blushers. I took all of them out, spread them on the table, and realized with amazement they are all the same shade.
I can hear the defenders of peach pink shouting from here. "But they're different tones of peach!"
They might be.
"But they're different textures".
RIGHT, they might be too.
I have to say, painting on a sheet of paper with cream blushers is the most relaxing experience ever. It's like going back to kinder garden. And it does make you aware of textures - some blushers dry instantly on the paper, whereas others just make it greasy.
So, what's the difference between them? Let's have a look...
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for lips and cheeks in Fresh Melon - £19According to Lisa Eldridge, when Bobbi Brown created the Pot Rouge she was inspired by her mother, who used lipstick on her cheeks. A nice story. Fresh Melon is the first cream blush I ever bought, so I am always feeling nostalgic when using it. It is, of course, a pinky peach, and suits pale skins beautifully. In terms of finish, this blush is very dewy and almost has a 'sticky' texture, which can make it hard to blend. I personally use the Real Techniques stippling brush, as I feel like I'm smearing my foundation all over my face when trying to apply with fingers. Look Beauty Fresh Cheeks in Lychee - £5
A great bargain. It is often on offer and you can buy it for £2.50. The shade is similar to Fresh Melon, but without the dewiness. It has a drier texture, which makes it very blendable and easy to apply. I like to use it when I want a very subtle flush of colour, and when I am not wearing a lot of makeup.
Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Pinched - £7.99
I bought this blush on a whim, but this is probably my least favourite of the bunch. It is very subtle - almost unnoticeable, actually. If you are new to cream blushers and a bit scared, this could be the one for you.
Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in Peach - £6.49
I can't describe how much I love this blush. It is so easy to apply and the shade is so flattering - an apricot peach with very little pink in it. I would recommend it to anyone with redness in their skin - I know how hard it can be to wear blusher. This one gives a nice flush of colour. If you apply it on the top of your cheekbones instead of the apples of your cheeks (something I do as I have a round face...), it also has a highlighting effect.
Bourjois Little Round Pot cream blush in Nude Velvet - £7.99
Nude Velvet has a nice creamy consistency that turns into a powder. Like Maybelline's cream blush, I find it great for my skin because it gives me a nice flush of colour without bringing out the redness in my skin. The packaging is also compact and practical to carry around or travel with.
Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Nude Lily - £12
Like Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge, this blush is meant to be used on both cheeks and lips. The tube format is quite original and makes the application easy. However, like Revlon's cream blusher, the colour is barely noticeable on the skin and I think it works best as a "tinted highlighter".
Any recommendations on cream blushers that are NOT peach pink and can be worn easily by someone with red undertones?
aaaand... here's a little arm swatch for you! Scary all those peach pinks, isn't it?
I am still a school kid at heart. One of my favourites things to do on a Sunday night is to prepare my make up bag for the week (along with cleaning my brushes, a task that I find quite relaxing!)
As you can probably guess, I own an indecent amount of products. Therefore, I like switching and using everything I own. Sunday night is always the opportunity for me to go through my makeup stash and pick some products I have left out for too long. Of course, depending on how my skin looks like, this is subject to change. The main idea behind this little ritual is to help me save time in the morning!
For my base, I am currently enjoying the Laura Mercier foundation primer and a sample of the YSL Touche Eclat foundation, which I got from Boots last weekend (this is by the way the best foundation sample I ever got, so practical and hygienic with an incorporated spatula!) I read a lot of reviews about this foundation and they were all laudative, so I couldn't wait to try it out. So far so good, it applies easily, has a light to medium coverage, makes my skin looks amazing and is rather long lasting. What more could a girl ask for? For concealing I am still using my MAC Mineralize - and still 100% satisfied. Definitely one of my best purchases this year.
Now, eyes. This is the area where I am trying to innovate... I've been feeling quite lazy with eye makeup recently. But I have found that MAC Paradisco paired with the darkest shade from the Revlon Colorstay eye shadow quad in Addictive turns into the perfect golden-brown and looks very pretty and natural. A perfect autumnal shade!
For mascara, I have replaced Maybelline The Falsies Flared with Origins GinZing Brightening mascara. Both are fantastic - volumizing and lengthening. I am a happy bunny. Review coming soon!
Finally, I like adding a touch of bronzer to my skin. As you know, since I've come back from holiday, my fear of bronzer has completely disappeared. I've even replaced The Body Shop bronzer with NARS Laguna, which will add a bit of glow to my skin, given the upcoming grey and cold weather.
Hope you all have a great week.
Here is something completely useless for you: a tiny lip balm. I like cute things, and during my last trip to Hong Kong I explored Sa Sa, the Asian equivalent of Boots, which is filled with cute and useless beauty things.
Cup cakes and donuts lip balms? Check. Blotting papers with a Marie Antoinette pattern? Check. Jelly bean scented hand lotion? Check. None of these reached the purchase stage (all right, the blotting papers did), but a tiny balm? Why not?
Now, talking about its actual hydrating properties… we'll pass. Nothing special going on here, just a regular lip balm. It won't fix the damage that winter will inflict on your lips. But I might be unfair, for when you have tried Nuxe's Rêve de Miel, nothing really compares. It contains peppermint oil, which makes it pleasant and refreshing enough - and let's admit it - it is clutch-friendly and fuss-free.
You can even buy the full display here.
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel firmly believed in luck. She surrounded herself with lucky charms and talismans. Inspired by this aspect of her personality, the House of Chanel recently launched the Superstition Collection for Fall 2013. The products' names are reminiscent of good fortune: Destiny, Présage, Fantastic, Mystique, Gri-Gri (a french word for talisman), Elixir, just to name a few. Dominated by khaki, golden beige, pink and burgundy, the new collection also features the long-awaited "Blush Crème de Chanel". I don't venture to the Chanel counter that often. Maybe two or three times a year, at best (while I do visit the Laura Mercier counter at least once a week, to swatch the Silk Creme foundation… guilty pleasures!) So far, my only Chanel purchase was one of the Illusion d’Ombre cream shadows, which I bought after watching a video tutorial by Lisa Eldridge. Two weeks ago, I went home with one of Chanel's lucky charms: Secret, a Rouge Coco Shine.Rouge Coco Shine is the sheerest and most hydrating formula of the Chanel lipstick range. Secret, a limited edition, is a beautiful light shimmering nude pink, but the shimmer is so fine that it looks more like a gloss on the lips. It doesn’t have the best lasting power, but very few sheer and hydrating lipsticks do.
I have, of course, set my sights on the cream blushers. Présage looks like the perfect apricot shade. Another purchase I can definitely predict.
Hold the phone, for something happened while I was on holiday: I got a tan. Not the most noticeable tan, I have to admit, but a tan nonetheless. And all of a sudden, I am getting enthusiastic about bronzer (a product I have denied for years) and even testing a darker shade of foundation than I am used to. “Times they are a-changing.”
So, in light of these recent changes, let me tell you what I’ve been slapping on my face recently.
I have abandoned my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in shade Porcelain to switch to a slightly darker shade which I bought by mistake a while ago, Blush. This mistake has served me well: Blush is now the perfect colour for my skin. Applied with the beauty blender, it looks fantastic. For under the eyes, I am using the Sephora illuminating concealer, and then covering any blemishes and redness with the Mac Mineralize concealer. That’s my base done.
For eyes, I’ve been keeping it simple: I have been using the shade Buck from the original Urban Decay Naked Palette all over the lid and then applying Maybelline the Falsies Flared Mascara.
Last but not least, The Body Shop Bronzing Powder has been the staple of my every day routine. To apply it, I pack the Real Techniques Blush Brush with product before taking most of it off the back of my hand, and then dusting it on my forehead, cheeks, chin and nose. I also like to add a bit of colour on the cheeks. Peach blusher and bronzer go well together, so I’ve been using Mac Melba very lightly.
Which products have you been using recently?
During my last trip to Paris my best friend took me to Mademoiselle Bio, a French organic beauty store. Their shelves are full of Melvita products and I picked up two products: a face SPF and a lip balm.Melvita has been producing organic health and beauty products for 30 years, and is owned by L'Occitane Group (since 2008). High protection sunscreen SPF 50
£20 from feelunique.com
I immediately liked the smell of this SPF – a pleasant smell of honey and argan oil. It isn’t a cream strictly speaking – it’s a fluid, which means it blends better and gets absorbed quicker than your regular SPF. The lady at Mademoiselle Bio recommended that I mix the SPF with my day cream, something I had never thought of. I sometimes mix foundation with moisturizer, but never thought that SPF and moisturizer could be mixed. Only downside: it leaves a faint white cast on the skin after application, but only for a few seconds. Although it is not oil-free, it doesn’t leave the skin too greasy and the oiliness disappears after a few minutes.
A fluid texture easily blended
Apicosma Repairing lip balm
£7 from feelunique.com
My best friend recommended the Melvita lip balm – and because she could make me buy anything (there's a lot of mutual product pushing going on), I bought it. But once again, it was a success: I am completely addicted to this lip balm. Think Nuxe’s Reve de Miel, but in a more hygienic format (a stick). Need I say more?
Not your regular size of lip balm!