Thursday, 27 May 2010

Choosing The Right Lipstick For Your Skin Tone

I'm sure at one time or another you've all spent time at the beauty counter, pondering which lipstick to buy, there are LITERALLY hundreds of different brands and shades to choose from! Which brand you choose and if you go glossy, matte or sheer is up to personal preference, but when you're choosing the shade you have to be very careful to find one that suits your personality, your skin tone, hair colour and eye colour!
Pink Lipstick 

Every girl should have is a good pink lipstick. Either a dark one, or a pale one, but ideally both (and a bright one if you really want to push the boat out!) Surprisingly it's harder to choose the right pink than the right red, but as a general rule darker shades are good for brunettes, lighter or bright light (think barbie) pinks for blonds and either depending on personal preference if you have black hair. Pink generally clashes a bit with red heads, especially if you're more of a carrot top, but the lighter (the more white) in a pink lipstick the safer you'll be as a red head! The brighter the lipstick, if you feel you can carry it off, the more likely it is to suit you as we all learnt with the Centrifuchia shade at the Space NK Lime Crime events. It looked fantastic on everyone!
Red Lipstick 

Another thing every girl should have a classic red lipstick. If you tend to gravitate towards darker clothes you need to pick one with a very slight black, brown or blue hue (these appear darker than true red in the tube) and if you tend to wear lighter or bright clothes you need to select one with an orange hue (these appear slightly orangey). Reds with different colours in them tend to look good with any hair colour, skin tone or eye colour but as every lipstick is different it is always a good idea to test out the shade before you buy just to check it doesn't look like a child has attacked you with their poster paints! If you're a red head any shade or tone of red lipstick tends to look fantastic on you, even the ones with orange tones, but if the lipstick is more orange than red you may run into a bit of difficulty! Some girls, usually those with pale skin look fantastic in true red lipstick, lipstick which does not have any other colour pigments in it. However, you have to be careful with true red as some girls look like, again they've been attacked by a small child if they're wearing it when it doesn't suit them!
Every Day Shades 

Something else every girl should have at least one every day lipstick which she can wear, well, everyday with every outfit she owns and can just grab on the go. Mine is 'Brave', a satin M.A.C lipstick shade. You should choose a neutral shade which, when you are wearing it you don't necessarily notice you're wearing lipstick, but your lips do have some colour.

Fashion Shades 

Shades of fashion lipstick can come in any colour or shade in the planet, and it is the hardest category to choose a flattering shade in. Therefore its best to stick to some ground rules! 
Blacks - You can pull black, shiny or matte lipstick off with any hair or eye colour, but though there are exceptions to every rule when deciding if black lips are for you, the paler your skin the better! 

Purples & Violets - Lets tackle violets first, an extremely popular fashion colour. The darker your skin the better this looks, and it may make you look washed out if you have very pale skin. It looks incredible if you have dark skin and brown hair. Purple is kinder to pale skin and looks good with all skin tones, but still looks better with darker hair than it does light. Both, but purple rather than violet a bit better look great on red heads! 

Oranges - Red oranges look great on tanned skin, for blonds or brunettes but mostly are not so good with black hair, and the more orange the lipstick the more washed out it may make you look if you have pale skin. Pale peachy oranges also look great on tanned skin and if you have dark or red hair, but be careful if you have blond hair, it may make your lips look pale and washed out. Bright oranges look great on more people, and especially if you have bright blue eyes. But if you do have pale skin, and tanned skin as well you need to be careful it is not picking out too many yellow tones in your skin and making you look a bit unhealthy. If you're a red head oranges are generally a no go area as they tend to pick out both your lips and your hair, and unless the shade is a perfect match or that is what you were going for, it looks a bit silly! 

Blues & Greens - Blues and greens are very tricky, and there isn't really a skin tone rule with these. They look better if you match them to your eye colour, and have fun!

What are your favourite lipsticks to wear? The photos in this post were all taken by James Vyn if the incredibly beautiful Kristina Bazan who is one of my favourite outfit post bloggers. She also wears lipstick like no one else. 

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

What's In My Makeup Bag? (18/05/10)

I've had a lot of compliments on my make-up recently, and I've got a really good response from product reviews I've posed so I think I may start posting a bit more about beauty on my blog! Leia from Hi Fashion has suggested that I maybe start posting some make-up tutorials; an exciting but nerve wracking thought!  So, in order to ease myself in I decided to pick up my camera and start showing you guys around my make-up bag instead!
Most of the stuff I use is hypoallergenic, so unless I say its not all of the stuff in the post should be safe to use if you have really, really sensitive skin and/or eyes like me!
In the middle you can see my Clinique green power compact. I hardly ever use it - my Mum gave it to me when she didn't get on with the formula. I like the formula and the fact it acts as a foundation too, but even though its the lightest shade Clinique make its still too orange for my skin tone so once its all gone I'll have to go hunting for a new one!
In front of that you can see my Lime Crime magic dust eye shadows (I know they look different, I've got the vintage packaging!), and my blue Clinique eye tint. Another oldie from my Mum, but I find it creates a nice bit of colour tinted shimmer on my eyelids by itself, as a base coat for blue shadow or mixed with pigment for an opaque finish. I don't think you can buy it anymore though. I really must invest in some eyelid primer. I've tried and love Benefits new one, and have yet to try Clinique's, so I must try that and the new one Lime Crime has coming out before I make a decision and take the leap!
You can also see my Benefit One Hot Minute bronzer, which is by no means the perfect bronzer for my deathly pale skin, but better than some others I've tried so far. However I do find its really hard to use without it spilling everywhere! Its sitting on top of my new Topshop Moonbeam Highlighter and slightly in front of them you can see my Benefit Miss Popularity highlighter which I don't think I'll buy again because its really difficult to blend!
Except from my nail polishes, everything fits (just!) into my lovely Cath Kidston make-up bag, a birthday gift from my friend Anya and which I've been using for years now! Here, on the left are three items you can't see in the rest of this post, the first of which is my Benefit Blush box in Sugarbomb. When I first started using Benefit I fell in love with their blush boxes, and this is their latest which I think, with its four segments is my favourite. However I also love Thrrob andDandelion! On top of that is my favourite concealer of all timeBoi-ing by Benefit. Behind that you can see an eye wand by Benefit, called Ohh La Lift which is supposed to reduce circles, but doesn't work on me so I won't be replacing!
These are my more day to day lipsticks. The only one that is officially hypoallergenic is the Clinique one, but I'm fine with the rest! I'm even fine with the Lancome one, and I'm really allergic to Lancome eye make-up!
From left to right we have Lancome, a gift from my Grandma in '273 Brun 18 Carat'. Or that's what it says on the bottom. She lived in France when she gave to it to me, and though my French is pretty good I'm useless as translating the lipstick and eye shadow colour names when I visit Sephora! I quite like the colour but I find the formula is very thin and watery, and the colour doesn't stay put for very long. But, I think that may be a bit of a personal preference as I like thick lipsticks!
Next is Clinique Long Last Lipstick in 'Pink Spice'. This is my current second everyday lipstick, the other being a neutral colour. However, though it lasts a lot longer than the Lancome its still very watery though it also has a thicker formula. I think when it runs out I'll either try to match the colour approximately to a MAC one (my one true lipstick love) or try out a new brand I haven't tried before; either Benefit lipstick, Chanel, YSL or Laura Mercier I think...
Finally we have my two MAC colours, both satin, my favourite consistency of MAC lipsticks, the first in 'Brave' and then second 'Captive'. 'Brave' is my favourite lipstick of all time... a colour so perfect on me I can get away with wearing ti to school because it blends in, and I can put it on without needing a mirror! It also moisturises my lips and lasts for eons! 'Captive' is the same formula, but a darkened red that I need to be very careful and use a mirror to put it on, but it creates the PERFECT statement lips!
Here we have my Clinique Eye Shadow palette. Its a special edition one, now discontinued, only brought because I got desperate and the Clinique colour I've been using for years had been discontinued on me! After disastrous attempts and Lancome and MAC with eye shadow, I think I'll always stick to Clinique or Benefit around my eyes so not to set my skin off again! The big mirror is really useful, and I've enjoyed having four colours instead of two. I use the second from the left dark brown and the far right pinky brown for a two tone everyday look and the others when i want to play around a bit! Clinique come out with different seasonal palettes a couple of times a year, most of which are always in brown shades so I think when three out of four of these colours are finished I'll just go pick up another one and have a slight change in shades!
In the back row you can also see my mascara and some of my Benefit products. I've tried all but the latest of Clinique's mascaras but High Impact, in black remains my favourite.  You can produce incredible effects if you use two different formulas of mascara together so I also, for a really big bold thick look to use Benefit's BADGal Lash as well. I also want to try this one in plum!
I use Benefit High Beam as one of my three different highlighters. This one is my only liquid, and though it does sometimes clump on dry skin patches I find its brilliant when my skin needs a little bit more of a skin perk up around the eyes and on my cheekbones than usual! I use Benefit's Benetint both as liquid blusher on my cheeks when I want a blusher base to intensify colour, or on its own to go for the long lasting rosy cheek look (or in winter for hockey practice, it stays on when I'm playing where power blush does not!), and on my lips as a tint either on its own, with clear gloss or under lipstick for a long lasting colour finish.
Benefit's You're Bluffing I tried, but once its gone I won' be getting again as it doesn't do anything to hide red patches any more than concealer does, and I LOVE Benefit's Speed Brow eyebrow set as I have mental eyebrows which are so hard to keep under control! This keeps them put, but I have to make sure I moisturise before and after I use it as it does tend to dry out the skin in the area!
Apart from the Clinique Lip Gloss (I have a thing for lipgloss), which I love but find too watery and tastes bad, and my M.A.C Kohl eyeliner which I couldn't live without (this is not hypoallergenic, but I think maybe because its waterproof, it never affects me), these are the only three tools' I use, though I really, really want a lip brush! I've got my eye on a Shu Emura one, but its so expensive!
Here I have a Clinique blush brush, which is getting quite old and I want to replace with the Benefit version as I really like their brushes. I know I really ought to have different brushes for everything, but I don;'t think I need them, so I use this for my blusher, highlighter and bronzer!  I also have a Clinique eyebrow brush and comb. It was free with some Clinique stuff and I don't really prefer a particular brand for these I get through them so quickly! I use it not just on my brows, but to separate clumped eyelashes after putting on mascara (while the mascara is still wet!) too!
The other brush is my lifeline - I don't know what I did without it! Its my Benefit fluff eye shadow brush and its the world best thing to blend shadows applied with a sponge applicator on my lids, to provided even and light coverage of one colour or to put an overlay of shimmer over already done eyes. Perfection in a brush!
These are my Lime Crime lipsticks. I had the red on (Retrofuturist) and Lime Crime's black (Styletto) a while ago but someone nabbed them, and these four lovelies (left to right: CentrifuchiaCountessa FluorescentRetrofuturistAirborne Unicorn) are all gifts from Lime Crime founder Doe Deere for helping her out at her Space NK London launches.
I love all the Lime Crime colours but these four were my favourite, they're really 'me' colours. I use red to add a statement to an every day outfit or evening dress, the purple when I'm wearing all black because its my favourite colour, the darker pink with an everyday bright outfit and the bright pink when I really want to stand out from the crowd!
Another thing you may have noticed I have a bit of a thing for my nail polishes. I have another darker red Nails Inc polish but I think I left it at home! From left to right first we have my Rococo Apparel Gold Leaf top coat (I blogged about it HERE) and then my Nails Inc polishes. Nails Inc is my favourite nail polish (closely followed by Barry M as my favourite budget polish), but have yet to try Chanel, OPI, Essie, the Rococo Apparel colours and Butter London. The pink one in the back is called 'Picadilly Circus' (I love the fact they all have places in London a their colour names!). Then I have 'Jermyn Street' which is my favourite non bright coloured polish at the moment!
Next we have my Rimmel Colours. First Lycra Pro in 'Blue Vogue', which is so easy to use with the most incredible brush on the planet! Then we have the colour I got at Clothes Show London last year which matched my sun dress, 'Sunrise', in he 60 seconds formula, the colour of which has been discontinued.
Finally we have my two newest colours, my budget friendly (unlike everything else in my make-up bag!) £2.75 Barry M Nail Paints in Pale (Bananna) Yellow and Bright (Tory) Blue!
And finally, some of my more out there eyeshadows, my pigments, all gifts from Lime Crime (left to right: Enchant, Snow Queen [discontinued], Mermaid). I love creating cool effects with them all, but the Enchant works great by itself for either smoky or statement eyes depending on how you use it, and the Snow Queen makes a great light shimmer dusting with either itself or over matt shadows.
What one item in your make-up bag could you not live without?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Product Review: Topshop Makeup

On Wednesday after my tennis game I headed out to check out the new make-up collection at Topshop. I was naturally very, very excited. A new lipstick and nail polish brand... I'm there! However the item I came away with is the highlighting powder, £8, above. The only highlighters I owned were Benefit's Highbeam and Miss Popularity (I find Highbeam hard to get even and clumps on dry skin areas, and Miss Popularity is really hard to blend) so I decided to give this one a try.
When I got it home the first thing I noticed that hadn't hit me as much in the store was its cute packaging... this will look fabulous in my make-up bag! The only disappointing thing about the casing is it would be nice if there was a mirror in the inside lid, but for £8, even if it would be useful I wasn't expecting one! I usually use my Clinique blush brush for blush, highlighter and bronzer, cleaning the brush in between (brushes are so expensive!), and I round that it was really hard to get the power to pick up on the bristles. I had a bit better luck however with my Benefit fluff shadow brush and even better luck with my fingers! (That's another thing, its hard to try these products in the shop, because there are no brushes to try these things out!) In the end I went with one of those square brushes that com in Benefit blush boxes.
The powder went on well once it was on the brush, but I found it had the same sticking consistency as Miss Popularity - hard to blend. It highlighted all the dry bits of skin too like Highbeam, but when it was finally on the golden highlight looked fantastic! I think this is a product I will be saving for special effects and evenings out rather than an every day product...
I am always, always excited about lipstick - I practically live in the stuff! I also go very excited by this bright coral pink called Brighton Rock, £8 - very British! However, on the back of my hand and on my lips the colour wasn't very full. It could be that I've been spoiled by getting to use all those highly pigmented Lime Crime colours at their Space NK launches, but I found the coverage very disappointing. However it was no better/ worse than many other budget high street products! Insane packaging though which I'd be happy to carry around with me in my pocket!
*edit* After a return visit I like the constancy of the make-up a little more, but its still not very long lasting...
I was really excited to try out these 'Lip Stick' pencils, and chatting to Meriel from beauty blog Hurricane Lemonade just now we both decided, that before trying product, it looks VERY VERY exciting, and we both really wanted one to carry around with us! She's not heading over to Topshop until later today, so I as the only one of the pair of us to have actually tried one. I went for Vintage, £7, and the colour was really great and it went on really, really easy, really good to use, with practice, when you're on the move without a mirror. The only qualm with this one was that the consistency was really thin so I reckon it will smudge, but it was not dissimilar to my Clinique lipsticks, which I love, but I think liking thick lipstick is just personal preference of mine.
I know I am kinda a lipgloss addict, but the lipglosses, to me, have to be THE best part of he collection. Only £5 (I have no idea HOW I didn't pick one of these up, I'll have to get myself one as a post-exam treat!), I tested out Pulp, and instantly fell in love. Not too sticky, and looks great by itself and over lipstick I particularly live the purple tint to give a bit of sheer, totally in this season glamour. There is also a clear one and a whole host of the regular oranges and pinks. It wasn't too sticky as well, and keps my lips moist. Also no plastic taste you get with some of the cheaper lipglosses. I will totally be buying the clear one, as a just as good, cheaper version of my clear M.A.C lip glass I used to be partial too, but I'm not sure yet if the colours will live up to my Clinique superbalm addiction...
I have sensitive skin which involves really, really sensitive eyes, so I couldn't test any of the eye products on myself as I have to be really careful what I use, but the kohl from the SS10 casual collection section of the line caught my eye so much I tested it on the back of my hand. I tried the Metallic Kohl in Moontide, £5, which is a metallic blue. It was really thick and sparkly, and I really really wish I could use this near my eyes! It blended really, really well too!
One thing I was very disappointed about in store was the fact you couldn't try out the nail polishes! Bummer indeed. However Catharine, former Lipstick Royalty Magazine Music Editor whom I have noticed to be a little bit of a nail polish queen (who even got herself out there on the day it launched to check out the line before I even did, and wore the red polish out on Thursday), told me that the colours are fantastic and go on well with one coat, multiple coats just provide staying power. I absolutely LOVE the orange, Flash, (£5) even on the website I knew it was the one for me. I'll have to try it soon! I'm also very exited about trying the matte top coat. Imagine, ay of your nail polish colours being transformed into a matte polish?!? YAY!!!
I also relaly want to try two of he four metallic colours from the seasonal, rotating collection. Apart from the again, really cool packaging, they look like really great colours I could usually get addicted to - Gold Dust and Copper Coated (above). They are also both only £5. I usually only like one colour or matte polishes without shimmer pigments (or a with a gold leaf overlay!), but for metal colours I think with these I would be in heaven! I think one of these may have to be a post exam gift to myself too...
There are so, so many more products in the collection, these are just a sample that caught my eye, but you can check out the rest either in store (I think they now have a make-up concession in most branches) or on the Topshop website!