Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween! | Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

Happy Halloween everyone! It may be springtime in SA, and Halloween isn't really celebrated here, but hey - I'll take any opportunity to dress up :)

After last year's creepy makeup look (and my cracked porcelain doll look), I thought I would try something a little more costume-y this year. I've seen 'Pop Art' makeup looks all over Pinterest, so I thought I'd give this look a go! It's surprisingly easy - the hard part is remembering not to touch your face! If you're still looking for a Halloween look for this weekend, here's how I did my face. (PS: I didn't have a photographer to help me this morning, so here's a makeup tutorial entirely in front-camera selfies!)

First up - your base. You want full coverage and a matte finish. I started with Smashbox's Hydrating Primer. I used Catrice's Camoflague Concealer to even things out, then went in with my Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation, buffing it in to get an even finish. I finished off with a generous amount of powder - using Stila's Sheer Pressed Powder. I also put on some moisturing lip balm to prepare my lips for later.

Next up, finishing my "normal" face. I gave the apples of my cheeks some rosy colour using a blush from The Body Shop (the name has rubbed off, but I think the shade I have is "Guava"). I used my Catrice Eyeshadow Base, and then went in with Bliss and Gilded Gold from the Stila In The Light palette. I lined my upper and lower waterlines with a black eyeliner pencil from essence, and then went in on my upper lids with Maybelline's Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner. I finished off with a generous amount of my L'Oreal False Lash Butterfly Wings mascara.

Here's when things start to get fun! Get your cartoonish eyebrows on by outlining them and filling them in with eyeliner. I used Rimmel's Waterproof Gel Eyeliner.

I grabbed my Maybelline Liquid Eyeliner again and started outlining my face. I drew under my cheekbones, along my jawline, around the hair line and around my nose.

Time to start "colouring in" your face using comic-book style dots. In comic books, this is normally done with red dots on the white paper, but when done in makeup, it looks a little too much like a bad case of the measles for my liking, so I stuck to white instead. I used the Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, which is wide enough that I could just dot it on instead of drawing circles. Stagger your dots evenly and try to keep your lines straight.

It gets a little odd around your nose and forehead, but carry on!

Powder over your dots to help "set" the makeup! Remember to dab the powder on gently with your brush, do not use sweeping motions.

Grab your red lipstick! You want something long-lasting with a matte finish. I chose Stila Stay-All-Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso (THE BEST RED LIP EVER!!!) and filled in my lips with a lip brush. Once the lipstick had dried, I outlined my lips with my liquid eyeliner. (Between the dark lip and outlining, this can make your lips seem smaller, so don't be afraid to paint your lips on a little outside the natural lip line). 

I didn't add the typical tear-drop (because, let's face it, if I was in a comic book, I'd be the villain, not the damsel in distress!) or the white "shine" in the lips (because I'm actually going to work like this and my lips have to last all day, including several cups of tea and lunchtime).

You can wear this look with your natural hair, but mine's quite thin and boring, so I decided I wanted a nice full wig! I braided my hair into two french braids and pinned them up before pulling on a very sheksy wig cap to hold everything in place.

Pull on your wig, straighten it out, and you're DONE! :) The wig I'm wearing is the "Kerry" wig from Wonderland Wigs

If you're brave, you can pair this look with your best spandex superhero suit, or be like me, and wear black skinny jeans with a superhero logo t-shirt. (How cute is this black and sparkly SuperMan tee from Jay Jays?!)

Happy trick-or-treating!

Thought for the Day

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Some more Lush goodies!

Possibly my new favourite bath bomb! This offering from Lush smells amazing - the main fragrance ingredient is bergamot oil.  It also turns the water bright purple (but don't worry, didn't stain either my white plastic tub or my freakishly pale skin). I used the whole thing at once (YOLO) but you could easily cut this into pieces and use over several baths. There are no fancy bells or whistles, but it's an overall great ballistic. (Also yes, I am that person that you know who takes her phone with her into the bath so that she can Instagram the experience. Steam makes the photos a little fuzzy, my apologies.)

The Comforter Bubble Bar - R54.50 for a 200g bar

My new favourite for bubble baths! I used a quarter for the above bath, used the handheld shower head to agitate the water, and the amount of foam was insane (there was still left once I drained the tub!) - next time I'll use an eighth!  The bubbles are soft, gently fragranced and long lasting. The water changes a little bit pink-purple, and the cassis fragrance is heavenly! Lush Bubble Bars are definitely good value for money - you can easily get up to 8 luxurious baths out of this bar!

Yes, that is gold dust you see shimmering on the surface of the water! This ballistic is very entertaining to watch as you drop it into the water, with some hidden surprises coming out as it dissolves! (Popping candy included!) Unfortunately mine took a fall when I got home, so it wasn't as pretty to look at when it dissolved, but once it had all settled it was as per usual. The fragrance is quite citrusy, with lemon and bergamot oils. The water ultimately becomes a golden orange colour with a small amount of froth produced. A great one to try if you're looking for something fun!

Have you tried any of these Lush products? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

NOTD - Mermaid My Day

I'm back! Yay! I really enjoyed the conference I was at last week, lots of interesting discussions were had on how to use crystallography as a vehicle to advance Africa! The week did have a slight sad moment, as our lodge room was broken into and my iPad (and my friend's laptop) were stolen, boo :( So if anyone feels like buying me an early Christmas present, hint hint ;)  Haha. Ok, so on the last day of the conference, we finished early, so I killed some time in Dischem before heading to the airport and, of course, bought far too many things that I don't need. But hey, who here can resist pretty things? One of the nail polishes I bought was this one by Catrice, called "Mermaid My Day", which just seemed to be the perfect shade to wear for summer beach days and pool parties. It's a metallic turquoise that applies evenly, with 2 coats needed for good coverage. I painted my nails on Saturday, and took this photo this morning, so that's about 3 days of wear. As you can see, I have a teeny chip on my pinkie finger, but overall it's held up well. The glitter I'm wearing is one coat of the polish I featured here.

If you haven't tried Catrice polishes yet, I can highly recommend them. The formula is great, and they are around R50, which is very reasonable for a 10ml bottle of polish. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

What's in my travel makeup bag?

As you read this post, I'm halfway across the country, spending the week in Bloemfontein for a Crystallography conference. It's not very far or exciting, and I'll be spending all my time in lectures and panel discussions (and be presenting myself, eek), but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to show you what goes into my travel makeup bag. (Bonus tip: the number one way to pack your makeup bag? While you do your makeup - use a thing, put it in the bag. You 

The bag I'm using for my makeup was a promotional gift from Bioderma. It's wide enough and tall enough to comfortably fit enough makeup for a full face without squashing anything. (It's also in need of a bit of cleaning, but hey, we're all friends here, you can see it as it is!)

These are the brushes I'm taking with me (admittedly, I could get away with less than half of this, but then I discovered there was still plenty space in my bag, so I carried on packing them in!). I'm taking all my Real Techniques brushes - you can read all about them, plus how I like to use them, here. I'm also taking two Estee Lauder brushes - a giant fluffy brush for powder and a fluffy blush brush. The other two brushes are a Burst buffing brush and an angled blush brush from Rubybox.

Bourjois CC Cream - A long lasting, hydrating formula with medium coverage and colour correction, what more could you want?
L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer - For that lit-from-within glow
Catrice Prime & Fine Eyeshadow Base - To make eyeshadows last all day and night
Catrice Camoflague Cream - Full coverage for blemishes
Wet n Wild CoverAll - A creamy concealer for under eyes
Stila Sheer Pressed Powder - To set and mattify cc cream

Estee Lauder palette with Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer and Silky Powder Blush in 3 shades
The Body Shop Shimmer Waves - for a subtle highlight on cheekbones

Stila In The Light palette - You can probably tell how much I love this, I've already hit pan on four shades and soon will on two more! I usually rely on a combination of the 6 lightest shades on my lids. The top two shadows usually get used wet - the brown for brows, the black as a liner.
Catrice Eye Brow Stylist
L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner Pencil - Love this on waterlines and on upper lids. Goes on like silk, sets to a smudge-proof finish.
L'Oreal "Butterfly Wings" Mascara - Not sure what the name is for this in SA, a friend bought this for me in Germany before it launched here (in a set with the eyeliner pencil). Easily my "Holy Grail" mascara! Lengthens, curls and defines without a clump in sight~

And, of course, where all my careful narrowing down went awry. 6 days need 6 lipsticks, right? All of these are rather long-wearing formulas that feel comfortable on the lips and are easy to touch-up.
Wet n Wild Stoplight Red - My current favourite blue-toned red!
Wet n Wild Super Plum Fairy - One coat applies a bright purple-pink, a second swipe deepens the purple
Inglot 143 - A bright blue-based pink
Rimmel Cutting Edge - My favourite deep purple-plum!
Borjous Prune Caress - Looks very dark in the tube but applies sheer for a wash of colour
Rimmel Kate Moss 06 - A bold pink-red

And that's everything!

Monday, 13 October 2014

NOTD - Stormy Night

Just a quick post to show you what's on my nails this week. The base colour on my nails is "Stormy Night" by Revlon - it's a gorgeous taupe and, while more of a winter colour, I wanted to get one more wear in before attacking the spring/summer brights. For a little bit extra, I added a coat of the 101 Dalmatians top coat from essence. What do you think of this neutral-toned look?

(PS For those who don't know, I'm away on conference at the moment, so things might be a bit quiet for a while! My apologies!)

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My first TOY Nail Polish

TOY nail polish in Turquesa

I've been seeing TOY Nail Polish pop up everywhere since they launched in SA, and have been experiencing serious FOMO, so when I saw last week they had a free shipping deal, I put my order in!

One of the two colours I chose was Turquesa. (See it on the TOY online store here). This colour is a beautiful spearmint green (sometimes looking more turquoise, depending on the lighting). Best of all, this was a ONE COATER!. One coat for full opacity is my idea of a miracle. The polish applied easily without a streak, and dried nice and quickly. I can't comment on longevity yet, but it's currently day 2 with no chips, so fingers crossed!

TOY nail polishes are also green and eco-friendly! They are not tested on animals, are free from commonly used toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde, toluene and camphor, and the bottles are made from recycled glass. At R95 a bottle, they're more expensive than I would normally approve of for a nail polish, but they have good quality to support the price.