24 September 2016

I'm a winter baby and if I had my way, Christmas would be a 6-month celebration for sure! As soon as Summer is over, my head is in full Christmas mode. I get quite ahead of time and when Christmas actually does roll around, I've lost a little of my enthusiasm. Just a little, though, let's not forget I'm practically Buddy the Elf! However, this year, I'm trying to slow things down a little, so I thought I'd talk you through my transitional makeup for Autumn, particularly for the eager girls like myself!


Literally, as I type this, my hands are speckled red from the walls we are painting at work for Christmas, so you can see (I hope) why it's so easy for me to get ahead of myself this time of year. I work for a department store where Autumn doesn't happen. Once Summer is over the prep for Christmas starts. So naturally, I've broken out the berry lips and roll necks before the weather has even begun to cool!

So, here's my guide on how not to channel your inner Sally Skellington when it's barely the middle of September like I managed to do this year! Oops.


1. Goals, Deadlines and beautiful rewards for when you smash them


As much as goals apply to things you want to achieve, they work with motivating yourself at sticking to deadlines too. I told myself this year that I have to make it to October 1st before I can break out any of my wildly vast selection of berry lipsticks. It's like setting yourself a challenge with the best reward at the end! I may, or may not (MAY!!!) have screwed this one over already, however, I won't be breaking out any of my shimmer shadows until Halloween is done and dusted. November 1st, I'm ready for ya!

2. Deep Nudes over Berry tones


In winter, for me, it's all about 'Plum on Baby' by Barry M on my nails 'Dark Side' by MAC on my lips. Go dark or go home basically. But my rule for pre-autumn celebrations is to try and keep the Morticia Addams looks strictly to October and after. Anytime to before that, it's best to stick to dark nudes (but not browns) and almost but not quite bold tones. You can satisfy your craving with a darker shade but nothing that's going to stand out!

3. Smoke it out, smoke it out


Whilst it's so tempting to get the beautiful berry shades on your lids as well as your lips, this will end up being the best part of Autumn. Trust me, I've even got a post for it! Those are the makeup looks best kept for the depths of October onwards. But, you can definitely start to darken up your eye makeup a touch. Before I went full on fall before Summer had even started to drift away, a subtle smokey eye with warm browns and nudes were perfect for satisfying the crave for darker, edgier makeup.

So that's that, it's only three steps, but just three steps to help you keep Autumn within Autumn and not get too ahead of yourself like Ms.Halloween over here!

Love always,
Melissa

17 September 2016

I mentioned last week how when I was in School, makeup was a straight up way to get you a red writing and detention. Since then, I've picked up a few tricks and tips to beautiful nude lips that look natural and last all day perfect for school when you can't be topping up all day and need something your teachers won't be able to tell you're wearing...

Back to School: 5 Nude Lips your teachers won't know you're wearing

The term "my lips but better", as cliche and cringe as it sounds, is something you should live by. Enhance natural beauty without being too "look at me" about it. Sheer lip products are great because you can build them up to a shade you're happy with without being too obvious about the fact you're wearing a lip product at all. But then, on the other end of the spectrum, matte lipsticks are great because they are so durable that you won't rely on excessive trips to the bathroom for touch ups and possibly giving your game away...

Back to School: 5 Nude Lips your teachers won't know you're wearing

NYX // Matte Lip Cream - Abu Dhabi


This is a go to, must try for anyone with fair skin, particularly (but not exclusively) for those with a touch of olive tones. It's a warm tan shade which swatches a little orange but when popped on your lips blends really nicely with your natural lip colour to produce something a little more enhanced and warm.

MAC // Matte Lipstick - Velvet Teddy


Very similar to Abu Dhabi but with more of a rose tint than the warm tan. Girls with warmer, slightly tan skin tones should check out this shade. Like Abu Dhabi it's matte so it's going to super durable and last right up until lunch time!

NYX // Liquid Suede - Soft Spoken


This isn't for anyone with a fair skin tone but for all my tanned skin babes, check this out. It's much darker than all the other products in this category and a little rosier too but still very nude. The suede formation is beautiful, applies really smoothly and dries mostly matte too. These have a better stay-power than the NYX Matte Lip Creams too


Liz Earle // Lipstick - Tea Rose


For anyone not quite as daring, this lipstick is really sheer so you can apply as little or as much as you are comfortable with! It's slightly lighter and pinkier than the Rimmel lipstick below but there's not a huge amount of difference! Ideal for lighter skin tones but still very versatile.

Rimmel London // Lasting Finish - 08


Out of all the shades in this post, I reckon this is the most wearable for all skin types. It's a fraction darker than the Liz Earle lipstick but not so that it would be obvious on anyone with paler skin. It's not flat matte but it's not a gloss either so it looks super natural.

I've been really getting into my nude lip game recently since picking up Velvet Teddy on the way to Thailand in June (which you can read about here if you fancy :P ) If you have any great nude recommendations then let me know in the comments below.

Love always,
Melissa

10 September 2016

It's week 2 of my 'Back to School' session and I thought today I could talk about foundation. It was one of those products I stayed well clear of in school because I was terrified of looking like an orange. Regardless, I've still experienced some absolutely terrible makeup malfunctions, so I thought I could walk you through how to get flawless foundation and maybe, avoid those times where it just goes wrong!


Last week, I talked about products you should consider packing in your makeup bag for school, but I totally glossed over foundation. I'm not the biggest fan of foundation anyway, it's so easy for it to go wrong without you realising. Plus, it's pretty bad for your skin too. But for those of you who just can't say no, I've popped together a guide to help you find your way to perfect, flawless skin. The less embarrassing and catastrophic way...


Step 1: Figure out what you need


No good comes from jumping straight in at the deep end and going shopping with no prior research. Ask yourself some questions first, what skin type are you? What sort of coverage do you want? What skin tone are you? Try your best to go into Boots or Superdrug knowing exactly what you need, what you want from your foundation and what your skin requires from you. 

Step 2: Do some research


Don't judge a book by its cover, a '24 hour Hydrating Foundation' doesn't always do what it says. Google 'the best foundations for dry skin' and see what other people are suggesting and if any take your eye and fit your budget! Troll through Youtube and Bloglovin, check out some reviews online from people who have tried and tested these products already. 

Try and find people who have similar skin to you. For instance, Zoella always says her skin is a little dry, so as much as you trust her opinion on a product, if you have oliy skin it's not going to give the same result for you! 

Step 3: Learn from the professionals


I love Hello October and Estee Lalonde, don't you dare forget that. However, when you're trying something new, it's always best to get advice from the professionals. People who have been trained and worked in the field. Pixiwoo are great for this, they're knowledgeable on more than their own skin types and faces shapes so picking their brains will be of better use. 

Step 4: Find your perfect shade


If you can, pop to a makeup counter where an employee can help you out! If you're on a budget doesn't quite stretch as far as MAC or Benefit then not to worry, plenty of high street brands have counters too. No7 even have a device to match your skin tone! 

If this isn't an option take a friend with you that you trust, and if you can swatch the shades on your face/neck as well as your arm! Your skin tone differs on different places of your body, so a shade that looks perfect on your wrist make look too light on your face! 

Step 5: Find your Foundation soul mate


Your foundation needs friends and a support system to help it the be superstar it's made to be. You're heading back to school so the likelihood of being able to top it up throughout the day is unlikely. Pick up a primer that will help your foundation adhere to your skin. The Maybelline 'Master Prime' is great. However there are a bunch of multifunctional ones on the market too, the NYX 'Studio Perfect, Photo-Loving Primer' range for smoothing, brightening, and colour correcting in addition to preparing the skin for your foundation. 

Then there's setting your foundation so it doesn't budge. Grab a good powder, I love the Rimmel London 'Translucent Stay Matte Powder' and the NYX 'Long Lasting Setting Spray' works wonders too! 

Step 6: Get a good application tool


Using your fingers is fine, but I find I get better results when using a brush. There are some really great options on offer, personally, I prefer the Real Techniques brushes over branded ones. They're affordable, don't malt and work beautifullu. I'd recommend starting on something that provides medium coverage like the 'Buffing Brush' as it does a great job of working the product into the skin! Now I prefer a brush over a beauty blender but it's all down to the artist. 

Step 7: Practice!


You know, practice makes perfect. On the weekend, spend a couple hours popping your foundation on in different ways, find out what works for you and work from your mistakes. 

If you have any other tips leave them in the comments below, I'd love to know what you think helps make perfect, flawless foundation.

Love always,
Melissa

3 September 2016

It's finally September and that dreaded back to school season is here. But I wouldn't let you go at it alone. My 'Back to School' series has returned for its second year for a month of education-themed posts! This week starts us off with, Backpack Beauty more formerly know as What's in My Makeup Bag...


Firstly, I need to address this, I am a strong advocate for doing whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident in yourself, whether that's getting braces, wearing makeup or even plastic surgery. But also knowing when and where to draw the line. When I was in school, makeup was a big "no no" and if you were caught with even the slightest swoop of mascara, you were sent straight to the bathroom to wipe it off. 

Since then, times have changed and I'm pretty over the moon about that! For as much as (some of) the male population can claim "makeup is a lie" it's a positive way for people and young girls to improve their confidence, regardless of the age. 

For the most part, High School sucks. I quite enjoyed my time at High School, but it still stinking sucked! Hormones, boys, friends, fallouts, hormones, bullies, cliques, acne, boys, exam stress etc.


Think lightweight, think natural


I recommend: Collection // Lasting Collection Concealer 

I know how easy it is to save your pocket money (if that's even still a thing?), pop to Boots on the weekend and buy a foundation slightly too dark (not your fault, the lights in these shops are deceiving) and slap it on to cover any imperfection. Got a pimple? Got a few I'm sure. Pretty much everyone I know (all bar this one girl who I'll be forever jealous of her permanently beautiful skin) suffers from acne and spots during high school. And makeup is one of those things that are great short term fixes but in the long run, makes things 10x worse. I've been there. But I know when you've got a spot the size of Vesuvius, that shit needs concealing.

I don't think I touched foundation until I was 17 and all through High School concealer was my best friend! You're young and apart from those darn pimples, your skin is still looking pretty fresh, so pick up a good coverage concealer and lightly pop it on those pesky spots. What's great is if you've had a hard cram session the night before, this is a great brightening concealer for your under eyes too! 

If you absolutely have to use a foundation, stick to something super lightweight and natural. BB creams are perfect, I particularly love the Body Shop '2-in-1 BB Cream'.

Multi-functional products are space and time-saving


I bloody love a product I can use for more than one thing! Saves money and time searching for different products in the morning and even saves valuable space in your backpack! 

I recommend: BECCA // Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector

Just picture this, it's the middle of term, you stayed up too late watching PLL re-runs and had to wake up early to do your homework that's due at 9am. Your face is a dead giveaway that all of that happened! The best remedy is a good concealer (check) and a subtle, dewy highlight to make you look refreshed and well kipped! Plus, it doubles as a great on the go eyeshadow too. No brushes needed, just the index finger from your steadiest hand.

A mattifying powder will be your best bud


I recommend: Rimmel London // Stay Matte Powder

A mattifying powder for any skin type is a must-have in any makeup bag. Whether you're hating on your oily skin, it's hot and sunny or you've just come out of a sticky gym hall, a powder is pretty necessary in every scenario.

Try to go for something translucent, that way there's no chance of looking cakey or orange but you've made a potential makeup malfunction much better. What's more is it's great for setting your makeup too before you leave in the morning making sure it lasts all day with as minimal trips to the bathroom for top-ups as possible.

Lips, Lips, Lips

I recommend: Vaseline // Pocket Tin Lip Balm

Whilst I totally think bold lips are unnecessary for school, I do think a knowing your lips and looping after them is important. I always carried around some sort of lip balm with me. I tend to lick my lips when I'm nervous which makes them chapped and uncomfortable. Not to mention what the Winter wind does to them. 

I recommend: NYX // Matte Lip Cream - Abu Dhabi

A hydrating lip balm is a must, but a good nude lip is acceptable too. Nothing too dark, try and stick to as natural as possible. And something matte is great as typically they will last much longer than other glosses and lipsticks. 

Waterproof Mascara

I recommend: Maybelline // Lash Sensational Msacara

I feel naked if I leave the house without Mascara and have felt that way since I was 14. Now I'm not saying that High School is going to have you doubled over, tears streaming all the time but undoubtedly there's going to be an occasion (or a couple) where this is true. Whether it's exam stress or tears of pure joy and happiness. But a good waterproof mascara will save you from ending up resembling a panda afterwards!

A Compact mirror for compact backpack beauty


I recommend: Pearl // Compact Mirror Universal Power Bank

I never remembered to pack a mirror in my School bag and so many times did I get busted for food in my braces and mascara down my face. This one by pearl is also a portable phone charger too! Not something I needed in the unbreakable Nokia days but a piece of gold-dust now! 

My biggest top tip with makeup at school would be to keep it as simple and natural as possible. The more 'meant to be' it looks the less likely you're going to run into a malfunction on your way to Maths. But mostly, wear it because you want to, not because the other girls are doing it. It's not important to look a certain way. You're made the way you are and that is more beautiful than any makeup can make you. But, if it makes you feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin, then there's nothing wrong with that either.

Love always,
Melissa