Today I’m sharing with you the last post in this installment (for now, at least): an interview with my pal Heather! Heather is an 18-year-old student from Canada, and she’s been my friend for about two years now.
1. How would you describe your style of makeup?
I think my style usually flips between bold and classic. I love bold colours and trying new things but sometimes I also just really love classic or “natural” looks.
2. Describe a makeup look that you would consider “classic” you.
I think a classic look for me is a more porcelain look, fairly matte, with dark, smokey eyes and dark red lips.
Heather says, “This is a pretty old picture but this was one of the first looks I tried and I became very attached to it. Also you’ll notice my eyebrows were very wild during this time.”
3. About how long does your normal makeup routine take? What does it consist of? Do you do anything else while you do your makeup, like drink your morning coffee or watch TV?
My normal makeup routine usually takes about 20 minutes. I usually listen to music while getting ready and lately it’s been a lot of Taylor Swift and Hall and Oates because both are very upbeat and honestly just make getting ready that much better.
4. Where do you get makeup inspiration from? Are there any websites or YouTube channels you visit regularly? Any celebrities whose makeup you might draw inspiration from?
I mostly draw inspiration from musicians. Haim and Lorde are ones I tend to be drawn to the most because I love Haim’s subtle looks and I love the way Lorde switches things up. I like to experiment with makeup a lot to see what colours work on me and I often use looks I find in magazines to do that.
5. Do you feel that your makeup helps to convey your personality, or is a way in which you can visually and aesthetically construct a sense of self? What are you trying to convey through your makeup, if anything?
I think the way I do my makeup is kind of the complete opposite of who I am as a person, if that makes any sense. To me it’s a way to step outside my own boundaries and express myself in a way I can’t necessarily do in other parts of my life.
6. Why do you wear makeup?
For me, I think makeup just makes me feel kind of like a whole different person and I like that. I love the way I can put it on and by the time I’m finished I’m like “Woah! Look at you!” That might sound kind of negative but I just really love the way makeup can transform you.
7. When did you first start wearing makeup regularly? When did it become an interest for you, i.e. something you actively wanted to talk about, read about, etc? How did that interest develop?
I first started wearing makeup in my second year of high school. It started off super simple with just foundation and some black eyeliner and gradually progressed to me taking more time and effort into my looks. I think it was sometime in late 2013 that I really started to become interested in makeup and all the different things I could do with it. I now find myself looking for new products when I’m out [lipstick has become my weakness] and searching for new things to try.
“I did a lot of digging to find this gem. This is the look I wore everyday to school for like, an entire year. It was very simple and boring and my eyebrows were..shameful..but I’ve grown a lot since then!”
8. You like to wear a lot of dark lip colours, which is something that I know a lot of people I’ve talked to feel like they can’t “pull off”. What is it about dark lipstick that you like so much, or that makes you feel comfortable? And what are some of your favourite dark lipsticks?
When I first started wearing makeup I never in a million years thought I would be cool with wearing half the stuff I do now. For me, I love the contrast of darker lip colours with my [very] pale skin. I feel like it brings something more out of what ever look I’m trying to achieve. The first dark lipstick I ever bought was Rimmel’s Bordeaux and it remains to be my favourite dark colour to wear and once I was introduced to it, Revlon’s Matte Balm in Shameless became a very close second.
“I love Shameless so much!”
9. When I think of you one of the first things I think of is how you are super, super interested in music. Would you say that any of the artists you like have influenced your self-presentation, or the aesthetic side of yourself that you’d like to convey to the world?
Absolutely! I definitely get most of my inspiration from my favourite artists. Emily Haines has always been a big inspiration to me in a lot of different ways and actually the first “look” I ever experimented on with makeup was one inspired by her. I absolutely think my favourite artists shape my life more than almost anything else mostly due to the fact that I feel very connected to them through their music. I think that I’ve learned so much through that medium that it would be very hard for me to deny its involvement in me being the person I am.
A big thank you to the lovely Heather for sharing!
I’m placing this series on hiatus for now, but I’m fairly certain it will come back at some point. I love looking into people’s brains and collections, so this will probably not be the last of it.
For anyone who originally expressed interest in being interviewed, feel free to send your answers to me still – I will post them! I’m just not currently actively seeking new people to interview.
Posted on April 12, 2015 under Lists
One of the primary reasons I chose to do my year abroad in the UK was its proximity to other places. I’ve travelled to quite a few European cities, and even wandered off the continent to Northern Africa! And right now I’m in Iceland (see Instagram for proof), although tomorrow evening I will be reunited with Toronto.
It used to be that when I travelled I’d bring at least two makeup bags stuffed with products, never sure what I might want to use. (That goes for my suitcase, too.) Now, I’m down to one makeup bag and one backpack every time I travel, because I know what’s practical for travel and what I consider to be the barebones necessities for doing my makeup while abroad.
There’s no better way to illustrate this then to show you what I brought with me to my trip to London and Brighton last month!
Powder or powder foundation: Due to liquid restrictions and mess factor, I don’t do my entire cleansing routine when I’m travelling. I never feel like wipes adequately get liquid foundation off. Add that to the facts that liquid foundation takes longer to apply, is messy, and doesn’t always hold up super well throughout long days of sightseeing, and you can see why I tend to banish it for the purpose of travel! Depending on how my skin is doing, I’ll bring either a powder just to mattify, or an actual powder foundation.
Concealer: I use a heavier concealer for any blemishes and then a light, illuminating one for under the eyes. I love my L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer enough to let it take up precious space in my liquids baggie!
Neutral blush: Without fail, I always bring my Lancôme Blush Subtil in Sheer Amourôse with me when I’m travelling. It’s the perfect slightly warm rosy pink that goes with anything, and it’s so slim and compact. There’s no way I’d want to take something like a Benefit boxed blush with me when travelling!
Bronzer: A good bronzer is such a multi-tasker! Besides the obvious, it can work as a contour or an eyeshadow. I often use a neutral cream eyeshadow as a base and then pop some bronzer into the crease – it’s so easy, but very put-together. I find The Body Shop’s Honey Bronzer perfect for this purpose since it’s not so warm that it can’t be used as a contour or crease colour in a pinch. I also find that since I’m doing my makeup quickly and not focusing too much on a flawless base, a quick sweep of bronzer over the high points of my face helps me look healthy and alive! I love tricking people into thinking I don’t retreat into my lair when the sun comes out… (Just kidding. I’m primarily of German and Irish heritage. I’m pasty. It’s in my genes.)
Brow product: Duh. My brows are my first thing I do every day and I could not live without them! I use the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe for this job. Sometimes I bring a product that doesn’t require a separate brush for application, such as Benefit’s Gimme Brow or the Soap and Glory Archery pencil, but this past trip I felt like having my ride or die on hand.
Eyelash curler: Just because I’m travelling doesn’t mean I am not VERY, VERY interested in having perfectly curled lashes! Some things cannot be sacrificed.
Mascara: Normally I’d actually bring a sample size just to save room, but this time I was feeling my Illegal Length.
Eyeliner: Sometimes I’ll go without packing eyeliner, but lately I have been feeling in an eyeliner-ific mood so I bring it with me to complete all my looks. Plus, I feel like I can get away with slightly heavier eyeliner on travel days since my eyeshadow is so quick and simple. I love Stila’s Stay All Day always and forever, especially on long travel days when I have neither the time nor inclination for touch-ups.
Eye primer: When I was in Warsaw I forgot my primer and my eyeshadow creased horribly after only a few hours. I was sort of glad, in a sick way, because it reinforced that, yes, the $30 I spend on my fancy NARS primer is TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Neutral eyeshadow palette: I alternate between bringing a single cream shadow (which I use with bronzer in the crease, as I said above) and a small, multi-tasking neutral palette. Lately I’ve been loving my Naked Basics palette for travel. It has every colour you could possibly need to create a simple, unassuming eye look – and the darkest shade can even be used as eyeliner, saving space in that horrendously tiny liquids bag. (I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but in Canada I always get away with bringing a gallon-sized baggie through security, whereas in the UK they are super strict about using their provided quart-sized bags.)
Lip liner: I always bring Rimmel’s Eastend Snob with me, because it’s my favourite lip liner. It’s so versatile! It’s fairly similar in tone to my natural lips, so it works under any lipstick without changing the colour, and it’s so creamy and comfortable on the lips that it’s beautiful on its own as well.
Neutral lip colour: I tend to bring an easy, don’t-even-have-to-think-about-it neutral lip colour with me when I travel and just use that every day. I recently wore down my trusty Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, my go-to travel lip colour, so lately I’ve been using the L’Oréal Extraordinaire by Colour Riche in Molto Mauve, which is a pinky mauve that’s so easy to just slap on! It also looks great over Eastend Snob.
Bold lip colour: Depending on who I’m hanging out with and what I’m planning on doing, I might bring a more in-your-face lip colour for any special outings or occasions. A favourite of mine is Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution lipstick in Red Carpet Red, because the formula is so amazing and comfortable and the colour is just a classic that will work for pretty much any situation, especially with the more neutral eye and cheek products I bring with me when I travel.
And there you have it: my easy, no-fuss-no-muss travel makeup bag!
(Also, you may notice that these pictures were taken with a nice camera. I used Aisling’s camera to take pictures for a few posts when I was down in Brighton, so you may be seeing some nicer pictures here and there. It has reinforced that an entry-level DSLR needs to become a priority for me when I have some disposable income! After using her camera, my iPhone 5 seems pitiful in comparison.)
Posted on April 10, 2015 under Lists
One of the allures of a year abroad in the UK was, of course, access to UK makeup brands. When I’m in Canada I can usually find my ways to get my hands on the goods, but nothing beats being able to browse at your leisure, to swatch, to mull things over in the aisle of Superdrug. (Not to mention not paying postage, not having to wait for the package to arrive, and not implicating someone else in the process of buying a simple lipstick.)
I think I controlled myself, to be fair. Sure, I purchased things, like any makeup lover would, but I tried to limit my purchases to things I would actually use and to avoid being swayed by the novelty factor of having so much British makeup at my fingertips.
I’ll be leaving the UK today, having a brief dalliance with all that Iceland has to offer, and returning to Canada on Monday. Today seems like the right time to post this: what I purchased, beauty-wise, while in the UK, in roughly chronological order.
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
I think I bought this within my first three days here. My lovely friend Jelena had managed to acquire this product in Toronto, and let me borrow it for around two months. It became a staple in my routine and was hastily purchased when I made it to the land of abundant Illamasqua counters. A full review of it will be coming at some point!
The Body Shop Camomile Oil Cleanser
The Body Shop was opened in Brighton, so it totally counts! I’ll probably write a proper post about this cleanser at some point, so suffice to say that it’s one of my favourite products from The Body Shop.
Barry M Hi Shine Nail Paints in Kiwi, Sugar Apple, and Damson
I did not buy these at once, but as my opinion on the three of them is the same I may as well lump them in together. I love these three colours, especially Kiwi (it’s so vibrant and unexpected!), and I love the formula. These nail polishes were very hyped in 2012 and 2013, and for good reason: they really are long-lasting and shiny. I’ve recently written all about Damson, and Kiwi featured in one of my first blog posts. Here’s a shot of Sugar Apple:
Unsurprisingly for a lighter colour, I do find that Sugar Apple needs three coats to reach full opacity as opposed to Kiwi and Damson’s two, but that’s a small gripe.
Barry M Lip Paint in Black
Admittedly, I only bought this because I have never seen black lipstick in a North American drugstore. I’ve never worn it out, but I’ve tried it on, and it’s surprisingly comfortable to wear. One day I will wear it for real.
Eyelure Nadine no125 lashes
This was a stupid purchase. I didn’t bring any lashes with me to the UK, and I was like, “What if I need some?”, ignoring the fact that I have never in my life found myself in a situation where I felt false lashes were especially warranted. I’m just not a false eyelash person, with one exception. Oh, well – I like these well enough for what they are, and I suppose I’ll find an occasion to wear them.
Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet in 307 Meteoric Matte
I was drawn in by the hype, by my love for liquid lipsticks, and by the colour. I’ve worn it twice. I have products with similar colours in formulas I like better. It’s not that it’s a bad product, it’s just that it doesn’t fill any hole in my collection and thus falls by the wayside. I’ll probably end up passing it along at some point so someone else can enjoy it more than I will.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Despite a more positive post about this concealer, upon further use I have to conclude that I don’t quite get the hype. Maybe it’s just that the lightest shade is still too dark and too orange for me, but, although this is a perfectly adequate concealer, it just doesn’t blow me away. I’ll stick to my MAC Studio Finish; it’s more hygienic, anyway. (God, I hate doe-foot applicator concealers.)
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
I love this sponge – the density, the shape, and the application, everything. Not to mention the price! At around £5, it’s much cheaper than the beautyblender, and totally does the job.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation
I picked this up despite my reservations about the colour. These reservations turned out to be well-founded; it’s simply too dark and too warm for me. Surprisingly, I also didn’t love how it applied on my skin – it seemed to sit on top of it rather than sink into it, and it made me look oily, which is quite a feat considering I’m on the dryer side of normal. My friend Hayley loves this foundation, so I’m taking it back to Toronto to pass on to her.
Real Techniques Nic’s Pick’s brush set
Reviewed – I use every single brush from this set regularly. A very good purchase.
Collection Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Cream in Cotton Candy
Not the best liquid lipstick, but it performs reasonably well, especially at £3. I have relatively few neutral lip colours, so this one is good to have on hand. I will contest the claim that this is moisturizing – it’s fairly drying, just as you’d expect of a cheap matte liquid lipstick.
Topshop lipstick in Depth
Love the colour, love how it feels on the lips, don’t love the staying power. Ah, well; a colour like this is bound to be high-maintenance. I did not give this lipstick enough love this fall and winter, and now it’s getting too warm for it to be seasonally appropriate. Whatever; I’ll probably wear it this summer anyway. Life’s too short not to use gorgeous lip colours whenever the heck you want.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red
Reviewed here. This is still my favourite lipstick formula. Even though I like to mix up my lipstick colours and not just stick with a classic red, I reach for this one all. the. time. I’ve never understood people who underuse expensive products – sure, one day this baby will be all used up, but at least I’ll get my £23’s worth!
Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter False Lashes
Reviewed here. Still impressed with these, still the only lashes I’m inclined to wear with anything resembling regularity.
I mean, it’s just a mini tub of Vaseline. But the packaging is cute and it keeps my lips in good condition, so it can stay.
One Direction You & I Shower Gel
Tragically, the newest One Direction perfume was on special along with the shower gel for just £10 at Superdrug. My friend Bec and I split it, and she got the perfume. Fine with me; I wear fragrance so rarely that shower gel is much more useful to me. I’ve smelled the perfume, anyway, and on me it’s pretty much indistinguishable from One Direction’s original fragrance launch, Our Moment, which I already own. (I’m ashamed of this fact, but not as ashamed as I should be.)
Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished
Reviewed here. My opinion on this highlighter is unwavering: it’s simply the best, in my books.
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Red Diva
These twist-up Rimmel lip liners are excellent quality – so creamy and pigmented! This one is the perfect true red to match the red lipsticks I favour. I just wish there were more shades in the line, because I’ve bought all the colours I like!
Little Mix By Collection Lipstick in Jade
By the time you read this, I may have purchased Jesy’s lip colour just to complete the set. (I have Perrie’s and Leigh-Anne’s from a 2013 haul.) At just £2.49, these lipsticks are really great quality – easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-lasting considering how creamy they are. It was Aisling who originally put me onto this colour, because it’s one of her favourite neutrals. I do love the slightly brown pink; it’s very wearable. And, as a fan of Little Mix, I also consider this a collector’s item. The packaging isn’t glamourous, but it’s very cute!
Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Night Cream
This was another product bought at the urging of Aisling, who is such an enabler. (I never would have bought the most expensive lipstick I own without her!) So far, I am loving it. Look out for a full review within the next few weeks.
And there you have it: a collective beauty haul spanning from September to April.
(And, of course, in the interest of not reducing seven months in the UK to pure consumerism, I had an amazing time in Glasgow, exploring the city, the UK, and beyond. I’ll absolutely be back… and I’ll probably pick up some more makeup while I’m at it.)