VIDEO: Top 14 Products of 2014

Posted on January 14, 2015 under Lists, Video

Long time, no see, huh? Where I last left my captive audience, I was on my way to Canada to spend the holidays with my family and friends, which is going to be my excuse for falling off the face of Blogland. I am now back in Scotland, which means I can back into the blogging game!

When my friend Manda did a list of her top 14 beauty products of 2014, I decided to shamelessly copy her. I love lists and clever gimmicks, so it was right up my alley! I decided to do this in video format, because I want to get more comfortable in front of a camera. As you can see, I’m not quite there yet – but practice makes perfect!

Products mentioned:

Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup (Blog post)
L’Oreal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer (Blog post)
Sleek Blush in Flushed
The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder (Blog post)
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow (Blog post)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (Blog post)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red (Blog post)
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (Blog post)
Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter False Eyelashes (Blog post)
Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat (Blog post)
Real Techniques Angled Shadow Brush (Blog post)
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

My travel makeup look

Posted on December 22, 2014 under FOTD

As this post goes live, my airplane from Reykjavik to Toronto will be taking off. (That is, if all is going according to plan. KNOCK WOOD!) I’ll be spending two weeks with my family for the holidays, and I am very excited.

For a longer trip like this, I tend to pack quite a bit of makeup, mostly lip colours. I mean, it’s impossible for me to say on December 22 that on January 4 I’ll want to wear a specific lip colour, so I bring a lot to cover all my bases. However, for the journey itself (nearly 12 hours on airplanes and in airports – how exhausting), I prefer to keep my makeup nice and simple. Here’s my makeup uniform for air travel:

Brow gel

Normally I have a more involved brow routine, but although I enjoy having perfect eyebrows I am just not that concerned with this when I’m on a plane. This is especially true if I have to wake up early for my flight, which is fairly often. Instead of doing the whole angled-brush-and-pomade routine, I just pop on some of Benefit’s Gimme Brow, which magically fills in my brows super well for being nothing but a tinted gel.

One high-coverage concealer and one undereye concealer

In general, my philosophy is “high coverage concealer for blemishes, sheer foundation for the rest of the face”. This is no different for air travel! I have given my MAC Studio Finish concealer a lot of love – it’s creamy, very pigmented, and can cover anything. My undereye concealer is the most effective weapon I have against looking like a sleepy zombie; I love L’Oreal La Touche Magique.

One powder foundation

Although I love my Revlon Nearly Naked liquid foundation, I cannot fathom slathering ANY liquid all over my face only to bake on an airplane. I want the most lightweight foundation possible! Sometimes when travelling by air I’ll just skip foundation completely, but if I’m feeling slightly less lazy I’ll use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply Pür Minerals 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Makeup, mostly on my cheeks where I get a bit of redness.

One neutral cream eyeshadow

I apply a light, neutral cream eyeshadow all over my eyelid just to brighten up the area. I love intricate eyeshadow looks, but what the hell is the point when I’m just going to be sitting in a metal tube fearing my death? I always reach for a Maybelline Colour Tattoo for this, generally Inked in Pink or Barely Branded.

Bronzer

A good matte bronzer fulfills three tasks. First, it gives a healthy glow that is so needed when unforgiving airport lights suck the life out of your face. Second, it can be used for contouring – and, yes, I am high-maintenance enough that I will often pop a light contour under my cheekbones even when doing minimal makeup. DEAL WITH IT. Third, it’s perfect to put in the crease to complete my very simple, so-easy-I-could-do-it-in-my-sleep eyeshadow look. Of course, I use The Body Shop’s Honey Bronzer for this.

Mascara

Um, duh. Aside from undereye concealer, mascara on curled lashes is the most effective method of waking your eyes up. Today I’m using Maybelline Illegal Length, but I don’t have a strong allegiance to any one mascara at the moment.

Here’s how the eyes look, using Barely Branded, the Honey Bronzer, and mascara:

holiday eyes

One hydrating lip colour

I’ve almost gone through my Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, and that is probably almost exclusively through travel use. It’s a light berry colour that’s not quite “my lips but better” but still very subtle, which means constant touchups are not necessary. It’s also super hydrating – which is nice because planes are VERY DRYING ATMOSPHERES. Plus, you can put it on without looking in the mirror, which is a bonus when your makeup bag with your compact is stowed in the compartment above your head and you don’t want to be that asshole who gets their bag down halfway through a flight.

And here is the final look – simple, quick, easy, but effective:

holiday travel

One Direction shirt optional.

Products that deserve more hype

Posted on December 16, 2014 under Lists

We’ve talked about products that are worth their hype, but what about products that you think the whole world should know about but that nobody really talks about?

The world just isn’t fair, is it? Because if it was, you all would know (and love) these products just as much as I love them. (You can tell I love them because they are all really dirty in the photo. Hashtag authentic.)

Stila In The Light Palette

I have (and love) the Naked 3 palette, but my favourite neutral palette is In The Light. When I worked in cosmetics I sold so many of these babies because I would talk so passionately about my love for this palette to my customers. I’ve had it for a year now and I’ve probably used it at least 50% of the days I wear makeup. The eyeshadows are a gorgeous formula and there’s a really great variety of colours (from dark to light, matte to glitter). I like that there are some of the more classic neutrals such as off-white and dark brown, but also some colours that are a bit more fun, such a slate blue-grey, a copper, and a shimmery dark grey. This palette is so versatile, and I love it dearly.

If you’re in the market for a neutral palette that’s less outrageously expensive than the Naked palettes (and with less fallout, too – that’s my big complaint about Urban Decay shadows) and that comes with a full-sized eyeliner, this is the one for you.

Here is a collage of some looks I’ve done with this palette, in case you need convincing.

in the light

Revlon Nearly Naked foundation

This is my ride-or-die, holy grail foundation. It’s lightweight and sheer but buildable, with a pretty liquidy texture. I always apply it with a damp sponge, and it looks just like skin – so natural, yet flawless. It’s on the dewier side, so it works with my dry skin, but it’s not super shiny – just very natural and glow-y. Plus, it comes in approximately a bazillion shades, ranging from very pale (Ivory – my colour!) to quite dark (Cappuccino). This was one of my go-to products when colour matching someone since there was such a variety of shades.

I hear a lot of people talking about Revlon’s ColorStay, which is a full coverage foundation, but nobody ever talks about Nearly Naked! If you want something a bit lighter that looks like skin but still evens and smooths and generally looks beautiful, I would definitely check Nearly Naked out.

(My one complaint is that there’s NO PUMP. This would truly be the perfect foundation if it had one!)

I know before and after shots are really handy to judge a foundation’s efficacy, so hopefully this shows how flawless but natural it looks:

foundation

L’Oréal True Match La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer

I have very noticeable purple undereye circles that just don’t quit. Nothing will make them go away – not sleep, not lots of water (I already drink 3L a day, what more do you want?!), not eye cream. All I can hope to do is conceal them. And I’ve tried a lot of concealer. I’ve caked things on thickly hoping that would help, I’ve used brightening concealers, I’ve done everything. And this is the answer.

I don’t know how, because the formula is very lightweight and not particularly high coverage, but this manages to cover up my undereye circles so well and lift that area. The lightest shade is absurdly pale (and I myself am absurdly pale) – for once in my life I’m using the second lightest, Rose Beige. I think its beige undertones help cancel out the purple of my dark circles, but who knows. I don’t give a shit how it works, to be honest. I just like that it works. I’m not going to question it!

Once again, before and after:

loreal concealer

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

Bronzer for pale people, am I right, ladies? Yes – it’s a tricky game! Pale people arguably need bronzer the most, since sometimes we can look a bit ill (especially in the middle of summer when everyone else has gorgeous tans and we’re slathering on the SPF60 to keep from burning the second we step outside), but it is so hard to find a product that works! Thankfully, the search is over – the Honey Bronzer is a light, matte brown that doesn’t pull orange at all. It’s not too pigmented, which means that it warms up the face and adds a bit of colour and dimension without making it look like you went a bit overboard. It can even be used as a contour in a pinch, although of course I prefer Illamasqua’s Hollow. This is hands down the best natural-looking bronzer for pale people I’ve found! I’m sure the darker shades are lovely for the non-ghost-like among us, as well.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Everyone is so caught up in the frenzy of the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but what if I told you that you could do SO MUCH BETTER? The NARS primer is truly my holy grail eyeshadow primer, and I do not award that status lightly. A little bit goes a long way so a tube of it lasts forever (I’ve had mine for a year and a half, and that’s with nearly daily use) and it will seriously keep your eyeshadow on all day. I’ve gone 15+ hours with a full face of makeup, and the one thing I can count on to look exactly the same as when I put it on is my eyeshadow. You will never have to worry about fading, creasing, or smudging with this base, and that is a promise.

Those are my top five underhyped products. I hope you’ll consider some (or all) of these, because I promise they are freakin’ awesome.