Tag Archives: Eyes

Bag It: NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara

NARS Larger than Life Volumizing MascaraWay back in the mists of time I wrote one of my first posts for MM, and it was telling the world how crap I thought NARS’ old mascara was. (There was also something about Huey Lewis and the News in there, but Lord knows what that has to do with mascara, crap or otherwise).

However I am thrilled to report that after extensive testing, NARS new Larger than Life Volumizing mascara is proving itself to be a winner. The brush is a bit bigger than normal but not jumbo oversized like Diorshow mascara or Benefit’s Bad Girl Lash, and the main thing I like about it is that it doesn’t get goopy or overload the lash. Thus you can build a few coats with it still looking lovely and fluffy, and it really is quite volumizing.

One thing I would say is that sucker is staying on once it’s on! Make sure you have a good remover because it has the staying properties of a waterproof mazzie, without the crunchiness – which if you live in a hot climate or like a badass, long last mascara, this is for you.

In the mascara stakes Monsieur NARS, you have well and truly redeemed yourself.

BAG IT!

Top Shop – Ultimate Smoky Eye video

Just when I think I couldn’t be any more in love with Topshop, they go and produce these lovely videos for their new makeup collection, Heavy Duty. It’s a rockin’ London eye, fabulously cool makeup artist Hannah Murray (who is the Creative Director for Topshop makeup) is on beauty duty, and they have one of my favourite singers, Sia, providing the tunes. All r-i-i-i-ight.

Bag It: Revlon Luxurious Colour Eyeliners

Cameron Diaz makeup by Gucci WestmanThese are my new eyeliner discovery, and they are fab. Super-creamy, long-wearing and they come in a great range of shades (8 in total). I thought I had all the pencils I needed, but it turns out, I was wrong. It turns out, you can never have too many pencils! What a relief.

I only have two of them at the moment but it won’t be long before I add more – I find the way they smudge yet stay colour true is more like the performance of one of the high end brands. It’s not very often that I make the foray from the department store to the drugstore, but for Revlon I’m starting to make an exception.

I have to confess to being more and more impressed with Revlon. Last year they took on Gucci Westman (NY makeup artist extraordinaire who racks up Vogue and W covers just as easily as red carpet clients, including Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore), and ever since Gucci’s been on board – well their makeup looks fresh again. I’m impressed by the pigments and colours not just on the eyeliners but also the concealers, lipsticks, nail polishes, cream blushes and eyeshadows, and their brushes are fabulous, although they can be hard to find.

Last summer I worked on a Revlon commercial in London with Kay Montano who was making up the ever-amazing Elle McPherson, and I got the chance to try a lot of the products then. It’s an impressive drugstore offering, certainly my favourite across the board of the ranges in a lower price point. Their advertising campaigns have kicked up a notch as well with their recent signing of beautiful actresses Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba, and it feels like again you can say “The Most Unforgettable Women in the World Wear Revlon.”

Revlon Luxurious Colour Eyeliners

In My Makeup Kit: Estee Lauder Single Eyeshadows

Estee Lauder is one of those brands that have really re-invented themselves over the last few years. They used to be a bit granny – that’s where your mum and your grandma (and in some cases, great-grandma!) shopped for their rouge and lipstick, but no longer. The quality of the products is still there (because they have that in spades), but it’s now a nanna-free zone. The advertising is much more glamorous, with spokesmodels like the beautiful Hilary Rhoda and the unbelievable looking Constance Jablonski, and their first Asian model, Liu Wen. And this year they have a new International Makeup artist in the form of one Mr Tom Pecheux, he of the constant flow of Paris Vogue covers, years as Mario Testino’s favourite makeup artist, runway artist regular and makeup artist to Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss amongst others. The urbane Frenchman is a perfect addition to the brand, and I love the look of his first collection, Blue Dahlia. He says “Makeup is such a fashion accessory – I’d like to highlight that part of the brand, and also bring a playful touch to the franchise.”

However! I’ve been using Estee Lauder judiciously in my kit for quite awhile as I love the finish of their products – this is still makeup for grown ups, even if it is being ushered into the new millennium. I had my first proper taste of their range at the Swarowski Fashion Rocks show in London a couple of years ago (Estee Lauder sponsored it), and I was actually really blown away by the quality. It was a huge show with a zillion models and celebrities in very full makeup looks, and their products held up amazingly. Ever since then I’ve been a fan.

One of my favourites from Estee Lauder is their eyeshadows which are super finely milled, blend deliciously and used in conjunction with others in the range give a gorgeous finish and are just lovely, flattering colours. I definitely prefer them to their eyeshadow quads from the core range, which are not the same texture as the singles. The colour pay off in the singles seems to be much better, and less powdery – plus the mattes are really matte and the shimmers are just shimmery enough. Shimmer to make you pretty, not look like an escapee from Crazy Town. And the metallics? Well they’re off the charts – love, love love these particularly in the deeper colours like purple and charcoal.

Each shadow feels like pretty little Lucite seashells in your hand, so they definitely give you that feeling you’re using something luxe, although as a makeup artist I do find they get quite heavy when you’re stacking them up and carrying them around (as one does). Word on the street has it that Estee Lauder will be re-launching their single eyeshadows later this year in the form of 48 new Pure Colour eyeshadows with finishes ranging from matte, to satins, luminous and metallic. And if they’re anything as good as the ones I have in my kit I’ll be queuing up to get to them!







I couldn’t resist this 80’s awesomeness – this is a rare Estee Lauder promotional video of supermodel Paulina Porizkova. Quite the contrast to Hilary Rhoda!

Stop Press: Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brighteners in a WAND!

These came out a couple of months ago, but I’ve only just tested them now. I didn’t think it was possible to be any more in love with the Bobbi Brown Eye Brighteners (which really are the miracle cure to banishing dark under eye circles), and yet with the new packaging, clearly I am.Bobbi Brown Eye Brighteners

The product is so good that even with the old style pot I would lug all four of them on every job, swearing when the annoying lid would slip and half the goopy Eyebright would be brightening the ends of my fingers/back of my hand/the brush/my clothes instead of my client’s face, and then I’d smear it all over my towel trying to clean it up in order to get on with my job. Did I mention I hated those pots?

But their eye bag reducing capabilities were such I always used them, and then somewhere an angel on Bobbi Brown’s shoulder told her that the pot packaging was crap, and she should think of something else. And she did. A genius wand, like the Touche Eclat concealer pens, that looks chic, delivers just the right amount of product and can even be thrown in your handbag – thrown, I tell you! For on the go touchups. Because Bobbi is nice like that. She knows what women want. And it comes in more shades than before – eight instead of four, in fact. So all the ladies of the skintone spectrum are covered. Which makes me and my kit, very happy.

www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Dior-Spring-2010-Make-up-Vlada-Roslyakova

Trends: Lilac Eyes

Spring isn’t quite officially here, but as far as I’m concerned, its time to look ahead and think about bare legs, short skirts (yessssss! say all the men in London), and most importantly, re-think your makeup bag for the coming season. I call it a bonafide trend as of today, because I saw three ladies on the Tube in one morning wearing varying shades of violet on their eyes. So my top trend? It’s Lilac Eyes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had (interesting, cough) true beauty trends – for a few seasons it’s been the same old stuff recycled again and again – natural makeup, perfect skin, smoky eyes, red lips – and much as I love those classics, aren’t we all just a little bit keen for something different?

I know I am, which is why I sat up just a little bit straighter when the genius makeup maestro Pat McGrath sent a bevy of beauties down the runway for Dior with gasp! lavender eyelids. Gorgeous, glowing, proper washes of Easter egg purple – it’s part of a bigger seasonal trend for pastels that I predict will be huge this season, as we all search for color to lift us out of (let’s be honest), 2009’s deep funk. The ubiquitous Ms McGrath even did pastel eyebrows yesterday for Balenciaga. Whilst I don’t see us necessarily sporting a pastel brow to herald in the warmer months, a pastel lid we can do. To the paintbox, ladies!

Lilacs I love

NARS Jolie Poupee duo – vibrant lavender and deep jewel toned purple. This is where NARS really comes into its own as a range – they have one of the most rockin’ colour selections anywhere. Colours you didn’t know existed let alone thought that you needed – that is until you headed down to your makeup counter.

NARS D. Gorgeous single eyeshadow  – a shimmery pale lilac. Worth wearing for the name alone!

Bobbi Brown Lavender and Lilac eyshadows, with Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Orchid. Yeeeeeeeaaaah. That’s what I’m talking about.

Becca Lapis Eyetint with Ametrine – this creates a more subtle, shiny wash of color that is so, so gorgeous on. Lapis is apparently a Limited Edition color so if you want it, you’ll have to be quick.

Estee Lauder single eyeshadow in Lilac – beautiful, does what it says in the box, shimmering lavender to make your eyes glow.

How to wear it

Although lavender looks gorgeous on every eye color, pastels can be a little hard to wear if not done correctly. The application part is easy – simply wash your chosen color from the lashline to the crease, with a brush or your finger in the case of a cream.

But in order to make it work, you need a very thin black liner along the lashes – like dental floss! Oh so thin. Liquid or gel eyeliner is more defined than a pencil. And lashes, lots and lots of lashes. You’re going to need a Bad Boy mascara, one that gives you lashes for days – not clumpy, not trampy, but ultra flirty and lots of ‘em. Go nuts. I am currently liking Lancome Hypnose mascara for this uber-sexy effect.

Without eyeliner and mascara you will look like an egg – but not of the Easter variety. Just an albino one. If you feel a bit naked under the eyes you can always softly smudge a nice chocolate pencil. MAC Coffee pencil is a good one.

Go easy on the foundation – heavy, mask-like base will quickly take this into Grannyland (and nobody really wants to go there). Myface foundation is lovely for light, everyday wear that still gives sufficient coverage. And no weird fake tans please – pastels and fake tan will make you look like the bonkers neighbour in There’s Something about Mary, and the Mole is never EVER going to tell you to look like that!

Blush is a must, a soft pink would be good, but nothing too cutesy. I like a pink with a little bit of gold shimmer in it – my latest fave for most skintones is Chantecaille powder blush in Laughter.

Although Ms McGrath went for the full magilla at Dior with a bright red lip, I would possibly choose something a little more understated if you’re just going out for groceries. I like a soft pink lip with a bit of brown (again to keep it out of the kindergarten, and make it pretty without looking like you should be sporting an Easter bonnet). Becca Sheer Tint lip colour in Gisella, Myface Vintage Pink lipstick, and the old classic Estee Lauder Crystal Baby lipstick are all good options. You may not have a Spring in your step yet, but at least it can be Spring on your eyes.

In My Makeup Kit: MyFace Blingtone

myface.cosmetics- blingtone

This week I was taken through the whole Myface range of makeup, and the more I’m trying from this brand, the more I’m liking it. I’ll be posting about other Myface products in the coming weeks, but on Friday shooting London It girl Yasmin Mills (who is already naturally so gorgeous), I used lip gloss in Lip Pop and a touch of the cult product Blingtones on the eye to give her gaze a hint of shimmer, and honestly, this product has to be tried to be believed.

It’s crushed pearls – yes, real crushed pearls, in an oil base, and it is a totally new technology for eyeshadow – Kay and I have never seen anything like it. What it means is that with one finger swipe of product you can create sparkling, glistening lids instantly. When it’s on, it looks so shiny it appears wet. “Oooh!” I hear makeup artists around the world squeal. How we love a bit of wet look shine (I know, there’s a tacky joke in there somewhere, but this is a makeup blog people, keep it clean). To get this effect, until now we relied on either using shimmer shadows or pigments with a wet brush, or adding Vaseline or eye gloss once the powder shadow was on, but with Blingtones you just swipe it on with a finger, for instant, glamour eyes. And the effect can be just a touch of pixie dust or full on metallic foil. It comes in a range of colors – silver, gold, deep purple, amazing teal blue, bright blue, white and beige copper.

Can you tell I’m smitten? I have a feeling I’ll be using these bad boys all the time. They are perfect to throw in your handbag or your desk drawer if you’re going out that night to punch up your look, and they don’t need a brush – they actually go on better when applied with your fingers.

The only thing I would say is that the pearl particles are so fine it does drop under the eye somewhat, so I would recommend doing the eyes first, before your foundation, then using some sticky tape around your finger to pick up any fall out, before proceeding with the rest of the makeup. (This is also a great trick if your smoky eyes start out more panda than pretty!)

And the best part? It’s available at Boots – yes, Boots the chemist. I so rarely get excited about anything I buy at the chemist (unless they’re in Paris, or the US has some ace stuff also), that to find a range at drugstore prices that has anything I want is already an achievement in itself.

You can check out the full range at www.myfacecosmetics.com

Until the 25th of February Myface cosmetics is offering a free concealer with every Myface foundation, available throughout the UK at Boots Chemists.

Bin It: Cover Girl Line Exact Liquid Eyeliner

I love the design of this eyeliner – like a Sharpie pen for eyes, it has a nice sharp nib (not too floppy!) that when it works, does make lining eyes a cinch. Sadly however, whether it works or not appears to be optional.

The fantastic design is courtesy of the guru makeup artist, Pat McGrath, as she is the resident makeup artist at Procter & Gamble (who own Cover Girl.) And it is cheap (about $7 USD). But the after my experiences with it, the only way this dude is going near my kit is if Chanel, MAC and NARS cease and desist from production of liquid liner forever.

Friends of mine recommended it to me, and the first couple of times I tried it, I thought fab! This is ace! I gotta get me one of those! And off I went, forked out my seven dollars, and got it home (or back to my friend’s house actually). And you know what? Maybe for some it’s amazing and cat-lined Cleopatra kitty eyes in one easy stroke are all yours – instant transformation into Angelina Jolie – grrrr – or, like what happened in my case, I was Angelina Jolie for two days thinking wow, I have to post about this on my blog – and miraculously one week later it became thin, watery, anemic and grey, and not worthy of lining my cat’s dirty litter tray. As was the spare one Cover Girl thoughtfully provided for me. (I managed to get my hands on a double pack – two for the bin then, instead of one).

But my friends who recommended the product to me have had theirs for about two years and it’s still going strong, and reading reviews on the internet (like the ever useful MakeupAlley), I am not alone. So it turns out that it’s really luck of the draw. I know it’s only $7, which in the grand scheme of things is not that much, but I’d rather have given it to a homeless person or to save the moon bears than basically literally putting it in the bin.

And this is why I have a blog – because I think it happens a lot – women buy products that are crap, or crap for them, and then feel bad when they don’t look like Jennifer Aniston or Cheryl Cole. And they pay for the privilege. And it’s not good enough! We want products that work, and we’re happy to pay for them. But please help us buy the right ones that make us feel pretty, and not like a sucker, an idiot, or even worse, less gorgeous than when we came to you.

Quite frankly, that’s just not good enough, Cover Girl. Why do some of these eyeliners work, and others, not so much? And let me tell you, I have had far pricier brands’ liquid eyeliners do the same thing. Please don’t manufacture products that die after two uses. It’s just not on. It makes me furious because we as consumers are being taken for a ride, and to my mind, if you can’t make pretty much every product perfect, don’t bother manufacturing it. ‘Nuff said.

BIN IT!

And by the way , if you’re curious about why I talked about moon bears, I found out about this amazing charity the other day – it’s a charity that is restoring the sight of moon bears rescued from Chinese bile farms, where they are kept in captivity and milked for their bile (prized in some Chinese medicines). It’s as hideous as it sounds, but these veterinarians restore their sight. All together now – awww! If you’re interested in finding out more about the moon bears, the website is www.sightforsoreeyes.org.uk. I know where my next liquid eyeliner purchase money is going – and it’s to someone a lot cuter and fluffier than Cover Girl.