Contouring for Fair Skin

I understand that this post may be a little more ‘niche’ than usual, but not only is finding contour products for pale skin almost impossible, it’s also a problem that I feel I have a lot of knowledge about. As most of you will know, I am THAT pale friend – the one that has to stay on SPF 50 the entire holiday, the one that gets burnt in winter. Now, most contour products, whether they are high end or drugstore, tend to be rather warm-toned even if they are designed for ‘Light’ skin. This proves a biiig problem for the porcelain-skinned, as the it gives an unnatural look; almost like you put bronzer in the wrong place. And trust me, finding cool-toned contour kits is NOT easy… That’s where I come in. In attempt to join the contouring craze of the past few years, I pretty much tried out almost EVERY kit out there, be it £3 or £30, and this is what I’ve found…


My Top Contour Products for Fair Skin

Day to Day

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For a day to day look, you want something a little less dramatic, which equates to ‘a little more blend able’ in makeup talk. Hence, the products that I have selected here are all cream-based products that I love to use for contour. My biggest piece of advice is: don’t worry if it’s intended for contouring or not – don’t be afraid to create a shadow using a deeper foundation or define the cheeks using a cream blush instead.

Clockwise from top left: Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in Camisole Blush, NYX Sculpt and Highlight Duo in Taupe/IvoryRimmel London Scandal Eyes Shadow Stick in Trespassing TaupeMaybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Cameo.

Going Out

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When you’re going out, that is the time for some serious contouring, like damn, create some killer cheekbones even if they’re not natural. For going out, I find that powders generally work much better; they have a longer lasting-power, especially when set with a setting spray. My all time favourite has got to be NYX HD Blush in Taupe (only £5.50 as well!) – it’s cool toned which works perfectly for super fair skin.

Clockwise from top left: Make-up Geek Break Up, NYX HD Blush in Taupe, ABH Cream Kit in Fair, Barry M Chisel Cheeks


and the worst…

Now, I’m not really one for slating products, as I know that most products perform differently on different skin types and colours, however, below I’ve listed a few pieces that you might want to avoid if you’re pale like me; the following, I find, are simply too warm toned:

Face: NYX Shine Killer Primer, Bareminerals Complexion Rescue in Vanilla, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H, MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer in NW15, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15, NYX HD Blush in Taupe, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, NYX HD Blush in Soft Spoken, Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder, Gerard Cosmetics Star Powder Highlight in Grace, Make-up Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Setting Spray.

Eyes and Brows: ABH Brow Wiz in Caramel, Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in 2, Benefit High Beam, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Too Faced Natural Eyes palette, Zoeva Rose Golden Palette, Benefit They’re Real Lash Primer, Icona Milano Emotions Allowed Mascara.

Lips: MAC Lip Liner in Subculture and MAC Kinda Sexy.


What are your must-have contouring products? Let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x

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2016 Festival Beauty

I remember the days when I’d rock up to Sundown (my local below-average music festival) in a pair of denim shorts and minimal makeup because “I didn’t want to look silly”; for some reason I felt that all the glitter-clad festival goers would think I was weird if I joined their clan. Well, I’m here to tell any of you who are like myself to RELAX. Maybe festivals used to be just about cute, hippie, impractical looks, but now, in 2016, the only objective is to have fun. If there’s one time when no-ones going to judge you for dressing like an absolute lunatic, it’s at a festival. Trust me. So, with that in mind, I’m here today to give you a little bit of inspiration for your festival beauty looks this year. I’m talking electric colour, gems and general glitter-central. You’re going to want to keep reading…


Eyes

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Festival eye-makeup has classically been about wearing those shades that you don’t wear on a day to day basis, to create the perfectly bright and blended ‘show-stopper’ look. So, I’ve included a couple of my favourite bright palettes here, one by Makeup Revolution and one by Morphe. The cheaper and more accessible option for those living in the UK, like me, is Makeup Revolution. Despite the incredible pigmentation of these shadows, they are not quite as easy to blend as Morphe because they have a less buttery texture.

Despite just raving on about shadows, I think that 2016 is more of an eyeliner alone year. Who can be bothered to take their enter set of blending brushes to a festival anyway? We’ve seen ‘graphical’ and ‘blocky’ beauty trends a lot over the past few months – so why not purchase something like NYX Vivid Brights Eyeliner? More of a metals fan? Nothing quite compares to the longevity of Eye Of Horus Liquid Metal Liner.

Finally, onto possibly the easiest trend of them all – GLITTER! Wear it under the eyes to disguise the exhaustion of camping or even under the brows like Gigi Hadid did on the catwalk. For a true glittery look, you’ll need more than just your average sparkly eyeshadow. Instead, opt for pure pigment, which many brands, even drugstore ones, have started to stock – like the Barry M Dazzle Dust or DOSE Duo above.


Lips

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Okay, so, first up is the controversial, colour pop obsession. Long gone is the days when lips were either red or nude. Green? Violet? Can you wear it? Hell yes. Even the drugstore brands have caught on – you can get a tangerine lippy for £1 from Make-up Revolution! Fancy going the extra mile? Turn to Coloured Raine, Gerard Cosmetics or MAC’s Blue Nectar Collection for the seriously fearless shades.

Next, with no doubt Kylie Jenner’s work, is the metallic lip. She’s even dedicated a whole selection of her Kylie Jenner Lip Kits to metallics alone. Because, well, it’s just a gorgeous way to subtly play up the lips. If, like myself, Kylie’s Lip Kits are pretty difficult to get your hands on, some great alternatives are: NYX, Topshop or MUA.


Hair, Face and Body

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Let’s talk hair. Flower crowns – they’re old news. This year it’s all about head jewellery, hair rings and you guessed it… tonnes of glitter. Gel or spray, it’s up to you, and don’t forget that glitter roots is the in thing. Take a look at Superdrug‘s own range or shop Graftobian all-purpose glitter gel at Beauty Bay.

Next on the list is your must-have face products. Liquid and cream cosmetics are your best friends at a festival for easy, quick application. That’s why I’ve picked out High Beam, Benefit‘s cult highlighter, and Halo Illuminiser in Golden Tan from H & M’s beauty line (which is very impressive, by the way). Oh, of course, you can’t forget a setting spray at events like these; my friends swear by Urban Decay’s All Nighter Spray.

And finally, beauty for the whole body… Temporary tattoos have evolved from being Bart Simpson ones for 5 year olds and sparkly faces are taken to the next level with stick on gems. Make sure that the minute people see your face, they know you’re up for a party. Add to any sparkle by dusting MAC’s glitter pot over the décolletage for a full-body shimmer and don’t forget the nails! Make life easy by opting for pre-painted stick on nails, you won’t want to waste valuable festival time stuck in a tent waiting for your nails to dry.


In the mood for dancing the night away yet? I hope so. I’d love to hear some of your must-have festival products or even your favourite festival look – let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x

 

Minis giveaway!

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Now you may have noticed over the past month, my presence on Irregular Collection has been errr.. minimal to say the least. This is because for once in my lifetime, life has consisted of more than just school and crappy reality TV shows. I’ve finished high school, inevitably meaning prom (not to mention AFTER prom!) and other Leavers’ celebrations but also, I’ve been moving rooms, getting a new phone, jet-setting off to the south of France… As you can see it’s been pretty hectic – not that I’m complaining. Anyway, enough about that, I’m sure you’ll hear much more about it soon. Today, I have an exciting announcement to make – a giveaway! Take it as sort of a celebration, but also a partial apology for being so bad at finding the time to blog. If you’re interested, keep on reading!


What is a giveaway?

A giveaway is pretty much what it says on the tin; items that a person ‘gives away’ to another – think of it as a raffle. The winner is chosen completely at random and the prizes will then be posted straight to them.

What is in this giveaway?

Okay, so as you’ve probably gathered from the title, this giveaway is about lots of little things instead of one big prize. Included in the box of treats will be minis of: Lancôme Visionnaire Skin Corrector, Olay Regenerist Skin Perfecting Cream, Lancôme Energie de Vie, Kiehl’s Line Reducing Concentrate, Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream, Estée Lauder Enlighten Correcting Cream and Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Noir. Now onto the full-size products… Bee Good Plump and Firm Moisturiser, Lush Bath Oil and a mystery NYX product. How does that sound? Pretty good if I do say so myself.

How do I enter?

Entering is simple and can be done via WordPress or Instagram.

Entering on WordPress: Make sure that you are following Irregular Collection and then leave a comment on this post with two other blogging friends’ links so they can get a chance to enter too! 

Entering on Instagram: Make sure you are following me on Instagram (@emiliahurrell) and leave a comment on the designated post tagging two friends so they can get a chance to enter too!


Ends 30th July at 12pm. Good luck!

Emilia x

How To Create: The Burgundy Eye

Burgundy? It seems a pretty autumnal colour – don’t get me wrong. And red? On the eyes? A little risky. But, this year, this particular shade of eyeshadow could be seen everywhere; catwalk to red carpet – from Kristen Stewart to Rooney Mara, they just can’t get enough. And the best thing? It seems to work on any skin tone and for any eye colour! Just vary the base tones and strength of colour a tad and ta-dah you’re sorted. However, I understand that make-up and cosmetics in general aren’t quite that simple to all of us, so I’ve created my own little ‘tutorial’, as such, to give you guys some help.


Okay, so, first of all you’ll notice that my version of this look is rather chocolate-toned and subtle – that’s because I’m literally paler than a bed sheet and anything too bold on my eyes looks out of place. Although, if you’re darker than me (which 99% of you probably are), you can have some real fun with this trend. Also, deeper shades of this purpley-red look gorgeous against brown eyes – try MAC Deep Damson or Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk. Me? I’ve used the bottom right shade in the Morphe Soul Of Summer Palette over MAC Aromatic and Too Faced Sexpresso ,with the bottom left shade of the Soul of Summer Palette on the lower lid and MAC Kitties to highlight the inner eye. The Morphe Soul of Summer palette is extremely good value for money with buttery, highly pigmented shades. However, MAC is the winner for sparkle power and nothing beats the pigmentation of Too Faced shadows – but I guess you can’t be the best at everything!

Generally, I would suggest going for a smokey, ‘deepest colour at the edges’ approach with the burgundy eye, but I’ve notice that some people simply like to wear one shade all over the lid. Burgundy liner is also a popular choice, as be assured, it’s on my ‘to-try’ list!


As for the rest of my look, I paired the smokey look with a classic winged liner and generous coatings of Revlon Ultra Volume and Chanel Le Volume de Chanel. You can probably tell that my brows are a bit of a funny colour – somewhere in between brown and ginger that no-one really seems to cater for. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel is a pretty good match, but it’s still a little on the light side, so I darken it up with NYX Brow Gel in Chocolate. The peachy-nude shade on my lips is also a mixture of two colours (I find it really difficult to find the perfect colours of products – can you tell?). This is NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream  in Abu Dhabi mixed with Absolute New York Velvet Lippie in Toasted with MAC Subculture for the lip liner.


What are your thoughts on this summer trend? I’d love to see your versions of the look!

Emilia x

Summer Saviours

Well, hello strangers, long time no see! My life’s been pretty hectic recently so apologies for not keeping you updated… My GCSEs have started, I’ve got a new job and I’m back on the dating scene. It really is all change! Anyways, despite the fact that I probably should be revising or ‘getting fit for summer’ (what a joke), I’ve decided to take a break from that and do what I love most. Write a load of crap on here.

Today’s post is oh-so-suprisingly based on beauty products; focussed on the key items that will pull you through the summer. Whether you’re in the ever-unpredicatable Britain or jet-setting off, these products will ensure that you look as good as ever. Foundation slipping down your face? Mascara smudges after a dip in the pool? Nail polish that lasts a day before chipping? Those times are long gone, ladies! All hail the new life-savers of 2016…


Liquid Lipstick

With the appearance of must-have products like Kylie Jenner Lip Kits on the cosmetics scene, many high-street brands have also begun to add these lipgloss/lipstick hybrids to their collections. This means, it’s a hell of a lot easier for normal people like you and me to trial them out. £30 for a product that may not even do what is says? I’ll pass. Brands like NYX and Gerard Cosmetics, the ‘mid-expense’ lot, are stealing the limelight at the moment. With formulas that literally do not budge at anything – drinking, eating, swimming, dancing – this is the product to get you through the long summer days and late summer nights. I’m loving NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi (£5.50) for a subtle day-time lip or Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick (£9.50) in Everything Nice for a bolder evening shade!

Natural Base

There’s nothing worse in summer than a face packed full of make-up. Summer sun is a treat to the skin and often clears up any problematic areas, so why shield yourself from it? However, I do understand that some people just don’t feel comfortable without a little coverage. For these people, it’s all about compromise – instead of foundation, concealer, contour etc. just try a sheer formula, like a BB cream along with a little bronzer. I’m a huge fan of by Terry Sheer Expert (£45) mixed with Lancome Teint Idole (£30) and Shiseido Bronzer (£34).

Setting sprays

Whether you’re sunbathing in the afternoon heat or dancing the night away, this is the produce that will ensure that all those summer products are worthwhile. Admittedly, this was a beauty trend that I was very dubious about; being someone with shiny skin, the idea that make-up could last for more than half a day was incomprehensible. But, upon purchasing the Make-up Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray (£5), I was utterly amazed and I have many friends who adore others like NYX’s Dewy Finish Setting Spray (£7). Other highly recommended sprays are Urban Decay’s (from £9.00) and MAC Prep n Prime Fix + (£17.00)…

‘Cream’ cosmetics

This kind of coincides with the idea of a ‘natural base’ – cream products are a lot easier to blend than powders, they don’t ‘suffocate’ your pores and they’re much more longlasting, making them perfect for summer weather. Some of my favourites at the moment are: Rosie HW for Autograph Creme Blush (£14.00), Maybelline Colour Tattoos (£4.99) and Collection Speedy Highlight (£3.99).

Clay-based haircare and skincare

I’ve always been a fan of clay-based skincare – it does wonders for problem skin, as it draws out any impurities without being too harsh. However, it wasn’t until recently, when I tried L’Oreal’s new clay haircare range (from £1.98 at Superdrug) that I noticed how well clay works on hair too! Nourished ends without oily roots? Seems impossible. This shampoo seriously works just as well as some of the most expensive high-street haircare brands and it even works for sensitive scalps – bonus.

Nail sprays

Right, first of all, I’d like to thank Glossybox for introducing me to this absolute wonder product that I didn’t even know existed. In short, this spray by Leighton Denny (£11.00) totally dries your nail polish (whatever it be) in a matter of seconds. Gone are the days when you have to paint your nails hours before you go out – this makes it a 2 minute job and, oh my, you will love it.

All-over heat protection

Heat protection? It’s just slapping a bit of factor 20 on your nose and shoulders right? Noooo, as we’ve realised in modern times quite how much damage UV rays can do, more and more products have been developed. I’m talking hair protection, complexion protection and improved formulas… No more unpleasant ‘suncream’ smells – Hawaiian Tropic have got you covered with their tropical scents, and Benefit’s Dream Screen (£25) will prevent the classic ‘oil slicked’ face. For your hair, Toni&Guy’s Heat Protection Mist (£6.99) keeps it in tip top condition or maybe even try a sea salt spray.


What are your summer beauty must haves? Do you have any recommendations for me to try?

Emilia x

 

REVIEW: Zoeva Rose Golden Palette

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Today’s post is a review-style one, more specific than other posts maybe. The brand in the spotlight today? Zoeva. In particular their famous eyeshadow palettes. A few months ago I decided to have a little Beauty Bay splurge as I had some money spare for once in my life. Among my order was two Zoeva brushes – the 102 Silk finish brush and 110 Face Shape brush (both of which I adore) – and the Rose Golden eyeshadow palette. Although the Cocoa Blend palette is the most well-known out of the collection, I decided that Rose Golden was much more suited to my super fair skin tone. Take a look at the swatches below… From top to bottom: Wonder full, Harmony, Golden Rule, Just a Rose, Foil, Rusty Petals, Shining Bright, Copper is King, Reflective Elegance, Luster.

Okay, onto the technicalities… The first thing I noticed when using this palette was the AMAZING, total lack of product fall-out that normally occurs with eyeshadows (cough, Urban Decay, cough). Seriously, these shadows are so creamy that, even when swatching, absolutely no product was left sitting around in the pan. Also, the pigmentation is definitely on par with that of Too Faced shadows – except for the mattes, unfortunately. I find that the shimmer shades in the Zoeva palette are much more pigmented than that matte shades like Luster and Harmony, which is a bit of a shame really.The lasting power of these is also very similar to that of the Too Faced shadows (MAC, Clinque, Chanel and Urban Decay come nowhere near in my opinion). Overall, this palette is right up there when I’m creating a party look, but I prefer a matte option for daytime wear, and Too Faced Natural Eyes  (£27.00) is the one for that. I would highly recommend Zoeva palettes for the shimmer shades and I’d love to try some more out soon! Let’s take a peek at the ‘Rose Gold’ look I created…

Sooo, here it is! A vibrant, bronzed, spring-inspired look using my Zoeva palette (£18.00) to create a co-ordinating eye and lip. If you’re fair skinned, coral blusher is your best friend this spring – maybe try Benefit Rockateur? Anyways… if you’d like to know what I used to create this look, read on!

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Tools: Zoeva Face Shape Brush (£11.00), Zoeva Silk Finish Brush (£13.00), Luxie Large Angled Face Brush ($16.00), MAC Duo Fibre Tapered Blending Brush (£23), Real Techniques: Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99), Starter Set (£20.99), Sculpting Brush (£9.99), Core Collection (£21.99), Deluxe Gift Set (£29.99).

Base: Body Shop Oils of Life Facial Oil (£28.00), Emité Diamond Heart Primer (£25.90), by Terry Sheer Expert in 02 (£45.00), MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 (£17.50), Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 (£5.99).

Face: Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder (£26.00), NYX HD Blush in Taupe (£7.99), Shiseido Bronzer in Light (£34.00), Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in Camisole (£14.00), Benefit Rockateur (£23.50), Collection Speedy Highlighter in Pearl Sheen (£3.99) and Benefit Highbeam (£19.50).

Eyes: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creme de Rose (£4.99) as a primer, Luster as a base, Just A Rose all over the lids, Rusty Petals in the crease and Reflective Elegance to highlight the centre of the lid. Benefit Rollerlash (£19.50), L’Oreal Super Slim Eyeliner (£6.99),  Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (£15.50) in Caramel.

Lips: MAC Subculture lipliner (£12.50), MAC Modesty (£15.50) mixed with MAC Gossamer Wing (£15.50).


 

What do you think of this palette? Are there any other palettes/shadows you’d like me to review? Let me know!

Emilia x

 

 

April It List

First and foremost, I’d like to apologise for being a bit well… slack. You see, I’d love to be able to blog all day everyday, but this damn frustrating concept called ‘doing your GCSEs’ exists. I’m trying to balance out blog-life, social-life and work-life all on top of revision and it’s proving a little tricky… Me time? What’s that? So, take this as a pre-warning; over the next few months you’ll be hearing a little less than usual from me. No worries, quantity may reduce but no way will quality be slipping!

This post, as many of you accustomed readers will know, is all about my favourite things for the upcoming month – the things you NEED to go and buy/do/wear. April’s, in tune with the current weather, is a lighter, brighter theme – products that will work even as it gets warmer. Enjoy!


Rosie HW for Autograph Creme Blush in Camisole Blush

To be honest, ‘celebrity’ lines aren’t usually high in quality when it comes to cosmetics – and I don’t particularly rate the Autograph make-up range anyway, so it was a fabulous surprise when this product actually turned out to be as good as high-end products like MAC Cremeblend Blush (£18.50). The formula is better than anything I’ve tried previously – Bourjois, MAC, Revlon. They’re all so ‘unblendable’ compared to this! This blush is a long-lasting, super easy to apply option, perfect for those who aren’t so confident as well as those who are. It comes in a range of 4 colours – Camisole Blush is a perfect coral-toned blush for fair skin – which all blend out to a silky, powder-like finish. I highly recommend trying this and I’ve heard that the lipsticks in this collection are equally as wonderful!

Decorative Hoops

Hoops? Meh… They’ve been around for ages. But dainty little hoops with decorations make the whole concept a lot more exciting! Perfect for the boho vibe of the warmer weather, just like the earrings below – a high-street option from Topshop. So, let your jewellery take centre stage this spring and get experimenting!

Hey Honey Good Morning Facial Serum

This came in my most recent Glossybox, as it’s supposed to be great for all skin types – even sensitive. Weirdly enough, one of my close friends, Grace, had recently been raving about the benefits of honey for the complexion and I was eager to give it a try. There’s no denying, this serum feels absolutely gorgeous on the skin. Also, using it along with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (staring from £6) made a noticeable difference to the brightness of my complexion – people even commented that I looked healthier! For me, although it isn’t a miracle worker for my spots, I can see it being a favourite amongst many people without the issue of teenage skin. It’s nourishing, but non-oily properties make it a great option for a lighter, summer serum.

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Beyonce Ivy Park collection for Topshop

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a clothing line, honestly – I mean it’s QUEEN B who wouldn’t be?! Beyonce has announced that her sportswear collection, ‘Ivy Park’, for Topshop will be released on the 14th of April. This 200 piece collection ranges from around £20 to £150; there’s something for every budget. In addition, she’s created leggings for every body shape and activity, low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise – HOW BLOODY AMAZING! Get ready for some serious shopping, girls, this is one thing you won’t want to miss.

Open-toe Boots

Although they may come across as slightly impractical (surely if you need boots on, you can’t afford to have your toes out?), I think that open-toe boots will be the item that get’s you through the winter-summer transition that we have here in the UK. I picked up these suede, chunky-heeled beauties from M&S for just £35, as I can wear them with pretty much anything – jeans, dresses, shorts. If you’re liking the sound of it, take a look at the following: Hustle Open Toe Boots (£85), Call It Spring Tan Boots (£40), Miss Kurt Geiger Saana Boots (£65).

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Paul Green Trainers

I recently came across this footwear brand in House of Fraser, whilst I was supposed to be looking for prom shoes but instead was drooling over super-cool trainers. I first became a little obsessed with the idea of dressed-up trainers when myself and my mum took a trip to London Fashion Weekend. Many designer brands have always had jazzed-up trainers in their collections, but the high-street hasn’t caught on until very recently. Hi-tops, low-tops all in muted pinks and blues with the occasional pop of colour… if you’re a fan of Superga or the new Reebok ‘Spirit’ collection, I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with Paul Green.

by Terry Sheer Expert

Alright, I’ve already raved about this in my Natural Beauty tutorial, but seriously, I can’t exclude it from the It List. Similar to a BB Cream, in the fact that it’s much less heavy than your average foundation. But there is absolutely no compromise on coverage or lasting-power (which, along with shade, was a bit of a problem with bareMinerals Complexion Rescue). Even if you prefer a heavier foundation for nights out or winter, this is totally the one to get you through the summer months. Believe me, I sat in Space NK and pretty much tried every foundation in there on my face; Nars, Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Shiseido, you name it, I tried it. But, this was a definite winner.

Macaroons

I’ve always loved macaroons, no matter how crazy expensive they can be to buy – I think they’re an ideal summer treat, as they’re not too stodgy or large. One of my best friends, Evie, frequently bakes (and will probably win GBBO one day) and made some gorgeous macaroons as cake decorations. And, well, I’ve fallen in love all over again. If you live in Norwich like me and love macaroons, I suggest you try Macaroons & More or Harriet’s Tea Room.

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 I hope you enjoyed this post and that I’ve given you a little April inspiration! What are you loving this month? Let me know below!

Emilia x

 

‘Natural’ Beauty Tutorial

Ohhh, the irony… Welcome to my step-by step guide to creating a natural, ‘you-but-better’ look with make-up. It kind of defeats the object of natural beauty, but I think you’ll agree with me when I say it’s a very small percentage of the population who are blessed enough to be able to go out of the house completely makeup-less. The rest of us, well, ‘natural’ for us is using beauty products to enhance our features, as opposed to totally transforming our faces with cosmetics. This ‘no-makeup’ makeup trend was very popular on the catwalks recently, explaining the rise of products like cream blushes and liquid highlight; both very blendable items.  So, that’s the kind of look I’ve gone for today – it’s perfect for almost any occasion, be it a supermarket trip or a dinner date, due to it’s transformability. Maybe skip the contour for Tescos on a Sunday morning but add a slick of vibrant lippy for a night out? You get the gist.


Alrighty, so here’s me with a totally bare face. As you can see my skin isn’t wonderful, especially around my T-zone, but it isn’t awful. My skin is naturally rather red-pigmented and extremely sensitive. I often get dry patches and, as you can see, I get the odd spot, making skincare purchases pretty damn hard. At the moment I’m using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£15.50) and I have to say, it’s performing very well. I adore how clean it makes my skin feel and I’ve had a handful of compliments about how it has brightened up my complexion, however, it hasn’t done a whole lot for my spots, although they seem to clear a little faster. Anyway, most days, I prefer to use a little make-up after cleansing and moisturising instead of going straight out…


The Tutorial

1. Prime 

For a dewy, laid-back look I usually relax a little on the priming side of things. Instead of using an actual primer, I use a thick nourishing moisturiser like Benefit Total Moisture (£29.50) or Clarins Gentle Day Cream (£40.00) and smooth it out with my fingertips over my cheeks. This really helps any product to stick to my face and prevent sliding.

2. Base

Okay, this is where it gets slightly more complicated… First of all, I apply a pea-sized amount of By Terry Sheer Expert in Neutral Beige 2 (£45.00), dabbing it around my face and blending with the Zoeva Silk Finish brush (£13.00). Sheer Expert is a BB Cream/liquid foundation hybrid and boy does it do what it says on the tin; evens out skin tone and covers blemishes without appearing heavy or drying and dries to a silky finish. AND IT’S SENSITIVE SKIN FRIENDLY!! One word: heaven.

Next up is concealer – I like to use MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 (£17.50) on any remaining spots etc. because it’s a super heavy concealer. Unfortunately, this does mean it can be pretty drying for some. I blend this concealer out using Zoeva Face Shape Brush (£11.00) and The Body Shop Lipstick and Concealer Brush (£9.00). For my under eye, I brighten up this area with a creamier concealer – Maybelline Fit Me in Fair 15 (£5.99)- and a base of Benefit Ooh La Lift (£17.50). These products then get blended together with the assistance of the trust Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99).

To set my base, I apply Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder (£26.00) with the Real Techniques Powder Brush (£12.99) over my T-zone, but because this look is very natural, I use a light hand as I don’t want to appear too ‘matte’.

3. Contour

Possibly my favourite beauty trend of the last few years; who doesn’t love looking thinner without actually having to eat less or exercise more? I begin to contour using NYX HD Blush in Taupe ($6.50) and my Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush ($16). Light circular motions along the bottom of my cheekbones build up a cool-toned shadow.

4. Blush and Bronze

For natural looks, I find that cream products are often the best due to their ‘blendability’ – here I dotted Rosie HW Cream Blush in Camisole (£14.00) on the apples of my cheeks and used the Zoeva Silk Finish Brush (£13.00) to blend it to it’s powder-mimicking finish. And finally, to bring the blush and contour together, I used a teeny bit of Shiseido Bronzer in Light 1  (£34.00) over my cheekbones, temples and jawline.

5. Eyes and Brows

Although these are super toned-down, of course you still need to give them a little attention. Using a fingertip I smooth Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Creme de Nude (£4.99) all over my eyelids, so as to banish any discolouration. If you can’t go without a little bit of sparkle, I would recommend gently brushing Zoeva Foil from the Rose Golden Palette (£18.00) or Too Faced Silk Teddy from the Natural Eyes Palette (£32.00) over the lid.

Concerning lashes, I like to keep it simple by using Benefit They’re Real Tinted Lash Primer (£18.50) – a brown mascara type which makes lashes look naturally longer.

When it comes to the brows, first I groom them with a spoolie brush. Then, I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel (£15.50) to fill in any gaps and accentuate the arch. A slick of Miss Sporty Clear Mascara (£2.99) can be helpful to make them stay in place, but I’d love to hear how something like Benefit Gimme Brow copes.

6. Highlight

Highlight is something that takes centre stage on a night out – you often find yourself truly sparkling like a glitterbomb has just been throw at your cheeks. Just because this isn’t necessarily a full-on going out look doesn’t mean we should disregard highlight though! Instead of a powder, maybe try a creamstick or liquid highlight? I swear by Benefit Highbeam (£19.50) along the tops of my cheekbones and around the inner corner of my eye, as well as Collection Speedy Highlighter in Pearl Sheen 1 (£2.99) for my cupid’s bow and on my brow bone. I tend to blend out cream and liquid highlight with the assistance of my trusty Zoeva Face Shape Brush (£11.00) – like a mini Silk Finish brush.

7. Lips

Simply apply a slick of Benefit Hoola Gloss (£14.50) or even coconut oil (from £2.54) and you’re ready to go!


 

So… Here’s the final look in natural lighting… Blemishes gone? Yep. Complexion evened? Yep. Would people know you’ve got make-up on? No!

That’s the beauty of it!

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I’d love to see some of your own takes on the natural look and please tell me if you recommend any new products to add to my routine!

Love Emilia x

 

Benefit Minis: The Review

Back in the wonderfully-festive month of December, I received the aptly-named and quickly sold-out Benefit ‘Party-Poppers’ (£34.50) advent calendar. My mum decided, on impulse, that it would be a suitable thing to motivate me through my mocks and BOY was that a good decision. Normally, surprises can leave me feeling a little “Ohhh, that’s lovely…”- that feeling when you unwrap your fifth pair of fluffy socks on Christmas Morning, but this one I was truly excited about. 12 mini Benefit staples all for me to test out! Along with this, on Christmas morning, I was given the most adorable set of Benefit skincare minis (£18); and, what is a girl to do with a whole bunch of high-end minis? Test them out and blog about them of course!


 

BADGal Lash (£17.50) 6/10- A tapered, oversized wand with jet black mascara that’s intended for utmost volume. Benefit describe it as “brush-on falsies” and, well they don’t lie… really. It does give ridiculous volume, but wire mascara wands aren’t really for me; I find them way too clumpy – I’m a ‘definition’ kinda girl. So, not really my favourite mascara ever and I don’t think it’s worth the splurge, you may as well buy something like Soap and Glory Thick and Fast (£10) or Revlon Ultra Volume (£9.99) (part of their new ‘tailored-to-your-needs’ collection).

Highbeam Highlighter (£19.50) 9/10 – I genuinely love this liquid highlighter (the best of those I’ve tried so far); it gives a really natural highlight whether you’re wearing makeup or not, and is super easy to use. The only downside to this product is that it becomes pretty difficult to blend pretty quickly – it’s definitely a ‘bit-at-a-time’ application process, but using a brush like Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99). If you’re interested in seeing a swatch of this or Watts Up (soon to come), take a look at my post on my highlight collection.

Hoola Lipgloss and Sugarbomb Lipgloss (£14.50) 8/10 – Pretty damn expensive for a lipgloss in my opinion, although no different to the prices of other luxury cosmetics. Hoola and Sugarbomb are part of Benefit’s complimenting blush/bronzer and gloss collection, which is a wonderful idea. Both the most moisturising, least sticky lip glosses I’ve ever tried, however, I’m a bigger fan of Hoola due to it’s natural, nude tone. See it here in my Nudes and Corals post.

Rockateur Blush (£23.50) 7/10 – At a first glance this is a bit overly pink for me, but actually, when applied this is a lovely natural blush tone. I love wearing this to give my face some depth when I’m wearing minimal make-up, but it’s definitely not a long-lasting blush. Well, not compared to my crazy-pigmented Emite blush (€19) anyway!

POREfessional Primer (£24.50) 8/10 – Okay, fair dues, this works. Very well indeed. Any open pores are concealed instantly, but this primer is one of the balm-formulas that I, personally, really dislike the feel of. They make my skin feel a little grubby, to be honest, not what you want right before applying makeup. Instead, I highly recommend No7 Stay Perfect Shine Free Primer (£12.50), as it does a similar job.

They’re Real Tinted Lash Primer (£18.50) 10/10 – I absolutely adore this; it came free from an ELLE magazine a few months ago and I’ve literally used it every day since. Designed as the perfect base coat for They’re Real Mascara (£19.50) (the wand is identical), but I prefer it as a stand-alone product. This brown-toned primer creates gorgeously defined and natural lashes – it looks like you’ve had a real eyelash tint! By far my favourite Benefit mini from this collection.

Lollitint Lip and Cheek Tint (£24.50) 4/10 – Now, I’ve never used a liquid blush/cheek tint previously, so I could have been using this totally wrong, but somehow I don’t think so. According to Benefit, this is ‘build-able’ – I couldn’t disagree more. I applied a teeny bit of this product to the apples of my cheeks and immediately went to buff it out with my Expert Face Brush (£9.99), but it had stained already and become completely unblendable in a matter of seconds! It’s fair to say I looked like a genuine clown. Cream blushes like Rosie HW’s new English Rose Flush Cream Blush (£14) or Bourjois’ Blush Exclusif (£7.99) are much easier to use.

Watts Up Highlighter (£24.50) 7/10 – I ended up giving this away to one of my close friends, as she wanted to try it out before purchasing the full-sized product. It’s truly golden and has great pigmentation, but, unfortunately, it’s just the wrong shade for my ghostly complexion. Relatively easy to blend, but overall, not a stunner.

Ooh-la Lift Under Eye Brightener (£17.50) 9/10 – Admittedly, to begin with, I thought this product was a rather expensive and unnecessary addition to a make-up routine. Surprisingly, I couldn’t have been more wrong; Ooh-la Lift is subtle, but build able and is my secret to looking awake when I feel dead inside. Pinkish tones brighten up the under eye, and with a little Maybelline Fit Me (£5.99) or another creamy concealer over the top, you’re good to go.

They’re Real Mascara (£19.50) 9/10 – Almost as loved as the lash primer, but Benefit Rollerlash  (£19.50) remains my go-to mascara – nothing quite matches it’s defining and curling powers. They’re Real is just as defining and has a plastic wand too, although it’s more a length than a curl type of product. It depends what you want from a mascara really.

Total Moisture Facial Cream (£29.50) 9/10 – First of all, this smells absolutely gorgeous, as does the whole b.right range, however, it also has unbeaten moisturising powers. A thick, creamy moisturiser, it’s just the right amount of nourishment to keep winter dryness at bay without causing an outbreak of spots. This is the perfect cream to add to a night-time routine, but if you struggle with oiliness, pick an oil-free cream like Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion (£28.00).

It’s Potent! Eye Cream (£25.50) 7/10 – Yep, it’s more nourishing than the facial cream, but it stings my super-sensitive skin (which is odd as none of the rest of this range does). I’ve tried much more soothing eye creams in the past, like Clinique All About Eyes (£26.50), for example, so I really don’t think this product is anything special.

Foamingly Clean Face Wash (£17.50) 8/10 – Again, a lovely scent, this creamy wash is perfect for removing all daily-dirt or even makeup. Although it’s not specifically targeted towards a certain skin type, every who tries it seems to love it, just like Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£9.75). Creamy cleansers are generally best for dry skin, though.

Instant Comeback Facial Serum 6/10 – Whilst this doesn’t cause terrible breakouts or reactions and feels a little refreshing, it doesn’t really do anything in the long term. Clarins’ Mission Perfection Serum (£53) and the likes may be more expensive, but they do have an effect, so they’re far more worth it in my opinion.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Oil-free Moisturiser 7/10 – I’ve tried a few oil-free moisturisers throughout my teenage years to try and keep the oily parts of my combination skin at bay. Clarins and Clinique have proved to be the best so far and this just comes nowhere near them – also, it’s a total pain-in-the-arse to get out of the bottle.


 

What are your favourite Benefit products? Are there any that you’d love to try? Let me know in the comments below!

Emilia x

London Fashion Weekend

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IT’S BEEN SO LONG! a) I’m so sorry for being away for this long and b) I’ve hated it as much as you have. Thank you lord (and by that I mean nice BT man) for installing my Wifi once again. Of course, blogging is the first thing on the to-do list… Recently my life has been hella busy; I’ve moved house, I’ve done an interview with Confetti and Curves and I’ve even been to London Fashion Weekend! Today, I’ll be talking a lot about the latter.

So, on Saturday, I was lucky enough to go to LFW at the Saatchi Gallery; for any of you that are familiar with the fashion ‘weekend’, basically, it’s a taste of the fashion ‘week’ for those of us who aren’t minted or a celebrity. You can book seats for trend and designer shows, you can shop clothes straight off of the past week’s catwalks, you can even meet some of the biggest names in the business! If you’re into that kind of thing, just like me, then it’s just about the best fashion experience you can get your hands on. Myself and my mum booked to see one trend and one designer catwalk, each lasting about 20-30 minutes – trends included the SS16 trends that are predicted to become huge and designer was a gorgeous display of Alice Temperley dresses. Camera-men buzzed around the place and the excitement was tangible as the models showcased each item of clothing.

In our spare time, Mum and I decided to take a look around the rest of The Duke Of York Square, where some of my favourite shops are; Liz Earle, Space NK, COS and an adorable little restaurant named Comptoir Libanais. I couldn’t resist picking up the raved-about Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish set from Liz Earle and a lady in Space NK introduced me to a wonderful foundation from By Terry, which I wore for the rest of the day. Who said fashion can’t include cosmetics and skincare, hey? LFW know this fact only too well; their shopping zone included a Maybelline pop-up store where you could get your makeup done for free and a Toni and Guy ‘hair-bar’. Also, one of the meet-and-greet talks I went to see was with TONI&GUY’s artistic director Philipp Haug who showed us how to achieve the latest hairstyles at home.

Anyway, here’s my round-up…


 

Clothing

Maximalism: We’re talking in-your-face floral prints, all-over sequins and block colouring.

Bohemia: Perfect for summer and clearly a favourite of Alice Temperley’s, this was all over the catwalk – it looks great paired with ruffles too.

Ruffles: Similar to the popular tassel trend of AW15, but 10 times more glam; I can see big things coming for ruffles.

Graphic Stripes: In my opinion, one of the most wearable SS16 trends; thank you to Louche at Joy The Store for my own pair of gorgeous graphic stripe culottes!


 

Accessories

Pom poms: Fun fashion is back in business; wear these any where from your ears to your hems to your toes. Try: Moyna Embroidered Jute Clutch with Pom Pom Trim

Snake skin: Can be a tricky one to pull off, but start with little accessories such as belts and you’ll soon be slithering away with this trend. Try: La Redoute Snake Effect Clutch Bag

Showstopper Earrings: Possibly my favourite accessories trend of SS16; shoulder-grazers are what should be dangling from your ears! Try: Pearlescent Gem Jacket Earrings

Ankle-tie shoes: This trend has been growing and growing since Autumn 2015, but now that spring is around the corner, we can actually wear them. Try: Lace-up Tassle Block Heel Sandals

Ribbons: The new ‘scarf’ – put them in your hair, around your wrist, on your bag.

Brooches: A nod to the popular 60s trend of AW15, these are fast coming back into high street stores. Try: Fabric Flower Brooches


Hair and Beauty

Blue Everything: I’ve definitely mentioned this one here on IC before; painting your nails? Doing your eyeshadow? Even lipstick? Go blue this season – you’ll be bang on trend. Try: Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy

English Rose: Similar to ‘no-make-up makeup’ – but just add a little lip/cheek tint to an airbrush base and you’re sorted. Try: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher

Block Red Lip: Reworked versions of the classic red lip were seen all over SS16 catwalks – orange-red shades were particularly popular. Try: Ardency Inn  Long Play Supercharged Lip Colour in Ladder

Doll-lashes: For the fearless among you; prepare to go full-on anime like Louis Vuitton’s new campaign and create yourself some amazing graphic lashes. Try: Ardell Lashes 134 

Choppy bobs: Another non-mover from AW15 – all of the most fashion-focussed have braved a chop – will you? 

Big textured waves: Relaxed is key, natural and fluffy waves compliment the ’60s and Bohemian looks of SS16 perfectly. Try: Cloud Nine Waving Wand and Label M Texturising Volume Spray

Modern sleek pigtails: Don’t worry, they’re nothing like the terrifying primary school pigtails you’re used to – nooo, these are smooth and loose. Try: Orelia Metal Bar Hairband


If that sounded like your kind of event, why not get tickets to the AW16 show later on this year? Need something sooner? Why not try the Glamour Beauty Festival on March 12th and 13th or visit the V&A’s new underwear exhibition from the 16th of April onwards?

Emilia x