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My Makeup Bag Essentials

It’s taken me a while but I finally feel like I’ve got my makeup essentials tied down.

In the past, if you’d have asked me to pack my makeup for a weekend away, I’d have come armed with three different shadow palettes, about ten lipsticks and two foundations. These days, I’m way more streamlined and know exactly what I need to take me from day to night. Which is handy as I’m going away this weekend and can only take 10kg with me, meaning I need to cut as many corners as possible.

This trip I’ve reached for the only primer worth knowing about, Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, which gives my skin an extra glow before applying a light covering of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. I love this foundation. It’s light enough to glide over the face easily but can be built up to cover any imperfections. It’s dreamy. At the moment I’m using a mix of Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer to cover my humungous eye bags and then Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage to hide the blemishes.

Now let’s talk brows. Until very recently I did nothing with my brows apart from pluck them. It took Soap & Glory’s Archery Pencil and a swipe of Maybelline Brow Drama in Transparent to make me realise that however subtle your application, it does make a big difference to face, allowing me to wear less on my eyes.

Speaking of eyes, it’d be rude if I didn’t pack my nearly-empty Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer, Naked Palette and Naked 24/7 Glide on Double Ended Pencil in Darkside and Blackheart. To smudge it all together I’ve got two Real Techniques Shading Brushes. I always curl my lashes with my beloved Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers followed by two to three layers of Lancôme’s Hypnôse Drama Mascara. Eyes done.

To add some colour to my cheeks I pop a dab of Butter London’s Cheeky Cream Blush in Pistol Pink on and blend in with my fingers. No makeup bag would be complete without a bold red lip and my current favourite is Lancôme’s Rouge in Love Lipcolour in 170N. It’s bright, moisturising and long lasting. What more could you want?

All of this fits nicely into my beautiful new Biba makeup bag, which my godmother got me for my birthday. And that’s it. Everything I could possibly need for a weekend seeing the sites of Cork, eating my weight in delicious food, sampling Guinness and dancing up a storm at a charity gala with two ladies I haven’t seen in a long time.

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Sunday Reading…

So much to share this week including brunch burgers, Joan Didion and Celine and of course, major Ab Fab news…

Absolutely Fabulous: Edina and Patsy the Movie is Happening in 2015 – My Daily

DIY Pom Pom Hat – Paige Joanna

The Anatomy of an Eyeshadow Palette – Coco’s Tea Party

Literary Icon Joan Didion is the New Face of Fashion House Céline – Stylist

On Perfectionism, Procrastination and Being ‘Good Enough’ – Le Blow

Was 2014 a Good Year for Women in Business? – Telegraph

The Brunch Burger – The Londoner

Here’s What Kate Moss Looks Like Without Photoshop – Fashionista

DIY Printable To Do List – A Pair & A Spare

Ever Wonder Why Victoria Beckham Never Smiles – Vogue US

See Kendall, Karlie and Other ‘It’ Models in The Full Marc Jacobs Spring Campaign – Fashionista

Got any links I should check out? Drop them below…

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Bad to the Bronze

I have a slight obsession with bronze eyeshadows. So much so that I’m constantly on the look out for more. Let me walk you through my current favourites.

The Rimmel Scandaleyes pen shadow in Bad Gal Bronze is my most recent addition. After spotting it in Tesco for about £1, it would have been rude not to try it. It’s a creamy, deep, shimmery brown and quite dramatic. My only issue is that I had to build this up with at least three layers to get an even looking colour.

As for the Maybeline Colour Tattoo, I’ve just had to repurchase this as my last treasured pot has become so dry it comes out in clumps. This is by far my most used shadow. I find it perfect for adding a little somethin’ somethin’ to my eyes during the day while at work. It can then be used as a base for my Naked palette shadows or vamped up with a slick of liner. I swear by it and will try to convert anyone to it.

The Chilli Pepper palette is one that I had completely forgotten about in the back of one of my drawers. I will definitely be trying out the brown bronze with the lightest colour in the corner of my eye. I’ll have to report back on this one.

Let’s finish with the ultimate in shimmery, delicious, highly-pigmented bronze shades. My Naked palette. I’m currently switching between Sidecar, Half Baked and Smog, as these are definitely appropriate for party season. I honestly don’t know what I did before I owned this palette. And now I have the new one to play with!

Maybeline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo, 35 On and On Bronze
Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick,  003 Bad Girl Bronze
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Chilli Pepper Palette

Got any recommendations? Share them below.

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The Best £37 I Ever Spent = Urban Decay Naked on the Run Palette

Last week I confessed that I’d ordered the latest palette from Urban Decay, today I can confirm that I own it.

When this package arrived at work I was like a kid at Christmas, ripping open the packaging, the box and tissue paper, scrambling to get to the goods. My initial thought was Jesus Christ this is huge, but then I remembered exactly what it contained, which is pretty much your entire face. And mine needs a lot of work.

The packaging is gorgeous. It’s a hard case which means it’ll travel well and won’t get dirty, unlike my Naked 1 palette which picks up every bit of grubby fluff and dust. 
For me, as soon as I lifted the lid, it was love at first sight with the shade Resist. It’s a beautiful metallic taupe with a hint of shimmer. I put this over Fix, the soft matte taupe shade, which on it’s own is a beautiful neutral, giving the lid a hint of colour.

I have never used one of Urban Decay’s legendary 24/7 Glide-On Pencils before which for a kohl lover, is pretty ridiculous. Stag is a new shade in their collection and is a satin deep brown that glides on like a freaking dream. I seriously questioned myself over not having tried these pencils before.

I pretty much poured the entire contents of this palette on my face, using the Perversion mascara, Naked gloss in Sesso, which is a better-than-your-own lip colour, the blush and just a hint of 5050 as a highlight. 

I can’t wait to try out the other shades and create a really smokey brown eye.

Best £37 I’ve EVER spent. That’s for sure. Urban Decay, once again, I salute you. Now I just need to go somewhere so I can take this bad boy out the house with me.

You can get yours now from Urban Decay.

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Winging It: Benefit’s They’re Real! Push-Up Liner

My problem with winged liner is that I can’t ever seem to get a thin line. I go thick and fat with a dramatic flick, which is partly the reason I don’t wear this look daily. It also takes me forever to perfect. So when I received a mini sample of Benefit’s They’re Real! Push-Up Liner I couldn’t wait to test it out.

My go-to liner is usually Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner which I find super easy to apply due to its long nib which makes for an easy glide. The only thing I’m not 100% sold on is the shiny line it gives. I’d like something more matte. Which is exactly what the Benefit one offers.

The flexi tip helps to get really close to the lash line and once applied it dries immediately and you know it won’t budge. My only issue was the applicator itself, I found it annoying that I had to keep squeezing to get more product out. I constantly found that I’d squeeze too much out and then draw an even thicker line than normal, which was the opposite of what I wanted. I wanted soft and thin but got dramatic and sultry. But, for an evening look, I can work it. I just need to practice for the day.

What are your top tips for applying liquid liner?

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Right on the Kisser: Lancôme’s L’Absolu Velours

There’s nothing more satisfying than smothering your lips with a delicious new colour, and that’s why I love testing out new lip products.

The two I’m crushing on right now are from the Lancôme L’Absolu Velours range. I have 172 Velours d’Etincelle and 493 Velours de Violine, which are perfect for transitioning into Autumn.

They’re everything you want from a gloss, easy to apply (thanks to the doe-foot applicator), velvety, matte and highly pigmented, providing a deep and intense colour. They’re unlike any gloss I currently own, and I love that. They actually last a fairly long time too, surviving a burger and chip lunch over the weekend – and I’m a messy eater.
I’m getting a lot of wear from the deep plum which gives a slightly more Gothic look thanks to my pale (read pasty) skin.
These two glosses will definitely be living in my handbag this Autumn.

Are you turning to darker lippy too?

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Twist and Pout: My Lipstick Lineup

When it comes to lipstick, I become incredibly paranoid that I’ll have smudged it all around my face, get chunks on my teeth or even wipe it down my arm, the possibilities are endless when you’re naturally clumsy and messy in equal parts.

However, I have not let that stop me from building up a small but perfectly formed collection of essentials in my kit.

Theses trusty five are the lipsticks I lean towards when I need a pop of colour, an instant pick-me-up or just need a little smile to myself.

Let me walk you through the lineup, L-R:

Chanel Rouge Coco, Venise 26
Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani, 401
Rimmel Moisture Renew, Amethyst Shimmer 260
Louise Grey for Topshop, Legend
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Adventure 57

The first high-end lipstick I bought myself was from the glossy Chanel counter. I was drawn in by the sheer extravagance of it all. I remember swatching a few of the brightest reds they had from the Rouge Coco collection and immediately falling for Rouge Orage, no 23, which for me is the perfect balance between bright red and deep plum. I fell hook, line and sinker and became obsessed with the velvety feel and the pigmentation of the colour. I couldn’t stop at one, next up came Venise, shown above. This is a gorgeous deep red with a hint of plum. It looks slightly gothic against my pale skin and works best when I wear little eye makeup. What can I say, I’m a sucker for Chanel. Which is why, when I needed a pretty, shimmery pink, I went straight to them and grabbed Rouge Coco Shine in Adventure.

As for the others, they all work for different occasions. I find the Giorgio Armani Ferarri red goes with everything and can really transform my complexion, ramping it up a notch. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a bold lip?

The purple-toned Rimmel lippy was purchased for my besties wedding last March as I fancied something a little different and, as for the blindingly-bright pink, well, I couldn’t say no. FYI, I’ve just found it in the sale for £1. You’d be silly to miss out. Get it here.

While we’re here I feel I should confess to my new lip addiction. Rimmel’s Colour Rush lip crayons.

They’re so good, I’ve gone and bought three of them…. So far. There’s no stopping me at the moment. You can tell from the way the crayon’s worn down on the two at either end just how often I’ve been using them.

From L-R; 600 On Fire, 120 All You Need is Pink and 220 Rumour Has it.

I would say they’re so easy to use I can apply them without a mirror but to be honest, I’m just not that steady handed, especially on the train in the mornings.

What’s your go-to lippy colour?

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Makeup Essentials: Perfecting the Cat-Eye Flick

Before I fell head-over-heels for my Urban Decay Naked Palette I was having a love affair with a black liquid liner from Maybelline. I’d been loving perfecting the cat-eye flick for both day and night looks and finally mastered it. And then I went on a slightly boozy night out and lost my beloved liner pen.

I’d like to be all dramatic here and tell you it was the end of my world, but I did find the pen fairly scratchy on my eye so I wasn’t heartbroken. This was the perfect excuse I needed to purchase a new one. I did a bit of research, mainly in the form of watching EssieButton’s winged liner tutorial, where Estée raved about her Stila waterproof liner. I knew I had to have it and I haven’t looked back since.

In fact I’ve been mixing my two favourites, the liner and the palette of my dreams, to create as many different looks as possible. The look above was for an engagement party this weekend. I wanted something subtle but shimmery.

I blended Sin a beautiful light simmering pink, over my lid and then swirled Toasted, a slightly burnished darker pink, into the outer corner and the socket. I used the Stila liner to draw the a fairly thin line from the very inner corner to the end of my lash line. To create the perfect wing I draw a thin line up, following the curve from the bottom lashes and then fill in a little triangle to draw the two together. This pen is magic. It’s so slick and gives the right amount of liner. It makes wings really bloody easy.


The ultimate test for this liner is whether it’d last when I laugh, because when I really laugh, I cry big fat tears. I’m pleased to say it doesn’t budge one little bit. It’s the actual shiz.

Next I’m thinking of trying a super smokey dark eye. Will report back on how it goes.

Shop the Look:

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation 20 Beige
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Priming Potion Original
Urban Decay Naked Palette 
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black
L’oreal Volume Million Lashes Noir Excess

Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush 600 On Fire

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The Day I Fell in Love with the Urban Decay Naked Palette

I’ve never ventured in to a ‘what’s on my face’ post before but I’ve recently bought my first Urban Decay Naked palette and I’m now all over this shiz.

I’ve been majorly crushing on this palette for a very long time and after a little work bonus, I decided to go for it. I haven’t looked back since. Instead I now spend the majority of my time just staring at the beautiful mix of shades. There’s the perfect mix of matte and shimmer in delicious chocolate-box browns. It’s literally so beautiful I want to eat it.

Day-to-day I tend to stick to one of two styles, either a slick of black winged liner or a swirl of shimmery Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On-and-On Bronze and little brown liner under the eyes. Both are easy for work and take less than 10 minutes but for a wedding I wanted to go one step further. I busted out the palette and went for a smokey brown eye and coral lip to match this outfit.

I’ve also treated myself to Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation which is pretty much dream skin in a bottle. It’s sheer enough to not look too heavy but light enough to glide over any imperfections.

As for the palette of wonder, I started by applying Virgin all over the lid, followed by Sidecar, which is my perfect light brown shimmer shade. To vamp it up I blended Dark Horse into the outer corner and crease. I then lined both the top and bottom lashes in an old Boujois brown kohl. I feel like brown combos work best in brightening and really drawing attention to my blue eyes.

To finish the look I used my new Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush crayon in On Fire, the perfect coral to match my dress. Ta da!

Shop the Look:

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation 20 Beige
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer Cool Medium 2

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Priming Potion Original
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Boujois Kohl and Contour Brun Design
L’oreal Volume Million Lashes Noir Excess

Butter London Blush Pistol Pink
Revlon Photoready Skinlights 200 Pink Rose
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Urban Decay Setting Spray

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lip Liner Universal Transparent
Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush 600 On Fire

What beauty products are you currently lusting over?