Monday, March 2, 2015

Suede fringed jacket love

 I really love this. It's a fringed kimono style jacket from Zara. It is a little pricey at £239 but it's gorgeous.

I am glad it doesn't come in black otherwise I would have bought it immediately. I love it.
You can find it here

LONDON FASHION WEEK : J W Anderson does 80s for AW15

 A fashionable trend is always a reaction to what has gone before it. The clean minimalist style of the 90s was a reaction to the excess of the glitzy over done 80s. Everything went back to basics - hair, clothes and make up.

Fashion has been stuck in a loop lately with so many designers referencing the 90s as a trend. If not the 90s then the 70s which are much the same in terms of excitement - minimal. So I was super excited to see that J W Anderson is bringing 80s back to the runway.
 I am a huge fan of the slouch boot as well so this is something I am all over for winter next year. It's nice to see a change in trend after so much bland Calvin Klein inspiration slip dresses. There is little to get excited about with slip dresses. So back on the catwalk were bright colors, textures, metallics and frowning models!
 80s is not a trend for the faint of heart but it is nice to see something different out there. I am loving all the patterns!
This was one of THE shows from LDFW this season and the best part? J W Anderson is Irish. A Northern Irish designer which is awesome!

I know I harp on about Irish design on this blog but it is important that we support Irish design and prove we are more then lace and aran jumpers! This season is all about the Irish designers with Simone Rocha getting rave reviews, J W Anderson being all about the 80s and being called one of the best shows this season, Natalie B. Coleman collaborating with Sally Hansen and Philip Treacy....well....you'll have to wait for that one! I can't reveal all my gossip/sources now can I?

Being tall - an exercise in crappiness

There are some horrible truths that tall women the world over understand. These are the things. How many of you agree?

1 - Short body vs long body.

Every playsuit I have ever tried on is too small. In order for me to get a playsuit - I have to shop carefully. Most playsuits that fit me on my body in terms of size are too short. This means the unbearable shorts up the bum crack situation. No one wants or needs that. Congratulations Topshop - your the masters at this. If I go for the length option then it is swimming as I need a size 16 to get it to fit me. Oh but most places with tall options often offer a tall version of one option usually the most dull of those on offer to women with normal body sizes. Great.....tall women got no style. Clearly.

2 - Jean Shopping is a hell created by people with normal figures.

I understand that shorter women have this issue as well. Same as the playsuit issue - go for fit and you find its too short, go for length and it fits on the waist. There are places that offer a tall fit but so little of them actually do. I have lost track of the amount of times I have worn boots to cover a shorter then it should be jean. In recent years I have taken to extreme folding of skinny jeans to cover the fact that they are just too short. It's not too short - its rolled up! See! This is a thing.

3 - Blazers are impossible.

A lot of tall women are also broad. I have really wide shoulders and to find a jacket that fits me across the shoulders is impossibly long as a process. Drives me insane. I have given up on occasion. I have however just learned not to raise my arms too high. It also means no cropped jackets as they make me look even taller and therefore, defeat the purpose.

4 - Shoes.

I have big feet. I am a size 8.5-9 in shoes. This is a common thing with tall women - we seem to have larger feet. This means I am lucky in sales because no one buys the size 9 but unlucky in finding cheaper shoes like ballet slippers as most brands go to a size 8 at best. Primark will sell out of size 8 almost immediately. Also, why do stores only seem to stock duller styles in larger sizes??? I forget that most tall women got to no style. It seems the presumed thing that I will only want a plain black chelsea boot or a boot free from chains, studs, detailing or excitement. I have over the years subjected my feet to really small sizes over the years. I own a pair of GORGEOUS ankle boots with fringing which I cannot wear because they cripple my feet. I am in agony with them. I love them and bought them because I thought....they are 8 and will stretch.....have they bugger! I can't wear them! I love my comfortable Dr Martins but can't wear them as they tear holes out of my skin until they are broken in. Which so far they are not. So yeah....shoes are awful.

5 - Cropped anything is awful.

Crop tops, leggings, jackets or anything just makes you look bigger and taller. Don't do it. I've done the research on this one and its not worth it.

6 - Being taller because you have heels on.

I am taller then most men. I cannot wear heels around men on dates. It sucks but this is the honest truth of the matter. I have dated extremely tall men in the past but I have also dated shorter men too. I used to not let this bother me and wore the tallest shoes I could find. However, in recent years I have admitted defeat and just worn flats. This is not only to do with height but practicality because of a car accident I had about three years ago. I just can't walk in them. I wish I could but I've had to accept - it ain't happening.

7 - Button placement.

I have a gorgeous new black coat which is really long. However the buttons are very far up and this means the coat tails fly open in the wind and I end up freezing. It took me ages to realise that this is because I am taller then most women and the buttons are normally lower on their bodies which prevents the coat from opening. Drives me insane but I do love the coat. This is a common thing. Clothes are designed for shorter girls.

I will say, there are some benefits to being tall. The best one is that you never put on weight. I have always been the same size I am now. This is partially to do with being tall and part to do with a fast metabolism but I stay the same weight. I wouldn't trade it for the world despite how fashion seems to make me want to give up!

The benefits -

1 - You can see over people which at gigs is a blessing
2 - Weight vs height is not an issue
3 - Sometimes a size 9 shoe is reduced to nothing in sales
4 - Models are tall.
5 - Tall women are seen as independent and more capable.

Be proud of your height. Own it.

WHAT I WORE - THEATRICAL FLICKS

I do love a good Sunday theatrical look.
 I decided to trial the new broken up liner look this week at work. It wasn't easy but I got there! It takes a lot of time to get right as it can't be crooked or wonky! I had been inspired by a black and white theme at work and decided to just go for it.

I used the white chromographic pencil from MAC. In fact, all the products I used were MAC so just assume that they are! I drew on the white shape of the flick before taking a Rapid black liquid liner pen and adding the black sections. This is what took the most about of time. I am guessing the textures were not compatible and maybe I might have had more luck using two creamy pencils.
 I shaped the liner further by using a cotton wool bud and a bit of make up remover just to get the edges right. I will say this - it needs a splash of color. I popped on Ruby Woo and it was fine but once I removed the lip color - I did look washed out. Later on, I added a splash of green mascara for a bit of fun but it only served to make the look a bit more crazy! Not really use if I can work green or not!
I also extended the flicks later on as well. I did have to keep topping both the white and the black up as they faded a bit over the day. I fixed this by pressing translucent prep and prime powder into the flicks to set the cream a bit and stop it from sliding. This worked a treat.

I bought the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Brush.....and I love it

I recently went a bit mad.

Okay, I went very mad. I bought a load of new things just for the sheer thrill of new things. One of these things is the new Clinique Sonic system brush.

It's a sonic brush that helps to lift, clean and get rid of old cells, dirt and grime on the skin. I was a bit nervous of it as I live in fear of break outs due to my job. But this was amazing.

It needs to be left on charge for 24 hours prior to use but once it was charged I couldn't wait to try it. Luckily, I had purchased the liquid facial soap from Clinique prior to buying this which is what they had recommended for use with it. I had been using it in the shower and not really getting on with it. I found it a bit less lathery then I would have liked but MAC discontinued my usual face wash so I have to find something new.

I took my make up off as normal prior to using the brush and decided once I woke up this morning I would go for it.

I have to say, I am blown away by how clean my skin feels. I know this is a deep cleaning brush but my god - my skin feels like Ive never worn make up. It feels really soft and clean. I know I cannot express it over a blog but you need to try it. It's amazing.

It is a little on the expensive side but very worth it. £79 is nothing for a really deep clean. If you think about it, we got used to the idea of an electric toothbrush very quickly and this is merely the same idea for the face. Something that cleans deeper then normal brushes/washes. I would say that this is a must for anyone as obsessed with skincare as I am.

Clinique sell replacement brush heads which you do need to order over time but the brush will last longer if you remove your make up before use.

I will also be teaming this with a good moisturiser after as my skin does feel a little tighter. However I could see this making a huge difference to anyone who suffers from blackheads or flaky skin. I am guessing skin conditions like eczema might have to be a bit more careful with it. But I can't wait to report back once i have had this a while and see what difference it makes to my skin.

But for now, it's love....

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

CATRICE COSMETICS: Spring Summer 2015

I am always up for trying a new brand!

I was impressed to receive a bag of goodies from Catrice cosmetics this week. Impressed and excited to give everything I found in there a proper go! I was delighted in particular with the rose palette.

There is a misconception that expensive cosmetics are brilliant and cheaper cosmetics are...well....cheap. Not so. As a make up artist, I am always on a look out for the best cosmetics for my kit regardless of price. Granted I cannot always have the most expensive stuff in there but I want what performs and performs well. I know MUAs who have Chanel foundation in their kit but compliment it with a drugstore concealer because - it works.

I was blown away by the price point of the Catrice products. The rose palette that I loved came in at €5.49! The coverstick concealer came in at €3.49 as well. I really loved that concealer. It's creamy texture meant it slid smoothly over my skin and the medium coverage really did conceal my blemishes. I'm honest on this blog - I have blemishes! I'm human! Shocker!

The package I received was filled with the Spring collection colors - a bright pastel mint green (THE color it seems for this season as so many brands have some form of jade or pastel mint in there) and a bright glittery purple. I love a good color eyeshadow but I have to say I was blown away by the Rose palette. I decided to test the palette on a non MUA make up wearing friend who was equally as excited. It's is the most useful neutral shades with one dark damson wine shade which is just perfect for adding depth to the eye for going day to night. Seriously impressive. I did a separate post about it earlier on this week as I was so happy!

I also posted about the wonderful eye pencils as well that came in at €2.29 and €2.79 each. I tested them by going for a shower with the pencil in the waterline - a tricky test - but they both passed! I have added them to my pencil box (I keep all pencils in a lovely silver box) and will be happy to use them in my appointments. As one of the pencils is black - it has come in so handy! Black pencils I fly through as I use one in every single appointment on the waterline and to map out eyeliner flicks. You'd be amazed how fast I go through pencils!

I haven't had a chance to go through the nail varnishes yet as I had just had a manicure the day they arrived but was very grateful to see a base coat and top coat in there. I've been told repeatedly by my manicurist mate that the reason my nails do not last me as long as they should is that I refuse to use base and top coats. I'm just too lazy! But it's been on my mind to do this and to get some. So I am happy to get the chance to play with this. If you use the proper system of Ultra Stay and Gel Base coat (€3.99) and then a color varnish then the Ultra Stay and Gel Shine Top Coat (£3.99) then you can get eight days out of your varnish! Eight days!!! There is also a wide variety of color as well incase you are as indecisive as me and need to change your varnish every five minutes - Catrice have 33 colors ranging from baby pink to bright blue. Oh and they are only €2.99 each as well so perfectly priced.

Incase you are more about the nude varnishes then they have also released a collection of Luxury Nudes. There are eight shades in the range with high coverage. Since nudes are so popular right now!

So my overall view of Catrice was impressed. I was delighted with the palette, pencils and concealer in particular. I am looking forward to using the nail varnish as well. I think its an excellent way of topping up, refreshing and adding to a kit without spending a fortune on the 'essentials' which get used frequently. I would feel confident introducing a pencil into an appointment knowing that it is going to perform exactly as it should. I think the price point and the product are perfect for this. I will definitely be using these in appointments and recommending.

What in all hell is this????

This is beyond even me.

This dress for $538 exists on Nasty Gal. What and why?!?!?

I don't understand how something from a craft shop could cost so much! I am guessing the pants will set you back another 100 at least.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Catrice eye pencils : testing testing, one, two, three!

I just did the hardest test on Catrice Made to Stay eyeliner!

I decided while trying it to go for a shower! I also popped it on the waterline just to see how well it stayed! I am happy to report that it worked!

The Kohl Kajal pencil is twist up as well. I've become a fan of twist up pencils rather then sharpen lately. The reason being is it takes less time and is ready to go immediately rather then after you go hunting for that cosmetic sharpener!

Not bad for €2.29

Also, I tried the Velvet Matt Smokey Eyes in brown. I was again impressed as both stayed on my eyes during the shower test. Although this one is a sharpen pencil - it does come with a smudge brush on the other side of the pencil to help you use it. There are three almost black shades in this range - violet black, khaki and night blue. I was impressed with the color payout and creamy texture as well. I love a good creamy liner as it makes smudging and manipulating the liner much easier. I also find that drier formulas 'pull' the skin a bit as well.

€2.79

I got to try the Illamasqua apocalips

 Sorry for the bad quality of photo and the unlined lipstick but I finally got a chance to try on the Apocalips lipstick from Illamasqua.

I have been on about this lipstick for AGES. I do mean ages. I wanted it ever since I saw a girl turn it pastel green in Nottingham a few months back. Since there is no Illamasqua nearby - I haven't been able to try it on. I did get very excited and insist on trying and snapping photos while I have a think about buying it.

I am now sorry I didn't buy it.
 I think it requires a stronger eyebrow but I had just done enough brow to get me through a Sunday breakfast with my parents so no instagram eyebrow for me. I'm happy with the results though.
Perhaps next time I try a white brow with it...

Messing with my face : when make-up artists play!

 The joy of working with other make up artists is that they can show you tricks that you have never tried yourself.

I had a play with a few products recently and this inspired some of the other artists to fix it!

The first was using Undercurrant pencil by MAC as a base for eyeshadows before layering other colors and doing a massive winged liner on it. I wasn't happy with the slip on the pencil prior to this and had spent the whole day pulling it out of my under eye creases. To be fair - I was using the pencil as it wasn't meant to be used!
 So one of the girls added Plumage, Aqua, bottle green and feline black pencil to it and made a really beautiful smokey eye.
 Next up was the lip. There is a such an interest in alternative lip colors with the success of companies such as Melt in recent months. I am so sick of nude lipsticks myself that I was delighted when someone suggested creating a grey lip. We used a paint pot. The artist is incredibly talented at make-up so she's a great person to learn off. She lined using a technikohl liner in Earthline and then added the paint pot over the top to create this mink grey color. I was so impressed that I took a sample and now have to buy the paint pot. The pot is called Stormy Pink by MAC.
 Very fast selfies downstairs to capture how gorgeous the make-up was!
 We are in the last few days of having a lip ring as well. I've decided to take it out because I am sick of the struggle of minding it. I am also sick of having two things in my face and I prefer the septum.
Thank you so much to the other artists involved in this. I was so impressed and will now be having to buy extra product because I love it so much.

WHAT I WORE TODAY : Think Pink

 It's been ages since I posted make-up looks. This one was inspired by my best friend and her love of Candy Yum Yum by MAC. I don't always wear neon pink lipstick but I decided to do an entire eye look based on it.

The pink used on the eye is actually a blusher called Royal Azealia from MAC. It's a really neon PRO blusher that I got in New York. I love it on darker skin then mine because its the right shade of intense pink but its a bit too strong for me. I love it as an eyeshadow on myself!!!

I also put on Candy Yum Yum as well. I found I actually got on okay with it!
I don't know how much of an everyday look this is though!

Catrice Rose Palette - I'm impressed!

I'm quite impressed with this!


As a make up artist, a good palette saves on kit space. I don't care about the price of the palette as I have had palettes that cost a fortune and those that have cost nothing and are equally as good. It comes down to color pay off (how pigmented the shadows are) and how useful the colors are.

I was impressed with the Catrice Absolute Rose palette which I have had a play with this morning. I can see how useful it is going to be - not to mention how gorgeous that damson color is too. There is a whole range of these mini palettes which are light (important when your kit weighs a ton) and contain useful colors.

I can see shades in there which can be used for eyebrows, blush and highlight as well. This is another MUA trick - buy an eyeshadow palette that can be used for multiple things instead of just a smokey eye.

Then there is the best part : the price. These palettes are currently retailing at €5.49! There is also a matte nude version of the palette which looks just as good.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Impulsive cosmetics lip shades

 I love a good Indie Cosmetics brand. I think sometimes the mainstream brands are a little afraid of more unusual shades of things and it can be difficult to find.

The issue with finding good lipstick is weeding out the bad. When an Indie brand posts photos online it can be hard to determine if they are good or not. So I was interested to see that Impulsive Cosmetics do sample pots of lip colors. I have learned valuable (and expensive) lessons on sampling products in the past. Skin base foundation from Illamasqua anyone???

I did my research on the brand as well and found that most people are quite happy with their orders. Arriving on time with little issue which is always a positive.

I am on the hunt for a good wine bottle green lipstick and as Melt Cosmetics have been sold out for bloody ages of their dark green - I am now looking elsewhere. So I came across Impulsive. They sell any color you can think of. Acid green? got it. Punkish purple? yep.

They do glitters, primers, mattifying powders....the works. I am a little dubious about their Prep and Prime range as that is the name of the MAC range too. Which isn't a great way to get your name out there.

I have heard a few things that the colors are not as matte as they claim, that they need a lip liner ( this isn't a bad thing) and that the lip balm shape (rather then the pointed top shape) can make them hard to apply. This is where the lip samples come in handy. I would rather try before I buy a massive tube. It also encourages me to order more and try more as well. Always handy.


 I am going to order grey, teal, dark green and possibly a blue too.

You can find the brand here

Let me know if you tried them!

THE DREADFUL DIARIES : Busy and strange happenings

It's been an odd day today.

In fact, its been an odd week. I'm supposed to clean the house ahead of the parental visit on Saturday but since the lights are out due to fire alarm testing - I can't.....well not yet anyway!
I've been incredibly busy this week as Monday night saw us at a screening of an LGBT documentary on Monday night in Lakeside Gallery. Big up to the Student Union for showing Bambi as it is a fantastic look at LGBT trans life in the 1960s. I know they jumped through hoops to show it and it was wonderful.
Tuesday night was back in the studio for the Indie Show. However we had a small break in as two weird men decided to let themselves in and play with the controls in Studio One (we broadcast through studio 2) as a result all the sound was messed up. I was very grateful for the quick thinking of one of the lads from the show before mine that sorted it out. All was okay after that. But it was very strange.
Normally Wednesday is a quiet affair as I rest. I don't get home from the station until 2ish and its about 3 before i calm down and get some sleep. I woke up around mid day and decided to head to a student bar before a lecture on slam poetry. However pints happened and we missed it! Decided to end the night in my local with a few drinks instead.
Thursday is cleaning day. I am back at work tomorrow then parents arrive on Saturday. We are planning on going to the Chinese new year celebrations at Nottingham University on the Sunday. I am looking forward to some peace and quiet for a change! Mind you, March is shaping up to be a busy one since my sister arrives for a weekend and also, I have a film and a photoshoot to work on as well. Excited about both!
I am also mentally spending my paycheck which happens next week. I really need jeans. I have none right now apart from my army print skinnies and I also need a t-shirt as well. Well, I don't need it - I just want it! I have also discovered a new lipstick brand as well so I am going to not only post about it but get some samples ordered. Hopefully I will have cash once its all done! Busy busy busy.

NYFW : Jeremy Scott AW15

 I've always wondered how to wear Jeremy Scott designs. Is it advisable to just go mental and put everything on? Or take one item and space it out?

Still, the man is consistent with providing mental clothing season after season. I normally like a bit of mental and a bit of fun but there was something I really didn't like about this collection. Sorry about it but I didn't.

I think it started with the tights being all I could see. I ranted yesterday about sheer color tights not working for anyone and then I noticed that the clothes just didn't seem to sit well on the models. I don't know if I am the only one who noticed that.

I know the fashion crowd go crazy for this because editorial loves this stuff for 'edgy' shoots but I think in an everyday context - does it really work? Ive written before wondering if playful fashion catwalks really work in for stores who have to translate the clothing into sales. I find that Henry Holland is another person who loves a bit of color but overpacks his runway into being awkward to watch. I never know what to look at first. I think there is a bit of the same happening here. I want to look at the clothes, the hair, the make-up, the tights and the overall effect is exhausting.

I do love the make-up and hair. I can imagine how much fun it would have been backstage trying to pile up the color to get that opaque burst of neon. I would have used Chromaline pencils and cakes from MAC to get that burst of color. Just saying. I don't know if it will catch on in terms of trend but we did see a lot of color last SS14 with releases from companies such as MAC and Urban Decay. MAC released Playland with its bright lipsticks, yellow gloss and casual colors and Urban Decay had their Electic palette which was a neon adventure - well, for those who could get it as it was banned in places!!!

I hope to see a return to color for this summer as life is too short to play it safe. Go mental, go neon...just don't wear sheer tights. Please.

 Some of the dresses on the catwalk remind me of little girls dresses. The puffy sleeves, the bow necklines and the shoes. Look at those shoes - picture them in shiny black and tell me you didn't have something almost the same for school. LOOK AT THEM. DO IT....
The men were not left out either.....

Sally Hansen partners with Natalie B Coleman for SS15 nails

 It's a bumper year for Irish designers and cosmetics (can't reveal anymore then that folks sorry!) but I was delighted to see the press release for a collaboration between Natalie B Coleman and Sally Hansen pop into my inbox.

I really like Natalie as a designer and also, Sally Hansen make great nail varnishes so everyone wins!

The collection is based around Coleman's last collection for Spring Summer which she has dedicated to her mom. The colors are gorgeous. I will also add that mint green is making a HUGE comeback this Spring Summer so that color is my pick of the range. I have seen quite a few on catwalks this year and I still remember the last mint green rush - Chanel Jade green anyone? This time it is a more pastel version though. Oh and this one is called Moheato.
I didn't know this about Sally Hansen but their formula has is a 7 in 1. It has a combined base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color, gel like finish, chip resistant and top coat. Which, for someone like me who has no patience with her nails  - is wonderful. I can just paint and go.




I've had a few Sally Hansen colors over the years and they have always been super bright (I don't do nude nails) and excellent performers.  I am still eyeing that jade green.

The collection will be available in the Spring from selected stores and pharmacies.

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