Monday, 31 May 2010

OOTN: Rose Tints My World

I’m off to the theatre to watch The Rocky Horror Show with a few friends, and as is the tradition, we’re all dressing up. The last time I went to a ‘Rocky’ event was when I was a teenager and really into the show, but I haven’t thought about the show for a number of years.

I really like Rocky Horror and the sense of celebrating ‘Freaks and Geeks’ it brings. And when you go, you have to dress up - it’s just the tradition of these things. Rather than going as a specific character from the show,

I decided to go as a ‘Translyvanian’ or an extra – which basically means as much PVC, leather, fishnets and suspenders as you can shake a stick it! It is quite awkward going to the theatre in what is, essentially, underwear (it helps if your friends are also dressing up and you take a few glasses of vino beforehand!) but you soon realise that, with all the guys dressed up in their own suspenders in tribute to Dr Frank N Furter, the girls are the last thing everyone’s looking at. I didn’t want to spend a lot on a costume, so I pieced mine together from bits and bobs I already had, plus a few new additions. Here’s the run down..

Fishnet tights or stockings are a must for Rocky tributes. I combined my H&M ones with a black corset with boning that I bought from the label Million Dollar Babe a few years ago (I used to be big into corset tops in my rock days!) and black wet-look hotpants (never thought I’d be typing that in connection with an outfit I’m going to wear) I picked up for a couple of pounds in Primark. I also scored some of the funkiest undies in there - silky black and white striped with a bright red lace trim! Again, not my usual style, but the occasion demands it! I added a black leather waist belt from Topshop to add in a bit of extra interest and ramp up the S&M overtones. Over the top, I threw a long white lab coat I sourced on eBay for very little money, which I splattered with fake blood I had left over from Halloween dress-ups. I also used a toy stethoscope I’d somehow gotten during my student days. On my feet were black lace peep-toes from New Look.

Make up wise I used:

Primark The Prime of Your Life facial primer - a new product in the Primark make-up range I've been testing. The line can be a little hit-and-miss -some products are great, others not so much. I haven't got much to compare it to as I've never used a primer product before, but it does make your skin look smooth and glowy. Not sure if it dramatically extends how long your make-up lasts, but mine seemed to stay on well.

Maybelline Dream Creamy foundation -a new buy of mine. I really rate this. It gives a smooth coverage and seems to look a lot more natural and to last even better than the Dream Matte Mousse.

Bourjois Eclat Mineral Powder in Vanille

Urban Decay Ink in ‘Zero’

Sleek Storm palette (the shade that looks like black and emeralds all crushed up together on my lids, plus the flat dark brown tone to fill in my eyebrows)

Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Glitter Liner

A mix of 17 Lasting Fix lipsticks in 'New Black' and 'Hot Chilli'

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Review: Daniel Sandler Super Mineral Makeup and Watercolour Blush

I finally got around to testing out my Daniel Sandler product samples the other day! They do advise that you are supposed to try the samples straight away, as they come in little sealed plastic bags, but this isn’t the optimum storage condition and they can dry out faster this way. But with one thing and another, a full week had gone by before I thought to test my samples. I didn’t find that the product had suffered too much - it still gave me a decent idea of colours and how the products perform.

I had six samples to try – three shades of the Super Mineral Make Up, and three of the Watercolour Blush.

As mentioned, Super Mineral Make Up sounds, on paper, to be the answer to my foundation prayers. I’m really fussy with foundations and have never found one which delivers absolutely everything I demand, and in theory, this could be it. It’s long-lasting (according to user reviews), goes on super-smooth thanks to the silicone base – a substance used in most primers, which might also explain it lasting well. The minerals are kind to our skin, and it has a sun protection factor and anti-oxidants to protect as it beautifies. The coverage is meant to be just enough, bridging that fine line between enough coverage and still looking like real skin. It sounds amazing. And there must be a reason ‘Brides Magazine’ voted it their best ever foundation. After all, on your wedding day you want to look flawless but natural, so it sounded like we could be onto a winner with this base.

Now, there are a few places you can buy Daniel Sandler make-up, but nowhere near me, so the easiest way to access it online. When buying a foundation, you need that match to your skin tone, so it isn’t really suited to buying online, where the shades are hard to tell. Luckily, the website offers this sample service. I have a light golden skintone, so I ordered shades 3,4 and 5 hoping to find a match.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at them was that they were all too dark for me, which was strange. So I’d probably be looking at buying shade 2, although there is a chance this could be too light. Because of this, I only swiped the foundation on my jawline, rather than using the whole thing for a day and seeing how it was. I tried the lightest I’d ordered, and I could just about get away with it, but I don’t think it’s the colour I’d pick. I noticed how smooth it felt as I applied it, and blended in very seamlessly. It definitely made me want to buy a full size, although I’d need to test shade 2 to be absolutely certain. At £21.00 (plus delivery) the foundation isn’t the cheapest, so I’d need to be sure of the shade before buying.
Then there was the Watercolour Blush. Voted best blush by Grazia magazine (which is pretty much my bible), this is a sheer, blendable flus of colour, specifically designed to last through an active day. I had three shades to try – ‘Gentle’, ‘Flush’ and ‘Hail Mary’. ‘Gentle’ was exactly that, a warm, peachy-pink colour that didn’t show up a lot on my skin tone, although it might have suited someone paler. ‘Hail Mary’ was my favourite – it was a slighter darker apricot with a shot of gold shimmer. It looked a lot like a ‘natural but enhanced look’ on me, and boy did it hold its ground. I struggled to get it off with make-up remover at the end of the night, so if you’re looking for something extremely long lasting, it’s right up there. I loved this colour – the golden shimmer wasn’t too much, just enough not to need a separate highlighter, and that shade was the perfect shade where it’s a blush That also provides a bit of contouring. A little goes a long way as well - a tiny drop will do both cheeks, so the price of £12.00 per bottle seems justified. I’m definitely planning to purchase a full-size ‘Hail Mary'.

The third shade, ‘Flush’ was a really bright, cool-toned pink, more akin to Mac’s Blushcreme in Posey, which is what I’m currently using. I did like the colour, but I thought it looked a little fake on me, so it wouldn’t be a good choice for the ‘naturally perfect’ look. I found it wasn’t quite as long lasting as the ‘Hail Mary’ shade, so I think the metallic hints in that must have given it a little more tenacity. You get a good amount of play time with the colour before it sets, which would help if you were using a brush for application ( you can purchase a special ‘waterbrush’ from Daniel Sandler specifically for applying this product) but I did it with my fingers. It actually is easy to put too much on and underestimate how pigmented the blush is, whilst also being quite sheer. It dried to a smooth, powder finish and it felt quite different - and superior to – other blushes I’ve been using.

I’ll definitely be purchasing both these products (once I find out my perfect shade of foundation). I would highly recommend giving them a try, they are top quality items that are innovative and feel different from the other products out there. This range deserves to be a lot more famous than it is, but the slight trouble you need to go to hunting it down is richly rewarded. I know a lot of Daniel Sandler-trained make-up artists are specialists in wedding make-up and I can easily see why.

His sheer, long-lasting formulas would best be described as ‘natural perfectors’, giving you your beauty boost without compromising on either performance or a natural look. If I was getting married in the near future, they’d be my first port of call. But why save looking that good for your wedding day only?

Sunday, 9 May 2010

OOTN: Puffballs for Parties

I've never done an outfit post before, but considering how much effort goes into me actually deciding what to wear, I thought I might start!

Just a little disclaimer, before we go there. I'm actually not very stylish. I'm very 'vanilla'. I'd like to be more out there and high fashion, but the main ingredient to make those things work is guts, and I tend to wuss out when it comes to it. I enjoy clothes, but I'm not the most cutting-edge person out there. I try to choose styles and shapes that will work for me personally. And I'm still learning, finding my feet and making mistakes.

So, with all those excuses out of the way, here is the outfit I put together to go out for a friend's birthday recently (the night of the porn star martini!)

Outfit Breakdown:
White with gold stripes puffball bandeau dress - Zara
Tan skinny waist belt - H&M
Nude 'Orielle' shoe boots - All Saints
Navy blue cropped blazer - Primark
Darwin shoulder bag - Mulberry

Apologies for the poor quality photo, I had my boyfriend on camera duty and he kept messing around!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Fever

As election fever sweeps the British nation tonight, I felt inspired to produce a little set. So whatever your political colour, make voting chic your style..

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