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Beauty Bite: Autumn Eyes

When we come towards the Autumn and Winter months, I always like to start bringing bolder colours, styles and looks into the mix. For me, summer is a time of soft shades, simple looks and natural beauty, but it’s time to wave that goodbye, now that the cold has really hit us! Bring out the deep tones and dramatic looks.

So I’m going to talk about eyes. I’ve always loved the smokey eyes look, but it can be just too dramatic for the daytime, so I’ve played around and modified it a bit to come up with a couple of bold smokey eye looks for the season that are just played down enough for the daytime, but could be given a little extra oomph to take you into the evening.

I’m still working off my initial Autumn colour palette, and here I have a softer-brown based eye look, and a dazzling blue look!

IMG_0154All the kit you need: Clinique BB Cream, Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara, Yves Saint Laurent Radiant Touch, Nars Liquid Eyeliner, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Bare Minerals Foundation, Clinique Toast of the Town Eyeshadow Palette, Clinique Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette.

For Both looks, I do my simple and basic every-day skin make-up…nothing dramatic, just some eyen coverage and a nice smooth canvas on which to work. I’m a big advocate of the ‘Just play up one key feature’ stance, and for me, it tends to be the eyes, but you can have too much of a good thing…don’t play them up too much all the time!

For the face I start by applying the Radiant Touch to any areas of discolouration (dark circles under eyes really!) as it evens up the skin tone: I have blue undertones and the pink shade really balances my out. Next I apply a thin layer of BB Cream with the brush all over the face, gently padding it over the areas where I have applied the concealer (don’t want to move it around!) and then apply a light layer of the BareMinerals powder foundation over the top, using circular brush movements aroudn the face to really blend it and help it stick. Finally, a gentle sweep of brozer over the cheekbones and then I blend that in a little with the foundation brush, just to give a hint of bone structure without making the make up obvious.

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I love brown for the eyes, as it goes well with my skin tone and brings out my eyes (which are brown) but it’s not as harsh as black, which can wash you out. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a starkly contrasting black eye look against milky pale skin, but for a casual daytime look, I prefer the softer, more stubtle tones.

The eyes are really simple. Using the liquid eyeliner, I apply a very fine line of liner along the eyelid and just gently flick it out at the edges. This defines the eye but keeps it simple. Next, I use the palest shade of the palette and apply to the whole eyelid, bringing it right down to the inner corners of the eye to brighten and lift. Taking the second lightest, golden shade and apply to the eyelid from about 3/4 in and blend, sweeping all the way to the outer corner. Repeat with the third, darker shade from half-way in and then finally, a tiny touch to the outer corner with the darkest shade and blend. Simple, easy and gives great definition to the eys, making them lovely and big, but bright as well as subtly-smokey at the same time! Add a lick of mascara to the upper lashes, and just touch to the lower to bring the whole look together and make the eyes pop!

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I’ve talked about blue, and I think for a while people have been scared of blue on the eyes, reminiscing about the 90’s blue trends that saw us (if you’re of the 90’s generation like me!) parading around as pre-teens with vivid, horribly applied powder blue eyeshadow in a ghastly way. I’m trying to revivie it and move on from these times! You know what I’m talking about…

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This blue look work in the same way the brown does, but has a little more sparkle and drama. I couple of alterations and it would be perfect for a winter-snowflake themed look, with a hint of sparkle and flash of vivid blue.

Apply the liner as before and then follow the same steps with the shadow, starting with the silvery blue, and working your way progressively to the darkest tone at the outer corners. I bring the light shade righ down to the bottom corners of the eyes to really make them pop and stand out, but it’s a subtler look without this and still looks gorgeous. The hint of sparkle in two of the shades on the palette really give the look an edge and you could take it further and more dramatic very simply for a great little evening look!

Eyes blue

I love to colour coordinate…In fact obsessed by it, and I think ti can really help bring a whole look together. I wear the brown look a lot, as I often wear muted and tan tones, but if I’m wearing, say, red, I don’t necessarily want to bring red to the eyes for a day-time look, so I will use the neutral brown look then as well. What’s great about the blue is that it jumps out and you don’t have to do much at all with the rest of your face or hair, and it’s bright and bold enough to hold its own. If I’m wearing a blue dress, or shirt, or accessory or whatever, the blue in the eyes really demonstrates thought behind the outfit and brings everything together, the outfit complementing the eyes and the eyes making the outfit stand out. Or at least…I think so!

Autumn is a time when we can truly reclaim the big, the bold and the eye-catching. Bring on the dark, berry shades, the deep blues and purples and the smokey, dramatic looks on eyes, nails and lips! But as always, try to pick to one area – lips or eyes – and play that up…it takes a brave girl to go for both eyes and lips…and for a party, great, but when we’re just going to the office, is it really necessary? Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more, it’s about knowing which is which…but there’s no harm in going a little Bolder this season!

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Beauty Bite: Autumn Skin Care

Beauty Bite: Autumn Skin Care

When the weather begins to change this Autumn, one of the biggest must’s is skincare! In the wind and the cold, our skin can get very dry and damaged very quickly and it’s more important than ever to take good care of it!

A good, consistent beauty regime is in order now, and we have to leave the casual approach to beauty of the Summer months behind us! Our precious faces need extra TLC this Autumn and here are my picks of the moment.**

**Subject to change…I’m indecisive and very fickle with my favours!!

That old routine…

If you’re anything like me, now’s the time you’re putting on a little more make-up…I barely wear any foundation/powder etc. in the Summer months…better to let the natural tan shine! But now that we’re all getting a little ‘pasty’ the tinted moisturisers, the BB creams, the foundations, the primers, the blushers and bronzers…they’re all re-emerging as Autumn takes hold!

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So a good cleansing, toning, moisturising and exfoliating regime is in order! Cleansing off the make-up and general grime of the day (especially living in the dust-field that in London!) is a must, and I tend to cleanse right before bed and just when I get up as well, to refresh my skin for the day.

Toning shrinks the pores and rebalances the skin after the stress we put on it throughout the day, and enables it to repair itself and absorb the all important moisture to keep your skin smooth and happy!

We’re battered by the cold and wind all day as Winter draws in, and this seriously dries out the skin, so a good moisturising routine is a must, must, must!! I use an intense moisturiser at night and then a very light one in the morning, so that it’s not oily and make-up will sit nicely on top of it. But whatever your skin needs, moisturising should not be left out!

I exfoliate about three times a week in the evening. I use a gentle exfoliator, but with all the dry skin that accompanies this season, its more important than ever to get rid of the dead cells regularly to avoid breakouts and dry, damaged skin!

There are hundreds of different cleansers, toners, moisturisers and exfoliators out there and realistically, it coms down to a. Your specific skin needs and b. Your own personal preference. But my major advice is to avoid the use of heavy chemicals and lots of alcohol! There’s no need to put this on your skin! Lots of toners use alcohol, but it dries out the skin and it’s so so bad for you! We only get on set of skin, let’s be gentle and kind to it!

We as human beings are entirely organic products. Therefore, there’s nothing that nature shouldn’t provide us with. Why use harsh, man-made, damaging chemicals when you can get everything you need naturally? I love brand such as Origins, Burt’s Bees, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Ren especially, as they tend to be very low in the chemicals, exploit ‘natural’ ingredients as much as possible and avoid all the skin damaging, nasty chemicals that so many brands shove in their products!
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I’m using Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Cleanser and Rehydrating Rose Toner daily and I love them so far. Origin’s Modern Friction exfoliator is great too, and I’m in love with Ren’s Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream for moisture before I go to bed; a lovely sales assistant in Space N.K. Gave me about 15 samples of this stuff last time I was in and I’m still going through it, but I will have to invest in a full bottle when I run out! I apply a fine layer of Ren’s T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid in the morning,as I don’t want to put a whole lots of oil on under my make-up and the BB cream I’m currently using is a good moisturiser anyway. Check back soon for a full review of this little beauty routine and all the products!

Then the lips. These get their own category as this time of year, I know I have major major lips issues! They get all dry, and peeling, and then they crack and we can wander round looking like we’re dying of dehydration! Not this Autumn!
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Carmex. I swear by this stuff and have about a hundred pots in various places around my house, in coat pockets, in different bags and in every nook and cranny imaginable! Put it on before bed and let it soak into your lips overnight, when you wake, they’ll be smooth as…well…you know! Also try to use an SPF lip balm during the day: I love Kiehl’s as it’s not too sticky but gives a lovely glossy shine and really packs in the moisture. SPF on lips is important all year, but even now, as it not only protects from the sun, but protects from the harshness of the weather and cold too.
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Oh…the hands! Dry hands are the worst this time of year! If you’re not careful they get all dry and cracked and red and flaky and just…ugh! This is when the hand cream becomes super important!

I love L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, there’s nothing quite like it! It smells divine and leaves hands really soft and moisturised for hours and hours…and there’s none of the pesky residue when you wash your hands! I was given a bottle of Neom Organic’s Violet, Camomile and Cedarwood Hand Cream and it smells divine! It’s less heavy duty than the L’Occitane so it’s more suited to a quick top-up rather than intensive hand care but it feels great and my flatmate says (literally just said to me right as I write this) it smells great, it permeates the room!

I’ve said it before and I say it every time I post of skin care. The most important thing you can do for your skin is to eat healthily and rink lots of water! The vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruit and vegetables are invaluable and eating your 5-a day (or 8 for me!) and drinking your 2 litres (ok…about 5 for me!) of water will do wonders for your skin. Hydrated skin is happy skin!

And, of course, the health benefits of having lots of vitamins and minerals in your system is great this time of year too. Avoid the colds and flu and the highly unattractive pallor that accompanies these maladies by staying healthy and eating right!

We only get one set of skin. Look after it. Be kind to your skin: cleanse it, tone it, moisturise it and exfoliate! By trying to use natural products and ingredients, combined with a natural healthy diet, you’ll be doing your skin the world of good. Look after your body and it will look after you!

Friday Bite: Treat Yourself!

En-Route slurges is what I call it…

I’m working currently in the North East of London, and on my route to and from work are the shopping complexes of Canary Wharf and Westfields Stratfield City. Both of these happen to be attatched to stations where I have to change trains. This creates a little issue…

On my way home, I’m never in a particular rush and the trains that I need to get home all run every 4-5 minutes, so I’m never on a tight schedule train wise. Which allows me the option to stop off at the shops. This is very handy as there are Waitrose and M&S close to the stations in both of these complexes and I can grab any things I need for dinner easily on my way home.

BUT, there are so many other shops that I love…and they’re all close at hand! Option to go shopping is what I said, but It feels more of an obligation/compulsion!!!

That is why I call it en-route shopping! I’m not planning to go shopping, I have no list or object in mind, I just pop in for a quick browse on my way somewhere else…they just happen to be on my route!

This is what happened today. I finished work, got off the train at Stratford and instead of going straight to my connection, I turned right…right into spending a lot of money!

But then again, I had a lousy morning…overslept, cold-shower as I didn’t turn the water on early enough and then the kettle exploded HOT water all over me. Wasn’t a good start to my day, so I needed some cheering up. I needed a treat really, and that is exactly what I gave myself!

My haul!

My haul!

Ah John Lewis department store…how I love thee…

Picked up my favourite fragrance: Chanel no.19. It is my one true love and I never wear anything else! I normally wait until I can buy it duty free, but I’m not planning any vacations any time soon and I’m running rather low. Such a great fragrance, with the elegance of chanel but it’s not as ‘old’ as No.5. It’s younger, lighter but not overpowering or too sharp/fruity/sweet/strong etc.

Had a consultation at Clinique: I was undecided whether I needed a skin-evening primer, or a tinted moisturiser to even my skin tone and create a good base, and as I don’t wear foundation I need something light but that gives some coverage. I came away with their BB cream and I will get back to you on how it works out? …and then of course, I had to buy some eyeshadow as it was of offer!

Rococo Nails do great polishes st reasonable prices and in a great selection of colours. I pretty much just picked at random….

I love Neal’s Yard and I use their hand washes and body lotions, but I came across their cleanser and toner and thought I would give them a go. I need a new cleansing regime, as I like to switch it up so my skin doesn’t get ‘immune’ to it (maybe I’m going loopy, but I think my skin does become resistant to cleansing products) and I only like to use organic and major chemical free as it’s better on my skin. Once again, I’ll get back to you on how I find these products.

The candles were just there…I felt like I needed some TLC, and scented candles around a nice bath always does the trick. And they were reduced…score!

Everyone needs to treat themself from time to time. In my opinion, if you really want something…just get it. Go with your gut reaction and indulge yourself. Go on, whats the worst that could happen?