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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!

Style Bite: Autumn Colour

Style Bite: Autumn Colour

Autumn has well and truly arrived! The temperature’s dropping and it’s about time to delve back into hard work and a fresh start. Summer’s gone and we’re all back at work, Uni or school and it’s time to get organised, but more importantly, it’s time to break out the Autumn/Winter wardrobe and give our beauty regimes a good shake-up!

One of the biggest signs of Autumn is the leaves starting to fall, and bursting into a vivid array sensational colours. But as the trees shed their leaves, we need to start packing on the layers, and if nature can have a colour make-over, then so can we!

So, for the beginning of my Autumn/Winter Series I’ve opted to follow in nature’s footsteps and begin with colour!

Wine and Berry Blast

The hedgerows are bursting with the seasonal crop of blackberries, plums and red currants and there’s nothing like a warming glass of deep red wine to warm the blood as the weather grows colder. This Autumn, I’m loving shades of burgundy, plum and deep reds and purples. A great way to bring some colour to your life and brighten up the days and they grow drearier! I’m feeling a romantic theme in style this Autumn, and the deep burgundies and purples are reminiscent of renaissance royalty!

BurgandyHenley Dress in Burgandy – Hush. Limited Edition Berry Quad Eyeshadow – Lancome. 1969 Legging Cords in Ruby Wine – Gap. Nail Lacquer in Pomegranate- Crabtree & Evelyn. La Laque Nail Laqueur in Black Tulip – Yves Saint Laurent. Wool and Cashmere Wide Neck Sweater in Garnet – Massimo Dutti. Velvet Ankle Boots in Red – & Stories. Byrony Shoppe Handbag in Red – Somerset by Alice Termperley. Narrow Buckskin Belt in Burgundy – Massimo Dutti.

Brighten up the Winter Blues

It’s getting colder, and everyone’s starting to feel a little blue…but blue doesn’t have to be a bad thing! This season, bring blue back in bold and vibrant shades! I’m loving the deep and vivid blues this season, from a romantic midnight blue to an eye catchingly bright, almost electric blue. From the seductive romance of a dark velvety blue to the iconic stand-out quality of a dazzling bright sapphire, blue is the way to go this season!

Blue

Danoe Wool and Cashmere Belted Coat – L.K.Bennett. Nail Lacquer inBlueberry – Crabtree and Evelyn. All About Shadow Quad in Galaxy – Clinique. Jersey Snood in Cobalt – Hush. Amy Dress in Marine – Hush. Wool Scarf Cardigan in Blue – & Stories. Le Pliage Shopper in Navy – Longchamp.

Toasty Autumn Tan

So the summer tans have faded, but we can still bring tan into our style! A classic colour palette, neutral tones and browns are a must this season. Soft, luxurious pale tan to deep dark brown, the animals are all donning their winter coats, so take a leaf from them and echo the luxurious shades of hide and fur that are surrounding us right now. Going neutral doesn’t mean you have the blend in…

tanBoard Large Collar Overcoat in camel – Reiss. Leather Knee Boots in Brown – & Stories. Rich Chocolate Eye Palette – Bobbi Brown. Serum De Rouge in Light Beige – Christian Dior. Luxe Nail Polish in organza – Rococo. Large Suede Tassel Clutch in Stone – The White Company. 100% Cashmere Cableknit Sweater in Brown – Massimo Dutti. Plaid Scarf in Brown – Jigsaw. British Tweed Kilt in Brown Windowpane – Boden.

Back to Black

Monochrome always seems to make an appearance at this time of year, and it’s little wonder why. There’s nothing more striking and bold than a sharply contrasting monochrome palette. Bold blacks matched with shimmering grays can have you standing out from the crowd and a chic combination of crisp white against jet black is both classic and always up to date. And you can really make a statement with monochrome by adding a burst of startling colour in one statement accessory.
MonochromeStretch Cotton Moleskin Jeans in Black – Jigsaw. Dahlia Top Stitching Shirt in Silver Grey – Reiss. Dionne Leather Ankle Boot in Black – L.K.Bennett. Cashmere Shawl in Grey Marl – Hush. faux Fur Mini Bag in Black – & Stories. Sequin Cuff Cardigan in Natural – The White Company. 3 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Smoky Black – Christian Dior. Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Satin – Chanel.

Stick to a few kep palettes this Autumn: Burgandy is vibrant and cheerful, blue is vivid and perfect for the winter weather, neutal tones can be paired with anything and are a softening, classic combination and you can really make a bold statement with a monochrome edge! Stick with a few simple colours and you can create any number of outfits in the blink of an eye, and you’ll be right on trend this season!

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?

Beauty Bite: Everyday Make Up

I have to be up and about really early at the moment, and the last thing I want to do is spend hours doing my make up.

I want a quick, simple and natural look that will go with every outfit and works for the office.

Here’s my look:

Make Up 1It’s natural, simple and takes five minutes to do, but I find it really works for me. I have naturally quite small and ‘sad’ eyes, so I need to make them bigger and brighter, but not look like I have layers and layers of make up on.

I never use foundation, as I have quite a good skin tone and my skin is pretty good too (of course I get spots and blemishes…who doesn’t?) but in reality, I don’t need to use foundation, so why ruin my skin by using it when I don’t need to?touche

What I do use:

If I find myself with bags and dark circles under my eyes, there’s nothing like an old favourite: Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat. A little dab under the eyes, gentle patting and sweeping to blend and then hello bright eyes!bb pencil

Do do the eyes, I line my upper eye-lid with Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Eye Pencil in Caviar.

Now, you can’t get this any more and I’m rapidly approaching the end of my last pencil, so I’m a bit peeved: I’ve been using this pencil for years and the smudger is really handy! I will have to go on a hunt for a new eyeliner at some point…

Anyway, this gives me some definition on my eyes and allows me to turn up the corners with a little ‘flick’.

Next, I bring out my god-send.

Dior’s 5 Couleurs Lift Eyeshadow Palette.

A base-lift to help the shadows stay on the eye and even the lid
2 shades of serum-eyeshadow, one dark brown and one a champagne colourA shimmering highlighter shadow in a pale, neutral tone
An eye and eye-brow pencil to help structure and define.

diorI love this palette and I’m almost out…I might try something new next time, but we’ll see!

I use the eye pencil with a small sponge to run over the pencil on my eyelid already; it adds to the definition and keeps it firm all day.

Then I use a larger pad with the champagne shadow and sweep it from the very inside corner of my eye accross the whole lid. It lifts the whole complexion and brightens the eyes.

Finally, I take another sponge and apply a very small amount of the dark brown shadow to the very outside of my eyelids, sweeping it in about a third of the way over my lid and blending it so it’s barely-there but gives the hint of a smokey look.

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Next up: mascara. I have very long and thick eyelashes, so they tend to droop and no amount of curling seems to work on them, but sometimes a good mascara will do the trick.

I’m currently using Benfit’s Bad Girl Lash mascara, and I also use Lancome’s Hypnose regularly. The Benefit I find better for the day, as it isn’t as thick and it has a lighter texter on my eyelashes, keeping them thick and open all day.

A generous lick on the upper eyelashes and then I just touch it to my lower lashes; I don’t want to lengthen them, just define them, so I don’t brush it on, I just gently touch it to the lashes and it adds some definition to my lower eye, but isn’t as heavy as having eyeliner on the under eye as well.

Finally, I sweep on a little of Clinique’s Almost Bronzer, just a soft touch down the cheekbones to give some definition, but without being obvious.

That’s it. All done. Just a simple, neutral look, for every day and it goes with any outfit and hairstyle.

Understated is often best. For a natural everyday look, I find less is more. Using neutral colours and simple techniques you can create an effective and pure look. And when you’re pushed for time in the morning, the simpler the better!