Saturday, 29 March 2014

Foundation for pale skin (or a goth girl's guide)

Tips, tricks and recommendations

If any of you have pale skin like me (or at the other end of the spectrum with very dark skin, but I will get to that one...) you will know finding the perfect colour match is impossibly difficult. Pure white foundation can look dodgy, its easier to opt for the naturally pale look rather than paint yourself white. But most companies just don't produce a wide enough spectrum of shades. I have tried quite a few different products,  all reviewed here in previous posts. From the affordable to the expensive,  I will share with you products I liked and disliked,  and some general rules when searching for your perfect product.  As I always say when I write reviews, I am NOT paid or endorsed,  I just like to share my experiences in the hope that others will find them helpful.

General shopping rules:

1. Try before you buy. I like to wear something for a whole day before I decide I really like it, because it can look different once you leave the shop, oxidise after some time or even not last throughout the day as you need it.

2. Related to the above point, try and get in store to try them out, if you can get a brand rep (but be clear from the beginning you aren't buying anything until you have worn the product for a day and you still like it tomorrow) to put it on for you more the better. Some online retailers offer samples online for only a pound or two, but Ebay normally has everything if you look hard enough!

3. If you are very pale, or like the fair skinned look, always go for the very lightest shade available and if it isn't right then don't be persuaded into buying it anyway. Go somewhere else.

4. Set a price limit for yourself,  so you know what you want to be spending but be realistic in that very high quality may not be obtainable very cheaply. Similarly, a high price does not mean better quality or that the formula will be right for you. A perfect shade does not mean a perfect match, everyone has different skin.

5. Most of all be open minded, try lots and don't give up until you are happy. Even now I still think I love something,  use a whole bottle and change my mind when buying another.

6. Find a green concealer and wear it all over your face under foundation when you want to look super pale. Totally works.

If you already have a few foundations but are not happy with the colour, try mixing. You could use a cheap white foundation such as Stargazer liquid, but personally I find the the quality of Stargazer products is poor. Which is a shame because they make some wonderfully coloured products that I love but don't get on with. 

If you are willing to spend a little more then Mac make a white face and body liquid (although I have not tried it), or Face Atelier make a wonderful range of shades.  They have your average mid shades for normal use, but for mixing there's Zero Minus, which is white, and Zero Plus and Zero Plus Plus which are very very dark. They have a lovely formula which feels light and dewy like a moisturiser with full coverage,  and don't alter formulas of other products when mixed. Perfect for saving money on otherwise useless makeup!

And now my (although not huge) personally experienced list of brands that produce very light shades and their pros and cons.

ORANGE.. Benefit.

Rimmel London - Match Perfection at £6.99 But beware Rimmel only produce the lightest (Light Porcelain) in this foundation.  And although on application it looked perfect,  it went patchy and flaky in under three hours. 
Max Factor - Whipped Cream at £9.99 the lightest shade is Light Ivory, although much better for use in summer as a matte mousse texture it can be flaky on my dry skin and it is marginally darker, so better when you have naturally sun kissed skin.
No7 - Protect and Perfect at £16.50 (apologies I couldn't find the shade name and have forgotten it). A nice formula but not quite light enough for me, the undertone was a bit too yellow.
Mac - Studio Fix Fluid at £21.50 in NW10. The very lightest of the Mac shades, slightly pricier but I got a whole year's use from one bottle. Perfect shade I just didn't love the formula, it had a tendency to make my skin flaky.
Face Atelier - Ultra Foundation Pro in Porcelain at £24. As far as I know only Cloud10 Beauty ship this to the UK. But nevertheless is is an absolute delight to apply, quite thin and runny with buildable coverage and feels gorgeous on skin. As mentioned, white and dark mixers available.
Bobbi Brown - Foundation Stick in Alabaster at £29. To be honest this is the most I would pay for any foundation and was a little reluctant to do so, but I'm certainly glad I did. The shade is spot on, and as its a stick it has blendable, buildable coverage, and with just a few dabs to the face blends in easily with just your fingers. I LOVE this foundation and its perfect for begginers as the application is easy as pie.

In love... Bobbi Brown.

I also went in store and tried out the Hello Flawless foundation by Benefit, as well as the Even Better Makeup by Clinique. The formulas of both were lovely, but I got home and realised I was completely orange. Hopefully in the future these two might branch out a little and make something for us pale chicks!

Also orange... Clinique. 

Anyways, sorry for the super long post, just wanted to share :)

Perfection... Face Atelier.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Black and dark eyeshadows: how to

Whilst I don't wear tons of makeup every day, sometimes I really like to go all out. When I properly wear makeup, I like big, dark eyes and huge lashes.
Some days, I just can't get them black enough.  So here are some tips and tricks on doing dark eyeshadow that I have found really useful.

1. Prime. I first heard of Urban Decay's Primer Potion from people raving about it on the internet, but decied seventeen quid for such a tiny tube was just too much.
Lucky for me I had a friend who was nice enough to lend me some, I used it on a night out and when I woke up with an incredible hangover the next day, my elaborate eyeshadow was still perfectly intact. Cue generous Christmas present from the other half. Haha.

2. Find a decent shadow that you get on with. It's good to try different black shades (some are darker than others although they claim to be black). And sometimes finding dark and unusual shades in old unused pallets can end up new favorites if you use them right. I have found that in terms of budget ones, the Natural Collection black is pretty good, but if you are willing to splurge a bit then SugarPill in Bulletproof just can't be beaten. Its $12, which in pounds is about £7.27. Also its cruelty free :)

3. Even with the best of eyeshadows, decent application makes a world of difference. Invest in some decent Brushes and you won't regret it. My favourite brush is actually a really cheap one, but the size, shape and texture of the bristles are perfect for me.

4. Wet the brush! Even a crappy chalky textured shadow can be brought to life with a little water, just paint it on. I have found that the best way is to clean the bristles with a baby wipe right before you begin, dab the brush into the colour and blow off any excess before you apply. Instantly a mess free intense colour that will last!

On the left we have dry application,  which has blended lines and not alot of depth to it, as opposed to wet application on the right, with bold outlines and intense colour.

Hope this helps! And good luck painting ;)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Maybelline Baby Skin primer review

So here I am going to review the new Baby Skin primer, not sponsored, just like to share when I find a product I really love/hate. I am quite fond of this primer.

So this is what it looks like, just a small squeezy tube. When applying I find it's better to go in baby steps and only use a tiny blob at a time, or risk squeezing out much more than you need. Less is more here. It comes out a clear smooth gel, with a sort of matt looking finish to it. 

On the tube it claims to 'magically erase pores'. I wouldn't say its exactly a miracle worker, as the difference (when wearing just the product on its own) isn't hugely visible. Although when I fist tested it on the back of my hand I was amazed that the skin surface looked almost perfectly smooth. To the touch, however, it leaves skin really soft and smooth. A nice canvas to work on. Personally I have very dry skin, and though I moisturise a minimum of twice before applying, this product still really helps reduce the appearance of those dry blotchy patches once foundation is applied.

The tube also describes the product as 'light weight', and whilst there is no colour to it its quite a thick formula and can feel heavy. Don't be alarmed, it needs to be thick to do its job! 

Overall I would say I really like this product,  it pretty much does what it says on the tin and I would definitely buy it again.