Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tips and Tricks: How to Choose the Correct Foundation

Being a woman of colour myself (I am a MAC shade NC42), my biggest makeup difficulty in the past has been how to find the correct foundation. Through trial and error (mucho error..!) I believe I have got the technique down now for getting the correct foundation.

The Real Foundation is your Skin

The best advice I was ever given was that no foundation will make your skin perfect, you need to get good skin to get good foundation. I have the most problem skin out there, and I was so intent on getting a foundation to make my skin appear magically better - NOT POSSIBLE! If you have problem skin, whether it is dryness, oiliness, blemishes, acne, eczema, anything - you need to tackle this first. So I put my holy grail foundation hunt on hold and took a long hard look at my skin and decided to totally change my routine. I got a mixture of Dermalogica and Avene products, I have changed my diet (more fruit and water), and just take much more care - simple things like not touching my skin as much, washing my face thoroughly after any kind of facial depilation and closing the pores back up again. I use sunscreen every single day now, and use AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) on my skin at night once or twice a week. My skin is far from perfect, but I have definately noticed changes for the better.

Know Your Skin Type

Prior to my skin revelation, I had always thought my skin was dry, weirdly enough, once I started looking after my skin I realised it was actually oily/combination!! So many people don't know their skin type, and just go for a foundation because it is popular. The number of (particularly South Asian and black) girls who wear MAC Studio Fix Fluid because, well I assume because the colour options at MAC are better than other brands, amazes me! But Studio Fix Fluid is a medium to heavy coverage foundation which has a matte finish and is a generally drying formula. This is just my personal opinion but it is NOT suitable for dry skins, it is NOT suitable for sensitive skins and if you have good, blemish-free skin and just need your skin tone evening out, it is not suitable for you either. If you like a dewy, natural finish from your foundation - it is not suitable for you either..!!!

The general rules are:

Oily, blemish prone skin - oil-free, matte finish, medium to heavy coverage, liquid or mineral foundation.

Dry, sensitive skin - moisturising, light-medium coverage, liquid foundation.

Normal skin - you are the lucky ones! You can choose your finish - whether matte or natural/dewy, but go for lighter coverage and perhaps consider a tinted moisturiser instead of a foundation.


N.B. Regarding knowing your skin type, remember this can vary depending on season, as winter weather can cause your skin to be dryer, more sensitive and red, summer can cause your skin to be more oily. My advice would be to change your skincare routine depending on seasons, rather than your foundation. Obviously, your skin may also be more tan in the summer so watch out for that too.

Buying Foundation

So, you have sorted out your skin routine, and you know your skin type. Next is to go foundation shopping. Here are my top tips for foundation shopping:

1. You already know the first rule, which is not to purchase a foundation just because your friend/sister/colleague/whoever looks amazing in it. Your skin may react differently.

2. Never just go out and buy foundation full stop. By this I mean, take your time, shop around and be patient!

3. Don't just buy foundation because a make up artist has put some on you in store and you think it looks good. Remember that store lighting, different application techniques and sales pitches can cloud your judgement. Instead, get the makeup artist to apply the foundation all over your face, not just a patch. Walk around in it all day. See how it feels and looks under natural day light and after wearing it for several hours. See how your skin looks and feels after you have washed it off, and also the next day to see if you have reacted to it at all.

4. If you have done all of the above, and you still love it, don't buy it.. yet! Instead, go and ask for a sample, take it home and play, play, play with it. Remember, you have to feel comfortable being able to apply it on yourself with the tools and primers etc that you have at home. Use the sample on a night out, see how it wears throughout the night, and most importantly see how it looks on you in pictures and under a flash etc. (N.B. High SPF content can cause that ashy/mask like effect under a strong flash)

5. Use the sample trying different techniques to apply it. Sometimes, a foundation may not go on as smooth using, say, fingers to apply it, but try it with different brushes (flat foundation brush, stippling brush, flat top buffer brush etc) and you may find that by changing the technique you can vastly improve the look of the foundation.

6. Treat this like a piece of coursework - take notes! I know it sounds silly but you may lose track if you are trying lots of different foundations out. Keep a log to refer back to.

7. Don't limit yourself to a certain brand or budget - I know that money does not grow on trees, but you may find that spending a few pounds less or more will widen your options and you may find THE ONE! With regard to brands, you may feel that MAC have the best colour range, they definately do, but they aren't the only ones. There are so many great brands out there now that recognise that their customers come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.

I know its a lot to remeber, and a lot of people don't have the patience, but believe me it is worth it. After all you are looking for something that you will put on your face, in full view of the world, possibly every day. If you are concerned that this will mean you have to get by with no foundation until you find the perfect one, just use a tinted moisturiser and make sure you get enough samples to try out so you will always be able to complete your makeup during the hunt.

I know its another long post, but its something I feel strongly about as the wrong colour and type of foundation can completely ruin a look.

Me and My Foundation

My skin - Oily/combination, sensitive, hyper pigmentation (when I get spots/blemishes it scars my skin to a dark colour and the scars remain for many months). Small, occasional blemishes.

Shade Equivalent - MAC NC42-43

My light coverage, daily foundation - MAC Face and Body in C5

My Holy Grail, took months and all of the above steps to find, foundation - NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Syracuse

My Silver medal award winning foundation which was just pipped to the post by NARS - Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in No. 8

My Bronze medal award winning foundation - Smashbox Healthy FX in Medium 3.

Hope that helps!

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Monday, 29 November 2010

Best under £10

Hi my Cherubs!

I know everyone has felt bogged down by the recession, especially those of you in the UK where it all appears to be doom and gloom. But you don't have to feel like you are missing out on your makeup/hair/beauty fixes when there are so many great finds out there for less than a tenner (£10).
Fashionable, Bang on Trend Nail Varnish for £2.95??

All you need to do is go and hit up your local Barry M store for the funkiest, "of the moment" nail colours. Barry M are simply exceeding themselves every time they bring out a new colour. The varnish is such excellent quality too (I'm talking as someone who has splashed cash on Chanel's varnishes and been not too impressed with the formula). Every time I wear a Barry M nail colour I receive compliments. If you can't find Barry M's products, luckily for you they also sell online just click on the link The best part? They cost just £2.95 and regularly do offers of 2 colours for £5.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack Dupe for £3.99

Sleek Make Up sell an ink pot in Dominatrix (love the name!) which is a much cheaper dupe (copy) of MAC's famous Blacktrack Fluidline. The formula is slightly less creamy than MAC but with my little trick of scooping a little on to the back of your hand to warm it up prior to using it and it transforms into the creamiest, inkiest eyeliner you could wish for. Sleek cosmetics are available at Superdrug and carry a great range of makeup for a very reasonable price. And for all you dark skinned ladies out there, the range was initially created for dark skintones so their colour selection of facial products is excellent!

Drugstore Contour Kit for £5.99

Contouring your face is a great way to mimic high cheekbones, a slimmer face or even a smaller nose with just makeup. For makeup newbies, practise in contouring is definately key to perfecting the art of contouring, and the last thing you want to do is to splash out on some expensive contouring kit (which are generally hard to find anyway). The answer? Sleek Makeup have created a gorgeous little kit that comes in 3 shades - light, medium and dark that retails for just £5.99! It also contains a fairly handy little explanatory guide to contouring. It consists of a finely milled matte bronze shade and a shimmery peachy/creamy colour for highlight. If this just sounds like somthing you may be interested, keep a look out for my contouring and highlighting tutorial.

Eldora False Lashes

Although MAC false lashes are under £10 (I believe they retail at £8 a pair), even with the best of care, they can only be used a few times. Luckily for you, I am going to let you all into a little secret known as Eldora Lashes. They are an online company specialising in false lashes. They have over 200 pairs of lashes from the most natural wispiest lashes, to full on Carnival lashes! Prices generally range around £2-£3 and they deliver to the UK - Bargain!

Trim your own hair?? Seriously..

I was recently admiring my beautiful friend's perfectly formed long fringe and she promptly told me she had cut it herself! She is not a hairdresser by the way, she had just found the greatest little tool from Boots known as a razor comb and had been using that to get her fringe exactly as she wanted it and also to neaten up feathered layers framing her face. This little beauty is only £4.95 and can save you on a couple of trips to the hairdresser for sure! You basically hold the front sections of your hair taut and angle the comb down the hair and it precisely feathers away your hair. Now please my Cherubs, do not attempt this unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing and do not underestimate the sharpness of this comb!
Lather and Exfoliate in One Swift (and cheap) Move

You may recall me harping on about the gorgeous products at LUSH, and particularly the Sugar Babe body scrub. I do love it and it is holding up surprisingly well considering it melts rapidly under hot water, however, I have discovered another little gem while out doing my grocery shopping at Sainsburys. The Active Naturals Mango and Avocado Exfoliating Soap is a sweet, fruity smelling soap, with bumpy, massaging nodules on the underside and scrubby, natural exfoliating grains within the soap itself. As it is a solid soap it does not melt away under the water as many scrubs do and due to its size and shape, aswell as those handy little nodules, you can get maximum scrubbage power! With this product, you can save not only money as it costs just £1.28, but also time and space as you basically get a scrub and a cleanser in one. Lovely! Apparently it comes in a couple of different flavours - coconut and lime anyone? YUM!

Under Eye Concealer for under a Fiver

I have no recollection of buying this concealer but I am sure it was back in the days before I really got interested in makeup, in which case I probably put no thought into it except that it probably looked like it would do the job. In my utter ignorance, I hit the jackpot! This concealer is wonderful! It is light and moisturising and although they only make this in two shades (Ivory and Soft Beige), the Soft Beige is very close to NC42, perhaps a shade lighter and therefore works perfectly for me on my NC42 skin. I have a real problem with the skin under my eyes which are very sensitive and dry, however, this stuff works really well as a lightweight concealer with great coverage yet is kind to my skin. I apply this using my MAC 224 brush in very light circular motions.

Extra, Extra, Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover for around £3 a litre..

Talking of the under the eye area, did you know that the skin under the eye contains almost no sweat glands and therefore produces almost no natural oils? Hence why this are can be prone to wrinkles, dryness and itching. I have learnt the hard way to treat this area of skin very gently, having spent years removing eye makeup using vigorous rubbing, harsh makeup remover wipes and alcohol based makeup remover until the skin is now dry and irritable : (

I now use the best oil based eye makeup remover in the world, it is made of pure, natural and organic products only, you can find it anywhere and it costs around £3 for a LITRE bottle - have you guessed what it is yet?? OLIVE OIL! No, not the expensive green tinted extra virgin, but the cheaper, lighter, virgin or just pure olive oil. In one swipe it removes waterproof eye makeup, it does not irritate the skin and as an added bonus it conditions your eyelashes. Just put a teeny amount on a cotton ball and very gently swipe away the makeup. Simply rinse afterwards with warm water and Bob's your uncle!

Have you discovered any fabulous credit crunch bargains?

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

CopyCat - Rihanna Bright Pink Lip and Winged EyeLiner

I LOVE Rihanna's makeup, she always looks edgy, funky and bang on trend with her makeup and style. I particularly love her signature winged eyeliner and bright lip, and decided to do a version of her look. For the record, I know I don't look anything like Rihanna - this is just my interpretation of her makeup. I am taking inspiration from this picture below:


If you want some more information on how to recreate this look, feel free to drop me a comment or send me a tweet!

Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel
NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Syracuse
Benefit Erase Paste in No. 3
MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW35
MAC Peaches Blush
MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow as highlight
Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light


Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked palette - Naked (lid), Buck (crease), Virgin and Naked mixed (browbone highlight)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Whiskey on lower lashline and upper lashline smudged
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero on the waterline
Bourjois Liner Feutre in black (felt tip liner)
L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara


Rimmel Lipliner in Eastend Snob
GOSH Intens Lip Colour in 304 (intense fuchsia pink colour)

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Technical Issues

Hi my Cherubs!

I would just like to apologise for not posting recently. The reason for this is simply that there are some technical issues with Blogger and I am unable to post any pictures at all! I am so annoyed and frustrated and am doing everything I can to resolve the issues.

Please bear with me and just to let you know I have a TONNE of posts in draft so please dont go anywhere just stay tuned and I will keep you updated!

Thanks for your patience and support!

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Monday, 22 November 2010

Lanvin for H and M Goes On Sale Tomorrow!!

Hey my Cherubs!

Lanvin, France's oldest couture house has collaborated with H and M to create one of the year's most hotly anticipated collection. I LOVE how H and M keep upping their game with these awesome couture collaborations. I unfortunately missed out on the Jimmy Choo for H and M collection last year, but I will be setting my alarm for 6:45am tomorrow to see if I can snap up a gorgeous cocktail dress, ribbon tied heels, or leopard print shoulder bag.

Check out the collection here and either log in at 7am tomorrow to shop online or go camp out at your nearest H and M!

Good luck guys!

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Sunday, 21 November 2010

TTIL (Ten Things I Love) Nov '10

1. Kiehl’s Lip Balm

This stuff is AMAZING!! I have converted so many of my friends to this lipbalm. Yes it is expensive but boy is it worth it! If you suffer from dry lips, this is the stuff for you. It hydrates like craaaaazzzzy, protects, has SPF AND plumps up my lips. Its available from House of Fraser and Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and its around £9 a tube I think. It lasts a really long time as you only need a tiny bit – its my HG (Holy Grail) lipbalm – Buy it!!
2. Jo Malone Fragrances

Its kind of silly but I always used to feel so jealous of people who had a signature scent. I have searched for years to find THE ONE. My expectations were a tad high, I admit - I wanted something sweet but not sickly, clean and fresh but not too citrusy or reminiscent of handwash, something which I could wear on long car journeys and not get car sickness from the smell, something that was strong enough to linger on me and my clothes hours after wearing it but not so strong that I suffocated other passengers when using public transport, something so unique that no one I knew wore it so that it would definitely be MY signature scent, and finally something I would NEVER get bored of. AND THEN it happened! I found it! Jo Malone’s Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne is the perfect match. If you are not familiar with Jo Malone’s fragrances please go check them out. They are just so unique and are all designed to be layered with other scents. Plus they make matching lotions, hand creams and candles! *LOVE*
3. Over the Knee Boots
I know, I know.. these can come across a little Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but stick a flat or chunky/wedge heel on them, create them in soft slightly worn good quality suede and wear them in the daytime with leggings/skinny jeans and a warm fluffy jumper, scarf and gloves and they are the perfect way of “sexing up” otherwise chunky, layered winter clothing. I own a gorgeous tan flat pair by Office, which have really come in handy for the last two winters.

4. ELF HD Powder
If you love makeup and are on a budget, check out Their Studio line brushes, primers and makeup organisers are legendary and the best part? Prices generally range between £1 and £6! Their HD powder in the Studio line has been featured in the press heavily as it is a perfect silicone based, translucent powder which magically gives you that movie star, soft-focus effect. Seriously, its like someone waved a magic wand over your face ta daaaa!!!!
5. Cape Coats
I know Shearling is big this winter, thanks to Burberry, and yes I do own a black Shearling-esque full length coat from Mango, but it is my limited edition Italian wool cape that I got a couple years back that I love wearing the most. Cape coats are just so in fashion at the moment, but more importantly they are really classy and surprisingly warm. You can literally throw a cape coat over the most lumpy, bumpy, slouchy woollen sensible clothing and it will transform you into a fashionista. Cinch it in with a belt and you get even more kudos.. from me at least. Zara has a gorgeous cape coat for just £99.

6. L’Oreal Mascaras

You may have guessed already but I am a HUGE fan of L’Oreal mascaras – my HG mascara is the Voluminous Carbon Black mascara for thick lashes. For long spidery lashes check out their Telescopic lash also in carbon black and both are now available in a waterproof formula.

7. ELF Makeup Brush Holder

This is definitely on my Christmas wishlist. It is a pretty simple object – just a rectangular box with 3 compartments for holding makeup brushes. But there is something about the sleek, matte black exterior and the eyes lips face logo.. plus I am a bit of a sucker for organizers of any kind. Its available at ELF for just £12 for the larger size.

8. Thicker, Natural Looking Eyebrows

Yes this is a slightly odd one. The thicker and more natural eyebrow is more in fashion, but more importantly, it means less time, effort, money and pain on your chosen method of eyebrow grooming AND thicker eyebrows make you look younger, apparently. I get my eyebrows threaded and found that as time went on my eyebrows got thinner and thinner and actually lower down my forehead! I have for the past 4 weeks been trying to re-grow my eyebrows and slightly re-shape them to get a better arch and a more natural look. I’m not quite there yet but already like the idea of thicker eyebrows on me.
I just had to post a picture of one of my favourite artists of all time, and a woman who was proud of her natural beauty: Frida Kahlo

9. Finger-Less Gloves
I have had a thing for finger-less, arm warmer gloves for a few years now. Hobo –chic right?? LOL! I have built up a fair collection now and the most recent addition are a purple woollen pair from H&M. I just love the way you can still use a touch phone while keeping the majority of your hands nice and toasty!

10. Revlon Mauve It Over Matte Lipstick

Revlon lipsticks have to be my favourite drugstore lippies. In fact, I will go as far as to say that their matte formula is BETTER than MAC’s matte finish lipsticks! Smooth, highly pigmented, creamy and, more importantly, non-drying. My only issue with their lipsticks is that they don’t have enough colour choices. My go-to colour has to be Mauve It Over – the most attractive medium dark nude-pink with mauve undertones. Perfection.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Smokey Eye Series No. 1 - Classic Black Smokey Eye Tutorial

This is going to be the first in a multiple part series featuring the most sought after eyeshadow makeup - the smokey eye.

Technically, a true smokey eye is a dark shadow all over the lid and blended out to create blurry or smokey edges. However, nowadays, the term smokey eye applies also to the technique of using darker shadows to the outer edges - upper and lower - of the eye. I am going to be showcasing tutorials of various different "smokey" eyes, starting with a classic black smokey eye.

I would never presume to tell you to go out and buy the same tools, makeup and shades that I am using, its important to take away the techniques more than anything. HOWEVER there is one item which is fairly important to getting a good smokey technique - a good quality fluffy, dome shaped natural bristle blending brush. Ideally, the MAC 217 brush is fantastic. I believe its around £14 and yes I know its pricey, but if you can save up for it it will make SUCH a difference - trust me on this!

On to the tutorial -

I am already wearing a primer, foundation, concealer and powder. I have filled my eyebrows but yes I admit they look AWFUL! This is because I am trying to grow my eyebrows out so please ignore the ugly brows! LOL! Make sure you also prime your eyelids (see my primer post for more information), I used Urban Decay's Primer Potion all over the eyelid and along the lower lashline in an even thin layer.

Place a small piece of sellotape on to the back of your hand, peel off  (this is to remove excess glue from the tape) and then stick the tape in a straight line diagonally out following the slant of your lower lashline like so.

Using a creamy, chubby eyepencil in black - I love Barry M's Super Soft Eye Pencil in black - smudge this from the upper lash line all over the lid but make sure you stop UNDERNEATH the crease. (If you don't know what I mean by the crease, look straight into the mirror and slowly close your eyelid and open again and look out for where the first fold in the skin of your eyelid is - that is your crease.) You don't have to be neat at all just don't go too far up or too far in - you want to leave a little space near your tearduct.

Next, using a flat shader brush - I am using my Stila No 15 brush, even out the black eye pencil and again make sure you go just up to but not beyond the crease.

Using the same brush, take a highly pigmented, black eyeshadow. I have found that most drustore black eyeshadows are just not black enough. MAC's carbon is fantastic, or in my case I am using the Coastal Scents 88 Palette black eyeshadow, another good one is Stila Makalu. Tap off the excess and PAT DONT SWEEP!  the eyeshadow over the black eyeliner. Again, dont go too far up or too far in to the tearduct.

Next take your fluffy dome shaped blending brush with NO eyeshadow on it and sweep back and forth over the top edge of the eyeshadow to blend out the edges.

Using that same blending brush, take a medium brown matte eyeshadow that is a shade or two darker than your skintone - I am using Buck from the Urban Decay Naked Palette and using the same sweeping motion, blend it half over and half above the same top edge of black eyeshadow, until the two colours blend seamlessly. Do NOT go up to the browbone! If there is one thing I hate it is coloured eyeshadow on the browbone - erm '80s much??

Finally, take a cream colour matte shadow which is a shade or two lighter than your skintone with a clean fluffy flat shader brush. I am using Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Bone and a No. 7 eyeshadow brush. Tap and pull the shadow down from the skin on the browbone to meet and blend into the other shadow.

Using a pencil eyeshadow brush - I am using the other end of the Stila brush - take a shimmery champagne neutral eyeshadow (Virgin from the UD Naked Palette) and place it into the tearduct area and blend into the black shadow slightly. This will really open up the eyes as using so much black can make your eyes appear closer together.

Thats the shadow done! Remove the sellotape to reveal a nice clean line.

Now all you need to do is take a black kohl pencil which has good staying power - I am using MAC's Technakohl in Graphblack and line your waterline (the inner part of your lower lid) and your tightline (the upper inner part of your upper lid).

Also line your lower lashline with the kohl and smudge using a Q-Tip. Set the cream product using more of the black eyeshadow gently patting into the kohl - you can even use the Q-Tip to do this if you want. Join up the shadow from the lower lashline to the upper lashline.

Now all you need to do is to curl your lashes and apply a tonne of mascara! This is because the black shadows can make your eyelashes disappear, so you need to get them looking extra long. If possible, I would advocate using some false lashes. I am using Primark lashes cut in half. Eyes DONE!!

As your eyes are quite matte, I would try to get the rest of the face a little dewy and natural looking. Using a cream blusher in a peachy shade (I am using Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Rude) and either your fingers or a stippling brush, pat and swirl the blush into the apples of the cheeks and back towards your hairline. Then for a little extra lift, pat a pearlescent cream (I am using MAC's Strobe Cream) onto the tops of your cheekbones above the blusher.

Now for the lips, as the eyes are super dramatic, you want to go really natural on the lips. Using a neutral lipliner - I am using MAC's Stripdown liner, line your lips. Then take a peachy shade - I am using MAC's Freckletone lipstick and pat onto the lips. Top off with a creamy nude gloss - I am using NYX Georgia Peach Lip Laquer lightly over the top.

All done!! It seems like a lot of steps, but actually it is fairly simple and more importantly it is fool proof! It is difficult to go wrong with this smokey eye.

Please guys, try this out and let me know how it goes. If you have any issues or problems, please let me know and I will be happy to help!

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

P.s. I know the pictures are still coming out grainy and the colours washed out by the flash, we are working on this and really hope to improve in the next few FOTDs/Tutorials - bear with us!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Collective Haul: MAC, Illamasqua, LUSH and Primark Beauty

Hello my little Cherubs!

Firstly I just want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who are following my blog! I really appreciate your support and your comments are all so positive, keep them coming!

So I finally got around to spending some of my birthday vouchers and wanted to share my mini, collective haul with you all :

1. MAC Bite of An Apple Blush

MAC Bite of an Apple Blush from the Venomous Villains Collection. This is a Disney Villains themed collection which came out in early October this year, there was so much hype about this particular collection and I believe most items are now sold out. Specifically, this blush was sold out almost immediately and are now selling for double the price on Ebay. It is a beautiful corally pink matte finish blush and is suitable for many skintones. I LOVE this blush because it is just so unique. I haven't seen anything similar by MAC and also I think the packaging is so cute too. I can wear this with so many looks as it gives anything from a beautiful, natural looking flush up to a deeper tint depending on the application.

Here is a swatch on my skin which for reference is MAC foundation shade NC42-43:

2. Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Rude

I have recently discovered Illamasqua products and have to say I am obsessed with their colour range, intensity and pigmentation and their packaging and marketing is super impressive too! Their blushes have  been getting rave reviews and I can totally see why as the powder blushes are so buttery smooth and the colours are so pigmented and intense which means all colours show up on all skin tones. The cream blushes too have fantastic staying power and the most famous is Rude. This is again in the peachy coral family of colours, but a much more true peach shade. It goes on smooth and gives the perfect dewy, natural finish to the skin. I can imagine turning to this little beauty on a daily basis. I can't wait to purchase some other items from Illamasqua.

3. MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown

MAC Stripdown lipliner is an old favourite. If you want a completely neutral shade of lipliner then this is it. You can actually use this lipliner with ANY colour of lipstick as it mutes out your own lipcolour, however it is particularly beautiful with paler colours, especially if, like me, you have dark, pigmented lips.

4. MAC A Tartan Tale Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Line

MAC A Tartan Tale Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Line is an eyeliner from another limited edition collection by MAC "A Tartan Tale". These are so smooth and creamy yet dry to a completely smudge proof finish! The perfect formula! This is a black eyeliner with the most beautiful khaki-gold shimmer to it. Again, it is just so unique and I can imagine using it on the lower lashline or even possibly all over the lid for a really intense smokey look. There are still lots left so if you are interested go and check the pearlglides out. They of course have other beautiful colours too.  Sorry the swatch is blurry but its the only picture we took where you can make out the green-gold shimmer!

5. MAC A Tartan Tale Dazzleglass Creme in Gone Romancin'

Another item from A Tartan Tale collection. Again this is a limited edition formula lipgloss. It is a Dazzleglass Creme - a combo of the glittery dazzleglass formula and the pigmented cremesheen formula (cremesheen is part of the permanent collection). The gloss I chose from the collection is called Gone Romancin'! It is pink with lilac undertones and lilac shimmer which is very subtle. The gloss actually shows up really well and coverage is excellent. I have worn this over MAC Please Me lipstick and came out a really pretty pink colour. It is also quite cool toned so would look fantastic with a dramatic smokey eye.

6.Primark Very Fluttering Glamour Lashes

I also have recently been checking out Primark's beauty and cosmetic range. Most products are really not that great quality at all, but boy have I been surprised by their lashes! These are so long and wispy but still quite natural looking. The band is really thin and therefore unnoticeable. Even the glue is fairly decent although I tend to rely on my trusty Duo Adhesive which is frankly, unbeatable. I will do a look soon using these lashes so you can see what I mean. More importantly, the lashes are at £1.50,very good value for money. I highly recommend these.

7. LUSH Sugar Babe Scrub

Finally, LUSH. I ADORE LUSH products! It makes me feel happy just going into that store, it smells fantastic, everything looks so clean and fresh and natural. There are no chemical nasties in any of their products and the packaging is economical yet cute and informative. I needed a really scrubby, body scrub so decided on the Sugar Babe body scrub. It contains sea salt and coconut oil and is scented with ylang flowers and mimosa blossom. I cannot wait to try this out as it just sounds and smells so luxurious. I personally love the smell of coconuts in bath products so that played a big part in my decision to choose this over other body scrubs, I have to resist taking a little bite out of this sweet-smelling treat-like product..yum! HAHA!!  The fact that it is a little half moon cake-shape also made it quite appealing as you can get a firm grip on it to get maximum scrubbage! I have heard that it can melt fairly quickly under hot running water, so to get the most out of it the sales assistant advised me to step out of the running water when scrubbing it and storing it in a little plastic container. Although £2.60 is not a lot of money, if half of it goes down the drain on the first use then it is definately a waste of money. I will keep you updated on how it works out.

Oooooh!! All this guilt-free purchasing has really made me happy and excited to play with all my new goodies!! What lovely things have you bought recently?

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Sunday, 14 November 2010

H&M Nail Varnish Review and NOTD (Nail Of The Day)

Hi my little Cherubs (..ok so I was attempting the whole name your followers thing aka Lady Gaga and her little Monsters.. maybe not so much??) anyhoo I just wanted to talk about my new nail related discovery - H&M Nail Varnishes. H&M have been making nail varnishes for ages now, but I have recently bought a few shades and decided to do a mini review and NOTD.

My three favourite shades are:

1. Dust and Diamonds

This is a dusky, muted taupe colour with no sheen or glitter and I guess the inspiration  has to be the Chanel 505 Particuliere which was released in Spring this year. The muted nude nail shades are still really in season at the moment and I really wanted the Chanel shade when it was sold out, so was glad to see this shade at H&M for a mere £2.99. On to the review:

Colour - did not disappoint and looks almost exactly as it does in the bottle as on the actual nails. It darkened very slightly on drying but overall gave me that taupey nail I was going for.

Application - Fairly thin consistency and the first stroke certainly went on a little streaky, 2 more coats on and I got the creamy coverage I needed.

Longevity - Not great.. at all.. I was a bit gutted as it lasted, (with a Sally Hansen clear topcoat) all of one day before the first chips started appearing!

Overall - 3/5 Angel Wings for this product. That may be a little harsh given that it is a gorgeous colour, good price and of course cute name, but for the same price you can pick up something similar with much better application and longevity from Barry M.

Ok so you are probably asking why I would bother reviewing two more H&M varnishes after writing the above? Answer - Consistency.. or rather the lack of consistency in their formulation as I have found..

2. Summer Coral

This is a mini nail varnish bottle and completely and utterly irresistable at a paltry 99 pence! Stocking Filler ALERT!! I am going completely off season for this as it was THE shade for summer - Corally pink! However, I much prefer girly, pretty colours on my toenails year round - an attempt to feminise a part of my body which I find frankly,odd.. I mean toes?? YUCK! Haha! I would so wear this on my hands in the summer though as it looks killer with a tan.

Colour - Beautiful corally pink.. Again, very little variation when dry.

Application - Unfortunately, sheer, streaky and uneven. Needed 3 coats to get the opacity I required.

Longevity - Pretty much the same as Dust and Diamonds with chipping-galore..

Overall - No prizes for guessing .. a 3/5 Angel Wings for this one. The colour is just too gorgeous, although the application is poor, however, for 99p I can live with it.

3. Envy Me

Envy Me is a truly beautiful emerald green pearlescent sheen varnish.It is really in line with the winter season colours - dark, sultry and ever so Christmassy. Again, such a cute name! And cute price of just £2.99.

Colour - Perfect. Exactly as in the bottle, very vibrant and no different when dry.
Application - Surprise! The first coat was very opaque, not too thin, and no streaks at all. One more coat was all that was needed but as I was concerned about chipping,I went for one more just for good luck and of course a top coat.

Longevity - Surprise Surprise! Lasted a week with very minimal tip wear, 2 weeks and yes it was chipping but nowhere near as much as is normal for me. In fact, it was a bugger to remove this stuff and my natural nails were an unhealthy shade of green for a day after (my fault for not being patient enough to apply a base coat.)

Overall - 5/5 Angel Wings. Would highly recommend this shade although it could look a little kitsch nearer to Christmas (although what would Christmas be without kitsch hey?). Really pleased with the longevity and well worth the price.

It could be that the formulation varies from cream finish to shimmer finish, but either way, for a bargainous price H&M do some really nice colours which are worth checking out.

I, of course, had to choose Envy Me for my NOTD. So here you go (some of you may have also noticed me wearing this in my Sable and Carbon FOTD).. the totally beautiful Envy Me!

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Monday, 8 November 2010

IMATS London 2011 Here I Come..!!

Hi all!

Today I am SUPER excited as I just purchased my ticket to the London IMATS i.e. the International Make Up Artist Trade Show! Now, I am not a makeup artist however the show is open to the public and for those of you who are interested in makeup artistry there are some amazing exhibitors, classes and shows at this world famous two day event. IMATS is held in 4 countries and the Toronto show was this weekend. I have been hearing from some of my fellow beauty bloggers in Canada that it was just fantastic and more importantly they managed to pick up some goodies from the exhibitors too. The London IMATS is held over 2 days (Sat and Sun 29-30 January 2011) and I will be going on just the Saturday, so if you are also attending let me know! If you are interested just check out the info below and if it sounds appealing try to purchase your ticket before December 17th as the prices go up after that date.

Some blurb from the website:

"The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show is the make-up world’s biggest gathering. Thousands of make-up artists, vendors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer. Make-up pros from fashion and film (including Oscar, BAFTA and Saturn award winners) provide education and demonstrations at IMATS, and new products often debut there. "

Here is a link to the official website

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Beginners Guide to Primers

I am so amazed at the number of people who enjoy wearing makeup but who know almost nothing about primers. Taking that extra step and applying primers can make your makeup last longer, look more vibrant, prevent creasing and smudging and provide a smooth, flawless canvas upon which to apply your makeup. Primers allow you to make the most out of your makeup.
The main types of primer are
Foundation primer
Eyeshadow primer
Lip primer
Lash primer
1.       Foundation Primer
Foundation primers are perhaps the most important type of primer for someone like me with oily, uneven skin. There are broadly two categories of primer – brightening primers and smoothing primers.
Brightening primers are better for dry and dull skin and possibly also slightly more mature skin too as it moisturises, brightens and plumps up the skin. These primers can be worn alone or under foundation. Personally, I don’t use brightening primers as my skin is fairly oily, plus I don’t really feel I need the “plumping” effect just yet. I have tried a sample of the Benefit That Gal primer but felt that although it helped my foundation go on smoother, it was no different to using a super moisturising cream. In terms of brightening, I felt I could get the same brightening effect from mixing a small amount of my MAC Strobe Cream into my normal foundation. MAC Strobe Cream is a gorgeous pearlescent cream highlighting product. Similar products are Benefit’s Moon Beam or High Beam or BodyShop’s Glow Enhancer.
If, however, you feel that a proper brightening face primer is for you, check out Benefit’s That Gal primer or Urban Decay’s Complexion Primer Potion. My recommendation is to try samples of primers before investing.. but if I were to choose, I would recommend the Urban Decay primer, I just found that Benefit’s primer did absolutely nothing for my skin.
Smoothing primers contain silicone – so if you are a fan of organic or natural beauty products this is probably not for you. Also, beware that although silicone does not clog pores as such, it can in some cases cause secondary acne if you have particularly problem skin. Again, it’s a case of being sensible and trying things out before buying and of course, not wearing heavy makeup everyday. The silicone, however, is the KEY ingredient in smoothing primers. The silicone basically fills in all the lines, large pores and other uneven patches in your skin to create a smooth base. Additionally, it also mattifies your skin and therefore ensures not only a smooth canvas to apply your foundation, but ensures the foundation really “sticks” to your skin and stays on by preventing natural oils in your skin “melting” the foundation. Personally, this is the primer of choice for me when I am going out for the evening as it just ensures such longevity. The most highly rated primer is by far the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. It constantly receives rave reviews and I have personally tried it and can confirm that I have never used a better primer. I received a sample and at that time was suffering from a really bad breakout of pimples on my forehead, I used the primer then my foundation and my mother (who never notices things like makeup) said she was really amazed at how clear my skin looked. I actually don’t yet own the primer, but I do have the Smashbox targeted pore primer which is also awesome. The photo finish primer is next on my wishlist! In the meantime, to get my much more affordable silicone primer fix, I use something called Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel.. Yes you heard right an anti chafing gel. I got this from Boots and it is basically a gel used to prevent chafing from erm sports and other activities etc! haha!!! It cost less than £6 and is suitable for use on the face.  I just smooth this over my skin, leave it a couple seconds to set and then apply foundation and concealer as normal. Smashbox products are available in Debenhams and are fairly pricey but so worth it. But if your budget just won’t stretch, I urge you to try Lanacane gel. There are many many other silicone based primers out there – if you can get samples beforehand do so.

2. Eyeshadow Primer 
This is also one of the most important primers for me. Don’t you just hate getting those weird crease lines in your eyeshadow a couple of hours into wearing it? Don’t you just hate it when you buy an eyeshadow which looks really vibrant in the pan and looks chalky, dusty and dull on your eyelid? If the answer is yes to both questions you SOOO need an eyeshadow primer! It provides a smooth, crease-free base to apply your eyeshadow to and ensures the colour is much more vibrant even with the cheapest eyeshadows. My ultimate favourite has to be the highly acclaimed Urban Decay Primer Potion. It is around £11-13 I think and available in Boots or Debenhams. I cannot live without it! Another fantastic primer is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance. For a cheaper alternative, try ELF ( mineral eyeshadow primer. For an even more budget option, you don’t even need to go out and buy anything, just smooth a  very thin layer of your concealer over the eyelid up to the browbone, and set by dusting a very small amount of loose powder. The effects are similar, although not as long lasting as the Urban Decay or Too Faced primers. I would honestly say that if you can save up for the Urban Decay primer you will not be disappointed and in terms of value for money, it lasts an absolute age.
I will ALWAYS use a foundation primer and eyeshadow primer when applying a full face of makeup. The difference in how my makeup applies and looks is massive.

3. Lip Primer 
Lip primers kind of do the same thing as silicone foundation primers in that they ensure a smooth canvas for lipstick to stick to and prevent creasing and smudging. Revlon, MAC, Urban Decay and ELF all do lip primers. Laura Mercier’s Lip Silk is a fairly expensive but highly regarded option. A QVC product called Laura Gellar’s lip spackle is another slightly harder to find but excellent option. Also, a cheaper option would be to apply a thin layer of concealer or foundation under your favourite lipstick. Now, I actually do not use a lip primer. The reason for this is that my lips get really dry really quickly and generally lip primers tend to dry out my lips.  Again, I don’t do this due to drying out my lips HOWEVER when wearing a particularly bright or strongly coloured lipstick – I’m talking those bright, blue toned pinks like MAC’s Please Me or the gorgeous 1940’s old Hollywood glamour reds like Revlon’s Really Red, I would take a small amount of concealer on a lip brush and use it to clean up the edges of the lipstick and prevent “bleeding” of the lipstick outside of the lip line.

4. Lash Primer 
This is a clear or white lash coating which makes your lashes appear longer and fuller. Some also contain ingredients to help lash growth over time. Clinique’s Lash Building Primer is really famous for being an excellent primer. Maybelline XXL Intense is a dual ended mascara with a primer on one end and mascara on the other. I have used Bourjois Coup De Theatre which also is a double ended mascara with primer. I loved the dramatic effect but felt it was a little clumpy. I like to have really separated lashes so I just use my favourite mascara which is L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara and then use a clean spool/mascara brush to separate the lashes. I actually (when I can be bothered) use a different mascara for my lower lashes to really grab on to them and pull them out as they can kind of curl under. For that I use MaxFactor Masterpiece and when it runs out I will use L’Oreal Telescopic mascara in Carbon Black. I do have fairly long lashes so just found that worked for me better than using a separate lash primer. However for shorter or thinner lashes I would highly recommend a primer- for a more affordable option try the Bourjois one and then if you think that works you could save up for the Clinique one. Having said that, I am also a fan of false lashes for a special night out or particularly dramatic look. Curling lashes is also another way to get a wide-eyes long lash effect.  So there are a few different options there to achieve thicker and longer looking lashes.

Hope that was helpful, sorry for such a long post but I really wanted to give as much info as possible, particularly as I do more tutorials on this blog, it will be easier to follow if you know what the products are and how to use them.

xoxo Angel5ace xoxo