Seven Deadly Beauty Sins Tag

Here’s something a little bit different- my answers to the Seven Deadly Beauty Sins tag!

1. GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?

I find it best to not to keep too much of a track on what I spend on beauty, but I remember my Dior nail polishes were quite steep. As for least expensive, many of my Barry M polishes were only £2.99, which you can’t argue with- especially as they are brilliant!

2. WRATH: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with? 

I’m going to have to join the crowd here and say liquid eyeliner. When it’s good, it’s brilliant but when’s it’s bad, it’s a disaster. I also hate how, if you do mess up, you can never properly correct it- it’s a case of starting again completely or putting up with wobbly lines all day!

3. GLUTTONY: What brand takes up most of your collection?

Without a doubt Barry M.

4. SLOTH: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?

It’s not really laziness but I rarely bother with concealer because I find that it cakes over blemishes and draws attention to them rather than hiding them. I find foundation applied with a small brush more effective. If someone would invent a concealer that actually conceals they’d be a billionaire!

5. PRIDE: Which product gives you the most confidence?

In an ideal world, I’d never have to leave the house without my Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions foundation. Or mascara (any mascara really). Or pressed powder. Or perfume. You get the idea- I’m not really a ‘less is more’ kinda gal.

6. LUST: What item is at the top of your list?

I’d love to find a perfect ‘signature scent’ but, no matter how much I search, there’s just nothing out there I’ve fallen in love with yet. Plenty of fragrances are alright, but I’m yet to find ‘the one’!

7. ENVY: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?

False eyelashes. On the few occasions when I’ve attempted to wear them I’ve felt, and doubtless looked, like a clown.

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Five Cornerstone Lipsticks For All Eventualities

Today I thought I’d share with you my five ‘go to’ lipsticks; a capsule collection which will see a girl through any season and occasion. I’ve given some general colour guidelines as well as specific examples which I thought fitted the bill perfectly. So let’s begin!

1. The one that goes with everything.

Seems pretty obvious, but an all-purpose lip colour that goes with everything and is appropriate for both work and play  is a must. This one can sit in a handbag innocuously until it’s needed; when its owner is in a rush and has no time to ponder which lipstick to wear, when no other shade quite matches an outfit or when an ‘easy make-up’ look is the order of the day!

My essential ‘everything’ lip colour is Maybelline’s Moisture Extreme Lipstick in ‘Natural Rosewood’. In the photos this shade looks more red/ pink than neutral, but as it’s pretty close to my natural lip colour it works perfectly for me as an all-purpose colour and the formula is every bit as moisturising as it claims. Unfortunately I don’t think this colour is available in stores any more (do correct me if I’m wrong!) But it’s easy to get hold of on Amazon or Ebay for around £4.50.

2. A bright red.

Fact: bright red lipstick can be worn by anyone, the trick is to find the shade that works for you. For me, this is Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in ‘Kiss of Life’. This bright, slightly orange-tinged red is eye-catching but not obnoxious, probably because of the matte finish. It’s only downside is that the formula is a bit on the dry side, so I find it best to use a lip balm before application. It costs around £5.50.

3. A deep red/ burgundy

Like a bright red, only more wearable and arguably more sultry! If you’re feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of a vivid red shade or it’s simply not that kind of day, this can be a subtler, easier option. Wine and berry shades are perfect for the autumn or winter and look ultra glamorous at night but don’t feel restricted to these occasions- deep reds can work just about anywhere if you find the perfect shade. My personal favourite deep red is Barry M’s Ultra Moisturising Lip Paint in Cranberry Red. At £4.49, this lippy is a bargain, although this formula can be a bit dry (despite what it says on the tin,) so I use a lip balm beforehand.

4. Your favourite pink.

Who doesn’t love pink lipstick? There’s a shade to suit all skin tones and occasions, so take some time to find the one that does it for you. My pink weapon of choice is Rimmel’s Moisture Renew Lipstick in Lily Extase. It’s pretty unusual because it’s a strong pink with cool blue undertones, whereas many bright pinks are of the hot variety. It retails at around £6.49 which I think is good value considering how long-lasting the colour is.

5. The special one.

As my mother likes to say, a great lippy is an investment piece- words to live by. I found this holy grail in the form of YSL’s Rouge Volupté Shine in Brun in Secure which is a shiny brown with reddish tones. The texture of this lipstick is dreamy, it feels just like a lip balm and you can play with colour opacity by adding more layers for a dramatic look or fewer for subtler tones. As it’s so shiny, I always use Lipcote or Rimmel’s Lipstick Lock to keep it in place. At £24 this gem does not come cheap but who doesn’t like a little luxury once in a while?

Mermaid’s Cove: Sparkly Eye Neutrals To Suit Every Budget!

A neutral eye palette is an essential component of any makeup bag, but sometimes you just want something a little more jazzy- step in sparkly neutrals! These shades are subtle enough for everyday wear but also have an added shimmer which can really brighten up any outfit. They are perfect if you want a makeup look that will take you from the office to the bar on a friday night (you can simply add a touch more contour or shimmer if you want to vamp it up even more) and they are also the ideal mix of subtle and glam for bridal makeup. Best of all, they suit any skin tone, eye colour and outfit. In brief, you can’t go wrong with neutrals, in fact the only difficulty is knowing which palette to choose, with so many on the market. To help, I’ve compiled a collection of my favourite sparkly neutral palettes, ranging from super-affordable to high-end, and given you the lowdown on each palette. You might use my guide to choose just one, but of course you could even buy all three and mix and match the shades for a unique neutral look! So here are my  favourites…

The Affordable Palette.

Collection 2000 Eyeshadow Palette Smokey Eyes in No. 3, Smokey: £4.19, Superdrug.

This palette is fantastic because it contains no less than nine versatile colours, all but two of which are big on shimmery impact (the remaining two matte shades can be used to tone down your look for daywear). The palette also contains one creme eyeshadow which is great for brightening eyes and adding a highlight. All the colours work perfectly together, so the number of different looks you can create with this one affordable palette is huge. It’s also slim and lightweight, and will even fit in the tiniest of clutches! The tips on the back are useful, especially if you’re a bit of a newby to the smokey eye look, as they guide you to which shades fit best in certain areas of the eyelid. I’d say that for the price, the quality of the shadows is good, and you can increase their staying power by using a good eyeshadow primer (I usually opt for Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.) Overall, this palette is a brilliant bargain: nine wearable colours at less than 47p each- who can argue with that?

The Mid-Range Palette

The Body Shop Shimmer Cube Palette in No. 6, Warm: £16, The Body Shop.

I knew as soon as I saw this palette that it was destined to join the ranks of my makeup stash. To be honest, the funky geometric packaging alone sold it for me, but when I set eyes upon those warm, shimmery copper tones with their equally irresistible names (you try saying no to Honeycomb, Dark Chocolate, Marshmallow and Choc Chip!) I knew that there was no going back. I suppose £16 isn’t cheap for an eyeshadow palette, but you do get a lot for you money, as each tray is much deeper than conventional eyeshadows. As I am pretty fair-skinned, I was a little worried that the colours would be too strong for me, but it turned out they go on very subtly, and can be built up to a more striking effect either by simply brushing more on or, if you’re feeling really bold, applying them with a wet sponge applicator. The best thing about this product is that each colour is supplied in its own individual box which can be removed from the palette, which is great if you only need one or two and are short on packing space. There are also different palettes in the collection, so you could mix and match your favourite colours for the perfect getaway look! In sum, a fabulous little cube of glittery goodness that is both glam and practical!

The High-End Palette

Benefit World Famous Neutrals Sexiest Nudes Ever Eyeshadow Kit- £23.50, Boots.

The third and final (and most expensive) palette that  I have to show you is this show-stopper from Benefit. I do love a bit of Benefit; the packaging is fab, the products are (in my experience, without exception) fantastic and you can always rely on the brand to be at the cutting-edge of makeup innovation. My only beef with the brand its prices. Take this palette, for example- the colours are luscious and both the creams and powders smooth on like a dream, but I can’t help but glance back at my Body Shop palette and think that it gave me a lot more for my money (to be honest, a lot of the time I wonder whether most of my money spent on Benefit goes on packaging which, as lovely as it is, I could easily do without if it drastically reduced the price of the product!) Another problem that I have with this and a lot of Benefit’s packaging is that it is quite bulky and definitely not the type you want to be carrying around all day. That said, I do love the shadows in this palette; you can create a number of day and evening looks with them (guided by the handy leaflet inside the lid), and the powders can be blended seamlessly with the creams, which I found quite surprising, as they are of vastly different consistencies! Overall, a great product if you want to splurge but not the most practical of the three.

I hope this brief guide has helped you navigate the murky waters of eyeshadow shopping, I’d love to hear your comments on my selection, or of any alternative palettes which you think can trump the ones I’ve shown you here. Have fun creating a myriad of shimmery neutral shades!