Sunday, 10 October 2010

X-Factor Make Up: Dannii Minogue, Week One

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Dannii's look from the first live show was simple and clean, with a dramatic (yet moisturised) red lip adding a pop of colour. Check out the steps below to be able to work the make up yourself.

First, create a sheer, natural looking base by using
No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser and blending Maybelline Cover Stick Concealer over any uneven areas. Lightly fill in brows using the Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo, before opening up the eyes with a dusting of Barry M Dazzle Dust in Gold Iridescent across the entire lid.

Line the upper lash line with an angled brush and Bobbi Brow Long Wear Gel Eye Liner, before applying Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara to the top lashes. Add a touch of rosy Rimmel Mono Blush to the apples of the cheeks and dot and blend Benefit High Beam along the cheekbones and under brows to create a dewy highlight.

To pack a final punch, line and fill in lips with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil. Apply L'Oreal Color Riche Boosting Serum Lipstick in a scene-stealing red, and get ready to show off that pout.

Tong hair, messily pin it back, loosen a few strands and you're ready to go!



Price list:
  • No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser (£11)
  • Maybelline Cover Stick Concealer (£3.99)
  • Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo (£20)
  • Barry M Dazzle Dust in Gold Iridescent (£4.50)
  • Bobbi Brow Long Wear Gel Eye Liner (£15)
  • Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara (£8.99)
  • Rimmel Mono Blush (£3.89)
  • Benefit High Beam (£17.50)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil (£10.50)
  • L'Oreal Color Riche Boosting Serum Lipstick (£8.69)

X-Factor Make Up: Cheryl Cole, Week One

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To offset her black lace and leather outfit, Cheryl wore a soft yet dramatic smokey eye with bronzed cheeks, muted pink glossy lips and a slick ponytail on the opening week of the live shows. Volume was added at the crown to stop the hairstyle looking too harsh and to add a bit of glamour (without the use of glitzy accessories). As ever, Cole's make up artists played up her eyes with lashings of mascara and perfectly placed false lashes, framing them with gently accentuated brows.

To recreate this look, start by using a skin perfecting (non-mattefying) foundation such as Lancôme's Teint Miracle as a base, then set in the T-zone or any areas prone to shine with Revlon's PhotoReady Translucent Finisher. 

Define brows by filling any sparse areas with short, light strokes of eyebrow pencil (such as MaxFactor's eyebrow pencil) and brush through. Blend the shadows from Benefit's Big Beautiful Eyes around the socket (using the lightest shade on the eyelid, the pink just above and a small amount of brown to shade the socket line) and then line the lower lash line with an angled liner brush and the chocolate brown, before smudging and smoking it out with a soft blending brush.

Extend the lower line from the outer corner of the eye to create the bottom edge of a wing shape. On the upper lid, use the same liner brush to create a mirrored line that starts from the middle of the lid. Fill the wing shape with the same brown shadow and blend the edges outwards and towards the temple. Apply fine, medium length false eyelashes (such as Shu Uemura s217s) to the upper lid and allow to dry before adding two coats of MaxFactor False Lash Effect mascara to the top and outer bottom lashes.

Use an large brush to sweep Bourjois Poudre Bronzante over the cheekbones and subtly highlight above using Mac's Iridescent Pressed Powder. Finish with Smashbox's colour adapting O-Gloss on the lips, which will change colour to give you a pink pout that compliments your skin tone.

Straighten hair and pull it back into a ponytail, leaving the top layers free. Backcomb these layers underneath until slightly textured and spray with L'Oreal Elnett hairspray to help hold the volume. Gently brush the top section back over the crown, pin in place at the top of the pony tail and add a final spritz of hairspray to keep it in place.


Pricelist:
  • Lancôme Teint Miracle (£25)
  • Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Powder (£12.99)
  • Max Factor Eyebrow Pencil (£3.99)
  • Benefit's Big Beautiful Eyes Contour Kit (£19.50)
  • Shu Uemura False Eyelashes S217 (£12.50)
  • Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara (£10.99)
  •  Bourjois Poudre Bronzante (£6.99)
  • Iridescent Pressed Powder - Belightful (£17)
  • Smashbox O-Gloss (£20)
  • L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray (£5.89)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Endeavours elsewhere...

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By day, I'm a Wahanderer, contributing my scribbling services to www.wahanda.com as an editorial intern. If you haven't heard of the site, it's basically a wellness and beauty hub that teams up with spa, salon and fitness venues to give consumers massive savings on the latest and greatest treatments. It has the backing of Marie Claire and The Evening Standard amongst others, and you should really check it out (and not just because I'm tied to there; their deals are amazing, honest!).

This isn't a promo post though. It's just a little heads up to let you know that I'm going to stick the odd article from the site (that I've written, obviously) here on Selected Treats. I figured that since I spend most of my day writing about beauty and every now and then I get to test out certain products or services, my musings would fit right in on here (as well as explaining my absense between the hours of 9 'til 7).

Also, I have a ton of nail varnish reviews to get through. Most are my own purchases, but I have a couple of promo samples that were given to me recently which will also get a thorough quality/performance analysis.

I hope to be posting more regularly here ASAP, and I'm also putting plans in place tonight for a regular weekend blog/beauty feature. I'm using tonight as a test run, so fingers crossed all goes well and you'll soon be able to see what I'm cryptically talking about!

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to hit follow to keep up to date with all my posts. It means a lot.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Bourjois Délice de Poudre Illuminatrice: Hero product #2

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Image courtesy of Elle.fr
Early mornings, late nights and stress-filled deadlines are the bane of my skin. I have what the beauty elite like to call a ‘porcelain’ complexion, but thanks to my night owl habits, most days it looks closer to ghostly white. Without a hint of blusher, I look extremely one dimensional and at worst, I just look plain ill.

Injecting life into translucent skin is a battle; on a blank canvas, too heavy a concentration of colour can look like a 70s glitter explosion and something very sheer doesn’t look dewy but clammy, often giving the impression of a deathly pallor.

Bourjois Délice de Poudre Illuminatrice is my knight in shining armour when it comes to highlighting products. A powder rather than a cream, it doesn’t slide off my stuck-in-a-teenage-time-warp skin and delivers just the right amount of golden pink pearlescent shimmer when dusted along cheek and brow bones. The effect is subtle enough that if I’m feeling particularly drained, an additional sweep across my T-zone (where light would naturally hit) and a smudge dotted in the inner corner of my eyes soon brightens up my whole face. Oh, and did I mention it has a delicious, faint vanilla/white chocolate scent when in the packaging? Heavenly.

Much to my horror, I discovered that this product had been discontinued a few months ago and now unopened packages are becoming like… well, gold dust, with just a few rapidly disappearing powders tucked away on eBay and in online stores. I have tried and been disappointed with alternatives, including Bourjois’s replacement product ‘Touche Illuminatrice’, which in my opinion doesn’t match up and falls more within the sheen-filled blusher range on my fair skin. If you have warmer tones in your cheeks, the news is even worse, as I doubt this new product would even show up on your skin at all.

Whatever your colouring, if you’re looking for a bit of a luminescent lift, my advice would be to snap one (or two, or five) of these up whilst you still can (and send it to me).

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Revlon PhotoReady™ Translucent Finisher: Hero product #1

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Photo: copyright Revlon
Confession: I have frustratingly oily skin. At nearly 24, I still suffer from an insufferably shiny T-zone and cheeks, and battle every day to prevent myself looking like a walking, talking waxwork. I also have very pale skin*, and so when, despite my diligent cleansing routine, blemishes rear their ugly heads (pun intended) I have no option but to turn to a base, concealer and a light final fixing powder to help disguise the obvious situation.

In the past, I have found some high street ‘translucent’ powders to be far from translucent. Even when applied to sun-screened but otherwise bare skin during the summer months, they endeavoured to immediately take on an orange hue despite having been dusted on sparingly and evenly.

Revlon’s PhotoReady™ Finisher is itself not perfect, but it scores points with me for not following this ‘tango-tinge’ pattern. I have noticed that if it’s applied with a slightly heavy hand over the remnants of my tan, it can appear a little on the white side, however this effect may not even be noticeable once I have fully returned to my usual pallor and for the moment, can easily be remedied with a similarly gentle sweep of bronzer.

Where PhotoReady™ really impresses is with its general tone evening properties. When I first used the powder (with a small kabuki rather than the provided brush, which seems a little too synthetic to hold the product well), I instantly noticed that it diffused any imperfections and refused to cling to (and highlight) any concealed areas as some other powders do. It mattifies well (although with my skin, blotting is still needed around the nose after a number of hours have passed), does not feel heavy, chalky or suffocating and is velvety-fine. Once applied, there is no real scent to the powder and skin doesn’t seem to be clogged or reacting at all in any way either, which is a relief!

I was slightly worried about the ‘light reflecting’ particles that this product inevitably contains, but they are pretty undetectable (you’ll need to examine your face in a x3 magnification mirror to spot them and even then they do not look particularly glittery) and they mean that rather than dulling your complexion or making your face appear ‘dusty’, this powder leaves you feeling like you simply have a better version of your skin staring back at you.

Overall, PhotoReady™ is the best finishing powder I have used to date. If you have a darker skin tone, it may be best to test whether it blends without noticeably lightening on your skin, and I think it is worth using a better quality brush than the one provided as its quality has certainly been compromised due to packaging space. Otherwise, as a high street buy that packs a pore-perfecting punch, I wholeheartedly recommend it.



*outside of the one or two weeks of fading tan following my return from holiday. I am careful in the sun, but have spent time in the US deserts this summer, so picked up a golden tinge.

Friday, 24 September 2010

These are a few of my favourite things...

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Over the last few days, I have thought long and hard about how to compose an introductory post for this blog.

I drafted several versions, but whichever approach I took, things began to stall after the first few lines. I didn't feel like sharing my life story (and since this blog is about beauty, it wouldn't really be appropriate), I couldn't think of anything groundbreaking or unique to add to the latest beauty industry debates and I haven't really got any exciting news that I can break with a flourish.

Luckily, whilst rifling through my make up bag this morning, I had I brainwave. Health, beauty and wellness is all about making the most of what you've got; working towards feeling as comfortable, happy and confident with your lot as possible. The hunt for potions or practices that can help maintain this contentment is half the fun, and the lessons learnt along the way whilst tracking down your own 'holy grail' products/routines can often prove to be invaluable.

With this in mind (and because it hopefully says a little bit about me), tomorrow I will begin by posting a few of my current favourite skin and hair care products, complete with a quick breakdown of how and why I fell in love with them.

To be continued...
 

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