Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Cheap Treats

For many of us, and definitely for me, August has been a rather long 5 week month and treating myself to expensive new makeup purchases hasn’t exactly been top of my priority list! However, there is no getting away from the fact that a cheeky new lipstick can make a long day at work just a little bit better. I’ve put together a my favourite beauty buys under a tenner for small beauty indulgences that won’t break the bank but will still make you extremely happy.


I do love Sleek makeup, I think that the quality of their products far exceeds their price point (sshhh don’t tell them) and this palette has been a brilliant buy for me. An absolute bargain at £7.99, the shadows have an amazing colour pay-off and are all extremely wearable. I’ve swatched the black, as a solid black is the best indicator of a quality eyeshadow. These palettes also come in many other colour combinations for the more adventurous, but personally I don’t like straying too far from a brown smokey eye. I was seriously considering the Urban Decay Naked palette but to be honest this is a great cheap alternative. Only downside is that the packaging is a bit flimsy but I can overlook that for the price.

Black swatch

I have mentioned this on here before, but I still love it now a few months on so I thought it deserved a second mention. Brilliant quality for the price tag, its brightening, gives good coverage, and never goes dry around the eye area.

This one was a bit of a shocker for me to be honest. I found this simply because I am a little bit obsessed with peach lipstick. Not coral, oh no, but peach, that pale orangey shade which has proved very difficult to find. I had been lusting after Michavel by Kevyn Aucoin, but decided to go on the hunt for a cheaper alternative and I found this little gem for less than a fiver. It has a nice matte finish, good staying power and a great colour payoff.  I do however recommend using quite a bit of lipbalm on first to ensure it doesn’t dry your lips out.

Easy to smudge

This is a really great pencil, even for contact wearers. It’s soft enough to blend and waterproof, and is fairly smudge proof once it sets.  I'm loving brown rather than black at the moment, its a bit softer and great for daytime. 

I’m having a lipgloss revival at the moment, and these ones from Gosh are lovely. It was the only cheaper brand I could find to cater to my matte peach obsession. It does come in lots of other colours too though, don't worry. 

It's sugary AND salty! And if you have been embracing the matte lip trend this season, chances are you need a little bit of exfoliation as matte lipsticks, as I already mentioned, can be drying. Scrub it on and lick (or wipe) it off for smooth and nourished lips.

Seriously, this is the best liquid eyeliner that I have ever come across and a staple in my makeup bag for a few years now. The felt tip applicator is super easy to use, and extremely good for even the subtlest of lines and flicks. What's more, it never runs, and  the colour is a solid true black. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Choosing the Perfect Foundation

Too orange?  Too pale? Makes you break out? Get shiny as soon as you leave the house? These are all the tip of the iceberg of issues many of us have when choosing the right foundation. I have tried so many different bases over the years and been thoroughly disappointed when they don’t live up to my expectations, (which are pretty high, let’s face it) as the bulk of foundations promise perfect, flawless skin.

Here are some things which I find it useful to bear in mind when choosing your foundation. As your base is probably your most expensive item of makeup, the product you choose should be a worthy investment.

1)      There are good ones and bad ones for all budgets.

Whether you buy your foundation from a beauty counter or a drugstore (as the Americans say) it’s important to spend your money on a quality brand. In my personal experience, Sleek Makeup, Bourjois, and Revlon all do great cheap bases. Sleek are amazing for darker skin tones, as their undertones are a true match, Bourjois Healthy Mix is the same product as Chanel Vitalumiere (shhhhh)  and Revlon’s ColourStay range gives great all day coverage.

If you want to spend a bit more money, I love Nars and Estee Lauder’s bases. Dior is also a favourite range of mine, the tones are a bit limited but it photographs extremely well.

2)      Know your skin type

If you have oily skin, it is best to go for an oil free base, to avoid shininess and blocked pores. It is also important to get a base that is silicone free, as silicone can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Drier skin types should go for something with a richer, creamier texture that gives you the hydration and replenishment that you need.

Oily skin might want to gofor powders or gels, whereas cream and liquid foundations tend to be better for dry skins.

3)      What finish do you want?

Here is some beauty industry jargon unscrambled:

·         Sheer –a  light coverage. Unifies uneven skin
·         Full – heavier coverage. Covers all/most imperfections
·         Dewy – a glowing finish where skin has a healthy sheen. Think Millie from MiC
·         Semi matte – skin looks glowing but has less shine and more of a satin finish
·         Matte – skin has little/no sheen and looks shine-free. Think Dita Von Teese

·         Radiant – Light reflective. Probably has a bit of shimmer in to give you a glow. Good for dull skin 

·         BB – Blemish balm. Kind of like a tinted moisturiser with added skin-clearing benefits. Very little coverage
·         CC –Colour corrector. Little to no coverage, but does get rid of dullness and redness

4)      Have a look at the ingredients

I’m always banging on about ingredients but they really are pretty important! If it’s going on your face, it should be doing you good. Do you want your foundation to be water, gel, mousse or oil based? Do you want an SPF? Do you want a bit of silicone for its wrinkle-smoothing, pore-filling properties, or would you rather avoid it because it clogs your pores?

5)      Get the undertone right

It is important to know your own skin tone before you start choosing a base. Ask yourself the following questions:  Is there more pink or more yellow tones in your skin? Is your skin tone even all over or does it vary? Do you want a true match? Or do you want to go slightly warmer in preparation of a holiday? Alternatively, you might want to go paler and then warm your skin back up with bronzer.  Might sound pretty obvious, and my apologies if it does, but these are all necessary thing to think about.

So there you have it, 5 easy steps to help you to choose your foundation next time you have to go makeup shopping. Now you have no excuse to look like this:


Friday, 19 July 2013

Siren Song - Collaboration with Laura Coughlan

Here are some of the final shots from a beautiful editorial shoot I did with the lovely Laura Coughlan a couple of months ago. I have been late uploading them because...the shoot got accepted by Mindgame Magazine, an amazing online mag full of new talent, have a lil look here.

I think the beautiful model Michaela looks like baby Megan Fox!

Fo her makeup look I used Diorskin Forever foundation, one of my all time faves which photographs like a deam. I used lots of Kevyn Aucoin Candelight Highlighting Powder to give he skin an ethereal glow. I used shades of lilac from MAC around the eyes and finished off with a lip colour I made myself by mixing MAC 'Chilli' and 'Rebel'.

Photography: Laura Caughlan
See her work here
Hair: Daniel Taylor
Styling: Allison Hayes
Model: Michaela @ Lenis Model Management

Monday, 24 June 2013

Hedonistic, Passive, Barbarian

My second final shoot for uni this term was based around an exploration of how young people in Britain use subcultures to disguise or reflect their class. I also looked at how mainstream youth culture today has visually become huge mashup of multiple different subcultures. Do we have a rich youth culture or a lack of identity?

Photography here is by the incredibly talented film photographer Katie Silvester (see her work here) and styling by the equally wonderful stylist Gianfranco Colla (see his work here)

Photography: Katie Silvester
Styling: Gianfranco Colla
Model: Lucy @ Premier
MUA/Hair: Me

Monday, 10 June 2013

Monthly Favourites

May and June have been  busy months to say the least, and this I do feel like I have made some major beauty discoveries, having changed a lot of key items in my makeup bag, particularly facial products. All the following I have been using for a month or over, so I can testify to the product working successfully (especially true with the skincare)

L-R: Bioderma, MAC, Estee Lauder, Algenist, Philip B

I gave in and bought two classic and very well reviewed products this month, and both, I can safely say, live up to the hype. If you regularly read beauty blogs and beauty columns, it is near impossible not to have heard of these two! The first is Bioderma Cleanser, which I picked up in Paris when I went in April. This product is available in the UK, but it is very hard to get hold of, so I recommend using Amazon or other online retailers. This is something I use both in my kit and on myself, and has quickly become one of my skincare essentials. It removes every scrap of makeup, is gentle and non-drying (a nice surprise from a water-based cleanser) and has a lovely cooling sensation on the skin. Usually I only use oil/balm cleansers but I love how much cleaner and how refreshed this makes my skin feel.

The other well-loved product which I tried was Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation in shade Ivory Nude. I tried a 10 day free sample from the promotion that they ran and I am completely and totally converted. I love a med-full coverage matte foundation, and Double Wear is the best I have ever tried. It is oil free, but also oil balancing, so it has a lovely non-greasy texture but can be used to balance both oiliness and dryness. It also has a buildable coverage and incredible staying power. I rushed out and bought the full size post pay-day, top marks.

MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder in shade Light 2 is also an absolute necessity to me these days. I got this about 2 months ago, and I would describe this as a powder for people who don’t like powder. It has the most natural finish on the skin (as the name suggests!) gives a light, but buildable coverage. This is the antithesis of a cakey, heavy, fake-looking powder. Perfect on top of moisturiser for no makeup days, and just as perfect to set even heavy foundation in preparation for a night out. You need a brush to apply it, rather than a sponge, which may be a downside to some, but I promise you, it is so worth it.

From oldies to newbies, Algenist’s new Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Gel Moisturiser is a real find. Perfect for summer months, this moisturiser has a light gel texture and is oil free. The Alguronic Acid is repairing, protecting and regenerative to the skin, while Salicylic Acid helps to clear blocked pores. This product is instantly absorbed and boosts radiance, refines the surface of the skin and locks in moisture. I have combination skin and this suits me down to the ground. I use it morning and night, at night over a serum to add a little extra moisture.

The final product that really stood out for me this month was one which I have a minor obsession with, Philip B’s Oud Royal Perfect Finish Shaping Fiber. Yes it has a rather cryptic name, but don’t let that put you off. This is a shaping and styling wax for the hair. Grab a fingerful, get it in the palm of your hands and clap your hands until the product gets gummy and white fibres start to fly in all directions (this part is pretty weird first time you do it) Then work into your hair at the roots to give tonnes of volume and shape, or at the tips to enhance curls. The best thing is that the product disappears almost instantly but leaves your hair weightless. Again, this one is a little tricky to get hold of but I promise you your money and efforts will be worth it.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

LaMode.Im Magazine

A new online fashion magazine called LaMode.Im launched on Monday, and I was lucky enough to write a beauty article on my summer must-haves for them. Here is a link to LaMode.Im Magazine. I'm on page 49 of 55!

Please have a look, there are some lovely illustrations, editorials, and articles in there and I'm sure we can expect great things coming soon. It's always great to get behind new creative talent :)

Rhiannon xx

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Off To The Races

This shoot was one of the finals for my project last term at uni, loosely inspired by Lana Del Rey. I have an obsession with black lips at the moment, and I created this look by using MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, which is actually a gel eyeliner, and a tiny lip brush. Not so practical in the real world but perfect for shoots. If anyone knows of a really good quality matte black lipstick I'd love to know!

Photography and Postproduction: Anup Kumar Pandey (see his work here)
Model: Aymee (Model Mayhem #2987646)
Styling: Own using Bundle Maclaren Millinary
MUA/Hair: Me

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sirenium Scopuli

This shoot was a collaboration with photographer and illustration student Laura Coughlan, who is one extremely lovely and talented lady, view her work here. I think the finished result is absolutely beautiful. We did a second shoot based around the same idea which has just been accepted for Mindgame Magazine, so keep watching this space!

Photography and Postproduction: Laura Coughlan
Assistant: Jade Gellard
Model: Esther May