Wednesday, 29 February 2012

illamasqua s/s 2012: human fundamentalism.

yippee! the new illamasqua website is up (a massive improvement if i do say so) and has given a preview of the new collection too! and from the looks of it, i absolutely adore it - although them using a blue-haired model only makes me miss my dear friend maxine more. finally, the long wait is over!

you're probably thinking that i need to get a hobby. and frankly, i agree with you. i'm just stoked because their collections are truly the only make-up collections i ever get excited about - they're a total feast for the eyes and alex box is a total genius who always brings something new and exciting. the new collection is called 'human fundamentalism' (ooOooOoooo) and is available to pre-order on the site from early march.

review: estée lauder idealist even skintone illuminator.

last week i was flicking through stylist magazine when this advert for estée lauder's even skintone illuminator caught my eye. i admit that i have limited experience with the brand (we fell out once they discontinued my favourite eyebrow pencil) and so i was doubly intrigued by this new product.

it purports to be some kind of super base (BOOMBADABABOOMBADADA BASS... sorry) and promises to even out complexions and minimise the appearance of blemishes, all while illuminating the skin. definitely the sort of product i've been looking for since the dawn of time. i therefore had made up my mind and go and seek it out... that is until...

nails - barry m (peach melba).

... a sample was waiting for me further on in the magazine! woohoo! it was clearly fate. i do wish that more magazines gave more cosmetic samples rather than perfume samples (one sniff and the joy is over) or foundation samples (which won't cater for everyone) to be honest. so, i went home rather chuffed and excited to try it out.

now, i'm going to be mean and give you nightmares but this has to be done: a 'before' photo of my skin without any make-up on. i mean, i personally couldn't care less but i understand that some of you may be easily traumatised - and consider this a disclaimer, because i am not paying for any therapy you may require thereafter. as you have probably gathered, my skin is pore central, with dark circles around my eyes. i have some redness on my cheeks and around my nose, along with some old scars from spots. i also have eyebags large enough to store britain's debt.


my first impressions of the product were good - it looked like a yellowy, tinted lotion, and had a lovely citrus smell. i applied it sparingly at first, and then looked in the mirror. hmm, no change. i then applied some more. once again, no change. i then used up all of the sample, and failed yet again to see any sort of even complexion before me. this irked me somewhat, for sure.

by this point the product felt quite thick on my face, and took a while to absorb into the skin. it does illuminate your skin, but frankly, i fail to see how it wouldn't - because even moisturising can accomplish the same effect. however, i do believe that it would act as a nice base for make-up, as my foundation glided on top and stayed put all day... but that isn't something that my (cheaper) primers are incapable of.


suffice to say, i'm glad that i got the chance to try before i buy, because it really didn't work for me. it costs £46 (OUCH!) and boy, i'm so happy my money didn't go down the drain. sorry estée lauder! in other news, i'm really enjoying brick tones (so oranges, reds, browns, terracottas) as of late because it warms up my face. it's definitely more of a summer look but i'm so wild and crazy and off the rails that i'm wearing it now.

 jumper - river island.

face: estée lauder even skintone illuminator, no 7 essential natural mineral foundation (220 light beige), bourjois healthy mix foundation (2), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, mac studio fix lash (black), mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: bourjois delice de poudre bronzing powder, sleek blush (rose gold), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter powder.
lips: chanel (a mysterious shade from a long time ago - the label has rubbed off).

the shade of this lipstick is killing me. it's from a long time ago (much longer than i'd like to admit) so if you suspect you know the shade name, do let me know! it's definitely discontinued though which is a shame. it's a nice orange terracotta and completely unlike anything out there right now - which is probably testament to how old it is, hence it being out of style! haha.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

topshop haul.

naughty me. i'm sorry, blog - i've been ever so busy. i haven't done a review/purchase post in so long and what a way to bring it back with some gorgeous products from topshop! i tried fighting it but i just can't do it anymore: i just love their products. i recently popped into the flagship store and treated myself to some meadham kirchoff nail wraps (they have vaginas on them, so now my fingers can scissor), a lip pencil in "fearless" and a matte lipstick in "all about me". i've never used nail wraps before, but i'm saving them for a special occasion so i won't be showing them to you just yet (read: i haven't figured out how on earth i put them on, so i am postponing that trouble for another time).

i admit that i am always so pleasantly surprised by topshop's products - more so than their clothes in fact. i mean, this lip pencil's shade is fantastic. i can think of at least four lipsticks i own which would go with it as it is a really standard pink. it's not gimmicky or wacky, which is what i was after. and yes, it's not a revolutionary shade by any means, but i had been looking for a shade like this for so long and nowhere else had it. the lip pencil has decent pigmentation (not like the ones by mac though, which are just crazy) and feels nice on the lips. but then again, it's not as creamy as the ones by no 7... so although i'm in love with the colour selection of lip pencils at topshop and grateful for this pink goodness in my life, in terms of formulation, they're not my all-time favourites. then again, the other brands i've mentioned are slightly more expensive, and if you're on a budget then these really are decent for the price.

sorry for the rubbish swatch.

however, the star of the show (and the reason i ventured into topshop in the first place!) is the lipstick. a topshop make-up artist follows me on twitter and had their latest campaign shot as her profile picture. i asked what lipstick the model was wearing, and made up my mind to buy it. i had never tried topshop lipstick before, and when trying out new lipsticks, going for a matte shade is high-level dangerous business. totally high risk behaviour. it's essentially jumping into the deep end, because matte lipsticks are where so many brands can often get it wrong (so wrong). but step aside, ladies. "all about me" is a loud, attention-grabbing hot pink and definitely lives up to its name. unfortunately it's a blogger's nightmare though, as i can't get a photo which accurately depicts the shade: sometimes it looks red, sometimes purple, sometimes pink! but trust me when i say that this is definitely a hot colour which would suit many complexions.

having worn it for a few days now, i can happily report the following: topshop matte lipsticks are brilliant. intense colour, coupled with staying power and a creamy formulation despite it being matte? AND CHEAP?! absolutely cracking stuff. i always go on and on about how revlon matte lipsticks must be concocted with fairy dust or unicorn hairs or something to make them so magically creamy - but this formulation definitely comes second place (which is still a compliment of the highest order). 

 i find it quite interesting how higher-priced brands still fail to accomplish creamy matte lipsticks though, and wish they'd follow suit. if topshop or revlon got their mitts on my beloved 'ruby woo' and made it creamier, i would definitely be in lipstick nirvana. so yeah, i'm pretty sure that topshop is slowly becoming my top recommendation for make-up if you want to spend less but still get great quality cosmetics.

also that perfect-looking plait on my head? not my real hair. that's right - gettin' wiggy with it. i look so tired.

face: 17 primer, illamasqua skin base foundation (10), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: maybelline gel liner, no 7 lash adapt mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud).
cheeks: topshop (high five).
lips: topshop lip pencil (fearless), topshop lipstick (all about me).

Friday, 17 February 2012

make-up inspired by lana del rey.

can't say i'm a killer lana del rey fan. sure i like some of her music, but i have to be honest and say that i hate the rubbish she comes out with in interviews. when 'video games' came out i was like fjdghhfgdshfgshfgs this is like, SO amazing~ ...but then it just turned into total overkill. interviews everywhere, a vogue cover (gotta love uk vogue for being a massive turd when it comes to covers) and all sorts - and this was way before she even released an album! nevertheless, i saw this cover and really liked the make-up. very simple, no? so here is my take on it. 

i liked the bold cat liner and nude lips - all in all, it looks pretty retro and classic. however, i had to tweak it for a few reasons. firstly, i don't have the products to add that 'sheen' to the liner that is in the cover. if you really want to have that effect, just apply your liner as you normally would and then add mac's 'mixing medium shine' on top. i don't own it because i can't justify it, but it would look awesome. i'm also lacking in white eyeliner (for the waterline), which has mysteriously vanished. also, lana's matte lipstick is also exceptionally pale (it's not far off her own complexion) which would never, ever work for me - so i had to change that too. i am also sorry to say that i also have misplaced my bumblebee.
all of that aside, it's so basic - a really easy look. even if i did somehow end up with a lot of eyeliner on my hands. in lana's cover, the flick is a little longer but as i'm a regular joe, i also toned it down a little. 

face: no 7 lift and luminate day cream, sephora base subliminatrice, bourjois healthy mix foundation (52), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, revlon 8-hour colourstay quad (in the buff), urban decay eyeshadow (virgin), maybelline gel liner, rimmel exaggerate liquid liner, max factor false lash effect mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: illamasqua (lover).
lips: no 7 lip pencil (nude), revlon lipstick (mauve it over).

i'm also realling loving silver nails at the moment. adele rocked the grammys and i loved her nails so much ('jewel' by deborah lippman)! but as the broke ass bitch that i currently am, i gotta make do with what i've got. silver? glitter? even more glitter? oh go on then. a little bit of NASA, a little bit of drag queen, and a little bit of ghetto diva. you just have to love it.

nails - barry m (silver), gosh (silver star), barry m (hologram hexograms).

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

light pink lips.

disaster has struck. my beloved 500gb external hard drive (the only man in my life) has died on me, rendering me a widow. however, unlike most widows, i am refusing to accept that it's over and am trying all sorts to resuscitate it. is that a bit creepy? possibly. i'm really stressing out as my entire life is on it. essaying is also going so-so, but i've scheduled today as my turning point where i actually get a lot done besides that. so basically: please just wish me luck with everything.

as i'm still not really going out or seeing friends anymore, i've been keeping it safe with my make-up. my skin is pretty good right now (touch wood) so i haven't needed to do much any real concealing or use any illuminating products to breathe life into my skin. i think it's the combination of exercise, drinking water and some products i use - because it certainly ain't my diet...!

nails - models own pro (hot salmon).

i now go for a natural look with cat-eye flicks on the ends of my eyes and light pink lips. i only apply liner to the outer corner of my eyes (as it makes them appear bigger), rather than how i usually wear it where i use liner on the entire upper lash line. if i took that line across, it'd be more graphic for sure (perfect if you want to do a 60s take on eye make-up) - but it wouldn't make my eyes look as big.

face: no 7 beautiful skin day cream, 17 primer, bourjois healthy mix foundation (52), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2)maybelline gel liner, revlon 'grow luscious' mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud).
cheeks: topshop (pop).
lips: revlon (pink in the afternoon).

as for the lips (revlon's 'pink in the afternoon'), well, i really like this shade. so much so that i took it upon myself to buy it for a friend too! i think that it would suit a large variety of complexions even if it may seem a bit on the light side, because it's rosy.... and not one of those horrendous milky pinks that barely suit anyone.

i've also been wearing my little poodle around. this was a present for my birthday from a friend, and i absolutely love it - if i'm not mistaken, she purchased it from accessorize. reminds me of paris a little bit. animal accessories are definitely one of my greatest passions in life.

Friday, 10 February 2012

betty blues loungerie and a story about never winning.

aren't i naughty! i won a prize at #zomgbloggersbash (i always feel the need to type that without spaces...) and forgot to blog about it when i said i would! next it'll be heroin and alcoholism.

one thing i really liked about the event was their 'blogger's bingo' - it was a nice way to break the ice with people and with goodies up for grabs, a double perk! now, anyone who knows me (platonically, intimately, biblically) has probably had to deal with my recurring rant about how i never, ever win. i honestly don't win ANYTHING. even if there's 3 prizes, and 4 people, i will still always lose. it really is the bane of my life.

the first (and last) time i won something was three years ago, at a charity art reception where i volunteered to sell raffle tickets. i use the term 'volunteer' very loosely as i apparently have enough charm to make people cough up cash - i sort got made to do it, so to speak. anyway, the night went rather well and i sold £400+ worth of tickets. first prize? two return business-class tickets for flights to hong kong. HONG KONG! closest i've been to hong kong is going to oriental hong kong in north london for noodles. so, after i was done selling to everyone there, i purchased two tickets for myself.

... i came second place. my heart was racing when the prize was being announced. the consolation prize... return flights to paris? barcelona? DUBLIN? but no. i won a bottle of wine, hahaha. i don't even drink wine! so i took it home and made everyone else drink it... deary me...

WITH THAT MENTAL SCAR ASIDE, i was utterly thrilled to win something and have it be something i actually do like! this gorgeous 'marilyn' scarf is by betty blue's loungerie, which is bringing glamour back into loungewear. having checked them out, i actually really love EVERYTHING they stock. i particularly like this fabulous red robe, but unfortunately lack the funds right now. something tells me it would look sweet with my sonia rykiel x h&m slippers, no?

make-up wise,  i went for a sort of marilyn look myself. well, as marilyn as i can get away with (which coincidentally isn't that marilyn at all). okay okay, say marilyn if she woke up one day, having had an identity crisis, and became an olive-skinned, brown-eyed brunette.

please excuse how tired i look.

face: no 7 beautiful skin day cream, sephora base subliminatrice, mac studio fix fluid (nw30), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, urban decay eyeshadows (virgin, naked, hustle), rimmel exaggerate liquid liner (black), maybelline gel liner, eyelure naturalites false lashes (101), revlon 'grow luscious' mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud).
cheeks: mac (fleur power), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter powder.
lips: mac lip pencil (cherry), rockalily lipstick (rockette red).

 as i don't use heated rollers like the ladies in the picture and therefore have nothing fabulous to cover, i figured that i'll just use this scarf the same way i use all my other scarves. i messed around with it for a little while but a) taking pictures of yourself is harder than you think and b) i realised i was late to my international protection of human rights class. dropped the camera, and RAN to the station!

ps - i went to the only way is blogging event. mixed feelings.
pps - i finish level one of my 30 day shred tomorrow. OH HAPPY DAY
ppps - thinking about vlogging, but i'm terrified.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

my favourite shoes.

the great wall of china. the great battles of skyrim. the great wardrobe clear-out of jasmine? well, that's yet to happen. i'm still shifting a LOT of stuff on ebay on an ad hoc basis, but at a pace of 0.01 mph. what's even worse is that i haven't even really moved onto clothes! fortunately though, i have cleaned up my shoes and made a note of what i have and don't have - it's hard keeping track of them, and i imagine this is what it feels like to have lots of children and then lose one.

i thought i'd share my favourite pair with you. i can't remember the season right now but these are my very special prada shoes, and i only ever wear them on special occasions. the flower heels are just so pretty! i imagine that, if i ever complete a london marathon, do a phd, win a nobel prize or marry michel roux jnr (yeah yeah i know, no shame in my game), i'll be wearing these. 

i'd love to see other people's favourite pair. link me and show me if you want.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


i am so stressed, and quite panicky over my workload. so, this is a quick post as to what my current make-up looks like with minimal text unfortunately. i'm re-loving revlon's 'wild orchid' all over again, and really love the way it photographs. it's a beautiful pink.

face: 17 primer, illamasqua skin base (10), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), maybelline gel liner, max factor false lash effect mascara,  mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow and lash gel.
cheeks: illamasqua blush (lover), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter powder.
lips: revlon (wild orchid).

Friday, 3 February 2012


eek, i've been a busy bee - haven't done a fotd post in a while have i? sorry blog. i'm working very hard on my essay (there aren't enough hours in the day, seriously) and casually saved 2,500 words i accidentally deleted from it earlier today. awwwwwwwww yeah. saved myself from my own retardation. maxine is staying round mine this weekend too but will be gone during the days (london edge, dah-ling) so i'm hoping to essay all day whilst she's gone. not to mention my 30 day shred. and then we'll have super hang out time in the evenings, possibly with pizza. sorry jillian.

because of my hectic workload, i've really been liking nude lips. i'm liking this kind of look because it's quite low-key and easy to do; it's a way of looking 'done' in 5 minutes even if you are feeling massively trampy and unglamourous. the only thing that used to put me off nude lips was their capability of looking very, very wrong. for example, i once found a shade lighter than my face, which to my horror, was then recommended to me by a sales assistant. um, okay lady. it would have looked awful! can you imagine?! (actually, i think i'll save you the trouble). you can also sometimes look washed out, or find a shade that's so nude, it's a total waste of money...

face: 17 primer, mac studio fix foundation (nw30), collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (#2), clinique airbrush concealer (03 light), mac mineralize skinfinish (medium plus).
eyes: urban decay primer potion, urban decay eyeshadow (naked), revlon 8-hour colourstay quad (in the buff, second colour), rimmel exaggerate liquid liner (black), no 7 amazing eyes pencil (brown), benefit 'they're real!' mascara, mac eyebrow pencil (stud), the body shop brow & lash gel.
cheeks: nars multiple (portofino), no 7 vital illuminating highlighter powder.
lips: no 7 lip pencil (nude), mac lipstick (modesty), no 7 high gloss (smile).

sometimes i think that this lipstick, mac's 'modesty', isn't always right for me. today was one of those days so i changed the colour of the base with lip liner all over the lips, and then added gloss with the tiniest tint imaginable just to make it a little less milky and more... pinky. works quite well i think! the end result is like a nude equivalent of one of my all-time favourites, mac's 'see sheer'.

i'm also wearing my hair in my old old style. i'd been curling my hair with wide-barrelled ghd straighteners for ages now and got so bored of it. it would take 5 minutes, whereas this takes 10. i do like me some waves. please excuse the extremely-poor, half-arsed attempt at doing a swooshy hair shot.  

i'm hoping to write 6,000 words from today until sunday. wish me luck!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

30 day shred.

[MY WORD. my last post seems to have been viewed by everyone and their dog! the other day i was rather chuffed at having had 100 daily views (i'm a very simple girl) and yesterday, 330! how exciting. don't think i'll ever top that, haha...]

right. as i'm sure any frequent reader will know, i bitch a lot about my workload a lot. and it really is a lot. so much so that i feel really tense and stressed a lot of the time. so, i thought it would be the perfect time to begin jillian michael's 30 day shred. i really do hope that i stick with it, but as it stands i'm feeling positive. yes, this really is a boring fitness post.

see how ruff and tuff and tanned and tousled she is?

what do i want from it? well, i don't want to be stick thin or anything, and i mean that! i just do not want to be 'skinny fat' anymore - something caused by lots of cardio, lots of carbs, and not enough protein. i look okay so long as i have clothes on, but in a bikini? hell to the NO. i want to be toned and lose a few inches from my waist really. i mean really -  the only thing that's tight on me right now is my forehead. i had a peek at the dvd last night and boy, it's a cracker. favourite lines include: "I WANT TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO DIE", "CAN YOU HANDLE DIS? HEHEHE NO U CANT LOL" AND "IF YOU WANT ABS LIKE THESE YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO WORK FOR IT, GIMME 5 MORE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i've measured absolutely everything (seriously, everything except my eyeballs) and i can't wait to report back in 30 days - hopefully with results! if it is a success then i'd definitely like to keep it afterwards and incorporate it into my usual exercise routine. i have taken before pictures but i'm a little bit nervous so i'll hold onto those until the 30 days are up. ;)

anyway, beauty-wise (gotta have some consistency in this blog!), i've really been loving hot pink and/or fuchsia shades for my nails recently. i just think they're super bright and super fun, and cheer me up when the weather is so grey and miserable outside. these are my top three, covering a range of budgets.

left to right: opi - do you think i'm tex-y?, no 7 - jammy, barry m - shocking pink.
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