29 September 2010

Face of the Day - Attempt at recreating Estee Lauder ad

I was struck by an Estee Lauder advert in a recent magazine, and decided to have a go at creating the look myself.

Although the make up looks a little mature, or perhaps even a little 90s (that lip screams MAC Spice to me!) something about it really appealed to me - perhaps more to do with the perfect features of the model.

Sorry about the crinkled page..!

Anyway here's my effort - excuse the black maribou but was going to make this a new picture for my blog and twitter and wanted something glamourous!

I'm sure I'm setting myself up for some derision by attempting to emulate a supermodel but I promise you it's about trying to emulate the make up and not trying to make myself look like Hillary Rhoda. That would take a time-travel capsule and an excellent plastic surgeon.

Products used (ironically none by Estee Lauder, as I don't own any!):

Diorskin Nude Foundation 023
Benefit Georgia powder (all over face)
Lancome Star Bronzer (contouring - clearly a lot more bronzer / fake tan needed as well!)
Dior eyebrow pencil (I didn't attempt to replicate the brow shape - not too keen on that!)
Clinique touch tint in (all over lid and browbone)
MAC Shroom eyeshadow (all over lid and browbone)
Lancome eyeshadow in Vent de Sable (outer corners of eye)
Paula Dorf Eye Colour Glimmer in Sea Cruz (to line upper lids)
Lancome Blush Subtil in Highlighting Beige (inner corner of eye)
Illamasqua Vow eye pencil (inner rims)
Model Co mascara in Brown (outer lashes)
Shiseido accentuating colour stick in Glistening Flush (bridge of nose and cupids bow)
Nivea lip balm
Dior lip pencil in Linen
Korres Guava lip butter (centre of lips)

This is a lot more make up than I would normally wear (and I almost NEVER wear lipliner!) but I liked the quite polished result. Can't help but feel it was a little ageing though.

Do you ever try and copy the make up from beauty ads? What are some of your favourite beauty campaigns at the moment? Personally I've loved everything YSL have done for the past few seasons, may do a separate post on that. Also loving the Ralph Lauren ads at the moment, which feature incredibly groomed, fresh and natural looking models.

Amina x

24 September 2010

Dior Addict lipstick - Beige Negligee and Coral Lace

I purchased these two lipsticks in the summer on a whim, when I was going through a peach phase. I already have one Addict lipstick, in Pinstripe plum, which was the first review on my blog a while back. I found that quite difficult to work with, basically as it is a very deep, dark colour, which requires more careful application of some of the lighter peaches and pinks. Overall though I adore these lipsticks.

Beige Negligee (l) and Coral Lace

Coral Lace (top) and Beige Negligee

The consistency of the Addict lipsticks is heavenly. They are soft, creamy, moisturising and have a really luxe feel. They gives a lovely soft and plump finish to the lips, as if you've applied a clear balm over the top. Lasting power is decent.

Coral Lace is definitely my favourite of the two. The colour I would describe as a dark peach, or a muted coral. It's kind of retro, yet something about this shade feels quite contemporary.

I like Beige Negligee too, but find myself reaching for it much less than Coral Lace. Beige Negligee has quite a lot of shimmer (it's verging into frost territory) and I'd say more pink in it than Coral Lace. This for me is a lovely summer lipstick, but doesn't feel quite right now we're heading into colder months.


You can see great swatches of most of the Addict range over at Karla Sugar (there are 3 sets of swatches, the link is to the first set only).

22 September 2010

Nars Douceur blush

My lovely friends at work bought me Nars Douceur blush for my birthday recently, after hearing me banging out about it for long enough I expect! I don't normally fall into new product hype / obsession - guess this is what happens if you are immersed in the world of beauty blogging and twittering for long enough! - but this is I think an obsession-worthy blush.

It's not an easy colour to describe - my boyfriend's opinion was that it looks terracotta. I see where he's coming from as it has kind of a baked, clayish look about it - I think I'm going to opt for baked rosy brick! I definitely see pink, as opposed to orange, tones, and I think I would also class this as a warm blush.

This is quite a matt blush but perhaps a little chalkier than some other Nars blushes - as such application is not quite so soft and smooth as my beloved Amour (blogged about here) or Mata Hari. I don't find it quite as easy to apply as these blushes either, and it may be my imagination but I don't think it's quite as long lasting. When I tried to swatch this on my wrist, I couldn't get it to show up without swatching quite heavily - nor could I capture it on film easily without layering it on a bit - so perhaps not quite as pigmented as some Nars blushes and perhaps not a great one for darker ladies.

Douceur heavily swatched on wrist

However my criticism ends there.This gives a pretty, flushed look to my skin - almost sun-baked, but could also pass for windswept (albeit a desert wind!). In fact I think I'm going to call it "windbaked" (I hereby trademark that term!). The only blush I own that gives a similar effect to this is Laura Mercier Face Tint in Filtered Brown. Although the Laura Mercier blush is darker and more brick-coloured than Douceur, the effect is quite similar, if that makes sense.

Douceur applied

So, I'm liking this blush so far. I think it could become a staple this winter... and time will tell if it reaches elusive HG status! I haven't experimented with it too much as yet, so if anyone owns this and would like to suggest any eye-lip combos that work particularly well, I'd appreciate your suggestions. I'm thinking it will look nice over my Becca cream blush in Turkish Rose, and also that it will look nice with a smoky eye and medium pink lip.

And for those who haven't yet read it elsewhere (or don't speak French), Douceur means 'sweetness' in French.

Have you been tempted by Douceur?

13 September 2010

Neil George Indian Gooseberry Hair Treatment Oil - LOVE!

I received a sample of this when I placed an order at Beauty Expert recently.  Previously I wasn't too sure about the idea of using oil on my fine hair, however last time I had my hair cut at Eleven in London, my colourist Jason used Moroccan oil on my hair before blow drying it which resulted in a beautifully silky finish, so I thought I'd give this one a go too.

I applied the Gooseberry oil after washing and conditioning my hair using my usual Kiehl's Sunflower shampoo and Aussie 3 minute miracle conditioner, whilst my hair was still soaking wet. The first thing I noticed was the smell - divine! It's sweet and faintly tropical - in fact I'd love a perfume scented like this, albeit only in the summer.

You're meant to smooth the oil on to the lengths of hair but avoiding the roots. Rather than towel drying I then clipped my hair up and let it dry that way as I wanted to see what the effects of the oil were without any interference.

In the morning, I was astounded at the softness of my hair, the curl definition, and lack of frizz. I'd been worried that the oil would weigh my hair down and leave it limp, but it was exactly the opposite. It was bouncy and healthy looking.

hair morning after application - trust me this is a good hair day for me!

I tried it again a few nights later and the results were slightly different, but this time I put my hair in a towel afterwards instead of letting it dry naturally. I think due to the towel, the curls weren't quite so defined the next day but my hair was still gorgeously glossy, silky and shiny. I felt like my hair colour had been enhanced too - my 9 week old highlights seemed revitalised. I decided to straighten my hair a bit with my GHDs, and they also seemed to work much more effectively than usual, plus my hair definitely looked silkier and again the colour enhanced.

I actually took this pic for a post on MAC paint pots but you can just about see the hair

According to the Neil George website it is thought the benefits of Indian Gooseberry include "promoting healthier hair, stimulating hair growth, nourishing and moisturizing the hair and scalp, supporting and strengthening hair follicles resulting in less thinning of the hair, maintaining youthful and lustrous hair color, and preventing premature graying." 

Even if these claims can't easily be substantiated, I'm not exaggerating to say that this is just about the ONLY product I've ever tried that has done anything positive for my curly hair, and I love the fact that it will also work when I straighten. I also think this will be a gorgeous thing to take on holiday to smooth into sun or sea damaged tresses as well. It's expensive, but I will certainly be investing, especially as I've now squeezed just about every last drop out of my sample.

£34 for 118ml at Beauty Expert.

12 September 2010

More beauty happenings at Liberty

Along with the news about Margaret Dabbs' Sole Spa opening in Liberty a few more exciting beauty snippets which may be of interest to London-based bloggers.

Liberty is repeating it's ultimate beauty gift this year. When you spend £90 or more on beauty products you receive 10 must-have products worth £100, plus a Liberty-print cosmetic bag to store them all in! The set includes Shu Uemura lashes, Ren Moroccan Rose body wash and a Le Metier de Beaute lipgloss which looks like a gorgeous deep red shade. I didn't manage to get my hands on one of the beauty gifts last year but I'm thinking this is the perfect excuse to start Christmas shopping a bit early.

The ultimate beauty gift runs from 16 September to 3 October and only while stocks last.

There are also a few other events at various beauty counters in Liberty at the moment, including complimentary express facials at REN, lash application at Shu, gifts with purchase at Korres and deluxe samples with skin consultations at Kiehl's.

Margaret Dabbs foot spa launching at Liberty

Flicking through a Liberty magazine that arrived with this month's copy of Vogue I was interested to read that renowned podiatrist Margaret Dabbs is opening a new foot clinic, Sole Spa, at Liberty in London.

For those who don't know, Margaret Dabbs is behind the original 'medi pedi'; a pedicure in which any problems with the feet such as calluses, corns etc are treated along with the usually buffing and general beautifying (as I understand actual polishing is not included in these pedicures, but this can be done separately at Margaret's clinic in west London, along with regular pedicures).

I've lost count of the amount of times I've seen beauty editors, glossy magazines and, more importantly, my fellow beauty bloggers raving about the medi pedi and have been meaning to try it myself for some time. I am taking part in the Great North Run next weekend and I'm thinking that after that will be the perfect time to lavish some attention on my tootsies (fingers, or should that be toes crossed that my toenails will not have turned black and fallen off by then - apparently very common among distance runners!).

The Sole Spa will include a 'halo therapy room' (whatever that is), medi pedis using oxygen therapy, and even reflexology. The Spa will also include an aquatic therapy space where you can partake in the famous fish pedicure.

Another reason to spend time in Liberty, as if we needed one!

Opens November 2010.

5 September 2010

Rimmel Lycra Pro nail polish - Coral Romance (317)

Pleasantly surprised by this budget polish - this is one of the most vibrant red-coral shades I've seen in a long time.

The consistency was great and it went on easily - however I only applied two coats and as you can see it really would have taken three to get complete opacity. It lasted quite well before chipping - well, about a day or so, which is quite good in my book! The fat brush made application quite easy too.

This is kind of similar to Revlon's Red Hot Tamale which I reviewed here, though the Revlon formula is far superior, and I must confess the make up snob in me has an irrational dislike of cheap nail polish however decent it may be or how nice the colour. For me make up is about luxury, pampering and things that look pretty on my dressing table, so I have to admit that 'drugstore' make up doesn't usually cut the mustard!

However if anyone who is less of a make up snob than me is looking for a vibrant coral, you'd be hard pushed to find a better budget buy than this!