The 5 Minute Face

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 21 - 2010

Like most ladies, I don’t get a huge amount of time to dedicate to my makeup in the mornings.  I get to spend 10-15 minutes max before I need to get fixed on the day ahead.

I thought I’d share with you my 5 minute face for the mornings when I’m even more pressed for time.  These are the products I reach for time and time again to help me get the most polished look in the shortest time possible.

1. MAC 180 Flat Top Buffer Brush, I think this is a discontinued brush now but I saw it in my local CCO not that long ago.  I use this brush for a full coverage application of mineral foundation, it is densely packed and always gives a beautiful even finish.

2. Bare Minerals Mineral Foundation in Fairly Light.  I’m not hugely brand loyal when it comes to mineral foundation.  I like Bare Escentuals, Elemental Beauty and Cory Cosmetics for a full coverage finish in the least amount of time.  I find all 3 brands offer a well milled product that looks natural whilst still covering well.  I reach for minerals when I’m in a rush because it literally takes me less than 30 seconds to apply a full face of foundation using them.

3. Once my foundation is on I’ll add a touch of liquid highlighter.  I rotate what I’m using, some days I’ll use the NARS Orgasm Illuminator or my Illamasqua Halcyon, at the moment I’m using up my Shu Uemura Base Control in Silver.  I just apply with my fingers and blend.

4. Bourjois Lilas D’or is a blush I reach for when I’m in a hurry because it’s impossible to screw up.  It gives a beautiful pink/peach flush with gold shimmer.  I always keep an old toothbrush with my makeup brushes to give the top a quick sweep as it tends to harden unless in continuous use.

5. Aurifere Blush Brush #150.  This is a new acquisition, but I can already tell I’m gonna reach for this above any of my other blush brushes.  I love the taper and it’s pretty darn soft for goat hair.  A beautiful densely packed brush that places a perfect amount of product just where I want it.  A full review of my recent order should be up tomorrow.

6. Benefit Creaseless Cream in R.S.V.P.  This is a peachy shimmery shade that I sweep over the entire eyelid, right up to and just beyond the socket line.  Again, it’s just a foolproof product that negates the need for eye primer.  Lasts all day and just gives a polished look.

7. Sonia Kashuk Large Eyeshadow Brush.  I bought this before Space NK dropped the SK brushes from their inventory.  I reach for it when I want to sweep colour or blend without the need for too much precision.  It’s a great brush for time-pressed gals.

8. The Body Shop Eye Colour #37 Pink Champagne.  This is a beautiful shimmery shade that’s half pink/half taupe and works well blended through the socket line for subtle shading without looking like an obvious ‘crease colour’.  I reach for this shade often.

9. This is a Paula’s Choice Precision Shadow Brush that I picked up from eBay US a couple of years ago.  It’s a densely packed small crease brush that I use to place shadows precisely but quickly into the socket line before using a fluffier brush to blend the colour out.

10. PURE Kajal Eyeliner in Unforgetable Black.  When PURE started to desert the shelves of Boots, I rushed down to my local to buy a backup.  Whilst I’ll always reach for my GOSH Velvet Touch Eyeliners when I need unwavering longevity, I grab these super-soft kajals for a quick sweep across the upper waterline when I’m in a hurry.  I then press my eyes closed for a couple of seconds to transfer the line to my lower lashline.

11. YSL Singulier Mascara in Black.  It gives me beautiful dark lashes with one coat, and that’s all I’ve got time for!

12. INGLOT Slim Gel Lipstick in #61.  A well pigmented pink/mauve that goes on smoothly and needs no lip liner faffery. (I hereby declare “faffery” a real word).

13. Lanolips Lip Ointment in Rose.  A small amount of this slicked over the centre of my bottom lip and ‘smooshed’  up to the top lip is all I use in the way of gloss at the moment.  It’s non-sticky and beautifully moisturising.  Goes lovely with my INGLOT Slim Gel too!

Have just realised that my number idiocy has struck again…. I’ve labelled #5 twice in the first photo *eye roll*.  Can’t be bothered to change it – so let me quickly mention #5 (the other one).

5. Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist.  I never wear mineral foundation without a quick spritz of this on top.  It eliminates any hint of powdery dryness that minerals can sometimes leave behind.

This was taken at the end of the day with a quick re-application of my lip products for the photo.  Please excuse the frizz and weary look!

What are some of your foolproof 5 minute face products?

Sleek MakeUP Bohemian Palette Matte FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 17 - 2010

A quick (quick? who am I kidding, took me ages!)  FOTD showing off a couple of the matte shades from the new Sleek MakeUP Bohemian Palette:

Marron on the lid and lower lashline
Wafer in the crease
Moto-X on the upper lashline and outer V

gah… hooded lids…

oh well, you can at least see Marron UNDER my eyes right?

Dude, I honestly CAN blend!  The camera has totally washed out wafer which I blended into the socket line to ease the transition between browbone and lid.

I was surprised by how much I’m enjoying playing with some mattes, they’re looking more sophisticated and I feel like they’re blending less ‘muddily’ than shimmer shades.  Am I imagining things oh matte addicts?  I’ve really not worn mattes much before, but I just seem to be creating more polished looks with these than normal (not that you could tell from my photos).

And here’s a brighter EOTD with the Bohemian Palette:

Emperor on the lid
Sanguine in the crease
Moto-X into the socket to darken

Ok, that’s enough badly executed FOTDs from me for at least a year, apologies for any nightmares you may suffer as a result of viewing this post.  Hopefully though, it will help you decide whether or not you’ll be spending your lunchbreak today in Superdrug or Boots 😉

Smoky Blue FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 16 - 2010

I never generally use more than 2 or 3 eyeshadows at once, I know lots of ladies manage to create spectacular looks with 5 or 6 shadows all expertly blended across the eye lid.  But I’m pretty cack-handed and can barely stop 2 from muddying together.  That and I just don’t have the time anymore to play, so here’s a very quick smoky eye…

Please excuse the stupid expression, even though I have no excuse.


~ No7 Essential Moisture Foundation in New Ivory mixed with NARS Orgasm Illuminator


~ eBay Generic Gel Eyeliner used as a cream shadow (Shimmer Skyline) – hard to blend but worth it.
~ Laura Geller Fire/Water Eye Shadow pressed onto lid (water half of the duo)
~ MAC Naval Blue pigment blended (badly) into the crease and above
~ L’oreal Super Liner Carbon Gloss Liquid Liner in Black
~ L’oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black


~ NARS Cruising Lipstick

I can’t get enough of blue eye shadow at the moment, anyone else going through any shadow phases?

Sugarpill Cosmetics Starling & Goldilux FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 6 - 2010

Just a quickie to show-off my lovely new Sugarpill loose eyeshadows (proper review and swatches coming VERY soon!)

Sugarpill Cosmetics in Starling on the lid and lower lashline (dry)
Sugarpill Cosmetics in Goldilux in the crease and inner corner (dry)

NARS blush in Angelika

Lanolips 101 Ointment
OCC Lip Tar in Pageant

For my fellow bloggers, because you asked (lots!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 25 - 2010


My camera is a Canon 30D DSLR.  It’s a bit old now… I’d love to look into upgrading, but can’t really use ‘taking photos of my makeup’ as a justification for purchase *blush*.  I own 3 wonderful lenses, but mostly use my Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 for blog photos.

I shoot in manual mode because it gives me the greatest flexibility.

Photography was my first love and I’ve spent 4 years learning and trying to get a good grasp of the technical side of the hobby.  My ultimate goal was to be confident and never need to rely on P mode again, shooting in manual gives you control of the image, not just the camera.

I’m frequently asked how to take better FOTD photos, and my answer has nothing to do with the camera and everything to do with the lighting.

If you’re outdoors, open shade is lovely.  Beware of trees, dappled sunlight is no good.  One of my absolute favourite places to shoot portraits are in open doorways. Try it.

Stand at the entrance to your garage or open your front door.  You get a lovely amount of soft, directional light.  Flat lighting is fine but light that moulds around your features casting soft shadows and highlights is better!  Try turning slightly and see how the light falls.  I always hold my hand out and just watch how the light falls on it, tilting, angling and moving until I see a sweet spot.  Then I go and stand in it.

If you have to take photos in the evening under artificial light, your biggest obstacle will be avoiding that “rabbit caught in headlights” look caused by the flash on your camera.  Camera flashes are not kind to us ladies, they make shiny patches practically glow and accentuate any flaws whilst simultaneously washing out the great EOTD you’ve just spent the best part of twenty minutes creating.

The problem stems from the fact that the light in your image is coming from a very small physical source.  Your objective is to take that small source (the flash bulb) and make it larger.  This will diffuse the light and decrease the specular highlights and harsh shadows in your photographs.  The easiest way to do this (if your camera allows it) is to angle your flash so that the light first hits a bigger surface (like the ceiling or a white wall/cupboard door) before reflecting back on your face.

See the diagram below:

Can you see the harsh shadows behind the object on the direct flash diagram?

If you don’t have the flexibility of a flash head you can angle, you could try one of the many pop up flash diffuser options available on eBay.  I haven’t personally tried any of them so I can’t recommend anything specific I’m afraid.

Anyway, that’s a very basic lighting 101 for taking self-portraits, I hope it helps all those who have asked in the past.

NARS AW/10 Marc Jacobs Runway Look ‘attempt’

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 21 - 2010

So, you know I kinda fell in love with this slightly ‘dirty’ look from NYFW, I had a go at re-creating it last night.  It’s simple, but too easy to go overboard.  Half the reason the original looks so fab is probably because of Freja Beha’s amazing bone structure anyway.

It’s not BAD bad… but it’s far too heavy (as I knew it would be).

Do you ever attempt to recreate looks from face charts and the like?

Not so Sleek

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 19 - 2010

I was recently sent two products from Sleek Makeup‘s range, focusing on a couple of shades that are suited to this year’s Spring trend.

On the left we have the Dip It in Pastel Green and on the right, an Eye Dust in Livid Lilac.

I’m a beauty addict with eclectic tastes and try not to discriminate based on price or accessibility of products.  So, I approach this review with a fully open mind.  Even when I held the Dip It pot in my fingers, twirling it…. marvelling at how incredibly cheap Sleek had managed to make it look.

The eye dust packaging doesn’t fare much better.  I mean, they’re both obviously plastic, but they’re SO lightweight I’m surprised that they’re not defying the rules of gravity.

Having said that, I ultimately only really care about how it looks if I’m gonna be seen in public with it (shallow soul that I am), how about the actual contents?

How ABOUT those contents…

Well, there they are.  In all their ‘spilled across my new desk cos the sifter fell out when I tapped the bottom of the pot’ glory.  You can only imagine how much I was loving that purple Eye Dust at this point.

When I grumbled about my little dust-spilling incident on Twitter, it turned out that I wasn’t the only one who had nearly ended up with a lapful of Livid Lilac.  Something for Sleek Makeup to investigate perhaps?

Anyway, the colour is pretty… it’s more vivid in the pot than it is swatched, a good thing seeing as it’s called ‘Livid Lilac’ afterall and looks thoroughly ‘Royal Purple’ in the container.

The top swatch shows the Dip It liner in Pastel Green.  It’s an opaque mint, and really does look like a fabulous shade for Spring.  Livid Lilac is far softer once swatched (dry) and slightly metallic.  I was really impressed with the choices for this season’s shades.

Application of the Dip It was a bit tricky.  The wand and narrow tip allowed for a precise sweep across the eye lid, but as I was drawing the line, I found that the applicator dragged at the pigmentation leaving the line of colour less pigmented in the centre than at the edges.  To be fair, nothing that a second coat didn’t remedy.  The liner dried almost instantly without transferring to the hooded part of my eyelids.

I had no issues applying the Eye Dust, it blended smoothly and the colour depth was nicely buildable.

Here’s a FOTD, don’t laugh… the shades are a bit bright for me, but I enjoyed playing!

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ended, 20 minutes later, I looked in the mirror and saw that the eyeliner had begun to flake…

Bits of Dip It kept getting caught in my eyelashes, so I ended up using an eyeshadow brush to work back and forward until I’d dislodged all the flakes.  I wasn’t left with much.

Fast forward to bed-time and my cleansing routine.  I cleansed with my ever faithful cleansing oil and a blob of Cetaphil to finish, towelled my face dry and then shrieked at the mirror when I saw a matching pair of pink-dyed eyelids looking back at me.  I would have photographed them for the comedy value, but it was kinda late and I’m kinda lazy so you’ll just have to use your imagination instead.

On the plus side, it showed that my sense of symmetry has improved.  Those dyed patches were perfect.

Overall, I was disappointed at the quality of the 2 products I was sent by Sleek Makeup which is a shame, because in the past I’ve been mostly impressed (how ’bout them 12 pan palettes eh?).

Sleek Makeup products are available from selected Superdrug stores, the Eye Dusts and Dip Its both retail for £2.99 each.

A purple FOTD with Alice…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 7 - 2010

… I realised I hadn’t shown you the lovely Underland from the Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette.  It’s a beautiful shade although I do wish it were a bit more pigmented… it’s not that it’s NOT pigmented… ‘cos it is.  It’s just not as heavily pigmented as say Alice or Oraculum.  It’s more along the lines of Absolem/Homegrown, that pretty green that was in the BOSII, remember?  Alice swatches are here if you want reminding.

~ Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid – so quick to apply and blend with a lovely finish, but staying power is kinda sucky if you’re at all oily.
~ Illamasqua Blush in Rumour
~ NARS Orgasm Illuminator on the cheekbones

~ Urban Decay Primer Potion
~ Drink Me. Eat Me across the entire lid
~ Underland applied lightly from the inner 1/3  gaining strength towards the outer corner.  Also swept under the lower lashline.
~ Jabberwocky lightly applied along the lashes to line.
~ Rimmel Glam’Eyes Lash Flirt Mascara

~ MAC Speed Dial Cremesheen Lipstick
~ NYX Round Lip Gloss in Whipped to tone down the lippie a touch.

Hope you can’t see my rotten nose crusties *blows nose*… I moisturised and picked at ’em like a demon before attempting a FOTD…. TMI?

NARS Spring 2010 Collection – Swatches & Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 3 - 2010

Whilst in London last week, I had the opportunity to check out the NARS Spring 2010 Collection and hear a little more about it’s inception and application on the runways at New York Fashion Week last year.

It’s the first time I’ve ever analysed a collection like this… and honestly, I feel a little “hell, what do I know about ‘collections’ and ‘runways’ and excuse me while I kick off my Mum’s stilletos and get back in my sandbox”.

If I shrug off those insecurities, I’m left realising that I was handing over my debit card at the NARS counter in Liberty less than 20 minutes after being given this bag of samples… and really, what other qualifications does one need?

Let’s start with the actual collection.  Swatches, thoughts and all.

I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of the Catherine Deneuve-inspired promo shot for the collection…

…it just doesn’t ‘speak’ to me.  Infact, before being invited to sample the collection, I’d dismissed it based on this promo.  With that in mind, things didn’t get off to a good start.

First up are two new lipglosses. Ophelia (£17) (Strawberry Nectar) and Easy Lover (£17) (Sheer Hot Pink).

In the tube, Easy Lover is WOW!  It’s a true hot pink that makes you want to grab at it and play (and I did!).  On the lips, I’m disappointed.  It is so sheer, and whilst sheer lipglosses have many uses, I just feel cheated after seeing how it looks in the tube.  Worn alone, it adds no pigment at all to my lips.

Ophelia is more pleasing, I’m loving this over the top of a nude lipstick.  Again, it’s fairly sheer… but as it promises less in the tube, it doesn’t disappoint me in the same way Easy Lover does.

Swatches of both…

Next up is the single lipstick in the collection: Cruising (£17)

When I first saw Cruising in the tube, I can’t say I was too excited by it.  Infact, I don’t think it particularly registered until I got home and attempted a FOTD with the collection.  You know, I own over 48 lipsticks… and this has jumped straight into my top five.

Nude lipsticks are difficult to get right.  Choosing the correct one for your skintone is an unenviable task, so I’m not gonna start shouting that everyone needs to own this lipstick.  I really want to tell you to go and TRY it though.  It is *so* completely unassuming in the tube, I would have passed this by time and time again.

On my dry lips, It’s truly moisturising, glideing on with ease but crucially it stays on.  It gives my lips enough colour so as not to look dead but keeps the focus on the rest of my face whilst giving an overall polished finish to my makeup.  And that to me is what a true nude lipstick should do.  I love this, perhaps too much.

Bains Douches Glitter Pencil (£18.50), the eyeliner in the collection named after the legendary Parisien nightclub is a vivid matte blue infused with silver glitter.  Thankfully, the glitter particles are not particularly chunky and don’t irritate my eyes.  I’m not sensitive to eye irritation though, so you may want to give this a miss if you think it could cause problems for you.  Not only that, but I do have to point out… My God it’s expensive!

I adore the colour, but my first thoughts were that it sits oddly with the rest of the collection.  Until I tried it on the lower lashline with the Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo on my lids.  POP!  I’m very pleased to add this to my collection… it will see me right through ’till Winter and the sparkle is subtle enough to wear during the day.  I’ve surprised myself liking this so much and I’ll attempt an EOTD with this soon.  It applies beautifully, without need for ‘warming up’ and the glitter gives a lovely wide-awake look when applied along my lower lashline.

Camargue (£23) is a cream eyeshadow duo described as a Golden Moss/Sienna pairing.  It’s a slightly muddy looking combination, but I think it would be amazing on warm medium skintones.

As with all NARS Cream Shadows that I’ve tried, this really needs setting with powder if your lids are at all oily or you’ll be picking it out of your crease in a matter of minutes.  The NARS MUA I was talking to in Liberty recommended the golden half of the Alhambra Duo (which I bought) over the top of the Sienna half of Camargue.  He was right – it’s a beautiful pairing.

Camargue swatches, they look particularly warm against my cool skin tone:

Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo (£23) is one of the more talked about pieces in the collection:

It’s a beautifully pigmented combination of Rose Gold / Boysenberry.  Yeah, I’m not really sure what a Boysenberry is either… Google Images was my friend.

In the pan, I thought it would be a touch too warm for me, but it works.

The only thing I’d be wary of is that the right hand side of the duo contains enough red to give you that “I’ve been crying for 7hrs” look.  If you usually struggle with these shades, I’d steer clear.  Thankfully, I look neither suicidal nor ill wearing this duo and the right hand side is amazing applied wet as a liner.


Purple Rain (£13).  I’ve been hugely excited about this polish ever since I saw nail swatches on Scrangie’s blog.  I tried, but failed miserably at capturing how it truly looks in the bottle… the polish is practically dancing in there.  I can’t wait to do a NOTD with it.

The final item in the collection is D. Gorgeous (£16), a dusty lilac single eyeshadow.  Here’s a stock image:

D. Gorgeous (love the name!) is a matte shadow which got a lot of love at New York Fashion Week, especially applied under the lower lashline.  Uneducated pleb that I am, I keep looking at the images thinking… “Tsk, that makes her look like SO tired”.  I didn’t have this in my goody bag so can’t offer an alternative (more educated) view!

So, that’s my run-down of what NARS has to offer us this Spring.

The single thing that strikes me is that I’m favouring the pieces that on first look, didn’t draw me in.  The slightly brown-looking lipstick, a bright blue eyeliner and an “I’ve been sobbing” eyeshadow duo… whoulda thunk it.  Not me.

If you’re not sure the NARS Spring 2010 collection is for you, go have a play.  It’s left me pleasantly surprised.

I’ll leave you with a FOTD:


~ NARS Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo on the lidand blended underneath the lashline.
~ NARS Camargue Cream Duo blended up above the crease (washed out in this image sadly)


~ NARS Crazed Blush
~ NARS Orgasm Illuminator (applied over blush, bridge of nose, cupids bow) – review coming later today!


~ NARS Cruising Lipstick
~ NARS Ophelia Lip Gloss

All items from this collection are available at NARS counters nationwide and online.

What say you? Is anything from the NARS Spring 2010 Collection capturing your attention?

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette – Evening Look FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 29 - 2010

Earlier in the week, I posted a Day Look with the new Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette.

Here’s my “Evening Look” to complete the set.

Apologies for the graininess in the shadows of the image, it looks like I have the beginning of a green-tinged beard.  My flash kept crapping out on me ‘cos I was too lazy to find a new set of rechargeables, so it was pretty underexposed and then lightened when I edited it.  And that’s never a good combo.

Anyway – crap photography excused…

All shades blended like a dream.

Can you see spot any great evening combos in the palette?

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette – Day Look FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 28 - 2010

I’ve never claimed to be particularly artful in my makeup application… my ‘skillz’ leave a lot to be desired, but I won’t feel like I’ve “done Alice to death” until I’ve posted a day and an evening look using the palette.

It’s also a little more intimidating now I appear to have picked up a fresh swathe of followers along the way – Hello! *waves*…  I promise it looked slightly more blended in real life than it does in the picture.

This was…

It’s a bit Autumnal but I liked it!

Have you spotted any great daytime combinations you’re itching to try out?

FOTD – Dior Holiday 2009

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 9 - 2009

Help, get me a Nanny!

My beautiful little girl was up at 5am this morning, team lark all the way.  I am exhausted, I have 5 million Christmas Cards to write and post, 7000 presents to purchase, approx 3000 posts to write and instead I’m playing with my Dior Holiday 2009 Collection.  At least I have my priorities straight right?


Thanks to the fact that it’s now DARK in England all the freakin’ time (who shifted Europe 500 miles closer to the North Pole without telling anyone) I have to rely on my flash gun more than I’d like.  Which makes for crappier, starker pictures and washes out the makeup a bit.

Also, thanks to my hooded eyelids… you can only actually see the eyeliner… *whistles and wonders why she bothered*

~ Lips are BarryM Lip Paint in Lavender
~ Cheeks are The Body Shop Trio in Cool Dusk
~ Eyelashes are Rimmel Sexy Curves & Mavala Double Lash I reckon

Gonna attempt a better photo of the eyeshadow quint/liner… this is rubbish for seeing what they actually look like!


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