Thursday, 16 September 2010


So today I attended a 'make up masterclass' in the salubrious surroundings of Liberty, which is my favourite shop of all time. You can find me there at least once a week...actually last week in fact, at Vogues fashion night out where I witnessed the most useless dj ever. It's always a bugbear to watch someone you know is getting paid hundreds on exceptionally expensive equipment who can't even press play particularly well, but thinks dancing around in 'clothes' with 'hair' is just as good. Argh!

Ahem. Anyways, I decided to take part in this masterclass that had been sold to me as a chance to experience one of the top make up artists from NARS doing a virtual one on one class teaching me to create a personalised 'best' look for my features, face shape etc etc. It was a £50 deposit which was redeemable against purchases made on the day, which seemed an okay kind of deal, so I was rather excited about the whole shebang!

Sadly, the class wasn't quite what it was sold as. I turned up and was seated in a beautiful room with eleven other women and six make up artists and a rather stunning array of champagne (which I couldn't drink because of antibiotics) and cupcakes and sandwiches. That was a good a start as any. I got even more excited as I was positioned in front of the below item.

The item above is not available to buy from stores, even the make up artists were gasping over it as it's a very expensive bit of kit that only the artists can purchase, and most hadn't got that much spare cash yet! As you can see, it contains some of the best single and double eyeshadows. Nightclubbing, Night Flight, Lulu, China Blue, there's pandora in there, and the famous Laguna bronzer. It's a veritable FEAST of products to play with!

Anyways, when I glanced towards the 'top NARS make up artist', it turned out to be a man that had served me on the counter of Prescriptives in House of Fraser only seven months ago, and he was rude, moody and abrasive the entire time, as I was having a custom blend made, which I was certain was the wrong colour and texture. I remember I informed him, but he shrugged and said 'take it home and return it if its wrong'. Of course, the counter had disappeared the next week as Prescriptives had shut their counters down. Thanks! So he can't have been long with NARS frankly, and I didn't feel particularly enamoured by this fact.

Then onto the lesson, we were provided with endless bigging up of the NARS products, which was fine, I expected that, and we were told to apply primer, and a pore refiner, which did seem to work beautifully. Then we were told to apply either the Sheer Matte or Sheer Glow foundation (me in Mont Blanc) with our fingers to the center part of our faces and blend outwards, as they don't believe in foundation brushes as the higher coverage covers the 'natural beauty of your skin'. I did my best, and was then handed the Duo Concealer to cover any blemishes/red areas. I ended up feeling rather cakey and scrappy looking. The artists fussed around trying to fix me, but I have to admit, I need a brush, the foundation didn't cover enough for me to just 'press' it in, and the concealer didn't conceal the redness sadly. Then I was told to apply loose powder with a cotton pad and press it in, then dust the loose with the sparse and extremely soft powder brush. So far so....okay-ish.

The next techniques, one of which I really did find interesting, was the use of the Multiples in Malibu and Copacabana. I had always wondered how you used them at all, and for this, they used Malibu directly under the cheekbones, and blended upwards, and then the lighter Copacabana was applied on the cheekbone and the browbone and blended. It created some great dimensions and contouring of the face. Then we were instructed to bronze our faces in a number three motion, from brow bone to under the cheekbone to the jawline in Laguna.

Then it was time for the eyes, all we were told was to take a light base colour to apply all over. Then a darker colour, of which I chose Nightclubbing, a dense dark bronze with a black base and gold pearl. They instructed us to apply it to the socket line, then to blend it with a slightly lighter shadow to take the harsh edge. It wasn't particularly rocket science. Then we were told to use some eyeliner, with a flat lining brush and then some pretty lacklustre mascara.

Last of all I used a beautiful lipgloss in the shade Babe

I did love the shade, as it's virtually the same as my current insane shade of orange hair. However, when I left I realised I'd learnt virtually nothing, and now had to spend £50 on products, which is pretty easy in NARS, but I'd already had a splurge two weeks back so I felt I had to rather than waste the money on nothing.

One wonderful thing that did happen was that one of the make up artists took me to the side and asked whether I was in fact a make up artist there to thieve techniques. She thought I had good skills! I'm such a loser, but it made me happy certainly!

So, in summary. If you know NOTHING about make up, then I would heartily recommend this class, but if you're more au fait with the tools you need to use, and how to do a smoky eye (very basic one at that) and how to contour a cheek, you'll find yourself a little frustrated. However, I have been told that there will be a class themed with the 'Night' eyeshadows, which i'm a huge fan of, so I may consider that if I need to buy some NARS items anyway.

However, to cheer me up I did buy some wonderful stuff from the Topshop Unique A/W 2010 that dropped this week. I LIKE SHORT SHORTS!!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010



Bonjour! It's been a little while, and i'm sure no bugger is reading this, but if by some chance someone is, I've been very busy with my job with the dramas of clubland. It's making my desire to change careers into cosmetics stronger by the day, trust me.

Anyways, I am a huge fan of Space NK, and fortunately, or unfortunately for my bank account, I have recently discovered I actually have one within a mile of my house. Jubilation! Having seen many of the beautiful promotional shots for the new limited edition NARS collections, I decided to pop in and pick up a few bits i'd been obsessing over. First up


So, without a doubt this is THE BEST blusher I have ever ever used. The colour payoff is exceptional, the colour is the perfect flattering shade that can be used to compliment my pale skintone, and with a slightly heavier hand is perfect to contour when you don't want to use a bronzer or need to give yourself a slight bit of colour. It goes on smooth, it has zero sparkle, which I love, but it doesn't leave you looking powdery. I honestly cannot find ONE fault with this product. I also have the fortunate news that although this particular version is limited edition, as it has some lazer etching within the product, there will be a permanent version without the etching. It'll probably retail for the same price £19.50, which I agree is pretty excessive for a blush, but in reality, you get what you pay for with Nars, and I'd probably buy five cheaper ones trying to find this level of product satisfaction. The other Nars blush I own is Orgasm, and that is another HG blush of mine. Nars are bloody brilliant.


Well, what can I say, the colour is absolutely beautiful isn't it? Sadly this product has taken a bit of a beating on the blogs. Why? Well, if you swatch this directly onto unprimed skin, it's a bit like chalk, but drier. It will be patchy with virtually no colour payoff. However, slick a bit of NARS primer onto your lids and swirl your brush a couple of times, and the colour is one of the most intense, electric purples I have ever seen minus the shimmer. It's stunning and I would say it's pretty much exactly what you see in the pan, but on your skin, lighting up your face like christmas! You HAVE to use primer though, if you don't, you'll end up with a patchy dry mess and end up throwing it at the wall. This colour gives you a trillion possibilities, and teamed with a simple, sharp, black graphic eyeliner, it looks positively amazing. I implore you to buy this if you happen upon it. You won't regret it!


sorry for the disparity in photo size, i'm still having trouble with formatting

So this is the last of my reviews for today/night (it's six am, and I feel near death from lack of sleep). Coconut Grove is one of the best brown eyeshadows I have come across. For years my go to for a brown smoky eye has been Espresso by Bobbi Brown, but it is extremely dry and chalky, and although the colour payoff is intense, my one (admittedly four years old) comes out patchy unless you blend till your wrist hurts. This is a slightly odd tone, it's cold, not intensely dark, but builds very strongly and stays on without creasing. I would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to try the new catwalk trends of the deep brown contoured eyes. The matte texture of the shadow is great to mix with a very dewy skin and the previously mentioned Douceur blush.

There's not much more to say about it other than it's pretty much an essential for the fall/winter season, especially with the wonderful sheepskin leathers and beige and camel tones flooding the high streets at the moment. Highly recommended!

Friday, 30 July 2010

The Search For My Holy Grail Foundation Pt Deux: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation Shade: 71

Hello poppers!

So I thought I'd do a review of a 'drugstore' foundation. I don't know why I refer to them as's a foundation you can get in a normal cheap-ish high street shop such as Superdrug, but thats what its referred to in american blogs, so i'm following suit. And why not?

So here is my review for Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, in the palest shade - 71.

"16 hours perfectly glowing perfection and toned skin"

Swatch of shade 71 - a very pale yellow

Shade 71 blended

This is foundation that I use as a daily go to item. For years I refused to believe anything you could buy from Superdrug could possibly perform any goodness on my skin, but how wrong I was! This foundation is G R E A T. Seriously! It's less than a tenner, and it covers all redness (apart from a tiny bit on my ruddy cheeks) yet lets my freckles shine through. You can layer it for more coverage if needed, and it really does LAST! It doesn't seem to clog pores, and although it isn't infallible, its pretty damn impressive for a foundation that gives you such a beautiful, healthy, non greasy glow to your skin whilst covering your open pores and evening your complexion out into a nice, smooth, healthy looking base for you to apply your make up on. I don't use this to DJ, as my experience is if you're going to sweat BUCKETS, this will melt off, but what do you expect, it's a dewy foundation that works on oily skin, but it's not made of genius juice from heaven, which it would have to be to stay on skin as slick heavy as mine.

So it's a MASSIVE thumbs up from me for this foundation. I highly recommend both dry, and oily skinned ladies to give this a go. It really is fabulous for the price.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Search For My Holy Grail Foundation Pt Une: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk: Shade 2

Hello, this is my first review! I'm rather nervous, but i'm rolling with it. If only one person reads this then....i'll probably be upset actually, but i'm a valiant being, i'll cope. Anyways. On with the facts.

I own A LOT of foundations. Around the 30 plus mark, and my oily combination skin with redness and a tendency to sweat buckets when I get slightly warm means I need a foundation that is industrial in its brilliance. Well, this may be the first foundation that comes near to being perfect for me. Read on my friends!

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in Shade 2

Swatch of shade 2

Shade 2 blended. Looks rather yellow but my hands are quite red in general (please note my Petit Bateau/Kitsune Maison tee in the background, I love it!)

First up. As i've mentioned before, I am pale as they come. I've had make up artists so frustrated they've ended up trying to match foundation to my freckles as the shades available were nearer in colour to them than my actual skin tone. Giorgio Armani thankfully have a huge range of shades, with Shade 2 being the palest in this formulation (Face Fabric comes in shade 1, and it deathly pale, but also a rotten formula for oily skin sadly). They have a pinkish tone and a yellow tone for pale ladies too. This is the product write up (taken from

"Capture the glow of perfect skin with Luminous silk foundation, an oil-free fluid with exclusive Micro-fil™ technology. So weightless, it redefines foundation. Its hydrating fluid glides on seamlessly with a silky texture and all-day, buildable coverage (from sheer to medium). All skin types."

Well, for once, this product pretty much does what it says on the tin. I wouldn't say it makes you glow in a 'dewy' fashion, it kills every bit of shine on your skin, without being overly drying or falling into fine lines. You can build coverage, but in all honesty, you don't need to. My skin can be raging red, but one coat of this, applied with the wonderful Giorgio Armani Beauty Blender Brush basically kills all my redness, evens my skin tone, gives my face a dimensional quality without looking like an oil slick, and lasts the distance. It does need reapplying around my nose area after a few hours, but every single foundation on earth needs that for my evil nose of oily misery. If I have a couple of blemishes, I can pop a little concealer on and I look absolutely flawless. By five am after a night of work, my foundation has worn slightly, but mostly, my face is intact, and thats something I value greatly when the lights come up!

Another huge plus, is you can add more to this foundation during the night, and it will not cake or flake. I don't get that horrid scaly muck around my nose where the foundation has collected. No, this stuff is smooth, like a criminal. I have to say though, Sheer is NOT a word I'd associate with this coverage. My skin and sheer don't get on unless i'm having a particularly good skin day. This is medium to full for certain, and almost comparable to Estee Lauder double wear in its uneven skin tone covering abilities.

The only way this foundation could be better would to have a more neutral shade available for pale ladies.

I hope you enjoyed my first review. Next up, Nars Sheer Matte Foundation in Mont Blanc.

Monday, 26 July 2010

You Are Welcome

Hello campers!

So I just thought i'd welcome any lost souls that come across my blog with a first post to explain what this blog is and who I am. So yes, hello, I am El, and i'm a make up addict. I wanted to start this as I spend such a ridiculous amount of time and money trying to find the perfect products (i'm like the Heston Blumenthal of the cosmetic world minus the bone marrow in a bap) and thought I'd find a use for all the information I have to help you, hopefully.

I am not beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, I am average looking, I have oily skin, large pores, and am as pale as paper with uneven skin tone and a tendency to break out and go red in a very unforgiving fashion. So many beauty blogs I see are written by beautiful girls with perfect skin who don't actually need make up to make them feel able to leave the house with dignity intact. I need make up. Very much so.

The other side to me is that I am also a full time DJ and club promoter in london. My world is basically ruled by the world of electro/indie etc and i'm fully immersed in it. This is hopefully going to be a nice distraction from that. Also, with my make up, it needs to be good as my job is hot, sweaty, grimy and I am up all night. Therefore you can trust my reviews if they say the product does the trick, because my road tests are tough going.

So yes. Welcome to my regular rambles on products. First up is going to be my most recent foundation purchase - Giorgio Armani - Luminous Silk in shade 2.