Lessons in Beauty

I’m currently convinced that by the time I’m 30 or maybe 35 max, I’ll have awesome fashion, make-up and hair down pat. At the moment, I’m learning new things everyday; currently, that involves make-up. My new job at The Body Shop is teaching me lots of things I never knew before. For example, today I got over my fear of bronzer.

How I looked the first time I used bronzer. Personally I find this too much bronzer to look naturally tanned. It doesn't help that it appears patchy in some places.

Originally I had never tried it because I have never felt the need to be more tanned considering I’m naturally blessed with olive skin. It didn’t help my case that the one time I tried bronzer, it was applied by someone else and they applied way to much of it; so much so that I looked like I had a bad fake face tan and when I accidentally scratched my face during the day, I left a huge white line running down my cheek.

This is about the amount of bronzer I used today. Just enough to give a healthy glow without looking obvious.

Today, however, I walked past a mirror and to my horror, looked pale for the first time in quite a while. So I figured, it can’t hurt to give bronzer another shot. I put the smallest amount on my powder brush and applied it along my jaw line and gently across my forehead and cheeks, like I’ve seen done in the past. It wasn’t much but it was enough to stop me looking like a vampire and it gave me a nice glow. Clearly, the secret is to make sure you don’t apply too much to avoid looking like you belong on Jersey Shore.

The Body Shop baked bronzers

Eyeshadow: I’ve always been fairly straight-forward with my shadow; 2 colours max, usually some form of brown or browny-purple, light on the inside half and dark on the outside half of the eyelid. Like my original fear of red lipstick, I think my fear of OTT eyeshadow stems from my early dancing days when they would apply copious amounts of blue eyeshadow on you.

A simple brown eyeshadow look

I’m now using 2-3 different colours and have started playing with different techniques. Once I’ve got a system down pat I will share it, for now however I recommend using dark colours on the outside bottom corner of the lid, a pale cream/white on the inside bottom corner and a medium tone the rest of the lid. Or you can use a dark colour from the lash-line to the middle of the lid and a pale colour to the crease of the eyelid – one of the more foolproof ways of applying eyeshadow.

Try darker colours closer to the lash-line and a lighter colour around the crease area

For those also scared of eyeshadow, start by playing with different shades of brown and once you’ve worked out an effective system for applying it start dabbling into shades such as blue, black and purple. Check out the below image for some inspiration!

Eye-spiration

If you’re working with dark colours I suggest folding a tissue in half and placing it under the bottom eyelashes towards the outside corner. This will give you a straight line to follow and will help prevent colour falling onto your cheek which can sometimes be rather hard to remove.

Latest make-up purchase: Napoleon Perdis prismatic eye quad 5

Other make-up lessons I’ve learnt:

Don’t be afraid to mix and match brands, your look will benefit from it – trust me. Don’t freak out and think “maybe their foundation is meant to be worn with their powder”. Yes, it may suit the foundation well, however, it may not be what suits you best. For example, I’ve been using Clinique for ages now. City Block, Perfectly Real Makeup, Almost Mineral Powder, Line Smoothing Concealer, and Anti-blemish Solutions Clearing Concealer.

After joining The Body Shop and trying out their concealers, I’ve decided that the Flawless Concealer is just as good as the Line Smoothing Concealer – if not a better colour match. I understand that the yellow colour of the Clinique concealer is to hide the dark circles and help get rid of any redness; but there are days when I just want to wear tinted moisturiser and still need concealer to hide my genetic dark circles. On these days as well as days when I only put on a small amount of powder, it’s more than likely I will wear my Body Shop concealer so that my under-eye area doesn’t look so yellow.

I’ve also discovered the Body Shop Concealer Pencil. Easy to apply and a great colour match, it’s good for hiding unwanted freckles etc. The downside is that it has no blemish fighting ingredients in it like the Anti-Blemish Solutions concealer does; however, it doesn’t cake. Basically, they each have a similar amount of benefits and downsides and it’s simply a matter of mixing and matching which I’d prefer at the time. More likely than not, Clinique will be used for everyday concealing of blemishes, and Body Shop will be used for when I’m heading out somewhere nice and need a smoother concealer.

Powder-wise, the Clinique Almost Mineral Powder gives a better coverage than the Body Shop All In One Base, and is slightly closer to my skin colour. However, if I want a lighter coverage, or a more tanned look I would choose the latter. See, there’s nothing wrong cheating on your usual beauty brand. Chanel’s powder blush is still my go-to blush of choice, however, I don’t mind Body Shop’s baked blush which is a slightly pinker colour.

As for eyeshadows: cheat like there’s no tomorrow. Every different brand gives a different coverage and colour. It’s simply a matter of what you want. I have a few fool-proof Clinique eyeshadows I love, however, I have some Il Makiage blues, Napoleon Perdis purples that I enjoy. Similarly for lipstick, you’ll find multiple brands you enjoy and will swap between for colours. Chanel do an amazing moisture-rich red that stays on really well, however, other brands like The Body Shop do some great natural lip colours. The make-up world is your oyster.

Nonetheless, if I had to choose only one of each (like if my bank account sucks and I’ve run out of make-up), I would take Clinique’s foundation and powder, The Body Shop’s concealers and liquid eyeliner, Lancome primer and mascara, Chanel’s blush and lipstick and Il Makiage eyeshadows. And yes, in case you were wondering, that was basically the entire contents of my make-up bag.

So go forth my pretties and play in the world of make-up. As a former tomboy, if I can get over my fear of certain types of make-up, you can to!

Pretty Natasha Maxis

So I’m totally adoring some of the current season Natasha stuff! I don’t know why but I absolutely adore the maxi dresses Natasha comes out with each season. They can usually be worn many places and are so boho chic. Not to mention the fact that they’re super comfy and wash extremely well. I adore the bamboo print maxi I have from about 2 or 3 years ago.

Natasha silk flow hanki dress in orchid

Hello super cute floaty orchid coloured maxi! Isn’t this colour just divine? Definitely a dress I would consider wearing (however being so short the length may pose an issue). Pair with a fabulous wide-brimmed hat for a day at the beach sipping on mojitas!

Natasha marble maxi dress in lilac

I love a good neckline and this dress nails it! I love how simple the design is which compliments the pattern nicely. Just the right amount of tie-dye so you don’t look out-of-place while out at dinner somewhere more smart casual. I would pair this with some great silver or black cuffs with black heels and a black embellished clutch.

Natasha scollap lace maxi dress in wine

Not only is the colour to die for, but the design of this dress is gorgeous. Very vintage inspired and I love the panels of lace running horizontally down the skirt. I’m also a huge fan of the neckline. Not something I’d usually pick for myself but I have an inkling it would look decent on. Pair with gold accessories to dress it up.

Other Natasha favourites of mine are the silk pants, one shoulder short dress, ruffle jacket, and plaited flat sandal. Head to the Natasha website to check out the rest of the collection – I promise their pieces are good quality and a worthwhile investment.

Colour Hungry

Rebecca Minkoff Ero Long Dress

I’m currently experiencing one of those I-can’t-afford-anything moments thanks to my upcoming 21st bash so instead of shopping online I’m drooling on my keyboard and showing you all what I’ve found instead. Here’s to hoping my family gets a bit uncreative and gives me money for shopping for my birthday.

Above is the kind of colour that reminds me of orange jelly for some reason. Amazing. I don’t usually like orange either; for this dress, I will make an exception. Loving the little side cut-outs as well.

Alice + Olivia Mila Pleated One Shoulder Dress

If this gorgeous shade of lime green doesn’t scream summery then I don’t know what does (okay, maybe a sunny yellow but you get my point). I adore the shape of this dress – nice and floaty – and I’m pretty sure this would make a fabulous, fuss-free frock for dinner somewhere.

Nicholas Mickey Shift Dress

Firstly, I love the shape of this dress. I’m fairly certain I tried it on in a steel-blue colour at Green With Envy in Melbourne which looked great (however I was pacing the shopping at the time and decided to go for cute shorts instead). I love the colour to, as cobalt blue is versatile in a way – bright, but not so bright you can’t wear it certain places without drawing strange looks.

Alice + Olivia Rosie Blouson Dress

Ah purple, my favourite colour of all. Not to mention, this gorgeous floaty number shares the same name as me! On me, I’m not so sure the dress would work overly well; however I can imagine a few of my friends in this cutie (if only the person I’m picturing in it would wear this shade of purple). I love the big statement necklace that was styled with this outfit too!

Free People Off Shoulder Textured Dress

Ooh, what a fun colour! Another one that reminds me somewhere between red jelly and raspberry sorbet. I adore the shoulder on this dress which give it a great neckline (has anyone ever noticed I’m obsessed with the décolletage area? No, well I am). Perhaps would be a great party dress for when there’s cute guys around? I also like the little long neckalces with this, makes it slightly more casual and edgier in a way.

Anyways that’s all my current colourful lusts from Shopbop. Go check them out and see what colourful lovelies you can find for yourself!

Today outfit: an oldie revamped

20120219-231616.jpg

Top: Kookai
Skirt: Sass and Bide
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Accessories: Lovisa necklace, New Zealand jade bangle

I’ve worn this outfit before but never with the shoes and necklace. It gives it a slightly edgier look really. Plus I can’t get enough of wearing my Devon boots. It’s a shame it’s so hot or I’d wear them even more. Definitely an outfit I’ll work out how to re-jig for winter with a great jacket perhaps.

Girls on film… Or rather, in the mirror

The gorgeous gals of Next Model Management in a short promo for the modelling agency. The girls are primping themselves as if they’re looking into a mirror and about to head out to a show. I love the black and white colour scheme and the brightness of the video, which really contrasts the two colours. I also find the model’s expressions a bit fascinating in a way.

Zimmermann Dress Lusts

Some of my favourite pieces from the newest Zimmermann collection. I’m loving the neutral colours.

I adore the Tender Calligraphy Skater Dress because of its gorgeous print and its great shape; I’m a sucker for a high neckline while revealing my shoulders.

The beige Silk Strapless Tie Dress is so simple and elegant. Perfect for nearly any occasion, it would look great with harsh black accessories.

The Silk One Shoulder Dress is such a great colour – so refreshing and bold without being too in-your-face. Zimmermann sure does know how to drape silk around a woman’s body.

The Tender Lace Drape Dress is just to die for. The lace is absolutely amazing and I love the shape – great for accentuating those shoulders and the curve of the hip.

All are so very gorgeous, but I think my favourite is the Calligraphy Skater Dress. I just can’t go past that shape!

The latests from Zimmermann

Alice + Olivia Love

Alive + Olivia is a brand I’ve adored ever since I discovered them last year. Everything Stacey Bendet designs is fun, often colourful and perfect for the fabulous party or spicing up your office get-up. These are some of my current fave pieces.

Alice + Olivia Love

Alice Olivia zipper dress
$645 – net-a-porter.com

Alice Olivia zipper dress
$385 – mytheresa.com

Alice Olivia bodice dress
$365 – nordstrom.com

Alice Olivia alice olivia dress
£255 – harveynichols.com

Alice Olivia cap sleeve dress
£215 – oxygenboutique.com

Alice Olivia boatneck shirt
£340 – harveynichols.com

Alice Olivia pleated skirt
$245 – net-a-porter.com

Alice + Olivia cropped capri pants
£170 – harveynichols.com