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!


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!

Christmas goodies


One of the reasons I enjoy Christmas has nothing to do with Christmas in a way. Every year around the holiday season make-up companies seem to release awesome little gift packs filled with great make-up and it’s usually heaps cheaper than normal.

Lancôme does a great little eye kit every now and then, consisting of one of their mascaras, eye make-up remover and an eyeliner for the same price as the mascara normally. Good bargain! Plus the Hypnôse Drama mascara is only sold in certain stores (at least, according to a make-up assistant) and luckily was one of the mascaras offered in a pack. I refuse to use any other mascara as this is by far the best brand and type I’ve come across.

Make sure you head to your local chemist, department store or beauty shop to see what deals they have in store. Do not miss out on saving some money and trying a few new pieces. Like me, you might be able to do your yearly make-up change over and pick up some extra bits and bobs on the way!