Sunday, 14 October 2012

A Few Of My Favourite Things - Cosmetics

Girls, are there certain products in your make up arsenal that you just LOVE? Like, the knowledge this thing exists, makes you smile and you wonder how the Earth span on its axis prior to its invention?

No, me neither because that would pathetic. If you think like that, get a moral backbone and start giving more money to charity. It jars massively with my 'non-girly girliness' that the very existence of a lipstick or an exquisitely perfumed toner alters my mood. I'll never be one of those lasses that has whole cabinets of potions and lotions and other sweet smelling gubbins.

I remember staying over at a girlfriend's house many years ago and her and her flatmates had a hostess trolley FULL of nail varnish. I didn't know that many colours existed in the world, let alone as nail varnishes. 

I guess because there were three girls living there, I could kind of see why the collection had grown so large but still. I thought about me and my then flat mate (or Mum as she preferred to be known) and the fact that, between us, we probably had about six gloopy bottles of odd coloured lacquer. Not quite the beauty nirvana on wheels before me.

I was pretty crap at using make up back in the day. I remember this same friend laughing at my pathetic attempts at applying eye liner. What I thought were adequately straight lines, to her looked like 'a spider had walked across my eye lids hahaha!" Which was ridiculous for a number of reasons, a spider wouldn't get within 25 feet of my eyes before I'd have screamed the house down and furthermore, spiders do not leave a black trail where ever they go. Nature has made them a little more discrete than that. And even furthermore,  what she said just didn't make SENSE. By her rationale she look like she'd been punched in the eyelid by a mouse with a chesty cough. I should have said that to her. If I called her up now, some 15 years later and said that, I think she'd know what I was talking about. It will have played on her mind as heavily as mine.

Anyway, my inspiration and guidance for getting my make up right came from the most unlikeliest of sources. I remember listening to one of my favourite comedians being interviewed. They were talking about how they dress and do their make up and they were explaining how, girls aren't born knowing how to apply make up, you have to learn and that's what they'd had to do - 'Blend' I remember him saying. God bless you, Eddie Izzard.

Since then, my relationship with cosmetics has been on and off - literally and metaphorically.

There were many years where I couldn't be bothered with it and would venture out into the world, nude, spare a trusty lip balm (I never go anywhere without one)  but over the years, a little  more time has been added to the regime every morning before stepping out. Is that to do with getting older, perchance?

So in light of this non-girly girliness, here are my top five cosmetic favourites (but in no particular order because I don''t want to upset any of them as they have feelings too, you know).

MAC cosmetics - eye shadows.

You know what I said about my friend who had a heap of nail varnishes... well that's a little bit like what I'm like with MAC eye shadows (I know, hypocrite. Yardy, yah). First of all, I'm a sucker for a great display and these look SO good when you see them all lined up - perfect pots of happy, I tell you. More importantly, the  colours are really deep, vivid hues when applied. Having dark skin, I have found that some colours look great in the pot but when you get it on they're a bit meh. Not so with MAC. I've got a couple of Bobbi Brown's and Nars but when it comes to eye shadows, in the words of Kelly Rowland, They put it down!

What I've realised though, is there comes a time when you can actually stop buying eye shadows (I know. Who knew?). Pictured here are about a third of the ones I own. Once you've acquired the basic essentials, you can create pretty much any colour you want by blending. My favourites are the deep burgundy with a shimmer, the midnight blue and the rusts. I know at this point, if there are any men reading this, they have instantly fallen asleep... unless of course it's Eddie Izzard, in which case I hope he's saying, 'That's my girl, bleeeend'

No.7 Shine Free Primer

I friggin' love this stuff. This is the perfect base if you have oily skin and it lasts all day. It comes out like a paste but dries quickly to give a nice matte finish. On darker skin you'll need to use a powder or it will leave you looking  ashen (could be useful for getting the day off work - white people, you're on your own). 

Liquid liners

Now that I've moved away from the spider walking across the eyes look (really, that seriously is meaningless), the liquid liner is now my friend. My two favourites are pictured here. Clinique's eye defining liquid liner and MACs (yes them again) Liquid Eye Liner. The Clinque liner was a freebie I got for doing a TV programme... in 2011 and is still going strong. This stuff seems to last for frickin' ever. I'm starting to wonder if it will ever  run out. The brush is sturdier than some others and thinner which means you can get a very precise line. The MAC liner isn't as good but the brush is alright for creating strong lines. If you prefer the bolder line A la Ditta Von Tesse, this may be the one for you. Also, you must check out the Bobbi Brown long lasting gel liners. You'll need to apply with a brush but this gives you a deep, strong black line. For extra depth, go over it with a liquid liner. Store the gel liner upside down to prevent it drying out. You can also mix them with an eye shadow for variety. 

Ruby Woo

I am a late convert to red lipstick but love Ruby Woo, I do. With the right technique, I think everyone can look fabulush in Ruby Woo. Its a deliciously matte red lipstick from MAC cosmetics and coupled with a red lip liner looks fantastic on any complexion. I tend to add another layer of a slightly deeper red lipstick for good coverage and moisture.

Nars blusher

Lots of blushers are pink, lots are bronze, many are burgundy... few are RED. This orangey red blusher is my new favourite thing (I don't love it so much I have to start giving more to charity but I do, capital 'L' like it a lot).

Its a striking colour in the palette and even more striking when on. Coupled with Ruby Woo but used sparingly, it can create a very vivacious look. Blushers really brighten the face, create definition and give you a health glow. I'm surprised more guys don't use them. They've got their guy liner why not add  a bit of rouge to their regime... yeah, I know, I'm pushing it now. 

Ladies and (remaining) gentlemen, these are a few of my favourite things. Next week, I'll be 'talking shit' with Dr Dan. 

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