Starting Off: Eyeliner Guest post by Pixie Anna ft. Bird

The closest I come to being able to use eyeliner is Bourjois Liner Effect Mascara. I am long sighted amongst other eye problems and can’t see enough without my glasses on to apply it without poking myself in the eye  (I’ve had eye injuries this way) and I can’t wear contact lenses either. Unfortunately laser eye surgery is off the cards too. Luckily, I have fabulous friends who happen to know more than  a thing or two about flawless eye makeup.

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please give a warm welcome to Pixie Anna and Bird for this fabulous guest post on eyeliner!!!

Claire over and out!

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Eyeliner. It does what it says on the tin (or tube, or pot!) It defines and emphasizes your eyes. You can be subtle or bold, you can use whatever colours you can find, you can even use eye shadow applied with a damp brush if that’s what takes your fancy. Eyeliner can be difficult to apply at first, but with a bit of practice and experimenting with the different types available you will soon find your own way of doing it.

Most people start out with a kohl pencil. Pencils can vary hugely in quality, some are quite hard and others much softer. As the skin on your eyes is very delicate make sure you choose a softer pencil that won’t drag and irritate the skin. Try them on the back of your hand; if the skin pulls then it is too hard and will hurt your eyelid. I like Boots No.7 metallic eyes pencils. They are nice and soft and come with a blender on the other end so if your line is a bit wobbly you can go for a softer smudged look instead! Make sure you keep the point fairly sharp or you will end up with a very thick line (unless that is what you are aiming for, in which case sharpen it less often.) You can buy retractable eye pencils, which never need sharpening. I have a Collection 2000 eye definer which is as good as any. They seem to be getting few and far between, although they may be worth looking out for if you don’t like pencils but don’t feel brave enough for liquid or gel liners.

If you’re aiming for that 50’s Marilyn Monroe look a pen eyeliner is your best bet. As the name suggest these are like a felt tip pen and the fine tip of the pen can be used to dot in any gaps which you may have after application. This goes for any type of eyeliner – at first you may have small gaps which do look better filled in.

Liquid eyeliners are very popular and come in a rainbow of colours and finishes. I find they are the trickiest to apply, as they can sometimes be quite wet and runny (as you would expect from something with ‘liquid’ in the name!) but they can be fun as these are the ones that manufacturers usually produce in all kinds of glittery finishes and I cannot resist a bit of sparkle! I have two glittery ones from ELF cosmetics, a silver one and a copper one. I also have a Rimmel liquid liner in black but I rarely use it as I’m allergic to Rimmel eye products. It does give a good depth of colour and I would recommend it, especially if you’re on a budget. ELF are fab if you’re on a budget too, although you do have to factor in postage costs.

My favourite type of eyeliner, one which I use almost daily, is the type that comes in a pot and you apply with a brush. They are called gel or cream eyeliners. I would recommend buying a very fine eyeliner brush – mine is from ELF and has a bend at the end which makes it much easier to apply your liner in a fine line. As with all make up it is easy to build up but more difficult to remove if you use too much!

When applying liner some people find pulling the eyelid taut with your other hand helps with accuracy. As it goes against everything your brain tells you when putting a sharp object near to your eye it can be hard

to apply close to your lash line, hence the tiny line of skin between eyeliner and lashes which a lot of people get. I find that trying to draw your eyeliner line onto the roots of your lashes helps to place the line where it should be. If you have a wobble and there is a gap or two simply fill the gap in with your brush/pencil/pen, or use a clean eye shadow applicator or a cotton wool bud to smudge the line.

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To line the lower lids or not? Lining the lower lids in a dark colour, such as black, looks very dramatic but it will make the eyes look smaller. If you have eyes that are on the small side bear this in mind.

It is always worth going into your favourite make up shop and trying all the different kinds of eyeliner to find one which you prefer. There are some wonderful colours and finishes available which are always fun to experiment with. Lush have recently brought out a range of make up, including eyeliner. I have plans to get my hot sticky hands on their gold eyeliner – just in time for Christmas!!Using a white or nude eye pencil will make the eyes look bigger and will make the eye look more defined without a heavy eyeliner look if you don’t want lots of dark liner.

Bird recommends….

My go to product has to be Rimmel exaggerate eye pencil in noir. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t pull the skin and feels light an smooth. It has a smudgey thing on the end should you want to go for a smokey look. This also pulls off to reveal a built in pencil sharpener. How handy! It’s not too pricey either coming in under £5. Unlike other eyeliners, this does not irritate my eyes, especially useful when applying to the lower lid too. Watery eyes = panda eyes = not a good look (unless of course you’re dressing up as a panda, whatever floats your boat…)

If you want to make more of a statement and opt for liquid liner then I would recommend Gosh Long lasting eyeliner pen in carbon black. A little pricier but still under £10. A word of warning: this stuff dries quickly. Use only if you have a steady hand!

Personally, I find eye pencils easier to apply than liquid liner. I also find it easier to be creative with pencils (doing flicks etc.)

Erm, anywho, I hope this has been of some use! Blog entries are not my forte, I leave that to Claire!

Thanks ladies!!! Next week Claire returns for Eye shadow!

Starting Off: Mascara

Week 6 how did that happen?! This week, if you hadn’t already guessed is all about mascara.

Mascara is used to lengthen and define your eyelashes, which in turn gives your eyes more definition and makes them pop/stand out. Typically it comes in a long(ish) tube with a wand applicator inside attached to the cap. It comes in different shades, typically black or brown or even blue. One of the ‘in trends’ of the summer has been vibrant neon shades and as a result, mascara has been available in green, pink, yellow etc. I even remember in my younger years sporting clear glittery mascara (I suspect they just put glitter glue in the tube…).

Mascara also comes in millions of varieties offering many many different ‘enhancing’ effects, abilities and super powers (I may be exaggerating at this point). Despite what their magical abilities may profess to be, essentially they offer either a natural look, volume enhancing or lengthening and come in normal or waterproof flavours.

Mascara is a must if you are using full coverage foundation, as you will look a tad washed out and pastey without using products like mascara and blusher to add back a bit of colour and bring out your features. It’s also a good choice to use if you want to go minimalistic with your makeup or even naked (your face I mean…I don’t think it matters how much mascara you use if you actually go naked…people will still notice the nudity); a bit of concealer, mascara and a bit o’ lipbalm or gloss and you’re good to go.

To use mascara, you simply apply using the wand from the base of the lashes and brish upwards. Some people prefer to place the wand on the base of their lashes and blink. use as many layers as you think you need. Now a lot of people like to use mascara on both their top and bottom lashes. Personally, I prefer not to apply to the bottom lashes as I don’t think it suits me, and also as I find it hard not to blink before it dries and find thebottom lashes coated regardless.

I myself have quite long, black lashes (not that I’m showing off) so tend not to go for too much in the way of volumising or lengthening (these tend to make my eye lashes stick to my glasses, which is not attractive…and no I’m not exaggerating here, I often have little speckles of black on my lenses!) and do tend to use black. I did use some brown I got in a No 7 set when I was a teenager and it did create a nice natural, down to earth sort of look. These days I prefer to show off what I have (oh my).

As I’ve said before, I’m not really one for too much eye makeup. I remember going to the Lush VIP event for their emotional brilliance launch, and being told about their mascara. It has no preservatives so does have a shelf life of 3 months, The lovely shop assistant said, “but who has mascara for more than 3 months anyway?!” I rather sheepishly said, “erm…me?” Despite this, I appear to have acquired quite a collection of mascaras! This is a small selection of them.

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Now the only one of these I really use is Bourjois liner effect. The wand is double sided with thinner, shorter bristles on one side and bigger ones on the other. The idea is to use the smaller side first and then do a second layer with the bigger. I personally find that this gives better results than the others I own and is ideal as I don’t (or rather can’t) use eye liner. Most (well all) of the other mascara’s I own came as part of gift sets I either bought or received or as gifts with purchase and as a result aren’t really my own choice. I have, however tried them all and whilst I can’t say any of them are bad, they just aren’t my number one choice.

Other recommended mascaras

The fabulous Pixie Anna came to my rescue this week and has this to say:

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara – a great one for people who haven’t really used mascara before or prefer a natural look. It gives good coverage without clumping, looks natural and is fairly cheap. (FGSJ: I used to use this one myself and agree, it’s great for a natural look).

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara – more expensive but does what it says on the tin (or tube, I should say!) It increases both length and volume, again without clumping as long as you put your second coat on while the first coat is still a bit wet.

L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara – I found this a bit flaky, but I have very sensitive eyes so it may not be so bad for those with ‘normal’ eyes. I also found that it clumped sometimes but that might just be me. It did lengthen my lashes a lot, which I don’t really need but I do like a dramatic eye!

Eyelash brushes – yes, you can buy eyebrow/eyelash brushes and combs but I find the best eyelash brush is an old mascara wand. Simply wash it clean and brush through lashes between coats of mascara. Much simpler than faffing on with those pathetic little combs you buy. (FGSJ: Never thought of that before! Cracking idea!)

Don’t forget to follow the chat on Twitter by using #theSOproject

Next week: Eyeliner. The jury is still out as to whether I will be posting next week. I personally don’t (or like I said, can’t) use eyeliner, but I have several good friends who all do and I’m hoping one of them may helpfully write a guest post (please!!!!)

Starting off: Blusher

Wow, this is mega late! I’ve been super busy at work and a bit ill recently which has delayed my blogging significantly. So massive apologies fellow SO Project bloggers!!

I really wanted to start this weeks post off with a clip of Sarah Millican’s makeup shopping story. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clip on the interwebs so it’ll just be me again.

Blusher is used to add colour back in to the cheeks; to give you a nice healthy rosy cheek glow, and to stop you looking pasty and like one of the Cullens’. I’ve not really bothered with blusher in the past as I’ve got very sensitive skin, which often results in me having very red cheeks. As I don’t like to wear full cover foundation very often, I tend to avoid blusher too.

However, last year after having discovered Estee Lauder double wear, I decided I clearly needed blusher to stop me looking so pasty faced. I researched for hours  before finding me some good advice on which shades would go well with my skin tone. This is what I found: for pale skin, lighter shades are better. Pinks & peaches or pinky peaches are good, but AVOID anything more coral coloured, it will be too dark or harsh. They are much more suited to those with a darker skin tone.

With this in mind, I went on a sopping mission and  found myself this:

Boujois shade 37: Rose Pompom.

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So to apply blusher, you simply brush on to the cheek bone and blend outwards towards your hairline; simples! If I ever feel like I’ve put to much on, I try and blend over with the makeup sponge I used to apply my foundation, normally it has small amount on non absorbed liquid on there and simply helps to tone it down. I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but that’s just my routine.

So that’s it, not much else to say really. Don’t apply too much, make sure you pick the right shade for your skin. I’m not an expert on that unfortunately.

For anymore information and application techniques please check out: The Makeup Chair and Goss Makeup Artist this is where I get all my videos from and they are full of wonderful tips and techniques. Don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!

Next week: Mascara

I will be enlisting the help of my good friend Bird for the next couple of weeks as having awful eyesight means I can’t apply eye makeup too well without my glasses on and I can’t wear contacts or get laser eye surgery, so I don’t tend to buy much or spend much money on it. She is a wealth of knowledge to me in this department.

Starting Off: Foundation

Week 3 Already! Crikey! I have a confession to make; I don’t really wear foundation…HAHAHA, your faces! Just kidding, of course I do!

Foundation is basically the base to all your other makeup; it is used for evening out skin tone, general coverage of blemishes and give your face a nice healthy glow/look. There are a few different types, so we’ll just look at them briefly before going over application and recommendations etc.

  • Liquid
  • Cream
  • Powder
  • Mousse
  • Tinted Moisturiser/BB cream.

The type you use will depend on your skin type. I  remember being told when I was younger, that no one under 25 should wear liquid foundation…well I can tell you now, that’s the only kind I’ve ever been able to match correctly to my skin tone, so there! I think this is mainly because you’re prone to oily skin/acne, and full on foundation can clog pores and make this worse. However, if you need to cover those spots, there’s nothing better. Powder is better for oily skin types, but using some oil absorbing sheets and a bit of powder on top of other types of foundation will help with that.

Tinted moisturiser is good for all skin types, it is perfect if you want to even out skin tone but can’t be pestered with a full face of make up. I am a fan of this!

Applying your foundation:

First of all, look back at weeks 1 & 2, you’ll want to have a nice freshly cleansed face and pop on some moisturiser. Everyone seems to have a different take on the length of time you should leave between moisturising and applying foundation, some say 5 minutes other say 15. Personally I prefer 15-20 if I have the time. This does also depend on the type of foundation you use. Once this is done and any under eye concealing has gone on, you’re ready to get going!

Application techniques:

So using your preferred tool, whether that be a brush, a sponge or your fingers, use a small amount and blend outwards towards your hair line and neck. I tend to dot a small amount on my forehead and cheeks, then blend using a damp sponge ’til there is even coverage and no blotchy patches on my face.

It is no secret that I am rather lazy when it comes to makeup and beauty; I like to cut corners where I can, and using foundation is no exception. My favourite item is tinted moisturiser. But, as it’s me and no post of mine would be complete without it, I like to (sort of) make my own using Lush!

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My foundation of choice is Lush’s Jackie Oates colour supplement. If I want complete coverage, I use it after moisturising, blending with a damp sponge and it gives a lovely flawless finish – in that it covers all my summer induced freckles and any red patches/blemishes I may have. Most days, though, I just want a light finish to even out my skin tone from red patches I get on my cheeks. So on those days, I mix a small amount with my moisturiser, using the back of my hand as a palette, and blend it either using my fingers or a damp sponge. I normally just use my fingers. I love how light it is, and is made using all natural products, which is perfect for my crazy skin.

On those special occasions though, I use (as mentioned in my last post for concealer) Estee Lauder Double Wear. I purchased the foundation and concealer in the lightest possible shade for my wedding last year. I believe this cost me £28, and is long lasting, so it’s not something you’ll want to wear everyday (to avoid clogging your pores), but more for those occasions where you want to stay photo ready, for example a wedding. This goes on pretty much like every other foundation, however it does dry quickly to fix itself in place, so it’s best to keep your moisturiser on hand, and use a little bit to manipulate any bits of foundation which have dried blotchy and need blending.

Generally speaking, I find both of these fine on their own, but when necessary (or predominantly around the t-zone at least) I use a bit of Lush’s Emotional Brilliance powder on top.

So there you have it, a brief look at my foundation usage,

Next week: Bronzer. I will not be posting next week as I never have and sincerely doubt I ever will use bronzer, but I’m still looking forward to reading through everyone else’s posts. Please follow #theSOproject on Twitter to find the plethora of amazing posts from my fellow SO project bloggers!

Starting off: The Introduction #theSOproject

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, feel free to check me out @fgsjblog) may have noticed that I recently posted this:

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The Starting off Project is the brainchild of Steph from Steph’s Inside Voice (http://stephsinsidevoice.blogspot.co.uk/) and the aim is for a group of bloggers (now quite a large group with well over 100 of us involved) to each post at exactly the same time over the next 10 weeks an introduction to a particular beauty product, including experiences, recommended products, how we each use it etc, to try and create a plethora of blogging knowledge for those just ‘starting off’ with their beauty regime.

I am, admittedly a bit of a dunce when it comes to using a lot of products due to a mixture of very sensitive skin, allergies, my awful eyesight (it is not good being long sighted when trying to apply certain products with your glasses off) and in all honesty, pure laziness. But that’s kind of why I really wanted to take this amazing opportunity and get involved,  I know it’s because of this that I will have a different perspective to many if not most of the other bloggers involved in the project.

The first post will be about skin care, and all posts go live Tuesdays at 6pm. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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