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.

mascaras

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!!!!)

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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!

foundation1 (1) 

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!