Brand of the Month: Jouer Cosmetics has been inspiring my spring makeup looks at Cult Beauty, but don’t look unless you want some gorgeousness for the sunny days ahead. Last chance for free UK shipping today but don’t blame me xo
Let this be known: I am not a hairdresser. I am quite rubbish at doing other people’s hair, possibly able to pull off a simple plait or a high pony. I have no formal training and wouldn’t trust myself with a pair of scissors wielded on someone else’s mane though I have been known to trim my own. So if I offer, politely decline.
What I do have is a lifetime’s experience with naturally curly hair. Over the years me and my hair have fought, gotten along, sometimes been in love but have always been together. For better and for worse, in heat and humidity. In all the years I have learned a thing or two about what to do with it and how to do it.
Growing curly hair out is a challenge. Mine grows outwards not downwards and ends up a bit Muppety, so I’ve always changed my mind halfway through because it seemed an impossible task and a very unstylish one. This time, however, I persevered. It took a series of good cuts, headbands and a loooonnnnggggg time to get past my shoulders. My hair is now long, for the first time in my life I may add, and the learning curve has been intense.
Since I do not live in a warm, dry climate (everyone’s hair looks marv in Palm Springs btw. Second- home dreams, ahhhhh) but in the rainy isles, I battle frizz and fuzz and styling products are king. Luckily for me, I have lots of friends who are hairdressers, and they have helped me to find hair products, in a veritable ocean of choices, that really work.
Left to dry of it’s own accord, my hair does tight ringlets and looks a bit country and western but not in a good way. With the right styling product, I can let it air-dry and do a boho thing on boho days. The right stuff for this, for me, is Bumble surf spray which gives a beachy, windswept texture, “wherever and whenever” and has been making waves since 2001. Tis true. By the way, more hair, less makeup is a good rule to live by. Unless you’re going full Dallas or Nashville.
Most of the time these days, and almost always for work, I blow-dry my hair (use a heat-protective styling spray like Bumble hairdressers invisible oil or be prepared to feel the wrath of your hairdresser at trim time) then restyle it, with a tapered curling tong, to have curl! Ridiculous isn’t it? But I’m after controlled, grown-up curls that are more waves than curls and there’s nothing wrong with channelling your inner Farah! If only I could skateboard. Once the whole thing is done (that’s an hour out of my day, thank you very much) a certain finishing product puts it all together. The right stuff for this look, and now one of my all-time favourite hair saves, is Bumble brilliantine which, as it says, is “unique and hard to define”. I find it does indeed give “polish, and a languid, slept-in, sexy look”. It gives a bit of hold, separation and a touch of gloss (I sometimes smooth a bit over the Surf Spray if it looks too matte). Done but not ‘too done’ if you know what I mean. I keep a tube tucked into my handbag for touch-ups. You never know when you might need an emergency re-tousle.
My hair ‘top shelf’ has grown exponentially with my hair! Shampoos and conditioners, treatment masks, styling products. And tools. It never ends does it? Until I live either in Spain or Palm Springs, the mane needs all the help it can get. As with makeup, finding the right product (and there’s so many brilliant ones out there) can change not only your hair, but your confidence. Maybe even your life. They will also save you from this…
I was poor once. Who’s to say I won’t be poor again. But before that happens let me tell you abou one of my favourite things.
Back in the poor days (you may know about them too, just scraping the rent together even though you’re working, only using public transport, very few nights out and certainly nothing fancy. No holidays, all in all a bit bleak but it happens to everyone. Doesn’t it?) when I was a younger adult starting out on my own and strangely determined to make it as a makeup artist, putting my degree in Politics to great use, obviously, I really had a tough time making the ends meet. Once every couple of weeks I could afford to meet my friends for a meal at a studenty restaurant, or buy a bottle of red instead and spend the weekend sipping through it. First world problems.
One time I spent the money left over, after all the bills were paid, on this thing which still holds a place in my heart. Back then it represented luxury, indulgence and seemed ludicrously frivolous. But it was so lovely it cheered me up, and gave me such a boost whenever I used it, surly the sign of a bathtime classic. Since then it’s remained a staple in the pampering basket and a great go-to gift for the girls and women in my life. So cheers to Bathina and her words of wisdom: take a picture. it lasts longer.
Bathina by Benefit is a body balm which shimmers gently and so looks beautiful on any limbs that might be showing (hopefully not when you’re bending over in a croquet skirt), on the collarbones and décolletage, and also works as a cheek highlighter. It’s also lovely if you’re merely slipping between the sheets, after all there’s nothing wrong with a bit of shimmer in soft light. It’s scent is as delicate as the shimmer and rather gorgeous. High praise from a Tom Ford addict. Two of the things that are most endearing about are the packaging which is retro girly, and the little velour application puff. It’s very sweet. And though I am not usually a fan of too-girly or sweet, it works with Bathina in a comforting way. Actually, it’s rather the point of it; it’s a fun product, not to be taken seriously but to be enjoyed. The sweet little puff is palm sized and perfect for applying the balm.
It’s been a long day and I’m off to have a soak in the tub. I am very grateful that all my hard work and determination paid off and I have more pennies to treat myself with than I did at the start. Even if I were the richest make-up artist in all the kingdom, I’d keep my Bathina close by, such a loyal friend she’s been.PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
My Dad has always advised me to invest in gold. And he is always right.
Hallelulah! Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold – Skin Highlighter is back. Another cult item that sold out quickly so I’m overjoyed it’s in stock again- I gave mine away, to a beautiful person. I wasn’t too sad because I knew it was going to a good home.
It’s the most beautiful highlighter and the best way to gild the lily, whatever your skintone. Not to mention it looks amazing on the dressing table! The Bar of Gold contains light-reflecting ingredients to cheer up dull skin and sculpt; it’s also marv for adding a glow, blurring imperfections and adding that special glamourous finish to your look. Use a big brush to sweep it across your cheekbones, forehead, décolletage -and a smaller brush to use it as an eyeshadow, by itself or as a”pop” over your other colours. I use a fingerprint of it in the centre of the lips to boost lip volume.
Recently, on the most amazing project I designed for ABC Studios (I say this proudly because of the subject matter), “WHEN WE RISE“ (coming soon to a screen near you at the end of Feb, at least in North America, not sure about it’s UK release) I had to recreate the look of American disco god, Sylvester. My investment in gold really paid off so thanks for the good advice Dad.
This is a Makeup Newsflash!
Today’s the Day!
Instant Look In A Palette, Natural Beauty is back in stock at Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics; I was so gutted when it sold out earlier this year that I’ve just ordered two of them (an heir and a spare). If you’re a light to medium skintone or looking for a gift for someone who is, you can do much worse than investing in this stunning palette which pops into your handbag for all day gorgeousness. Add a dark eye pencil to smoke it up for night and you’re laughing! This was a cult hit the first time around (I gave mine to a thespian so was a bit sad that I couldn’t get another as it had sold out) so don’t delay if you’ve been waiting for it to return, can you tell I’m excited?!
Not only that, there’s a new one! Instant Look In A Palette, Seductive Beauty is a bit bolder and sexier, it’s Natural Beauty’s seductive sister. I’d use this one on darker skin tones as well as on anyone else who wants to look fab. Self included. All you need is a lip colour and you’re on your way to work, to the restaurant or to the airport!
Both are available today, December 22nd, so a bit late for Christmas but a great way to start a new year with an easy new look!
Here’s a tutorial from Charlotte herself
I saw this sign on the streets of Bristol this summer and it made me laugh and cry at the same time!
Do we all have mornings when we are just knackered, or is it just me?! A poor sleep, a relentless schedule, being a contestant on “Strictly”, having the kids all ill at the same time, or even if the dish has run away with the spoon; whatever the reason, these mornings are a part of our lives and for me they mean my skin looks and feels fairly bla. It’s Sods Law it’s the days we look the most tired that we need to look our best- an interview, date night or perhaps you’re picking someone special from the airport. OR maybe there’s nothing special going on, you just want to look half decent and go about your day.
Whatever your reason for wanting to improve on “paper-bag face” there’s a certain something I now keep on hand to help. All you need is ten minutes and a bit of facial massage and you’ll see less paper and more pretty. It’s yet another Charlotte Tilbury product, her Goddess Skin Clay Mask and I have to say I quite love it! I know I go on and on about this line but that’s because I’ve discovered some truly outstanding things from it. You’ll see by the state of the packaging that it’s well used and I’m not talking out of my…mask.
I was persuaded to try the mask by Miss Tilbury (“and the Award for Name Dropping goes to….”!) herself when during conversation my dialogue veered towards how tired I felt which happens in most conversations these days (16-hour days will do that to a person). Hence a suggestion to try the mask…always the sceptic, but ever the optimist, I did, using the sample packet available from any CT counter, and was very pleasantly surprised. I normally stay away from clay masks because I have dry skin but the addition of oils to this one make it a very soothing product and I’m not left with that “tight” after-mask feeling. I am now a convert and keep this on my top shelf for skin 911 situations.
Charlotte Tilbury developed the mask with her team of scientist and with a large dollop of inspiration from Ibizan women who had beautiful skin into their old age, and who swore by daily clay masks. Here’s the blurb, from the CT website:
“This supercharged Goddess Skin Clay Mask is based on an ancient Mediterranean beauty recipe, which combines gentle yet nutrient-rich Spanish clay with Sweet Almond Oil, prized for its nourishing properties.
Working with the world’s leading laboratories, I took this centuries-old remedy and added the latest anti-age breakthrough ingredients, such as the BioNymph Peptide Complex to create a glow-giving formula your complexion will drink in. Try it using my patented Tilbury Tap Pro-Collagen facial massage for boosted results. Celebrity facialists have been sharing the formula with their clients to use in between treatments leading up to a red carpet appearance. Now everyone can have flawless, glowing Goddess Skin – discover the rebirth of your skin, the results are breathtaking.
• Spanish clay absorbs oil and helps draw out impurities without drying.
• Sweet Almond and Rosehip Oil nourish and delay signs of skin ageing.
• BioNymph Peptide Complex aids collagen production and improves elasticity.
• Essential oils create a smooth, hydrating formula that never feels chalky or dry.
• Frangipani Flower Extract boasts soothing antiseptic properties and leaves skin looking cashmere-soft”
This Is How You Do It:
On a dry face, apply a fairly generous layer of the creamy and fragrant mask, not getting too close to the eye area.
Then go do something for 10 minutes (make healing tea, shower, read British Vogue).
When you’re ready to wash it off, use warm, not hot, water, to emulsify the mask and start the massage technique, which goes something like this…
The facial massage part of the process is important so please don’t leave out this step as you rinse the mask off. You can do the massage in the shower the shower to save yourself a few minutes if time is of the essence. The process will encourage blood flow to the face (and neck) muscles and may even help to increase collagen production. Be gentle and always remember, Upwards and Outwards!
So Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics has just announced their top-selling/award-winning products and I was a bit shocked that this wasn’t one of them, hence the honorary mention today. I’ll comment on the winners in due course but I think this should be near the top of the list. It is gentle enough to use on a daily basis if needs be, apparently that’s what those glorious women of Ibiza did but I don’t think they were as busy as we are; I use it maybe three times a week and am happy with that.
The mask retails at a mid to high price point, but I do think the skincare in this line is remarkable value for your hard-earned money, and it’s certainly not at La Mer or Sisley prices. The one thing I have to mention is that the mask is quite fragrant, with frangipani oil as one of it’s ingredients, so if that’s an issue it might not be the mask for you. I do find it strong, but more pleasant than not and once the mask is off it dissipates as you go about your regular skincare and makeup routine. If you’re not sure whether you’d love it or not: remember to ask for a sample at the counter! and if you ever order anything from them online, you can request two free samples included with every purchase, quite a brilliant idea. You get a good amount in the sample packet, definitely enough to let you decide whether you want a full size one in your life.
Mask On, Mask Off Glossaholics, and grasshoppers! Here’s to more beautiful days and less “you still look tired” ones! By the way, people who like to tell you how tired you look deserve to be….shunned. At the very least. It’s never a compliment and as my grandma would have said, “if you’ve nothing nice to say…
PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
You know what I’m talking about; the smudge of black mascara under your eyes, known in my world and yours as panda eyes, raccoon eyes if you reside in North America. That annoying smudge is as ubiquitous as mascara itself. But it has to stop! It can ruin a professional or romantic moment, the dash for the school pick up or a desperate stop for coffee at 11 am, let alone A Night At The Opera. But fear not Glossaholics, for I have the solution to this beauty problem.
Mascara for the bottom lashes is an essential for me – I’ve never been a top only girl. I both like and need my bottom lashes to be painted (having slightly protruding bulgy eyes makes it’s a necessity) and usually wear a dark brown on in the day. Black when I need to up my game. If you’re doing a fifties thing, you might not care so much, as that look is all about being top heav. As more of a seventies girl I prefer a doe-eyed look, so that’s top and bottom mascara. It also helps to “knock back” protruding eyes, aka Bette Davis Eyes! God bless Kim Carnes.
The only problem is, as much as I love wearing it…mascara on the bottom lashes always smudges off (or did, before I made this discovery) leaving you with the dreaded racoon eyes by the afternoon (not a great early morning look either, so make sure you clean your eye makeup off before bed!) and god forbid it rains, you watch Terms of Endearment or wear mascara to the gym. Yes, I wear mascara to the gym most of the time. Don’t judge me.
Glossaholics, there’s lots of info out there about how to prevent the mascara from running, but HEAR THIS – putting powder under your eyes is an absolute no-no after the age of thirty. And it doesn’t work in any case. You’ll have smudges on top of the powder, and that’s a hot mess. Nor would I suggest not wearing eye cream in the day (this seems to be another bit of sage advice to stop mascara smudges) because a tiny bit is preventative and nothing but a good thing. And again, it doesn’t work. Mascara smudges. But not this one.
I am in the business of making people look good, and making them look good for long periods of time, so I’ve tried and tested loads of mascaras for wearability and durability. There’s lots of great ones for the top lashes (I’m still compiling my Top Ten for you) but only one works for me for the bottom lashes without moving around under the eyes. Regular waterproof mascaras are all well and good, but even most of them smudge off the bottom lashes, and if they’re a bugga to remove and therefore hard on the eye area, I’m not going to use them on myself or anyone else.
I found Blinc MASCARA years ago when people were raving about it as a generally brilliant product because it was new and seemed fabulous. I used it myself but didn’t like it – I found it so heavy that my straight eyelashes just drooped under the weight of it and it didn’t add anything in terms of volume or length. Nor could it keep a curl. It was a bit of a flash in the beauty pan but had new technology from Japan that made it interesting.
Here’s the blurb:
“Blinc is the original mascara invented to form tiny water-resistant “tubes” around your lashes that add volume and length and cannot run, smudge, clump or flake, even if you cry or rub your eyes. Only when you are ready, a combination of lots of warm water and gentle pressure, from your fingertips or cloth will slide the tubes effortlessly into your hand. No makeup remover required.”
So I can testify that as a general beauty volume mascara it’s not up to much but the tubes thing is where it excels. It doesn’t come off until you want it to. And yes, you use only water to wash it off, and the tubes you see in the sink are not the legs of unfortunate spiders but the tubes that formerly coated your lashes in glossy black or brown. I think there’s even green, blue and a purple now.
Here’s what it can do for you and how it looks:
Here’s how to remove it…couldn’t be easier or gentler! The only way this mascara will come off before you want it to is if someone throws a bucket of water at you!
Get yourself some blinc if you can’t take the smudging anymore. I haven’t smudged for years, and now I only get raccoon eyes when I want them!
A close friend recently remarked on a makeup memory she had of me saying “you were the first person I knew who wore lip pencil”. She even remembered the colour, MAC Spice. Well of course, it would be. That lip pencil was one of the makeup superstars of the 1990’s, and I worked for MAC for ten months in 1998. Many of my friends received a Spice pencil for a Christmas present that year and she was probably one of them. For everything that pencil came to mean to me (and you too if your were of age in the late 90’s when lip pencil was de rigueur), it wasn’t in fact the first lip pencil I ever bought. That prize goes to a Bourjois pencil in a cherry red which I was persuaded to buy from the salesgirl at Boots in Bromley High Street in about 1982, to wear with a new Bourjois coral/pink lipstick, the memory of which is still dear to me. The salesgirl was not a girl but a woman, or at least womanly to me as a fourteen year old, and her suggestion to try the pencil was well taken – it was a beautiful combination which to this day I haven’t been able to replicate. The effect of the lipstick and pencil together was an immediate Barbara Eden-ish vibe, she being a beauty hero of course and as I was doing a retro makeup kind of thing then I just loved that lipstick. The Bourjois counter in Boots was new and fancy and shopping there felt like buying grownups makeup. The lipstick bullet was shiny and glamourous and expensive-looking (up until then I had only had a drawer full of Boots 17 and Rimmel push-up lipsticks with terrible packaging, not even aware that lip pencil even existed). I was so in awe of this woman who took the time to show a teen girl how to wear the two together. Wherever she may be I hope she is still as fabulous as she appeared to me that day, and still as excellent on her advice to makeup amateurs. I think that was the most I had ever spent on makeup to that point, but I didn’t regret it. I had a Saturday job and my main expenditure was on makeup. And so it began.
By the mid 1980s I’d graduated to Miss Selfridge Iron Lady lipstick, even trekking to the big one in Lewisham if Bromley was sold out. Everyone just had to have an Iron Lady but lip liner was never part of my makeup life again until I started working for MAC Cosmetics in the late 1990’s. That’s when Spice, and a few others, began to appear in my makeup kit and personal makeup bag.
Flash forward several years and I stopped being a fan of lip liner, probably because I saw more than my fair share of the chocolate liner/taupe lipstick combo during my time with MAC. Horrendously, IMO, it’s a look that’s back on the makeup stage in a big big way. Big big and bigger. And you know who I’m talkin bout Willis.
The hard line of an unblended lip line is one of my makeup pet peeves so I learnt do a perfect lip without a liner. With the right tool anything is possible. It’s not difficult to learn so have a go because, if you are a liner user, you never know when it might fall from your handbag on a big night out. You should know what to do in the case of such an emergency.
Note to selves: a dark, distinct, lipliner can be aging. So please think carefully if that’s the makeup habit you’ve fallen into. Try going without for a day and see what happens.
Although my attitude about lip-lining may be quite different than yours, a product has appeared on the market that has caused me to reconsider. Yes, one that is good to enough to change my mind has come along, and it deserves a special mention. For it to have made it into my shopping cart, it had to possess certain qualities, including but not necessarily limited to:
I found all these things in the Lip Cheat pencils from Charlotte Tilbury. These pencils are made to “reshape and resize your lips” and do so beautifully. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bought one. And other one and another one! One in each bag at the moment. Not to mention all the shades which I now have in my makeup kit.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheats are a makeup product extraordinaire IMO and the name is a perfect moniker, describing why I’ve started using them- to add a bit of oomph because lets’s face it, Honey I Shrank My Lips. I use a couple in natural colours (Iconic Nude, Pillow Talk and Pink Venus for my skin tone; for yours it might be more Foxy Brown) to slightly redraw my lipline in a couple of places to add a bit of volume. I usually wear them with with a just a lipgloss for my day look because it reflects light and makes lips look bigger. Right now I am obsessed with her lipgloss in Seduction which is a wonderful, flattering nude for any skin tone. It’s also a colour that deserves special mention; a good nude is hard to find!
Lip Cheats come on 10 colours. For a natural look use a shade closest to your lip colour. I even use a natural colour when I wear a bright or dark lipstick. If you blend the edges before you put on the lipstick it won’t show and that way you don’t need a different colour to match every lipstick.
The pencils retail for $22 in the US and £16 in the UK: which makes them very good value for money in my opinion and much less than injectables! Think of the Lip Cheat as good for your look and good for your health, a worthwhile investment don’t you think? I’m not going to do lip injections so this is the solution for me.
Carry On Cheating, glossaholics!
If you enjoy the blog, don’t forget to sign up to the email list for notifications of new posts.PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.