Sunday, 28 February 2010
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Tali's fantastic post on weight and age issues surrounding models in the fashion industry made me think some more about appearance and what kind of images are being projected to women on a daily basis in adverts and magazines. I just wanted to touch on airbrushing in the media and give some opinions on it and also to hear what you guys think about this subject. Whether you agree or disagree, all comments are welcome!
In some way or another, over the course of human history, women's appearance has been altered for artistic means. Painters often altered the dimensions of their subjects to create a more beautiful image that was fashionable during that era.
It seems that the manipulation of the female form in art or media continues to this day, however, things have got a lot more technical with the introduction of intricate airbrushing in the last couple of decades. But with all these 'improvements' being made to photographs of models and celebrities, it begs the question...where do we draw the line?
A lot of politicians have expressed the opinion that airbrushed photographs should be banned in material targeted at under-16's in order to protect their health and self-esteem. To me, this really makes sense because teenagers are particularly susceptible to feelings of depression and low self-esteem and I don't think that idolising images of women with unattainable features is healthy. The majority of images we see nowadays have been doctored in one way or another and sometimes people end up looking completely different.
Images of Twiggy for Olay face cream and Jessica Alba for a Campari advert have both been criticised in the newspapers for being heavily airbrushed before publication. In the case of Twiggy, a lot of lines and wrinkles had been removed and Jessica Alba was made to look slimmer (as if she needed that!). The brands know that the average woman will compare herself to these images and aspire to reach the heights that this kind of 'digital' beauty demands...the only problem being that it's not real!
There are exceptions to the rule though and I recently learned that Michelle Mone, the creator of Ultimo lingerie, launched the advertising campaign featuring Peaches Geldof with un-doctored photographs, and she strongly believes that other brands should follow her more ethical lead. She was quoted as saying "A lot of adults appreciate how far images are digitally enhanced, but we need to protect younger generations, because these are the images they're striving to emulate. My daughter is only 16 years old and I would hate to think that she feels unnecessary pressure to be picture-perfect, when a lot of images have been Photoshopped to death. The problem is, it has become acceptable to airbrush to ridiculous lengths. Alot of people no longer know what a woman's body looks like, which is why, with our latest Miss Ultimo campaign featuring Peaches Geldof, we made sure that her natural curves and her tattoos were in there - all the intricacies that make her a beautiful young woman".
Speaking as an 'average' woman I know myself that it's hard not to look at digitally enhanced photographs of models and celebs and not feel a little bit inadequate. But, what scares me is that these images are causing young girls to chase the illusion of a flawless appearance. I strive to achieve a flawless appearance through the use of makeup but to me, cosmetics are for enhancing your natural features, NOT completely changing them beyond all recognition.
Kate Winslet was famously outraged at GQ magazine when her photos were enhanced before they appeared on the cover. GQ's editor, Dylan Jones, said the photographs had been "highly styled, buffed, trimmed and altered...to make the subject look as good as humanly possible". Kate Winslet made it clear to GQ magazine and the media that she was not consulted about the digital alterations made afterwards to lengthen her legs and flatten her stomach and she certainly did not advocate it. Go Kate!
Everyone wants to look good and it's natural to want to project the best 'version' of yourself. But when photos of models and celebs, who are already absolutely beautiful in their natural state, are being modelled on the media's perception of what is attractive and desirable, well, I think there needs to be a line drawn. I don't blame the celebs, as a lot of the time, magazines digitally enhance photos without their say so. I think society's overall perception of what is beautiful needs to be re-assessed.Do you think that images should include a warning detailing what has been altered to promote more honesty about what has been retouched or do you think it would ruin the magic?
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
1) Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer - Oh how I love this bronzer! It's just perfection as a daytime product because it goes on so silky smooth, it's matte so no shimmery bits, it blends like a dream and it has cool undertones so no chance of you looking orangey. It looks so natural and would suit most skin tones as it can be applied lightly to paler skin and built up for a more intense look if you have a killer tan or darker skin tone. I really can't fault this stuff to be honest! The disc compact is probably the biggest one I own. I use it regularly and I haven't even hit pan yet. Good value for money! I really like the bronze coloured packaging with gold detailing. I also love that they provide you with a plastic guard for the pan and a high quality big brush which is perfect for touch ups if needed. Paul & Joe Bronzer in 001 - This bronzer is the palest one I own but don't let that put you off...it actually gives a really nice, healthy golden hue to the skin (you will see what I mean in the swatch comparison below). i would say that this one is perfect for girls with paler skin because it's very subtle and just adds a hint of colour. It has a really smooth, gorgeous texture and doesn't need a lot of blending due to it's subtelty. You don't get a huge amount of product for your money BUT since you don't often find such a great bronzer for paler skin, I think it's worth it. The metallic packaging looks gorgeous with it's pretty and intricate design...until you touch it and realise it's plastic. I guess there's an upside to that because it would be more convenient for travel, given that it weighs next to nothing.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Here’s the lowdown from the Clinique website:
“New Even Better Foundation SPF15 oil free formula, a powerful foundation developed to help combat hyper-pigmentation and deliver brighter skin, both immediately and over time. Includes treatment benefits to help even skin tone and SPF protection to help prevent future hyper-pigmentation. Provides moderate to full coverage, leaving skin instantly perfected with a unique mineral blend”.
(Pic courtesy of Clinique website) - apologies...my camera has gone on the blink again!
The first thing I would say about this foundation is that I feel that it is more a light to medium/medium coverage. Coverage is important to me because I have redness on my cheeks that MUST be camouflaged! I would say that my coverage preference goes a little bit like this…light to medium coverage for days when my skin is behaving itself or I'm more tanned and medium coverage for the days when it’s not, or when it’s very cold outside and I get the dreaded Rudolph nose effect. I don’t agree that it’s full coverage as to me, that means something like Estee Lauder Full Coverage Maximum Cover or MakeUp Forever’s Matt +. It’s totally a personal preference but I don’t like to build up layers of foundation on my face. I always find that the more you layer on, the less of your skin’s texture shows through so it ends up looking too heavy or cakey.
This foundation has a nice consistency that makes it easy to blend, it’s not too thick and not too thin but I personally think it applies best when you use your fingers. It evened out my skin tone and imparted a nice glow/ subtle luminosity to my skin that made it look really healthy and brightened. It’s the kind of foundation that is light enough to wear every day without feeling like you’re suffocating your skin. It looks natural and I didn’t notice an orange tinge developing like some people have reported in their reviews. This could be because I used the Neutral shade.
I tried this foundation when I had a couple of scars from spots on my chin, granted it didn’t cover these effectively but as I have said in previous posts, foundation is not designed to cover spots, it’s just designed to even out skin tone. So when you look at it like that, this foundation definitely does it’s job. I’d say it’s in the same family as Korres Wild Rose foundation and Diorskin Nude in that it gives the skin a slight sheen (not oily or greasy though). I still prefer Diorskin Nude to this foundation but I like the Clinique one for every day use. It had good staying power and still looks good at the end of a working day, I did have to powder my face midday to eliminate any shine though on my T Zone. I don’t think I would use this foundation if I was going out for the night as I don’t think it would withstand being in a hot club enduring copious amounts of dancing! But I always need something with more coverage for that kind of thing so that’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Some people have reported clogged pores/breakouts (possibly due to the SPF) from this foundation however I didn’t experience any of that. It didn’t irritate my skin in any way but I would highly recommend a patch test on an area where you would normally break out, just in case. All foundations will react differently from person to person so it's important to bear that in mind.
So overall, I like this product, it’s good for days when you just want a natural healthy look and time will tell whether it improves my overall skin tone with long term use…
Monday, 22 February 2010
I currently use two types of self tan, Dove Summer Glow for general use which I normally apply twice a week and if I have a sepcial occasion, then I apply Xen Tan Intense Mousse for a more bronzed look. However, lately I have been wondering what would be best to use for my wedding day as the Dove Summer Glow is too light and if you layer it over a few days then sometimes the colour can build up on your elbows, under your arms or on your knees (even when I exfoliate like mad!). You are sometimes left with uneven colour which definitely don't want! However, the Xen Tan is just that bit too dark for my wedding day and I really want something in between the shades that those two products deliver. What I am really trying to achieve on the day is a nice light golden caramel shade that looks subtle and healthy (the pic below demonstrates my idea of the PERFECT shade):So...I have been looking into self-tanning products from various brands to try and find the best possible product for me. These are the main things I will be looking for in my HG wedding fake tanning product:
- A natural looking, pale golden, even tan
- A product that doesn't leave a weird lingering biscuit smell behind
- Quick Drying
- Reasonably non-messy application (preferably a light milk or mousse formulation)
I will be testing out different fake tans and gradual tanners over the next couple of months and have listed some products that I have in mind below (feel free to share your thoughts on them if you have already tried them!):
Vichy Capital Soleil Self Tanning Milk
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Golden Perfection Self Tanning Milk
Clinique Body Daily Moisturiser Light (Medium)
One that really interests me is the Piz Buin Colour Dial Self Tan because you can tailor the colour to suit you...genius idea but whether it works is another matter...In the meantime, does anyone have any recommendations? (Please note that, personally, St Tropez, Fake Bake and Xen Tan go too dark on my skin so I won't be using them).
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Face: Korres Wild Rose Foundation, Korres Wild Rose Concealer (under eyes), Omorovicza Correcting Pencil (around nose and on blemishes), MAC MSF Natural Medium, Benefit Powderflage under eyes, Paul & Joe Bronzer 001, Sleek Face Contour Palette, MAC Well Dressed Blush, Nars Albatross.Eyes: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, Too Faced e/s in Silk Teddy all over lid, DuWop Heavy Metal Metallic Eyeshadow (Taupe) in crease and outer, Too Faced e/s in Sexpresso in outer, MAC Vanilla pigment in centre of lid, Estee Lauder Pure Colour e/s in Vanilla on browbone, Paul & Joe Eye Gloss in 01 in tearducts, MAC Fluidline in Dipdown (brown), Benefit Hgh Brow (used on waterline), Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara in Black Clinique Instant Lift for Brows in 01 Soft Blonde.Lips: Estee Lauder Double Wear Lip Liner in Rose,Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Vanilla Truffle, Le Metier De Beaute Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss in Dubai.
Now for a closer look at the new products I used...
Just how pretty is this Paul & Joe Bronzer packaging! Just look at the intricate design on the lid...love it! However, I must say that I was a little bit disappointed that the packaging is plastic and not metal. It feels slightly flimsy but it doesn't affect my opinion of the product inside...which is that it's gorgeous and oh so natural. The pan itself looks like this...
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Friday, 19 February 2010
Rae from theNotice shares her skincare secret to flawless, pore-free skin.
Phyrra gives you an exclusive interview with Fyrinnae Cosmetics in February's Indie Spotlight.
Betty's Dragon Fruit Eye Look is now up at Betty Girl Makeup. It's her first tutorial and she's wicked excited!
Arianne at Glitter Geek is absolutely smitten over her new drugstore superhero -- Aveeno Hand Cream.
Krasey Beauty takes New York Fashion Week by storm, and goes backstage with L.A.M.B, MAC, CND, and MoroccanOil.
Lisa Kate attempts her first Konadicure...please help her!
Jellyminx goes shopping again and again and again and again!!
Sarah at I Heart Cosmetics hunted high and low, and finally managed to purchase the Estee Lauder and Michael Kors Very Hollywood Collection.
Thought you found your HG red lipstick? So did Hell Candy Make Up until she discovered this oh so glamorous lippie!
There be lemmings-a-plenty when Lipglossiping shows off NARS Purple Rain this week!
Tarte ReCreate Anti-Aging Foundation just so happens to be the answer to Prime Beauty's prayers.
Melovemakeup shows how gorgeous the eyeshadow in the Trucco Angelface Palette is - duochrome heaven!
Say bye bye to dark circles and hello to bright eyes with Liparazzi!
Maggie gets electrified by L'Oreal HiP's Black Shock.
This week on Get Lippie, Louise goes a little bananas at the makers of "Chemical Free" products and hopes she'll be forgiven.
Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed gets super excited by Chanel's new Fast Track Orient Extreme mini collection!
Thursday, 18 February 2010
“With revolutionary Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal, life doesn't stop just because you're whitening. Its groundbreaking adhesive formulation holds the Whitestrips in place, so you can whistle along with the radio, take a shower, and even drink water while you whiten!”
I would agree that the seal is good and the strips do stay in place for the whole 30 mins and I could chat away whilst wearing them but I don’t know about drinking water! I didn’t do that as I was worried that the gel might not be as effective if they came into contact with a lot of water in my mouth. The pack states that the results are guaranteed to last for 12 months. Here's what the strips look like...
I have just noted below some things to bear in mind if you want to try these:
Crest Whitestrips will only whiten natural teeth; they will not whiten caps, crowns, veneers, fillings, or dentures.
Crest Whitestrips should not harm most dental work.
Do not use with dental braces.
My teeth have definitely been noticeably whitened but they’re not ridiculously white…I was determined not to get the eye blindingly white look…that always looks so false. I have very sensitive teeth but amazingly I haven’t experienced any pain or discomfort from using the White Strips at all. I don’t know if that’s because I brushed my teeth directly after using them but it must have helped. So, this product has been a massive success for me and I’m REALLY pleased with the results! I will just be using a gentle whitening toothpaste up until the wedding just to keep my teeth looking nice. I will definitely be re-purchasing this product to keep my smile nice and bright!I got mine for £23.95 from http://www.discounthealthproducts.co.uk/Crest_Whitestrips_Supreme.htm. The website states that it's a 7 day supply but the instructions on the packet say to just apply them ONCE a day.
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
I know this is a problem for lots of other women, so I decided to make this post into a little guide on what works for me and I also have a few little tips as well that I have picked up along the way.
First up, using a light eye cream containing Avocado oil, Chamomile, Sesame, Vitamin K and Vitamin E will help to reduce some of the darkness under the eye. It’s best not to use heavy formulas or normal moisturiser as these are way too dense for the skin under the eye and can cause swelling/puffiness. Using eye cream will also stop your makeup from caking.
I have always found that the way you apply the concealer under your eyes is just as important as the actual product you use. For instance, there’s absolutely no point in applying a concealer that’s a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone on the whole area under your eye. This doesn’t achieve anything as you are lightening the dark shadows AND lightening the area that surrounds the dark shadows so in essence, they cancel each other out! This also creates a weird reverse raccoon effect when you get your photo taken (I have seen many celeb pics where they have way too much illuminating concealer under their eyes and they end up with white circles).
Also, don’t use any products that are too thick/heavy on the delicate skin that surrounds the eye, it will just look cakey. I think the key to getting it right is choosing the right shade which is generally one shade lighter than your foundation (difficult to do when some brands only offer a very limited choice of shades). Generally, peach toned concealers are best for those with paler skin and yellow toned concealers are best for medium to dark skin tones.
This is a fantastic video to watch about concealer by Lisa Eldridge, the famous makeup artist, she has taught me A LOT! She has a great way of making you re-think your whole perception of makeup…
Lisa explains how you should ONLY apply concealer to the areas of the eyes where you have dark areas (which is generally the inner corner and outer corner of the eye). Once you adopt this technique, you will really see a difference and you also don’t need as much product which is always a bonus! A really good product is the Benefit Eye Bright section of the Brows A Go-Go palette shown below. The pale pink creamy corrector (front right hand side of palette pictured below) is brilliant for brightening the eye area. I just apply it with my finger.Another good technique to use is the ‘upside down triangle’ method. Basically you apply your under eye concealer in a triangle shape with the flat base sitting against your eye, so it would be pointing down towards your cheek (running up against and parallel to your nose). This creates an optical illusion that brightens the area and draws the eye away from any darkness. I learnt this technique from the YouTube goddess Kandee The Makeup Artist. I have found that it’s best to use a creamy concealer for this rather than a liquid formula as it’s easier to blend it down. I only use this method when I am doing more dramatic makeup looks for night time as I feel it’s a bit much for the day, but that’s just my personal preference.
I use a few different concealers depending on how bad my dark circles are. I have listed my favourite ones below and why I like them:
Korres Wild Rose Brightening Concealer – This is a brilliant illuminating everyday concealer with a light formulation that offers a lot more coverage than any of the other illuminating products such as YSL Touche Eclat. It doesn’t settle into lines or wrinkles, it doesn’t cake and it lasts all day whilst really brightening the whole eye area.
Bobbi Brown Corrector – This is a great product because it concentrates more on correcting the colour under your eyes rather than just lightening it. It comes in a wide range of shades and can be used underneath a conventional concealer if you need a lot of camouflage under the eyes. It’s long lasting and when applied thinly and with care, it looks really natural.
MUFE Full Cover – This stuff is heavy duty! It’s very opaque and you only need a tiny bit but boy does it cover up! You have to be careful to use it sparingly on the eye area but I like to use this for night time looks to get a totally flawless look. There is a large choice of shades so there’s bound to be something there to suit everyone.
Clinique All About Eyes – I like to use this product when I’m suffering from a lack of sleep because it reduces any puffiness as well as concealing (I don’t suffer from severe puffiness, just very slightly when I’m tired). It’s oil-free and doesn’t settle into lines and it lasts all day without melting off. The down side is there’s only 4 shades available but luckily No.02 Light Golden was a great match for my skin tone.
I prefer to apply under eye concealers with my fingers rather than with a brush. The warmth from your fingers helps to blend the product into the area (you can always go over the area with a clean fluffy brush to really buff the product in if you have extra time).
Another great product to help brighten the eye area is Benefit Powderflage. Now I know some people don’t see the point in this product but I have never classed it as a concealer, I use it as a finishing product. In the same way you use light diffusing powder to set foundation, this pale pink brightening powder is great to apply over the top of your under eye concealer to set it and sap up any excess moisture and also to brighten the whole area. I don’t apply mine with the small fan brush that comes with it, but with a clean eye shadow brush with more density. I dust it on the area under the eye and it really diffuses/softens any fine lines and disguises my dark circles even more.
If anyone has any tips/advice on this matter, feel free to comment below…I’m always open to learning new things!
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
All of the products listed below are multi-use and can be applied under foundation, mixed with foundation, applied as a highlight on cheekbones etc or mixed with a body moisturiser.
Estee Lauder Spotlight Skin Tone Perfector
Description: “Silky, sheer lotion gives skin a healthy-looking, even-toned glow as soon as you put it on”
My Thoughts: This opalescent liquid has iridescent blue/violet and pink tones in it that really brighten up your skin. It always makes my skin look more radiant, even under foundation. The great thing about applying it under your foundation is that you get a really natural, subtle radiance that’s not shimmery or shiny in any way. It evens out my skin tone, sinks into the skin really quickly and makes it feel silky soft.
The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer in 02
Description: “Community Trade marula oil from Namibia helps to repair skin’s moisture barrier whilst light-diffusing particles provide instant radiance and help reduce the appearance of fine lines”.
My Thoughts: I love to use this product when I have a tan, the golden shade really brings my skin to life and you can really get a pretty glow. It’s good to your skin and doesn’t clog pores and it blends in seamlessly. I love to use this on holiday and mix a few drops in with my body moisturiser for glowy skin in the evening sun.
Virgin Vie Skin Dew
Description: “Soften and illuminate your complexion with a delicate hint of pink. Use as a primer under foundation or as a highlighter for cheeks and eyes over foundation to brighten your complexion”.
My Thoughts: This one is perfect for creating dewy fresh skin. It is a pearlescent pink tone that brightens the complexion and adds radiance. It is also great over foundation as a highlighter (it’s very similar to Benefit’s High Beam but a thicker consistency). I like to use this one in the winter as it compliments my paler skin tone at that time of year.
Clinique Up Lighting Liquid Illuminator in Natural
Description: “Sheer, lightweight liquid instantly illuminates skin. Highlights, contours cheeks, brow bones or all over face. Glides on to create a natural-looking luminosity. Perfect for all skin types and tones. Oil-free”.
My Thoughts: This is probably me favourite of the lot because no matter what time of year it is, this shade will make my skin look great. It’s a peachy gold shade that looks so pretty as a highlighter and really amps up the glow factor when you wear it under foundation. I love the consistency and the fact that it feels so light on the skin. Gorgeous!
MAC Strobe Liquid Lotion
Description: “Blending soft focus diffusers with iridescent pigments, this ultra-fluid strobe formula produces a soft radiant light on the skin, reducing the appearance of skin imperfections by providing a natural looking glow. Spreads on smoothly and absorbs quickly leaving the skin looking healthier and more radiant. A lighter weight addition to the popular strobe cream”.
My Thoughts: This lotion is great for winter too, it creates a really subtle effect under foundation and leaves your skin looking almost ethereal. I think a lot of people diss this product because they are looking for a more intense effect but in my eyes, if you are after that, then check out Strobe Cream which is a more dense, pigmented version of the lotion. It creates the most gorgeous sheen on your skin (although I prefer to apply it under my foundation or to my body as I prefer warmer colours for highlighting my facial features).
Sunday, 14 February 2010
But also, I just wanted to say, that for all the single girls out there, the best thing you can do on a day like today is pamper yourself, go out with your fabulous pals or just do something that you enjoy. There's alot of pressure on single people every year this day to be with someone. Some people treat it like a competition to prove that they are loved the most. But it's fine if you are quite happy on your own. Everyone is different. No one should need another person to COMPLETE them (that saying kinda bugs me). Your partner should be someone that you learn things from, have fun with and ultimately, they just make life even better. Some people find this in platonic love with a friend, a sibling etc so maybe St Valentine's shouldn't be about couples, it should just be about love in general and appreciating your loved ones. I think we all need to be reminded once in a while, take stock and count our blessings.
I was a very lucky girl because even though I wasn't expecting any presents at all, Chris got me some Dior Hypnotic Poison perfume and body lotion in a lovely makeup bag...he knows me so well!...The perfume has a lovely sweet spicy scent that's light enough to wear in the daytime...
Right, on to the product rave which is about Estee Lauder Daywear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturiser Sheer Tint Release Formula (yes, it has a veeeerrrrryy long title.ha ha). I have been using the Daywear Plus Cream for the last couple of months (although I use it as a night cream as it's quite intensive). That has worked wonders for my skin (post will come on that soon). However, THIS formula is perfect for daytime and would be AMAZING to use in the summer or on holiday. The formula is alot lighter and to be honest, it's just plain cool! Let me explain why...
Not only does this moisturiser have the same protection properties as the normal Daywear Cream to shield against pollution, dehydration, UV rays, free radicals etc but it has anti oxidants that help to keep your skin clear and healthy. It blends into the skin so well and doesn't leave it feeling slimy or tacky.I will just quickly list the main points to note about this moisturiser:
- It contains potent anti-oxidant ingredients like pure White Tea, South African Red Tea, Grape Seed, Rosemary, Vitamins C and E.
- It's hydrating without being oily
- It has SPF15
- It has oil control benefits
- Ideal for hot/humid climates (don't have to worry about that in the UK!)