Monday, 24 December 2012

How to help your lipstick survive dinner

Bold red lips is one of the most popular makeup look for the holiday season. It is the ultimate accessory that suits absolutely everyone. I love red lips, and have been using "its Christmas!" as an excuse to wear my favourite reds every single day, including around the house. 

Bright lipstick is notoriously impractical, especially if you are like me, and you can't help but maintain the incoming food flow more or less constant. So I thought I'd share my lipstick application routine that  prevents it from wearing off too soon, and helps it fade gracefully. 

Apply moisturising lip balm in advance, or simply start with bare lips. 

Pick a lip pencil closest to the colour of your lipstick. Using a sharp pencil will help you get the a more precise line, especially if you're not well practiced, but as you can tell, my liner here is reasonably blunt, which makes it glide easier.

Next, fill in the outline that you have created. This will ensure that if you do eat (I know I will!) or drink, even if the gloss of the lipstick wears off, the stain of the pencil won't leave you with a blank lip centre.

Now the obvious part - apply your lipstick. The key to success of this whole process is to work in thin layers, so make sure you don't go over the same area more than once - just enough for the lipstick to show its colour. Using a lip brush instead of going straight from the bullet will give you an even thinner layer, and will also allow you to get closer to the edges, in case your liner and lipstick don't match exactly.

Now grab a tissue and press it against the lips once or twice. This will take the excess product off, leaving the pigment behind.

For the final step, apply your lipstick again, but this time use dabbing motions, rather than sweeps. Only  pat the lipstick in the centre of your lips, where the gloss will have been removed by the tissue.

And you're done! Hopefully this will help you be less conscious of your bright pout while helping yourself to a pork pie. 

Happy Holidays! x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 23

It's the day before last of the nail polish advent calendar, and I don't know how I am going to wean myself off of getting a new bottle every day.

Today I receive a wonderful bright green cream -  Mojito.

The colour remind me of fresh peas in a pod. Its bright, and remarkably unseasonal. I can see myself wearing it a ton in the summer though!

Ciate Advent Day 22

On December 22 we had the last caviar in the Mini Mani Month, and this one's a bit of a weird one - Sundance.

Sundance is a mix of gold and blue beads with large gold glitter thrown in. I like the colours separately, and the little bead texture is mesmerisingly beautiful, but I must admin, blue+yellow, in my opinion, is just about the ugliest colour combo imaginable.

Really not sure how I could make this work, let me know if you have a base colour suggestion. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 21

On December 21 I discovered a taupe beauty by the name of Fade to Greige

According to google, 'greige' is a term used in textile production, and refers to undied and unbleached (virgin) fabrics. In the land of polishaholics however, 'greige' is used to describe a colour that is somewhere between grey and beige. Think Chanel's Particuliere, that singlehandedly started this trend. 

Fade to Greige is Ciate's take on the the classy marriage of grey and brown, and I love how they've executed it. Amongst the obvious suspects (grey+brown), this colour has a plummy purply look to it, which makes it unlike the multitude of other Particuliere wannabes.

I think I say this about every polish, but I do think this may be one of my favourites so far!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 20

20th December was my birthday, and it's like they knew! The polish of the day was Magic Carpet - a purply magenta glitter.

The glitter in this is not very dense, it took me about three coats to get an even layer on an accent nail, but it that makes it a perfect layering glitter. Yum.

Here it is with Cutie Pie from yesterday, replacing the caviar accent nails. Very girly. Too girly, even?

Birthday NOTD

Although the plan was to wear the Candy Shop caviar with the pale grey Cookies and Cream (which I am missing), I paired it up with Cutie Pie from earlier in the Mini Mani Month. 

I ended up with a centimetres worth of nail polish coat, because the pink was very sheer. It will make a good  French manicure polish, but not very good solid pink. I mean, you can still build it up, and maybe if you had even a fraction more patience than me, you won't drag the previous coat, causing streaks, and it will take you less than four coats.

Ciate Cutie Pie and Candy Shop on the accent nail

An honourable mention to my Revlon Quick Dry top coat, which is the shiniest, quickest, dryest top coat of them all.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 19

This morning's Advent discovery was probably one of the most exciting ones so far. I don't think of myself as having dull taste for nail polish, but today's Cookies and Cream, which looks like the plainest of the plain at first site, got me all giddy.

It doesn't come out on pictures as it looks in real life. Cookies and Cream is a very light creamy (how many times can I say 'cream' in this post?) grey. It doesn't lean pink, like it looks on the first picture. This shady photo below is more accurate.

I was so excited, that I was going to make this guy my Birthday polish. It's a big decision, and a tough choice. I was so excited, that I kept it standing proudly on my desk while I packed up the rest of the Mini Mani Month, my hot rollers and my dog, got in the car and drove off to the opposite end of the country.  I forgot it home, basically. What on earth am I to do now?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 18

I can't entirely believe that I have accumulated 18 new nail polishes over the last month. And we've still got more coming! Unbelievable. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Number 18 is a cheerful caviar - Candy Shop

Candy Shop is a mix of orange, hot pink and turquoise beads. This one out of the three caviars I own now looks the most edible. Hence the name, I guess.

People have been putting this on a blue base, which looks nice, but I think it would look particularly cool with an orange or yellow base to accentuate the brightness of the mix.

Ciate Advent Day 17

Door 17th, and the Advent wonder of the day was Power Dressing. I didn't get the reference. All I could picture was a salad with French dressing overflowing. I was explained, however, that 'power dressing' is referring to powerful women in tailored suits, which makes a lot more sense now. Duh.

While we're on the topic, actually - I don't think Ciate are particularly great at naming their babies. Not that I expect every beauty brand headquarters to have a specially trained team of punsters e.g. OPI and their 'Berlin There Done That' (for their Germany collection) or Illamasqua with the Zygomatic blusher (Zygomatic's the skull bone where your blush goes), but something about Ciate's titles just isn't sticking.

Power Dressing is a very dark navy cream. It almost looks black, but not. I guess it does look like that tricky suit fabric, where you can't quite tell it's blue until you put black next to it. The polish looks smart, I can picture it well on short nails with a very glossy top coat.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 16

Today I finally got my hands on Ciate's Big Yellow Taxi. It one one of the few polishes I knew was included in the Mini Mani Month, and I also knew that is was supposed to be a very flattering yellow. 

Big Yellow Taxi is a milky yellow, but it's definitely not a pastel. It doesn't have a mustardy tint to it, which I am always wary of in yellows.

I love yellow nail polish! Ever since Chanel came out with Mimosa (which made quite a lot of noise in the beauty community both for how stunning the colour it was and for what poor quality it had), I have been attracted to yellow polish on days when I feel quirky or particularly bright.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 15

It's December 14th, and it's 12° outside. I can't complain, but there's this huge discrepancy between what I see out of my window and what my Christmas song playlist is telling me should be happening.

Anyway. Ciate is taking me out of my comfort zone again with a turquoise blue. Here's Headliner. Check out the bow on this guy! It's drunk.

It reminds me of Essie's Turquoise and Caicos, but probably only because it is the only other light bright blue polish I own. Side by side, they are embarrassingly  dissimilar.

I did go through a phase this summer where I would wear Turquoise and Caicos for a week, take it of and then repaint it again immediately. I like it a lot. So I am less skeptical of Headliner than I would be, had I not "forced" myself to try out the gorgeous Essie.

I realise that sounds so... trivial. Maybe I should join Superfishiality-holics Anonymous or something. We can all get together and discuss how one does not simply wear boots with a sleeveless dress.


This is Ciate Vintage, a friend from Advent Day 8. It's great. I love it! In fact, I love it so much, I have it on fingers AND toes. And that rarely happens.

 The picture below is 2 coats. So far I am liking the formula of the Mini Mani polishes, in particular - the brush.

Totally intentionally (ahem..), half of the swatch is in the sun, and half - in the shade.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 14

Friday! Wht joy, I thought it was never gonna come! And we have a bright polish to commemorate this December landmark, as this is the last Friday I am working this year!

Speed dial is an in-your-face orange. How fun! It isn't particularly seasonally appropriate (and I am known to suffer from seasonal colour-matching), but I may just do a cheeky pedicure to wave around in Pilates.

Who am I kidding, this girl aint going to no Pilates over the next few weeks, just hand me a fork and move those roast potatoes a bit closer.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 13

December 13, and I am running out of ways to introduce these posts. Today's polish is called Glass Slipper.

Glass Slipper is the first straight up glitter from the Mini Mani Month collection. Beautiful dense blue glitter in a clear base.

True blue is probably the rarest colour out of any that I wear on the nails. I simply cannot rid myself of the associations with frostbite. I haven't tried a blue glitter though, so maybe this one will push me over the edge.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 12

The other day I told my boss I had a nail polish advent calendar. If he still had any faith in my sanity, I suspect it has now been shattered. Reminds me of the occasion when he thought he heard me say I owned eighteen nail polishes. "Dear Lord!" he said, "EightEEN!" To which I replied "Ahem, that would be eightY".. And that was quite some time ago too.

As for my newest friend, here is Twilight.

Twilight is black with fine golden glitter running through. The polishes from the last three days follow a similar 'black-n-gold' theme, all go nicely together and the bottles look great side by side.

The glitter in it is somewhat multi-coloured - it has that slight olive flash that Ladylike Luxe from two days ago has. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 11

Day 11, and I can't believe we're not even half through the Mini Many month! As in, my lineup of curvy bottles is going to more than double. 

Another caviar, appropriately named Bumble bee

It's a mix of golden-yellow and black beads. It looks absolutely great! I wish the party outfits I have planned for the next couple of weeks don't  lend themselves to golden tones.


La Roche-Posay Offer

Just in time for my sudden awareness of how much I need the Effaclar products from La Roche-Posay, Boots is doing a 2 for £15 promotion. Which means that you can pick up the skincare celebrity, miss Effaclar Duo (usually £13 for 40 ml), and grab another product from the range (or two of the same, for that matter) for just £2 extra. 

La Roche-Posay is a French skincare brand, 'committed to the dermatology and committed to the environment', as they themselves promise. I think it owes its popularity to its middle-of-the-range price point that appeals to people wanting to upgrade from the likes of Clean and Clear, but don't want to go all in either. Not to be overlooked, the products themselves deserve their good reputation.

The Effaclar range is designed for sensitive oily skin that is prone to clogged pores, uneven surface and post-acne scarring. You don't see many products geered towards helping this skintype; often supposedly effective oily skin treatments are as harsh as dipping your nose into washing up liquid. 

So there I am, reading the enticing claims and unison reviews one minute (rapidly understanding that I immediately require every single one of the Effaclar representatives), and next - I'm in the queue in Boots. By some Christmas miacle, I've managed to get my hands on the most coveted item of the range - the Duo, as well as their foaming cleanser to go with my Clarisonic. And let me tell you, I've never been so quick to rush to the sink to remove my makeup as I was today, eager to try out my purchases. 

With such outstanding reviews, I expect no less than to wake up looking as though I've slathered myself in Photoshop. In the mean time, head out to Boots to make good use of the offer, and collect triple points while you're at it. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 10

It's December 10th, and this month is really flying by! Only 21 days left till 2013, which doesn't even sound like a real year.

Ciate's offering for today is Ladylike Luxe, which is an unusual gold.

Ladylike Luxe is a golden metallic with silver shimmer running through. It has an almost olive antiqued gold look, which makes it unusual in my collection. The olive undertone was hard to translate into pictures, but it somewhat shows up in the darker picture above.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 9

Advent day 9, and my polish armada is looking rather mighty! Today I received a bright orange-tone red, playfully named Mistress

Mistress is the colour that comes up if you Google 'red', but me and Google have been known to disagree in colour judgements (I could host a whole debate on the 'fuchsias', 'magentas' and 'hot pinks').     When I opened the polish window this morning in dim light I assumed the colour was orange.

As I've mentioned before, orange-reds aren't my favourite to wear on my fingers, perhaps because they accentuate the yellow tones in my skin, making my hands look like I've been peeling potatoes. These shades do make a lovely toenail polish though, especially with a Dita-esque peep toe shoe.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Ciate Advent Day 8

It's December the 8th, and today I've retrieved a chique polish by the name of Vintage, and let me tell you - it is beautiful.


Ciate describe this one as a 'rich, deep and majestic grey', but it is more than just that in real life. At first I thought it leaned green, then I decided it looks kind of blue, and obviously grey. It's all of those colours, and will show up uniquely with every different skin tone.

Vintage is a nice variation on the ongoing grey nail trend. I am totally embracing greys this winter, so I like this shade ever so much.