Sophisticated Look (Just Don’t Mention The Bedsocks)

Having slightly shocked myself yesterday with the number of lipsticks I own, I was considering what to pair with a red lipstick, and thought you might like to see the results.

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First up, the base is Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 in shade 02 (£22.50 for 30ml) and Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (which seems strangely impossible to obtain in this shade from the Nars website but can be found in Space NK – £22). I apply both of these with No7 brushes (Foundation Brush £14 and Concealer Brush £8; both from boots.com), then judicious use of a finger to blend any little areas that have been missed by looking very closely in the mirror (I have a very strong glasses prescription, so have to go very close-up to get any accuracy).

Next up, the eyes. First, a touch of attention to the eyebrows. I often don’t bother with this as I am of the humble opinion that my eyebrows are, as Mary Poppins would say, practically perfect in every way. However with bold make up on my eyes (and I suspect also with a bold lip, as in this case), it can overpower my brows, as they are a lighter brown than my hair might indicate (both natural, I assure you). So I’ve added some By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in shade 2 Medium Ash (£26) just to give them a little bit of a boost. Then a nice slick of black eye liner – Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner in Black (£12) – which I’ve done a touch more thickly than normal today. I got this liner as a freebie from, I think, Glamour magazine a few months ago and a lot of beauty bloggers wrote quite critical reviews on the lack of flow consistency. They may be right; mine has been ok, but as I’m so timid with the darn thing, I barely use any in one go normally, so the aforementioned drying up may have passed me by. Anyway, this go has convinced me I can put more on without looking like a panda, so I may be dipping more of my leg in the eye liner pool in future.

Then the mascara. I have historically believed that – colour and waterproofosity (it’s a word now I’ve used it!) aside – there is little to be discerned between the brands and types. I have just bought (in a set with their new eye liner) Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara (£19.50), and assume that one of the four scenarios below must be true:

  1. I have finally learned how to apply it properly (which seems unlikely, as I’m still regularly blinking at an awkward moment, resulting in huge amounts of the stuff transferring to my lashes and their immediate environs);
  2. I have only bought crappy cheap mascara before, and have now graduated to the proper stuff;
  3. Mascara is, generally, much better than it used to be; or
  4. Benefit has cracked it.

As you can see from the photo above of me with my eyes closed, my lashes do not resemble an homage to Barbara Cartland, which I promise is unusual for me. If you look closely enough, I’m pretty darn close to having separate lashes. If scenario 4 is not actually the case, then Benefit has won the Musical Chairs Mascara-style by being the brand I use when the metaphorical music stops, and will be bought by me for ever more.

I would normally, at this stage, add some colour to my eyelids. I have become obsessed with all the crayon type sticks for this purpose and have mountains of them. But given that the purpose of this face is to showcase the red lips, I thought I’d have a go at accentuating the beautiful liner by adding a line of No7 Stay Perfect Shade & Define in Pink Pearl (£8) above the black, and just below my brow line.

Then cheeks time. I put a little dot of No7 Blush Tint in Rosebud (£9) on the apple of my cheeks and blended it back along the cheekbone with my fingers, and followed up with a sweep of the Body Shop Brush On Radiance (£14 for 28g) all over my face, using a kabuki brush (From Kiko Cosmetics, £13.50). For no technical reason; I just love kabuki brushes.

I have started using Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm (£17 for 11.6ml – and how long is that product name anyway?) before bed, in a desperate attempt to get my dry lips under control now that I wear lipstick more frequently (thus calling attention to wayward skin flakes and preventing habitual use of lip balm). But my immediate saviour is Mac Prep + Prime (£13 for 1.7g), before applying the colour.

On with the lippy! Today, it’s Mac Lipstick in Russian Red (£15.50 for 3g); I apply a coat directly, then blot and repeat. I generally keep my lips matte, as I’m a bit twitchy about them feeling sticky with too much gloss, but I thought today I would add a little bit in the middle – Mac Tinted Lip Glass in Glam (£14.50 for 4.8g). Then finally, as I had a sample size of No7 Skin Illuminator in Peach (£11, full size), I thought I would put a bit of that on my cupid’s bow.

So there you go. It took a heck of a lot longer to describe than it did to apply. And my lovely face seems a bit of a waste when all I’m doing is sitting watching tv in my bedsocks!

One more thing. Look at these photos:

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All these were taken at roughly the same time, in the same way, and yet look at the difference in my skin tone! I have a long way to go at getting the hang of this photography lark!

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