Thursday, 25 July 2013

PHP's Beloved Beauty Bits (May/June)

My Beloved Beauty Bits took a bit of a break during May, because I felt I didn't have enough items for a post. I found I've been using a lot of the same things and doing the same looks (makeup wise) for two months, hence the lack of products (especially those I haven't already reviewed). So I've combined this post for May and June. The July one I can already tell will be bursting, as I've bought and tried lots of new products. It just shows how I can go through phases. I apologise that this one is coming so late in the month, but I've just been feeling totally unmotivated lately. I have half written posts and so many photos I've taken (so I've done all the hard work), there's just something stopping me getting on with it. Completely procrastinating! Anyway here we go.
Three products in this post have actually been my favourites to achieve the one look. You may have noticed that almost every single day for the past two months (and even this month), I've been smudging eyeshadow around my lashline (both above and under the eye), rather than taking it up to the crease or beyond. You can probably see it better demonstrated in the second photo above, as with my eye wide open (first image), it looks like I have taken the colour up to the crease. I don't know what started me on it, but I seriously love it. I don't want to say it looks "natural", because really how many people do you know with dark grey or bronze lashlines? Hmmm! However it doesn't look too 'done' or like you really tried that hard. It's quick to do and also seems to really make my eyes sparkle (more than if I'd worn the same colour up to the crease).
My favourite way of applying it, has been with my Pout Blender brush (above). I used to use this to apply a darker colour into the crease and also along the lower lashline, but it's proved invaluable for this look too. The rounded, dome shaped brush has short bristles which pick up enough colour and there's no art to it, you just pull the brush along the lashline and you get a thick line of colour. Once I've applied eyeliner, I then go back with this brush and smudge the two together, so the liner doesn't look too defined. I don't think a finger or regular eyeshadow brush would work the same way, so I've been overjoyed with this little tool.
Speaking of eyeliner, I've had to ditch the YSL pencil for this look, because a sleek black, solid line is going against what the eyeshadow is trying to achieve. Some people who perhaps already have quite defined eyes, could skip the liner part altogether, but I'm someone that really needs it. Before purchasing Benefit's Bad Gal, I envisioned this blacker than black, bold liner. It's in the name right? In reality it's actually not very black at all, so it's perfect for this (although at first I'd been disappointed). It also smudges very well. So I apply it and then go back over it with the blending brush, smudging it into the eyeshadow and lashline to make it look a little smokey.  It gives me enough definition without looking solid.   
It's a chunky pencil, so if a thin line is more your thing, you'll struggle to get that unless you constantly sharpen it to a thin point.
The third product I've loved for this look has been my ArtDeco pearl eyeshadows. The two newest colours I got were 05 Grey Brown and 18 Light Misty Wood and I've had the two on rotation since I got them. Light Misty Wood is probably my favourite of the two, if I had to pick.  It's a beautiful bronze which surprises me, as I'm not usually into that type of colour, but it looks awesome with my green eyes.  The pearl finish lends itself to the 'not too perfect' line I'm trying to achieve and both are nice neutral colours for this look. I also don't get a transfer line above my crease from my eyeshadow line when my eyes blink/open (although I always use primer anyway).  You can find swatches of these eyeshadows here.  
I've mentioned previously that I've fallen for highlighting and contouring the face. Well the love affair was a little short-lived! Although it's reasonably quick to do, it can still be a little time consuming when you're already pushed for time and it can involve a lot of products/tools. Plus I wasn't quite sure if it was even making a difference-if I was using the correct products and all the tutorials I've ever seen feature girls that already look Kim Kardashian-ish! I've got a wee chubby face and that aside, it's the lightness of my skin that's proving difficult with this technique. It's damn hard to find products lighter than your already pale skin for highlighting and although there's then a plethora of darker products for contouring, it's finding that balance of making an impact yet looking reasonably natural. So I've been more sporadic with my HaCing, but have still been on the lookout for items to help. I want something fuss-free and think I may have found it with the Benefit Eye Bright pencil.
It's much like the Bad Gal liner in size and is a pinkish shade. I kinda wish it weren't so pinky and was a straight white or even ivory colour, but the texture and application are winners for me. I can just apply this directly to my face (around the lips, down the centre of my nose, under the eyes, centre of my forehead and then the tops of my cheekbones) and either blend with my finger or whichever brush I'm using to blend the contour stuff with. It doesn't settle into lines, even under the eyes and is a great brightener. I find I use quite a lot of it each time and usually need to resharpen every application, so I can see me needing another one of these soon.
Now, I've made no secret of how much I love and have been lusting after YSL's Manifesto fragrance. My love for it was rekindled after I got a couple of samples and I just had to buy the full-size (a huge discount on Escentual helped as it is rather pricey). I like to call this my 'sensible, grown up' fragrance (step away from the Harajuku Lovers dolly bottles)! There's something very addictive about this and it was a bit of a 'grower' on me, but there was that special something, that had me going back for more. I think it's a really unique scent blending Jasmine, Blackcurrant, Green Notes and Vanilla. Along with Tonka Bean, which according to Pagan beliefs can boost the immune system, chase away negative thoughts, cure the soul and relieve symptoms of depression, when crushed in tea. It's also been said that holding the bean whilst making a wish, makes it come true! I like that little story and if any of those things occur as a result of a little scoosh of perfume, it is money well spent ; ) You can also find the bean in Thierry Mugler Angel, Coco and Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, Dior Addict and Lolita by Lolita Lempicka, among others.
Next we have the Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer or at least the powder part from this kit. Inside the compact is an undereye brightener and concealer and above that a little tray of powder. I haven't used the concealers for some time, but the powder has been getting a lot of love.  When I first bought this, I was hugely impressed with the colour as many 'translucent' powders these days are actually not all that translucent. This one is very, very light, actually looking white in the pan.
It's not until recently that I got really into using this and realised it wasn't only the colour that was impressive. As it's small, it's obviously great for touch-ups throughout the day as it's very portable and discreet if you have to apply in public. What I like is it doesn't feel heavy on the skin or look powdery.
Yet it does an excellent job at mattifying. Usually I discard small applicators that come in compacts, but I've actually found the tiny puff to be a handy applicator. Obviously it's not ideal that you have to buy the whole trio of products for one you really love and/or the one you use is likely to run out long before the others. I am wondering if the powder in the newer One Heck Of A Blot is the same or similar. You get a giant 9g in that compared to 2.5g in this. I asked S&G a while back but they never got back to me. I'd certainly like to give it a whirl, because I really love this pressed powder.
Finally, a product that I've owned for ages and I actually think it was one of the first things I was ever sent to review when I started blogging. It's called Powder Punch by Clynol and I was rather confuzzled when I first got it. It's a tiny little tub with a non-removable sifter and you are supposed to shake some powder out and apply to the hair for root lift and mega volume. The powder is fine and when applied to your palm you have to be careful not to exhale in that direction or it would all be gone! I couldn't believe that this little powder pile could do anything, because it doesn't feel very substantial.
Once applied to the hair though, although it's quite difficult to manipulate (you really need to make sure you apply it, where you want it), it actually does do something. If my hair is looking flat and dry shampoo isn't doing much for it, then I'll apply some of this, just to the roots, right in the centre of my head. It feels a little sticky (actually a lot sticky) and you just rub it in, then the magic seems to happen. Va va voom!
It makes the hair look matte, full of volume and because of the stickiness, you're able to tease the hair into a style or restyle as you wish. The only downside is the stickiness, it makes hair feel like it needs washed, even the day after application. It's a small price to pay though. I guess I was a little reluctant to include it here, because I like the products in my BBB's to be perfect or near perfect and this one feels rather random to me. I'm not sure I'd buy it again, heck I don't even know if they still make it (google search proves yes they do, although it's completely repackaged), but it's certainly been handy to have and something I've been using more and more these months.
So that's my little lot this month.  The July BBB's are still being compiled and I'll try to get that post up in a couple of weeks time.  I actually cannot believe August is next week, how did that happen?  Have you tried anything here or want to?  Has anyone used the S&G powder and can enlighten me if it's the same as the little one?

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