Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Monster High Monday: Scaris Ghoulia

My lovely zombie girl Ghoulia today. The face paint on this particular doll is far from perfect (smudged lip, mistakes in the eye), but my sister and I both ordered online and I chose the dodgy makeup/perfect smooth hair while she got the decent makeup and wild mane! Anyway, I think she's an especially beautiful Ghoulia despite the little flaws. She's got a bold blue and silver eye and deep reddish plum lips. The look was quite easy to replicate actually, although the colours weren't entirely spot-on, but more about that later.
So, for the eye, she has a foil-like silver which I knew I owned. The blue bit was a little more tricky to find, especially as I was looking for a matte or satin shade rather than shimmer.
I started with Urban Decay Primer Potion and applied the silver side of Too Faced Ooh & Aah duo to the lid (up to the crease) only. I didn't want to apply it all over as I wanted the blue section to remain shimmer free. Then I applied the darker side of Hard Candy Eyeshadow Loner in Daydream. It's a really old eyeshadow, but the closest colour match I could find. It applied quite sheer, so I realised it needed a pencil underneath (a little trick I use for poorly pigmented shadows). I actually wish I'd had an eye pencil in the correct shade, because it would've been easier to apply in that form rather than fiddling with eyeshadow. The one I used was Barry M in a mint colour (forgot to jot down it's name) and I just outlined and filled in the basic area of where the blue was to go. After that I applied that blue shadow over the top, patting it on. I also took it under the eye. The pencil trick definitely gave it more colour, but because of the mint green shade, it made the blue lean a little more green than I'd have liked (although not noticeably so).
Then I took the silver shadow again and applied that above the blue section, under the brow. You can't really see the foil effect it has in the close-up photo below, but it was the perfect match for Ghoulia.  Metallic and blue bold eyes aren't for the faint hearted though and I already got a snarky "you're wearing a lot of eyeshadow today" comment off my Mum. Thanks! On my lashes is YSL Babydoll mascara and I lined upper and lower lashlines with L'Oreal SuperLiner GelMATIC* in Ultra Black and softened the lower lashline by blending with a cotton bud. I then used the liquid liner, L'oreal SuperLiner Perfect Slim* in Intense Black, to create a smooth line from right in at the tear-ducts, winging it out at the other end in a long flick.
I realise I resemble a gazelle (I recall wiping it off last time I attempted this sort of thing because I thought I looked ridiculous), but it's how Ghoulia has it and it couldn't get much more strange than the colour combo I was already sporting! Or could it? Hmmm, her lips are a dark, vampy plum. Ooh-er! So, I lined lips with Dior Lipliner Pencil in 883 Magenta Brown and applied a generous coating of MAC Dark Deed (Amplified Creme) lipstick. Wicked huh?
On my face is Lancome Teint Miracle foundation in 005 with Dainty Doll Concealer in 001 (for highlighting) and 002 for blemishes. I also used The Balm 'Bahama Mama' bronzer as my contour colour and a little Pout Face & Body Illuminator in Love Glow on the cheekbones. I finished with Paul & Joe Pressed UV Powder in 003 Beach Baby and applied Diorskin Nude Tan in 001 Pink Glow on the cheeks (all four colours swirled together).
Not my favourite look, yet I think it's very similar to how Ghoulia has it.  I guess she can carry off these colours better than I-must be that zombie grey skin!  What do you think?  You can see my full outfit right now on The Shoe Girl Diaries.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

New Season Shoes

Have you seen the latest Melissa collaboration?  Karl Lagerfeld has lent his designing skills to the world of jelly shoes and while I think the collection is seriously fugly (ewww to the elongated pointy toes and boxy designs), there's one gem in the range. Based on the 'Incense' Melissa court, the heel features this gorgeous sparkly ice-cream complete with very life-like wafer cone.  The shoes are available in shiny or matte plastic and ASOS have the black (glossy), white with green ice-cream (glossy) and white with pink ice-cream (matte) £120 in sizes 3-8.  FarFetch also has the matte pink pair.  Kelly Osbourne has already been seen in the black pair, which just happen to be my favourite.  What do you think of them?
One brand that does a Melissa collab well, is Vivienne Westwood Anglomania.  I've been 'pawing' (you'll get the joke in a minute) over the new collection for months! There's completely new styles alongside updated favourites such as the Lady Dragons and elevated 3-strap.  The new style comes in the form of the famous Westwood 'animal toe' shoe replicated in a jelly court £150 (sizes 3-8).  ASOS have the brown leopard print and plain black flocked pairs.  Nonnon have the vanilla and brown leopard print, black, purple and turquoise flocked and metallic nude.  I personally prefer the shiny finish, but am also drawn to the leopard print.   
The elevated three-strap courts have been updated with a triple bow.  I feel it's completely rejuvenated this older style and I really like it.  There's nude, black, red and pearl (white-ish), Daniel (£159) and Nonnon (£160) have all four colours, ASOS (£160) have the black and red, while Vivienne Westwood (£160) have the nude, red and this beautiful sparkling pink (lilac).  
The most popular style is probably the Lady Dragon and I'm loving their makeover this season.  With a new lip print insole and gorgeous metallic puckered lips on the toe.  Available in sky (blue), blush (pinky beige), smoke (grey) and pearl (off-white), many online stores have this style including Nonnon (£132) and Daniel (£135) with all four colours, Vivienne Westwood are pricier at £155 and have all aside from the blue, while ASOS (£135) have the smoke and pearl.  
Finally, a little fyi, that Irregular Choice 'Chuckles' are now available in burgundy at Office (£99) or in black from Zalando (£110) if you missed out on them at Irregular Choice.  I recommend sizing up on these as I found them very small.  Shoes are just having to go on my wishlist for now as I'm not allowed to buy any more...I can see that list growing considerably over the next few months though!  What about you, see anything here you fancy?  

This post contains some affiliate links, which when clicked through and purchased from, can earn this blog a small commission. By doing so, you are helping fund the blog, all opinions are still my own and I was not paid to write this post nor gifted any items.

Karl Lagerfeld image

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Review: Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Ultra Brights*

You may have noticed I'm sporting another new hair colour this week (one that I'm pretty excited about). You know me and my ever evolving (or should that be revolving?) hair colour! Well, I'm always on the look-out to try something different or new and am very pleased to see Schwarzkopf introduce their Ultra Brights collection to the Live Color XXL range. This means 'alternative' hair colours available on the high-street, something I've personally waited a long time for! I have to buy my colours online and when you factor in that the majority of them are shipped in from the US (bumps up the price) then you've got a delivery charge each time, it can be quite costly. The Ultra Brights range are £5.49 each and available from the usual stockists: chemists, supermarkets, Boots and Superdrug etc.
Schwarzkopf sent me two gorgeous shades (Purple Punk 94 and Shocking Pink 93) and it's the latter I'm reviewing today. Some of you know my history with pink hair colour (it led to the naming of this blog 'Pink Haired Princess') and after years of it, my family banned me from ever using it again.  Seriously!  It stained everything. Necklines of clothes, bedding, necklaces, hairbands/clips, the silicone stuff around the bath, my nails (any nail polish took on a pink tint or ombre effect when washing my hair), the couch, everything! At least three years on and with constant bleaching and changing of hair colours, I still find traces of pink, it's that potent! However as much as it caused me bother, it was one of my favourite colours and just felt so 'natural' on me (despite it's eye-watering brightness). My eye is still drawn to gorgeous pink locks and when I saw this photo of Perrie from Little Mix with her beautiful dip dyed pink head, I wanted it! Little Mix were actually the face (or is that the 'hair'?) of the Ultra Brights range and the colour on Perrie in that photo is this 'Shocking Pink' shade.
I found the instructions inside really helpful, because they came with ideas on doing your whole head, touching up roots, dip dye, streaks or going pastel. I like that there's scope to try something other than the standard full head application and that it has tips on how to achieve that (and the instructions aren't long-winded either). Inside the box is a couple of sachets of conditioner along with plastic gloves and the actual hair colour is contained in a squeezy tube. I'm loving that there's no mixing, so you can use exactly the amount of dye you need without any wastage. For years I've been frustrated at throwing away excess mixture or wishing I had some left for touch-ups later in the month. The colour is a matte sort of paste (thick) and one tube would be enough for shorter hair (I'd estimate to almost shoulder length), but I'd recommend two for any longer. As it was late at night I had to use the camera flash and the paste looks shimmering in this photo, it did have a pearly quality to it, but looked matte and non-shiny.
Now as with all alternative colours, it's best applied on bleached or already blonde hair for super bright or intense results. If you have darker hair and apply without pre-lightening, then you'll just get a tint. Which is fine if that's what you're going for, but just be aware of this beforehand. I was in a million minds with what I wanted to do and I think you should really go into these things quite open minded without too many expectations or else you'll end up being disappointed. I decided to just go for a full head with the pink (after contemplating mixing both colours and everything else!).  Stupidly, I only had a little bleach left, just enough to cover my dark roots and not enough for the green ends. You can see in that first picture above that the rest of my hair was a faded green. Beforehand I'm sitting going "what does green and pink make? Hmmmmm", not like I studied art at length or anything (!)
This is where my 'expectations' theory comes in. I had no idea how it was going to turn out, having never used this particular colour before. I didn't know how strong it would be, if it mattered that my roots were yellow and the lengths were pale green, if it was going to wash straight out or stain everything in sight. It's also important to point out here I have no hair fear, so I don't care too much and just go for it! The best way we (Mum and I) found to apply this was by squeezing out a little dye into one hand and using the other hand to pick up the colour and get it into the hair. I wasn't sure just rubbing it into the hands and applying quickly through the hair would coat all around every strand of hair nor was I sure that a dye bowl and brush would've worked (seemed like too much work and I think the colour would either have come straight off the brush or else stuck to it). My Mum is very methodical anyway and felt comfortable and confident that she'd coated all the hair. She found the dye easy to work with, even although it was a different application method to what we usually do.  As you can see from the image above the green parts instantly took on a more purple colour, while the bleached roots were definitely pink.  Below is once the colour has been washed out.   
I should've said, you apply this colour to towel dried hair. So I'd literally just bleached it, washed that out, then applied the pink when I got out of the shower. I think it's recommended to leave the colour on for 30 minutes, but I left mine in longer because it overlapped a meal time and I didn't want to shower straight after eating. So you don't all sue me for ending up bald, you should really strand test and follow the instructions/guide times provided.  The colour smells delicious by the way and unlike any hair dye I've ever tried. It didn't tingle like bleach does and felt very gentle. So after an hour I think it was, I washed it out. You sooo don't want to know the measures I go to washing my hair and trying to avoid staining the bath. I now kneel in the bath facing the taps, rinse the colour under the tap, shampoo and condition then once I've finished, stand up and have a shower with my hair in a towel! I usually come out with aching legs (for 2 days) and dimpled knees, but it's what I have to do for pretty hair! I learnt pretty early on though that this colour wasn't going to stain the bath badly. Any drips or coloured water sitting in the bath, just washed away (the old stuff would've stained instantly) even off the rubbery bath mat. After I'd washed the majority of colour out, I even took off the gloves and it didn't stain my hands in the slightest. I couldn't have done that with the other dye for fear of being arrested for murdering someone (it looked very much like a blood bath and stained blood on hands)!
I was a little worried the colour would look a bit naff; that I'd have pink roots and then purple hair. My Mum said "isn't dip dye fashionable?", eh yeah but not when you've only got an inch of one colour! Even although this is the case with my hair, there's so many pretty colours in there and once it's curled to my style, it's not so severe looking. It doesn't even look 'pink roots/purple hair' (even when straight) though, it seems to have streaked well. The photos above are from the first day and the last one above is taken without the flash.  The middle one looks very pink, it can do in the sunlight.  I'm still struggling to name the colour, but the most porous parts of my roots are very bright pink, like the colour on the box (to be honest I never imagined it would come out as bright as the box picture), with other parts a more dull pink. There's very blue toned purple streaks, probably the greenest parts (which you can best see in the leopard print cardigan photos at the end of this post) and the rest is this striking, bright rose-violet.
Once again I've ended up with a unique, multi tonal colour without really trying! This is why you can't have expectations. I might not even be be able to replicate it again. So I'd say if you're looking for the bright pink on the box, ensure your hair is an even colour all over and is either already blonde or you pre-lighten it. If you're looking for a tint, apply it over your natural (darker) hair colour. If you want something more 'lucky dip' like me, then apply over different shades for varying colour results. You might wish to take some of the guess work out by figuring out which colours combine to make what.  Like everybody knows green and pink makes purple, you know!  If you'd like it like Perrie, then they applied the colour straight from the tube on the ends (bright pink) and mixed a pea size amount of colour with regular conditioner to dilute it for the pale pink. They recommend just using that small amount with conditioner and leaving for a minute for a pastel shade. I was a bit sceptical that so little colour in so little time could make a difference, but may try that next time. This would have to be done on pre-lightened or already light hair.  
I haven't washed it yet to see how much colour comes out (I'm generally down to washing my hair once a week to maintain the colour anyway), but it's certainly not faded (if anything I think it looks darker now than when I first coloured it). I still have a little colour left which I wanted to keep for touch-ups or further down the track when/if it starts fading. I also still have the Purple Punk to play with-I may dilute that one. I've also got my eye on the stunning Electric Blue 95 for autumn, it looks sooo cool.  Overall I'm very impressed with this.  The colour is great and I love the ease of application and the fact I can buy it in most shops.  I also love that although the colour is bright, it isn't staining anything and washes off the bath etc easily.  I'm big on experimenting with hair colour, so I'm happy to combine and dilute shades for a unique colour.  It is supposed to be semi-permanent and last 6-8 washes, but I could get 6 weeks out of that hopefully.  I'll update with how it looks once I've washed it and as always you can see my daily outfits on The Shoe Girl Diaries and keep track of my hair there!  There's also some really great videos on YouTube including the Little Mix ladies using the Ultra Brights colours.  Have you or would you like to give these a go?  

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Monster High Monday: Toralei Stripe

Did you miss Monster High Monday? Well, it's back! I've missed it, although it was all a bit alien to me when I started yesterday. Day to day my makeup has become much the same and I think part of that has been down to the more complex looks I do on MHM's. It takes so much effort, that I just want something simple and quick for the rest of the week. It was nice to wear some different colours though and to try and find something that works with my new hair colour too (a full post with details of that coming soon). It's probably surprising then, that I chose this doll as her colouring and clothes are much different to mine. However her makeup is something I hoped would work on me, without orange skin and stripes!
She is Toralei Stripe, the very catty kitty who as my nephews would say "is the baddie" of Monster High! I can't help but find her adorably cute despite her conflicts with my other girls. She has shaded skin; more orange on one side of her face than the other which I didn't replicate, but you have no idea how badly I wanted to add the browns stripes to my cheeks. It would've finished the look off perfectly, but I decided against it.  Maybe a bit much for daytime, no?    
She has plummy lips and several colours on her eyes (you can probably best see that on the photo above), which I managed to find dupes of in my stash relatively quickly. She's got very thick liner (which I had just the tool for) and I 'greened' up my eyes a bit more, albeit without the cat eye-ness. None of that was proper English, I know.
Ok, so for the eyes I started with Urban Decay Primer Potion and applied ArtDeco pearl eyeshadow in 04 under the eyes and on the lids, up beyond the crease, winging it out slightly. On top of this grey shade, I applied a bright pink just on the lid concentrating in the inner corner of the eye and letting it fade out towards the opposite end. I took the pink from MAC's Eyes On Manish palette that I sooo want to rename the 'Monster High Monday Palette' because I use this almost this every week! It's got lots of brights in it that come in handy for this challenge.
You can then see a bright, bold green on Toralei's eyes, so I used a wet brush and dipped into an old limited edition palette by No7 called Jewelled Eyes. It gave the colour more intensity and also this lovely metallic finish. I used a narrow brush to apply that in a very thin line from the inner corner, gradually widening towards the outer corner, following the shape of the crease. I mentioned the liner was super thick on Toralei, so I used L'Oreal SuperLiner GelMatic* along the lower lashline and their bold SuperLiner Blackbuster* pen along the top lashline. It looks like a jumbo felt tip pen.  I even managed a little thick flick with this, tidying up with another SuperLiner (Perfect Slim*). On my lashes is Guerlain Maxi Lash mascara and I finished my brows with a little L'Oreal SuperLiner Brow Artist* pencil in Brunette 03.
On my face I applied Lancome Teint Miracle foundation in 005, contouring with The Balm 'Bahama Mama' bronzer and highlighting with Dainty Doll Concealer in 001. I used the same concealer in 002 on blemishes, YSL Touche Eclat in 2 under the eyes and finished with Paul & Joe UV Pressed Powder in 003. Seeing as Toralei has an orangey complexion I used a soft, peachy blush, MAC Legendary, on the cheeks.
For the lips, I lined with Dior Lipliner Pencil in 883 Magenta Brown with Rouge Dior lipstick in 976 Plum Plot. The finish was probably a bit too sparkly and metallic, but the colour was close enough.
I thought the green and deep purple looked pretty against my hair (I'm wearing bold green eyes today as I liked it so much) and all in all, it wasn't a bad "first week back"!  You can see my full outfit here on The Shoe Girl Diaries.  What do you think?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Escentual Haul (Dior, Too Faced, Guerlain)

As you'll probably be aware, I had an Escentual discount code, which was due to run out at the end of July (on top of their already brilliant prices) and I decided to have one final order of things I'd been lusting after. You can see my other hauls here, here and more swatches here (naughty me) and actually this order had to be split into two because I didn't have enough pennies at the time for one big blow-out. I haven't edited the second lot of photos yet, but I was too excited with this lot, not to share them now!
First up was another Too Faced La Creme Lipstick (£18, bought for £12.24), this time in Nude Beach. It's a pinky beige nude and looks absolutely gorgeous.
I already bought Naked Dolly shortly before this, so I thought it would be of interest to compare the two. I've got more swatches of Nude Beach later in the post, but as you can see here, Nude Beach is supposed to be mauve while Naked Dolly is a very light nude. In the swatches, Nude Beach does lean more mauve (although still nude). Dark/light wise they appear to be on a par, with Naked Dolly beige nude in colour.
Guerlain isn't a brand I buy an awful lot from, but I was so taken with their Maxi Lash Mascara when I tried a sample of it, that I've been on a mission to own it ever since! The packaging isn't quite as elaborate as the Noir G mascara, but then the price isn't as steep either (£22 versus £36). To me, it resembles a bar of gold. I haven't used it yet to verify if the actual wand is easy enough to use (I'd say I'm more used to round than oblong packaging), as I'm still working my way through the sample.
The price is pretty average for a high-end mascara. Given that I just purchased YSL Babydoll mascara the other month, I was happy that my Escentual discount (and their sale price at the time) brought the Maxi Lash down to just under £15. Normally I'd feel quite guilty splashing out on both, but I'm so in love with this that there was no way I wasn't ordering it.
I had a really good browse through all the Guerlain items, but in the end I had to take several back out of my basket because I couldn't afford them, even when I placed the second order. I did buy this Rouge G Lipstick in shade 64, purely because it's named 'Gemma'. A lipstick with my own name? I'm all over that!
Now if spectacular packaging is your thing, then you're going to love this. It's actually magnificent, truly. First off, it's really weighty, so much that I can't imagine carrying this around with me all day! It doesn't look like a lipstick. A mini alien spaceship or something else, sure. Guerlain is etched into the metal surface with a little G 'button' at one end. I struggled to get all my photos in focus, because there was a little too much for my camera to focus on ; )   
You start to slide out the 'G end' and this mirror lid pops up. There's a mirror on the flip side and the inside base.

Keep pulling and the lipstick tube comes out. This is one sleek Mother, trust me! To put the lippie back, you just hold down the lid and slip the lipstick back in. There's even a magnetic force you feel, so the lipstick pops back into the case by itself in the last bit. If you want a lip product that's going to wow every time you reapply in public, then this is it (if you're keen on carrying a heavy load!). It does come at a price, these retail for £31 and I'm quite sure it's my most expensive lipstick. I got mine for just over £21, which didn't hurt quite so much.
Gemma is probably not a colour I'd usually buy, but I'm convinced it's going to look good on it's namesake. It has to right? It's supposed to be a medium pink with a lilac tone. It turned out not to be anywhere near as lilac as I expected when swatched and is actually a lovely rosy pink. There's shimmer in the lipstick, which isn't noticeable when swatched. 'Gabrielle' is next on my list when I can afford it and I'm absolutely in love with the new autumn 'Voilette de Madame' collection. Loving the polka dots especially on the limited edition Rouge G lippies. I'm definitely a Guerlain convert now. I've swatched the lipstick here along with the Too Faced one I promised earlier.
Finally Dior, how I love thee! I really do and I always feel like I'm being very indulgent and getting a real treat when I purchase from this brand. Without realising it, I've ended up buying almost all of the summer 'Birds Of Paradise' collection and I wish I still had my discount code to use on the ahhhhmazing new Mystic Metallics. I am so ridiculously in love with those new season shades that I literally want everything.
Back to the summer colours and you'll maybe recall the Flamingo lipstick I purchased? Well that was from the summer look. There were also these Jelly Lip Pens (rrp£19, bought for £10.98). Think chunky Clinique style lip pencil. I already resisted these last time, but after popping into Debenhams and trying one, I decided I needed it in my life. The shade I was most interested in was...at the Copa, Copacabana, music and passion were always in fashion at the Copa...! Sorry, got carried away with Bazza there, it's 516 Copacabana!
I actually cannot look at this, without singing that song! Anyway, it's one of those fuss free type crayons, that has that summer, beachy, "I'm sooo not wearing any makeup or trying too hard" type of thang going on. The colour is real pretty (nude for me obvs) and despite feeling very light, the formula is nice and balm like. Plus, you twist up the end, so there's no worry of ruining it with a sharpener.
And the swatches. You can see it's quite sheer, but it's supposed to be. There were three other brighter shades in this collection, but we all know I never stray too far from a nude. Can I just got for one last time...."Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl..."!
The other item I tried (not very well) to resist was the cute l'il Nail Lacquer Duos (rrp£22, bought for £12.72). Contained inside each box, is two mini (7ml) bottles of gorgeous nail polish to contrast but compliment one another. I had such a hard time deciding which of the two duos to buy, so ended up with both! It's money well spent as all 4 are colours I'd typically wear and I can see me actually using these up.
Samba 001, contains a shimmering peacock green and 'sea blue' which I'd actually describe as a dusky or dull mint green. If the items from this collection I've bought thus far, haven't sounded 'Birds Of Paradise' to you, then this little duo will. I haven't tried these two yet, but am keen to. The silver square lids come off and underneath is a round black lid which is easier to apply with.
Bahia 022, features a hibiscus pink (the only item that didn't come out true to colour in my photos, it's darker, but brighter and has more purple/blue in it than here). I'm already wearing this on my fingers...ooh it's actually the colour you can see when I'm holding the Too Faced lipstick boxes above! To be honest I could've left it with one coat, but I'm rather fussy and went with two. I never tire of bright pink nails, so this is a winner in my book. The other colour is a dark petrol and it's on my toes, you'll have seen it with my Miu Miu sandals the other day. I don't think I own another colour like this, it's lovely.
They dry pretty quickly, apply streak free and I found the brush easy to use. I've had these on for around 10 days and my toes are fine, my fingers are pretty chipped, but I got at least 5 or 6 good days out of it.
Aren't they all so pretty lined up?  I also bought another Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector for a friend-going to get the world hooked on those!  I'm aiming to get the second part of this haul up next week and it includes more Dior and lots of Clarins.