26.4.13

The Future of the Blog and Channel

Hey everyone,

This post has taken me a while to write properly because after around 18 months of doing Makeup Tips For My Sister and building up an audience, I suddenly realised that I wasn't sure where I was going with it. Initially it started out as a way to connect with my real-life sister, but that didn't really work out, and then it evolved into connecting with spiritual sisters in the form of friends and fellow makeup lovers... but I feel like my skills don't match my expectations.

PULLQUOTE

And please don't get me wrong - this post isn't a plea for validation or anything like that. I've just found it increasingly stressful to come up with tutorial ideas, knowing that there are a wealth of better informed and better presented tutorials out there. Also, in the meantime, my art has suffered as the demand for videos and blog posts for makeup increased... and art is my sanity. Not a good combination.

Having built up both the blog and the YouTube channel, I didn't want to just completely abandon everything and move on. I still love makeup and I still want to get better at doing it - I just need a little less pressure at this point in my life, and a little more direction as to why I'm currently doing it. This is where my wonderful daughter comes in. CJ asked me a question about brushes today - she's at the beginning stages of getting into makeup experimentation - and we talked about me helping her out and so on.

She came up with a solution. From now on, until I get my confidence and skills up and get better equipment and more time to spend doing such things to the standard that I'd like to do them, I'm going to be teaching my daughter how to use makeup, and as and when she asks me, I'll do a post or a video or both and share it with all of you. It won't necessarily be a regular thing, and there won't be many of them, but they will pop up and hopefully help some people. Here's to the next phase. xxx

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

19.4.13

Tip: Lipstick as Blusher

Hi Tory,

Part of the fun of make up is being creative with it, and that includes multitasking. You've heard me talk before about using my brow kit colours as emergency neutral eye shadows, for example. Now I had my eye on the Bourjois Colorissimo Lip Palettes, but when MUA brought out their version - and at a third of the price - that's when this tip came into being.

trios like the one I've used are fantastic to pop in your purse!

As long as they're not too matte, glittery or highly frosted, lipsticks make excellent cream blushes in a fix. They have a similar texture to the real thing, come in the same colours, and save you both money and time spent fishing about in your purse or make up cabinet. Trios like the one I've used are fantastic to pop in your purse!

  • Use your finger to grab the colour you want and dot it along the cheekbone
  • You can still use your fingers at this point, but I like to grab a stippling brush
  • Blend the product out so that it's nice and diffused
  • Perfect! And so simple!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

18.4.13

Throwback Thursday: Twiggy "Pin Ups" Cover

Hi Tory,

Our mum has never quite gotten over the shock of seeing Bowie on TV for the first time in the early 70s, or That Orange Haired Freak Who Isn't Long For This World to give him his full and official Mum title. He's 66 now and Mum still calls him that. Everything is Bowie at the moment thanks to the long-awaited exhibition at the V&A and the equally long-awaited album from the Thin White Duke. It seemed only natural that I do a Dave Look for Throwback Thursday.

the key here is in the layering and the blending

Except... I'm tired of faffing about with my eye brows and dear old Dave didn't have any until about 1982, bless him. This is where Twig the Wonderkid comes in... looking resplendent in shiny 70s blue on the cover of Pin Ups. I get to include two of my favourite make up obsessions in one tutorial and keep my eye brows. Not bad for a Thursday.

costs
£8.00

The key here is in the layering and the blending. You'll want to apply, blend, and repeat to get the depth of colour and the smooth edges. Keep everything else nice and glowing for that Studio 54 shine and it'll all fall into place.

These MUA trios are perfect for these kind of looks - they're beautifully coordinated with a smack of pigment and they layer really well too. Plus, a whole retro look for under a tenner can't be beat. If we can sparkle, and he may land tonight... the orange cockatiel hair is, of course, optional. ;)

Products Used

  • MUA Trio Eye Shadow in Smoke Screen
  • MUA Trio Eye Shadow in Blue Babe
  • MUA Mascara in Black
  • MUA Blusher in Shade 6
  • MUA Sheer Finish Lip Gloss in Let's Meet
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

17.4.13

Nail Polish Textures

Hi Tory,

I talk a lot about different textures when I do my nail art tutorials, and you may be wondering what I mean by that. Nail polish is surely just that sticky glossy stuff that comes in millions of different colours?

Not so. The finish of the dried polish can give different effects, and combining them makes for very interesting nail art! Here are some examples of using the finishes to make the art:

The different textures or finishes of polishes include:

  • Cream: you could think of this as the generic nail polish finish - opaque and glossy with just the colour of the polish and nothing else
  • when you start experimenting with different nail polish textures it really opens up your eyes to the possibilities of nail art
  • Metallic: as it's name suggests, this one mimics the metals like gold, silver and copper and is notoriously hard to paint on without leaving streaks!
  • Glitter: from fine-milled to huge chunks, glitter polish can be stand alone or used as a top coat. Use it as the nail tip in a French manicure for an interesting twist!
  • Matte: either the polish itself, or in the formk of a top coat, matte polish will have no shine whatsoever and makes a great contrast when used with glosses in nail art. Go slowly and carefully when you appy it as it does show every streak and bump.
  • Gelly: made in a ratio of 25% pigment to 75% clear glossy polish, gellies have a beautiful translucency which means that you can layer polishes under them for amazing effects, sometimes known as a gelly sandwich
  • There's also holographic polish which gives a fantastic 3D effect, and various chemically induced finishes like crackle, magnetic and so on

When you start experimenting with different nail polish textures it really opens up your eyes to the possibilities of nail art or adding little decorative twists here and there - glitter tips, matte stripes, metallic half moons. It's a lot of fun!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

16.4.13

Maybelline Tattoo - and Go!

Hi Tory,

When I reviewed the Maybelline Color Tattoos, I mentioned that On & On Bronze had become my Go To shadow of the moment, and how easy it was to get a look together using just that and a gel liner. I figured rather than just tell you that, I'd show you... with a little twist of a bold red lipstick to vamp it up.

the key is in the blending

My main tip for this seemingly effortless but sultry look is to layer the gel liner - a strong blended line first, then the colour, and then strengthen the black line again. If you want a softer look, dial the gel liner down to a brown. The key is in the blending.

costs
£13.49

In terms of staying power, you've got a gel liner and a gel-based cream shadow, so this look is not budging! You can even build on it with some additional smoky shadow around the outer V to take it into the evening, or add some false lashes for drama.

It's a good little neutral look with some depth that'll last you all day, takes minutes to create, and gives good payoff. Work that lipstick shade too!

Products Used

  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in On & On Bronze
  • Sleek In Pot Eyeliner in Dominatrix
  • MUA Mascara in Black
  • MUA Blusher in Shade 6
  • MUA Lipstick in Shade 1
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

15.4.13

Review: Barry M Nail Art Pens

Hi Tory,

I'm always trying new ways with nail art, from pin heads to old pens, from dotting tools to sellotape. When I heard that Barry M were launching a mini range of nail art pens, I knew I just had to go out and try them. So here's the skinny!

the problem I've always had with conventional nail art pens is their construction

The problem I've always had with conventional nail art pens is their construction: a squeezable plastic body filled with polish that dispenses through a hollow "needle". I find these incredibly fiddly and difficult to control. The Barry M pens are a hard plastic nib that acts like a felt pen so you can actually draw as you would normally but with nail polish rather than sharpies or acrylic paint.

The range is currently four colours: black, white, hot pink and silver, contains 3ml of product and retails for £4.99. I had no problem getting the polish to flow, and managed a crisp and precise line each time. You do need a clear top coat as the polish itself is not very stable and will rub off, and bear in mind that the line is relatively fine if you want to do more chunky work.

costs
£4.99

I'd like to see a wider range of colours - gold, anyone? - and hope that they expand! For the price of a polish (and their polishes are good) you get a world of art at your fingertips. Really pleased with this pen - I'm going back for the full set and can't wait to get started on some tutorials!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 4 different colours
  • Available on the Superdrug website here
  • 3ml of product in each wand
  • Retails at £4.99

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

6.4.13

***CLOSED*** 100th Video Giveaway!

Congratulations to Abigail Wright on YouTube who won the prize!

Win ALL this:

By doing this!

Winner will be drawn at random at noon GMT on April 12th - good luck!

4.4.13

Drawing the Perfect Natural Eye Brow

Hi Tory,

My friend Mandi had a plea: if you either don't want to or don't feel confident in plucking your eye brows, how can you make them look good?

it's all a question of polish and delicacy

It's all a question of polish and delicacy. You don't want to end up with Scouse Brow, so take your time and go gently. You really only need to fill in the bits that need help - don't just draw the whole eye brow in.

Most companies do brow kits now - some with built in brow gel, but you can just as easily use a clear mascara as a gel. You also want to look out for brow shadows that are somewhat grey in tone rather than red. (Back in the day, women would use regular drawing pencils for their brows as it had the perfect cool grey tone.)

I'd always recommend a shadow over a pencil to fill in the brow - it's much softer - reserving the eye brow pencil to draw in fine little hairs for texture. Be gentle!/p>

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

29.3.13

Decanting Cream Foundations

Hi Tory,

When I first bought Benefit's Some Kinda Gorgeous cream foundation, I'll admit that I wasn't a fan. I'm used to liquid foundations and somehow my usual tools just didn't work with the new texture. And the foundation is in the higher price range, which meant that I'd wasted money big-time. But then I got the beauty blender sponge and the cream foundation made sense. Then I fell in love with it... until it began to run out, leaving a thin little line of foundation around the edges that tools, fingers and sponges just could not reach. I needed a nifty solution!

then it hit me - eye shadow pans are perfect!

The foundation is on a shallow, thin pan, which enables you to pick up the product evenly. I figured that I'd need something similar, just in a smaller format. Then it hit me - eye shadow pans are perfect! I grabbed an MUA one (which is only £1) - you can decant the shadow for later use as a nail polish, giving you two projects for the price of one. Don't say I'm not generous!

  • You'll need a clean, dry and empty shadow pan - you don't want any pesky bits of shadow all over your face! I cleaned mine out with a bunch of makeup wipes and then left it to air dry. You'll also need a scraping tool (I used a metal cuticle stick) and a relatively flat knife.
  • Scrape as much of the product out as you can - really get into the sides and grooves
  • Transfer the product into the smaller eye shadow pan - I found that it helped to use the knife as an additional scraper and went back and forth between the two... product off with the cuticle tool, excess off the cuticle tool with the knife
  • Then use the knife to very gently smooth out the product in the new pan - try and keep the concentration in the middle
  • If you have a large amount of product in the new pan, you can also gently heat the knife and use that to smooth over the top of the foundation to make everything neat and tidy. All done!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

28.3.13

Custom Nail Polishes

Hi Tory,

Sometimes you end up with shadows that you never use, or you use and then don't like, or you find ones in the bargain bins that cost pennies but are shattered beyond repair.

the beauty of making your own polishes is that you can use any colour

The colours are really pretty but you can't find a use for them... well now you can! I picked up a totally destroyed MUA shadow in a gorgeous duotone purple for just 10p, and used half a bottle of MUA's clear gloss, which was just £1 - fab!

costs
£0.60

The beauty of making your own polishes is that you can use any colour and you can mix colours to make custom blends - you can even add in a bit of glitter to make a Frankenpolish.

Keep it at a 50/50 ratio of shadow to clear polish and make sure that you shake it up thoroughly. You'll probably need to put a coat of clear gloss over the top as shadows tend to come out matte, and always give it a little shake each time you use it as the pigment will probably settle. Have fun!

Steps

  • Break up your chosen shadow so that it's pretty much pulverised and powdered - you don't want it to have any big lumps
  • Keep the ratio at half a bottle of polish filled up with shadow
  • Use a paper cone so that you don't end up with eye shadow all over the table (like I did here!)
  • Gently tap all of your chosen shadow into the half bottle of clear polish and shake the crap out of it! Put on some RuPaul and go nuts - you want it to be thoroughly mixed!
  • Paint your nails - you can keep it matte or put on a coat of clear gloss like I did here, which also helps to protect it. Try experimenting with coloured shadow in coloured gloss... add glitter... the sky's the limit!

Products Used

  • MUA Single Pearl Shadow in Shade 10
  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade Clear
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

27.3.13

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo

Hi Tory,

High pigmentation... Long lasting... You really can't go wrong with Maybelline's range of Color Tattoo Gel-Cream eye shadows. You need the tiniest amount and they stay put once you've blended them out. If I'm in a rush, I'll blend it over my lid, smudge some black gel eye liner on my lash line, and with a coat or two of black mascara I'm good to go.

high pigmentation... long lasting...

These make great stand-alone eye shadows, or you can use them as a gel base for a layered look. They have all the blendability of a cream shadow but with the staying power of a gel and that's a winning combination for me! The colours range from bold turquoise and purple, through metallic golds and bronzes, and on to pale shimmers and a deep, dark, matte black.

The penny short of a fiver price tag is a winner too, and it wouldn't take you long or hurt your pocket to build up the whole collection. The purple is the only minor disappointment with a much more crumbly texture that doesn't seem to blend as well as the others, but the rest of the shadows really are a dream to apply.

costs
£4.99

In terms of the colour range, they do differ depending on which side of the pond you're from - for example, we have a purple, where the US has more of an aubergine. They also have a new metal range that I'm hoping reaches us soon! All in all top marks from me - Superdrug currently have 3 for 2 offer on all their Maybelline products so grab yourself an added bargain!


Top Right: Eternal Gold, Timeless Black, Endless Purple, Pink Gold, Turquoise Forever
Bottom Left: And On Bronze, 25K Gold, Permanent Taupe, Immortal Charcoal, Light in Purple, Eternal Silver

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 11 different colours
  • Available on the Superdrug website here
  • A nice mix of shimmer, metallic and matte textures
  • On and On Bronze is a go to neutral for me!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

25.3.13

Here's The Thing...

Hi Tory,

I took a week off from blogging so that I could work on a painting that had a scarily looming deadline, and that was fine and dandy. Redecorated the kitchen as well, jolly good, chilled out a bit over the weekend, and set my alarm for bright and early this morning so that I could get back to my blogging schedule. I had plans. Big plans. A nice little review today of the Maybelline Color Tattoo Gels... some videos... a DIY tutorial. All good stuff.

First of all, my alarm did not go off. Well... truthfully, it did go off but in my blurry sleepy haze I somehow managed to hit dismiss instead of snooze and then sat bolt upright in bed abruptly two hours after I was supposed to be getting out of bed. A pot of coffee later and I still wasn't awake. Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of the house wearing fifteen separate layers of wool because it is Arctic here, as I had giveaway goodies to buy and photographs to take, and on and on.

I got all the way into town... and I'd forgotten my camera. No camera to take pictures of the thing I was supposed to be reviewing today. I forged on regardless - I had giveaway goodies to buy. The store was out of one of the products with no viable replacement... I had to go to another branch on the other side of town. The clock is now ticking down ominously and I haven't even started any blogging.

By the time I got home, I was frozen, exhausted and really REALLY grumpy. I have no review photos. My feet hurt. My head is so cold that I can't concentrate properly. I am a bag of moaning grumpiness.

I could carry on and do a rubbish job of everything, but that doesn't sit well with me. Instead, I'm going to sit down for a bit and gather myself together and if everything is a day late... it's a day late. I'm sure that you understand! I'd much rather be useful and funny and interesting, than grumpy and whinging and whiny. Cake will be ingested...

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

15.3.13

Tip: The Skin Blend

Hi Tory,

you're trying to achieve a seamless blend between either a bold or a dark colour and your actual skin tone

I thought I'd follow on from my earlier tip of the blush blend by doing a similar technique of the skin blend. The skin blend differs in that you're trying to achieve a seamless blend between either a bold or a dark colour and your actual skin tone.

This differs from the blush blend which is all about warming the look up and toning it with the rest of your makeup. The trick with the skin blend is to use a fairly matte colour that more or less matches your skin tone, and do a two step process: base + skin, and then just skin. Hope this helps!

  • Apply your base colour all over the moveable lid
  • On a clean blending brush pick up a small amount of your base colour (A) and an equal amount of a colour that matches your skin tone (B)
  • Apply this in the crease to make a transition colour on the edge of your base colour
  • Now apply just the skin tone colour with a blending brush slightly above the crease
  • The finished look with the fuzzy transition from your base colour to your skin tone!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

14.3.13

Throwback Thursday: Bobbie Gentry

Hi Tory,

The first thing that you need to know is that I am a huge fan of Bobbie Gentry. She's most well-known for her breakthrough 60s song Ode to Billy Joe, an amazing exercise in storytelling, and credited with kick starting the whole Southern Gothic genre. I totally recommend that you check out Fancy as well - she's just incredible.

put on mississippi delta, turn up the volume, pile on the lashes!

The next thing is that it's really struck me how you can instantly know what A Sixties Eye means (high contrast, thick black eye liner, big eye lashes), but that the more I research into different women's takes on it, the more variation I see. Raquel Welch's 60s eye was very straight across and fantastically feline. This week, with Bobbie Gentry, her 60s eye is slightly down turned and sad, which fits her music perfectly.

costs
£20.56

She also has a healthier, more peach coloured look - less of the nudes and the stark black and whites of the era - so I tried to get as much of that into this as possible. Big eye lashes, of course, and big hair, but with a kind of sexy country feel - all peach pie and sexy secrets in the hay but in a high glam way.

Bobbie was very high glam, and naturally she ended up doing shows in Vegas, and then just as glamorously vanished from the scene where she now lives in happy obscurity. Put on Mississippi Delta, turn up the volume, pile on the lashes!

Products Used

  • Sleek iDivine Palette in Oh So Special
  • Collection 2000 Big Fake Lash in Black
  • Barry M Blink Precision Eye Liner in Black
  • MUA Lipstick in Shade 11
  • 2true Fake Lashes in Glamour
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch (including palettes and lashes) and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

13.3.13

Dotted French Manicure

Hi Tory,

I went ahead and invested in a set of dotting tools. You can make do with old pens, and pins on the ends of pencils, and they do a perfectly good job too, but given the number of nail tutorials I do I figured it was time to go pro!

this French manicure is a nice little twist on the traditional technique costs
£2.00

I got mine for £2.50 and no shipping on eBay - just do a search for nail dotting tools. I got a set of five with different sized heads and they are fab. I usually keep a bottle of nail polish remover on hand just to dip the dotting head in and keep it clean between applications. You get about three dots or so before the nail polish starts to go gloopy and you need a fresh blob, so bear that in mind.

This French manicure is a nice little twist on the traditional technique and gives it a bit of interest with gradients of dots leading down form the white edge.

You could also ring the changes by having a bright colour as the base and making the free edge black or metallic - try different combinations!

Steps

  • Apply a clear base coat and let it dry completely
  • Paint the free edge of the nail with a white or off-white polish using the rubber band technique, and let this dry completely
  • Using a dotting tool (or an old pen) make a line of large dots in the same white or off-white polish half on the free edge and half on the bare nail
  • Make a second row of slightly smaller white dots below this, and then a third row of even smaller dots
  • Seal the whole thing with the same clear coat you used for the base. Done!

Products Used

  • MUA Nail Polish in Clear
  • MUA Nail Polish in All Nude
  • Dotting tools or pens
  • Rubber band
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

12.3.13

Bold Double Liner With Glitter

Hi Tory,

Once you've mastered the art of doing your eye liner and a flick, you're limited only by your imagination. The great thing about the double liner technique is that it's a handy way to introduce a pop of colour or sparkle into your makeup, or maybe try out a new, bold liner colour that you might feel a bit shy using all over.

you could also ring the changes by using a bold metallic liner or a colourful gel liner

I've talked about the Collection 2000 Glam Crystals before. You get a selection of highly pigmented, super sparkly colours in a wand that are infinitely versatile - I've used them in nail art before - and so couldn't wait to use them in the double liner.

costs
£19.57

Because the eye part is so bold, you'll want to keep everything as neutral and polished as possible - tidy your eye brows, do a flush of subtle colour on the cheeks, and have a slick of a neutral sheen on your lips so that the eyes remain the stars. I kept the eye base neutral as well, with a wash of a pale nude all over the lid, and a slightly darker neutral in the crease to define it.

Take your time with the eye liner using small strokes and using the side of the brush or felt pen (I really do recommend felt pen liners as they're so easy to use). You could also ring the changes by using a bold metallic liner or a colourful gel liner - a splash of violet or teal would look amazing. Let your imagination run wild!

Products Used

  • Sleek i Divine Palette in Oh So Special
  • Barry M Precision Eyeliner in Blink
  • Collection 2000 Glam Crystal Eye Liner in Le Freak
  • MUA Mascara in Black
  • MUA Blush Perfection Cream Blusher in Blossom
  • MUA Lipstick in Shade 14
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch (including palettes), and correct at the time of posting
PHOTO

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

11.3.13

Chickpea Review: MUA £1 Lipstick

Hi Tory,

The MUA lipstick range is a bit of a story of two halves. On the one hand you have some fantastically pigmented lipsticks (with a secret lip gloss on the end), and on the other some horribly over-frosted, over-chunky glitter shades. Of the entire range, only shades 4 and 5 fail on the pigment front - the rest are exactly what you see in the bullet, and that's a major plus point. The £1 price tag is excellent - you could buy the whole range of 16 shades for slightly less money than a single MAC lipstick which is pretty mind-blowing.

you could buy the whole range of 16 shades for slightly less money than a single MAC lipstick

To break down the textures:

  • shades 1 to 4 are cream sheens
  • shades 5 to 7 are a frost texture
  • shades 8 to 10 and shade 12 are full on, uncomfortable, chunky glitter
  • shades 11, and 13 to 16 are a matte sheen
I would strongly recommend avoiding the frosts and the glitters - they're far too uncomfortable and drying, and the amount of full-on frost in them is quite dated and overwhelming (unless you're Jordan or Jodie Marsh). But 1 through 4, #11, and 13 to 16 are lovely colours, comfortable to wear and give fabulous pigmentation.

costs
£1.00

So how do they perform? This is where the £1 price tag sadly comes into play. The colour I reviewed didn't even last the pitta bread - in fact it gave up the ghost half way through. This makes me sad because the colours are really nice, and it's also somewhat confusing to have something that pigmented which doesn't at least stain the lips a little bit.

MUA have just recently revamped the £1 lipstick range - some of them now have names along with the numbers, and the lip gloss compartment screws off easily (a common complaint with the old packaging), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they tweak the formulation as well. I wouldn't give up on them - the colours are too good to pass over completely!

  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Longevity: 0/5
  • Pigment: 4/5
  • Two Chickpeas out of Five!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 16 different colours
  • Available on the MUA website website here
  • The most expensive item in the MUA range is the £8 Immaculate Palette, which features a staggering 24 colours
  • MUA is garnering quite the reputation as a solid and affordable High Street/Drugstore brand with a very low price tag coupled with really good quality and pigmentation

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

8.3.13

Tips: Decanting Eye Pencils

Hi Tory,

I hate sharpening pencils of any description. If I use a knife, I'm terrified of cutting off one of my fingers. If I use a sharpener, something invariably gets stuck or breaks off. Don't get me started on plastic casings either - I have yet to find a sharpener that actually works on them. Frustration Central.

i hate sharpening pencils of any description

I avoid using pencils wherever I can and love the dial up pencils you can get for lip liners and the like. But, you can't always avoid the conventional stick, so decanting is a major boon in my book. It's such a simple, easy process as well - basically you're reversing the steps of filling the pencil in the first place. Apply some heat, let the filling come out, and you've got an easily accessible pot of colour - it's also a lot easier to see what you've got!

  • Grab a takeaway coffee or soft drink lid - the kind with the straw hole in the top. (You can ask nicely and snag one for free.) Make sure to wash it if it's been sitting on top of your latte!
  • Slot the pencil through this hole so that the pointy end is visible on the underside
  • Pop the lid over the pot you want to decant the pencil into - you might have to tilt the lid slightly. The lid basically helps to steady the pencil and stop it from falling over. You can get a stack of plastic pots here - anything like this will do.
  • Pop everything in the microwave and do full power bursts for ten seconds at a time and check to see the pencil's progress. Once it melts you'll see it oozing down and you don't need to apply any more heat. Don't let anything burn.
  • Discard the pencil casing and let the liquid cool completely before use. Done!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

6.3.13

Jellybean Nails - with Sharpies!

Hi Tory,

I really enjoyed doing the heart-frame nails for Valentine's Day and wanted to expand on the technique a bit. Framing the nails in black like that gives them a cool, graphic quality - almost like a Batman comic, so I've been playing around with some ideas.

try out some bright jellybean colours - maybe do a different colour on each finger

This one actually came out of an accident - never dismiss your mistakes! - where the brush slipped and the line came out too thick. I kept going and that's how Jellybean Nails were born! (I bought a set of fine detail art brushes at The Works and I'd totally recommend it as they're perfect for nail art and they don't cost an awful lot.)

costs
£6.77

The finishing touch was using a Sharpie pen to do all the details and make the rounded corners - my caveat is to let the nail polish underneath dry completely or the Sharpie won't stick.

Also then let the Sharpie dry or the top coat will smear it. (The great thing about using Sharpies in nail art is that if you make a mistake you can just wipe it off with some surgical spirit and it doesn't ruin the nail polish.) Try out some bright jellybean colours - maybe do a different colour on each finger. Fun!

Steps

  • Put on a clear base coat and then your background colour (I used two coats) and let this dry thoroughly.
  • Do three sides of a black frame using a small art brush and black nail polish - I found it easiest to do all the left sides, then the bottoms, then the tops. Leave the right side free, and I also kept my Bourjois remover pot on hand to clean off the brush.
  • Paint just over one half of the right hand side of the nails with black polish and leave this to dry completely - you want your Sharpie coat to stick!
  • Round the corners of the rectangle you have left using the Sharpie - you can make it as deep or as shallow as you like but you want to end up with a lozenge shape. You can also use the Sharpie to fill in any gaps in the black polish.
  • Use the Sharpie to make three small dots for the jellybean highlight and let the Sharpie dry completely. Put on a clear topcoat and it's finished!

Products Used

  • NYC In a New York Minute in Grand Central Station
  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 9
  • 2True Glossywear Polish in Shade 39
  • Sharpie in Black
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

5.3.13

Putting on False Lashes: Part Two

Hi Tory,

Here's the concluding part of how to put on false eye lashes. I had a fabulous response to the first one, so now we can get really glamorous with some demi lashes and some full strip ones too. We're using the same budget lashes that we were using in the first tutorial, so pick up the ones that you put to one side along with your tools and let's get started!

  • Invest in some overlocker tweezers - you will have loads more control that way
  • Invest in some tube glue - the little vials you get with lashes are far too fiddly and messy
  • Start off practising on lashes that have either very thin or invisible lash bands - these are far more flexible and easier to work with
  • Measure everthing to fit
  • Practice with small sections of lashes first, work up to demi lashes and then you will feel a lot more confident with a full strip of lashes
  • Keep practicing!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

4.3.13

Chickpea Review: Collection Lasting Colour

Hi Tory,

The Collection 2000 range has always been a bit of a winner with me - a fresh and funky collection of really affordable products that updates fairly regularly.

affordable, pigmented, long lasting

I've raved often about their Glam Crystals, and love their gel liners as well. This is the first time I'd bought one of their lipsticks and chose Shade 1, Queen of Hearts, from their Lasting Colour line - a gorgeous retro red. For a budget lipstick it goes on extremely well with a fabulous amount of pigment that's true to the bullet.

costs
£2.99

And it lasts! It almost has a slight staining quality to it and really does stay on. The only downside is a hint of tackiness to the texture, an almost plastic feel, but this gets more comfortable as the day goes on, and could perhaps be counteracted by a lip balm underneath.

All in all it gets a massive thumbs-up from me - affordable, pigmented, long-lasting. A winner!

  • Comfort: 2/5
  • Longevity: 4/5
  • Pigment: 5/5
  • Four Chickpeas out of Five!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 11 different colours
  • Available on the Boots website here
  • SPF15

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

2.3.13

Tip: Straightening Eye Lashes

Hi Tory,

I have ridiculously curled eye lashes on my right eye. This is something you'd think would be a boon - no eye lash curlers! - but they are pretty much flat against my eye lid. This means that anything from drawing a neat eye line, to putting on mascara, to putting on false eye lashes is difficult if not downright impossible. And there are loads of tutorials out there on how to curl your eye lashes and make them flirty and cute but practically zero on how to do the complete opposite. I looked, believe me.

the basic principle of the technique is the same as when you straighten your hair

Now normally I do the tips section as photo instructions but this little techniques really needs me to get up close and personal with you, hence the video. The basic principle of the technique is the same as when you straighten your hair - you use some kind of protective fluid (clear mascara in this case), an instrument, and some heat. Now one caveat: this doesn't last for a long time, but gives you just enough wiggle room to get your liner and your lashes on. By the time your real lashes have curled back up, the makeup is in place, so you're good to go. Hope this helps!

  • Coat your lashes with clear mascara (I used MUA's basic mascara, which costs £1)
  • Gently heat a spoolie with a hairdryer until it's warm
  • Test the temperature of the spoolie on your wrist
  • Place a tissue on your under eye area to protect your skin from the heat
  • Comb the spoolie down through your lashes until they're straight

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

27.2.13

Bow Tie Nails 27/2/13

Hi Tory,

It really irks me that the press-on stickers I bought a while ago for false nails turned out to be such a bust - and I really don't want to go down the nail glue route as I'm trying to condition and grow out my nails again. So I'm left with little packets of really cute nail designs but no way to use them.

"time to get creative!" I said to myself.

"Time to get creative!" I said to myself. (At this point I can hear our grandmother somewhere in the ether telling us not to spend money on things but rather make them ourselves. Consider this a tribute of sorts, Nan.) The fiddliest part is the bow tie which is essentially two triangles facing each other.

costs
£4.78

I used a combination brush and blob stroke for the triangles, building up the colour as I went. If you have a steady hand, you could use a little, fine art brush for this step as well. After I'd done the nail art I figured out that it would be so much easier to do the tips, then the dots, then the triangles and work down the nail. Hindsight!

So now I have some nail art which is not too far away from the original false nails, and only uses two colours (three if you count the clear top/base coat). You could do a negative version for a bit of Lux Tux Action, or maybe do the details in glitter for a bit of 42nd Street Pizzazz? The original nails had one single black rhinestone for the third finger nail of each hand - that's a snazzy detail to add too!

Steps

  • Base coat the nails with a clear coat and then apply the white background - I used three coats of the MUA All Nude for this. Make sure it's thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Using the nib of an old pen and a black polish apply three tiny dots in a line from just below the nail tip to about halfway down the nail - this will give you the buttons.
  • Either freehand or using the rubber band method paint a black tip on the nails.
  • Again, using an old pen nib dipped in black polish, paint two triangles pointing at each other in the bottom half of the nail for the bow tie. Let everything dry thoroughly at this point.
  • Apply a clear top coat and you have a set of cute bow tie nails!

Products Used

  • MUA Polish in All Nude
  • 2True Glossywear in Shade 19
  • NYC In A New York Color Minute in Grand Central Station
  • Old pen
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

26.2.13

Putting on False Lashes: Part One

Hi Tory,

When I did beauty therapy at college, one of the most daunting things we trained on was applying false eye lashes (along with waxing - I still hate waxing other people, too much pain involved). Everyone is all fingers and thumbs, and the glue is weird, and you're afraid of poking yourself (or a client) in the eye...

false eye lashes can be a lovely finishing touch to your look

I'd been meaning to do a tutorial for the little fluttery things for ages, and just recently a request from Michelle popped up on the Facebook Page... so here we are.

False eye lashes can be a lovely finishing touch to your look, and they come in a bewildering range of shapes, sizes and styles, as well as human hair vs. synthetic, and even paper lashes too. There are three main types to look for: individual (which are tiny bundles of about three hairs), demis (these fit on the corner of your eyelid and give a flirty look), and full strips. Change the colours, add feathers and rhinestones, throw on some glitter... there are a lot of false lashes out there!

When you're starting out and practicing, grab the cheapest drugstore ones you can find - now is not the time to invest in some hand cut Shu Umura paper lashes! There are some things that will make your life a whole lot easier, and I do go through them in the handy-dandy video:

  • Invest in some overlocker tweezers - you will have loads more control that way
  • Invest in some tube glue - the little vials you get with lashes are far too fiddly and messy
  • Start off practising on lashes that have either very thin or invisible lash bands - these are far more flexible and easier to work with
  • Measure everthing to fit
  • Practice with small sections of lashes first, work up to demi lashes and then you will feel a lot more confident with a full strip of lashes
  • Keep practicing!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

25.2.13

Chickpea Review: Revlon Super Lustrous

Hi Tory,

I'm genuinely surprised that it took me so long to get around to not only buying a Revlon lipstick, but to actually even trying one. Established in 1932, Charles Revson's line of makeup (the "L" came from a partner) pretty much revolutionised the way women thought about cosmetics, and was the standard in drugstore makeup for a great many years.

revlon's line of makeup pretty much revolutionised the way women thought about cosmetics

I bought the shade Va Va Violet - a gorgeous rich deep purple burgundy colour - and at first glance it looks matte in the bullet, but goes on with a lovely glossy sheen. The first major plus point about it is how comfortable it is to wear - smooth and moisturising but not sticky or slippery.

costs
£7.49

The pigment is excellent as well - the colour that you see in the bullet is the colour that you get on the lips, but the longevity was so-so. I found that the outside half stayed put throughout the pitta-eating experience but the middle half wore down to a slight stain. In terms of after-dinner touch ups that seemed pretty good to me.

The Revlon lipstick is at the slightly more expensive end of affordable drugstore makeup, and even though I've rated it 50/50 in the photos (too much hummus!), I would give it a massive thumbs up recommendation for buying it. (And yes - it comes in the iconic Revlon Red too.)

  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Longevity: 3/5
  • Pigment: 4/5
  • Four Chickpeas out of Five!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 27 different colours
  • Available on the Boots website here
  • The iconic Revlon line also includes the now legendary Revlon Red nail varnish - a patented colour that inspired Louboutin's equally iconic heels

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

22.2.13

Tip: Blush Blend

Hi Tory,

Sometimes a makeup look just needs a little bit extra to pull it all together and make it look properly polished and complete. This is so quick and easy to do, doesn't need any extra makeup, and will make your face instantly warmer.

this is quick and easy to do and doesn't need any extra makeup

All you need is a bit of your blusher - but put it in the crease of your eye. It sounds weird, but taking an existing shade from your face and adding it into your eye makeup really ties everything together and doesn't disturb the colour scheme that you already have in place.

  • start off with your completed eye shadow in place and needing a little oomph
  • Take a fluffy blending brush and a little bit of the blusher you've already put on your cheeks
  • Blend the blusher in the crease with the brush half in to your makeup and half above it
  • Make sure that you blend it out so that you don't have any harsh lines
  • Polished, together and pretty!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

20.2.13

Nail Tutorial: Glitter Half Moons

Hi Tory,

I first found out about Collection 2000's Glam Crystal eyeliners through a Pixiwoo video for the look that Leona Lewis wore to the X Factor. So much glittery joy that I just had to rush out and buy some the next day - and I snapped up Rock Star (a deep black), Le Freak (an amazing teal) and Hustle (a multicolored silver).

glam crystals are full of really fine glitter that you can build up

Glam Crystals are full of really fine glitter that you can build up, so you can either use them as straight eyeliners for a pop of sparkle on your eye, or fill in areas for a huge amount of shine. But... they're a lot more versatile than that.

costs
£5.78

I've been wanting to try the Glitter Half Moon look for a while, but even with templates and masking off have found it incredibly difficult to get the colour on in such a small and defined space without messing up in some way. I needed something with a small brush that also had maximum impact colour and glamour wise... eureka!

Like I say in the directions, make sure that you use the brush flat and with a patting motion - if you try and draw on your shiny painted nails the brush will slip and drag and wipe the glitter back off. You can also build coats up for the density that you want. Make sure to include a top coat to guard against knocks and chips and you're good to go!

Steps

  • Paint a base coat of black nail polish and let dry thoroughly
  • Using the Glam Crystals brush flat on its side and with a patting motion cover the cuticle edge of the nail and let dry
  • Using the same principle mirror an arc above this and let that dry
  • Fill the moon in with the Glam Crystals and let dry (you can also do additional touch ups if you have any bald spots)
  • Finish with a clear top coat

Products Used

  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 2
  • Collection 2000 Glam Crystals in Hustle
  • NYC In a New York Color Minute in Grand Central Station
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

18.2.13

Chickpea Review: Barry M Lip Lacquer

Hi Tory,

I properly got into pink lipstick the summer before last, having never been that much of a pink person before. (I'm usually more of a nude shade at one extreme vs. full on goth berries at the other.) It's an immensely flattering colour and when I saw the Barry M Lip Lacquer in this fabulously glitter hot pink, I knew I had to buy it.

you simply cannot be a shrinking violet when you wear this

It comes in a crayon stick and is insanely, fabulously glittery - you simply cannot be a shrinking violet when you wear this. What I was hoping for was that intense smudge of pigment and sparkle making its statement and then continuing to do so pretty much for the duration.

costs
£4.99

It was okay. There was a lot of transfer on to the pitta bread, leaving a fair amount of sheen and shimmer behind with glitter around the edges of my lips but an absence of anything in the absolute center. In terms of comfort it's quite tacky and obvious - I wouldn't say that it was the most comfortable thing in the world but if you're wearing something that full of intense glitter it's pretty much a given that it won't be especially soft or moisturizing on the lips.

Certainly if you're not eating then it'll be there all bold and beautiful (if a little plastic-feeling on the lips), and the colour really is a knockout. You'd probably have to retouch it at least once through the day and it might be worth wearing some sort of balm first to aid the comfort factor. Neither amazing nor terrible - but the colour makes me like it a lot.

  • Comfort: 3/5
  • Longevity: 3/5
  • Pigment: 5/5
  • Three (and a bit) Chickpeas out of Five!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 5 different colours
  • Available on the Barry M website here
  • Barry M are renowned for their Glitter and Dazzle Dusts
  • Barry M were a breath of fresh air when they hit the high street in 1982 - I cherished my matte orange nail polish and used to scour the shops for new pigments. They've gone from strength to strength since then - I like to think I helped!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

16.2.13

Vaseline the Nail Spills!

Hi Tory,

The two painting areas of my life tend to overlap and spark off my creative juices and this is no exception. I was masking off some artwork using Vaseline recently and realised - why don't I do the same thing when I'm painting my nails?

the two painting areas of my life tend to overlap

You can get industrial sized tubs of the stuff from pound shops and you only need a little bit each time - much easier than using sticky tape when you're doing nail art!

  • Use a cuticle stick or similar tool to gently spread Vaseline over any exposed skin around your nail.
  • Don't be tempted to use cotton buds - you'll end up with fibres just waiting to catch the nail polish and mess it up!
  • Once your nails are dry, simply wipe the excess away with a cotton pad - no mess! No fuss! Clean, happy nails and soft skin.

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

14.2.13

Throwback Thursday: Raquel Welch

Hi Tory,

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't know who Raquel Welch is. Her legend certainly loomed large throughout my 60s childhood and 70s adolescence and even at the age of 70something she shows no signs of either slowing down or letting go of the Sex Goddess mantle.

you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't know who raquel welch is

I like the fact that she has linebacker shoulders like me and yet still manages to look uber-feminine and glamorous (and appearing in a totally kick ass roller derby movie before roller derby movies were totally kick ass doesn't hurt either). Her makeup style - something she's stuck with but updated as she's gone along - is sculpted and neutral, so perfect for just about anyone.

costs
£27.47

She was never ultra matte 60s or super shiny 70s, but managed to straddle a line halfway between the two, and has a really interesting modification on the kitten flick where the line is pretty much straight and yet still manages to make her eyes look curved and feline.

That's a heck of a makeup artist there! I put a bit of sheen in with a base shadow and a lipgloss but kept everything else matte and blended. It's a timeless look!

Products Used

  • MUA Professional Palette in Dusk Til Dawn
  • Sleek i-Divine Palette in Oh So Special
  • Collection 2000 Eye Definer in Brown
  • Collection 2000 Big Fake Lash Mascara in Black
  • MUA Pro-Brow Kit
  • MUA Blush Perfection Cream Blusher in Blossom
  • MUA Lipstick in Shade 14 Bare
  • MUA Out There Plumping Lip Gloss in Nude
  • Elite Lip Pencil in 06 Brown (no longer available)
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch (and includes full price of any palettes used), and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

13.2.13

Valentine Nails

Hi Tory,

I really resisted the idea of doing something for Valentine's Day, mainly because I'm not a hearts and flowers kind of person. Why do you need one day a year to say "I Love You"? I do intrinsically like hearts as a shape tho (I know... I know...) and I've wanted to do nail framing for a while now, so... I combined them.

I'm convinced that bruce wayne would let alfred do this on his toenails of an evening

I like how the hearts feel more graphic - I deliberately didn't make them too neat or perfect, or the frames too thin. I wanted something that looked a little bit like a Batman graphic novel or a Saul Bass poster. I'm convinced that Bruce Wayne would let Alfred do this on his toenails of an evening, but that's just me. ;)

costs
£2.99

When it came time to find a brush to do the artwork with, I wanted something that was thin and pointy enough and with a manageable handle. It just so happened that I had an eyeliner that I really didn't like and was about to throw out, so I just washed it off and that's now in my nail art arsenal.

The main thing to stick with is doing everything slowly and in sequence - I found it helpful to do all the left sides in one go and so on, for example. You can fix any mistakes a lot quicker that way too! And, if you really weren't into hearts, you could just have big thick frames or switch the colour combination. Happy Chocolate Day! ;)

Steps

  • Paint nails with two coats of a dark or hot pink polish and let dry thoroughly
  • Using a small, thin brush (I used the brush from an old eyeliner that I'd washed) paint a "frame" around the nail using a black polish
  • A good tip for the frame is to paint all the left sides, then the right ones, then the tops, then the bottoms, letting each dry between coats to keep everything as uniform as possible
  • Mark a small black dot where the points will begin
  • Using the brush and small strokes, form the bottom edge of the heart first in a sharp angle, then curve the top edge in to meet the black dot marker to make the curved top
  • Finish with a clear top coat to protect it!

Products Used

  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 3
  • 2True Glossywear in Shade 39
  • Spare brush
  • Optional clear top coat
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

12.2.13

A Fresher Makeup for Katharine

Hi Tory,

I had a message from the wonderful Katherine on the MT4MS Facebook page, where she mentioned that she was not a makeup person as such but still got a lot out of the videos and posts. I ran it by her that it might be fun to do more of a no-makeup makeup video and so here we are.

cream products are an absolute boon for non or new makeup wearers

The great thing about makeup is that you really can use as little as or as much as you want and adjust your look accordingly. You don't have to go from a fresh face routine to wearing a full face of makeup - in fact, wearing full foundation for the first time can be really uncomfortable if you're not used to it. Sometimes an approach like this is nice because you can start to dip your toes in the makeup waters and experiment quietly.

costs
£17.53

Like I say in the video - cream products are an absolute boon for non or new makeup wearers. They tend to be really comfortable to wear and extremely easy to use - no practising blending or making cut creases here!

Once you get used to products you can start branching out or building up - maybe adding a primer to the face, or working with stronger colours on the eyes. It's all about fun - so thank you Katherine!

Products Used

  • ELF Complete Coverage Concealer in Medium
  • NYC Smooth Loose Face Powder in Translucent
  • MUA Mascara in Clear
  • Maybelline 25HR Color Tattoo in On & On Bronze
  • MUA Single Eyeshadow in Shade #15
  • MUA Mascara in Black
  • MUA Blush Perfection Cream Blusher in Bittersweet
  • MUA Intense Kisses in Stolen Kisses
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

11.2.13

Chickpea Review: Sleek True Colour Sheen

Hi Tory,

I'm a huge lover of Sleek Cosmetics, particularly their i-Divine palettes, which you really can't beat for pigmentation, range of colours and affordability (a palette of ten intense colours for just £7.99). Sold online and at Superdrug in the UK, Sleek are at the high end of drugstore brands, so I was really excited to try one of their range of True Colour lipsticks.

would I use it on its own in one application? no.

I chose Liqueur, a flat 60s nude in a sheen formulation - love the appropriately sleek black packaging, and the colour looks lovely in the bullet. This is when things started to go downhill... the colour is sheer. Really quite sheer. I was half afraid that it wouldn't make it to the end of the pitta bread, in fact.

The colour is gorgeous, but one application really doesn't cut it - I'm thinking that you'd need to build it up for a good payoff and to enhance its staying power. Its number one plus point is that it's incredibly comfortable to wear - maybe a tiny bit tacky on first application - but it feels relatively creamy on the lips.

costs
£4.99

Would I use it on its own in one application? No. Would I perhaps layer it over a base coat like a lip liner or toned lip shade? Yes. Would I build it up to give greater coverage? Possibly. All in all it was a disappointment, particularly as the colour is so nice, and especially as this is a brand that I really do love and hold in my Top Three of best drugstore products. I'm keen to try one of the matte shades tho, thinking that slightly drier formula might enhance the staying power - does anyone have experience of this?

  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Longevity: 1/5
  • Pigment: 3/5
  • Two Chickpeas out of Five!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in two different finishes - sheen and matte - in a total of 30 colours
  • Available on the Sleek website here
  • Sleek do three different kinds of lip liner, four separate types of lip gloss, their True Colour lipstick range, and a range of Pout Paints
  • Their Pout Paints are an affordable alternative to OCC's Lip Tars at only £4.99 a tube.

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

7.2.13

Nail Tutorial: Two Tone Nail Trend

Hi Tory,

There was a big Spring/Summer 2013 trend on all the catwalks for Two Tone nails - replacing the ombre nails that were such a big hit in the seasons before. Whilst I'm not such a slave to trends, sometimes the smaller ones can be fun to introduce into your life for a quick, fresh hit of something au courant and funky and nails are a cheap and easy way to do that. (You can probably insert Miranda Priestley's speech from the Devil Wears Prada here - about how designers on the catwalf pick out the colours and shapes you'll end up wearing from the High Street a year later. I want her entire wardrobe!)

make sure they jar just a little bit for that designer clash effect

Instead of doing a gradient nail which gently bleeds from one toning colour along, two tone nails bleed two relatively clashing colours together, so I decided to go with a hot tomato red and the MUA blue I call "Wonder Woman Blue" (which also happens to be one of my favourite nail colours!) Stronger colours only take a coat, but you can layer sheer ones over a white base coat or build them up with several coats.

costs
£3.79

You can use any colours that you like, but make sure that they jar just a little bit for that designer clash effect, or you can offset a hot colour with a stark white or black. You're not going for subtle here! Think of hot pink and orange, or red and green, or you could even go with a neutral and a metallic for a chicer look. The possibilities are endless.

You can do the blend in either one of two ways: either blend both colours on the sponge, or just concentrate on one strong colour to feather out - either way, make sure that the sponge is damp, as that really is the trick to this technique. Have fun with it!

Steps

  • Base coat your nails with a clear polish to avoid staining
  • Paint half your nail in the first colour and let it dry - you don't have to be accurate with the halfway line, in fact the messier the better
  • Paint the second colour on the exposed half of your nail and let that dry - you can top it all with a clear base coat at this point to eliminate any halfway bumps or ridges
  • Using a damp makeup sponge dab the two colours on the halfway line to uzz them out. You'll need to do several coats of this to get the effect and make sure that they dry between coats. Don't press too hard and make sure that you're doing a dabbing motion.
  • Top it with a clear coat of polish to seal it and further blend the colours, and clean up the skin around your nails. Done!

Products Used

  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 6
  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 9
  • NYC In a New York Color Minute Polish in Grand Central Station
  • Damp makeup sponge
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

5.2.13

Makeup Tutorials: The £20 Challenge

Hi Tory,

I will confess - I've resisted the £20 Makeup Challenge (originally the $20 Makeup Challenge, so with the exchange rate we come off a little better), mainly because I couldn't quite get my head around the concept. It's rather like those riddle stories, like the one where you're in the jungle and you have to get three cannonballs over a rope bridge that will only support you and two cannonballs, and you're being chased by warriors, etc. You juggle the cannonballs and thus you are only holding two at any given time. Fair enough - but why do I need to do any of this in the first place and who the hell can juggle cannonballs?

you have gone on holiday and the airport staff have lost ALL of your makeup

Here's the premise for the challenge - you have gone on holiday and the airport staff have lost ALL of your makeup, and you only have £20 to replace the whole face routine including brushes.

costs
£18.99

So what I had a problem with was a) I carry my day makeup in my handbag so presumably the airport staff wrestled the bag away from me, b) if I'm on holiday why have I only got £20 to spend on makeup, and c) what mythical country am I in where I can purchase any brand and/or have Internet items delivered in ten minutes? I may be obsessing a little here, but my Asperger's resisted the tutorial for the longest time. I have suspended my disbelief long enough to put something together for my poverty-stricken, bruise-covered holiday to AmeriEuropasia.

A sidenote: when are Superdrug going to start selling ELF? I demand to know.

Products Used

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

4.2.13

Chickpea Review: 17 Lasting Fix Lipstick

Hi Tory,

Seventeen (formerly Boots 17) was launched in 1968 at the end of the Swinging Sixties to capture the independent and breezy teenage girl market. I certainly remember buying Seventeen products in the 80s when they consistently produced a confidently young line at affordable prices, something that they still do today. The Lasting Fix Lipstick line covers everything from workaday nudes to the broodingly gorgeous New Black, keeping them on trend but still a bargain.

I bought pink power for the summer months for a hot pop of colour

The sticker on the bottom of the bullet gives you a pretty good indication of the colour inside - useful for when you can't swatch the product before you buy. I initially bought Pink Power for the summer months for a hot pop of colour and it certainly delivers that! The pigment on this is fantastic - it's a blue-toned hot pink colour and you really do get what you see in the bullet when you put it on your lips with no sheering out or loss of intensity.

My testing criteria is that the lipstick goes on in one layer with no primer or lip pencil, and then I eat half a pitta bread with hummus to see how well the product lasts. I also take into account what the pigment is like, how comfortable it is to wear and so on. The Lasting Fix is a little cakey and heavy in texture, which I'd expect with a more matte lipstick, but this is a cream finish, and I could feel it starting to pool in the outer corners of my lips as I was eating.

costs
£4.29

I'd say that it was ever so slightly tacky, rather than moisturising, and I've had issues with that feeling as I've worn it throughout the day. Having said that, the staying power was fantastic with the pigment staying true - I'd probably be inclined to wear a primer or balm underneath just to up the comfort factor a bit, or maybe blot off the first coat to tone down the tackiness. It's not deeply unpleasant, just a bit sticky, so you could certainly work around that.

  • Comfort: 2/5
  • Longevity: 4/5
  • Pigment: 4/5
  • Three Chickpeas out of Five!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 20 different colours
  • Available on the Boots 17 website here
  • One of four different lipstick textures that Seventeen do
  • New Black is a very popular shade - it's one of those where you have to buy it as soon as you see it because it WILL disappear!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

2.2.13

Here's What's In Store...

Hi Tory,

It's been a bit of a roller coaster for the last couple of weeks, but I've also been working on the blog changes in the background, to bring everyone an even better experience - more tutorials, more tips, and more fun.

Today the new era kicks off, so I thought I'd give you all a run down of the changes I'm making and how I see the next year turning out!

today the new era kicks off

I always wanted the blog and the YouTube channel to be a way to instantly connect with people, and to give out as much help and advice as I could - I've managed to learn, grow and pick up tips and tricks along the way too, which has been so wonderful. The last two weeks in the theatre were an amazing experience, and there will be a lot more of that to come with the possibility of me sharing what I'm learning along the way. (I'll post a picture of the work I did for the production below - bear scars!)

The New and Improved Makeup Tips for My Sister will include:

  • Regular daily interaction on my Twitter channel, sharing trends and tips, asking questions, answering questions, and generally chatting
  • A regular weekly schedule of posts that breaks down as follows: Monday is Reviews, Tuesday is Makeup Tutorials, Wednesday is Nail Tutorials, Thursday is Throwback Thursday when I show you retro looks and tips, and Friday is General Tips and Techniques.
  • Posts and videos with looks will have a clear indication of how much it will cost you to replicate the tutorial from scratch, so I'm thinking of your budget!
  • Lots more photos of products and looks!
  • I've set up folders on the Facebook Page so that you get photos of looks that I've done and looks that I'm thinking of doing, and there will also be a folder so that YOU can post pictures of looks you'd like me to recreate or products you'd like me to review.
  • I'll also be interacting more on the Facebook Page!
  • There are links in the menu bar with the different ways to follow Makeup Tips for My Sister to make it super easy!
  • And finally.... the BIG news needs a paragraph all of its own....
Here's the BIG news. I always wanted Makeup Tips for My Sister to be a fully interactive experience and a way of sharing, so with that in mind I'm setting up something exclusive for my lovely followers. In order to gain access to this, you need to join the mailing list (the link is in the menu above). Every month I'll be doing exclusive, mailing list only videos and give aways by way of a thank you to the subscribers. Each newsletter will have additional content that you won't get on the blog, along with links to catch up on the month's posts and videos. So... subscribe now - it'll be worth it!

One More Thing...

  • I'm doing some research and investigation into Kryolan makeup for theatre work - if anyone has experience of this, message me!
  • My Bourjois nail polish remover has been going strong since October and shows no signs of giving up, so a top product there!
  • The TOWIE eye shadopw palettes had all sold out. Insert sad face here.
  • Here's what I've been doing for the last two weeks: bear claw scars and bruising on Actor Supreme, Tobias Clay!

Hugs and kisses,
xxx

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