Thursday, 26 August 2010

How to wear red lipstick (without looking like a drag queen)

It has taken me many years to come across a red lipstick that didn't look absolutely horrendous on me. I've got quite pale skin, but not gorgeous milky white like Dita Von Teese. It wasn't until I paid a visit to MAC that I finally found my match. They matched my skintone as NW25, for reference. 

I've got a cool skin tone, and the lovely ladies at MAC told me that I would need to find a lipstick with blue undertones (which Ruby Woo has). I tried a few before I came across this beauty, which immediately made my skin come alive. 

When I've got it on, I obviously make sure that the red of my makeup is simple. I quite often wear it with my favourite pair of shoes, the Vivienne Westwood/Melissa collaboration with the big red plastic hearts on the toe, and I almost always get compliments on it.

So pleased I've found a shade to suit me, and I always feel really ladylike when I've got it on. As well as that, the lipstick has a really creamy texture. I bought the Mac Cherry lipliner to match, and start off by lining my lips (very carefully!) with that before filling in with the lipstick. Sometimes I add a bit of Lipcote, but it does stay put pretty well on its own. I usually re-apply once during a night out, just to ensure the red stays as vibrant as it was at the start of the evening, but you could go the whole night without re-applying. 

Bye for now!


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Becca compact concealer review

I have searched high and low for the perfect concealer to hide my bags. I've tried Touche Eclat and to be honest, found that it did absolutely nada for me. I used Mac's Select Cover Up for a while but found it to be really drying - and it sank into the fine lines under my eyes which accentuated them.

So imagine my relief when I came across Becca's gorgeous little compact concealer (£30), which comes in an enormous range of 34 colours, so you can be sure you'll find your match. The MUA's working at Becca really know their stuff too, and will match you correctly. 

The concealer is split into two, each side a different thickness and texture. The right hand side is 'medium' cover, which is perfect for my under eye area. I use my MAC 242 brush to apply it, which seems to distribute the perfect amount. It has a really light creamy texture, which means I don't have to drag the brush across my skin (and cause more wrinkles in the long term!). 

The left hand side is 'extra' cover, which is great for blemishes. I usually brush some onto blemishes and then finish with a powder to set it. It has a slightly more opaque finish than the medium cover, and feels slightly heavier; but perfect for its use. 

For reference, I have this in 'Latte' which is a perfect match for my NW25 complexion. 

Much love,

Belle de Beauty 

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Topshop new A/W 2010 makeup collection

I've been wondering what the new season Topshop makeup collection would be like - and I'm not disappointed! Check out the sleek packaging - gorgeous AND relatively cheap. There are 17 new items, priced between £6 - £10, so no excuses for not trying it out...

Yummy! I'm still a bit upset with them for not going live with their 'face feathers' in the last collection, which were gorgeous and featured heavily in magazine photoshoots, but when I went to buy them they said they would not be selling them :( Still, this new collection might just make up for it.

Bye for now,


Chanel retain the crown for creating the most covetable nail polishes!

Chanel have launched Les Khakis de Chanel, a trio of khaki nail polish shades that will go perfectly with your autumn outfits. They've been created especially for Vogue's Fashion Night Out event, and are sure to become the next 'Jade' shade, so you had better queue up early to get your hands on them when they hit shelves on September 8th. 

Which shade are you all coveting most?!

Belle de Beauty

Paul & Joe Autumn collection 2010 - so gorgeous you won't want to use 'em!

Paul & Joe have done it again with their gorgeous Autumn collection, with packaging designed using prints from their Autumn 2010 fashion collection. The lipsticks actually have little cat's heads carved into them - opinion seems to be divided as to whether they are cute or creepy! 

There are 3 lipsticks with a hint of gold shimmer, and 3 palettes. I'm loving the swan palette - I have been known to buy products in amazing packaging even if I don't like the shades...I'm sure all you beauty fiends out there will know what I mean! 

I can't decide which one I like the best - may have to opt for all 3! 

More soon!

Belle de Beauty

Monday, 23 August 2010

Blue Note - the perfect cool palette for eyes

My skin is quite pale with cool undertones (I'm around a NW25 in MAC's foundations), so blues suit me down to the ground when it comes to eye makeup. I've pretty much perfected my blue eyes routine, which, my beau tells me, definitely gets heads turning. 

The palette? Christian Dior's 5 Coleurs Edition Dentelle in Pearl Glow (limited edition Spring 2010) - it's a beauty.

The picture doesn't show how beautiful and shimmery these shades are - they are much more subtle than they look here. 

I usually start off with Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (£15 - and it will last you forever!) in Black Ink. I use their Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush (£20.50) to line my top lid, flicking out to a feline finish at the outer corners. I wait a couple of minutes for this to try, and then go over the line using Chanel's Precision Eye Definer (£16) in Denim, a lush, deep blue, which intensifies the Bobbi Brown liner. I also apply this underneath my eyes, very finely in order to avoid the panda look. There's a handy little smudge tool on the other end of the pencil which I use to blend everything in. After this, I will use the Dior palette. I use the deep blue in the centre of the palette to line the whole eye, and I then define further by applying the purple to the outer corners and the silvery-white to the inner corners. 

The finishing touch is to use Urban Decay's fantastic 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils (£11) in Electric and Zero to complete the look. I swipe a tiny bit of the Electric onto the centre of each eyelid, and I use the Zero to line inside my lashes for a dark, sultry look. Finish off with mascara and - ta-da! - you're hot to trot. 

Much love,

Belle de Beauty

Soap and Glory's Sit Tight - definitely not a bum deal

I feel I have the authority to review this, having new used a full tube of the stuff. I was slightly sceptical at first - partly because of the £14 price tag, which is rather a lot for S&G, and partly because anything claiming it would perk up my bum and work its magic on my cellulite could not possibly be true. 

However, being a huge S&G addict (particularly their pink range, which I adore and keep buying more and more of, even though I already own the whole range - it's so preeetty!), I just had to give this a go. 

I am pleased to report that this product will firm yer bum! Obviously it's not going to work miracles - you have to do a large number of squats to really get rid of your bumper, but it does have, in my opinion, a visible effect, and definitely makes your bum feel firmer to touch. 

I use this every morning after my shower, and leave it to sink in for a couple of minutes before getting dressed. You will then start to feel a distinct deep-heat style warming of your derriere, which feels rather nice as you're sitting in your car or on the train on the way to work - a bit like a heated seat. So that's lovely. The smell is slightly medicinal, but this doesn't really put me off. I do think it is a cumulative effect, because when I have a few days off from using it, I really notice the difference. I'm definitely confident rocking my tight pencil skirts, as this appears to have banished the wobble, which I am over the moon about. 

The good thing is that although this product is expensive in comparison with the rest of Soap and Glory line, it is much cheaper than the posher creams claiming to work on your cellulite, so I'm pretty sure I'll keep re-purchasing for now. It'll be a nice winter bum-warmer too once the weather starts getting colder. 

Kudos to Soap & Glory for yet another lovely product that will sit proudly on my dresser. You can get your hands on it at Boots or Harvey Nicks. 

Come back soon!

Belle de Beauty

Sunday, 22 August 2010

No More Crows Feet!!

Funny that Belle is reviewing skincare first. Obviously, lovely skin is the best canvas for flawless makeup. And while she's in her 20s and able to, she wants to stop time taking its toll quite so harshly. So, an easy mission, no?

Belle's ever-so-honest other half (you will be hearing more from him in a useful 'honesty is the best policy'-type contribution) recently informed her she had 'crow's feet'. Unbelievable. So, naturally, Belle's quest was on for an eye cream to either stop the wrinkles or at least do something that would help hide them.

Now, I have tried out many an eye cream. From reputable brands, who make other products that I love. But for some reason, they are either incredibly drying around my delicate eye area, or they appear to make no difference whatsoever. And they're never cheap. None of us want wrinkles, so I guess it's easy for a company to make the most of that. Nonetheless, I have now found my holy grail, after a mammoth search.

Unfortunately, for Belle's wallet, the answer seems to come in the form of one of the most expensive creams I have tried. Typical. And when I say expensive, I mean eyewatering. So far I am still surviving on little sample pots they gave me at the counter, but when they run out, I may be forced to spend £123 on a teeny tiny little 15ml pot. 

The answer to every woman's quest to banish wrinkles? Creme De La Mer's Eye Concentrate. It is so incredibly nourishing, smells divine, feels luxurious to apply (so it should, at that price). And I absolutely swear it has reduced the fine lines around my eyes. Now I could be wrong, but Belle's very discerning gentleman friend agrees. Although he doesn't know the price, which might change his opinion. If you buy the proper full sized version, you even get a little spatula to apply it with which keeps the whole thing hygienic. The one down-side is the packaging, which looks luxurious, but anything in a jar is open to contamination. 

Incidentally, among the host of other eye creams I tried in this experiment include the whole spectrum of quality and price: La Prairie's Cellular Radiance Eye Cream (£92 for 15ml) - too drying and smelt like old ladies, Ren's Active 7 Radiant Eye Maintenance Gel (£18 for 15ml) - felt like applying water, and with pretty much the same effect too, although nice packaging, and Dermalogica's Total Eye Care (around £34 for 15ml) - as recommended by my qualified face mapping lady, but a bit of a blah product IMHO. 

So there you have it ladies, I've told you where to look. At least go and blag a sample of the La Mer if you can and the results will speak for themselves. 


Belle de Beauty

Squeaky Clean Pores

I've never had much luck with Origins products. I have tried their Modern Friction  range but found it to be both ineffective and harsh on my sensitive skin. Until, that is, I was fortunate enough to come across their Clear Improvement Mask, which was an entirely different experience.

I've never been able to find anything that has been able to banish the clogged pores on my chin and around my nose, but this is an absolutely genius product. Now, these blackheads are stubborn. I've tried every scrub under the sun, including a little known trick of using a microfibre cloth - yes, the type that you usually buy to clean your car with. It does wonders, but it's easy to get a bit 'scrub happy' and end up with red raw, flaky skin. This stuff pretty much clears everything out first time, and leaves my skin absolutely glowing with health.

The trick is to prep your skin well. I've got a little face steamer which makes the whole process a bit quicker, and means I don't have to faff around with towels and kettles and big bowls (incidentally I've got a Carmen Beauty Facial Sauna, available at Boots for around £20). So I steam my face for about 10 minutes before applying this mask.

It's quite a thick clay mask, which is grey and looks very strange when it's on. You may want to do this when your other half isn't takes quite a while to dry, so I find it's best to apply one thin layer, wait for that to dry and then apply another on top, which really seems to pull all the impurities out. I usually only apply it to my T zone, as it is quite drying and the rest of my skin spends most of its life pretty parched, so I don't want to aggravate it. That said, this definitely hasn't dried out my skin on my T zone.

I leave it on for around 15 minutes - the first time I did it, there was a slight tingling sensation, and I had a horrible feeling that I was going to wash it off to find my face red as a raspberry, but fortunately my skin was lovely afterwards. It takes some scrubbing to get it off once it's dry, so I prefer to jump in the shower. I usually give my face a short scrub with my usual exfoliator, Dermalogica's Microfoliant, which does the trick and clears any surface impurities once the mask has done its magic.

Once I'm out of the shower, I pop on a bit of moisturiser, and gawk at myself in the mirror, unable to believe how smooth my skin is, particularly my chin which has a nasty habit of breaking out with zillions of blackheads. No more! I have been using this product now for just over a month, and will definitely not be going back.

Having said that, I rather like the sound of the award winning all-natural Dr Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask, which comes in the form of a little pot of powder that you mix up yourself. I might give it a go once I've finished my tube of Clear Improvement, which will be a while - you get a very generous amount for your money.
Until next time my lovelies,

Belle de Beauty