Ciaté describe this as the perfect colour for date nights and I have to agree. It's a sexy, vampy red that screams autumn and looks great against fairer skin tones. Burgundy is a nail polish shade that I own a fair few of, but I've always struggled to find a truly deep red that doesn't transfer as black on the nails. This is opaque in just two coats which I think makes all the difference; so often you end up having to layer darker shades so much that they just lose all dimension and it ends up being difficult to detect any colour. The finish is incredibly glossy (I topped it off with a coat of Seche Vite as usual) and like most of the Ciaté polishes I've tried the wear time is fairly good. I'm currently hunting down some sort of red-based glitter to layer over this during the festive season so if you have any recommendations let me know!
How crazy is it that I'm writing this post? Insane. For the longest time eyeliner has been my nemesis; any attempt at a flicked out, winged effect has fallen flat and I'd almost given up all hope of it ever happening for me, despite loving the look on other people. There were three main issues that I faced with my liner; 1) ensuring that the flicks were at even (or at least similar) angles to one another, 2) determining the thickness of the wing and 3) managing to prevent the end result smearing all over my face before lunchtime. I'm still a long way from perfect but I've finally found a routine that I'm happy with - and that's more than good enough for me.
I usually begin by drawing the flick itself - something that I always left until the last minute previously. I guess the main benefit of this is that when it comes to rubbing out any mistakes, it's a lot easier when there's just one small line to remove and it doesn't interfere with the rest of the liner... if that makes an ounce of sense! My new love is the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Liner; far better than the Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner (in my humble opinion) as it enables you to remove any mistakes quickly and easily without having to use any specialist eye makeup removers or oils. Once you're happy with the result and the liner is completely dry this stuff just ain't budging, but it is still possible to play around with it until you're truly happy.
For years I'd only dared to use a felt tip liner such as the Collection 24hr Felt Tip Liner as I'd heard that they were the easiest option for liner novices like myself. Instead, I've actually discovered that I'm far better at using a more traditional gel/brush method. The brush that comes with the Rimmel liner is surprisingly good as it has a conveniently pointy tip that allows for a precise finish when needed. I use the handle of the brush to find the right angle, following on directly from the bottom lashline to create the most natural looking finish. Practice really does make perfect with this and I've found that over time I've become better at determining where the line should be just from sight; although I still do make the occasional mistake (or seven). Although I'm better at liner than I used to be, cotton buds are still my best friends and I'm always sure to have a healthy supply nearby for when it all goes tits up. I usually just faintly dab them into a little Bioderma and use it to even out the line where needed. For me this is the easiest way to achieve a super pointy flick and it takes a little bit of pressure off knowing that I can go back and tidy up any mistakes. To draw the wing itself, I begin with a super thin line and build it up near the base as neatly as possible, keeping the tip sharp and pointy.
I think the most important thing to remember is that different people prefer different techniques; and just because one person does it a certain way doesn't mean you need to - especially if you're not particularly comfortable with it. A few of my favourite tutorials and routines from the web include Megan's Winged Liner Technique post, Sammi's Everyday Winged Liner video and Suzie's Liquid Liner Tutorial. It just goes to show that eyeliner can look great using a whole range of different techniques and products - just play around and find out what's best for you!
01. I'm currently writing this from my sick bed where I am feeling truly awful and sorry for myself. Calum's dose of man flu appears to have made it's way across the sofa to me and I swear it's gathered some intensity on it's path. Secretly I'm really enjoying being taken care of... cough.
02. The past few weeks have been a little bit of a blur if I'm honest. I'm having serious cold feet about uni this year and am currently flitting between the idea of staying on or chucking it in and finding myself a 'real job'. Obviously the latter needs to come before I do give up for good, so it's a decision that I need to be taking pretty seriously (something i'm really not that good at). The amount of time and money I've already invested into the course is a huge factor too, so we'll see. All I know is that at the moment I'm really not in the right frame of mind to commit fully to either outcome and the indecision is becoming super stressful.
03. On a more positive note, I'm hoping to go home for a long weekend at the beginning of November and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't seen my family since the summer and it's always something I look forward to; I also could probably do with a bit of time away from the city in order to clear my head a little. I'm hoping Calum can come too, so no doubt they will be days full of charity shopping, Catfish watching and eating as much junk food as our stomachs will allow.
04. Tomorrow I'm heading to my first Halloween party of the season (although by the time you're reading this it will have passed!) and I couldn't be more looking forward to it; although admittedly I still haven't decided on a costume. I'm in love with the pages of halloween beauty tutorials that YouTube and Pinterest are chucking up at the moment so I'm planning on focusing on the makeup and probably just throwing on a black ensemble from my already very monochrome wardrobe. For once I actually have a few plans for Halloween this year so hopefully i'll get to give a few looks a go; illness permitting!
05. Speaking of YouTube, my channel is something that I've really been loving getting my teeth into over the past couple of weeks. I'm having so much fun filming and editing videos and I've recently hit 1,000 subscribers which is just out of this world; I honestly am so humbled and grateful. YouTube is something that I still find a little daunting and I find it almost impossible to watch myself back, so the idea that people are actually interested in watching my videos is huge for me.
06. As I realised the last 'life' update I wrote was published when we had just secured the deposit on a flat, I thought it would make sense to give a little update of that too. In short, we love it. After having so many problems with our last place it feels like an absolute dream to find somewhere that suits us down to a tee, is in our ideal location and so far hasn't had too many problems attached to it (touch wood).
It's no secret that I fully subscribe to the wonders of the LRP Effaclar range. Duo and Duo[+] are possibly the only products within my skincare routine that I just can't bare to be without - even to the point that I have constant restocks waiting in line should a tube run dry unexpectedly. It's made a huge difference to the overall appearance, tone and texture of my skin over the years I've been using it, so when I was offered the opportunity to trial the brand's new 3 Step Anti-Blemish System* I was thrilled. Accepting skincare as part of a PR sample isn't something that I make a habit of, but it's a kit that I had been already been saving my pennies to pick up myself since I heard of it's forthcoming release.
As a little bit of background info, I've suffered with blemish prone skin since my early teens but I've never had huge problems with oiliness; in fact it probably sits more on the dry side. That said, I'm prone to sensitivity and have found that the Effaclar range - although aimed at those with oilier skin - works wonders for me in general.
The first product in the system is the Purifying Foaming Gel*, which initially made me wince slightly. Foaming cleansers aren't my usual choice as they do nothing to help my dry skin, but in the interest of a full review I picked this up over my usual morning (and occasionally evening) cleansers for a few weeks. While it didn't leave my skin quite as uncomfortable as some of the foaming options I've used in the past it still definitely isn't for me. Yes my skin felt clean, but I just don't find that it's worth it considering how dry and stripped foaming products also make it feel. It may be something that those with oily complexions can make work for them a little better, but I'm far more likely to use something like the Effaclar Clarifying Lotion in place of this as a first step in my routine. For me, the real gem of this collection is the Clarifying Toner*, an instantly mattifying option that leaves the skin feeling smooth and free from excess oils. As I mentioned, my skin doesn't get particularly greasy, but I have enjoyed wiping this across my t-zone in the mornings before applying makeup as it enables me to work with a truly blank canvas. It's the only product in the system that you can't purchase on it's own in the UK, so it's definitely a nice incentive to give the kit a try if you're already a fan of the Effaclar range. Also included is a full size tube of Effaclar Duo[+]*, which for me is a true 'can't live without' product. This has made a bigger difference to my complexion than any other skincare product I've tried in the past, so for me it's more than useful to have an extra tube on standby. I know that this is on a lot of people's 'to try' list, so a complete system like this one is the perfect way to give the serum a go in combination with two other products that aim to increase it's effectiveness.