Friday, 28 August 2015

Mecca Beauty Loop L1 Unboxing

I could be privately devastated that I've been downgraded to a Level 1 Beauty Loop member from a Level 3, but honestly, I'm pretty thrilled. It's easy to spend money quicker than it takes the Flash to run the 100m race, and with makeup being an expensive hobby in Australia, I've needed to find ways to cut back on my spending. I think I have my postgraduate degree to thank for it, really, because studying at home all the time means I'm not going past Mecca Cosmetica on the way home -- and that means I'm not dropping cash like I earn Taylor Swift's salary.

Still, I got a nice, sweet little package this month (courtesy of my stepfather, who gallantly picked it up for me) and I think that it goes to show that you don't necessarily need to spend money to get a couple of nice little samples.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 47 || I've got so much moisturiser right now that I got paint the town with it, but I have always wanted to try a Josie Maran product, so I don't mind so much. I think that I'm going to save this for summer, when the SPF will be of the most use -- especially when using sunscreen is not a strong part of my face routine. I can't seem to be able to find this product on the Mecca website, which is unusual, so I'm not able to give the general piece about how much it is.

Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial || I've actually got a tube sample of this that I received in a Level 3 Beauty Loop box about seven months ago, and I haven't used it yet so I can't say if it's any good. It's free of all kind of synthetic nasties, which is pretty cool, and it'll be good if I have to go away for a trip! A 75ml tube of this costs $59, and I receive a 3ml pouch that is worth $2.36.

By Terry Mascara Terrybly Growth Booster Mascara || I'm always excited to receive a By Terry product, because it's a line that I'm not going to be able to afford until I'm working a full time job. I'm not stoked about the generic brush that comes with all mascara samples, so I think I'll scope out what the original is like -- the brush can make all the difference! Still, the formula seems nice, even with a brush that I don't like, and at $65 it's only a little more expensive than the YSL mascara I splurged on last year. I think the regular mascara tube contains 7.5g of product, and this has 4g, making it worth around $34.67. (Cue heart palpitations)

Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturiser - Sensitive Skin || Another moisturiser, this one claims to refine and rejuvenate the appearance of skin. I really do have enough moisturiser to paint the town, however, so I've given this to my mother because I know that she really loves the Kate Somerville brand. This comes in a 50ml tub that retails for $86, making the 2ml sachet that I received worth about $3.44.

Beauty Loop Box Value: $40.47 minimum

I really can't be disappointed by the samples in this box -- it's nice to get some staple items from brands you wouldn't normally try! Have you used any of these before?


Monday, 24 August 2015

Product Review: Maybelline Hyper Sharp Wing Liner

This little beauty hit shelves within the last few weeks, and it's sleek packaging immediately caught my eye. Drugstore eyeliners can be hit or miss, so while I'm willing to buy and try, I like to do some research and then wait until it's on sale. Makeup is expensive and usually non-refundable, so I want to make sure that I can prevent as many losses as possible.

Hello, my precious.
The Hyper Sharp Wing eyeliner was half price at Woolworths a little while ago (and it's currently half price at Priceline), so I bit the bullet and decided to give it a shot. It seemed rather promising, although I knew beforehand to perhaps not expect too much in terms of pigmentation. I didn't know either if it would dry out after a couple of uses either, as many pen liners have done before.

Such sleek. Much shiny. Wow.
Its packaging looks rather sleek yet retro, with shiny metallic purple lettering cutting through the equally shiny black. The lid, too, is also that shiny metallic purple, and it pulls off the pen easily. No need to worry about whether or not you'll break it!

Shinier than Lumiere on a glorious French morning.
The nib is the selling point for this product. The brush, while tapered, is flattened so that the edge of it is really narrow and sharp looking. My photos don't really do it justice -- you can really see just how thin the edge of the liner is when you look at it in person. The idea behind the liner's design is that you can draw a super sharp wing with the narrow edge; the fat side can be used to either fill it in or draw a thick wing.

The thin side. Thin like a razor.
The flat side. Flatter than a French crepe.
However you like to do your liner, the thing that I love about this product is that my wings take less than two minutes. Literally. My Kat Von D liner has a conical brush tip so that I need to be careful that my wings aren't too blunt; my Hyper Glossy liner is really wet and requires a lot of control, to make sure that product doesn't go all over the place like a 5-year-old's paint brush. With this liner though? I simply draw my wing, nice and easy, then I fill it in -- and I'm done! I've never had to worry about the state of my wings whenever I've used this liner.

Thinner than an eggshell, thicker than an idiot's skull.
The main thing that stops this liner from getting a perfect score is its opacity. It's black and opaque, yes, but it's not as opaque as a couple of other liners that I've used. You might feel the need to go over it a couple of times just to make sure that you reach full opacity (or you could just go over it with another liner) or to touch it up during the day, but honestly, you can get away without it. A major positive is that it doesn't "lift" liner when you go over it, so never fret if you do!

As far as drying out goes, just look at that swatch photo! Is that the photo of a liner that will fail you in a time of crisis? No, mon chéri, it is not.

Padawan Product Rating: A

All up, this is a great liner to invest in. If you're someone who seriously struggles with drawing wings and getting them even, this is it. This is the thing you need. I know that Maybelline's Hyper Glossy is my Holy Grail liner, but this is a serious second place. I have never before used an eyeliner that was so quick and easy that I could be running late and still have time to whack it on.

Have you used this eyeliner before? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Blogger Appreciation: When the Numbers Don't Matter

About a week ago or so, I was invited by Eli of Marshmellow's Diary to read a particular post -- and so I clicked the link, thinking it was probably going to be a tag post (we all know that I adore tag posts!) but it was, in fact, something even better.

Discussing her last two years blogging, Eli wrote about how grateful she was to the blogging community for always helping her out when she needed something and then listen seven blogs that she particularly wanted to thank -- and when I saw my name and my blog on that list, I was almost moved to tears with happiness.

I'm not normally a teary kinda girl.

I just think that it's such an important thing to do, to appreciate the bloggers around you. There's more of us than there were when I started blogging 18 months ago, and it's very easy to get caught up in numbers and stats. You can sit at the computer screen and look at a blog that's been going for just as long as yours and think, "How? How do they have thousands of followers? What are they doing that I'm not?"

None of it matters.

What matters is why you began writing in the first place.

I started writing a blog because I ate a bowl of pad Thai so disgusting, Gordon Ramsey would've been lost for words. I wanted to tell people about how terrible it was (I never actually did), and then I started thinking about other things I could write about, and my blog evolved from there. Blogging isn't a full time thing for me -- it simply can't be -- and so it needs to evolve at my pace. I edited my layout when I was ready. I began using better cameras once I was ready to move on to them. I'm finally at a place where I can plan blog posts so that they come out consistently, and it's because I'm ready. In the future, I'll start to edit my photos too -- but I'm not ready... yet.

Eli listed off a number of bloggers who seemed to mean more to her while she was blogging, and I'm going to do the same here. These are the blogs that always brighten my day. I get excited when I see a new post on Bloglovin' because... Well, to put it simply: they inspire me to keep at it and be a better blogger:
  1. Danielle | Confessions of a Beauty School Dropout
  2. Emma | Peace Love Vintage
  3. Sarah | More Than Adored
  4. Jess | Pretty Chit Chat
  5. Iqra | The Blushing Giraffe
  6. Astrid | Makeup by Astrid Lam
I hope that you all have a really good weekend, and don't forget to show someone some love and appreciation -- people feel it more than you might think!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Product Review: Too Faced Sugar Pop Palette

Too Faced knows how to sell a palette. They get a handful or two or pretty colours, give them delicious names and then place them in packaging so adorable that you literally develop heart eyes the moment promotional photos surface on Instagram. I knew the moment I first saw this palette that it would be something I'd want to add to my collection, but I held off buying it for a long time. Too Faced like to release the odd limited edition palette every now and then, but the quality hasn't always been there.

Never buy a palette if the quality isn't there. You don't need to blow your money like that.

The Too Faced Sugar Pop palette comes in a really cute cardboard packaging showing pastel-toned macarons alongside a couple of vibrant brown and hot pink macarons. The metal-cased palette inside shows the same pattern with a gold frame edge, provoking your brain to emit girly squeals as your inner 12-year-old gazes upon the cosmetic equivalent of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

The casing, when you open up the palette, is a nice dark chocolate-brown. The mirror is covered by the usual Glamour Guide that Too Faced includes with all of its palettes, which pops in and out easily. The shades themselves are organised into three categories that coincide with the looks given in the Glamour Guide: Sweet & Spicy, Sugar Plums and Candy Coated.

You notice how that almost-sickening hot pink shade is right next to that vivid turquoise blue? Yes, they do want you to put those shades on your eyeball at the same time. Yes, it looks terrifying -- but we'll get to that.

Let's get to some swaaatcheees!

Rock Candy || This is a deep cream colour with gold shimmer. A single one-swipe swatch doesn't really show on my skin, but it makes a very nice albeit very subtle highlight across the browbone to clean up your eye look.

Macaron || Macaron is a kind of warm, brown-based, shimmery terracotta coral. It applies with a decent amount of pigmentation that doesn't translate well based on my swatch, but you can also build it up so that you get a stronger colour -- the shimmer, however, doesn't really come through for me. This shade lasted very for quite awhile on my lid, especially when I put it on top of a primer or a white base, and does really well as a transition shade too.

Malted Milk Ball || A metallic light chocolate brown with gold sparkle, the Glamour Guide suggests that this be a transition shade. It works really well for that -- though you may want to start out with a light hand, so you can build up the intensity to a strength that you like. The shimmer translates well onto the lid, and lasts a while too.

Strawberry Ice || A soft, slightly metallic, icy, cool-toned lavender pink, Too Faced recommends this shade as a browbone highlight, but I'm not sure that I'd use it for that. There's enough pigmentation with a light application that the purple tint might look a little strange. I don't think that I would use this for an all-over lid shade either, though -- probably just to highlight the inner corner and the centre of my lid.

Sugared Violet || A dark, smoky metallic purple with purple and blue sparkle, you could think of Sugared Violette as a better, more purple Candied Violet (from the original Chocolate Bar palette). Like a lot of the other shades so far, it applies well to the lid, and you can build up the pigmentation to an intensity that suits you. This lasted a good five or six hours on me generally, but only three or four if my eyelids are producing oil like a company wants to bottle it.

Blackberry || This is the only matte shade in the palette. Yep, the only one.  It's a darkened, brown-based maroon-ish plum, and feels soft and creamy to the touch. However, it swatches chalky and of all the shades in this palette, this fades the quickest. I recommend using a tacky white base first if you want to use this on your lid, such as the NYX Jumbo Pencil in "Milk". That being said, this shade is amazing as a crease colour -- but beware! Because it is so soft, it's easy to pick up too much product and make yourself look like you've been in a bar fight, so make sure that you go niiice and easy with your brush.

Peach Fuzz || This shade is a light yellow peach shade with fine yellow-gold shimmer. Like Rock Candy, this doesn't show up too much on my skin, though it does show better than the former. The shimmer shows up a little more, too, but it's not super sparkly.

Bubblegum || A shocking hot pink with silvery shimmer, it really is scary to think about wearing this anywhere on the eye. Here's the thing, though: it's only scary if you don't match it with the right colours -- and none of the colours in here are wrong. If you want to follow the Glamour Guide and put this shade into your crease: Nike that shiz. Just do it. It isn't crazy pigmented, so you can easily start off with a light hand and then build it up if you feel the need to go full Legally Blonde.

Blue Raspberry || Arguably the most interesting shade in this palette, I expected this shade to be a dud -- after all, most of the exciting ones are! It's a slightly metallic turquoise blue that just... Look, if it isn't the sole reason for you to buy this palette, then I don't know why you'd buy this palette at all. Over a tacky, white base, this shade sings and it keeps on singing for about six hours or so.

"But how on earth can you wear pink and blue like that?" you ask.

It's actually surprisingly wearable, if you're willing to give it a crack. If people question you about it and you feel nervous, you can always say that you're practicing 80s makeup, right? The other great thing about this palette is that the colours mix and match really well, too. I can look at it and easily pair Blue Raspberry with Sugared Violet, or use Macaron with Blackberry and Bubblegum. You can create some really inventive, unique looks and it's easy to do so!

Padawan Product Rating: A

Overall, I think this palette is a fun little addition to have. If you have all of the shades in some shape or form from other eye shadow palettes, you could skip it, but I don't think it's the kind that you'd regret purchasing either. The Glamour Guide actually works pretty well, though I do add additional steps of my own because for me I find that they don't always hold up well without them. Use a brown liner on your lower lashline for Sweet & Spicy, purple liner and mascara for Sugar Plums, and do that bold black cat-eye for Candy Coated.

Do you have this palette? Which of these shades is your favourite? Let me know!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Life Through a Filter | July 2015

Warning: This post contains donuts, snacks and accidental glitter.

Another month done, another re-cap of my day-to-day happenings as told via Instagram. I snapped a lot more than in my previous month -- and I seemed to snack more too -- but my stress levels were also through the roof. Here you'll get to see all of the snacks that I ate, some of the makeup looks that I played with, and what I firmly believe is the greatest Wi-Fi name of all time.

1. This is what $6 chips looks like. Rip. Off.

Seriously, why is buying fish and chips so expensive these days?

2. Salted caramel #donuts. That'll hit the spot.

It did. I ate every single one of them.

3. Current mood.

When you want to quit uni and make a professional career out of watching TV.

4. The strange conversations one has with one's mother. #latergram

Pure MasterChef moment.

5. I asked my brother to bring me a blueberry white chocolate scone and he charged me a travel fee. >:(

But that's okay, less calories for me, right?

6. Went larking about on iTunes and found this, so I snapped it up. Ahh, #memorylane! I remember the days when my iPod consisted of nothing but BoA, Ayumi Hamasaki and Rihanna.

Seriously, I exaggerate not. There may have been the odd track by The Beatles, Queen or Michael Jackson, but my iPod back then was 90% J-Pop.

7. Regram from @abbiecobb. Greatest Wi-Fi name EVER -- better than that one I found saying "Charon, God of the Underworld".

I honestly wish I'd had foresight to name my Wi-Fi name this.

8. #Lunch with leftovers: toast, a slice of cheese, salt and pepper, a tiny bit of peri-peri mayo (honestly any sauce will work), chopped up leftover chicken schnitzel, another drizzle of mayo, all the delicious crumb bits on top, and another drizzle of mayo. It's not exactly #MasterChefAU, but it's delish!

Give this a try! It works best with homemade schnitzel, of course, because of all the delicious crispy crumb bits, but even store-bought schnitzels work pretty nice.

9. First time using the #MAC Reflects Pearl glitter and I had the audacity to exhale through my nose with it open right near my face -- and now there's glitter all over the bathroom mirror. #glampedmybathroom #sorrynotsorry

Everywhere you looked, there was glitter. GLITTER ERR'WHERE! Believe it or not, this photo doesn't have a filter over it either. The glitter is just that glittery of its own accord.

10. Nectar of the Gods. So good it doesn't need a filter. #coffee #flatwhite

I can't remember where this coffee came from, but I remember that it was very strong.

11. Oishii miruku seeki. Delicious milkshake. Okay.

It essentially tasted the same as an Egg Flip Big M; kind of eggy and vanilla-y.

12. Look, @daniellecaliforniaa, I got the Precious!! #MECCABeautyJunkie #TooFaced

After months of lusting after these two palettes, I went ahead and got them! My aunt actually bought the Sugar Pop palette for me, which was really generous of her.

13. Super tasty slow cooker beef massaman curry. #mealforameal

This was honestly one of the most delicious meals I'd had in a while. My mother made this using a slow-cooker recipe book that seems to have nothing but superstar recipes!

14. Favourite picture. #DuchessofCambridge #PrincessCharlotte

I seriously cannot get over this photo of Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte!

15. Day 1 of testing the #TooFaced Sugar Pop palette, by following the looks in the booklet it comes with. This one is called "Sweet & Spicy", which uses the shades Rock Candy, Macaron and Malted Milk Ball. I've used it with the #EyeOfHorus Goddess Pencil in "Nubian Brown". #fotd #bbloggers #bbloggersau

And so began my testing of the Sugar Pop palette!

16. Day 2 of testing the #TooFaced Sugar Pop palette. This time I've copied the look in the booklet called "Sugar Plums", which uses the shades Strawberry Ice, Sugared Violet and Blackberry. I've used the #MeMeMe lipstick in "Morello Silk". It's kind of a dupe for #MAC Rebel, but... I don't like it. It doesn't apply well and it smells funny. #fotd #bbloggers #bbloggersau

Seriously, do not buy that lipstick. If you see it, go straight in the other direction. I've kept it because I keep thinking that my head is just making it up, but then I apply it and I remember why I hate it so much.

17. Got my Beauty Loop box today! So excited to see a #ByTerry product in there! #MECCABeautyJunkie #bbloggers #bbloggersau

You've got to love a little bit of By Terry!

18. Look, guys, free petrol! :'D :'D

I drove by the same petrol sign a couple of days ago and the whole thing had stopped working altogether!

19. When your lucky pen dies whilst in the middle of writing an assignment... Help me, battered handmade Luna Pen of eBay descent! #SailorMoon #postgradlife #pullinganallnighter

While I miss my ever lucky pen, this Sailor Moon pen has been a stationary staple for several years now. It's a pity it looks so mangled.

20. Best drink EVAH. #Bundaberg #sarsaparilla

Who wants cocktails or beer when you have sarsaparilla? Sarsaparilla gives me life.

There we have it, a review of things that I saw and food that I ate throughout the month of July! If you're not already following me on Instagram, and you think you'd like to, you can find me here. By all means, drop me a line and say hi -- let's be buddies!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Bellabox | July 2015: Beauty Wanderer

Given that I'm the Queen of Tardiness when it comes to posting about things that are limited edition or arrive on my doorstep in a tardy manner, but never fear! The July Bellabox actually arrived fairly close to the end of the month, so I feel fairly guiltless in posting this now.

I'm not 100% sure about the motivation by titling this box "Beauty Wanderer" except that it might be about the whole 'travel-friendly makeup' thing. Given, however, that the majority of the products in the Bellabox are not full-sized... I don't know. What I do know was that it didn't come in the signature blue Bellabox container, and it contained a few interesting items.

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream || I have that many foundation and BB cream samples that getting another... eh. Still, you can't deny that they're useful and I know that I will eventually get around to using it. If I have any concern with this product, it's with the words "glow time" but I've looked into it a little and it seems like there aren't any bronzing properties in this BB cream. A 50ml tube of this costs $72, and I got a 2ml sample worth about $2.88.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré || Another moisturiser to add to my growing stash -- but at least it's not from Palmer's! This moisturiser is meant to nourish, repair, plump and smooth skin, so it sounds quite promising. I tend to keep sample moisturisers next to my bed so as to use them, but I'm using a tub at the moment, so I'll be tucking this away until the next day I go somewhere. A 75ml tube costs $75, and I received a 5ml tube worth around $2.33.

ModelCo. Shadow Stick - "Portofino" || This product annoys me a little -- not because it's a shadow stick, not because it's ModelCo., but because of its teeny tiny little size. I recall getting an email from Bellabox about this product -- they always make something of a big deal about one of the products in the box -- so I assumed that we'd get a full sized product; so, something larger than what we got. I then tried to look into it a little more, and I think that what we received is the standard full-sized product, because you can purchase a pack of 4 for $39 (yeah, that's not a typo) and they seem to be about the same size. The shade I received was "Portofino", which looks like a shimmery mauve. Individually, it's worth about $9.75.

Palmolive Acai Berry Body Polish || This one I do like. I have numerous body washes at home, but I'm constantly finding that I want to change them up based on my mood, and this will help add more variety again! I don't believe I've used any of the Palmolive body washes before, because up until recently I wasn't a huge body wash person, but they always look so pretty on the supermarket shelves that I cannot wait to try this! I thought that you were able to buy this body polish in this size at the supermarket, but I haven't been able to find it. The sample itself is worth around 84c, based on a 400ml cost of $6.99.

JBronze Instant Tanning Cream - "Medium" || Bah, another tanning product. This went straight to my mother, who told me she occasionally uses tanning products on her legs in the summer. I received a full-sized 90ml product worth $24.95.

Bioderma Sébium Gel Moussant || This will also be pretty interesting to use as well. This is a "purifying cleansing foaming gel" is that appropriate for combination or oily skin, and is meant to help with acne and control sebum secretion. I don't know whether or not it will make any difference to the latter, but I'm looking for products that will help me with the former, so I will enjoy using this. A 200ml bottle is $17.99, and I received 15ml tube worth about $1.42.

Price: $15 + $2.95 P&H
Bellabox Product Value: $42.17

Overall, I don't think it was a bad month for Bellabox, but I wasn't too blown away by the box in general. I'm always left a bit "eh" about tanning products and I have read posts where people will blast a company for including something that they don't use (i.e. nail polish, tanning products, etc) but I don't really think there's any point. Plenty of people use these products, and I know that I would've been stoked to get these things has I been one of them -- and it turns out people I know will use them, so I'm happy that they're not going to waste!

Want to see what I've received in previous months? Simply clickity-clack on the appropriate months to see which boxes I've loved and which I've loved less:

Did you get the July Bellabox? Which of these products do you like the most?
Shae xo

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Collab with Ms Jess Louise Pt 2 | Tutorial-ish: Green-Eyed Summer Evening Look

Hello there, readers of the internet!

In my extra special second post of the day, I bring you... an evening look for the summer! As you'll have read about in my earlier post, this is part of a collaboration with my friend Ms Jess Louise, who has an accompanying fashion video! Inspired by a photo of four dresses, I created a neutral look for the daytime, and this slightly more colourful green look for the evening.

Let me tell you, this was a pain in the ass to figure out.

Inspired by the purple/black dress and the black/green dress shown below (both of which I'm a teensy bit jealous of), I experimented several times with different shadows to give me a full-on smokey look. I played with blacks, blues, purples -- nothing seemed to work out!

Then, literally two days ago, I had a thought: "Why not go green?" It's a colour of shadow that can be hard to pull off, especially when you have green eyes like Jess and myself, but I really feel that I've made it work. It's not super smokey, it transitions from light to dark -- and, most importantly, it goes with both of the dresses.

Yes, even purple. I stand by purple and green as an acceptable colour combo like Aemon Targaryen stands by Jon Snow.

Let's go to it!

As I'm about as sociable as a cactus, I have no idea what it is that people do at night during the summer if they don't sleep in a vat of ice cream, but I do know that they likely want their face to stay in place. I started with the usual: the L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Concentrated Correcting Serum and its accompanying L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Correcting Day Moisturiser. After that, I decided to do my eyes first -- the reason for this being that my first lot of failed makeup experiments used shadows with a lot of fallout -- so I primed them with the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in "Soft Ochre".

I decided that I wanted to start by defining my crease first. Something that I kept fail-snailing at was taking my eye shadow too high up, so I figured that having some idea of where my transition shade was would help prevent me from doing that. For it, I used the Klara Cosmetics Be nHued Palette and used a blending brush to gently place "Soft Mocha" into the crease. I didn't go too dark, just enough to make sure it was definitely defined. From there, using the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk", I drew on and around my inner corner, before patting on "Lilac Shimmer" from the Makeup Revolution Eyes Like Angels Palette with my finger. You can use a brush if you like, but for me using my finger helped blend and diffuse some of the NYX product as well, which ended up looking a little too stark for me.

With that done, I took a shadow brush and patted the shade "Moss" all over the centre of my eyelid. It's a light shimmery moss shade that will need you to go in a couple of times and pack it on to bring out the colour and the shine. Flipping the brush to the other side, I put "Emerald Night" all over the outer corner of my lid, making sure that I didn't go over the crease colour and making sure that I didn't go nuts with extending it out. Then, using a tiny little shadow brush -- the kind that can only be useful for detailing -- I put "Moss" on the inner and centre section of my lower lashline, and then "Emerald Night" on the outer section, connecting it to the shadow on my lid.

Usually I would reach for my Kat Von D liner, but it gets a little precocious and difficult when I try to use it over Makeup Revolution's gorgeously buttery shadows, so I went for my ever-trusty Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner and drew a neat little wing. I didn't want to go too big with it, so I make sure that it did not extend further than the crease colour. I lined my lower waterline with the Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in "Moray", then used the Benefit They're Real! Mascara on my lashes.

I'm usually not one to bother with lashes, but you've got to have lashes on an evening look, so I decided to go for the most natural ones I had, and used the MAC 36 Lashes (mine is obviously from the Maleficent collection but they're part of the permanent collection -- and I was wearing them, hence why they're not in the packaging).

From there, I went onto priming my face, going in with Benefit's That Gal Primer, letting it sink in for a minute; I then chose the CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation in "105" for foundation, because I really like how long it lasts no matter how many high-energy situations you're in. It was at this point that I did my brows, using the shade "Dark Espresso" from the Klara Be nHued palette. After that: contouring. With my MAC Bronzing Powder in "Matte Bronze", I contoured all the usual places: my cheekbones, my temples, and the top of my forehead. I also decided to have a go at contouring under the edge of my jaw, to try and sharpen it up -- that's apparently what you're supposed to do!

Not wanting to go too overboard with colour on the rest of my face, I went for the only natural, peachy blush I have: NARS Blush in "Deep Throat". Highlighting, of course, is a must, so I took the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and used "Incandescent Light" along my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and my Cupid's bow. I then realised that my face on the whole looked a little too pale -- whether or not it was because it's colder than the Arctic, I'm not sure -- so with a buffing brush, I used "Radiant Light" to bronze up my face further where I'd contoured, before dusting "Dim Light" over my forehead and down the middle of my face.

To finish off the lips, I selected Revlon's ColorStay Moisture Stain in "London Posh" -- it may apply terribly, but once it warms up to your lips, it gives you a really natural, glossy finish that won't demand heaven and earth of your lips.

And then that's the finished look!

Because the look is meant to be suitable for summer, I put a dress on and snapped some photos outside so that you can get something of a feel about how wearable the look is, rather than taking photos in a hoodie. Despite the sunshine that you can sometimes see, it was absolutely freezing! I can't remember the last time I went outdoors for five minutes and came back chilled to the bone.


I hope you enjoyed reading about this look as much as I enjoyed pulling it together! Don't forget to watch Jess' video, to see the dresses in action, and let me know which one of them is your favourite.

Shae xo

Collab with Ms Jess Louise Pt 1 | Tutorial-ish: Neutral Summer Daytime Look

Fact of life: when you leave high school, you lose touch with people. People who you saw everyday and thought you couldn't live without become further and further away from you, unless you put in that extra mile of effort. As someone who is terrible at putting in extra effort, I lost touch with a lot of people I was friends with in high school, using Facebook as a way to stalk keep tabs on them. That being said, it's amazing how many new things you can discover about old friends, just from paying attention.

I was so stoked to learn a few months ago that my old school friend Jess had a YouTube channel! She's got tutorials, fashion videos, lifestyle videos -- and so much more coming. In high school, I don't think I was as completely aware of Jess' interest in beauty and fashion as I should've been (after all, I myself had none) -- but I decided a little while ago to see it as an opportunity to reconnect and see if we couldn't create some awesome videos and blog posts together!

Obviously she did too, otherwise this post and her video wouldn't exist!

Despite being in the dead of winter, we decided to try and bring some warmth back by aiming for summery beauty and fashion posts! As you'll be able to see at the end of the post, Jess has filmed a video on some of her favourite summer dresses, and I have created two looks -- one daytime and one evening -- that will fit the dresses she has picked out!

Neutral Summer Daytime Look
In the photo that Jess sent me of her dresses (the one below), you'll see a beautiful dress with pink roses, as well as a gorgeous blue and black dress. To me, these are dresses that I'd wear on a nice day out, so I used them as inspiration for an everyday, neutral daytime look. It is a full face of makeup, but it should last really well through the day, and it will keep you looking awesome while making the dress your main feature.

So let's get to it!

My friend Belle is also featuring today.
Prepping skin is always important if you want a full face to last through a hot summer's day -- or any day with some warmth to it. To start out, I used the L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Concentrated Correcting Serum; I'm not 100% sure what the purpose of a serum is, but I have noticed that using this product in combination with several others has made a difference in my makeup's longevity. After letting that soak into my skin, I go in with the L'Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Correcting Day Moisturiser, a really nice and creamy moisturiser that doesn't make my skin feel as though I've applied something to it -- a real pet peeve of mine.

From there, I wanted a base for glowing skin, not shiny skin, so I reached for Benefit's That Gal Primer. It's salmon pink colour is meant to counteract yellow tones to produce a more even, almost pearly-glow skintone. It's not something that I'd have thought would be any good for my skin, but I really feel like it's helped the appearance of my makeup, and generally prevented it from getting too shiny.

Rather than head straight for foundation, I decided to work on my eye makeup next. I really like to use the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in "Soft Ochre" as a primer, as my eyelids get oilier than a frypan being prepped for breakfast, but with this particular eye shadow, I find that it doesn't always help along the colour; on top I added the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk" to strengthen the pigmentation a little more.

The eye shadow palette that I used was the I ♡ Makeup I Heart Chocolate palette, which is essentially a really affordable dupe for the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette (I've written both a review and a comparison post, so you can see how they stack up). Using a shadow brush, I patted "Meet Chocolate" -- a light pink -- in the inner corner of my eyes, to add a little light as well as a touch of colour. It's not a very strong pink and it can blend away easily, so if you want it to show up then you'll need to pack it on. Using the other side of the brush, I used the shade "One More Piece" -- a plain milk chocolate brown -- all over the lid. I swept a light sable brown shade -- "Thank Friday" -- gently into my crease with a rounded blending brush, to blend the eye shadows together, using circular motions on the outer edge of the crease to create a little more shape and dimension. Then, with a pencil brush, I took "Stolen Chocolate", which is a deep, dark brown and built it up in the outer v and my outer edge of my lower lashline, as well as slightly into my crease. I then went back in with my crease brush to make sure that the shades were all blended together.

Have the Chocolate Bar Palette instead? You'll want to use the shades "Strawberry Bon-Bon",  "Milk Chocolate", "Salted Caramel" and "Triple Fudge" in the same order as the shades I listed above.

"Is it almost time for my close-up?" --Belle
For liner, I opted for the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in "Trooper", to draw a sort of cat-eye wing. I like this liner because of the precision I can get with the tip as well as the opacity of the liner. Any liner that will give both of those things will work just as well. For lashes, I wanted something that was nicely defined, with volume but not too much volume, and length but not lashes-for-days. The mascara I ended up selecting was the By Terry Mascara Terrybly Growth Booster Mascara in the shade "Black Parti-Pris" -- given that this mascara is so expensive, you do not need to go out and buy it especially for this look; have a poke around your stash and select the one that you find gives you what you want! Maybe you do want more volume than a complete set of Brittanica, maybe you do want lashes-for-days -- it's fine if you do.

"Wait, I thought you said close-up!" --Belle
This was the point where I moved onto the rest of my face, as it would allow me to sharpen up my eye makeup and clean up any potential fall-out. Usually, for a summer face I would opt for a light foundation, but I was having some skin issues, so I reached for the Rimmel London 25HR Lasting Finish Foundation in "Soft Beige", before going in with the Benefit Perk Up Artist Concealer Kit to cover up any imperfections that the foundation did not. Apparently this concealer kit isn't available anymore, so use any cream concealer that does the job.

A key feature that often comes with summer are hot, hot nights that render the bed uncomfortable and sleep impossible -- and, delightfully, dark circles. To cover them up, I took my Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer in "Ivory" and chicken-feathered my skin.

"Shae, what in the name of Scully and Mulder is chicken-feathering?" I hear you ask, probably with concern in your voice.

Can't you see the chicken feathers? No? Just me? Okay.

Introducing what I call "chicken-feathering", where I apply concealer under my eyes in such a way that it's as though I've drawn chicken feathers onto my cheeks. I like doing it this way -- as opposed to triangles or whatnot, as I've seen YouTubers do -- because I'm not using a whole lot of product on my skin, and it sets a lot better into my skin.

After that: contouring. To warm up my skin, I used the MAC Bronzing Powder in "Matte Bronze" in the hollows of my cheeks, my temples and around the top of my forehead. I don't like to go too heavy, especially in summer, because otherwise you'll be able to tell that I've dipped my brush in bronzer. For blush, I used the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in "Luminous Flush" on my cheeks -- lightly. If you use too much, it will overpower the rest of your face (trust me, I learned that the hard way). I then took "Incandescent Light" from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and lightly dusted it onto my cheekbones, Cupid's bow and the bridge of my nose; then I followed it with "Dim Light" from the same palette, which I gently buffed into the rest of my face.

The great thing about summer is that your lipstick choices are practically endless! You can go with pink, red, coral... Anything that suits your fancy. I wanted something more on the nude side, however, so I selected the Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturising Lipstick in "Desert Rose".

And that completes the look!

It might not look like too much, but I firmly believe that if you want a neat, neutral look that will look good no matter the dress you decide to throw on, this is the way to go.

Let me know if you'd ever wear this look -- and don't forget to watch Jess' video, which is right here!

Shae xo