Monday 16 June 2014

Face of the Day: My Birthday (inspired by Karlie Kloss)

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22!

Oh come on, I had to! Yesterday was my birthday and I had the song on repeat for most of the day, partly because I love Taylor Swift but mostly to annoy my family --  because annoying my family is fun and because it was my birthday, they couldn't say a single thing! Muahaha!

This look is one I've been wearing for a little while. I put it together after I saw the pictures of Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift getting ready for the MET Gala this year (if you want a good tutorial for Karlie's look, check out Danielle's blog post!). I think it is super pretty and excellent for going out. I did use some high end products to do this, but you can easily find drugstore equivalents. You can also change it up a little bit to make it more dramatic for really formal events -- just use thicker lashes and a dark lip!

If you happen to peek at this blog regularly, you'll know that I don't really have the steadiest hand, so the photos I took of myself have an incredible range of blurriness. However, I've done my best to use the photos that are the least blurry, so hopefully you can get an idea of what I was doing and have a laugh in the process!

To prep my face, I used the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (available from Mecca Cosmetica, although it's currently not on their site). It's a good primer that reduces redness and evens out your skin tone -- basically by ghosting your face a little. I gave a couple of squirts on the back of my hand and rubbed it in with my fingers. For foundation, I used the MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Liquid Foundation in "NW 20" -- so far I've found it to be a reliable foundation, moreso than my Benefit one. Like the primer, I put some on the back of my hand, dotted it around my face and then used to my Real Techniques Stippling Brush to blend it out and make sure there were no lines.

Then I used the EcoTools Custom Coverage Buffing Brush with my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder in "Medium". I love the EcoTools brush, it's beautifully soft and very easy to use. I sort of stippled the powder onto my foundation once I'd given it a couple of minutes to set, and then swished my Mecca Cosmetica Powder Brush without any product over my face to make sure that everything was blurred and blended together. I very lightly contoured my cheekbones with the MAC Bronzing Powder in "Matte Bronze" using a dual-ended Blush/Powder brush by Napoleon Perdis, but I don't think it's very visible in the pictures. Contouring is still something I'm trying to get the hand of!

My face, before foundation.
My face, after foundation.
My skin's been pretty good lately in terms of breakouts, but you can see that with all of my foundation of, it looks healthier and evened out. The Mecca powder brush is absolutely amazing at blurring imperfections, on normal days I use it instead of the EcoTools!

The first thing I did with my eyes was prime them with the Too Faced Shadow Insurance (available from Kit). I don't have a brush that I use for cream eye shadows, so I used a concealer brush to apply the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Metal Cream Gel Shadow in "Barely Branded" all over my lid. I don't pack it on too much, just enough to cover the veins on my lid. I use it as an additional, natural base for my eye shadow, to help it stick a bit more without becoming oily during the day.

Using the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette (available from Kit), I take a small shader brush and pat "Champagne Truffle" into my inner corner and onto my lid, going up to but not beyond the lid. I always pat it over a small amount of my lid at a time, because I want a good, strong colour pay-off. Using the small shader brush allows me to get the precision that I need as a Padawan, but a Yoda might be able to easily do it with any shader brush. If you don't have the Too Faced palette, "Champagne Truffle" is a shimmery, very pale-yet-natural pink.

Now comes the technical part! A girl at MAC told me that Karlie Kloss' look has a cut crease, but I honestly have no idea what on earth that really means or how you do it -- so here's how I tried to copy it. With "Triple Fudge" from the Chocolate Bar palette (a matte dark brown), I use the Mecca Cosmetica Eye Contour Brush, I very carefully colour the outer corner of my eye and bring it up about halfway into my crease. The contour brush is good because you have to be very precise about where you put the product. Like I said earlier, I've been working on this look for a while, so I think I've finally got the technique more-or-less downpat. I always go easy on the colour, because it's easier to clean up if I mess up. Once I get the shape I need, I gently build with the colour, making sure that it's very gentle along the crease. I then quickly blend out any harsh lines with a blending brush (my pick is the Mecca Cosmetica Domed Eye Blending Brush). I really think that you need to be careful to not overblend, because fixing it up can be a little bit tricky. I pat more "Champagne Truffle" wherever "Triple Fudge" has kind of muddled it on my lid.

A general idea of what it looks like, although it's easier to see the definition in person.
From above.
From the side. Pardon my most wrinkly lids.
It's occurred to me since doing this that this kind of follows the pattern for graphic liner, which is a look that I know some people like. It might be easier for you to apply the dark colour if you know how to do graphic liner, sooo here's a link to a tutorial that Danielle did a few months ago!

Anyway, the next thing I do is use some liquid liner! I start off my carefully and slowly applying it right against the edge of my top lashes. Then I very gently create a small wing, following the line of "Triple Fudge" -- if that doesn't make much sense, you'll understand what I mean in the picture. The liner I use is the Maybelline Eye Studio Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner, which is a fantastic product but can be a bit finicky for the unsteady-handed, so that's why I'm always careful when I use it.

How it looks!

Notice how it follows the line of the darker eye shadow colour.
I'm using false lashes with this look, but I do want to make my eyes just a little more dramatic. Using my NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in "Via Veneto" (available from Mecca), I line my upper waterline. I don't do my lower waterline as it'll close my eyes in, which I don't want for this look. Then I use Revlon's Lash Potion Volume + Length Mascara -- it's honestly not my favourite product, as I don't really feel that it adds a great amount of volume or length like it claims, but it's good enough for using with false lashes.
An unfortunately blurry photo! It held so much promise on my camera screen!
Much better.
For lashes, I used the Napoleon Perdis Lashes in "Zinnia" (not pictured because I was wearing them!), then applied a little Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in "Radiant Magenta" (available from Mecca) to my cheeks with my Napoleon Perdis dual-ended blush/powder brush. Karlie's lips are very natural, and I actually found that my Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in "Desert Rose" looked pretty close! Elizabeth Arden lipsticks aren't exactly cheap -- you pretty much want a natural, dusty rose kind of colour.
The finished look!
I got complimented on my makeup several times! It looks really nice without being too much, and looks good whether you're in casual clothes or formal wear. I'd say that it's wearable for work, too (just maybe without the lashes!). Interestingly enough, you can actually see it a little better in a picture I took on my quality-guaranteed phone camera, so I thought I'd include it below!
A post really feels incomplete without a phone picture.
I had a great time with my family last night -- we just went out for dinner at Hog's Breath, nothing especially fancy. They've got really good food there that fills you up, which is great because I was just so hungry. My cake was especially delicious too! I ordered it from Burch & Purchese (yup, that's right, I ordered and paid for my own birthday cake -- sad!) and the service was amazing. They have cakes that you can go in and buy on the day, or you can order ahead of time -- and they only want a minimum of 24 hours notice (or 48 hours if you want something super fancy done -- but it's still amazing!). I decided to get the Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Caramel cake and decided to get it pimped up (because, y'know, why not?)! Darren Purchese himself handled it -- and if you watched MasterChef religiously like I do, you'll get why that's so cool.
Looking at this picture makes me want another piece! Another small piece.
The balls on top of the cake are chocolate -- some white, some dark -- and there were also chocolate flowers, shards and random shapes. It was a really rich cake -- one small piece was definitely enough for us! -- and absolutely delicious. Being something of a picky eater, I'm not really keen on things like pear, but I could hardly taste it, so I was really pleased.
And there you have it! I hope you like this look, so let me know if you try it out!
Sarah xo

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