Beauty · elections · Eye pencils · Eyeliner · lipstick · Love · Makeup · Makeup artist · MUA · Sanity · Shopping · Uncategorized

Impulsive makeup buys

Hands up who else is also guilty of trying a new brand of lipstick, eye pencil or shadow, liking it, buying it, only to discover when they get home that it’s almost an exact replica of a product shade they already own. This has happened to me multiple times. I must have accidentally bought at least 3 identical shades of red and 2 dark purple lipsticks around the same time; two similar blue/grey eyeshadow palettes​, 3 exactly the same shade of green eyeshadow in wet and dry form and 4 different types of purple shadow which on application ended up looking pretty much the same.

That’s because I am what you might call an “impulsive buyer” sometimes.  Does that happen to you too? Always going for the same thing just in slightly different packaging or with only a minor (unnoticeable to others) difference?

I am also guilty of absolutely detesting the idea of throwing useful things away. Even if they are not useful to me! It’s a conservative streak I have always had.  For one, growing up I was taught that throwing away leftover food is a sin. And it makes sense to not waste food in a world where there are people starving.  Similarly, I hate getting rid of belongings​. My mum actually told me off once for wearing an expensive jacket (which I thought still looked amazing years after I bought it) that was worn out.

So if I end up with lots of similar makeup products which I impulsively bought they usually just stay in my possession, collecting dust. Unless they are that bad that even I have to chuck them out eventually.

Needless to say that I own way too much makeup for my own good.

Testament to this is when four years ago I decided to have a 1-2-1 makeup lesson with a well known Cypriot makeup artist to perfect doing my own makeup. The poor guy didn’t know what he was in for when he suggested I bring along the products I have to our session. He probably thought I only had one makeup bag. Instead, I showed up on his doorstep with 4 big plastic carrier bags full of palettes and vanity bags filled with all kinds of makeup products. Even he thought I had far too many products for a non professional.

And that’s one of the reasons I decided earlier this year to do something about this and take the MUA course which in turn inspired this blog.  So at least something good (I think at least) came out of my impulsiveness 😏

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Beauty · Eyes · foundation · lipstick · Makeup · Makeup academy · Makeup artist · MUA · Personal diary · Uncategorized

Rediscovering my makeup and blogging mojo

It’s been 2 months since my last blog post and it feels scary to even attempt writing again.

Initially tired from the move back home and then absorbed by my new job and trying to regain a social life in my homeland meant that I had much less time available for my previous favourite past times: playing with make up and blogging about it.  I even went into a comfort zone of make up routine where I, a person obsessed with colours, felt absolutely content wearing the same nude makeup day in, day out to go to work! Unthinkable for me who used to find nude makeup looks as boring as watching paint dry.

I knew I had lost my mojo and the longer I thought about it the scarier the thought of getting back on the saddle of makeup experimentation and blogging became.  So I decided on taking baby steps and combat my rustiness.

I started by finally putting my MUA certificate to some good use and got a discount card  from the newly opened INGLOT store in The Mall of Nicosia.  I then proceed to buy with my discount a plum matte eye shadow I had ordered from them and had to wait 2.5 months to finally receive, along with an eye shadow primer cream product called Eyeshadow Keeper that works wonders, a loose powder and the AMC pure eyeshadow pigment.  I first heard of INGLOT from my instructor in the make up academy.  She raved about their glitters and pigmented eyeshadows so I wanted to buy at least one.  The AMC colour is a glittery purple that on application looks like what I imagine to be the colour of magical unicorns!

 

The next step was to invite my friend and Maid-of-Honour Maria round for a make over last Saturday. In preparation, I thoroughly cleansed my makeup brushes the night before and spread out all my make up products on my dining table on the day.

 

I was feeling rusty and apprehensive to begin with but Maria was patient with me, open to all my suggestions and helped me regain my confidence.  Both sufferers of sun damage to our skin, we discussed full coverage foundations, the oxidisation that happens with some foundations that can lead to buying a foundation tone that on initial application looks a perfect match but after a few minutes takes a different colour tone.( I am now convinced that this is what happened with my purchase of my Kat Von D Lock It foundation which I’m finding too warm for my skin tone).

I love purple as a colour. Not only do I find it aesthetically pleasing but I find that it compliments all eye colours. A lot of girls I know seem to not like purple for their eyes but I am a proponent of it. Maria has beautiful blue eyes but she never wore purple eye shadow before.  She didn’t mind letting me show her how it would make her eyes pop and I’m glad that she liked the result as much as I did!

Not only did she like the colours I used on her but she even told me today that the whole make up look lasted her all day! So I was super pleased 🙂 🙂

The next step to regaining my make up mojo was that this morning, as I was getting ready for work I dared wear light green eyeshadow and pink lipstick after months and  last but not least I just wrote this short blog post.

 

#vanity · concealer · Diary · foundation · lip gloss · lipstick · Makeup · Personal diary · Sanity · stress · Uncategorized

Stress, sanity and vanity

I know I have gone missing from the blogosphere for 3 weeks (that feel like a century to me), but moving countries, home and jobs has had its toll on both my sanity AND my vanity! They say that moving home is as stressful as bereavement and divorce. Couple that with moving countries and changing jobs at the same time (all within a month) and you have a disproportionate amount of stress for one to handle. Hence, I have been too preoccupied with my amazing new job and spending any free time on the house move to keep same for blogging purposes.

First, my husband and I  had to pack up 3 years’ worth of accumulated belongings from our 2 bedroom rented house in the UK, get rid of unnecessary stuff and donate a number of large items. We managed not to strangle each other in the meantime which, believe me, was quite an achievement. Needless to say that during the last 2 days of non-stop packing in Manchester I could not be bothered with my hair or makeup. Let me tell you, I was not a pretty sight. I looked like a madwoman but I was beyond caring. I was physically exhausted and mentally drained; so looking pretty was the least of my worries.

Having survived phase one of the move and having moved to Cyprus we’re currently in the midst of phase 2 and the massive challenge of downsize and compromise. I struggled with accepting that my girly flat, which I already owned and personally decorated 10 years ago, has to accommodate the male space-invader who does not necessarily share my aesthetics or love for any shades of pink.  I also realised that I have to get rid of loads of my old things to make space for his, taking practicality over taste into account. 

So we’re in a different home, in another country but I still can’t get away from all the clearing out and packing (for storage purposes this time). Every day I have to reconsider what items, hidden away in a drawer or cupboard, are not really necessary to keep. Needless to say that IKEA and a drill have become our most trusted allies in preparation for the awaited phase 3: the arrival of our 62 (!) shipped boxes/furniture items. How they will fit into our 80 squared metres is beyond me and fills me with dread. So,the stress ensues.

As part of all of this, a few weeks back, while still planning the move, I had to decide how much of my makeup products I could live without for several weeks. I had to travel relatively light and I knew that as much as I was scared of keeping the majority of my makeup products in a shipping box I would have to make do with the bare minimum for a while. My birthday gift from my dear friend Asha, a makeup products MAC belt for brushes served me well in storing my brushes inside my professional makeup toolbox along with 90% of the makeup products I own.

The makeup box filled a whole, small carton box provided by the company movers and I made sure to insure it’s precious contents in case of loss or damage.

My suitcase contained mostly summer and work clothes and only 2 makeup bags containing 2 darker shades foundations, my face powder, 2 concealers, my currently favourite mascara, MAC’s mineralise powder/blusher, a lipstick and a lipgloss and a small eyeshadow palette of earthy tones. They have served me well for the last 3 weeks but I can’t wait to be re-united with my “toys” and play with them again. Getting my makeup box back will allow me to experiment with colours again and try different looks on my girlfriends in Cyprus!

For now, I go for a natural, bronzed, everyday look, trying to keep my vanity and my sanity in check.

Beauty · Eye pencils · Eyeliner · Eyes · Felt tip pens · Kohl pencils · lipstick · Makeup · Personal diary

Cat eyes

My latest makeup lesson was less exciting than the previous ones. We covered the technique of lipstick application using lip liner pencil to draw the outer lips and then fill inside them using lip brush to apply the lipstick. We were also shown a technique for giving the eyes the feline look, that look a lot of people, myself included, find alluring, using black gel and experimenting with an angled brush and a very fine brush.

The cat eye look is a classic eye make-up look that never seems to go out of fashion because it is so beautiful when done well. It can extend the eyes, defining their shape and by framing the eyes it accentuates  their colour.  A classic example is Sophia Loren’s mesmerising look.

I have wanted to learn of a way how to do the perfect cat eye symmetrically​ on both eyes. Usually, being right handed maybe(?) I get the right eye looking ok but the left somewhat different. Sometimes I get it right on both sides of my face but time and time again I end up with one eye having either a thicker line or one eye having a more distinct flick at the end than the other. Even worse, sometimes I end up just horribly smudged in my attempts to fix one eye and then the other. (Andy Panayiotou, this reminds me of your Adam Ant story!). This is particularly the case when using gel liners, I’ve found. Which is personally why I have resorted to using pen liners. They give me a better grip for a more stable hand. It’s less time consuming and less messy.

There are loads of eyeliner pens out there in the market but I have used NYX’s The Curve Liner felt tip liner in Jet Black, Rimnel’s SCANDALEYES 24 HR WEAR Jumbo liquid liner wp-image-2134889911(which is also waterproof) and most recently MUA’s EYE DEFINE soft tip felt liner to help me get even looking cat eyes. All three are in black colour and I do find it easier and quicker to use on myself than using gel and brushes.

But in class we’re shown how to use the more classical or universal makeup methods that the makeup artists use and I guess if I don’t want to be considered a cheat I will have to learn, practice and master those. Get out of my comfort zone, so to speak. I already, instinctively, knew of and have used the method of first applying the gel liner on the back of my hand with the brush, to smooth out the product. Gels can easily dry and harden and the warmth of the body helps them get back to their true form for ease of application. We were told this in class and were also told that different artists​ prefer different brushes for eye gel application.  Prior to getting used to felt tip pens, I always thought that the angled brush was more convenient for me for the purpose of eyeliner but as it turns out the finer brush made it a little bit easier for me to do the cat eye on the people I practiced it on.

There is one trick I learnt​ last Tuesday, which I didn’t know of previously and want to share with you though. It was explained to us how to create a nice smokey effect under the lower lid without creating a mess or tears. You line the lower waterline with a good black pencil, preferably kohl, then using a small, tipped fluffy brush smudge it out in sections​, to avoid irritation and finish off with a second waterline pencil application!