Using Eye Colour is All About Good Combos

Since the first successful colour process was created by the Lumière brothers in 1907, everything has slowly come to colour; television, cars, monitors, phone screens, and now, every single new eyeshadow palette release. So, if it’s so popular, why are people so apprehensive to wear colourful eye makeup? In a world where Morphe sell 42 pan palettes of rainbow hues at suspiciously good prices, I don’t think we can afford to not be colourful.

But, I get it. I do. Colour is intimidating. Pink-eye is a look closer associated with, ahem, health complications and yellow-eye just sounds hideous. Colourful eye makeup is historically reserved for the runway and, in more recent years, seems to be something that exists predominantly in YouTube tutorials and Instagram grids. That said, I am partial to a full glam grocery run when I’m too lazy to take off a look I’ve just spent hours creating in my room. 

The issue with using eye colour is that it’s hard to know what colours work well together until you’ve made enough mistakes to learn what colours don’t work well together. And it’s not just what makeup tones suit each other, but also what eye combos suit what clothes, lipstick and hairstyle. Choose the wrong selection of colours and it’ll date you no end. You’ll feel mortified whenever you think about the fact you thought red and green was a good idea at Christmas. Hi, Mr Grinch.

The good news is that there is a simple way to knowing what colours go together for eye  makeup. And it’s by keeping your selection to one palette. Each palette is crafted by experts – they all have skin in the colour game – who wouldn’t put two colours on a palette that couldn’t work together somehow. Obviously, I’m not talking The James Charles Artistry Palette. Only he knows how to make a red and blue combo work. Think more Natasha Denona and Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Start small, too. A 6 pan palette with colours that go together on paper – or palette – will definitely go together on your eyelids. I love the Huda Beauty Obsessions range. And once the palette is chosen, go for a look that you know you can master (sorry, cut crease!) and get blending. And I mean blending that meticulous, refined brush type of blending. My humble experience has shown me that half of the battle of making bright colours go together is making them blend seamlessly.

And if after all of this you’re irrevocably itching to use opposing colours, keep one for your top lid and the other for your bottom lid. A simple underlining of blue with most colours is a sure winner. 

Happy colour co-ordinating!

 

5 Must Have Products For Banishing Blackheads

They’re dirty, they’re stubborn and they come in clusters… it’s blackheads! When they’re not busy ruining good makeup days, blackheads are collecting bacteria and gaining strength in numbers.

They occur when the sebaceous glands work overtime to pool excess oil, dead skin and dirt in our pores. And all that idle debris gives your hungry cells some bacteria to feed on.

Blackheads are sophisticated and need to be tackled at the root. So, I’m here to help. Set aside your extraction tools and get ready to go deeper than ever before to banish your blackheads…

Caudalie’s Instant Detox Mask

If clay masks blow your rocks off, Caudalie’s Instant Detox Mask is your new blackhead banishing best friend. Lightly exfoliative and oh-so-absorbent, pink clay has already earned cult status in Australia. Now it’s taking on the rest of the world. Caudalie have combined pink clay with the detoxifying properties of grape marc to create a mask that absorbs the sebum pooling in your pores for sustainably clearer skin. Don’t believe me? Then believe the 100% of clinical trial participants that said this mask made their skin feel purified after 21 days of regular use.

Patchology’s Clean AF Wipes

The cleansing wipe industry has been hit hard by our ever-growing climate conscience. But they remain the most efficient on-the-go solution to our clogged pore woes. Enter: biodegradable cleansing wipes. Patchology’s Clean AF Wipes provide fuss-free cleansing with these folic acid rich sheets of biodegradable goodness. Known for its digestive advantages – no, the wipes aren’t edible – folic acid contains antioxidants that reduce the levels of oxidative stress that open pores up to blackhead-causing dirt, proving true that prevention really is better than cure.

Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength 2% BHA Exfoliant

Luxury no more – acid exfoliants have streamlined their way into affordable skin care. And BHAs are leading the blackhead banishing charge. Containing the most popular BHA in skin care right now, salicylic acid, this exfoliant is designed for use after cleansing and toning. The oil-solubility of salicylic acid means it penetrates pores at unreached depths, ultimately unclogging the plug and purging debris. Exfoliation, but not as you know it.

Odacite’s Mint + Green Tea Hydra-Purifying Treatment Mist

Fragrant? Yes. Invigorating? Yes. Making blackhead banishing so much easier? Yes, yes, yes! Odacite’s fresh AF mist means you’re only ever a spray away from pore purification. It blends the exfoliative properties of salicylic acid and blackhead battling willow bark with the unrivalled benefits of aloe vera and green tea extract to refresh and cleanse your skin whenever you spray. And remember, a spritz (or 5) a day keeps the blackheads away.

Sonya Dakar Silver Clarifying Wash

As skin care becomes increasingly complex, sometimes we need a little clarity. Sonya Dakar’s Silver Clarifying Wash takes blackhead banishing back to basics with a classic cream cleanser. It utilises silver ions to neutralise ‘bad’ bacteria and free your pores from dirty intruders. The combination of cleansing and oil-controlling chemicals achieves complexion perfection by purging pores of bacteria and leaving the skin’s surface clean and clarified.

All images sourced from the respective brands’ instagrams. Feature photo sourced from https://www.instagram.com/paulaschoice/.

This is the Real Reason you Should be Wetting your Beauty Blender

We’ve all been there: sat down ready to do our makeup and realising one very important thing is missing… a freshly-wet beauty blenderCommence the angry trudge to the sink to wet, squeeze and repeat. 

But despite how often this happens – in my case, a little more than I’m proud of – do we know why we’re supposed to wet our beauty blenders? Like, really know why? It turns out, apparently not. 

I’ve always thought you should wet your beauty blender because when damp and spongey, it reaches your face’s little nooks and crannies, as well as helps different products blend together. And while this may hold some truth – after all, spongey = flexible – there is a more technical reason you should wet your beauty blender.

And that is because the water stops the beauty blender from absorbing product.

“The reason beautyblender works best when wet is because water helps it reach its absorption capacity,” says beautyblender founder, Rea Ann Silvan. “- so it won’t absorb your makeup!”

To prove this, beautyblender advises cutting an old sponge in half when wet. The result? Well, 2 halves of a whole beauty blender, and an open core that shows no product on the inside – just pure colour.

But that’s not all wetting your trusty sponges is good for. According to Silva, a wet blender means “your makeup [will] bounce on beautifully with no lines or brush stroke marks.”

So, while I’m not a total eejit for thinking wetting my beauty blender was a concept developed to aid contouring, it’s good to know there’s a technical logic behind the urban beauty legend.

It’s just a shame they don’t come pre-wet like this cool little guy…

Images sourced from @beautyblender Instagram.

The Importance of Understanding Cosmetic Ingredients

If you flew across the world today and you’re a beauty guru or enthusiast, you’d probably pop into Sephora. With Kat Von D, Huda Beauty, Fenty Beauty, Cover FX, It Cosmetics, Zoeva, YSL, Hourglass, Sephora Collection and so much more (!!) all in the flesh, it’s a beauty emporium of glitz and goth, and everything in between. Sure, Debenhams is great and Selfridges’ choice of luxury beauty is a treat upon every trip into London, but UK beauty lovers can all agree: Sephora is where it’s at.

And, when you combine this selection of brands with wide-eyed, eager-to-beautify staff furnished in black branded tops and intense glitter cut creases floating around as if this is their perfectly polished living room and you’re the first guest they’ve had in years, it’s hard not to get swept up in the Sephora experience.

But, while the beauties at work celebrate the makeup that pushes boundaries, innovates and entrances, and encourage you to do so too with every ‘babe’, ‘hun’ and ‘gorgeous’, they are masking a darker reality. That is, maybe sometimes a Sephora product might be shit… and might give you a violent rash that looks like cracked red nail polish smudged across your eyelids. Yes, that happened to me.

I purchased the Sephora Collection Extra-Gentle Bi-Phase Makeup Remover For Eyes & Lips with such optimism. I believed it may be Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover dupe I dreamed of. Alas, I was wrong.

My insensitive skin took a battering. Confused and concerned, I did some research.

This ‘extra-gentle’ formula contains 1,2-hexanediol. 1,2-hexanediol is a humectant and coupling agent composed of seemingly harmless chemicals, like anti-inflammatory compounds. But it has been criticised and challenged because it is known to irritate skin and even cause dermatitis – especially around the eyes.

Let me iterate, my issue is not with Sephora but rather with myself. I didn’t do my homework. Like many beauty-interested individuals, I believe what I am told and pursue what I assume. Which is largely okay, but I must say, a silly choice where your eyes are concerned.

It is okay to believe a bronzer is ashy and test it to find it oxidises orange. It is okay to believe a set of lashes are wispy to wear them and discover the opposite. But I jeopardised a very delicate area of skin, around a very vital organ.

After learning about 1,2-hexanediol, I raided my bathroom shelf to discover that it is not in any of my other make-up removers or gel cleansers. Perhaps if I was aware of the chemicals I already use and don’t react to, and researched the new ones I was investing in, I would have avoided a scaly, inflamed rash and days of painful blinking.

But I only have myself to blame. The lesson learnt from this is that I should be more vigilant about what I am putting onto delicate and raw skin. Rather than considering the consequences of new eye-skincare without checking the ingredients, I chose to join the cut-crease babes in dancing around their perfectly polished counters like I was the first guest they’ve had in years.

The Sephora experience gobbled me up and spat my eyes out, but I have learnt my lesson.

4 Skin-Care Tips For Travelling

The cost of travelling (besides the hefty fee you’ve probably paid a travel agent) is your skin’s health. Travelling exposes your skin to in-flight dryness, intense UV rays, increased alcohol and junk-food consumption and a blasè skin-care routine. Amidst the pleasure and excitement of backpacking or holidaying, we momentarily neglect the skin-care routines that we took months honing at home.

When I boarded the plane to Australia 2 months ago, I knew that a 4 month backpacking adventure was far too long for a blasè skin-care routine. I’ve dedicated years to trying various treatments, medication and products to improve my once oily and acne riddled skin, and I had no intention of reversing its improvement.

So, here I am: a guinea pig that has been pacing the international hutch for so long that I don’t know which bed of hay I sleep on, figuring out the easiest and most efficient ways to look after my skin while travelling. And I’m sharing four major tips that have helped me keep my skin glowing at destination adventure.

  1. Say No To Sunscreen.

Don’t put suncreen on your face. Of course, the minerals in sunscreen create an essential barrier between UV rays and your skin, but they also clog your pores. On the flip side, the also not-formulated-for-facial-skin chemicals in body sunscreen often irritate facial skin. So, to avoid breakouts, don’t put body sunscreen on your face.

2. But Say Yes to an SPF Moisturiser.

As sixties model and British cultural icon Twiggy once said, the golden rule for looking good is to “moisturise to ridiculousness”. This is especially true when travelling. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, but make it tinted and SPF. When you’re not applying sunscreen to your face you still need to protect it from UV rays. So, an SPF moisturiser is your skin’s best friend when travelling. To keep your skin looking extra glowy, opt for a tinted one that provides colour alongside moisturization and protection.

I am living for the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Tinted Moisturiser while backpacking – it’s SPF 15 and gives a matte foundation style finish, covering all blemishes and eradicating all oiliness.

3. Give Vaseline a chance… on your face.

Airplane aircon, cruising altitude, prolonged UV exposure and sunburn are just a few things that can severely dry out your skin. They’re also part of the parcel when travelling. There’s been days on my travels when a multitude of dry and flaky patches will appear on my face and neck. I put Vaseline petroleum jelly on those dry areas overnight when this happens. When I wake up, it’s as if the dryness and flakiness were never there. Vaseline creates a thick barrier between your skin and outside influences, soothing the dryness much quicker than a daily moisturiser by locking your skin under a moisturising jelly barrier. Make sure you wash your face in the morning though, Vaseline and sunlight are not a good combo.

4. Sheet Face Masks.

Maya Jama isn’t posting stories in these twice a week for no reason. Sheet face masks are beauty’s latest holy grail. A sheet mask is a fibrous sheet soaked with concentrated serum, containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid. The sheet locks its water-based ingredients in between your skin and itself to prevent quick evaporation of the serum – the moisturising effect is consequently intensified and prolonged. I recommend giving yourself 20 minutes, twice a week, to boost your skin with a sheet mask. After all, backpacking is tiring work. ATM, I am loving Sephora’s own brand sheet masks. The range, as well as being affordable, has a mask targeted for every skin concern.

The Supplement Gummies That Your Tan NEEDS

I love a tanning product that doesn’t put my skin at risk – fake-tan, spray-tans, tan-water, an SPF-heavy day in the sun. Which is why UTan’s Tan Gummies have gained a place on my bathroom shelf.

Continue reading “The Supplement Gummies That Your Tan NEEDS”

A Look Into Beauty Bay’s EYN Bright Collection

When Beauty Bay launched their first own-brand eyeshadow palettes in September 2018, I thought to myself I’ll have to try those. Finally, over a year later, I got around to it. And I can confirm that Beauty Bay weren’t messing about. After trying their EYN Bright 9 Colour Palette, I am obsessed.

The EYN Bright 9 Colour Palette is a modest collection of rainbow-hued eyeshadows. It has shimmer, glitter and matte formulas in an array of colours, and funky shade names to match. Processed with VSCO with dog1 presetDescribing the palette, Beauty Bay promised that all of the shades are blendable and highly-pigmented for soft and subtle or bold and eye-catching looks alike. And IMO, they delivered. The pigment and durability of all the shades in the 9 colour palette is STRONG. Once I had swatched the shades, I couldn’t wait to get creative.

My Look

I used the EYN Bright 9 Colour Palette to create a blue-pink-purple look with a bright lid. I started by applying Tutti Frutti, a salmon pink matte, across my crease and upper eyelid with a large blending brush. I then deepened the pink base by using Spectrum Collections’ A07 brush to darken my crease with Surrel Strawberry, a strawberry pink matte.Processed with VSCO with dog1 presetAfter creating a pink base, I took Blue Vibes, a deep blue shade, to my crease with the BH Cosmetics 103 Small Shader brush. I very slightly blended it into the top of my eyelid and to the outer corner of my eye to add some dimension.

For the eyelid, I simply applied Lagoon, a teal shimmer, to the middle and inner corner of my eyelid with my fingertip. I am really loving ‘messy’ and loose make-up looks recently. Not only do they look good, but they take the stress out of trying to create a precise look like a cut crease or halo-eye.Processed with VSCO with dog1 presetAnd to complete the bright eye look, I applied Candid Candyfloss, a light pink shimmer, to my brow bone and inner corner with the Spectrum Collections A12 Fluffy Pencil brush.

On my eyelashes I wore Benefit’s Bad Gal Bang mascara – my firm second favourite to Roller Lash. On my lips I wore Jouer Cosmetics’ High Pigment Lip Gloss in the shade Beverly. I chose a gloss that had a bright strawberry-pink tone similar to the initial pink base I created with EYN palette. Big up co-ordination.Processed with VSCO with dog1 presetIf the EYN Bright 9 Colour Palette is anything to judge by, Beauty Bay’s entire EYN Bright collection shares the same levels of pigment pay-off as brands like Juvia’s Place and Violet Voss.

My favourite shade from the 9 colour palette is undeniably Lagoon. The shimmer’s pay-off, as I hope comes through in the pictures, was on Jeffree Star highlighter levels – BLINDING. Even when applied with a fingertip, Lagoon’s pay-off was smooth and blendable, but intense.

After trying Beauty Bay’s 9 colour EYN Bright palette, I intend on upping my rainbow-hue dosage from 9 to 42 ASAP.

Shop the 9 shade palette here: https://www.beautybay.com/p/beauty-bay/eyn-bright-matte-9-colour-palette/ and the rest of the EYN Bright collection on http://www.beautybay.com.

4 Reasons To Cut Your Hair Short

I used to cry when the hairdresser would cut my hair shorter than I wanted. Asking for ‘all my split ends off’ at 12 years old meant asking for most of my hair off.

But now, at the ripe age of 21, I explicitly asked my hairdresser to cut it all off. I wanted to trade in my long hair for a blunt bob. Half inspired by Olivia Pierson’s new bleached look, and half inspired by a fear of Australian humidity when I travel there in September, it felt the right time in my life to get The Chop.

And there was no tears this time round. Naturally, I was apprehensive when the time came. I knew that the rats tails I had been sporting for a good few months had to go, but cutting off inches of hair that I had spent years growing was daunting.

I don’t regret The Chop. It’s helped me appreciate change and the philosophy that cut hair always grows back. Which is why I’m now here, writing this blog post dedicated to reasons why you should maybe cut your hair, too.

Reason 1.

Your hair looks instantly healthier. Trimming off those dead ends leaves room for only healthy locks – the half of your locks that is closer to your scalp, that is.

Reason 2.

It stays in shape after styling. Admittedly, short hair takes longer to style because you’re styling from the root (something I found avoidable when quickly running the straighteners through my long hair), but curls and straight styles hold for longer.

Reason 3.

It will help you overcome any childhood trauma you have with asking for a big change at the hairdressers.

Reason 4.

One colour hair looks so good in a bob. And going one hue means that colouring is easier to do, easier to manage. I stayed loyal to jet black, but silver, bleach blonde and bright red are always good bob colour choices.

 

 

What To Wear When Getting Glam

Applying make-up is an intimate event with an exclusive guest list. It’s just you, your products and the reflection in the mirror.

Your reflection doesn’t gossip about the coffee-stained oversized top or rotten dressing gown you choose to wear to the event. It doesn’t tell anyone you didn’t even bother to get dressed after the shower and instead sit there in a towel with one hand to keep the towel up (because you have enough class to not flash to the mirror) and the other trying to blend.

It’s almost the most intimate event in the world. That’s not to discredit the times that you make effort to be a little less gross. But most times you think fuck it, the end result will never tell of my current state.

A Revelation

A revelation for me was discovering that keeping the glam energy of a finished full face during application is revolutionary. Taking a minute to put on something a little classier than your go-to rotten outfit – creating fancy foundations to do your make-up on – changes everything.

And therefore, I suggest turning up your getting-ready game with a bralette. Bralettes are as fancy as they are comfortable, making them the perfect piece to get glam in.

Fancy dressing while doing make-up creates grounds for you to start feeling good before the glam has even begun. It means you look and feel good throughout the process and sets the tone for you to feel confident during the night/day. Feeling fancy means feeling confident – its simple science.

The Best Bralettes

And of course, it has to be Boux Avenue for your bralette fix. Giving you luxe lace, delicate silk and classic satin, their range is unparalleled. My personal fav is the Tori lace plunge bra. Its comfortable, classy and colourful.  Processed with VSCO with dog3 presetI no longer wear a freshly fake-tan soaked XXL t-shirt when applying make-up. I wear a bralette and some loose joggers. I always worried about fallout product on my bottoms but there’s a simple solution to this – plain black joggers from PLT or ASOS. £20 and worth every second of getting into glam mode.

For your bralette fix on Boux Avenue, be sure to use my discount code JOSIEOBOUX20 for 20% off. And get back to me with your verdict on whether fancy beginnings are your new way to go when getting glam.

A Bit Of Naranja

Orange radiates a niche glamour only held by vivid colours. I’m aware that it doesn’t cause the riot that neon green and fuchsia have proven to be capable of, but doesn’t that make it more stylistically ideal? Orange gives a nod to modernity while embracing the every-day ordinary. 

It’s not a colour here to ruffle feathers or knock new-in neon off it’s throne. Yeezy haven’t drowned Kim K in it, so fast fashion and beauty brands haven’t exhausted it – yet. 

But I do prefer the Spanish word naranja over orange. The extra syllable adds a bit of flair that better represents the pizzazz that the colour possesses. I translated this flair onto my eyelids.
Processed with VSCO with dog3 preset

2 Shades of Orange

I wanted my look to be a matte orange only – no crease-deepening browns or lid-enhancing glitters. Which meant that I only used the two orange shades on BH Cosmetics’ Take Me Back To Brazil Palette.Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI laid a base with the lighter orange shade with the Spectrum Collections B06 tall tapered brush, buffing out the colour and covering my lid. I then packed on the darker orange over my lid with the CO6 brush from the same Spectrum eye set.

The CO6 Tulip brush is my favourite because it’s ideal for contouring as well as packing on colour. The versatility is all down to it’s dome-like shape.Processed with VSCO with dog3 preset
I did a soft look all over my skin to match the ease of orange, opting for dewy complexion with NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation and a subtle highlight by Pixi Beauty.

A major discovery I made in the composition of this look is that an ashy brown lipstick with a warm gloss on top matches orange eye-shadow.

So, I used my all-time favourite liquid lipstick and shade, Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in ‘Posh Spice’, and patted on Pat McGrath Labs Clear Gloss (unfortunately no longer on sale) with my finger. Finger application was necessary because I wanted my lips to be dewy like my skin rather than light-catching glossy.

In make-up, orange is an ideal colour to chase because it is close to the burnt tradition that we all know and love (read about that here). It takes burnt and removes the dust, leaving a bright colour that is easier to style and easier to love.