Nails of the week: green marble with tutorial

Green marble nails

Always wanted to try marbling, but don’t really have time or patience for water marbling – just the thought of it makes me want to cry.

After obsessing over it in Brazil, where my manicurist gave them to me for the first time, I promised myself I would try the wooden stick marble myself – it seemed much more manageable than its water counterpart!

Well, I did, and I am chuffed with it! I woke up one morning obsessed with green (yeah, go figure!) so I used white (Collection 2000 103 French White), jade (Kiko 343) and mint green (Colorclub) to create this marble.

It didn’t tak me too long; I first applied a base coat on all nails and then started the marbling process one by one. It is important that steps 1-5 are done nail by nail, otherwise the bottom layers dry, the polish won’t mix and gaps will appear!

marble_tut

1. Apply a coat of the base colour in the whole nail (I used the jade green)

2. Apply a second coat of the base colour, but this time, apply generously – quite thick; a bit blobby even!

3. Put 3-4 drops of the other colours on it

4. Using a wooden stick or a toothpick, gently swirl it around as you please, creating different patterns and making sure you cover the whole nail

5. Clean the excesses (I use the same wooden stick, clean side)

6. Repeat on every nail

I then applied a topcoat and removed the excess using the wooden stick with cotton wool at the end, dipped in nail polish remover.

I love this. It took me 3 attempts on my thumb to get the hang of it, and the others were plain sailing. Just be careful not to rub the stick to hard and completely remove the polish, leaving gaps!

Application was much more straight forward than I though; and durability was ace – flawless for 7 days!

Rating:

5_star

Eye make-up look challenge: red and orange

Tropical cocktail. This was my inspiration for this look, so I am naming it Tequila Sunrise, taken from the drink, of course, but also from the liquid liner name!

I primed my eyes and applied a shimmery golden peach shade on my brow bone, blending towards the crease. I then swept the orange all across my lid and blended upwards. Using a blending brush, I applied the raspberry on the outer corner and blended around the crease.

I then applied the black liner, creating a long-ish flick on the outer corner. I then used the liquid eyeliner in metallic orange/copper above the black eyeliner and then from the outer corner of my eye, just below the black, following the same shape. Black eye shadow was applied across the water line using a liner brush, then I applied black eyeliner to the lash line, smoking it just a little bit.

After that, I cleaned the fall-offs and applied a concealer under my eyes. I then created the line below my eye, from the inner corner, following the black liner just past half the eye and flicked downwards.

I made the raspberry colour more intense using the pencil brush on the crease and applied the shimmery peach to the inner corner of my eye, bringing it up slightly on the inside of my nose bridge towards my eyebrow.

To finish it off, I applied mascara and then false lashes. Very happy with this look,  it is different, colourful and very pretty!

Products I used:

  • myface.cosmetics silkscreen eyeshadow duo in siren
  • Inglot eye shadow 469
  • MAC eyeshadow in carbon
  • myface.cosmetics slinky liquid liner in Tequila Sunrise
  • Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion
  • Laura Mercier eye concealer in wheat
  • Hourglass film noir mascara in onyx
  • MAC eye kohl in smolder
  • Collection 2000 Extreme felt tip eye liner
  • MAC make up brushes 239, 217, 219, 231, 194 and Mink blending brush

Difficulty:

Tutorial: Easy smokey eyes – brown and black

This post goes to fulfill a request on how to create wearable smokey eyes. Actually, I owed this to a couple people before the request, so it has been a long time coming! I use smokey eyes all the time, what changes is the intensity and, of course, colour palette. Most of my eye make up challenge looks are smokey.

These two looks are very simple, easy smokey eye looks. The brown and gold is great for paler complexions and day wear, as black can sometimes be a bit harsh, although, in my opinion, nothing beats black for smokey.

If you are paler, make sure you sweep a lighter colour on the lid before start smoking the black, or use grey or matte brown, building up to an almost black colour!

When I go out with smokey black eyes, I usually go much bigger and intenser than this. But if you never wore smokey eyes, this is a good start – maybe with the golden brown then into the black, to perhaps a much deeper coloured look.

On the right are the finished results, go down for the step by step.

For a basic look, three shades will suffice – a lighter for highlighting, a medium for base and a dark one for smoking – it is very important they complement each other.

Brown

This is very warm and suitable to most skin and eye colours. GOld is a great ally when drawing attention to your peepers!

1. Use a primer. This will help intensify the colour and fix the eye shadow. I apply mine with my fingers, over the whole lid all the way to the brow bone.

2. Using an eye shader brush, apply the lighter colour close to the eyebrows and all across the brow bone.

3. Also apply lighter shade to the inner corner of the sweeping towards the middle, but not too much, still with the eye shader brush

4. With the same brush, apply the medium colour across the whole eye lid. I like getting in the crease, but not above, with this shade too.

5. Apply the darker shade in the outer corner of the eye using a blending brush. This brush is a great investment, as it is makes blending much easier.

6 and 7. Then press lightly in into the crease, following its natural hollow to around halfway of the eye, repeat the movement, adding more eyeshadow until you reach the desired colour – more for more intense. When you get in the crease, this creates the smoking on the inner part, but also above the crease. Keep blending, adding some colour closer to the lash line, always pulling from the outside in, so the colour fades towards the inner corner.

8. Line the bottom waterline with a black eye liner and with a small shader brush (shown), add the dark brown eye shadow to the bottom lash line, blending with the eye liner.

9. Still using the small shader, line the outer corner of the upper lash line with black, and blend up to 1/3 of it. Then continue with the dark brown.

10.Using a pencil brush, add the dark brown to the crease, to intensify the colour.

Apply mascara generously and you are ready to go. After you get more practice doing this, it usually doesn’t take more than 10 minutes!

Black – a bit more intense!

This is a colder, and very light black smokey eye; I blended enough to make it a bit less harsh and quite grey, especially with flash.

1. Always use a primer. Then, using an eye shader brush, apply the lighter colour close to the eyebrows and all across the brow bone. With the same brush, apply the medium colour across the whole eye lid, from the inner corner. When you get to the outer corner, it should be much less intense.

2. Get smoking! With the blending brush, apply the darker shade in the outer corner of the eye. Blend towards the inner corner, as in this case, you want the black to be across the whole eye lid, looking  greyer in the middle and with less intensity on the inner corner.

3. Then press it lightly into the crease, following its natural hollow to around halfway of the eye, repeat the movement, adding more eyeshadow until you reach the desired colour – more for more intense, always blending to avoid harsh lines. Keep blending, adding some colour closer to the lash line, always pulling from the outside in, so the colour fades towards the inner corner.

4. Line the bottom waterline with a black eye liner and using the small shader brush, apply black eye shadow to the lower lash line, blending well.

5. and 6. Apply a liquid, gel with brush or pen (which is the easiest to work with!) to the upper lash line, creating a flick at the outer corner. The flick should always follow the natural line from  the bottom lashes, creating and imaginary line at 90 degrees in the corner of your eyes, as if it was going to your temples.

I also used the pencil brush to intensify the black at the crease, then smoothing with the blending brush. I finalised it with lashings of mascara – if you want more dramatic, you can also smoke above the crease, in the outer corner towards the eyebrow, but not too much – always apply more of the lighter colour to the brow bone and blend downwards if you go too far. False eyelashes go very well with smokey eyes, and are great for glamming out the look!

Also, black eye shadow tends to drop when applying, so if going for the look, do the eyes first, then do the foundation afterwards. I also use a good concealer under the eyes after doing my black smokey eyes, to guarantee it wont look like dark circles!

Products I used:

Eye shadow – Both looks were created using the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. It may seem costly, but you get a great selection fo colours that are for everyday use, but you can build up for a night look. And it comes with a double ended brush – eye shader and blending in one! For the brown look I used Bootycall, Half Baked and Busted. For the black, I used Verve, Pistol and Blackout. I find that almost any eyeshadow is alright if used with a good primer – but high pigmentation is very important.

Primer – Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, the best eye primer I ever used. Check review here.

Brushes – all good investments:

  • Eye shader brush, from Naked 2 palette, but I also have MAC 239.
  • Blending brush, from Naked 2 palette, but I also use MAC 217.
  • Pencil brush, MAC 219
  • Concealer brush, MAC 194 (not needed, you can apply concealer with you fingertips!)

Black eye liner – MAC eye kohl in Smoulder and Collection 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner.

Mascara – any you have. At the moment I am trying Hourglass’s Film Noir in Onyx. Apply more to the outer corner, to give it a flutter! Curl and if you want, apply false eyelashes to be more dramatic!

Eye make-up look challenge – black liner

After the super indulgent green witch eyes, I went for something a bit “simpler”. Still, I love the impact of the under the eye liner. It doesn’t pop out as much as I thought it would, so is more wearable then I expected…and simpler to achieve!

After priming, I swept a metallic beige all over my lid up to my brow bone. I then applied a metallic light brown from the inner corner  following the crease, just up to where my eyebrows start, blending with the lighter colour.

Using a felt tip eye liner, I lined my upper lash line, pulling it from outside the inner corner, and finished with a flick. On the lower lash line, I used a white eye liner, from about 2/3 of the way towards the outer corner. I then created a white flick, slightly smaller than the black one from the upper lash line.

I followed with crushed pigment from about 1/3 from the inner corner to the outer corner.

Finally, I drew the line parallel to my lower lash line, following my eye shape and flicking it downwards towards the inner corner. I blended some crushed pigment in the centre of the upper lid and finished it off with false eyelashes.

Products I used:

  • Urban Decay eye shadows in Midnight Cowgirl and Midnight Rodeo
  • MAC crushed pigment in White As Snow
  • Studio eye liner in Winter white
  • Collection 2000 Extreme felt tip eye liner
  • Eylure lashes number 155
  • Duo eyelash glue
  • Urban Decay eye primer
  • MAC brushes 239, 231, 208
  • Maybelline Falsies mascara

Difficulty:

Eye make up challenge: green, as a witch

Green witches (yes, Elphaba, I am talking about you!) inspired me for this challenge. I wanted to do something big, bold, a bit evil and of course, green. I love using green eyeshadow, it photographs really well, it is so vivid.

Here is what I did: I applied a primer, and attempted to erase half of my eyebrow (without much success). Then swept the whole lid with green pigment.

After that, using a darker green, I drew the cat-eye shape with a pencil brush, from the beginning of my crease to close to my eyebrow edge.

Then I applied a lighter darker green to the upper lash line and met the higher dark green line, closing the shape.  To add dimension, I applied very light green crushed pigment to the center of the eye lid, as a swoop that went from close to the inner corner, upwards, meeting the darker line at the top. I then blended all the lines using all the colours and some other shades of green until I was satisfied with the amount of definition of some lines and blending.

I lined the lower lash line with the lime green, closer to the inner corner, blending into dark green towards the outer corner and applied black eyeliner to the water line.

Finally, I added the lime green to the tops, a little bit of black to define some of the lines (close to the crease and from outer corner), applied black eyeliner, making a huge flick, and dabbed more light green crushed pigment close to  the brow bone and inner corner of the eye. I finished the look with false eye lashes.

Things that didn’t go too well:

1. I tried to “erase” the end of my eyebrow, it turns out mine are too dark and thick to do with concealer and foundation only. I did it in the past to re-create Boy George eye make up, but I suppose the person had fairer and thinner eyebrows than me, so it worked alright!

2. Drawing the shape was hard. Very hard. I had to clean everything up and start again.

3. My first combination of greens didn’t give me oomph. This is another reason I started again. Next time, I will swatch them in my hand before applying!

Products I used:

  • Urban Decay eyeshadows in Bender and Hijack
  • MAC eyeshadow in
  • Collection 2000 green pigment in Bitter
  • Ocean Scent green eye shadows from basic palette
  • MAC crushed pigment from Surf the Ocean pack
  • MAC Studio finish and Select Moisturecover concealers
  • Collection 2000 felt liner in Black
  • MAC eye kohl in Smolder
  • MAC brushes number 208, 217, 219, 239, 266 and 195
  • Urban Decay eye primer potion
  • DUO eyelash glue
  • Maybelline Falsies mascara
  • Eylure false eyelashed in Vintage 124

Difficulty:

Nails of the week: purple with glitter flakes

Click to enlarge

Another thing I cannot have enough of is glitter flakes topcoats. They have this power of making any nail polish amazing. adding an extra dimension to any colour.

It is no secret I am a huge fan of duochromes and colour changing polishes in general, so no surprise I fell head over heels for the amazing flakies from Brazilian brand Specialittá.

I really like them, they do really different colours and effects lines. I placed an order online and got a friend to bring it over to London for me… I must have bought a good 10 bottles, so watch this space!!!

This week, I am wearing Collection 2000 Purple rain with Specialittá Hits Fox Trot over it. Fox Trot is part of their Mundo de Danças (World of Dances) collection which has lots of glitter flakes polishes.  This one has a jelly-ish purple/mauve base and is laden with pretty flakes, which change colour from pink, reds and golds to pale green. The colours are quite subtle but really pretty, and the change can be seen on many different types of light! Gorgeous!

Application was smooth,I used two coats of each polish (as I like plenty of flakes!!!) plus the topcoat, and durability is fantastic.

Pretty overall; very happy with it!

Other polishes from the collection will be coming soon; I bought three from their 12!

Any amazing flakies out there for me to go crazy about? Would love to expand my collection!

Rating:

Eye make up look challenge: blue butterfl-eyes

Click to enlarge

The highlight of a make up show I attended (which was so rubbish it doesn’t even deserve a review or mention) was the Paperself stand, where they were doing free applications of their gorgeous lashes, and I chose to try the gorgeous “Deer& butterfly” small.

Now, I don’t think they are everyday lashes, but they are so pretty, but so pretty, that I actually feel like using them everyday. Their London skyline one is gorgeous, and their “smalls”, shorter versions of a full design, just for the fluttery outer corner, is actually wearable, on occasions. For a fashion shoot, they are just splendid! I love the peacock ones!!!

Inspired but the delicated butterly lashes I had applied, I decided to create a Blue Morpho butterfly wings look.

I started with the primer, followed by a generous sweep of a light blue powder pigment. I then applied dark blue crushed pigment from the outer corner in, blending towards the middle of the lid. Using a brush pen, I drew the oval shape of a wing, and blended into the darker blue.

I applied white eye liner on my lower water line, and then the blue eye liner followed by a little bit of  lighter blue pigment to 2/3 of my bottom lash line from the inner corner. After that, I put a lot of black eyeliner on the outer lash line and topped up with a little bit of the dark blue pigment.

I added white crushed pigment to the brow bone and the inner corner of the eye blending into the lower lash line and also as a half moon to the curve of my “wing” shape,  go give it a bit of a glow.

After that, I re-enforced my wing-shape drawing, with black eye liner, and blended a bit to make the line less harsh, but still visible.

Black eyeliner and mascara followed and then I applied a set of lashes to finish off the look. Of course, the jewel of the crown, the butterly lashes, were applied to the outer corner of my eye, on top of the other lashes.

I love this look. It is different but very pretty!

Products I used:

  • Collection 2000 Dazzle Me Heavenly light blue powder pigment
  • MAC crushed pigments in White As Snow and Wintersky
  • MAC eyeshadow in Carbon
  • MAC eye kohl in Smolder
  • Urban Decay eyeprimer potion
  • MAC brushes 209, 238, 219, 263 and a MINX fluffy one
  • Studio eye pencils in Blue Velvet and Winter White
  • Collection 2000 Extreme felt tip eye liner
  • Maybelline Falsies mascara
  • Duo eyelash glue
  • Ardell 107 lashes
  • Paperself small “Deer&butterfly” lashes

Difficulty level:

Eye make up – daywear

I could not live without make up. Really. I cannot imagine my life without the colour it, literally, brings into my face. Not that I don’t like my clean face; there was a time I had severe acne and yes, and I would never think of leaving the house bare-faced. I think this is the reason I have such a passion for make up; I had to make it work really hard to cover my problematic skin. Today, its main purpose is not to hide, but to enhance my features.

Anyway… I thought I’d share some very basic, day wear eye make up ideas; I wear it to work pretty much everyday. It is usually a variation of what you see here, with different complementary colours, different products,  but I tend to stick to this for the daily grind. It is usually a 5-minute job (providing I don’t mess up the eyeliner which I occasionally do).

Super mega staple eye shadows for me are MAC’s Expensive Pink, Nylon, Vex, Carbon, Naked Lunch and Brown Down and a light gold L’Oreal one. I mean, they are amazing, have a good staying power, truly everyday shades you can mix and match, build up or strip down for neutral daywear which will not fight with your lipstick, even if the chosen shade is red (like mine, most days).

I prep my eyes with the e.l.f or the NYX primers. Sometimes, I just brush Vex or Nylon on eyelids and brow bone and apply an eyeliner, across the whole lash line of just under half, for more sultry but at the same time lighter eyes.

I usually wear Vex (an iridescent pale silver, goes fabulously with blues and greens, but also with pinks) or Nylon (a shimmery very pale gold – and this my friend, goes with everything!)  as bases, they look great on the brow bone.

Then from the outer corner of the eye and the crease, blending towards the inner corner, I apply the “middle” shade – this could be the golden L’Oreal, Expensive Pink or Smoke ‘n’ Diamonds. Most of the time, I stop there but sometimes, I use a darker shade, if dealing with warm tones, Brown Down (when I use Silver Ring, I don’t add anything darker, it is dark enough!) in the outer part of the crease and the corner, to give a subtle smokey effect.

When lining my upper lid, I sometimes do just 1\3 of the eye, leaving the inner corner clean and bright; sometimes, I do the whole thing, most of the times with a flick at the end – I am really into them now, I think it help flatters my eye shape.

Slap on the mascara on top lashes and eye liner to the water line. Now, depending on my mood (again!), I might do it just a third from the outer corner or the whole line; sometimes I add it to the lower lash line too and smoke with a pencil brush to make it less harsh, but any combination will look good! Promise!

At the moment, my favourite liners are Collection 2000 felt tip pen liner (amazing, and great value), MAC gel liner and Maybelline’s Lasting Drama gel liner, all of which I find easy to apply and long lasting. I love eyeliner, really do.

For the more grungy look coming for A/W12-13, I have been trying a chubby liner, from Miners, it is great for smoking after applying, with a pencil brush, but it smudges quite a lot, and its staying power is rubbish, sadly, as the effect is ace!

For mascara I am currently using Maybelline’s Falsies (one of my favourites).

So, what are your tested, quick day to day eye make up routine? It would be nice to know what works for other people!

Nails of the week – warm tones with gold French manicure

Once again, I went a bit colour crazy! I have so many lovely nail polishes, that sometimes is super hard to choose just one, so I decided to do a warm colour palette – from yellow to red.

The polishes I used were :

  • Yellow: H&M summer sunrise
  • Orange: Impala aleixo
  • Lighter pink: Impala confeti
  • Darker pink: Miss Sporty number 130
  • Red: Colorama 40 graus
  • Gold: Barry M effects foil gold

I had used the yellow and the red before, in fact, this red is one of my favourites. I found the orange a bit sheer, still with two coats; the darker and lighter pink were alright, application was smooth for all. Durability was surprisingly long, as

I tend to wear off my French manicure by typing; when I removed, seven days after applying, I felt it could’ve gone for longer! Ace!

I am really into French manis nowadays!

This is a very bold look, but I don’t think it interfered with my clothes or was too out there for eyes to pop; people usually noticed (and complimented!) after looking carefully and closer.  I absolutely love the colours combination – and I am dying to do a cold colours one… we shall see!

I had a friend at home, so she also left with a slight more demure creation of mine; a purple and lilac French manicure, using a lilac from Miss Sporty and Collection 2000’s purple rain.

Rating:

Eye make-up look challenge: rainbow

The sun has been out and I am in a more colourful mood. I always wanted to try rainbow colours in my eyes, but never had an occasion. as it is quite bold and not your week day in the pub kinda look. For that reason, I think my eye make-up look challenge is the perfect way of trying this!

Just as a reminder, the challenge is my way of venturing into looks I would probably never try; it is also a good practice for techniques.

I looked online for some inspiration, but ended up coming up with my version. I am not sure I would ever wear it, may be appropriate for carnival or other flamboyant occasion, but it ended up looking quite pretty – *maybe* I should have the black liner thinner (shhh, don’t tell anyone, I was going to, but had a little accident and as the six-colour blending was already in place, I decided to overlook the mistake and build it up a bit). Still I am very pleased with it. If I were to use this, I would probably slap some fake eye lashes on.

I didn’t have many problems, only blending the blue and green was a bit odd; I had to really pile eyeshadow on  and complement with eyeliner, which I also blended a bit, to get a good distinction of the colours and some definition.

It is a good practice for blending, as the colours are so distinct, and I experimented with a few brushes and eyeshadows rarely used before, so I am glad I tried… my word for it is vivacious, and it really cheered me up!

Products I used:

  • e.l.f. eyelid primer in sheer
  • beautyuk eyeshadow collection in number  2
  • Collection 2000 Extreme felt tip eyeliner in black
  • Smashbox Photo-op under eye brightener
  • MAC pigment in vanilla
  • MAC eyebrow set
  • Maybelline One by One mascara in black
  • MAC brushes  – eyes: 212SE, 219SE, 231, 217, 239SE, 208SE and 263; face: 190 and 167SE (the face brushes were used to clear spills and apply powder/brightener under the eyes)
  • Studio eyeliners in winter white, summer green and blue velvet
  • MAC eye kohl in smoulder

Level of difficulty: