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!

Eye make up challenge: lilac

I really like lilacs and lavenders on my eyes. It is a great colour for brown eyes and a great trick for the morning after that heavy night – it really helps brighten up tired peepers.

This is a look I find quite discrete, although the darker line gives it a little something of “special” occasion to it.

I first applied a primer and a light eye shadow on the brow bone, inner corner of the eye and halfway the lower lash line, from the inner corner. I swept the lilac across the lid generously and applied plain white eyeshadow just in the middle of the lid, for extra luminosity.

Then I drew the line following slightly above my eye socket with a darker shadow using a pencil brush, then blending it with a small shader brush. I also used this brush to apply the darker shade on my lower lash line, one-third from the outer corner and on the upper lash line, just below half from the outer corner too.

To finish off the look, I applied mascara and a set of lashes and put some light coloured pigment on my brow bone topped off with some sparkle.

Quite an easy look to achieve, it looks very pretty and, in my opinion, not too over the top.

Products I used:

  • MAC lilac eyeshadow in Beautiful Iris
  • Lancome Ombre Absolute eyeshadow in Black Blue
  • Sephora white eyeshadow from palette
  • MAC pigment in Vanilla
  • MAC eyelashes 33
  • Duo eyelash waterproof glue
  • ELF eyelid primer
  • Kryolan Glamour Sparks in golden
  • MAC brushes 208, 219, 231, 239 and 212
  • Smashbox Photo op under eye brightener
  • MAC eyebrow set (discontinued)
  • Maybelline One by one volum’ express mascara

Level of difficulty:

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:

Beauty products and make up I cannot live without

Most of my eyeshadows!

We all have them, right? Some swear by a handful of products that keep them beautiful on a daily basis… however, you are *slightly* more exaggerated,  like myself, you probably notice that your staple beauty products cannot fit in one hand, or two… better bring out the sack…

I decided to list my essential make up items as well as my staple beauty products, as I believe they go hand in hand beautifying my everyday!

There is an awful lot more stuff and I have to say, I am quite good using most of the stuff I have

Drum roll…. here is my tried, tested and loved list:

Make up

  • MAC foundation, most of the times Selct FPS 15 in NC37 – I have tried many foundations in my life (trust me, I am a girl who had severe acne when younger), and this is the one I stuck with for quite sometime. Great to apply, it has a medium coverage. I am, at the moment, trying MAC’s Matchmaster, which has slightly better coverage than the Select and I am very happy with it too. I sometimes mix my foundation with moisturiser for everyday use or build up for hard-wearing make up.
  • MAC Mineralize skinfinish natural powder, in medium dark – cannot live without, usually brush on top of my foundation to add colour, but sometimes just on its own it offers you good coverage without being heavy, at all.
  • MAC Sheertone Shimmer blush in Sunbasque – so versatile…. could, in desperate times, double up as a bronzer, it goes with most colours. When I am full make up on, I use it only on the apple of the cheeks, with Mineralize blush in Chic Couple under the cheek bone for extra definition.
  • MAC Mineralize skinfinish bronzer in Gold deposit – not too overpowering in colour, gives you that lovely glow, suitable for the winter and summer, can be built up…. great for a bot of contouring.
  • MAC eye shadow in Carbon –  another super versatile item. An intense matte black, I wear it as for fierce smokey eyes or on a daily basis as eye liner.
  • Mascara usually Maybelline Falsies, but lately been dabbling with YSL – you can check the review here, Soap & Glory and Maybelline One by One.
  • Eye liner – I have and use many different ones. The one I am quite into at the moment is the The Collection 200o Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner in black. I use eye shadow as eyeliner, gel liners from Maybelline and MAC.
  • MAC brow shader duo – a nice little matchbox like packaging with a dark shadow for your eyebrow and a lighter for the brow bone. It has been discontinued, I am lucky I have two and they last forever!
  • MAC pigment in Vanilla – so great, really gives your brow bone that extra, glamourous sheen, lifting your brows up to the sky! Amazing buy, a little pot will last you a long time.
  • Eye shadow – I own a plethora of shades… cannot get enough of eye shadow, could not pick a favourite, as it varies with my mood.
  • Lancôme Color Fever lipstick in Hot Stuff Rouge: a metallic red I think this colour has been discontinued, which is  shame, as it is the best red ever! It is not too bright so suitable for day wear, it has a smooth creamy texture, so it glides when you apply – it is so good, I don’t even have to use a lip liner. I love it!
  • MAC Russian Red lipstick – hot. That’s all.
  • Lipcote lipstick fixer – I swear by this product. After reading reviews that it dries your lips more than fixes the colour, I was a bit unsure about buying it. My lips are quite dry, and this product hasn’t made it any worse. It fixes the colour beautifully, and I never wear a red on a night out without applying this on top. It stays put most of the night and it won’t stain glasses when you drink. Great!
  • A primer. Been using MAC’s Prep+Prime Skin for a few years and recently discovered Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting primer (dewy finish) which did wonders for my skin – a brilliant primer for acne scarred skin.  I also use Lancôme’s La Base Pro.
  • Eyelid primer – at the moment using e.l.f and happy with it.

Beauty:

  • Face moisturiser – Nivea visage Oil free moisturising fluid is great value for money. I also wear Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, but this Nivea one is a great budget alternative – the texture is pretty much the same, it absorbs quickly, it moisturises well and my skin likes it.
  • Victoria’s Secret hydrating body lotion in Pure Seduction – been wearing it for a good 10 years now and it is the only moisturiser  my body has seen. Love the consistency, the hydration and the smell is to die for. Sadly, not largely available in the UK (soon to be though), so I stock up from duty free, and suffer the occasional “moisturiser depletion anxiety” when I think I will run out before another trip abroad.
  • Victoria’s Secret ultra-moisturizing hand and body cream, also in Pure Seduction- just like above, but I use it as a hand moisturiser.  It is just great, more supple than the body lotion, also good for elbows and knees.
  • St. Tropez Everyday Airbrush fake tan – easy to apply, never had streaks, the tan looks natural – worth noting I do not abuse it!The smell could be better, but could also be much worse, so overall, I like it and rely on it.
  • Lip balm – my lips are quite dry, and I suffer a lot in the winter; you won’t see without Vaseline lip therapy cocoa butter and lately créme bruleé or cherry Carmex.
  • Clarins Cleansing milk and Toning lotion for combination/oily skin – I know I should wear it twice daily, but I usually do it once, before going to bed. The toning lotion is also a good astringent, and I wear it on my eye lids as part of my eye make up prep!
  • Clinique 3 step system – I usually do this in the mornings. At the moment, I am using the soap bar and clarifying lotion 2, for dry combination skin.
  • Eye drops – My eyes are also very dry, in the wonter aggravated by heating and in th summer by hayfever (I know, lucky me, eh?!), so I use itchy eye drops a lot. I’ve been using Optrex Itchy eye drops and it helps a lot. In the winter,  I usually change to a moisturising eye drop, like Optrex Dry or Actimist eye spray (which I find great!)
  • Batiste dry shampoo  – an absolute saviour. When younger, I used to wash my hair every day, because it is quite fine and looks dirty in 24 hours. Not anymore, dry shampoo (and ballerina buns) changed my life.
  • L’Oréal Absolute eye & lip make-up remover – another saviour, been wearing for a long time, cheap and cheerful, does the job brillianty.
  • Kérastase Nutritive Nutri-termique hair mask –  this is a miracle worker, using it once a week for about a year really changed my hair’s condition. Really amazing product.
  • Kérastase Lait Nutri-sculpt leave in smoothing hair foundation – in combination with the hair mask, this also changed my hair – it enabled me to grow it with the best condition my hair has ever been.
  • Nail varnish – lots and lots of it, in a rainbow-like palette!!!
What about you? What are the products you cannot live without?  Have you tried any of my favourites? What did you think?

Eye make-up look challenge – electric blue eyeliner

One of the eye make up looks that caught my eye in recent fashion weeks was Anna Sui’s winged blue eyeliner, with a pretty dot on the lower lash line.

So this week I decided to re-create my own version on it, but with a half circle on the centre of the lower lash line, similar to the half sequins used at Givenchy SS12, instead of Anna Sui’s smaller full dot slightly off centre.

In my treasure chest that is the Sephora palette I bought a while back, there are six gel eyeliners, including an electric blue one, so I decided that it was perfect to execute this look.

I prepped my eyes with a primer, dusted with a bit of pigment to give it a glow, used clear sticky tape to work as a stencil so my line would be sharp and precise and voilá – I drew from the inner corner with a brush, as if applying normal eyeliner, but extended it more towards the end of my brows to make it more dramatic.

Then, I built on it, giving thickness on the lid. I took some pictures of it thinner and thicker, and I like them both.

Bearing in mind this took me literally five minutes to achieve on each eye, I think this look is a winner – especially because of its versatility; you can use any colour you want, make the flick shorter and also drop the dot on the lower lash line! If no gel eyeliner is at hand, it can also be achieved by wetting eyeshadow then applying with an angled brush, it will though, be harder to achieve a good coverage and durability, depending on the colour and the eyeshadow. Wet pigments would also work a treat.

Products I used:

  • Sephora gel eyeliner in electric blue, from palette
  • MAC pigment in Vanilla
  • MAC brushes 209SE and 208
  • Maybelline brush (comes with the  Lasting Drama gel liner)
  • Maybelline One by one Volume Express mascara
  • E.L.F eyelid primer
  • MAC eyebrow set
  • Clear sticky tape

Rating:

Product review: New eyeliners head-to-head

Until a couple weeks ago, I had been lining my eyes in three different ways, depending on my mood, time and desired effect: by using eye shadow (MAC Carbon) or gel eyeliner (MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack) and a small angle brush or using an eyeliner (MAC Smoulder eye kohl).

Recently I came across a few products and decided to give them a go – and test which one delivered best results, in terms of ease of application, effect and durability.

Collection 2000 EXTREME 24 HOUR FELT TIP LINER - Dani DutraThe Collection 200o Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner in black really caught my attention – it is unassuming, looks like a normal felt tip and the idea is really good: a pen with which you can draw your eye liner.

Having 24-hour on the label made me a bit nervous – what if I messed up and it was stuck on my face for a whole day? So it took me a couple weeks after buying to try. I was pleasantly surprised with the results; my first application was easy, the pen glides nicely on the eye lid and it is really precise. You can create nice jet black thin lines with it, and a perfect flick.

Other times it was harder, the line wasn’t perfect, but it was easily fixable with a moist cotton bud. After it dries, it really sticks, and removal requires quite a bit of scrubbing! It lasted well, when I returned home after work, it was still present, my eyes looked well lined and it didn’t run, although it was bit faded. I can see it being very useful to fill out the line after applying false eye lashes!

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner 24hr - Dani DutraThe other product I tried- and loved – is the Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama gel liner, in blackest black. I really like that it comes with a brush, and the combo works really well; the gel is smooth and glides nicely, the little brush is a great size for the make up bag and is hard enough to be good for thin and wider lines, and it really, really lasts. After a whole day at work, including a trip to the gym, the line still looked impeccable! I was very impressed!

ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - Dani DutraThe third product I tried is quite similar to the first one: the Elf waterproof eyeliner pen. I felt that, although the tip was finer, thus enabling you to create extremely fine lines, there didn’t seem to be enough ink coming out, it was quite dry, I had to rub it really hard and go over the line again and again losing precision, and the final result was still faded. I took pictures, but re-touched with the Collection 2000 liner to make it proper. A shame, as the Elf product is only £1.50,was really expecting one of those “amazing finds” moments! I didn’t do an “after” shot, as I had another liner over it.

For the time being, I’ve laid off my old ways and I am alternating between two of the new discoveries. I am divided between the Maybelline and the Collection 2000. The first one has amazing staying power, and the second is so easy to apply it is almost ridiculous! However, the Collection 2000 might just edge the Maybelline (£7.99) one for its price: £2.99, which is unbelievable value for this product!

What about you? What is your favourite eye liner?