Monday, 26 September 2016

My Brow Routine!

Doing my brows is an absolute essential part of my everyday makeup routine. I don't have super defined brows naturally, so making sure they look really polished and nicely filled in can really complete a look. One thing that has really helped me with my brows is getting the HD Brows treatment - you can read all about my experience with amazing before and afters here and here. When Into The Gloss inspired me to be part of their brow maintenance routine posts from women all over the internet, I jumped at the chance to get involved! As I've never really done any 'tutorials', I've started with a pictorial of how I fill in my brows below, but for something a bit more in-depth, check out Into The Gloss' full post and video about how to fill in eyebrows here, along with some eyebrow maintenance tips and tricks. 

1. First of all, I quickly brush through my brows with a spoolie. This helps to lay all the hairs flat and give you and idea of the shape you are working with.
2. I take my ABH Dipbrow in 'Taupe' and draw a line at the bottom of my brow to give the initial shape. I usually extend the tail to get a nice sharper point at the end. I use a MAC 208 brush for this.
3. I then take the Dipbrow and do a line at the top of my brow to give an outline to fill in. This can give quite a bold look, and some people may prefer a more natural brow, but this works well for me, and helps to add some more definition where my brows are more sparse! I stop the line just before the start of the brow, so the shape doesn't look too boxy. 
4. I then just fill in the outline! I mostly use the Dipbrow, then go in with my ABH Brow Definer in 'Taupe' to make sure there's no patches and the colour is all even. I also use the Brow Definer at the front of my brow and flick it upwards to give a more natural look and again, stop the shape looking too boxy, and give that kind of ombre 'Instagram brow' look. Hopefully you can see this from the pictures! I then take my Benefit 'Bo-oing' concealer on a Real Techniques Brow Brush, and clean up underneath the brow to give a nice defined shape and clean up any where the Dip Brow isn't needed. To complete the look, I add some highlight to the brow bone - here I've used Becca 'Champagne Pop', but MAC 'Vanilla' pigment is another favourite of mine. 

I hope this is helpful if you're struggling to do your brows! The ABH Dipbrow is honestly a holy grail product for me, but you have to be really careful not to get too much on your brush to avoid your brow looking too strong. Picking the best colour is absolutely key too - for me 'Taupe' works fantastically as it has more of a grey undertone which works well with my blonde hair and stops my brows looking reddish. I sometimes use a bit of Chocolate Dipbrow on the tail of my brow to add a bit more definition, or when I have just had my HD Brows done, I will use this shade as it matches better. My advice with the ABH ones is to check out loads of swatches online and try to go for something slightly darker than your hair colour - but it's really up to you and your preferences - if you want super dark brows go for it! My other key piece of advice is to avoid putting too much highlight all under the brow - highlighter is only meant for the high point of your brow (just under your arch), so use it more sparingly and not under your entire brow! 
If you have any other tips for brows, let us know in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed this different kind of post for me, and if you like it, I'll be sure to do more routines/pictorials in the future. 

If you haven't checked out Into The Gloss before, definitely have a look - I've read it for years, and I especially love their 'Top Shelf' feature! 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Best in Beauty: LFW & NYFW SS17

This season, I have been completely obsessed with all of the makeup looks on the catwalk. S/S is always about the fresh, youthful, glowy skin (so, exactly right up my street!), and so I thought I'd share some of my favourites. I think I'm going to do a couple of 'get the looks' for some of these shows too, so look out for them on my blog & Instagram. 

Topshop Unique

The Topshop Unique show hair and makeup was hands down my favourite from both NYFW and LFW. The look was pretty autumnal for a S/S show, but I loved the bronze, wet look eye makeup - right up my street! They used the cream blush in 'Dalliance' from Topshop, then added a bit of kohl liner to add some definition. The brushed up brows (inspired by Brooke Shields  gave a really youthful effect, and always helps to soften the features, and the lips were a soft matte peachy nude - universally flattering. For complexion, the skin was demi matte, with a stronger peach/brown blush used, along with a bronzer to warm up the skin. The hair look was a favourite of mine too - super curly, and described as a 'glamorous take on the 80s perm'. 

Tommy Hilfiger 

I was absolutely obsessed with the skin look at Tommy Hilfiger. All the models had the most beautiful dewy finish to the skin - it's hard to even tell if they had any base makeup on! Apparently they used a Covergirl highlighter on the cheekbones to get that blinding glow, and it looks like a slight wash of golden brown was put over the lids for some definition. The brows look lightly filled in, and it a light pink sheen added to the lips. Overall, it gave a beautiful, fresh look that I'm in love with. 

Michael Kors

The look at Michael Kors was really quite similar to Tommy Hilfiger (are we sensing a theme here?), but again, it was so fresh and I love the bronzed, more contoured look here. A really soft coral was used on the lips and it was all about the brushed up brows and fluffy lashes. 

Zac Posen

Zac Posen was another stunning show with a beautiful rosy makeup look. It was very soft and feminine, paired with the messy, curly hair. A rosy pink blush was used on the cheeks and lips, and brows were slightly filled in to give some shape. The highlight wasn't as strong here as seen at other shows, but there was a definite contoured look (or that really could be the models' amazing cheekbones!). 

Julien MacDonald

The Julien MacDonald show look was created by Val Garland, and was inspired by the 80s supermodels - going all out on the eyes, skin and lips. This is much more of a 'mainstream' look for a fashion week makeup. She went for sculpted skin, brushed up, editorial brows, and a super dark smoky eye. The lips were a bubblegum pink with a gloss on top. The makeup contrasted really nicely with the messy, wet look hair. 

Temperley London

The theme at Temperley was 'slept in' makeup, and so Val Garland created a look with Rodial, centred around a brown eyeshadow base, topped with black kohl liner, and smudged using a smoky shadow. I love these kinds of looks as a smoky eye looks amazing on everyone, and this one is a fairly simple one to recreate. The lip was a soft matte nude, keeping the focus entirely on the eyes. 

Wendy Rowe was the MUA for the Burberry show, and she went very minimal for the look, using just concealer as a base where needed, highlighter all over for that gorgeous radiance, and a pretty pink lip using the new Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Fawn Rose. 

Anna Sui
Blown out, burgundy smoky eyes are definitely going to be a trend for SS17, as both Topshop Unique and Anna Sui used it in their makeup looks. Pat McGrath designed the look for Ann Sui, and I absolutely love it! I think these colours look absolutely beautiful on all eye colours, and it's more striking than brown tones without being too dramatic. 

Which was your favourite beauty look? Let me know in the comments! I think my overall favourite has to be the Topshop Unique look. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Two New Skincare Additions

I rarely switch up my skincare routine. I've found something that works perfectly for me so introducing a new product means they've got to be pretty good. In July, I picked up the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (aka the most expensive mist in the entire world...), and I've been using it ever since. I've seen most people use it in their makeup routine, but I've been using mine in the evenings after moisturiser to give my skin an extra moisture boost - plus it smells absolutely divine and so relaxing. It also helps that the scent is completely natural, and there are no synthetic fragrances in this - making it good for more sensitive skin. It also contains glycerin, which is why people often use it before makeup (glycerin acts as a glue for the skin, and helps anything you put on top adhere to the skin better). Other key ingredients include Squalane - this is a natural moisturiser produced by the body, but deteriorates after the age of 30, so including a product with squalane in can help to restore the body's natural oils. It also has anti-bacterial properties so helps with acne. The other key ingredient is Red Algae, which helps with the skin's water-retention (therefore helping with moisturising even more!). I can't say that it's worth the £££, but if you fancy some luxury in your routine, you can't get much more luxurious than this - plus the ingredients speak for themselves, if you're in need of moisture, this is where to go!
Next up is the cult Pixi Glow Tonic. I was having a skin crisis back in July - makeup wasn't sitting on my skin right, and after my holiday it was just not having a good time. So, I caved and got the Glow Tonic from Pixi, just to see what all the fuss was about. I have to say, I've not been disappointed with this one. It's a great post-cleanse toner - I use it in the evenings only so it doesn't strip my skin too much. It's alcohol free (so no drying out your skin!) and contains glycolic acid (which is what makes your skin so glowy!). Now for the science bit - glycolic acid has the smallest molecules in the group of AHAs so it can penetrate the skin deeply and easily, therefore making it the most effective for treating a number of skincare problems, like fine lines, dullness, oiliness and acne. It helps to chemically exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells, paving the way for fresh, glowy skin! I honestly absolutely love it, and learning about what all the ingredients do for your skin is a great way to decide if a product is for you or not. I love glowing skin, so this was easily going to make it into my skincare routine at one point! 

Thursday, 15 September 2016


When in America in July (was that seriously 2 months ago already?!), I picked up 3 new liquid lipsticks that have all been hugely raved about in the beauty industry: the Lipland Amrezy Collection 'Rezy', Kat Von D 'Bow & Arrow' and ABH 'Milkshake'. As any UK beauty junkie will tell you, anything we can't get over here immediately becomes a must-have, and so if you want to see my full crazy US beauty haul - click here. I've been giving these all a whirl since then, so I thought I'd share my thoughts so far! First off, let's check out the swatches:

(L-R: Lipland 'Rezy', KVD 'Bow & Arrow', ABH 'Milkshake')

I have to say, from the outset 'Rezy' was always going to be my favourite. The most perfect peachy pink - you can see me wearing it a lot on my Instagram (here, here...). It has a really thin consistency, but is surprisingly opaque and doesn't feel drying on my lips at all. Because it has a thinner, more watery consistency, it doesn't feel too heavy on the lips and stays on really well. The only annoying thing is that it is probably the hardest to get hold of - but honestly if you can, it's worth it! As a heads up, I got mine from Ricky's in NYC, so if you're in New York anytime too, it's definitely worth going.
I was probably most excited about trying the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks as they're raved about so much all over social media. 'Bow & Arrow' was the only one I got from the collection and I definitely have mixed thoughts about it. I absolutely love how it looks on the swatch here, but it doesn't quite translate like that on my lips and looks a lot darker (see it here). I'm going to continue to experiment with it, but it just wasn't the colour that I expected it to be having seen so many images of it. The lasting power isn't great either, as I found it to be the quickest to wear off out of the three. However, I love the thin, sleek packaging and applicator, and it does come out very opaque when I first apply it, but I'm not quite sure that it's worth the hype.
Finally, I got 'Milkshake' from Anastasia Beverly Hills. ABH is one of my all time favourite brands, and I couldn't wait to try their liquid lipsticks. I originally wanted 'Pure Hollywood' but it was constantly sold out, and as I don't have a shade quite like this one, I thought I'd give it a go. As it's such a light baby pink, I'm yet to master this on it's own, but I have worn it to lighten another lip colour, or as a subtle ombre lip (see here), and it works really nicely and blends into other lip colours well. The consistency is definitely the thickest of the three, and I find it can go a bit stringy on my lips if I apply too much, but the lasting power is incredible. It is probably the most drying out of the three, so make sure you're lips are well exfoliated and moisturised before applying (although I think that goes for most liquid lipsticks!).
Have you tried any of these? Let me know if you have (and your thoughts) in the comments!


Friday, 9 September 2016

Girlactik Face Glow in 'Lustre' | REVIEW

What's this? I'd heard about the Girlactik Face Glow from Lustrelux (I think!), and so when I was in the US in July, I had to pick it up. This is the shade 'Lustre', and it is a pinky gold highlight (definitely looks more pink/purple in the pan so don't be scared!). I hadn't really heard much else about this brand before, but this and the liquid lipsticks are raved about the most!
Where do I get it? Looks like you can get it in the UK from Beauty Chamber for £17.95, and if you are in the US, its $25 on the Girlactik page
Swatches? See below. If you want to see it on my face, see my Instagram looks here, here and here

The Pros... This is so so glowy - if you want your highlight to look super strong, then get this! It's so pigmented you only need the tiniest bit, and I find it looks especially good on the tip of the nose as it gives a beautiful pop of highlight. I find the colour so unique, as it has a slight pink tone, so I always use it when I do a pinky look as it really complements it. The packaging is so sleek for a 'drugstore' product, and it feels quite sturdy so I imagine it would be okay for travelling - it did survive a flight back from the US!
The Cons... For what is considered a drugstore product, it is quite pricey, especially if you're trying to get your hands on it from the other side of the Atlantic! However, I have to say it really is worth it, as I just can't fault the formula. If you're looking for a subtle, everyday highlight, this probably isn't your guy, but if you want that super glowy, dewy skin, look no further!

What do you think? Have you tried this before - or anything else from Girlactik? Let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tomina Makeup Inspired Colourful Smokey Eye | MOTD

Hi everyone! This look I posted on my Instagram became my most popular to date, so I thought it was about time I did a breakdown of the look and what products I used. It was inspired by the amazing Tomina Makeup who does the most amazing colourful smoky eyes.
Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial under foundation
NARS Sheer Glow foundation
Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer and Maybelline Fit Me concealer
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
Milani Luminoso Blush
MAC Give Me Sun MSF as bronzer
Becca Champagne Pop & Girlactik Face Glow in Lustre as highlighters (used on cheekbones, tip of my nose, under brow and cupids bow

- ABH Dipbrow in Taupe in my brows
- The cranberry shade from the Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette all over the lid
- Realgar from ABH Modern Renaissance palette in crease, darkened up with some of the red toned shades from the palette
- L'Oreal Amber Rush shadow in tear duct and inner part of the eye
- Lilly Lashes in 'Goddess'
(mirrored all of these shadows also on the lower lashline
- Charlotte Tilbury Barberella Brown liner in the waterline

Simply used ABH Butterscotch lipgloss on the lips!

What do you think of this look? I really liked how it came out, and I think it's a perfect Autumnal look with all the warm tones and cranberry shade on the lid.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks | REVIEW

I'm aware there's been a lot of controversy about Jeffree Star all over the makeup industry recently, but I really wanted to do this review as these are honestly some of my favourite liquid lipsticks ever. I have to say, I don't particularly support Jeffree Star or any of his actions, but there's no denying he has some of the most popular liquid lipsticks out there, so I thought I'd give my two cents!
What's this? Liquid lipsticks have majorly taken over the makeup industry, and as far as I know, Jeffree Star Cosmetics were one of the first brands to bring them out. I didn't give in to the hype initially, then I saw Jaclyn Hill wearing Androgyny and fell in love. Since then, I have also bought Mannequin as there's no denying it's one of the most beautiful nudes out there. 
Where can I get it? You can get these from Beautylish (where I've bought mine!) or the Jeffree Star website. They are $18 (around £14!).
Swatches? See below. I've also worn these quite frequently on my Instagram so scroll through for lip swatches!

The Pros... Alongside Dose of Colors, these are my favourite liquid lipsticks. They sit on the lips so comfortably, don't dry out at all and give the most beautiful pigmentation. The colours are so so unique - especially Androgyny! Don't think I've ever seen a colour quite like it. They last really well - I never find I have a horrible line where it has worn off.
The Cons... Putting all the controversy about the owner aside... my only con for these liquid lipsticks is that the scents can be a bit odd. Mannequin really doesn't smell nice at all - the scent isn't noticeable after application but just a bit weird! 

What do you think? Have you tried these liquid lipsticks? Let me know if you have, and your thoughts in the comments!
© Cocoa May | All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig