Friday, 30 October 2015

Skull Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #5

I know what you're doesn't look overly simple at first glance does it? But actually, when you break it down into the steps below this skull look is pretty easy to achieve! Just believe and give it a go! This was actually the first time I have ever tried a skull look so the pictures you see below are literally with no practice at all, so if I can do it, you lovely people most certainly can too!

As with all of the other Halloween looks I have put up this week, I used normal makeup bag items to create this one. For the white I used NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk and a white eyeshadow. You could definitely use facepaint to create this whole look however I will say unless you have a great white facepaint that gives a smooth, opaque finish, go the eyeshadow route instead. It makes the look so much cleaner and it's also easier to apply the black over the top. For the large black areas I used a black gel eyeliner (Seventeen Gel Eyeliner in Smoulder) and the teeth and smaller details were created using a combination of a black Kohl eyeliner pencil and a liquid liner in felt tip form. In reality you could create the whole look with just one of these products (or a decent black facepaint) but I found it a little easier to swap between products. I also used black and grey eyeshadows to help blend things out.

So to start, I really recommend using a primer. Not only will it help keep the look in place, it will also act as a barrier between your skin and the facepaint or large amount of makeup. This is particularly helpful if you have quite sensitive skin. Next, take your chosen products and white out your entire face. I drew lines all across my face with NYX Milk (which I really recommend by the way for both this and normal looks as a base) and then blended it out. Then I went over the whole area with a white eyeshadow which gave a more even finish as well as the added bonus of helping to set the NYX Milk.

Now it's time to get your main features in place. Outline the eye and nose shape, lightly sketching until you are happy and then fill it all in. Go for a slightly more square shape around the eyes rather than round circles as this will help it look a little more authentic. At this point my fiance came home and pronounced that I look like a dalmatian...good start!

Next, using either a smaller brush or an eyeliner pen, draw lines out from the corner of your mouth and out towards your ear on either side. Try to follow the line made in the hollow under your cheekbone as a guide and stop when you are as far out as the edge of the black circles around the eyes. Then it's time to add in the vertical lines which will form your teeth. leave fairly even spacing between the lines until you get to the last four or so. At this point, make the lines get gradually slightly closer together just to taper it off nicely.

Once all of the lines have been drawn, draw little v shapes coming off of each end of the lines. Don't worry about being super tidy here as these are more of a starting guideline.

Start extending out the lines of the v shapes lightly so that they start crossing over each other and begin to shade in the inner point to make it stand out a little more. One important thing to note here, don't panic that your teeth are all different shapes, this actually gives it a far more believable look. After all, are every single one of your teeth exactly the same?

Now that you can really see the shape of your teeth, add in a little more grey eyeshadow around the outsides of your teeth and then blend it out towards the rest of your face so that it gradually fades out. Also add in little diamond shapes at the point where the teeth lines and centre line meet to give definition between each tooth.

We've got a bit of a lighting change in the rest of the photos as at this point I lost natural light. The danger of makeup experimentation on winter evenings! Once you've got your teeth sufficiently blended, you'll want to go back in with some white to create your pearly nashers. I used a small brush to apply NYX Milk to each tooth and then just gradually brushed down with the edge of the brush to create the root of each tooth.

Since we've got our teeth sorted, it's now time to create the cheekbone. I have no idea how to decribe the shape here so follow the image below and draw it right where your ear is. The smaller part that comes out will follow the hollow line under your chekkbone so that it will match up nicely with where your teeth are. Use a grey eyeshadow to blend out the area around the teeth until they look like they gradually face into eachother. You may also want to darken up your ears at this point too!

If you like you could finish the look there but adding in some details will really add to the overall effect. I added in some little points coming off the eyes, some soft lines around the main features and lines running from the corner of my eye up to my temple on both sides. I then took a brush and gently blended them a little so they didnt look too harsh. Using a light touch I traced in a few cracks here and there as well.


Ever the fan of contouring, I took a grey eyeshadow and blended it along my jaw, temples and forehead. Depending on what you are wearing, you might want to extend the white down your neck and chest. Alternatively you could go all out and create a bare bone effect down your neck. I think if I created this look again, I would add in some more cracks across the cheeks and forehead for a scarier finish so you might want to add in more when you create this look yourself! 

To add a little flare, I decided to backcomb my hair as a sleek do just didn't look quite right to me. So here is the finished look!

Would you give this look a go? What do you think of the skull makeup? Would love to know what you think so do pop a comment below!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Zombie Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #4

Since my first three looks have been fairly friendly looking, I thought it was time to do a bit more of a creepy look for tutorial number four! It's time to turn into a zombie! To create this look all I used were a few eyeshadows, a red lipstick, a purple lip pencil and a purple lipgloss so hopefully it will be pretty easy for most of you to create it on a whim! There are loads of amazing zombie looks around with incredibly realistic looking wounds but generally they always involve using liquid latex which I'm guessing is not a makeup bag staple for most people so I've given that sort of thing a miss this time!

To kick off the look, we want to make ourselves look like we are literally wasting away so you'll want to make your neck tendons and collar bone really stand out. 

To do this take a red lipstick and apply it in the areas I have shown below. Apologies for it being a picture I have edited to show where I used the lipstick rather than the real thing, I got a bit carried away with creating the look and then realised I hadn't even taken any  photos! In case it isn't clear enough, you want to basically place the lipstick in the areas that you want to really darken up. So I have ran it each side of my collar bone and then up the centre of my neck, leaving a gap where the tendons are. I also put a line straight down the centre of my chest. 

Once you have drawn your initial lines, use either a fairly stiff makeup brush or your fingers to start blending out the lipstick. Then go over the same areas with some brown, grey and even khaki toned eyeshadows to really enhance the look. Leave the actual collar bone and tendon lines untouched until the very end and then just lightly brush over a little grey eyeshadow so that they still stand out but they don't look obviously normal in colour. Congratulations, you are now the owner of a zombie!

Now onto the face! It's completely up to you if you want to do a layer of foundation before going zombie. Personally I just used my Smashbox primer and a little concealer as it seemed a bit counter productive to make my skin look flawless when I'm trying to create a mottled, dead effect. In fact for once my delightfully blotchy skin and under-eye circles actually came in handy! But guys, it's your face after all so do whatever makes you feel comfortable! 

Again, it's all about looking like you haven't had a good meal in a fair old while so let's get our contour on big time. This isn't the time for subtlety so use grey and khaki toned eyeshadows to really define the cheekbones, chin, nose and temples. At this stage I decided we could do with even more freaky colouring so I got the red lipstick back out and placed dots along main contouring areas as shown below. 

Now as you'd do normally, blend out the lipstick and even add a little more grey over the top of you think it's gone a bit too pink. 

Next take a pink eyeshadow and blend it all around the eye socket, particularly underneath the eye. If you have a red or pink eyeliner, pop that on your waterline to make your eyes look extra sore. A more likely item that you'll have is a red lip pencil which can also be used but do check that it's safe to be used next to the eyes first as ingredients do vary!

It's then time to get that really sunken eye look going on so grab a black eyeshadow and start blending it around your entire eye socket and down the side of your nose. Try not to completely cover up the pink but apart from that you can be pretty messy here. Don't worry about following exact lines or perfect blending because hey, since when are zombies "on fleek"?!

After the eyes are all darkened up, it's time to add in the details to the face. I used a purple lip pencil to draw veins and marks on my face to give a sufficient "my skin has gone transparent and gross" look and then lightly brushed a brown eyeshadow over the top to dull them a little. 

I also used a grey and a khaki eyeshadow and just added in little splotches here and there to make me look a rather unhealthy shade as well as a little bit grubby. 

Again, feel free to branch out with your detailing here. Add in a bigger wound or add mucky patches of brown if you want to look like you've just pulled yourself out of the ground. It's completely up to you!

For the finishing touch, add some blood (or in this case, LA Girl Lip Paint in Tempt)! My particular zombie strain is virus related so I thought some eyebleeding would work well. I then wanted to look like I'd just carried out some serious chomping so I focused quite a lot around my mouth. Given that, I didn't bother with putting anything on my lips beforehand. 

If however you aren't keen on the bloodlust, I'd suggest using concealer on your lips to pale them out a bit and then use blue and grey eyeshadows dappled over the top to get that no circulation lip. 

Finish up the look with some setting spray if you have some handy to keep yourself looking wonderfully undead for the whole evening. 

Thinking of being a zombie for Halloween? Let me know how you get on in the comments below!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Glam Vampire Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #3

In case you didn't guess from the picture, today's Halloween tutorial is going to be a (relatively) glam vampire look! Now first up, I apologise if the images are looking a little grainy in comparison to usual, I'm not entirely sure what was going on with my camera but hopefully they are still good enough for you to follow! I would have done it again but since we're on a schedule here I didn't want to risk missing a day!

I based this look on the rather beautiful people in The Vampire Diaries and the one thing they always have is perfect skin. So start off with your normal foundation / BB cream and concealer routine to give yourself a flawless base because lets be honest, you don't see a lot of spotty vampires running around!

Next, make your face look a little more angular with the wonders of contouring! If you aren't familiar with contouring, follow my guide here but rather than using just natural colours, use both a light grey and a brown as your dark colour (I used UD Password and W7 Sunkissed). This will really make your features stand out and gives the whole look a more dramatic feel.

Fill in your brows using either a pencil or gel (or both!), whichever you are most comfortable with to create a sharp look. I took my brows just a little further at the tail than I usually do just to enhance the look that tiny bit.

Now it's on to the main feature of this look, the eyes! Since we are going fairly heavy with the eyeshadow, I suggest using a good eyeshadow primer to keep the look in place. Plus it has the added bonus of really making the colours stand out!

I used Urban Decay Combust and Thirteen (from the Naked Smoky palette) in my crease first, blending right up to the brow. If you choose colours that are close to your skin tone or slightly lighter for this step, it will give a really smooth transition from the darker colours.

Next take a rich burgundy shade (I used Makeup Geek Bitten) and start applying it over the lid, blending into the crease and out into a point towards your eyebrows. Also take it right into the inner corner of your eye and lightly onto the side of your nose.

To give a really deep dark look, we want to create a dark base on the eyelid. This is best achieved by packing on a cream black eyeshadow or even a gel eye liner (I used Seventeen Gel Liner in Smoulder). To set it in place, cover the lid in a black eyeshadow and gently blend it into the crease so that you get a smooth transition into your burgundy shade. Take your time with this step as black can be difficult to work with, just keep adding in little amounts until you are happy!

Take the burgundy shade again and blend it under your eyes, taking it further than you normally would but trying to keep that overall pointed shape leading up to the eyebrows. Use a black kohl liner along your water line and a black eyeshadow to smudge just underneath the water line.

If you want to wear fake lashes, now is the time to add them. If you aren't a fan, leave them out! I used some natural look lashes that I wanted to test out from Primark which I was pleasantly surprised with!

To finish off the eyes, it's time to make the veins! If you have a purple lipstick, that will be perfect. If not, don't panic! If you have a red lipstick just swatch a fair bit of it on your hand and mix in a little blue eyeshadow. You could also use face paints if you have some on hand. I used Mac Rebel mixed with a little bit of blue eyeshadow to deepen it slightly. 

To create the veins, use a small lipstick brush and gently brush down from your lash line and create little lines. Think of it as if you are drawing the branches of a tree with little shoots coming off! I found it best to wipe off practically all the product and then draw the lines really faintly, building it up if needed. That way if you draw a bit of a dodgy vein, a cheeky little smudge and it's gone rather than needing a full on makeup remover episode!

I then used LA Girl Lipliner in Dark Plum all over my lip to create a base and Mac Rebel over the top. I felt a berry lipstick really complemented this look because of the burgundy tones around the eye but feel free to change it up. You can always take it to the next level and use a dark blue or black lipstick if you fancy it!

For the finishing touches, add some bite marks! Make two small circles on your neck with the burgundy shade and add a little black dot in the center to give it some depth. If you have some fake blood to hand, dot a little of it into the bite marks and add a little around your mouth for some extra authenticity! 

I'd actually bought some but it was a really bright red that frankly looked rubbish! So I actually used LA Girl Lip Paint in Tempt for my fake blood which I think turned out pretty well. If you have the same predicament as me, try and dig out a dark purple lipgloss or liquid lipstick if you have one and again, add a few products together if you don't have the right colour initially!

I hope you like this version of a vampire look! If you give it a go, please do tell me in the comments, I'd love to see how it turned out!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Comic Book Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #2

With Halloween close by, I am spending this week coming up with a selection of easy makeup looks that you can create using pretty much just standard makeup bag items! 

Today, I am going to show you a super quick comic book transformation! All this look requires is a liquid or kohl eyeliner, red lipstick, foundation and some white cream makeup. At the moment you can pick up white cream makeup in pretty much any shop in the Halloween section but if you are seriously pressed for time, a cream based white eyeshadow will do the trick!

So first, pale yourself up! If you have the white cream makeup to hand, mix that in with a little foundation to make it paler than normal and then apply all over your face, neck and any other areas that will be exposed. If you don't have any cream makeup, after applying your foundation or BB cream of choice, lightly apply a white eyeshadow all over your face. Just for giggles, here is me looking extra pale...lovely.

Next, it's time to transform your features into over exaggerated goodness. If you have a liquid eyeliner in a felt tip pen form, that will be the easiest to use for this step but any kind will work. For your eyebrows, it's basically time to do all of the things you are always told not to do because we are going to over draw them big time. Think straight lines and block colour. 

Once that's done, draw a winged eyeliner, darken up the waterline and layer on some mascara. If you have a reliable (aka non smudgey) eyeliner to hand, also draw a line following the crease of your eye. Draw the line just above the actual crease itself to really make your eyes pop. If you are prone to oily eyelids or you know your eyeliner tends to smudge, it's best to skip this step else you'll end up looking reminiscent of a comic book panda.

Then lightly outline the curve of your nostrils and add a faint line down the center of your nose. Ok I'm not going to lie to you, at this point you will look and probably feel utterly ridiculous. I didn't even attempt to get a half decent picture of this stage because honestly, it's scary stuff...and no I have no idea why my hair decided to resemble a birds nest at this moment...

Now it's time to work on the lips. Make sure your lips are nicely hydrated so you can get a smooth finish and pop on a bright red lipstick. Stay away from matte lipsticks for this look as it's all about the gloss in comic books! Next, carefully outline your lips with your eyeliner, slightly overdrawing to give that plump effect. Use a small amount of cream makeup to make a little half crescent on your lips as if they were reflecting the light.

Again take your eyeliner and draw a black outline around your entire face, following along your jaw line and just under your chin. Bonus of this part is that you can create yourself a killer jawline! Also draw in a few tendons on your neck and your collar bone just to make them stand out a little more.

To finish off, add in your comic book dots! With this it's best to use the cream makeup but again a pale cream eyeshadow will work. To get perfect dots, use the end of a makeup brush! Go as wild as you like with these, there are no rules! I went for a fairly limited amount but if you want to do a whole face full, there is nothing stopping you. I also added in a little crescent shaped line between my eyebrows at this point to make my character look a little bit sad. Feel free to add your own finishing touches such as adding in a few tears under the eyes or even adding some stick on jewels over your dots if you want to glam it up!

That's all there is to it! Would you give this look a go? Let me know if you do!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Galaxy Makeup Tutorial - Simple Halloween Makeup #1

With Halloween just around the corner, youtube and blogs alike are filling up with some amazing and seriously creepy makeup creations. I love them all but I'll be honest, sometimes I like to come up with a look that doesn't frighten me when I catch a glimpse in the mirror! Plus, I thought it might be a good idea to come up with some looks that you can create with items that you probably already have to hand for those last minute Halloween emergencies!

The look I have created for this post was so simple to put together and required nothing more than a couple of eyeshadows and some silver eyeliner! Even if you don't have a silver eyeliner on hand, you can mix a silver eyeshadow with something like Mac Fix+ or even a little bit of moisturiser.

What I loved about this look is how simple it was to put together and yet it was pretty effective! For starters, use a primer and your normal foundation to create a uniform base. I then used my urban decay eyeshadow primer to help keep the makeup in place and to make the colours pop. Next I layered on white eyeshadow pretty much all over the top half of my face. Now on to the fun part! If you want to give this look a try, take a blue eyeshadow and start creating a swirling pattern across your face. There are no rules here so literally just start making some shapes until you are happy. This will serve as the starting point for your pattern but you can always add in a little more later if you feel like you're missing something. The only thing I would say is try not to be too symmetrical. Here is what I started out with!

Next you'll want to start building up the pattern! Start by taking a black eyeshadow and with a light touch, start adding in black along the blue pattern. You don't need to follow every blue line exactly, just add in darker areas throughout the swirls. You'll then want to do the same with a purple eyeshadow and lastly add pink with a lighter touch in just a few areas. If needed, add in a little more white just to make the colours stand out a bit more.

To finish off the look, you need to add in the stars! Using a silver eyeliner, start adding little dots across the darker areas in a flowing pattern. As with the initial colour, try to give it a fairly random pattern until you are happy. At this point I also added in some eyeliner along my water line and upper lash line and then filled in my eyebrows.

To finish off the look I chose a suitably bright lipstick as I felt that would work nicely with the swirling purples and blues! However I think you could easily go for a nude lip with all of the colour on the top half of your face or even make it a bit moody with a dark purple or berry lip.

So there we have it, a simple galaxy makeup look you can create using just a few standard makeup items! I think this would look great paired with a sequin dress or go for a super chic look with a classic LBD.

Would you give this look a go? What are you planning to dress up as this Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Bristol Cocktail Week - It's here!

On Tuesday evening last week I found myself not snuggled up in a slightly hibernation like state as I usually am on a work night. Instead I was in the mysterious and wonderful realm of The Milk Thistle*. Not only that, I was also surrounded by a group of supremely talented people....and some of the best cocktails I have ever had. Sounds pretty good right? 

The reason I found myself in this downright delightful and rather luxurious position all started with a lovely email from Tara of The Style Rawr (if you haven't checked it out before, get on it!). In her day job, she is currently working with Visit Bristol to promote the fabulous Bristol Cocktail Week and was arranging a blogger masterclass to get a sneak peek before the events all kicked off! Being a lover of all things cocktail, I absolutely jumped at the chance.

Before we even talk about the evening, we have to talk about The Milk Thistle because honestly it is an absolute wonder in itself. Hidden in plain sight, the realm of sophisticated imbibery is situated right in the center of Bristol behind a big black door. Marked with nothing more than a thistle, you will not find anything obvious to let you know you are in the right place until the door opens. But once inside, you will find a veritable dreamhouse of gorgeous artifacts, chesterfield sofas and a distinct air of opulence. Spread across four floors, each offering a slightly different feel, it is certainly the perfect place to relax and enjoy a seriously delicious tipple. If you are a Bristolian who hasn't been here already, consider it on your to do list. If you are a visitor to this fine land, insist to anyone that will listen that you must take a moment to investigate what lies behind the mysterious black door.

Now onto the evening itself! Despite being really excited, I will admit to being a nervous wreck. I almost nearly wimped out at the thought of coming face to face with some of the people who actually inspired me to be a blogger in the first place. But I talked myself into being a grown up and threw myself into the situation. Complete with nerves, probably at times inappropriate comments and my feel good lipstick, I threw myself into it and I survived! In fact, I had a truly marvellous evening...sounds rather Mary Poppins's esque but what the hell, it's true.

Upon arriving we were greeted by the wonderfully enthusiastic Danny Walker of Psychopomp Distillery with a raspberry and gin collins. He gave us a fabulous insight into the world of cocktails along with some fantastic tasting opportunities. I avidly wrote down notes throughout the session to make sure I could remember all of his hints and tips. Suffice to say when I am next stood in front of my parents' formidable liquor cupboard, I will know exactly what I'm doing (in theory anyway!).

I must admit, it completely changed my view of cocktails. Usually upon deciding cocktails are a great idea, I am that person who stands in front of the spirit aisle and looks for the cheapest thing going. Because after all, it's just going to be mixed in right? I can practically see Danny shaking his head in horror while writing this because that my friends is the biggest schoolboy error of cocktail making. Cocktails are a sum of their parts...or in other words, you cannot add burn the roof of your mouth off, paint stripping level vodka to that old carton of orange juice you found at the back of your fridge and expect magic. No no guys... In fact, one valuable lesson I took away from this session was that if you buy half of the juices / syrups you normally buy and instead invest in some really great base spirits, it makes a previously "average" cocktail into something truly spectacular.

The other common alcoholic faux pas lies in punch making. You know, that stuff where you grab the biggest container possible and pour in whatever happens to be at hand? The same stuff that often happens to get more and more like pure alcohol throughout the night as several party goers decide to add their own flavour to the mix...I thought that was just how punch is. Apart from my mum's punch (because obviously mums can do everything), I literally always saw it more as a means to an end than something one would truly enjoy drinking. But no longer will we have to suffer bad punch because Danny shared the secret to getting the balance just right:

1 part sour, 2 parts sweet, 3 parts strong, 4 parts weak – and some spice to make it nice!

Just to prove his point, he started throwing together a tequila punch. At which a number of people groaned..urgh not tequila...quite understandably really as it's not generally a spirit that one considers outside of stumbling, salt licking, lemon sucking experiences. And yet, what was created was nothing short of spectacular. Everyone praised it despite many comments of "I usually hate tequila" to which Danny quipped "everyone secretly likes tequila, you just have to find how".

It certainly encouraged me to think of cocktails more as a science than a haphazard culmination of odd ingredients and I definitely came away with a new found respect for the bartenders of Bristol. I suspect the next time I get a tad tipsy and decide it's the perfect time to make a new creation the words "but it's for Science!" will be yeah...prepare yourselves my wonderful chums.

If you would like to get involved in some of the frivolity, the time is now! In it's 5th year, Bristol Cocktail Week isn't a new thing by any means, but this year is going to be bigger and better than ever. It's going to be an amazing culmination of boozey brilliance ran by a group of volunteers in order to showcase the very talented individuals behind the bar. Taking place from the 19th to the 25th October, it offers more than 20 scheduled events with everything from craft gin tasting experiences and cocktail safaris to a masked ball and an all out bar war! If you consider yourself to be a rather discerning drinker, Bristol is the place to be this week.

You can purchase a wristband here which will provide you with free entry for all non-ticketed events as well as a cheeky £10 off of ticketed sessions. Not bad at all! If you prefer roaming wild through the bars of Bristol, having a wristband will also allow you to get a discount on special Bristol Cocktail Week drinks in certain establishments throughout the city. So go on boys and girls, make the most of this week of glorious alcoholic adventure!...Because after all, diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but cocktails are EVERYONE'S best friend.

*This experience was a PR event and was therefore at no expense to myself. However it truly was jolly well good and I will be personally taking part in some of the events this week with pennies from my own pocket. 
** The images in this post are all my own except the third and fourth which are official images kindly provided by The Milk Thistle.
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