Sunday, 6 January 2013

12 of 2012

...Better late than never? Apologies for my longer-than-planned break, and the belatedness of this "best of 2012" year in review post; I'm looking forward to catching up with all of your picks (and other blog posts, and comments) soon.

My Favourite (New) Things: 2012
(I've excluded any new shades in formulas I was already familiar with -- as I'm much more texturally picky this helped focus my selection from a pretty good year for makeup discoveries.)

Shu Uemura Brightening UV Underbase Mousse SPF30 A moisturising, texture- and colour-correcting primer to knock out both sallowness and redness at once, and vanish pores, without leaving skin too ashy-cool or matte; effective enough that I can usually skip foundation afterwards.

Suki CC Cream 02 Whitening I still enjoy the ritual of applying foundation, even (maybe especially) when it isn't a necessity, and a tiny drop or two of this pigmented lavender-tinted bargain (about £2 at Sasa) lightens and neutralises most of the 'palest' shades on the market to actually match my skin, without impairing their formulas.

Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation 90 (more) Any foundation that matches me out of the box [okay, it's a shade dark now in the depths of winter, but nothing a dab of Suki can't solve] is a noteworthy discovery; factor in a creamy, clean-ingredients-filled formula, a skinlike finish and a small company with decent ethics to support and we have a favourite for this year, and no doubt many to come.

Burberry Sheer Touch Concealer 01 (more) The best texture I've ever encountered in a concealer, and the perfect pink tones in a shade darker than my skin to knock back my blue/green circles without making my face look unnaturally flat. One click suffices so this tube has been going strong since May, with daily use. (Honourable mention goes to Korres Materia Herba Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream (reviewed here, with my other skincare discoveries of 2012), without which this click-pen wouldn't provide sufficient coverage.)

Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Gloss Typical of RBR, to nail a product I'd been craving for years: a truly glossy (no glitter or iridescent sheen), absolutely un-sticky highlighter, versatile enough to use under, over or mixed with powders on the lid, or elsewhere on the face. Stands on its own in minimalist looks too.

L'Oreal Telescopic False Lash Waterproof Mascara (worn here and here) Every bit as good as the Fasio mascara I reviewed earlier this year, but available locally, and currently on BOGOF at Boots. Made in Italy, but with the gimmicky wand and separate-remover-needed apocalypse-proof formula more usually found in Japanese brands.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend Brush (review) Excellent balanced goat-hair crease/blending brush, made by Hakuhodo.

Most of the colour products I've already reviewed:
Dolce&Gabbana Sole blush (here) and Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait M25 Colère (here) are both great examples of bright, clear reds with enough corally warmth to counteract my naturally cool pink cheeks and mauve lips, in faultless formulas.
THREE Flash Performance Eyeliner 05 Eye Rock (here) is the best black liner I can imagine, and I've professed my love for the Shu Uemura Karl Lagerfeld Prestigious Bordeaux Palette so frequently and recently that surely no more need be said.

Kiko Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 04 Golden Chocolate, which in short is another By-Terry-Ombre-Blackstar-a-like, and even cheaper than the Topshop version -- review now up, worn here.

Scent of the Year: L'Artisan Seville À L'Aube
I've helpfully drawn your attention to the reason for my purchase....
Totally cheating, since this is the only unplanned fragrance purchase I made this year. But I don't like playing favourites with my pretties anyway -- it feels like....playing favourites. I reach for lush white florals to chase away winter blues and this one is a particularly gorgeous rendition: bright orange-blossom and honeyed jasmine, delicately edged in incense, the sweetness cut with subtlest lavender and lifted by sparkling pink pepper -- bottled sunlight.

PS If any of you remember my resolution last January to buy only twelve new products in the year (discounting replacements and staples) and was expecting this post to wrap that up -- in conclusion, big fat fail. Of the eight products I bought before nixing the plan, I've kept two, only one of which (D&G Sole) made it onto this list of favourites (the other was RBR Calypso eye pencil), which is actually worse than my usual impulsive/unplanned hit-rate. [Overall my collection has shrunk -- of which more in a future post -- but I don't think the 12-12 project deserves any credit for that.]
For the last few months of 2012 I've had more success employing a one-in-one-out system of replacement buying, with no 'free' purchases, and will be continuing with that plan in 2013.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Past Imperfect

This post was inspired by Mary Greenwell's refreshingly relaxed approach (hosted here by Lisa Eldridge) -- passionate ease sounds vaguely seedy, but it's the best my lurgy-fighting brain can come up with right now. Anyway, scroll down (we're going back in time so BYO woo-woo sound effects) for a couple of looks which for various reasons I didn't think turned out polished enough to blog. Which is ridiculous, because this blog has never been about polish or slickness -- in fact, not to get too wanky about it, I like blogging most fundamentally for its unprofessionalism, if not even anti-professionalism. Blah blah etymology of amateur rinse repeat blah.

1. This probably shouldn't have seen the light of day for very good reasons... working from home does strange things to one. Among them Utena hairs (from Wonderland Wigs):
Eyes: Collection [née Collection 2000] Glam Crystals liner in Pow! against neutrals from Chanel Stupendous quad  | Blush: RBR Delicata | Lip: Armani Lip Maestro 503

2. Bérénice Marlohe's budding signature look (see The Non Blonde's post) really appeals to me for the way it plays up her hooded eyes which fold down at the inner corner, just like mine :D It's a great example of anti-corrective makeup. For the current conventional wisdom on how to 'flatter' this eyeshape, Lisa Eldrige has a good video.

This happened during Fyrinnae Week, so I used some of their neutrals to take off this look, which was the cleanest rendition of the shape I could find:

Shinrikou (a cool, pale gold), Sake & Sashimi (a rich neutral brown with green, blue, gold and red shimmer), and Knickers in a Twist (silvery taupe satin base with warmer bronze shimmer).

In mah fabulous bathroom lighting :P

Least colour-accurate but gives best idea of the darkness under the lower lashline:
Mascara: Max Factor False Lash Effect 24Hour |  Blush: RBR Delicata | Lips: balm.

From Before I Chopped My Hairs Off
3. Black and gold, inspired by the gif wot colonised the makeup internets last year:
Ginta Lapina at Jason Wu Fall 2011
I was too lazy to concoct the midnight blue that makes this look so effective so simply used plain black Shiseido Caviar Shimmering Cream Eye Colour and Barry M Dazzle Dust 101 Buff.

Chapped lips and even dodgier pics:
Waterline: GOSH white kohl | Lips: Korres Jasmine Lip Butter

4. Graphic powder, pinspired by this, which is actually quite similar to the Bérénice Marlohe, but more precise and conventional:
ad for Agate Adorned
Eyes: KATE BK-1 gel liner, GOSH white kohl, 
Catrice Hip Hop on the Tree Top and The Noble Knights, no mascara 
Lips: Korres Jasmine Lip Butter

Some wooly victims of this recent spate of pernicious perfectionism....
Remember the cropped cardigan I wasn't happy with? It's now an ex-garment.

And I am currently in the process of cannibalising Peabody v1.0 to make Peabody v2.0 'the version that actually fits!'
As you see, literally knitting off the corpse of the last one. Just finished the entire body again and had the whole of the ribbing section left over, because this is what happens when you skim an 'easy' pattern, accidentally cast on three sizes too big, and wing the rest because you're so clever like that.

Fellow serial-rippers may find this recent TechKnitting post on recycling yarn useful; I can definitely vouch for it.

Finally, a confession: I fell off the dress wagon at a recent Erdem sample sale:

Please redeem me with styling suggestions? So I can commence wearing this with embarrassing frequency thus making it, like, totally free and stuff?

Or make me feel better by sharing your own recent imperfections! :D I know Mary Greenwell's vids have been a hit on makeupalley; have you been inspired, too? Or do you prefer a more studied approach?