About Emily Kissock

Emily is a freelance make-up artist, writer and model. She loves to write about fashion, make-up, being an agony aunt and writing about various high concept topics and interests. Emily loves nothing more than to write from the heart and to be genuine with each piece.

Lip Balm

This week’s article is a little shorter and sweeter than the others, but it is important nevertheless. Last time I spoke about lip glosses but I feel like I needed to mention the all-important product to use on those magnificent pouty facial features… lip balm!

Lip balm comes in varieties of a gloss form, squeezy tube or the most common – the pot! Lip balms are designed to keep the lips smoother and crack-free with products ranging from gloss-balm hybrids to emollient lip balms.

I would always steer everyone to use the natural lip balms (made from natural ingredients or mostly natural ingredients) simply because of its purpose, it’s meant to be a care product to the lips and not a heavy-shine, glittery product. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those hybrids but if you want to care for your lips then make sure you use a product that’s going to nourish them and keep them hydrated rather than strip them of their goodness.

When applying products to your lips you usually have the option of an applicator or your fingers. Both are going to an area of the face that will be higher in bacteria so make sure you have clean hands and keep an eye on the applicator – if it’s a stick applicator it might contaminate the rest of the product so try to apply as hygienically as possible!

If you suffer with painful cracked lips then avoid lip gloss-balms if you can as these will just make the issue worse. Try to keep to using natural lip care products.

If you have flakey lips then please exfoliate them. You can do this lightly with a toothbrush and make sure to apply balm afterwards to protect the top layer and almost mattifying the skin.

The weather can affect your lips greatly so pay attention to the changes and you may solve any issues you might have or are having. Also lack of nutrients or fluid in your system can cause the white line around the lips so take care of yourselves and keep those smackers nice, smooth and fresh.

They are a product that I really do need to use more of. I tend to use them a lot for a few days/weeks and then forget about it! However I don’t get insanely cracked, painful lips but I do get that annoying white line on the inner part of my lips (usually a sign of dehydration, so perhaps it’s drinking more water for me!)

Images reproduced from askafashionmodel.com, skintasticbeauty.co.uk and fabulousonabudget.com

Beauty Tips for Shaping Eyebrows

The eyebrows are what frame the face and to shape them ‘correctly’ gives your face a little more pizazz, I am a huge lover of shaping eyebrows and filling them in and a firm believer of doing your own thing, so if you want Gothic mehndi style eyebrows or ‘scouse brows then go for it, I’m here to talk you through the products that are available to experiment with those brows!

First of all when it comes to shaping them you need to pluck them first, remove make-up and pop witch hazel on and wipe off to remove any oils and the plucking can almost begin, if you want the best from your natural shape then place the tweezers in a straight line aligned with the side of the nose, mark where it is on the brow (side of the tweezer that is closest to the brow) and that’s where they should start, then angle the tweezers in a 45 degree angle with the end positioned still against the nose, that is where the brow should stop, and then for the arch of the brow angle the tweezers or pencil another 45 degrees between the last angle, that is where the arch should start. You can also highlight the shape you want by using a white eyeliner as a guide, so you know where to pluck/thread. If you prefer to wax the lot off and draw them in then use that same method, or if you want avant-garde brows then experiment away.

Some people opt to have eye brows the same colour as their hair and seeing as brow pencils only come in natural colours it leaves the un-natural colours to use a replacement, that can be eye-shadow or eye-liner, when using eye-shadow you make it damp so it applies easier and doesn’t create a fall-out all around the eye brow area, you basically have more control over it when it’s damp, pencil eye-liners have a tendency to not be as long lasting as the eye-shadow technique and rub off a lot easier and have a slightly shiny appearance – try to set the pencil eye liner with powder if you have no eyebrow hairs and have solely used pencil.

Eyebrow pencils come in natural shades, there’s most variety in these kinds to suit natural tones, easiest application out of them all just sharpen and apply, when applying you apply from the bottom of the eyebrow and flick up gently for a less harsh block-brow look, making the pencil brows last longer and harder to smudge, apply a clear mascara over the top.

Eyebrow powder is a lot like the eye shadow, but it’s usually formulated to be water resistant and smudge proof, comes in a wide variety of natural colours and able to mix and match to your desired coloured a lot easier. The Urban Decay powder comes with a brow wax to hold the brows in place.

Eyebrow gel is a longer lasting than the pencil, it ‘stains’ the skin more and doesn’t rub off as much onto clothes or smudge easily, these are possibly the most expensive product for filling in and shaping eyebrows, and the downside is that they come in a smaller variety of colours, often sold in trios available in blonde, brunette and auburn. When applying with gel or shadow you use a firm angled short-haired brush, and apply on the underneath of the eyebrow and flick up for a hair look-a-like application and a natural finish, it is optional to use clear mascara over all types of these products but it does help a lot.

Images reproduced from hairremoval.about.com, amazonaws.com, candlelightmist.blogspot.co.uk and media.zenfs.com

Lip Primers

Gwen Stefani and her coveted red lipstick

This week I will be looking at lip primers which do the same as face and eye primers. They are designed to keep colour on for longer and making colours a little more vivid. I will also go into how to make your lips appear bigger and enhance their natural shape.

To enhance the natural shape of your lips there are a few easy techniques to follow before you make a knee-jerk reaction to get botox or fillers.

Lip primers either come in liquid form or solid like a lipstick. They really need to be moisturising for the lips which is why those kinds are more successful and popular with lip primers. Application is applying a small amount to the lips and making sure it has been fully blended out, sometimes lip primers are a nude colour and the application on the lips can give a pale effect, it’s just creating a base for the colour, most are colourless on application – but is for your information. A primer would go on just before you put lip liner & lipstick/gloss on. There are a variety of things you can do to enhance your lips just before you apply the primer.

Different Lip Primers on the market

Lip plumpers can be fabulous but I feel if you were to apply everyday you would build a natural tolerance to the sensation on the lips they give, which could make you think that it’s not working as well anymore, so for best results try not to apply it daily and stick to it being between special occasions or just use it now and again. Mint is a common ingredient in plumpers giving them a minty scent. Lip plumpers get the blood ‘rushing’ to the lips which gives off that pouty plump look. The texture of lip plumpers is often a thick liquid consistency.

Lip Plumper

Another tip to help smooth out the lips and prepare them for a lip plumper would be exfoliating. Please consider if you do this daily it may cause dry, cracked lips. Exfoliate when needed as this will get rid of the dead skin cells and the exfoliating beads will improve blood circulation to the lips, creating a slight plumping effect itself.

Lip Scrub by Sara Happ

Highlighting is a great effect that will make a difference. Applying and blending concealer out around the lip-line brings out the lips and gives an illusion of making them bigger. It’s a small and very easy tip, remember to line your lips with a lip-liner if you can as a little extra make-up around the lips might make your choice of lipstick bleed. Another tip – using white eyeliner does not work in this case, I have tried and it is not cute that’s for sure!

Lip liner is a product for delicate hands. What colour you use is up to you, keep it on the lip line especially after highlighting around the lips as this will create a very defined look and enhance the natural shape of your lips. Feathering the colour into the lip from the line will help blend the colour of your lipstick and have a more seamless effect. If you’re using similar lip colours, I wouldn’t advise you to do that for dark brown lip liner and a pale lipstick.

Blistex

Matte lip colours do look beautiful in red but they can sometimes make you look dehyrated or have a chalky appearance. Adding a tiny bit of a natural lip balm can blend the lip colour where it’s needed to stop the chalky look. Glosses made from natural ingredients or SPF like Blistex are the best choice because of their qualities. Sometimes gloss is used as another layer of colour and that can really make the lipstick come off after a short period of time. Lipcote, and other products like it, do a good job of keeping lip colour on for longer but it makes the colour bleed very easily so try to use minimal amounts.

Glitter glosses can enhance the appearance of cracks in the lips and they are a hard one to pull off at the best of times. For best results, use these glosses on smooth, plump lips. If you have dry or mature skinned lips, place a lip plumper on before using glitter glosses. Primers do have a tendency to help moisturising lipsticks last longer.

Images reproduced from fashionstylebeauty.com, strictlyesthetics.ca, jaleesajaikaran.com, bellasugar.com, makeupconnection.com, product.madeinchina.com, lipexfoliator.net and eyecandybeauty.blogspot.co.uk

Get Cheeky With Blusher

Blusher is a less is more product, main use to give your face a bit more life and a fresher appearance, if you over-do it you will look like you’ve rolled around in your make-up bag.

You can get a variety of finishes and types of blush, from powder to cream – don’t forget to keep that blusher brush clean as you’re going over the same part of your face (possibly daily) and if you wonder why your skin breaks out it could be a need to clean your blusher brush.

You can apply blush and bronzer, mainly powder with a simple angled brush, preferably sized between a big eyeshadow brush and a powder brush, the angled brush can give you a great contoured effect on the cheek-bone because it is angled slightly and you really blend out the product neater and apply it better, I would say that an angled brush is perfect for highlighting and shading the face – you can apply down the sides of the nose, forehead, chin and cheekbones to give that (forgive me as I know it sounds ridiculous) ‘dimensional’ look.

Bronzer usually goes all over the face for a sun-kissed look, and blush is kept on the cheek-bone or apples of cheek, depending on face-shape – or your preference. Bronzer mainly comes in a shimmer finish, contouring powder comes in matte (so it doesn’t attract the light, making features thinner) and blushers come in shimmer, matte, glitter and finish, I personally think glitter blush should be kept for fun events as the glitter specs look like enlarged pores, matte blush can sometimes look chalky but can look really natural too, darker skins should make sure there’s no chalk in it so it doesn’t give a dull look on application, shimmer suits pretty much all skins – gives a glow too, powder blush comes in a wide variety of colours, from neon to the palest peach.

You can get blush in the form of a cheek-stain, these ‘stains’ are a great product they give long-lasting colour – I guess hence the name, ‘stain’, usually in blood red and shocking pink – the colour should dilute a lot when applied on the skin and definitely use sparingly! Gently apply and blend with the ring finger, try to avoid touching your face repeatedly with the applicator in the bottle, the stain works very fast so please make sure to give it a test-run if you’re new to the product. Stains usually are just applied on the apples of the cheeks. This applies really well on normal, combination and mature skins.

Creme blushers are like the happy medium between a stain and powder, it’s easier to apply than a stain but isn’t as easy to apply than a powder, this is also great for a dewy complexion and really only on the apples of the cheeks, you can slightly extend up the cheek-bone – more-so than with a stain, mainly because you have more control over application. Colours come in a slightly wider variety than the stain, and more to suit darker skin tones too, these apply really well to mature or dry skin because it’s more of an emollient than a powder blush that may go chalky.

Highlighters come in powder, liquid and creme form, and possibly other new forms I am unaware of, however, these are the ones I have used – my favorite to use is a creamy liquid, these types give the best dewy glow and fresh appearance – best applied on the cheek-bone and brow-bone. Powder high-light comes in matte and shimmer – best for the brow-bone, I would say matte highlight is best in theatre/stage conditions for areas like the cheek-bone as it’s not the most natural for day looks. Highlight usually has flesh-tone colours mixed with the ‘white’ because it comes across a lot more natural than bright white applied onto the skin.

I want to keep this as rule-free as possible and let you have a play about with the different types available, I mix and match mainly between powder blush and contouring but I do love to use stains and creme blushers, I just can’t use these kinds daily because the product builds up on my skin and just can’t ‘handle’ a daily application.

Image reproduced from avonteens.com

Primers: Is Your Face in It’s Prime?

Firstly – welcome to my first beauty post!

I will be posting weekly tips, tutorials and advice on things to do with beauty – topics that fall into that are make-up, hair and miscellaneous beauty products! Reader input is always welcome, be it questions, opinions etc, anyway, I digress and shall get on with this week’s post!

So, here we are, almost summer and the weather is hotting up, and you know what that means… sweat! Rather than having to touch up your make-up countless times in the day that it becomes the OCD of the season, you can try using primers – I know, these are one of the Marmite products in the make-up world, and I’m going to type-talk you through face primers today.

For those unaware what a primer is, it’s a make-up product designed to keep foundation on for longer by being a base for the foundation, smoothing the appearance of the skin and filling in fine lines.

There are many questions about whether these products are actually beneficial to keep foundation on for longer. If you’re one of the people that are worried it will cause break-outs, clog pores or sit heavy on the face – the real answer to this would be to assess the factors that affect your skin – everyone is different, common factors to think about are your skin type (are you oily or dry?) and your location – the skin is different if you live in the country as opposed to a very busy city.

There are a variety of primers out there for different skin types. When introducing a new product to your routine it can throw your skin off balance because for the first 2 weeks the skin trys to get accustomed to the new product – we’re talking about very small changes. However,  if you go bright red, itchy and sore on the first application, I don’t think you need telling twice to put the product down, step away and get yourself a cold compress!

Smashbox Primers

Primers cost between £7 to in excess of £30 and finding the right one for you can be expensive if not done properly, so here are a few tips for the various skin types. Mature skin suits gel primers more than liquid, it’s smoother and applies better to this type of skin. Dry skin (with exfoliating and moisturising depending on how dry you are) would also benefit with gel primers because dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) is a silicon based polymer found in gel primers that does wonders for smoothing the skin and makes gel primers a little more gentle on the skin as opposed to liquid ones. For areas that have a rougher skin texture, gel primers could help a smoother application of foundation with less irritation. Smashbox do a wide range of primers aimed at covering most skin types.

GOSH Gel Primer

Dimethicone can also be found in other non-primer products such as anti-chaffing gels. The Monistat anti-chaffing gel was creating waves on the primer scene a couple of years ago and, when compared to gel primers like the ones from Smashbox, was a third of the cost! Whether Monistat was a surprising multi-purpose cosmetic or a placebo due to price I shall leave up to you to decide.

Monistat Anti-Chaffing Gel

Oily and acne prone skin would better suit liquid and oil free based primers. Oil free primers in liquid form settle better on oily skin rather than gel primers which can sometimes add to the shine and make-up feels like it’s sliding off. I would advise those with acne prone and sensitive skins to also go for natural, perfume-free and oil-free primers so you don’t irritate the skin. NYX HD liquid primer is a US brand similar to GOSH and MAC and available to purchase online in the UK.

NYX HD Liquid Primer

As for myself, I fall into the combination dry/oily skin type. I do use a primer when I am going out to special occasions and/or gigs but sometimes I do not use a primer on days when I’m short of time and obviously I wouldn’t use a primer on days when I do not wear make-up. If the weather is really hot or wet, I will always wear a primer as it works wonderfully to make my foundation last longer and it helps make my skin look flawless.

On the whole primers are a great investment if you love to have that flawless look everyday or even just on special occasions. Primers – like all other make-up - are not gender specific. Both men and women can use them.

What are your opinions on primers? Do you wear them daily? Do you think they are a go-to beauty product? I’d love to hear about your experiences – good or bad!

Eyeliners

Mariska Veres wearing eyeliner to great effect

Eyeliners are one of those products that can complete or completely ruin a make-up look. They are available in such a wide range of types and styles – it’s a product worth experimenting with, anyone can wear them, I would say the only market not suited for them would be children.

Glitter eyeliners usually come in ‘different colours’ – this is actually what fools a lot of people, the base of most glitter liners is actually clear and the glitter has the pigment. What gives you the best colour pay off would be to apply it over a coloured eyeliner or eyeshadow and layer the product if you can. Urban Decay did make great thick glitter liners, however, they now test on animals so I’m on a new product search. Barry M also do great glitter eyeliners – the glitter is smaller in their tubes.

Urban Decay Glitter Eyeliners

Colour liquid liners are a fun, funky and fab product. They can be used to make the eyes pop or really going OTT. Usually the consistency is a thick liquid and is often quite difficult to remove – which is great in terms of staying power but if you make a mistake it might mess up your look, so keep the eyes closed for a few minutes after application so it doesn’t print on the eye lid.

Liquid eyeliners for ‘everyday’ use (black or brown) are made by possibly every make-up company out there and must be one of the most used make-up products ever! The brushes can range from foam tip to a brush but the best kind to use for most control would be a firm short foam tip or brush simply because with a longer brush you don’t have the same amount of control and it’s more likely for the brush to go all over the place.

Kohl pencil eyeliners (also known as Kajal) have a little longer staying power than the average black eyeliners. Some people in the Western world have concerns about it because of its lead content but Kohl pencils in the UK do not contain lead. If you purchase a kajal pencil from overseas it might contain lead, I have some from Pakistan and they are absolutely fine for me. This type is used a lot by males, and is most popular in the East and usage dates back to 3100 BC when one of its uses were as a protectant – either from the sun or the ‘evil eye’, rather than as a cosmetic item.

Stila Smudge Pot Gel Eyeliner

Gel liners are a great product if you have a steady hand. You apply the gel eye liner with a very dense angled short-haired brush, this gives you the most control. They don’t yet come in every colour under the sun but this is the most ideal product for black eye liner as it lasts a very long time, doesn’t smudge easily and has more control on application, it is also a little easier to remove if you make a mistake as opposed to using a thick liquid black eyeliner. Also like the coloured liquid eyeliners, you should ideally leave your eye closed to wait for it to dry otherwise it will print and smudge, and it is always harder to remove those mistakes, and just saves time to allow it to dry.

Pencil eyeliners were once the popular choice. I remember being at school and the girls solely using pencil. These are great to line the rim of the eyes. Use white or a pale flesh tone to open the eyes and make them look bigger or use black for the smouldering smokey look. These are also available in a wide range of colours but I feel if you want the best colour pay-off and longer wear you should use the liquid ones and stick to using pencil liners for the common colours like black, white and greys as I think it’s better to invest in really good coloured liquid eye-liners. I personally find that pencil colours are not as strong and do not last even half as long as liquid colour eyeliner.

I use all kinds of eyeliners and love to experiment with each type however I mainly use the gel eyeliners at the moment because they really last a lot longer and I can do detailed flicks better with these kinds.

Images reproduced from galanisrock-diaries.blogspot.com, temptalia.com and shopchicks.com

Powder Power

Cosmetic powders are a classic item that has been in many a make-up collection for hundreds of years and through the years and with cosmetic science there’s now lots of different varieties available (and not containing lead anymore!) It is the cosmetic that can give you an over-all matte finish or a dewy glow. Some people can’t live without, some are indifferent and some don’t use it at all. The uses of powder are quite extensive, the main uses are to set foundation and concealer and mattify the skin and take away shine – a definite use in the media TV and film industry, other uses are cover-up, highlight, contour, dewy are just a few to name some of them. I have previously talked about highlighting and contouring so check my other articles out for that information.

Anyone can wear powder, unless you have an allergy to it, for darker skin the setting ‘translucent’ powder can look dull and ghostly on the skin I believe this is because of the clay ingredient in most white based translucent powders. Translucent powder is used to set make-up, it is applied over foundation and concealer to set the make-up, and also over creme blushers (applying over powder can make it hard to blend out and look cakey.) You can purchase mineral compact powders to give the face a healthy glow and a pearlescent look, the compacts are really beautiful as well as the effect it gives on application – if you apply this all over the face you may look very shiny so perhaps apply it where the light would naturally hit for that beautiful radiant glow.

Powders can also be used as a foundation, the options available in this variety are or creme-to-powder, heavy coverage and light coverage. The sheer cover range are probably the most popular for cover-up as a powder foundation, it’s use is to give the skin a flawless look and to hide any blemishes, popular with those that have scars or birthmarks, however, everyone can use this product and the form of this range is mainly loose powder. The other foundations that are compact ones are the creme-to-powder range, it is basically a creme foundation but has a powder finish. Foundations that are solely just powder give a light coverage, and a brush is needed to apply this type of foundation.

Take into consideration, if you steer clear of powders and powder foundations because it breaks you out, see what the factors affecting you other than the product itself, if the powder comes with a sponge applicator – you must clean it daily if you use it daily as the bacteria will absorb into the sponge and because it’s a sponge it’s even more prone to absorb and hold into it, so every time you re-apply with a dirty one it’s putting that bacteria back onto the face and back into the product. You can use a powder-puff, sponge or brush – just remember to keep your applicator of choice clean.

Image reproduced from makeupmole.com, beautifulmakeupsearch.com and cdn-ugc.cafemom.com

False Eyelashes: Fake It To Make It

False eyelashes is like clothing for the eyes it can enhance and widen the eyes so much, but if worn incorrectly or too many pairs will be extremely bold and a little OTT.

Strip eyelashes are the ones that are, well, the strip kind and these are the most commonly used false eyelash product, and surprisingly come in so many different varieties from natural to disco-fever, and when I say that I mean I own a few pairs of gold falsies! Always feel free to experiment and have a gander at what’s around, if you really look around – chances are you will find what you’re looking for. Prices of these can range from £1.99 – £10.00+ and my advice is if you’re looking for a standard natural pair, try looking at drug-store (Superdrug or Boots) brands (collection 2000 etc.) as they usually do their own and it’s a lot cheaper! Also look out for deals, usually you can collect bargains on eccentric styled lashes because they are harder to sell!

Individual lashes are more a product that’s used for weddings and special occasions, probably due to the time and effort to apply, not to mention that super strong adhesive you need! They are used loads by beauticians, and is one thing we trained with whilst doing beauty therapy. These come in the bog-standard naturals and vary in shape – small, medium and large so you can apply all around the eye effectively. These do give a much more of a natural look and are a closer alternative to eye-lash extensions.

Eyelash extensions are a cosmetic procedure made to last for a longer period of time than that of the other types, they can last up to months! They are a time-consuming process that must be applied by a professional, it is your choice where to get these procedures done but please take into consideration that one case went to a non-professional in a shopping centre and they used super-glue which almost blinded the client and they had to have their lashes cut off! Not ideal just before a wedding. The eye-lash extensions are a fabulous go-to for holidays or just if you want a break from all that curling and mascara applying, this is something I would love to try one-day as I think it looks stunning!

With false eyelashes, strip and individual, you can curl and I would advise you to apply mascara to blend the natural lashes with the false for a more natural look, clear, brown or black mascara is your choice for whatever type you have on! The lash adhesive available is also quite mixed, I love ones where you can apply to the lash with a tiny brush (remember to keep products like this clean and what your applying to clean) my reason for this is that’s the main style I’ve used for years and I like the control, the one I currently use a lot is the latex-free lash glue by DUO, it dries clear and also makes my life a lot easier if anyone was to have a latex-allergy! To test if you have one do a patch test on the bend of the arm or behind the ear and wait up to 24hrs, a reaction will usually be instant.

There are also lash glues in tube form and that’s the most common I find, just remember to squeeze the tube very lightly as it comes out quite quick! Some lash glues are black so match the eye-liner and to make application ‘easier’, I have not actually ever used this type but I hear it is effective. Try to avoid the little applicators that come with the eyelashes because they are a bit pants, sometimes they’re okay but it is easier for you to purchase a separate adhesive.

For individual lashes you usually use a stronger glue, this is so the tiny delicate few lashes will stay on better, this glue isn’t good to use for strip lashes, as it’s a strong glue in larger amounts will make the eyes water, and you don’t want to ruin that make-up! Remember if you get any in your eyes – remove immediately!

Image reproduced from capitalhairandbeauty.co.uk, gigibeauty.com, eyelashextensionshq.com and pauls-hair-world.co.uk

Pr-eye-mer: Eye Primers

This week’s edition is brought to you by those bare canvases around the eyes, known as the eye-lid, with a wonderful range of different types of make-up to make this area dazzle like disco balls or colours giving luminous neon lights competition, eye primer is a product to keep these products on longer, making brighter and giving dimension.

Like primers for the face eye primers come in different consistencies, there’s liquid, gel and mousse varieties and it is used as a base – applied before eye-shadow/liner and optional to apply concealer first before the base or just go ahead with the primer application.

Liquid primers I find are best to suit all types of skin and ages but it is ideal for dry eye-lids, mature skin and sensitive thin skin, the texture of this is usually creamy and thicker than what the liquid name would make you assume, it’s creamy texture makes it very easy to apply and to make sure to rub it in and keep eyes closed for a few seconds for it to settle into the skin (sometimes it can crease – simply rub and blend any crease lines out) any eye primer that’s the equivalent to fluid and very watery I would say is a no-go, chances are the product’s off or it’s just not going to be ‘strong’ enough as a base. The same attributes can be applied to cream primers, the only thing is that they are thicker so it depends on how smooth and creamy it is to how it will suit you, cream to powder ones I find go cakey quickly so try to find ones with a blend-able and creamy texture.

Thicker primers like mousse ones I find are a little harder to apply, you need to blend more and prolonged rubbing of the eye-lids just isn’t great, they also are more likely to make the eye-shadow/concealer or foundation to cake as it doesn’t settle as well into the skin and creates more of a layered effect. Thick cream primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion (before they changed the formulae & packaging) was great at doing its job of a base and improving the look of eye-shadows etc, but it was very hard to blend on the eye-lids, it would dry very quick on the lid and it went chalky in areas that weren’t blended as well or little parts that were unnoticeable until it dried (also the product itself would dry-out fast) hence eye-shadow being stronger in different places and if you’re precise with make-up it will annoy you, also the chalky appearance makes it a little harder for darker skin tones to use.

Primers can also just be worn alone and just used to conceal veins or improve the colour of skin around the eyes, but they can come in colours like white and black to enhance colours, white would be used more for making bright colours stand out more and black to be used for smoky looks and really making blacks, greys and any dark colour very dark and deep, a lot of mineral make-up companies do make the coloured primers and my first black primer was from ‘The She Space’ many moons ago, the only issue I have with coloured primers is that it can get heavy and is quite likely to crease after a long period of time, e.g. going out dancing will probably make it crease more as being more active makes you sweat more and this will obviously affect the make-up.

There’s a massive range of primers out there and I am sure there’s a few I’ve not come across yet, go out, have fun and experiment all you want with them to find what’s right for you. As for myself I use eye primers, I don’t use it daily as I don’t wear make-up every day the times I really make sure to use it is if I am going out and long social occasions, I’ve done my experiments with primers and I am sure I have the one for me right now and that’s a creamy liquid one and it does the job of making the shadow last longer and being more vivid and bold, even if I’m using nude tones. Whether or not you think this type of make-up product is useful or not it is worth an experiment with once and remember the skin around the eye is a very delicate place, it is its thinnest around the eyes and try to keep application of eye-primers using the ring finger – ideally, as this applies the least pressure.

Product Image reproduced from beautynomics.com, buy-her.com, community.sephora.com and mahyacosmetics.blogspot.co.uk. All other images courtesy of the author.

Emily’s Fashion Trends – Spring/Summer 2013

I think we can officially start moving on from the layers and winter clothing, albeit we’re in May now we can really have a bit of a trend-binge to make up for the lost weeks of strolling into spring. Before we sprint faster than Usain Bolt into summer trends it isn’t an ideal climate to be parading around in the bikinis just yet, but hey if you want to, then go for it.

ss13 SkirtTwo-tone, now I don’t know about you but I love my ska and own a plethora of monochrome garments and the mod checkerboard print has been a big fat check on the catwalks from the likes of Louis Vuitton and Roland Mouret taking a delightful twist with black and white colour patterns – wearable for top class nights out. Polka dot is also something to keep an eye out for, preferably white dots on deep blues, whilst it is popular at the moment you can take it down the 1990s grunge route ala Gwen Stefani or a big polka dot print circa 1940s/50s pin up.

ss13 suitFashion for men is anything but monochrome in terms of trends at the moment, whilst we all agree with Barney Stinson that the suit is always a great choice but a suit for spring/summer 2013 can be a delightful mix of quirky and preppy – your choice to do both at once, adding a pop to your suit with the addition of a retro or paisley print shirt, level of 1970s is optional with paisley prints, and now something so un-70s is the flat shoe-boot, to maintain that level of looking smart but tough have been clocked on the runway and is always a great addition to a gentleman’s wardrobe.

ss13 ShoeMonochrome often is the ‘boring’ choice but you can’t really go wrong as it’s super cheap and easy to reinvent items and it can be an open invitation to personalise your outfit of the day. With the invitation of monochrome back into wardrobes the 1960’s inspiration has followed suit, with the plus of using colours that weren’t as popular in the 1960’s giving a more modern twist on lush graphic prints on tight dresses – checks and psychedelic patterns – perfect to show off your figure, simple ‘random’ graphic stripes to vamp up an outfit and slightly mixing up with tribal prints to give a fresh new print style on clothing.

ss13 print shirtIt’s great to welcome more males on board for the tidy unusual, not the everyday print shirts – i.e. mini clouds – little patterns, the key here is to keep it small, compact and presentable, a fashionable take on fun. Speaking of fun fashion or fashion fun I’ve been seeing more men in bright jeans/trousers lately, not the neon nu-rave style but solid deep, fresh colours and if that’s not your bag opt for shorts, think on the lines of preppy again, pastel colours super suitable for those beach boys and team that up with some light denim, distressed or with a small graphic print and you have a day outfit that will take you right into the night.

ss13 fringe dressWhat’s fashion without the texture, like a meal, sometimes outfits just work when you mix up the textures of the fabrics, soft, fluffy jumpers have been on the radar for awhile and ideal timing because of the cold lately, these 1990’s jumpers are always another texture welcomed back on the runway was all the modern 1920’s fringed creations, using the fabric and even feathers, a perfect way to add movement to an outfit and create a showstopping look – including being seen on the accessories! No better time really for men as the perfect two-tone 1920s brogue as advertised by Johnston Murphy is a great choice for you gentlemen to welcome the summer, if you’re not into that try a nice tan leather (doesn’t have to be the real deal!) shoe.

Images reproduced from shoewawa.com, asos.co.uk, gq.com, houseoffraser.com and menvision.com

Trends for Autumn / Winter 2012

Dust off the hats, grab the gloves and mummify yourself with your scarf’s – here comes the cold! Now, I could state the obvious and simply say “wrap up” but we all know this! What’s under those layers needs to stir up this drab weather.

Now ladies, when I say to drab up and point you in the direction of grey nubby cardigans, don’t side-eye me, these are really taking over right now and each store/designer taking their own spin on them, for me one of my favourites is in Pull and Bear – a thin knit grey sweatshirt with a mixed-studded collar – it was love at first sight! We also have Lana Del Rey twisting up H&M and bringing some lovely 60’s revival into the spotlight from angora to chunky knit we certainly have no excuse in being cold this season.

Not much has changed in the last month regarding fashion, keep the brocade prints and leather textures in as these are still very much sought after, peplum tops and dresses are also still in the running over the next month, another style of dress slithering onto the rails is the sheath dress, favourably in form of a graphic print, these figure-hugging-snug dresses are one to keep an eye out on at the moment. The ankle boots are a real winner for our feet at the moment, and what better time really, keeping our ankles and feet nice and dry from the expected down-pours.

For the men this coming winter mixing up your casual get-up couldn’t be easier, go grab those woollen beanies as hats are completing a lot of the gentlemen’s fashion right now – you can opt for a simple one-colour to garish granny knits, either way make the most of enjoying keeping warm and being the fashionable dudes that you all are.

Button up shirts are always a hit and we are still seeing the use of rich luxurious colours spilling onto the fabrics, deep blues and fresh purples screaming regal, thin denim shirts are also a great choice especially for casual days and go great with most trouser bottoms, I’ve seen the double denim pulled off quite a lot this season, and not looking like a b*witched boy band tribute! (Nothing wrong with that though) Of course it wouldn’t be autumn without the lumberjack shirts! You can never go wrong with the ‘traditional’ red, teaming that up with smart or casual attire; it surprisingly goes with almost anything!

Shoes for both the ladies and gents the versatile shoe or trainer of the moment are the VANs era shoe, get them in the right colour for you and they will go with anything and pretty much any occasion, well worth the cost for such a great shoe!

Fashion Update: Autumn/Winter 2012

With fashion – it just gets better, what with Marc Jacobs rolling in with models on a Louis Vuitton train at Paris fashion week, it really sets what were in for this season!

For women the shapes of the clothing seen on the catwalk this season are still between athletic and cute small curves, a line skirts and skater skirts are the main skirts seen on the catwalk this season and enhancing the waist by bringing it in ever-so-slightly by using wide belts/cinchers and wearing fitted blazers and peplum tops. The peplum style is massively popular with designers this season from Elie Saab to Lanvin the style has been covered or replicated by most if not all designers this season. Gentlemen this season suiting up was all over the catwalk, beautiful suits ranging from textured suits to glitter suits, Mugler had a fabulous range for the gentlemen this season!

The prints gracing the ladies garments this season is a refreshing change, think deep Gothic colours with brocade prints like a luxurious wall-paper, jewelled garments such as wearing jewellery on the clothes and in the hair for a quirky new accessory the catwalk has definitely taken a regal approach this season, lots of golds and silver and yes, lurex! Lurex tights have been seen on the catwalk by Chanel and I couldn’t be happier to see them again! Colours popular this season are Purple, Vermilion, Black – Purple being a definite winner for men and ladies. Military accents are on long jackets and jump-suits are popular in militant colours such as Khaki and light browns, a look that will surely make you scream don’t-mess-with-me when strutting around the high street! We are not with-out the sheer-garments, finally mixing sheer fabrics to make shirts and jackets are suitable for all seasons! Yes, sheer garments even for men too.

The catwalk wasn’t without it’s textures for men and women – PVC and jewelled garments donned the catwalk heavily this season, PVC garments were more with darker colours and khakis and the jewelled garments featured a lot on the creamy pinks, satin and soft fabrics are in a lot of high-street retailers at the moment and if you don’t like to look bulky with the PU leathers and adore the wet-look, grab yourself a pair of satin trousers, they are thinner and a lot more comfortable! Hippy chic is also another strong theme this season, the muted tones mesh well with the military themes happening so it’s a mergable style in regards to that, the prints are very 1970’s including making it’s way onto the shoes!

Light platform heels have taken centre stage too, I’m not talking massive platform but in the style of creepers but applied to pumps and dolly shoes which give outfits a cute Harajuku look! Other shoes to keep an eye out for is, and I take a deep breathe because these are my favourite shoes, platform Mary Jane shoes, actually Mary Janes feature a lot not just in terms of platform heels. Accessories to suit the military theme are the wonderful long gloves, these beauties bring a nice edge this season, team that up with a beautiful cape and you will look elegant and edgy! The men this season were also in brocade capes and textured fabrics Cuffs and collars are also a great way to change up the usual bracelet/necklace routine! Shoes for men are classic black smart shoes, one pair I saw were glittery and I adore these! Gents should opt for a pair of Matrix-esque glasses, these solid black glasses bring a touch of mystery to an outfit.

Image reproduced from vogue.co.uk<

Hot Fashion Trends for Summer 2012

City Connect welcomes Emily Kissock as our latest Features Writer on Beauty and Fashion. In her first article, Emily – an experienced make-up artist, model and fashion writer – takes a look at the hot trends this coming season and shares some key style advice on what to wear in Summer 2012 to stay fashion forward.

Emily Kissock – Style Writer

Summer is coming up and what better to challenge the dull weather than to introduce some light pastel colours into your wardrobe. Beautiful pastel shades are everywhere at the moment and the ability to wear different colours without looking like you’re about to hit the “nu-rave” scene is possible in these shades. Think 1960’s, geometric prints and pop art – yes, pastel pop art! Keeping in with the theme of pastel shades, sheer garments are a real winner right now too. It’s the ultimate ‘fashion oxymoron’ – sexy but innocent, perfect for any occasion and if you pick your sheer-shade right it will go with almost anything.

Little Mistress Embellished Waistband Dress – £50

If you like to go bold and the soft pastel-marshmallow hues just don’t do it for you then you must take a dive into ethnic prints – they are making waves again in fashion, don’t just think of the typical mass printed ‘Aztec’ & ‘Navajo’ as this time round there’s a multitude of mixed ethnic influenced prints available. H&M currently have a brilliant cause – it’s “Fashion Against AIDS” collection – and if you want to add a splash of bold print they will fix that craving and you get to help a great cause in the process.

H&M Fashion Against Aids Skirt – £7.99

Of course not forgetting those needing that touch of edge, denim is one of the on-trend fabrics. Think of it as a canvas and stamp your own personality onto it, for example what’s trending currently with the ladies and gents is to simply teaming denim with hoodies or, if you’d like to really make it your own, adorning it in studs and/or patches for that rock-out-loud look. Denim is such a versatile piece of clothing and wearable by all types of people. You could be as drowned in denim as B*Witched or rocked up like an old school metal head… you catch my drift here, it’s versatile.

ASOS Colour Blocked Denim Shirt – £30

If that’s still not tipping bold on your Richter scale, don’t forget that we have the Diamond Jubilee AND the Olympics in the UK this year and there’s a fabulous range of subtle to downright tacky Union Jack covered garments available! So if you want to show your support by being a walking flag (no pun intended) or just want that Ginger Spice 90’s Union Jack dress it doesn’t matter, stuff like this isn’t usually readily available so grab it while you can and have fun with it!

Religion Union Jack Body – £35

Finishing off today’s article in the same way you would finish off an outfit, let’s look at accessories. Get ready for summer and unleash those futuristic crazy sunglasses, enjoy the mouthwatering sweet colours mixing into the accessories – meringue whites and pixie stick pastels, and not forgetting the tribal touches slithering into those little rectangular clutch bags, big bangles and dangly drop earrings. Bags and shoes share the more than necessary strap look with chunked heels. Hats are dominated right now by big slouchy wide brimmed hats, straw hats and fedora hats. And with that I tip my hat to you and bid you good day until next time.

ASOS Wide Brim Straw Fedora Hat – £14

Images reproduced from asos.com and hm.com