Tag Archives: Illamasqua

St Patrick’s day nails

3 Mar

First up today, a bit of housekeeping – apologies to any bitterly disappointed readers who, like me, were unable to take advantage of the e.l.f sale I posted about the other day – I didn’t realise they only deliver to Canada and the USA.  Secondly, thank you all so much for clicking through to see a photo of me in a bra – site views were through the roof the last couple of days!  How exciting.

And now, you’ve had your fun(bags)… Back to the serious business of MAKEUP!

So what I attempted to do here was some kind of St Patrick’s Day manicure, using the two Illamasqua nailpolishes I got as part of a mystery pack I bought a few weeks ago.  The dark one (Rampage) is a nice dark ninja-turtle green that looks black until you go outside.  It’s good.  I like nailpolish that looks black but isn’t.

My idea was to do a reverse French manicure that looked like a glass of Guinness, and then I was like, BACK IT UP – I’VE GOT DARK AND LIGHT GREEN NAILPOLISH, so why not make it look like a Guinness with nasty-ass green food dye in it, just like how they serve it on St Patrick’s Day in the pub!!!  And a mediocre idea was born.

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I almost didn’t put these pictures up because I made such a pig’s ear of it – look at that, er, black four-leaf clover.

Moving right along, I painted my right hand with Barry M Nail Paint in #284 Emerald Green.  Barry M Nail Paints are yet another example of an excellent UK high-street cosmetic brand; their stuff is only a few quid and it’s just as good as what you’d pay ten times as much for.  Experiment and get crazy with all the colours, yo.  It won’t cost you.

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Fly, my pretties, get your tacky green on – and remember, if you go back far enough… You.  Are.  Irish.

illamasqua sealing gel

15 Feb

Just a wee experiment with this product, which I bought a couple of weeks ago and only today got around to trying out.  It’s been raved about by all and sundry, the new miracle product to mix into your powder eyeshadow to instantly turn it into a high-density liquid liner.

I have been using a similar miracle product for years – called “water” – but I’m always up for trying these things out.

These shots were all taken after about 14 hours of wear and tear, including me intermittently rolling my eyes then squeezing them shut in frustration for 8 hours straight at college.


oop, let’s see if we can crop that down a bit, less nose, more eyelid.


and even closer…


What we have here is MAC eyeshadow powder in Coppering (a daring reddish shade that if applied right, makes blue eyes insanely blue, and if applied even a little too heavy-handedly, makes one look as if one has a scorching case of pink-eye), mixed with a little – and I mean a tiny drop – of Illamasqua Sealing Gel, applied with a flat brush in a thin line, slightly winged out in a flick on the outer corner of the eye.

There’s a bit of Maybelline gel-cream eyeshadow (24 Hour Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze) on my eyelids, although it’s mostly worn off, and Boots No. 7 brown mascara.

If you can only set aside 10 seconds for eye makeup yet want to look incredibly incredible, get your ring-fingertip into a pot of Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo and smear it on.  You cannot f_ck it up, I swear.  Shimmery, flattering colours for everyone!  The 24-Hour claim is a bald-faced lie, obviously, but the good news is that you can just pat it back into place if it does travel or crease during the course of the day.  Maybe she’s born with it, or maybe that’s just me and my greasy eyelids.

The MAC Coppering/Illamasqua Sealing Gel is all the way along the top lashline, right down into the inner corner of my eyes, and there it stayed all day, not a smudge or a wrinkle or a fade or a blur in sight.  I’m well impressed, Illamasqua.


Sealing Gel, welcome to my makeup kit.

Twiggy and Bowie, Chloe and me

11 Feb

From the 1973 album Pin Ups, here is David Bowie posing with Twiggy.


The face-outline thing reminds me of this:

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which was my bum-chinspiration for this:


…which was Chloe in costume as this:

boy george

I have always admired Boy George in his twilight years; he just paints over that wattle and expects us all to turn a blind eye.  What double chin?  Oh this ol’ bronzed acre of skin?  That’s a jawline you could shave parmesan on, friends, not a massive turkey gobbler.  Nothing to see here.

Anyway.  Back to Bowie.


I’ve had my mullet trimmed (although it is not such a dark red as his), I’ve bought a brown contact lens and Chloe and I are both going bra-less today so there are no strap marks on our shoulders.  I’m so ready for this.


It’s the morning after and I’m editing the photos from the Pin Ups session, and laughing my ass off.  Most of these aren’t fit for publication.  The kind of stuff you don’t want ending up on 9gag.  I’ve got a whole album of oh-god-why, right here.  Let’s see if I can tastefully crop them into something more family friendly.

Basically, the makeup took several hours and 4 litres of Lambrini.  We were both topless, drinking pints of mimosa all afternoon.  My housemates were quite surprised when they came in from their day skiing, but Zoe quickly regained her composure and took the final photos for us.

So here we go.  I don’t have a huge number of progress shots because the camera battery was running low, and I’m also not going to be able to name all the products I used; mostly because there is no point naming the ancient eye-shadows I’ve had for 10+ years that I bought in Australia.

This was my first proper attempt at covering eyebrows; there are a couple of ways you can do it, so I picked the cheaper one – glue stick!  Yes really.  I think I put too many layers on; on Chloe’s eyebrows at least I think one layer might have been enough.  In the YouTube videos I watched they were all going to town with several layers, built up with powder in between.

Anyway, here she is a with a monobrow created with Pritt-stick and Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation.


The Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation was applied around the outside of her face, then all down Chloe’s neck, arms and chest to make her a nice golden-Twiggy colour (and I upped my own palour with Illamasqua Skin Base foundation, in the lightest shade).  The Rich Liquid is the densest coverage formula they’ve got, and it’s DENSE.  It-covers-tattoos-dense.

The face-outline was drawn on with a nude lip-liner, and the white Skin Base foundation went inside the outline.  At this stage, Chloe looked quite like a playing card somehow, so I popped my Red Queen wig on her just quickly, for fun:


Then came the eyeshadow, which didn’t work out as well as I wanted it to – it was difficult blending the powder over such thick, sticky layers of foundation and dry glue stick.  It was frustrating.


Finished with a LOT of black mascara, top and bottom, cos that was the way Twiggy rolled.  Light pink sparkly blush low down under the cheekbones and on the temples.  Nude lipliner and gold lipstick.  Blue headscarf.


Then I did my own makeup.  My makeup is similar to Chloe’s – covered eyebrows, face outlined.  But I am snow white instead of white and tan.  I was wearing a matte taupe eyeshadow and brown mascara, and contact lenses.  I used a matte peach blush on my temples and under my cheekbones.


And this is what we ended up with:


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What do you think?

I think Chloe pulls a very convincingly beatific Twiggy face there.

What I learned from this session:

– Always put whole afternoons aside for this kind of ambitious undertaking; when you’re flying blind, you need time on your side.  You don’t want to be rushed.

– Really thick, tan makeup looks amazing in photos and ridiculous in real life.

– Covering eyebrows is hard, although the dried glue stick wasn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it would be.  It retained a bit of flexibility so it didn’t flake off or peel up like I assumed it might.

– Teaching yourself can be satisfying and fun, however recently I’m feeling limited by not having the right tools or products, and I’m very aware of the huge gaps in my technical knowledge… and it’s frustrating.  I have the vision but it’s not always enough.

I try to stay positive and channel Kevyn when it’s not going the way I want; even when you’re making a complete dog’s breakfast of it, you’re still learning.

superheroes and villains

9 Feb

Let’s pretend we can save the world.  Save the world with makeup!

My friend Ian, who is big into all things cartoon-ish, had a Marvel Comics/cartoons/villains/heroes themed party for his 30th birthday in 2011.  Everyone made a huge effort and looked amazing – I bloody love a dress up party when everyone gets hard into it.  Ian himself was Superman.  Here’s me as The Red Queen, inspired by Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

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And at the same party, Alex as Sideshow Bob, Neil as a banana, and Morgan as Cheetara from Thundercats!

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I do love a good painted-on eye mask.  Speaking of which, last but not least, here I am as Australian supervillain ANZAC.  That’s my gimpy manservant Barbara in the background, humping Hostage 1.


 Maybe I can’t save the world with makeup, but I can rule the world with cookies.  Watch the full video here: ANZAC!!!!!

men with makeup: David Bowie

1 Feb

If you’re super sleuthy and very observant, you’ll have picked up that I’m a bit of a David Bowie fan. If you need a quick reminder of what there is to love about the guy, check this out quickly.

I could bang on all day about his awe-inspiring, before-his-time approach to entertainment, image, performance, reinvention and alter-ego, but you don’t have all day.  Suffice to say he’s a bitchin’ rockstar from Mars.  People (or Martians) like David Bowie don’t come along all that often.  Lady Gaga is the only one who immediately springs to my mind as anywhere near in the same league of experimental, high-concept creativity.  And let’s face it, she is not shy about displaying his influence on her either.  Come to think of it, she’s got lightning bolt makeup in one of her videos, doesn’t she?

Let’s have a quick perve on his Labyrinth look.  That hair!  That crotch!

yes yes oh my god yes

There are a lot of David Bowie ‘looks’ I plan to recreate, but today let’s talk about the one that I sported for a dress-up party in July 2012.  The pub hosts a dress-up party every time it’s Friday the 13th in any month, and they choose a theme and everyone gets right into it.  The theme for this one was ‘hippies’ but I wanted to be David Bowie on his Aladdin Sane album cover, so I just went right ahead and did my own thing.


Cool, huh?  Here’s how I did it.

1. Watch a handful of tutorial videos on YouTube.

2.  Go!

I used a really pale concealer pretty much all over my face as foundation, which was dense and tight and uncomfortable to wear, and I have since bought an Illamasqua foundation that’s pretty white, which I’ll be using next time I need to go super-pale.  Even paler than I already am, I mean.

One of the instruction videos I watched used sticky-tape to get straight lines, but I found it easier to go freehand  – using a lip brush and pink lipstick for my lightening bolt, and blue cream makeup for the blue accents, I just painted it on in long straight strokes.  Speed and confidence are your secret weapon when it comes to straight lines.  There is gold eyeshadow on my forehead and pink eyeshadow on my eye sockets to set the lipstick and stop it from smearing everywhere.

I had a half-assed go at covering my eyebrows using a gluestick, but this is an area of continued improvement for me.  Haven’t quite nailed the covered-eyebrow yet.

There’s a bit of contouring done at the collarbones, temples, cheekbones, jawline, sides of the nose, chin-bum and above the cupid’s bow/top lip.  For that I used a cheap dark brown bronzer followed by an apricot blush to blend the edges off.  I still wanted the contouring to be quite exaggerated, as in the original David Bowie picture the contrast is quite high.

David Bowie does not have a generous mouth, but it’s more generous than mine so I relocated my lower lipline for the evening with a nude lipliner, and filled in my lips with a beigey-goldy lipstick.

Mullet is stylist’s own.

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Stay tuned for more Bowie album cover re-creations, coming soon.




have you lost weight?

18 Jan

I like skeletons.  I have skull-motif everything.  If it comes in a bones version, I’ll take that one.  It’s no surprise, then, that one of my first major Halloween face-paint undertakings was skull makeup.

First I hit Google images for some guidance; quite often I’ve got no clue how to actually execute these brilliant ideas of mine.  I’ll admit it… I’m very ‘inspired by’.  Luckily, there’s the internet, just brimming with ideas to be pinched, mixed together and re-done.  There are some fantastic ideas out there… check out this and this and this!

So after a LOT of research, I pinched ideas from basically all of them and got busy.  I really liked the idea of vertebrae painted on the neck, and I wanted the teeth to be the main detail/feature.  Alewyn lent me his face to practice on:


…which I was pretty happy with.  Not bad for a first attempt.  Here’s my second attempt, on myself:

skull mirror

… and in negative, X-ray style.

skull portrait

I actually like Alewyn’s better.  No one recognised me, which was my secret goal, so still a good effort.  Here’s what I used to do it:

  • basic black and white cream makeup (you can see the black tube in the top left-hand photo of the pictures of Alewyn.  It comes in every colour of the rainbow – plus an odd range of baby-shit browns and mustards – and you can buy it on eBay for a couple of bucks.  With the exception of the blue one, which flakes like f_ck, this makeup is pretty good.  Cheap, opaque, wears well without smudging/travelling, easily washes off.)
  • MAC Paint Pot in Blackground around the eyes, as I didn’t trust the cream makeup not to crease;
  • black and brown eyeliner to outline the teeth, and matte eyeshadows in medium brown, orange and yellow to discolour them (the brilliant white of the cream makeup was making my own choppers look rather beige in comparison.  Action had to be taken); and
  • yes of course I’m wearing mascara.

Oooh, now I’m inspired to do another skull-face again soon.  These photos are from Halloween 2009 I think… so it’s long overdue.  Next time I’ll be using my newly-acquired Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation (Shade: SB01) which gives a good translucent ghost-pale.  Set with universal/colourless finishing powder so black and grey powder can be used to create hollows and shadows, make it a bit more 3D.

Since we’re here, here’s Agi and Paul, both with a quarter-face skull done by me for Halloween 2010.  Looking at this photo now I am going to guess (cos I can’t remember) that the black in the eye sockets and on the nose is MAC Paint Pot in Blackground, and the white is Snazaroo Clown White.  By the by, Clown White is more comfortable to wear and doesn’t flake as much as cream makeup, and you can build it up as you want it (you can see it extends down to the jawline on Agi, and is much more opaque from the teeth up where I’ve put on additional layers).  So for whitening up a bigger surface, I’d recommend it over cream makeup, even though it’s probably not as opaque even when it’s on nice and thick.  It’s just less likely to become dry/uncomfortable, and crack up.  Anyway, here they are:


… and from Halloween 2012, here’s my friend Joy looking amazing as a sugar-skull.  It wasn’t me that did the makeup, but I love her look; the cherry-red hair and white contacts, wow –


So there you have it, boys and girls.  Skeletal fun.  Stay tuned for further adventures in the underworld, this is one of my favourite faces to do so it won’t be the last you see here 🙂

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