Showing posts with label how to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to. Show all posts

Sunday, 16 September 2012

How To: Smudging with Extreme n'Easy

The video above shows you how to get a trendy smudged look using Clairol's latest colour product, Extreme n'Easy.  Extreme n'Easy is a line of hair colours which are as easy to use as Nice n'Easy, but with a little bit more oomph and excitement in the colour lineup.  

Smudging is apparently something that's come from the ombre trend that's been so popular this year.  It's a lot more subtle looking and adds dimension and a flash of colour rather than making a big ombre-style statement.  I really like the violet-on-blonde look above - it's not too out there, but it definitely adds interest to the model's shoulder length blonde locks.  If I were blonde, I'd be tempted.  And as a redhead, I'm wondering if I could do it with black.

Extreme n'Easy is available at Boots and costs £5.99 a box.

Monday, 30 May 2011

5 steps to a perfect cateye with liquid eyeliner

Recently, a friend posted on Twitter that she'd just bought a liquid eyeliner and was trying to work out how best to use it. My first thought was to direct her to a good tutorial, and Google provided me with plenty of them, but most were in video form. I couldn't find a good text & image tutorial anywhere. So I decided to make my own picture-based post on how to do a quick, easy cat-eye.

For this tutorial I've chosen to use Urban Decay's Liquid Liner in Revolver; a) because it's an inkwell liquid liner, probably the best-known format, and b) because, God bless you Urban Decay but the brush on this is really thick and unwieldy. Plus, mine is starting to clump like crazy. So, this will be an exercise in how to do a good cat-eye even without your fine liner brush and expensive smooth liner - if it's possible to do a good cat eye with my beat-up old Revolver, it should be a breeze with whatever you're using.

Let's begin.

Step 1
Start with a liner-free eye. You might want to apply an eyeshadow base or a wash of eyeshadow before your liner to make the application easier. If you're just practising your cat-eye, don't spend too much time on prepping the eye, though, as mistakes are difficult to fix without messing up your eyeshadow.

Step 2
Bring the liner brush up to your eye and hold it parallel to the lash line. Lightly press the brush against the lash roots, as close against the lashes as you can. Don't draw the brush across at this stage. Just press. Repeat along the lash line until you have a patchy line.

Step 3
Now, draw the brush along the whole lashline from the inner corner outwards, joining up the patchy line you made before, and making it smoother and more even. Don't extend the line up your lid - keep the brush close to the lashline still. You're just getting coverage right beside the lashes at this point - you'll build up the cat-eye later on.

Step 4
Now, the flick. With your eye open, observe how your lower lashline curves upwards, and use your brush to continue this curve, extending for about 5mm (1/8 inch) out and upwards from the corner of your eye. Start the upward "flick" line from the end of the first line you made on the upper lid. Don't worry about connecting the two lines neatly at this stage - just get an angle you're happy with.

Step 5
The final step is joining up the flick with the rest of your lashline. Start from the outward point of your upward "flick" line, and, keeping the skin as taut as possible, draw a line across to meet the highest point of your lashline. You should have a triangular outline. Just fill it in.

That's it!

Was this helpful? Do you do your liner in a different way? Let us know in the comments.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Inspiration for your Alice in Wonderland palette, from Urban Decay

Earlier this year, everyone who knew anything about beauty was desperate to get hold of Urban Decay's limited edition Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows eye palette. Just a handful were released to the UK, and many a beauty junkie was glued to their computer screen with a finger poised to press "Add to Basket" on the Debenhams website the day it was released. Much jubilation followed as palettes arrived in the post and swatches and pictures sprouted mushroom-like across the internet.

With the initial fever calmed, however, we heard several folks finding themselves at a loss for ways to make use of the palette, which is packed with bright, shimmering shades. The coveted items were starting to gather dust in drawers and on dressing tables in favour of more workaday colours. It seemed like people who wouldn't normally choose brights had gotten caught up in the excitement and wound up with a lovely collector's item that just wasn't seeing much use.

Urban Decay must have come to the same conclusion as us - they've produced a series of "how to" videos to help Alice BOS owners create wearable Wonderland-themed looks with their palettes. The rest of us aren't excluded either - as all of the colours in the Alice palette are available elsewhere in the UD line, we can all enjoy making ourselves up as the Red Queen, Alice herself, or even the Caterpillar using our existing UD collections (or dare I say it - other brands).

Check out the videos here. (The page title says "Win our Alice palette", but sadly we think this must be a mistake as there's no reference to any competition on the page.)

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

How To Make Lip Tars More Portable

Lip Tars are lovely things, being mixable, highly pigmented, and high impact. But for me, one of their selling points - that you need so little to get opaque coverage - turns into a downside; they're not particularly portable. You need to carry a little tube and a lip brush, or if you mix your own shade, a sample pot and a lip brush.

Years ago, I bought a few bits of lip product packaging as one of my favourite LE lipglosses had burst on a plane and wasn't usable. Recently, I found the dial up pen applicators I had bought and realised that they are fabulous for Lip Tars.

The picture above shows a peachy-neutral shade of Lip Tar which I mixed up in one of the applicators. It's a dial up pen format, like Stila use for their lip glosses, so you can make the compartment as small as you like - I doubt anyone would mix up enough Lip Tar to fill the thing to capacity. Once the compartment is full, you snap the sponge top into place and voila, you have a portable Lip Tar.

When you turn the dial, the Lip Tar saturates the sponge applicator, and it's easy to control the flow of product to get the opaque coverage. The photo on the right shows my custom blended colour applied to my lips with my dialup applicator.

I got my dialup pens from, for the reasonable price of $6.50 for a set of 10. Sadly, they're out of stock until April, but a viable alternative might be the click pens, which are $6.80 for a set of 10. Shipping is a fairly reasonable $10. There are other places to buy these containers, but they are often more expensive.

Since I have quite a few spares, we'll be giving a few away - six randomly selected people will receive two sponge tip dialup pens, and a bonus brush tip pen too. Leave a comment with a valid email address to enter - closing date is Saturday 27th at midnight, as with our other giveaway!

Monday, 23 November 2009

How To: Pigment Pressing

If you're anything like me, you've probably got several shades of pigment, whether by MAC, Barry M or just plain mineral mica, which are in jars. If you're as clumsy as me, you've probably spilled them everywhere too. As a result of my clumsiness, I've stopped using my loose powder products so often, which narrows my makeup options down a bit.

I'd long heard of people pressing their pigments into palettes, so along with some supplies from Coastal Scents, I thought I'd have a go. Here's my step-by-step guide to pressing a pigment; I'm using blusher type shades and a large blush pan.

Gather some ingredients. Some pigment samples, a bottle of surgical spirit, an empty pan, and a stirring device. I used a cotton bud with the cotton removed at first, and later moved on to using a pearl-headed pin. You'll also need an extra cotton bud for dispensing the surgical spirit.

Start off by putting a few drops of surgical spirit into the bottom of the pan, by dipping a cotton bud into the bottle, then dripping it into the pan, to help the pigment stick.
Pile in your pigments. I think I used about half a teaspoon in total, per pan, to fill most of the space available.

Add a few drops of surgical spirit and mix mix mix with your cotton bud / pinhead. You're looking for a fairly creamy, medium thickness texture, a bit like cake batter - you can make it thinner, but it'll take longer to dry out. It's best to add the surgical spirit in a little bit at a time.

At this stage, I realised I didn't have nearly enough pigment in there. So I added some more. And some other colours, too, so I could build up an interesting shade. A couple more drops of surgical spirit, and a bit more mixing followed.

And then I ended up with a very pretty pink shade. To ensure that the surface is even, gently drop the pan from about an inch above the table onto the table surface. Repeating several times.
Leave to dry until any hint of glossiness is gone from the surface of your pigment mix.

Once the mixture is dry, pop a square of fabric (cotton or denim work well) over the top of it. Then, place something in the pan that's roughly the same size - for eyeshadow pans (which are smaller), coins work well, but for large blush pans, my Clarins facial oil bottle turned out to be the right size.

Balance a heavy book on top of the whole lot and leave to press.

Voila! A pressed pan of pale pink blusher. I popped it directly into my magnetic palette and went on to make another. The colour, you might notice, is a bit lighter than it looked when it was mixed up with the surgical spirit, so bear that in mind when mixing colours.

The colour pay-off of this is quite sheer, as I used mostly Apricot Pink pigment, which is a pale pink with lots of frost, and a small amount of Fuschia, which is more pigmented. The only downside I've found from this process is that the surgical spirit scent lingers on in the pressed pan - although I'm hoping that it'll fade in a few days.

I had a LOT of fun mixing colours and am quite proud of the finished product - and shortly will be on to filling up my empty 15 pan palette with eyeshadows too!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

How To: Stop Red Hair From Fading

See that red hair over to the left? That's mine. I've had red hair since I was 16 and since the first time I dyed it (and a tiny bit of my mother's carpet), I've been battling the fade. Coloured red hair is notoriously difficult to keep fresh, fading to an orange or pinkish hue. Over the years I've gathered a number of tips on how to keep my hair bright, and while these are specifically tailored to red hair, could be equally applied to other colours to keep that just-coloured look for longer.

Minimise contact with water

I used to lie in the bath with my wet hair swirling around my shoulders under the water. One day I realised that it was contributing to the dreaded fade. Try to keep exposure to water to a minimum. If you swim, buy a swimming cap, and use it.

Use a colour conditioner

But not one of the ones you buy on the high street - apart from Aveda Madder Root, I've found none of them actually impart much colour into the hair. Make your own. All you need is a tube of semi-permanent vegetable colour (like Fudge paintbox) in your preferred shade, and a tub of conditioner. Mix a bit of the vegetable colour with a lot of the conditioner, slap it on your hair, wipe it off your skin (or it'll stain), and leave it on, under a plastic shower cap or some clingfilm, for as long as you can be bothered. Rinse thoroughly. I do this once a week.

Wash your hair in cold water

Hot water, apparently, opens the hair cuticle, allowing water to permeate. Cold water, apparently, closes the cuticle. I'm not 100% sure on the science but this definitely does work for me, with the added bonus that cold water = shine. Lots of shine.

Only wash your hair once

Washing makes your colour fade. Very few people need to wash their hair twice in one go; if you can avoid it, your colour will last longer. And you'll save money on shampoo!

Use appropriate products

Clarifying shampoo will strip your hair of colour faster than a moisturising one. Go for something fomulated for coloured hair. Never, ever use washing up liquid if you run out of shampoo - it's sometimes recommended as a way of washing unwanted colour out more quickly.

If you have curly hair, consider trying going shampoo-free entirely - my recent trials of the CG method show that using only conditioner is much kinder to my colour.
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