17.12.14

Review and tutorial: & Other Stories CC Quad

When you first start using make up, everything seems complicated and easy at the same time. There's SO many different products to try, and even loads of different options within product types. Like, you can't just go out and buy foundation, you have to figure out what undertone you need, how light it should be, whether you have to pick powder foundation vs cream foundation vs liquid foundation, if you want your finish to be dewy or matte, if you should invest in a high end product or place your bets on a drugstore option, and so on and so forth. So yeah, straight off the bat, it's complicated.

On the other hand, for some products you don't even realize straight away how many options there are out there. Concealer is concealer, right? Has to match your skintone, usually comes in a stick or pencil form, should just cover what you want covered, has to be applied to problem areas and blended in?

Yeah, no. I'm just going to come out and say it: I'm not a big fan of concealers. I stopped using them altogether because when I used concealers, they so obviously screamed "look, I'm trying to cover something up, don't look at the pink elephant in the room plz". Use them to cover your under eye circles, and they settle into your laugh lines. Apply them to a zit, and they emphasize your peeling skin. And you always end up with cakeface.

Thing is, if you really want to get into the concealer game, you basically need a bunch of different ones to match your different needs. A concealer that simply matches your skintone will always have to be applied generously to offer enough pigmentation to cover problems, which means you will have a lot of product in one place and a bigger risk of cake-ification. Product build-up never looks pretty.

You have to change perspective. If you grasp the elementary building blocks of complementary colours, this becomes so much easier. Imagine your skin as a canvas of beige, and for some reason someone spilled a bit of pink paint on there. Now, my question is: what will require you to add the most extra paint? Going over the bit of red with beige until the colour difference is gone, or adding a tiny bit of light green to the red to neutralize it?

That's how colour correcting concealers work. You use complementary shades to cancel out any discoloration, leaving you with an even complexion that is covered with a minimum of product for the look you want to achieve, which is always the best rule of thumb. I was intrigued enough to pick up my first concealer product in years: the & Other Stories CC quad, which retails at 15€.

and other stories cc quad concealer review tutorial swatches

and other stories cc quad swatches

The quad consists of four shades, obviously. Let me break down their use for you.

- Yellow brightens up veins and hyperpigmentation
- Green cancels out redness, covering up zits, acne and rosacea
- Purple functions as a highlighter for dull looking skin, or whenever you want to draw attention to certain areas 
- Orange neutralizes blue, making it perfect for dark under eye circles.

All of the quad components are creamy pastel shades that are not as bright on the skin as they are in the container, so don't freak out. Even though I've read people advising you to use these before applying foundation, I use these after foundation, just like any concealer. If you use concealer first, applying foundation will just make the product shift around, rubbing it away from the places where it needs to be. Don't worry, I assure you you won't end up with a face painted like an easter egg. The keyword is, as always: blend.

Lord knows I have a pretty uneven skintone, even after foundation, so I'm pretty much the perfect test subject here. I'm not looking for perfect, flawless skin, but I do like having things evened out a bit without losing the natural look of my skin. Let's get down to it! 

and other stories cc quad review colour correcting concealer

The before is just my base layer, wearing Chanel Vitalumière Aqua foundation (and my brows). On the right, you see the overall effect the CC quad has when lightly applied to my skin. Brighter, more awake, even slightly contoured (my nose and chin are more defined because of the highlighter). And I don't look like an easter egg, do I? I should have used the product to cancel out the red veins around my upper lip, butttttt I forgot so ignore that bit.

Let's look at some details. First, the yellow. I use this on the multiple spots of hyperpigmentation and visible veins I have, mostly on my forehead and along my temples.

and other stories cc quad yellow concealer review

I see a huge difference between the before and the after: my skin is brighter and more even, and the hyperpigmentation has disappeared.

On to the green! I always have considerable redness on my face: along my nostrils, and on the apples of my cheeks.

and other stories cc quad review green concealer

Again, the difference made by the green concealer is huge, especially on my nostrils. So far so good!

Next is purple. I use this one as a highlighter along the bridge of the nose, on the brow bone just underneath the eyebrow, on the chin, and from between the eyebrows up to the center of the forehead.

and other stories cc quad purple concealer review

The purple a great all purpose highlighter because it contains no shimmer. I love some shimmer on the cheekbones, but I absolutely don't want the bridge of my nose, my chin or my forehead to shimmer. Thumbs up! I didn't blend in the highlighter along the nose bridge, because this was before adding contouring cream, and I like to blend those two together.

Finally, the orange.I applied the orange concealer in a downward pointing triangle shape under the eyes, and in the inner corners of the eyes.

and other stories cc quad orange concealer review

The result is subtle, but definitely there. And no cake face or product build up!

Zooming out again, here's the result.

and other stories cc quad review

The only thing I don't love about this product, is the fact that it's a bit unhygienic. I don't like my base make up to come in open containers like this, so I make an effort to watch my hands before I use it. It's a mental image thing, mostly. Apart from that, I give it ALL thumbs up. It would also make a really nice gift to someone for the holidays, just like ALL of & Other Stories' make up. So much want.

Hope you liked my review, and let me know if you have any questions.

16.12.14

Holiday party outfit: full skirt, feather boa

classy party outfit full skirt feather boa
classy party outfit full skirt feather boa
diamanti per tutti circle of life ring
classy party outfit full skirt feather boa
full skirt peep toe t strap mary janes
cat eye brown lipstick feather boa
classy party outfit full skirt feather boa

coat: H&M - silver top: Pimkie - T-strap pump peeptoes: c/o Wonders Shoes - full skirt: c/o OASAP - necklace: Onecklace - feather boa: Zara - ring: Diamanti Per Tutti

After blogging a sparkly, sexy party outfit two weeks ago, today I'm sharing some outfit inspiration for those who will be spending the holidays with family (or more casually-minded friends). Your family might be super rad and dressed up, but let's face it: most of us will be spending your time with relatives who will totally (rightfully?) roll their eyes at you if you show up for Christmas dinner in a sequin mini dress and stilettos. But that doesn't mean you can't dress up! This is the perfect time to go for a bit of glamour, to play with a feminine style that you might not feel comfortable wearing during your regular nine to five existence.

In other words: bring out the fit and flare silhouettes! This outfit is just a bit retro, but the undone hair and the t-shirt style top (which has some lovely silver sparkle, by the way) bring it right into 2014. The kind of vintage inspired look anyone could pull off, in other words. This full skirt (currently on sale!) is perfect for a low key party look. It is also available in a breathtakingly bright red - super Christmassy, but I know how hard of a time I have wearing red regularly, so I figured I'd get more wear out of this black version. The skirt is a half-and-half love affair, by the way - I adore the textured fabric, which is just stiff enough to poof perfectly on its own and without a petticoat, but the zipper is kind of crappy and flimsy and a pain to get up and down. I'll definitely keep wearing this skirt, but I might get a seamstress to fix or replace the zipper (or google some tutorials myself).

Finish off your look with a statement accessory - earrings, a necklace, a headband, a beautiful belt - anything goes! I always reach for my feather boa because, let's face it, it is awesome. This is also a great time to experiment with make up and hairdos, as this paired down outfit plays nicely with all kinds of finishing touches.

Hope you're feeling inspired!

Edit: I read online that rubbing a candle into a stiff zipper can lubricate it, and since that's pretty much the easiest fix ever I tried it straight away and BAM, no more zipper issues! The skirt is a 100% love affair now).

14.12.14

Tutorial: copper eye make up using The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes

Today I'm showing you a make up look using some products I've rediscovered recently: the shimmer cubes by The Body Shop. Something that can take you from the office straight to a holiday party, using warm metallic shades that will suit every eye colour.

eyeshadow make up tutorial gold

I got the TBS shimmer cubes as a gift from my parents in my teens, and turns out the cubes are still perfectly fine after scraping off the dried out top layer. Yeay! Also, wow, great quality! And you get SO much product for the price you pay (about 18-20€, I think). I used these quite often in my teens and I barely made a dent in the cubes.

the body shop shimmer cubes 06 warm swatches tutorial

the body shop shimmer cubes 06 warm swatches tutorial

from left to right: marshmallow, honey comb, choco chips, dark chocolate

I can absolutely recommend buying this quad of shimmer cubes- for yourself, or as a gift. It's been in The Body Shop's permanent collection for ages, and it's no secret why: this is a great product that is loved by many. Beautiful pigmentation, perfectly blendable, and a good mix of colours to create both daytime and nighttime looks. You can up the volume by applying the eyeshadows with a wet brush, but they work just as nicely dry. I should have made more of an effort to swatch honey comb, because that's actually the most pigmented of the four even though its swatch isn't as convincing. Take my word for it that it is uh-mazing (or google someone else's swatch!). My second favourite is the dark chocolate shade, because it's just as yummy as it sounds. The choco chips cube is my least favourite, as the colour doesn't always show up clearly on my eyelids. That's not the product's fault, though, because it is nicely pigmented - I think the colour is just too close to my natural skintone.

The look I'm showing you today has always been a favourite of mine, because it perfectly combines neutrals with just a small touch of colour. The honey comb shimmer cube is a real eye catcher that works beautifully with pretty much every imaginable eye colour: grey, blue, green, hazel or brown, it all pops against this warm, shimmery hue. Add a highlight to open up your eyes and a darker shade to intensify your gaze, and you've got everything you need.

make up tutorial eye copper bronze gold

make up tutorial eye copper bronze gold

Let's get down to the nitty gritty, here is a list of the products I used.

Face:
- Chanel Vitalumière Aqua BR12
- Sleek Face Form in Fair

Brows: 
- & Other Stories eyebrow powder in 4

Lips:
- MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick

Eyes:
- Catrice Prime and Fine eyeshadow base
- Sleek Face Form fair highlighter
- The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes in Warm
- Maybelline Volum' Express mascara
- Catrice Longlasting Eye Pencil Waterproof in 010

And here's a step by step tutorial.

tutorial eye make up copper bronze gold

1// After you've applied eyeshadow base, brush on the highlighter all over the moving eyelid and just under the eyebrow.
2// Dab on the copper eyeshadow in the middle of the eyelid up to the crease - don't be afraid to load on the colour.
3// Apply the darkest eyeshadow to the outer corners of the eyes, blending inward towards the copper and along the crease.
4// Draw your smudgeable eye pencil from the outer corner up to the middle of the lashline, and use a brush to smudge and blend inward, swiping what pigment remains on the brush along the outer corners of the lower lashline.
5// Add mascara.

And done! If you notice at the end that the lightest shades aren't as bright as you'd like, you can always go back and blend in some more colour. Keep tweaking until it's just right. Hope you like my look!

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