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posted by on Blushers, Concealer, Eyeshadows, Foundation, How To..., Illamasqua, Lipsticks, Make-Up, Mascaras, Primer, YouTube video

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Illamasqua has a YouTube channel and lately it’s been featuring some fun and easy make-up tutorials courtesy of the efforts of Rose. I really enjoyed watching the Bat Woman Inspired Halloween Make-Up look, which uses the risky colour of red as the main theme.

Realising the shame that I possess every product Rose uses in this tutorial (bar the new bat lashes which I want for no valid reason), I thought I would have a crack at attempting to recreate Rose’s look. It needs some work on my part but for a practice run, I’m glad it didn’t turn out to be shockingly terrible plus it’s reignited my affair with Pure Pigment Berber. (Apologies for the wonky liner!)

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I have altered it slightly (no bat lashes for a start, just my own) by using Illamasqua’s Precision Gel Liner as well (which I’m growing to love) and the duo blusher in Beg and Bronzerella with the fantastic Blush Up Brush.

Thank you, Rose for a top video and for kick starting some inspiration with wearing some bold colours. I will be reaching for Berber more frequently.

The question that now remains is, do you dare to wear red?

Illamasqua

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posted by on How To..., In Praise Of..., Maybelline, Nails, Nails of the Day

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Last night I attended a nail art masterclass courtesy of Maybelline New York. Now if I can achieve a manicure without painting my knuckles, that’s a big accomplishment for me so to take things to the next level with nail art was pushing the boat out, particularly when Leanne of Do Not Refreeze put me to shame with her fantastic skills.

But nail art is something I’ve been curious about for ages and here was my chance to find out how to do clever things like ombre nails or a leopard design with the guidance of expert nail artist Michelle Humphrey.

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Nail artist Michelle Humphrey

There was a spectrum of shades from Maybelline’s Color Show range at our fingertips to do three individual designs – a kiss, flowers and an ombre effect with a leopard design. Seriously it looked like hard work but there was deep concentration all around the room once Michelle got started.

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I’ve realised a few things you need to be prepared for when doing nail art – you need a steady work surface (the arm of your sofa really isn’t a good idea), ample time and patience! The beauty with nail art is you can cover up mistakes easily and unless you’re anally retentive, it doesn’t have to be perfect. (I’m sorry for using the word ‘anal’ in a beauty post, Maybelline – first time too, won’t happen again…)

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Leanne’s a pro!

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I was surprised you don’t need a great number of fiddly tools either. We had one fine brush and a eyeshadow sponge applicator. For the leopard design 4 shades ranging from yellow to turquoise blue were simply dabbed on and then the edging blended with the sponge applicator, and for the flowers and kiss design, the nail polish was painted on with the brush.

An hour and half later, here is the mess I made…

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Not bad although I was convinced at the start this would end in tears. Bear in mind I only practised on my left hand so I don’t know how I will fair with my right but any fears I had about nail art has been dispelled after this session with Michelle and I feel more confident and inspired to do more. What do you think? If you’ve never tried nail art, are you tempted to give it a try now?

For more on Maybelline New York’s Color Show collection, visit www.maybelline.co.uk or you can buy them from Boots – they’re only £2.99 each. Such vibrant colours and so versatile for simple manicures to intense nail trends.

You can also watch how to do nail art designs with Color Show and Michelle Humphrey on their YouTube channel.

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I wanted to step away from the usual beauty blogging gubbins to do a post on making your own body scrub. (Work with me here – it’s not as bad as you think.)

A pot of this takes no more than a couple of minutes, costs next to nothing, smells wonderful and leaves your skin feeling super smooth. I actually prefer it to some of the expensive body scrubs I have.

I did adjust the recipe, which calls for golden granulated sugar (not as rough as white granulated sugar). I thought I could use golden caster sugar as a close substitute but I had run out of it and only had demerara sugar, which works superbly as it has a very coarse texture, which I like.

For the scent, you can use any brand of vanilla extract – I recommend Nielsen Massey available for most supermarkets (I use it in my cupcakes).

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To make the scrub, you will need:

400g golden granulated sugar (or demerara sugar for a coarser scrub)
100g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
100ml olive oil (with more to add for personal preference)

Add the sugars and vanilla extract in a bowl and slowly pour in the oil whilst mixing until you reach the desired consistency. Test the scrub on the back of your hand to be sure you are happy with it.

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The recipe asks for 200ml of olive oil but I found I only needed half. Besides, I didn’t want a scrub that left my skin feeling greasy after showering and this quantity is just right.

Finally pop the scrub in a jar with a lockable lid. I picked up this one from IKEA for 75p. As it’s oil and sugar, the scrub should keep for a long while. And that’s all there is to it!

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