Friday, 28 March 2014

MaxFactor Facefinity Flawless Foundation

Yep, another foundation. Nope, I still haven't found my holy grail.

That's not to say I don't like this foundation. It is actually quite good for a "drugstore" or cheaper product. I have read tons of excellent reviews and MaxFactor do release fairly decent products, to be fair. My skin is an absolute pain and foundation just doesn't seem to sit well on it. So bare that in mind when reading this little review. What doesn't work for me, might just work for you.

It took me a few months to even remember I owned this foundation. I'm fairly certain I bought it while I was in London (last May?!) for the weekend because I had forgotten to pack my own. ( I woke up the morning of that flight with a ridiculous hangover. My 18th birthday was the day before. Makes sense.) I went into Boots and as far as I remember I picked up this, the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder and the Collection concealer, which is a brilliant little trio for a reasonable amount of money. However, I didn't spend those few days testing out foundation and checking in on the state of it every few hours because I was in London and had more interesting things to look at. So when I got back home I probably just fecked it into my massive make-up box for it to only resurface when I ran out of my Bourjois Healthy Mix, but then to be replaced again by my Rimmel Match Perfection

I haven't shown it a lot of love. I'v worn it a few times and just hated the sight of my face but that could have just been because of, well, my face. So today (or yesterday or whenever I actually post this), I decided to give it a proper lash after giving my friend a sample of it, and after trying it out on a client. I applied it at around 9am, using my Collection concealer underneath to cover the mess that is my skin. The coverage this foundation gives with the concealer is actually pretty fantastic. It covered all redness and marks really well but as a result it looked cakey. And I didn't even apply loads of layers, I just used one pump. This is where I was let down. I have naturally quite oily skin so dryness is never an issue but this foundation just seemed to cling onto dry skin I didn't notice I had and caked around the corners of my mouth, under my eyes, etc. 

For the sake of this review I kept it on, wanting to see how long it would last and how long it would take for my oiliness to peek through. By 1pm it was still intact, perfect, or "cakey", no sign of oiliness. By 5pm I was a bit shiny but I actually thought it made the foundation look better. It wasn't so matte and dry looking and I looked healthy. So that was a nice surprise. Its coming up to 9pm as I'm writing this and obviously by this stage I'm looking fairly oily but i'v seen worse, and i'm about to wash it off anyways. But that says a lot about this foundation, considering I applied it at 9am, and didn't even use a setting powder. It reminds me a bit of Revlon Colourstay, in terms of coverage and longevity.

The longevity is there, the coverage is there but this is definitely not going to look great on dry skinned people. Yes, it did look better after a few hours wear which is sometimes the case with foundation but for me, I want something to look amazing when applied, and still look fairly alright when I take it off after a long day. This is probably a bit unreasonable of me but I am a tiny bit obsessed with foundations and have been searching for the perfect base for years now. 

As for the 3-in-1 aspect (foundation, primer, concealer) I suppose it did sort of live up to that. Foundation? Yes. Concealer? It gives good coverage so, yes. Primer? It had good lasting power, which is one of the things a primer is meant to do, so another yes. It does what it says on the tin really, it just didn't do it for me and my crappy, annoying skin. 

If you're going to give this foundation a try I'd suggest using a really great moisturizer underneath, and exfoliate beforehand to buff away even the slightest of dry skin. I'm going to try out a few different moisturizers and primers with this foundation, to try be a bit more fair with my review because I know it has worked really well on some people so I'm not going to chuck it away just yet.

As for shades, I have this in "warm almond", and above you will see what its like compared to my other foundation shades. MaxFactor are usually pretty good with giving a wide range of colours to suit a lot of people, which is another plus for this. I probably could have done with going a shade lighter, just because I did have to bring this a good bit down my neck to blend. 

This foundation is 17euro and available in Boots. 

Let me know if you have tried this, if you like it or not and if you had the same experience as me.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My Nude Lip

The most frequently asked question on my Instagram account is, what am I wearing on my lips. 9 times out of 10, I am wearing a nude lip and since the end of January, its been these two little fellas from MAC. Beforehand I had gotten through an entire tube of the No.8 lipstick from the Kate Moss Rimmel collection and loved it but it was way too pink for what I was looking for.

 I went into MAC, thinking I would pick up Snob, Hue or Creme Cup, all probably the most well known nudes that MAC offer. Instead, one of the girls suggested I tried Blankety, a slightly darker nude which she thought reminded her of a classic Sophia Loren/Bridget Bardot lip. I'm glad I got assistance in picking this shade out as I reckon the others would have been a bit too pale for me, although I probably will buy them eventually to test out. I absolutely love this lipstick and as I said in my haul post, I will end up buying this every 2 months or so, as i'm already running low on the tube I have because I wear it that often. It is an amplified creme formula so this stuff is really creamy and literally glides onto the lips with no dragging, while also being really opaque. I tend to line my lips with No7 Nude Lip Liner and then lash this all over. 

 Kerry, the lovely MAC assistant, applied Love Nectar over Blankety and I instantly fell in love, shoving the thoughts of my bank balance to the back of my mind. Its a gorgeous warm beige/pink with tiny bits of golden glitter running throughout it which gives what MAC describes as an "apricot" tone. Normally I would run a mile from anything apricot-y/orange-y but I don't find this to be over baring at all. Love Nectar is a lustreglass so this stuff is SUPER shiny and not too thick but not too thin. It has a lip brush applicator which I find so much better than the doe-foot applicators. I wish MAC would introduce them into the lipglasses as well because it makes application way easier and gives an even coat all over the lips. Some reviews suggest you have to keep applying layers of this to get the lustreglass effect but I honestly think more than one coat of this would be too much. However, I never usually bother wear this on its own because when worn with Blankety it is pretty much perfect and if i'm going to bother put anything on my lips I might as well go all out and lash on both. 

I can not recommend these two enough. Definitely a re-purchase.

Blankety Lipstick - 19euro
Love Nectar Lipgloss - 18euro

You can purchase both from Brown Thomas, BT2 or any MAC counter.

Swatches (with flash)

Wearing Blankety and Love Nectar

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Monday, 10 March 2014

The Black Smokey Eye.

I'v been asked a few times to post tutorials of the make-up looks I create. However, I attempted to write one up and it just didn't work and wasn't really easy to understand. A lot of people have suggested I start filming make-up tutorials on YouTube, which I would absolutely love to do but time and my lack of equipment is going to get in the way. Also, I'd be crapping myself. Maybe when I get better and more confident at applying make-up I'l give it a lash but for the moment- I'm still learning and have a long way to go. My make-up isn't in anyway perfect. 

Usually it's when I post pictures on Instagram that I get people asking how I created such a look, what products I used, etc. I absolutely LOVE getting comments like these because it's really amazing to think people want to recreate something I'v done. It's certainly not something I'm used to. One lovely girl (@aoifemurf) asked for a bit of advice on different make-up looks, and mentioned she uses the Naked Palette which is fantastic because it's pretty much my go-to. This smokey eye is not really for day-time wear, although I promise I will have posts up on those looks soon. 

I saw a photo of  Brit model Chloe Lloyd pop up on my timeline the other day and she looked absolutely amazing. She always does, but this particular look caught my attention. It was a really dark smokey eye and was so simple but so effective. I decided I'd make an attempt at copying it- obviously mine would be kind of shite in comparison because I'm not a qualified make-up artist who created this on Chloe, and because sadly, I don't have her perfect features. But sure, I went for it anyways. 

I only used 2 shades on the eyes (excluding the base shade) so it's not that complicated at all. The one thing that pulled it all together and made it look probably better than it was? Sellotape. If I am ever doing a dark eye look I will always peel off a bit of sellotape, pop it onto the back of my hand so its not extremely sticky and then whip off, and apply it onto my the edges of my eyelid, so matching the end of the brow to the corner of the eye. Does that make any sense at all? Basically what the sellotape does is create that sharp edge to the look, saving you from having to go in with concealer to clean up the edges. Its also dead handy when doing that dreaded eyeliner flick.

The products I used for this look were; 

Face- Benefit Porefessional Primer
Max Factor 3in1 Foundation
Collection 2000 Concealer
NARS Pressed Powder

Eyes- Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Palette (Orginal), shade - Buck (matte brown)
Urban Decay Basics Palette, shade- Crave (matte black) and Foxy (matte cream)
Urban Decay 24/7 kohl eyeliner- Zero
Maybelline black gel eyeliner
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara- Waterproof

Eyebrows- Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil
Catrice Eyebrow Powder Box

Lips- No7 Nude lipliner
MAC Blankety lipstick

Now, I will try explain what I did...

-I applied my primer and foundation and concealed any blemishes I had. I decided to leave the under-eye concealer until the end as there tends to be a lot of fallout when using dark shadows.

- Next I primed my eyelids and filled in my brows by drawing out the intial shape with the pencil and then filling in with the powder.

- I then took the shade Foxy and applied it all over the lid using my CC41 Crown Brush, bringing it all the way up to the brow bone. This ensures a nice even base and any shadow applied after will blend a little bit easier. 

- The next step you could do before or after the black shadow. I contoured the eye using the shade Buck, so basically I just brought it through the crease and blended upwards slightly. This will create a nice gradient for the black shadow. I used my CC41 again for this, but any fluffy brush would work. You really want to blend this out quite a bit to make it look seamless. 

- I then took Crave, and packed it onto my lid space using a Zoeva 234 brush (flat shader). You want to make sure you apply this a little at a time because its so easy to go over the top and end up creating a mess. Make sure this only goes on the lid and not above where we placed Buck.

- Now all you have to do is blend, blend, blend using another big fluffy brush. You may find you need to add a bit more black to deepen it up, but again, do not allow it go on or above the crease. You're trying to create a gradient effect.  

- I usually end up going back in with Buck to help blend the edges but I'd advise getting a clean blending brush for this as you don't want to have black shadow all over the place. The Sellotape is still on at this stage. 

- Once you are happy with the blending, go in and apply gel liner from the inner tear duct area right out to the edge of the eye (where the sellotape is) and create a wing right up to where the black shadow ends and the brown starts. I know that is a really stupid explanation but hopefully you will be able to understand what I mean by the picture.

- Apply your black kohl pencil to the upper and lower waterlines. This will intensify the look and colour in any flesh showing through. Also make sure you bring this right around the tear duct area too as we want to connect it with the gel liner above.

- Peel off the sellotape and you should be left with a perfect sharp winged out line where the shadow and liner stop. Take a small pencil brush (Zoeva 230) and bring the black shadow underneath the eye, as close as possible to the lashes, joining the shadow with the upperlid. Now just take Buck and blend it out to soften it. 

- Grab your eyelash curler, try not tear your lashes out, and apply a LOAD of mascara. Don't hold back. You could apply actual false lashes too which would tie the whole thing together. 

- Apply under-eye concealer and whatever lip products you're using and the look is pretty much completed. 

What would I do without filters...

I have read over that tons of times and I'm still like "this is the worst step-by-step guide ever" but, I tried.  It was also my first attempt at a proper black smokey eye so I wasn't too sure if I was happy with it or not. Although, I was in MAC the other day and the amazing girl  Sarah, that was doing my sisters make-up saw the picture and said it was great so I'm taking that as a good sign.  

This look can really only work at nighttime (when its too dark to see it?!) if you want something super dramatic. The next time I try it out I wont go as high up to the brow bone as I did above as it can be a bit too much. 

What do you all think? 
Was it easy to understand/would you be able to recreate it?
If so- post them on twitter/instagram and tag me in them! 
And also, would you watch my YouTube videos if I started them?

Twitter: @ilovebarrystea
Instagram: @ilovebarrystea