Friday, 9 August 2013


Every year on the same Thursday, students everywhere have a sleepless night and wake up in a tense state of anticipation. Results day! Whilst my own results day is luckily far far behind me it still prays on my mind that for others, it is just around the corner. The joys of approaching a quarter life crisis age is that, whilst, I consistently feel  I should of achieved more  by this tender age,  I have at least already crossed that transition from school to life beyond. My own results day was full of anxiety, tears and stress. However the  night involved: celebration, partying and mojitos! Luckily this year, this girl gets to leave the field for down South to enjoy results night without the stressful day part! I am so looking forward to celebrating my friends success and helping them glorify an end of an era!  I even treated myself to a whole new look.  Seeing as it was a particularly slow day in the field of tranquility, I decided to plan the make up, inspired by my brand spanking new outfit and take some snaps. I was never one for matching eyeshadow to outfits, but do like to stick in the same colour group; for this look I used silver and purple to compliment the ethereal blue of the play suit.  I tend to pre plan and practice big night out looks as its easier if you don’t have to think through what your doing  when 5 other girls will be fighting for mirror space!
My face for ‘a night on the town’, is almost identical to ‘Face up to Summer!’ apart form a few switch outs. I use a slightly heavier foundation, either Revlon’s Photo Ready foundation or M.A.C’s Studio Fix Fluid. I must say I prefer the Revlon. I also use a stronger highlighter – Girl Meets Pearl by Benefit, Its glow is just so so pretty! I also set this highlighter with M.A.C’s MSF  Soft and Gentle, as the highlighting powder is always a good idea when a hot, overcrowded,  sweaty club is involved! With that in mind I prime my skin with a primer, here its Revlon’s Photo Ready Primer!
Now on to the main focus of this Post, EYES! On a night when everyone’s future is sparkling in their eyes, why not play up yours?  I also hate reapplying lipstick at 1, 2 and 3 am, in my experience eyes tend to stay put! Whilst a go to smokey eye is great I often like to mix it up a bit. WIth such an ethereal outfit why not go with something a little different. I opted in this case for a silver and purple based cat eye! My main colours were M.A.C, but you could use whatever you have.  Just for reference then, the shadows I used were , Brule, Jest, Trax, Nocturnelle and Smoke & Diamonds ( a limited edition shade but any grey silver would do).
- I started of with shadow primer, an obvious must for those late nights. I used Urban Decay’s primer potion, a classic for a reason! I also placed it on the lower lash line so any shadow I placed there would stick.
-Then I placed Brule all over right up to the brow bone, this just helps blend out those darker shadows. I left it out for a final application below the brow bone, to act as a highlight once the rest of the eye was complete.
- Jest was next, a perfect bright sparkly champagne pink (but not too pink!). It really keeps the base of the look bright and light, matching the spirit of the outfit.  I applied it all over the lid and in the crease, making sure to get it as close to the inner corner as I could.
- On top of this I applied Smoke and Diamonds I placed it as close to the lash line as I could and then began blending it up wards. Several layers of this  silver grey later and a smokey base began to form.
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-Then came time for the purple! Like with most of my decisions in life, I struggled to stick to one! I used three different shades of Purple to get a real dimension to this smokey cat eye! A purple with gold reflex, an almost matt purple and a deep dark royal purple. SAMSUNG CSC
-Beginning by blending in the lightest purple into the crease and over the silver. Then the matt darker purple is placed using a M.A.C 217 in the outer corner of the eye. Its then blended a quarter of the way on to the lid. At this point the shape of the crease is still fairly rounded as I just use the usual back and forth motion.
-The cat eye shape begins to develop when the matt purple is placed with a pencil brush in a < shape. Then the pencil brush is also used to intensify the colour in the outer corners.
-The shape is made stronger and the colour more vibrant with the final shade of purple. Using a flat liner brush a much harsher line is pressed in to the < cat shape. Below the first of these strong lines can be seen. This is then blended using the pencil brush, to soften the harshness of the line but keep the shape strong.
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-Liner is then applied following the same line and angle as the cat eye. I used gel to get a line that increased in thickness to achieve a feline shape.
-To keep the eye bright I placed a light pink line under the flick of the black liner using a light pink liner pencil, this is just to tie the darkest part of the eye in to the lightness of the inner corner. It can be seen faintly below. I blended it slightly by using my little finger. I prefer pink to white pencil as its less stark.
-With liner and shadow pressed along the lower lash line the eye is complete!
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-A quick fix up of the brows and this cat eye is ready for a prowl around town!
- I have two lip options for this look and I am not quite sure which to go with. There is a soft hot pink (Heart to Heart by M.A.C) or a nude beige  (17′s supreme Shine lipstick in Bella). Feel free to comment and help me decide!!! 
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The Playsuit is Miss Selfridge and the shoes new look. I shall probably put my hair into a super high curly pony tail or a sock bun!  With make up on, 8 tracks blasting (Probably this mix) and an empty field outside I thought i might as well try on the outfit, have a prance around and take some pics! So the pictures turned out super awkward but it was fun haha!
On that note, good luck to all those getting results at the moment! I hope you get what you want and have stars in your eyes!
Love Livs xxxx

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Face Up to Summer!

Summer brings, for me at least, a laissez-faire attitude to make up. Minimal and light always appears to  be more fitting when the sun is out and my wardrobe is comprised of pastels presenting the opportunity to embrace my inner Diaz. I often opt for one of the ever growing options of bb creams from the high-street. As John Geddes says, “…summer softens lines that winter cruelly shows…”. Well with 20 something skin the case is less that summer soften the lines and more of the case of it softening blemishes. Something about that extra does of  vitamin D , seems to agree with most temperamental skin.  That being said on those certain special occasions, which always involve me breaking free of the field and hauling myself away from the real housewives of Beverly Hills, I like to be slightly more polished. Whilst I would never claim to achieve flawless, I can achieve enriched … just not to the same extent as those housewives.
My ‘ever slightly refined face list’ is always comprised of: Foundation, Concealer, Powder, Bronzer, Blush and Highlighter. Whilst this may sound like a product when applied in moderation it can give a light look. All of which featured in my products consistently at my fingertips.
I begin with my favourite summer and spring foundation of the year, Bourjois healthy mix foundation. I prefer the slightly heavier coverage than its sister product the healthy mix gel serum, even if it is summer. I have been crushing on this product for months as it gives a real glow to the skin without being too much. Its light, natural looking and I actually think has improved my skin underneath.  Applied with the much acclaimed real techniques buffing brush, it covers and blends in mere minuets.
Then I follow this up with under eye concealer. There are many things I would love to change about myself and almost at the top of that list is the purple bags under my eyes; built up from far too many all night study sessions. As a result high end heavy duty concealer is always a corner stone in my make up bag! Fake it by Benefit. It slides on effortlessly and can be layered up to give industrial level coverage.
Rather than swiping it under my eyes I place it all along the lower lash line in vertical lines. I find this the best way to get maximum concealment whilst having no obvious dichotomy between my foundation and concealer. To blend it in I use a Beauty Blender, using a patting motion along the lines and then a swishing motion for one final blend. Then I set with whatever powder I have to hand.
My favourite thing to ever discover in terms of make up is contouring and this love story only increased in wonder when I purchased Chanel’s Sol de Tan. A cream-gel bronzer which melts in to the skin, it is bliss. I used to apply it with a M.A.C contouring brush (168) but I now prefer the smaller domed shape of the Real Techniques contour brush, it reaches in to hollows much better and therefore gives a more natural, blended contour. I apply it under my cheekbones, temples and jawline. I take it 3/4 of the way down my cheekbone and keep most of the colour further back. The picture of it below is it pre blending!
To add some colour and balance out the glow and bronze, I apply a blush above the contour line on my cheekbone.  My current go to being peachy keen by M.A.C its bright and playful. Applied with a sigma stippling blush brush. I add a little to the apples of my cheeks but keep colour about 2 fingers width away from from the edge of my nose.
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To round off the look I add some highlighter on the highest points of my cheekbones and under my brows. I like a cream based highlighter rather than a powder. I find powder highlighters often too glittery and artificial looking. Here I used Watts up.
Thats my summer face routine complete. It takes about 8 minutes but is oh so worth it. So I shall leave you with a picture of me looking slightly like a sloth but a sloth with improved skin!
Love Livs xxx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A picnic with pride and getting over a little prejudice!

Whilst I may has alluded to my slight grievances with moving from the South to the North, I must now admit that ‘whilst in vain I have struggled’ the North (and the felid) has won me, ever so slightly, over.  Transitions and change were never my strong point, and a massive move post a levels did not go down particularly well.  That being said I was jetting off to Uni and doing my own thing within a month, so it made little impact. However before I knew it I had reached summer holidays and not the Cliff Richard kind, a time in most freshers lives where returning home is kind of a must. Dwelling on life in a field, pinning for friends and an overcrowded beach made up the majority of my first 3 weeks ‘home’.  I must admit the slow paced ‘tranquillity’ was a bit of a shock to the system compared to the lively, social and vivacious Uni based lifestyle I had become accustomed to.  Why escape to the country ? Surly the slow paced tranquility of an empty field is a utopia that should remain in the filed (pun intended) of idealism not reality!  Whilst York itself is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities I have found in the Uk, the empty felid was not!  The empty field surrounding me would of been amazing if it contained a petting zoo, a farm or the glasto pyramid stage; unfortunately my field was bleak. Crisis point was reached when ASOS informed me the van could not find my location and my delivery would have to be collected from the depot. I believe this was karma for me investing in 5 inch ankle boots rather than hunters! However a rather special picnic just last week may of been the small push I needed to get over my prejudice of empty fields and wax jackets. Whilst I may not be clicking together a red pair of Hunters claiming there really is no place like home, I am far more comfortable. In the words of Austen in Pride and Prejudice : “Angry people are not always wise.”, and anger I believe was the stem of my persistent refusal to settle, that and probably a bit of pride.
What caused this revelation? Well, as the title may suggest, it has a lot to do with a little book entitled Pride and Prejudice… oh and a picnic; an excellent library may be a fulfilling thing but a girls gotta eat! I shall just mention that I adore Pride and Prejudice, its one of my all time favourite stories and the first Jane Austen I read. Something about the concealed and confusing  admiration of both parties combined with the fine line between hatred and attraction really spoke to me as a 17 year old. It must have been down to some standard  teenage unrequited love and ever changing perceptions of people which allowed me to reduce the deeper themes of the book and make the rather too simple claim that I was Elizabeth Bennett.  I of course also loved a bit of society drama which delights in starring society’s members through their words and actions, another result of me thinking I was far wittier and observant that I really was in lower sixth.  Another reason to love Pride and Prejudice is that it inspired Bridget Jones, who I will claim for forever and a day is really me (But that shall be left for another post on another day)! My love for Darcy and Elizabeth has always grown alongside a displeasure for Heathcliff and Cathy, of Wuthering heights. I once drunkenly slurred to an english major that the restraint of Darcy is so more captivating  and meaningful  then the hyperbole of Heathcliff and Cathy  as its more authentic. Authentic, equal and genuine being my buzzwords for desirable attributes in relationships of 2013, again a subject for another post another time.  That my friends is the background to my interactions with one of the greatest love stories.
With the knowledge of my admiration for the book, my mother pointed out that Castle Howard was hosting a performance of the book with: a picnic, champagne reception and ‘meet ‘n’ greet’ with Mr Darcy on horseback. I think I was sold at champagne reception and the chance to leave the field. I booked my ticket and then hastily forgot about it. 2 weeks later (and a last ditch dash to M and S) I found myself making the drive, mother in tow,  to Castle Howard;  a place that I had not researched or heard of.  It was there that I realised there might just be something to this  tranquility and beauty of dales lark. What can I say, much like Elizabeth the beauty of (the bbc’s) Pemberly set among some empty fields, suddenly become quite enough and I gave up on my prejudices to emptiness and green.
The actual performance was amazing, it was open-air theatre and with the backdrop of a sun setting sky nothing could have been more perfect. Captivated once agin by the world of Lizzie and Darcy, I found my self ‘sigh’ at the climatic outburst: “My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”. Excellent game and form from the regency era.  Despite what I may have slurred to the english major, in my own awful game, it might not be the what is said that I love but in-fact the appearance of a genuine outpouring. The actual words if uttered to me would probably result in me laughing, cruelly,  but the rawness of Darcy’s declaration is something that shall probably be forever relatable and desirable. This performance captured it perfectly and with the setting it was made in to actual romantic magic whilst still being incredibly witty and funny. If you do get a chance to catch the last remaining dates of Charterhouse Theatre’s rendition of Pride andPredudice I would urge you to do so.

Finally,  I thought I might list what was contained in my picnic basket because I might aswell end on a list and its always nice to think about food rather than love. Whilst the basket wasn’t quite regency or cream tea it was pretty amazing!
* Mini French bread stick
* Mini cheese board, made up of three mini cheeses
* A packet of Calamari (roasted with red pepper)
*raspberry Jelly
*12 mini Macaroons
*Elderflower fizz.
Oh and this is what I wore (skirt is RIver Island and the basic tee is Topshop), I  curled my hair and clipped it in to a side ponytail  as If your not going to scrub up for Mr Darcy, who are you going to scrub up for?
Love Livs xxxx

Monday, 5 August 2013

A golden ticket to a gloriously understated golden glance!

“The golden age is before us, not behind us.”- William Shakespeare
All that glitters is not gold, however a hit of gold glitter eyeshadow never goes amiss in the summer season. As mentioned in my ‘products consistently at my fingertips’, I just can’t get enough of a glowing golden eye in the summer. A personal go to for any day that involves me breaking out of the field and enter the glimmering city walls of York.   The sheep may not appreciate the soft glow of this look, but the town sure does. Soft and understated but undoubtedly glorious.
With 3 colours, conveniently placed next to each other, in Urban Decay’s Naked 2 pallet, a simple golden eye can be achieved. The subtle gradient of colour (pictured right to left) adds a warmth and depth to the look , which, a simple wash of a gold pigment (half baked) could not achieve alone!
*Firstly, the eyes are primed with Bare Study, a golden and shimmer paint pot by mac. This gives the shadow something to cling to, brining out the gleaming gold.
*Then bootycall is placed with a shadow brush all over the lid and in the crease. I also placed some in the inner eye area (the hollow  between your tear duct and nose) using a pencil brush. Whilst I am normally not a huge fan of inner eye highlighting, it actually really works for this glowing look.
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* Half baked is then patted, rather than swiped, over the outer 2/3rds of the lid to intensify the colour . This keeps the inner part of the lid light and bright! Then I blended it in to the crease on a pointed crease brush. I prefer this look to be heavily blended, as I personally feel, the subtle gradient of colour depth is more flattering than a starker contrast.
*Then coppering is added to the outer corner. I do this with a pencil brush (If i wanted a stronger look I would apply it with an angled shader brush to have more product placed on the outer corner.). As the coppering is really only applied to give a warmth to the eye it is not overly dramatic.
*To give the eye a clear shape I use a square flat liner brush to press the coppering shadow in to a < shape on the outer edge of my eye. I line up the brush from the outer corner of my eye up towards where my eye brow ends. The second line is then placed on the bone above the crease (the eye socket) from the edge of the first line, facing towards the inner part of the eye. This technique allows a slightly stronger shape to the eye and even when blended down, as it is in this look, a cat eye is still alluded to.
*Using the same square flat liner brush I placed half baked and coppering under the eye, so that to gleams!
*With the cat shape already suggested by the shadow, liner is used to highlight it even more so. I used the Eyeko pen for the liner on the lid as this product allows a really thin line to be drawn. I then used gel liner on a liner brush for the flick as the consistency of the gel is slightly better to work with because you can control the pressure you place on the brush far more then with the pen. I also find the brush has a more fluid movement, which is better for the flick.
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*With a lashing of mascara theses golden glories are finished! Understated but undoubtedly glorious.!
*For me brows are a must! . I brushed the brows upwards using a spoolie, the tip of the spoolie was then used around the edges of the brow to direct the hairs in to a more defined shape. A few short strokes of ‘brows’ by topshop to fill in any small gaps and one final comb through finishes off the ‘arches of the soul’.
*Pared with a rich peachy nude (Posh tone by M.A.C) completes this look!
Look complete I’m able to head off in to the lustrous city to  exchange some golden glances and exchange my golden tickets for some Bucks!
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Love Livs xxxxx