Saturday, 28 September 2013

REVIEW: Lancôme Teint Visionnaire

One of the advantages of blogging that I’m really excited about getting into in a BIG way is raving on ad infinitum about the products that I just plain adore, can’t live without, won’t ever stop using, am over the moon that I’ve finally found etc. etc.

What better way to start things off than to wax lyrical about my Holy Grail foundation, LancômeTeint Visionnaire! The wonderful team at Beautyheaven invited me to trial this stunning makeup back in March of this year, and after 6 months wear (on work days & special occasions), it’s only just run out. I purchased the exact same shade (035) a couple of days ago, and scored a magnificent GWP as well (more on that later).

How many foundations have I tried in my reasonably long lifetime? 100? 200? No idea really, but I reckon it’s a LOT. How many have I been very happy with? Probably around 10 or so, but if I take it to the next level and say “deliriously happy with”, then the answer is a big fat ONE, and you guessed it, it’s Teint Visionnaire.

First up, it’s the perfect colour match for my skin tone. I have light-medium skin with yellow undertones, BUT I also have amber freckles all over my face. This makes it really hard to find a matching foundation – if I go for the lighter skin colour between the freckles, I look like a ghost, or gravely ill at the very least. But if I match the freckles, I’m a dead ringer for Malibu Barbie - eek! Shade 035 is pretty much smack bang in the middle, and it ends up blending my two complexion colours into one, and my skin looks fabulous.

The most amazing thing about this foundation is that even in closeup, it’s barely noticeable. It covers the red spider veins around my nose, softens the appearance of my deep lines, and seemingly melts away the fine ones. I apply the matching super clever in-cap concealer over any trouble spots, like the pinky areas around my nose, a pigmentation spot above my right eye-brow, and an odd red lump thingy I have on my right cheek. I end up looking like I have near perfect skin, and no-one, and I mean NO-ONE can tell that I’m wearing foundation. How utterly awesome is that?

The finish is a wee bit dewy at first (I have an oily T-zone), but it settles down after a few minutes, and all I do is pat a light dusting of translucent finishing powder over the top, and it lasts all day without having to do another thing to it, not even one touch up. And the Visionnaire serum content keeps working on my enlarged pores throughout the day (I also use Visionnaire serum religiously every night, have done so ever since it was released).

So….yes it’s official - I do declare this is my HG foundation. At $65, it doesn’t come cheap, but for what it does for my complexion, it’s worth every dollar, and as I only wear it on weekdays and when I’m going out, a bottle lasts for 6 months. Which makes it a no brainer to justify the initial outlay, and with the added bonus of brilliant GWP’s, I’m way WAY in front.

Speaking of Lancôme GWP’s, I scored this beauty the other day at Myer when I bought my foundation. To qualify I had to spend $75, so I lashed out (literally!) and added Hypnose Drama mascara to my haul (I’ll do a review on that later), and chose the Absolue pack below.

So gals, what’s your HG foundation, or are you still in seek mode? Have you tried Lancôme Teint Visionnaire?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Thursday, 26 September 2013

HOW-TO: Spring Flowers EOTD...

Yippee Spring is here! I’m doing tra-la-la happy dances now that she’s arrived – one of my absolute favourite times of the year, when the temperature starts to climb and the days begin to grow longer. I always feel more energised after the Spring Equinox – I think it’s the promise of heaps more daylight, and an end to the winter woollies (at last!). Which also means it’s time to pop the top off the fake tan bottle, and spruce up my tootsies ready for those open-toed shoes…

It’s also the time for blossom trees and garden beds to let loose their colour and fragrance, hence my multi-hued EOTD inspired by Mother Nature’s blooms. Because it involves several colours, I’ve included steps & photos, so here we go…

Step 1
Tightline the top lashline - this time I used bhcosmetics black liquid liner

Step 2
I stroked an essence white kajal pencil all over the top lid as a base, and patted it smooth – makes colours really pop!

Steps 3-8

Next I added the pigments one by one using a fine angled liner brush – these fabulous matte shadows are all by Sugarpill: Buttercupcake, Acidberry, Poison Plum & Dollipop.

Steps 9 & 10
Then I applied the same shadows towards the crease, but changed the sequence - started with the purple followed by pink, yellow and green, so that I ended up with a mottled effect. (This doesn’t show up too well on my eyes because I have hoods, but I do it anyway so that when I look down, everything still looks pretty).

Step 11
Using a larger soft brush, I blended the colour joins using a sparkly sheer white shadow from the Innoxa Gorgeous Grey palette.

Step 12
Time to line the lower lashline with MNY Master Precise Liquid Liner, plus some MUA pearl #9 blended over it to soften it down.

Step 13
Because the lower line was bolder than the (now) pastel shadows, I lined the top lashline also with MNY Master Precise Liquid Liner to balance it out. This is starting to look a bit more like me :-)

Step 14
I cleaned up the waterline and added some essence white kajal to cover the blotches.

Step 15
Curled the lashes, then applied two coats of Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara, and finished with one layer of Maybelline The Falsies.

Step 16
I decided that the colours were too pale and there was more sparkle than I intended, so I dabbed a bit more of the matte pigments over each segment, and pushed a fine line of MUA #9 into the crease.

So here’s the finished Spring Flower look:

Hope you like this EOTD, and it gets you in the mood for Spring. And please do let me know if outlining the steps is helpful :-)

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

EOTD: Burgundy & Pink...

Last weekend I changed my hair colour from fire engine red to deep cherry (even surprised myself!). As is often the case with home colouring, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would turn out. If the truth be known, my first thought was EEK, what have I done! But if I think back, that's always been my reaction when I've made a dramatic change - it usually takes a bit of getting used to when you've had the same colour for a while. Although this shade is far deeper than I expected, I’m absolutely loving it :-)

It’s a rare thing for me to wake up in the morning, glance quickly in the mirror while I comb my hair, and have my face look good without makeup. Believe me as I've aged, looking ok barefaced starts to become a long lost dream, so I’m very pretty chuffed that I managed to achieve a shade that’s amazingly flattering to my skin tone, and especially minus the slap.

For me a new hair colour always means a re-evaluation of my makeup shades, from lipstick through to blush & bronzer, and most definitely eye shadow. So for day one, I opted for a similar toning to my locks. Probably more of a broody Autumn/Winter look, but I’ll be playing around with some Spring brights later in the week.

Here’s what I used
bhcosmetics black liquid liner to tightline the top lashes
MNY Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk all over the lid as a base
Revlon Luminous Color Diamond Lust shadow in Starry Pink along the top lashline
MUA matte charcoal (Shade #20) towards the crease and underneath
MNY Precise Liquid Liner on the lower lashline
Benefit EyeBright on the waterline
MUA matte beige on the hood...

Do you colour your hair at home?  How often do you review your makeup kit shades?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

EOTD: Teal Shimmer...

Ahhh TEAL - one of my all time favourite shades. Whenever I see it I think of the sea, ocean waves and all things mermaidy.  It's fresh and pretty, and delicate enough to never be considered over the top.

My eyes are tealy green and I wear this shade often. I've heard "experts" say you should avoid going for a shadow that's the same colour as your eyes, but instead go for a contrast. They use examples like "well, a jewellery store wouldn't show off an emerald gemstone on a green cushion - it would get lost in the background!". I say phooey - we're gals and we can do whatever we want (ha ha!), and besides, I think a perfectly matching shade can enhance your eye colour beautifully and actually give it heaps more impact.

Here's what I used to create this look:

Eye of Horus Charcoal Obsidian Goddess Pencil to tightline
MNY Color Tattoo in Too Cool all over the top lid as a base
The palest teal from the essence 3D Irresistible Mermaid Kiss duo along the top lashline (applied moist)
Deepest teal from the NYX Bohemian Chic Nude Matte palette over the rest and underneath
A dusting of Revlon Diamond Lust shadow in Neptune Star over everything
Essence white kajal on the waterline
MUA matte beige on the hood...

Do you prefer to wear shadows that contrast with your eye colour? What colour are your eyes, and which shadow shade works best for you?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

EOTD: Silvery Moon...

I remember reading somewhere or other that as you age, you should avoid shimmery eye shadow because of its tendency to accentuate wrinkles and creases. While I totally agree that using mattes in the area above the eye is a far better option (and in my case, the ONLY option), there's no way I'm giving up sparkly or shiny pearlescent shadows on my lids until I'm 90!  Well, maybe not 90, but at least 70 ha ha...

There's just something so pretty and femnine about shimmer shadows, the way they catch the light, and bring life to older eyes, even if they are starting to lose their fight with gravity. I reckon it's all in the placement, and keeping the sparkles as close as possible to the eyes themselves.

So here's a look I created last week. I have a tendency to wear silvers and smokey greys on Mondays - after all, it's the day that's ruled by the Moon (the french word for Monday is Lundi - lunar). More on what planet rules the other days in future posts...

So for this EOTD, I started as usual by tightlining the upper lid with a black liner - I love the bhcosmetics liquid eyeliner felt pen as it stays put, doesn't smudge, and I have complete control over where the pigment ends up. It's also only $6, so I'm giving them a plug...

Below are the brushes I used (oops, I took this pic before I cleaned them!). I've numbered them so you can follow my steps more easily, and see which ones work best for the different areas.

Next I applied MNY Colour Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt as a base all over the top lid, using brush #5. I think I bought this double-ender in KMart for less than $6 - the rounded end is great for patting down & smoothing the cream evenly, and I used the angled end to achieve a crisp line in the crease. I find MNY tattoos work brilliantly as a base to hold powder shadows in place all day, and I don't have to use a primer.

Along the top lashline, I applied a silver shadow from a Lancome GWP palette, using brush #4 - this is my favourite angled liner brush, it's a MAC 263 and I couldn't survive without it. I dipped it in water and then touched it on a tissue before loading up the shadow - the moisture makes most shimmery shadows super creamy, and you get more light reflection.

Over the rest of the lid, I applied essence colour & shine shadow in Let's do the Moonwalk using #3, a beautifully soft Bed Head brush that a precious friend sent to me. I use this all the time for applying bulk quantities of pigment. These essence baked shadows are terrific value and quality, but I just checked their website, and it looks like they've been discontinued - boo!

In the crease and the outer corner, I blended in some Urban Decay Zero, also using #3.

MNY Master Precise Liquid Liner is my favourite lower liner because it's so fine, and even I find it very difficult to stuff up the application lol. I softened it using brush #2 loaded up with Let's do the Moonwalk. Can't speak highly enough of Ecotools brushes - they are excellent quality and very reasonably priced.

We're almost done :-) Using brush #1, I applied MUA matte beige (#17) on the hood. I reckon these MUA mattes are as good as those made by TheBalm, and a fraction of the price (I think they work out at less than $2 per pan - unbelievable!). They are finely milled, creamy and easily blended - the only flaw is that there's only 4 colours in the range :-(

On the waterline, I added essence white kajal pencil to cover up the pinky blotches that seem to be getting worse as I age. Out of everything I've learned about makeup application, lining the waterline with a light coloured crayon has had the most impact on my appearance - gives my older eyes such a lift, and makes the whites of my eyes appear whiter.

After curling my lashes, I applied several coats of Covergirl Lashblast waterproof mascara, and one final sweep of MNY waterproof The Falsies mascara for a bit of extra bulk.

So that's my Silvery Moonday look - goes with pretty much anything :-) How do you feel about shimmery shadows? Do you wear particular colours on certain days of the week?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 15 September 2013

EOTD: Blue Moon...

Here's the first of many EOTD's I'll be posting :-)

While I have a penchant for multi-coloured looks, I often go for a single intense shade for an extra dose of drama, and BLUE eye shadow and I have only recently fallen in love. I didn't wear it for over 20 years because I honestly didn't think it did anything to enhance my tealy green eyes, and in those days, I used light blue and applied it all the way up to my eyebrows (as was the fashion at the time). I was a bottle blonde at the time, and in hindsight, the whole effect was quite cringeworthy ha ha...

But all that's changed, as have I, and my application techniques. There are so many stunning variations available nowadays, and having learned about multi-layering to achieve depth and light-play, BLUE has skyrocketed right up there amongst my favourite hues.

So here's what I used, and where I applied it:
  • Tightline the upper lashline with bhcosmetics waterproof eye liner in Midnight (deep blue)
  • Pat Maybelline New York Colour Tattoo in Electric Blue all over the top lid as a base
  • Essence Colour & Shine shadow in Blue Moon along the top lashline, applied with a moist brush to bring out the shimmer
  • Ink from the SleekV2 matte palette over the back half of the lid for extra depth and definition
  • A dusting of Blue Moon all over the top
  • MNY Master Precise Liquid Liner along the bottom lashline
  • A smudge of essence Blue Moon over that to soften the line
  • bhcosmetics waterproof eye liner in Midnight on the waterline
  • MUA matte beige on the hood...

I just love the contrast with my red hair, and as you'll see in the coming weeks, I'm crazy about shadows that sparkle and shimmer when they catch the light.

How do you feel about BLUE eye shadow - are you a fan, or do you avoid it like the plague?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Perfect Red Lip...

There are certain makeup items I avoided for most of my life, well, until the last few years anyway. Things that I thought didn't suit me at all, wouldn't make that much difference to my appearance, or that I associated with a completely different personality other than my own.

Black mascara was one - hard to believe I know, but I wore brown for over 40 years in the absolute certainty that black was too tacky and dramatic for my colouring. I balked at eyelash curlers - thought them decidedly strange contraptions that reminded me of torture tools from the Middle Ages (why would anyone even consider inflicting pain on their precious eyelids?) Bold black eyeliner was another - ooooh noooo! Way too tarty and extreme for a pale-eyed fair-skinned beauty like me...

But now? Honestly I can hardly believe that person was me - I look back at those funny little foibles and laugh myself silly, because these days I wouldn't dream of stepping outside the door without using EVERY SINGLE ONE of them!

But, still there was one last frontier that hadn't been breached - the red lip. Absolutely not, never, forget it, no way, are you kidding, red lips with red hair? Sure I've worn & loved coppery shades and the occasional berry when I was feeling particularly daring, but bright fire-engine red lips? N.O., and I mean NOWell...lately I've had my suspicions that maybe, just maybe, I hadn't found the right shade for me. You know, the one that just absolutely leaps out and says "I am The One!"?

And then, as luck would have it, the entire range of L’Oreal Infallible 2-Step Lip Colour turned up as part of my Blogstar prize. There are three reds in the set, and I'm tickled pink red to say that one of them, Continual Crimson, is The One! It's what I'd call an orangey red, one that flatters my yellowy undertoned skin in a way that I didn't think was possible. I'm planning on writing a full review of this brilliant product shortly, but for now, may I present to you MY ravishingly red lippie.

And here it is on my lips...

I'm delighted to have found a red at last that I feel comfortable wearing, happy as a clam actually. So what's the next personal beauty barrier I'll be breaking through? I'm thinking...maybe...false eye lashes? Lol, that one might take me a wee while longer :-)

Are there any makeup products that you simply won't wear? Are you a fan of bright red lipstick? Have you found your perfect shade yet? Please do let me know what it is - I'm on a mission to track down some more :-)  

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 9 September 2013

Get To Know Me Tag

Gosh I've only been blogging for 24 hours, and am both thrilled and honoured to have been tagged by Lady Sapphire!  Thanks heaps Gemma, I so enjoyed reading your answers to Ms Jelena's tag.

So here goes with my responses to Lady Sapphire's questions...

What's your favourite way to style your hair?

My hair is super short, but it's very thick and frizzy, unmanageable at times (especially in damp weather) but I always go for straightening it out when I blow dry (to get it as silky and smooth as possible), then put a dab of polish on my fingers and run them through the top and the fringe, for some extra shine and texture.  Then I mess it up a bit so it doesn't look too contrived - can't bear that helmet-head look lol...

What's that one movie that you could re-watch over and over again?

Now this was a challenge as I have so many favourites.  But I'm going for Stargate because I'm a big sci-fi fan, especially if it involves anything remotely egyptian, and the whole concept just plain fascinates me...

Do you have any pets?? I wanna hear all about them!

There are 2 mature cats in my family.  Natasha (10), a white and blue-grey stray moggy from the animal shelter - she's a total sweetheart, very affectionate, and unrecognisable from the crazy half-starved loner we picked up from the pound.  And Coco (9), an almost black Bengal-Siamese cross who loves Mummy cuddles, skulking around, and playing "catch the biscuit".

What's on your nails right now? Nothing...what polish is due to be applied next?

I so rarely wear polish on my fingernails (I'm too busy doing eye-makeup looks lol) but my toes are currently sporting Sinful Colors Boogie Nights, and my plan is to try out Orly Opal Hope next...

What's your favourite thing about blogging?

Well it's very early days for me (day 1 in fact!), but so far I'm overwhelmed by the open and welcoming arms of all the gorgeous bloggers in the community - there's such a strong camaraderie, and I'm delighted to be a part of it :-)

Well that was lots of fun! Thank you again Lady Sapphire for including me :-)

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Hello and welcome to kats colourings...

I've just entered the world of blogging :-)

Been toying with the idea for several months, but wasn't at all sure I'd have the time to dedicate to providing a variety of content with regular updates. However, after winning the beautyheaven Aspiring Bloggers category of the Australian Blogstar Awards 2013, I was both inspired and determined to make it happen. (Part of the exciting prize was a guest blog-spot on beautyheaven, and my first contribution went up this weekend.)

So here I am plunging head-first, and clinging for my life to the blog-world vertical learning curve - eek! It will no doubt take a while to get the hang of things, but meanwhile I thought I'd begin with a collage of what I love to do most - eye makeup looks. I'm crazy for colour and adore putting complimentary hues together to match my outfits, and take great delight in experimenting with different shadow textures - mattes, creams, pearls, glitters, suedes, gels, shimmers, you name it, I'll try it lol. Liner work is probably my weakest point, but it's all a matter of practise, practise, practise!

My right eye is not the least bit photogenic, so you'll only ever see my left in close-up...

Hope you enjoy this collection -  there'll be plenty more where these came from, and going forward, I'll do my best to include how-to's and a list of the products used.

Take care of you,
kats xxx