Makeup Genius

A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 7 (small)A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 1 (small)

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a serial beauty junkie. I love finding new products, I’m always on the hunt for my own beauty holy grail / the perfect version of something (the perfect foundation that stays put all day, the perfect bright pink lip, the perfect eyeliner marker, the perfect nail polish in just the right shade of peachy-pink…), and even though I’ve figured out which looks suit me best and stick to a variation of two or three styles, I’m always up for trying new products and shades.

So when L’Oreal Paris asked me to give their new Makeup Genius app a whirl, I was only too happy to oblige. I confess that although I’m always keen to learn pro-tips to help elevate my everyday routine, I was somewhat sceptical of the premise of the app (the idea being that you ‘try on’ looks and products until you find the shades that suit you best). But honestly, the idea really is genius! The app scans your face and then lets you ‘try on’ any shade from the entire L’Oreal range (magically adding the product exactly where it should go on your face), as well as various looks from the brand’s portfolio; trialling different styles (and products) you might be hesitant to experiment with in real life.

A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 2 (small)A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 4 (small)In the picture above I’m wearing zero makeup in real life, but the app on my phone cleverly shows how the look / products will look on my face.

For this look (based on ‘Karlie’s Iconic Look’ from the app’s library of looks), I started with my usual base and concealer, adding some contour and depth around my cheekbones, jawline and temples with the L’Oreal Glam Bronze Duo. Next, I traded my usual bronze or plummy eyeshadows for this gorgeous metallic taupe (that seemed to make my green eyes brighter), sweeping it all over my eyelids; blending it a little more in the outer crease and around my bottom lash line for a daytime-friendly take on a smokey eye. I framed my eyes with a flick of Super Liner in ‘Blockbuster’ (an impressively thick and precise marker-style liner) and two coats of ‘Volume Million Feline Lashes’ mascara before finishing with Colour Riche Extraordinaire gloss in ‘600 Nude Vibrato’.

A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 5 (small) A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 6 (small) A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 8 (small)

I tend to stick with a pale peachy gloss on casual days or when I’m in the office (the Colour Riche gloss in ‘Nude Vibrato’ is now one of my everyday go-to products). But if the sky is grey, I’m feeling blah, or I’m wearing black (or I just want an instant desk-to-evening perk-up), I love adding a bold bright lip to lend a little more drama and make my look pop. Here – at the recommendation of Makeup Genius - I just added Colour Riche lipstick in ‘132 Magnolia Irreverent'; (the most perfect fuchsia pink and a new favourite in my makeup bag) to complete the look, and voila!

A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 9 (small) A Girl, A Style _ L'Oreal 10 (small)Wearing: Glam Bronze Duo in 101 // Colour Riche L’ombre Pure eyeshadow in 201 // Super Liner in ‘Blockbuster’ // Volume Million Feline Lashes mascara // lip gloss in ‘Nude Vibrato’ // Colour Riche lipstick in ‘Magnolia Irreverent’.

I’d love to know how you all find your perfect makeup looks; do you take inspiration from magazines, suggestions form beauty counters or, like me, just buy all the shades you like until you find the perfect products? I can’t recommend the L’Oreal Makeup Genius app (available to download here) enough for trialling some new looks and helping you to find the perfect shades for your skintone.

Love, Miss B xx

This post is in partnership with L’Oreal Paris. Photos by Beth Morton.

7 Things for the Weekend

A Girl, A Style _ Farmers Market

Hi lovelies! What are you all up to this weekend? I’ve been working all hours on a big project at work, so this week absolutely flew by with little time for play. This weekend I’m happily skipping Fashion Week (honestly, I just don’t enjoy the hectic schedule, the politics of attending shows and filling people’s Instagram feeds with blurry runway pictures…) in favour of catching up with friends and indulging in a few Autumnal traditions.

1. Autumn is officially here! Mark the start of the season with a trip to the farmers market to stock up on new season dahlias, berries, figs and apples and the last of the summer peaches.

2. The mornings are suddenly a whole lot chillier here in Cambridge. I just ordered this cute duffle coat to team with breton strips and ankle boots (though it seems to work with seemingly everything) on off-duty days.

3. I just ordered this for my entryway (because who doesn’t love a brass pineapple?).

4. This Upper East Side New York apartment on my friend Katy’s blog is the stuff of real estate dreams.

5. The NARS x Christopher Kane collection is all pretty great, but this perfect pale pink gloss in ‘Nucleus’ is my favourite (I’ve been wearing it nearly every day this week).

6. I loved this post: “I look like an Engineer”My fiancé is a scientist at Cambridge, and I’m always struck by how few women are in his courses at Cambridge (although it goes without saying that those who are there are brilliant). Like politics (remember my post here?), I’d love to see more women in STEM subjects, and this hashtag is a pretty great start at highlighting the pool of female talent that already exists.

7. Oh good, Mercury is in retrograde again. As usual, Gala Darling has the best guide to getting through it (which honestly is really great advice even if you’re a complete skeptic).

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. In case you missed my latest posts: Back to School (for grownups) + The Perfect Pair

Back to School (for Grownups)

A Girl, A Style _ Back to SchoolClockwise from top: Apple laptop (I just this week replaced my last iPad and MacBook Pro after 5 years of faithful service) // Anthropologie stapler (sold out, but identical version available here) // Kate Spade coaster c/- Magpie Decor // Kate Spade pencil case (also comes in a notebook version) // Rifle Paper Co. notebook + to-do list + notecards // Parker pen // Kate Spade 2015-16 agenda // Teapot c/- Magpie Decor.

Alright, let’s be frank: I’m hardly going anywhere near a school gate this year (I graduated high school – insert scream face emoji here – over fifteen years ago). But regardless of the fact I’m a grown woman in my 30s, I still derive as much pleasure from a few back-to-school rituals and a new set of stationery as I always did.

Although thankfully these days the stationery is from Kate Spade, the new school shoes are replaced by Ferragamo’s and the knee-high socks by Wolford opaque stockings, some things stay the same: I always start each season with a big organising and de-cluttering session (spring cleaning the entire house, making a list of what needs updating, and going through my wardrobe to remove anything worn out, the wrong size or no longer loved), re-stocking the basics and moving the out-of-season supplies to storage.

So whether you’re 15 or 35, the start of new term is always the perfect time to take stock of your progress during the year, set new goals, have an almighty organise + de-clutter session at home, and re-stock your supplies with a few lovely things for the new season. And there’s always room for excellent new stationery. 

A roundup of my favourite back-to-school supplies (for grownups):

I’d love to know: do you still start the new season with a few old back-to-school rituals? What are your favourite things to do + re-stock this time of year? 

Have a great term!

Love, Miss B xx


The Perfect Pair

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 13 (small)

The weather in Cambridge is being frankly bi-polar at the moment (glorious one day, drizzly and grey the next), so I’m trying to make the most of every bit of sunshine before summer disappears. My in-laws are visiting from Australia for a month, so we’ve been spending our weekends and evenings after work playing tourist in the city. The other Friday, I finished work an a little early (the perk of everyone except me being on vacation in August: less emails to deal with!), so decided to head straight to Kings College for an hour of downtime and lazing on the riverbank before the others arrived for our evening of picnicking and punting on the river (my favourite Cambridge summer pastime).

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 7 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 11 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 12 copy

I knew I wouldn’t have time to go home to change after work, so reached for this preppy-casual look that could take me from the office to a picnic. I teamed it with heels and an old favourite blazer during the day (to make it just polished enough for casual friday), and then just kicked off my shoes for punting.

For the sake of full disclosure: although I’ve bought my fiancé a few pairs of jeans and some great check shirts in Hollister (and honestly they wear better than most other brands in his wardrobe), I haven’t shopped there myself in years. But when they invited me into store to pick out my favourite pieces, I happily accepted on the basis that my best friend swears by their jeans and seems to be wearing a pair whenever I say she looks especially great.

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 6 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 3 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 9 (small)I bypassed the super-destroyed denim (too trendy for my taste) and the ultra-thin legging jeans (that don’t work if you have curves), and went for the classics. This gingham shirt is exactly my style and a wardrobe essential; I had spent a year hunting for the right one and have already since worn it tucked into navy chinos at the office and teamed with a little black a-line skirt on the weekend. I’m trying to incorporate different denim styles into my wardrobe (instead of reaching for the same three favourites), and these skinny blue jeans (I also bought a clean version without the ripped knees) are perfect for that preppy collegiate look I love, the same the quality as all my designer pairs (minus the price tag), and so comfortable (even while messing about on boats and cycling around town).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be lazing by the river…

A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 2 (small)A Girl, A Style _ The Perfect Pair 5 (small)Wearing: Hollister shirt c/- // Hollister jeans c/- // Sportsgirl blazer (old, but similar style here) // Rebecca Minkoff clutch (sold out, but similar style here) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar style here) // Karen Walker sunglasses // Mimco necklace (old, similar style here) // Michael Kors watch.
Beauty: NARS ‘Grace’ lipstick // Clinique ‘Soft Peach’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Like Dreamers Do’ nail polish. 

This post is in collaboration with Hollister. Photos by Beth Morton