Makeup Genius

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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’.

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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.

How to Master Everyday Smokey Eyes with Bobbi Brown

A Girl, A Style _ Smokey Eyes with Bobbi Brown

While I love to experiment with my makeup as the seasons change, my everyday look remains fairly consistent: polished skin, a smokey eye with a flick of liner, and a nude or bright lip. I have been using Bobbi Brown for years (their brow kit and gel liner are two of my longtime makeup staples), but their new Smokey Nudes eyeshadow palette is my new favourite. It incorporates every shade I look for, but is versatile enough to create all the eye looks I favour (bronzed, smokey, bold or a classic 60s cat eye). I’ve teamed up with Bobbi Brown to share how I create my everyday smokey bronzed look:

Step 1: Start with polished skin (I used my usual foundation + concealer under my eyes), a hint of peachy blush and groomed brows (I used my old favourite Bobbi Brown brow kit).

Step 2: Using a flat shadow brush or fingertip, blend the palest shade in the Smokey Nudes eye palette all over the eyelids up to the brow. Follow with the cream shimmer to the crease and into the inner eye socket. Add contour by blending the matte taupe shade along the crease.

Step 3: With a fluffy shadow brush, gradually build up colour all over the lid with the metallic brown shade and along the bottom lash line using a smudge brush (this can be as light or as bold as you wish; use a damp brush for the strongest colour). Add depth around the outer corners and along the crease with the sparkly chocolate shade. Finish by pressing a touch of the sparkly pink shade onto the centre of the lids to make the whole look pop.

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Step 4: For extra-long wear, I started with a thin line of my favourite Bobbi Brown gel liner right along at the lashes. Using the inky black Smokey Eye Kajal Liner, add a line all along the upper lash line and on the outer third of the bottom lash line (thickening the line slightly towards the outer edges of the eye), before smudging the whole line slightly with the pencil’s sponge tip. Curl your lashes for good measure, and add a coat of mascara (is it physically possible for any woman to put on mascara without pulling a bizarre face? Not me, that’s certain…).

Step 5: Add a little contour using a bronzer under the cheekbones and around the temples, and a light-reflecting illuminator along the cheekbones, around the brow bones and down the bridge of the nose (I used the Shimmer Brick in ‘Sandstone’). Finish with a swipe of nude lipstick (I used the Creamy Matte lip colour in ‘Nude Rose’). Et voila!

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A Girl, A Style _ Smokey Eyes with Bobbi Brown 2 Wearing: Equipment shirt // Lulu Frost necklace // BaubleBar earrings // ASOS hair clip.
Beauty: Smokey Nudes eye palette c/- // Shimmer Brick c/- // lipstick c/- // kajal eyeliner // mascara c/- // brow kit (all products by Bobbi Brown)

Love, Miss B xx

This post is in partnership with Bobbi Brown. 

7 Ways to Welcome Autumn with Bobbi Brown

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Outside, the brisk evenings are drawing in and there is the palpable feeling of change in the air. As the leaves begin to fall and autumn announces its arrival, I suddenly desire  a few new pleasures; cosy cashmere to snuggle into, a refreshed beauty aesthetic and a little luxurious glamour. I’m thrilled to team up with Bobbi Brown (one of my favourite everyday beauty brands) to celebrate the new season.

1. As the temperature drops and the seasons change, so too do I crave a few changes come autumn. For me, the easiest way to transition my look for the season is with an overhaul of my beauty bag. I switch my fresh summer fragrances to those with a little more depth, step up the hydration, and tweak my makeup look. Pastels are replaced by warm hues, and my everyday bronzed eye becomes a little more smoky and sultry. My favourite go-to is the Bobbi Brown smokey nudes palette; I’ll wear a contoured 60s eye for day, a smudgy, smoky look for evenings, or a molten metallic for parties.

2. As with the changes to my beauty look, each season I look forward to refreshing my wardrobe. Girlish pieces are pushed aside in favour of a slightly more sophisticated, classic aesthetic, summer’s floaty white blouses and lace dresses are paired with tuxedo jackets and polished accessories, and a neutral palette is offset with a singular pop of colour in the form of fuchsia nails or berry-stained lips (I like Creamy Matte lipstick in ‘Bright Lily’).

3. Make the most of the last warm days of the year with a gloriously lazy weekend filled with all your favourite simple pleasures. Team a chic neutral beauty look (try with your favourite weekend uniform for a leisurely brunch and a walk around the neighbourhood with someone you love.

4. Treat yourself to a few fabulous dates with your girlfriends. As the nights draw in, I like to retreat to cosy, glamorous haunts where I can get dolled up (a smokey cat eye using inky black kajal liner is always appropriate in this scenario) and linger over good conversation and a marvellous cocktail or two.

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5. Make the most of the harvest season and stop by your local farmer’s market for a bounty of local autumn produce. I love stopping for a hot chocolate and s’mores, buying armfuls of flowers, and going home with a basket of plump figs, apples, blackberries and pumpkins and turning them into something delicious.

6. Transform your place into a cosy, inviting retreat. Invest in a few new home comforts  (I like those to aid luxurious hibernation; scented candles, divine bed linen, gorgeous lighting and a good supply of tea and books), spend an afternoon organising your wardrobe and beauty cabinet, and add a few fresh flowers in each room. Invite your friends around for an old-fashioned movie night/slumber party, or host a cocktail party for a few of your nearest and dearest. Just add a swipe of red lipstick (Creamy Matte lipstick in ‘Heart’ is my current favourite) and a swinging soundtrack.

7. Play tourist around town or take a trip to the countryside to see all the changing colours of the season. Go for a long bike ride, visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, tour a historic home, and jump in piles of crunchy leaves.

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Stay tuned for my tutorial on how to achieve the perfect smokey nude look for autumn using the new Bobbi Brown collection.

This post is in partnership with Bobbi Brown

How to be Fabulous Each Morning (in 15 Minutes)

A Girl, A Style _ How to be Fabulous

I don’t know about you, but during the week, I never have the luxury of being able to take my time getting ready. If I want more than half an hour to get ready, then I have to either forgo sleep or get to the office late (and frankly, I’d rather lie in bed for those blissful ten minutes after my alarm goes off than spend time styling my hair). Needless to say, I’m by now an expert in getting out that door as quickly as possible, without turning into a frazzled, grumpy mess.

The secret to leaving the house feeling your best? Leave ten minutes to do your makeup (more if you can spare it) and always do a few things that feel leisurely and fun, no matter how rushed you are (for me that’s taking a few minutes to put on a soundtrack to listen to while I’m getting ready, make a quick + healthy breakfast to have while I’m doing my makeup, and always remembering my lipstick, perfume and jewels: those finishing touches that make me feel ‘done’).

Here’s how I do it when I’ve got 15 minutes flat:

One minute: Turn on music that makes me want to have a dance party in the bathroom (hello, Motown!). Brew coffee/put fruit in the blender. Jump in the shower (Jo Malone shower gel starts the morning off right), brush teeth + sing badly.

Four minutes: Quick face routine + slather on body moisturiser (+ sunscreen if it’s summer). Get coffee/juice, giggle at my boyfriend’s silly jokes.

Six minutes: Dry shampoo (Batiste is the best bargain in my beauty arsenal) + quickly run a GHD or tongs through the front and ends of my hair. Twist hair into a bun while it’s still warm to set while I’m getting ready.

Eight minutes: When I’m short on time, I focus on perfecting my complexion and adding a pop of colour. I start with BB cream all over + long-wear foundation and concealer where I need it.

Ten minutes: Add a glow (I like Nars illuminator around the cheek/browbones, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow), lightly buff bronzer into the cheekbones/temples/jawline) then a pop of peachy blush on the cheeks.

Eleven minutes: Add a flick of liquid liner (I’ve tried them all, and this Stila marker version is absolutely the best; foolproof and SO fast), fill in brows and a wash of pearly/bronze shadow if you have a moment.

Twelve minutes: Spritz on perfume (this Jo Malone version is my current favourite), undo hair (shake out waves or pin back into a loose undo), and get dressed in something that makes you feel fantastic.

Fourteen minutes: Add a dash of sparkle (if in doubt, add a statement necklace or a pair of fabulous earrings). Do a twirl + turn off Motown soundtrack.

Fifteen minutes: Grab handbag, do a quick outfit check, smile and go!

In transit: Add a coat of mascara and a pop of bright lipstick on the bus/train/at the lights if you ran out of time at home (ie. these are the only two acceptable steps to do in public; never your whole makeup routine). Write your ‘to do’ list for the day (be sure to include something just for you/that makes you smile). Spend the morning being pulled-together + fabulous!

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Pictured (L-R): Nars ‘Turkish Delight’ lipgloss // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (from Nicolette) //  BaubleBar earrings c/- (similar style available at Shopbop) // Nars ‘413 BLKR’ illuminator c/- // Nars ‘New Attitude’ blush.

Do you have any tips for getting-fabulous-quick each morning?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. By popular request, I’m bringing back Beauty Wednesday each fortnight. Do you have any requests for future beauty posts? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter / Instagram!