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.

Kitties and Cats

Regular readers will know that despite my very serious day job, I never like to take my wardrobe too seriously. While my daily outfits are mostly a steady rotation of breton stripes, silk blouses and pretty dresses, I love and injection of wit and whimsy that serves only to make me smile when practicality just won’t do. (Yes England, I am talking about you and your seemingly perpetually rainy skies this month…)So when this package of goodies from Paul and Joe’s absurdly cute anniversary cat collection arrived on my doorstep the other day (thank you!), I practically squealed with glee! While they’re all the most wearable and pretty colours in their own right, the adorable packaging (the cutest I have ever seen) makes me smile the whole time I’m using it. I mean, blush sticks shaped like gentemanly cats in hats and paw print lipsticks? In my opinion, makeup should more commonly be shaped like small furry creatures…!

And while it wasn’t strictly necessary to team it with my favourite Charlotte Olympia Kitty heels and golden cat ring from Whistles, I couldn’t resist throwing all semblence of restraint out the window and embracing Cat Lady-chic with wild abandon. I’d love to know how you’re currently injecting a little fun into your wardrobe? All this rain surely calls for something to make our wardrobe smile!

Love, Miss B xx


Beauty: Winter Beauty Swaps

As the last of the autumn leaves fall from the trees and the skies turn grey for the wintery months, it is only logical that just as our wardrobe changes, so too do our beauty needs. For while some things are appropriate year round (impeccable grooming, drinking more water), most things in our beauty routine can benefit from a little seasonal tweak here and there. So if you haven’t already, these are a few of the best seasonal beauty switches you can make in your routine:

Skincare: Skin has a rather unwelcome tendency to be dull and lifeless in winter. Give it a helping hand by sloughing away dull skin twice a week with a gentle exfoliant, switching to a slightly richer face and eye cream than you would normally use in the summer months and, if you can manage it, adding a radiance-boosting serum for day (I love Caudalie’s Vinoperfect serum) and a vitamin-packed hydrating oil or treatment for night time a couple of times a week – either alone or beneath your face cream. As is usually the case, I personally swear by Aesop for all of the above (I used to have sensitive and irritated skin in winter, but they put a stop to that), but their Damascan Rose Face Treatment and Parlsey Seed Facial Cleanser (with lactic acid which acts as a gentle exfoliant every time you use it) are particularly excellent.

Body: Yes, you may hidden beneath layers of cashmere, but parched skin is never pretty. Make exfoliation and hydration your bathroom mantra. Twice a week in the shower, scrub all over (I use either Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub or Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Polish squeezed on a loofah glove) then douse yourself in a rich body cream or a heavenly-scented body oil from neck to toe (I adore Lierac Huile Sensorielle). Make sure you stay hydrated the rest of the time too (I’m personally in favour of a moisturiser with a hint of self tan so that I don’t look ghostly pale, but on others this can just look unnatural, so use whatever you love).
Fragrance note: Unless you are strictly loyal to a single signature fragrance, don’t forget to change your fragrance with the seasons. I’ve just brought out my favourite cold-weather scents, Stella McCartney Parfum (I love the new floral bottles) and Diptyque L’Ombre Dan L’Eau – both deep, warm rosy florals which feel luxurious on a cold morning.

Makeup: Now is the time to switch your candy brights and sweet pastels for something with a little more oomph. I’m normally a dolly pink cheeks and nude lip kind of girl, but at the moment I’m addicted to the way a deep red lipstick (at the moment, Chanel’s Rouge Allure in 71 Fatale is my favourite – a deep burgundy red), a plum metallic shadow (Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre mousse shadow pot in Ebloui, which makes my eyes look so green) and a warm, glowy complexion look against a dark wintery palette.

For eyes: go for plummy or bronzey metallic shadows blended all across the eyelid, or stay simple with a bold flick of liquid eyeliner and fluttery lashes. Don’t forget the waterproof mascara and eyeliner if there’s a downpour outside!
For lips: swap your candy brights or pale nudes for a deep red (don’t be shy – the effect it has on a drab grey day is addictive!). Go for lipstick over gloss, and make lip balm your best friend (wind-chapped lips are never pretty).
For cheeks: keep your complexion warm and glowy with a touch of luminescent highlighter along the cheekbones and a sweep of coral or plummy blush. If you have dry skin, you may also want to try switching from a powder blush to a cream or gel version.
For nails: Whereas in summer I was addicted to sugary pastels and neon reds, now it has to be either deep plummy shades, metallics, or glittery sparkle (which makes even the greyest day fun and twinkly). Don’t forget to keep polish neat, as chipped polish is harder to hide when you’re wearing dark burgundy.

Which seasonal beauty swaps will you be making?

Love, Miss B xx

Introducing Beauty Wednesday

I have a confession to make: I am a hardcore beauty junkie. By this I don’t just mean that I enjoy putting on lipstick and getting my hair done, but rather that I will refuse to rest until I have tried approximately 326 products in any given beauty category (mostly so that I can feel smug at being able to decide which is the best). I don’t just use one moisturiser; I currently have 12 on rotation. And there are a total of 32 hair products (!) currently in my bathroom. And that says nothing of the two storage tubs of products that are stashed under my bed waiting to be trialled, the tubes of hand cream and bottles of perfume scattered on tables all over my house, or the 5 lipbalms/sticks/glosses in each of my handbags (in case I decide to change colours by lunchtime… as you do).

I am not saying this is normal (or even commendable) behaviour, but it does make me useful for one thing: dishing out beauty tips. Yes, I am that girl who my friends and colleagues and lovely readers come to when they want to know which face cream will make them look like a radiant 15 year old and which are just a waste of money, what on earth a serum is, how to zap the world’s biggest pimple, or where to go for the best haircut in London. Rather embarrassingly, I usually know the answer. And if I don’t, I make it my mission for the next fortnight to find out and report back.

So from now on, I’ll be doing regular mid-week beauty posts on any and every subject vaguely related to the world of beauty in amongst my usual ramblings about glittery shoes and wardrobe essentials. I’ve got a cluster of posts lined up, but please do reply or email with any special requests/beauty-related questions and I will happily oblige by doing a post on the subject.

Until then my lovelies…

Love, Miss B xx