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17 February 2014

How high maintenance is your bedtime beauty routine?!

Lately I've found that I'm getting to bed a lot later than usual and I think it's because of my bedtime beauty routine, which is pretty high maintenance…


16 February 2014

Bridal Diary: Would you do your own wedding makeup?

A question that I ask a lot of makeup artists is: who would do your wedding makeup? It's a simple question but to someone who applies makeup for a living, handing the reigns to another person must be difficult. After all, you know what you like and you're used to your own style of makeup application - what if she contours using the wrong brush?! Or uses a thicker primer?! 

It's also a question that I was asking myself recently because, although I'm not a makeup artist, I'm not sure how I'd feel about someone else doing my makeup. Working in the beauty industry for so long has got me used to my own style of makeup application and so I'm a little worried about someone else doing it for me. 

I did get my makeup done once and it wasn't a nice experience... The MUA in question (I won't say who!) was working backstage at an event and I cheekily asked her to do a smokey eye on me. After what can only be described as a slap dash of black eyeshadow and A LOT of bronzer she gave me the mirror where I was greeted by a drunken panda. I've been scarred for life since... 

As with all my wedding decisions so far I've made a list of pros and cons to help me decide if it's worth the risk...

Reasons to hire a Makeup Artist
It's your big day which means that it's Most brides will lie and say that it's about love and family but that's just so they don't come across as conceited - it is all about the bride and so I owe it to myself to look the best that I possibly can!

It's a chance to relax - after monnths of planning, appointments, multi-tasking, this is the one chance I'll probably get to just sit still for 3-4 hours and relax, maybe with a drink and some chocolates, while someone else takes care of the wedding stuff. 

They know what they're doing - I have a basic undersanding of how to apply makeup, learnt mostly through trial and error and Youtube, but I'm no expert. And I can't style hair to save my life (thank God I wear a scarf) so it makes sense that I'd hire someone to take care of it for me. 

Reasons not to hire a Makeup Artist

Costs - brides that are on a budget may not want to fork out thousands (yes, thousands...) on hair and makeup, espically as there are so many other events in the lead up to the wedding.

I can't think of any other reasons not to hire a makeup artist - it's a special day - treat yourself!

I've decided to to my own makeup for the pre-wedding parties but for the big day I'm leaving it to the pros... Now it's just a case of finding someone...

Would you do your own wedding makeup?! And does anyone have recommendations for a good MUA??

11 February 2014

CELEBRITY: Best beauty looks at the Zee Cine awards

I'm so impressed with the hair and makeup at this week's Zee Cine awards! I don't think there was a single look that I didn't like and get this, everyone looked different. Big accomplishment for Bollywood I tell ya. 
Priyanka Chopra
This is a little casual for the red carpet IMO but her makeup does look very pretty, albeit understated, and her hair looks impossibly glossy! The curls are a little too defined and could've done with some fingers running through it but I like how it's been casually tossed to the side (when I say 'casually tossed' what I really mean is hours of primping and pinning to make it all look effortless!) Also, how cool is her green bindi?!  

Deepika Padukone
Okay, I'm kind of ashamed to admit this but I love how Deepika looks here! Yes, it's a bit gimmicky and definitely doesn't go with her gown but I'm soooo into head jewellery right that it was an instant win for me. It probably didn't need that much backcombing and pouffing up though. 

I really like what Deepika did with her makeup too. The smokey eye and nude lip combo works so well and really suits her. Also, check out how amazingly well her base has been blended in to match her skin tone perfectly. I'm in AWE.  
Sonakshi Sinha
I cannot get enough of Sonakshi Sinha right now - she always looks amazing! The makeup here is a little similar to Deepika's (awkward) but her skin looks a lot more glowy and fresh. The peach blush is a nice touch and it stops her complexion from looking sallow (common issue with black, smokey eyes).
Also, it's nice to see someone get the straighteners out and opt for a sleeker, more modern 'do, although I'm still in two minds about the statue of liberty head band.  
Who was your favourite at the Zee Cine Awards?!


5 February 2014

Are expensive mascaras worth the money?!

For as long as I can remember I have been vehemently opposed to spending £££££s on a tube of mascara. I'll spend a fortune on luxurious lipsticks and serums but my mascaras were always strictly budget buys. To me, it seemed that the cheaper brands did a good job on my lashes and so I didn't really need to fork out the extra money. 

But that all changed when a friend of mine gave me the Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara. All my other wands now seem poor in comparison! What makes it so great is:

The wand's conical shape means that it coats every single lash - I can even catch the little ones on my lower lash line with the the bottom part of the wand

The coverage is build-able so you don't end up with clumpy, drunken lashes, instead you build up the intensity with 2-3 coats

It smells of Lancome's Hypnose fragrance! Never has applying mascara felt so nice and pampering - the scent is super sweet and floral... mmmmmm

So there you have it - maybe you do get what you pay for, after all using this mascara wasn't just a slap-dash process, it felt quite nice and pampering too! 

After just one coat my lashes are defined and clump-free - impressive. 

So, great news for my lashes, not so much for the bank account! Has anyone else tried this mascara? What's your all time favourite?

2 February 2014

MAC Rebel: The lipstick for grown ups

Anyone who knows me will know that I only ever wear two kinds of lipstick: bright pink and light pink. I tend to keep away from really dark, vampy colours because they can make your lips look thinner and, well, I just don't think it suits me!

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the MAC Rebel lipstick is just that - dark, gothic and way too scary to wear out in public, but the colour of the tube is actually very deceptive! When applied it's a lot warmer and redder, and it's surprisingly very flattering for Asian and dark skin. I'd describe it as a very deep, raspberry red with a semi matte texture

It is the perfect dark lip because it doesn't wash you out and it doesn't make your lips disappear - result! Strangely, I also feel a lot more grown up when I wear this - there's something very sophisticated and refined about a deep red lip.

To make it day appropriate I skip bottom eyeliner (it makes the whole look too vampy) and add loads of mascara instead.

PS - A BIG thank you to Sam who sent me this lipstick after I entered a competition on her fabulous blog. I never win anything so it was a lovely little treat!!

Has anyone else tried Rebel by MAC? What other dark lipsticks would you recommend? 

30 January 2014

Katrina Kaif's beauty evolution

Katrina Kaif: one of the most beautiful and coveted Bollywood actresses of our time. In the past I've berated her for being too safe and boring with her hair and makeup, but despite her lack of imagine or beauty creativity she has been blessed with naturally beautiful features. The picture above is proof enough that she has the bone structure of a supermodel (I've seen her close up and can vouch for this). What I want to know is, has she always looked this amazing, or have there been some 'enhancements' done to look this good?

Taking it waaaay back to when decent pictures didn't exist and thin eyebrows were cool, you can see Katrina was blessed with natural beauty although she clearly hadn't discovered backcombing yet.

Fast forward a few years and Katrina's still got youthful glow about her. Her skin is impossibly glossy and plump - like a friggin' newborn baby! Hair on the other hand looks a little pageanty.
A year or so on and Katrina hasn't changed drastically. There are the faintest lines appearing around her eyes but that's about it.

Woah! Am I looking at a different person here?! Katrina's top lip has swollen to at least twice the size and the tip of her nose looks less round (this could just be because of the angle though). Her hair still needs to loosen up. 

Looks as though Katrina's still visiting the lip clinic here.... Also, there isn't a single line on her face. Not.a.single.line. I know five year olds with more lines on there faces for goodness sake! I think it's pretty clear that, although Katrina has got a killer complexion, she's dabbled a little with lip fillers and maybe some Botox. I'm still debating about the minor nose job - her long nose is an endearing part of her face so I'm sure she would never shave it down completely (ouch!) but it does look a little slimmer. 

What do you think of Katrina's beauty evolution? Do you think she's had any cosmetic enhancements?!


25 January 2014

CELEBRITY: It's awards season!

What a sad month January is! It's full of crap like the flu, SAD, sales, empty bank account, rubbish weather... the list goes on. But one thing we can always rely on to perk us up is that it is awards season!  

This month there were two big events in Bollywood that saw celebs crawl out of their comfy (queen size) beds and don the most extravagant outfit for the red carpet! However, with the exception of a few, I was kinda underwhelmed with it all. Let's discuss...

Bipasha Basu
  Can someone bring Bips back please?! You know, the one who played the hot, ant-heroine roles in films like Raaz?! She used to be the actress that the paps would break necks to get a pic of but it's all gone a bit 'blah' lately. It's not that she looks bad (life is just not that kind), it's that she isn't as glamorous and exciting as before.  

Her hair looks very pretty here, albiet a little bridesmaidy. The smokey eye is good - not too over the top, but smokey enough to have an impact. 

Second look: Bipasha's makeup isn't bad but that heavy side fringe needs to go back to 2004.

Sonakshi Sinha
If there's one actress I can rely on to pull something new and exciting out of the bag it's Sonakshi. Girl's done me proud! I'm having a bit of a pink moment and I love how it's used here, in contrast to the neutral tones to make the whole outfit really pop. The curls are also a really nice touch - not too primped, just undone and tousled enough to look effortlessly glam. 

Pairing glossy nude eye makeup with a deeper, matte pink is genius! Everything is just perfectly balanced!

How adorbs are Sonakshi's collages?! 

Her second look that week was a stark contrast to the first. The eyes are a little more smokey and they really stand out and make an impact with the slicked back bun and drop earrings - very chic!

Seriously, I LOVE her!

Deepika Padukone
I'm going through a bit of phase were Deepika can do no wrong and as much as I love this red carpet look of hers I am getting kinda bored of her quiff. She has a nice head shape (there's a compliment you wanna hear!) so it would have looked a lot better just slicked back. 

Again, I have lipstick envy. I would never have considered dark plum lips but it just looks so good on Deepika. 

On to the second look, and as a side note I actually LOVE this outfit, although I'd expect something a bit more bling during awards season. The hair is pretty if not slightly reminiscent of a five year-old me. I'd have liked to have seen a contrast between the dress and hair - a sleek, straight do would have looked a lot more contemporary. 

Maybe it's the flash photography but in this shot it looks like she's wearing bright red lippie - strange!

Kareena Kapoor
Has Kareena being having a few facial injections? Her face looks a little too plumped up here.... Despite that she does look pretty HAWT. Kareena knows what works and pairing a crazy bright red lip with sleek hair is always going to be a winner. 

What's your favourite look from the awards season so far?? 

23 January 2014

Lip saviours for winter weather

The other day, during the mother of all clear outs I came across what can only be described as mountain of lip balms - most which had been used a few times and then completely forgotten about. I mean, they're hardly the most exciting beauty product are they?! But, as hard as it is to get excited about lip balms they are kinda necessary - even the most makeup/beauty-adverse person will have one stashed away - my brother has about three!

Having amassed such a huge collection I've come to understand which ones are good (can you guess which one I use pretty much everyday??) and which ones remain untouched. 

The YSL Top Secret lip conditioner is probably the most luxe balm in my collection. It's meant to help make your lips appear fuller and plumper (it doesn't), what it does do is make them super-soft. But then, for £24 you'd expect it to.... The Sun Sense lip balm is the most heavy duty one of the lot and is probably more suited to colder climes (think mountain trek in Ben Nevis) and has an SPF of about 100. It means business. The MAC Lip Conditioner came out as part of the Viva Glam range with Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin. Poor Ricky got fobbed off with a nice smelling lip cream that kinda just sits on your lips and then slips off after about ten minutes.
The Nude lip balm is an all-natural product and although it's a little blah (it has absolutely no scent or a discernible texture) it does leave my lips feeling nice and soft. The Body Lip Butters are also pretty good and hydrating but it can leave a slight white sheen on my lips (ugh) because it's so thick and heavy. The Rose&Co Rose Petal Salve is the one lip balm that I reach for the most - it's light but very moisturising and has the most beautiful rose scent - I'm telling you guys this is better than Vaseline! The Lush Lip Service balm was a bit of a disappointment. It's not as pampering and moisturising as the others and needs to be warmed up before you can get the product out. 
The Balance Me Rose Otto lip salve is quite glooopy with a glossier finish than the others. It's very moisturising and rich making it the ideal lip balm for winter. I like to apply a thin layer before bed so that I wake up to softer plumper lips. 
Phew! Have I missed any out? I feel like I've just written an encyclopaedia on lip balms! Maybe I should change the little to 'Everything you need to know about my lip balm collection'? 

Tell me, what lip balm do you reach for the most?? 


22 January 2014

CELEBRITY: Deepika's orange lip and big hair

Ugh - why is Deepika so flawless?! I've got a major girl crush on her at the moment - her last few films have been really good, her dress sense is always on point, she's got an impressive list of good-looking ex-boyfriends and her makeup is always flawless and inspiring. It's very hard not to hate her. 
There are two beauty looks of hers that I've been lusting over lately. The first is this orange lip-glowly-schmazing-skin combo. Ever since I started wearing makeup I had put orange lipstick in the 'don't do it' box of beauty sins because I thought it was super-unflattering on Asian skin. Most Asian skin tone is warm with yellow undertones which means that orange can make you look a little tooooo warm (think sitting in boiling water warm) but Deepika's pulled it off. 

How's she done it? First she's gone for a matte texture which means it looks a lot more contemporary. The colour is also slightly redder in tone which makes it more flattering than the bronzy, metallic oranges you'll usually found lurking around the orange lip section (so wrong). She's also kept the rest of her makeup quite basic.  The shimmery white eyeshadow is very subtle but opens her eyes up even more and brightens her complexion. 

The second makeup look is also very natural and effortless-looking, a clever and stark contrast to her outrageously big, pouffy hair! It's a little big with a heavy nod to the 70's, and paired with a metallic gold jumpsuit (yes, really) it's slightly tacky, but her makeup is the saving grace. It's very natural which balances the whole thing perfectly. I love the muted, matte lip which almost looks bare (I'm guessing it's a smudged in lip liner rather than a lipstick). 

What do you think of Deepika's hair and makeup??


20 January 2014

Has foundation become redundant?!

I have a beauty stash that could rival the John Lewis beauty counters yet I find myself using foundation less and less these days. Unfortunately it's got nothing to do with the state of my skin, which still needs a product to help cover any marks and redness and even out my skin tone. It's mainly because of the slew of new, smarter complexion enhancing products that have emerged into the beauty market. I'm talking about BBs, CCs, skin illuminators etc, of course!
Last summer, when it was really hot, I started to feel a little claustrophic wearing a full face of foundation. It felt like my skin was gasping for air! So I switched to lighter formulas, tinted moisturisers and eventually BB Creams. Tinted moisturisers are great if you have good, even skin (I hate you FYI) but for me it lacked that extra bit of coverage that I needed so I tried the UNE BB Cream-Foundation which is a hybrid powder-to-cream BB (or is it a foundation? I'm still a bit confused...). The coverage is good and the texture is very light, leaving room for my skin to breathe. 
The Garnier BB Creams have also become a staple for me and I reach for them almost everyday now. I prefer the one for oily skin because it's less shimmery and gives me a bit more coverage. To get a more flawless finish, similar to a foundation, I use a stippling brush which makes the world of difference. SO many people compliment me on my skin when I wear this BB Cream!

Other ways to get a more even finish without reaching for foundation is a skin enhancer. These do all the hard work for you by helping to brighten and illuminate your complexion. I usually apply this all over and then follow with a little powder or BB Cream on the parts of my skin that look a little patchy, usually my cheeks.  

Who would have thought you could get a flawless finish without foundation? A year or two ago I'd say that was ABSURD and that just goes to show how much the beauty industry has changed! I'll still reach for my NARS Sheerglow foundation on special occasions but I've learnt to let my natural skin shine through now, without masking it up with makeup. 

Has anyone else stopped using foundation? I feel like this is a major achievement for me!


13 January 2014

What do you think of Priyanka's wacky new look?!

Woah! My jaw literally dropped when I saw this recent appearance from Priyanka Chopra - she looks so different. Maybe she's been reading The Asian Beauty Blog and has taken my 'constructive criticism' on board... or maybe she's just promoting her new film, who knows. All I can say is that it's absolutely bizarre and I kinda like it!

No, I haven't gone insane - I'm just happy that Priyanka's finally decided to step out of her big hair and blah makeup phase - even her clothes are kinda edgy! 

Cue obligatory close up...
How awesome does that lip look?! It's got a perfect semi-matte finish which I think photographs so much better than gloss. Also, notice how the rest of her face is quite bare, with the slightest hint of blush and nothing else? That makes a lot more modern. 

The eyes are beautiful too but i think there's just too much going on with the think liner and cat-eye specs - they're competing for attention. Oh and those earrings need to go back to 2001.

Your makeup should complement your clothes. Pairing a monochrome outfit with a super bright lipstick stops it from looking OTT or tacky. 

Side profile of Priyanka's hair looks super cool and edgy but the weird twist thing on the top is a bit much to take in. I would've liked to see it stripped back and simpler - less is more Pri!

What do you think of Priyanka's quirky new look? 

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