Kiko Cosmetics

 Kiko haul

Kiko Milano Cosmetics

We have to say, we’re really impressed with Kiko Milano Cosmetics.

A store opened up near us…

What with the rave online reviews hailing this brand and a sleek yet funky look not to mention affordable price tags, we decided a little shopping trip was in order! We were surprised at just how good some of their products really are.

We came away with a customisable eye shadow palette, several eye shadows, two make up brushes – a bullet brush + a gorgeous face brush – three powder duo blush palettes in all shades available in the ‘top pairs’ range, an eye shadow + eye liner palette and two lip pencils.

The favourites of the haul have to be the eye shadows and the bullet brush – the eye shadows are so soft which makes for easy blending and are comparable to MAC eye shadows; and the bullet brush is THE perfect size for creases – cannot wait to use them.

Will be posting reviews on individual products soon, watch this space!

Paint on your glamour

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Avant Garde Makeup

Inspired by John Galliano

Face:

L’Oreal Le Crayon Correcteur Perfect Match in ‘#10 Ivory’

Eyes and Cheeks:

MAC Paint Pot in ‘Artifact’

MAC Blush in ‘Whole Lotta Love’

NICKAK Blush in ‘Romantic’

Bellapierre Cosmetics Lip & Cheek Stain in ‘Coral’

Urban Decay Naked 3 – various shades of pink

Me Me Me Eye Pencil in ‘Clay’

Lips:

MAC Lip Pencil in ‘Nightmoth’

Cargo Lip Gloss in ‘Paris’

One of our favourite makeup styles is the Avant Garde.

You know, like Black Swan.

Dramatic atmospheric statement making makeup.

Attempting Avant Garde looks can be a great way to unleash your makeup creativity. However it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Makeup is and should be fun, and is always to be experimented with.

For this romantic Avant Garde look, we have taken inspiration from John Galliano. To achieve this ‘Parisian Boudoir’ look, we’ve been playing around with MAC Paint Pots and Blushers.

Boy are MAC paint pots super pigmented! The pots are intended for use as cream eye shadows but are so multi-use that you can apply to lips and skin. Two powder blushers and a lip/cheek stain were used to create the pink tones and various shades of pink eye shadows were used as the blenders.

For the lips the lip pencil was the star of the show, lining the mouth and only filling in the middles of the bottom and top lip to achieve an ombré effect. Lip gloss was carefully applied to the lips as not to smudge.

You’ll find a list of all the products used above.

A grown ups excuse for wearing face paint, truth be told.

But we love it. Oh the glamour!

Our Monthly Treat…

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The Glossy Box

Every month we await in anticipation for our monthly treat. Which comes in the form of a ‘Glossy Box’. Glossy Box is a beauty subscription service that costs £10 a month, the subscriber fills in a personalised beauty survey and each month receives sample and full sizes of the latest beauty items suited to their preferences.

We just love getting parcels especially when they contain potential beauty gems. The packaging that conceal the goods is almost as good as the products themselves. We’ll be making good use of the boxes, storing our ever expanding makeup collection in them!

The excitement of receiving a beauty bundle each month is so worth the £10 a month subscription.

Glow Baby Glow!

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“She was a sun, radiant, growing, gathering light and storing it…”

F Scott Fitzgerald

All Over Glow by Jelly Pong Pong

So in love with our new find. The luminizer offering from Jelly Pong Pong is just superb. It’s a gel that’s not greasy or oily and contains pearlescent pigments that gives you an amazing glow. You’ll be radiating all day long! Honestly this product is so worth having in your make-up bag.

To achieve that dewy finish that is so sought after:

1) Use the luminizer over a BB cream or a lightweight foundation and dab a small amount into the cheekbones and brow bones, use a multi-purpose face brush to blend out.

2) Then with a blusher brush, apply a nice pinky blush across the middle of the cheekbone sweeping upwards. Be generous with the blush however make sure there’s plenty of blending to avoid that doll look. More English rose than scary china doll.

We recommend using MAC’s Prolong Wear Blush in ‘Whole Lotta Love’ alongside this luminizer – it’s a very vibrant pink but if applied correctly it’s perfect for that fresh look.

Brush Preacher

Real Techniques Brushes

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.

Henry Ward Beecher

Makeup brushes are important. Full stop.

Decent makeup brushes are even more vital.

Invest in brushes for the face and you’ll see the benefits straight away.

Now you don’t have to spend a fortune, they don’t have to be Christian Dior and you certainly don’t have to buy all of the MAC brushes on offer.  It’s best to accumulate the right brushes for certain facial features and techniques. It is mostly through research, other peoples recommendations and trial and error that you find the best brush/es for you. Avoid cheap sets or too good to be true offers, the brushes will be poor.

The following brush types make a great set for your makeup arsenal:

  • Foundation Brush
  • Concealer Brush
  • Powder Brush
  • Blusher Brush
  • Beauty Blender
  • Contour Brush
  • Lip Brush
  • Fan Brush
  • Face Brush
  • Angled Brow Brush with a Spoole
  • Eye Shader Brush
  • Eye Blending Brush
  • Eye Liner Brush

What might be a great brush for one person, may not necessarily be great for another. Seek advice, google skin types and brushes, make sure you invest in the right brushes. Here’s a few of our favourite brands:

Eco Tools have a lovely range of brushes – we particularly like their travel sets.

Real Techniques are so good value for money and the quality of their brushes are great. We love their contour and blush brushes.

MAC Cosmetics have a good reputation for their brushes however we’ve found that their eye brushes are the bomb, hard to beat.

Japonesque brushes are great, and their brushes for all things powder are amazing.

Choose your brushes wisely.

Anastasia and the Manizer

Anatasia and Mary

Brow Powder in ‘Granite’ by Anastasia Beverly Hills

Mary-Lou Manizer by The Balm

There’s nothing sexier than a structured eyebrow arch. None of that Scouse brow, we’re talking perfectly formed neat arches.

Eyebrows are the most fundamental of features, in that they frame the face. So many people get it wrong and ruin them.

We recommend getting them shaped professionally, as once a decent shape has been attained it is easier to maintain. If you find that you are plucker happy, stay away from the tweezers and make regular appointments with your beautician and/or threaderer.

We love Anastasia Beverly Hills, their Brow Powder Duo has changed the way our eyebrows look. We use the shade, ‘Granite’ as we are very dark haired, however you can find a shade guide on their website. Powder is best, chuck your brow pencil out the window, you will achieve a more natural look.

Invest in a decent eyebrow brush, dual ended with a spoolie brush for brushing your brows and an angled brow brush to apply the powder in an upwards sweeping motion, in the direction your hair grows. Do not go outside the eyebrows shape, only if you want/need to add a sharp point at the end of the brow.

Tip: to add even more definition to the arch use your lightest eyeshadow or a powder highlighter, we favour The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer and apply a thin line to the inner arch. Blend carefully. Feeling extra sharp, add a thin line to the outer arch and blend.

Voila, eyebrow perfection.

Mac Shadows over All…

Mac eye palette

Shroom and Quarry by MAC

Two of the best eye shadows.

Shroom is neutral, makes a great highlighter and base.

Quarry is best for contouring into the eye lid crease. Don’t be put off by the dusty pink appearance, it goes on greyer.

Wear the combination of the two for a daytime look. To transform to an evening look, add liquid liner in either solid black or a glittery number for a sleek funky cat eye look.

Tip: Eye Brushes are without a doubt essential to the application of eye shadow. We recommend a decent shading brush and a blending/bullet brush. You don’t have to buy very expensive brushes however they need to be of a decent quality. Blending will transform the way the eyeshadow sits on your eyelid. Blend all your layers properly, in small circular motions whilst going ever so slightly upwards. Concentrate mainly on the crease shade, ensuring there is a definitive contour and that it blends seamlessly into the layer/s behind.

Stay and Spa

Rowhill Grange

 Rowhill Grange Hotel and Utopia Spa

Wilmington, Kent

Truly recommend this lovely boutique hotel. It is part of the Alexander Hotels family and included in the Condè Nast Johansens Collection. Based just outside London off the M25, and very close to Bluewater shopping centre, it is the perfect country hotel spa retreat.

The Room

Stayed in the Classic room – Orchid.

Simple understated luxury. Tastefully decorated. The bed was simply huge, and very comfortable. Overlooked the surrounding woods which was pleasant. The bathroom was perfectly laid out, and the bath had a reclining slope which fit to the contours of ones back.

The turn down service, nice touch – the bottled mineral water and glass placed on the bedside tables was especially appreciated.

Favourite detail was the current beauty/lifestyle magazines provided in room. This gets a gold star in my book, I spent an hour long soak in the fabulous bath tub browsing through the likes of Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Good House Keeping. In my element.

The Spa

Delightful. Especially loved the treatment pool. Decorated to resemble Roman baths. Atmospheric. Loved the jacuzzi beds.

All in all, a pleasant mini break.

The Power of a Russian Red

Russian Red

Russian Red by MAC

There’s nothing better than a red lipstick.

It’s fun, vivacious, empowering and down right funky.

However it’s very difficult to choose a red that suits. Mac make the most fantastic lipsticks, and are famous for their Reds. One Red that stands out is the ‘Russian Red’. It truly is a universal colour that will suit all skin tones. It would be hard to match such a lipstick in terms of pigmentation and wearability.

Yes a little pricey at £15.50 a pop but totally worth it.

The Bobbi Brown Effect

almost bare

From the palettes to the lipsticks to the fragrances, you cannot go wrong with a Bobbi Brown purchase or gift. Even going into the store is a treat, we’re like kids in a candy store.

We love the fragrances, though the brand is not well known for their perfumes, we cannot recommend them enough for their understated elegance. We most particularly favour ‘Almost Bare’ – a fresh floral parfum with notes of Jasmine, Cedar and Amber with a balance of Bergamot and Violet. The lasting power is great and so many friends comment on it. It surely is something special.