Saturday, 24 January 2015

Palette of the Month: January - Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Look #1

Hey all and welcome back. As you might recall last year some time I tweeted about a new series idea I had, but I didn't want to start it until the new year. This series came from the fact that I used to get a lot of comments and requests asking for looks that come from a single palette. Of course its 100% easier to create a look from one single palette instead of pulling from lots of different eyeshadows so I thought it would be fun if every month I did a series of looks from perhaps a palette that is hot at the moment, or something i'm getting an overwhelming amount of requests from.

Back in December I craved the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. I had read rave reviews, kept seeing it pop up everywhere, so in the January sales I treated myself to it and haven't looked back. Besides the fact the palette smells like freaking chocolate, there is a huge array of potential! One particular day I was browsing Instagram before work and came across this which was hashtagged as the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette - feeling rather inspired I grabbed my own palette and attempted to pull off this rather graphic and out the box look for me... and I gotta say I rather loved it. Its totally different to my more recent looks and has got me back into more graphic styles of eyeshadow. What do you think?

I really enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone and doing a look that was a little bit different for me! As always I will be adding the exact shades/products I used a little bit later :)

Let me know what palette you would like to see for February and stay tuned for more looks from the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette!

Friday, 16 January 2015

12 Looks of X-mas: #7: Inspired

One of my biggest inspirations as a make up artist are those incredibly talented individuals on Youtube who day in and day out encourage me to be a better make up artist. One of my more recent finds last year was MannyMUA - a passionate creative individual who cracks me up with every video he makes and puts out some of the best inspiring content on Youtube.
On my commute home, whilst watching my latest subscriptions, I saw this tutorial from the man himself and knew I had to recreate it. 90% of the time my blog posts and looks are made up entirely by myself, but from time to time I see a look that I know I have to try myself and share with my readers. This was one of them. Simple yet glamorous and eye catching, I loved it. Its nothing on Manny's but I was really pleased with the outcome and while I didn't wear it out NYE (I didn't think pizza and sex and the city would fully appreciate it!) I did wear it to work and it got a tonne of love!

So I really hope you liked this look and while its not a pinch on Manny's, I do urge you to check out his channel, he is fabulous with a capital F!

And please please pleaseeee leave below your favourite youtubers, more specifically, those who are uber creative and talented like Manny! I love checking out other make up artists who continue to inspire me and make me better :)

Monday, 12 January 2015

Building my Kit #2: Brushes

So welcome back to the second post in my Building my Kit series! if you missed part 1 where you can see what bags I chose for my starter kit, you can click here to read that!

Brushes, brushes, brushes. Where do I start? Up until now I used my own personal brush stash for freelance work, which consists of real techniques, MAC and other various brands, but it wasn't anything that I could happily freelance with. I decided I needed a proper set, so I can do multiple faces easily if need be and have a brush for every possible scenario. 
I did a lot of research as brushes don't come cheap, I watched youtube kit videos, read reviews and researched for a very long time, before finally narrowing it down between Crown Brush and Zoeva. I decided ultimately to go with Zoeva.

My decision was based simply upon the amount of negative reviews I saw of Crown Brush and the fact I couldn't find a single one about Zoeva.  Nope, not one.I tried to find negatives about Zoeva to prepare myself but nope, nothing! And that to me, is the sign of a good brush! Zoeva also seemed to cater for make up artists, providing brush rolls or even brush belts free with many of their more expensive kits and to be honest, I felt very overwhelmed with Crownbrushes website and the amount of choice. I wanted the best of the best and Crown made it very hard to find their premium line, whereas Zoeva was easy to navigate and came with a brush belt/roll which I would have needed to buy anyway. 2 birds and all that!

The set came to £175 and included 25 brushes made of both natural and synthetic hair which I was very concious about. (I can't find the set anymore, but this is the closest!) I didn't want a set with just one type of hair as different hair types work with different types of products. Typically you would want synthetic hairs for cream and liquid products such as concealer and foundation, whereas natural bristles work best with dry power products. I seperated the brush belt into two sections, one half with all my Zoeva favs and the other half has a few random MAC brushes and others.

I have only used the set a few times, but generally I am very happy with it. The foundation buffer brush is gorgeous and the eye brushes are comparable to MAC. Also the fine liner brush is a fricken wizard! Paired with a few of my MAC favs and some Real Techniques staples, I'd say my brush kit is ready and rearing to go! Plus the snazzy brush belt is an added extra, its comfortable and allows me to store my brushes with ease.

As for brush care, I am always a huge fan of the MAC brush cleanser. I have used this for years and am just comfortable with it. Paired with some cotton pads, it makes spot cleaning easy! For deeper cleans I use the Johnsons baby shampoo and make a habit of cleaning every sunday night so I have fresh brushes for the week ahead. Generally I am super impressed and would love to add the Zoeva Rose Gold set to my kit, but for now, I am happy with my basics :)

Please remember to follow my blog to keep upto date with all my latest posts! 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

12 Looks of X-mas #7: The Lost Christmas Eve

 Ahhh Christmas Eve, what a beautiful day. Its so exciting and happy, everyone is getting ready for the big day, getting together last little bits while kids excitedly await the arrival of Santa. My Christmas eve involved enjoying a nice lie in, watching endless Disney movies and episodes of Sex and the City and then getting ready for the pub in the evening. I thought I would show you my super festive Christmas Eve look. I really wanted to do something incorporating green and gold, as they are the colours I commonly associate with Christmas and I wanted to be super festive. 
You know it wouldn't be Christmas without the Vice 3 palette - I just can't help myself, its sooooo good! I used a combination of colours in the crease to add depth and dimension and carried on the theme of the candlelight looks - with a dab of gold in the middle of the eye. The end result was kinda dazzling and I didn't expect myself to like it as much as I did! I hope you like it as much as I do!


I think the gold glitter in the centre really makes this look. Its a really old glitter I bought from Topshop many moons ago, but it really just brings a whole new dimension to the look dontcha think?

Anyways super sorry for the fact that Christmas has PASSED and I'm still uploading looks! I hope you're still interested in them, you know how busy it gets!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Challenge of the Month: January 2014: Glitter! (And how you can be involved!)

So a little while ago on Twitter I put the feelers out for a new series: a series where every month I would set myself a theme or a challenge to encourage myself to be a little bit different and really push myself in terms of creativity. I was in a rut and one of my resolutions this year was to become a better make up artist. I thought a great way to do that and to get other people in the community involved was to set a monthly challenge to myself and whoever else wants to join in! And this month its all about glitter!

Working in a beauty hall is both amazing and terrible. Amazing because on my breaks I can have a little wander and play with all the beautiful make up goodness. I just so happened upon the Urban Decay counter and bought a couple of their most glittery items, their glitter liner and moondust eyeshadows. I ended up walking away with two that looked particularly beautiful together and this was the end result (with a little bit of MAC Moleskine in the crease to add some definition. My, my, how I love this look.

Sorry for the overload in pics but just look at that moondust eyeshadow. I used the glitter liner as a primer almost and then lightly tapped on top to give it that more planetary look. I did find the look creased throughout the day, so I will need to work on that but holy hell, its pretty. I need more moondust shadows in my life.

So if anyone would like to participate in this little challenge just tweet me your look at @blogofshadows or email me and I'll be sure to feature you in my next look. You can do one look, or you can do 4 looks, I'll be featuring everyone who takes part :) Glittery goodness will be going up throughout the month, so stay tuned! 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

2014 in Make Up Looks (and a little time for reflection)

So 2015 is upon us. Every year I sit down here on my little blog and reflect on the past year, whilst writing down my hopes and dreams for the next. This post is gonna be kind of hard, because 2014 hasn't exactly been my best year.

A lot has changed this past year for me. In the first 4 months of 2014, myself and my partner of 6 years split up. It wasn't a terrible break up by any means, but it affected me and you might notice my slight blogging break around the time of April/May. Still to this day, I wouldn't say I am completely over it. I still think about him everyday, because well... you would when you have spent that long amount of time of with someone, who you lived with and saw every single day. It was pretty much the hardest thing I've ever had to do and turned my life completely around. I became single for the first time since I was 18 and to be honest, I still haven't adjusted. I am learning everyday and I think as emotional as the break up was for me, it was the catalyst for change that I so desperately needed. 

In the second half of the year I landed my dream job, went on an amazing girly holiday to Florida with my best friend and started a more positive and healthy living lifestyle (in the process loosing 3 stone!). I started eating better, thinking better and generally, started seeing life in a new way. I stopped planning for the future so much and started living in the now. I don't have a clue what I wanna do in the future, where I wanna live or what my long term goals are, but I'm happy with rolling with the punches for now!

So 2015 has rolled around and as with every year, I like to make myself little goals both personally and blog wise. So here we have it:

Blog Goals

  1. Rebrand. In the new year I want to have a rebrand. Blog of Shadows was my little baby, but this year has been all about change and I want to start 2015 off afresh, with a new blog name and design. Expect to see a new layout and even a new name in the future!
  2. Come back with a bang. Its no secret I disappeared off the blogging radar this year. I posted the fewest posts I ever have and just generally dropped off the map. I want to get back to posting blog posts I am proud of  and get back on that blogging horse, start getting involved with events and the community again.
  3. Continue to improve my skills. Again this is a goal I include almost every single year because there is always room for improvement in my eyes. I want to become a better make up artist AND blogger - continue to grow and push boundries and become better at my craft. I look back at my looks when I started blogging and even from the beginning of last year and I smile knowing I have improved so much and this time next year will be a better make up artist yet!
Personal Goals

  1. Continue to lead a healthy lifestyle. One of the best changes for me, was taking up exercise and healthy eating. The impact on not only the way I looked, but also the way I felt inside was life changing. I felt happier, more energised and generally just felt better about myself. I want to continue that and incorporate more of that into my blog.
  2. Last year one of my goals was to get a new job - a career doing something I love, which was make up artistry. I was incredibly fortunate to achieve that goal and honestly, I felt like the luckiest person ever to be given the opportunity to do what I love on a daily basis. I want to become a better make up artist, as right now, I am a very small fish in a very big pool of incredibly talented people. I just want to better my skills, make every client feel like a star and excel at what I do. 
  3. Continue to learn, be independent and grow. I think while 2014 was probably one of my worst years, it was also my best because of how far I have come. You have to experience the lows to know the highs. I want 2015 to be the year I continue learning more about myself, being happy by myself and generally, excuse my french - not giving a shit! 
And now ladies (and gentlemen!) my very modest year in make up looks...

2014 was the year I learnt more than I ever have, more than my degree ever taught me and more than I probably ever will. I learnt about myself, that I am stronger than I thought, that I am brave, that I don't actually NEED a boyfriend, that I'm OK being single, that actually eating better does make you happier, that I have the best friends in the world, that men are a lot different at 25 than they were at 18, that its OK to still live at home with my parents, that hard work and perseverance does pay off and that really, time is the best healer.

Here's to 2015... lets make it the best one
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