Saturday, 19 April 2014

Makeup by nush: Eyeshadow looks using Coastal Scents Quads, Part Four (Ivory Dust, Ice Ballet, Elven Midnight, Cherry Moss)

Hi Guys,
welcome to Part Four of my Coastal Scents quad series. If you haven't already, I'd love it if you would check out the first three parts as well. This palette contains some of my favourite shades, and one of my least favourite. Of course, you never know until you buy these things, but hopefully I'll be able to review each shade well enough, so that it may guide/aid you.
The Quad:
(left to right: Cherry Moss, Ivory Dust, Elven Midnight, Ice ballet)
Cherry Moss (top left): stunning. Just plain stunning. Of all the colours I have reviewed so far, this is by far my favourite. It's a reddish-brown duo chrome that can look green depending on the light. It doesn't have fallout problems, and feels like velvet in the pan.
Ivory Dust (top right): and this one? not so much. Dust is apt in this case. So chalky, chunky, piecey, glittery, it's a tough colour to work with. If you tap your brush into it, and examine said brush, you'll see all the individual particles of colour you've picked up. You know what I mean? Not a fan. At all.
Elven Midnight (bottom left): another beauty. It looks quite dark in the pan, and it can be built up (as you'll see in a bit), but you can really blend this to your desired intensity, and have it look like different colours. It's definitely not 'gun metal' as the CS site claims, more of a metallic silvery-purple.
Ice Ballet (bottom right): a shimmery lavender colour. This suffers from a bit of fallout, but it's such a great colour I think that can be forgiven. It too has quite a silvery metallic finish, and goes so well paired with Elven Midnight (as you'll also see).

Let's start with something simple and summery with a pop of colour. Pack Ivory Dust all over your lid. Make sure to tap off excess, and know that it may take you awhile to build up the colour you want. Maybe even hold a tissue under your eye to catch fallout (this shade is lucky it's light.. a darker hue would be an unmitigated disaster). On a stiff angled/ straight cut brush, line your lower lash line with Ice Ballet. Add mascara, or some falsies, and you're good to go.

Here you can see part of the spectrum of Elven Midnight. It may look like Ice Ballet, but all the purple in this look is Elven Midnight. First, pack the colour onto the lower half of your top eyelid (i.e. keep away from the crease). Using a stiff brush, pull the colour down along your lower lash line as well. Now, the best way to do this next part (considering all of Ivory Dust's faults) is to take a white/ off white eyeliner pencil, and trace a thick line, almost in a half-moon shape, from inner to outer corner of your top lid. Feel free to go over the line to get some colour intensity, and to make it as thick or think as you like. Next, take your stiff angled brush, and stamp a line of Elven Midnight above the white line, again following that half-moon shape. Now, taking another small stiff angled brush, stamp ivory dust over the white line you created. This will intensify the white, and add a shimmery pop every time you bat your eyelids. If you have quite hooded eyes like I do, you'll only see the head and tail ends of said line when your eyes are fully open, but it will have the effect of opening up a hooded eye. Your last step is to go back in with Elven Midnight and intensify the colour; Ivory Dust may have diluted it a bit. Add mascara, and done.

My absolute favourite look thus far, this is a very sultry smoky-adjacent look. Start by packing Ice Ballet all over the lid. With a tiny brush, pat some Ivory dust under your brow, and in the inner corner/tear-duct area as a highlight. Now, take Elven Midnight on a stiff straight edged brush, and create a defined outer V; pull the colour up from the lower lash line towards the tail end of the brow, stopping at about crease height. Using that same brush for a precise edge, pull the colour inward into the crease and about a third of the way across the eyelid. Pack the colour onto that outer corner until you achieve the desired intensity. Line your lower lash line with Elven Midnight too. Now, for that added somethin somethin, run a liner along your waterline. I've used a bronze liner, but feel free to use black or any colour you feel like. You can do this same look with so many different colours, and a contrasting colour in the waterline will really make the look pop. If you feel like, add a half strip of lashes, as I have done, to intensify and elongate that outer V, giving you a more cat-eyed look.
Ah Cherry Moss. How Purdy thou art. Also how much of a pain in the ass. You would not believe how much effort it took to get this to show up on camera AT ALL. Maybe on someone with a lighter skin tone? I'm going to try it on my mother, and i'll get back to you. However, I do not think that's the problem. The colour is just so multifaceted that I think it's tough to capture all the nuances. Anyway, for this look. Prime your eye, preferably with a matte primer (there's going to be enough shimmer up in here). Give that a minute, and then cover your eyelid with a matte white shadow, or with a white liner pencil that you can smudge and blend out. Use the same pencil to line your waterline and the inner corner of your eye. Next, simply pat Cherry Moss all over the lid, and along the lower lash line. Blend the colour up and into the crease as well. The more you blend, and the thinner the shadow gets, the more the reddish tones come out. Just keep pat pat patting away. Next, to ground the whole look, draw a thin line of liquid liner along the upper lash line, and flick it out very slightly. The end. I'm going to add a few more shots with glasses so you can see how the different looks wear in that case. Quite well, I think, in this case. 
5/ Bonus:

This points again to how the colour looks different under different lighting. Using a flat shadow brush, pat Ice Ballet on the inner third of the eyelid. Using the same brush, pick up more Ice Ballet and some Elven Midnight, and pat it onto the outer third of the eyelid. Mirror that on the lower lash line. Next pat some Ivory Dust under the lid, and on the inner tear-duct. Now, pack pack pack Cherry Moss on the bare center of the lid to bring out its green shimmer. Pull the colour over the entirety of the outer third of the lid as well. Use a pencil brush to line your lower lash line with it. You can leave it there, but especially if you're wearing glasses, or looking for some drama, add some lashes (they don't have to be as psychotic as these).  
Should I do a 6th look? Let me know if you'd like one.
There we go, Part Four, I hope you enjoyed it/ got inspired by it.
PS: I tried Cherry Moss on my mom, who is whitey-mc-white (ok, it's not that bad), and it turned out SO BEAUTIFULLY. I did her makeup for her night out tonight, used Oatmeal Tan from Palette 1 in the crease and lightly washed over the lid. Then put Cherry Moss on top. Then for a real pop I put Aluminum Taupe from Palette 1 just on the center of the lid. Stunning. Honestly.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Makeup by nush: Coastal Scents eyeshadow looks, Part Three (Caramelized, Seaside Bronze, Bon Voyage, and Caribbean)

Hi Guys,
welcome to Part Three of my Coastal Scents quad eye shadow marathon. If you're new (hi) to this series, I bought a bunch of shadow pots (single pressed shadows) from Coastal Scents and made them into 6 quads. In each instalment of this series I take one palette and create four different eye looks. It's just meant to inspire you to maybe play with your own makeup, or give you ideas, or if you're considering buying something from Coastal Scents, I've got mini reviews of each colour in the quads, and you can see how they perform on the eye.
The Quad:

(Left to right: Seaside Bronze, Caramelized, Bon Voyage, Caribbean)
Caramelized (top left): a shimmery bronze/copper colour. It is significantly chunky, and as such quite hard to work with, let alone blend. It works well if you just want to lay the colour down (like as a liner), as opposed to blending it out. Great pigmentation.
Caribbean (top right): my favourite shade in the palette. Great pigmentation (it's a very vivid blue), barely any fallout, easy to blend. Shimmery without being chunky.
Seaside Bronze (bottom left): a yellow gold shimmer shade. I ran into the same problems as with Caramelized. Chunky, very "glittery"/piecey, tough to blend. Best when stamped on. Great pigmentation.
Bon Voyage (bottom right): the least pigmented of the quad, but it gives a nice satin (almost matte) turquoise finish. Very easy to blend, and looks great in the crease or as a wash all over the lid. Very Spring/Summer.
Using a large blending brush, sweep Caramelized all over your lid and up into the crease. Be patient, and blend softly. You will be tempted to just pile it on, and brush it into submission, but that'll just hurt your eyelid. Now find yourself a small, stiff, angled brush. Got it? Ok. Dip the edge of your brush into Caribbean. Following the curve of your eye shape, stamp the colour all the way from inner to outer corner on both top and bottom lash lines. In the inner corner, extend the line from the upper lash line downward until it meets the line on the lower lash line. At the outer corner, pull the line from the bottom lash line, up towards the tail of your brow. Let the colour fade towards the end. Now add mascara, OR...

some false lashes.

Apparently I'm very into liner today. Don't worry if you're not, number three is a nice blown out number. Anyway, yes, this look. I thought it would be fun to try and play with negative space a little bit, and use Seaside bronze in a different way. The first thing I put down was Seaside Bronze. With your little stiff angled brush, stamp the gold colour from your inner corner, up into and following the line of your crease, and then wing it out to the tail of your brow. Now. I did the stupid thing, and did my black liner first. Put the cream/white/off-white/yellowish pencil/gel/liquid down first. I just had a nude pencil at my disposal.. very much in need of a sharpen.. but yes. Line the bottom of the gold line we put down with your nude colour. THEN move onto your liquid/gel liner. Draw a reasonably thick line from inner to outer corner, winging it out towards the tail of the brow, following along the lines of the gold and the nude. You want to keep everything stiff and defined. Add mascara to finish.

Why are there 3 photos? because the lighting was a bit different, the position of the eye was a bit different, and I just like options :p So, makeup. Step One: pick up Bon Voyage with a fluffy blending brush and do just that into the crease. Blend, pick up more colour, blend, etc. This will provide a nice gradient for Caribbean, which you should pack all over the lid, and pull along the lower lash line as well. Make sure both colours are blended so there are no harsh lines. Next, take Seaside bronze, and pat it onto the centre of the lid. Blend slightly. With the same brush, pick up a bit of Caramelized, and pat it onto the outer third of the lid. Blend slightly. Mimic the effect on the lower lash line. It's important with so much colour (especially blue, which can turn 80s in 2 seconds flat) to add some grounding black, either in the form of liner, mascara, or falsies. Here I've used a half strip of lashes on the outer third of the eye.
Side note: you'll find lashes a lot easier to apply when you cut them in two and use both or just one of the halves.

 My favourite of the four looks is also the simplest. Using a flat shadow brush, pick up some Seaside bronze and place it on the inner third of your lid. Flip the brush over, pick up some Caramelized, and apply to the centre of the lid, overlapping slightly with the gold. Feel free to go back and build up the colour to your desired intensity. Rub off your brush, and pick up Bon Voyage. Place this on the outer third of your lid, overlapping somewhat with the copper. Flip your brush over again and in the outer V, place Caribbean, overlapping slightly with Bon Voyage. Be careful to keep all the shadows on the lid, and don't let them migrate into the crease. You don't want to blend much with this look. The gradient simply comes from the placement and overlapping of the different colours. Draw a brown/bronze/or even black liner along the lower lash line. Rim your waterline if you'd like to make the look more intense.  

I honestly didn't know if I would have a fifth look for this palette. My eyes were so sore after the first four, and it can be a bit difficult not to just stick to the standard- mid tone in the crease, highlight on the inner corner, etc.- eye shadow playbook. Hopefully these looks will inspire more than that. For this look, you'll need Bon Voyage, Caribbean, and either a glitter liner, or some loose glitter and a base. Take Bon Voyage on a crease/contour brush, and work it into and slightly above the crease. Take your time building the intensity of the colour,  and blend blend blend. In just the very outer corner, dab a bit of Caribbean in a vague V shape. With a fine liner brush, line your lower lash line with Bon Voyage. At this point, you should have colour in your crease and under your eye, but your lid should be bare. This is where you're going to put your glitter. I prefer a silvery colour to go with the icy blues, but you can use anything you own really. I put a matte eye shadow base down in that area so my liner had something to stick to (matte, so that not EVERYTHING about this look was shimmery). Then fill in your lid with the glitter. It will catch the light beautifully and it is a great Spring/Summer look.
Hope y'all enjoyed this. Stick with me for Part Four.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Makeup by nush: eye looks using Coastal Scents shadows Part Two (Sundried, St Topaz, Cocoa Diamond, Coral Blossom)

Hi Guys,
welcome to the second part of my Coastal Scents series. In case you didn't see the first edition, I bought a bunch of shadows from CS recently, and made them up into 6 4 pan palettes. I'm doing 4 looks from each palette, without incorporating shadows from anywhere else, and a minimum of other products as well. Kind of a inspirational look-book, in case you're wondering what to do with your quads/ shadows.
The Quad:

(from left: Coral Blossom, Cocoa Diamond, Sundried, St. Topaz)
Sundried (Top Left): a reddish copper colour with a metallic sheen. Barely any fallout, and great pigmentation. Not too different from Canyon Coral and Cajun Craze.
St. Topaz (Top Right): this is a bronzey antique gold type shimmer shade. It's a little less smooth that Sundried, as is typical in satin vs shimmer shades.
Cocoa Diamond (Bottom Left): to describe this as 'brown' is kind of an insult. This is one of the most stunning CS shadows. It's brown, but it's not, it's silver, but it's not, it's reddish, but it's not. On the eyes it just depends how much you blend the colour out. You'll see in one of the looks below how I used the colour as both a smokey eye, and said look's highlight shade.
Coral Blossom (Bottom Right): this is a pinky coral. It's almost more matte than satin, and it's my least favourite shadow of the four. It feels quite chunky, and it has a fallout problem. Definitely tap the crap out of your brush to remove the excess. It also has a tendency to stain your skin. I had to really scrub with a makeup remover wipe to get it off.  

Sweep Sundried all over the lid. Using more pressure, build the colour in and slightly above the crease. Tap a small amount of coral Blossom onto the inner third of the lid. Blend. Using a stiff angled brush, sweep St Topaz along the lower lash line. For more intensity, go into the outer V with either Sundried of Cocoa Diamond and deepen the colour. Blend some more.

Part One. Use a flat shadow brush to really pack St Topaz onto the lid, you want the colour to pop, especially behind the lashes that are Part Two. Using the edge of the same brush, or a small smudge brush, brush the same colour into the inner corner of the eye as well. Taking Cocoa Diamond, sweep the colour onto the outer third of the eyelid, and up into the crease. Blend. Bring the colour down along the lower lash line as well. BAM! you're done.

Part Two= add some lashes. This is a look that will take you no time at all, so adding a pair of falsies is definitely an option. I also think the gold is strong enough, and the look has enough depth, that it can carry psycho falsies like these. You could go from Part One to Part Two as a day to night deal.

Using a flat shadow brush, pack Cocoa Diamond onto your eyelid. Keep on packing. In fact, pack then blend, then pack then blend, then pack then blend. Doing so really brings out the different tones in the colour, giving the body of the look a silver sheen, and the blended out edges a reddish tinge. Take a small amount of the colour under your brow as a silvery highlight, and into the inner corner as well. Using a brown/bronze eyeliner pencil, line your lower lash line. Now, take a tiny brush- a fine liner brush, or a small artist's brush for example- and pull Sundried over the top lash line (out to the little wing), and along the bottom lash line as well.

Now for a quick and easy spring/summer look. Pack Canyon Coral from inner to outer corner of your eyelid, keeping the colour on concentrated on the lid, and not up into the crease. I recommend, given the climate, using a primer beforehand. Then, taking a nude eyeliner (you could also use white, or pale yellow if you don't have a nude), line your waterline. Pull the line into the tear-duct, and inner V of the eye. Then pull it outwards to the outer corner of the eye, and create two flicks. Use your fingers or a small brush to smudge the flicks slightly, so they're not two harsh lines. The nude liner will open up your eye. Add a crap tonne of mascara (I didn't, but you should), and that's it. Pink shadow is quite in fashion this spring, so this look is quite on trend, and a little less harsh because of the coral element of the colour.

So for a more playful look, let's create some eyeliner, and top it off with a bit of glitter. Step one: line your eyes with your favourite black /brown liquid liner, creating a small wing at the outer corner. Next, use a nude of white eyeliner (any kind will do) to trace a thickish line above your liquid liner. This will give the shadows we're about to put down something to cling to. Using St Topaz and a fine liner brush (I used one from a art supply shop), trace the colour from inner to outer corner, following the shape of the black liner. Then do the same with Sundried, tracing it just above the liner of St Topaz. Optional: add a line of glitter liner (I used one from NYX) along your bottom lash line.
And we're done with palette 2. Only 4 more to go. I hope to see you in the next instalment.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Makeup by Nush: eyeshadow looks using Coastal Scents Hot Pots Part One (Aluminum Taupe, Oatmeal Tan, Thunderous, Canyon Coral)

Hi Guys,
so I recently bought some eye shadows from Coastal Scents ( and made them into 6 quads.
There's nothing quite like putting your own palette together (my process involved categories and lists and 2 days of mixing and matching ... but then I'm pretty much nuts so let's pretend I get a pass). I'm sure if you're having a look at this (hi!), you own more than a few palettes yourself. Do you use them? if you do, do you use all the colours? can you create the eye looks you want with just the one palette without having to pull from the rest of your collection?
These are all questions I ask myself, and typically the answer to most of them is no.
A little bit about shadowpots. They are single eye shadows that come in plastic doohickeys as pans. You can then buy single, quadruple, twelve, or twenty-eight pan palettes to put them in. They are magnetized, so the whole process is really simple. You can also take the pans back out of the palettes easily if you're reconfiguring things. Quality-wise, my experience with the shadowpots has been stellar. The pigmentation of most of the shades is brilliant (a few of the matte shades are a little less so, but not by much), a couple of shades have some fallout, and are a little bit powdery, but overall you really can't complain. I use them on myself, obviously,  but I've also used them on ladies aged 50 and upwards, and they've all been really pleased with the results. There are also some 370 shades to choose from, in matte, shimmer, and satin finishes. I find the texture quite soft and creamy, and they are very easy to blend.
Here's what I'm thinking of doing. I'll go through each of my six palettes and do four looks per quad, and give you a little rundown of the shades in each palette in case you're thinking of putting an order in yourself. As always, I hope this inspires and helps in some way.
Enter palette number one.
Aluminum Taupe (top left corner): a dark silvery shade. It comes across very foil like on the lid. It's a shimmer shade, and a little bit chunky, but beautiful nonetheless.
Oatmeal Tan (top right corner): a matte orange-y tan colour. This is a great crease colour, as it blends like a dream and makes your eyes look deeper set. It's really versatile, and looks good with both neutral and colourful makeup.
Thunderous (bottom left corner): a little grey, a little black, a little silver, a little bronze. This colour is multifaceted. It has a satin finish, and a bit of fallout. Remember to tap off the excess. This looks great on the lid in a smokey eye, or taken with a stiff angled brush as a soft liner. 
Canyon Coral (bottom right corner): now this is supposedly a satin "bronze-coral", but it comes off a lot more reddish than either coral of bronze. It's pretty, but the description is a bit off. I found this very easy to work with, and it had the least fallout of the four.  
On to the looks.

Blend Oatmeal Tan into and slightly above the crease with a fluffy blending brush, from inner to outer corner. Using a flat shadow brush, pack Aluminum Taupe on to the lid. Put a little bit on the inner tear duct and under the brow as highlights. Use thunderous on an angled brush and lightly trace the outer halves of the upper and lower lashlines. You can finish with mascara, but I hate the stuff and usually leave it here.

Use a flat shadow brush to pat Thunderous onto the inner and outer third of your lid. Try to keep the colour on the lid itself, not up into the crease. Tip: Try to use one side of the brush per shade. That way you need fewer brushes and don't have as much to clean later on. Flip your brush over and pick up Canyon Coral. Pat this generously onto the center of the lid which we kept bare. Take a small pencil brush and blend the shade all the way along the lower lashline as well. Lightly highlight your brow-bone with Aluminum Taupe.

For this smokey liner look, pat Thunderous over your entire eyelid, and take the colour up and into the crease. Pull it out slightly at the outer corners; try to angle it toward the tail end of your brow. Using a pencil or smudge brush, take the same shade along the lower lashline. Don't be afraid to pull it slightly lower than you would normally go, it's all part of the worn-in/smokey look. Use Aluminum Taupe as a highlight on the tear duct and under the brow. Again, you can be a bit heavier handed than usual. Pat the same colour lightly onto the very center of the lid; every time you blink it will catch the light in a really pretty way. Now take a liquid liner (I used one by NYX), trace a rather fat line as close to your lashes as possible. Wing it out at the ends, following that shadow we pulled toward the end of the brows earlier- it will pull the look together.

This is for all the lash wearers out there. A twist on a neutral look, appropriate for both day and night, depending on what you do with your lashes (mascara? some natural falsies? full-on doll-like falsies?). Use either a fluffy blending brush (like I did) or a flat shadow brush and pack Oatmeal tan all over your lid, up into the crease, and fade it out to just below your brow-bone. Do not be afraid to layer the colour until you achieve the desired intensity. Next, take a pencil brush and run Aluminum Taupe from the tear duct all the way along the lower lashline.
Now add the lashes. When the band is dry, use your same liquid liner from the last look to cover up any white glue marks and space between your natural lashes and the lashband so the transition looks natural.  
Lash Tips: do not be afraid to cut the lashes you have to size. Hold them against your eye (without glue!) to gauge the size you need, and then cut the excess off from the outer corner. Use as little glue as possible. Try to line up the center of your lash to the center of your eye. Give the glue some time to get tacky. To get the lashes on, some people find using tweezers to get them into place works best, I just use my fingers. Try to get the lashes as close to your natural lashes as possible (without getting them ONyour actual lashes.. because OW).  
Bonus 5:

Excuse my camera and it's random spurt of yellow-ness. I don't know where that came from. I decided to include this look for two reasons. One: to show you a truly neutral, easy, daytime look. Two: to show you that all the eye shadow "rules" are generally BS. This is a graduated look, but the darkest shade, Thunderous, is in the inner corner, and Oatmeal Tan is in the outer V. Canyon coral and Aluminum Taupe are in the center of the two. Use a primer (it's the tropics here, so if you're wearing anything during the day, you don't want to just sweat that sucker off). Start with Thunderous, and blend your way out to Oatmeal Tan with a clean blending brush. All you want is a soft wash of each shade, blending seamlessly into the next. Repeat the pattern along the lower lashline with a stiff angled brush.
Aaaaand we're done! I hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for the next five (yes FIVE) instalments of this Coastal Scents series.