Face of the Day: Sports Test

18 Apr

How well does your makeup stand the test of a bit of sweat, eating and time? I took a photo right after applying my makeup and then another after lunch, playing tennis – four hours later. I would not ordinarily wear lots of makeup to play sport (!) I just thought it would be a good test.

In comparison, my skin certainly looks more even and clear with the foundation freshly applied. I would be surprised if there was much left in the after picture. That being said, if I hadn’t been out in the sun playing tennis I am sure the foundation would have lasted longer. I didn’t use a primer, which may have helped. I would say that the concealer has done a magnificent job under my eyes, which without makeup are deep grey.

Chanel Pro Lumiere is my go-to foundation, ordinarily it will last me most of the day. It produces a ‘professional finish’, satin without shine and medium coverage, which photographs brilliantly. A light dusting of the Body Shop powder over the top makes the skin pristine. I have repurchased the powder four times: it’s soft, easy to apply and never clogs on dry skin even if your skin is undermoisturized. I use it as a finishing powder, as well as a foundation in its own right applied with a sponge.

The Chanel Lipstick has, of course, completely disappeared. It partially made it through lunch, but all the sips of water during tennis must have made it vamoosh. As much as I love the finish and the colours and the oh so sexy packaging, Chanel Lipsticks just never win me over because of their (lack of) staying power.

I was unimpressed by the performance of the Benefit Bad Gal Mascara. It applies neatly and creates long lashes, without much volume; I prefer length to volume (Long Pretty Lashes by Clinique is my biggest ‘discontinued’ regret). I wore waterproof to ensure that it stayed put, but upon my return home I could not help but remove the ungainly dark smudges beneath my eyes. In the photo, therefore, this problem goes unrecognised. It seems amazing that such a renowned brand could not make a waterproof mascara that withstands some heat. Others, I know, would swear by this mascara and sleep with it on after nights out. Personally, though, I am still in search of the perfect waterproof. Any suggestions?

Products Used:

Chanel Pro Lumiere Clair 20

Body Shop All In One Face Base 04

Clinique All About Eyes Concealer

Estée Lauder Soft Matte Bronze

Benefit BadGal Waterproof Mascara Black

L’Occtaine Lip balm

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick 75 Amusing

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick Review

18 Apr

Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks apply beautifully smoothly. They are wonderfully gentle, highly pigmented and have a shine to them. The lipstick creates a strong colour on the lips with a natural sheen.

Adorable is a rose-pink, which is just slightly darker than my natural lip colour.

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick 70 Adorable

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick 70 Adorable

Amusing is a gentle red with copper undertones.

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick 75 Amusing

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick 75 Amusing

The lipstick can be layered to create a lighter or darker colour and over a rich lip balm the colour can be reduced to a lovely ‘lipstained’ appearance.

These are not long-lasting lipsticks, about 4 hours is their maximum. If you are willing to reapply between courses at a dinner, or after lunch at work then these lipsticks are perfect. For longevity Bobbi Brown have Metallic Lip Shine Lipsticks, which are also rich colours with a sheen; these last through meals and for about 6 hours.

70 Adorable (below) 75 Amusing (above) Swatches

See Also: Chanel Rouge Coco Review

Skins Series Finale: A Modern Midsummer Dream?

20 Mar

‘The course of love never did run smooth.’ – Lysander,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I i 134

The love triangles, gender confusion, forest magic, lovers and happy endings… sound familiar?

The Skins Finale is an elegant twist on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, involving contemporary relationships that deny the need for the ideal Petrarchan lover or a traditional comedic ending of marriage. Franky loves Matty, Matty loves Liv (but also Franky), Minnie loves Franky, Liv loves Matty. These love imbalances mimic those in Dream. Given that Skins is a 21st century television drama, however, (and one that is not a generally romantic comedy), we are compelled throughout by the possibility that all may not be resolved. In Dream the lighthearted tone is created by a distancing from the emotions of the characters in order to poke fun at the nature of lovers. Incidentally, this is excellently done in Headlong’s new interpretation, currently touring, in characterising ‘fairy-inspired-love’ as camp and pathetic and ‘real love’ as overwrought and sincere. Instead, it is emotion that predominates in Skins.

The removal from Bristol to the Somerset countryside sets the series finale firmly in the Pastoral tradition. The characters are lost in the forest on the way to a wedding and the dualities of this forest setting are explored. The group seemingly have boundless freedom to go anywhere, to love, to drink and to smoke. However, their arrival into the forest is a forced event, when their van breaks down, which is comparable to the banishments in As You Like It. Danger exists, though no harm arrives, as Frankie nearly falls down a ravine. One may compare this with As You Like It and the near danger of starvation that Orlando and Adam suffer upon their arrival into the forest, and the laws of enclosure which set up a possible loss of livelihood for Corin. Comparisons could also be made with Hermia who finds herself lost and alone in the forest.

The fairy magic of Dream manifests in the drug-induced experience of Franky and her subsequent, quickly changing temperament. Teenage angst, a fairly tame theme nowadays, is acutely portrayed as Franky battles with the false concept of ‘normality’. However clichéd the idea is of ‘self-discovery’ during teenage years, it is nonetheless real.

Having watched many a romantic comedy, I realised a while ago what makes Four Weddings and a Funeral and perhaps also The Holiday, specifically modern, succesful comedies; marriage is denied as the ubiquitous Happy Ending. Finally, in Four Weddings it was not necessary for a marriage ceremony to signify a steady, loving relationship (though that of course depends on a belief in the unfailing power of love to transcend circumstance and last forever.) Skins deliberately subverts the marriage ending by explicitly including a ‘non-marriage’. We are not expected to believe that Rich and Grace will be always together, but the implication is that they will last a while. The event to which the programme looks forward is unresolved because they never marry. But the ending itself is ‘happy’; vows are exchanged between a boyfriend and a girlfriend; the tyranny of power (her parents) is overcome, in a brilliant post-modern twist when Prof. Blood announces, ‘I will take no further part in this ridiculous melodrama,’ alluding to the fact that actually, Skins is brilliantly, realistically melodramatic; and the relationship divides are mended. And in classic Skins style we conclude with a pissup and dancing.

Photo from the Skins Website Blog

A Modern Twist on the Piña Colada

20 Mar

This drink is perfect with or without alcohol, so is great for splitting to make two separate batches at a party. It is a creamier version of the classic Piña Colada, with grapefruit juice for an extra kick.

6 parts pineapple juice

1 part grapefruit juice

2 parts coconut cream

2 parts double cream

1 part light rum (optional)

Shake with a generous scoop of crushed ice and serve in a cocktail glass.

To crush the ice yourself, scoop into a  freezer bag, wrap in a tea towel and wack with a rolling pin. Mighty fun!

Mac Odalisque Mega Metal Eyeshadow: Peacocky

13 Mar

Mac eyeshadows are always superb, but these Mega Metal Eyeshadows are just lovely. They apply smoothly and have a silvery shimmer, though be careful to tap off any excess from your brush to avoid the colour transferring down beneath your eye. Odalisque is a silvery, fern green. It is well pigemented, but the colour is much softer than in the pan. It can be worn all over the lid with well defined eyes; I would reccommend using a black liner to create a winged line. I also think darker brights look lovely as a pop of colour in the outer corner and into the crease. If you can still get hold of this collection it is well worth a look.

Cream Blusher Comparison: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, Max Factor Miracle Touch and Topshop Blush

13 Mar

Cream Blushers produce a less obvious makeup look than powder blushers, though the latter tend to create a look that’s more ‘finished’. Cream blushers are ideal for minimal makeup looks and they tend to last a lot longer than powder blushers. The colours tend to look much more vibrant in the pot and change to a more natural colour when rubbed into the skin, so be careful to look up swatches or try them out yourself before purchasing.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge £17.00 (Blushed Rose)

A makeup staple and classic, the Pot Rouge can be used on the cheeks and lips to create a pop of colour – the perfect way to colour match. The pot rouge is matte and blends into you skin to provide a no-makeup look. The colour is very pigmented, so be careful to apply a small amount. I have dry skin and really need to moisturise well beforehand for this product to apply smoothly. I would not recommend using a powder foundation underneath the blusher. The packaging is solid, sleek and fits neatly into a handbag but it does not have a mirror.

Max Factor Miracle Touch £6.99 (Soft Copper)

This is creamier than the Pot Rouge and slightly less pigmented. For my dry skin I find this easier to blend in gently than the pot rouge, which I have to rub into my skin. The colour has a slight shimmer through it, which produces a more dewy finish.

Topshop Blush £6.00 (Neon Rose)

Technically, this a cream to powder blush, but it is useful as a comparison with the other two. When applying the blush, it turns powdery on your cheek and can therefore be applied very gently. There is not need to forcefully rub in this blusher. The colour is the least pigmented of the three, though I would not suggest this is a negative attribute. I personally prefer the lighter look that can be achieved with this blush and the price is exceptional.

Natural Light Comparison Swatches (Topshop, Max Factor, Pot Rouge)

Avenue Q Theatre Review

9 Mar

Avenue Q Rating: ♥♥♥

I went to see Avenue Q a couple of weeks ago and it was certainly worth the ticket price for the laughs. The comedy arrives principally from the fact that cute, 90s TV show style puppets (Muppets, Sesame Street), with cheesy American accents, are up to all sorts of adult activities. (This is not a show to take little kids to, or Grannie, or anyone awkward.) It is set in a down and out street in New York and the set from which the puppets emerge is ingenious. Kate Monster, the lead female, has a beautiful voice and multi-roles superbly. It is typically American, which would’ve been very annoying if it weren’t so darn funny. The puppeteering is polished, though you have to get used to the fact that the actors make no point of becoming their puppets; they are very much separate entities. There is nothing like the connection one feels with the puppets in, lets say, War Horse.

Entertaining tunes such as ‘Everyone’s a little bit racist’ and ‘The Internet is for Porn’, exploit modern-day political correctness and taboo to produce some good comedy. The humour is principally confined to the first half, however. The second half becomes plot obsessed and the love story becomes a tad cheesy.

Don’t expect a compelling storyline and do expect overacting, belted choruses and cliché upon cliché. But I recommend the show for a night out with friends to have a good laugh.

Avenue Q is touring the country until July. www.avenueqthemusical.co.uk