My photo for me, art and photography.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Simply Red


As some (if not all) of you are aware, I’m pretty obsessed with all things 1940s, and this also translates into the way I dress and how I ‘put my face on’. The key colour for 1940s makeup is red. Red lips, and red nails. Thing is, it is so easy to go wrong with red and end up looking like a bit of a slapper if you go too garish, and a bit of a goth if you go too dark. So. I just thought I’d rifle through my makeup bag and give a quick review/overview of what stuff I use to get my look (I will post up a picture soon hopefully – My camera doesn’t really agree with red values and I need to get photoshop so I can sort the lighting out so it does actually resemble the colours more closely – call me a snob, but windows live ‘fix’ thing doesn’t quailfy as worthy editing software.. if something is worth doing….

Ok: my face type. Quite pale, slighly olive toned, quite dehydrated combination/oily skin, a few blemishes, green eyes with massive black circles under them. Ok so it’s not exactly flattering but hey, at least I’m honest and not kidding myself.

All these prices are based on Boots prices

Base:  Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in 030 Sand.  £6.84


I HATE using foundations – it makes my skin feel like it’s covered with a film and like it’s suffocating.. that kind of feeling that your face just feels gunky. Yuck. Bought this on the off chance and it’s actually great! it’s a really nice light formula, really good coverage and you barely need to put any on for it to work its magic, so it lasts for ages. Covers up large pores nicely without clogging them and stays on your face for ages.

Concealer: Clinique Airbrush Concealer in 04 Neutral Fair.  £14.68


With my dark circles (which, before you say have nothing to do with lack of sleep or iron deficiency – they’re just like that) I really need some heavy duty stuff to cover them up, only heavy duty stuff tends to cake into the creases under my eyes and I end up looking about 80 rather than 23 within a few hours. This stuff doesn’t – it’s absolutely brilliant – it’s light, non-greasy, stays put and covers everything up. The price makes my eyes bleed a bit, but for what it does I’m willing to fork out for it. I know quite a few people swear by YSL Touche Éclat, but I actually prefer this. I literally only use it under my eyes so one of these things lasts me about 6 months.

Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder 003 Peach Glow £2.99


Keeps the shine at bay effectively. It also has a light fresh fragrance, but you actually have to put your nose in it to smell it so if you’re sensitive to scented products this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.


Eyeshadow: Natural Collection solo eyeshadow in Sea Shell £1.65

I couldn’t find a photo of this but it’s basically a little pot of  a very pale beige eyeshadow that I put on my lids, which is good for the very flat 1940s style of makeup, and a little underneath – it’s lighter than the stay matte powder so it doesn’t cake as much and it lightens up under my eyes even more plus it’s very slightly shimmery so it reflects the light too. Fragrance free, this has been a staple in my makeup bag for about 4 years now.

Mascara:  Max Factor False Lash Effect in Brown Black £10.99


Every time I run out I try to use something else, although I tend to stick with Max Factor as my eyes don’t seem to mind it. This stuff.. I wouldn’t say it makes me look like I have false lashes (which is the main reason why I bought it – massive long lashes are one of the big features of 40s makeup – I wasn’t expecting them to actually look as long as false lashes, but a bit longer than this product actually gets them would be nice. One of my pet hates about advertising is they always use models with false lashes.. I mean.. how the hell am I supposed to judge how a product is going to look if you’re not even going to show it in use properly?!), but it’s pretty good. I like the big chunky silicone type brush – I hate having gunky lashes and this totally avoids that. For a 40s look – lots of big lashes on top but don’t do your bottom lashes.

Liner: Rimmel Exaggerate in 002 Absolute Brown £4.88



It’s ok – does the job – felt pen style at the end makes application easy and mess free – the tip is a little on the thick side for some people I suppose, but I like it personally – it’s nice and sturdy and doesn’t flick all over the place like some with thin brushes do. A common mistake for people doing 40s makeup is to go really overboard with eyeliner and flick it up at the edges – that’s 50s, not 40s. Look at the pics below – you’ll see there’s a lot of fake lash going on but not thick eyeliner.

Brows: Collection 2000 Kohl Eyeliner 2 Brown £?


Perfectly Manicured brows are VITAL to the 1940s look. You can yell ‘Audrey Hepburn’ at me all you want, but she was 50s, not 40s. Yes, I know I’m using an eyeliner, but I’ve found a lot of eyebrow brushes are far too gummy, crumbly, and it’s kinda like smearing kiddies facepaint on and it all gets clogged up. I like using this with a brush stuck on the end that i took off one of the ‘proper’ eyebrow pencils I had before I threw it away.

I can’t actually find this on the boots website – I hope they haven’t stopped doing them, coz this one is a good colour for me! this pencil is a good few years old though, so they might well have done.

Blusher:  Natural Collection in Sweet Cheeks £1.95


Yet another colour I’ve discovered isn’t on the website –I’m guessing Rosey Blush (or whatever it’s called) is probably similar



Base Coat/ Top Coat: Nails Inc, Hyde Park £7.00


Firstly, if your nails are pathetic like mine and are weak and tend to peel, stick on a couple of layers of this stuff under your polish – I totally swear by it. I also have a problem with polish flaking off/chipping etc – apparently this is a problem that loads of people have – even relatively expensive polishes like Max Factor can’t make it through the day without chipping. Put a layer of this stuff over your polish and it’ll last at least a week. If you can’t find Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is basically the same – same colour, smell etc – I dunno if they just changed the name or if it’s actually a different one, but they both work exactly the same. It’s expensive, but definitely worth it.

BARRY M  £2.89



the name has rubbed off the label so I can’t read it but I think it’s the darker of the reds. It says 1A  315 on the bottom if that helps.. I have a newer one lurking somewhere that might be legible. When I find it I’ll post it up. It needs 2 coats and an overcoat.. in fact, they all do.

Collection 2000 Hot Looks fast dry in Diva £1.75



Needs AT LEAST 2 coats – it’s a bit lurid but once you’ve put on several coats it starts to look ok.


Rimmel 60 seconds in 320 Rapid Ruby £3.49


Nice thick formula – doesn’t dribble or drip, only need one coat because it’s pretty opaque as well as thick. Nice rich colour, although perhaps a little dark for some – it’s not as dark as it is in the photo. I love this one.


Bourjois So Laque in Rouge Diva (11) and Rouge Escarpin (10) £5.37


I’m actually kinda used to the rimmel one so I found going from this to Rouge Diva a bit drippy, if I’m honest. it’s pretty transparent so it definitely needs a couple of coats, but the shade is nice.  the Escarpin is quite a bit brighter but not so bright it looks tacky.



To start with my favourite and work my way down:

Sleek True Colour in Vixen.

It was about £2 in superdrug, if memory serves. I just went on the superdrug website and couldn’t find it, or anywhere else on the web come to that, but it’s definitely there because I only got it last week – but I think you’d have to go into one of the bigger stores in order to find it. I got mine in the Superdrug in Kingston upon Thames, so I KNOW it’s there. It’s IMMENSE! serious ‘voom’ power. Outrageous without being slutty. I think it takes some balls to wear this lipstick because it is really very red. once you’ve blotted it, it’s quite a matte finish (it’s pretty matte anyway) and it doesn’t go anywhere. Seriously – I can put it on at 10 in the morning, have tea,  eat sandwiches, do whatever and it’ll still be on at 11pm. in fact you have to scrub it off. It’s WONDERFUL stuff. Next time I go to Kingston I’m going to stock up because I don’t think this one will stay on the shelves long. I’ve actually had quite a few heads turning to stare at me when I’m wearing this but it doesn’t really bother me too much because my whole look is a bit ‘different’ if I’m honest, so I’m kinda used to it. The ONLY downside to this is that it dries my lips out a bit so I use ‘blistex ultra moisture’ and let that sink in before applying it.

Mac in Ladybug £ (I bought mine in Fenwicks for about £12 I think)


Love Love LOVE this lipstick.  It does wear off but it still looks good, moisturises nicely, stays put – no bleeding. REALLY NICE shade of red too – not garish at all, yet still vibrant. It’s a lustre lipstick so a bit shiny – personally I’d prefer it if it came in matte – but that’s mainly because I have quite long hair which I wear down and I hate getting my hair stuck to my lips (which is one of the main reasons why I avoid lip gloss like the plague.. the fact I think it looks pretty cheap and nasty and like you can’t stop dribbling or something also features heavily). I don’t think it’s scented per se, but it smells like the way makeup SHOULD.. if that makes sense…

NYC in Dubonnet

– don’t remember the £ and it isn’t listed on but I reckon it was about £4

a nice perky but subtle colour – I’d say it’s one of those that enhances natural lip colour rather than painting over it – I dunno how much sense that makes… I guess it looks like a pretty natural shade – like when you come in from the cold and your lips go bright red – like that.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Star Secrets, Rouge Penelope (708) £7.82


It’s a nice colour and fairly moisturising but that’s about as far as my good review goes. Designed for Penelope Cruz, apparently, for what it is, it’s expensive.  It stinks of flowers and the last thing I want near my mouth is something pungent and floral, and it wears off faster than you can blink. I’ve never bought a L’oreal lipstick before, but this is pretty off-putting. For the money I paid I expected a lot better.



I divided my mouth up in sections so it might be easier to see  - please excuse the retard smile but it’s kinda hard not to smile like a spaz when you’re holding a camera inches away from your mouth and trying to get it in focus.

From right to left (in the photo) we have…

MAC ladybug, SLEEK vixen, L’OREAL Penelope and NYC Dubonnet.

And here’s what they look like lined up:


it doesn’t look it in the photo but the one on the right – the ‘sleek’ is really about as scarlet as you can get. Brilliant lipstick!

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