27 Mar 2012

OPI Germany Collection (Fall 2012)

OPI is releasing a fall collection based around Germany! I know many of my German readers will be very excited about this. (Although I have to say I wasn't in love with the OPI Swiss collection.) These colors look interesting for fall, there's a couple in there that have definitely caught my eye.

GERMANY L to R: My Very First Knockwurst, Don’t Pretzel My Buttons, Berlin There Done That, Dont Talk Bach to Me, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine!, Schnapps Out of It, Suzi & The 7 Dusseldorfs, Every Month is Oktoberfest, Unfor-greta-bly Blue, Deutche You Want Me Baby, Danke-Shiny Red & German-icure by OPI.
What do you think? Will you be buying any of these?

25 Mar 2012

Shimmer Twins Lashes

Today I've got some pictures of these unique lashes from Shimmer Twins! I have the Red Cluster Heart and the Silver Star lashes. Both of these run at £15 a pop and are available for order at Asos.com

They are quite neat if you wanted to add a special touch to a costume or for a fancy dress party. The lashes themselves are synthetic and the band is quite thick, meaning they are a bit trickier than natural hair lashes to put on. The stars and the hearts are glued on to the lashes. I imagine a craftier person than I might be able to make lashes like these themselves.

I'm still trying to think of an appropriate look to use these for in a video!

What do you think - how would you wear these lashes? Let me know in the comments!

22 Mar 2012

Spring Trend: Orange!

If there's one color that's really in trend this season, it's orange. In fact, orange has been popping up everywhere more and more, not just in fashion and beauty. A while back I created a fall look using orange lipstick, which you can check back on here, but now I wanted to create a fresh, youthful and lighter look for spring.

Here's my video tutorial with the step by step instructions to recreate the look:

Nars Sheer Glow foundation, L'Oréal Magic Lumi, Make Up Store Cover All Mix, Urban Decay Glide On Cheek Tint in Quickie

MAC Paint in Bare Canvas, Kryolan eyeshadow trio in Goddess, MAC Shroom eyeshadow, MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, Quo brown eye pencil, Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara, Kryolan lashes Nr. 9371-TV5

Catrice Princess Peach lipstick, Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Torture

Catrice 360 Raspberry Fields Forever

20 Mar 2012

Bridal Makeup Trials: What to Remember

Today I had a bridal makeup trial with one of my clients, Sandra. Above you can see the look we came up with together. I thought I'd go into detail how I go about working with clients, and what I feel needs to happen during the bridal makeup trial.

Previous to the appointment I talked to Sandra on her overall wishes for the look, if she had something specific in mind. Some brides will be very concrete about their wishes and have pictures from magazines to show you, others might be completely clueless and need your guidance to pick out something appropriate. In this case, it's helpful to have a peek at the wedding dress if one has already been purchased, and any jewelry and accessories that will be worn on that day. You should also get an overall feel for the bride's personality to see if she would prefer a more bolder, dramatic look, or something very understated.

In Sandra's case, she had a basic idea of what she wanted. She told me she wanted her look to be inspired by Arab makeup, but without the harsh typical eyeliner and sharp corners. She wanted the colors to be a bit more pronounced than normal, with a strong crease blend, but the overall look should still be soft and flattering. She wasn't too specific about which colors she preferred, just that she didn't want any bright bold ones. She also told me she's getting eyelash extensions for the wedding, and she would be removing her nose ring.

Sandra arrived at my house (I prefer to do trial runs at my place), and over a cup of coffee we went on the Internet together and looked at some Arab makeup pictures. I had already got an idea of what she wanted, but I needed to figure out a few details. Together we decided an overall softer look would be more flattering, and more suited to her features and her dress. Then I showed her my palettes to see what colors she liked most, but in this case she relied mostly on my judgement to pick what looks good together. I showed her a few combinations of flattering shades in both matte and pearl finish, and then came up with the look above.

During a trial run it's also a good idea to try out different things. For example, you can see she's wearing two different colored liners on her waterline, and I used different blushes on each cheek. We also did two lip variations until we decided on this one. It's a good time to see what works and what looks nicer for the big day.

I then proceeded to do the makeup on her in natural daylight close to a window, as that will be the condition which she will be photographed in. It's also the best place to make sure the foundation is perfectly matched and evenly blended into the neck and bust line. During the process I showed her a mirror a few times so she could see how things were progressing. Try to make it enjoyable and relaxing for your client; I played some nice music in the background, burned some home fragrance oil, and made sure everything was clean and tidy.

After all the makeup was done, I gave her a mirror to go outside and see how it looked. I asked her if there was anything she would want different on her wedding day, which liner she preferred, etc. Take note of any changes that you will need to make on the big day - Sandra said she wanted a deeper color lipliner and less highlighting around the cheekbones.

Remember that even though you are the makeup artist, your paying client makes the final decision. You can give suggestions and guidance on what looks best, but in the end if they want something that you personally don't think looks good, it's their call. If they want to wear hot pink lips with dark smokey eyes, then just follow their wishes and try to make it as flattering as possible.

Finally I made a Word document of all the products I used on her and placement, so that I will remember exactly on the wedding day. Make a list for your client of products they might need to purchase for touch-ups (unless you are on-hand throughout the wedding), for example blotting powder, lip products, etc. Discuss the final arrangements of the wedding day, how much time you need and when and where to arrive. Also be sure to have your financial aspects in order at this time, such as down payments, contracts, etc. You don't want to be talking money to a stressed out bride on her wedding day! This is also to protect yourself, to make sure you get paid. If you are doing makeup on other members of the bridal party, be sure to discuss that in advance and schedule enough time. Give your client your business card if she needs to contact you, and be sure you have their contact details.

That's it! Happy makeup-ing! I'll be sure to post some final pictures of Sandra's makeup on her big day!

15 Mar 2012

Bold Black Eyes Makeup Tutorial

Black eye makeup - it's one of my favorites, but it can be hard to pull off if you don't want to look gothic. I think the trick to making a harsh color such as black more wearable is to combine it with softer, feminine colors, like pinks or neutrals for example. If done right, black eye makeup can look very mysterious and appealing!

Watch my video tutorial for the step by step instructions how I achieved this look.

Nars Sheer Glow foundation in Mont Blanc, Make Up Store concealer, Barry M Natural Dazzle bronzer, MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Play it Proper, La Femme blush in Flamingo Pink

MAC Greasepaint Stick in black, MAC Neutral Pink (LE), MAC Shroom, Sugarpill Bulletproof, MAC Feline kohl pencil, Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara, MAC Lingering brow pencil, L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Hourglass Beige

MAC Hue lipstick

Catrice - Sing: Oh Champs Élysées

Watch the video directly on Youtube here

12 Mar 2012

Make Up Store Swatches and Review

I was recently invited to sample some products from a Swedish cosmetic brand called Make Up Store. The brand is not available in all countries yet, but in a few select cities in Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Denmark, Mexico, Indonesia, and several others. You can see where the brand is available on their website; however, some of the locations are not accurately listed, which is a bit disappointing. I briefly browsed through their store on my last trip in Berlin at the Alexa mall, but I was short on time so didn't have the opportunity to really check it out thoroughly.

Their cosmetic range is wide, including an entire makeup line in a plethora of bright and neutral colors, and they also offer skincare, nail polish, and hair products. Their makeup line is sold in free standing stores, and the prices are mid- to higher-end for European department store standards. For example, the suggested retail price for an eyeshadow is 13 Euros, a lipstick 17 euros.

I find their website a bit incomplete, as some prices are listed, others are not. There is currently no online shop for international delivery, so the only way to purchase their products is if you have a location nearby. I'm unsure if an online shop is in the works.

Here are some product pictures of what I have.

Clockwise from left: Microshadows in Diva, Ruby, Varieté, Sunrise, Satin

My first impression of the eyeshadows is good, they are well pigmented and the colors are very pretty. The ones above all have a shimmery finish. You get 3.5 grams of product per eyeshadow. What I dislike about them is the packaging, it's incredibly flimsy and the hinge is poorly constructed, so poorly that the lids easily pop off, as you can see in the first shadow on the lower left. They also look tricky to depot, and if you're more of a palette user like me, these shadows are quite bulky to store.

Left to right: Cybershadows in Ginger Leaf, Babydoll

I have no idea what the difference is between the Cybershadows and the Microshadows, and I wasn't provided with any PR pamphlets to teach me about the products, so my guess is as good as yours. The Cybershadows are smaller in size and offer 2 grams of products each, and have a frosty finish. The pigmentation seems nice again, but the packaging is again flimsy and poorly hinged.

Clockwise from Left: Eyedust in Paragon, Glitter in Luna, Eyedust in Hectic, Eyedust in Darkness

These are the Make Up Store's version of glitters and pigments, and I honestly can say I would not purchase these because the packaging is abysmal. I honestly think this is some of the worst packaging I have ever experienced with a cosmetic product. The lid opens, underneath which is a second lid that has a "stopper" to prevent the pigment from spilling. What seems as a great idea is actually so badly implemented, because you have to apply so much force to open the second stopper that by doing so, you spill the product all over your hands, your working space, and the pigment gets all over the lid. It is by far one of the messiest endeavors I have ever undertaken, that I can honestly say I will probably never use these because I don't appreciate having to clean up the entire area and wash my hands after each use. It's a shame really, because the colors look quite pretty. The only way to improve these is by completely changing the packaging, as is they are just unusable on a practical level.

Left to Right: Lipsticks in Yarn (metallic), Pout, Dare (matte)

The lipsticks were the stand-outs to me! They are incredibly pigmented, long-lasting and the colors are some of the brightest I have ever seen. The lipsticks go on very smoothly without feathering and are opaque in one swipe. Yarn is a slightly sheer mango color, Pout is a blend of hot pink and cherry red, and Dare is an almost neon orange that definitely lives up to its name. There was some staining of the lips with Pout and Dare upon removal, because the colors are so intense and pigmented. The packaging is sleek and elegant, and I had no issues with it. Here are some quick swatches on my lips.




Left to right: Pout, Dare, Yarn

Swatches of all the eyeshadows and the lipsticks, without a base.

I also have one of the cream highlighters, known as the High Tech Lighter in the shade Venus. This cream product is reminiscent of MAC's Cream Color Base in Hush. It is a peach shade with a pearlescent golden finish, very flattering as a cheekbone highlight, and a little goes a long way.

Lastly I have two nailpolishes to show you, neither of which I have worn yet so I can't give you a review yet. To be honest I am not crazy about either color, but here is a bottle picture to start. They are both from their Hologram range, but neither one looks particularly holographic to me. Aqua Fix is a pale white cream color, and Greta looks like a silver with multi-tonal sparkle.

(Update: I've been told the white is a base coat for holographic polishes, and that Greta is actually extremely holographic when applied. I will have to try it out and post a swatch later, as I'm pretty intrigued now!)

Left to Right: Aqua Fix, Greta

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

I have mixed feelings about this brand judged on the products I was sent. I think their range offers some really exciting and unique colors, and I remember feeling very impressed when I briefly visited the store in Berlin. The line reminds me of bold brands like MAC, Makeup Forever and Inglot, and if you enjoy bright colors, Make Up Store is definitely worth having a peek into.

The packaging on the shadows and pigments is sub-par, the technical issues especially on the pigments to me is unacceptable for the price point. Packaging should be user friendly on the first instance, and the pigments failed on this account completely. The eyeshadow hinges are flimsy and easily come apart.

Since this was a press send out, I wasn't able to pick my own colors, and some of the things I received just weren't my personal taste. I think that if I was in the store and was able to pick out my own products, my experience would be a lot different. The lipsticks and some of the eyeshadow colors are certainly very promising, and the quality of the actual products also seems very good. I am very interested to hear more from this brand, and I can only hope they seriously think about repackaging their products to make them more user friendly and sturdy. I'm really looking forward to incorporating these products in my videos.

For further information about Make Up Store and where to buy their products, please go their website: http://www.makeupstore.se/

8 Mar 2012

What I'm Wearing: Red & Black Leather

I don't know what it is, but I'm somehow always drawn to black and red together. I've been looking for the perfect black leather biking jacket, and am willing to splurge on it, but I still haven't seen one that I've fallen in love with, so until then I'll just opt for a faux leather option.

Right now Switzerland is in that in-between-winter-and-spring phase so it's still ok to wear these warmer and more winter season clothes. Although I have to say I'm absolutely loving the bright colors coming, and can't wait to do some spring shopping.

Check the video for a breakdown of my outfit, and details where to buy.

Jacket: H&M (Divided line)
Top: New Yorker
Pants: Vero Moda (Asos.com)
Boots: Steve Madden black suede leather (bought at DSW in New York last year)
Purse: Badgley Mischka black genuine leather
Ring: Asos.com
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Earrings: Asos.com
Nailpolish: OPI Malaga Wine
Makeup: L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Amber Rush 892, Illamasqua Maneater lipstick, L'Oreal Infallible 8 Hour Gloss in Mirror Underneath Nr. 320, MAC Blushbaby blush

6 Mar 2012

Retro inspired Date Look

On Valentine's Day I posted my makeup look I wore that day on Instagram. If you have the Instagram app on your iPhone, you can follow my stream, my username is mizzchievouz. It's a free app and really fun for sharing pictures using your phone. It was one of my most popular pictures and many of you requested a tutorial on the look. It was a really simple makeup, slightly inspired by a retro 60s look but without going overboard.

Here's the original Instagram picture:

Here is the breakdown of the look. These are the exact same products I used on that day, remember that the Instagram filters make the colors look slightly different than they truly are.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation, Maybelline Age Rewind concealer, Lancome Teint Miracle concealer, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pink Raspberry

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe, MAC Satin Taupe, MAC Malt, Ben Nye Toast, MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, Max Factor kohl pencil in Natural Glaze, L'Oreal Volume Million Lash mascara

Barry M Lipstick Nr. 100, Revlon Lipgloss in Peach Petal

Barry M - 119 Baby Pink

Watch my video below for the step by step tutorial!

Thanks for watching and your feedback - it's always appreciated.