Autumn Lipsticks: MAC Russian Red

Russian Red is a firm favourite of mine, and definitely the perfect red for me.  Its blue undertones mean it doesn't make teeth look too yellow, and it's described by MAC as an "intense bluish red".

This is a must for Autumn when you don't fancy an obvious berry-toned choice.  I wear it with a red Rimmel liner underneath to increase its longevity.  It has a matte finish, so lip balm before and after wear is essential.


MAC Gilt By Association

This is my first Mineralize Eye Shadow, and isn't it lovely?  I'm not sure how long the swirling patterns will last with me smudging my brush across, but for now I'm happy to sit back and bask in its prettiness!

Sam used this in her Helena Christensen tutorial and I fell in love.  I told myself that I didn't really need it, that my mundane life didn't call for something as smokey and glittery as this, but as always I cracked.  I'm glad I did, because despite its predominantly black appearance in the pan, this transforms into a beautiful golden brown shade.

On my eyes however, this maintains its brown golden tone on the lid, but in the crease the black shows through.  When I swatch it on my hand, in no time at all its all fallen away and I was worried that it wouldn't last on my eyes.  I wore it out the other night though, and I'm pleased to report that this didn't happen.  It could be down to my drunken urge to reapply every time I went to the toilet to avoid this happening though...

This leads me to another plus point.  Gilt By Association is incredibly easy to use and wear and despite my intoxicated top-ups it didn't create a mess.  It formed the best and easiest smokey eye I've ever done, and I'd say everyone needs to pick it up!


Autumn Lipsticks: MAC Media

Media looks soooo much scarier in the bullet!  In real life it's even darker than it looks here; more of a true brown shade, yet when applied it's completely different and a deep plum tone.  MAC describe it as an "intense reddish purple".

I picked this up a while back before the vampy lips trend really took hold, and neither my friend nor the MUA at MAC fully understood why I was desperately swatching all the lipsticks and declaring them not dark enough.  This is definitely not a workday lipstick, and I only wear it when I'm feeling particularly brave....I'd go as far as to say it's bordering on man repellant!  That said, it looks great with dewy skin, bronzed cheeks and a subtle golden sheen on the eyes.


Autumn Lipsticks: MUA Shade 1

I got this at the same time as Shade 10 and it looks great underneath that as a base.  This is a real red shade in the bullet form, although next to MAC Russian Red it's much darker in tone.  When swatched however it looks far more pinky, almost raspberry, than red.

This has the same inoffensive fragrance as Shade 10, and again only cost £1.  This wears nicely with a good few hours of staying power.  The lid doesn't click shut properly on this one however, but for £1 you can't really complain.


If you go down to the woods today

The fir tree got me more than a little excited for Christmas, and does anybody else see a deer when they look at the log in the last picture?

Sundays in Autumn were made for woodland walks.  These lovely woods aren't as close as when we were living with Mum so we have to drive to them, which makes it a bit of a pain to take Dudley cos he's big and get the car all muddy.  Look how big he's got since last year!

Speaking of how big he is, it really makes me nervous walking him.  He was off the lead playing with Ed when a little jack russell wandered along.  Dudley instantly ran over to play and the little dog started snarling and yelping.  Dudley didn't even touch him, but he's a big boy and I'm well aware that he could do some damage if he wanted to.  The thing is though, Dudley never wants to, but this dog was about the size of our cats and unlike Coco and Beau just ran underfoot rather than away.  My worst nightmare would be for Dudley to hurt somebody or another dog by accident, but I know his size always makes situations like this always look so much worse.  It could just be me panicking, but I hate the thought that people will think we're irresponsible dog owners purely based the fact that he's big and wants to play with anything that moves.

Do any other dog owners have this problem? 


Autumn Lipsticks: Up The Amp

This is reminding me of Snob here, although in real life it's much more of a deeper violet shade than Snob's pastel lilac hue.  It's a lovely bright purple colour, described by MAC as a "lavender violet".

Lavender is definitely the right word for this, and its Amplified Creme finish makes this an intense colour.  I have quite full lips, and I often worry that this is just too much on my face and that it's making me look a bit like a corpse.  I had to include it though, because when Blue October tried (and bought) it on our shopping trip it looked lovely on her.  She patted it in to her lips to make it less vibrant, which I'll have to give a go.


Autumn Lipstick: MAC Girl About Town

Girl About Town was my first-ever MAC purchase, and allegedly a favourite of Cheryl's.  It appeals to me as more of a grown up pink and is still one of my favourite shades.  It's described by MAC as a "fabulous fuschia"....I couldn't agree more!

I do find that this has a tendancy to make my teeth appear more yellow, but the intense colour pay off and the added extra it gives to an otherwise plain make up look more than make up for this.  This is my go-to Autumn pink shade!


Autumn Lipsticks: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush

I love my Revlon Balm Stains, and this one in the shade Crush is definitely my favourite.  It's a beautiful berry shade that gives a good few hours of wear and leaves lips feeling nourished throughout.  Lipstick doesn't tend to wear well on me, but I can wear this confidently without worrying that throughout the day it's making my lips look a mess.  And as for it's staining-ability, I've found that the morning after having worn this there's still a plummy tinge to my lips.

As with the other Balm Stains, this one does come complete with the standard minty fragrance.  Some people like this, I on the other hand really don't.  Although I have found that applying this straight after brushing my teeth means I can't detect its scent!


Technology dilemmas

 Images taken from here and here
My camera wishlist.....looks like I'll need to stop spending and start building up some savings!

I'm overwhelmed by the sheer volume of gorgeous photography out there on the majority of blogs and have been dreaming of upgrading my camera to one that will allow me to get that classic, bokeh-style blogger shot.  My current camera in the words of an expert at my photography course "wants to keep everything in focus" and simply doesn't cut it.

So which would you recommend?  These are the two I've got my eye on; everyone's favourite Canon EOS 600D, or the slightly cheaper Nikon D3100.  I'm leaning towards the Nikon, as it seems silly to buy the more expensive camera when I have very little idea how to use it. 

Canon or Nikon?  Or is there another model you could recommend?



Ways I Wear: Topshop Skater Dress 2

You'll have to excuse the funny lighting that is sure to be a feature in most outfit posts for the foreseeable future - this time of year must be every fashion blogger's nightmare!

I got the inspiration for this look from Charlotte, who commented on my last post saying that she likes to wear her dress with a statement necklace.  This feather one is a favourite of mine, but it can be tricky pairing it with things.  The plain neckline on this dress went perfectly and it really did add something extra to the simplicity of the dress.

I added a drapey cardigan which I'm well aware doesn't photograph at all well.  In real life it all worked quite nice together, but for some reason on camera the cardigan just adds to the flare-yness of the skirt and makes me look like I've wrapped up in a pair of curtains.


Autumn Lipsticks: MUA Shade 10

MUA Shade 10 is a brick-ish red colour with brown undertones and gold shimmer running throughout.  It goes on fairly sheer so is great for layering over other lipsticks to give a bit more of an Autumn-type depth to similar colours.  Having fairly pigmented lips I find I can also build this up to give me a deeper brown-toned natural look.

The selling point of MUA products is undoubtedly their price.  This set me back just £1, and for that price the quality is amazing.  It glides on easily without any drag, has a pleasant caramel-ish scent and gives a decent length of wear.  The packaging feels sturdy and I love the colour-coded base to the tube to help identify which shade it is.


My face, my rules.

I receive a lot of random emails, promoting anything from children's shoes to generous sums of money from relatives in Venezuela that I didn't realise I had.  But the other day I received something that really spurred me into writing this post.

The email happily told me that "when it comes to make up, less is more according to men".  Thank goodness that's been cleared up.  Only, hold on....I don't wear make up for men?  Ed can vouch for me with this one, because when he tells me that he hates my lipstick, I whack on another layer and wear it with even more pride.

You may think I'm being touchy, but the fact that a website went to the trouble of conducting a survey to collect this information....and then send it to a blogger who features quite a bit of make up just shocked me.  I buy make up because I like make up.  I like trying out new styles of application, creating new looks and just the thrill of adding to my collection pleases me immensely.  I have a great respect for make up artists and the artistry they create.  So why would anyone assume that the news that men prefer women with less make up would interest me, or many others of the female race?

I have just read Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman, so maybe her feminism has rubbed off on me slightly, but this just seems so incredibly sexist and outdated to me.  Yes, men may well prefer women who look more like a natural beauty than a WAG, but how insulting to send me such news as if I actually care, or would actually change my ways to please anybody else?

I wear make up to face the world.  On a Sunday when I drag myself to the corner shop, minus the make up, I do feel a tad uncomfortable holding my head high and don't always wish the shop assistant a good day with my same usual cheer.  I feel slightly bare without any foundation or concealer, but this is whether the shop assistant is male or female.  When faced with a beautiful man then I most certainly feel like a ratbag when my face is free of make up, but the same would be true when faced with a beautiful woman.  My self-confidence and the way I feel with or without make up is not dependent on whether the person in front of me is a man or not.

The final sentence of the email was the nail in coffin for me: "...there is no right or wrong amount of make up to wear but if you're out on the pull....you may wish to ditch the make up in the hunt for the dream man."  To anyone reading this, I hope you'll agree with my thoughts that your dream man will see through the make up we all wear and love you for you.  It's demeaning and insulting to suggest that a woman needs to do her make up the way men like to make one think that perhaps she's worth bothering with.  I know I struck gold with Ed, but I really hope that I'm not alone in being able to confidently say that the man who matters to me is still here at the end of the day when my mascara comes off, and he loves me just as much then as when I put it on in the morning.


Autumn Lipsticks: MAC Diva

This is a gorgeous deep red lipstick that's got a hint of plum, yet manages to not be too purple, and leans slightly on the brownish wine side.  MAC describe it as an "intense reddish burgundy".

Diva reminds me slightly of Russian Red but doesn't have the same brightness and blue undertones.  This strikes me as a slightly more wearable alternative.

It has a Matte formula so does have a tendancy to drag slightly on the lips upon application, and maintenance is key.  It settles into lines on the lip and will show up any dry areas, but a slick of lip balm before and after application fixes this....although you could argue this defeats the object of the lipstick being matte?

Despite finding this extremely easy to wear, Diva isn't a shade that I'd feel comfortable wearing to work.  It can be built up to an intense colour, or patted and smudged onto the lips for more of a stain.