Irene Adler Inspired Eye Make Up Look

Irene Comp

Irene on the right, me on the left

The filming of the third series of BBC’s Sherlock started in March and I’m getting excited for the new episodes. Clearly, I’ve re-visited the two previous series just to refresh my memory. While I’m aware that I’ve been beaten to the punch by a number of youtubers and bloggers, I’ve been wearing an Irene Adler inspired eye look for the past couple of weeks and I thought I’d share it with you.

Irene’s look is quite subtle: she’s not wearing a lot of eyeshadows, in fact in some scenes she looks like she’s not wearing any. I’ve used a matte neutral colour just to cover any redness or discolouration around the eyes. I’ve also used a darker brown colour for a bit of crease work. Irene contours her eyes and accentuates the outer corners of her eyes to give herself that cat eye look. The most prominent feature of Irene’s eye makeup is of course jade eyeliner. The actual eyeliner which was used on the set of the series (MAC liquid eyeliner) has unfortunately been discontinued. I used a pencil eyeliner instead.

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Finally, I used Photoshop to change my eye colour to resemble Irene’s :). Below is a short tutorial including the final look with both brown and blue eyes. Hope you enjoy it!

Tutorial

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Here are some of the products I used. I used MAC Style blush as I thought it would it would match the look but then forgot to photograph it. Oops…

1. I primed the eye with Urban Decay Primer Potion and applied Illamasqua Justify eyeshadow all over the eyelid. I  blended it out with Sigma E40 fluffy brush.

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2. I used Inglot 10S brush and Sephora 23 brush to apply MAC Era to the crease and Inglot 461 eyeshadow to the outside corner, the outer part of the crease, and to the lower lash line.

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3. Finally, I used MAC Satin Taupe and applied it using ELF contour brush to the outer corner of the eye and blended it out.

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4. I applied a couple of layers of MAC So There Jade eyeliner along the upper lash line. And a little bit along the lower lash line.

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5. I used one coat of mascara to complete the look. Irene used Borghese Superiore State Of The Art Mascara (which I don’t have).

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6. And now for a bit of pure Photoshop magic.

Irene 7

The Best & Worst Top Coat Review: Recent Purchases

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I recently got a couple of new base and top coats and found a new favourite. I also came across what I consider to be the worst top coat I’ve ever tried. I always assumed that top coats were one of those products where it doesn’t really make any difference what you buy as they’re all more or less the same. My recent experiments suggest the opposite.

Rimmel Pro Matte Finish Top Coat

I’ll start with my new favourite. I’m completely wowed by this top coat. Matte nails together with textured nails have been all the rage lately. Avon, Nubar, Nail Inc and other companies have started making matte nail polishes. Some worked well, some chipped. Then, matte top coats were introduced: top coats that transform any nail polish into a matte finish one by removing all shine from the surface of the nail. Nails Inc, OPI, Butter London, Mavala, and Essia are amongst the companies that offer a matte top coat. Not being sure if I like this look or not I decided to start with a cheaper alternative: Rimmel Pro Matte Finish Top Coat (£4.59 at Boots).

Turns out: I the effect it gives. I think it makes this colour look much more sophisticated and gives it an interesting twist. Also, it’s great to have the option to transform all your nail polish into matte ones is something that really excites me. It also allows me to play with the finish and used one polish with two different finishes at the same time.

On the photo below you can see China Glaze Dress Me Up with the Rimmel Pro Matte top coat.

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Dress Me Up with the matte top coat and a couple dots of Dress Me Up without the top coat for comparison.

No 7 Stay Perfect Top Coat

I tried this top coat a couple of times and it worked fine with a mono-colour mani. It’s not an amazing product but it works OK. Yet, when I tried to use it as a top coat for a nail art mani it smudged the colours. I was really surprised as all the layers were dry. Below is a picture of my snow leopard nail art with this top coat. You can see that the layers are smudged on my pinky. I applied the Sally Hansen Double Duty top coat on other nails straight after that and it didn’t smudge. I have never seen a top coat smudge a mani before so I this is the worst top coat I’ve ever tried (£6 in Boots).

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I was silly enough to delete other photos of this.

A Quick Word On Fake Eyelashes.

Fake Lashes

My first attempt

I have always admired women who wear fake eyelashes. When I lived in Japan I was in awe of Japanese girls who wore them every single day. The reason was simple: I was not able to apply them. I watched a number of youtube tutorials, I asked my friends and I still couldn’t do it.

I finally managed this weekend! I went to an event where I wore Victorian clothes and I thought that fake eyelashes would make my outfit complete. After about an half an hour I managed to put the damn things on. What’s even more impressive I wore them 3 days in a row. My conclusions:

1) They are difficult to apply. Even on the third day it took me well over 20 min to apply them.

2) They are not comfortable.

3) I take my hat off to all the girls who apply them on a daily basis and those who apply them after they their eye makeup and manage not to mess anything up!

As I was going for a glammed-up look I got Eylure Naturalites Ultra Glam Lashes (107) from Boots for £5.35. Next time I will probably go for something more natural.

Do you have any advice on how to buy, apply, or wear fake eyelashes?

Lashes

Snow Leopard Nails: Pictures and Tutorial

Animal print nails have been really popular lately. Here is my take on this trend. I went with snow leopard as I really like how the three colours look together. Also the weather outside makes me think of snow and ice and not the hot sands of Africa. There is a short picture-tutorial below for the very few of you who have not yet seen how to do animal print nails.

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And here is a short tutorial:

1) Pain your nails with two coats of white polish. I’m using Maybelline Color Show in 130 Winter Baby.

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2) Use a dotting tool and a light brown polish to create the central part of rosettes. I used Rimmel shade 520 At Ease.

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3) Use a dotting tool and a black polish to create the external parts of rosettes. Add smaller black lines. I used Max Factor in 36 Lacquer Noir.

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4) Wait for them to dry and apply a top coat.

Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Small Spring Haul

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Here is a small drugstore/ high-end/ online haul. It’s the first haul on this blog. I thought I’d share a couple of my purchases from yesterday with you.

I forgot to put on mascara yesterday when I was getting ready to go to work. I went to Boots on my way to the office to pick one up. In the evening, I stopped by Selfridges to get a new Konjac sponge. I’m going away for a couple of days and wanted to take the sponge with me but my old one needed to be replaced. I also placed an online order for a couple of French skincare items. One of my favourite online stores, Escentual (here) has 1/3 sale on French pharmacy brands throughout March.

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Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Justify: I needed a matte taupe or brown eyeshadow for an upcoming tutorial. I went to MAC but they didn’t seem to have anything like this. This is my first Illamasqua product and I am amazed by the pigmentation and softness of their shadows. They have a great selection of matte colours. The lady at the counter explained that matte shadows look better on camera as they are not light-reflecting. Which is why Illamasqua is the brand of choice for many TV and movie makeup artists. Or so she says.

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Max Factor on the left. Rimmel on the right

Rimmel Lash Accelerator and Max Factor Lash Extension Effect Mascaras: I’m not a fan of Rimmel and Max Factor mascaras. The little Boots next to my office didn’t have L’Oreal which is my go-to drugstore brand for mascaras so I thought I might as well try something different this time. They are both lengthening and separating. I tried the Rimmel one yesterday and at first glance I wasn’t impressed.

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Konjac Sponge: My first post on this blog was a review of Konjac sponges 🙂 (here). This time I got the red version for dry and sensitive skin. This is just casue my skin is a bit dehydrated at the moment due to the cold weather and heating.

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar K for Oily Skin: Effaclar has been getting great reviews recently. I decided to try the version for oily skin. I’ve been loving La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel lately so I’m hoping this product will be great too. It’s paraben-free.

Vichy Liftactive Retinol HA Night and Eyes: I’ve been looking for a retinol eye cream. I had a sample of the Retinol HA Night and I really liked the effects. Both products have retinol and hyaluronic acid and are paraben-free.

Revolutionary New Anti-aging Serum: BIO EFFECT EGF Serum Review

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In the movie Death Becomes Her an older husband stealing actress (Meryl Streep) and her revenge obsessed sister (Goldie Hawn) find a mysterious woman (Isabella Rossellini) who sells a miracle youth tonic, ‘a touch of magi in this world obsessed with science’. It’s a powerful potion that stops the aging process and forces it to retreat. Literally. It changes both women into young girls. And it costs them a fortune! They spend their live savings on it. Reluctant to pay at first Meryl Streep is enchanted by how her skin changes after a small sample of the serum. You can watch this memorable scene here.

Having watched this as an impressionable young girl I somehow always belied that it was true. That there was a potion out there, probably known to stars and rich and powerful, that stoped the process of aging, and gave you longer healthier life. An immortality potion. I still hope it’s out there, or will be invented very soon. When I heard about this revolutionary new BIOEFFECT serum my curiosity was piqued. Was it finally here?

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What Is It?

BIOEFFECT is a serum from Iceland which helps skin cells to repair themselves. When we’re young the natural cell renewal process allows our skin to regenerate quickly. As we get old this process is significantly slower. This product claims that it can speed up the natural process by increasing the levels of proteins called cellular activators. The serum’s main ingredient is Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), a substance that occurs naturally in the skin (as for example, hyaluronic acid).

In Iceland 30% of women over 30 use this product. The company’s greenhouses are situated not far away from the Blue Lagoon. If you ever been to Iceland and love the place as much as I do, this by itself is enough to get you interested in this product. Like Inglot the company doesn’t advertise much. Still, their product spread like wildfire. Despite their price.

Why Revolutionary? What Does It Do To Your Skin?

The company that owns BIOEFFECT produces growth factors for stem cell research. They have researched using the same growth factors in cosmetics. Growth factors stimulate cell growth and cell differentiation. These chemical ingredients send ‘messages’ to your cells activating certain cell properties. For example, EGF boosts collagen production in the deep layers of the skin.

There are many companies and many products that claim to do just that. Some of them use growth hormones obtained from bacteria. Others contained a very small amount of the factors or limit their beneficial effects by mixing them with other chemical ingredients that brake down growth factors.

BioEffect is the first product to use pure growth factors from plants, namely barely. It’s a healthier, more natural and apparently cost-effective way of using growth factors in cosmetics.

Results

I got a small sample of this from Latest in Beauty. I used this serum only around my eyes where I have some expression lines. I had it for about a month and used almost the entire bottle. Despite being over 30 I don’t have many wrinkles (good beauty routine). I did see some improvement but can’t really say it noticeably reduced my lines. Perhaps the results would be more visible if I had more wrinkles. The product certainly made the skin around my eyes thicker. In a good way. You know how sometimes, especially in the winter, the skin around your eyes looks like rice paper on a spring roll? Like it’s so think and see-through that it can easily be torn? It’s not a nice look and it makes your dark circles more noticeable. This is how my skin looked. After one month of using BIOEFFECT it looks thicker, healthier, firmer and just generally better. The serum didn’t help to with discoloration.

So that’s ~60% on lines, 100% on firmness and 0% on discoloration. Not too bad.

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Unretouched photos: after 1 month of using BIOEFFECT

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Unretouched photos: after 1 month of using BIOEFFECT

Too Good To Be True?

Well, kind of. This product just might be the next best thing but it’s insanely expensive. At £125 for 15ml I just cannot justify such purchase. The tiny sample from Latest in Beauty costed £8. On the photo below you can see how small the bottle is compared to a 30ml serum. And the full sized version (£125) is also only 15 ml. At the same time this bottle lasted for over a month and I did use more than I should have.

I think it’s a fantastic product if you are starting to consider botox. If you are one step away from taking your skincare routine to the next level and seeing a dermatologists or a cosmetic surgeon cause you are just not seeing any results with standard products. If you still want to try something natural before you resign yourself to botox and other toxic products, try this first. It’s a paraben-free natural product that has helped many women around the world improve the appearance of their skin.

Personally, I know I’m not at this stage yet. Sure, it would be nice to use this as a preventive treatment but at the moment it’s a bit out of my reach. Some of the reviews I read mentioned that the effects reverse once you stop using the product. I’m guessing that it’s one of these products that if you try once you will want to continue using for a long time. Still, if I see the £8 sample size again I will definitely purchase it again and continue to use it around my eyes.

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Sample size of BIOEFFECT

First Young For Good Business Cards! And a New Posting Schedule

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I’m very excited cause I just received first Young For Good business cards! I designed them last week and ordered them from Moo here in the UK. I’m really pleased with the result. What do you think?

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I’m also going to be changing my posting schedule from this week. I will still be posting twice a week but only one day a week will have a regular post: Saturdays. I will write the second post whenever I can. This is due to my changing work schedule and some other exciting side projects that I’m currently working on. I will come back to the old schedule as soon as I can.

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