Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mixed Prints

 Printed T-Shirt Dress - Primark
Cycling Shorts - River Island
Trainers* - Nike Free Run 
Rings - H&M and Vintage

Today I'm wearing this Primark dress/tshirt that was just £6. I spotted it on the way towards the checkout and was drawn the the mix of paisley and festival patterns. It's my usual size but it's long enough to wear as a dress although I did get out a pair of cycling shorts to go underneath as it tends to ride up. I love pairing dresses with my Nikes. This is a comfortable everyday outfit for a day of blogging and running errands.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Ways to Apply Blush

Surely there can't be that many different ways to wear blush right?! Well, I tend to wear my blusher in three different places upon my cheeks depending on the look I'm going for and the shade of blush. I'm about to show you how I use blush to change the shape of my face or get the look I want. I've kept all my other makeup the same but I've used three different cream blushers. Read on to the bottom of this post to find out which products I used.

001. 'Under Your Apples'

Sometimes I like to apply blush really low down on my cheeks. It's quite different from a traditional application but I think it gives a much more 'flushed' and realistic appearance. In each of these photos I have applied way more than I usually do, just to illustrate my point clearly. Pop your finger on the apple of your cheek, then move it down 1 inch. This is where I blend a smudge of pink-lilac blush. I like the uniqueness of this application but it's probably one that suits my face shape the least. 

002. 'On the Apples'

Traditionally this is where blusher should go. Smile to reveal the apples of your cheeks and pop a circle shape of cream blush right in the middle. I like the way this suits me as I have quite big apples (haha.) This does mean though that if I put any pink or red shades here I look like a jolly Santa. So I tend to use coral or peach blushes here instead.

003. 'Up High Cheekbones'

To slim the face down slightly you can use your blush on the tops of your cheekbones. Think about where you might apply highlighter, and swap that for your favourite pale pink blusher. This only works when the rest of your makeup is subtle but putting blusher up high near your temples has a very striking effect. It's a little tricky to see in this photograph I know it looks very similar to number 1 but the colour is taken much higher up on my temples. 

I used four blushes for these looks. My two new Revolution Liquid Blush Lacquers are in the shades 'Rush' and 'Heart'. I used Rush in the 1st look, it's a pale bright pink with lilac undertones - it's really beautiful. I used Heart in the 2nd look it's the coral-peach shade. Both of these blushes have amazing pigmentation you only need the teeniest amount and the texture is creamy and thick. For the 3rd look I used two - Topshop Cream Blush in 'Flush' and a bit of Topshop 'Powdered' over the top. 

All other products used: Clinique Anti Blemish Foundation, Collection 2000 Concealer, HD Brows Kit, Urban Decay eye-shadows from Naked Palette, Loreal Liquid Eyeliner, Benefit They're Real Mascara, Mac Hue Lipstick.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

DIY Marble Easter Eggs

With today being Easter Sunday I thought a Easter-themed DIY was necessary! This is the perfect project to do on a Sunday afternoon with friends of family members and the marbled eggs look lovely on the dining table or presented in a basket. They are very easy to make and you may already have all the ingredients in your cupboard. I used food colouring to dye the eggs, which means they are technically still edible but I'll probably just leave mine out as decoration. Have a Happy Easter!

What Will You Need?

White Eggs
Food Colouring
Olive Oil
Warm Water
Large Spoon
Wire Tray

(I used large white Duck eggs and food colouring in Violet, Pink and Sky Blue.)

First of all you need to hard-boil your eggs. You can use the method of blowing out the yolk and just using the shells but I wanted strong sturdy eggs. I boiled them from cold water for around 15 minutes. This ensures they are hard - but possibly too rubbery to eat! Let them cool off and dry.

Have some kitchen roll on hand. To make the dye bath you need a small bowl quarter filled with warm water. Add two teaspoons of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. These ingredients will help aid the dye to take to the egg (or vice versa?) Then add several drops of food colouring. This Violet shade was quite weak so I needed around 20-30 drops! This looks like a very dark bath but don't worry, we will still be able to achieve that soft pastel shade. Mix everything together...

Carefully lower an egg into the dye bath. Turn it over several times and pull it out to keep an eye on the developing colour. My eggs took a while in this Violet dye but dyed quite quickly in the Blue dye! Once your egg is a nice pale pastel shade remove it from the water and pop it on to a wire cooling rack with kitchen roll underneath to catch any drips. Let it dry. It doesn't take too long. Make as many dye baths as you like, depending on how many colours you want to use. 

Here are my freshly dyed eggs! They look lovely like this, like sugar coated eggs. 
But continue with the next steps for a tie-dyed marbled effect...

You're going to need a much stronger bath solution. This time I used a very shallow bowl, warm water, salt, a teaspoon of vinegar and lots of food colouring! Mix well. I then added a tablespoon of olive oil to the bath. This breaks up the surface of the water and will help us create a marble look. Swirl the oil around in the water with a spoon.

Then it's time to get messy! Roll the egg through the bath, turning it around in all directions, picking up the dye. You can do this for as long as necessary. Once happy I then popped my egg into a piece of kitchen paper and blotted it dry. This blotting action will blend the colours a little more and give you a smooth finish. 

You can mix the colours in so many different ways. Play around with the colours you have. 

These eggs won't last forever. If you hard boiled them they should probably be fine for a week (could even keep them in the fridge.) If you hollowed out the eggs by blowing them - the shells will last for as long as you take care of them. I also tried washing an egg under cold water to remove any remaining oil and this softened the colours a little and also left the egg with a soft matte finish. Just drying the eggs will leave them with a slight shine.
I'll be using my eggs as decoration this Easter Sunday and I may even try chopping one in half!

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Hair Edit - Pastels for Spring

If you've ever fancied trying out a new hair trend but feel apprehensive to go straight to the bottle, you can always edit your hair into a different colour! What do you think of my pastel purple, pink dip dye or mermaid green? I'm always playing around with images on Photoshop and this ways much less permanent. 
It's also a great way to see how a colour suits you and what other people think. 

Today I'm going to show you how I achieved this almost-real looking colour edit. There are various free photo editors online, a favourite one of mine being PicMonkey which I think you need to make an account for to get it for free. If you use PicMonkey try out the 'Highlights' action and follow the same steps as below. For this tutorial I am using Photoshop CS4. With these tips and tricks you'll easily be able to fool anyone into thinking you've done something bold with your hair! It's really easy too...

001. Open your photo and duplicate the layer. Just in case we make any mistakes!

002. Select the paint brush tool. Right-click to bring up brush options, you want a very soft round brush.
You can also see I have my brush set at 10% opacity. This is very faint which will mean we get a much more realistic 'hair-texture' result.

003. Then choose the colour you'd like to go! Pink, blue, bright orange? 
Bring up the colour picker tool box by clicking on the colour squares on the bottom left of the screen.

004. Now we're going to 'brush on' the colour. Follow the direction of your hair, make smooth short movements and don't go over one spot too many times. You'll also need to alter the size of your brush often. For doing large sections of hair and then very tiny wispy hairs.

005. I had my brush opacity set to 10% and then after gently painting brush strokes on to my hair, I lowered the layer opacity to 82%. Blending is key! Play around with all these tools to create the best look...
Once you're happy, flatten the layers and save the photo. Done!

You can create dip-dye ombre effects or an all over colour wash! I'm going to try mixing two colours next. I'd love to see what you guys do if you try this trick out so please tweet me your hair photos!

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