Featured

We’re leaving on a Jet Plane!

Well, it’s pouring with rain and the skies are thick with¬†grey cloud here in London. Yes, it must be the¬†‘summer’ holidays! Thankfully, we’re both jetting off to sunnier climes in a few days –¬†V with her family and M with hers. We don’t do everything together…although unbeknown to our husbands, we’re plotting a Verymakeupmad get together in the beauty¬†mecca that is Sephora, given that we’re both going to be in¬†Florida. Ssshhhh!

So we’ve been busy packing all day and wanted to share with you our individual¬†summer holiday, beauty must haves. The products that we’d never risk¬†leaving the country without. So here goes…

 

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WHAT’S IN V’s BAGS??

 

V’s¬†must-haves (clockwise from above): Philip Kingsley Swimcap, ¬£15, V will be slathering this cult cream¬†onto her hair daily, to protect against damage from chlorine, saltwater and UV rays; Vichy Ideal Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50, ¬£14,¬†this hydrating, tinted sunscreen melts into the skin and creates a flawless complexion; Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner, ¬£23.50,¬†& Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil, ¬£31, V’s popping these handy mini versions of her favourite cleanser & toner into her washbag; Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, ¬£17, another mini, this sublime dry oil is one of V’s holiday nighttime favourites – it¬†gives¬†limbs a gorgeous sheen & is also great for nourishing hair; The Ordinary “Buffet“, ¬£12.70, V can’t be without this anti-ageing serum which she’s been using¬†daily, under her moisturiser, for several weeks. She’s¬†noticed a big difference in¬†her skin; Elemis Liquid Layer, ¬£32 this¬†ultra light sunscreen, with SPF30, is great worn under make-up as it’s not sticky or tacky; Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, ¬£32, a beautiful golden highlighter that looks amazing on summer skin. V dabs¬†onto her¬†cheekbones, browbones, down¬†her nose & along her collarbone. Plus the coconut scent is totally tropical; Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, ¬£19, with its water-resistant, non-smudge¬†formula, V will be sure to wear this on the days her kids – and hubbie! – drag her to a water park; Estee Lauder Essential Face Palette, ¬£45, this has all you need for a summer look – beautiful eye and cheek shades and a great bronzer. No need to pack anything else!; Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder, ¬£29, OK, V wasn’t lying when she said the Estee Lauder Palette has all she needs, but she can’t resist packing this best-selling shimmering bronzer either!; Jouer Cosmetics Long-Wear Lip Topper in St Tropez, ¬£13.50, this pale, beigey pink lip topper can be worn alone or over lipstick for a dazzling, high-shine finish.

 

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WHAT’S IN M’s BAG??

 

M’s must-haves (above): Clinique Chubby In The Nude, ¬£24, perfect for touch-ups, this handy foundation stick is oil-free, so great to use in the heat; Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, ¬£18, M loves this raspberry shade of lip balm¬†which delivers¬†maximum moisture and a fabulous, summery¬†colour; Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc, ¬£33, this powder gives the most gorgeous glow and M uses it¬†as blusher, eyeshadow & highlighter; PS Bronze Liquid Bronzer, ¬£3, M spied this product recently in Primark, and at less than the cost of her daily latte, she just had to snap it up. She’ll report back after her hols!; Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette, in the Vintage Vamp, ¬£39, this eyeshadow quad looks great on sunkissed skin; Shiseido UV Protective Compact Foundation, ¬£32, this is a staple in M’s holiday make-up bag – a compact foundation with SPF30, that she swears by; YSL Couture Eyeshadow Palette in Lumieres Majorelle, ¬£43, when better to wear these vibrant turquoise, green and yellow eyeshadows than in the summer heat?¬†They look incredible on and suit all eye colours; NYX Doll Eye Mascara Waterproof, ¬£8, another waterproof formula, M loves this mascara which really curls and lengthens lashes; Tom Ford Lip Lacquer, ¬£29, gives the most¬†luxurious, pearly sheen and smells yummy too; Laura Mercier Cr√®me Smooth Lip Colour in Lychee Parfait,¬†¬£22, this gorgeous nude shade conditions the lips with vitamin E & olive oil and M reckons it looks great with a tan; Nars The Multiple in Malibu, ¬£29, M always packs this iconic, multi-purpose stick to use on her cheeks, eyelids & lips for a flattering hint of colour; Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm, ¬£18, this is the first time that M has¬†bought this¬†balm, but she has high hopes as it’s had 5 star¬†reviews; Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion, ¬£20, we all know a fake tan is safer than a real one, and this lotion is foolproof; Nars Orgasm Illuminator, ¬£23, M loves¬†dabbing this on¬†as a highlighter or sometimes goes crazy and applies all over the face!; Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, ¬£15, this is the perfect balm to soothe irritated, dry, cracked skin. M never travels without it; Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo, ¬£58, because you can never pack too many highlighters, and Tom Ford’s is the Rolls Royce of them!

So that’s it. Our holiday make-up bag edits! And if we bag some beauty bargains¬†in the States, you’ll be the first to know! We’ll be back with a vengeance in early September…

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @ Verymakeupmad.

Love & safe travels,

Vikki & Mala xx

 

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We’re hoping to look as bronzed as this on our return! And we promise to tan safely…

 

 

 

Featured

Practice Safe Sun!

We know summer’s already in full swing, but it’s never too late to talk suncream. Although, let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy or exciting about it. In fact, applying it is somewhat of a chore. Especially when, like us, you have kids in tow, which means you have to slather it on them, before you can even consider protecting yourself. We know you’ll have all read a million times before about the importance of using SPF to prevent the signs of ageing…and worse. So we’re not here to preach to you (although frankly, if you’re not sun aware and protecting yourself adequately, we think you’re bonkers!). We’re just rounding up our favourite sunscreens and make-up products with SPF, to ensure you have a safe, non-sticky and flawless-looking summer – whether at home or abroad! Happy reading…

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The wonderful world of Lancaster

VERYMAKEUPMAD’S STAR BRAND: We love Lancaster. The brand that we grew up with – it boasts over 40 years experience in UV protection – and which we continue to use today. Recent innovation sees Lancaster now protecting us not only from UVA & UVB rays (responsible for burning and ageing), but also from infra-red light, which damages skin’s elasticity and firmness. We love the SPF30 Velvet Touch Cream, ¬£21, although the new Sun Sport range seems to be making waves in the beauty world and is perfect if you’re having a more active holiday. Or try the SPF 30 Invisible Face Mist, ¬£14.95, which is fast-drying, alcohol-free, and can be spritzed over make-up.¬†Top Tip:¬†Download the brilliant Lancaster Sun Timer app which calculates when to apply more sunscreen or to get out of the sun.

PHARMACY FAVOURITES: If you suffer from sensitive skin that misbehaves in the sun, be sure to get your hands on ¬†La Roche Posay suncare. The Anthelios range is unbeatable and we love the new Anti-Shine Dry Touch Gel Cream SPF50, ¬£16.50, which is perfect if your skin is oily and/or spot-prone. Vichy is another firm favourite of ours, and V recently used the BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50, ¬£16.50, on her face on a girly weekend in Marbella (woop woop!). It evened out her skin and gave a gorgeous glow, meaning she didn’t feel pale and self-conscious on the beach. Not that she went to the beach. She’s not a fan of sand. More a swimming pool kind of girl…

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BEST FOR UNDER MAKE-UP When it comes to looking good in the heat, we’ve got it covered. Gone are the days when sun products were thick, greasy and left you streaked white. If you want to apply a great, quick-drying sun cream under your makeup, we suggest you go for Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum, SPF50, ¬£32. It’s super-light and dries beautifully to leave your skin perfectly primed for cosmetics. And whilst we’re on the subject of Clarins, be sure to pack the Sun Care Milk For Children SPF50, ¬£21,(although grown-ups can use too!! We do) if you’re jetting off en famille.

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BEST SUN MAKEUP: Several months ago, V discovered CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream, ¬£25, and has already written about it here. In case you missed it (shame on you!), all you need to know is that it’s a magical, light cream that transforms on application to match your skin tone, and contains SPF45. It leaves skin looking flawless and with a flattering, dewy finish. Meanwhile, M loves Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation, SPF30, ¬£23.95 (pictured below) which she’s been using for years and which works like a dream. It’s perfect to dab on during the day for touch ups.

BEST FOR FEELING SHIMMERY & FABULOUS:¬†Ultrasun¬†is another brilliant brand that ¬†has something for everyone – if you’re not familiar with it, go check it out. We love the gorgeous body¬†lotions with¬†subtle shimmer, that melt into the skin and make limbs look gorgeous.¬†Glimmer Shimmering Sun Protection, from ¬£18.

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BEST HIGHSTREET BRAND: It’s got to be Boots’ Soltan. Perfect for all the family and boasting the best in suncare expertise. Try the Protect & Moisturise Face range, from ¬£4.50. The creams absorb really easily into the skin.

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That’s our sunscreen scoop!

Despite all our best efforts and fastidious suncream application, there are always times when we overdo it in the sun and find random red streaks on our skin where we’re sure we were protected. So we always¬†pack some Dr Organic Aloe Vera Gel, ¬£5.59 which immediately soothes skin and gives relief from pain. And unlike¬†certain other aloe products it’s not at all¬†sticky and sinks into the skin. It’s our summer secret weapon!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook @Verymakeupmad for daily beauty tips and inspiration!

Love & Happy Holidays,

Vikki & Mala xx

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Featured

Eye Eye (Palette)!

We’re back and we’re still talking palettes (we told you we love them!).¬†This time,¬†eyeshadow palettes. There are so many on the market right now – it’s hard for a girl to know where to start. And when to stop! (between us, we own 24 palettes). Hopefully you read our last blog, Palette Perfection,¬†and¬†know that the face palette choices mentioned,¬†all contain multi-purpose¬†powders that¬†can be used as¬†eyeshadow too¬†–¬†they’re golden, shimmering neutrals that look beautiful under the browbone and applied to the very centre of the lid close to the lashline. Perfect for a summery, sun-kissed look.¬†But if you’re looking for more colour options, darker shades and eyeshadows in the true sense of the word, then we defy you not to fall for one of the beauties below. Welcome to the eyeshadow palette edit.

BEST PALETTES FOR NEUTRALS: Urban Decay Naked Collection, from ¬£24, now boasts 6 different palettes. M loves the original Naked palette, ¬£39.50, with its 12 neutral, but varied shades, including matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle finishes. It’s based around gold and coffee-coloured tones, and also includes 2 gunmetal shades.¬†V, on the other hand,¬†likes Naked 3, with its rose gold theme, with hints of pink and some chocolate brown. Admittedly, there are a couple of shades which she doubts she’d ever use. But such is life! If the price tag is worrying you, fear not – at a fraction of the cost, you could opt instead for the LA Girl Nudes Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£8, which M recently discovered, and which is a ‘dead ringer’ for the Urban Decay. She’s been very impressed with the quality of powder, intensity of pigment and staying power. And at that price, you really¬†can’t go wrong. M’s 13 year-old daughter has also jumped on the palette bandwagon (with limited funds!) and treated herself to IDC Color Make up Nudes 12 Color Eyeshadow, ¬£5.78. Truth be known, we can’t really tell a huge difference between this and the Urban Decay. Plus they feel super-soft and silky. We can hardly believe it. Give it a whirl!

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Top row, left: Urban Decay Naked Palette, right: Urban Decay Naked 3. Bottom row, left: IDC Colour Make Up Nudes, right: LA Girl Nudes Eyeshadow Collection

Stila offers a great¬†neutrals palette. Its Matte ‘N Metal Eye Shadow Palette, ¬£39, is a delicious assortment of pinks, mauves, bronze and coppers, which suit all skin tones.¬†Use them¬†dry for a flawless finish,¬†or if you’re looking for a more intense look, try using wet. Finally,¬†Zoeva has some great, affordable options. Try the En Taupe Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£18, with its delicate shades of beige, mauve, peach & ivory. We think a couple of the shadows are a bit too pale and ‘blah’, but we can forgive it that because the rest are beautiful and it’s such a great price.

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Left: Too Faced Natural Love Eyeshadow Collection (see below). Right: Stila Matte ‘N Metal Eyeshadow Palette

BEST PALETTES FOR GOING COLOUR CRAZY: If it’s fun, eye-popping colours that you’re after, then look no further than Jeffree Star Cosmetics Beauty Killer Palette, ¬£40. We’re not suggesting that either of us rock this look on a daily basis, and we must admit, we think the price tag is a bit hefty. But M reckons a palette like this will last a lifetime and that every girl should own one for nights out on the town and for when you’re feeling playful with makeup.¬†The Jeffree Star¬†brand¬†seems to be¬†very much ‘on trend’,¬†offering killer, cool colours and with a huge cult following. Frankly, we’d rather get our hands on Morphe Brushes stunning 35 Colour Bright Matte & Shimmer Palette, ¬£23.50, and have joined the waitlist at cultbeauty.co.uk to do so. We’re assured the wait won’t be too long!

 

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Left-right: Clinique Jonathan Adler Collection Chic Colour Kit; Jeffree Star Cosmetics Beauty Killer Palette; Zoeva En Taupe Eyeshadow Palette

BEST QUADS: A palette isn’t only a palette if it offers a gazillion (yes, we’re sure¬†that’s a word) shades. We love a ‘quad’ – a handy, mini palette, usually containing 4 shades¬†that you can pop in your handbag on a night out, and that doesn’t overwhelm you with colour options. Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette, ¬£39, is a ¬†fabulous option. The powders feel soft and creamy and the pigment is spot-on. They last all day…and night! M loves the copper and bronze tones of The Dolce Vita (beautiful for summer nights), while V is a fan of the smokey grey and soft pink shades in The Uptown Girl.

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Left: The Dolce Vita; Right: The Uptown Girl

Chanel also knows how to do a quad – they’ve been doing it for years.¬†Les 4 Ombres, ¬£40 is a stunning option (who doesn’t love Chanel?!). There are around 14 variations of this best-selling palette, so you’re spoilt for choice. V has owned hers for around 10 years (shock, horror – it’s not gone ‘off’!) and it’s still going strong! It’s her ‘nighttime’ shadow and it never fails to impress.

Top tip: If you’ve owned a powder shadow for a long time, you may find that the oil from your fingertips has created an invisible film over the top, meaning you can no longer pick up the powder. If this is the case, simply scrape the top layer off with a razor.

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow, ¬£45, as the name suggests, offers 5 shades! There are 11 stunning options and we’re hard pressed to pick a favourite. If we had to, we’d probably go for Adore (no.567) or Magnify (no.167). YSl also boast 5 shades in their Couture Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£43. M is the proud owner of no.10 (Lumieres Majorelle) – with its vivid blue, turquoise and yellow tones, it screams summer. V, meanwhile is coveting the more subdued no.7 (Parisienne) with its soft pinks and mauves.

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Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow. Left – Right: Magnify (157), Adore (567) & Electrify (357)

BEST ‘MEGA’ PALETTES: So from the 4 and 5 shadow palette, we now¬†bring you the 42 shadow palette! Enter Violet Voss Ride Or Die Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£70, which really does¬†have something for everyone (unless you’re a fan of blues and greens – there’s none of them!) Then there’s Too Faced Natural Love Eyeshadow Collection,¬†¬£52, which offers a mere 30 shadows, all delicate neutrals, with plenty of shimmer options. The powders blend really well and don’t feel chalky. (We also love the Too Faced options pictured at the bottom…how could we resist? And we never need to be convinced to go on a jaunt to the Selfridges beauty hall, where we spied these).

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Left: Violet Voss Ride Or Die Eyeshadow Palette. Right: Morphe Brushes 35 Colour Bright Matte & Shimmer Palette

BEST MAKE-YOUR-OWN PALETTE: If you want to go DIY and customise your own handy palette, ensuring you love and use every single colour, then head to MAC to make your own. Choose one of their refillable¬†Custom Palettes, from ¬£25, with either 2, 4, 15 or 30 holes to fill with the shadows of your dreams! For this, we advise you head straight to the counter, rather than buy online, as it’s a bit of an eyeshadow minefield.

BEST BUDGET PALETTES: Head to KIKO for the best palettes at the best prices. Even better, they have up to 70% off at the moment. We love the Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette, £6.95 in 100 and the Smart Eyeshadow Palette, £9 in Smart 01.

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KIKO palettes, clockwise from left: Smart Eyeshadow Palette 01; Eyeshadow Palette 02; Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette 100. 

 

COULDN’T RESIST PALETTE: Clinique has collaborated with American interior designer, Jonathan Adler, to launch a gorgeous summer capsule collection. The Clinique + Jonathan Adler Chic Colour Eyeshadow Kit 01, ¬£39, contains 13 best-selling Clinique eyeshadows in stunning, geometric turquoise packaging. We’ll have one each please!

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Too Faced Palettes, all £39, L-R: SemiSweet Chocolate Bar; Chocolate Bar; Chocolate Bon Bons.

So there you have our palette edit. We’re sure there’s something here for everyone. When it comes to application and techniques, that’s a whole other blog. But rest assured, it’s coming soon…

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, twitter & Facebook @verymakeupmad.

Love & perfect palettes,

Vikki & Mala xx

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Woo hoo, we’re in palette heaven!!

 

 

Featured

Palette Perfection

We love a palette. Eyeshadow palette. Bronzing palette. Blusher palette. Lip palette…you name it, we’ve tried it. And probably own it too! You see, the thing about palettes, is that they’re utterly versatile, portable and quite frankly, covetable. We both own a few that we swoon over, photograph lots and haven’t wanted to dip into yet, for fear of ruining them! We still get excited every time we open them and see row upon row of shimmering eye shadow, or the softest, most wearable blush/highlighter combo. We clearly need to get a grip…

That’s not to say that all palettes are perfect. They’re not. Far from it. And it’s hard work finding the right one. We’ve all been seduced into buying a palette, just because we fall for 1 or 2 of the shades it contains.¬†We talk ourselves into the fact that yes, we will use that dodgy, mustard yellow eyeshadow at the end! And palettes are an expensive option, so think hard before you buy. Will you use every shade it contains? If you’re being swayed by just a couple of shades, could you get a good alternative to these elsewhere? (By the way, the answer to this is yes!)

 

 

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(Above: NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette, ¬£45. We’ve already sung the praises of this¬†palette in our Blush blog, ‘Oi Cheeky’. It’s a winner. And we’ve surrounded it with V’s favourite pink lipglosses, of course!)

 

So, selfless as ever, we’ve been testing a few of the newest palettes on the market, and revisiting some unbeatable old gems, to bring you the VeryMakeupMad palette edit that you need this summer! Our aim is to help you pack light and pop one of these beauties into your suitcase, for the ultimate¬†holiday glow. And who knows? We might even get round to using one of our own palettes…once we’ve taken a few more arty photos of them!

The two hottest face palettes on the market right now¬†are the Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, ¬£45, and the NARS Bord De Plage Highlighting Palette, ¬£45 (pictured below). Both are limited edition…eeek, be quick! V has the Becca and M has the NARS (you see, we don’t always agree on everything!). There are pros and cons to both palettes. The Becca palette has 4 delectable discs of shimmering colour – one bronzer, one blusher and 2 highlighters. Admittedly it’s probably best on medium to dark-skinned girls (although V definitely doesn’t fall into either camp) but the bronzer, applied with a light touch, gives the most beautiful summer glow. The fact that the bronzer and blusher are so much smaller than the highlighters, seems odd to V. She’s not sure why Becca did this and finds it rather frustrating, especially when trying to swirl her brush in them. Plus, all 4 shades are shimmery – which is fine by V as she’s a shimmer fan, but clearly not everyone is. On the plus side, the textures are beautifully creamy and blendable, there’s a whopping great mirror, and she loves – and will use – all 4 shades, on eyes, cheeks and cheekbones. She reckons it’s the perfect summer holiday palette.

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As for the NARS palette, M can’t take her eyes off it! And she wins in the ‘value for money’ stakes, because at the same price as the Becca palette, you get no less than 4 highlighters and 2 bronzers. The bronzers are the brand’s new Sun Wash Diffusing type, which deliver a very natural, light colour to the skin. Even the darker one works on fairer skins. And the highlighters are all beautifully shimmery and sheer and work amazingly as eyeshadows too. There’s no blusher in this palette, making it less of an allover face palette…but M can forgive it this. It really is a gorgeous palette for all skin-tones. And it’s selling out fast!

A final contender for the title ‘best holiday face palette’, is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette in Natural Beauty, ¬£49. Neither V nor M own this, but that could change at any time! It’s a very handy little palette, with 3 eye shades, 2 blushers, 1 bronzer and 1 highlighter. So you really do achieve an entire made-up face with this. We love it for the fact that each powder is labelled with what it does and where to put it (check out http://www.charlottetilbury.com for a tutorial on exactly how to use it).¬†The colours are easy-to-wear and buildable – albeit quite teeny – and give a very natural glow. Again it’s limited edition, so don’t hang around…

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So which other face palettes are worth checking out this summer? Here are some of our  favourites:

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY, ALL-OVER PALETTE: Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette, £28. We think this is a great price, considering it contains 7 products. Plus, the neutral-toned powders are well pigmented, the eyeshadows can be used wet or dry, and they promise to last all day. Big thumbs up from us!

BEST HIGHLIGTING PALETTE: Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, ¬£40¬†. This is the brand of the moment, developed by mega beauty blogger, Huda Kattan (she has 20+ million Instagram followers…we’re hot on her heels!). With four buttery soft,¬†shimmering highlighters that literally melt onto the skin, this palette promises to make you a Golden Goddess this summer. Or, for half the price, go for the Zoeva Summer Strobe Spectrum Palette¬†¬£20. These 4 pearlescent powders give skin¬†a beautiful sheen, and while the formulas are not creamy soft, like in the Huda palette, they absolutely do the trick. Plus, you’ve got golden and bronzey tones for the perfect sunkissed finish. Finally, Anastastia Beverly Hills Glow Kit, ¬£39,¬†gives an amazing glow to all skin tones, and the powders can be layered together. Try applying with a damp brush or sponge for more intense colour. Use any of these products on cheekbones, browbones, down the nose and on the cupid’s bow.

 

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Left-Right: Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, Stila Perfect Me Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette, Zoeva Summer Strobe Spectrum Palette

 

BEST¬†CHEEK¬†PALETTE: BeneFit Cheek Parade Blusher and Bronzer Palette, ¬£49.50. Whilst this may seem expensive at first glance,¬†it’s well worth it. It contains 5 full-sized powders – each one sells individually for ¬£24.50 – including the gorgeous Galifornia pinky gold blush and the new ‘lite’ version of the¬†UK’s best-selling bronzer,¬†Hoola. We’re also taken with Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Face Palette, ¬£34. Too Faced¬†definitely know how to do a good palette and this is no exception. Yes, it’s cute & kitsch and probably more suited to M’s 13 year old daughter, with its quirky packaging and peachy scent (yes, really), but the 3 powders work brilliantly. They give the skin an amazing radiance and are very light, making it easy to build-up the colour.

 

 

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Left: BeneFit Cheek Parade Blusher & Bronzer Palette; right: Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Face Palette

 

 

BEST SPLURGE/TREAT BUY: Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette, ¬£98,¬†with its quad of 4 beautifully soft, shimmering, neutral eyeshadows,¬†a highlighter and¬†a blusher, is a stunning palette. We’re not suggesting that it’s an everyday buy, but rather a treat or a gift for a special birthday. Or go for the glow with¬†Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo, ¬£58, with its ballet slipper pink highlighter, and rosy blush. M received both for her birthday. And V is not in the least bit jealous. Honest…!

 

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Top: Tom Ford Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette. Bottom: Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo

 

BEST BUDGET BUY: Kiko Face Palette, ¬£6.45. Everything you need for your¬†face – bronzer, blush and highlighter –¬†all in one¬†sleek case. We’re really impressed with the soft texture of the powders and how easily they blend.

That’s it for face palettes, but don’t miss our next blog all about eyeshadow palettes – from subtle neutrals, all the way to shocking, neon colours.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram/twitter/Facebook/YouTube, @verymakeupmad.

Love & Holiday Make-up,

Vikki & Mala xx

 

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Hard at work, researching products. And we’re not afraid of ‘double denim’!

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Battle Of The Bronzers

V is forever being told she’s an English rose. Which is all very well and good, but in reality she has dreams of being golden-limbed and sun kissed. Her complexion is very ¬†pale, yet pinky toned (she’s spent years avoiding the intensity of the sun) and she likes nothing more than giving her skin a warmth and a radiant glow with her trusty bronzer. V wears it daily, year round, over her foundation, to add a radiant flush.¬†¬†For her, it’s less about looking ‘suntanned’, and more about looking healthy. It’s fair to say we all feel better and less pasty with a hint of bronze¬†on our¬†skin. We all want to be told “you look well”, and bronzer – applied correctly and often sparingly! – is the way forward.

From a young age, V was seduced by the high-end beauty counters, thanks to her mum who knew a thing or two (and still does) about great cosmetics. She introduced her to Guerlain – the first cosmetics company to launch bronzers back in the 80’s – whose ¬†fabulous Terracotta range just goes from strength to strength. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. V vividly remembers the liquid bronzer she bought that first time – a pump dispenser filled with clear gel, and suspended in it: golden brown spheres. With just a press of the pump, the spheres were crushed and mixed with the gel, and the most perfect, light bronzing liquid was released. She wore this for years until Guerlain discontinued it. Why Guerlain, why? Does anyone else remember this? And bonus marks if you can remember what it was called as we’re struggling! V’s moved on and is¬†now a big fan of their powder bronzers, which all have that unmistakable, indulgent Guerlain scent – similar to parma violets. She wears¬†Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder, in Blondes 02, ¬£37. It’s the perfect shade for her fair skin, and with its pinky tones,¬†she always feels natural with it on.¬†And no, she’s not a blonde.

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Palette Power. We love a multi-functional palette and¬†these are two¬†of our favourites. Splash out on ByTerry Sun Designer Palette, ¬£65, (left) which promises to last for ages. Or try Becca’s brand new Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, ¬£45 which is causing a storm in the beauty world.

As for M, she has more of a weathered look thanks to her childhood years spent in the Indian sun in Goa. That’s what you get for having hippie parents. That, and the middle name, Moonbeam! She is also fair-skinned, but her face is now spattered in freckles(euphemism for ‘skin damage’. Sorry M’s mum – don’t feel guilty, she likes them! Joking aside, if only we’d have known then what we know now and had access to SPF30+).¬†Thanks to the freckles,¬†her skin looks different whether it’s summer or winter, as they fade somewhat when there’s less sun. So when it comes to bronzing, she also wears it year-round like V, but has to build up colour accordingly, or switch products. So for the summer, she opts for¬†Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, ¬£59, which promises a sheer, shimmering finish and complements the freckles. And in the winter, she uses Clarins Bronzing and Blush Compact, ¬£30, which builds up colour beautifully and gives skin a warmth, as opposed to a tanned effect.

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Back in the day, her 15-year old self began bronzing with¬†The Body Shop Brush On Bronze bronzing beads, ¬£14. This pot of shimmering brown balls delivered a perfectly natural finish and was iconic in the 90s. Fickle as ever, it wasn’t long before M was lured away by other brands such as Clinique and YSL.

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So now for the technical part. The rule of thumb for bronzer has always been to sweep it ‘where the sun naturally hits the face’. So down the nose, along the forehead, up the cheekbones and along the jawline. And remember to build up the colour gradually – when it comes to bronzer, less is definitely more! Your brush is also crucial. Go for a large, fluffy one, to ensure a soft, natural and even finish and avoid a ‘stripy’ look.¬†We love Clinique Bronzer Brush, ¬£25. Or go for The Body Shop Slanted Kabuki Brush, ¬£16. And don’t forget to blend past the jawline, bringing it down a little onto the neck.

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Top Tip: For the most natural effect, choose a bronzer that’s not too red or orange and go for a product that’s 1 or 2 shades darker than your own complexion. No more.¬†Always remember to apply in natural lighting.

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Grrrrr: We’re wild about this Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer, ¬£25. Although it’s more of a highlighter than a conventional bronzer and gives a subtle glow.

You can also use bronzer to contour (definitely a buzzword for the noughties. V & M are not fans of this trend, preferring a fresh,¬†natural look, with a¬†flush of colour on the face. But it’s a trend that looks set to stay with us for a bit longer!). For contouring only use a matte product, not one with shimmer. The point of contouring is to¬†build up¬†shadows that enhance certain features and/or slim the face. The idea is to create a number “3” on both sides of your face. So begin at the top of the forehead, bring it under the cheekbones ¬†and then apply along the jawline, taking it all the way to your chin.

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Get Your Glow on¬†with our pick of the best bronzers on the market…

Best for pale skins: Choose a bronzer with pink, peach or golden undertones. We love Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, £30. An ultra-lightweight, matte formula that gives a totally natural finish. Try shades Golden Light or Natural.

Best for medium skins: Urban Decay Beached Bronzer, £22. This finely milled powder has an almost creamy feel to it, making it a joy to use. It gives a very natural glow.

Best for deep/dark skins: Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, £49, in Medium to Dark. A bronzer and highlighter in one gorgeous palette.

Best Suits-All Bronzer: Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna, ¬£29. The bronzer that beauty editors and makeup artists alike, come back to time and time again. The perfect shade, infused with subtle, golden shimmer. It’s now available in a liquid version – Laguna Liquid Bronzer, ¬£27. Or try the brand’s latest bronzer offering, Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer, ¬£29, a translucent matte powder in a variety of shades (including Laguna) that subtly enhances your natural complexion.

Best For Contouring: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, £25. The perfect matte bronzer to use for contouring Рit evens out skin tone and neutralises any redness. Plus it smells of chocolate. Does it get any better than that?

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Cult Product: BeneFit Hoola Bronzing Powder, ¬£24.50, is the UK’s best-selling bronzer. For a reason. It’s the perfect matte powder and it’s great for travel, as it’s packaged in a cute, compact box. So popular is Hoola, that BeneFit has now introduced it in liquid form –¬†Dew The Hoola, ¬£24.50, (try adding to your ¬†foundation) – and also launched a lighter version, Hoola Lite, ¬£24.50¬†for paler skins.

Best for a dewy finish: Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, ¬£36 If you’re not a fan of powder bronzer, try this decadent, whipped up cream-gel bronzer. It leaves skin glowing and flawless. Or try Clinique Sun-Kissed Face Gelee, ¬£23.50, a sheer gel that blends in easily and can be mixed in with your foundation.

Best Highstreet Buy:¬†Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette, ¬£6.99. M bought this cute palette for her 13-year old daughter and they’ve been fighting over it ever since! A highlighter, bronzer and blusher in one slimline palette, not only are the powders wearable and blendable, but the price is attractive too.

Best Luxury Splurge: For M’s recent ‘big’ birthday, V treated her to¬†Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, ¬£52. She wears Terra, which is a matte shade (one of the things she loves most about it), perfect for fair to medium skin tones. It’s a very indulgent bronzing option, but M is totally hooked.

Best Shimmering Bronzer: If you’re a fan of shimmering bronzer, you can’t go wrong with YSL’s new Sahariennes Bronzing Stones Collector, ¬£35. It’s sheer, light and gives a natural radiance.

Best for On-The-Go Application: Bobbi Brown Glow Stick, £26. A highlighter-come-bronzer that gives a gorgeous, sunkissed glow.

Don’t forget to click on the link below for our Youtube Video tutorial on how to bronze your face. Hope you enjoy!!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @verymakeupmad. And email us with your beauty queries at verymakeupmad@gmail.com. Our Bronzing tutorial vlog will be on our You Tube channel very soon. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted!

Love & bronzed beauty,

Vikki & Mala xx

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Bronzed up: V, left, wearing Guerlain Sheer Bronzing Powder in Blondes 02, and M, right, wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.

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Lashing Out!

Once upon a time (OK, it was the early 90’s), there was a girl – let’s call her V – who would sneak into her mum’s bedroom, delve into her make-up bag and fish out a mascara. And not just any mascara. It was the iconic and frankly brilliant Lanc√īme Definicils, (still available today, ¬£24.50). With just a swish of the brush, V swore her face was transformed – her lashes thicker and fuller, her eyes instantly wider and her whole face more alive, sparkly and less tired. From the first swish, she was hooked. And she’s never looked back. Apart from a handful of hideous, sleep-deprived days (courtesy of her newborn babies) when she forgot to apply it, and the odd bout of conjunctivitis, when she couldn’t (definitely grounds for locking yourself indoors until it’s cleared up), she’s never been without her trusty mascara wand.

Fast forward a few years, and that mascara devotee, V, met M – another make-up lover, with enviably long lashes. V isn’t a jealous person, but when she clocked M’s spidery lashes, she wasn’t sure a friendship could last. “Oh, they’re quite long in the first place”, M casually commented when V probed as to which mascara she was wearing. V slinked off, seething…

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Lash envy aside, it turns out M & V got on very well. And since launching VeryMakeupMad, they’ve been happily researching mascaras together (V’s discovered that the odd dig in M’s ribs makes her feel a whole lot better!), to bring you the best choices on the market. V has moved on from her Lanc√īme days (as has her mum, P, who now swears by Guerlain’s much-lauded Cils d’Enfer, ¬£25.50, and won’t wear anything else) and is now a Dior girl. Diorshow Extase, ¬£25, ticks every box for her. It instantly gives lashes a boost, and only one, quick coat is needed to separate them and make them appear fuller and longer.

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M, on the other hand, has long been a fan of BeneFit They’re Real, ¬£20.50, (one is sold every 15 seconds in the UK!) but the love affair may be coming to an end. And it’s not because she doesn’t like how it makes her lashes look – she does! – but because she struggles to take it off at the end of the day. And there’s nothing worse – for your delicate eye-area or frustration levels! – than rubbing away at your eye make up. Benefit sells a specific remover for it – BeneFit They’re Real Remover, ¬£15.50 – but M’s never got along with it. So she’s been trying a couple of other mascara options and her two favourites are: Clarins Be Long Mascara, ¬£21.50, which for anyone requiring extra length – no, not M, but she’s very impressed with the brush – really does the trick; and Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, ¬£19, which gives long, dramatic lashes and a curl that holds for hours. Eyeko mascaras use clever ‘tubing technology’ to coat the individual lashes in miniscule tubes and bind to them. This causes minimal irritation, as they don’t flake or rub away. 

On a recent trip to one of their favourite haunts, Space NK, M & V discovered that the beauty store’s best-selling mascara (it’s topped their charts for many years running) is Chantecaille Faux Cils, ¬£36. V thought she’d try it out. To be honest, she’s a little underwhelmed. On the plus side, it smells lovely (it contains rosewater) and it treats and conditions the lashes, so her phobia of touching mascara’d lashes (yes, really!) is not an issue. However, it takes a good few coats to make a difference and the effects are a little too subtle for her.

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A final mascara we’ve road-tested is Too Faced Better Than Sex, ¬£19. We can’t promise it lives up to its name (we’ll leave that to you to decide), but it’s gained something of a cult following, thanks to its hourglass shaped brush and the fact that it volumises and thickens the lashes. It gives a very intense black colour and dramatic finish. Definitely one to try for a night out.

Top Tip: When applying mascara, start with the brush at the very roots of the lashes, and gently wiggle it from side to side as you pull it along the lashes. Start in the middle, then move onto the corners. Once you’ve done the ‘wiggle’, use the brush to push lashes back and up.

Move Over False Lashes! Here are some more great mascara options:

Best For Watering Eyes: Lots of you have been in touch to say that you suffer from watering eyes, and no matter what you do, you end up with grey circles underneath them after wearing mascara for a while. Try one of these mascaras to avoid ‘Panda Eyes’: L’Oreal Paris Double Extension Mascara Waterproof, ¬£11.99, a double-ended wand with a conditioning base coat and a lengthening mascara that also separates lashes; Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara, ¬£22 which does exactly what it says on the tin and won’t move all day long; YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof Mascara, ¬£25.50, gives incredible volume and hold.

Best Newcomers: We’re very excited by these two finds: NYX Doll Eye Mascara Volumising, ¬£8. This gives an amazing, long-lashed finish and stays put for hours on end. And you can’t argue with the price!; Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Quattro Mascara, ¬£18.50, created by a Japanese celebrity, this mascara won’t smudge, budge, flake or smear and gives lashes a great curl. We love the hot pink packaging and the funky brush.

Best Curling Mascara: For anyone with poker-straight lashes who’s keen for some curl, try Sisley So Curl Mascara, ¬£32.50. And if you’re a fan of eyelash curlers, there are plenty on the market, but being girly girls, we’re loving this rose gold version, Life Changing Lashes, ¬£18, by Charlotte Tilbury.

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Best Base Coat: A mascara base coat (or primer) dramatically improves the performance of your mascara Рallowing it to go on more easily Рand also helps to create thicker, longer looking lashes. Clinique Lash Building Primer, £14.50, is hard to beat.

Best For Bottom Lashes: If you like to apply mascara to the bottom lashes, you need Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, ¬£14.50, which boasts the cutest little brush we’ve ever seen!

Best Coloured Mascara: Go bold with a pop of flattering colour on your lashes. Here are some great ones to try: For green eyes choose violet. We love Chanel Inimitable Intense in purple, ¬£26; For hazel eyes go for green, such as NYX Professional Makeup Color Mascara in Mint Julep, ¬£6. Blue eyes look great with a deep burgundy, such as YSL Mascara The Shock in Rough Burgundy, ¬£19.55. If you’ve got brown eyes, try a bright blue, like ByTerry Mascara Terrybly in Terryfic Blue, ¬£33.50. Or play it safe with navy blue, which tends to suit all eye colours. We love YSL Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect in Deep Night, ¬£21.68.

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Best Eye Makeup Removers: Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Eye Make-up Remover, ¬£3.39 is a really great budget option. Or if you prefer a bi-phase remover (the double-layer liquid type that needs to be shaken and works well on waterproof formulations) try Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, ¬£20, or The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-up Remover, ¬£10.  We also like facial cleansing wipes for mascara removal and think L’Or√©al Fine Flowers Cleansing Wipes – a snip at ¬£1.99 – are great. They’re a speedy way to remove the day’s make-up and let you get on with your beauty sleep. Another one-stop make-up remover that we’ve been testing is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, just ¬£1 at the moment (yes, you read that right!), although we’ve found it to be a little hit & miss – it removed some mascaras better than others.

M’s lifelong miracle potion (inspired by her hippie mum, A, who travelled to India in 1969 and has been drowning herself in the stuff ever since!) is Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil, ¬£5. She rubs it into her lashes every night to condition them and prevent any hair loss. It’s an amazing multi-tasker…try it on dry skin, cuticles, split ends. You name it, it treats it! And if you’re concerned about sparse lashes (and brows) or the loss of them, consider applying Foxbrim 100% Pure Castor Oil, ¬£13.56, which is proven to promote hair growth. 

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If you’re wondering when’s the right time to throw out your mascara, we’d say after approximately 3-4 months, by which time it will likely be drying up anyway, if you’re using it daily. We’re not big advocates of sticking to make-up shelf lives (we each currently use products that we’ve owned for years…ssshhhh!), but when it comes to mascara (and eyeliner), don’t keep using them for too long as they can harbour bacteria and cause infection.

Remember you can email us – verymakeupmad@gmail.com – with details of your favourite mascaras and also if you have any beauty queries. And follow us on Instagram, twitter and Facebook https://youtu.be/M9Ux1GRb4yU

Love & fluttering lashes,

Vikki & Mala xx

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Mala (left) wearing NYX Doll Eye and Vikki (right) wearing Fairy Drops Scandal Queen.

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Party on people!

V has finally caught up with M and turned the big 4-0h! M is thrilled because she didn’t like V still being in her 30s, and V is equally thrilled as she has an excuse – her party –¬†to wear the new Sandro top that she’s been “saving” (why do we women do that? Surely we should just wear the clothes we splash out on and enjoy them on multiple occasions. But that conversation is for another blog…).

Anyway, V loves a party, but if she’s honest, she prefers the beauty prepping to the big event. As former Beauty Editor of Brides magazine, she knows a thing or two about party prepping. And M’s industry know-how, as a YSL make-up artist, means she has a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to perfecting a flawless face. So ta-da…we bring you our party beauty plan of action – how to glow and sparkle on your big day.

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So, first things first – getting skin looking radiant. We’re both big fans of face masks and believe they make a huge difference to your complexion. Always exfoliate first (Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face, ¬£32 and¬†Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, ¬£26, both get our vote), as this will slough away dead skin cells, allowing the mask to penetrate deeper to work its magic. Our current favourite masks are: Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Gel Mask, ¬£34.50, a cooling ‘jelly’ which hydrates, regenerates and makes you look years younger (or splash out on the brand’s¬†24K Gold Mask, ¬£55, for plumped up, hydrated, glowing skin); Dr Brandt Oxygen Facial, ¬£48.50, which feels satisfyingly “fizzy” and tingly as it delivers a burst of oxygen for immediate, unbeatable¬†radiance; and Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask, ¬£49.50, which¬†firms and tones the skin, for a younger, fresher you. And check out Charlotte Tilbury’s high-tech, no-mess Instant Magic Sheet Mask, ¬£18, which can be used up to 3 times and promises to smooth, lift and brighten. Using a mask weekly in the run-up to your party and definitely the night before your event, will give you the the best results.

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When it comes to makeup, primers pave the way. They’re a great¬†addition to your make-up arsenal – sorry J (M’s hubby), the die-hard Spurs fan, we just liked the word! – to ensure foundation glides on smoothly and evenly¬†and¬†helps it last the course. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, ¬£26, is an industry bestseller and hard to beat. For the most luminous canvas, try YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer, ¬£29.50, a lightweight gel, using the magic of the best-selling concealing & highlighting wand,¬†Touche Eclat, ¬£25.50, (1 sold every 10 seconds in the world – what are you waiting for?). Then there’s¬†Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, ¬£31, an old favourite, but it¬†still works a treat. Truth be known, we’d both forgotten about this little beauty, but M just remembered it and has gone AWOL, in the quest to buy some. V hopes she’ll return in time for the next blog. Or more importantly, to pick up her kids from school!

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When it comes to the rest of your make-up, it’s obviously down to personal choice. A long-lasting foundation is a good idea (it’s hard to¬†beat Estee Lauder Double Wear, ¬£31), as is a great concealer¬†(we love Clinique Airbrush Concealer, ¬£17.10). For the best highlighters,¬†don’t forget our Shimmer & Shine blog and also check out our Blusher choices on Oi Cheeky. And we’ve been travelling through the beauty halls (yes, we selflessly trudged around, to bring you the very best products!) and through cyber space, checking out the best of online beauty. We’ve discovered some gems that we urge you to try for party perfection. You won’t be disappointed…

QUICK FIX – WunderLift 60 Second Wrinkle Reducer, ¬£19.95.¬†This serum instantly lifts and firms the¬†eye area and visibly reduces wrinkles, with effects lasting for 8 hours. Unlike other products that promise to do the same, Wunderlift doesn’t leave a white residue or make your skin feel dry. ¬†It’s your pre-party secret weapon. We defy you not to get hooked. Check out their website http://www.wunder2.co.uk for more fab products and info.

EYE EYE – EyeSlices, from ¬£14.99, have a dual effect – calming and soothing the eye area and dramatically reducing puffiness and dark circles (sleepless nights are no longer a worry!) Choose from full-eye slices, or ‘just for under the eye’ and each pair can be used up to 10 times. They’re also a great excuse for 5 minutes of relaxing ‘me time’.¬†For the full story, go to http://www.eyeslices.com

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SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – If a spot threatens before your ‘do’, don’t panic, just¬†zap it with Malin & Goetz potent 10% Sulfur Paste, ¬£18.

LIP SERVICE РArt Deco Invisible Lip Contour, £6, is a transparent, waxy lip liner that works as a barrier against lipstick smudging and bleeding and also reduces fine lines. M loves this product!

LINE UP РLA Girl Endless Semi Permanent Auto Lipliner Pencil, £3. For less than the price of your daily latte, it would be rude not to try this! M has used this since her teens and raves about it. It gives a perfectly defined, long-lasting pout. Try it with Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Liptick in Celebrity Skin, £16, for the ultimate nude finish.

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND- For a night on the tiles, add a sparkly ‘lip topper’ to your favourite lipstick (or use alone). M has fallen for Stila’s amazing, limited edition, quick-drying¬†Glitterati Lip Top Coat ¬£18, and also¬†Lime Crime Diamond Crushers, ¬£15, which come in 6 sensational shades. V is taken with Jouer Lip Topper in Rose Gold, ¬£13.50. It’s metallic and sparkly and lasts for hours. Plus it smells of vanilla ice cream. What’s not to love??

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LASH OUT – For the most fabulous, false-looking lashes, try Fairydrops Scandal Queen Quattro Mascara, ¬£18.50, which won’t budge, smudge or flake; or NYX Professional Doll Eye Waterproof Mascara, ¬£8, which stays put for hours and gives extreme, unbeatable length.

So¬†there you have it. Our favourite party beauty essentials – guaranteed to make you look & feel your best. And with V arriving at such a milestone birthday, we feel justified in¬†blogging about this. We’ve also collaborated with “The Source“,¬†and you’ll find a version of this blog on their website. “The Source” is an exciting directory of resources and collection of brands for your special event. We love their innovative ideas and how they can help you to¬†find and create the perfect bespoke party. Check out their website for further information and be inspired for your big day http://www.thesourceinspires.com¬†or find them on Facebook or instagram below: https://www.facebook.com/thesourcedirectory/ ¬†www.instagram.com/thesourecinpsires

Don’t forget to tune into our YouTube channel for tutorials on make-up application. And look out for our new, exciting¬†birthday vlog, coming very soon…

Love,¬†Happy Birthdays¬†& being ‘Naughty at Forty’,

Vikki & Mala xx

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Left: V in her Sandro top, and M rocking a Zadig & Voltaire blazer! Right: Yum yum…need we say more?

PS. Check out one of M’s birthday pressies to V – YSL’s latest launch, Glow Shot in Sunrise, ¬£22.50, a boudoir, ballet-slipper pink highlighter. V can’t wait to start using it. She’ll report straight back.

 

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Sunny Side Up…

Oh the joys of the school holidays! They’re the reason why we haven’t posted anything in the last few days. And why we’ve both noticed a few¬†new grey hairs (‘Speak for yourself’, says M)! We’ve been¬†desperate to write¬†our latest¬†blog and to try out products for you to read about, but the kids – 6 of them, between us –¬†have other ideas. So parks, playgrounds and trips to the cinema it’s been…and continues to be. Don’t get us wrong, we love spending time with our offspring. We’d just rather do it in our favourite places, not theirs. Admittedly, we did drag our youngest two to Space NK last week, all in the name of research. And in a bid to (beauty) indoctrinate them. Although they just wanted to pose for pictures…


Anyway, we managed to quickly sneak away from them today to bring you this blog. But we’ve not got long! So, back to business & the aforementioned¬†Space NK trip.¬†In between attempts to keep two 6 year-old’s fingers out of blusher compacts, we checked out Emma Hardie’s¬†brilliant skincare range (M is already a fan of the Brilliance Facial Oil, ¬£35).¬†M left with a sample of Protect & Prime, ¬£46, and has been using it ever since. She thinks it’s fab. It’s basically a primer with SPF30.¬†Super light and non-greasy, it glides onto skin and blurs imperfections and evens skin tone. And it sinks in very quickly, which is great for M, because she’s a speed-freak (V calls her ‘The Hurricane’). Yes, it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way & M is going to wear it for the entire summer – alone or with make-up over it. She insists her skin has never looked better. Her husband has also tried it and is threatening to purchase it for himself. V is leaving them to fight it out.

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V, forever in pursuit of the perfect facial sunscreen, believes she’s also found a winner. Not one to forgo makeup on holiday (or a particularly sweltering London day), she always wears a tinted sunscreen while sunbathing as she hates looking pale and pasty. But more often than not, these tinted products which promise so much,¬†fail her. She hates the greasy look they often¬†create¬†and their thick texture. Plus the shade is never quite right and they don’t ‘perfect’¬†her skin in the way foundations do. She just¬†wants to look like she does at home –¬†for her skin to look its best, safe in the knowledge that it’s properly protected. Enter CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream, ¬£25. This lightweight, white cream, immediately transforms on application to match your own skin tone and gives the most flattering,¬†radiant finish. V is very impressed. It instantly¬†covered some areas of redness on her face and made her skin glow, without looking slathered in suncream. But with its SPF45 this most definitely is a suncream. Just a cutting edge one.¬†This will definitely be her new holiday ‘secret weapon’. And she’s wearing it today too…

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And for our last SPF find, we bring you Pixi Sun Mist, ¬£18. An ingenious, light spray for the face and body that can easily be reapplied throughout the day. What we love most about it is that it can be spritzed over a fully made up face and wont ruin it at all. It’s not shiny and it dries very quickly. Very handy if you’ve got a summer wedding or important outdoors¬†date coming up. V bought one last week on cultbeauty.co.uk, but it now seems to be out of stock. So be quick and join the waiting list, or have a look on another site (we love lookfantastic.com). It should be back in stock soon. Top Tip – shake well before use and for the 1st application, spray a few times elsewhere on the body before putting on the face, as initially it comes out white, not transparent. After 5 or¬†6 spritzes, you’re good to go.

Love, sunshine & crazy kids,

Vikki & Mala xx


Our trusted Space NK helpers! Available to accompany any makeup fanatics on a shopping spree. A relaxing, calm experience is guaranteed (mwah ha ha ha ūü§°)

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We’ve been shopping!

QUICK MIDWEEK UPDATE. WELL, WHY NOT??!!

We’re exhausted but quietly smug. We’ve been busy online shopping this week on one of our favourite beauty sites, Beauty Bay. Sshhhh, don’t tell our husbands! Admittedly, we managed to keep the costs down as each product we chose was less than ¬£20. Plus, it’s all in the name of research. After all, we’ve selflessly got your best interests at heart. And we’ve found some real gems…

M was the most extravagant, splashing out on Stila’s Glitterati Lip Top Coat in Transcend, ¬£18, a unique, clear liquid infused with pink glitter designed to be worn over a matte lipstick, or alone. Unlike a gloss, it dries onto the lips and gives an incredible, metallic finish. So it’s a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the sticky feel or wet look of a gloss, but still wants sparkle. Needless to say, V was jealous, so she grabbed it and tried it too. She’s going to be ordering her own one later. But she’ll have to be quick because it seems to be selling out on lots of sites. If she has no luck on Beauty Bay, she’ll take a look at Cult Beauty.

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Palladio is a brand that’s new to us, and we’ve fallen in love with the I’m Blushing 2-in-1 Cheek And Lip Tint, ¬£6.50. Yes, ¬£6.50! V is wearing the Precious, a ballet-slipper pink which imparts a lovely glow. She only has it on her cheeks, as she found it too frosty a finish for her lips. But M tried a little on her eyes – on the lower lid, near the lash line and under her brow as a highlighter – and it looked great and really opened up the eye. And because it’s a cream formulation, it doesn’t feel dewy or sticky.

As for M’s cheeks, she tried Milani Baked Blush in Rosa Romantica, ¬£10. We decided it acts more like a highlighter than a blush in this particular shade, but it does give great definition and a very flattering shimmer to the cheekbone. It comes in 11 shades and V now has her eye on Dolce Pink. It’s a very soft, easy-to-blend powder, and although we don’t rate the brush that comes with it, we can’t complain. For ¬£10 you get a great product in a cute compact, with a handy mirror. What more could a girl ask for?

Love & online shopping buys,

Vikki & Mala xx

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Don’t go changing…!

NEWSFLASH…

Drama has struck at the very heart of V’s makeup bag and the tremors are being felt all over VeryMakeupMad Towers. V’s all-time favourite lipgloss, the one that she wore at her wedding and finally shared with the world after keeping it a closely guarded secret for 17 years, has been DISCONTINUED!! Yes, that’s right, after writing about Chanel Levres Scintillantes in last week’s blog about ‘our favourite things’, it came to light that Chanel stopped making the gloss 2 days earlier. However, thankfully they have introduced a new version – Rouge Coco Gloss, ¬£26, in 24 gorgeous shades, and V can’t wait to get her hands on one…or 5! She’ll report back when she does. In the meantime, M is being very supportive and offering a whole host of matte lipsticks for her to try! Now V is drowning her sorrows in Haagen Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream…another of her ‘favourite things’.

Love & lipgloss

Vikki & Mala xx

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OUR FAMOUS FIVE ūüíč (OR THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MAKEUP!)

We’ve come over all “Maria von Trapp” this week. We’ve been discussing ‘a few of our favourite things’ and now can’t stop imagining ourselves twirling round on picturesque mountain tops and belting out VeryMakeupMad’s version of “raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens…” that M has penned. If you’re lucky, we might sing it on our next vlog (Truth be known, V wouldn’t be surprised if M was using this as a platform to launch her dream pop career…!).

Anyway, back to business and of course, we’re talking about our favourite beauty things. The makeup we can’t and won’t live without. You already know that we’re ‘VeryMakeupMad’, but which products are we most mad about? Over the years we have both amassed some favourites…M as a trained makeup artist and model, and V as a Beauty Editor at Vogue and other titles. We’ve limited ourselves to our top 5 everyday picks, but as ever, have thrown in a few more at the end for good measure!

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First up, mascara. Lots of womens’ ‘desert island product’. With so many to choose from, and new, improved versions being launched all the time, it’s difficult to find the best one. M is a big fan of Benefit They’re Real, ¬£19.50. She’s tried lots of other brands and types of mascara and she always comes back to this one. Admittedly she has long lashes in the first place, but with ‘They’re Real’, she manages to make them look even longer and she gets a fab, winged effect at the corners. V is faithful to Diorshow Extase, ¬£25.50, which she’s been wearing for the last few years. Although not continuously. Obviously. It separates and thickens her lashes and doesn’t rub or flake off. She likes the shape of the brush and it’s her ‘go to’ mascara for a great, natural finish. For nights out and a more dramatic look, she adds an extra lashing.

Still on eyes, V recently splashed out on ByTerry Ombre Blackstar, ¬£29, an amazingly creamy eyeshadow stick that honestly doesn’t move once applied. She has Frozen Quartz, a beautiful, shimmering deep rose shade and uses it over the entire lower lid, or just as a line above and close to the top lashes. People keep asking her what it is and already several friends have rushed to buy it. Nothing in the ByTerry range is a ‘cheap option’, but you never have any regrets when you buy their products. If you’re browsing the range, check out the limited edition palette pictured below, featuring delectable, muted spring shades which will suit all skin tones and see you through to the autumn. Eye Designer Palette in Techno Aura, ¬£44, – we think this is a great price for 6 shadows.

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When it comes to a flawless complexion, V swears by Delilah Time Frame Future Resist Foundation, ¬£34, which blends beautifully and gives a luminous, natural finish. But more about that on our ‘Laying The Foundations’ blog – we don’t want to bore you! As you know, M isn’t a big foundation wearer, and instead has fallen for Erborian CC Creme, ¬£17, an ingenious, high-tech perfector that adapts to the colour of your skin, blurring any imperfections and giving immediate radiance. There’s something very satisfying (and slightly magical) about watching it come out of the tube as a white cream, and it transforming to a warm, peachy tone on application. Try it!

Moving on to bronzer. V is very ‘old school’ and has been using Guerlain’s iconic Terracotta bronzer for the best part of 20 years. Guerlain was the first beauty company to launch a bronzer and today they have plenty of options to choose from – shimmery, matte, sheer or mosaic. FYI, even thought V is most definitely a brunette, she wears Sheer Bronzing Powder in Blondes, ¬£37. It’s the perfect shade for her pale skin and doesnt make her look orange.  Meanwhile, M can’t get enough of Kevyn Aucoin’s totally versatile, The Neo Bronzer in Capri, ¬£46 – the neopolitan of face powders! The pale, pearly shade works as a highlighter, the pinky shade is a flattering blush, and the golden brown is the bronzer. You can use them separately or swirl them all together and apply just where the sun would hit the face – the forehead, chin, cheeks and nose. M is complimented every time she wears this, and considering she bought it in July 2016, and has worn it through every season, it seems to be lasting forever and as the photo shows, it looks the same as it did the day she bought it.

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As for lips, V is never without lipgloss. Many people have tried (and all have failed) to convince her of the beauty of the matte lip, but she is steadfast in her belief that a glossy lip is ultra-flattering (or, if you asked M, she’d say she’s stuck in her ways and very stubborn. V absolutely disagrees). If she had to pick just one brand of gloss to use, it would be Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer, ¬£22, which is creamy, non-sticky and long-lasting. The biggest compliment that V can pay it, is to tell you that she chose to wear it on her wedding day (when she was Beauty Editor of Brides) and it stayed put from start to finish. Top Tip: choose a gloss with shimmer in it, so that if the gloss starts to wear off lips, the flattering sheen of the shimmering particles will remain on the lips.

M likes a defined lip and is an expert at applying lip liner to achieve a natural, fuller pout. The trick with lip liner is to not appear to be wearing any. She’s been searching for the ultimate nude liner and believes she has found it in Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude, ¬£16. She loves how soft it is, making it so easy to apply, plus it stays on the lips all day, defining the outer edge and cupid’s bow as intended. M is not afraid to use all over the lips for a fab, nude effect. She’ll show you the best way to do this on our vlog coming soon…

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M’s final choice – and splurge – is Tom Ford Lip Laquer, ¬£29, a gorgeous, pearlised gloss that feels more like a creamy balm. It smells heavenly and gives a shimmering finish. Depending on the shade of your lips, it may be too pale to wear alone, but it looks incredible dabbed on the centre of your lips, over your favourite lip colour, creating a pillow like pout.

So those are our favourites, but being VeryMakeupMad, we have a few more make-up options that we couldn’t miss out.

OUR FAVOURITE EYELINER- Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, ¬£5.29. The long wand makes it easy to apply and the waterproof formulation doesn’t budge. Use this for a dramatic finish. We also love Clinique Easy Does It Liquid Liner, ¬£19 for a super precise line.

OUR FAVOURITE CONCEALER- Estee Lauder Doublewear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer, £19.95. A miracle when dabbed onto blemishes, but also works wonders on dark circles.

OUR FAVOURITE PRIMER – Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, ¬£26 An industry favourite too, this silky primer perfects skin and helps foundation last longer. If you’re after a glowing, radiant finish, try Cover FX Illuminating Primer, ¬£29, which instantly peps up a dull complexion

FAVOURITE LIPSTICK –No7 Match Made Stay Perfect Lipstick, ¬£9.95 A lovely satin finish and intense colour that lasts for hours.

FAVOURITE MAKEUP BRUSHES –  We love Morphe brushes (they’re super soft, great quality and blend make up beautifully) and this 6 Piece Deluxe Contour Brush Set is a steal at ¬£20.50.

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Don’t forget to email us – verymakeupmad@gmail.com – to let us know what your ‘favourite things’ are and keep us updated with how you’re finding any of the recommendations that we’ve already given.You can also follow us on Facebook – Verymakeupmad.

Love, makeup & the sound of music,

Vikki & Mala xx

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