Saturday, 22 February 2014

Smokey eyes: full on look

Hi Beauty Addicts!

Sorry for the recent break in transmission - some IT issues meant that I wasn't able to load up my tutorial as planned last Saturday. This is look number two, I've tried to use more pictures than words this time to keep it shorter ;)

Step 1:

I did my face make-up first but if you're using loose shadows I'd recommend following the previous recommendation of doing that after your eyes. I then used some cream shadow (don't worry about being too neat because we'll blend later) and some gel liner pencil.

Step 2:

Next up blend a co-ordinating powder shadow over the cream base. I've used a metallic shadow for extra sparkle but matte will also work. It's a personal preference. I then blended upwards with a matte taupe transition shade. Re-line with more gel liner and blended that out with a darker shadow. I've gone for browns but you can try taupes, greys or blacks. Colours up next week....if you're feeling daring today go for purple, green, blue or pink but with similar shading approaches.

Step 3:

I've popped on my Out of the House eyebrows and then added more liner (this time liquid for a really black finish around the eyes) and lined my water line with kohl. I then added a little sparkly eyeshadow on the inner corners and the inner third of the eyelid. Final touch - some lippie, et voila! Good to trot off to the pub / date / party / sofa with The Voice as you choose!!

Products used:

Primer (Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Light), Foundation (Becca luminous finish - Olive), Contour and highlight (Sleek Contour palette), Blush (Illamasqua Tremble), Cream shadow (MAC Constructivist), Gel liner (Avon Supershock gel pencil), Powder shadows (Bobbi Brown Metallic Plum and Nars Mekong), Liquid liner (Illamasqua Precision Liner - Abyss), Mascara (YSL Effet Faux Cils), Concealer (Illamasqua Skin Base Lift - Light 2), Lipliner (L'Oreal Ultraviolet), Lipstick (Illamasqua Scandal).

Hope you guys have a fab Saturday and if you're watching the Six Nations....Go IRELAND!!!!

Love and coral kisses



Twitter: @JojoSparklesNI
Instagram: @josephinesparkles_ni

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Product Review: Liz Earle Nail Colour (Pure Poetry)

Hi Beauty Addicts!

I have been meaning to publish this post for ages.

Originally I came across the Liz Earle Nail Colour range in the Leeds branch of the shop and had to be removed from the display before I ended up buying all of them! My lovely friend E has since kindly treated me to another colour for Christmas :)

Basic info:
12 shades in the range. Three sub-categories (neutral, bright and deep) with four shades in each.
  • The colour range is decent although definitely of the 'classic' variety.
  • All are a cream finish. Although there was a gold out for Christmas which I didn't buy as that's not a flattering look for me but it may have been metallic. 
  • £7.50 for 12ml.
  • Can be bought online here
  • If, like me, you prefer to see polishes in real life first, links to Liz Earle Colour stockists can also be found on the main brand website here
I bought Pure Poetry (deep burgundy per website) though Old Velvet - since gifted - Knockout and Ebb Tide were in close contention. With my pale skin I prefer to wear a deep shade as I like the contrast. That being said I do also like some of the greige nudes on the market recently of which Ebb Tide seems a great example.


I applied Pure Poetry in two relatively thin layers over OPI's natural nail base and topped with OPI's top coat. The finish was really professional and glossy, with good wear - I get 3 days with little tip wear, minor chipping on 4th.

The website claims up to 12 days of colour, I don't even get that guaranteed with a gel manicure so don't feel too bad that this didn't get there. I'd say it's equivalent to OPI performance for me - which I consider as good as I'll get.

In conclusion - limited but very wearable colour range, excellent formulation, great shine and good wear. Can't wait to buy more shades!

Have you tried Liz Earle's Nail Colour range? How did you find it? Any ideas on how to maximise my polish life?

Big TGIF hugs for the morning!!



Twitter: @JojoSparklesNI
Instagram: @JosephineSparkles_NI

10 minute manicure with IMpress Broadway nails

Hello Beauty Addicts!

Picked up a quick adhesive manicure in Boots this lunchtime (£7.99 on the high street but you can get them on 3 for 2 offers or for slightly less in local pharmacies in my experience). Not a bad result for five to ten minutes work in my lunch hour.

I've used these lots before, they come in a variety of colours which range from vampy to taupe to patterns. I tend to get 10 - 12 days of really good wear out of them (potentially lose one around the end of the first week - but easily replaced with the spares you can tote about in the little bottle shaped holder).

Once you've sized them up make sure you apply them from little finger to thumb so you retain the ability to pinch the tabs off to stick them down.

Easily removable with hot water and an orange stick. I find these less drying and more flexible than a gel manicure but note they might not be suitable if you have very shallow nail beds. Excuse the At Desk hand photo and beautiful grey caste to my mid-week skin ;)

Happy Thursday everyone! See you on the weekend for more smokey eye action :)



Saturday, 8 February 2014

Smokey eye looks: Liner focused smokey eyes

Further to my first post, which set out different interpretations of smokey eyes, this is the first of three in a series which will take you through a step-by-step guide to recreating those looks and recommend some products which I've really enjoyed using along the way.

Products used: Illamasqua eyebrow cake (Motto), Topshop cream shadow (Tundra), L'Oreal taupe shadow (from Marron Glace quad), Avon Supershock black eyeliner pencil, Bobbi Brown eyeshadow (Caviar), L'Oreal white shade (from Marron Glace quad), YSL Effet Faux Cils mascara and MAC Moisture concealer.

Step 1: Create a pretty, even base colour

I like to use a cream shadow as a base, which can be easily blended and either built to added intensity or sheered out if you prefer a more subtle look. Often you'll see this kind of look done with a gold or bronze shade. If that appeals I'd recommend;

- Chanel Illusion d'Ombre (Emerveille); or
- Maybelline Color Tattoo (On and On Bronze).

If you've got oily lids you may also wish to set with a powder shadow - not recommended with the Chanel as you don't want to hide that beautiful finish!

For those of you who prefer a cooler toned base colour you might want to look at the these shadows;

- Bobbi Brown Metallic Cream Eyeshadow (Brown Metal, Galaxy); or
- Maybelline Color Tattoo (Tough as Taupe).

With the darker shades I've recommended you'll probably want to sheer them out a fair bit, or be bolder with your liner choices, to maintain the distinction between the liner and the shadow.

Step 2: Lay down your basic liner shape

When I'm smoking out a liner I prefer to use either a loose powder liner (e.g. No7 Smoky Eyes liner - Smashbox also do one but I think the No7 is a lot cheaper for the same effect) or a gel liner which I blend out with a similar shade of eyeshadow in order to avoid having a defined line.

I'm a massive fan of the defined line, but it's not the purpose of this look!

For gel eyeliners I would recommend;

- L'Oreal Gel Intenza; or
- Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliner.

If you prefer your gel liner in a pencil form look no further than Avon Supershock eyeliner pencils - I much prefer them to the pot version - or Rimmel Scandaleyes.

Step 3: Smoke out the liner with some powder eyeshadow

While it's not mandatory to use a matching shadow I think it helps set the liner, soften the line and maintain the intensity of the colour. Use a shadow which is pigmented enough to be used as a pseudo-liner but which isn't so soft it falls out all under your eye area....note: you probably should do base after a smokey eye regardless of version!

I'm not going to recommend a specific shadow because I'm sure everyone will have a shade knocking around their make-up bag that will do. You can also drag it outwards a little and sweep into your crease to give added intensity around the outer-V of the eye (see above).

If you're feeling a little lazy and want one product to do Steps 2 & 3 for you, check out No7's powder eye liner. Takes a bit of practice to not end up with powder all over your face :) If you've got small eyes you will want to really intensify the liner on the outer third of the lower lash line and the outer half-to-two thirds of the top lash line.

Step 4: Line your waterline (inner rim of the eye)

To me, this has to be black, black and more BLACK!! The liner is all about glamour here so go all out.

My preferred product is a 50p kajal pencil which a friend brought me back from holiday in India. However, assuming you're not jetting off around the world these work pretty well too;

- Rimmel Scandaleyes (you'll have to reapply with gel liner) or kohl liner; or
- Laura Mercier (Black Violet).

If you've got small eyes this may not be something that you want to go with. Instead, you might want to line the waterline with a light coloured pencil. White can be a bit '80s (though I have a shimmer white gel pencil from Sephora that I think is relatively subtle and use on occasion) so usually I'll use a nude shade. Rimmel do a great one in their Scandaleyes range, which is very moderately priced.

Make it more wearable by... switching up the eyeliner for a grey or khaki shade, which will still give you definition around the lash line but feel less "made up". I recommend Laura Mercier Black Gold, Bourjois Khol or Avon Supershock gel liner in khaki shades.

Products used here: Brows as before, Benefit cream shadow (Recess), Becca eyeshadow (Satin), No7 powder liner in brown and YSL effet faux cils mascara. Here I haven't lined the waterline to show the alternative method.

How to: smokey eyes

Happy weekend Beauty Addicts!

One thing a lot of my friends ask me about is eye make-up application. While my make-up addiction is fairly well rounded, it has to be said that eyeshadow is a personal favourite - love to play up the peepers!

In any case, when you're starting out it can seem quite intimidating to slick on the dark shadow, black liner and three layers of mascara so I thought it would be useful to set out how I apply the shadow first and then suggest some colours / products depending on your eye colour and your colour confidence.

I don't have a dupe list at the minute but what I would say is that there is an increasing tendency for drugstore products to really up their game in terms of performance so do have a play when you're out and about in the shops to see what you like (and what's within budget).

Placement styles for a smokey eye

1) Liner focused (e.g. Mila Kunis' day look)

For Mila's look I always think of a dewy, subtle wash of colour with a really sultry smoked-out liner that surrounds the eye, including waterline (inner rim of eye for newbies).

2) Classic / full-on (e.g. Kirsten Stewart / Mila's evening look)

Here I'm envisaging a look which has a block colour - probably black or chocolate brown - which is applied full across the lid and then blended up and out to increase the impact of the eyes. Depending on your preference you might keep it quite precise in the application, or make it look a bit "lived in" for extra rocker chic.

3) Colour incorporation (I bow down to you, Katy Perry)

I love an alternative to a classic smokey eye which you can achieve really easily by using a colour rather than the classic black / chocolate. My personal favourites are green and purple, but a navy is also awesome and quite a modern take.

First up is the most natural of the lot, so take a peep, have a play and just enjoy yourself - makeup should always be fun!!

Love and hugs



Twitter: @JojoSparklesNI
Instagram: josephinesparkles_ni

Come follow me!!! :)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Hello & welcome to my beauty blog!

Hello Beauty Addicts!

I'm a girl in love with make-up, products, lotions and potions in all the various shapes and guises they now come in. Being a long time watcher of massive YouTube and blog personalities I thought I'd like to add more than the occasional Tweet to the worldwide web of beauty rumblings.

Mostly I will aim to give a mixture of product reviews (good, bad and ugly - both around performance and value for money) and "How to" for celebrity and editorial looks that happen to catch my eye.  I'll aim to do talk you through more wearable versions of looks, in addition to adding more obvious "looks".

Ultimately I also want to create my own YouTube channel, but one step at a time! Really looking forward to getting to know more girls and boys who are just as passionate about make-up as me through the blog - so please do get in touch!

First proper make-up post planned for later this keep and eye out and subscribe for updates!

Love, glitter and kisses



Twitter: @JojoSparklesNI
Instagram: @JosephineSparkles_NI
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