The Zodiacs: Cancer

Close Up Cancer

There seems to be a little bit of a misunderstanding going on at the moment. Each time I post a picture from one of the Zodiac looks people assume that I won’t be doing their zodiac (Capricorn and Sagittarius especially) so let me take a moment to clear this up. I will be doing ALL of the twelve zodiacs. Taurus will probably be last because it’s my Zodiac, but don’t think just because I haven’t done it yet that I won’t be doing it at all :)

The Zodicas Cancer

When I was drawing the face charts for the Zodiacs the first thing I thought about for Cancer was the sea. It’a also described as a bit of a paradoxical sign with traits that you think wouldn’t work well together. So because of that I decided to use two colours that clash, red and blue, and pearl rhinestones. Lots and lots of pearl rhinestones!

Cancer Makeup Look

It’ll be a while till I finish the zodiacs series, but when I do I want to do a thirneenth video which is just simple eyeliner looks based on the Zodiacs using only eyeliner. No rhinestones allowed :)

I hope you like the tutorial

A Lush Solid Shampoo I did NOT like

Lush Solid Shampoo Review

It’s not often I post a negative review. I think for the most part that’s just because I’m normally quite lucky with products I try, or I don’t dislike the product enough to write up a negative review. But I’ve tried every single one of the Lush solid shampoos, and of course the very last bar I tried (Jason and the Argan Oil) was disappointing. Everything about this bar looks and smells amazing, once I used it though…not so amazing.

Basics: 55g • Cruelty Free • £5.75 •

The first thing I noticed is that my hair did not like this shampoo. I tried it for about a month to make sure it wasn’t just my hair playing up on me, but each time I used this I would have an oily residue on may hair after, no matter how much I rinsed my hair. It also has this strange gritty texture when you lather it up, like little grins of dust on the soap.

Lush Jason and the Argan Oil

Most of the shampoo bars crack when you’ve used them so much they’re little more than a thin tablet, but this one cracks into several pieces after you’ve used it only two or three times. I even bought a second one to check I hadn’t got a bad batch the first time. Nope, still broke into pieces.

It could be that this kind of shampoo is better for people with very dry hair, but for me at least this is the one Lush shampoo bar I really didn’t like.

Defiance: How I Made The Cover

How I Made The Cover to Defiance

Just like my last book I wanted to make a video showing how I made the cover. In the first book I wanted to paint this picture of the goblins being bad and the elves and dwarves good. But in the second book I wanted to tip that idea on it’s head and for people to see that, actually, while violent and ferocious, the goblins do actually have a very good reason to hate the dwarves.

The cover this time the cover was going to be Ulf’s tribal cuff

The second book is called Defiance, primarily because of Astrid and Ulf. Astrid is starting to defy what she calls “the harsh voice” in her head and the fear that she will always be alone. Ulf is defiant against the dwarves and what other goblins see as their place in the world, and both of them use wolves and the image of wolves as part of who they are, so I felt that it was the perfect image to represent the book.

I hope you like the video :)

The Zodiacs: Aquarius

The Water Carrier

As of uploading this look I am officially half way though my Zodiacs series. For most of these looks I’ve tried to incorporate the Zodiac symbol into the makeup looks, but for this one I wanted to focus more on the element of water than the symbol.

I painted the jug months ago, and now that I’ve filmed the tutorial it should be quite a beautiful flower jug

The funny thing is that I got the wig for a witch look originally, but I thought  it worked absolutely perfectly for this look when I tried it. I’m tempted to use it again for Sagittarius since I’m going for a bit of a celtic warrior theme. But I might stick to my original idea of a high braided ponytail.

The Zodiacs

The Zodiacs Aquarious

Making the water pour out of the jug was easy. Just grab some sellotape, some cling film, and tape one end to the bottom of the jug while the rest hangs out. If you were going for a costume version of this look you would want to wear a toga and have the end of the cling film wrapped around your waist, then carry the jug on your shoulder. Of course if you wanted to be really elaborate you could have sings with clear beads hanging down from it too.

I hope you like the look :)

Review: Milani Baked Blush

Milani Baked Brushes

I remember back when I first started making You Tube videos one of the first palettes I bought on e-bay along, with the 120 and 88 palettes, was this amazing baked eyeshadow pallet. They were the same size as these and had a whole load of colours like blues, greens and pinks. But since then I haven’t really used baked blush, and they went out of fashion a bit, which is a shame because they really are fantastic.

I got three different shades, Corallina, Dolce Pink & Luminoso. I’m not as attached to the packaging for these as the Milani rose blushes, so in all likely hood these will end up de-potted and in my blush palette.

Milani Brush

The packaging isn’t the most sturdy, when you pick it up you can heat the blush inside rattle a little, and as for the little brush inside…well, they’re always terrible no matter what the brand so I’m not really going to cry about throwing away the packaging when the blush is de-potted.

Basics: Made in Italy • 3.5g  • Cruelty Free • £4.49

On the back of the packaging it reads “shapes, contours and highlights”. Personally I don’t think contouring with a baked blush is a good idea , but these are perfect for highlighting and blush (obviously if you’re using a different colour for highlighting).

Swatches

I have nothing bad to say about these really. They’re pigmented, gorgeous colours and look beautiful as blush and eyeshadow. Yes, I know they’re not marketed as eyeshadow, but you would be amazed at how many blushes make beautiful eyeshadows.

You can get these here (**)

Review: Züca Case vs. Travel Case

Zuca Case Review

The Züca bag was one of the things I heard of years ago, but resisted getting for a long time because I didn’t feel that it was value for money. Since then I’ve seen a few people use them, and after I saw Angie using one at IMATS I was sold. Since then I got my hands on my own case and, honestly, I can’t rave enough about how much I love it. However, like everything there are pro’s and cons, so today I though I would do a review on the Züca bag but also suggest an alternative.

The Züca Bag :

  • Pros: Rubber wheels (less chance of broken makeup)
  • Pros: Designed to be sat on
  • Pros: Easy to lift
  • Pros: Multiple pockets
  • Pros: Retractable handle
  • Pros: Compact
  • Cons: Expensive (£259)

Regular Case:

  • Pros: Affordable
  • Pros: Easy to buy
  • Cons: Less practical than the Zuca

Like I mention in the video the regular case is a perfectly usable alternative to the Züca bag. I’ve also mentioned a few ways for you to pack makeup in the regular case which is affordable and efficient. You can get the clear bags that I recommend here or in Superdrug, and as far as the bags are concerned I prefer the completely clear bags to the Züca ones just because I can see what is inside them at a glance and I don’t have to take them out of the case. I bought my Züca bag here via Amazon and the regular travel case was part of a set I bought a few years ago (also via Amazon).

I hope you like the review and find it helpful :)

Hammer vs. My Thumb

Smashed Thumb

I was hanging up a picture the other day and the thought occoured to me, what would my thumb look like if I really went for it and smashed my thumb under a mallet? Yes, I know, I’m a very morbid person, but on the plus side this tutorial would be dead handy for getting out of a class (or two).

All you need is some scar/nose wax, food colouring, a false nail and some food colouring

If you haven’t seen them already I have a bit of a revolting injuries series going on. There’s my ripped nail, stapled nail my needle accident nail and now this one.

I hope you like the new addition to my disgusting collection ;)

DIY: Cave Painting Jar

Cave

It looks like my Historical jars series has officially started. I had quite a few suggestions from you guys on themes you wanted me to do, Greek, Japanese, Medieval and Celtic were suggested, and I think I’m going to add a graffiti (banksy) inspired jar to that list.

This week I’m doing a jar inspired by the cave paintings at Lauscaux

If you have any requests, suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments. As you probably know by now I have a lot of jars, so I won’t be running out any time soon. So suggest away!

I hope you like the tutorial :)

Review: Smith Makeup Brushes

Disclaimer: I was given these brushes at IMATS NY.
Smith Makeup Brushes

While I was at IMATS NY I found a new brand of brushes which I had not seen before along with quite a few other amazing brands. It was actually quite funny how I saw them, I literally stopped in my tracks and turned around like someone had grabbed me.

I love how much these brushed feel and look like traditional art brushes

They’re study, lovely to use and feel so soft on the skin. Some of the brushes have natural hair and others are synthetic, so I’ll be mentioning with each brush what exactly they are made of and what their uses are.

Smith 113

Brush #118

A large powder brush with a 50/50 split of synthetic and real goat hair. I’ve used this brush for stippling foundation, applying blush and contour.

Brush #115

A smaller denser version of the #118, also with a 50/50 synthetic and real goat hair blend. My favourite use for this brush is contouring, especially contouring with colours which need to be worked into the skin a little more.

Brush #112

A large blending brush for contouring made from pure black goat hair. If you use the #115 for working contour into the skin then this one is perfect if you want to apply it with a lighter touch or to highlight.

Smith 202Brush #202

A micro liner brush made of synthetic sable. I LOVE this brush, it works exactly like some of my smaller detail art brushes, perfect for neat detailed eyeliner.

Brush #124

A small contour brush made from pony hair. I haven’t used this one much to be honest, but it’s one of those brushes that come in handy if you want to re-sculpt the shape of someones face and not have the softer effect a large fluffy blush brush would have.

Brush #122

Also made from packed pony, this brush is meant for highlighting (or strobing as everyone seems to be calling it now). If you’re doing something like drag makeup this one is also really good for applying eyeshadow on large areas.

Smith 214

Brush #214

A long angled spooly brush. For me I personally prefer disposable spoolies, especially if I’m working on clients, but then depending on your preferences this might be the kind of brush for you.

Brush #212

A tight-liner brush made out of synthetic sable. It’s dense, easy to clean and leaves a perfectly neat line. It’s one of those brushes I wish more brush companies would include in their kits. I can’t even count how many times I’ve used art/nail art brushes in my kit to get the kind of lines this one does.

Brush #211

A eyebrow brush made of soft and hard nylon fibres. Personally this is the one brush that is really not my thing since I prefer either a thin art brush (like the #202) or a very small blending brush for a softer look.

Smith Brushes236

Brush #232

A large goat hair blending brush. One thing I will say about this one (and the #230) is I wish that there had been a blend of synthetic and real goat hair like they did with the #118 and #115. Goat hair is one of those natural fibers which are very soft, pick up eyeshadow beautifully, but you need to be very careful with them after you’ve washed them. Unless you re-shape them after they’re wet, or use a brush guard while they’re drying they tend to splay out and loose their shape very easily. With other blending brushes I’ve used in the past, having a blend of natural and synthetic fibres made that less of an issue. It also helps to make the bristles a little more firm by having a mixture.

Brush #230:

A small goat hair crease brush, the baby sis of the #232.

Brush #220:

A finishing brush made of synthetic mongoose hair. I love this one if I need to apply more theatrical makeup and need large clean lines.

Smith 304

Brush #304

A small detailed lip brush made of synthetic sable. And here I was applying my lipstick with a rounded small nail art brush for years, again, I wish more companies included brushes like this in their kits. I also love this one for eyeliner, the curved edges make it a lot easier to get around the shape of the eye.

Brush #302

Another lip brush made of synthetic sable, except this one is angled and longer. I didn’t really know what to think of this brush at first, I’d never seen a lip art brush with this kind of shape before. But oh my gosh is it amazing! Much easier to apply lipstick on other people with

Brush #235

A goat hair, large pointed eyeshadow brush.  It’s a little too floppy for my tastes, I prefer eyeshadow brushes to be a little firmer. Not my favourite.

All the brushes have an antibacterial coating (silver nitrate powder) so you can use them like spatulas if you need to mix any makeup

My overall verdict is that I love most of these brushes, not all of them have ended up in my kit (the #235 and the #214 were not included) but most the rest of them are happily in my brush belt. They’re easy to clean, I’ve experienced very little shedding when I washed them, they didn’t skimp on the smaller detail brushes and they feel and work just like art brushes.

You can get them here

Review: Milani Colour Statement Lipsticks

Sangria Naturally Chic Dulce Caramelo

With Milani Cosmetics I’d mainly heard about the Milani blushes, but since I was picking up their blushes at the same time while I was in the States I thought I would give their lipsticks a shot too. They all come in standard lipstick packaging with colour swatches at the bottom and I picked up three colours, Sangria, Naturally Chic and Dulce Caramelo.

Basics: 3.97 g • Cruelty Free • Made in the USA • £3.69

All of the lipsticks are scented, I can’t place the smell exactly, but if I had to take a wild guess I would say a synthetic watermelon smell. It’s not the nicest smell but it’s not terrible either.

Milani Lipstick

Sangria:

A beautiful matte colour but very dry. It’s a bit of a pain in the neck to apply actually because it is so dry. On the plus side it lasts a little longer than the other two, between 3-4 hours (if you don’t eat or drink) and can be uses a little like a lip stain if dappled on lightly. But it’s not my favourite just because it’s so dry and tricky to apply evenly.

Naturally Chick:

A peachy beige colour with a little bit of subtle shimmer that is barely noticeable when applied. It applies evenly, has a creamy texture, is moisturising, but doesn’t last much longer that 2-3 hours before you need to re-apply.

Dulce Caramelo:

A pearl finish neutral lipstick. It feels a little ‘gritty’ while you apply it but once it’s on your lips it feels the same as any other lipstick. Also quite moisturising and with a staying power of about 2-3 hours without food or drink.

Lipstick

Overall they’re nice lipsticks. I can’t really say much else other than they’re just nice. Sangria I didn’t like, the colour was beautiful but the dryness was really off-putting.. The other colours are lovely though. They don’t beat the MUA lipsticks which are my favourites, so they won’t be replacing any colours in my kit any time soon, but if you’re looking for a nice affordable lipstick, especially if you’re in the US, these are pretty good.

You can get them here (**)