Fifty Shades of Galentine’s Day

Hey boo hey! How you livin’?

So let’s dive straight in. I recently told you all how much I love Valentine’s Day. This tends to confuse people, since I am the quintessential single girl about town. It’s not like I don’t like menz no more (I’m not #deliverdt). Idris just hasn’t arrived with my bride price yet, so I’m waiting patiently. In the meantime, I usually spend Valentine’s Day doing something fun/silly with the gals.

This year was no exception. A few years ago, the world was whipped into a tizzy of over-excitement by Fifty Shades of Grey, by new author E.L. James (I’m using “author” in the very loosest sense of the word here). The book was EVERYWHERE. Women were blushing on public transport, and passing it on to their friends. Now, I LOVE to read. I am obsessed. But when a book has such a massive PR budget that everyone is talking about it, I’m skeptical.

I love a heaving bosom and a throbbing manhood as much as the next girl (probably more). Filth is fab. But here’s the thing. It has to be The Good Kind of Filth. Just because your subject matter is naughty doesn’t mean you can do away with good writing and believable characters!

When I lived in Oz, my sidekick Rosie said “Bruv listen, this book is truly the worst thing you will ever read.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I read it, and it was The Worst. The characters were one-dimensional, the dialogue was hilariously teenaged, and even the S&M was contrived and on the tame side. Not that I know, myself! A friend told me *coughs*

So anyhoo when I heard that the movie was coming out on Valentine’s Day, I was delighted. I knew it would be hilarious and silly, with a side of wang. So I gathered up my darlings Miss I and Miss T, and we were off!

imagePhoto courtesy of Miss T ♥

The film was BRILLIANT in its badness. Unlike the book, it had some comedy value (no idea if it was intentional or not). We found it highly entertaining, and the back row was filled with cackles and shrieks. If you want a fun night out with your girls, go on ahead. No, you will not get Oscar-winning performances or a stunning screenplay… but look me in the eye and tell me that’s what you went for? Ok then.

So what did I wear? Mostly this:

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Coat: This Olivia-Pope-esque coat is just giving me so much life right now. It turns every outfit from drab to fab in seconds. I got it for £29 at a cheap shop somewhere between Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road tube stations.

Hat: This fierce hat is Gone with The Wind Fabulous and I plan on wearing it every day until the end of time. It’s especially useful in church, when Pastor starts to preach some serious truths and you need to fan yourself and scream out YES LAWD. £15 from the same cheap shop as the coat.

Scarf: I got this luxe faux fur situation from ASOS years ago. Think it was about £10.

Black bodysuit: Forever 21 Plus, from last year’s Vegas trip. Fits like a glove and I adore it. This was purchased during a wild F21 shopping frenzy so I can’t remember how much it cost.

Jeans: Marks & Spencer’s. I KNOW RIGHT?? For my international darlings, M&S is where your Mum & Auntie Janet go to buy their sensible twin-sets and A-line skirts. In earth tones. They’re trying to become a bit more modern though and I really like these jeans.

Black patent clutch: Always and forever, Primark. I want to say £8?

Now let’s get into the face real quick- I was going for saucy, salacious, you-know-you-want-some chic. I used the Sleek i-Divine eyeshadow palette in “Garden of Eden” for an Earth-goddess green smokey eye. Paired of course, with my favourite nude lip, “Tweek” by Sleek.

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I loved this look!

For more 50 Shades foolishness with a side of flawless fashion, check out my pumpkin Rosie’s 50 Shades of Oh Heyyyyy OOTD extravaganza.

So ladies (and gents, don’t be shy) let rip in the comments! Did you see the film? Did you delight in the badness of it all or were you clutching your pearls in shock?

Love,
Adjpants

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Christmas OOTD!

Hi darlings! How was Christmas?

Thought I’d post a little something for you to read while you play with your new Christmas pressies! What better day to share my first ever Outfit of The Day?

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I decided to serve Christmas realness in all black with my new Very Favourite Dress. This gorgeous long-sleeved black bodycon number is from River Island (£30).

I also picked up the urrings from River Island (£4). They’re adorable sparkly gold hoops because it’s Jesus’ birthday and it’s what he would have wanted.

I’m also wearing little ankle booties from my beloved Primark, which I picked up last autumn. I can’t remember how much they were exactly, but let’s face it, it was Primark so probably about a fiver LOL!

And now let’s get into the face yah?

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I went for luminous skin, bold brows, a smokey eye and a deep red lip.

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Here’s what I used to create this look.

Base:
MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in NW47
MAC Blot Powder/Pressed in Deep Dark
L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD in Fawn

Eyes:
Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palettes in Storm and Au Naturel
Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black Brown
Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara in Black

Cheeks:
Nars Blusher in Desire
Seventeen Shimmer Brick in Gold Bronze

Lips:
MAC lip pencil in Cherry
Revlon lipstick in Red Revival

Et voila! Instant holiday fierce! I hope you all had a wonderful day. Hugsies!

Love,
Adjpants

Review: Sleek Makeup True Colour Lipstick in “Tweek”

My liebchens, my darlings, my shnookums(es)! Hey! So let’s get straight into it- I have a new obsession I wanted to share with you guys. Because I love you, and also because I want you to join me in Buying All of The Things so I don’t feel guilty.

A few months ago I created an Olivia Pope-esque nude lip, using my favourite nude lipstick at the time, Maybelline’s “Autumn Rush.” Well see what had happened was… I’m now having a salacious affair with another nude lippie! *cue gasp*

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This dreamy nude lippie is Sleek Makeup’s True Colour Lipstick in “Tweek.” I adore this UK brand because they’re one of the few high street/drugstore makeup lines geared towards women of colour. I can’t even begin to describe the f*ckery and frustration I used to suffer, in the days before I could afford MAC products. I would be giving side-eye to the ONE (two if you were lucky) black-girl-friendly shade offered by Maybelline. It was usually called something like “Cocoa” or “Mocha” and it was always an ashy hot mess! Sleek filled a gap in the market, and over the years I’ve become really impressed with their product offering and pricing. I mean just look at this lushness!

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 #HeyBoo

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Ladylike perfection.

What I love most about this lipstick is that it slicks on like a dream, and stays on comfortably for hours. You could change it up for 90s chic by lining the outside of your lips with a chocolate-brown lip pencil. Or for maximum 2014 festive slayage, slick some gold-hued shimmer over the top.

Getchu some! Do you have a fave nude lipstick?

Love,
Adjpants

Putting Your Face on with Adjpants: Smokey Sexytime Eyes Edition

Previously published by the sweethearts at The Toast

My Toastini sweethearts! Hiiiii! This month we’re talking about hawtness. There are times when you need to crank the sexy up to max. When you want to serve serious face, turn heads, maybe snap a few necks in the process. Perhaps you have an uber glam event. A hot date. Or maybe it’s just Tuesday. Who cares? Listen! You never need a reason to look beautiful. My go-to look for such occcasions is the famous smokey eye/ nude lip combo. We want a soft smudgy eye, power brows, and pouty lips with a slick of opulent gloss. I’m talking “turn off the lights, light a candle” over here. Observe.

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But before we begin. Are there any of you out there reading this and feeling a bit dubious? Maybe you’re a bit worried about trying a bolder look. Maybe you’re concerned that it’ll be too much? Or, horror of horrors, are you thinking “But I’m not sexy.” I demand that you STOP before you go and break my heart. You are a gorgeous thing- a force to be reckoned with, even without a hint of makeup on your face. Playing with colours doesn’t have to be frightening, my darlings. It should be fun, fabulous, and enhance your already lovely features. Any look can be as bold or gentle as you like. So take a deep breath and say it with me- “I am fierce. I am sexy. And everyone will just have to fucking deal.” Yes! Join me! TONIGHT, WE RIDE! *charges into battle brandishing lip gloss*

Huzzah! Now that we’re feeling pumped, let’s get straight into this look. As always, start with a cleansed, toned and moisturized face.

Products used:

MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in NW47: You may remember that I like to use foundation as a concealer to cover any blemish-esque foolishness on my face. Use a flat concealer or foundation brush to get an even finish. Pro tip: Use the back of your hand as a palette- simply drop a dollop of foundation on your hand and wait about 30 seconds before applying. The warmth of your skin will actually start to melt the foundation. This helps the foundation blend in a gloriously smooth fashion.

MAC Studio Fix Powder in N9: As always, try and use a nice fluffy powder brush. I love the big vintage-style powder brushes, and I urge you to waste a few minutes unnecessarily dusting your face and pretending to be Marilyn Monroe. Once you’ve finished your breathy rendition of “Happy Birthday Mr President” go ahead and buff the powder onto your face in a circular motion.

YSL Touche Eclat Highlighter in Shade 6: For a bold eye like this, it’s important to make sure we banish any dark circles. After using your concealer to colour-correct, highlight to add that OOMPH. I always sometimes wake up after a late night of playing Fruit Ninja until I pass out and drop my phone on my face reading about global politics and this amazing highlighter does wonders for under my eyes. It’s a glorious gleaming potion that’s roughly two shades lighter than my concealer. It also contains light-reflecting particles to add a beautiful sheen. Dot your highlighter (or any concealer two shades lighter than your skin tone) under your eyes in a sort of triangle shape alongside your nose. Also apply highlighter down the bridge of your nose and under the arch of your eyebrows. Bam!

BYS Eyeshadow Palette in “Smokey Chic”: Get the right eyeshadow palette and it will do most of the work for you. This divine little kit cost me something like $0.00 when I was Down Under- and most drugstore brands do something similar. It contains 5 shades, ranging from a pearly gold to a deep brown to a charcoal black. So as always, all you have to do is tailor for your skin tone! Don’t feel you have to use black- if you have a lighter complexion you could use the chocolate brown as your darkest shade.

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Now! You’re going to love how easy this smokey eye is to create. Worried you might need fancy expensive brushes? NOT SO. Have you got fingers? Yes? Then we’re good to go! Start by selecting your darkest shade and smoosh some onto your pinky finger. Aim for the outer corner of your eyelid and pat it gently on. Lightly drag the colour into the natural crease of your eye socket, and in towards the middle of your eyelid. Now go for the second darkest colour (this could be a brown or a grey or a bronze) in your palette and pat that into the inner half of your eyelid. Be gentle, and just use your finger to blend any harsh lines. Have fun with it and experiment- it’s a lazy sexy smokiness we’re going for here.

The finishing touch is to go for the lightest shade in your palette to highlight the inner corner of your eyes. This makes your eyes look bigger, and adds a pop to set off the surrounding smokiness. Once again just use your finger to dab the pearly shadow into the inner corner of your eye. Et voila.

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Bourjois Liquid Liner: Ok so I know there’s a lot of trepidation when it comes to creating the perfect winged eyeliner. Lesser women should be afraid, but not us. Oh no- we can do this. All it takes is some deep breaths and a lot of practice. Also the right tools make this a breeze! Look out for a nice jet-black liner in pen form. Most of them tend to look a bit like a marker, with a fine point.

Start by creating your “tail” first. Hold your eyelid taut with a finger and aim for a point halfway along the lash line. Create a bold line and continue outwards and upwards.

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YOU DID IT! Have a celebratory cookie. Mmm. Nice. Now continue to carefully draw in your liner- sometimes it helps to start off with a really thin line and slowly build up to the desired thickness.

Rimmel Kohl Liner: This step is so simple, but it can really be the difference between “You look really nice” and “I MUST HAVE YOU IMMEDIATELY” All you need is a lovely black soft kohl liner pencil. These smudgy wonders are perfect for this kind of sultry look. They create a bold yet soft eye with gorgeous depth. Right before applying, just warm the tip of the pencil between your fingers for a sec (ooh make sure your hands are nice and clean). Now gently pull down your lower lid and apply to the bottom waterline. Look how much of a difference that makes!

MAC Sheertone Blush in Sweet as Cocoa: For this look we don’t want a bold blush- the focus is on the eyes yah? But we still want just a hint of warmth and colour on the cheeks. So for example, my fair-skinned lovelies could try a warm pink. My olive-skinned and medium brown ladies could go for a nice bronze with a hint of pink. My deep brown sweeties could opt for a bronze/gold or bronze/pink. Swirl onto the apples of your cheeks and then arc upwards along your cheekbones for a sculpted finish.

MAC Eyebrow pencil in Stud: Ok so let’s talk brows for a hot minute! The perfect set of eyebrows will frame your face and generally increase the awesomeness of your life by 200% (SCIENCE) I would recommend getting your eyebrows shaped professionally, and then maintain the glorious shape by tweezing errant hairs. I’m a huge fan of eyebrow threading, where a trained beautician twists thread around the individual hairs and pulls them out. It’s so much better for your skin than waxing! The skin around the eye area tends to be thinner and more delicate, so hot wax coupled with too much pulling on the skin = badness (MORE SCIENCE). And most importantly, you get a cleaner, sharper shape with threading. I’m talking brows so sharp that they could cut a grown man’s face. Gals, here are some reasons why you need a well-shaped eyebrow for daily life: a) Arching one’s brow when suffering fools b) Serving imperious face to aforementioned fools.

So! Use tiny strokes and follow your natural arch. Don’t press down too hard or try to draw in the entire brow from end to end. It will look fake and slightly startling, like “HELLO I HAVE ALL OF THE BROWS HI.” Pro-tip: Never fill in the very inner end of your brow- this part should look as natural as possible. Extra Pro-tip: Even if you have very dark hair, never use a black eyebrow pencil- black is a flat and harsh colour which never looks flattering. Opt for the darkest brown you can find instead. Start from the outer ends first and work your way inwards, lightening the strokes for a natural gradient effect.

Maybelline Volum’Express Cat-Eyes mascara: As always, my pro-tip is to concentrate on the outer top lashes for a wide-eyed effect. I usually apply one coat of mascara, wait a couple of moments and then apply a second coat. For a look like this, we need to ensure that we definitely bring sexy back so make sure you catch every lash. Work your way slowly from the root all the way to the tip. I usually then use the very tip of the mascara brush to lightly run over the ends of the lashes- this adds a bit of length and lift.

Iman Luxury Lip Shine in Expose: This final step is amazing in its simplicity. Choose a lip gloss that nearly matches your natural lip colour. If it has a hint of shimmer, even better! Smoosh on your lips. Smack ’em together in a wanton fashion. DONE!

And there you have it! Serve with a strut, unnecessarily high heels, and this level of sass:

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Hope you enjoyed this my darlings! I’d love to hear back from you- what would you like to chat about next month? Ooh and also it made my little heart glad to receive beauty questions from some of you on Le Twitter. Please do feel free to ask away at any time. Whatever I’m doing, you can bet your sweet ass I’d rather be talking about lipstick instead…

Love,
Adjpants

p.s. Ermagahd guys I’m so sorry about the quality of these pics. They look like they were taken on the set of Days of Our Lives. Photos outchea looking like struggle. Promise to use better lighting next time. Also this column is about a year old now so look out for an updated smokey eye tutorial coming soon! xo

Putting your Face on With Adjpants: Winter Glow Edition

Oh hey boos! It’s been a long time and I shouldn’t have left you (left you), without a dope beat to step to. Things have been cray cray on my end, but I continue to count my blessings and serve face at all times. I’ve missed you all so much. I promise to do better. Now why not treat yo’self to one of my favourite beauty columns from earlier this year, previously published by my lovelies at The Toast?

My darlings, my loves, my moons and stars! How are you all? I’m so excited to be coming to you this new year, full to bursting with new beauty ideas. Today’s featured look was inspired by my annual vacation. Once a year I’m lucky enough to jet off to Nigeria and spend Christmas with my family. After three years of blazing-hot Australian Decembers, winter in London was thoroughly kicking my ass. I was thrilled to escape.

Every time I arrive home I fall drunk in love with the climate and the sheer gloriousness of life in the tropics. The lush bursts of colour, the heat, the sumptuous shades of green. Within minutes of putting down my suitcase, I have a spring in my step and a swish in my hips.

So in keeping with this vibe, today’s look is all about SHINE BABY SHINE, with an exotic pop of colour! Forget every damn thing you know about winter makeup. Not for us the dark plum lip and pasty face. No thanks. We’re about that shimmery bronze, golden-toasted, glowing from within, dewy life. That coupled with a splash of hot pink gloss that makes heads turn. Makes people do a double-take. Brings all the boys (and girls… hell, brings everyone) to the yard.

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We’re aiming for a Club-Tropicana-drinks-are-free type situation. Fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone. Girl didn’t you get the memo?

So! Are you all sitting comfortably? Cocktails in hand? Then I’ll begin.

Now even though this is a tropical summery look, let’s face the facts. It is winter and freezing cold outside, so let’s make sure we protect our faces accordingly. This is a gorgeous dewy look so it’s time to get uber-serious about moisturizer. Start with a lovely clean face. In the winter I like to use a nice nourishing face wash like Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash. My skin behaves better when I use fragrance-free, vitamin-rich products on it.

Follow with a nourishing toner. On these sub-zero days, I like to treat myself to something gentle like an organic rosewater and glycerin toner. This vintage favourite will freshen your skin, get rid of any grime left lurking in your pores, and prepare your face for moisturizer and makeup. As if that wasn’t enough, it smells like a rose garden after a soft rain. Rain made of a baby cherub’s tears.

Make sure you cleanse-tone-moisturise in quick succession. Your pores will be nice and open after being bathed in warm water, and this way you lock in all the moisture before your skin dries completely. In the winter, I am absolutely LIVING for Olay Complete UV Protection Daily Lotion. It’s rich and lovely, without turning my face into an oil slick. I have combination/oily skin but for my gals with dry/sensitive skin, you may want to add an extra step to your moisturizer game in winter. Simply use a serum and allow a few seconds to sink in before moisturising. You don’t need to mess around with astoundingly expensive branded serums- ain’t nobody got time for dat. I’d recommend organic cold-pressed rosehip oil. This gorgeous orangey-red oil is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, and it is everything you have ever needed in life. It makes your skin look plump and lush, and helps to even skin tone and prevent wrinkles. A little goes a very long way, so just put a few drops in your palm and massage into your skin before moisturising.

Right! Time to rage against the dying of the (winter) light. Ready?

Products used:

MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in NW47: I actually use this divine foundation as a concealer to cover any blemishes. I know most gals use foundation over their entire face but this seems to work for me. Experimentation is key darlings! Use a flat concealer or foundation brush to get an even finish.

MAC Studio Fix Powder in N9: Use a delightfully fluffy powder brush. Buff the product into your skin in a circular motion. Try to build up the coverage as you go along- it’s much better than going in too heavy right at the start. Remember, we want dewy-fresh. Not cake-face… *goes into wistful reverie about cake and has to be nudged back to the present*

YSL Touche Eclat Highlighter in Shade 6: NOW LADIES. Let’s talk about highlighting. Using a cream highlighter is a game changer and adds an extra dimension of awesome to your already breathtaking face. What we initially want to highlight/brighten are the areas where shadow tends to fall on your face. Under-eye circles, we’re looking at you. I absolutely love YSL Touche Eclat- this genius fluid contains tiny light-reflecting particles that scream “fabulous” and “bright” and “divine!” Pro tip: This product is a bit pricey so you can always make your own version! Simply use a concealer two shades lighter than your skin tone and mix with a bit of cream highlighter (most drugstore brands will have them, either with a pink or golden finish) before applying.

So dot your highlighter under your eyes- be bold and widen the coverage a bit to really cover all of that darkness. Now use your finger to gently blend. Make sure you blur any harsh lines. See what a difference that makes? The other areas we want to highlight are:

1. The area on your forehead just between your eyebrows
2. Under your eyebrows- use a small concealer brush to create a line of highlighter following the arch of your brows, and thoroughly blend downwards with your finger
3. Down the bridge of your nose
4. In your cupid’s bow (this subtly draws attention to your lovely lips- ooh your suitors don’t stand a chance do they?)
5. Your chin

Blend, baby, blend! But before you do, feel free to cavort around in front of the mirror with random strokes of highlighter on your face. It’s fun.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Raspberry: This gorgeous cream blush is a deep pink with a nice sheen. Of course you can just use your fave blush- do go for something a bit deeper though, to get that colour pop. Swirl onto the apples of your cheeks and then arc upwards along your cheekbones for a sculpted finish.

Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick in Gold Bronze: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and this shimmer brick is the sun. My love for this powder highlighter is deep, strong and true. Basically these pallets are a set of complementary shimmering colours which you can use in two ways: You can sweep your brush lightly across all the colours and highlight your face, or you can use the shades individually as eyeshadows. Le swoon. I got this version super cheap at Boots (British drugstore) but there are numerous other versions out there. Cheap as chips: Rimmel, Bourjois and Max Factor all have bronzing highlighters available. Pricier: Bobbi Brown made the original shimmer brick, and MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighters are EVERYTHING.

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So for this look we’re going to be using the “sweep across” technique. We’re basically amping up what we did with the cream highlighter. Like this:

1. Sweep your blusher brush lightly across all shades of the shimmer brick. LIGHTLY being the operative term here dolls. Blow off any excess
2. Now sweep the highlighter gently above where you applied your blusher. We want a gentle sheen on the cheekbones for maximum lust-worthiness
3. Next lightly dust under your eyebrows (brow bone area), down the bridge of your nose, and your chin. Just the lightest touch will do- we just want to enhance the areas where light naturally hits your face
4. Use the brightest shade in the palette to highlight the inner corners of your eyes. I just smoosh some of the colour onto my pinky finger and apply to the innermost corners of my upper and lower eyelids
5. Step back and admire your handiwork. You look HAWT.

Now to finish up…

Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown: Start with a sharpened pencil. Use tiny strokes and follow your natural arch. Start from the outer ends first and work your way inwards, lightening the strokes for a natural gradient effect.

Maybelline Volum’Express Cat-Eyes mascara: As always, my pro-tip is to concentrate on the outer top lashes for a wide-eyed effect. I like to apply my first coat of mascara, wait a couple of moments and then apply a second coat. Fabulous tip for lower lashes- hold the brush vertically and use the very tip of it to dab the mascara on. Instant va-va voom. I didn’t even know I had lower lashes until I started using this technique.

Barry M Moisturising Lipstick in Shocking Pink: Now darlings, I know bright lipstick can be a bit daunting. And I know we’re really pushing the envelope here wearing brights in winter when we should be wearing plum shades. But who is going to be fool enough to check us? NOBODY. We’re going to look fabulous and trust me when I reassure you that yes, you too can wear bright colours on your lips. It’s all about confidence. Ok? Ok! So make sure your lips are nice and moisturised because bright colours will show up any flakiness. I like to exfoliate my lips using Vaseline and an old toothbrush. For this look, I chose hot pink but you could use any bright colour you want. A bright red lipstick with an orange tone would look fab too. Apply your lipstick and cover with a clear gloss for added shine and fullness.

And we’re done! Effortless, shiny glam. Winter is going to be all like “Oh… oh ok. I should go.”

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I hope you enjoyed reading, my darling Toastinis! I can’t wait to hear from you all. Will you be trying this look for your next hot date/party/trip to the wholefoods store?

Love,
Adjpants

It’s a Scandal: The Olivia Pope Nude Lip

From the moment I first saw Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, I was SLAIN. The crisp suits with tailoring so sharp it’d have your eye out, the immaculate hair and those luscious cream silk blouses… I needed it all. Immediately, if not sooner. But it was Ms Pope’s flawless makeup that had me ready to launch into songs of praise and worship.

She was serving pristine, glowing skin, a softly defined eye with a bad-ass cut crease, and perfectly lined nude lips. I was besotted by the lips in particular, so I set about trying to recreate this look on myself. Et voila!

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While my face did not take on the dreamy perfection that is Kerry Washington, I was really happy with the result. So pour yourself an Olivia Pope-sized glass of wine (you may need a bucket to properly replicate the volume we’re talking about), and throw a cream cashmere cardigan over your silk pajamas. Sit comfortably while I tell you how I created the perfect nude lip. Turn off that damn phone though- I don’t want Fitz calling while we’re talking lipstick. Effing Fitz… with his effing face… but DON’T get me started!

1. Anyhoo I started by prepping my lips (or as my baby brother used to say, lipses). Olivia Pope doesn’t look like she permits crusty lips at Pope & Associates, so get your life together girl. I usually use a teensy bit of facial scrub (my go-to is Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Scrub) on my lips in the shower to keep ’em super soft. I then moisturise with Lucas PawPaw Ointment, my beloved beauty all-rounder from Australia. If anyone is looking for a super cheap dupe to Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, this is it!

2. Time to get nude people! Finding your perfect nude lipstick is a rite of passage, and once you do, life will be fabulous. Mine is Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in “Autumn Rush”. It’s a sort of creamy light brown with just the right amount of pale pink undertone. So just apply your lippy and admire it for a sec. Urgh. Look. At. You. Perfection!

3. Grab a complementary lip liner- I went with a dark brown to add some depth: CoverGirl Brow & Eye Maker in “Midnight Brown”. Carefully line the edges of your lips, all the way round ( keep it light, ladies- this ain’t the 90s).

4. To finish, add a small amount of nude gloss to the center of your bottom lip. My favourite is Iman Cosmetics Luxury Lip Shine in “Expose”. Lightly press your lips together to blend, making sure the gloss is evenly distributed and there are no harsh edges from the liner. Here’s the end result!

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This nude lip is perfect for any look. Pair it with a smokey eye for ooh-la-la hotness, or with flawless skin and lashings of mascara for everyday chic.

So what do you think, my darlings? You like? Who else has been slain by Scandal? Can’t wait to hear from you!

Love,
Adjpants

 

 

 

Putting Your Face On with Adjpants

Sweethearts! You may remember me excitedly harping on about how I was once the Beauty Correspondent at The Toast. It was an absolute blast and I loved every minute. I’ve decided to share my previous beauty columns with you lovely people- so get yours! Huge shout out to the legendary Mallory Ortberg, Co-editor of Awesomeness, for the title: “Putting Your Face On With Adjpants.” This was my very first column.

This is the story of how an awkward, funny-looking teenager became an awkward (funny-looking but working it) woman who loves make-up, nail art and all things sparkly.

Now darlings when I say I was awkward, I feel like you don’t yet understand the severity of the situation. Please see conclusive evidence below:

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Is that clearer now? May I direct your attention to the glasses which covered approximately 99% of my face? The half-up-half-down side pony? And I presume you SEE that scrunchie?

So growing up I just accepted that I was never going to be pretty. Instead I concentrated on quietly blending into the background. But you know how sometimes a person comes crashing into your life and shakes things up? When I was in my early 20s I became friends with an absolute glamazon. I was intimidated by her swishy-shiny hair and immaculate make-up, but she turned out to be lovely and warm. She took me under her wing, and one day she asked if she could try some make-up on me. Just this once. When she finally handed me the mirror afterwards I sat there in disbelief. It was me- but the best possible version of me. Defined. Glowing. I suddenly sat up straighter and lifted my chin. From that day on I stopped trying to blend in and started learning how to stand out.

I started asking for advice at beauty counters, and voraciously watching YouTube videos to teach myself tricks. As I gained confidence, I incorporated the tips into my everyday routine. Make-up is an art form, and your (gorgeous) face is the canvas.

But before painting your face, you gotta take care of that base (poetry y’all)! I am a huge advocate of natural skincare, having grown up in a household where aloe vera gel was the answer to everything. Insect bite? Get the aloe. Rash? GET. IT. Leg fell off? Child, what did I tell you about getting that damn aloe?

These are my natural skincare faves:

Aloe vera gel: Incredible for skin irritation. Aloe gel is to pimples what Chuck Norris is to bad guys. Always look for the purest gel possible- most wholefoods stores sell a 99% organic aloe gel. I use it every night as a sort of face mask. Avoiding the eye area, smear on a thin layer and let it dry before bedtime.

Tea tree oil: This antibacterial oil is also fab for skin irritations or minor infections. Because I’m hardcore I get the 100% pure essential oil and use it neat. If you have more sensitive skin, look out for it as a blended oil. When I get those epic chin pimples I just dab this on directly, and the spot usually disappears by the next day. Quick note- this stuff is STRONG yo! Wash your hands after using it or you’ll forget, touch your eyes, and shriek in tingly burny agony.

Witch hazel and Rosewater: These are my favorite natural toners. The former is a glorious astringent skin cleanser. It removes excess oils and whatever grime may be lurking in your pores, waiting to cause trouble right before a hot date. The latter is pure vintage- you may remember seeing a bottle of Glycerine & Rosewater on your mum’s dressing table as a kid. I don’t need to tell you that mums are ALWAYS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING, including this toner. It gently refreshes and cleanses your skin without over-drying, and you’ll smell like an exotic rose garden. I recommend the witch hazel for oilier skin, and rosewater for the more sensitive gals. Remember- as always look for these two in their purest forms! In fact just take up residence at your local wholefoods store. The staff are usually nice, knowledgeable, and likely to feed you free almonds.

Coconut oil: I cannot possibly overstate this. Coconut oil is everything you have ever needed. Frizzy hair? Gone. Dry skin? BANISHED. This miracle oil is a beauty all-rounder. Go and buy some, I beseech you. Ask for organic extra virgin coconut oil; it’s cold-pressed to maintain the nutrients. Not only can you baste yourself in it daily, you can also cook with it or eat it straight from the jar. The oil is solid at room temperature, so just pop the bottle in some hot water before use.

I actually make most of my hair and skin products out of these few ingredients. Making your own concoctions is fun, easy and cheap! Otherwise look out for great natural skincare ranges and use this simple tip: Always read the ingredients. Remember they’re listed in order of greatest quantity first. So if you’re buying “pure aloe vera shampoo” and aloe is listed near the end of the ingredients, you have been caught in a web of DECEIT. Don’t stand for it honey.

Now on to my two favourite looks!

The Girl Next Door

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This is my standard everyday look. The idea is to look fresh, glowing and effortlessly fabulous. So much so that people will exclaim “Gosh you’re looking well!” And you can nonchalantly flick your hair and say “Oh, these old rags?” The key to this look is luminous skin, flushed cheeks, and a nude lip. I’m usually a MAC gal but you can easily recreate this look using any of your fave cosmetics! Products used:

MAC Pro-longwear concealer in NW50: I start by using this darker concealer shade to cover any blemishes on the darker parts of my face, like under my chin
MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in MW47: I then use this lighter foundation shade to conceal any other blemishes
Bare Minerals Loose powder in Golden Deep: Set the concealer with a mineral powder and fluffy powder brush. Mineral powders give light coverage with a natural glow
MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Thing: This is a pinky shade with subtle gold shimmer. Swirl on the apples of your cheeks and then arc upwards along your cheekbones for a sculpted finish
Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown: Use tiny strokes and follow your natural arch. Start from the outer ends first and work your way inwards, lightening the strokes for a natural gradient effect
Maybelline Volum’Express Cat-Eyes mascara: Concentrate on the outer top lashes for a wide-eyed effect
Maybelline lipstick in Pink Sizzle: A very subtle nude/pink with a tiny bit of shimmer- just slick this on over some lip balm

You’re done! Go on with your bad self!

The Pin-Up Girl

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When I want to crank up the glamour, I go for a vintage bombshell look. This look is all about immaculate skin, big defined eyes, bold brows and a perfectly lined red lip. Products used:

MAC Pro-longwear concealer in NW50: As above darlings.
MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in MW47: Again, as above.
MAC Studio Fix powder in N9: For a sophisticated look like this one, go for a powder foundation, which will have more coverage than a sheer powder
MAC Sheertone Blush in Ambering Rose: Use a warm neutral toned blush for this look, as the focus should be on the eyes and lips.
Benefit BrowZings kit in Dark: Define those brows girl- I love this kit because it comes with a dark wax to shape, and a matching powder to set!
Rimmel Masterliner in Black: You want a winged eyeliner with this look. Subtle or bold, it’s up to you! Gently pull your closed eyelid taut with your finger while you apply
Benefit Bad Gal Lash mascara: Use the lushest, most voluminous mascara you have, or opt for a set of thick falsies
MAC lipliner in Cherry and Maybelline lipstick in Red Revival: Roll up your sleeves and sharpen your lipliner- it just got REAL in here. Start by carefully lining your cupids bow. If you want to exaggerate it for a more pouty look, why not? Outline the rest of your lip shape, using small strokes. Tip: Fill in your lips completely with the pencil, focusing on the inner corners, because these are the areas that wear off first. Then follow with your lipstick. Blot on a tissue and reapply your lipstick for maximum staying power.

Done! Now go and stand on a conveniently placed air vent in a flowy white dress.

Now let’s talk about my love for nail art. I was always an art geek and it was a natural progression to start experimenting with colour on my nails. My mum (who is one of the most incredible and glamorous women I know) used to have this huge tub chock-full of nail polish. I always had my hot little hands in there, and would re-do my nails several times a day. I would paint each nail a different colour, dust them with glitter, glue on gems. I then started using trimmed paintbrushes to add patterns and shapes.

I feel like nail art is just another mode of self-expression, another way of saying “HEY WORLD, I’m here and this is what I’m about.” And it’s really not as hard as it looks! Here are a few of my favourite designs so far:

Pic4So my dears, I’m really looking forward to sharing some more of my tips with you! I am by no means an expert; I’m just in it for the love of the game.

For me, make-up has never been a mask to hide behind. On the contrary, experimenting with it can actually teach you to make the very best of what you’ve been blessed with. In my case, it helped a painfully shy girl come out of her shell.

Love,
Adjpants