Today's post marks the start of a new series on TGG; The Almanac is [on my part] an attempt to establish an element to this site which puts products into practice. Part-way between my standard beauty edits and my Beauty Experience series, I intend it to render your TGG experience a little more proactive and informative, which I hope will appeal at least to the creative 'hands-on' types amongst you, and offer a secondary form of engagement beyond simply reading and commenting. More than just a step-by-step tutorial, each post will delve a little deeper into the ideas, concepts, and inspirations behind the topic in question, hopefully inspiring you to put your own spin upon each look. Some will build upon prior product reviews, some will demonstrate brand's seasonal collections, and others will attempt to decipher the latest big beauty trends, a realistic interpetation on catwalk beauty if you will.
My mind is already jam-packed with ideas, and there are an exciting few weeks of content already planned, but do let me know if there are any particular looks, techniques, or products that you would like to see featured in the future. For now though, I'm kicking The Almanac off with a bang in the form of a case study on one of Charlotte Tilbury's wonderful looks, 'The Sophisticate'.
The Sophisticate is an elegant statement look that is flattering on everyone, a demonstration of an effortlessly chic, classic beauty that enhances and perfects one's natural features.
A look that retains its versatility in both the long-term and the short-term requires a certain specification : soft, elegant, and utterly classic. This look can turn its hand to any outfit, occasion, time, or age; for the combination of a subtle smokey eye, naturally flushed cheeks, and a soft, nude lip is one that has retained its appeal and never looks outmoded, no matter what the current trend or fashion. It's no surprise that this look is inspired by intelligent beauty icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O, and Natalie Portman, women whose unassuming yet enduringly chic styles transcend time and season, maintaining their fashion icon status from one decade to the next.
The trick to mastering a subtle and sophisticated smokey eye? A light hand and copious blending. Offering four perfectly harmonious matte neutral shades, the Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Sophisticate* is effortlessly wearable and universally flattering, providing countless opportunity for any number of looks; from chic and natural for everyday, to intense and smokey for the evening [and everything between]. Use a regular eyeshadow brush to blend the 'Prime' shade up and over the lid, right up to the brow. Take a crease brush and place the 'Enhance' shade in the outer corner of the lid, then use the brush to find the socket and blend into and across the crease in a half-moon motion. Using a smudge brush, define the upper and lower lash lines with a more concentrated application of the 'Enhance' shade to create a sultry but delicate wash of smudged pigment. To intensify the look, use a crease brush and lightly apply the 'Smoke' shade to the outer corner of the eye, and across the crease and upper lash line before blending well. Then use a finger to dab a little of the 'Pop' shade in the centre of the lid, before gently blending out the edges. When blending, do so with care and don't be tempted to dust across the entire lid, which will create a single wash that loses the shape and definition.
Using the wonderfully creamy Classic Audrey Eyeliner*, apply a precision line of pigment as close to the natural lash line as possible in order to create smooth and subtle definition from the inner corner to the outer. The formula of this liner is quite unlike any pencil I have ever used - it's smooth, inky, and soft, making it incredibly easy to apply - it can easily be applied thicker and blended out with a smudge brush for an amplified smokey effect. Finally, apply Full Fat Lashes Mascara in long, deliberate sweeps, concentrating upon the outer lashes to create an elongated effect.
To add definition, take a tapered contour brush and lightly dust a little of the 'Sculpt' shade from Filmstar Bronze & Glow under the cheekbones, along the hairline, and under the jawline. Use a large powder brush to gently blend the pigment outward for a subtle infusion of sun kissed illumination across the face.
Use wide, circular motions to dust Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire* along the cheekbones - the soft pink creates a delicate, natural-looking flush that nicely offsets the drama of the eyes and the finely milled powder makes this effortless to apply without danger of a garish result, even for the novice. For an additional warm injection of colour, dot Beach Stick in Formentera* onto the apples of the cheeks then use your fingers to diffuse any harsh edges and blend the colour backwards towards the ears. The warm berry-toned shade appears much less intense when applied, instead offering a fresh, sheer hint of radiance that enlivens the complexion with both colour and sheen.
Finish the base off with a dusting of the 'Highlight' shade from Filmstar Bronze & Glow, starting on the tops of the cheekbones and extending up and round in a half-moon motion towards the forehead, before brushing any excess down the nose.
Trace Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk* just outside the lip line to create the appearance of a full, defined pout. The nude-pink shade is perfectly formulated to allow for seamless outlining, definition, and enhancement of the lips. Firm enough to sketch a precise line but soft enough to blend, it never fails to prevent lipstick from bleeding and feathering and can be paired with lipstick of any shade.
This look balances out the dark drama of the eye with a lighter, more modest-looking lipstick. K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Hepburn Honey* is the perfect brown-toned nude, and contains light-diffusing particles that provide a full-bodied, plumping effect. I favour applying this with a concealer brush for deliberate application without the harsh edge that often comes hand-in-hand with use of a lip brush. Those with dry lips will adore this product, for its ingredients lineup is specifically formulated to enrich, protect, and hydrate the lips - use leaves my own uncharacteristically soft and smooth. Without a doubt the most hydrating and weightles lipstick I have ever used.
For added intensity and dimension [and a foolproof way to take this look from day to night in less than a minute], press on a little Lip Lustre in High Society*. The result is full-bodied lips, high-shine, a creamy texture, and unadulterated colour payoff. The perfect finishing touch.
The Sophisticate is just one of Charlotte Tilbury's ten distinctive looks, each of which are inspired by iconic beauties of past and present, and aims to recreate a signature look in as concise and achievable a way possible. From 'Rock Chick' through to 'Golden Goddess' and 'Vintage Vamp', there really is something for everyone...