GRACE'S FACE : THE BIRTHDAY EDIT
IN CONTRAST TO THE TYPICALLY PARED BACK APPROACH I TAKE THE REST OF THE YEAR, THERE’S NO TIME LIKE your birthday TO ALLOW ONE’S INNER EXHIBITIONIST TO EMBRACE COLOUR AND GLITTER WITH FULL FORCE. and the best thing about a january birthday? After a December’S WORTH OF FESTIVE PARTIES AND CHRISTMAS SOIREES, THE glam LOOK IS PERFECTED. AHEAD OF AN EVENING OF FOOD, DRINKS, DANCING, and laughter WITH MY CLOSEST GIRLFRIENDS, THESE WERE THE PRODUCTS I REACHED FOR.
For nights out I use SMASHBOX's Photo Finish Foundation Primer* after prepping my skin with a face mask and a layer of CLARINS’ Beauty Flash Balm*. I typically reserve this primer for occasions where I know that my makeup is going to be up against some major stressors; it’s the only thing that keeps my base looking as fresh at 4am as it did at 6pm [no matter how many cocktails have been consumed]. The texture is quite unusual - a clear gel that transforms into a silky and almost oil-like fluid upon contact with the skin, drying down to a perfectly smooth matte surface. I then use LAURA MERCIER's Secret Camouflage Brush to apply my concealer; it’s the perfect shape for depositing just the right amount of product to a very precise area. I’m currently using BOBBI BROWN's Creamy Corrector* which is really highly pigmented but super creamy, so I can blend it in with my fingers without loosing the coverage. I always use a separate concealer under my eyes as I prefer a liquid texture that won't crease or look too heavy. I’ve been using the same tube of NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer* for ages because a little goes a long long way. The shade is perfect - it completely evens out any discolouration and has a subtle brightening effect.
CLARINS’ Everlasting Foundation is my go-to on a night out [I find it applies best with a densely bristled brush like ZOEVA's Silk Finish Brush*]. It’s full coverage, but has the most amazing sheer, silky texture that feels completely weightless, like I’m not even wearing foundation at all. What’s more, it blends in effortlessly and looks just like bare skin, but with a healthy glow that is an infinite improvement upon my dull January complexion. It’s one of those bases that somehow looks better as the hours pass by, and [as the name suggests] lasts all night long. To contour I like KEVYN AUCOIN's Sculpting Powder, which is the perfect cool, ashy colour for light skintones. It takes a while to get used to because the formula is super pigmented, but with copious blending, application results in a really natural, sculpted look. I wasn't so keen on the powder formula at first, but it’s really grown on me - you can literally give anyone killer cheekbones with this stuff. I always use the REAL TECHNIQUES Contour Brush to apply it to my cheekbones and the edges of my face before blending it in well using the REAL TECHNIQUES Buffing Brush.
After that I like URBAN DECAY's Afterglow Blush - I use Score, which is a warm, peach pink with flecks of subtle gold shimmer, perfect for an evening look. I find that with a lot of powder blushers the colour fades really quickly unless you apply it heavily [which I hate doing - over-applied blusher is my pet hate], however this one is really pigmented so you barely need to use any product at all. I use LAURA MERCIER's Cheek Brush, which is possibly my favourite makeup brush of all time; it’s the only cheek brush I own because it works so well that I’ve never felt compelled to even try another. I’m big on glow so I’ll use a liquid illuminator to highlight my cheekbones. & OTHER STORIES’ Twinkle Pearl Radiance Cream* landed on my desk last week and I’m already completely hooked. You dispense it with a pipette then dab it on with your fingers, and it dries to velvet immediately. The effect is bright, but super natural looking, like you’ve got this fresh, lit from within glow - it reminds me of moonlight. I’ll layer a little of the highlight shade from CHARLOTTE TILBURY'S Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette over this to make it last longer. I love this powder for an after-dark look because it gives skin that soft-focus golden radiance that you get from sitting in candlelight. To add a little overall warmth to my complexion [and match my face up to may [faux] tanned limbs] I finish the base with a light dusting of EVE LOM's Golden Radiance Bronzing Powder*. It’s the exact same formula as the Sheer Radiance Powder [which I adore and use daily], so sets makeup and blurs imperfections, but with a tint of bronze that adds a really natural warmth, without leaning orange at all. It's the most natural bronzer I've ever used - ideal for cooler skintones.
For brows I’m currently using the SUQQU Balancing Eyebrow Palette for both day and night looks. I brush my brows up with a spoolie and then use the brush from the palette to mix a little of each shade together before pressing the product into the hairs. Powder brow products typically don't have great longevity, but this one really sticks around. I’ll use any excess to subtly elongate each brow at the end and add a bit of shape to the fronts and then I’ll set them in place with a quick slick of GLOSSIER's Boy Brow. For eyes I wanted to do something really different to my typical day time look, which usually revolves around subtle metallics, neutrals, and the occassional warm pink hue. I prep my lids using URBAN DECAY's Eyeshadow Primer Potion* - essential if you want your eye makeup to really last. I then use my finger to apply NARS’ Eye Paint* in the shade Iskandar over my whole lid. I love this product, it’s like pure gold leaf when you apply it thick, but you can also sheer it out for a subtle iridescent finish. I use the shade Dagger from URBAN DECAY’s Naked Smokey Palette to define my crease and lift and elongate my eye shape before adding a final dab of gold to the centre of my lid. Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are famous for their incredibly buttery, easy to blend formulas, so blending the powder in with the cream is completely effortless. I used to think that there was a special place in hell for blue eyeshadow, but a grey-toned blue fading into a bright gold looks uh-mazing. Credit is also due to the brushes used - CROWN Brushes C433* and C441* and SMASHBOX's Definer Brush*. Using good quality makeup brushes is something I firmly stand by, especially when it comes to eyes - it makes such a difference to both the application and last of product.
I used SUQQU’s Gel Eyeliner* to define my lash line and extend an ever-so-slight flick, before curling my lashes with my NARS Eyelash Curlers*. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but these curlers cannot be beaten; they give the most amazing lift and curl, with very little pumping action required. If I’m going on a night out then I always apply tonnes of my favourite mascara - CHANEL Le Volume de Chanel - and then lots of individual lashes for a really full, fluttery look. I always line my lips with CHARLOTTE TILBURY’s Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillowtalk*. There are other liners I prefer colourwise, but I do find that this one lasts the longest. I much prefer a dramatic eye over a dramatic lip so even for an evening look I’ll typically stick to nude shades when it comes to lipstick. On this occasion, TOM FORD's Lip Colour in Indian Rose, a warm, pink-hued nude that subtly exaggerates thin lips and stays put for hours.
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