My Favourite Nudes

I love a good lip. It is possibly my most worn lip look and almost second nature to me. I feel well within my comfort zone, it requires little to no effort and (I think) looks polished and ‘made up’ without making a massive statement.

As much as I adore red lips and given my enormous collection of reds and bright lip colours, I can’t just throw one on without feeling slightly uncomfortable and a bit too…obvious.

I’ve really got to be in the mood to carry off a bright or red lip.

So, given that nude lips are my safety net, if you will, it’s no surprise I have amassed a fair few over the years. Here are some of my favourites, unintentionally there ended up being 10, so this is a top 10 if you will…

Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lipgloss ‘Naked’

Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lipgloss ‘Naked’

Although marketed as a gloss, these glosses (or at least the two I own) are more like liquid lipsticks. Very pigmented and non sticky unlike most glosses. This is a beige nude shot through with the most delicate gold shimmer. Love this alone or over a nude lipstick. Subtle scent of vanilla. Yum. Lasts fairly well given it’s a gloss.

Dolce & Gabbana ‘Mandorla’

Dolce & Gabbana ‘Mandorla’

This is one of my most favourite nude lips and holds joint first place for colour, texture and finish. Creamy, delicious and the most perfect pink toned nude. Has the softest floral scent that I actually really enjoy – but if you are sensitive to or steer clear of scented lipsticks this one is not for you as it does linger on the lips. Doesn’t dry out my lips or settle into lines. Lasts well.

Tom Ford Blush ‘Nude’

Tom Ford Blush ‘Nude’

This is the other lipstick that holds the crown for ‘Most Favourite Nude’ along with D&G Mandorla. If I could only ever own/use two nude lipsticks it would be these two.

Another luxuriously creamy pink toned nude – there’s actually not much difference in colour to Mandorla. Has the usual yummy vanilla scent that the Tom Ford lip products have. Moisturising and incredibly comfortable to wear. Lasts fairly well.

YSL Rouge Volupte 2 – ‘Sensual Silk’

YSL Rouge Volupte 2 – ‘Sensual Silk’

This is one of the most beautiful colours and formulas yet sadly has too many negative aspects for it to be an absolute-must-buy. An unbelievably creamy beige-nude, this feels like you are sliding moisturiser on to your lips. This is both a blessing and a curse. Feels gorgeous on yet has absolutely zero staying power and needs to be reapplied every time you breathe/speak/move. OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But don’t expect this to last through food, drink or even past an hour. The case however is so luxurious you won’t mind whipping this one out and reapplying.

Also has a very strong floral scent that most YSL lip products tend to have and it does linger and tend to stick in the back of your throat if you apply a lot. Not pleasant but the colour and texture of the lipstick make me love it regardless.

MAC ‘A Perfect Day’

MAC ‘A Perfect Day’

An unusual choice and possibly a slightly annoying one for blog readers – this one is sadly a limited edition colour and is no longer for sale. Part of the MAC Naturally collection I cannot understand why this is LE. Of all the nudes that MAC are famous for (myth, creme d’nude, honeylove, blankety, fleshpot, hue) this is far superior. A pinky-beige cremesheen, this has good staying power and is just on the dry side of comfortable. It can feel a bit dry on the lips but not bad enough to make me not want to wear it. Has the usual MAC vanilla-y scent. I wish this was permanent – definitely one to look out for in blog sales etc if you want a nude MAC lipstick but can’t find anything suitable in the line.

NARS Honolulu Honey

NARS Honolulu Honey

This is one I don’t wear all that often but had to include because this is my ‘holiday nude’ and gets a fair amount of wear when I am tanned. A honeybeige-nude, this looks better on darker, more tanned skin. On my normal NC20ish skin, this can look a little odd and pulls too brown. BUT put this on NC30+ and it looks amazing – definitely one for holiday time and even fake tan time! This one will be part of my holiday make up bag. Francois Nars has been reported to say this is one of his most used products in his line and Kim Kardashian is reportedly a fan. Comfortable to wear with very good staying power. NARS lipsticks often have a strange scent and this is no exception, however it is fairly inoffensive and doesn’t linger once applied.

NARS ‘Cruising’

NARS ‘Cruising’

After photographing the lip and arm swatches I did contemplate removing this from the lineup. This lipstick is without a doubt ‘My lips but better’. In fact, this is the exact same shade as my natural lip colour. So, not technically a nude on me but could be on others. This is more of a sheer pinky colour – a possible good nude for cooler skin tones?

Cruising is fairly sheer and as such lasts an average amount of time. Glossy and comfortable to wear with the same scent as described above.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine ‘Evasion’

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine ‘Evasion’

Another one I did consider removing as it isn’t a true ‘nude’. Chanel’s Evasion is a sheer peachy-pink and I suppose could be loosely described as a nude. On my lips it looks like a sheer wash of juicy peach tinged with pink. I love the Rouge Coco Shines – they are comfortable, glossy and have average staying power. They do however have the Chanel floral scent that does linger/stick in the throat – steer clear if you aren’t keen on scents/tastes in your lipstick.

NARS Velvet Matte Pencil ‘Belle De Jour’

NARS Velvet Matte Pencil ‘Belle De Jour’

Recently featured in a FOTD, NARS Belle De Jour is a lovely beige nude with a matte finish. Matte is something I tend to steer clear of in lip products due to the likelihood of them being drying, however, Belle De Jour mnages to feel creamy and comfortable on the lips whilst retaining it’s matte finish. The lasting power is good and there is no discernible scent which makes it a good one for anybody who is sensitive to smells/tastes in their lip products.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture 6 – Rose ‘Bergamasque’

YSL Rouge Pur Couture 6 – Rose ‘Bergamasque’

This is a strange one, because in the tube and in swatches it appears much more nude than it does on my lips. On my lips it pulls quite pink. This is definitely more of a mid-tone nude and probably the best option if you want a nude that isn’t too pale.

Unlike the Rouge Volupte, this has great staying power yet remains creamy and comfortable on the lips. Does still have a floral scent but not as strong as the voluptes… If only the packaging was as gorgeous!

So there we have some of my favourite nudes. I still have several on my ‘to try list’ such as NARS Barbarella, Estee Lauder Crystal Nude, Illamasqua Test and but can you recommend some of your favourites?

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St Moriz Tanning Mousse ‘Dark’ Before & After review

St Moriz has achieved cult status amongst the Beauty blogging community. For as long as I have been a part of it, there have always been an abundance of blog posts, youtube videos and online reviews raving about this bargain self tanning product.
By bargain, I mean absolute STEAL. This product comes in at an incredibly purse friendly 2.99.

Now to put that in to perspective…2.99 for a 200ml bottle of St Moriz compared to 30.64 for 240ml bottle of St Tropez.
That would all be totally irrelevant if the product was ineffective, of course. But the amazing thing is, is that St Moriz in my humble opinion works just as well as St Tropez.

For 2.99 I can forgive the dodgy spelling and branding (I assume they mean Moritz? and even so…St Moritz in Switzerland? Host of the Winter Olympics and Alpine Skiing championships? That doesn’t conjur images of bronzed beach goddesses to me…) but I digress.

St Moriz Tanning MousseThe bottom line is, this stuff is inexpensive and fabulous. It gives me a gorgeously golden glow, applies like a dream, never streaks or goes patchy and fades evenly to give the most natural appearance.

I always purchase the dark version of this tan, but that is purely my personal preference. To achieve the colour I like, it takes two applications of the regular St Moriz, as opposed to just one application of the dark version. It’s just easier and less time consuming and costs no more than the regular version.

The base of this self tan is an olive colour, so it never goes orange. It used to be difficult to find lower priced self tans that have an olive toned base. I cannot stand tans that give the appearance of being tango-ed so St Moriz is a godsend when I’m being frugal.

The smell, like most fake tans is that of wet, stale biscuits. It’s just unavoidable when it comes to fake tans in my experience so this isn’t a negative point for me. I am prepared to put up with the smell for the great results.

The plastic pump bottle is great and never clogs up with product and delivers the product well – never too much or too little. The mousse itself is brown in colour which is a helpful guide when applying the product, you know exactly where you have covered and where needs to be covered. I generally apply this in the evening and shower off the next morning, it may look as though you are washing most of the tan off as the shower water runs brown but it really is only the guide colour.

I use this tan all over my body, including my face and it has never ever caused breakouts or a reaction on my sensitive, combination skin.

Please be aware that prior to, during and after using this, or in fact ANY self tanning product I have a pretty intense regime to ensure optimum tanning results.

Up to three days before – the day before

I exfoliate my body every day for about 3 days before I intend to apply fake tan. I simply use an exfoliating body mitt or bath puff with any shower gel or a designated body exfoliating product (see here for a great recommendation) paying particular attention to problem areas such as elbows, ankles and knees.

After exfoliating I use a heavy moisturiser on my body (again, see this review for some great ones)
For my face, I use a muslin cloth twice daily as part of my normal facial routine so this is exfoliating enough for my sensitive skin. If I am feeling I need an extra boost, I will use a gentle facial exfoliator the night before I am going to apply the fake tan followed by my usual moisturiser.

Make sure any hair removal (waxing, shaving etc) is done the day before you intend to apply fake tan.

Step 1 – Up to an hour before applying

An hour before I am going to apply the fake tan I moisturise my body with a highly scented moisturiser, this helps counteract the stale, wet biscuit smell a little, but it doesn’t go completely! I like the Body Shop’s Satsuma Body Butter for this part.
For my face I use a toner then moisturise with a slightly heavier moisturiser than my every day one. I tend to use La Roche Posay Toleraine Riche for this.

I then let these moisturisers really sink into my skin before I apply the self tanning product. During this time I prepare everything I need to apply the tan – old or dark towels (I have black) latex gloves, tanning mitt, hair clips or hair bands to tie hair up out of the way, self tanning product and a trusty friend (in my case, I rope my husband into this) to tan my back.

Step 2 – Applying the tan

Work quickly with the tan and really rub into the skin for best results. The guide colour ensures you get the most even tan possible. I prefer to pump the mousse on to the mitt then apply to the skin in circular motions, starting from my face and working down. As they have gloves and/or mitt on during the application, I leave my hands until last. When my body is finished I remove the gloves and rub the remaning product from the mitt over the backs of my hands and then work into the fingers to ensure there are no gaps and tell tale signs you are wearing fake tan. Remember you want to look as natural as possible and any white patches will look fake and nasty.

Step 3 – After applying the tan

Wear as little as possible in the way of clothing immediately after applying the tan and for as long as possible after to ensure it dries evenly. I do admit I do tend to sit around on an old towel, completely naked for around two hours post application. I know, I know. Too much information and I hope that image isn’t too frightening but it is the only way I can guarantee my tan won’t rub off on anything!
I leave the tan to develop for as long as possible (always overnight) For as long as I have been applying a self tanning product I have always done it in the evening, usually the evening before an event/night out etc.

Step 4 – The morning after applying

I shower the guide colour off the next morning, revealing a gorgeously golden glow. Do not exfoliate at this point but use a nice moisturising shower gel or bath product. For my face I cleanse with my usual cleanser but no muslin cloth, just use hands at this point. After showering I pat my skin dry with a towel rather than vigorous rubbing and then apply a light, usually oil based body moisturiser to really enhance the tan and give the skin a real glow – I really like Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for this or any dry oil body spray will work.

And there we have it, bronzed beach goddess. Or maybe not quite, but something along those lines.

Step 5 – Tan Maintenance

To ensure the tan lasts as long as possible and fades evenly and gradually, I repeat the above step every day after application. The day I notice the tan starting to fade (usually 2-3 days post application) I start exfoliating/moisturising again as described in step 1.

And there we have it – a beautiful tan with zero skin damage and little damage to your purse! I have added a before & after picture to give you an idea of the results on my fairly pale skin. In the before picture I am wearing little in the way of foundation, just a tinted moisturiser (Laura Mercier in Nude) I am a MAC NC20 for reference.

The after picture shows how the tan looks on my skin the morning after application and a shower…


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NOTD: Barry M Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo, Barry MThis is one of my all time favourite nail polishes and I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it yet.
A beautiful creamy pink-coral that can look almost neon in some lights, this is possibly also my favourite colour of all time too.
I love everything about this polish, including the name. I have a bit of a thing for flamingos, you see. I love them! Anything flamingo related, named or coloured gets a big thumbs up from me (I blame John Waters)

Barry M polishes are some of the absolute best out there in terms of formula, wear and range of colours available and they retail at only $2.99 a bottle.

This polish has a great consistency, neither too thin nor too thick and is opaque in two coats. It is also intensely glossy – these photographs were taken without a topcoat.

Pink Flamingo, Barry M

I usually get 3-4 days wear without chipping with Pink Flamingo and almost all Barry M polishes.
I have chosen this colour for my manicure as I am off on a little break this weekend with my family and I need a polish I know will last over a long weekend without chipping or tip wear. Although it looks as though this weekend is going to be a wet one, I’m very much in the holiday spirit!

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Currently Wearing

Make Up: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B20, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (light medium) Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Illusoire, YSL Effet Faux Cils Mascara, Daniel Sandler Waterblush ‘Cherub’, Nars Deep Throat Blush, MAC Angel Lipstick

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B20
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B20

Manicure: Chanel Paradoxal. I am still so in love with this over a year after it was released. A dusky grey/lilac/mauve shot through with subtle iridescent shimmer. It’s so beautiful and a possible all time favourite. I won’t even comment on longevity. Chanel aren’t exactly famous for their awesome nail polish formula, are they? Doesn’t stop me obsessing over them/hoarding them. Enough said.

Chanel Paradoxal
Chanel Paradoxal

Pedicure: NARS Jungle Red. One of my favourite red lipsticks is NARS’ Jungle Red, so I just had to have the matching nail polish. A deep, blood red this just compliments my skintone perfectly (much like the lipstick) It is incredibly glossy and holds up well as a pedicure with no chipping.

NARS Jungle Red
NARS Jungle Red

Perfume: Chopard Wish. I’ve had this for so long now, I was worried it may have gone off, but thankfully due to being kept in a dark drawer away from light and heat this perfume is still as lovely. Said to be a warm blend of vanilla, chocolate and caramel with patchouli and amber in the past comparisons have been drawn to Thierry Mugler Angel. I personally can see similarities in the notes, but I detest Angel and the mere smell of it causes headaches and nausea (seriously) yet I love this. It is softer, more ‘girly’ and less cloying than Angel. The bottle is so gorgeous too.

Chopard Wish
Chopard Wish

Are you currently wearing and loving?

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Makeup is hard

So there I was, casually scrolling through Pinterest whilst getting ready, when a beautiful eyeliner look appeared on the screen. It was one of the ‘double’ liner looks, when the subject adds another row of liner in an exciting colour above the obligatory black. So, without a care in the world I gave it a go.

I didn’t look up technique, products or anything, I just put on my Soap and Glory Supercat liner, dipped a Real Techniques accent brush in a bronze shadow (it was all I had with any pigment) and had a go. I quickly realised that a makeup artist would probably do a really think line in the coloured liner, then do black over the top, but alas, it was too late.

Naturally the eyeshadow had dropped onto the black liner do I had to go over over it. Repeatedly. As you can imagine, I had to use a few layers of shadow to create a line visible to the naked eye, and repeatedly going over black liquid liner with more black liquid liner, is NOT a good way to get an nice crisp line.

It was a fail guys. Luckily I work in soft lighting so it won’t show up. If you have any tips (or know of any tutorials that go through this technique, please comment below, and, as always, please excuse my monstrous forehead.



Ok, it looks far less messy in the pic. Imagine that it was like that in real life (it wasn’t).

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The Perfect Nude(ish) Lip (finally)

At some point in time, many moons, ago, someone decided that nude lips were a good idea. By nude, they meant beige. They achieved this by using concealer on their lips as either a base or a stand-alone product. This look pops back into fashion every once in a while (usually to accompany a smokey eye or ’60s graphic eyeliner look) and it used to fill me with fear, even though it tends to be much more toned down now. I have dark lips like a vampire. It’s no fun because the majority of lipsticks don’t show up properly on my lips AND (and this is worse) a dramatic eye look can make me look a bit…transvestite-y. Not that I have anything against transvestites (they go to more effort than the rest of us), but I’m a girl. I want to look like one.

Applying LipstickI wish I could be a wearer of shades like Creme Cup or Hue, but they make me look a bit rabid. You know how you can get that white line on the inside of your lips from lipgloss? I get that from nude lipsticks. It looks pretty sexy, let me tell you. Now, don’t worry, for this story has a happy ending. I found my perfect nude, and in a rather unexpected place. I bought, on Tanya Burr’s recommendation, Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Pink Brown. It’s nude but a bit darker, without actually being brown. Awesome. I thought would be the closest I’d get to the perfect nude lip for me, because it was a pretty good – my only issues were that it was a bit chalky/matte and made me look a bit ashy (and by ashy, I mean dead. I love being pale).

I watched a video (can’t remember which one, they’re hundreds) which featured NYX’s Beige lipgloss and always thought hmm, that looks nice, but only got round to purchasing it the other week. One of the most popular comments people made on the gloss were asking why it was called beige when in fact, it’s pink.

NYX's Beige lipgloss


It’s because NYX made it especially for me. Yes, it looks beige-y on me. Not beige beige (if that makes any sense) but beige enough for me to realise why they called it beige. I’ve said beige a lot. Beige. On top of Pink Brown, it’s my perfect pinky nude. It’s much darker than, creme cup, say but it does what a nude lip was designed for, i.e. make your lips look very natural and not try to out-compete your eyes.

make your lips look very natural


On the subject of trends, I have a worry. 60s make up’s lovely, ’40s and ’50s makeup is divine, ’80s makeup is ok if it’s toned down a little, but can we please leave 90s makeup where it is? I don’t mind a bit of heavy natural, but we don’t want a return to baby-pink-lipstick-with-maroon-lipliner.

And on that horrific note, laters.

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