Monday, June 6, 2011

Make Up Collection/Area: Updated (Pic Heavy)

I have had a few request recently for a 'make up collection' post and although I had done a similar post previously, it was quite a long time ago and I had a massive, cathartic clear out yesterday.  I thought I would take the opportunity to do an overview of where I do my makeup, how I store my makeup and brushes etc.  I don't know what it is but whenever I see someone posting about their makeup area or collection, I always read it...I guess because I'm looking to pick up ideas and just being plain nosey about what they have!ha ha. 


As some of you may have already seen, I have a makeup area in our spare room which I had wanted to do for years but never had the space.  It has definitely grown in size over the months and there's always bits and pieces being added to accomodate my ever-growing obsession with all things beauty.   I must admit that I LOVE having this area of the flat set aside as my playroom!  I also love the fact that there's a lot of natural light in this room which is perfect for being able to see exactly what you're doing and also to make sure you don't go overboard with the makeup.  Daylight will always tell you the truth!

Who would have thought that a computer desk could work so well as a makeup organiser! It just so happens that the plastic drawer units slot into it nicely and the drawers and slide-out table are handy too.  I picked up the wooden/metal bar stool from B&Q for £15 so that's a great place to look if you want an affordable chair for your beauty area.  It also beats sitting on the floor in front of a mirror, which is what I used to do!

I keep all my nail care stuff on the desktop because I'm very meticulous about my nails and like to file them every 3-4 days to keep them strong and healthy.  I also use a buffer to smooth them down once a week and use my OPI Avoplex hand cream and cuticle oil to treat almost every day.  I just feel that it's important to keep your fingernails in tip top condition because you gesticulate with them so much that people tend to notice them.  I hate seeing raggy, dirty nails or chipped nail's a real pet peeve for me.  If you take care of your nails regularly then the ongoing maintenance takes so much less time.  You guys can let me know if you want me to do a post on nail care and how I keep mine looking good?

I keep a few of my staple every day products on the desktop too so they are within easy reach...things like my Estee Lauder DW Foundation and Concealer, Benefit Hello Flawless Powder, Dior Matte Sunshine Bronzer etc.  Basically these are my core products that I rarely deviate from but everything else changes up every day to make sure I'm getting the most out of my makeup collection.  It's too easy to get stuck in a rut and start using the same things every day.

The glass vase filled with coloured sands and micro gravel used to house a very beautiful orchid plant but it sadly passed away (or I may have forgotten to water it for like, 2 months...whoops!) so I decided it was a great opportunity to create a strorage place for my makeup brushes!  It actually works really well and I love that I can see them all at once without having to dig around in a brush bag.  It's a lot easier to keep them clean this way too because they don't rub against eachother.  I keep all my makeup setting sprays next to that which I apply every day after foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blusher and highlighter.  They keep my makeup fresh and make it last longer (post coming up on this!).  I was watching Geordie Shore the other day and saw one of the girls spraying HAIRSPRAY on her face to set her makeup and I was quite literally horrified.  I mean why would you want a sticky film of hairspray on your skin?! Not to mention the fact that the chemicals are bad for your skin and irritate it...I know it was an old skool trick back in the day but makeup formulations are a lot better nowadays so you don't have to resort to things like that!

The top drawer which I disconnected from the rest of the plastic unit houses all my lip liners and lipsticks which, after the cull, total around 50.  I's still bad and the fact that a lot of the colours are similar isn't good but I just can't get rid of some of them...they almost have sentimental value!ha ha.

I'm always so impressed how some girls manage to keep their lipsticks colour coordinated but to be honest, the most I can do is keep them like this!  I tend to just grab what I need and slot it in anywhere so colour coordination just isn't a viable option for me!  I would love to get one of those giant lipstick holders so you can display them like a store! A girl can dream...

The first drawer in the unit is the home for all my mascaras and I would say this is the drawer that changes up the most because mascaras tend to dry up or go off quite quickly compared to other makeup products.  My favourite mascara of the moment is still Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme.

Next down is my gel, liquid and pencil eyeliner drawer which is full to the brim!  My favourites in here are my Clinique black gel eyeliner, Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Bourbon and my Estee Lauder Double Wear black eyeliner for it's amazing staying power.

Next down is my eyeshadow drawer for all the singles or small palettes I own.  It's hard to shut this drawer so I may need to start thinking about depot options because it's so much more practical to have your favourite shades from different brands in one palette.  I want to create some kind of super palette that houses the best eyeshadows from each brand!  Why waste my time on world peace when i could be creating something like that? ha ha.

Under that is my drawer for liquid and cream eyeshadows and also eyeshadow primers.  I think a couple of powder eyeshadows have sneaked their way into here because they won't fit in the drawer above.  I always apply a cream or liquid eyeshadow product before applying powder because I just feel that it gives it more intensity and staying power and stops it from creasing.  My new favourite thing is to put a really dark base on the lid then apply a lighter pearlised creates so much depth and interest to the colour!

Moving along, this unit is where I keep all my nail polishes, lip glosses and false lashes.  My nail polish drawer isn't in any particular order because it's nigh impossible to keep it tidy when I'm diving in with both hands for a lucky dip!  I also keep some nail care products in there too so everything is in the same place.  I've seen some really pretty ways of displaying nail polishes but I just don't have the desk/wall space for that so they have to make do in this little drawer for now!  Sorry know I love you (especially you OPI Cajun Shrimp...mwah!).

My lip gloss and lip balm drawer is a bit ridiculous to be honest and this was AFTER me down-sizing!  There are many variations of the same colour but as all good beauty addicts know, you can never have too many lip glosses! I take my Korres Lip Butters with me wherever I go so my Guava and Jasmine ones currently live in whatever bag I lug around with me on a daily basis.  The Pomegranate one is a brilliant shade for summer though!

The bottom drawer is a place to keep my false lashes but I don't have that many at the moment so it's time to stock up!  I have some Japonesque ones to try out which look really interesting but you guys know my favourites are the Ardell 109 or 110 styles.  They make your eyes look glamourous but it doesn't even look like you're wearing false lashes.  That's what I want from falsies...for people to assume they're my natural lashes!  The only downside to my new love affair with false lashes is that in comparison, my own lashes seem mildly pathetic! (but don't tell them I said that).

And to the next set of drawers, starting from the bottom, this is my foundation collection at the moment.  Regular readers know by now that my favourite foundation of all time is Estee Lauder Double Wear because I harp on about it all the time.  But some days, I want a lighter formulation so I opt for Dior Nude, Nars Sheer Glow or Estee Lauder Double Wear Light.  I do like the YSL Teint Resist Foundation but it seems to suit my skin better in the winter months.  This is another drawer that changes up a bit to ensure the foundation products aren't out of date.

The we have the concealer drawer, the wonderful place to go to erase spots, redness and dark circles...all the yucky things we don't like!  I keep my favourite concealer (Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Foundation) on the desktop because it's the most fool-proof one I own for dark circles and blemishes.  Benefit Boi-ing and MUFE Full Cover are good but still not my very favourite.  However, on days when my skin is very clear and I've had a ton of sleep, I can get away with just using a lighter formulation of concealer like Origins Quick Hide! or MAC Moisturecover.

My powder drawer was one that really needed a kick up the backside because I was holding onto some products that never really worked for me.  So they have been kicked to the kerb (Jerry Springer style) and I've kept all the ones that work with my skin.  My favourites are of course my Benefit Hello Flawless, Korres Wild Rose and MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Medium.

Oh how I love you bronzer drawer!  My Lancome Star Bronzer hogs a lot of the space in this drawer but I'll let him off because I have a soft spot for him.  My favourite bronzer of all time is Dior Matte Sunshine in Honey Matte and I'm yet to find anything that beats it to be honest.  Other notable bronzers that I like for a natural, non-orange and non-streaky finish are Korres Monoi Oil Bronzer, Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Powder in At Goldcombe Bay and Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer (it's like and EL love fest in this post!ha ha).

Next up, it's the blush drawer which houses all the pretty pinks, corals and peaches I like to pop on my cheeks.  I had to be quite brutal when I was tidying this drawer because I had quite a few blush products that looked gorgeous in the pan but just didn't suit me or even show up on my skin.  So now I'm down to all the blushes that I know I can rely on and they do what they're told.  My favourite friends from this drawer are Benefit Posietint, Benefit Coralista, Chantecaille Joy Blush and Mac Well Dressed. 

Highlighters! Highlighters! Ok...calm yourself Laura...breathe.  Yes I am obsessed with all things sheeny and this drawer is the one that probably excites me the most (it's terribly sad that I admitted that).  Highlighters have the power to make your skin look fresh, radiant and alive so who am I to argue with their importance in my collection?!  My favourites are Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Powder, Benefit High Beam and MAC Soft & Gentle MSF.

The little slidey out shelf thing is for a printer I assume but I use it for something MUCH more important...storing my hair styling tools of course! I keep curling tongs, GHD straighteners and conical wand here.

Next to my desk, I have what used to be a dvd stand but I have started using it as a place to store products that either were being neglected OR that I often like to use for certain makeup looks.  By putting them here, they're clearly on display and it reminds me to shop my collection when I'm thinking of what makeup to wear.  The Illamasqua Powdered Metals are favourite highlighting products for my face and body when I'm going out on a night out and I also like to use their Cream Pigments and Pure Pigments.  Having them there altogether makes it easier to put colour combinations together.  Next to that are my Prestige Bronzers/Highlighters which are also good for use on the body when you want to look golden and glowy.  Then I just have a couple of palettes which I need to depot because there's only a handful of colours that i like from eachother one.  I'm going to depot these as well to make the most of what is there. 

Next down is where I keep my two MAC palettes and MAC quad palette, which actually contains my four favourite shades from the Too Faced French & Fabulous palette.  I realised I was only using some of the colours so I decided to chuck them in a smaller, more compact palette to make it easier for travelling.  I also have my teeny tiny MAC pigment collection.  I am hoping to pick up some more soon and have my eye on Naked, Tan and Old Gold.

Next shelf down is just a place for palettes from different brands that I use the most.  My favourite has to be a close shave between the Dior Earth Reflections palette and the Urban Decay Get Baked one.  Although the New CID Cosmetics Eyes, Lips & Face palette is a fantastic easy go-to product for a really natural but groomed look.

Next down we have my "uh-oh I have to get my legs out" shelf.  Basically, I always dream of my skin looking like J-Lo's in one of her videos (don't we all?!).  I found out ages ago that her makeup artist applies MAC Face & Body Foundation mixed with a high sheen highlighting fluid to create the perfect flawless skin ALL over her body.  Now no-one has the time or patience to do that everyday but on special occasions or nights out when I know I will be wearing a dress and exposing my shoulders, arms, decolletage and legs then I want to make sure my skin looks even, golden and glowy.  The only way to achieve that is to adopt the two products mentioned above.  My fave combination with the MAC F & B is the Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid in Sea of Showers (bronzey/golden sheen) and this gives you SUCH an amazing glow all over.  It makes your legs and arms appear slimmer and just gives you that extra polish you want to feel confident.  A cheaper alternative is to mix The Sanctuary Bidadari Shimmering Body Souffle and this does a great job too.

Lastly, the bottom shelf houses all my Sleek eyeshadow palettes and also a Front Cover one with the most gorgeous turquoise and aqua shades for summer.  I have seen a few celebs doing the whole golden neutral eye then lining the bottom lashline with an aqua looks so pretty!

So that is my beauty area now it has been reformed in a cut-throat fashion.  It felt really good to go through everything I had, clean it all up and ship out the stuff that never gets used.  It almost feels like a small burden was lifted and I can actually find what I'm looking for.  I never enjoy cleaning or tidying up but once you have done it you feel so much more relaxed.

Hubby is back from offshore in about half an hour so I'm off to enjoy spending the day with him, having a nice romantic dinner later and catching up on all the Sky Plus tv shows that I have been waiting to watch since he went away! It's a thing we always do together so I wasn't allowed to sneak a peek!

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