Welcome to Makeup-by-lo, your one stop shop for tips, tricks and reviews! You're my excuse to be addicted, so keep reading!

Friday, 20 November 2009

The big question...

Ok, where was I….

Oh yeah, trying to be less boring, oook….I can try, but I’m promising nothing, just so you’re aware.

I got new brushes!! They’re sooo overdue, and I felt like treating my self! So a full set of 35 new brushes, assorted sizes and bristle fibres (sable, artificial, squirrel and goat) landed on my desk at work today…which is very distracting! Prepare for the “testing” because now none of my friends/passers by/ anyone who standstill in my line of sight are safe….the brushes must be USED!!!!!

So , I’m booked in for looong overdue hair cut on Saturday, and I was thinking it might be nice to play with my hair colour again. I recently went from blonde (on the left)….

To Brunette (I don't have any decent pictures, I may have to trawl the other half's camera)……And now that the brunette has faded…..I’m thinking maybe I go for an auburn brown….like so…( I quite like the cut too....)

What do you think? Does your hair change with the seasons too? My hair is going back to its shorter look, because the length is doing nothing for me right now, it just falls flat and flops over my eyes! If you have suggestions on short styles you've seen that you think I may like, please post a comment with a link!

So let me know what you think, I need suggestions…and in some cases interventions!

Bye for now!

Lo xx

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Whats on your Christmas List?

 Hi Guys,

Ok its official…I’m awful….I’m afraid the new job took over this week, its been a busy one!
Trying to get in an update now before the bad habits stick! Because I’m so behind I think I’ll finish the reviews on Monday, and move on to something slightly more interesting for the weekend.

The idea when I set up this blog was that I wouldn’t just review, there are pile of sites out there that do a very good job of that, but that I would use it to show you makeovers, tips etc.. I’m all too aware that this has yet to happen and that content has been a bit boring.
Sooooo…I’m going to tie up the last of the mascara reviews next week, and in the mean time I’m going to yak on about the treat I bought this week, what I did with them, and what I  have on my Christmas list this year!

The Christmas sets are rolling out one after another, and not being one to miss out on a good deal, I have made it my personal mission to take advantage of the multi-buy goodness. First on the list was the UD Hall of Fame box set, not just because the tube of Primer potion contains 60% more than the usual bottle (which in it’s self is awwwwesome) but because I hadn’t had  a chance to play with other products included in the set.
For those of you pricking up your ears (hehehe…ahem…sorry) the contents are as follows:

XL Eyeshadow Primer Potion, 60% larger than our original size
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils
Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss in Timothy
Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara
Midnight Cowboy Lipstick

And I have to say it’s a mixed bag. I have totally fallen in love with the eyeliner, lipstick ( a bit drying) and mascara, which are perfect party handbag sizes and great products, I will be investing in full sizes in the future! As always the Primer Potion works its magic, this time in plentiful supply. However the lip gloss, supposedly in a crème brule flavour, is utterly rank. 

The colour isn’t great, which is my subjective point of view, so don’t take it as red (no pun intended) that it wont suit you! The flavour is a mix of gravy and instant coffee, It stinks and the taste isn’t much better. Really really disappointing! Still they got 4/5 right, so can’t complain too much!

Any way, I digress….Its that time of year, so here’s my Christmas wish list…so far….

Ben Nye colour correction concealer wheel
New Brushes (I need a new set, in as many sizes and types as I can think of…due an overhaul I guess…! I’m thinking Mac for big powder brushes and a stipple brush, and then anything nice and soft I can get my hands on, body shop brushes are quite nice!)
Mineral makeup – I have yet to get a full sert of this, so I want a full spectrum, mainly to use on other people
A new Touche éclat, of course…
The YSL sp winter editions, B-E-A-utiful!
More to come…..

Tell me your wish list! What do you want the big guy to drop down your chimney??

Bye for now

Lo xx

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Out on the lash again...this time with freebies!

Hey hey,

Back again with the next instalment of mascara reviews, you lucky people you! Today’s review will focus on the two Maybelline mascaras and MAC pro lash.

Before I get on with the reviewing, I want to give you a quick heads up - both Max Factor and Olay are offering free samples of their newest foundations, Max Factor Second Skin (MaxFactor.co.uk/Second-Skin) and Oil of Olay Touch of Foundation ( you'll need to register at supersavvyme.co.uk but its woth it for the freebies, every thing from makeup to washing powder). Worth a look at for all you ladies (and beauty orientated men) as it’s a good chance to try before you buy....and free stuff rocks! We have already ordered ours, and will be reviewing for both, it would be splendiferous if you could pass your opinions on too!

Ok, on to the matter in hand!


Maybelline XXL Volume and Length


Company line - The Intense XXL Volume + Length formula contains a double dose of micro-fibres for lashes that look over the top gorgeous in just 2 easy steps.- Step 1 XX-TREME LENGTH: White micro-fibre basecoat visibly lengthens lash-look by up to 60%.- Step 2 XX-TREME VOLUME AND LASH COLOUR: Volumising topcoat builds up to 11X thicker looking lashes with jet-black impact.One mascara, two effects for double the drama! - No clumps, no smudge.- Ophthalmologist tested, safe for contact lens users.- Washable; also available in waterproof formula.

Review –
Ok, so big promises from this mascara. The two coat tech was a new one for me when I bought it, and it was largely out of curiosity that it ended up in my collection. I have to say, before I go on, that this method is vastly expanded on of late, with most of the big hitters having their own version out there. Which I suppose speaks more of its potential than its novelty.
Personally I found the base coat to easy to apply, the brush was thick and chunky, with well spaced bristles carrying a an appropriate of amount of the thick white coat. A small amount of patience is required....not a rusher I’m afraid...before you attempt the top coat, as I found applying to quickly caused XXL clumping...not pretty, not clever. However, given a moment to dry, the black coat was indeed very black and thick. To my surprise (I’ll admit to a certain amount of scepticism before testing) it covered the white base coat well. It does indeed make your lashes thicker and longer, for that reason not suitable for those with already long and thick lashes (you lucky ladies). In fact the effect is quite dramatic, and it didn’t seem to flake or smudge. However, it does clump and you have to spend ages ensuring you get your mascara right down to the root (or you get the white eyeliner/floating lash effect). And for the final touch ....its RRP's at around £5!

Pros- very dark pigment, long thick lashes, doesn’t smudge, relatively cheap

Cons - clumpy, slightly too exaggerated for day-time wear, time consuming

Score - 7/10


Maybelline: Great Lash (extra black)

Company line - Lash-doubling formula glides on smooth to build great-looking lashes, Lash building brush makes it easy to get a full lash look without clumps or globs, Contact lens safe and hypoallergenic, Washable; also available in waterproof formula and with curved brush.

Review –
Ah yes, the famed Great Lash. It’s graced every beauty editors best buy/must have list since it hit the market in the 70’s. In the last two years it’s won no less than four independent beauty awards for best mascara. So really it’s a celebrity!
But, putting aside the hype, I tested this way back in the days when my teachers were still asking me to take it off again. Really I ought to re-test, but seeing as the formula hasn’t changes in 40 years, I’m sure it’s a fairly safe bet that I’m still on track (I told you I never throw things away!). It does have its flaws - the brush is badly designed, actually drawing lashes together rather than separating them, so that very adept formula just glues them together. However, its dark, makes you eyelashes look fuller on longer, and wont flake or smudge. Take note, it’s very seriously NOT water proof, forget weepy movies, weddings and rain storms, and think light perspiration. This will run at the drop of a hat, making run based smudging likely. However at £5, you get what you pay for, and to be honest it’s not a bad budget buy. It’s just not great...which is ironic.

The big downfall of this product is that it is seriously outdated, the modern woman expects more from her product today, and Great Lash fails to meet exacting modern standards.

Pros – dark fuller looking lashes, cheap, lengthened appearance

Cons – runs very easily, brush isn’t great, outdated

Score – 5/10


MAC: Pro Lash

Company line - Lengthening, thickening, non-flaking, non-smudging... totally hard-wearing. Sassy and lush. Works on the catwalk, soups up the sidewalk. Tested and approved by Artists. Industrially packed; commodity-priced. Gives you attitude. A real hardworking mascara that is lush and luxe in its finish. Good to layer. Apply one coat of Pro Lash for enhanced, defined lashes. For more drama, build up the layers.

Review –
There aren’t that many makeup fiends out there who don’t worship at the altar of MAC nowadays. Its high quality, high profile products are used by professionals and Average Joes (with a decent budget) alike, but it appears to have a very strong elitist image that only grows with each season.

This was a treat to myself a little while back, like a kid in a toy store, I skipped into the MAC boutique resident within the Oxford branch of Debenhams, kept in splendid isolation lest the warm, overly makeup’ed staff manning the usual department store fodder break its cool crisp business like image. Because, let’s face it, unless you have the budget to use their products regularly, you defiantly get the “you don’t belong here” look on entering this kind of booth. I just about made it back to my humble abode before breaking out the cleanser to have a go with the new toys, and I wasn’t disappointed...at first.

It does indeed give you beautiful long thick lashes, and if you curl your lashes, and apply it to just the tips to fix the curl, then layer from root to tip you’ll get hurricane inducing lashes! Unfortunately it has a tendency to smudge, and the already dry formulae is quick to dry out, not that you’ll notice, as each tube only has a months’ worth of product at most. Disappointing MAC...you giveth... then you taketh away.....and at rrp £15 we wanteth it back!

Pros – beautiful colour, excellent volume, good brush, good curl

Cons – smudgy, very expensive, dry formulae, small amount of product, short life

Score – 7/10


There you go then people, another three for your delectation.

I should go to bed now, my fiancee just got a new job and is pogo-ing around the house like a woman possesed. I'm so incredibly proud of her, but if she doesn't sleep now, she'll be a nightmare tomorrow.... :P

Bye for now!

Lo x

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Nothing like a good lashing….

I’ll admit I’m a bit bin-phobic where make up is concerned. It’s not like I use it either; if I feel a product is past its best, and this applies especially to mascara, it goes into the big makeup case under my desk, never to return. While this is ridiculous in one sense it does have its advantages….an archive of makeup products I’ve used on myself and others in the past, just screaming to be reviewed for your reading pleasure. I would love to hear your comments and reviews, with so many products out there I’m sure to have missed some…

So, having crawled rather ungracefully under my desk, and emptied out all of the mascaras in the case I’m left with the following:

Urban Decay: Big Fatty (water-proof)
YSL: Effete Faux Cils, Everlong (these are old - bought new versions of both which are in use now, EFC in black and Everlong in brown)
No.7: Intense Volume, Lash 360, Dream Lash
No.17: Va va voom
Rimmel: Volume Flash, Magnifeyes, Extra Super Lash
L’Oreal: Lash Architect, Extra volume Collagen mascara
Benefit: Bad Gal Lash
MAC: Pro Lash
Maybelline: XXL Volume and Length, Great Lash (extra black)

So…15 out-of-use mascaras, and I had a clear out back in February (I wept...it was bad), and I have another three in use (2 YSL in brown/Black and L’Oreal extra volume collagen)…I’m ready to admit that I may be a bit addicted to my products…they say admitting addiction is the first step towards rehabilitation, we'll see about that…

Still, my financial loss is your gain, as I intend to fill you in on what I know about these, and some of the other products I’ve road tested working on other people in the past. Eventually I hope to be posting video reviews but until I get hold of a decent web cam, I’m afraid you’ll have take my word for it. I will try and track down some video reviews by other testers to add for your viewing pleasure later!

I’ve broken down the reviews by brand name, and as we're being that organised it may as well be alphabetic too! And to avoid an overwhelming page of literature, I think three reviews every day this week would be bite-sized enough to cram it in your work break :)…


Benefit - Bad Gal Lash

Company line – “Sexy, sultry, pure unadulterated black mascara for full, voluminous lashes. It's as BAD as you want to be!” and “Famously big, bodacious brush coats lashes with our super black formula.”

I first came across this as a student, it was very popular with friends, and curiosity got the better of me. Despite being quite pricey (RRP £14.50) I have to say it was a favourite at the time. Then again the height of fashion at the time was to cake as much blackest of black mascara as you could onto your lashes, for that extra over done “dramatic lash”. For that purpose this mascara is fantastic, layer away until you can barely lift those lids! It's dark, has a good thick consistency and is well covering. But beware, it clumps after the third coat, and will flake when applied in copious amounts. The brush is also a touch on the gargantuan side, and can prove tricky for those of you with smaller eyes/shorter lashes. I did notice however that this was relatively long lasting - a big plus considering it’s relatively expensive for a high street brand.

Pros: Dark, well covering, good volume and length, plenty of product, long lasting

Cons: flaky when over applied, the huge brush is awkward and product tends to be on the tip of the brush

Score – 8/10


L’Oreal: Lash Architect

Company line – “False lash effect mascara - for a glamorous spectacular look. Lashes look longer and thicker from every angle thanks to the '3D effect' formula, while the patented spiral brush gives volume and separation from root to tip.”

With Milla Jovovitch as its spokesperson and the new ‘Carbon Gloss’ update this is a high profile product. It makes bold claims for a mid-range product, and unfortunately fails to live up to them. While those with naturally long lashes will find its effect adequate at best, if you bought this product to effectively lengthen your lashes with its ‘3Deffect’ you’re going to feel short changed. The product itself is very thin and hard to layer up suitably, clumping on the second layer and pulling off already applied layers after 3. Unfortunately, I also found it had the tendency to flake around the eye.

It does have a few redeeming factors, for those of you lucky enough to have thick full lashes, the brush is strong enough to properly comb through your lashes and coat them all, in which case one coat is enough. Unfortunately, I feel the positive points end there. The mascara is terribly hard to remove, prepare for panda eyes, irrespective of how well you think you cleansed. I suppose it could be considered a plus that the product dries out so quickly you’ll only have to have clumpy panda eyes for a month. Overall not worth its mid-range price (RRP £9.98).

Pros: Dark, Strong stiff comb, beautiful spokeswoman (in my own personal opinion :) )

Cons: Thin product, clumpy and flaky finish, hard to layer, doesn’t deliver on hype, hard to remove, dries fast, over priced.

Score – 3/10


L’Oreal: Extra volume Collagen mascara

Company line – “L'Oreal gives you their secret to lash volume - an expert combination of a super-sized brush and a Hydra-Collagen enriched formula, for breathtaking volume.”

Ok after the last review I bet you're thinking “here we go again…” but you’d be wrong! I was pleasantly surprised when I used this on a friend for her wedding makeup. It’s very thick and dark, the brush is just the right side of chunky, and it bulks lashes up very quickly without clumping or gluing them together. There have been quite a lot of negative comments on this one, and I think it may come down to how experienced you are with chunky brushes, your own personal tastes and how much you wear. You can’t slap this on layer after layer, it’s just too think, but for a ‘single swipe’ mascara it’s great. It does have a strange smell, and some people I’ve discussed it with feel it’s a touch to irritant for their liking (probably this new fangled collagen ingredient).

It’s another mid range product (RRP £9.98) and while there are indeed much better products out there, it doesn’t fare to badly, definitely an improvement on L’Oreals’ previous efforts.

Pros: dark, thick and volumising

Cons: smelly, not suitable for sensitive eyes, a bit too expensive for what it does

Score - 6/10


So my opinion on three highstreet mascaras, three more to come tomorrow!

Video review of the day:

A quick review of a few products courtesy of panacea81, who I'm sure you've all been watching avidly for years now! Aside from giving a good review of the mascaras in her makeup bag (some I've covered in this blog, and some I haven't used before), she also shows you a few ways to test the quality of your mascaras. Make sure you keep an eye on her YouTube videos; they're invaluable for picking up tips on products, and seeing them in use...kinda like a try before you buy, but without the hard sell.....

Monday, 2 November 2009

Halloween aftermath...

Oooh useful post!

Its in the days following Halloween that reality begins to set in...not only is it now November, but you have a plethora of truly awful pictures of your gruesome visage plastered across social networking sites, and Christmas is creeping up the back stairs to take your bank account from behind…HOWEVER, it does pose an excellent opportunity to review your handy work!

This Halloween my lovely lovely friends threw a late birthday party for me, for which I felt it appropriate to dress up as a pirate and play with my loooong unused FX wax skills. My poor fiancé was the victim (literally) of my zombie makeover, I’ll throw some pictures in at the bottom of this post!

So, there are a few things you should know about FX wax,

1) If you loved mud pies, modelling clay, painting yourself with PVA, finger painting (or anything else that would make your parents wince at its mere suggestion) as a child, then you will love this. Rather than the hard wax that you glue on with spirit gum, FX wax is applied with nothing but body heat and water making really good for amateur use. It turns out to be surprisingly easy to cover too, I had worried that it may be resistant to normal foundation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise…. For this little experiment I went mainstream and used Snazaroo paints and FX wax, as they are widely available and relatively cheap to procure (though I recommend an online retailer for further savings!), its also useful to note that they do kits with varied components, great for one off’ usage.

2) Cover ANYTHING fabric within 2 meters of you with newspaper, trust me, no matter how neat you are, you WILL get blood cake on your carpet, pine table, curtains, self…..and it wont be coming out any time sooon…mmmmm...butcher kitch….. tasty!
3) Use lots of moisturiser on your victim/self…its amazing how much easier it is to lift paint dye off skin if it was well moisturised before hand…that goes for your fingers too, this stuff will get under your finger nails…I’m still wandering round looking like a gouged someone’s eyes out with my fingernails….
4) Don’t bother using FX wax if you know you’re going to sweat, it will not adhere to your face if its damp….so your bumpy vampire forehead will be on your chin before you’ve danced your first funky chicken…this is defiantly a temperature sensitive method!
5) Try blending some on the back of your hand if you have never used it before, the idea is that you damp your finger with a little water and smooth the edges until they join seamlessly with your skin. A seamless join men as that air cannot get underneath the prosthetic, making it adhere to the skin better. The water, as you will discover, is essential, other wise you end up with a sticky squidgy mess on both you and your subject.

I used blood cake, gel blood, my own foundation, and matt eye shadows to prepare Mel for Zombie-facation, as well as my own homemade blood, which was totally edible (though DOES NOT taste nice) on her clothes and wounds, the recipe for the safe and realistic looking blood is as follows:

1)Add 4 table spoons of instant coffee, a good slosh of red food colouring, a table spoon of gravy granules to a pan with a pint of water,
2)bring it to a simmer
3)stirring continuously add a table spoon of corn flour , mixed with a small amount of cold water (should make a small amount of white liquid) to the pan
4)continue to stir until blood thickens (this will go lumpy if you don’t keep stirring)
5)leave to cool in a glass container (it may stain plastic, and hot burns) overnight. Good for use on people, clothes and props….

Ingrediant re-cap:
gravy granules
red food colouring
corn flour
freeze dried coffe

It took a couple of hours to make Mel up, I started by adding the wax over her eyebrow, and past her eye onto her cheek bone, the at both corners of her mouth and on her top lip. Once this was on and blended I covered her face and the FX wax, using a sponge wedge and my own foundation (No.7 stay perfect foundation in Pale Cream, Boots) to give me a blank canvas. I fixed it with Talc (cheap and pale, a Halloween classic) I then added a layer of blood cake read to the waxed areas with another sponge wedge. This would look unrealistic alone, so I mixed a touch of black Snazaroo paint with the blood cake to make a darker more “clotted” looking colour. I stippled this on with a stippling sponge, but you could use a hog hair brush (gently!) to do this too. Finally I used a ruler (DON’T USEA KNIFE) to put cuts in the wax, to make it look like her eyebrow, the corners of her moth and her top lip were split, then filled these splits with gel blood. I finished the look by giving her red-ish hollowed out eyes, using a matt burgundy/brown eye shadow. Try not to use eye shadow’s with a sparkle for this, you will get a disco zombie, and it just isn’t the same! Finally I lightly drew in raised veins over her face, to make her look “infected”….tasty!

What do you think?? Let me know! I would really love some comments!

I want to hear your stories! Also I’m up for challenges, if you want to know how to produce a look, or just want to test my skills, I would be happy to have a go at it and report back with pictures!

Is this thing on?

Oh wait..no...yes...there we go...

So here it is, the first post..ahoooooh..shiny

Ok wonderment over.

I needed an outlet for my little hobby/obsession, and a friend suggested a "blog it". You see, I experiment with and follow all aspects of makeup, from the fashion trends in upcoming seasons to theatrical and FX makeup techniques, all of which I hope to discuss, try out and review with you good (but currently imaginary) people. After an hour of explaining just how not in tune with the online world I am, I came to understand that this would allow me to share my makeup based exploits, fanatical rantings and sparodic shopping spree buys, as well as opinions and reviews, with the world...excellent.

The only thing that remains for me to do now is update this ugly black box they gave me to write it in...this may take some tme.

Really you should expect more from me, as it happens I have a back ground in design (Publishing, not faces...sad but true), so I am now wedged in an awquard position. half my brain is revelling in the fact I can communicate with new poeple, who are interested in the subject (and really, if youre still reading this, then you must be...)and the other half is mopre than a touch disgruntled that it has to do so in a world of design based pain. For alas, I am weak of HTML.....

So heres my pledge, I will learn to master this blogging malarky, and in turn you will read, because eventually i'll have to say some thing interesting, and in all honesty things can only get better….

So for an opening post, some thing a bit different…as halloween has been and gone there must be some excellent makeup related tales of triumph..or woe…whatever…I’ll be unvieling my halloween efforts, in return for your comments and discussion. So get your FX hats on and come at me with impromptu product reviews, tips and tricks!

Bye for now,

p.s. fairly sure im talking to my self, which makes bidding you farewell a bit null...oh...there i go again...just stop talking...ok.

yay me...I made a post...round of applause please