Jan 31, 2017

Makeup: A Progress Report.

Makeup and religion as the topics of a BBC radio documentary.  

Well played, Roger.  Sorry I don't even understand the rules of tennis but what a brilliant win!

It doesn't happen all that often but I was lucky enough to be listening to the radio Sunday night (as opposed to doing my patriotic duty and watching the Australian Open Mens final - CONGRATS ROGER!!!) when celebrity make up artist Lucy Wearing interviewed her friend and colleague Shamain Faruque about those two seemingly disparate subjects.  You can listen to their chat here.

Wearing and Faruque during their interview, via Facebook.

Wearing begins the interview by contrasting her workday environment with that of Faruque's.  Loud pop music, up to 18 'faces' that need to be made that day (Wearing is also Ellie Goulding's personal  make up artist) and a background sense of pressure to meet deadlines, life as a make up artist in western orientated cultures is anything but a religious experience for either the artist or their clients.

Faruque, on the other hand specializes in bridal makeup and has her salon in Karachi, Pakistan.  As a practicing Muslim, Faruque considers her talent a gift from God and each face she creates is an act from Him.  She works barefoot, prays during the day at work and the soundtrack of her days are prayers and religious music.  

Aside from the connection of Faruque's art to religion, it was also fascinating to find out how she and Wearing met.  They were in Dubai where Wearing was hosting a make up class that Faruque decided to attend.  It was a ' beginners basic' level class and Wearing was astounded and humbled that an artist of Faruque's caliber would feel the need to attend.  They became friends with each inspiring the other.  Their interview was recorded both in a studio and 'live' in the make up hall of a London department store, I could just feel Faruque's dynamism and spirtuality in her words as she strolled the counters, admiring and seeking inspiration.

Shamain's work, via Google Images

Meanwhile, in the makeup baskets of SSG Manor 2.0, a little eyeshadow palette curation has been going on.  I've written previously about many of these items before but given that I've made a few purchases more recently (as in last week), a little update might be of interest to those of you who may in the same position with your own collection.  Tell me again I'm not the only one with a collection of eyeshadow palettes at age forty something and therefore should know better?

Top: L'Oreal LPN in Beige, bottom: Urban Decay's Naked 2.

I started off a year or so ago with a combination of the L'Oreal La Palette Nudes (Beige and Rose) RRP $ 25 AUD approx  and Urban Decay's gold standard Naked Palettes (2 and 3) RRP $83 AUD.

Top: Urban Decay's Naked 3, bottom: L'Oreal LPN Rose.
While I was quite happy with both brands initially, I got a bit spoilt as the months went buy.  The Naked palettes are definitely easier to work with in terms of texture, colour pay off, distinction of colour between shades, blendability and overall look on the face.  That being said, the Naked colour combinations in each palette stick very closely to their colour theme.  Yes, with all those shades, multiple effects can be achieved but they're all going to be taupe (#2) or rose gold (#3) based.  Which is lovely and all but despite those 24 shades of eyeshadow, I still didn't have what I needed for a basic brown based eyelid.

Then a two things happened:
  • I ditched the LPN because they got frustrating to work with in the hands of this novice
  • I hit pan on a MAC eyeshadow.
Result?  New eyeshadow suddenly became a necessity.

I spent a few weeks researching various options, reading beauty blogger reviews and looking at swatches and looks.  
  • I decided against revisiting masstige brands because I'd probably buy them and then go back for their more expensive equivalents after using them once or twice.  
  • I wasn't sure if another Urban Decay palette would give me what I was looking for.
  • I also wanted something that was packaged in sturdy metal or plastic.  I just can't do cardboard makeup packaging.  

Based on my research and that list of selection criteria, here's what I bought.  For reference, I'm around an MAC NC 40 -41, have dark brown eyes and (mostly) black hair.

Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar by Too Faced $70 AUD 

First impressions:
  • impressive range of shade selections for the price, all but the teal shade looking very wearable for me
  • sturdy metal compact with mirror in lid, magnetic closure and each shade of shadow clearly labelled in solid block capitals
  • a very handy cheats guide to 3 easy eye looks
  • delicious chocolate scent.

  • that instruction leaflet!!!!  I've tried Milk Chocolate and Semi-Sweet so far and they both worked first time.  I found the Naked palettes are a bit challenging to use because I had no idea which shades to use and where to apply them.  Applying what I've learned from  the Too Faced approach, I am hoping that I'll get even more use out of my Naked palettes.
  • I like how the highlight and base shades are double sized as they're both likely to be used most of all in this palette.
  • I managed to pull off both a solid brown based and taupe based nude eye from this palette alone, hope this doesn't make the rest of my collection redundant.
  • it was actually very easy to line my lower lash line with the darker shadows, I've never had much success in getting a subtle but defined line with other brands
  • softly textured in the pan but applied without much fall out (even darker shades)
  • no muddiness with blending
  • long wearing - 10 hours plus over primer on a 30C day
  • easily removed with cleansing oil.
  • can't really think of any, perhaps I should have bought this in the first place...
  • $70 not that bad considering utility and quality of product
  • might have just started a dangerous Too Faced addiction with this purchase.

The Semi Sweet lhow to guide included with the palette:

via Pinterest
It pays to read the instructions...

Les 4 Ombres in Codes Subtils - limited edition $100 AUD

Admittedly an impulse purchase heavily influenced by those words 'limited' and 'edition'.

First impressions:
  • luxe packaging
  • lovely combination of shades
  • Chanel, darling!!!


  • smooth application, a little less intense than the pay off from Too Faced and Urban Decay
  • again, it pays to read the instructions that come with the compact or to follow the tutorials on Chanel.com
  • this quad gave me a smoky taupe look with olive green tones, Naked 2 is more pure taupe to grey on me
  • I can't help but feel understated yet luxuriously chic each time I wear this quad.

  • I remember what frustrated me when I used to wear Chanel quads, application isn't quite like the buttery richness of those big hitting American brands.  Perhaps that's an issue relating to house formulas rather than an actual fault of the product.  I have read that Chanel have changed the formulation of their eyeshadows from when I last used them with most reviewers finding a vast improvement in shade intensity, longevity of wear and blendability.
  • I did find wearing both primer and an eye crayon under these shadows gave the colours more definition on me.
  • Very expensive for what will realistically be less look possibilities than the palettes with 12 or more shades that cost anywhere from $20 - $30 less.  But Chanel.  Limited Edition Chanel.

So much for all that focus in mid priced cosmetics I've purposely placed on both myself and the blog over the last few years.  I've somehow managed to qualify for a Level 2 Beauty Loop box at Mecca.  While it's very generous and will no doubt see me redirect a lot of my makeup shopping to the Big M, it's going to be interesting to see if the lure of these boxes will influence my skin care purchases (the area I've never been able to successfully divert too much funding from).  Watch this space, there's at least two samples in the photo above that I think might work for me - the By Terry eye balm and the Josie Maran argan oil moisturizer.

The Mecca effect has already begun.  I've begun wearing proper (ie greater than SPF 15) sunscreen on my face again.  To Save Face SPF 30 mineral Sunscreen ($38 AUD) has proven to be a winner for me.  It has a slight tint and wears well under make up without making it all look chalky.  It's also quite light weight in texture and suitable for sensitive skin.  I'm one of those vain people who abandoned high SPF facial sunscreen because of how awful my make up looked over it.  A non issue with To Save Face.

Have the Mecca Cosmetica Beauty Loop Boxes been a source of your undoing?

Have you bought an eyeshadow palette you just love recently?


  1. Ladies of the Islam religion are often beautifully made up.
    I love your dedication and you have influenced me into getting a bit more dedicated to grooming. Mecca is lady-crack.

    1. Aww, thanks, C! Yes, Mecca C is lady-crack.

      SSG xxx

  2. I do not have a eye shadow palette addiction but .......Oh my --- lipsticks!!!
    Oh that is so true cilosophy - Mecca is lady-crack!!!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm having trouble importing comments from Blogger right now so using Disqus or sending a tweet would be your best bet. X


Related Posts with Thumbnails