Category Archives: Beauty

FASHION & STYLE// Christmas Gift Guide for Her 2016

November 22, 2016

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I can’t quite believe that we are already back at that time of year when we are thinking about Christmas. This year has flown by. But its time to get out the little black dress and start thinking about glitz and glamour, presents, good food and fun times with your nearest and dearest.

So back by popular demand, here is my Christmas Gift Guide for Her for 2016. I hope it sparks some excitement and gives you some ideas, and be sure to share it with the men in your life for some hints for your wish list. Plus you can always treat yourself too. Continue reading

THOUGHTFUL SPOT // The Lines on my Face

August 17, 2016


Sometimes the lines around my eyes look deeper, the dark circles like black pools. The forehead is furrowed. Sometimes the slump of my shoulders show my ache. The ache from the weight.
It’s not important that the face has changed. But it is a reminder. A reminder that even pain of the soul can take its toll. Pain of the body is so obvious to see. But pain of the soul is more subtle. But it’s there nonetheless. Continue reading

Make-up Edit – Eyes and Lips

July 14, 2015

beauty edit eyes and lips

BITD kiki makeup kit march 2015 pic 4Hey my loves, here is the second installment looking at my basic make-up kit. You can read the Base Edit here.

Brows

Brows frame the face. If you take good care of them and don’t over pluck them they can make all the difference to your look. I get my eyebrows threaded and I pluck, but I am careful not to take too much away.

As I am getting older, my eyebrows are becoming even more fair. Some are even grey! So I always dye my eyebrows, using the Eyelure dye kit. But if you are not happy to do this, you can find a good brow technician who will dye them, thread and pluck into the perfect shape for you.

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I always pencil in some of the brow. I have sparse areas so they need to be filled. My current favourite is Mac Lingering Brow pencil. I have also used Rimmel Hazel eyebrow pencil for many years. I finish with a brow setting gel as my eyebrows are quite course and unruly. You may not need this step. I use Benefit Gimme Brow.

Important to note – Don’t over do the brow. There is nothing worse than two thick eyebrows with colour that is not natural. Always opt for the lighter colour and apply in light brush-like strokes.

For an ever softer finish I would recommend a powder product. Something like Mac Omega eyeshadow with an angled brush will fill and define the brow in a soft way.

Mascara

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This is my nemisis!!! I have, over the years, tried every mascara out there. I was not blessed with long eyelashes, but they are curly. I have always wanted a mascara to lengthen, volumise and define. I always opt for a drier formula. Anything too wet will just weigh my lashes down. For years I used Max Factor Masterpiece and Clinique High Impact Extreme Lash. I have also loved L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara. My current fave is Mac Extended play Gigalash it is the perfect combination of small wand, dryish formula, long wearing and no smudging on my oily lids. I usually wear black, but have been known to wear brown. Brown is much more natural and is really flattering.

I apply mascara right at the root of the lash and wiggle the brush up, so that it coats each lash. I usually apply at least 2 coats, but if it is a night out then it’s likely to be 3 or 4. Don’t let the mascara dry completely between coats as it will be hard to add more without clumping. Just do one eye at a time and come back to the other eye for your second coat.

I find waterproof mascaras are best for me. They don’t run and they don’t flake. They take more time to take off, but they hold a curl unlike regular mascara.

Eyeliner

Eyeliner is an easy way to transform a look. First we will talk about Kohl eyeliners. They can do many things. You can line the upper lash line for a flick. You can use it in the upper water line to tightline and give the lashes the look of thickness at the base. You can line the bottom water line and you can line the bottom lashes. One of my favourite things to do, particularly if I’m doing minimal make up is to line the top lash line then smudge it out to give a really quick smokey look.

During the day I would opt for any shade of brown or bronze. This compliments my eye colour. For an evening look it would be black.

My favourites are Rimmel Scandal eyes Waterproof Liners. There is a huge range of colours and they do really last. If you want to spend a bit more then the Charlotte Tilbury Rock n Kohl is outstanding. You can smudge it out, but once it sets that’s it! It’s there for the night. I use Bedroom Black, Barbarella Brown and Marlene Midnight which is a fab navy colour, again great for light eyes.

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Another tip, if you have tired or red eyes, then use a nude shade of kohl. Almost flesh coloured. Rimmel have one as do all the high end ranges. Line the lower water line with this and your eyes will instantly be bigger and brighter.

For gel and liquid liner, I am no expert. I have tried so many times over the years to perfect it, but I usually end up feeling that it doesn’t suit me. When I do opt for a gel line, I use Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey. Its not black and its not brown and shows off my bluey/green eyes beautifully. Bobbi Brown gel liners are renowned in the beauty world and most lines carry something similar. The Soap and Glory Supercat liner is supposed to be very good. I will do some more research and get back to you.

Eyeshadow

I love eyeshadow! I have quite a collection. I tend to stick with the same colour range. Always browns, copper, red. This suits my colouring. But I do like a black shadow too.

The rule of thumb is to start with a primer. This will keep the eyeshadow in place for longer, particularly if you get creasing or you have oily eyelids. I use Mac Painterly Paint Pot, its flesh coloured and gives a great base.

Then go in with your light colour all over the moving lid. If you have younger eyes, this could have a slight shimmer to it. I love the Elf C Eyeshadow Brush for packing on colour. Then take a slightly darker, mid tone colour to accentuate the crease of the eye. I always use Mac Texture. It’s a fantastic blending transition colour. I always use the Mac 217 Blending Brush for this. Literally, this brush is a must-have. Even if you are not great at blending, this brush will make everything easy. Then for more definition go in with a darker colour in the outer V of the eye. Use a Mac 219 Pencil Brush for this or a brush with a smaller head. Blend everything together well with a blending brush like the Mac 217.

I also always take the eyeshadow under the lower lashes too. It brings the look of the whole eye together. I use my Elf C Brush for this, but any smaller head brush will be fine.

The trick is to experiment and get used to using shadows. My favourite has always been Mac Antiqued. It’s a coppery brown shade with a hint of shimmer. It’s great on blue and green eyes. For a basic eye I like Mac All That Glitters which is a champagne colour.

Eyeshadow quads

I generally opt for shadows with a coppery/peachy base. I have made my own Mac quad with Mythology, Honey Lust, Expensive Pink and Star Violet. All beautiful and in the same tones.

There are plenty of drug store shadows. I have a great quad palette from Rimmel in Brixton Brown that has all the right coppery shades, and a L’Oreal Pro trio that has more greens and blacks. But in my experience over the years, nothing beats Mac. So if you can, go to the counter and ask for advice on the right colours for you and a quick demonstration of how to use.

For older eyes, they recommend staying away from glittery shadows as they can show lines and wrinkles. But there is a difference between shimmer and full-on glitter. If you keep your base colours matte then adding a little shimmer at the end is fine. It looks good in the tear duct area to make your eyes pop, also some on the centre of the moving eyelid can help to bring out the whole eye.

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My current favourite for everything is the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette. It’s just beautiful. Coppery, bronze and shimmer. With all of Charlotte’s palettes they come with instructions on the back. There is a base colour, an enhance colour, a smoke colour and a pop colour. Using this method you get the most beautiful bronze smokey eye with a pop of shimmer in the centre of the lid to finish the look. The eyeshadows are highly pigmented, soft and blendable. When I wear it I always get compliments. Dolce Vita is great for light eyes but Charlotte has 10 looks to choose from and there is something for everyone. I also have the Vintage Vamp quad which is more pink/purple tones but still with coppery warmth and make a great alternative. Perfect for light eyes.

Eyeshadow sticks

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If powder shadows are a bit scary for you then I highly recommend shadow sticks. All the ranges do them. Rimmel have the larger ScandalEyes Shadow Stick, as do Boots No 7 and Barry M. All can be swept across the lid, blended with the finger and with a touch of liner to the lashes and some mascara you are good to go! Charlotte Tilbury also does a fantastic range called the Colour Chameleon sticks. I have Champagne Diamonds and Bronzed Garnet. Both perfect for light eyes and again in coppery gold colours. The most coveted in the industry are the By Terry Ombre Blackstars. I am yet to purchase, but I doubt it will be long 😉

Lipstick and Lipliner

Oh, the joys of lipstick!!! Definitely my favourite Make-up item to buy. It’s like buying sweets! There is something so exciting about trying out a new colour or formula. There are literally thousands to choose from these days. Whilst I edge on the side of a neutral lip most days, I do wear a bold lip occasionally

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A good lipliner is a staple. You don’t have to have one in every colour to match each lipstick perfectly. But having a basic nude lip liner and a red tone lip liner in your collection will mean you are set for any look. I love the No.7 nude lip liner for all looks and the Charlotte Tilbury Lipcheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk is a must have for everyone. This lip liner actually increases the size of your lips without any harsh, drawn on lines. If applied all over the lip with just a gloss, then you have a great nude look. Alternatively add any colour over the top and I guarantee it will stay put.

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My favourite every day lipsticks are Mac Brave and Mac Patisserie. These are pinky nudes that sit comfortably and suit most skin tones. For a more brown nude I opt for Mac Bare Again a soft comfortable sheen lipstick, or Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria, inspired by Victoria Beckham, this is a matte finish.

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If I’m going for a bold statement lip then Mac Morange is a fab bright orange or Mac Lady Danger for a red with a hint of orange. I stick to Mac lipsticks as a general rule, because I know them. But the high street has plenty to choose from too. Rimmel always win for me. Their Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipsticks are amazing. But Boujois and L’Oreal do amazing lipsticks too. It’s about finding a colour that suits you.

When picking a lip colour you will know if the colour suits you as your face will immediately light up. If it doesn’t suit you, then all you will see is the lip! You don’t want this, you want something to compliment your skin tone and eyes and to bring out all your features. Again, if you are new to this, then go to a Mac counter and try a few colours. They will be happy to help and advise on what’s best for you.

I suit oranges, plums and bubblegum pinks. You may be more cool toned so a brown or blue-red may suit you. One tip, if you are going out to eat, then I would opt for a lighter colour. You don’t want to have to worry about your red lipstick smudging as you eat. Any other time then a bold lip is fine. If you go for Red on a night out, then I would opt for a matte formula that stays put. One of my favourites for this is Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square.

Lipgloss, Laquer and Balms

I also love a smooth gloss. Gloss has been around since the 70’s. It has a way of making the lips look luscious and the pout so much bigger. As you get older your lips shrink a bit. So my advice for the older ladies is to add a touch of gloss to your favourite lipstick to make those lips kissable.

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I am really enjoying my latest purchase which is the Clarins Instant lip Perfector. Its not sticky or too glossy and helps to moisturise the lips with a hint of colour. In my experience some of the best glosses have been high street brands. So anything from Collection, Nyx or Boujouis will be fine. For coloured gloss my current favourite is Mac ‘Fashion Perk’ Mineralize Glass. This gives the fullness of a gloss with enough pigment to add colour.

If you like a balmy finish with a hint of colour then all the drug store make-up ranges now have the chubby pencils. I love the Revlon ColourBurst and Rimmel Colour Rush. They are light enough to feel like you are only wearing a lip balm, but they have a hint of colour. Some are far more pigmented than others but they are all really comfortable and natural to wear.

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The latest addition is the lip laquers. These are liquids lip colours that dry down to a lipstick and stays put all day. My favourites are the Rimmel Apocolips and Boujoius Rouge Velvets. You can opt for strong or nude colours and the lasting power is incredible. My most recent additions are the Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipsticks. Incredible colours and staying power.

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Some days all I wear is a balm. I will use the Balmi Lip Balm in Strawberry or if you want to go for the Rolls Royce then By Terry Balm de Rose. Both are great for moisturising the lip.

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I could talk all day. But I hope this gives you some basics. I will go into my Top 5’s of each product type over coming posts, so please watch out for that.

If you have questions then please leave in the comments and please do share your favourites.

Kiki green profile

Kiki xo

Fashion Edit – Summer 2015

May 21, 2015

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Fashion. My passion. I have loved clothes and style as long as I can remember. I don’t recall where my style came from. I was always ‘fashionable’ I guess. It must have been an in-built passion. I loved new clothes. The styles, the colours and the cuts.

I have never had a problem spending money (not encouraging this – ha ha) so shopping for the latest fashions has always been such a pleasure. Taking my God-daughter on a shopping spree to spend her money and mine is my idea of heaven!

Obviously my taste has changed over the years. But one thing remains the same. It has to be chic. It has to be classy. It has to suit me – as far as I am concerned, It’s no good buying a boob tube midi dress if you don’t have the figure for it. However, right now, I will of course admit I’ve had my share of fashion faux pas! Maybe I shouldn’t have worn those hot pants in the summer of 1998?!

I’ve pretty much always been plus size. And right now it’s so easy to find the right pieces as there is so much option. twenty years ago that was not the case. I would struggle to find what I had in mind, in my size. Thankfully the fashion industry saw light of this and so many of the high street brands stock plus size pieces. So I’m one happy fashion bunny.

I have staples in my wardrobe at all times. Jeans, trousers, little black dress and black pumps. But I do look forward to each new season just to see what new styles come.

I’m pretty boho in spirit and if I had my way i’d probably look like a hippy at all times. But I do love to glam up too. A night out or a fancy event gives me just the excuse to show off a new find.

My taste is high street most of the time. I don’t have the budget for anything else if I’m honest. But a girl can dream as she flicks through the pages of Vogue for inspiration. I do have a few more expensive items that I have invested in. But I’m happy in anything from F&F to ASOS Curve to Topshop, to New Look and H&M. As long as I love the item and it speaks to me.

So all that said I thought it was about time to dabble in sharing my fashion advice. No better place to start than with what’s hot right now. This may offer you some inspiration on what will be fashionable this summer. You can aim for all of it. Or you can just change a few pieces and add them to your current collection. Mix it up.

Jeans

Jeans rock! It doesn’t matter what the decade or the season they are everyone’s favourite surely?! So easy to wear, so stylish in the right design and so understated. You may have your favourite pair that you dream of fitting back into one day (mine are a pair of Levi 501’s that I just can’t part with).

This season the skinny jeans still rock. This is good news for me as I love them. The new take is that they have to be ripped. ASOS Curve Ridley is always my fave for the curvy girl. I love the fit and comfort. They come in lots of colors.

asos skinny ripped

Topshop have a huge selection and my sources tell me the Leigh jeans are the best. Or the Jaime. Again they come in every colour and have a great ripped selection too. Perfect for a size 16 or below.

In terms of colour white skinny jeans are huge this season. So maybe get out of the comfort zone and invest.

Boyfriend cut are also really big. Distressed or just loose fitting, they look amazing with a heel and jacket. These from ASOS are gorgeous.

asos boyfriend

On a side note flares are back big style for this season. So If you like the 70’s flare then here are a few ideas. Topshop Flare, ASOS Flare.

The white shirt

To be honest this is a classic piece. It’s something you can always have in your collection. The style variations are literally endless. Every high street leader is stocking their own version right now.

My fave is this loose Topshop offering. Perfect with jeans, shorts or a skirt or as a beach cover up as it is intended. I love the light floaty fabric and the ease of wear. Add a necklace to jazz it up or just flow with its classic simplicity. ASOS have an exact style on offer.

topshop oversized white shirt

For regular and slim fit then Zara and H&M also have fab options.

Shorts

Shorts are a summer staple. Period. Mostly because they are cool and comfortable. The classic denim short never fails to look cool. ASOS Curve has a great selection. These are what I’ll be rocking this summer. For regular fit literally every high street brand has them. My dream faves are Zara, Topshop and H&M

There are also tailored fits and ditsy prints to choose from. Fab with a vest tank top, loose T-shirt or shirt. I’m opting for this gorgeous glitsy pair from ASOS, but Topshop and Zara have gorgeous ones too.

topshop shorts

Shirt dress

If you’re going to go for just one new style of dress this summer make it a shirt dress. There are literally tons to choose from. Whether it’s casual or tailored. It looks amazing with a belt. With ankle boots on a casual shopping day or with strappy heels for an evening look.

zara shirt dress

My purchase is this Next grid design. I also love New Look’s Navy take. And this gorgeous loose casual piece from F&F is a bargain. This tailored wrap dress from Topshop  in classic white is a stunner or this looser fit from Zara.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are always my passion. This season big is still big. These over-sized gold shades from New Look are fab. A cat eye look or a classic aviator will also work. Ray ban are the dream. But the high street have great affordable pairs.

new look oversized shades

The round frame are also big news. The bigger the better. Or go for the John Lennon look.

To be honest anything goes. Coloured frames, adornment. You can’t really go wrong. But if in doubt stick with the aviator. It’s always chic with any outfit.

Shoes

Every curvy girl knows that if in doubt shoes are always a winner as they usually fit! This summer there are a few new trends. In terms of what to invest in I’ll break it down.

Funky sandal.

Probably the flat sandal has come through stronger this season with a few new takes on the originals. Invest in a two part which is great with jeans or shorts. The slider for pool side or just a casual day. The jeweled, classic sandal or laced gladiator all look amazing with Jeans, shorts, dresses or skirts.

asos slider

next two part sandal

Espadrilles look amazing with shorts, skinny jeans and a T-shirt or with your bathing suit. They are so comfortable too. There are some amazing offerings on the high street. New Look, Next,  Topshop or ASOS are all killing it. But If we could live the dream then these would be my ultimate investment. Chanel.

newlook espadrille

The Single strap heeled sandal was strong last season and remains so this season. It is a classic cut that elongates the foot and leg. Next have nailed it. You can go for block heel for more comfort or sky scraper for high style. Zara’s have a ring strap to bring an edge. They look amazing. With a dress or with my favourite, jeans.

asos single strap sandal

Wedges are coming through again and that 70’s vibe is shown in suede textures and wood base. Peep toe or cross over. Anything goes. These suede wood sole from Next are amazing. Or the cross over from Zara.

nextwedge look

The ankle boot

Now you’re probably thinking this is a winter essential. But to me nothing looks more stylish than a boho cream dress and brown western ankle boots. Perfect for festival chic. Ankle boots are everywhere in every color and style. My current faves are the Ash Jalouse. But just check out the high street versions. New Look, Next, Topshop. Amazing with skinnys, shorts, dresses. You really can’t go wrong.

ash jalouse

Smart top

If you have a dressy top in your wardrobe then as long as you have some skinny jeans or slim trousers you are good to go.

For curves the Bardot style top is big right now. The off-the-shoulder style is really flattering on the curves and shows of the shoulders beautifully. Go for a colour like this one from ASOS in rust or classic black always looks classy. Team with skinny’s or a midi skirt for that Parisian feel.

This season it seems simple is best. Light fabrics in a sleeveless chiffon, lace or a structured shell top. I love this simple halter top from Zara. These beautiful racer back cami’s from New Look are simple and understated. Great with shorts or jeans or under a blazer.  I love the simple look of a block colour drape front blouse with skinny jeans and a long necklace. I also love this blush top from Next. You cannot fail to look put together.

Loose T-shirt

T-shirts never go our of fashion. This season go for a linen texture that’s light an flowy with a v-neck. Next have an amazing selection.  A white, grey or black T-shirt with skinny jeans or shorts and you’re made. Just add your sandal or boot and you’re rocking. This Topshop jersey pocket T is fab and would look amazing with a white blazer, skinny’s and heels. Alternatively pair a logo T-shirt with a blazer and you look Cannes chic.

topshop grey t'

Stripes never fail to look chic with that French air. Zara’s striped tank is very cool. Any striped top with jeans on a casual day will really make you look put together.  F&F have this gorgeous T-shirt that is a take on a classic. Its loose fitting and has some block colour too. And Next have this gorgeous Neppy T.

zara stipe tank

Anything white.

Summer means sun. Which to me always means white. There is something so classy and feminine about a white top, dress or skirt. This season there’s loads to choose from. Lace or chiffon tops. Little white dresses. All enhances the summer glow of your skin.

I love this white embroidered shell top from ASOS for us curvy girls. White dresses are really big and always look amazing on tanned skin. This jaquard print from H&M is beautiful. Topshop have this gorgeous white embroidered lace top which would look amazing with slim trousers, shorts or skinny’s.

hm white dress

This beautiful lace peplum from Zara is also gorgeous. Paired with their white belted slim leg trouser is a perfect look. Just add sandals and some strong jewellery.

Jewellery

Accessorising with jewellery immediately updates your look. This season necklaces are either stronger silver statement pieces or wispy fine long gold that drape perfectly down the cleavage.

I love this statement silver necklace from New Look. It is bang on trend and a bargain compared to most high street options. Put this with your loose T-shirt, skinny’s and heels and you will rock!

newlook necklace

For the long wispy look, ASOS have this beautiful gold layered piece. This with your drape front blouse or summer dress will look divine.  This triple row from New Look is also amazing.

Everyone on the high street is hitting it with fashionable jewellery. The midi rings make the hand look long and stacking looks great. Alternatively one bold statement ring looks amazing on your index finger. I love this split ring. For those with less slender fingers like me, then ASOS Curve rings are always fab and wear really well.

topshop ring

Earring cuffs are huge too. Lots of takes on the standard stud earring. This beautiful rhinestone number from Topshop is gorg.

Blazer

In terms of covering up and rocking a look the blazer is still a classic piece. You may have one from last season. Or you may want to add to your collection. White is in big time as are florals and your standard black or navy. As soon as you add it to your skinny’s and t-shirt or light cami, you look the part.

new look black blazer

This floral blazer from New Look is in my collection. Its beautiful over a simple camisole with blue or white skinny jeans. Their classic black is amazing too. Next have a fab selection.

The double collar black blazer from Topshop is classic and will last you for years. And Zara’s double fabric blazer comes in white, black, fushia, yellow and off-white. Add a pop of colour to this years wardrobe and just add a white T-shirt and jeans or a camisole and cigarette trousers.

Casual dress

This can be anything from a midi to a maxi. Whatever makes you comfortable. White is big as I said. Or a floral ditsy print. Add wedge heels or flat sandals some jewellery and you have a mix of looks for any occasion.

I love this ditsy floral pocket dress from F&F. This floral frill dress from New Look is gorgeous too. Just add brown wedges and you’re set. This stripe jersey maxi dress from Dorothy Perkins is fab as is their paisley denim cami dress.

tesco ditsy dress

Zara have lots to choose from. I love the basic sleeveless sun dress.  And their long scarf print dress is to die for.

zara hankerchief maxi

I’ve already purchased this beauty from ASOS. The embroidered swing dress.

Handbags

Now let’s stop here. This is my down fall. Handbags. I literally could buy one a week. Why are they so coveted?! I do not know. If you have only three bags in your life then let it be a large tote, an across body and an evening clutch.

For totes there are always lots to choose from. They are classic and go with everything and they literally hold everything  I love this Arrow Tote from Topshop. This reversible black tote from Zara rivals designer high end brands. And this classic leather tote form ASOS is beautiful and a bargain. It comes in lilac too. For a summer take, go for the casual canvas version like this classic stripe from Oasis at ASOS.

asos black tote

An across the body is chic and functional. Its easy to wear and means you are hands free. I
love this tan leather fringe from Topshop, or the mini duffle from ASOS.  For a classic piece then this grey from Warehouse at ASOS is leather and beautiful. Plus it will go with everything.

 

topshop tan cross body

I love a good clutch. My treasured possession is my Whistles Rivington its classic and functional for every occasion. Next have a bargain dupe. White is big this season this foldover from Next is gorgeous and ASOS have loads to choose from I love this basic white leather clutch. I would opt for a black and a tan so you can mix looks. I love this tan soft leather from ASOS and the black version is also beautiful. It will see you through season after season. You might fancy going for a pop of colour and this block colour clutch from Zara is lovely.

asos rivington

Jumpsuits/Playsuits

Jumpsuits and playsuits have been in fashion for a few seasons now. They are literally the easiest way of looking put together. Add shoes and jewellery and you’re done. This classic cut black from Next works for any occasion. I also love this pale grey back detail they have. There are some really beautiful playful playsuits. I love this tropical floral from Newlook and this utility playsuit from ASOS Curve adds an edge. I also love this elephant print from ASOS.

next jumpsuit

Really anything goes. Either dress it up with heels or wear to the beach with your favourite sandals.

Leather jacket

Again, what you would think to be a winter piece but it can be rocked any time of year. Particularly in Great Britain. Biker still holds number one and I don’t think it will ever go out of style. All you have to do is choose the colour, cut and hardware colour. Then rock it girls. Wear with literally any item; dress, skirt, jeans or shorts. It’s totally up to you.

asos black leather

My pick for the curvy girl is this ASOS waterfall biker in black. For regular fit then this Topshop shrunken fitted is a classic investmest piece that will last you a lifetime.

This brings us to the end of Kiki’s edit for spring/summer 2015. I hope you have got some ideas and some inspiration and enjoyed the piece. Let me know what you will be wearing in the comments section below. Happy shopping my loves. – Kiki xox

Make-up for Kiki – Base Edit

March 16, 2015

I often get asked what Make-up I’m using. I like to think that it’s years of practice and an eye for detail that make the difference. Or that it is maybe the care I take of my skin. Or it’s the good products that I use. But the truth is it’s a combination of all those things.

BITD kiki makeup kit march 2015 pic 4

 

As I have previously said, Make-up has been a lifelong passion. I have always been in awe of the way Make-up can literally transform a person. I believed as a young person that Make-up could give me the confidence I needed to go about my life. My mum had always worn Make-up, and all the strong women in my life also wore Make-up. Whether it was lashings of navy mascara, Max Factor Crème Puff, or an orange lip.

My mum always said that she believed we should make the best of ourselves and what we have. It was by no means meant to be false advertising. It was and is about enhancing our own good points and making them shine, giving you the confidence to be the best possible version of yourself.

I have always favoured a strong eye over a bold lip.  I am naturally fair-skinned. I have bluey/green eyes. I was not blessed with dark hair, so my eyelashes and eyebrows are really fair too. This generally means that they are non-existent without some enhancement. I learnt early on that several coats of mascara made all the difference to my eyes. Some concealer to hide the naturally-occurring dark circles, also helped make my eyes shine.

I am a strong believer that Make-up is fun. It is not serious. It’s about trying new things and seeing what works for you. It’s about taking inspiration from the great beauty icons of the past like Monroe, Hepburn and Taylor. Or the funky beauties of today. It’s about finding a fit for you that makes you feel strong, sexy and confident. Make-up has the power to change you.

Anyone close to me, my best friends in particular, will attest to my passion for Make-up. I was always the friend who spent hours getting all the girls ‘glammed’ up before I finally did my own Make-up. I have always loved seeing the transformation and the happy smile on the face of my friends when they saw their new ‘look’ for the first time.

So I guess you’re all wondering what make up I use? Well if I were to sit here with the full collection on show, you would probably be a bit shocked. There is a lot. But I justify it as my hobby and my passion. What I will do here is my current Make-up edit. It will be in 2 parts: prime, Base and Blush and in next weeks installment we will talk about Eyes, Eyebrows and lips.

On a side note, its important to mention that I also prime my skin with cleansing, toning and moistursing. We will look at this in a skincare edit coming soon.

Primer

These days if I am going out, I will always use a primer. It holds the make up in place for hours and can easily refine your skin before you apply your foundation. If you get hot or oily, a primer has the power to lock in the foundation so that you don’t become a greasy mess. I have used Benefit Porefessional for a while which is a dryer texture almost silicone and covers pores very well and locks in make-up. At the moment I am using L’Oreal Lumi Magique. This primer is lovely. It has a high level of luminosity, so even if your skin is feeling sallow or dull, a sweep of this and you will have a glow to be envied.

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Foundation

Over the years I have tried everything from tinted moisturisers, mineral powder foundations to bog standard foundation. It really depends how your skin is without Make-up. If you have good skin, then you will likely only need a tinted moisturiser with maybe a touch of concealer.

If your skin is oily, then you need a primer first and then a foundation that is not too oily, something that matifies the skin. If your skin is older, then it should be all about the glow and the youthful look, so you are looking for ‘luminous’ or ‘moisturising’ foundations.

SPF is good if you are outdoors, but it doesn’t photograph well, you will often get a white cast, so if you are on a night out, opt for something that doesn’t have the SPF in it.

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My skin is pretty good and has a natural glow. But I suffer a lot of redness across my cheeks. So I usually opt for a lighter foundation, my current favourite is Mac Face and Body C3. It’s a really light foundation that is glowy and can be built up in layers. I apply this all over the face and down the neck with a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. The sponge makes for a lighter application so that the Make-up is not heavy or cakey. For more coverage and still a dewy finish then I would highly recommend the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. I use the shade  ‘Cashew Beige’. I love that it can be worked into the skin with a buffing brush or with your fingers and gives a beautiful healthy skin-like finish.

Then I go in with concealer where I need it.

Concealer

I have a lot of concealers. My personal opinion is if nothing else, everyone should have concealer. For dark circles, redness or blemishes. This together with a coat of mascara and a lip gloss and you can be out the door.

I have naturally dark circles around the eyes and redness across the cheeks and around the nose. Some of this is due to the medications I take and the dark rings will always be worse if I’m run down or tired from the fibromyalgia. So for this I am currently using Clarins Instant Concealer. It applies beautifully. Its light and moisturising so it doesn’t settle into fine lines around the eye. I apply with my finger and the Real Techniques setting brush. It’s also great on blemishes and redness and can be built up.

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A really good dupe for this is the Rimmel Wake-me-up concealer. It’s a lovely formula that instantly brightens the dull under eye area and can be used on blemishes and redness too.

Highlighting pens

These really came into being with the launch of Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Touche Eclait which was my favourite for many years. But all the drugstore make-up ranges now have their own version. My favourite is Maybelline Dream Lumi in 01 Ivory. I use the pen as my last step to highlight under the eye again to reflect light and also on the brow bone, down the nose and on the highest points of the cheek.

Blush

Now blush is a hugely important step for most skin tones. I have never spent too much money on blush as I have a naturally high colouring. But a lot of people do not have this flush of colour, so blush is a definite must-have to make you look healthy and glowy.

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Powder blushers are lovely. My favourite is Nars Gigi.But if you want something more drug store priced, the Sleek. blushes are amazing and can be picked up in Superdrug for a fraction of the price. They have a fantastic colour range. I have the colour Rose Gold 926, which has been compared many times to Nars Orgasm. For blush brushes you can’t go wrong with the Real Techniques Blush Brush which is really high quality and does an amazing job.

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There are now a lot of cream blushers too. I tend to favour this now that my skin is older as they add that glow that I keep mentioning. I have used the Clinique Chubby stick in Robust Rhubarb which is lovely (but mother stole this). So my current favourite is the Max Factor Miracle touch cream blush in Soft Copper. This suits my skin tone and adds colour together with a dewyness. I apply it with the Real Techniques stippling brush.

For younger skins you can use cream or powder, but if you are over 40 my recommendation would be a cream product. There are hundreds out there, just find a colour you like.

Bronzer

Bronzer has always been one of my favourite steps. I have used it as long as I can remember. Back in the day the first bronzer we all used was ‘Le Glow. It is still around today and is still just as good as ever. I have friends who swear by it.

Bronzer gives an all over healthy glow, like you have been subtly touched by the sun. It can also be used to contour the cheeks, nose and forehead. I tend to go for an all over application to give myself some warmth. It goes well with my freckles.

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My favourite is Nars Bronzer in Laguna, and has been for some time. But again, all drug store brands offer their own. Another favourite is the Soap and Glory Solar Powder. It’s a beautifully soft powder that gives an instant glow.

Powder

I was never a powder wearer to be honest. But as my skin has now become oily in places, particularly in the T-zone of the face, I always finish with a powder. My current favourite is Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in No 30. This is a new generation of powder that takes away shine but adds glow. In the drug store, a favourite with many beauty bloggers is the Boujois Healthy Balance powder. You can opt for a translucent with no colour or you can use a colour more suitable for your skin tone.

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Sweep the powder with a powder brush, like the Real Techniques Powder Brush, across the forehead, down the nose and on the chin. This takes away obvious shine. If you want to keep some glow, then avoid powdering the cheeks and let the blush shine through.

Highlight

As a last step for the face I finish off with a highlight. I apply this to the tops of the cheeks at the highest point, on the brown bone, down the nose and over the cupids bow of the lip.

I have two favourites. Both by Mac. For a powder highlight then Mac Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle can’t be beaten for a soft, peachy golden hue of light. I would apply this with a smaller brush. Something like the Bobbi Brown Sheer Powder Brush.

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For older skins then a cream product is always recommended. My favourite is Mac Cream Colour Base in Hush. Again a beautiful soft glow of light with a creamy finish that looks completely natural.  I would apply this with my fingers and blend.

I hope you have found this interesting. I take ongoing inspiration from bloggers and their recommended products. And I’m always on the look out for a new buy that makes all the difference to your look.

Let me know what your favourites are in the comments. Hugs, Kiki xxxx