Makeup Utopia http://makeuputopia.com Join the quest for perfect makeup Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:55:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Warm Winter Work Makeover http://makeuputopia.com/warm-winter-work-makeover/ Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=8034 The post Warm Winter Work Makeover appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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WARM WINTERWORK MAKEOVER

Although things have been very quiet around here recently, if you’ve been a reader of Makeup Utopia for a while, you’ll know that I moved from Australia to the Netherlands with my family a little over a year ago. I spent our first year here focussing all my energy into settling into a new country and making sure my kids were happy, well-adjusted and comfortable. Once things felt settled and comfortable, I found my entrepreneurial spirit flaring up, and a little over a month ago I started a business here in the Netherlands.

I’ll admit it, over those 12 months, I fell into a serious style rut. I stopped wearing makeup entirely. I wore yoga pants and sneakers every day. Most days, I was lucky to even brush my hair – but let’s be honest, I had bigger things to worry about.

Now that I’m working again, I’m able to dedicate some brain-space to presenting myself in a professional manner. My new business is very family focussed, so I can get away with jeans and a henley shirt, but the devil is in the details. I’ve found that carefully curated accessories and thoughtfully applied makeup can lift my casual outfits from basic to business-casual.

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A few months ago I was gifted an incredibly beautiful watch from JORD watches. I’ve been really enjoying mixing my metals in my accessories, mashing up the rose-gold of the watch, with my gold wedding ring, silver drop earrings, and my favourite black-metal necklace. The makeup look I created for this post is inspired by the rose gold and koa wood tones of my watch.

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I originally used a very neutral nude lipstick for this look, and I LIKED it, but I didn’t LOVE it, so…

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I mixed it up by applying a deep berry tone in a stain fading out from the centre of my lips.

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I experimented with a lot of Sleek MakeUP products in creating this look, and I was really happily surprised by the performance of these products, form a brand I have had very limited experience with in the past.

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Here’s how I got this look:

Jord inspired tutorial

  1. I applied my foundation (I use Ellis Faas Foundation in shade #2), my concealer (I use Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in shade Medium Light Neutral, which is sadly a fraction too dark for my winter skin), and my eyebrows (I use M.A.C Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Redhead).
  2. I applied a light wash of a neutral pink cream blush just under the peak of my cheekbones (I used Sleek MakeUP Creme-to-Powder Blush in Carnation*).
  3. I applied a matte taupe eye base to both eyelids and blended it softly into and just above my crease (I use M.A.C Paintpot in Groundwork).
  4. I used the Sleek Eyeshadow Palette in “Storm”* for my eyes. I applied a wash of matte taupe eyeshadow over my entire eyelid (top row, third eyeshadow). I made sure to blend this out into a shape that is flattering for my eye shape, and diffused any harsh edges. I then patted a generous amount of a metallic rose-gold on the middle of my eyelids, keeping it quite concentrated (top row, fifth eyeshadow).
  5. I applied a pale champagne shimmer to the inner corners of my eyes (top row, second eyeshadow).
  6. I applied the same matte taupe to the outer 2/3 of my lower lashline (top row, third eyeshadow).
  7. I applied a thin line of black pencil eyeliner along the outer 2/3 of my top lashline (I used Sleek Eau La Liner in Noir*), then I blended it out softly with a fluffy brush.
  8. I finished my eyes with lashings of black mascara (I use Benefit They’re Real! Mascara).
  9. I applied a neutral lipstick to finish the look in a very natural, understated way (I used Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Succumb*).
  10. I then decided I wanted to amp-up the intensity of this look, so I patted on a deep berry coloured lipstick, focussing on the centre of my lips (I used Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Vixen), and I blended it out toward the edges of my lips, using my pinky.

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This makeup look lasted quite well, and this photo was taken after I had ridden my bike to an active toddler activity class, and ridden back home in drizzly Dutch weather.

Disclosure: All Sleek MakeUP products featured, and the JORD Watch were provided to Makeup Utopia for editorial consideration. No financial remuneration has been received for this article. All other products featured have been purchased by me.

If you’re keen to pick up a JORD Watch, they have recently started offering free international shipping. I can also say only great things about my experience with the company – there were quite a few hiccups getting the watch to me, and I found them to be incredibly helpful through the whole process.

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Multi-purpose beauty products for busy mums http://makeuputopia.com/multi-purpose-beauty-products-for-busy-mums/ Mon, 24 Aug 2015 21:23:15 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=8029 The post Multi-purpose beauty products for busy mums appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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The Lilypad

I’m a mum of 2 delightful (but very active and busy) children, and living in Europe, we’ve just had our summer vacation from school. 6 weeks of intensive mama-children time doesn’t leave a lot of time for personal upkeep.

Not only that, but I have been working hard to launch my new business here in the Netherlands, and that has involved meeting with quite a few contacts and potential clients, and needing to be professionally presented.

Quite the conundrum.

Because I have been so pressed for time, I’ve been racking my brain to come up with some easy ways to make the most of what limited preparation time I have – this has meant multi-tasking my beauty products as much as possible.

Here’s a quick 7 tips for making the most of your makeup, and looking professionally presented in a very short period of time:

Check out Multi-purpose beauty products for busy mamas

by Sara-May Monaghan at Mode

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Makeup Utopia loves: Aussie Bloggers! http://makeuputopia.com/makeup-utopia-loves-aussie-bloggers/ Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:45:58 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=8025 The post Makeup Utopia loves: Aussie Bloggers! appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Things have been a bit quiet here on Makeup Utopia. Living in the northern hemisphere now, we’re smack-bang in the middle of the summer school holidays, and I’m focussing all my time and energy on my children. It’s the first BIG break from school my daughter has had for a year and a half (thanks to the logistics of moving from Australia to the Netherlands).

Just because I haven’t been blogging, doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading blogs, and today I wanted to share with you a list of some of my very favourite Beauty Bloggers from Australia. There’s so many great beauty blogs being published in Australia, but I truly can’t bring myself to miss a single post from these 7 Aussie Bloggers.

Click through to read the full list on Mode.com

Check out These Aussie Beauty Bloggers really know their stuff.

by Sara-May Monaghan at Mode

Makeup Utopia: Express Makeup the e-Book is now available! Get it on Makeup Utopia

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27 makeup mistakes you’re probably making http://makeuputopia.com/27-makeup-mistakes-youre-probably-making/ Sun, 21 Jun 2015 10:35:21 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7231 The post 27 makeup mistakes you’re probably making appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Now, I’m not a big believer in rules when it comes to makeup. I think you should do whatever makes you happy, and as long as you feel fantastic, you’re going to radiate a confidence that makes you look fantastic.

Having said that, there are some rules that are incredibly important (particularly on the topic of hygiene), and then there are the makeup “rules”. I’ve outlined all the ones I can think of below. My theory is, if you’re going to break the rules, you should really know what they are and the reasons they exist.

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#1 - Using dirty makeup brushes
Real Techniques Brushes

If you’re the only person using your makeup brushes, it can be REALLY tempting to skip washing them. However, cleaning your brushes, particularly your foundation brush, and any brushes you use with cream or liquid products is just as important as removing your makeup at the end of the day. Makeup brushes, when used clean, can help you to apply your makeup beautifully and hygienically. When you don’t wash your brushes, you are risking acne, skin infections and eye infections, as well as reducing the efficacy of the brush and shortening the shelf life of your makeup.
I recommend using a spot cleaner every time you use your brushes (I prefer Napoleon Perdis Brush Cleaner) and wet cleaning them with brush soap or anti-bacterial dishwashing liquid every 5-10 uses.
Learn one way to deep clean your brushes in this related article.
Find out more about why you should clean your brushes in this related article.

#2 - Wearing a foundation that doesn't properly match your skin
Foundation

When you wear a foundation that matches your skin in both colour and formula, your complexion can look even, clear and radiant. It can help you look awake and refreshed, and naturally beautiful.
When you wear a foundation that is a poor match in colour, you can look anaemic (if it’s too pale), like an oompa loompa (if it’s too dark/orange), ashy (if it’s too pink), or jaundiced (if it’s too yellow.)
When you wear a foundation that is a poor match in texture, it can emphasise the texture of your skin in an unflattering way. If you have oily skin and you choose a foundation with a glossy or dewy finish, it could emphasise the shine in your skin. If you have dry or dehydrated skin and you choose a foundation with a matte or velvet finish, it can cling to the dry areas of your skin, making any dry patches more obvious and keeping your skin looking dull and flat.
Foundation is something I firmly believe you should try before you buy. If at all possible, choose a makeup counter based on the makeup worn by the staff – if you like the makeup they are wearing, it could be a good style match. Ask to be matched for a suitable foundation, and ask them to apply it on you. Also ask for a sample to take home.
Try and see how the makeup looks in various lighting situations – sunlight, fluorescent light, dim light – and make sure you are happy with the colour match. Wear it all day and make sure you are happy with the way it wears, and ensure it doesn’t oxidise (turn orange) on your skin after you’ve worn it for a few hours. Wear it for a few days to make sure you don’t have any reaction to the formula, and if you’re happy with all these factors, head back to the store and buy your new foundation!

#3 - Wearing a full face of makeup every day
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Skin is a living organ, it needs to breathe in order to function and appear at it’s best. Wearing makeup every day can exacerbate existing skin issues, or create new problems, including congestion, acne, dehydration and flakiness.
Thoroughly cleansing your skin every evening can go a long way towards protecting the condition of your skin, however it’s even more effective to spend some time free of makeup.
Here’s an interesting article about one woman’s experience with going bare-faced twice a week.

#4 - Keeping mascara for waaaaay too long
Eyelashes

Mascara is one of the least hygienic beauty products ever. Your eyes are a self-lubricating organs, and as such, they constantly secrete bodily fluids. Eyelashes are explicitly designed to catch any dust and other foreign objects so they don’t get into your eyes.
When you use your mascara wand to apply mascara, the wand comes into contact with the germs from your eyes and the dust and other goobers on your eyelashes. When you return the wand to the tube, those germs and grime are effectively inserted into a dark, moist environment, pretty ideal for incubating said germs.
Mascara has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months MAXIMUM. Any longer than this and you risk causing a potentially awful eye infection.
You can keep your mascara up to 6 months if the formula has not changed in smell, consistency or performance. If you notice any of the following, throw your mascara out immediately

  1. Change in smell
  2. Change in texture
  3. Change in performance
  4. Someone else has used your mascara (NEVER share mascara, it’s gross)
  5. You have conjunctivitis or some other eye infection.
#5 - Ignoring your eyebrows
Eyebrows

Although you might not give a lot of thought to your eyebrows, they can really make or break an entire makeup look. That’s not to say that you need to fill them in (although that can look beautiful) or that you need to wax/tweeze/razor/thread them into submission (although that, too, can be beautiful). However if you have spent a lot of time and effort in doing your makeup, and you completely ignore your eyebrows, it can have an impact on the overall look.
When you’re finished your makeup, run a spoolie brush, a clean toothbrush or even a dry cotton bud through your eyebrows, removing any foundation that may have clumped through your brows and making sure your eyebrow hairs are all lying in a generally upward and outward direction.
Feel free to take the additional step of using a brow gel, pomade, pencil or powder to fill them in and set them in place if that’s what works for you.

#6 - Not wearing blush
Blush

I get it. Blush can be tricky. You spend time applying foundation to hide the redness in your skin, so why would you then go back in with blush and risk turning into a clown. Here’s the thing though, when you apply foundation (particularly medium to high coverage foundation) and concealer, your face becomes a blank canvas – flat and lifeless. Unless you go back in and add some colour and dimension, you risk looking ill or even corpselike.
If you’re concerned about the “clown factor”, try and choose a sheer finish blush in a dusty rose colour. Take a vary sparse fluffy brush (duo-fibre brushes tend to work well) tap it once into the blush, dab it on the back of your hand a few times to remove any excess product and then apply it, at the back of the apples of your cheeks. You’ll add a barely discernible flush of colour that you can build up, without having to go into damage-control mode.

#7 - Using your bronzer to contour your face
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This is a controversial point. There are many schools of thought and much debate on the issue of using bronzer to contour your face. For photography, when you’re trying to create the illusion of shadow in a photo, you simply can’t use bronzer. It looks weird and artificial. In this situation you really should be using a grey tinted powder, but if you wear this in real life, you’re going to look like you’ve got dirt on your face.
Here’s the thing. Bronzer is designed for bronzing your face (crazy, right?) It’s meant to simulate a tan, and is generally designed to be applied to the high points of the face, so the hairline, the tops of the cheeks, the bridge of the nose and so on. A good bronzer provides lift as well as colour. Contour is meant to emphasise the low planes of the face, so the hollows of the cheeks, the sides of the nose, the sides of the temples and the jawline, and provide the illusion that they are receding. Can you see that a product that works well as a bronzer will not necessarily work well as a contour?
If you want to try and contour for real life, I recommend starting with a sheer, powder product 1-2 shades darker than your skin. A tinted face powder a shade darker than your normal powder would be ideal. If you do want something a little more intense, try one of the products designed for contouring (I know Kevyn Aucoin, Charlotte Tilbury and Napoleon Perdis all make dedicated contour powders). If you do want to use a bronzer, make sure that is it matte, and leans more to the cool side of the colour spectrum.

#8 - Extreme contouring for day to day wear
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I’m not one to tell you that there are things you should or shouldn’t do on your face. If you love a super bold contour, go for it. This makeup “mistake” is for the women out there that feel like they have to contour on the daily, or they won’t look finished.
I personally am not a fan of contouring, except for photography. I prefer to use light to tweak or emphasise the planes of the face (otherwise known as strobing), but I think for most women, if they want to explore contouring, it is best suited for special occasions (and preferably at night).
The type of contouring that has been made popular by the likes of Kim Kardashian is a technique originally perfected in drag makeup.
I guess I’m not saying you CAN’T wear a full contoured face every day, but please take this point as permission not to.
Lily Pebbles has a great video sharing her feelings about contouring.

#9 - Extreme instagram eyebrows
Eyebrows

If intense blocked-in eyebrows is your thing, then you do you baby, but as a general rule, it’s not the most flattering look for in real life. Like extreme contouring, it’s a look that comes from drag makeup and can add a certain theatrical masculinity to your appearance.

#10 - Not blending your eyeshadow enough
Eye-brushes

Whether you’re contouring your eyes, or creating a sultry smoky eye look, blending is pretty much the most important step in the entire process. It elevates an eye makeup look from “I have no idea what I’m doing”, to “I have mad makeup skills”.

If you’re struggling to blend out your edges, or you find that no matter how much you try to blend, your eyeshadow just won’t blend out properly, here’s a few tips:

  1. Layer your eyeshadows – start by laying down a base of eyeshadow from browbone to crease (and possibly lower) of a matte eyeshadow the same colour as your skin. In a pinch, face powder will work equally well. As you apply your different eyeshadow colours, try to apply the in order from lightest to darkest. This way, when you apply your darker colours, they will have the lighter coloured shadows to blend into, crating a smooth gradient, rather than grabbing to any sticky base or primer you may have applied.
  2. Use a clean blending brush – if you apply your eyeshadow with the same brush you use to blend, you’ll probably find your eyeshadow look starts to get muddy, or the colour seems to run away from you when you blend out. It’s an easy fix, use one brush to apply, and a separate, soft, fluffy brush to blend your eyeshadow.
#11 - Not tailoring your makeup to flatter your features
This is mostly relevant to contouring, but to a point, can apply to any makeup you apply.
You’ve been looking at all those amazing contouring tutorials, and you decide to give it a try on yourself. Before you start, take a moment to think about the purpose of contouring, and whether it suits your needs. The standard E3 contouring technique (where you apply a contour product in a 3 shape from your temple, under your cheekbones and along your jawline) is designed to make your face appear thinner, your cheekbones more prominent, and your jawline sharper.
What if you have a thin angular face already? You may not want to further emphasise that.
Before you blindly follow a makeup tutorial, think about the intended purpose of that technique, and if it’s right for you.
Nic from Pixiwoo made a great video demonstrating some alternative contouring techniques.
#12 - Using illuminating concealer on textured skin
Although makeup can’t completely conceal textured skin, there are techniques you can use to minimise the appearance of acne, scarring and other textures. This also means that there are certain makeup techniques that will emphasise skin texture.

If you’re someone with textured skin, and you don’t want to emphasise it, you really need to steer clear of highlighting, illuminating, shiny or sparkly products in the affected area. Using anything that offers any sort of dewiness or shine will catch the light, emphasising every lump, bump or indentation on your face.

If you really feel like you must highlight the textured area of skin, try using a light, matte shade, rather than anything reflective. It will bring light to your face without putting too much focus on the areas you’re trying to hide.

#13 - Applying makeup to unprepped skin
Skin preparation is possibly the most important step in effective makeup application, both in a macro sense and a micro sense. When makeup is applied to unprepped dry or dehydrated skin, your skin absorbs all the moisture from the products, leaving it looking patchy. When makeup is applied to oily unprepped skin, it can slip, separate and melt off your skin.

Big picture, a regular skincare routine can do wonders for your skin, and is the first step in makeup preparation. It impacts the quality and texture of your skin, which in turn impacts the appearance of your makeup application and longevity.

Even if your skin is not in the best condition, there are steps you can take to ensure your makeup applies as beautifully as possible.

  • Make sure your skin is freshly cleansed, and if it has been a while since you last exfoliated, exfoliated.
  • Moisturise your skin. Yes, even if it’s oily. The trick is to find a moisturiser that works for you. If your skin is oily, try a very lightweight or oil-free formula. If your skin is dry or dehydrated, try layering facial essence and/or serum under a richer moisturiser. Whatever moisturiser you apply, give it as much time as possible to absorb into your skin before you apply your makeup. 20 minutes is ideal, but whatever time you can give is better than nothing.
  • If you find that your makeup is still not performing as you would like, you can use a primer to prepare your skin. For oily skin, try using a microscopic amount of a thick, silicone-rich primer (dimethicone should be a key ingredient) or apply a light dusting of translucent powder under your foundation (yep, you heard me right, UNDER). For dry skin, you might find that a moisturiser is enough, but if not, look for a primer designed to add hydration to your skin.
#14 - Not reevaluating your foundation seasonally
Foundation

There are a few things to consider with your foundation as the seasons change. In summer, your skin will generally become at least 1-2 shades darker, and although it can be dehydrated, will generally become less dry or more oily due to an increase in temperature leading your to sweat more. Summer beauty trends also tend to lean towards sheerer foundations, dewy finishes and “no-makeup” makeup. In winter, your skin will generally become at least 1-2 shades lighter and will typically dry out a little. Winter beauty trends tend to lean towards fuller coverage and velvet, cashmere or matte finishes and fuller coverage.

It’s not realistic to use only one foundation all year around, and have it work well for you all the time.

Whenever the seasons start to change, or when you start to notice your foundation is not performing as well as it used to, it might be time to reassess what you’re using. Once you find a great summer foundation, and a great winter foundation, you can often play at-home chemist and mix the two foundations to get you through the trans-seasonal period.

#15 - Not washing your face properly after wearing makeup
Related to #3, if you wear makeup, it’s really important to make sure you remove it at the end of the day. Sleeping with your makeup on can cause breakouts and skin congestion. It can dehydrate your skin and make it look dull. It can emphasise flakiness, and create new dry patches.
Double cleansing is the most effective way to remove all your makeup. Use the first cleanse to remove your makeup, and the second cleanse to remove any residue, and any other gunk on your face.
Caroline Hirons explains this FAR better than I ever could, so you should read her double cleansing fact sheet.
#16 - Using your hand or arm to colour match your foundation
Foundation

If you’ve been matching your foundation to the back of your hand or your arms, please stop it. Stop it now. I can almost guarantee that you’ve ended up with a foundation that is too dark every time.

Try visiting a makeup counter and being colour matched, but remember, many counter makeup artists are inexperienced, and their first priority is to sell products, so wear the colour they recommend, check it out in a variety of lighting situations, and makeup up your own mind.

For expert level colour matching, your foundation should match the skin on your decolletage (your chest plate, the part of your chest you can see when you wear a v-neck t-shirt.)

#17 - Buying before you try
Buying certain makeup products on spec is fine. There have been times when I’ve bought an interesting eyeshadow or an appealing lipstick because I liked how the product looked in the packet, but I will generally still look up swatches and reviews online – at least to check that the quality of the product is worth the price.

HOWEVER, if a product is designed for skin, especially foundation, there’s no way I would buy it without trying it. To me, products that I apply directly on my skin are the most investible part of my makeup routine, so I buy the best I can afford. Whatever your makeup budget, if you’re buying the best you can afford, you want to know that that product is going to be right for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample of foundation, and a good makeup counter should be perfectly happy to give you enough for about a week. This should be enough time for you to decide if the foundation is the right colour, formula and finish for you. If there’s anything you dislike about it, don’t be afraid to go back to the counter with your feedback and ask for a sample of something that could work better for you.

Through a process of elimination, you should be able to find the exact formula you’re looking for. and end up happy with your purchase.

#18 - Applying extra powder when you should be blotting
Powder

Face powder serves a couple of purposes. It can help to set your makeup, it can add extra coverage, and it can remove shine from targeted areas of your face.

What you might not realise it that powder is not necessarily a handbag staple. If you are using powder to touch-up your makeup through the day, you might find that your makeup is caking up and looking very obvious by the end of the day.

If you do suffer from oily skin or shine breakthrough, try using blotting paper, or even a single ply of tissue to dab the shine off your face. If this doesn’t work for you, try a blotting powder. It’ll absorb the shine without adding additional product.

#19 - Powdering your whole face
Powder

Even if you suffer from oily skin, you probably don’t need to powder every inch of your face. It can actually make your face look flat and dry.

If you have dry skin, you might not need to powder your face at all. Regardless of your skin type, if you do apply powder, try using a small fluffy brush and only apply it where you don’t want any shine, or where you tend to get oily.

#20 - Not curling your eyelashes
Eyelashes

Almost everyone wants to make their eyes look bigger, and one easy way to do this is to curl your eyelashes. It makes your eyes look bigger and brighter, and can help you look more awake.

#21 - Lining your bottom waterline with black
black-eyeliner

As a teenager, I used to line my bottom waterline with black eyeliner every. single. day. I didn’t feel complete without it, and I still see many women doing the same thing. There are obviously times that this look can work, but for most women, and for day-to-day, it can be very unflattering.

Wearing dark colours on your lower waterline closes your eyes in, making them look smaller, and although it is intended to make your lashes look thicker, it can be very harsh and obvious in daylight.

Try wearing a nude, flesh coloured liner on your lower waterline instead. It will make your eyes look bigger, brighter and fresher.

#22 - Leaving a tide line
When you apply your foundation, it’s so important to blend it out properly. If your skin is in good condition, you probably only need to apply a sheer foundation to the centre of your face and blend it out.

If you’re wearing a fuller coverage foundation, and you’ve matched it to your decolletage, please remember to blend it down your neck. Nothing screams “I’m wearing makeup and I have no idea what I’m doing” like a harsh line where your foundation finishes and your skin begins.

#23 - Wearing bright or matte lipstick on chapped lips
Bright-lipstick

I love bright, bold, matte lips. It’s one of the easiest ways to “dress up” your face with a minimum of effort.

If your lips are dry or chapped, it’s also one of the quickest ways to draw attention to this area.

If you’re wearing a bright or matte (or both) lipstick, make sure your lips are in the best condition possible by staying hydrated, using a lip scrub (a bit of caster sugar mixed with a drop of olive oil, or a soft toothbrush should do the trick) and priming them with a thin layer of a great lip balm.

#24 - Using the same brush to apply and blend your eyeshadow
Eye-brushes

When you use a brush to apply your eyeshadow, that brush gets covered in eyeshadow. The purpose of blending your eyeshadow is to diffuse the edges and create sort of an ombre effect where the product fades out into your skin.

When you use a dirty brush to blend your eyeshadow, it doesn’t tend to work very well. What you’ll find happening is that you’ll be laying down more product and simply extending the edge of the product. Your blend at best will look muddy, and at worst will get completely out of control. Think Taylor Momsen when you were going for Taylor Swift.

My recommendation would be to simply use one brush to apply the colour, and then another brush (probably a fluffy blending brush) to soften out your edges. Try this trick and you’ll really up your smoky eye game.

#25 - Curling your lashes with mascara on
Eyelashes

So you’ve tried curling your lashes, and you love how it looks. Your eyes look bigger, and you look more awake! Excellent! Just remember that you really need to curl your lashes BEFORE you apply mascara. There’s a few reasons for this.

  • It’s a bit gross to smear mascara all over your lash curers. Mascara is a bit disgusting anyway, and you do’t want to find bits of dried mascara gumming up the seam between the curler and the pads.
  • It’s messy. There’s a good chance you’ll end up with mascara smeared onto your eyelid if you’ve curled them with wet mascara.
  • It can RUIN your eyelashes! The mascara can act like a glue, glueing your lashes to the curler, then ripping them out by the roots. The mascara can also make your lashes temporarily more brittle, so even if you don’t rip them out by the roots, you can actually snap them! Bye bye lashes.

So just make sure you curl your lashes when they’re clean, and apply your mascara afterwards.

#26 - Wearing foundation with a high spf to an evening event
As foundation formulas become more advanced, this is becoming less of a problem, but have you ever been to a party looking FINE, but when you look back at your photos, you look like your foundation is about 5 shades too light for you? Yes?

My friend, you have been the victim of flashback.

Flashback is generally a problem when you’re wearing a foundation with high spf in the evening, and someone takes a photo with a direct flash (like on your phone, point and shoot camera, or the flash that’s built in to your DSLR).

It’s not usually a problem for professional photographers, who would typically use a diffused flash, but if you know you’ll be taking selfies at a party, it’s worth testing your foundation.

It’s as simple as taking a photo on your phone, in dim light, using flash, and looking at the picture. If you look normal, then you wear your foundation and don’t give it a second thought. If, however, you find yourself with “ghost face” then you’ll probably want to buy a second foundation to wear for evening events.

#27 - Not blending your lipliner
lip-liner

This is not a makeup mistake I thought I would commonly see this century, but with the current obsession with 90’s trends and the interest in lip contouring, thanks to Kylie Jenner, lip liner is once again “a thing”.

Yes, you can fake larger lips with the careful application of lipliner, but the key to this is to make it look natural. If you’re taking your lipliner, overdrawing your lips and then applying lipstick between the lines, I can almost guarantee you’re going to end up with an obvious ring around your lips, and it’s not pretty.

Part of the problem with lipliner is right there in the name. It sounds like you should just use it to draw the outline of your lips, but there’s a bit more to it.

If you’re just starting to experiment with lip liner, try filling in your lips completely. It will make your lipstick last longer, wear off more gracefully, and is an easy way to overdraw your lips in the most subtle way.

If you’re looking for more advance liplining techniques, and you’re wanting to contour your lips to make them look fuller again, then begin by overdrawing your lips. Once you’ve drawn the outline, use the pencil to feather a little bit of colour from that line, onto your lips, keeping the innermost part of the middle of your lips completely bare (this is where they should look the fullest.) Take a tiny, stiff lip brush with quite short bristles, and blend out the lip liner that you have applied. Keep the edge of the liner as crisp and sharp as you can, and blend out the product on your lips so there are no harsh lines. Apply your lipstick over the top of this, and finish with a spot of gloss, just in the centre of your lips.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on makeup mistakes. Do you do any of the things I’ve said? Have I missed anything that you can think of? Let me know in the comments.

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Here’s how to wear the hottest beauty trends from the SS15 runways. http://makeuputopia.com/heres-how-to-wear-the-hottest-beauty-trends-from-the-ss15-runways/ Mon, 08 Jun 2015 23:20:36 +0000 https://makeuputopia.com/?p=7952 The post Here’s how to wear the hottest beauty trends from the SS15 runways. appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Check out Runway to real-life: runway trends to embrace this summer.

by Sara-May Monaghan at Mode

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Pretty pastel eyes http://makeuputopia.com/pretty-pastel-eyes/ Sun, 07 Jun 2015 04:00:00 +0000 http://new.makeuputopia.com/?p=7806 The post Pretty pastel eyes appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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This is a makeup look I’ve been planning for a few months. You see, the colours I used just seem to SCREAM springtime to me. Sadly, I’ve technically missed the boat on Spring – it’s Summer in the Netherlands (where I live) and Winter in Australia (where I’m from).

Here’s the thing – it’s only just starting to feel like Spring here in Holland. I’m used to the beautiful Australian Spring, with temperatures in the high twenties, and generally clear skies. Let’s just say that Spring in this particular part of Europe is…. not that.

The temperature has finally started to (occasionally) reach the high twenties, and we’re having more clear skies than rain, so I thought I’d finally put this look on my face.

Purple-Pastel-eyes

Most of the products I used are readily substitutable, so check in your stash to see if you’ve got something similar. If you want to know the exact products I used, they were:

  • Face Atelier Ultra Foundation, mixed with
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Fluid in Pearl
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
  • MAC Fluidline Brow Gel in Redhead
  • NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk
  • Urban Decay Naked Basics 1 Palette (W.O.S on browbone, Naked 2 and Faint in the outer crease, Foxy on the outer eyelid)
  • Lime Crime D’Antoinette Eyeshadow Palette (Ribbonesque) – discontinued. Try Inglot #346 as a substitute.
  • Naked Cosmetics Ivory Collection (IV-06)
  • Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara.
  • By Terry Voile Poudre Eclat 01 – discontinued. Use any face powder that works well for you.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Whimsy – limited edition. Try Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface as a substitute.
  • Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in Melted Fuchsia
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If you shop from the links above, I receive a small commission. If you do choose to purchase through these links, thank you, you help me to be able to afford to keep Makeup Utopia running.

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Reflections on makeup in our culture #musaysbareyourface http://makeuputopia.com/reflections-on-makeup-in-our-culture-musaysbareyourface/ Wed, 03 Jun 2015 04:00:37 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7280 The post Reflections on makeup in our culture #musaysbareyourface appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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bare face

I have been fascinated by makeup for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to watch Star Trek, and visualise a future in which I had the opportunity to design fantastical aliens and make them a reality. Makeup is essentially paint. It is a tool to create art, and when we apply makeup, we are practicing an art form that’s as old as mankind. It’s great fun to play with, and the effects that are achievable with makeup can be phenomenal and breathtaking.

Makeup itself is not intrinsically a problem.

There are, however, social issues surrounding makeup, and this was particularly highlighted to me a few months ago when a beauty blogger that I adore apologised for not wearing makeup in a photo. I had quite a strong emotional reaction to this apology, and all I could think was “what is the world coming to that this beautiful, kind, wonderful woman feels the need to apologise for offending our eyes with her normal human skin.”

That just doesn’t sit right with me.

I like to think that I have a really healthy relationship with makeup. Sometimes I wear makeup because I want to take a special effort with my appearance, maybe I’m meeting a new group of people, going out for a fun social engagement or having a date night. Sometimes I wear makeup because I like the way it makes me feel, and sometimes I wear makeup because I feel like getting creative on my face. But on a day-to-day basis, more often than not, I am bare-faced.

Makeup itself is not good or bad, any more than coloured pencils are good or bad, despite many peoples belief that the act of wearing makeup is anti feminist.

bare-face

Where makeup becomes a problem is where it becomes a necessary part of day to day life. Where a woman may feel uncomfortable leaving the house without wearing it, or God forbid, where a woman feels the need to apologise for their bare face.

Guess what, your bare face is you. That’s what you look like and it’s beautiful. Wear makeup by all means, but please don’t apologise for your face. There is nothing offensive about bare skin, whether it’s oily, flaky, pimply, blotchy, freckled, porous or anything else. It’s just a face, it’s beautiful with or without makeup so please stop apologising.

I’m more than happy to be seen in public with no makeup on, and I would love for every woman to feel the same way.

If you’re happy to share your bare face in public, or you’d like to challenge yourself to become more comfortable in your own skin, I’d like to invite you to share a no makeup selfie on instagram, twitter or your social media platform of choice with the hashtag #musaysbareyourface. The more we collectively and proudly show our bare faces to the world, the more socially acceptable it will be. Let’s try and work together to change the role of makeup from being a mask, to being a fun form of creative expression. Make sure you tag me, I’m @themakeuputopia on both platforms, and I can’t wait to see your beautiful faces!

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Makeup for busy mums http://makeuputopia.com/makeup-for-busy-mums/ Sun, 31 May 2015 04:00:00 +0000 https://makeuputopia.com/?p=7921 The post Makeup for busy mums appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Over the last few months I have been hard at work evaluating where I would like to take Makeup Utopia in the future, and where I would like it to take me. I’ve redesigned the site, but more importantly, I’ve redesigned my personal approach to blogging.

I don’t want to be an enabler of frivolous spending, I aspire to be an educator. In order to facilitate this, I want to start sharing regular videos here on Makeup Utopia. It’s all well and good for me to share a Face of the Day, but it’s much easier to share techniques on video.

In this video, I share the makeup that I wear if I need to look polished and presentable and I don’t have a lot of time. It’s not even close to perfect, but it’s the first video I’ve made on my SLR, and the second video I’ve ever made, so I hope to learn quickly and increase the quality of my videos.

quick makeup youtube thumbnail

There is a bit of background noise, because I had my one year old “assistant” with me, and if you watch until the end, you’ll get to meet him!

If you’re often in a hurry, you can pick up some tips and tricks to getting out the door fast, as well as a step by step guide to create 10 different looks in 5, 10 and 15 minutes in my first e-Book, Express Makeup.

If you’re explicitly interested in the products I used, they were:

  • Ellis Faas Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer
  • Sephora #56 Pro Flawless Airbrush
  • Hourglass Ambient Blush Palette
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
  • NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush
  • Sigma P88 Precision Flat Angled Brush (sent to me for consideration)
  • Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Pencil in Love is Blonde
  • Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara
  • Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Lipliner in O4C
  • By Terry Rouge Terrybly Lipstick in #101 Flirty Rosy
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You definitely don’t need to use the exact products I have used, if you have products that are similar colours and/or textures, you can totally substitute them.

If you shop from the links above, I receive a small commission. If you do choose to purchase through these links, thank you, you help me to be able to afford to keep Makeup Utopia running.

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Urban Decay is coming to Australia! http://makeuputopia.com/urban-decay-coming-australia/ Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:12:51 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7273 The post Urban Decay is coming to Australia! appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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ud@mm

It’s no secret that Urban Decay is one of my favourite makeup brands. Their products are high quality, their brand ethos is both inclusive and ethical, and their aesthetic is a little bit rock n roll while still feeling luxurious.

I found it very frustrating, when I lived in Australia, that I had to order my Urban Decay products from overseas, making it almost impossible to ensure I’d end up with a good foundation match, or that the formula would work for my skin type and colouring.

Well, today Mecca Maxima has announced some exciting news for all my Aussie readers – as on the 27th of March 2015, Urban Decay will be available in Australia, exclusively in store and online at Mecca Maxima.

If you’re excited about having the option to buy Urban Decay for the first time, I highly recommend the Naked Palettes as a great introduction to the brand. If you’re thinking of picking up one of the Naked Palettes, I wrote a comprehensive guide to choosing the most flattering palette for your colouring, and you can check it out here.

I have no information on pricing, however my best guess would see the Naked Palettes priced at ~$75 each. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but if you can work it into your budget, one Naked Palette can create eyeshadow looks that are appropriate for any occasion, from day to day, understated makeup, to the deepest darkest smoky eye.

Are you excited to see Urban Decay hit the Australian market? What product are you most looking forward to trying?

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The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag http://makeuputopia.com/procrastinating-beauty-blogger-tag/ Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:00:03 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7237 The post The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Xmas-makeup-4

Wow, so we’re a few weeks into 2015, and it’s been HARD. Life with a baby has it’s ups and downs, and for the last 3 weeks my life has been all about spending time with my velcro baby (get it? He’s always stuck to me like velcro). It makes it near impossible to blog properly, because every time I put him down, even for a second, he cries and grabs at my legs. It makes the photography aspect of blogging near impossible. Pair that with a very dark European winter, and I think you’ll understand why I haven’t been seen around these parts.

I did, however, come across this tag (I think Tine did it AGES ago?) and it seemed like something I could do from the couch with a baby on my lap.

1. Name a beauty regime that you rarely do?
Fake tanning and bronzing are the first things that come to mind. 10 years ago I was a dedicated fake tanner (I preferred the ModelCo tan in a can and had the orange shower grout to prove it!) Ice come to love and appreciate my lily-white limbs and can’t see myself getting back on the tanning bandwagon.
As far as bronzing up my skin, I do it occasionally, but those times are few and far between. A few years ago I was lucky enough to have Rae Morris teach me her favorite technique for faking a realistic sun-kissed glow, so when I do bronze up, I think I do it well, I just generally prefer a paler complexion.

Edited to add: 

I TOTALLY FORGOT – I never brush my hair. Well, I brush it in the shower, when I’m conditioning it, and I comb it when I straighten it, but other than that, I’m a busy mum, and I wake up, chuck it in a messy topknot and go. Yep, disgusting, I know.

2. Is washing your make-up brushes something that you do regularly?
Hmmmm. So I think dirty makeup brushes are disgusting (click here to find out why) but I have so many makeup brushes that I can go for quite some time before I run out of clean brushes.
I will say that I never grace my face with the touch of a dirty makeup brush, but reducing the size of my brush kit is on the agenda for 2015 (it’s no fun cleaning 300+ dirty brushes in one sitting).

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
Maybe 15 minutes? I hate chipped polish on myself, it’s distracting and if I don’t remove it straight away, I end up picking it off my nails.

4. How long will you put off buying/replacing a beauty product, even if you need it?
That really depends on the product. To be honest, for the last few years, I didn’t know what it felt like to run out of a beauty product. I had backups of everything in my ridiculous makeup storage room. Now that I’ve minimised everything, I won’t delay picking up a replacement if I need something. The thing is, there’s not a lot that I need. Deodorant, toothpaste, cleanser, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner are must-haves. I’d probably make a special trip to replace mascara and lip balm, but other than those things, I’d happily wait until the next convenient opportunity.

5. What is your worst beauty habit?
I love my tweezers too much. I need to be very cautious that I don’t over tweeze my brows, because once I start plucking, I can’t stop.
I’ve also been known to pick at my cuticles, which is disgusting, and I try desperately to keep my hands moisturised so I don’t end up with hardened, dry cuticles just asking to be picked at.

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?
Definitely folding the laundry! I’ve been known to live for a week or two out of a (clean) laundry basket – I’ll do the laundry, but I’m less than diligent about putting it away.

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute?
I try not to, but I always end up taking more time than I planned to.

8. Can you commit to spending bans?
I think 2015 will be the year I find out the answer to this question. I’ve never placed myself on a spending ban before, but my goal is to make 2015 the year I don’t buy any makeup. Looking at my kit, there isn’t anything I’m lacking so I have no need to purchase makeup. The exception to this rule is mascara, because I have only one mascara in use and no backups. Mascara doesn’t last a year, so I will allow myself to purchase up to 3 tubes of mascara in 2015.
Any makeup that I really really want, I’ll put on a wishlist and hope someone gifts it to me for my birthday or mother’s day (but as it stands, there are things I want more than makeup!)
I’ll try and be really honest, and share any purchases here, but I’m hoping to graduate 2015 with less makeup than I started with.

9. How organised is your make-up and nail polish collections?
If you had asked me this question 9 months ago, the answer would have been ” embarrassingly disorganised.” It’s near impossible to store the volume of makeup and nail polish that I owned in any sort of order.
Now I’m pleased to say that it’s completely organised and under control. All of my personal use makeup lives in a 3 tiered kitchen trolley from IKEA, and I have one small box of nail polishes. Now, being perfectly honest, this is still WAY more makeup than the average person needs, but in terms of progress, it’s a massive step.

I’m working on a makeup kit inventory/collection post, but it’s taking a while to find the time to put it together properly. Let me know in the comments if this is something you would like to see.

My kit makeup is packed away into my kit bag and stored in a cool cupboard.

I hope you enjoyed reading this tag, it was actually quite fun to do. Let me know if you’d like to see more tags here on Makeup Utopia.

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Playing with my Christmas Makeup http://makeuputopia.com/playing-christmas-makeup/ Wed, 21 Jan 2015 10:30:49 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7266 The post Playing with my Christmas Makeup appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Xmas-makeup-1

It’s hard to believe, but in less than a month, my little boy will be having his first birthday. He’s funny and sweet and smart, and he’s also going through a very clingy phase (much like his sister did at the same age). It means that I can virtually never put him down. He constantly wants to be held, he won’t sleep unless he’s in my arms, and he wakes up if I try to put him down. All this means it has been virtually impossible for me to even consider wearing makeup, let alone taking photos, then sitting and writing about it.

Today I’d had enough. I had some beautiful makeup that I received for Christmas that I still hadn’t had the chance to even use once (!!!) and it was metaphorically burning a hole in my pocket. It took me about 2 hours, in between juggling a baby and trying to distract him, but I finally got some makeup on my face! Here’s the look I ended up with:

Xmas-makeup-4

The new products I got to have a play with were the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette (which I used to contour, highlight and also as eyeshadow) and the Tarte Pin-up Girl Blush Palette (which I used on my cheeks and also as eyeshadow). I also used some of the products from the Sephora “Give Me More Lip” sample set – namely the Makeup Forever lip pencil in 3C and the Too Faced Lipstick in Naked Dolly. These were all Christmas gifts from my husband.

Xmas-makeup-5

And for those of you interested, here’s the little munchkin that’s been keeping me away from Makeup Utopia.

How is your 2015 shaping up so far?

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The 14 most popular posts on Makeup Utopia in 2014 http://makeuputopia.com/14-popular-posts-makeup-utopia-2014/ Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:00:00 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7240 The post The 14 most popular posts on Makeup Utopia in 2014 appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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NYE700

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2014 has been a massive year for me, in fact one of the most eventful years of my entire life. I had my second baby, a beautiful boy and one of the lights of my life. I worked on a massive project with Christina from Hair Romance (our DIY Bridal Beauty Library – check it out here if you haven’t already seen it). I sold a house and almost everything I owned and moved with my family from the Blue Mountains of Australia, to the second largest city in the Netherlands. My daughter started school, left that school and started again at a wonderful new school. All of these changes have fundamentally changed me as a person, and were a cumulative trigger for my new minimalist philosophy on life (read more here).

For the last few years, I’ve finished the year with a round up of the most popular posts on Makeup Utopia over the last 12 months, and this year is no different. I find it fascinating to see which articles have been most popular, and this year there seems to be a mix of old and new posts, and mostly reviews, with a few informative posts thrown in for good measure.

The 14th most popular post on Makeup Utopia this year was my review of the Lipstick Queen Discovery Kit. I really enjoyed these lipsticks, and all of them are still currently in my possession, despite my makeup kit being grossly downsized.

The 13th most popular post on Makeup Utopia in 2014 was my round-up of the MAC trend predictions for Spring/Summer 2014. I love getting a sneak peek at the makeup trends straight off the catwalk, and it seems like you enjoyed it as well.

Number 12 on the most popular posts of 2014 list is an oldy but a goody. Waaaay back in 2012 I wrote a comprehensive breakdown of foundation application methods in my Makeup Brush Confidential – Foundation Brushes article. It gives a bit of an idea about the ways you can apply foundation to your face, and the different effects each technique achieves.

The 11th most popular article this year was another review…. of another lipstick! MAC Ruby Woo is arguably the most famous lipstick MAC makes, and my review, published in 2012, is still getting hits – I guess people want to know what they’re in for before they buy the iconic lipstick.

I’m not at all surprised to see Makeup Microbiology in this list, in fact I’m surprised it’s only reached number 10. This article, written by Lizzi back in early 2012 is a perennial classic – and after you read it, I can almost guarantee you’ll be inspired to wash ALL your makeup brushes.

Number 9 was a bit of a surprise to me, this Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick review never struck me as anything special, but apparently they’re more popular than I realised.

The 8th most popular post on Makeup Utopia this year was my review of some of the original Maybelline Color Tattoos. These were so popular when they launched, and although the hype has died down, they perform so well that they have retained their popularity.

Number 7 on the list is my review of MAC Lady Danger lipstick. It’s another of MAC’s most popular lipsticks, and it’s somewhat comparable in appearance to Ruby Woo (in fact I compare them side-by-side in the article).

Another article I’m not surprised to see on the list came in at number 6 – I asked if cheap MAC, NARS and Benefit makeup was too good to be true? Grey market makeup is a massive problem, particularly in Australia, and it’s a topic I have definite opinions about – so much so that I was interviewed by the Australian Financial Review.

Another surprise on the list is this review of some L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipsticks, which came in at number 5. I had mixed feelings about these lipsticks, and they didn’t make the cut when I last culled my makeup.

The 4th most popular post this year was my review of MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation. I loved this foundation at the time, but my feelings have changed somewhat. I wore it recently and felt like it sat on top of my skin without melding properly, and ended up causing pools of pigment in my pores. It’s still in my personal kit, but I’ll be doing a New Years cull, and I’m afraid it’s time for this foundation to go.

Another old post that I keep updating as the years go by is number 3 on the list. The L’Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadows are incredibly popular, and in my humble opinion, they represent the very best eyeshadows on offer at the drugstore. I currently have detailed hand and eye swatches of 12 shades.

A review of a kit essential has made the number 2 spot on the list (after taking out the top spot for 2 years in a row) – it’s my review of MAC Face & Body Foundation. This is still one of the very best foundations on the market, and I will never not have this as a part of my kit.

The top spot is a bit of a surprise, my detailed review of the entire collection of L’Oreal Shine Caresse Glossy Stains was the most popular article on Makeup Utopia this year. These gloss/stain hybrids were the first product of their kind to hit the drugstore, they sold out almost as soon as they hit the shelves, and they’re pretty damn great. Apparently you thought so too, knocking MAC Face and Body out of the top spot after 2 years.

It’s always interesting to see what you guys have enjoyed reading, and this year the clear winner has been lipstick reviews – I’ll try and incorporate more into my editorial schedule moving forward.

What are your favourite types of posts to see on Makeup Utopia? I’d love to know what keeps you coming back. Let me know in the comments below. xx

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Simple Festive Makeup for a Summer or Winter Christmas http://makeuputopia.com/simple-festive-makeup-summer-winter-christmas/ Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:13:56 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7200 The post Simple Festive Makeup for a Summer or Winter Christmas appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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I love Christmas, always have and always will. I take great pleasure in the entire Christmas season, from watching every Christmas movie I can think of (Elf and Home Alone are my favourites for the kids, and Scrooged and Die Hard are my favourites for after the kids have gone to bed), to making fruit cake and plum pudding, to wearing Christmas themed clothing (I’m so excited that I can officially do the ugly Christmas sweater thing now that I live in the northern hemisphere), to of course, wearing Christmassy makeup.

Although this particular look is not what I will be wearing on Christmas day this year, I’ve been wearing it a lot while I run around doing last-minute Christmas shopping and generally getting in the spirit of the season. It’s a pretty, easy but still festive look that works whether you’re snuggling up to keep warm in the winter weather, or heading to the park or beach for a Christmas BBQ in the warmer weather.

simple festive tutorial

  1. I started with a clean, moisturised face. I did not apply primer, because I have very dry skin and it’s freezing cold here. If you’re oily or heading into warm weather, you might find a primer useful.
  2. I mixed a medium coverage foundation with a liquid illuminator in equal parts to create an ultra-dewy base. If your skin is on the oily side, you might want to skip the illuminator. I used a dense buffing brush to work this into my skin.
  3. I applied a liquid concealer under my eyes, and over any blemishes, the used the same buffing brush with dabbing motions to blend it in.
  4. Using the same brush again, I applied metallic white-gold cream highlighter to my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and my top lip line. Again with the same brush, I added a pop of neutral peach/pink cream blush to the apples of my cheeks.
  5. I used tinted brow mascara to make my brows somewhat visible and hold them in place.
  6. I took a fluffy eyeshadow brush and blended a gold cream eyeshadow in a sheer wash of colour over my eyelids.
  7. I packed on a few coats of mascara.
  8. Using a metallic gold eye pencil, I added a highlight just around my tear ducts.
  9. I carefully lined my lips and filled them in with a berry red lip pencil.
  10. I finished the look by topping my lips with a blood red liquid lipstick.

Simple festive makeup

What makeup look will you be wearing on Christmas day?

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On consumerism and blogging. http://makeuputopia.com/on-consumerism-and-blogging/ http://makeuputopia.com/on-consumerism-and-blogging/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 20:01:56 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7182 The post On consumerism and blogging. appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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Things have been a bit quiet on Makeup Utopia recently, because I’ve found myself having something of an existential crisis about the future of Makeup Utopia. I like to think that I am a very spiritual person. I try to live consciously and with meaning, and to place value in people and experiences as opposed to things.

I started my first beauty blog, Makeup by Sara-May 5 years ago. I started it as an online forum for my absolute love of makeup as an art form, and a place to share the makeup looks I created.

Over time, and through the allure of working with brands, Makeup by Sara-May became more of a review blog. When I retired Makeup by Sara-May and started Makeup Utopia, I retained a very strong focus on product reviews. After 5 years of blogging, I had an embarrassingly large collection of makeup completely separate from my professional kit, and, being completely honest, most of it never got used.

Nowadays, people know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
-Oscar Wilde

Then, in August of 2014, our family packed up the things we couldn’t live without, sold or gave away everything we could live without, and moved quite literally halfway around the world.

For a year or so before our move, I had been feeling a very strong sense of dissatisfaction at the amount of stuff we owned, and as a result, the amount of clutter we were living with. I started reading as many minimal living blogs as I could find, adopted a capsule wardrobe with only 25 items of clothing, and honestly assessed what of our belongings added value or function to our lives as a family. Moving to Europe simply gave me a deadline to complete the transition to minimal living. In terms of makeup, being forced to part with the things I didn’t truly love for myself or need for my kit really emphasised just how much I was storing for the sake of it. I had a room in my house dedicated to the storage of makeup. This felt obscenely bourgeoisie and I have almost no words to describe how good it felt to pass 95% of my “collection” onto family, friends, and people who would use and love these products.

Since moving to the Netherlands I have made no real effort to connect with brands or pr companies, nor do I plan to.

I used to love watching haul videos on YouTube, but now they feel like consumerism at it’s worst. I read/watch monthly favourite posts and videos, and feel like I’ve willingly just watched/read a commercial – when I use every tool at my disposal to block advertisements from my internet and my tv screen. How authentic can this style of content be, when almost every product included is a recent release, most gifted to the blogger, and all products that have been hyped up in the weeks before?

We use money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.
-Tyler Durden

Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age, but when I was a kid, I wanted to be a makeup artist. I wanted to paint faces and make aliens and be creative. Somewhere in the last 5 years, I lost my way and became an advertising tool for brands and prs instead.

I’m done.

I’m done with reviewing products I didn’t absolutely love, just to maintain relationships with brand contacts. I’m done with featuring products just because they’re popular and I know they’ll get a lot of hits. I’m done with creating rigorous posting schedules, and then beating myself up because I can’t maintain them due to both lack of time and lack of inspiration (I have 2 young kids and as much as I’d like it to be different, I can’t post every day, and even 3 times a week is unrealistic at the moment.) Above all I’m done collecting, storing, and finding room for makeup products I’ll never use.

Minimalism is not a lack of something. It is simply the perfect amount of something.
-Nicholas Burroughs

What does this mean for you? It means when I post on Makeup Utopia, it will be a high quality, well thought out article, but it’s not going to be on a regular schedule. I’ll post when the inspiration strikes, and hopefully my posts will be inspiring.

Will I be partnering with brands? I’m open to brand collaboration, but only if I can create meaningful, authentic and useful content for you guys. So no, you probably won’t see much by way of brand collaboration on Makeup Utopia moving forward.

Will I stop doing product reviews? No, I still love and use makeup, and when I really love something, I want to shout it off the rooftops. HOWEVER, the products I review will probably not be the new, hot thing. They will be long-term loves, products that I have used time and time again, the staples of my personal or professional kit. And chances are, I paid for them myself.

My vision for Makeup Utopia is to cater to the average person, the aspiring artist and the industry professional. I no longer want to enable destructive behavior (and I believe rabid consumerism is destructive to the environment, as well as the consumers finances, self esteem and happiness.)

I hope that the average person can come to Makeup Utopia, learn a makeup technique, find inspiration for a makeup look, or learn about a reliable product that they might want (because let’s face it, makeup is a want, not a need), without the hype.

I hope that the aspiring makeup artist can come to Makeup Utopia and learn about products that will perform well in their kit without the expense of a trial and error approach, as well as picking up a new technique, or inspiration for a makeup look they love.

I hope that the seasoned industry professional can come to Makeup Utopia and find practical and informative product recommendations from a trusted colleague, and maybe learn or relearn something useful.

Ultimately, you the reader may not notice a difference, but for me the difference will be profound. In making the decision to change, I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel honest and free, and most importantly I feel the urge to paint, to play with my makeup and to write from the heart.

This is not intended as a criticism of any other digital content creators. I simply feel like this style of content is no longer the right choice for me.

I’ve put a little piece of my soul into writing this article, and I’d love to hear from you. As a reader of blogs, how do you feel about native advertising and the trend towards blogs enabling consumerism? If you’re a blogger, have you ever felt unhappy being a part of the marketing machine? How did you deal with those feelings?

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Speckled by Alex Evans for Chloe Magazine http://makeuputopia.com/edit-speckled-alex-evans-chloe-magazine/ Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:28:28 +0000 http://makeuputopia.com/?p=7171 The post Speckled by Alex Evans for Chloe Magazine appeared first on Makeup Utopia.

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CHLOE-Beauty-Editorial-Spring-2014-6

This image keeps popping up in my Pinterest feed, and I simply love it (by the way, if you’re not following me on Pinterest, you definitely should.) The whole editorial is breathtaking, I found it on BeautyScene.

Photographer: Alex Evans (alexevansphotography.com)
Publication Name: Chloe Magazine (Spring Issue)
Hair & Makeup: Natalie Ventola (Plutino Group) (www.natalieventola.com)
Model: Alice Ma (Next)

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