Wednesday, 23 April 2014


The first instalment of my collaboration series with Sunna from 'The New Noir' is finally here! After a gruelling day of outfit changes and makeup application, we can reveal our first model (victim). Meet Kat, an Oriental Studies graduate from London. She is tall with a fair skin tone.

Style-wise, Sunna expertly put together some outfits from Kat's wardrobe which suited her height (my 5ft1 self isn't jealous at all...). We may have made her bedroom look like the aftermath of a particularly vicious day at Primark (hands up if you've ever been to Primark after 4.30pm, looked at the mountains of disordered clothing, and turned straight back around again with a "nope"), but I think you'll agree that Kat looks absolutely stunning in Sunna's style choices! If you'd like to have a look at the final outfits, please head on over to Sunna's blog post.

Now, onto the beauty! Since Kat has just returned from a few months in Beijing, where she left all her makeup, it actually gave us the perfect excuse to go and buy a basic makeup kit. As Kat is a self-confessed beauty beginner, I tried to go for products I knew were both high quality and relatively cheap in price (basically I bought her a lot of the items I own myself). The total value of this kit came to around £50, which may not sound that cheap, but, believe me, it is crazily hard to produce an all-round, practical makeup bag for much less. It does make me seriously worry about the amount of money I've "invested" in my makeup kit over the years. Never try and work out how much cash you've accumulated in Boots and Superdrug points, ladies.

The Products

The items we settled on, and those essentials which I think would work well for a beginner with fair skin, are:

Rimmel Match Perfection foundation in 101 Classic Ivory- especially great for fair skin because the shade range is slightly broader than other drugstore foundations.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent- A great all-round powder. I used it to reduce shine as well as set the concealer where it has a tendency to crease (under the eyes, especially).

Rimmel Lip Crayon in 120 All You Need Is Pink- Brilliant alternative to a bright lipstick because it is much easier to apply and you can build up the coverage from fairly sheer to full-on glamour.

Maybelline The Falsies mascara in Black Drama- One of those mascaras that every beauty blogger knows and swears by. It's also cheap, which is a real find because highstreet mascaras are usually quite expensive.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in 01 Black- Just as good as any top-range gel liner and you get a brush included!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair 1- I won't bore you with more praise for this product. If you'd like to see a full review, have a look at this post.

MUA Eyeshadow Palette in Undressed- A £4 dupe for the Urban Decay naked palette with all the neutrals you could possible desire. Especially good for Kat's blue eyes with the pink/gold undertone shades. If you'd like to see a full review of this product, click here, or, alternatively, if you'd like to see what sort of other look you can create with it, check out this tutorial.

Sleek Face Form Kit in Fair- Especially good value for money because you get a great contour, highlight, and blush. The contour is light enough to look subtle and natural on fair skin (as you can probably assume from the colour name; way to state the obvious, Lydia).

Ecotools Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set- The first brush set I ever owned was actually from Ecotools. I honestly believe that, as an introduction to the (pretty intimidating) world of brushes, you can't get much better for about £16. That's only just over £3 a brush (wow, accurate mental maths and its not even lunchtime yet) and you get a free case included. If you'd like to read some more about Ecotools brushes and see what my first ever set looked like, then here's a post for you.

Eyelash curler (Kat's own)

Flowers (courtesy of Kat's mum)

The Look

A cheeky before for you.

And the after. 

Here's a stock looking-down-so-you-can-see-the-shadow photo.

The look I settled on (or rather the look I ended up with after getting too carried away) is this smokey eye and bold lip combo. I always think a slightly smokey eye is a great going-out idea for beginners because it involves more smudging and less precision. I used the taupey-brown shade (bottom row, third from the right) all over the lid, lined the upper lashline roughly with the gel liner and smudged this in with a bit more of the taupe shade. I ran what was left on the brush of the shadow and gel liner through the crease to add a little extra definition and blended the liner up to meet it. Then, I smudged some more gel liner and the same shadow into the bottom lashline. For a highlight, I used the lightest shade sparingly in the inner corner and on the brow bone. 

I know, I know, a bright lip can wash out pale skin even more, but, I think if it is applied properly and if you don't mind celebrating the fact that your skin might well be so pale that you glow in flash photos (speaking from experience, here) then it can help to create a really stand-out look. Kat likes to wear a red lip, but I thought a pink would be perfect for the spring and summer months. It's also a great way to modernise a really classic look. Plus, I've been loving a bright pink lip at the moment, so I'm a bit biased really. Keep the skin simple with a subtle contour and blush.

5 Tips for Beginners (with a fair skin spin)
  1. Ask questions! If you're completely bewildered by the thought of facing those makeup counters, then chat with friends about their favourite products/what they use. Or, if you're going for some high-end makeup ask one of the assistants at the counter. They're there to help. If you have pale skin, it is especially important to get advice about foundation. Certain foundations will look too dark or (god forbid) orange on your skin. 
  2. A smudged gel liner or eyeliner pencil is a great introduction to lining your upper lashline. It's more subtle and definitely more foolproof. 
  3. Contour should be applied under the cheekbone, on the sides of the forehead, and on the jawline. For the cheekbone contour (which, I admit, is slightly tricky), suck in your cheeks and apply lightly to the hollows you create, or, start at the same height as the middle of your ear and sweep down towards the corner of your lip. 
  4. A bright lip is a great way to switch from day to evening. Swipe a lip crayon all over your pout for instant glamour. 
  5. Blend any foundation or bronzer down the neck too. Nobody wants to be left with a face three shades darker than the rest of their body (plus, always count Mississippilessly in tanning situations to avoid similar embarrassment- pat yourself on the back smugly if you understand this reference). 

I think Kat looks gorgeous and I hope you all agree! Obviously, this look is more suited for an evening. Please, if you are a beginner, don't start aimlessly wandering the streets with full-on bold eyes and lips. If you'd like a more natural look for pale skin, then please check out my recent spring makeup look. I really enjoyed the challenge of applying makeup to someone else and hope you've found this interesting and useful. Check back in a couple of weeks for a new Make Me Up! I'll start sharpening my eyeliner pencils for the next "participant". 


  1. Gorgeous makeup and fab tips - brill post!

    1. Thank you very much! Glad you liked it :) x

  2. Beautiful! Was looking for a cheap mascara and gel eyeliner - now I know which one to get :) xxx

    1. Aww I'm glad you trust my authority ;) x