Monday, 25 June 2012

MUA makeup review: Primer, Contour Pen, Eyeshadow and more!

* edited to add - MUA's website seems to be down right now, so try clicking here in the meantime to check out their products - sorry! *

I'll admit it: I'm a cheapskate when it comes to makeup. My only real splurge is the two products I rely upon the most: lipstick (Mac's Ruby Woo) and foundation (Revlon Colorstay), and at around £15 every few months they're hardly breaking the bank. Yes, I like a bargain, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the most bargainous brand of all: MUA!

Their products may be ridiculously cheap - everything's priced at £1.00, apart from their 'Pro' range, where the most you'll shell out is (gasp!) £4.00 - but do some Googling and you'll find that quite a few of their offerings are, well, really quite good!

Three of their products in particular are so good, in fact, that I use them every single day for my 50s makeup look: their Matte Eyeshadow, their Eye Primer, and their 3-in-1 Contour Pen, plus a few others that I keep handy! Read on for my mini-reviews of these fabulous yet affordable wonders!

First up: Matte Eyeshadow in shade 17.

I use this matte eyeshadow pretty much every day and it's quickly become one of my staples! MUA have gotten good press for the quality, blendability and pigmentation of their eyeshadows and this one is no exception. It's a matte light beige that comes up almost skintone on my fairish skin. It's the perfect neutral shade to use as a base for brighter colours, or just on its own. The pot (palette? what do you call it?) is surprisingly big- it's lasted me a good few months. Highly recommended and just £1!

Next, something I often use with the eyeshadow: the Eye Primer!

It used to be the case, it seems, that primers were the preserve of high-end makeup brands - so naturally, being a tightwad, I had never used them! Until I came across this gem! It claims to provide a smooth base for your eyeshadow and prevent creasing, and at £2.50 it was definitely worth a shot!

And what a discovery! Even long-lasting eyeshadows would crease on my ridiculously oily lids well before the end of the day- no more the case with this fantastic product! It's a creamy paste with a lipgloss-style wand that you apply to your lids and blend, then apply your shadow over the top! Et voila- no-budge eyeshadow through heat, sweat and oil. I especially love it for shimmery shades. Like the eyeshadow it has lasted through months of daily use. Get it now, girlies! :)

I also recommend their Face Primer- does what it says on the tin and lasts forever!

Now for my third daily staple: the 3-in-1 Contour Pen in Dark Brown!

A big secret of my Fifties makeup look is a barely-there line of dark-brown - not black - pencil eyeliner right along my lower lash line (not on the waterline). I've often found this hard to do and keep neat with a regular kohl pencil but this nifty piece of kit makes it easy, for just £1.50! It's a twist-up crayon-style liner with a flat, angled tip that makes lining your eyes a piece of cake- so much easier than using a normal pencil! It's also a decent brown colour - not orange, red or purple-toned like some other cheap liners, and whilst its staying power isn't fantastic, I have never found any pencil liner that hasn't faded on my oily skin by the end of the day. Again, it lasts for ages, and unlike other crayons I've used, has never broken, which is quite something! So ingenious that I can't believe there aren't more like this!

Honorable mentions also go to the following - I might not use them every day, but I like to have them on hand for when I want a bit of glitz!

Glitter Eyeliner in Shade 2 (clear with gold glitter)

and Liquid Eyeliner in Shade 3 (metallic bronze), just £1 each! Apparently, one of Marilyn Monroe's makeup secrets was a fine line of gold liner above her darker liner on her top lash line. I like to do the same with one or the other of these and have always received compliments! Super-flattering on blue-eyes!

MUA is available at Superdrug and via their website, and they ship internationally for those outside the UK!

Have you tried these or any other MUA products? Will you be giving any of my recommendations a whirl? What do you think?


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Attention all vintage-lovers: stuff for sale!

I'm finally having a massive wardrobe clearout and listing on eBay, starting today!Over the coming weeks, I will be listing tons of vintage and vintage-inspired loveliness, including:

a 1950s Jonathan Logan yellow sundress! Find it HERE!

a 1950s pink day  dress! Find it HERE!

a 1930s or 40s cream hat! Find it HERE!

a beautiful reverse carved lucite earring and pendant set - probably 50s! Coming soon!

a new with tags 40s/50s-styled cream wiggle dress! Find it HERE!

a sweet 60s or 70s embroidered dressing gown/robe with a definite 40s/50s feel! Find it HERE!

and loads of retro and vintage-inspired modern stuff,  including dresses, skirts, shorts, tops, accessories, bras and bikinis- the lot!

Check it all out HERE! and please share with anyone who might be interested! :)

Thanks and happy bidding!


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Thoughts on Butterick Retro B5708

My first sewing-related post!

In my last post I mentioned that I had recently started learning to sew, with the help of my wonderful and very talented Mum (she made her wedding suit, y'know). My first two projects - a 1959 cropped blouse and a 1963 sundress - went really well, especially considering I'd only been sewing two weeks (!) and hopefully I'll get some photos up at some point (chronology is going out the window, I think). A few days ago I eagerly started on my latest: Butterick Retro B5708, a lovely full skirted dress from 1953, with four charming ways to wear the neckline, thanks to the sweet little shoulder ties! After procuring some crisp white cotton from the amazing Fabric Land (don't be put off by the naff website and lack of online ordering- they're pretty good), I was all set to go!

Rated 'Easy', I didn't think I'd be punching above my weight, especially as my last dress came out so well, but quite frankly, this has been a pain in the arse (if I can be so indelicate). As you can see from the picture above, the bodice is quite unusual, made from three seperate pieces sewn together along a v-shaped main seam- and that's where the problems started. Even after painstakingly getting them to match up without bunching, and matching front and back, when I tried on the dress after putting in the zipper today, the bodice still wasn't sitting right. Cue intervention by Mum...

Hopefully it'll be done by tomorrow, and I'll be glad to see it finished, that's for sure! I know it'll look lovely on, especially with my new petticoat (post to come later)- I just wish it hadn't been quite so stressful to make! I wouldn't discourage anyone from using this pattern, as it is lovely, but just be aware it's definitely *not* for beginners, despite what the envelope says...

I'm quaking in my vintage peep-toes about the other Retro pattern I've got lined up, rated 'average' (gulp). Anyone tried B5556?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A long overdue update (and a bit of an overhaul)...

Howdy folks,

I started this blog way back in the beginning of the year with high hopes and good intentions - but school, and life in general, took over, and it quickly languished. :(

Over the next few months I hope to be finally putting in the kind of effort I had wanted to... posting regularly, reading, enjoying and commenting on other lovely vintage-themed blogs, AND (drumroll...dum dum dum...) documenting my newfound love of sewing! Yes, just recently I have been learning to sew- vintage, of course! So I hope to use my blog as a way of documenting, amongst other things, my work-in-progress, finished garments, vintage pattern and notion collection, and general ramblings themed around my love of all things  mid-twentieth C!

Let's hope I keep to my resolutions this time! Toodle-pip til next time!