Thursday, 31 May 2012

Illamasqua Naked strangers collection

Illamasquas' new launch which is available from today 31st May is a collaboration of warm rich golds, nudes and peach tones.
 Consisting of three nail varnishes (£13.50) in a flesh pink, copper and platinum gold, two rich glossy lipgloss colours (£13.00) in matching platinum gold and a nude peach.
 The gloss is a real thick texture that has an opaque finish with a high colour payoff.
 We love the nude gloss for every day but the platinum gold may take a little more courage to wear unless you like a bold metallic lip.
Nic used the nude gloss in intamacy on her new tutorial coming soon on Rosie Huntington-Whitely.

The blush options (£16.50) cater for everyone as there is a powder and a cream.
 Both similar in colour the cream has a soft pinky beige with a high moisturised finish and the powder is a peach based pink with a natural matte finish.

The collection is available today from

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Marks and Spencer Limited Collection

Marks and Spencer is the first place I go to for luxurious food but to be totally honest I never really stop by their cosmetics for a look.
We were recently kindly sent some products from their new Limited collection range and we were pleasantly suprised.

The packaging is refreshingly simple and clean with no gimmicks. Transparent casing allows you to see the colour easily but it is also sturdy plastic so it wont smash on first drop!
The product line up consists of all your basics without tons of different finishes and coverages to get you confused.

The base make-up shades I would say cater for a porcelain skin colour up to a mid toned olive. Not much in the way for deeper skin tones i'm afraid.
The foundation gives a medium moisturised coverage that is quite matte once dry and the moisture tint is very sheer and lightweight the colours come up slightly pinky undertone.

Eyeshadows are available in trios or singles and have some really pretty fresh colours for summer.
They glide on smoothly and have a nice texture but be careful to not over blend as they do sheer out a lot when blended.
The star product from this line for me is the liquid liner.
Available in an amazing turquoise which is identical to MAC Aqualine, a metallic gunmetal and jet black. The brush is a nice tapered firm brush and the texture is thick, not too watery and dries super fast. Colour payoff is excellent.
Also, I love a plum mascara on blue or green eyes and this volumising mascara in purple make this colour eye pop!! Also available in black and brown.

There are 18 colours in lipstick, ranging from a clear through to a deep magenta plum with a satin finish that are complemented with some truly beautiful lipglosses.
I absolutely love the gloss in Nude and Soft Apricot, they are really gorgeous while being glossy but not sticky.

The Nail polish comes in a huge range of 25 colours that sit nicely with the trends of the summer. The polish is thick and creamy and wears well on the nail.

Prices are so reasonable with foundation at £6.00, eyeshadows at £4.00 and lipsticks and glosses at £5.00

limited collection is available from Marks and Spencer stores and online at
For stockist enquiries call 0845 302 1234


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Concealer Review

We get asked a lot what are the best concealers on the market and which ones are best for different areas or concerns.
 Concealers are designed to cover imperfections, scarring, blemishes, and pigmentation and they do this by colour correcting the area and creating a layer over the area to be disguised.
 The general concealer will not however hide wrinkles, raised scarring or skin that has pitting or uneven texture. There are more specialist products available for this.
There are so many to choose from but I will tackle this by concerns.

Dark Circles
The skin around the eye is very thin and fragile. Think of it as an onion skin where its almost transparent and everything underneath can be reflected above onto the skin.
Depending on your skin tone these dark circles can appear in many different tones so you need to choose the correct colour to counteract the colour of your dark circle.The best way to do this is to get the consultant where you purchase to test the colour on you first.

Check out this colour wheel. Colours that are opposite each other will help correct each other so for example if your dark circles have a blue undertone then a peach based concealer will knock back the blue, if they have a purple undertone then go for a brighter yellow based concealer and so on.
Depending on the coverage you like here are some good under eye concealers;

*MAC Moisture Cover is a lightweight, light reflecting liquid concealer that will provide moisture to dry skin and provide medium coverage. Great for all skins but especially good on mature skins.

*Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer is similar to moisture cover however it provides a much fuller coverage. Also contains SPF 10 which is good for sensitive skins but watch out for flashback from this product in photographs.

*Bourjois Healthy mix concealer is a liquid that provides great radiance around the eye with a medium coverage. Good if your skin is looking dull.

Cream/cake concealers can also be used around the eye but be careful of a cakey finish that can sometimes settle into fine lines.


As I said concealer will correct the colour but if a blemish is raised from the skin it will not make the blemish appear flat to the skin.You will just have to wait it out for the area to heal.
Depending on the coverage needed you can go for a liquid concealer if you need light cover but for a fuller, flawless cover you need to invest in a cream concealer.

*MAC Studio Finish is a great little pot that will last you months.Its creamy texture allows you to blend it in nicely.If your skin is oily you may need to powder over the top to matte it down but this a make-up artists key concealer.

*Bobbi Brown Creamy concealer which also comes in a duo kit or in a large palette is similar to studio finish but slightly more of a moisturised finish.Better for a dryer skin I would say.

*Rimmel hide the blemish concealer is a product that has been around for years but is an all time staple product to have.It is quite a dry formula so good on an oily skin but is nice and creamy and easy to blend.

*Avon Ideal flawless concealer is an oil free concealer that is quite lightweight but still buildable.A good all rounder.

Body Blemishes

  In the summer or for when you may want to wear more revealing clothes there are products you can use to hide bruising, veins, discolouration or blemishes.

You need to go for a product which is transfer proof so it won't rub off on your clothes.

We love MAC Face and Body foundation for this.Its used back stage at all the big fashion events to cover models bruised legs or dodgy fake tan marks!
Its lightweight but when buffed in transforms into a paste that gives a heavier cover.It won't rub off on your clothes and can be teamed with a concealer for more specific coverage.

 Specialist concealers

Always check with your doctor first before trying out cosmetic solutions on skin that requires medical consultation first.
Often you may even be offered camouflage creams by your GP.

There are some really great brands out there that specialise in camouflage concealers.
We have worked with the following brands and found them effective.

*Keromask is an amazing brand recognised by the British Medical Association and can be used to disguises acne, vitiligo, rosacea, scars, birth-marks, veins, moles, broken capillaries, dark circles under the eyes, post operative bruising and unwanted tattoos.
 They come in 24 different shades to suit all skin colours.

*Dermaflage is a little more complicated but is basically camouflage for skin that has a recessed scar such as pitting or indentation.
It is a silicone based product that safely fills the indentation to provide a second skin.It comes in a one month starter kit and has all colours to meet your skin tone needs.
Applied in three steps including a primer, colour application and then a texture pad that sits over the top.

For more information on all the products please visit their websites listed below.
We would love to hear your feedback on your favourite concealers.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Oil Control Powders

I am always envious of dry skin, how it looks amazing in photographs and never really has too many breakouts. I want it all, a matte looking skin that still has a radiant finish.
If I apply a powder to matte down my skin I often find by 3pm I have a build up of product that appears not only to have a powdery cakey finish but that also appears a darker colour to the rest of my face.
The solution is a colourless powder that will absorb oil and matte me down without any colour build up.
I have tested some out for you like minded wrinkle free oily skinned beauties!

Daniel Sandler Invisible blotting powder

This is a talc based powder that gave a good matte finish and kept shine at bay for around 3-4 hours.
Available in the one colour it was really easy to touch up with using the included pad and mirror.
 No chalky feel but I think this is more suitable for a fair skin tone. My skin tone is quite pinky and if I have self tan on then this can look a little ashy. Therefore I would say for an olive to dark skin colour you may find this unsuitable.

Merle Norman Flawless effect oil control pressed powder
This powder comes in five colours but as I am reviewing colourless powders I have used the translucent powder.
 Although this is meant to be translucent it does have a peach based colour to it. On application though this peach tone is not as obvious.
The particles are really finely ground and it definitely gives a smoother soft focus to the skin.
 After touching up throughout the day I did find that this powder caked a little and looked patchy in places. 

MAC Prep and Prime finishing powder 
   This is my favourite blotting powder, even more so than MAC's Blot powder.
I find it absorbs oil and keeps me matte for longer. I only use this very lightly so I find that it doesn't have a chalky build up but I think if you wear it heavy it may start to look lighter in places.
Probably not good for dark skin tones. If you do have a dark skin tone then I would suggest MAC Blot powder in medium/dark, dark or deep dark.
The only downside to this powder is that it has no powder puff included. Not the end of the world but it is required!
This also comes in loose powder.

Make-up Forever High Definition Powder

I wish this came in a pressed form as I find it less messy and more transportable this way.
I used a small powder brush to dust this over and instantly my skin is matter and softer looking.
The powder is super fine and feels really silky. Rather than a total matte finish it has a slight radiance to it which is nice if you still like a slight glow to your skin.
Although beware, it can flash back in photographs if used too heavily.

Which powders do you use and love?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Retro Sweet Heaven

Here at Pixiwoo we LOVE sweets so when Emma from Sweet Emporium got in contact and kindly offered us a sample of some of their amazing old school sweets we were so excited!
The package arrived on the third day of the Pixiwoo course, exactly when the students needed a bit of an energy boost.
The two tier hamper style box was packed full of all our old time favourites including, giant Parma Violets (Sam say's these are vile), Love Hearts, Popping Candy, Black Jacks, Fruit Salads, Refreshers, Sherbet Dib Dabs and Flying Sherbet Saucers. We honestly felt like kids tearing open the package.

If you love sweets then check out the Sweet Emporium Facebook page
We have devoured our hamper but will definitely be investing in these again for a special treat or to give the students a sugar rush when they are flagging!

These hampers are £14.99 (bargain) but if order one through the email listed on their Facebook page and quote PIXIWOO you can receive a free jar of chocolate eggs too!


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Lipsticks

 I know it's all about the product but we love the MAKE UP FOREVER lipstick cases.
 You need to make sure you get at least four so you can re create the brand name though!

These new lipsticks are sheer fruity colours with a moisturised glossy finish. Containing a high percentage of fatty acids and castor oil they glide on effortlessly with a pearl finish.
Available in 50 different shades, there's a colour for everyone.

£16.50 and available now from &

You can see me swatch and use some of these in the MAKE-UP FOR PALE GIRLS video (below)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Tips for Redheads

Red hair comes in such a variety of shades that it can be confusing to know which tints and tones to go for when picking your make-up.
Often the skin is fairer for red heads and it can be a struggle to find a foundation match or eye shadows that are not to warm on a paler skin.

There are no rules in make up and it can be a matter of trial and error to find the right colours for you.

Check out our recent tutorial on Christina Hendricks to get some inspiration on how to tackle a look for red heads.

I have compiled a list of some brands that have some good colour selections suitable for very pale skin.

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation has a superb range of light colours in a medium but buildable coverage.
Their lightest colour in 01 is practically white!

M.A.C offer Face and Body in White which can be added to regular Face and Body foundation to lighten the colour up.
This foundation is very sheer and can be also used on the rest of the body to help conceal bruises or to tone down uneven skin tone.

Dainty doll is a brand by Nicola Roberts from UK girl band Girls Aloud who herself is a fair skinned red head.
Her line of products include everything from foundations to blushers to false lashes using mixed red hair.

Anastasia Beverly Hills has catered for the brows of a red head with her vast line in brow products to suit.
We think Anastasia brow pencil in Strawburn is a really good versatile colour and the Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel is gorgeous.

We believe there are no rules in make up and as we are all individual I never like to specify that people need to wear certain colours but there are colours that will enhance each other.
Red heads look awesome with a strong pop of colour on the lips. Go for warm toned reds and oranges or if your feeling mega daring then a deep plum looks beautiful.

Warm the cheeks with a soft blush in taupe, peach or coral.
Depending on the eye colour you can pretty much get away with most colours although I would steer clear of icy pinks and baby baby blues.

What do all you fabulous red haired beauties like to wear?

Make Up Forever Aqua Shadow

Many people love the ease of a cream eyeshadow but hate that they move and crease on the lid.
In May, Make Up Forever will launch their range of Aqua Shadow Sticks which are easy to use shadow pencils that won't crease, smudge or transfer and are waterproof.

Tested under extremes of heat these fat nibbed pencils are made up of wax, oils and polymers which create a film that locks water out.
They still blend really easily and have a good amount of play time to move around to where you want them.
Many cream shadows have a pearly, shimmery finish and while 7 of these 12 shades also have this finish there are also 5 that are totally matte, a huge added bonus for those that find the iridescent texture unflattering.

These are soft enough to blend using your fingers but I would recommend a fluffy blending brush to buff the colour over the eye without dragging the skin.

To remove these products you will need an oil based eye make-up remover and gently press and then  sweep a cotton pad over the eye taking care not to drag the skin.

The Aqua Shadows are £15.95 available from or view for product info.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Tom Ford Eye Quad

Tom Ford is well established in the fashion world but in the autumn of 2011 he launched his complete cosmetic line.
They have 10 varieties of eyeshadow quads available, each set in a weighty chocolate and gold palette with  two application brushes.
 We have been testing out some of the eyeshadow quads here in colours 'Burnished Amber' and 'Cognac Sable'.

Burnished Amber are warm plums that have a gold base pigment running through them.
Wear them individually or blend together for a statement plum smoky eye.
 These types of colours can look a little scary in the palette but if you have blue or green eyes these colours will look amazing.
 Layer the gold base colour on and then get blending in the darker colours.Due to the gold satin finish running through all the colours they are not as red/pink looking as they seem in the palette.
 On darker skin tones these are actually really beautiful colours to use on the cheeks too as a blusher and highlighter.

Cognac Sable palette is a mixture of gold base shadows that also have underlying gold pigments.
This palette has an amazing copper shadow that is so sparkly it looks wet on the skin.
 Containing a mixture of reddy browns and a grey tone brown these colours would be perfect for blue or brown eyes.
May look a little warm on a fair skin but would be amazing on an olive or darker skin tone.
Palettes are £62.00 each.
Check out to view the full range of cosmetics and stockist information.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Omorovicza Sunkiss SPF15

We see a lot of summer liquid bronzers that have a high shimmer, great if you like this finish but if you have an oily skin, mature skin or just generally hate shimmer then this could be the bronzer for you.

Omorovicza is a Hungarian brand that uses natural mineral ingredients inspired by Hungary's thermal baths.
 They claim the benefits of their mineral based products are that they help to encourage collagen and elastin production and boost skin cell regeneration.

This is a real multi use product as it helps to prolong an existing tan whilst providing a sun protection of factor 15.
It is almost like a tinted moisturiser in the way that it smoothes out the skin colour and tone and provides a really minimal coverage. The soft golden tone tints the skin ever so slightly but the big plus for us here at Pixiwoo is that it looks matte on the skin.
When you think of a sunkissed glow you may think shimmery but sometimes all this shimmer distracts from the actual product and can look really obvious and fake.
We prefer the look where people assume you have had a week in the south of France not applied half a pot of shimmering bronze pearls to your cheeks.

You can use this in place of a tinted moisturiser, mix it with your foundation or apply just on the higher planes of the face where you would naturally tan.

It's not really that buildable, the colour you see is what you get but it is easily paled down by mixing with your moisturiser if you have a fair skin.
A really good product for holidays as a one stop product or if you are getting married in a hot climate and want a natural product that photographs well.

This is quite a pricey product but as soon as you apply it you can feel why it is this expensive.
50ml is £74 and available from
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