Techniques Masterclass – Lip Liner

Techniques Masterclass – Lip Liner

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the rules regarding lip liner. Thankfully, I was blessed with your average pair of lips, meaning they’re not too small, they’re not too big, they’re just right! (Just call me Goldilips). But when I started working at Fragrance Direct, I noticed that all the girls in the office had lip liner filled make-up bags so was this a memo I missed?!

I have always associated lip liner with those terrifying 90s photographs were a brown lip pencil was a girl’s best friend (How ironic that this look is now back in style!). But with a tonne of new formulas, shades and brands that are all offering us a piece of the lip liner cake, we’re ready to indulge in some serious lip envy calories!

I started my lip liner journey with my trusty Carmex Moisture Plus Balm. There’s nothing worse than applying lip liner to chapped, dry lips (I found out the hard way), so apply a generous amount of your favourite lip balm, get to doing the rest of your make-up and by the time you’re ready to get lining, your pout will be perfectly prepared!

You can of course match your lip liner to every shade of lipstick you own but that’s going to take a lot of time, effort and pennies, so try taking a leaf out of my book and find three lip pencil shades that you can adapt with a range of lip colours.


First up is Pupa’s Lip Pencil in the shade 113. I love a deep berry lip, especially during the winter months. I like to apply this lip pencil by very gently shading the outer corners of my lips and then filling in the entire lip with the same colour. Although I’ll be applying a lipstick over the top, using a lip liner first will intensify and lock in the colour for longer.

So remember when I mentioned the risquǸ brown lip liner shades above? Well you may want to stock up on a few of this season’s hottest shades of chocolate when it comes to your S/S beauty regime (definitely don’t hunt out your lip liner from the 90s, that’s just gross!). Think Kate Moss, cirque 1995 when a deep, sumptuous brown lip brought out all those lovely bronzed tones in your face, perfect for Spring/Summer.


L’Oreal Studio Secrets Lipliner in 062 Brown is almost a mauve shade of brown that works really well with skin/flesh coloured shades of lipstick. Of course you can go all Jesy Nelson aka Little Mix on us and line your lips with this shade and then opt for a lighter tone of lipstick to really pronounce your lips and make the lip liner noticeable. But if you’d rather keep things low key, stick with a similar colour and enjoy fuller, plumper lips.

No make-up bag would be complete without a red lip liner, am I right? When I want to go all out for a big night out, I instantly reach for a trusty red lip, so when I realised that a red lip liner can only intensify the look, I instantly went on the hunt for the perfect one.


That’s when I found Astor Rouge Couture Lip Liner in the shade Bois de Rose. Deeply red and beautifully vintage, I immediately got to pairing this with my favourite red lipstick (which is in fact Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury CrÇùme Lipstick in the shade Clear Rose, just in case you’re interested!). Not only does my lip colour last all night, I can enjoy those few glasses of wine without having to check that my lipstick hasn’t smeared all over my face!

So lip liner has officially changed my beauty life. Am I late to the party or lip liner a revolution? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

90s Revival has never been more on trend than if you stepped back into the 90s era. We’re not asking you to dig out your choker necklace and your Sporty Spice inspired work out gear but we do encourage you to lace your lips with a dark lipstick shade.

SS14 gave us a huge insight into the beauty trends that key designers were keen to strut down the catwalk. Fendi and 3.1 Phillip Lim made a statement not only with their designs but with bold lip shades that set a precedent for the 2014 beautysphere.


Traditionally, dark shades of lipstick have been reserved and boxed off for winter as a way to add a pop of colour to your winter wardrobe. But now, cast aside all of your S/S traditions and look at this season’s hottest lip colour trends that feature some shades that may surprise you.


Berry Babes

Berry lipstick shades are one of our favourites for evolving your every day make-up look. Add a subtle brightness to your lips with shades such as Calvin Klein’s Delicious Luxury CrÇùme Lipstick in ‘Desire’. This is a deep and sumptuous shade of berry with undertones of subtle pinks.

Top Tip – If you don’t want to go too heavy on your lipstick, the trick is to apply the product with your fingers. This will subtly build the colour up over time and lets you control how dark or light you want your lipstick to be.


Max Factor’s Lipfinity Lip Colour is an intense shade of berry that will add a subtle, pretty colour to your lips. It contains soft blue undertones which suits a range of skin tones, in particular dark and olive tones.

Top Tip – A nice trick to try if you want to tie your make-up look in together is to warm up the lip shade between your fingers and gently apply to your cheeks, blending upwards and outwards. This will pull the look in altogether and add a subtle glow to your cheeks.

Retro Browns

When Kate Moss stepped onto the scene in the early 90s, her striking facial features and long legs weren’t the only thing we noticed about her. Her ability to wear and rock a brown lip has always stuck in our memories as the ultimate 90s beauty trend.


Take inspiration from the likes of Drew Barrymore and Kat Dennings when you’re thinking about trying this revived make-up trend. Bourjois Une’s Lip Toned Colour Lipstick in the shade L 21 is a good place to start. A deep, rusty brown, this matt lipstick is ideal for darker skin tones.

Top Tip – Before you apply the lipstick, take a tooth brush and gently exfoliate the lips. This will leave you with a smooth base that will grasp the colour for longer.


If you have a fair/light complexion, Becca’s Sheer Tint Lip Colour in Milla is a more wearable shade of brown. This Becca lip product is sheer and hydrating, leaving a subtle shine to the lips so that you can build the colour up over application.

Top Tip – If you want the colour to last for longer, sweep a light dusting of pressed powder over your lips ‘ this will help to lock the colour in all day.


Bordeaux Beauties

Bordeaux shades are deep tones which compliment golden and darker skin. Maybelline’s Colour Sensational Lipstick in ‘Sweet Bordeux’ is a rich shade of burgundy which is a great transitional colour to take you from day to night.

Top Tip – Apply this product with a lip brush to really accentuate your lips and enhance the colour.


Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in ‘Across The Universe’ is an amazing product for adding an intense stain to your lips. It applies like a gloss which quickly sets and tints your lip for all day wear. Across The Universe is a sumptuous Bordeaux shade that will instantly add drama to any make-up look.

Top Tip – Before applying this product, use a lip liner in a similar shade to outline your lips. This will help create the perfect pout.

Check out our Berry Lip Tutorial if you want to see a quick and easy way to wear this staple trend.

Make-up Masterclass – Mascara

Make-up Masterclass – Mascara

Mascara was created to give us the illusion of longer, thicker and more voluminous lashes. Nowadays, mascaras have been revolutionised. Things now aren’t so simple as choosing between whether you want to add length or volume to your lashes; you now have the option to waterproof, curl and even dye your lashes with mascara.

With so many options to choose from on the mascara market, we’re here to give you a make-up master class in this essential everyday make-up tool. Let’s explore the benefits of having a good quality mascara in your make-up bag.


There are lots of types of mascara that will have you questioning which one you should actually pick. Luckily for you, we’ve taken some of the pressure off and have selected 4 different mascara products that can all transform your lashes in different ways.


Waterproof mascara was introduced around 2005 and was seen as the first step in a new direction for this timeless make-up product. At first, waterproof mascaras were regarded as being very difficult to take off after a long day, mainly due to their long lasting power. Nowadays, new formulas have been developed to still maintain longevity but also to coat your lashes in a nourishing formula that protects and nourishes your eyelashes while still maintaining their colour.

L'Oreal Lash Architect

First up is L’Oreal’s Lash Architect Carbon Gloss Waterproof Mascara. Described as the perfect weapon to get you through the day, this waterproof mascara guarantees to protect you against everything from bad weather to emotional occasions. This long lasting and ultra pigmented mascara will last throughout your day so there’s no worry of a touch up.


If you’re already blessed with naturally long lashes, then volume mascara is the perfect option for you when it comes to your eyes. Volume mascaras are designed to add instant depth to your lashes and really build glamorous and defined eyes.

Maybelline Colossal Volum Express Mascara

Maybelline’s Colossal Volum Express WP Mascara applies smoothly and doesn’t clump your lashes. This affordable mascara loads your lashes with up to 7x more volume. It also contains a collagen enriched formula which allows the product to focus on each individual lash, while its oversized brush gives gorgeous volume.


Eyelash curlers can be great for beginning the process for lengthening your lashes but mascara is the ultimate tool for making those lashes grow rapidly in the space of 10 minutes! But instead of just focusing on making your lashes look like they’re longer, some mascara products can actually work to make this happen over time.


Astor’s Stimulong Lengthening Mascara coats your lashes in a rich formula which not only changes their appearance but also bathes them in a bio active complex. What this means is that the mascara actually helps to condition and smooth the lashes, protecting them from future damage. In the long term this helps to promote and stimulate lash growth.


You can add length, volume and drama to your lashes but sometimes it can be tricky to avoid the spider eye look. Thick mascara formulations can clump your lashes together and dry them out, so it may be time to start thinking about separating mascaras.

NYC High Definition

If you like to look wide eyed and awake in the morning (don’t we all?) then you should look at separating mascaras, like the NYC High Definition Separating Mascara. This is described as the ultimate mascara in lash definition. Its thin and long brush helps to create perfect lash separation, creating that wide eyed look that we all love to achieve. It lifts, strengthens and separates the lashes, giving you perfect lashes throughout your day.

What’s your favourite type of mascara to use? Let us know by leaving a comment below!