Beauty

YSL Beauty: Couture Palette

YSL beauty couture palette

I’m the first to admit that I’m no makeup expert. From choosing colours to applying the stuff, I’m lazy, unadventurous and frankly more than a little bit crap. As I explained in my first attempt at beauty blogging earlier this summer, my routine generally consists of a bit of powder, mascara and possibly a cat eye slick of black liquid eyeliner with a badly drawn bright lip to jazz things up if I’m feeling really wild. I think this fear possibly stems from some highly regrettable teenage experimentation with glittery eyeshadow and industrial quantities of bronzer but seriously, I’m 23, it’s time to get over that. Recently I’ve been trying to experiment with a few more dramatic makeup looks than my usual and a couple of weeks ago I took the plunge and gave the YSL Couture Palette a whirl.

There were a few different factors behind my decision to choose the YSL Couture Palette for my first foray into eyeshadow since I was about 17 years old, wearing American Apparel tube dresses, copious amounts of fake tan and dancing to Nelly Furtado in dubious Portugal holiday resorts. Firstly, YSL Beauty is fantastic. I mean, they gave us the Touche Éclat for Pete’s sake. This particular eyeshadow palette is also rather a special one as it’s been specifically designed to capture the essence of the iconic Maison itself through a modern reinterpretation of Yves Saint Laurent’s timeless codes, in particular the legendary Mondrian dress. Luscious, bold hues separated by graphic black lines and encased in Cassandre logo stamped gold; delectable enough to tempt even someone who still bears the shame of their teenage dalliance with sparkly blue eyeshadow and dream matte mousse (thanks for that Facebook) to indulge in a little eyelid decoration. The Couture Palette comes in 11 different colour variations and I opted for N° 10 Lumières Majorelle because I just can’t resist something that’s shiny and green. Incidentally, it also went perfectly with my current favourite outfit and looks cracking with a tan, or in my case the slight decrease in pastiness I achieved through my Sotogrande holiday and am desperately trying to cling on to. Full disclosure, I didn’t have the foggiest how I should apply the palette and decided to wing it rather than look for an online guide or anything sensible like that. But do you know what? I was pretty pleased with the results. So here, mes amies, is my YSL Couture Palette eyeshadow step by step…

Base

DSC_4877v2

I kicked things off with a simple, clean fresh base. Nothing that ran this risk of looking caked on or unpleasant, just my usual everyday thing with a bit of extra coverage because it looks weird to have dramatic, party ready eyes and exposed blemishes on the same face.

Lemon

YSL beauty couture palette

YSL beauty couture palette

YSL beauty couture palette

YSL beauty couture palette

Despite not having any expert help to hand, I figured that trying to using all four of the colours in the palette wasn’t a great idea and went for the lemon yellow combined with shimmering peacock blue. Since consulting the press release at a later date I learned that you can in fact use all four but I suspect that had I attempted this I would have looked like I’d been punched. To apply the lemon yellow block colour I literally just used the round end of the applicator that comes in the box, smoothed it across my lid and blended as it moved up towards the brow using little circular movements. I’m sure there is a better method and more professional tools one can use but my distinctly amateur way seemed to do the job.

Peacock

YSL beauty couture palette

YSL beauty couture palette

YSL beauty couture palette

YSL beauty couture palette

And now for the tricky bit, a shimmering, darker shade just waiting to go horribly wrong. As you can see, it didn’t go that wrong. In fact I gave myself a hearty pat on the back afterwards for a job well done! Basically all I did was use the opposite end of the applicator to carefully apply the shadow in a triangle like shape from the outside corner of my eye. From there you can add and blend to create the desired effect.

Finishing Touches

YSL beauty couture palette

After deciding that my eyeshadow was just about as good as it was going to get, I finished things off with a slick of black liquid eyeliner, lashings of mascara… Et voila!

All in all the YSL Couture Palette is very easy to use – if I can do it literally anyone can – and the colours are wonderful. You can shop the N° 10 Lumières Majorelle here and all the shades here. If you give it a go tweet me your pics @Ella_LaPetite

Love Ella. X

Images by Michaela Peker
Location: The London EDITION

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Beauty 2 Comments

L’Occitane Summer Grooming

L'occitane summer grooming

I’m the first person to admit that I fulfil most British stereotypes, not least the inability to control my love of a good moan. This is especially the case when it comes to weather. I hate being cold, get very cold and spend the majority of the winter months somewhere on the spectrum of mild-to-hopping-mad rage, railing against my purple extremities and goose pimples to anyone who’ll listen. Then when summer finally arrives and we’re treated to a heatwave I can’t cope with that either and start getting stroppy about being sweaty in the city. Even last week in glorious Sotogrande when all I had to do was lounge by a pool and the horrors of the Piccadilly Line were far, far away I still managed to fit in a whinge or two about the heat between insagramming shots of my pedicure and inspecting my tan lines. One particularly iffy issue when it’s hot, hot, hot is how to keep yourself looking polished when you feel like you’re melting. Whether you’re in the city, trying to look presentable while navigating scorching pavements and possibly even public transport or on your hols, hoping to look like a poolside glamazon, keeping groomed in the height of summer can be tricky. With the mercury set to continue to rise and August being prime holiday time, I thought now might be a good moment to share some of the luscious L’Occitane En Provence products I’ve been using to stop myself looking like a bedraggled mess (I hope) both in London and on the beach.

Beating the heat with Frisson de Verveine

L'Occitane

Frisson de Verveine Eau de Toilette, £42, click here to buy

L'Occitane summer grooming

Left: Frisson de Verveine Refreshing Body Mist, £12, click here to buy. Right: Frisson de Verveine Ice Gel for Legs & Feet, £20, click here to buy.

L'Occitane

Frisson de Verveine Body Care Duo, reduced from £34 to £28, click here to buy

While I remain highly dubious about body spray in general – anyone else remember the impulse scented air of teenage discos? – everything else about L’Occitane En Provence’s Frisson de Verveine collection is excellent. The scent is utterly delicious and so freaking fresh I quite want to drink it every time I put it on. Also when it’s seriously hot, more traditional perfumes can be a bit heavy, even really lovely ones. The same goes for the shower gel and body lotion. The ice gel for hands and feet was a bit of a surprise as the idea of putting gel on your body when you’re hot and sweaty isn’t so nice in theory but in practice, it does the job and doesn’t leave you with your toes stuck together. It’s also enabled me to continue cramming my feet into footwear that could double as torture instruments as it reduces heat swelling. For the past few weeks I’ve been using the lot when I get back from a morning run and, in my mind at least, the whole routine transports me from red faced, panting mess to a state of laid back, lemon scented loveliness. I did give the body mist a go and it was actually rather nice, but I still kind of object to it on principle.

Pre Holiday Preparations

L'Occitane summer

Left: Almond Tonic Body Oil, £35, click here to buy. Right: Almond Delicious Paste, £29, click here to buy.

I’ve never read a beauty feature that didn’t advise lots and lots of pre holiday exfoliation. No guide to prepping your beach body will ever advocate anything other than scouring away those dead skin cells and vanquishing all signs of cellulite with a good, grainy scrub. This is of course because it’s true. Back in the day I used to be the most religious skin scrubber of them all, devoting vast amounts of time to my extensive exfoliation-followed-by-moisturisation routine but now I’m rather too busy to spend hours in my bathroom merrily buffing my bod. That, my friends, is where this particular potion is rather handy. It’s a moisturiser/exfoliator hybrid in the form of a blended almond butter and oil paste that you just apply all over, as you would a regular lotion in the weeks leading up to your hols. It won’t of course transform you into a Victoria’s Secret angel (always a bummer) but it does make your skin soft, fresh and ready to get it’s tan on. Smell nice too, obvs. I’ve also been slapping on a bit of the almond tonic body oil whenever I remember to. It’s made from a combination of 5 essential oils – immortelle, palmarosa, mint, carrot, cypress and pink pepper – and meant to give skin a “refined and toned appearance.” I think a big misconception, or in some cases outright lie, with products like this is that it’s tempting to think that they will help tone your limbs in a more muscular sense, like some sort of magical gym in a bottle which obviously would be awesome if it existed. What the almond tonic body oil is designed to do is tone and smooth the skin itself, not what’s underneath it. For that purpose, L’Occitane’s oil works well and leaves you feeling all silky and fragrant with less blotches and bumps.

Beach Please

L'Occitane summer

Left: Angelica UV Shield SPF40, £27, click here to buy. Right: Revitalising Fresh Detangling Spray, £18, click here to buy. 

While I’m categorising these under the “use while on holiday” section of this post it’s also totally advisable to use them when back home during the summer, especially the face cream with factor 40 UV protection. I’m sure you guys are all much better about this than me but I always forget to wear UV protective face cream, sometimes even when actually on holiday which is terrible. I’m usually worried that wearing such creams on my face day to day is going to clog my pores, mess with my skin, cause makeup coagulation and generally feel a bit icky. I decided this summer to be less of an idiot about protecting my pasty face from the sun’s rays and gave this a whirl, then continued using it as it didn’t cause any of the aforementioned horrors. Full disclosure, I don’t use it everyday as I’m addicted to Kiehls classic 3 step skincare products but when I was in Sotogrande or if it’s particularly sunny here in blighty I swap it for L’Occitane’s Angelica UV shield. When I was away it was a huge relief to know that even if I fell asleep or got to engrossed in The Wrong Knickers (SUCH a funny book, definitely recommended reading) and didn’t reapply my suncream enough, my face at least was still protected. As a result I’m burnt in multiple other places but at least my nose doesn’t look like a tomato. I’m very, very hesitant to ever use any products at all on my hair as it’s super fine and the slightest smidge of mousse leaves me looking like Gollum. That said, sun, sea and chlorine gives my usually limp barnet the ability, or at least the desire, to transform itself into a very tangled ‘fro so I experimented with this spray when I was on holiday and I’d definitely recommend it.

Happy holidays everyone!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Beauty 1 Comment

In My Makeup Bag

in my makeup bag

Studded leather makeup bag from Austique. Available in navy here and you can find similar styles here and here.

Recently I’ve received a few requests from you lovely lot as to the makeup and beauty products I use. Your wish is my command so here we have the first of what I hope will be a series of posts about grooming. As I’ve said many times in the past, I’m actually pretty crap when it comes to makeup. This is partially out of laziness and lack of time – given how high maintenance I am when it comes to clothes and accessories, paying the same level of attention to my visage would be exhausting – but it’s perhaps also a hangover from my teenage years when I experimented wildly and badly with caked on foundation, orange fake tan and vats of glittery eye makeup. I looked like a low rent drag queen, especially given the stilettos and body con I paired the sorry lot with. Of course I’ve erased those days from my memory, as one does with truly traumatic experiences, but the periodic appearance of photos from “Val De Lobo ’07″ or “So and So’s Sweet Sixteenth” have no doubt served to keep me in very minimal, low risk make up ever since. Well now I’m a bit older and while probably not exactly wiser, certainly less likely to leave the how looking like the cast of TOWIE and Footballer’s Wives combined. So I’ve decided that maybe it’s time to take a few make up risks and have been embracing lipsticks of all colours and even experimenting with the odd smoky eye! I’ll be telling you more about this in beauty posts to come but I thought that to kick things off, it might be an idea to share the makeup staples I just couldn’t live without…

bareMinerals basics

in my makeup bag

Anticlockwise from left: Light stroke brush, £14, Full Flawless Face Brush,£24, READY Blush,£22 (I wear “the faux pas”), Original SPF 15 Foundation,£25 (I wear “fairly light”), SPF 20 Concealer,£19 & Well Rested Face and Eye Brightener,£22

Aside from when I’m on shoots, I have used nothing but bareMinerals powders on my face since I was 18 years old. I find any other foundation, even supposedly lightweight ones too heavy and pore clogging to wear on a regular basis. This stuff is genius as you can apply the lightest of dustings to eliminate the odd pimple of bit of blotchiness or buff and build it for a camera ready coverage if you’re off out somewhere fancy for the night. It also doesn’t totally screw up your skin if you don’t take if off before going to sleep which, let’s face it, we all do sometimes. The foundation also contains SPF which is brilliant if, like me, you always forget to apply it. My love affair with bareMinerals products began with their Get Started kit which you can buy here. It’s great because it includes all the powders and the brushes which are utterly essential but pretty expensive. If you want to purchase or find out more about any of the other products click on the underlined descriptions above.

Les Yeux

in my makeup bag

From left: Lancôme Artliner liquid eyeliner,£22, Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl eyeliner,£16.50, Eyeko Alexa Cheung Eye Do eyeliner,£15, MAC False Lashes mascara,£18 & Dior Iconic Overcurl waterproof mascara,£24.50

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you much about my go-to eye makeup. A flick of black liquid eyeliner and lashings of mascara never fail! Generally speaking, I keep the eyeliner part to an absolute minimum, if I wear it at all, during the day. Then come evening all you need to do is add more for a defined feline flick. People often ask me about how I apply it so neatly but seriously, it’s so easy. If I can do it anyone can! The trick is practice – always the way, obvious though it sounds and boring though it is – and also starting with the thinnest line possible as close to the lash line as possible. You can always build it up but it’s a total nightmare to make the line thinner or neater once it’s on. The amount of times I’ve gone about my business with totally mismatched eyes is not to be believed. When it comes to liquid eye liner, Lancôme is the absolute best but it is seriously bloody expensive so Rimmel or L’Oréal can be great alternatives. As long as it’s got a good brush (fine, possibly spongy, without trailing stringy bits if you know what I mean) and the liner itself isn’t ridiculously gloopy then it will be fine. When it comes to makeup, I think splashing out on really great quality foundations and concealers is the most important thing as ones with tons of chemicals and whatnot in them can seriously mess with your skin. With eye liners and mascaras you can get away with spending a lot less and to be honest, some of the cheaper brands products are basically just as effective.

Perfect Pout

in my makeup bag

From left: Lanolips 101 Ointment, £9.97 & L’Occitane En Provence scented lipbalm,£8.50

While my recent obsession with offensively bright lipsticks shows no sign of waning, I rarely if ever wear them during the day. This is less to do with fearing looking OTT – that’s an unavoidable side effect of dressing like a cartoon character anyway – and more because I know I’ll get it all over my clothes, face and anyone/anything else I come into contact with. I don’t do lipgloss (another beauty product I abused as a teen) so lovely balms like this are my everyday pout perfectors. Lanolips 101 Ointment is quite literally the best thing ever for vanquishing chapping and leaving your lips all soft and smooth while L’Occitane’s Rose Tenderness Lipbalm adds just the right amount of shine and smells delectable too.

Have you found this little beauty post interesting? I’m scheming a few more so let me know what you like or don’t. Also I must apologise for the rubbish photographs. I took them myself and my photography skills are so non existent they make my makeup technique look Charlotte Tilbury standard!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Beauty 3 Comments

Get A New Do At Trevor Sorbie!

Trevor Sorbie

I reckon you all know me pretty well by know and are well aware how deeply dull, non adventurous and generally useless I am when it comes to hair and makeup. Much as I’d love to be one of those girls that gets a bold new look every couple of weeks or turns up at a party looking like she’s just stepped out of a vampy ad campaign my idea of pushing the boat out is a bit of eyeliner and if I’m feeling really brave lipstick or even an up do. Well now and again, I get so bloody bored of rocking the exact same beauty look every day I’m almost tempted to swap my bob for a Miley Cyrus mohawk. Luckily there are professionals at hand who can persuade me against attempting anything drastic and some of the loveliest can be found at the lovely Trevor Sorbie salon in Covent Garden. Recently I’ve been feeling extra O-V-E-R my current ‘do so when they invited me along for a cut and colour I didn’t need to be asked twice. I went in clueless as to what I wanted and came out with a slick aubergine (I think the technical term was “deep chestnut”) look that felt very autumnal and, dare I say it, a little foxy.

Trevor Sorbie

I won’t bore you with a step-by-step of my whole salon experience INSTEAD you can use this one time only, exclusive La Petite Anglaise reader discount to get a hair update yourself! Yep, if you fancy a new ‘do too (see what I did there?) then claim 50% off all hair treatments at Trevor Sorbie simply by quoting “La Petite Anglaise” when you book. You can book online here or call the salon on +44 (0) 207 379 6901. The offer is valid until December 1st… happy grooming!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Beauty 4 Comments

Introducing: Eyeko

eyeko

I often think I don’t write enough about beauty products. Despite being both rubbish at and lazy about applying my own make up, I adore having my make up done and I enjoy personal grooming and everything it involves to a positively worrying level. When I was introduced to Eyeko – hotter-than-hot eyes only make up label launched with the intention of providing the “ultimate mascara wardrobe” – a couple of weeks ago, I knew within seconds it was seriously post worthy. Plus, my sources tell me that the whole world will be buzzing about this cult beauty brand so this way you (and I) can be among the first to rave about it.

eyeko

Launched in 1999 by fashion and beauty guru, Nina Leykand and stocked everywhere from Sephora to Harvey Nichols, you’d have thought that Eyeko would be a household name to rival MAC or Maybelline. Not so. Nina’s label, may be flying off shelves all over the world but somehow it’s remained the beauty industry’s best kept secret. Well now the secret’s out. I may be no expert but having been wearing Eyeko for the past week I can confirm that the gel based, Keratin containing mascaras are every bit as luscious as you’d expect. As for the Eyeko’s latest innovation: one mascara, three brushed to achieve a myriad of lash tastic styles… Can you say #TOTESAMAZE?

Love Ella. X

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