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Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I have something really exciting to share with you guys today! This past Monday I had the extreme good fortune to be able to spend time in the studio with a very talented photographer whom I met this past summer. Andy Wright of Point & Shoot Imagery was generous enough to lend me his studio space for the afternoon and allow me to do makeup on a close friend of his, the stunningly gorgeous Amna. It was my first time in the studio and her first time modeling, so there was lots of nervous energy in the room but I think it was all for the best. The pictures we got (thanks to Andy) are really, really beautiful and I'm so excited to share them with you guys. We did two looks for Amna: One sultry smoked-out cat eye look (using my brand new Velour Lashes!) and one colorful and dramatic look. Here are some shots from the day!
 
ALL PICTURES CAN BE ENLARGED TO HQ. SIMPLY CLICK IMAGE!








 
Makeup Artist: Meredith Jessica
Model: Amna Achim 
Contact: andy@pointandshootimagery.com

Monday, 19 September 2011

I was recently contacted by PAGEANT DESIGNS who had some very kind things to say about my blog and wanted to explore the idea of a possible collaboration/partnership. They actually went ahead and posted a really sweet article about me on their blog (which you can read here) so in return I offered to do a makeup look inspired by one of the dresses on their site.

I had a hard time choosing a dress to be inspired by. With all the color and glitter at my disposal I was overwhelmed by inspiration, but I eventually settled on this stunning green number which is just dripping with beaded, glittery embellishments. Feast your eyes on this and try to not picture yourself whirling around in it!


Ugh! Can you imagine!? Anyways, so this was the design that I settled on and here are TWO, yes ... TWO looks that I came up with that were inspired by this dazzling dress. Check them out.





The dress so nice, I did a look twice. I'd be really curious to see which of these two you guys like better so I'm going to reserve my own personal opinion for now. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances (re: chores & real life) I had to wash off my second look before I finished so there are no full face pictures, but I do have a full face shot of the first look to show y'all.



Man, I really wish you guys could have seen how dazzling and sparkly both these looks were in real life. (Anyone have any tips for capturing true sparkle on film - other than buying a better camera!) I felt like a total diva wearing these uber-glam looks, like a true pageant doll. I want to thank Pageant Designs for their desire to work with me and I urge you guys to have a look at the site. There's lots and lots, and LOTS of pretty dresses to drool over and even more inspiration for you makeup junkies like myself.

Thanks for checking it out and I really look forward to what you guys have to say about these looks and which one you prefer.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Well, I'm breaking my blogging hiatus briefly to bring you a long overdue post. A while ago 100% Pure Cosmetics contacted me and asked if I would be interested in receiving and reviewing their products. After looking into what the company had to offer I was more than a little excited to try out a selection of their vegan and cruelty free products

"100% Pure are the first and only cosmetics colored from antioxidant rich fruit and vegetable pigments. While other color cosmetics are colored with either synthetic dyes or minerals, only 100% Pure Cosmetics are colored with fruit and vegetable pigments (patents pending)! All the antioxidants and vitamins are in the pigments, so you will be applying all the healthy nutrients of the fruits directly on your skin."  - Pure Cosmetics Website

I am a vegetarian and an animal lover so I fully support the mission statement of this company. I put together a look that reflected their pure, all-natural aesthetic using the products they sent me and not much else (I filled in my brows & lahes, then put on foundation, everything else is from Pure Cosmetics). Here is my Pure Cosmetics full face look. This is a before/after comparison for you to judge the effect of the products.



I asked to sample their lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow products and here is what I received:

Satin Eyeshadow in "Tahiti": Pure Cosmetics markets this as a 'shimmery champagne' color that makes your eyes feel smooth and moisturized while giving them a pretty sparkly sheen. The color is definitely as described but it's a bit too spot on to my natural skin color to show up in pictures other than a faint shimmer. It was a bit hard to work with as the product was quite dense and didn't feel 'satiny' as the name suggests. Nor did my eyes feel silky smooth or moisturized - no more or less than they do with any other shadow. It was sparkly though so I'll give them points there but overall I wasn't too excited about this product. I'll probably use it as a cheek highlight from now on. It's too hard to work with on my eyes. RATING: 3/5

Fruit Pigmented Blush in "Chiffon": Pure Cosmetics says this blush will make your cheeks sparkle and shine. I disagree with that, but I was not at all disappointed by this product. This fruit pigmented blush is really easy to build and Chiffon is the perfect natural shade of blush. It's a light nude pink color that isn't garish or obvious when it goes on your skin. This color is perfection for fair-skinned, cool-toned girls like me but they have a wide range of products for every skin tone. As an added bonus (that I wasn't at all expecting), Pure Cosmetics sent me a cruelty free blush brush for applying this product and let me tell you. It has got to be the softest brush I've ever used. It's amazing. I haven't used any of my old blush brushes since getting it. You can find the brush HERE. I highly recommend checking it out. RATING: 4.5/5


Fruit Pigmented Lip-Glaze in "Rose Petal": This was far and away my favorite of the three products.  The shade I received is a warm rosy nude that perfectly compliments my natural coloring. This stuff is a one-coat, perfect lip color that feels great, looks great and is great for your lips. Depending on how much you're doing with your mouth (no judgement! haha) this stuff lasts about 30-60 minutes without reapplication. However, even if you don't reapply, the fruit pigments in this lip glaze are strong enough to give your lips a slight stain, making your lip color rich and kissable long after the product has worn away. And the best part - no lead (like many leading lip colors)! I like to think of this stuff as 'your lips, but better'. RATING: 5/5

Here's an up-close shot of my beautiful lip-glazed lips




My overall reaction to this company is a resoundingly positive one. I fully support their mission to provide high-quality, safe, healthy, ethical products at affordable prices. They were incredibly generous, sending me full sized products. The packaging is pretty and the shipping was fast. The only negatives were things that I had to expect when you're giving up all those chemical additives we're used to - so I don't know if they can REALLY be called negatives. I think you should check this company out and see what they're all about. At the very least, please educate yourself on all-natural products.

On the topic of all-natural products, if you'd like to learn more about healthy beauty alternatives and some of the scary secrets of the cosmetics industry, I highly HIGHLY recommend this book:




Disclaimer: Products in this post were sent for review. I am committed to making honest evaluations of all products and sharing that information with you. I will never post misleading information about my product experiences.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Thank you so much to all of you who took the time to watch and critique my first video tutorial. I've gone ahead and taken your suggestions and made a second tutorial for my Phlox inspired purple smokey look. 

It's far from perfect (I decided half-way through filming that I'd rather do voice overs than real time talking, so don't mind some of the audio not syncing with my lips moving) but it's getting easier for me to do, and I'm hoping to find an actual camera to film on soon because my MacbookPro webcam isn't really making the grade. If anyone has any suggestions or knows of someone selling a video camera for CHEAP let me know. I'd greatly appreciate it.

Anyways, as always I would really appreciate your feedback on this video so I can keep improving. For example: Do you prefer spoken or written instructions? Or both? Let me know and I hope you find this video useful. And please don't make fun of me being all lame and camera shy, lol. I've never been great at public speaking.

I also have a poll on my sidebar asking what types of tutorials you guys like seeing the most so if you haven't already done so, let me know what you like. I'm all about trying to make this blog as user friendly & interactive as possible. I truly value your opinions, they mean a lot to me and to the success of this blog.


Also, as a heads up - I will be starting Teacher's College tomorrow so I probably won't be able to be as active as I have been this summer but bear with me. I still plan on doing lots of posting and I have some amazing things coming up this month!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Welcome to the second installment of my blogger of the month series. Each month I will be recognizing and featuring someone who I believe to be a true talent in the beauty blogging world and displaying their work for you guys to see. I have included an interview as well as a gallery of their best work and commissioned an exclusive look for the monthly 'Pigments & Palettes Challenge'. The first blogger I've decided to feature is:



I was first introduced to Kassie's work when she won the flower inspired MakeupGeek.com challenge. I was so impressed and inspired by her entry that I went straight to her blog to check out more of her work. It was there that I realized the full scope of Kassie's talent for creating interesting, vibrant, colorful looks. Kassie's blog inspired me to do what she did, so I credit her with the creation of my own blog. She's a sweet girl with incredible skill and I hope you'll enjoy her blog as much as I have over the past few months.


THE INTERVIEW
 Getting to Know You: The Beauty Behind the Blog

Why did you start blogging?
I really wanted my own little place on the internet to share the things I love. I started taking pictures of my makeup on MakeupGeek.com back in 2009 and all the wonderful people on there encouraged me to go further with makeup. I love Makeup Geek, its a great way to learn & experience new things. 

What does your blog name mean, and how did you come up with it? 
Well most people around me want to have a high-paying job like a doctor or a lawyer but I just couldn't do that. I am obsessed with art and visuals, which most people don't get. What I want is not what most people want, in terms of career. So my name  came from that. I also really wanted a name that sounded kind of "mystical", if you will. Me and my friend sat down one night and brainstormed for a while before coming up with Unique-Desire. We had so many silly things, serious things, even slightly creepy things but I was SO happy when we finally settled on Unique-Desire


What are the three most important things for people to know about you? 
1. I love art, and not just makeup (which is an art form), but all kinds of art. I dabble in drawing, painting, photography, digital work etc.

2. I am a very sarcastic person, I try not to be sarcastic online though because it can often times sound mean or cruel if you can't see my face and I don't want anyone to think that I am cruel, because I am the exact opposite!

3. I am a total nerd! I love to nerd out with other nerds! as well! I just bought some collectible DC Comics Pint Glasses with Green Lantern, Batman(my fav!), Superman and Wonder Women, if that gives you a clue xD.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? 
I don't know how to ride a bike! So many people have tried to teach me but its just impossible for me xD


Describe your beauty philosophy in a six word sentence
Be comfortable in your own skin.

What would you say is your signature look?
I think mine would be a light smokey eye and a nude lip. I really love playing up my eyes more than anything. Either that or black winged liner and a red lip. I love doing that! Especially when I wear black & white clothes, it looks so great together.


Who or what serves as your biggest source of inspiration & why?
I love taking inspiration from pop culture and media, such as bands, movies, T.V. shows etc.

What is the skill you're most proud of and what skill would you like to improve on?
 
I am most proud of my blending skills, and I would like to improve on eyeliner and false lash application

What was the first look you did and what do you think of it now? 
The first "creative" look I ever tried was a tutorial that Marlena from MUG posted. I don't think she has it up anymore but it was a lime green shadow on the lid & and rust color on the lower lash line, very basic with thick cat eyeliner. I used to wear that ALL the time because I loved the effect of the liner.

What's one question you want to ask to next month's beauty blogger? 
If you could wish for one thing what would it be? (Mine would be that my entire family would be financially secure for the rest of their lives)

Who's your celebrity crush at the moment? - Ronnie, August
OHMYGAWD!! Chris Hemsworth!! He is SOOOO Sexy!! He is my first and only celebrity crush*drools*
_____________________________________________________________

FIVE FAST FAVORITES

1. Favorite beauty blog/website?
Your blog, obviously because its fabulous! (Thanks, Kassie) Ronnie's blog at Bows and Curtseys, Xsparkage, Widdlesh at FACE:PAINT, Sonja at TheBeautifulLifeOfTheGirlNextDoor, Makeup your Jangsara, Beautylish, and Makeubee

2. Favorite kind of post to read and/or write? 
I love reading/seeing looks!! And reviews & swatch comparisons

3. Favorite type of makeup to wear, if you could only choose one?
If I could only choose one makeup item to wear it would either be concealer for under-eyes and acne or mascara to brighten the eyes
4. Favorite look that you've ever done? 
This is a toughie, um... I think it would have to be my Sailor Mercury V2 look. I just love the smokey aspect of it and the glitter!


5. Favorite song to dance to when nobody's watching?
Lol this is embarrassing. Mostly pop & r&b songs from the early 2000's like Britney Spears, Xtina and Destiny's Child
_____________________________________________________________

THE PALETTE CHALLENGE

And finally, here's the Monthly Pigments & Palettes Challenge - "Homecoming Greens", a look created exclusively for Pigments & Palettes, inspired by the following picture and color scheme below.


THE LOOK





 
If you would like to be blogger of the month, or would like to nominate someone contact me at pigmentsandpalettes@gmail.com

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

MY FIRST EVER VIDEO TUTORIAL! WOO! 

Seeing as this is my very first time doing a tutorial, filming, AND editing I would really appreciate a lot of feedback if you guys would be so kind - and feel free to request other tutorials as well. :)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I guess now that it's officially September I can start feeling like it's actually fall. The wind is getting a bit nippier and the sun is setting a bit earlier so it's time to get out the fall clothing. Lucky for me, today's color is something that features prominently in my fall wardrobe, deep teal. Deep teal looks amazing on darker complexions and is one of many colors that plays well with brown and hazel eyes - none of which I have! So, it goes to show even if a color doesn't seem like it works for you, try it anyways - you might be surprised!
Sketch & Palette (c) Nanette Lepore
Nanette Lepore says that the inspiration for her design comes from 'Celestial heights twinkling in soft focus from our view on terra firma – we are reacting to the effects of global warming with softer colors and lighter fabrics'. While Pantone says that this color is reminiscent of the sky as daylight descends into darkness.
I will admit that Nanette's color palette threw me for a loop the first time I saw it. It's packed with powerful colors as well as a lot of contrast. I knew this look would be a challenge because it's definitely out of my color comfort zone. What I did like though was the idea of a night sky settling over a fall sunset - so that's where I drew my inspiration from. I didn't know how it was going to turn out but the look ended up being quite interesting and unexpected, and who doesn't want to be associated with those qualities?

Orange adds extra pop for blue eyes!

This look is definitely not for people who are color-shy. However, if you replaced the orange and yellow tones with something more subtle ( say, a nude wash or a light blue) you could easily dial down the drama while maintaining a beautiful, eye catching, teal look.


For the face I opted for bronzer instead of blush because there was already so much color going on. Also, this was the one instance that I looked for an orange based bronzer, rather than a brown, to reflect the shades on my lid. For the lips I used L'Oreal's Perpetual Peach, because it has nice warm undertones that compliment the eyes and cheeks. 


My favorite part of this look is the fact that when your eyes are all the way open (which they are 90%) of the time. You can barely see the orange and gold tones on the lid but when you bat your eyes it's a shocking surprise of color. Very flirty and fun. If you want to be a bit more coy in your color palette though, try incorporating splashes of teal into your wardrobe or on your nails. Here are some great examples of deep teal pieces:



I hope you guys fall deeply in love with deep teal and try to experiment with it this fall.


EDIT: I'm filming my first ever video tutorial tomorrow but I don't know which look I should film. Any requests??

Edit #2: The super talented Jerry did a look inspired by this look that I love and have, have, have to share with y'all!




Sunday, 4 September 2011

Well, I'm back after a short moving hiatus with another look from my Fall Color Series and this time it's a beautiful, rich purple color known as Phlox. And let me tell you, I phloxing love this color.




Sketch & Palette (c) Adam Lippes
"Designer Adam Lippes says of his inspirational color Phlox: We were inspired by an exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian called Infinity of Nations. We love pairing Phlox with Earth-focused colors: Warm Camel mixed with very Cool Alabaster and Soft Pink as well as Red, Deep Purple and Bright Fuchsia"

So how do you wear such a bold color? Well, because this gorgeous jeweltone purple is so stunning on its own I didn't want to do any creative cartwheels with this look. I wanted this powerful to purple stand alone. No cut-crease, no crazy liner, just a beautiful blended look. Simple, sexy, mysterious purple perfection.


I did a reverse gradient on my eyelids starting from a deep midnight blue at the lash line, fading into the Phlox mid-lid, and extending it up into a beautiful fuchsia pink towards the brow bone with lots of dark liner rimming the eyes and bold-dramatic lashes. You will feel and look confident with these powerful, smoldering amethyst eyes.


THE LOOK: Start with a black cream base all over your lid (I used NYX Jumbo Pencil in Black) then pack on a heavy layer of purple shimmer powder (I used Annabelle's Violet Vibe Mineral Dust). Repeat these two steps until you get a rich, deep violet. Use a shimmery fuchsia (I used MAC's Pink Pearl) under and on your browbone/crease area then line your eyes with lots of black liner and smudge it out with a midnight blue (mine came from the Coastal Scents Regular 88 Palette). All that's left is some lashes or mascara and you're done! This look is perfect for beginners because it's simple to do and the smokey effect means it doesn't matter if your application isn't perfect. A little smudging only adds to the dark drama.



For the face, when you're doing something this intense and heavy, make the rest of your makeup very light. I used the warm camel colored brown for my contouring color (cheeks/nose), and did my lips in a light nude pink with a hint of brown liner. I slicked my hair back into a super-high/tight pony tail and paired it with a purple cocktail dress and leather jacket. Instant beauty-badass. Bold but totally wearable and perfect for sultry fall nights.




This is my "Go Phlox Yourself" Face

Here are some other gorgeous phlox colored pieces:




I hope you guys love this look and try it out for yourself. Why not? Go Phlox Yourself!
First of all I want to thank every single person who joined and entered this giveaway. I'm so pleased that it was so successful and so grateful to all of those of you who helped promote my blog and get me to over SIX HUNDRED FOLLOWERS! Oh my lord of the rings am I ever over the moon. I wish I could give everyone something for participating but alas I am a struggling student and can only afford to give away one prize so, without further ado the winner of my first Pigments & Palettes giveaway is .........

MANDY of PRETTYMAKING

So, congratulations to Mandy. She was lucky #591.

I sincerely hope to do more giveaways in the near future once I find products worthy of my followers. And just as a unpleasant but necessary heads up - I do have a full list of everyone who entered so if I happen to find out you are following/unfollowing based on giveaways I will be forced to ban you from future contests. Nobody likes saying/enforcing this kind of stuff but I think it's needed to protect those who are loyal followers and who deserve eligibility for prizes. Thanks again and look for another post from me coming up this evening. Have a great long weekend!