Sunday, 21 October 2018

Two Halloween Looks

Halloween is one of my favourite celebrations - I love experimenting with makeup to create spooky looks! This year I attempted some Halloween makeup looks that I had never tried before.

First up was a clown. This look took me a lot longer to create than I had anticipated - I watched a few YouTube videos on clown makeup looks which lasted about 10 minutes, however this took me nearly an hour! Therefore, if you're wanting something quick and easy, I would not recommend this one. I began by prepping my face with the Benefit POREfessional Face Primer and then applied the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation in shade 'Sand' and the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. Next I filled in my brows with the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil - I tried to make my brows look more arched than usual so that they would blend in with the triangles. I used the Benefit Hoola Bronzer to subtly add some colour to my cheeks. I then used the shade 'Buck' from the Urban Decay Naked Palette (unfortunately this has been discontinued) to fill in the creases in my eyes and filled in the main part of my eyelids with the Lancome Le Crayon Khol Eye Liner before packing the shade 'Blackout' from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette on top of the eye liner and blending outwards. To outline my eyes I used my trusted Kat Von D Tattoo Liner - you can make the lines as thick as you want! For the triangles above and below the eyes, I used the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eye Liner. I drew the outline of these first to make sure that they were even and then filled them in, joining the bottom triangles up with the Tattoo Liner. I then drew the circles at each point and shaded around the bottom triangles with 'Buck' - taking this all the way up to my temples. Again, for the nose I used the Maybelline Eye Liner - if you have white paint, then you can add a tiny bit to the nose to give the impression of a reflection. In the corners of my eyes I added some gold glitter and then I applied the Benefit They're Real Mascara to finish the eyes. Lastly, I outlined my lips with the MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in 'Dark Out' and filled them in with the MAC Lipstick in 'Sin'. To create a longer smile, I drew out the lines with the Maybelline Eye Liner and filled them in. I then tried to blend this in with the lipstick to create ombre lips, however, the MAC lipstick has a matte finish which made it difficult to blend. Overall, I'm really pleased with how the clown makeup turned out and I'm sure that it will become a lot easier to do once I've practiced it a few times.

The next look I attempted was a half skull/half glam look. Although the skull looks quite complicated, it was so much easier and less time consuming than the clown look. I began by focusing on the glam side - I used the Benefit POREfessional Face Primer and the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation again. I added colour to my cheekbones and around the edge of my face with the Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder. I then used the theBalm Mary Lou Manizer to highlight above my cheekbone, on my brow bone and down my nose. I again used the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil to fill in my eyebrow. For my eyes, I used 'Half Baked' and 'Smog' from the Urban Decay Naked Palette and the Benefit They're Real Mascara. Lastly, I applied the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade 'Cannes' to half of my lips. You can choose to do the glam side however you want, for example, you could use more colourful eyeshadows than I have or apply false eyelashes to give yourself more dramatic eyes.

For the skull side of my face, I began by using a beauty blender to cover that half in white paint (you could use a very white foundation instead if you don't want to use paint). I then outlined the eye socket, nose, cheekbone and jawline with the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eye Liner before filling them in. I also blended 'Blackout' from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette into the cheekbone and jawline area. The teeth are the trickiest part of this look - I started by drawing vertical lines where I wanted the teeth to be and then drew little crosses at the top and bottom of each tooth, which I could blend out to create a 3D effect. I then very carefully went around each tooth with a small amount of 'Blackout' to create a shadow. To make the teeth stand out more, I coloured them in with the Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencil. To finish the look I added some cracks to the skull with the Maybelline Eye Liner.

Hopefully I have explained how I created these two looks clearly enough. If you have any questions, then feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. Have you got any plans for Halloween?

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A Stay at Cowley Manor

A few hours ago (please appreciate my efficiency with this post!) I returned home from an amazing stay at Cowley Manor with my boyfriend, which is situated in the Cotswolds. Cowley Manor is a country house hotel with contemporary interiors and an award winning spa. The Main House consists of 15 spacious bedrooms, public areas, a bar and a restaurant. The Stable Block contains more bedrooms built over one, two and three levels. Cowley Manor offer a variety of rooms to stay in, which differ in price - we stayed in one of their 'Great Rooms'. This consisted of a king size bed, Green & Spring toiletries, mini bar, LCD screen and Bose Sound link.

Cowley Manor is situated in 55 acres of Grade || listed gardens. You can get a map of the grounds from the reception so that you can go exploring. The grounds looked spectacular in the autumnal weather and, even though it was quite rainy when we visited, Cowley Manor provide wellies and umbrellas to borrow. There are three lakes in the grounds - our room overlooked the Upper Lake. There are also some sculptures displayed within the grounds, which are previous winners of The Cowley Manor Arts Award.

The C-Side Spa offers an outdoor pool, indoor pool, steam room, sauna, gym and treatment rooms. The indoor pool has a floor to ceiling glass wall, which provides beautiful views out to the woods. Unfortunately, I didn't get a treatment whilst I was there but they have a selection of facials and massages to choose from.

The Malt Restaurant provides delicious locally sourced food. The dishes are more creative than a standard restaurant menu - I had beef and truffle ravioli to start, followed by roast pork with seasoned parsnips and carrots and sage croquettes. Although the dishes were delicious, they were also quite small and the service was a bit slow (which is disappointing when you're hangry!). After dinner, we had cocktails at the bar. Cowley Manor offer an extensive range of cocktails, spirits and wine - I would highly recommend their berry one.

Overall, Cowley Manor was a lovely getaway for the weekend. There were plenty of things to see and do there, but equally you could relax in your room (and massive bathtub) for your whole stay. Generally, the staff were really helpful and attentive - we ordered a cooked breakfast and got it delivered as room service promptly. So, if you're looking for somewhere to go on a staycation, you should definitely consider Cowley Manor. Are you going away anywhere soon?