Going to an interview or starting a new job can be tough especially when it comes to your wardrobe and overall look. Depending on your job you may find that your overall look needs to completely change - this is what happened to me. I went for an interview in December at a fantastic company that ticked so many boxes on my ideal job tick list, the role is an office management come personal assistant role, both of which I could do with my eyes closed. I badly wanted this role but I knew it required someone who was very put together, more so than I normally was and that was scary.
Typically I try to avoid tight waist bands, full makeup, overly done hair and I suppose the 'typical' secretarial look. I just can't handle the tightness and restriction in my clothing. I actually prefer to wear more of a classic or an almost bohemian look with my hair quite natural and my face with minimal makeup on it and this is how I've been for so many years. Starting a new career I knew I was going to have to change my regular habits and conform to what was expected and those expectations were pretty huge - my hair had to be done and I'm talking all neat, tidy, no crazy colours or styles, my nails were to look The role is a professional role where I'm expected to be a face for the brand - it's working for a private company and there is a uniform which almost reminds me of an air hostess and I really do like it as it comprises of a white short sleeve slub top, black waistcoat, black pencil skirt and neck scarf.
I wanted my face to look awake for a start - I'm the worst morning person and my face shows it. I wanted to look healthy, natural and put together sort of like a fifties housewife. Anything too bright or too on trend was never going to work. Although I was going for a natural look I used so many of my favourite products and here they are...
Prepping Your Skin
La Roche-Posay Effaclar || After washing my face I then clarified and toned it with Effaclar which really gets everything off but doesn't strip away the skin or leave you sore and stinging - even after washing my face I find I still get some grime (bleurgh) off so I know this is a great way to unclog those pores before applying anything else. This came in a gift set but you can get the singular lotion in different packaging here (link)
Skin Shop Silver Serum || After giving my skin a thorough cleanse I apply this almost silver-purple tinged cream to the whole of my face and neck area as it keeps me looking hydrated - but - it also acts as an antibacterial protector and when you suffer from pimples, breakouts and cystic acne anything that's got an antibacterial property is extra special as it ensures no nasty bacterias make you breakout. It also works as a protector in the fight against ageing and is so gentle (but effective). This is one of those products I continue to repurchase once it's run out.
Balance Snake Venom Eye Cream || I apply this to the areas where fine lines are going to creep up, in-between the eyes, around the nostril lines, the eye area and around the lips. This cream gives you visible results and I mean almost instantly which is why I continue to use this even though it only costs a couple of pound. When you're looking for an awake and with it look, this cream gives you that asap!
Eos Lip Balm || I actually don't love the taste of this lip balm as it's honeysuckle and melon, I've never been a melon fan to be honest but I so badly wanted to try out this 'cult lip balm' that I caved and got the only flavour available. This lip balm is much harder than say Burt's Bees grapefruit balm which I normally use but for some crazy reason it's gone AWOL *sobs* because of that I've had to start using the EOS as a lip base. What I will say is that this is a great lip primer, it's not overly hydrating but as pre-application before applying your tinted balms or lipsticks it's fantastic as it gives them a waxy but featherlight coating that's great for smoothing away patches of dry skin.
Which Brush is Which
Real Techniques || This is the Expert Face Brush which is perfect and I mean p-e-r-f-e-c-t for applying blusher. If you're a blush novice or have a habit of applying too much or too little then snap up this brush as you can't get your blush wrong. Simply suck in your cheeks and apply or make a big smile and apply in circular motions to the apples of your cheeks.
Small Brush || I have no idea where I purchased this brush from but the bristles are super soft. I use this for applying my concealer as it comes in a palette - this holds the right amount of product and applies it carefully to my spots and red areas really nicely. Because it's so dinky I can apply anywhere without fear of getting concealer on my hairline or in my eyes or on my brows etc.
Squint Brush || Again I have no idea where this came from. The bristles are so soft and are squint which makes this the perfect brush for applying eyeshadow as eyeliner. After applying a liquid liner I also take a super dark eyeshadow and use this brush to apply it to the lash line as it makes your eyelashes look really think and so dark.
EcoTools* || After using the small brush to apply concealer to my problem areas, I use this brush to get great coverage. Having used this brush for foundation and concealer I'll never go back to using my fingers or sponges.
Nanshy || I adore Nanshy. Nanshy make the most perfectly, soft and easy to use brushes around this brush in particular I use as a buffing brush to make sure my foundation and concealer is buffed to perfection. Because the tip is slightly pointed it's excellent for buffing around the nose and the hairline too.
Virgin Vie || This brush is so old and the company isn't even in business anymore however, the chubby bristles are perfect for applying eyeshadow and getting into the eye socket for the perfect smoky eye.
Mehron Celebre Pro Palette || This is my everything and then some. When no-other concealer or foundation (from Rimmel to Dior and everything in between may I add) would cover my acne, the Mehron Pro-Palette did, and it lasts all day. I tend to mix the 2 bottom fair tones to get my perfect shade but what I love is that I can mix my perfect colour to suit seasons or worse spots etc. If you love to contour you can also mix a good contour base with this one palette.
I stay with the small brush to apply it to the most visible spots and darkened areas, I then use the Eco Tools to blend it into the skin and finally the chunky Nanshy to buff away any lines or marks. The palette above is messy but I didn't see the point in cleaning it just for a photo because this is how I am, I'm trying to keep each post as real as possible. I mix the two shades on the actual palette and then apply to my face.
Clinique Pop Blush || I wasn't always a blusher fan but the Clinique Pop Blushes changed that in 2014. This is the Ginger Pop shade which is a gentle rosy pink tone that's very natural on the cheeks but buildable. I use the Real Techniques brush and apply in a circular motion - as you can see the tips of the brush are now tinged pink.
Benefit Stay Don't Stray || I have no ideas where this sample came from but it's the light/medium shade and I was so grateful to have this in my sample arsenal. I am one of those who finds their shadows migrate into the creases of their eyes, even after applying primers, serums and the sheerest eyeshadow they tend to disappear. I actually tried this out a few days before starting as I didn't want to apply and ultimately wear an additional product on the day if it wasn't going to work, you know what? It kept my shadows in place all day. Keeping in mind that I wore more eyeshadow on the day and dealing with crazy weather and central heating I expected to find my eyeshadow had moved come dinner time but nope, it was still the same as it had been that morning. I will be purchasing a full size of this product.
Hard Candy Eyeshadow || This colour is Butterscotch. You don't really see Hard Candy anymore and I found this by surprise in my stash. The packaging is awesome as you slide up the heart to open it, the shadow also is so pigmented and dare I say it, out performs any of my neutral MAC shadows. I applied this over the Stay Don't Stray and before applying the PUR to give myself a completely neutral base - as a stand alone eyeshadow this would work also if you were looking for a completely nude eye.
PUR Minerals Trio || 3 gorgeous wearable shades that can be worn together or singly. The shades work as a base, colour and smoky shade but I actually wear the lightest all over the lid as a colour and then use the darkest shade as a liner. However, for my work wear look I needed something a bit more sophisticated so wore Allure (lightest) all over from the eyelid to the brow bone, then topped the eyelid area only with Icon (fine shimmery neutral gold beige) and then added Fame (matte brown with fine gold shimmer) to the eye socket and as a liner. This trio is really pigmented so works well at covering my eyelids as I have thin skin so my veins show and of course there's the differences in skin colour and tone around the eye. FYI this is on sale at the moment from £20 to £8.99.
I applied all eyeshadows using my super old Virgin Vie brush.
Balance Eye Cream || OK so you put this onto those frown lines right at the start, before I head out the door I apply a teeny amount to the crows feet again and dab it gently into the skin - I find it refreshes me right before heading out of the door. Crazy, yes! but it works.
Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Liner || Pull out the top to find the little applicator brush, the gel-cream liner is a deep aubergine which applies really nice and doesn't slide about, I of course didn't want a purple liner for my first day so I applied the Inkwell liner and then topped with PUR Minerals Fame (darkest) eyeshadow using the squint end brush - the results was a dark liner that left my lashes looking fuller and darker (the shadow fills the gaps between liner and lash) with a hint of purple in certain lights.
Benefit They're Real Mascara || You just can't beat this lash boosting, blacker than black mascara.
Shavata Double End Brow Pencil || Each side of this pencil has a different colour and the two colours here are Dusk and Dawn. I love that there's the two because you can fill in your brows so they look natural with the beginning of my brows being lighter I can use the Dawn end and the tail of my brows is always done in Dusk. Again this allows you to fill the gaps but leaves you looking so natural that no-one will ever know.
Inika Brow Pencil || This is the Brunette Beauty shade of pencil and it comes with a sharpener on the lid. While this is a 'brow' pencil (and a very good one at that) I use it as a liner because it's so pigmented but doesn't look fake. I do use this for my brows but I've come to love Shavata so Inika has been reserved for liner duties, it's especially good for lower lashes too.
Burt's Bees Tinted Balm || I'm definitely more of a tinted balm woman purely for because I can reapply without a mirror and I'm left feeling more comfortable throughout the day. The two shades I use are Petunia which is a pretty pink shade and Hibiscus which is a purple toned rosy pink.
Tom Ford White Patchouli || Although I've been known to blind buy fragrances before I wasn't 100% confident with this Tom Ford one purely because it's so expensive. I'm a huge lover of patchouli scents but sometimes they just don't translate which is why I purchased the sample first off. What I will say is this patchouli scent is so much more than I could have ever hoped for, it's simply breathtaking with notes such as white flowers, patchouli, peony, bergamot, jasmine, rose, coriander and ambrette seed. The resulting fragrance is a earthy confident impact with a gentle feminine dry down - it's perfect for those moments where you want to feel empowered and in control. P.S Tom Ford Amber Absolute is amazing too!
Glasses || These are my red Tommy Hilfiger prescription glasses which I wear all the time - I purchased them a few years back because I was straining my eyes and causing lots more fine lines *grrr*, I hated my glasses at that time as they just didn't fit and eventually I made another appointment but this time with Specsavers. I now won't go anywhere else because they agreed that the last shop (won't name names but it was a private local brand) didn't check that the glasses fitted which made my frames pretty useless. I have quite close eyes and need a petite frame which is why these slight cat eye look frames suit me.
These Hilfiger frames are so comfortable and because I can wear them I definitely feel that these are one of the best anti-ageing gadgets around, after all I'm no longer squinting to see things - so - if you are suppose to wear your glasses then remember to do it!
This style's not available but the newer Hilfiger frames in a similar colour and style can be found here (link). Hopefully this lot has inspired you to go for a put-together, natural look. Do you have any favourite work suitable cosmetics?