Monday, 28 February 2011

Size Matters

Size Matters..

They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short, some are long. There are thick ones, thin ones and sometimes even curvy ones. But the general consensus on the subject of size, is that bigger is better.

This seems to be very much the hot topic at Estee Lauder, with the launch of their Sumptuos Extreme Lash Multiplying Mascara. Just like men, this fabulous mascara comes in an assortment of colours; black, brown, indigo and violet so there's one for everyone.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. We look into them when we converse, we get lost in them when we're in love, we cry with them when our hearts get broken. But we also flirt and seduce with them.

Not an episode of America's Next Top Model goes by without Tyra Banks instructing the aspiring models to "smize with their eyes". In the Memoirs of a Geisha film, the geisha-in-training was taught the art of stopping a man in his tracks with a mere glance. Eyes are a major focal point, so it makes sense to emphasise them.

Though I don't wear coloured mascara, I do love a clear lash and brow gel. Being on the larger side myself (on the lash front), I like to make the most of mine. If I looked like Britain's leading male supermodel, David Gandy, I would most probably live my life in my underwear. We all have our stronger physical assets, one of mine happens to be my eyes. I always encourage my clients and friends to rock what they have. If you've got it flaunt it, and if you don't have it, fake it!

To create the fullest lash effect, and to achieve the truest colour pay off, I suggest priming lashes with a lash primer. Not only will this double the drama of your chosen mascara, it will ensure a coloured mascara truly "pops".

Start by curling your lashes (I like Suqqu and Shu Uemura eye lash curlers), then apply a coat of the Estee Lauder Lash Primer Plus. If like me, you're obsessed with groomed brows, this doubles as a fabulous brow gel. I suggest brushing the brows upwards and outwards with a brow brush, clean mascara wand, or a clean toothbrush, then downwards at the edges to create a sculpted, arched effect. Next, lightly fill in brows with either a powder or pencil, a shade or two lighter than your natural brow colour. Avoid going too dark as this looks harsh and unnatural. Finish by brushing the Lash Primer Plus through the brows to set them and keep them in place.

So what makes this mascara so special? For one, the texture is gloriously creamy and smooth, definitely a clump-free-zone. It also contains Panthenol (Vitamin B5) to nourish and antioxidant Rosemary extract to protect from environmental aggressors (great for chic smog-avoiding city girls). As with all mascara, for the best effects, I suggest curling lashes first, then working the wand in a "zig-zag" motion at the root of the lashes, working out towards the tips. This ensures the entire lash is coated from root to tip and also enhances the lift/curl effect, which dramatically opens the eye, creating a fresh and captivating look. For the lower lashes and for individual definition, try holding the wand vertically, using the tip of the wand to coat individual lashes, again, starting at the roots, and flicking out towards the tips. For added drama, build the mascara to create the desired volume.

I have dabbled with Estee Lauder mascara in the past but it has never been an essential for my make-up kit, at least not in the arena of volume. In all honesty, to date I've preferred Lancome Hypnose, Diorshow and the MaxFactor Masterpiece mascara, the mainstay of most professional artists. Although, in fairness, when clients ask me to recommend a coloured mascara, it has been Estee Lauder that I've recommended, as the other options available on the market lack Lauder's pigment intensity. Not many companies do coloured mascara well, but kudos to Lauder for excelling in this area.

In terms of colours, I've never been a huge fan of brown mascara. As colours go, it is as safe and uninspiring as it gets. The entire point of mascara is to enhance the eyes. A good mascara will not only lengthen and add volume to lashes, it will also have the intensity to enhance your eye colour.

Black is the everyday go-to shade for universally flattering depth and intensity. If you really want to enhance the iris, black is the only colour that will create extreme intensity. Like the little black dress, it is the perfect long term investment, it never dates.

However, a truly vibrant colour can do wonders, not only for shaking up your regular make-up look, but also for enhancing your natural eye colour. The key to great colour, is sufficient pigment content, combined with a subtle sparkle. Flat colour is dull, but Lauder's Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Mascara contains "illuminatrix pearls" (very fine shimmer), that really succeeds in enhancing each of the colours with flattering luminescence (see photo above). On the left you can see the subtle brown shade, flanked by the stunning violet shade on the right.

If you want to dabble with coloured mascara, but are unsure which shade to go for, violet is definitely a brilliant option. Any indigo or violet shade will make the whites of your eyes appear whiter. It will also enhance all eye colours, especially hazel, green and brown eyes.

Rihanna's make-up artist, Karin Darnell suggests:

"A modern way to wear this is to colour-match the mascara to your eyeshadow. Go for a dark blue, green or purple and team with a similar eyeshadow shade. It's a great look for a night out".

Why not pick your favourite coloured Estee Lauder mascara, and compliment it with one of the sumptuous Pure Colour Eyeshadow shades for maximum impact.

Wild Sable would work well with the brown mascara.

Untamed Violet would compliment the violet mascara beautifully.

Midnight Star would work fabulously with the indigo mascara.

Black Crystals would create the perfect rock chick eye when worn with the black mascara.

If you prefer to mix things up, why not harmonise your coloured mascara with several complimentary eyeshadow shades, as seen on the model above. The edge of the eye and the crease of the lids have been shaded with a brown shadow to create intensity (try the Pure Colour Eyeshadow in Sable again, a fabulous matte shade), while a shimmering sea green has been washed over the lids and smudged beneath the lower lashes (the Pure Colour Eyeshadow in Enchanted Forest would work well). Finish by lining the waterline with the Estee Lauder Automatic Eye Pencil Duo in Hyacinth Sky, an intense blue shade. Coat lashes with the Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Mascara in Violet and prepare to dazzle.

Lash Primer Plus - £16.50
Sumptuous Extreme Lash Mascara - £22
Pure Colour Eyeshadow - £15
Automatic Eye Pencil Duo - £16.50

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