So last weekend, four girlfriends and myself had a big, girly night out in Essex. We had it in the diary for ages… the plan was to get super dolled-up just for the hell of it and go and track down the cast of TOWIE. Whilst the prepping and getting ready was enormous fun the night itself ended in total disaster. Myself being drunkenly frog marched through the hotel in nothing but my pants and a crop top whilst Sacha embarked on a trip to A and E and a broken foot (I’m sure she will now seriously reconsider combing vodka with killer heels). Needless to say, prior to her trip to A and E we all had a great time. It also provided me with some great new photos and blogging material. It got me to thinking as to why lovely, naturally pretty girls go to all this trouble and spend all this money to look less like themselves and more like glamour models. And I then I worked it out… BECAUSE IT IS REALLY FUN!
Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of the natural look. My favourite look is naturally bronzed skin, groomed brows, a touch of lip balm and beach-waves hair. However is there not something really exciting about being someone other than normal, lip-balmed, bronzer you for one night?
Well the same theory was applicable for Essex. We wanted to go all out and look the ‘part’ as it were. I spent nearly a whole week fake tanning prior to the actual night because I was intrigued to see just how tanned I could go. Vicki had her hair coloured and nails done that day purely for the night itself. The amount of sprays, potions, lotions, pots, trinkets and bags we brought with us was outstanding (see below) and I could even admit that as a complete beauty junkie, I was more excited about getting ready than the night itself. Sacha was my idol for the night. She spray tans weekly, has permanent fake lashes and at the biggest array of Mac lipsticks I have ever seen. In the words of Amy Childs, ‘well jel’.
Once we all stopped gassing and giggling we got down to some serious business. First things first was the instant tan – not fake, but a wash-off instant hit of colour which is fine until someone idiot spills their drink over you. Whilst I used Asda Self Tan Bronzing Gel for extra colour and shimmer, my fair friend, Jess used Rimmel which I love for totally faking a deep, dark tan. Using a mitt for even application we bronzed up our entire bodies and let the colour dry.
Next step was foundation and concelaer. Loyal to my brands, I used the Benefit Playstick in Tea Party and YSL Touch Éclat Foundation for a full even, glowing coverage, spending a good 20 minutes applying that and my Clinique Camouflage concealer with a brush and then setting it with Mac Studio Fix powder.
Whether I am out in Essex or preparing for any night out, I always spend that bit longer applying more foundation than usual so it stands against the test of hot, sweaty clubs and lots and lots of dancing. The setting powder proves to be detrimental step in making sure my make-up doesn’t stray. I blot quite heavily round the shine crime-zones (the nose and chin) and lightly dust over the rest of the face. Rambling on as I do about how great x product is and how I couldn’t live without y product, both Jess and Aimee tried out the YSL foundation and loved it as much as I do.. I then applied two (!) types of bronzer, Benefit’s Hoola and my new fav, Boobie Brown ‘s Bronzing Powder in Golden Brown.
Next step was those seriously OTT smokey eyes. I am no pro when it comes to doing eye make-up, I have my staple looks but I tend to smudge the intricate smokey eye look. So I went for something simple and foolproof. Lining the top of my eyelids with Benefit’s Bad Gal Kohl Pencil I then smudged Barry M’s Old Gold loose eyeshadow over the top so it blended into a smokey shimmer, adding a shimmery dark chocolatey brown on top and making sure all was nicely blended together. I then lined my lower lash lines with my new love, Mac, Lord It Up which is a lovely chocolately shimmery brown liner… (clearly the look I’m going for is shimmery). Coating my lashes with ample mascara I was almost good to go… all left to do was apply the falseis. Again, this was something I really struggle with, I am just too clumsy and get glue stuck everywhere.
Jess luckily is a pro and kindly applied them for me and Aimee. Surprisingly I used Primark’s Natural False Eye Lashes which only cost a £1. Since the overall look was bold and smokey, it really didn’t matter that these lashes weren’t of the highest quality… however having said that they did a rather good job. Impressed with the easy but successful effect I then applied the same eye shadow look to both of my Jess and Aimee.
I think along with the sheer fun of pretending to be someone else for the night, the girly unity in getting dolled up really kick starts the night. I am a self-confessed girl’s girl. I have about 6 best friends who I talk non-stop with on the phone and who will share everything with, from clothes to heels to make-up and tampons! I think that is part of the beauty of beauty… it is something that girls can share (sorry that was really cringe).
After clouding ourselves in hairspray we were almost set to go. The next step was finding the highest heels we could (which proved to be counterproductive for Sacha) and the most flesh-showing, sparkly outfit.
Whilst we all loved imitating the TOWIE look for one night, it isn’t something I would do for EVERY night out. I still love the easiness of softly defined eyes with loose wavy hair. Wherever I go, I always try and look my best because primarily it fills me with confidence and I believe in first impressions.
I would definitely incorporate a lot of the techniques we used to get our Essex look into my daily look. I actually wish I could afford and have the ability to apply false lashes every day because I hate the length of my own (a friend at Condé Nast is putting me in touch with a lady who does bonds).
However I don’t believe any girl needs to go to extreme lengths to look beautiful… Don’t get me wrong, I could spend a whole day beautifying myself, changing this, highlighting that but essentially no one is a blank canvas.
One of my favorite moments was when I was working for Benefit Cosmetics and this girl who seemed quite quiet and shy sat down for me to do her make-up. As I began applying her make-up I gathered that she really didn’t seem pleased to be in the skin she was in, she didn’t say much and didn’t smile once whilst she was sat down. I didn’t do anything drastic to her… a touch of primer, a dab of foundation, soft eye shadows and a flush of blush. Watching her face light up and smile when she saw herself in the mirror was truly gratifying. Needless to say she bought everything I put on her! But want I want to get at is that every girl has something to work with, whether it be naturally high cheeks bones, a beautiful pair of eyes or a perfect cupid’s bow.
The key is to highlight and work with what you have rather than try and fake something you don’t. If you have killer blue eyes, line then up with a dark khol. If you’re naturally fair embrace it and simply add a touch of golden shimmer. But most importantly be proud of the skin your in…. and don’t get drunk and fall over your heels.