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23 May


Another Birthday, another day getting older…Another day – needing to find a good wrinkle cream for fear of old age creeping up on me unawares!

Last week saw me turn 27 years old.

Yep – the big 2. 7.


(My fella got me these beautiful white roses. They were delivered to my office, so I brought ’em home with me – I turned bright red and bashful :)).



(And these gorgeous Tiffany diamonds on a white gold setting. So special).



My friend, who is in her early 30s asked me yesterday if I had started to use wrinkle creams. I said I hadn’t as yet, but I know that prevention is better than cure, so I should be on the lookout for a good one…The most important thing is that it is cruelty-free, not tested on animals and vegan.

I would rather have a weathered face than the knowledge that I have contributed to the pain, torture, misery and inevitable death of another being. No matter what species they are.

Especially beings that can’t talk…Or won’t be listened to.

Nevertheless, I need an anti-aging cream/wrinkle cream.

At the moment, I do have a skincare routine; depending on the time I have on that particular morning, or how tired I am at night; it usually consists of

-Make-up removal; using an oil-based cleanser/make-up remover – that concentrates on eye makeup and mascara..I wear a lot of this.


– Toner, non-acidic; just to bring my skins PH levels back to normality.


– Coconut oil – 100%. Yep – the same one you use for cooking. My friend Tessa, recently introduced me to oils in skincare routines, and this has definitely been making a difference to overall glow and smoothness.


– Rose water – Yep, the same one you use for cooking also. I use this last, after the application of the coconut oil, it removes the greasiness, and makes my skin feel ultra soft!


– Moisteriser – This is a must. I use it all over, especially on face, neck, elbows, arms, knees and feet. I get dry skin so it’s really nice. I also have very oily skin in certain areas – my face; namely T-Zone; so definitely combination skin here!

What is your skincare routine?

Do you use oils? What kind/s?

Do you swear by a product? Perhaps an unusual one – I’d like to hear it! :)

I’ve recently been looking into homemade face masks, and am experimenting with grapes, strawberries, banana and oatmeal! It’s fun…And yummy.

Are there any foods you use on your skin/hair?

The Pompadour/bouffant Ponytail!

26 Feb

I LOVE wearing a Pompadour/bouffant! I wear it with the rest of my hair down, I wear it as a faux-hawk, I wear it with a side plait/braid, I wear it with a bun, I wear it with hair clips, I wear it low, I wear it high, I wear it messy, I wear it neat, I’ll wear it all day long!

It’s easy to do (bar the odd ‘bad hair day’ where it seems to take you an hour to get your hair right).

I’ve always called it my ‘ice-cream’, it reminds me at times of a Mr. Whippy! Although now, vegan soy ice-‘cream’ :)!

The bouffant was a mainstream hairstyle in the mid-to-late 18th century in western Europe. And according to Wikipedia; it was thought to be created for Marie Antoinette, as she had relatively thin hair and wanted to create the illusion of having very full hair.
I hear ya Marie!

In modern times, the bouffant was popular in Western culture in the 1960s, when it was created with the help of back-combing and large amounts of hair spray. Again, according to Wikipedia; the modern bouffant is considered to have been invented by Raymond Bessone.



The style that I’m posting about has many similarities to the Pompadour also. The Pompadour takes its name from Madame de Pompadour.


Pompadour hair style tips

– Rule number one thing you should do if you want to create this hair style: do not wash your hair first. You must wait at least about 24 to 48 hours to not wash your hair before arranging this hair style.
– Start by combing the hair towards the back. Then take the ‘fringe/bangs’ part/front of the hair, pull and comb underneath toward the back with a fine toothed comb.
– Push the hair part was toward the front of your head and flops with a hairpin to be strong. Place the hairpin on both sides of the hair.
– Then, finish by spraying hairspray to hair look more tidy.

Thank you for reading, come by again soon!

Kirstiie @ Tribe of Mannequins

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The Half-Moon Manicure: Part 2

26 Feb

Following on from Part 1 of the main post: The Half-Moon Manicure (dated 12th February 2012); I decided I had to try it out! So feel free to check out my visual reference guide below!
I opted for a Dita Von Teese-esque vintage style: red with natural half-moons! I have, however – modernised it, and put a custom take on a classic look, by opting for square tips opposed to pointed.
One reason for this was fear of poking ones eyeball out, or indeed someone elses! Another reason was paranoia that could’t get the points to be rounded at each side semetrically.
And mainly, because I prefer squarer tips…Probably relating back to point 1…Fear of poking ones eyeball out.
So you see, either way – it’s a classic style, funky and often sophisticated.
Since I have been wearing it, I definitely feel more womanly/lady-like.
I don’t think a lot of people ‘get it’. They probably think I just have a red tipped french manicure, Jersey-shore style. Perhaps the rounded/pointy tips would have aided that. Nevertheless, I really like this style and definitely recommend trying it out!

Part 1 of the post:

Thank you for reading, come by again soon!

Kirstiie @ Tribe of Mannequins

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Sunless tanning

6 Feb

Since the 1960’s the rise of sunless tanning has risen astronomically.
Links have been made by health authorities between exposure to the sun (as well as sun-beds) and incidences of skin cancer.

As a person who lives in a majorly hot country, blessed with sun most of the year; I have to be careful in the sun; I ensure my makeup base has SPF 15 (Mac foundation in No.18), make sure I drink plenty of water, and don’t tend to sunbathe. I do, however, enjoy having a tan.
I personally avoid tanning booths/sun tanning beds and tanning pills at all costs and if anything, am an advocate for self-tanning moisturisers, tinted lotions and the fare – temporary, wash-off and better for…You!

Items commented on in this blog are opinion only and all come with a large HEALTH RISK.

For the basic scientific factoids and background; Wikipedia says ‘Tanning is the process whereby skin color is darkened or tanned. The process is most often a result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or from artificial sources, such as a tanning bed, but can also be a result of windburn or reflected light’.
We know that many people consciously tan their skin for different shades, for various reasons. And in turn many people use skin lightening tools.
Some people use sun bathing, some prefer the use of artificial tanning methods.
Some people use chemical products, which can produce a tanning result without exposure to ultraviolet radiation. These are becoming the ‘safest’ and most popular types of products; such as lotions, spray-tans and even tinted moisturisers.

As a society, generally speaking – we are aware that casual exposure to the sun has moderate beneficial impact, including the production of vitamin D by the body. And as time goes on and we become better educated, we realise that excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays has detrimental health effects, including possible sunburn and even skin cancer as well as depressed immune system function and increased risk of accelerated aging.
Many sunless tanning products are available in the form of creams, gels, lotions, and sprays that are self-applied on the skin. Another option is the use of bronzers; cosmetic products that provide temporary effects. There is also a professional spray-on tanning option or “tanning booths” that is offered by spas, salons, and tanning businesses.
Spray tanning does not mean that a colour is sprayed on the body. What is used in the spray tanning process is a colorless chemical, which burns the dead cells located on the top layer of the skin, resulting in a brown color.

Sun beds

A sunbed, or tanning bed is a tool that releases ultraviolet radiation (typically 97% UVA and 3% UVB, +/-3%) to produce a cosmetic tan.
Because of the adverse effects on human health of overexposure to UV radiation, including skin cancer, cataracts, suppression of the immune system, and premature skin aging, the World Health Organisation does not recommend the use of UV tanning devices for cosmetic reasons. In fact, most tanning beds emit mainly UVA rays — which may increase the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Misusing a sunbed by not wearing goggles may also lead to a condition known as arc eye (snow blindness).
Occasional acute injuries occur where users carelessly fall asleep, as in the case of Marty Cordova and Kerry Corum.

A German medical company named Heraeus made the first indoor tanning lamp in 1903 as part of a research study to help patients with Vitamin D deficiencies. Much later, a German scientist, Friedrich Wolff, used indoor lamps in the 1970s to study the effects and potential benefits of sunlight on athletes. When he discovered that his subjects were getting tan as a side effect, the idea was born.

Dr. Wolff introduced and patented his lamps in the United States in 1978. He later sold his company, Wolff Systems, to his brother Jorg, who founded Cosmedico, Ltd., one of the largest manufacturers of low-pressure sunlamps.

A growing trend is the home tanning bed. Many people are now opting to own their own tanning system instead of going to the salon. The primary reasons are for convenience and privacy. As more and more people and establishments seek to ban young adults from commercial salons, home tanning with the control of a system that allows UV by skin type and a timer may encourage additional sales.
The average home system has 16 to 24 lamps, and in US Dollars costs around $2000 to $3000, making its price competitive (over a number of years) for tanners who frequent salons regularly. This has led to an explosion of retailers that feature smaller, home style tanning beds both on the internet and in traditional retail stores.


Although gels, lotions or sprays that contain DHA are said to be the most reliable and useful, there are other types of products on the market. Tanning accelerator; lotions or pills that usually contain the amino acid tyrosine claim that they stimulate and increase melanin formation, thereby accelerating the tanning process. These are used in conjunction with UV exposure. At this time, there is no scientific data available to support these claims. And on a personal level, I would avoid things like this at all costs.

Fake tan lotion/gel/mousse

These are usually known as DHA-based products. These products are available as gels, lotions, mousses, sprays and wipes, some of which also use erythrulose which works identically to DHA, but develops more slowly.

Spray tan/spray-tan booth

Professional spray tan applications are available from spas and salons by both hand-held sprayers and in the form of sunless or UV-Free spray booths. The enclosed booth, which resembles an enclosed shower stall, sprays the tanning solution over the entire body.
DHA has been approved for cosmetic use by the FDA. Because DHA does not use the skin’s melanocytes to make the skin a tan colour, it is recommended as a cosmetic disguising cover for vitiligo patients.

Air-brush tanning

Air Brush tanning is a spray on tan done by a professional. It can last five to ten days fading with every shower. It is used for special occasions or to get a quick dark tan. At-home airbrush tanning kits and aerosol mists are also now available.

Tinted moisturiser

A recent trend is that of lotions or moisturisers containing a gradual tanning agent. A slight increase in colour is usually observable after the first use, but colour will continue to darken the more the product is used.

Wash-off tan

Bronzers are a temporary sunless tanning or bronzing option. These come in powders, sprays, mousse, gels, lotions and moisturisers. Once applied, they create a tan that can easily be removed with soap and water. Like make-up, these products tint or stain your skin only until they are washed off.

Tan powder

As the above, the tan colour can be easily removed with water. Soap&Glory have recently come out with a spray powder.


If you read Tribe of Mannequin’s post on Contouring – look at the bronzing powders etc., these can make a real difference to your look. A subtle sun-kissed look without having for fork out for a professional spray tan, or without going through the hoopla of applying fake tan at home.

Tips/need to knows:
* Tanners can stain clothes. It is therefore important to look for fast drying formulas and wait around 10 to 15 minutes for the product to dry before dressing.
* For the 24 hours after self-tanner (containing high DHA levels, ~5%) is applied, the skin is especially susceptible to free-radical damage from sunlight.

Okay, so there are the technical options and a brief run-down of each. But hey, hold your horses! Let’s look at why. Why are there all of these options? Why do we do this to ourselves?

Historically and culturally

The term “tanning” has a cultural origin, arising from the colour tan. Its origin lays in the Western culture of Europe when it became fashionable for young white ladies to seek a less pale complexion.’

Acquiring a suntan has been popular for many years and is still one of the free and most enjoyable relaxing pleasures in life. However, a golden or dark tan was not always measured as desirable as it is today.

Throughout history, tanning has gone in and out of fashion. In Western countries before about the 1920s, tanned skin was associated with the lower classes, and lower class work, which would have commonly been outdoors.
Women even went as far as to put lead-based cosmetics on their skin to artificially whiten their skin tone. However, when not strictly monitored these cosmetics caused lead poisoning. Achieving a light-skinned appearance was achieved in other ways, including the use of arsenic to whiten skin, and lightening powders. Other methods included the wearing of full-length clothing when outdoors, and the use of parasols. The preference for fair skin continued until the end of the Victorian era.

In 1903, Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for his “Finsen Light Therapy”. The therapy was a cure for infectious diseases such as lupus vulgaris and rickets. Vitamin D deficiency was found to be a cause of rickets disease, and exposure to the sun would allow vitamin D to be produced in a person. Therefore, sun exposure was a remedy to curing several diseases, especially rickets.

Shortly thereafter, in the 1920s, Coco Chanel accidentally got sunburnt while visiting the French Riviera. Her fans apparently liked the look and started to adopt darker skin tones themselves. Tanned skin became a trend partly because of Coco’s status and the longing for her lifestyle by other members of society.

In addition, Parisians fell in love with Josephine Baker, a “caramel-skinned” singer in Paris. Those who liked and idolised her idolised her dark skin also. These two French women were leading figures of the transformation tanned skin underwent, in which it became perceived as fashionable, healthy, and luxurious.

In the 1940s, advertisements started appearing in women’s magazines which encouraged sun bathing. At this time, swimsuits’ skin coverage began decreasing, with the bikini making its appearance in 1946.

In the 1950s, many people used baby oil as a method to increase tanning. The first self-tanner came about in the same decade and was known as “Man-Tan,” although it often led to undesirable orange skin.

Coppertone, in 1953, brought out the little blond girl and her cocker spaniel tugging on her bathing suit bottoms on the cover of their sunscreen bottles; this is still the same advertisement they use today on their bottles of sunscreen.

In the latter part of the 1950s, silver metallic UV reflectors were common to enhance one’s tan.

In 1962, sunscreen commenced to be SPF rated, although in the US SPF labeling was not standardised by the FDA until 1978. In 1971, Mattel introduced Malibu Barbie, which had tanned skin, sunglasses, and her very own bottle of sun tanning lotion.

In 1978, tanning beds appeared. Today there are an estimated 50,000 outlets for tanning, whereas in the 1990s there were only around 10,000. The tanning business is a five-billion dollar industry in the United States.
Also in 1978, sunscreen with a SPF 15 first appeared.
The 1980’s saw the convertible BMW as ‘The Ultimate Tanning Machine’. The widespread of indoor tanning salons and the launching of California Tan beneficial and protective skin products created a breakthrough in the technology of tanning.

2000 onwards; at the dawn of the new millennium tanning took a new dimension with the entry of Southern movie stars, singers, models and fashion designers with beautiful bronzed swept skins and bodies. The perfect sunless tan is till now, the craze with quality self tanning products.
Today, conscious of the risk of too much sun, thousands of brands of all SPF levels products for adults and children are abounding and eventually, will everybody out in the sun.


Choosing natural
Some of the most beautiful women in the world are not sun-tanned to the high-heavens with an orange tone. The key point here, is that the natural look tends to be most beautiful.
For example if you have natural olive skin, your hair and colouring match for a reason. And that’s beautiful. Someone with light hair and colouring like me would look overdone with Cheryl Cole’s tan for example. Beyonce looks at her most beautiful when she has bronzer on her already gorgeous glowing skin, not when her skin-tone appears more pale in magazines!

Tans gone good


Tanning gone wrong

Tanning addiction

‘Tanning addiction’ is a rare condition where an individual appears to have a physical or psychological addiction to sunbathing or the use of tanning beds. The mechanism of the compulsion is unknown at this time.
Accordingly to Wikipedia, in 2005, a group of dermatologists published a study showing that frequent tanners experience a loss of control over their tanning schedule, displaying a pattern of addiction similar to smokers and alcoholics.
Biochemical evidence indicates that tanning addicts are addicted to an opioid release experienced during tanning. When frequent tanners took an endorphin blocker in a 2006 study, they experienced severe withdrawal symptoms, while infrequent tanners experienced no withdrawal symptoms under the same conditions.

‘Tanorexia’ is the term often used to describe a disorder in which a person participates in extreme tanning to achieve a darker skin complexion because they perceive themselves as unacceptably pale. The syndrome is different than tanning addiction, although both may fit into the same syndrome and can be considered a subset of tanning addiction.
Serious cases of tanorexia can be considered dangerous because many of the more popular methods of tanning (such as those mentioned above) require prolonged exposure to UV radiation, which is known to be a cause of many negative side effects, including skin cancer.
Although the term “tanorexia” has been commonly used by the media and several doctors to describe the syndrome, both the word and syndrome have not been widely accepted by the medical community, and is considered slang by many.
Extreme instances may be an indication of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental disorder in which one is extremely critical of his or her physique or self-image to an obsessive and compulsive degree. As it is with anorexia, a person with BDD is said to show signs of a characteristic called distorted body image.

Recent reviews

Me without any fake tan (2004):

Me with fake tan (2011):

Me with bronzer (2012):

Temporary fake tan
Step by step: TO COME SOON!
Wash, Exfoliate, Moisterise, Mitt up and tan!
Stay away for clothing and objects until dry, around 15 minutes. I find painting nails at this time, or tidying/organising items in your bathroom passes the time ☺.

Most importantly of all, be happy in your own skin, you only have one set, treat it like a temple and don’t abuse it :).

Thank you for reading, come by again soon!

Kirstiie @ Tribe of Mannequins

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Crazy for contouring

12 Jan

Since I started contouring; on pretty much a daily basis, I’ve been addicted.
Addicted to how you can use the bones and various areas of your face to – for example, highlight certain features, make other features seem less prominent, and altogether create a more polished and defined look.

Recently, make-up secrets of cosmetic artists to the stars, have come out to the public; aka: little ol’ you and I! Especially since the emergence and, indeed now explosion of reality television; we’re seeing stars and celebrities in their everyday getups (to a point – scripted/unscripted) often without a (completely/full) made-up face.
Whilst it is true, many of these stars have Photoshop to thank (I mean, you gotta’ sell a magazine, right?); much of it comes down to make-up, before retouching digitally.

Women all over the world use facial, and indeed body contouring – with cosmetics to appear thinner, more toned, or muscular, to appear more sun-kissed, and ultimately, more confident.

Just like with painting; contouring uses highlights and shadows to create different depths on the face, using your natural bone structure to highlight and emphasise your biological features and make the areas you’re less proud of, less obvious.

From a slightly wonky nose, to a round face; contouring allows the wearer/user to really almost re-shape their face and features (keep reading for tips and tricks!)

Having a round face myself – made more obvious from head-on pictures – hence the avoidance)…(No matter how many times I try to tell myself it’s ‘love heart-shaped), contouring has been a real lesson! It’s enabled me to emphasise my naturally high cheekbones, and slightly hide the roundness of my face-shape. It’s enabled me to make my nose appear smaller and more defined; and my eyes larger and more prominent. It’s enabled me to look more bronzed and healthier. These are definitely things I look for in make-up; and things I never thought would be possible; just with one make-up set of two-three colours.

Contouring – extreme version/not completely blended for visual purposes.

Contouring; less highlights used; emphasise on jaw, cheekbones and brows.

Obvious nose-to eye contouring; what seems to look normal in a darkened bathroom with one light; may not look normal in broad day light…Hotel bathrooms = issues.

Natural contouring; using mostly peach tones and mediums; and avoiding darks – even to shade.

Natural contouring; using mostly peach tones and mediums. Dark was used to contour, and a light sweep of powder was used to ‘set’ the makeup in place. This also finishes of the smooth appearance – which is why it should be used minimally.

Contouring; using highlights, cheek and contour shades.

Without contouring.

Extreme overdone bronze/medium on cheeks. Made worse by artificial lighting in the mall – not good! This is why less, is definitely more.


Light (For highlighting)

This part is fun! Accentuating parts of your face with highlights – the lightest colour – done with a concealer a shade or two lighter than your skin tone/usual foundation, I use a lighter concealer stick for the under eye part; avoid wrinkles right under your eye – or blend well; and gently– not a good look!). Once rest of contouring and blush etc. is finished, you can go back with a little highlighting shadow and run it, subtly down your nose in the centre, also top of cheekbones, and brow bone – I do this when rest of eye make-up is complete; especially after I’ve finished filling In my brows.

Medium/cheek (to bronze/blush)

This is a fun part too! When I’ve finished contouring, I apply the blush; which often – is the same colour as my medium tone – that I use on my forehead (top-hairline); others may prefer a more peachy or pink tone, it’s all relative. It’s all dependent on what you like, what suits you, and your own skin tone.

Dark (to shade/contour)

Of course the dark shadow must be blended! Bleeended! I can’t emphasise that part enough.

Celebrity examples of contouring

The Kardashian clan

Kim Kardashian with one of her make-up artists; Mario Dedivanovic. Apologies for the repeated image, however it’s a very good example, and can’t be ignored ☺. I was surprised when I saw this picture. I didn’t before realise she had so much make-up on. Then I started contouring; and it completely makes sense why someone would want to apply it to someone’s face!

Kim Kardashian – Contouring can make such a difference! Taking into consideration, age differences, eye make-up changes, brow alterations and fake tan relaxation; her make-up looks natural, sophisticated and beautiful.

Kim Kardashian – pictured here with friends; including Kelly Rowland; all of which have contoured face make-up. The nose contouring is slightly obvious; but due to it not showing up as well on camera – necessary. The light reflects the lighter, highlighting shades; especially below their eyes – beautiful.

Kim Kardashian – Her cheekbone contouring is blended extremely well and naturally; her brow bone looks amazing (as usual!) with the highlighted eye shadow and the shadowing of the dark to light eye shadow across her lids is perfect for this look. Tamed with a sexy, glamourous cat-eye with false lashes, and natural, glossy lips – this looks is romantic and natural – in comparison to her looks that incorporate harsh lashes and crimson lips.

Kourtney Kardashian – Kourtney is the most petite sister, but this doesn’t make her standout less. She has beautiful make-up in this picture. It’s dewy, sun-kissed and glamourous. I prefer the Kardashian sisters with this kind of look – the smokey, mysterious eye, the blushy peachy pink cheek, nude, glossy lip, bronzed skin and highlighted eyes (under eyes) – it gives an ‘old Hollywood’ look, which I think is just beautiful.

Khloe Kardashian – I think Khloe is fun. She gets a lot of stick from the press about being the ‘less attractive sister’ and other such ridiculousness. But I think she’s beautiful. Here, you can see how contouring and highlighting has extenuated her features and given her an overall glow. It has given her complexion a healthier look and it has given her face and cheekbones and more defined effect.

Other Celebrities’, contoured:

Serena Williams – the contouring and highlighting has made a massive difference to her overall glow. This is what Jennifer Lopez relies on to keep-up her ‘Glow’ brand.

Amber Heard – she’s definitely one of my current ‘look’ crushes. She carries of f the vintage bombshell look wonderfully; she has amazing bone structure, and a megawatt smile.

Rita Hayworth – Gorgeous. And, contoured. Yes – you read correctly, folks; it’s not as obvious as celebrities’ tend to have their make-up in today’s magazines, but Rita used to contour her brow line regularly. This is detailed more in the Facial Contouring: Forehead section, later on.

Megan Fox with beautiful applied make-up. Her bronzing and blush creates a very healthy glow, and finished of with the gorgeous pink lip; this is a lovely fresh, romantic look.

Extreme Contouring

I know this is extreme contouring; however it doesn’t detract from the fact that she has gorgeous features that are definitely extenuated. Celebrities usually have their contouring slightly overdone as it shows up less on camera. However, mixed with harsh lights and paparazzi flashbulbs – the make-up really shows up.

Nikki Minage with over-done nose contouring, also – the lack of mascara on her bottom lashes mixed the extreme false ones on her top lips are killing me!

Yes, you guessed it – that’s a still from the awesome ‘Shaolin Soccer’! It’s very 80’s, by which I not only refer to the extreme shoulder-pads and ‘Pat Butcher from Eastenders’ earrings; but the lip colour, blusher and nose contouring.

Contouring facial features

There are five basic facial shapes: oval, square/rectangular, round, heart and diamond. Most women prefer to create an illusion of an oval face shape and other just want to enhance their facial shape. The following are techniques for creating an oval illusion for the basic shapes.

Diamond-shaped face

Narrow forehead
Narrow Chin
Wider cheeks than jawline

To balance Forehead and jawline must appear wider

Apply regular foundation before contouring makeup
Apply lighter shade of foundation at angle on both sides of forehead
Apply lighter shade of foundation at angle from middle to bottom of jawline
Apply blush on the ball of the cheek in a crescent shape. Blend outward out toward hairline

Heart-shaped face


Widest across forehead
Tapers down to cheeks, then down to narrow, sometimes pointed chin
Jawline is not prominent

To balance face
Forehead must appear more narrow and lower half of face more wide

Apply regular foundation before contouring makeup
Apply darker shade of foundation on either side of forehead
Apply lighter shade of foundation at either side of jawline
Apply blush starting under the ball of the cheek
Blend away toward the center of the ear

Round face
(This is me, folks! – Which one are you?)

Width about same as length
Short forehead
Wide cheeks
Roundness through jaw

Create more definition Forehead and jawline must appear more narrow

Apply regular foundation before contouring makeup
Apply darker shade of foundation in an arc on either side of forehead
Apply darker shade of foundation on either side of jaw up to tip of ear. This will eliminate fullness in these areas
Apply blush on the ball of the cheek beginning at point just outside of center of eye. Extend to temples near hairline.

Square/Rectangular-Shaped Face

Width of cheeks and forehead are similar
Width of jawline and forehead are similar
Prominent jawline
Angular overall appearance
Rectangular face is longer than it is wide

To soften angles Forehead and jawline must appear more narrow

Apply regular foundation before contouring makeup
To make forehead appear more oval, apply darker shade of foundation on either side of forehead and blend
To make jaw appear more oval, apply darker shade of foundation on either side of jawline and blend
Apply concentration of blush directly on the ball of the cheek. Blend toward the top of the ear for a square face and middle of the ear for a rectangular face

Oval-Shaped Face

Equal distance from hairline to eyebrows, from eyebrows to tip of nose and from nose to chin
Wider forehead than jawline Prominent cheekbones gently taper to oval chin

Apply blush just under the ball of cheekbone, directly below the outer part of the iris
Extend in smooth arc, fading toward top of ear

Overall contouring basics

Rita Hayworth contoured along her forehead, chin and cheekbones. Rita’s father was of Spanish decent. Stylists in Hollywood went to great lengths to make her features seem more ‘European’ in appearance, including electrolysis to her hairline and lots of contouring.

Ava Gardner contoured along her jaw, nose and cheekbones.


Contouring & Highlighting Techniques for Different Noses:
Flat Nose
Apply highlight down the center of the nose, avoiding the sides. Smooth and blend down the centre.

Broad Nose
Slim down a broad nose with a foundation that is one shade darker than your natural skin tone. Sweep along the sides of the nose with a small, firm makeup brush. Start just below the inner corners of the eyebrows, and end at the sides of the nostrils. Stroke a lighter shade of foundation down the bridge of the nose. Blend well.

Long, Wide Nose
Apply darker shade of foundation on either side of the bridge of the nose.
Extend down along each side of the nose and blend.
Extend contour down, between, and around nostrils, covering tip of the nose.

Narrow Nose
Sweep concealer that’s slightly darker than your natural skin tone down the centre of your nose. Then use a lighter shade on the sides of your nose and nostrils.

Many people have bumps or slightly off-centre noses that they wish to fix. This can be done via the magical of make-up, to a degree.

Soften a Bump
Apply darker shade of foundation directly on bump and blend.
Apply lighter shade of foundation on either side of bump from bridge to nostrils and blend.

Straighten a Crooked Nose
Apply darker shade of foundation on to the bulging side of the nose and blend.
On the opposite side of the nose, apply a lighter shade and blend.

Basic nose contouring:

Marilyn Monroe used lots of contouring on her nose, cheekbones, and hairline.

(This is one of the same tricks that Marilyn Monroe would use; since I found that out around a year ago; I use it often!)

Jennifer Aniston with nose contouring example.

Naomi Campbell with nose contouring down the sides.


Apply makeup primer onto clean lids. Press base eye shadow colour on from lash line to crease. This is the lightest shade on your current palette, and it serves as the backdrop for any contouring work you do.

Take an eye shadow brush with a small, flat head and use it to press your darkest eye shadow colour into the outer edges of your top lids in a sideways “V” shape. Blend hard edges away so that your new contour color melds with your base shade.

Finish the rest of your colour eye makeup application in either case by smoothing a subtle highlighter onto brow bones and fading away noticeable edges in the product. This separates your brow bones from the other parts of your eye, just as contouring gives you more of a crease.

My tip: I use a thin, small brush and apply a small amount under the bottom lash, almost lining it underneath.

Good basic colours for natural eye contouring

Advanced application techniques

A gorgeous example of good blending and contouring of the eye

Brushes for contouring

(Picture for visual purposes; by NO means do you need all of these brushes, I don’t have this many!)

Foundation Brush: Used to apply foundation to the face and typically made from synthetic fibers. Most foundation brushes have a small, rounded brush head shaped like a tiny spatula.

Concealer Brush: Concealer brushes look like mini foundation brushes. Being smaller than foundation brushes makes them better suited for covering blemishes or for applying liquid concealers in hard to reach places like the corners of the eyes.

Angled Brush: An angled brush is ideal for sculpting noses. Keep it small so that you have more control over where your product ends up.
There are also larger versions for contouring on forehead with bronzer.

Powder Brush: With a large, fluffy brush heads and soft bristles, powder brushes are ideal for applying loose powder to the face.

Blush Brush: They resemble smallish powder brushes with either a sloped or rounded tip. Great for applying blush or bronzer to cheeks.

Eye Brushes: There are lots of eye brushes to choose from, but the basics are:

Highlighter brush: I use this usually to sweep across the brow bone – under the eyebrows – above where the top and lightest shade of your eyes shadow is. I also use this to sweep highlighting product down the centre of my nose, and often top of cheekbones, and sometimes – underneath where I’ve contoured to my cheekbones for more definition.

Eyebrow Brush: Eyebrow brushes have firm, angled brush heads like the tip of a marker. Use them to apply powders, creams or waxes to brows.
Eyeshadow Brush: Not as stiff as an eyebrow brush, eyeshadow brushes have square heads used to evenly apply both powder and cream shadows to eyelids. I reach for this brush so often that I might as well have it permanently attached to my hand! Expect to use these a lot.

Eyeshadow Brush: Not as stiff as an eyebrow brush, eyeshadow brushes have square heads used to evenly apply both powder and cream shadows to eyelids. I reach for this brush so often that I might as well have it permanently attached to my hand! Expect to use these a lot.

Blending Brush: Like the name implies, blending brushes are used to blend different colored products and to wipe out harsh lines. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not as firm as eyeshadow brush heads, the heads of blending brushes are usually tapered. This will be your second staple brush (behind your eyeshadow brush).
Crease Brush: Fluffy and soft, crease brush heads come in several different shapes, from thin and tapered to round and fluffy. The shape you choose will depend more on personal preference than anything else. Look for a brush head that feels soft against your eyelid and fits into the hollow of your eye.

This isn’t to say that if you don’t have these brishes that you can’t apply make-up, much less – contour! I contour with four brushes at times! A powder brush (largest of my brushes), powder brush (second largest – about half the size of my cheek for easy blush application – and also used for contouring forehead with bronze/same colour as blush for me usually). And a small brush for applying dark contour powder on face as well as dark eye shadow. Also a small but slightly wider brush for highlighting on face, nose and brow line.

I’ve attempted to use a brush to apply foundation, and personally, for me – I prefer using my hands. I used a Mac foundation without a squirty expeller and dab the bottle little a mini-ketchup bottle onto my left palm. I then use my index finger’s tip to dab on face all over, or where coverage is needed.
Concealer comes straight from the stick onto my face.

So whether you’re a contouring newbie, or an ol’ pro. I hope you enjoyed this post; and learned something new along the way; I know I have (I had no idea Rita Hayworth AKA: Margarita Carmen Cansin, was of Mexican decent – did you? Any-other secrets you’d like to share, feel free to drop me a line) :)

Thank you for reading, come by again soon!

Kirstiie @ Tribe of Mannequins

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18 Jul

Yes! I am SO into nail varnishes right now it’s crazy!

My love of experimenting with colourful nail varnishes started up again when my fella got me a whole buncha’ different colours for my birthday!
Such treats for my eyes, I couldn’t try them all out at the same time fast enough!

His current fav’s on me are the yellow and the bright blue. He says they are ‘super hero-esque’ colours, and I can’t argue with that! When I saw these two shades I straight away said ‘The Watchmen colours’! I think that got me bonus points ;)

I surprisingly quite like a very pale blue out of the set too. At first it was a little too bright light; almost like Tipex. But after a few hours of wearing it, it grew on me, and now I think it’s quite feminine.
At first I thought it might not be very flattering becuase I have a pale skintone which can look quite drained against certain colours, but I think it can actually make a skin tone look more tanned:

To achieve a different look, I tested out using a bright yellow as a base colour before applying the pale blue (be sure to completely cover the base colour!…Unless you’re using a ‘crackle’ effect varnish).
I think it worked quite well actually. It seems to have given a slightly different shade and it appears thicker and more matte, which I like:

I try to wear this colour nail varnish with light coloured attire. I’ve noticed that it looks kind of cheap when paired with darks. Even with a plain white vest top can look casual but part of the ‘Romantic’ trend. Oooh – with a floaty maxi-skirt and a delicate decorated but chunky clutch: now that’s pre-planning!…Just need to get the maxi…And clutch…And…Oh bother.

I’ve never worn bright red nail varnish before; only perhaps once as a child from one of those dress-up makeup sets. But as a teenager upwards, I’ve not dared to wear it.
As soon as I painted my first nail, even the first coat; the colour just popped! I love to wear it with a black blazer outfit; usually with jeans and a funky; but fairly plain tee underneath.

This month I have tested out the following colours from Nailstation Paris:

BabyDoll – a pale pink, that needs around 4 layers in order to build up a nice colour! But it’s a very subtle shade that is good for formal meetings.
Aquamarine/Juicy Gossip: A gorgeous favourite of mine that I used up in the first month of owning it! It goes with so many outfits, and got many comments!
Dating Scene: A real eye-popping shade of red! Looks great with suits, especially black.
Confidentiel – a gorgeous shade of yellow, so summery and funky!
Cartoon Cute – a cool pea green tone that appears risky when in the pot, but when doubled up on layers, it really stands out!
Girlfriend – bright pink tone, so feminine and pretty! Don’t wear with purple!


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