Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Hi everyone! Welcome back to my blog, I hope you are all doing well! 
Today is a slightly different post for me and is something that I have never really done on my blog in the past. Recently I have seen SO many wedding and prom inspired makeup tutorials and 'get ready with me' blogs and videos flying around, which is always to expect at this time of year. However, something I have not come across myself is anyone doing posts to inspire people on getting ready for graduation, which is what I am going to do for you guys today. So, this is going to be a 'Get The Look' kind of post where I am going to talk you through my make-up and outfit choices for graduation.

Whether it is your own graduation or you are attending to show your support at a loved ones graduation, you want to look lovely regardless and sometimes it can be a very stressful time. So I am here to try and relieve some of that stress from you by offering my help, and hopefully at least one person out there finds it to be helpful! 
Very recently it has been my partners graduation and I was lucky enough to be able to go and share his special day with him. It was such a memorable day and I am so proud of him for his determination and constant hard work, he deserves all the success in the world! 
I was so honoured to be invited along to see him graduate and straight away all I could think was 'WHEEEY! EXCUSE FOR A NEW OUTFIT!' and guys if you say that would not be your first thought as well, I know you are lying to me..We all love a good reason to be able to dress up fancy and play glamorous for the day! 
Anyway, I do not want to carry on rambling, so if you would like to see how I achieved my complete look for the occasion, then please keep reading...
I am going to start off by showing you all step by step what I used to achieve my make-up look for the day. My aim was to create a fairly subtle look, so I tried to keep everything quite light to make it as natural and fresh as possible.
So, to start off with I primed my face using none other than my holy grail Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This is one of my all time favourite primers. It makes my skin feel super smooth and just gives the perfect base to start applying my make-up on top of. I also find when I use this product my make-up stays in place all day, which is always a big plus for an occasion such as Graduation. 

Next I went onto my foundation. For this day I knew I wanted a very full coverage foundation that was going to make my skin look absolutely flawless. I also needed something that was going to look amazing in photographs, because obviously SO many pictures were going to be taken to keep all of the special memories. 
I opted to mix together two of my most favourite foundations, which are the Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and the Make-up Forever HD Foundation. I came across this duo because I was trying to create my perfect shade, as alone the Nars foundation is far too yellow for my skin and I thought mixed with the Make-up Forever foundation, it would tone it down and luckily it worked a treat, the colour was pretty much a perfect match. Now, both of these foundations admittedly are very heavy duty and full coverage, so the thought of mixing them together you would automatically think 'Ooh, thick and cakey!', but that could literally not be further from the truth! I am telling you guys, these two together are a complete dream and I am so happy I found this combination. The only thing I will say about mixing these two foundations is that because of their full coverage, long wearing nature, it gives a very drying formulation, so just make sure you moisturise your skin thoroughly before application and you will be good to go! 

I used three different concealers over my face for this look. Excessive? Yes, oooopsy but I promise I used them all for different reasons..so that justifies it right?! 
Firstly, to conceal any blemishes or redness over my face I used the MAC Pro-Longwear concealer. Luckily at the moment my skin is behaving and is not really problematic, however I do have some red scaring on my cheeks from previous breakouts. This concealer was great for covering these scars as it is quite thick in constancy and it is very full coverage. I only tend to use this concealer on blemishes because I have the lightest shade which is NC15 and this matches my skin tone perfectly, so I would not be able to use it for brightening my face at all. I just applied a teeny-tiny amount of Pro-Longwear to any areas where my redness was showing through and I blended it in using a small fluffy concealer brush.
The second concealer I used was the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer, and I used this one to conceal my dark circles and to brighten that under eye area. I have this one in the lightest shade which I believe is Fair Neutral and it is extremely light, so I am able to use this to achieve that slight highlighted look. 
To brighten the rest of my face in the usual areas I took my third concealer, which was the Nars Creamy Concealer, in the shade Chantilly. This I suppose was an unnecessary switch, I could have used the Urban Decay one and got the same end result as the shades are almost exactly the same..truth be told I just wanted to try out the Nars concealer to see what I thought of it! I placed this to all the standard places you highlight, so the bridge of the nose, the forehead, the chin, the cupids bow and just underneath where the contour line sits on the cheeks, I then blended all of this in using my real techniques complexion sponge. I was really happy with how this turned out, and I now understand the hype around this concealer!
All three of these concealers are amazing and I would recommend them to EVERYONE! They are all super full coverage, super long wearing, they do not crease and they blend beautifully! Seriously, get them on your wishlist guys. 

I decided to cream contour for this day as it looks a bit more natural than powder contour. To do this I chose to use my Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour. I love this little guy because it is SO easy to work with and it is a great colour for my fair skin! I just apply it to the hollows of my cheeks, the jawline, the temples, over my forehead and down either side of the nose and then once again I just take my complexion sponge and blend it all in. The tip is to blend until your arm hurts and you cannot blend anymore, because you do not want to end up with strong visible lines around your face as that would just look obvious and unnatural! 
I am planning on doing a 'How I Cream Contour' post soon, so if you are interested to find out how I do this and you want to see a clear picture tutorial, then keep your eyes peeled because it is coming shortly!

Now that is all of the creams applied to the face, it is time to set them all in place with powder to make sure they do not budge throughout the day! To avoid the make-up looking cakey or chunky, I would always advise to never apply any powders until you are completely finished with using your cream products. 
For this step I also needed to use three powder products, all in different shades to set the different areas of the face. By doing this you keep the dimension in the face that you have created with the cream contouring and highlighting and it does not ruin any of that effect you have spent so much time creating. I started off by setting the concealer I used to brighten and highlight my face, including underneath my eyes. For this step I used the yellow shade powder in my Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder compact. This is the first banana powder I have ever tried and I absolutely love it! I also used this Marc Jacobs compact to set my contour in place, but of course I used the contour shade to do this. This is a great contour powder because it is very cool toned with grey undertones, which means it gives the perfect colour to create that shadow effect. This duo compact is one of my favourites for highlighting and contouring, the powders are so creamy to apply and they blend out so easy and seamlessly without looking chalky on the skin. 
To set all of the other areas on my face where I hadn't highlighted or contoured, I just took my MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus in my actual skin shade (NC15) and dusted this lightly over those places to keep the foundation in place. 

To bronze up my skin I took my trusty Nars Bronzing Powder in the shade Laguna. I love this step in my make-up routine because it brings colour back into my face and makes me look alive and glowing! I take a small amount of this product onto a big fluffy brush and buff it into the skin pretty much over the top of where I have contoured. I also bring this down my neck to make sure all the colour blends together and everything looks seamless! 

To add a flush of colour to my cheeks I took my Benefit Rockateur blusher. I have had this product for SO long now and never used it before so I did not know just how beautiful it was. It is a rose gold pinky shade with lots of shimmer in, so it is not an essential to add highlighter to the cheeks as well - perfect for if you are in a rush! I will definitely be using this blusher a lot more now because it just looks stunning! 

 I know I said previously highlight was not essential when using a shimmery blush, but of course I was going to use one because I love that extra glow in the summer time! For this look I used the MAC Skin Finish in the shade Lightscapade which is one of my all time favourites, I just love how much it shows up on my fair complexion. I have a real hard time finding a good highlighter and this one just ticks all the right boxes! 
So, now that is all of the face products talked about lets move on to how I achieved my eye make-up look..

First things first, before I apply any eyeshadows to my lids I always put tape on the sides of my eyes, as this helps to give me a sharp straight line! This also helps when doing winged liner because it is easier to get the eyes even and symmetrical. For big occasions I will also do my eyes first, before I apply any products to my face just incase I get any fall out and things like that.
For this Graduation look, all of the eyeshadows I used came from my Naked 2 palette. I started off by priming my eyelids with the Urban Decay original eyeshadow primer potion, this is a really important step and one you do not want to miss out as it will prevent your eyeshadow from creasing and it will keep the shadows intense and in place all day long. I then took a large fluffy brush and placed the shade 'Foxy' all over my lid right up to brow bone, this light colour gives a good base for all of the other shades to sit on top of. I then used a smaller fluffy brush and took the shade 'YDK' and blended this back and forth throughout my crease, I also blended it up slightly towards the brow bone. I know you should never use shimmery shadows in the crease, you should stick to matte shades, but I broke to rules..ooopsy! To deepen up the outer corner of the eyes, I used the shade 'Snakebite' and I blended this in the outer triangle and also bought it up through the outer edge of the crease, bringing it about a quarter of the way in. By doing this step and deepening the outer corner, you are adding more depth and dimension to the eyes. For all over my lid I wanted something that was quite golden and shimmery, so I took a mixture of the shades 'Chopper' and 'Half Baked' and I packed these onto the entire lid and I built this up to get as much pigmentaion as possible. Once I had all of the colours in place, I took a clean blending brush and just blended everything together so there were no harsh transition lines and everything looked seamless. Remember guys, blending is key! 
To add some colour underneath my eyes, I took the shade 'Chopper' again on a small angled brush and I pressed this in against my lower lash line, just so it looked more even and it was not left bare. 

Originally I had planned not to wear any eyeliner because sometimes it can look a little too harsh. However, once I started putting my make-up on, I was like 'NO, I can't do it, I NEED the liner!'. So I went in with my favourite liquid liner, which is the Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick Shodo Pen. I love this liquid liner because it is just fool proof, you have full control over what you are doing and it makes it so easy to get that cat eye flick! If you want to do liner but are wanting a more natural look, then you can always go in with a matte black eyeshadow on a liner brush and blend it as closely as possible onto your lash line. This still gives the lined illusion around the eyes but it looks a lot more subtle! 

For my mascara I used my Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes. Mascara is a make-up product which I do not usually go crazy for but this one was totally worth the splurge! It is a 5-in-1 product, so it curls, separates, lengthens and adds volume and drama - it does everything you could ever want from a mascara and I absolutely love it. When I have this on I do not feel the need to apply false lashes on top because it makes my lashes look really long and volumised, but if you want to intensify the look then you go ahead and rock your favourite pair of falsies..A pair of fluttery wispies would be great with this look!

Of course, onto my most favourite part of my whole make-up routine..EYEBROWS! I love when it comes to filling in my brows because I feel this is the finishing step that makes the face look fully structured. I mean, imagine how strange we would look if we were all walking around with no eyebrows, freaky right?! I know a lot of people do their eyebrows first, but I like to do mine last. Is that weird? Let me know in the comments below if you do yours last as well! 
Naturally I have very thin, very sparse eyebrows but I do like to make them much thicker and much more intense. To achieve this look I use my triple threat, holy grail trio..The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. The results from using these three together are perfect everytime, I love it and I will not use anything else! Anastasia Soare, you are the queen of eyebrows!
So that is all of the products I used on my eyes, obviously you can change up the products and the colours to fit exactly what look you are after. Now onto the final part to finish off the make-up look, the lips..

For my lips I wanted to go with something really light, pink and feminine to keep it subtle, I did not want anything bright and bold. I started off by using my Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat lipliner in the shade Pink Venus. These lipliners are definitely my favourite, they are so creamy to apply, they feel really soft on the lips and they last all day long! I used this liner to draw around the outline of my lips and then I filled in my entire lip with it as well. Filling the lips in just gives a full colour base to apply the lipstick on top of and I really like the effect it gives. 

The lipstick I went for was from the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick range, and it was the shade Bitch Perfect. This matched the lip liner so well and I was really happy with the overall outcome..I do love myself a nudey pink lip! These lipsticks are really buttery to apply and feel so lovely on the lips. I normally love a matte lipstick on myself personally, but I like that this one has a slight sheen to it as it makes the lips look more plumped, which lets be honest I need all the help I can get in that department #smalllips! Have any of you tried out these Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks? They are my absolute favourites and I would love to grow my collection..They are just so luxurious!
This combination was also so long lasting on the lips. I drank and ate lots throughout the day, I did not have to retouch once and it still looked perfect at the end of the day! 

So that is the end of the make-up look guys I hope you like it. I absolutely love how it turned out. It is very subtle, simple and so easy to recreate if you are after a similar look for graduation. Unfortunately my camera has not picked up the eye make-up fully, it looked much more shimmery and bright in person, but you will see that for yourself if you try out this look! 
I know it sounds like an awful lot of make-up products to be applying to the skin, which I am not denying, it is a lot of make-up. However if you apply them lightly and blend everything in thoroughly, it looks seamless!

Now, lets move on to the outfit..

It took me a hot minute to decide on what I was going to wear to the graduation and about a week before, I had a massive panic and started to stress myself out over it all. 
When I first sat down and started planning outfit ideas I wanted to wear a bodycon midi length dress with lace up heels, but then I realised I was going to be eating and drinking all day and maybe something tight fitting was not the way to go - I needed something that was going to hide that food baby! 
I then went out shopping and purchased a navy and white short floaty dress which had a full skater style skirt. It was really pretty and feminine and looked lovely on, but I just did not feel comfortable in it at all. And I feel that this is one of the key points to tick when you are choosing your outfit guys..You NEED to be comfortable in it, otherwise it will ruin the day for you! 
This then lead me to need to think of a third outfit choice and I thought maybe a jumpsuit would look nice. I love jumpsuits because they are so versatile, they can be dressed up or down, meaning you can get more than one wear out of them. I had seen a stripey one I liked on the River Island website so I headed straight to my local store to see if they had it in stock. Just my luck, they did not stock the line because it is such a small store! However, I knew I needed to decide on something that day as graduation was creeping up on me. This was when I came across these beautiful palazzo trousers. They are the exact same print that was on the jumpsuit and instantly I fell in love. I personally love palazzo trousers, I wear them every summer and have done for probably the past 3 years now! I just feel comfortable in them and I think they really suit my body shape. At first I was worried they were not going to be smart enough for graduation, because I knew most people would be in floral dresses, but pretty dresses are just not for me and I wanted to use my imagination and put an outfit together that reflected my personality more. When I tried the trousers on I pictured exactly how I could wear them and dress them up for the day and I styled up my perfect outfit! I paired them with this white high-necked cami blouse also from river island and this gorgeous blush pink sleeveless jacket from Topshop. To then finish off the look I wore my Missguided lace up heels, also in blush pink to match my jacket and to bring the whole look together. 
I am over the moon with how my outfit turned out personally, because it was so different to any other look I saw anyone wearing at the graduation. I feel it looked very smart but it also had a bit of an edge to it that made it stand out. 
So, if I could give you any piece of advise when picking an outfit for Graduation, it would be make sure you are comfortable and happy in it. Do not feel under pressure to wear something because you think that is what everyone else is wearing, put your mind to  it and create an outfit that captures who you are..You do you! 
Right then guys so that is my 'Get The Look' for Graduation, I hope you enjoyed it. A massive Congratulations to everyone who has or will be Graduating this year, you should be extremely proud of yourselves! 
Let me know in the comments below if you have liked this kind of blog post, as I would love to know what kind of things you guys like to see from me. 
Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon. 

Lots of Love, 
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