okay, ladies, now let's get in formation!

Unless you live in a bubble, you would have known/seen/heard Beyoncé's surprise new single and video Formation by now. Bey is notorious for dropping singles and albums without any warning and the fact that she leaves us breathless every time, shows that she is truly the Queen! 

But Formation is critical. Not only does Beyoncé remind us of her proud southern roots, the song celebrates and pays homage to the many different black identities, his/herstorys, movements and resistances, particularly in America's southern states. It comes at a very important time, released one day after what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 21st birthday and one day before what would have been Sandra Bland’s 29th birthday. To read more about why Formation is such a powerful anthem, please read this piece by Zandria from New South Negress, We Slay, Part 1

So, after watching the video about a million times, I took a few deep breaths and got my s**t together, because obviously I HAD to dedicate this weeks inspired look to Queen Bey! I loved every single look she had going on (including her makeup during her Super Bowl 50 performance), with particular admiration for the bold lip colours and metallic eyeshadows.  

*Back to watching the video*

need advice on contouring?

Here are a few bits of advice I have collected over time:

  1. be patient
    Contouring takes time to get right, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying. The key is to keep practicing and trying different techniques till you find the right one for you.
  2. know your face
    Spend a bit of time figuring out your face shape - where does the light hit your face and where do the shadows appear?
  3. get the right shade contours
    The general rule is to go two shades darker than your foundation colour and two shades lighter for a highlight colour. Also, keep in mind your undertone colour - is it warm or cool? Always contour with matte colours because any shimmer will draw attention to that area and defeats the point.
  4. start off by layering and blend, blend, BLEND!
    Never go in heavy with the contour straightaway! The aim is to create an illusion, meaning it still needs to look natural. The best way to do that is to layer the product until you are happy with the look, because you can always add more. DO NOT forget to blend - blend till your hand hurts!
  5. use a Beauty Blender or a similar type of sponge
    Hands down the best tool for blending contour products! Best way to use it is damp and using a dabbing motion to achieve a flawless finish. Beauty Blenders are pretty expensive and there are many other alternatives out there that do the same job.
  6. always begin with the darkest shade
    This will ensure your highlighted areas really stand out and dark areas are muted. Please please remember to use different tools when you move on to highlight, because nobody wants a muddy look.
  7. cream products first
    Another general rule is to start with cream contour and once you have fully blended and finished, only then move on to setting everything with powder contour to ensure nothing budges! You can contour with just powders for a more subtle, everyday look. Extra tip - I like to highlight under my eyes using a powder with a yellow tone, to cancel out any dark circles.
  8. end with a pop shimmer!
    Once everything is set in matte shades, add some shimmer to where the light reflects off your face, like the tops of your cheekbones, centre of your forehead, tip of your nose and chin. I tend to use golden pinky shimmers as it compliments my warm skin tone.  

golden globes to everyday glam!

So last week was the Golden Globes and of course, there were some amazing looks! People's makeup in particular, was very glam but surprisingly neutral with only a few having a pop colour. Also, what I noticed was that people either smoked their eyeshadows out to make their eyes the focus or had red bold lips to make a statement. Overall, the different looks are very easy to wear for everyday glam and do not require a lot of time or products. I was inspired by Olivia Wilde's Golden Globe look, with her simply smokey cranberry/ copper eyes and neutral lips. 

sportsperson of the year 2015

Super proud moment when Serena Williams was announced as this year's Sportsperson of the Year! Everyone who knows me, knows I'm one of her biggest fans. She is the sole reason I watch and follow any type of sport, in particular tennis which is a very white, middle-class, male-dominated game. So growing up watching Serena made a huge difference to how I viewed sports and seeing a women of colour being so successful in that space, was really inspiring!

Serena won 53 games out of 56 that she played this year - that is a record! She is the third woman and the only black woman to win the title of Sportsperson of the Year! Can she be any more impressive?! 

But haters will always hate! After it was announced, there were some ridiculous comments from people, stating that she didn't deserve it and instead a race horse should have got the title.......


....Anyways! So this week's inspired look goes to Serena Williams, the legend!