mac blue brown


Working with Cream Shadows: A Few Tips

I don’t often work with cream shadows in my tutorials, because most of the time I want to let the shadows speak for themselves. But there are times as well when you need a cream base to really take the intensity up a notch.

Above is a very quick tutorial for a metallic silvery-minty party look, as well as lots of swatches plus a couple of before-after shots to show you how I like to layer creams and powders.

1.There are 4 types of cream shadows in general

  • Old-school creamy - MAC Cream Color Bases and elf Cream Shadow Duos are the creamy kind that don’t really set. I usually give this a miss on the lids as they will crease in 5 minutes.
  • Solid pots and sticks - Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks, Maybelline Color Tattoos, MAC Paint Pots, Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams all belong in this category. They are hard at room temperature but will melt slightly on contact. These are the most common, but also problematic because many of them dry out after awhile and become impossible to use.
  • Bouncy creams - Chanel came out with the first ones in their Illusion d'Ombre range, and then Dior had Fushion Monos which are equally beautiful in texture and color. Lancome came up with limited edition Hypnose Drama Eyes creams but the textures are a little more hit and miss. But overall, these jelly- and mousse-like textures are the latest generation cream shadows and combine smooth intensity, incredibly dimensional multi-pigmented colors AND long-wear. Even when they start to dry out, they don’t go all hard and are still usable for a long time. By far my favorite texture but they tend to only come from more expensive houses.
  • Liquids/Creams - These easy to use creams come in tubes with doe-foot applicators or squeeze tubes and many are available in drugstore ranges. They set and stay on fairly well, but the textures tend to be quite sheer once blended out, although they are also easiest to work with for beginners who want subtlety.

2. Pick complementary tones for a quick win. 

If you’re working with neutral brown toned shades, pick a brown cream shadow. If you are doing a blue-toned look, try a blue toned shadow.There are no rules, but just remember that applying cool toned shades over clashing warm toned bases and vice versa and neutralize colors and make everything look muddy or just sludgy and grey. (On the other hand, if you have a shadow that is too brassy and orange or yellow for your taste, a silvery base can help to cut the yellow-ness.)

Beige and black goes with anything so it depends whether you want a smoky look or a soft look. 

3. There are different textures/finishes. 

  • Matte and Satin - and I include beige eye primers along with this group cos they work the same way; these allow shadows to stay true to their original textures
  • Metallic/Pearl - usually the most popular and commonly available finish; these can help intensify the shine of shimmery shadows and help them look even more metallic.
  • Sparkly - a lot of the bouncy mousse-like shadows tend to be in the sparkly category where you see a ton of little flecks and sparkles when you look close. Often, the little sparkles show up through a layer of shadow, so if you want to jazz up a regular powder shadow, a sparkle shade works.

4. Play with duochrome shadows and pigments.

Often, the same color will look completely different when applied over different bases. (See the last image above; Winter Veld mica from Coastal Scents is a beige pink pigment with an icy blue shift when it hits the light.) This means you can combine different creams and powders and come up with completely different looks. 

A cheap source for duochrome shades is mineral makeup sellers online. Often, these loose pigment shadows aren’t formulated with enough or the right type of binders (it’s easier to get the formulation right with pressed shadows) and don’t stick to the lids very well, so pairing them with cream shadows is perfect. 

Ultimately, you CAN just pop a cream shadow on your lids when you have 2 minutes but I find many colors tend to look patchy and uneven on their own, and they’re really at their best as intensifiers and transformers for powder shadows.

If you’ve never tried interference pigments, go check out elf’s Eyeshadow Transformer palette and pop each of the shades over a dark cream shadow.

My favorite sources for pigments are and Not every color is great for use directly on the lids (these are almost pure color pigments and supposed to be mixed with fillers and binders), and I’d stick with the shimmers and metallics unless you’re a pro and DIY blending and formulation.

Just make sure you get the sample sizes because you can get a ton of colors for just $20. Invest in the full 1 oz packs/jars only if you’re a makeup artist and need to use truckloads of pigments on a regular basis.


Today for work, I did a look requested by the lovely littleelasmobranch . She asked me to do something that was inspired by the video game  BioShock. Decided to go all out with big daddy drill inspired eyebrows, dirty and rustic looking browns on the eyes, and a bright blue in the inner corner to represent the hypo syringe in the video game. And of course I had to add the chain link tattoo somewhere in this look. I used m.a.c, urban decay, inglot, lime crime, and sugarpill for the whole look. I really hope she likes it ^___^

Tips & Tricks : Mixing Mediums

I’m going to add a new feature to this blog focusing on and aptly called  Tips & Tricks. I like to think that I’ve learnt a few things over the years that could benefit makeup enthusiasts such as yourselves! I’ve also noticed a lot of new makeup artist following the site and followers often ask me how I create certain looks. Perhaps this section will answer some of those questions :)

Lets start with a little set of products called Mixing Mediums. You’ve probably walked past them in shops several times without giving them a second glance. They’re never displayed at the forefront of  shop windows (I wonder why…) They’re not usually marketed to grab your attention and they certainly won’t be listed in the top 10 of any makeup must haves or desert island go tos. 

Seriously  underestimated, these are the products that make the products you already own go further. They transform eyeshadows into eyeliners, stick glitter down without a trace of glue in sight and most importantly they work well mixed into a plethora of other products. 

Mac Water Based Mixing Medium as seen first in line, is fantastic for mixing into eyeshadow pigments and other products to intensify them. I tend to apply eyeshadow as per normal and then add a tiny bit of the mixing medium to a brush and “tap” the brush over the lid to create a softer finish. As you can see in the image below it’s powerful stuff - only a small amount is needed. If you apply too much you may create a “crapey” effect with your eyeshadow. As the name suggest you can mix pigments and colours together with this product to “design your own” shade. Woo! It’s also great for sticking glitter to the skin *bonus!* 

Mac Blue Brown Pigment before and after Mixing Medium is applied:

Mac Eyeliner Mixing Medium is also fantastic stuff (second in line). This product is similar in it’s abilities to the Water Based Mixing Medium however it’s a little thicker and is more gel than  liquid. Below you can see how it instantly transforms Mac Hi Def Cyan Pigment into a long lasting  eyeliner *top*. You can also set eyeshadow with it but be prepared for a “tight” feeling around the eye if you do so. 

Mac Fix + Spray (third) is one of my all time favourite products and an essential on every job I do. Considering that the first two mixing mediums are only available to purchase from the Mac Pro Stores (in London that’s Soho & Covent Garden) the Fix + spray is wildly available in all stores and works as a great “pseudo” mixing medium. Glycerine works to set makeup so you can mix this into eyeshadows and pigments to intensify them and treat them like an eyeliner too! It’s also  great for spritzing on the skin during heat waves such as now! If you can’t get ahold of the previous two go for this one (unless you want to stick glitter in which case you’ll need the others). 

Lastly in my list of favourites is the Illamasqua Sealing Gel. I would describe it as a  stronger version of the Mac Eyeliner Mixing Medium. It’s also more of a liquid consistency. It turns pigments and powders into a colour intense, waterproof paste that dries quickly and lasts for a long time! Below you can see Mac Lily White Pigment with (top) and without the Illamasqua Sealing Gel. 

Still with me? Good, lets recap! What can they do? 

Stick Glitter 

Apply Mac Water Based Mixing Medium, Eyliner Mixing Medium or Sealing Gel to a small flat brush and tap under eyes (or over) then use your finger to press glitter on top. It WILL hold better than using any sticking glue or “fixer”. 

Create New Colour Combos  

Mix colours together using the Mixing Mediums to create your own shades. Here I’ve mixed the Mac Lily White with the Hi Def Cyan to come up with a new minty pastel shade *oooo errr* 

Turn Powder Products into Eye Liners 

Turn your favourite eyeshadow into your favourite eyeliner! 

So - next time you think you need a new eyeliner - get yourself a mixing medium instead ! More tips & tricks next week :)


29 days until Hella-Ween!

“I just came out here to have a good time, and I’m feeling so attacked right now”

I first primed my face with Clinique Superprimer

On my face I used Clinique Beyond Perfecting 2 in 1 foundation and concealer

Then I used my Laura Mercier contouring kit, shade #1 and shade #2 under my cheek bones, under my chin, on my temples and around the top of my hairline.

I set my contour using my Kat Von D Shade + Light contouring kit, shade Sombre under my cheek bones and on my nose

I then set the rest of my face with Clinique Beyond Perfecting loose powder


Transition #1: Limecrime Venus Palette shade Divine

Transition #2: Kat Von D Chrysalis palette shade Hybrid Moments

Corner/Outer: Kat Von D Chrysalis palette shade Mezzanine

Corner: Kat Von D Chrysalis palette shade Melanchola

Lid: Kat Von D Chrysalis palette shade Transition

Under Eye: MAC Pigment shade Blue Brown

Eyebrows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony

Tears: Skin Illustrator FX Palette shade Black (these paints are alcohol activated, I put enough alcohol in the black paint to make it drip down my face)

PRO TIP! the fumes from the alcohol make your eyes water and sting a little, so start your tears lower down your face and use black eyeshadow to fill in the rest!!


Lips: MAC Lip Liner in Stone and Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Lipstick in Posh Spice

Highlighting/Strobing: Makeup Academy Shimmer Highlighter shade Iridescent Gold

Blush: Illamasqua blush shade Cherish


I started with Ben Nye nose/scar wax, using a bit of moisturiser on my hands helps the wax not to stick/melt

I roll the wax into a sausage and place it on my neck where I want the cut to be

Using a plastic spatula I blended out the edges

I repeated that until I had my preferred cut size and all the edges have been blended out

I then applied a sealant to make sure it stays in place

Once the sealant had dried I brushed on some translucent powder to make it more matte and skin like

I then used a Kyrolan and Mehron bruise wheel to create the irritation and bruising around the wound

I used a darker  red mixed with a lighter red grease paint from the Mehron bruise wheel to fill in the wound to give it depth

I then applied fake blood, firstly a syrup based fake blood inside the wound, then a runny fake blood to create the drips and the smears

Apply the runny blood onto your hands and then you’re done!! :)