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  1. Finishing School: Kit

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    Find a space which can be yours for your beauty routine. Obviously a dressing table is ideal but it can be anywhere else. You can use a bathroom counter, a random table, a chest of drawers, a desk, anywhere where you can find a bit of space just for you. It need only be small, enough room for a basket or two. If you already have this space then tidy it up and make it work better for you. My big thing about beauty areas is that they must have everything in sight and easy to just grab. No digging around in bags, draws, boxes. If you can see everything you can grab it and go.
    In your space you will need:
    A mirror – you definitely need one mirror, if you’re into creating elaborate hairstyles you will need a hand held mirror too in order to see the back of your hair.
    Make Up Brushes – Find a jar/tub/can/ anything that can hold your make up brushes. I have an art Deco style toothbrush holder which does the job perfectly. Anything in which you can place all of your brushes and keep them to hand. As for the brushes themselves right now, in the beginning, any make up brushes will do. As you become more enthusiastic about making yourself beautiful and using make up you will want to invest in better brushes. When you need to replace a brush upgrade to a better one each time and eventually you’ll build a good collection. I’m building my collection of MAC make up brushes at the moment.
    Storage for hair accessories – I use a transparent craft box with a flip lid. These will initially be the basics such as hair grips and elastics but as you get more confident with your hairstyling this will grow. I shall be showing you my hair accessories and must haves in a post soon.
    Cotton Wool and Cotton Buds– in a bag, or better still a jar with a lid (jars are sooo handy, you can always use a glass decorating pen to label them or decorate them) – I use cotton wool and buds for correcting make up mistakes and removing nail varnish.
    Make Up – Keep your make up to hand either in a bag, box or basket. I tend to have a small basket of my daily make up; foundation, translucent powder, creamy coloured eye shadow, black Kohl pencil, black mascara, blusher and lip balm. My more adventurous, occasional make up is in a make up bag. In a basket it’s easy to see and grab what you need whereas digging around in a make up bag can be frustratingly time consuming.
    Wipes – I have tried various cleansing wipes but always go back to whatever baby wipes I can get. They do the job just as well and are a fraction of the cost.
    Hair Brushes – I have three, a paddle brush, a curling brush and a comb.
    Essential potions and lotions – body and face moisturiser, hand Cream, hairspray, deodorant, perfume
    All of the things listed above are what I consider to be the necessary basics. You may have additional things you feel are essential to have to hand. What are your basic beauty essentials?
    If you already have the above organised then take your beauty routine and organisation up a notch? Are your accessories easy to hand in order to make easy choices to compliment your outfits? I have recently pinned all of my brooches on a cusion which sits on my bathroom shelf so I can select my brooches easily. I have also put some hooks on the wall near my beauty area (which is my bathroom – US bathrooms are good for this!) where I hang all of my necklaces and bracelets so they’re easy to see, grab and wear and I don’t have to give them much thought.

    Thanks to my mother, I have always had my beauty regime fairly organized and laid out.

    My morning routine generally is as follows: Wake up, wash face, moisturize, get dressed, make-up, hair then out the door. Most nights I shower and then set my hair, so it's a quick morning routine to just put on my face then shake out the curls (it takes me about an hour if I'm not sleepy and dragging myself out of bed). In there I squeeze in checking Twitter and the news and drinking my coffee.

    Because my bathroom is teeny-tiny with very little makeup space, I use my bedroom where there is already a mirror installed in the perfect place (fancy that!). I use my dresser and another small table to put my make-up and other potions on.

    Other necessities for my morning routine include music and caffeine.
    My make-up kit is quite extensive. I keep my three(!) makeup bag in my new train case for easy and accessibility. The first bag (polka dots) is my foundation bag. Everything in there is just the basis for me to not look like a hag.

    (I start at the right): Tinted moisturizer applied with a sponge, concealer,
    under-eye brightener/concealer, blush and mineral powder.
    That might seem like a lot, but I use very little of it. The concealer I only use on spots that are needed, which 99 per cent of the time is just under my right eye as it has an ugly vein that shows through my translucent skin. Then I use eye brightener because I'd look like the leader of the legions of the undead if I didn't. Blush is next - I like the stick creme because it is easier to blend if I get too much on. I put powder on top to seal everything up.

    Make-up and brushes

    My next two kits are my brushes/mascara bag and my compact. The brush bag is awesome because it can roll up and fit almost anywhere. My compact is also really great, but only fits Mary Kay products. I don't use all the colours everyday.

    Usually, I just use the white powder (I need to replace it as it's almost gone) under my brow bone. Next is the nude colour there on the closest pallet to the camera (it's actually blush but my eyes don't know the difference). Next is liquid eyeliner, then mascara then more brightening powder under my eyes to make sure I look awake.

    Another important part of my routine are these make-up books. Even though I don't look at them now, they were instrumental in developing my look and I wouldn't know half of what I know without them. They're also great for coming up with new looks for special occasions and whatnot.

    The only ones I'd like to add to my collection are Lauren Rennell's Vintage Hairsyling and Retro Makeup (hint hint).

    The 5 Minute Face - Carmindy | Face Forward - Kevyn Aucoin | Making Faces - Kevyn Aucoin

    Then I'm done and can go on with my hair.

    Goody Sponge Rollers and "endpapers" (aka napkins)

    At this point I take my sponge rollers out, brush them out with a bristle brush, rub pomade on my hands and play with the curls then I'm done. If I'm feeling up to it I sometimes experiment, but I like keeping it simple because if I mess up I go to work looking like a weirdo (even more so).

    Like Lottie, I also keep my jewelry organized (yet not in the same place). My necklaces are hanging up on over-the-door hooks in the second bedroom and my earrings are in a little box on our radiator.

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