Sunday, 12 October 2014

Who's Got A Match?

Matching lips and nails has been A Thing in beauty since roundabout the twenties (History Lessons With Noll!), and yet, because of my general nervousness with lip colour, it’s not something I’ve ever really played around with. There is an excellent woman at my work who always matches her eyes and lips, or eyes and nails, or all three – sometimes even her cardigans get involved. I think she is fabulous and I love her, so, armed with my extensive collection of eyeshadows and nail varnish and paltry collection of lipsticks (and, eventually, backed up by Poppy’s), I thought I’d give matching a shot too.


I started out nice and gentle and easy, with a rose pink. This took the form of a Bourjois eyeshadow (in colour 02, the mid shade, from their Smoky Eyes Eyeshadow Trio in Rose Vintage), an Essie nail polish in Eternal Optimist, and my trusty Revlon ColourBurst Balm Stain in Honey, which featured in my lipstick post.

I am a firm believer in taking lip and cheek colour from the same spectrum, so I used Benefit’s Rockateur, which is a soft rose colour with a slight shimmer. Overall, I was surprisingly pleased with this look – I’ve used this eye colour a lot in the past so it was a nice throwback for me and it looked lovely and gentle with the lips, although not quite an exact colour match (I cheated). For the sake of the experiment I didn’t wear any eyeliner, just mascara, although I did add a little of shade 03 from the Eyeshadow Trio in the crease for definition. Rose pink is a bit of a difficult shade, eyeshadow-wise – it’s OK with my colouring because my skin is yellow-toned, but people with darker or pink-toned skin may want to err towards the more gold or bronze side of things.
I’ve had this nail polish for a while and I love it – it’s very light and wearable and it goes with everything. It feels very polished (pun 100% intended) to match colours like this, which I was surprised by, because honestly I thought I’d just feel like a dick. There’s not a lot of drama in this look – it’s very soft and gentle, so I’d be inclined to wear it with a sharp-ish outfit involving lots of black and some enormous boots, just so I didn’t start feeling like Anne of Green Gables. All in all, though, I give it an easy six out of ten.

CORAL (see top picture)

Oh, coral, I do love you. I was maybe the least afraid of this, because it’s a colour I wear often, especially on the lips. I used Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in 210, Coral In Gold, my lovely new Essie (again…) nail varnish in Tart Deco, and the shade Trick from the Urban Decay Naked III palette. I applied the shadow with a brush sprayed with setting spray (instead of wetting it with water) to get a denser colour, and I was pretty pleased with the results. It’s a very warm, glowy shade that I think would work on most if not all skin tones, and although it’s a colour I get a lot of use out of, I’ve never used it all on its own before and I thought it stepped up to the task.

I’ve been lusting gently after Essie’s Tart Deco for a long time and I finally got my hands on it a couple of weeks ago. It’s a lovely creamy peachy pale orange, very sweet and cheery – a nice happy colour for autumn, even if my mother does call it “dreadful”. Quiet Mum. It’s PRETTY.

I used Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint, which I spoke about last weekend, for blush, and along with the lipstick I found the whole effect very brightening – the sort of look I might reach for in the summer if I was pretending not to be hungover, or if my outfit felt a bit dull or I was trying to draw attention away from the state of my hair. I also felt that this one suited me the best out of all the three looks, so I’m giving it eight out of ten. Actually, make that eight and a half, because it also matches my favourite jumper.


Right. OK. Time to be brave.
The conversation happened as follows:

Me: “…and so I’m going to do a matchy eyes and lips and nails thing, with pink –“
Poppy: “Ooh!”
Me: “-and a coral-y bronze sort of thing –“
Poppy: “Ooh!”
Me: “-and red.”
Poppy (eyebrows flying up): “Um. Red?”

Of course, I didn’t actually mean red, and eventually we decided that the colour I did mean was wine, or berry, or whatever you want to call it. You know the colour. The colour of blackberries. The colour of a beautiful cashmere cardigan owned by the fabulous lady at my work and often matched with beautiful intense lipstick. That colour.

 I am terrified of that colour. Once, in a pub, Poppy and I tried on some of our friend’s incredibly dark intense lipstick, and Poppy looked vampy and gorgeous and I looked just like that one time in sixth form when I accidentally sucked on the wrong end of a pen and filled my mouth with ink.

But I went for it, being insane, or a glutton for punishment, or just a super dedicated blogger; take your pick. In the end, it wasn’t that bad. I used a cream eyeshadow from Maybelline’s Colour Tattoo range in the colour Pomegranate, which I wore a lot last winter (although usually as a crease colour with a lighter base). I actually really liked the effect of this over the whole lid and I think I’ll definitely return to it this autumn – in fact, the evening after taking the pictures for this post I used this colour as a base for a black and gold smoky eye when I went out (there’s a picture on our Instagram, if you’re curious).

The nails were my favourite part of this look, and my favourite part of this post, and probably my favourite part of anything ever. Essie’s Sole Mate (yes, it’s Essie again, no, I do not have a problem) is just the loveliest, loveliest colour. It’s still on my nails right now and as I type my fingers look like ten happy little blackcurrants bouncing up and down on the keyboard and it is the best. I want to wear this forever. It's going to be an autumn/winter/rest of my life staple for me.

I had to borrow from Poppy for the lips, as my vast array of corals really didn’t cater to this look – she produced the beautiful but intimidating Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate in 107, and I just had to go for it. The lipstick itself wasn’t great for me, because my lips are super sensitive and they had a little tantrum about it, but I was actually, if not pleasantly surprised, at least pleasantly not horrified by the colour. I liked the drama of it on my eyes and lips and didn’t feel like it overwhelmed my face as much as I was expecting.

It’s a look with a lot of impact, even if you keep the eyes quite gentle, but if you really felt like going for it I think it would be great with winged eyeliner for a Christmas party. One day, maybe when I’m feeling brave and probably with a lighter lip in more of a burgundy/raspberry colour, I might give this a go in actual public. Maybe. A nervous six out of ten.

Overall, I was quite pleased. This experiment, or weird way to spend a Saturday afternoon, or whatever you want to call it, has definitely inspired me to be a bit more matchy sometimes and to experiment more with lip colour – it’s very easy to get stuck into doing the same kind of makeup over and over when you don’t need to, and playing about with it is SUPER FUN even if it doesn’t work out and you end up looking mental. I definitely recommend dragging out the colours you never use and having a go. Who knows, you could end up turning into the fabulous lady in my office and inspiring someone else’s blog post.


  1. Love the post! Great tips!!


    1. thanks so much! we'll definitely have a look at your blog =) N x

  2. i love the coral toned pairing!

    from helen at

    ps. enter my new giveaway to win raybans worth £129! click here.

    1. thanks! that was absolutely my favourite too!

      ooh very excited by sunglasses, i'll have a look! N x

  3. Wonderful post and advice must I add! :) x