Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Guest Post: Eyeshadow - There and Back Again

Today I'm handing over the reins to the lovely and fabulously funny Debbie from This week I have mostly been loving. I was thrilled when Debbie accepted my offer to do a guest post, I knew she would write something entertaining and she hasn't disappointed me at all! Get ready for a journey to the 80's!


When Jane suggested I might like to write a guest post for her blog on my eye shadow journey I was very excited, I hope I have done her terrific blog justice with this!

I was first interested in make up when I was 14, which was in 1980 (I am 44 to save you the math!) Even if you aren’t old enough to have been around in the 80’s you will know them as the decade of bad taste, big hair and stupid excess. My make up collection was no exception. My face was my canvas and there was no limit; a rainbow of eye shadow, bright pink blush and lashings of lippy – the whole dark eye, light lip or vice versa message had never even been thought of, more was more and less was pointless.

It is also worth mentioning that in the 1980’s I wore glasses. And had a perm. Does the name “Deirdre Rachid” mean anything to you?

Hot damn this is like looking in a mirror back in the 80’s!

Only I wasn’t happy with just having massive frames that covered my entire face, I had the whole beyond trendy “dropped” arm thing going on a la Dennis Taylor, snooker player!

Brace yourselves folks.

Yikes! This is my sister and I. Check out the nylon, plastic and hair spray, ladies I give you The Flammable Sisters! The very very good thing about this pic is that my sister looks just a teeny hint chubbier than me which is awesome as 10 minutes after this was taken she became a size 8 which she has retained through 3 pregnancies and into her 40’s. I think the least said about those glasses the better tbh.

My mum dug another pic out too that she thought I’d like to share:

Contact lenses now, phew. That eye shadow is from a Lancome duo that I bought when I was at sea and was earning a fortune, god I loved it. The lipstick would have been Lancome as I was always very matchy matchy. The eyebrows and ‘tache were all mine. Quite clearly before the idea of threading had taken off, working that perm too.

You will be glad to hear that in spite of all of this I still managed to get myself married and have a couple of kids. This is where I entered the wilderness years. I wore very little make up and pretty much gave up on how I looked which frankly I could ill afford to do!

In my 30’s I got back into make up and was a big fan of foundation and lipstick but as I was wearing glasses I just had a dash about with the mascara and left it at that most mornings. When I did get drawn to an eye shadow in Boots I generally wore it once before deciding that it just didn’t work and giving up. Oh the wasted years.

When I started reading beauty blogs there were lots of lovely photos of incredibly beautiful eye make up done on people that looked like Nicole Scherzinger and whilst they were stunning to look at they bore no resemblance to anything that I could ever have done on my eyes. Now on the odd occasion that I wore eye shadow I felt that I looked like a transvestite version of myself and had resigned myself to not bothering with eye shadow.

Then I found Modesty Brown and was immediately impressed by the fact that Jane’s choice of eye shadows were generally soft muted shades in a very wearable matt finish that was subtle, flattering and most importantly something I felt I could copy! It took me a while to realize that most of those soft muted shades were variations on a theme – browney taupe, plumey taupe, greyey taupe, taupey taupe. Jane is the Queen of Taupe!! I also liked that Jane tended to only apply her shadow to the mobile lid and this was the look that I first copied. Then I decided to be really out there and add a hint of dark liner to my upper lash line woah, getting totally carried away now! Immediately could see the improvement as my lashes are sparse and this helped give that area more impact. Then there was the whole UD NAKED palette thing – I drove everyone around me mad with my need for this palette and when I finally got it my eye shadow experimentation soared to new heights and I have recently had as many as four colours on one eye, check me out!

Two fantastic bits of eye advice that I have been given, firstly with regard to brows remember they are sisters, not twins – I was so glad to give up the battle for identical, symmetrical brows! And that adding a dark shadow into the crease and blending instantly makes your eyes look 10 years younger, I swear by this and after starting off copying Jane’s colour only on mobile lid tend now to keep my mobile lid pale and put the colour into the socket line. UDPP is fantastic and once my little bit from the NAKED palette is gone will be purchasing full size. Have a great eye liner brush, long with a very straight flat edge, which is terrific for applying shadow as liner which equals endless possibilities, also have a small liner brush which I really like for softening a pencil line drawn tight to top lashes, UD 24/7 pencil in Whisky is current fave for this as its much more wearable than black for my colouring, and age!

So that’s where I am up to now, back loving eye shadow and having fun again. I am a big fan of neutral shadow for a polished, grown up day look but having just bought my daughter the UD Preen palette have half an eye on Mildew, a lovely sludgy, gilded green, so who knows what my next EOTD might look like!

Thanks for giving me this opportunity Jane, it is much appreciated


  1. God I wish I had been around in the 80s. Just so I could wear shoulder pads and my natural hair (which is like a dodgy perm) and have looked '80s standards! Also love the 'eyebrows are sisters, not twins' - mine are so uneven haha :)

  2. Oh you look so chic in the last picture :D
    I can totally echo the thing about beauty blogs taking me from my hideous experiments with makeup to something that doesn't make me cringe! :D

  3. Sweet Lord, you are writing about MY life there :-))))
    Honestly, right down to the glasses and perm, the timeline (similar ages), the inability to get to grips with the subtleties of eyeshadow, and even the application technique for my (similarly shaped and hooded) eyes!
    Uncanny I tell you...
    Thanks so much for this lovely post and thanks to Jane too for bringing you to our attention!
    Nina x

    PS Needless to say you have SO mastered eyeshadow :-) your pics are gorgeous!

  4. Great post Debbie, I too did the big glasses and what about the leggings and the big t-shirts or worse polo shirts to go over the top, but Lancome? You had sophisticated taste then, I think I was still slobbing around Boots and reading Bunty and Fab 208! Thanks for sharing. Jan x

  5. Thanks all, glad you enjoyed that blast from the past and that some of you could relate to it! Thanks again Jane x

  6. LMAO this blog just made me spurt out my cup of tea all over my desk!

    Fantastic post.

  7. Ah Debbie my eyebrow inspiration! Am I allowed to say you've gotten better looking with age??

    I'm glad you aren't the only one in her 40's that feels like a tranny with shadow on. I usually avoid it at all costs!

    Thanks Jane for feature Deidre...ahem Debbie on your blog!

  8. Thanks Caroline glad it gave you a laugh, sorry about the desk!

    Skin Scrubs, I so love that I am anyones anything inspiration! Thank you for the lovely compliment I think that I was probably better looking but clueless when I was younger, it just goes to show that having a bit of an idea of what you are doing is a big help in our battle to look our best!
    thanks ladies xx


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