Monday, 29 February 2016


yay for unrelated but picturesque photos
Hello again, remember me? First of all, thank you sincerely to all of you reading this for sticking around these parts. Second of all, lets brush off some cobwebs about my absence. The reason was that I was losing my momentum with CloudEsmé; something I always suspected would happen on occasion but was made regretfully longer with the stress (see: soul-consuming hell) of exam season, and worsened with the evident hobby-commitment issues. Around the end of 2014 I'd become aware that this blog was no longer a true reflection of my personality and I suspected that the posts were becoming limited and burnt out and no longer something I felt would be consistently enjoyable for you to read. Of course soon after this realisation, the ol' school stress bombshell hit and the rough patch when you become beyond sick of pressure and deadlines had struck. Consequently, I stopped writing leisurely and as a result put the blog on hold.

Over the course of 2015, I increasingly missed interacting with you all, as well as missed reading the work of other bloggers. With months of no creativity I started reflecting on what the blog was previously lacking; variety! I also realised that I wasn't asking you enough questions; feedback is going to be so valuable in the future and it would be great to involve and satisfy as many of you as possible. The ultimate aim is for my site to be somewhere you can browse when you're bored on the bus home, in need of some light escapism when you've had a shit day or simply want an insight into the life of a 17 year old attempting to operate a website;) No matter which circumstance you happen to visit CloudEsmé for, here's hoping the revived content is stuff you enjoy reading and keeps you happy.

Without setting up a strict promised schedule, I can tell you that you can indeed expect something within the next few weeks. Ooh, before I forget, let me know if (any of?) the following post ideas float your boat:
  • Music favourites
  • Art favourites
  • School advice
  • Saturday-Job tips
  • Personal/life advice
  • Reflective posts (i.e. any rants or existential crisis' on my mind)
  • Styles/pieces I love
  • Blog/YouTube channel recommendations
  • Health/beauty advice and most-loved products
  • Recipes and food ramblings
  • Travel/future aspirations 
  • just about anything I personally would like to read that I'll try to write about somewhat coherently
And if none of them do, I guess I'll have to be sole contributor and reader haha
No, seriously do let me know and once again apologies for the unexpected lengthly blog break...fingers crossed not to happen again :)
Will write soon, Esmé

(Ps. So nervous to post this, but seeing as 29 Feb only happens once every 4 years, I've decided to just go for it today..)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Alternative Autmun Makeup

Often at this time of year, the number of bronze eye, berry lip tutorials floating around gets a little overwhelming. For something a tad different, I thought I'd put together my go-to alternative autmumn look, keeping things modern, minimal and fresh. Enjoy!

Even in autumn, my t-zone gets a little oil-crazy so I've opted for Jouer's Matte Moisture Tint in Porcelain with 17's Stay Time Concealer (such an underrated buy!) in extra fair under the eyes. Lightly dusted over with my beloved CHANEL Loose Powder - you know the drill.

It's fair to say that any tan from summer has long since gone, but instead of amping up the bronzer as the cold kicks in, I've used Kevyn Aucoin's Sculpting Powder to add me some warmth and cheekbones. A little definition never hurt nobody;)

As you know brows are what I like to spend most time on, and my weapon of choice is Anastasia's Brow Wiz set with a swipe of clear brow gel. Nothing on my eyelids here, just plenty o' black mascara.

The star of the show here is Rimmel's Lip Liner in Spice. If you don't have this beaut, you need it; anything from a peachy-brown nude pout, warm-toned lip line, or full out sophisticated bold lip, this has you covered.

There you have it, all easily done in 5 whilst your porridge cools down. Nope? Just me then...

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Introducing: Bobbi Brown's Sheer Powder Brush

If there was one beauty tool I could only ever dream of getting my hands on, it would be without question the Suqqu Cheek Brush. A favourite of Lisa Eldridge (makeup queen) and many other artists worldwide, the perfectly tapered, expertly crafted, and supposed "kitten paw" softness really do make this my most desirable brush. Unfortunately, the £80+ price tag means it will without a doubt always remain a dream and nothing more.

For months now, I've been browsing the 'Brushes and Tools' section of every beauty website under the sun to find a brush similar enough to Suqqu's offering (a small and amazing quality cheek brush) in hope to delete the Selfridges Suqqu page from my bookmarks.

I think I may have come quite close; enter Bobbi Brown's Sheer Powder Brush.

Firstly, shape and size - roughly the size of my nose (completely useless comparison, but nothing in my Real Techniques stash compares) with long flexible bristles tapered enough for contouring, but flat enough for powder, this seems perhaps ever-so-slightly larger than Suqqu's but still half the size of my RT Blush Brush. So far so good.

Secondly, application. This seems to pick up the precise amount of product (although a tap off of excess is always advised) and blends all forms of everything onto your face like a dream. Blush, bronzer, highlight, contour and powder - it works amazingly with them all. Not to mention, as much as I love my RT brushes, the appearance of this one is much more luxurious and feels that tad more professional.

Finally, price. Coming in at £30, the Sheer Powder Brush is almost a third of the cost of the Suqqu one, yet is well over the cost of four Real Techniques brushes. For me after trying this one, I am more than happy paying that much more for an increase in quality, and more importantly for the unique shapes of brushes that can't be found on the high street as they can make such a difference in makeup application and the overall look.

If you're looking into buying a higher-end brush, the Sheer Powder is a great place to start because of it's multi-uses, and no doubt it will last for years. Also, if you can't get your hands on this Bobbi Brown option, Charlotte Tilbury's Powder and Sculpt, and Trish McEvoy's #48 look fairly similar.

What are your favourite makeup brushes? Any new ones I should try?


Monday, 1 September 2014

An Affordable Make-Up Starter Kit

Since first being mentioned in this post, I have been gathering together a selection of products ideal for any makeup newbies. My recommendations are just a rough guide, so of course depending on your skin type and preferences, feel free to swap things around and add or take away bits and bobs of your choice. I've done my best to cover all grounds here so I hope you find it helpful!

Foundation: Rimmel Match Perfection - A good all rounder foundation with a satin finish and buildable coverage, plus an amazing shade range (if you're comfortable without foundation or have lovely younger skin, just opt for concealer alone or something lighter like the Bourjois CC Cream)

Concealer: 17 Stay Time - Again, a good all rounder for blemishes and undereyes with an easy-to-work-with creamy texture

Powder: Maybelline Matte Maker Powder - This finely milled powder offers a lot of bang for your buck with an impressive 16g of product

Bronzer: NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny - A warm but not muddy matte option that works well for general bronzing and light contouring

Blush: MaxFactor Cream Blush in Soft Pink - I don't think there's a skin tone or type this blush would not work beautifully on. 'nuff said;)

Highlighter: Topshop Glow in Polished - Another cream product providing a stunning iridescence to cheekbones and highpoints. Love it!

Cream Eyeshadow: Maybelline On and On Bronze Colour Tattoo - Works so well as a base or on it's  own. There's also an amazing shade range to these so you can opt for practically whichever colour you  fancy

Powder Eyeshadow: Natural Collection Duos in Mocha/Latte and Mink/Sable - For the price, these little pots are incredible! FYI Mocha doubles up as a great eyebrow powder for fellow dark blondes or brunettes

Pencil Liner: Rimmel Scandaleyes in Bronze - You can't go wrong here; a people pleasing shimmery brown for subtle or smokey definition

Liquid Liner: Collection Extreme Liner in Black - My favourite liquid liner to date thanks to it's fine nib, opaque colour and of course, bargain price

Mascara: L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic is a firm favourite of mine. A good'un for both volume and length with great staying power and opacity

Brows: Soap and Glory's Archery Pencil and Brush - Fab for filling in sparse areas if your're blessed with fuller brows or for completely shaping and colouring in practically invisible ones like mine. I'd also suggest a clear mascara for setting; my fave is from Nautral Collection

Lips: Here's where it really gets down to preference.. For pink fans I'd suggest the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong, for red lovers I'd point you in the direction of Kate Moss' Rimmel Line (01 in particular) and for nude junkies I'd recommend Rose Petal by Natural Collection. Thought I'd also throw in Maybelline's Cashmere Rose Gloss for good measure

That's all for this jam-packed post. Let me know some of your drugstore favourites in the comments for perhaps another 'Recently Purchased';) Thanks for reading!


Monday, 25 August 2014

An Identical Dupe? ( & Comparison Swatches)

A few months ago, a life changing product entered my makeup bag; the Anastasia Brow Wiz in 'Medium Brown'. A cult self-sharpening pencil complete with spoolie and not to mention the closest shade of brown ever to match my hair. It was a big step up in terms of price from Rimmel's Brow Pencil in 'Hazel' (which was way too orange toned) but boy did the quality show. Super perfected yet natural looking brows in a pencil. The only downside was at £15.50 a pop, I wasn't too willing to repurchase it on a regular basis.

After trying multiple drugstore alternatives including the Sleek Brow Stylist in 'Medium' (again too orange for my ashy dark blonde hair) and Eylure's Brow Shape and Shade in 3 (too yellow and dry to work with) I very recently stumbled across Soap and Glory's Archery Pencil and Brush in 'Hot Chocolate'. At a much more reasonable £8, and no ginger-tones in sight, this purhcase was practically immediate.

Everything down to the packaging, shape, size, most importantly - colour, and even spoolie is in my eyes identical to it's higher-end competitor. They even contain the same 0.085g of product and, although irrelevant, are made in the same country... say whaa?

All in all, this dupe, or should I say twin? is completely faultless! In this case, I'd say save your pennies and opt for S&G's new thing.