NC or NW?

I'm pretty sure all you makeup fanatics out there know just from the title of the blog, what it's going to be about.

Walk into any MAC store and many a potential customer would feel completely out of their depth with all the many, different colours which lay in front of them.

More so the foundations. Where do you start? There are so many. And what on earth does NC or NW mean?

From the fairest of them all, to the deepest, warmest skin tone. You want it? MAC have it.

Now I have been asked this question alot this week, in fact, pretty much since I can remember! What is the difference between an NC and NW?

It can be kept very simple, or made very complicated.

Let's keep it simple........

I'm looking for a foundation, to suit my skin.........

Okay. So, this isn't a blog on MAC foundations, but to try and help the many of you who email and just ask generally. What is the difference between the two tones, and which would I use?

It seems many girls feel if they had some insight, themselves into the NC - NW wonderland, they would have a little more confidence when asking to be matched.


NC - Neutral Cool. Now, cool for MAC, means more of a yellow/golden/olive undertone to the skin.
NW - Neutral Warm - Again, for MAC. Warm means more of a pink, red, warmth to the skin.

So - you know your skin better than anyone.
Are you more an English rose? Or are you more of a Mediterranean Bronzed beauty?

Would these well known Celebrities be matched up to an NC or NW?
What do you think? Answers below.

Michelle Williams - NW
Kim Kardashian - NC
Kate Winslet - NW
Rhianna - NC


Now, it can get complicated. But, again, it's all to do with colour theory.

Maybe. like me, you have reddy undertone skin in your face, but your chest is yellow? What do we do? Arghhhhhhhh!!!!
No need to panic.

I match a lot of girls to the colour of their chest. Especially if they have a big night out, or they are getting married.
You want your skin ON SHOW to look as uniform as possible.

Classic examples:

Bride: She is an NC on the face. So, she is cool toned. But the skin on her chest area is very red and flushed, all the time. So her chest is an NW.
If I match her to a NC on her face - her face will look extremely yellow against the warm NW tone of her chest.
Making sense?

So, ideally. I will want to match her face colour to the colour of her chest. So use an NW on her face.
Now her face and chest match. Both NW! Boom!
Team it up with a little pink blush and a little pink lippie. (To keep all the tones the same ) She's ready, and off to go get her hubby!

Maybe you have more of an NC tone skin? Say an NC35? Yet you have much warmer skin around your mouth, chin, and forehead. So when you put your foundation on. It looks great everwhere, but these particular areas?
Do you tend to find the mouth, chin and forehead go light, even an ashy, sort of grey undertone?
That's because these areas are NW. They are warmer, so your NC will not sit correctly.
Great little tip? Buff a little NW concealer on top. Voila. You will look uniform allover. 
Flawless beauty girls!

So, foundations are more than just a mask to cover. They can be used to correct skin tones and bring balance to the skin.

Take the time to really find YOUR perfect colour. Bearing in mind the tones of your skin, and which parts of your skin you will be showing off. It really makes all the difference.
Use the NC or NW tones to either, balance, enhance or correct.

And another little tip for all your fake tanning lovelies out there. Fake tan, will always, always, have a yellow undertone to it. So stick to your NC tones.

I hope now you all feel a little more confident with your NC and NW worries.  See there was nothing to be worried about!

Till next time my lovelies
RuthE x

*images of celebrites taken from google images

A lifesaver for dry skin

I had never really suffered from dry skin, eczema or anything like that.

Being lucky in that sense, I did have awful acne as a teeneger, and in my early twenties.

So I had skin problems in another form.

My sister, bless her, had acne as a teenager, and also bad eczema.
The eczema decided to take residence in places which were a really pain. In the crease of her arms and her hands. Basically anywhere, if she moved it could crack, and ultimately, bleed.
Not nice.

I have had friends with eczema on their feet, and inbetween fingers. Painful is not the word.

Now, during a particularly stressful time in my life, and when I had moved home about four times, in the space of a year. My skin suffered. Big time.

I had moved all around the country for my career ( and personal life ) and my skin clearly didn't like it.
I moved from Birmingham, to London, London to Cambridge, and Cambridge to Leicester.
Whilst in Cambridge I lived in 3 different homes.

 For whatever reasons. My skin flared up. My acne came back, but also, it brought with it, some extra friends.

I started to develop a dry patch of skin on my face, and the same on my arm, then the same on my chest.
The areas, gradually got bigger.
Bigger, redder, itchier and more irritating.

Now for any woman, as I'm sure most of you can relate. Having acne, or anything like that on your face can really hit your self confidence.
Always having problem skin in some way, shape or form, this was the last thing I needed.
I was working for a well known makeup brand at the time, and I was highly conscious of the fact I had something growing on my face.
Covering it with makeup didn't help. It covered it, but when I got home in the evening and took the makeup off, it was there. Staring right back at me.

During some time off I decided to go to the doctors. Surely, if anyone could fix it, he could?

'Looks like an infection' was the answer.
'I'll give you some antibacterial cream '

So thankful we had, apparently, discovered the cause. I started using this cream. For longer than he said.


It did nothing. So, naturally, I was stressed out. If it wasn't an infection, what the heck was it?

Feeling sorry for myself. I rang my mom.
My mom reminded me of what she had discovered one evening while watching a health programme.
Put some oats in a muslin cloth, pour your bath and hold the muslin cloth, containing the oats, under it.
I had completely forgot about this. It had worked wonders for my sisters skin.

So, delving into my kitchen cupboards I found my porridge making kit.
Finding a small cloth and carefully spooning the oats into it, I ran myself a lovely bath. The water turned a creamy, white colour.
The water feels almost milky as you lay in it.

So, it calmed down the redness, and I didn't emerge from the bath feeling as though my skin had pins and needles being poked allover it.

Now I dunno about you, but Im a busy kind of gal. I dont have time to do this every morn and night.
What a faff!

Introducing Aveeno!

Just what I needed.
Bear in mind, I had tried every 'other' skin cream for skin complaints. We all know the popular ones. And none of them had worked. Sick of spending my money on products that just didn't work. I had almost given up.

I bought the Aveeno, praying it would work. On the bus home, I read the back of the bottle.

'Aveeno Daily moisturising lotion combines concentrated goodness of finely milled naturally active collodial oatmeal, with rich emmolients.

The formula is CLINICALLY PROVEN to go beyond 24 hr moisturisation

It replenishes the skins NATURAL barrier function.

This is the best bit - to SIGNIFICANTLY improve the skins condition of dry skin in just two weeks.'

Sounds good to me!

Well. I started applying it straight away. I know it says it provides 24 hr moisturisation but I couldnt help putting it on at least three times daily.
It has a very rich, buttery, creamy texture. It feels like a rich ladies face cream.
I used it on all the areas that needed desperate attention.

Within a week my skin looked better, the areas were not as red, nor were they as risen.
Within two weeks, the areas that were once red, itchy, dry, risen and extremely irritating, had seemingly, disappeared!
Gone.I was one happy girl!

I no longer had to try and cover areas with concealer when I was at work, It saved alot of time in the morning.

Now, don't get me wrong. I still get dry areas on my body, especially during the winter months. When I get out of the bath the areas are red and taut, but not like they were. Putting my trusty Aveeno on it just takes the edge off straight away.

I will pay good money for products that work.
Aveeno, works.

I swear by it. Many of my friends now use it.

My mom bought me the Aveeno body wash for Christmas, knowing how much I love the stuff.
And in true Aveeno fashion, it hasn't failed to deliver.
Now I can nurse my eczema in and out of the bath!
Looking at their website, I had no idea they do Soy products for the skin, and Wheat products for the hair!
Wow. As with any company. It's about results, and trust.
Aveeno, I know, delivers. 

Aveeno, Ruth E salutes you!

Aveeno can be found in major chemists, supermarkets and online.
Check online for prices.


The most requested - Jessie J

Known for her unique style and strong makeup. This girl has made black lipstick fashionable.

At the Brits it was her strong eye makeup and HUGE hair that made the impression. She looked Amaaaaaazing!

How stunning does she look here?! Her dark hair is so striking against her fair skin.

Well, starting with her eyes. Which really are the focal point.
I know Jessie Js makeup artist actually works for MAC. So Im gonna hazard a guess at the actual colours used.

Seeing as her eye makeup is so strong, I would be inclined to stick a base underneath. MACs paintpot in Painterly is a favourite amoungst MUA. It even's skin tone, makes your eyecolours appear stronger and prevents creasing.
Buff that allover the lid, right upto the brow bone.

Jessie J, here, her eyes look very green. So once again, im unsure if the shadow used is just a flat brown, or has a slight green hue underneath.
A great colour to use here would be the ever popular. Satin Taupe - MAC.
Buff that allover the eye, darken to your own preference.
If you want a deep green / brown colour with a slightly frosted finish, try MAC in Sumptuous Olive.

Stick some of MACs Smoulder Kohl pencil in water line.

The false lashes Jessie has on here, are very long and very thick. Try #3 from MAC.

Jessie's cheekbones have been ever so slightly defined. Try MAC in Harmony blush.

On her lips - unlike Jessie, the colour is very soft and pink. I would suggest one of the following.
MAC - Creme Cup. A creamy finish - soft, nude pink beige.
MAC - Angel. A frosted, natural, pink lipstick. A known favourite of Kim Kardashian.

Get out your haircurlers, the biggest earrings you own, and there you have it. Jessie J you are!

Photo courtesy of Glamour magazine online

Caroline Flack's Lips

Caroline Flack
Brit Awards 2012

Want Caroline's statement lips?
Looking at this, I'm unsure if it is an orange, or a red? Seeing as she is wearing a blue jacket, it would make perfect sense her makeup artist used an orange toned lipstick.

So I'm going to go with an Orange - Red!

MAC lipstick are the best in the business if you want staying power and a vast selection of colour's.
The pigment's are so strong, Caroline could have had this on the whole night and still have had colour pigment visible on her lips when it was time to go home.

The actual colour that was used for Caroline's Brit Award lip was MAC Lady Danger, a gorgeous, strong Orange / Red.
This is an Amplified colour and only available in MAC shop's, not concessions, I recently discovered!
It's great if you are wearing blue or if you have blue eyes!
Other popular MAC colours along the Orange / Red tones are:
MAC in So Chaud. A matte - Deep Orange colour. Very Popular. Look's great with a tan.
If you are veering more towards the Red side, try MAC in Russian Red. A warm undertone, matte Red.

All £13.50 each.
Stay tuned for my special MAC Lipstick blog coming soon.

Photo courtesy of Glamour magazine online