Monday, 30 January 2012

London Muse - 2 week foundation/advanced course

For the last 2 weeks I have been on an intensive make up course at London Muse make up school at Russell Square, London. I had previously done a short course at another school, worked in the beauty industry and done the odd make up job here and there including family and friends. However I decided last year that I wanted to pursue a career in make up artistry and wanted to take the right steps in starting that journey. After researching many schools online I came across London Muse and when I received excellent information and friendly emails from Antonia who deals with booking and student care, I knew that this was the school for me. I live just outside London so this 13 day course would include a lot of travelling and early mornings but my passion and drive was there to succeed in becoming a make up artist.

On the first day I finally met Antonia who I had exchanged many emails with and she introduced us to the course. Then I met Nicci Jackson, a professional make up artist who has been in the industry over 20 years. I had researched Nicci before the course and her work is truly inspirational. I assumed that Nicci would be coming and going whilst other tutors would teach the course however Nicci was our full time tutor and only on odd days did we have a guest tutor. This was a great surprise to me because many professional make up artists put their names to a school, but rarely teach themselves. Nicci's lovely assistants Diana and Josie were always on hand too. The class was small with 8 students for the first week and 6 continuing onto the second advanced week. This small sized class meant that we often had one on one training and quickly became a close knit group of friends :)

I learnt so many skills during this course including studying facial geometry, skin types, skin tones, smokey eyes, glamour make up, precision work including lips and eyeliners, ageing the skin using makeup and much much more. The class was perfect for beginners and those with a little more experience because despite being a beauty addict and doing creative looks on myself, I found that I knew little about the basics of make up and found that applying to others is a challenge in itself! 

Nicci's contour and highlight demo on Masha

Finished look!

Nicci's smokey eye demo on Lauren

We love Teddy liner by MAC!

There were many emotional times during the course because we all found that we had weaknesses in certain areas and Nicci was a very honest tutor who didn't shy away from pointing out our mistakes. However it was this honesty which gave us the inspiration to become better and any improvements were praised and therefore our confidence grew day by day. We were supported and inspired by other working artists such as Yannick and Franco who demonstrated their work for us and past students Lauren, Thom, Alex and Vicky who showed us their creative talents and have all had great success since leaving the course working for various companies or freelance within the industry. 

Franco creating a glamour look on Josie

Yannick demonstrating a smokey eye technique with glitter

Nicci's creative catwalk look on Josie

Included in the course was a website start up so that we can begin to upload images of work we do and network with other artists and clients. The last day of the 2 week course included a professional photoshoot with photographer Joel Anderson and professional models and stylists which was the perfect end to a rollercoaster ride of a course! I am now waiting to receive to retouched images and a selection of untouched images for my portfolio and cannot wait to see them and share them with you!

Here are some of the looks I created over the two weeks:

 I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is considering a career in make up artistry as I have learnt so much about myself as an individual and an artist and have made some wonderful friendships along the way :)


OPI - "Hot and Spicy"

I have been changing up the colour of my nails quite a lot recently as I have been on my make up course instead of work and so have had the chance to go a little crazy with colours :) I chose this orange tone because it is vibrant and perfect for brightening up these cold dreary winter mornings! It looks great on any skin tone because it has a soft tone to it and isn't a neon and therefore is very flattering. It would look fab teamed with an orange lipstick, perhaps Lady Danger by MAC. I wore it with a black outfit and the pop of colour on my hands made me feel happy all day!

I will definitely be buying more orange tones this summer because it would look fab paired with a tan and a floaty dress. If you are a bit scared to try neons then give this orange a go!


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

NOTD - OPI "Let me entertain you"

As you may already know,I love pink and glitter so when any nail colour containing these two elements comes out I usually buy it. Its a bit of an addiction and my nail polish collection is getting a little too big but this colour was certainly a good investment! I only rediscovered it again this week after months of wearing reds and plums over the winter season and was looking for something in keeping with the cold weather but a little more exciting in the lead up to Spring and (hopefully) some sunshine! 

I found this OPI colour "Let me entertain you" in the bottom of the basket and couldn't believe I had neglected it for so long. A gorgeous blend of deep pinks, reds and golds in a shimmer texture, this polish was part of the Burlesque collection to celebrate the movie when it was released and I bought a few colours from the range because they are vibrant and glamorous! 

Some of the photos look a bit red but it is definitely a pink! This colour would look gorgeous on toes too and would be beautiful with a tan in the summer! I have recently bought a Canon 600d camera so will be able to give you guys much clearer photos of products and make up looks so I can't wait to get using it next week when my make up course finishes Sunday. I am currently in my second week of the course and am learning so much. I will be writing a huge blog post on the school i'm studying at so any aspiring make up artists, stay tuned for that :)


Friday, 20 January 2012

Bioderma Crealine H2O

I have had my eye on this product after seeing many professional make up artists and my favourite YouTubers using it to remove make up and therefore I had high hopes! Luckily I was not disappointed and only 1 week into using this product I can already see myself becoming obsessed with it! It is gentle, effective and comes in a huge bottle. I have used many eye make up removers in the past and they have either stung my eyes or just not done the job of removing every last trace of mascara but I can honestly say that this one is great for sensitive eyes and skin and even got to work on my long lasting eye liners.

I bought this from recommend seller on eBay which is a site I don't normally use, especially for beauty items where many people experience fakes or problems with sellers but the service was incredibly quick and the product was wrapped well and in perfect condition when it arrived. I paid around £12 for this which isn't the cheapest remover around and I do like the L'oreal for a cheaper alternative however for the size and quality I believe that it is a reasonable price. It is available at a slightly higher price from some UK sites but is generally quite hard to get hold of because it is much more well known in France and other European countries.

The formula is clear and light so it almost feels like you are cleansing with water which is a great feeling because it feels refreshing and kind to your eyes and face. It has no strong fragrance as well which makes it seem pure and good for the skin. I am definitely interested in trying more products from Bioderma as I have been impressed by this and would love to try some cleansers and moisturisers from the range. 

 If you are visiting France any time soon I urge you to try it and perhaps buy a bundle as it is a cult product which truly delivers!


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

OPI - "Italian Love Affair"

Here are my nails today! As I am on my make up course at the moment I am making the most of being able to wear colours instead of natural nails at work! I received this colour for Christmas as part of a set and it is gorgeous. A real girly pink with a subtle pearly finish. It would look amazing with a tan or darker skin tones but doesn't wash me out in these winter months! I found the colour quite strong after only one coat but two is best to get a light but deep pink shade. This colour is great for french manicures or perhaps wedding nails? Not forgetting to mention, I adore the romantic name which makes me think of Spring/Summer and falling in love.


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Deborah Lippman "The Stripper to go"

I got this product in my December Glossybox which was a pretty impressive box full of lots of goodies but this product is one of the best I received because it really works! Deborah Lippman is a celebrity manicurist  whose products are more well known in America than here in the UK but I have heard great things about her nail polish collection through beauty bloggers. I was therefore thrilled to receive a small nail polish sample in the box as well as some polish remover. However as much as I loved the polish colour, a pinky red glitter, it was the remover mitt which really blew me away! I will do a blog post on the nail polish too but I just had to rave about this remover first before painting my nails this weekend :)

Deborah Lippman "The Stripper to go" - £14.00

Here is the result of one use of the mitt which takes polish off all 10 nails. If you buy the full pack you receive 6 sachets for £14.00 which is pretty pricey considering you can buy a pack of nail polish remover wipes for under a fiver in Superdrug and will receive many more than 6 wipes however I have never found a wipe as effective as this! I was wearing a plum red colour as you can see from the messy mitt which is usually a difficult colour to remove, especially on finger nails. However this colour was easily swiped away by placing my finger inside the small mitt and pressing lightly then sweeping it off of the nail. I did the same for each finger and the colour was removed from every one in under 2 minutes. I usually spend at least 5 minutes removing colour when using regular polish remover and cotton wool so I couldn't believe how quick and effective this formula was. Not only is it effective but it smells more pleasant than previous removers, with lavender and nourishing properties from aloe vera. It also has anti bacterial properties and did not sting the cuticle areas.

The reviews on the House of Fraser website are not very good which I am shocked about, with a few customers saying how it simply did not work. For me the results speak for themselves, a stained mitt and clear nails in under 2 minutes. Next time I go on holiday I will definitely be purchasing these despite the fairly high price because they do everything I would want from a polish remover and feel like they are treating the nails instead of destroying them!


Monday, 16 January 2012

Just a little note...

Hi everyone! Firstly thank you everyone for following especially to my new followers who have pushed me to over 70 people following via GFC! I love blogging and I am so glad that you guys enjoy reading my make up ramblings! 

I thought I would write you a quick post to let you know that today I started a 2 week foundation/advanced make up course at London Muse near Russell Square. It is an intensive 13 day course covering everything from the basics of skin analysis and skin tones to eyeshadows and contouring and next weekend I will be participating in a professional photo shoot with photographer Joel Anderson to finish off my experience which is nerve wracking but exciting!

I am taking part in this course to build on the skills I already have and learn so much more about make up artistry and start my career in this field. I have always loved make up and felt that I could make a career out of my genuine love for it so I have finally made the decision to dedicate myself to learning new skills and giving myself the best start by taking an intensive course with this well known school founded by Nicci Jackson, an incredible make up artist.

I will be doing long hours on the course and travelling into London every day so may be posting on this blog less often than usual but I will be taking photos on the course and writing a post about it once I have completed it to tell any other aspiring make up artists out there about the training. I am so excited about this new journey in my life and am already feeling positive and enthusiastic about this new career!


Friday, 13 January 2012

FOTD - Berry Crush

So you may have noticed that I am a fan of nude pink lips and smokey eyes from my previous FOTD and product review posts! I am a bit stuck in my ways in that sense and always looking for ways to change my make up style so when I am sent or given bright lip colours and shadows I get a little scared! But I decided that it was time to go for it and wear a bright lip colour with pride this year. My new years beauty resolution is definitely to start wearing more creative make up looks. 
I chose a lipstick from Mememe cosmetics which I was sent a few months ago in the shade "Berry Crush", a long wear satin lip cream with a purple pink tone. Currently on offer at only £6.50, this lipstick contains shea butter and vitamin E making it good for your lips as well as making them pretty :)

Foundation - My face cosmetics Mymix foundation
Concealer - MAC studio fix
Bronzer - Benefit Hoola
Highlighter - Mememe cosmetics beat the blues in Moonbeam
Mascara - Blink and go mascara
Eyeliner - My face cosmetics skinny liquid liner
Lipstick - Mememe cosmetics Long wear satin lip cream in Berry Crush

What do you guys think of this strong lip and simple liner look? I think I might try it more often!

Take a look at for more gorgeous lip colours


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Elf Cosmetics - Lips

When placing my order with ELF Cosmetics recently I wanted to try some lip products as well as eyeshadows to see the quality of the range in different products. I decided to order a studio matte lip colour in tea rose and a studio lip conditioning balm in nice and natural as I own lots of lipsticks and lipglosses but not many different lip products and these stood out to me.

The colours look quite dark in the packaging and even in swatches but are a little more pinky in tone when you put them on which I like. I often wear brown or black smokey eye looks so a nude pink lip is perfect for a natural lip finish with a hint of pretty colour.

The matte lip colour stick in Tea rose is a gorgeous nude tone with a hint of light pink. It glides onto the lips easily despite being a matte texture and the finish is completely flat so if you aren't keen on shimmer or frost finishes then this is the product for you! I personally like glossy lips but I wanted to try something different and I enjoyed wearing a matte finish, especially with highlighted cheeks and dramatic eyes because it meant I didn't look too made up and just looked like my lips were slightly stained pink.

The texture of the lip balm is quite thick so only a small amount is needed to get colour onto the lips but it feels very comfortable once on there. It can be worn alone or over lipstick as I have done in the photo above. I have been wearing it over the matte lip colour in Tea rose because it matches really well and gives the matte colour a slight gloss finish if my lips feel dry or I want to make my lips look more plumped.

The studio matte lip colour is still on sale at £2.45 which in my opinion is an absolute bargain for a lip product which provides such a gorgeous colour! The studio conditioning lip balm is £3.50 which is very affordable and comes in a handy little pot perfect for your handbag. I am once again very impressed with this brand and its affordable products and will be placing another order with them soon.

More ELF Cosmetics reviews coming soon!


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

FOTD - Natural

I thought I would share my current natural day/evening look which I wear most weekends after wearing minimal make up for work during the week! As a lover of shadows and liner I find myself bored of a coat of mascara and a natural skin finish so when it comes to the weekend I like to take the same natural skin look but boost it with more eye, lip and cheek products.

(Sorry for the strange shadows!)

Foundation - Bourjois healthy mix serum
Concealer - mac studio fix
Highlighter - mememe cosmetics beat the blues in moonbeam
Blusher - Topshop cream blush
Bronzer - Chanel soleil de tan
Mascara - Bourjois volumizer
Eyeliner - Maybelline gel liner
Eyeshadow - MAC Shroom and Satin Taupe
Eyebrows - MAC Cork
Eyelash curlers - Shu Uemura
Lipstick - ELF cosmetics studio matte lip colour in tea rose
Lipgloss - ELF cosmetics studio conditioning lip balm spf 15 in nice and natural

I like this look for day or evening because it is simple but effective and the soft brown smokey eye compliments the pinky/nude lips with a flawless skin finish. I will be reviewing the Elf lip products soon!

What is your favourite make up look?


Monday, 9 January 2012

"Can you see beauty without ever seeing it?" - Bare Minerals campaign

This new "Force of Beauty" campaign from Bare Minerals began with casting models for their products by conducting questionnaires and blind interviews before choosing the final 5 faces. This idea focuses on finding the beauty within rather than the most attractive face available which works well with the Bare minerals brand who refer to their make up consultations as make unders and their products as natural enough to sleep in. I admire the brand for this idea because in the current beauty market so much focus is placed on models and their perfect bone structure or flawless skin whilst the consumer is left feeling that being pretty is enough. However this campaign challenges this idea, using models and actresses in blind interviews to find true beauty in their personalities and character. Of course the 5 models chosen are all gorgeous on the outside because they are models or actresses and therefore one could argue that the company should have conducted these interviews on any members of the public to really get across the point that beauty comes from within and anyone can be beautiful however I can see that they wanted to use models who would normally be seen as simply pretty and let the consumer see them as a real person with family, jobs, education and personality traits.

I would love to know what you think about this campaign! Is it important for us as consumers to be aware of the importance of being beautiful people as opposed to just pretty faces? Does this campaign inspire you or do you accept that make up models are picked purely for their flawless faces and do you even care about the background of the models used? Does this campaign make you want to try the products from the brand?

Personally I like this campaign because it made me think about the images used in make up advertising and I find the idea of blind castings really interesting as a way of inspiring consumers to think about the concept they are buying into when they purchase from a brand. However, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images of beauty, I have sadly come to accept that inner beauty is sometimes left behind whilst outer beauty has become the focus of our self analysis. 

Go to and click on the force of beauty tab for more information.

Tom Ford - Plum Noir

I still can't quite believe that my boyfriend managed to choose some Tom Ford make up for me for Christmas and pick such gorgeous shades too! I guess my constant ramblings about make up have finally infested his manly brain! Either way I am so pleased to have the chance to try this luxurious range and I can honestly say that I was in love from the minute I saw the products. The packaging itself is stylish and classy, everything you would expect from a fashion icon. The products are divine and the bottle of the nail polish itself looks and feel expensive with its "TF" embossed on the lid. 

Yes it is £25 for a nail polish, which is extremely expensive for something you can buy for £3 in a drugstore, however the colour and texture make this polish look and feel worth the price. If you have a birthday coming up soon or want to treat yourself to something special then put on of these polishes on your list and you will get a taste of the sophistication of this brand.

The colour is deep and sexy and after only one coat the colour was dark enough but two coats really brings this plum almost black tone to life. It is the perfect shade for an evening out but could be used for a sultry day look. I personally will be saving this for birthdays or special nights out because of the price however I will not stop myself from using it if I get an urge to! Beauty products are there to be enjoyed after all and with Valentines day not too far away I could always drop an incredibly obvious hint to the man that I am desperate to try more colours from this range......

Tom Ford make up - 

Friday, 6 January 2012

January empties!

As if on cue, as the new year has begun my beauty products have started to run out. Just when I was thinking about how poor I am after Christmas, I am realising that I need to stock up on some beauty essentials! 

Most of my empties are things that I use everyday which means I pretty much have to replace them. But instead of repurchasing the same product, I am considering making some changes to my collection. 

Famous Dave's Gold edition tanning mousse - £24.95

This tan is one of my all time favourites, with easy application, quick drying time and a natural golden colour. I have since found a much cheaper tanning mousse in the form of St Moriz dark mousse which is good but I find that it doesn't quite compare to Famous Dave's. I will probably repurchase this but I have a number of fake tans in my collection so until these run out this is an empty I don't need to replace immediately.

Laura Mercier foundation primer - £28.00

This primer has lasted me so long that I cannot remember when I purchased it. It is an expensive buy but the quality is excellent and I find that it really works in keeping my make up in place longer and preparing my skin for foundation. I haven't found a cheaper alternative which I like as much so I will probably repurchase this however I am very interested in the newer "radiance" version.

Johnson's eye makeup remover pads - £2.00 

I picked these pads up after seeing a good review of them by Fleur de force and used them for about a month (the pot contains 30 pads). They were effective at taking off my day make up however for taking off a smokey eye or creative eye look I had to rub quite hard and even then not all eyeliner was removed and so I won't be repurchasing these as there are many more eye make up removers on the market which I am eager to try. I am looking into Loreal and Garnier for drugstore removers or Bioderma and Lancome Bi-facil as high end options. These are handy for travel though and for anyone who wears natural eye make up.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - £12.25

This cleanser is one of my all time favourite products with effective make up removal and wonderful cleansing natural ingredients. I was upset to find that I had finished this pump but I do have a variety of cleansers on the go, particularly samples for blogging and so I am not left without a cleanser. Nonetheless I will repurchase this at some point because it is a fantastic cleanser and the entire range has been in my collection for 10 years and never let me down :)

Listerine stay white mouthwash - £4.19

I have had this mouthwash for a while because I only use a very small amount due to the strong taste. It is very effective at giving that super clean feeling after brushing my teeth however I have always found the taste a little too strong and I haven't seen any difference as far as whitening is concerned. I will probably replace this with a difference mouthwash which tastes milder but provides whitening and a long lasting clean feeling.

Can anyone recommend any good primers, eye make up removers or mouthwashes to replace my empties?


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Elf Cosmetics - 100 pc Eyeshadow Collection

After months of being signed up to the Elf cosmetics newsletter and trying my hardest to ignore many 40% off deals and free shipping codes I finally gave in and just after Christmas I placed an order online at Luckily the Christmas sale had already started and many of the items I had had my eye on were now reduced so I couldn't walk away from such a great deal. It was free shipping for orders over £30 so myself, my sister and my mum decided to all buy together and make the most of this offer. All together we spent about £37 which bought us 12 individual items, pretty impressive for a girl who is used to spending £35 alone on a high end foundation! 

This box of goodies came 2 days after ordering and that was standard delivery, incredibly quick and efficient service! I personally ordered some lips products, brush cleaner, cream eyeliners and eyeshadow palette so I will be posting about each of the these products separately very soon. I am starting with the 100pc eyeshadow palette because this was the product I was most excited about and at £7.50 in the sale it is a bargain I just have to tell you about before it sells out or the price is raised again!

The palette is fairly large so would be best for keeping at home or perhaps taking on holiday. At only £7.50 the quality of the packaging itself isn't amazing but the presentation is nice with the glitter box perfect for gifting. The palette includes a small mirror in the lid which is useful and two sponge applicators which I personally won't use as I am a brush kinda girl but for those starting out applying make up or who simply can't afford to splash out on brushes then the applicators are a handy addition. I love the fact that the lid is see through because you are instantly drawn to the variety of colours and textures!

The pigment is much better than I expected and some of the depth of the colours rivals much more expensive brands. Some colours are slightly better pigmented than others but most are fantastic. I particularly like the matte colours for bases and the shimmer/glitter finish dark browns and greys for smokey eye looks. I will be posting images of the looks that can be created soon on the blog so keep checking back for those!

Overall I am very impressed with this palette and for £7.50 in the sale at the moment It is a bargain for anyone who is beginning their relationship with make up or simply wants to experiment with colours they wouldn't normally choose. I personally will be using this palette for my own make up looks as well as practising dramatic and creative looks on friends and family before my make up course in a couple of weeks.

More Elf cosmetics reviews and looks coming soon!