Friday, 27 April 2012

The lady is a vamp

I have recently been experimenting much more with lipstick shades and my recent purchase of MAC lipstick in Rebel and lipliner in Beet are certainly the darkest colours I have ever bought. I was a little nervous about stepping out in such a deep lipstick at first but have worn the colour for both day and night now and am loving it!

The lipliner creates the perfect deep red base whilst the lipstick is a rich red purple with hints of pink which is like nothing I have ever seen or worn before. The pink tone makes it much more wearable for me and it livens up my usual black outfits. I planned to wear it on a night out and wanted to a nail polish to match and realised that my Tom Ford black cherry nail polish was the perfect partner.

A match made in heaven!

I wore these products on a night out with friends and loved the finished look! I wore a pink top and black leggings which picked up the pinky tone in the dark lips and didn't distract too much from the make up (which is always the most important part)! I also wore a new necklace with dusty pink and gold in it which I love and finished off the look nicely.

Do you like wearing darker lipsticks and if so can you suggest any more that I should try?


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Jewellery shopping

So it may come as a shock to my readers that I don't JUST shop for make up (although 99% of my shopping trips end up with a make up purchase) and since I wear black alot whilst working with make up I decided to invest in a few pieces of statement jewellery to make my outfits less drab and add a little excitement to my overall look. I love collar necklaces at the moment, they are on trend and instantly update an outfit! Plus I don't like working with necklaces hanging in way so these shorter,flat necklaces are the perfect solution. I found 3 three great pieces of jewellery in Topshop last week!

I bought two necklaces and one ring which I will wear together or separately as the gold and pastel shades seem to work well together. I have already worn the pastel pink necklace on a night out and it looked really unique but feminine.

I am always on the look out for great jewellery pieces so if you have any suggestions leave them below!


Monday, 23 April 2012

Guru Makeup Emporium

Another day, another make up shopping trip! Although this time I came away with nothing but discovered some great brands and added many items to my wish list. My friend Vicky (fellow make up artist) and I decided to venture to Guru Makeup emporium, a make up store which stocks Make Up for ever (MUFE), Bioderma and many other brands which are hard to get your hands on in the UK. 

The store is notoriously hard to find but we managed it as a team and ended up near Fulham at the store. It is open to the public but located down a street with studios and I highly doubt that most regular shoppers would even know it existed! But on arrival we found a make up lovers dream! Stacks of make up and accessories and two very helpful members of staff on hand to help us out. We were the only customers in the shop for most of the time we spent in there which meant we could swatch and play to our hearts content!

Make Up For Ever foundations, powders, concealers

Make Up For Ever eyeshadows, mascaras, eyeliners

Swatches! I could not stop experimenting!

Vicky falling in love with a lipstick

We had such a great time and found out that Guru do a pro discount card so we decided to apply for that and return at a later date to make purchases. 

On my wish list are:

MUFE HD foundation in shade 120
Embryolisse lait concentrate cream
Bioderma crealine h2o
MUFE Smokey lash mascara
MUFE aqua creams/liners
MUFE concealer palette
Cozette brushes

This shop is definitely worth a visit whether you are a working MUA or simply a make up addict!


Monday, 16 April 2012

Make up Shopping!

I thought I would write a quick blog post to tell you all about what I bought today whilst make up shopping! I desperately needed some disposables and sponges for my professional kit but knew that I would end up coming home with some products too!

I met my friend Vicky, a fellow make up artist and good friend, at Oxford Circus and we made our way to make up heaven, also known as MAC pro store just off Carnaby Street. Now that I have my MAC pro card I knew that I could afford to get a few more goodies for my kit and perhaps a little treat for myself ;) We spent a while swatching colours and looking at the new products before I finally made up my mind to purchase 2 eyeshadows refills (Naked Lunch and Wedge), 1 blusher refill (Melba), 1 lipstick in Rebel and 1 lipliner in Beet.

We then popped into the Make up store which I have a pro card for but have never purchased from. Until today! Vicky and I both picked up the venus highlighter cream which I have heard great things about and the colour and texture are divine!

We made an unplanned stop at Illamasqua because we can never resist and I picked up my first brush from the brand after hearing rave reviews. I wanted the eyeshadow brush 1 but it was sold out so I went for the blusher brush 2 (angled) and will buy the shadow brush another time. I have been looking for a brush which can work with blusher, contouring and highlighting and this soft stylish brush looks like it will do the job perfectly.

We then grabbed some lunch and met Gina, a beauty blogger and good friend of mine from work ( and headed off to Charles Fox. After about 20 minutes of confusion we finally found the store (I lose my way EVERY time I go). This shop is like a mecca for make up artists but is open to the public so anyone can go and explore. I picked up some sponges, steel spatula and some disposable mascara wands which are all essential for my make up kit. I resisted buying more products and was very proud of my willpower.

I will be doing a full review of al of the products very soon and can't wait to use them on clients. Although I have already decided that the Rebel lipstick might have to stay in my own handbag as it is almost too pretty to share.......


Friday, 13 April 2012

Queen eye make up remover

As most of you will know I recently fell in love when I discovered Bioderma h20 as a way of removing make up. As someone who is often experimenting with different make up styles and trying to be as creative as possible, I am often left with very heavy make up on my face and dread having to take it off. Bioderma has been great for removing make up however when I use a fully soaked pad to remove heavy eye make up I sometimes experience discomfort in my eyes. This product is perfectly safe for eyes however I find that if I use a lot of it, I am left with slight tingling and a generally uncomfortable feeling.

 So when I was sent the Queen cosmetics eye make up remover which is suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers, I was very excited about the prospect of finally being able to put a product straight onto my eyes, move it around and be left with make up free and comfortable feeling eyes.

It is hard to describe the texture of this product but it is certainly nothing like any remover I have tried before. It is somewhere between a lotion and a balm and feels extremely luxurious on the skin. I put a small amount of product onto cotton pad and pressed onto my eye firmly and started sweeping off the make up gradually. I used about 3 cotton pads before my eye was clean. I tried this on deep smokey eyes and long wear gel liner and it took about 4 pads but after I was left with a great clean feeling and no irritation whatsoever despite using a good deal of product and much of it getting into my eyes in a balmy mess! 

I would highly recommend this product for anyone who finds liquid based removers don't do a great job of removing heavy make up and this certainly feels like more of a treat for the skin. I used it during a diy facial and placed the pads onto my eyes whilst relaxing and it felt wonderful. The product is suitable for sensitive skin so I would feel confident using this on clients too in a professional capacity. At £15 this product is not the cheapest remover you will find but it certainly works. For those who like to wear smokey eyes, this is definitely an investment you will want to consider making.

There are more products in the range including cleansers and moisturisers. Wearers of heavy make up, drag and theatre folk in particular, might want to invest in the theatrical cleansing cream, which removes the most stubborn of make up and contains no preservatives making it suitable for using over and over without causing irritation. Brilliant! 

Find out more at


Thursday, 12 April 2012

EOS lip balm sphere

I was sent this medicated tangerine lip balm by a fantastic website I have just discovered called which specialises in natural, vegan and organic beauty and make up products. Their slogan is "cosmetics with a conscience" which I love as I am always keen to find quality brands which deliver results without harming the environment or our own skin.

This lip balm from EOS comes in a variety of flavours including lemon drop and strawberry sorbet so whatever your preferred fruit there is something for you. I was sent the tangerine flavour which was lucky as I adore citrus scents and tastes and the orange packaging really livens up my make up bag!

The product itself is 95% natural, contains no nasties and is petroleum free. It is also full of antioxidants, vitamins and shea butter which smooth your lips as well as protecting them from environmental damage. With constant temperature changes and constant travelling in and around London, my lips are really suffering at the moment so this little product couldn't have come at a better time! 

The first thing I like is the packaging. The sphere is compact and easy to open and comfortable to hold. Despite the compact size it holds alot of product and because it is in a sturdy balm form the tiniest amount is used each time you apply it. I also love the smell ad taste, it tastes natural unlike some flavoured balms and the texture is smooth but doesn't effect any products put onto the lips afterward like lipsticks or glosses. I use it during the day and at night before bed and it always feels comfortable and soothing.

My favourite thing about the balm is that I don't need to use my fingers to apply it. As a make up artist I am very careful with hygiene and dislike using pots which I have to dip into to apply because I immediately need to wash my hands after or use a hand sanitizer. I simply twist the lid off, rub the sphere onto my lips and then i'm good to go! Also I often play with my hair and have made the mistake of applying balm with my fingers then accidentally running it through my hair (it can't be just me who does this?!) Obviously I wouldn't be able to use this balm on clients because it would not be sanitary however for personal use, this is a must have for me now! I am eager to try more flavours (particularly lemon drop) and am confident that this balm will last until its expiry date next year.

At £5.95 it is a little pricier than regular lip balms you could pick up on your shopping trip however the size and flavour alone makes it worth investing in and the fact that it helps prevent bacterial contamination on the lips and contains such fantastic ingredients mean that it is quickly becoming one of my favourite lip balms.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Sleek Makeup Face Contour Kit

Sleek makeup has become very popular very quickly thanks so its low prices and well pigmented products and until last week I had only ever tried their eyeshadow palettes and pout paints (which I will be reviewing soon). So I decided to try the contour kit as I had heard good things about it and am always interested in finding products which can create the perfect face shape. I love playing with light and dark on the face particularly during make up shoots but also on myself. It is fascinating to see how certain products can slim the face or accent certain areas and for £6.50 I couldn't resist buying this 2 in 1 kit.

The first thing that impressed me was the packaging. The paper case is came in was nothing special but the product itself has a hard case with a good amount of product and a great sized mirror for application on the go. The matte black design of their palettes is attractive and the lid is sturdy. The kit contains 14g of product in total and the small amount needed each application means that this kit should last a significant amount of time!

The kit is split into two parts, the darker contour colour and the light shimmer highlight shade. The contour colour is matte as a contour powder should be to darken areas such as under cheekbone, along jaw bone and down the sides of the nose to make it look thinner. The lighter shade contains shimmer but isn't glittery so it flatters the skin and is best used to highlight on top of cheekbone (above contour colour) down the centre of the nose or on eyebrow bone. If you want to pull back features use the dark contour, if you want to bring out features use the highlighter.

The colours themselves are not my ideal choices for contouring and highlighting. My favourite contour colour is MAC Sculpt, a pro powder which is less warm and more ashy and grey in tone which looks more natural as a contour colour whereas this is warmer and more like a bronzer tone. However it doesn't look unflattering on the skin and suited me quite well. The highlight is nicer in my opinion, with enough colour to highlight without adding another shade to the face. It looks great when the light catches it.

The texture is a little chalky but for the price I was pretty impressed with the formula and it sat quite nicely on the skin. Drier skins may prefer to work with cream formulations of contour and highlight.

I chose the light version for my skin tone (nc30/beige) but it is also available in medium and dark for deeper skin tones. The light version worked well on me however when I fake tan I could probably afford to go to medium as the light contour colour didn't show very strongly on my skin however that may be down to the pigment of the product itself.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with this kit. It is only £6.50 and a portable kit is extremely handy on the go. Ideally I would have liked a more grey tone to the contour colour however the highlighter worked well and generally this is a great product for practising contouring the face. I would highly recommend it for those of you who are interested in shaping the face but don't want to splurge on high end products. 

Would you like to see a guide on how to contour/highlight? I will use this product on future FOTD posts so you can see it in action!


NOTD - Pastels and Brights

One of my favourite trends at the moment in both fashion and make up is pastel shades and bright/neon colours and I love the fact that despite the tones being so different they can work in unison to create a modern yet feminine look. I have purchased quite a few clothing items which reflect the trend and have bought a couple of eyeshadows/liners to compliment them and decided it was time to get my nails involved!

I used my current favourite polish Essie "She's Picture Perfect" all over the nails and applied two coats to create a solid deep colour. I then applied Jessica Sunset Plaza (one of my all time favourite pinks) to the tip of the nail carefully using the shape of the brush to sweep over the end of the nail. I then applied a top coat to hold the colour in place and give the nails a sheen.

I love the combination of pastel lilac and bright pink and I think they work amazingly well together! This nail look will be perfect for the summer months and will compliment my bright pink blazer and pastel green eyeliner.

I love looking at nail art on blogs and always feel inspired to recreate them but some of them are far too time consuming and due to work I am not allowed to wear bright colours so am usually only wearing these looks over the weekend but this was surprisingly quick to achieve and I will definitely be trying it with more colours.


Clarisonic Mia

This review is long overdue considering I received the Mia as a gift at Christmas from my parents and have been using it ever since. I had heard lots of good things about it and after lusting after it for a while I decided to put it on my wish list and luckily found it under the Christmas tree! At £120 this is by no means a cheap beauty gadget and I could not warrant spending it on myself on a random shopping trip so it felt appropriate to ask for it as my main present last year. I chose the aqua blue colour because it is pretty and clean looking.

The clarisonic is in essence a cleansing tool which works in the same way as a sonic toothbrush. The replacable bristle head works on the skin to cleanse and exfoliate and remove 6 times more make up than manual cleansing. This claim in itself was enough to excite me as a make up artist and wearer I am aware of the importance of cleansing the skin and removing every last trace of make up. I have noticed after washing my skin manually that I am often left with foundation on the skin and go to bed feeling as if my skin isn't squeaky clean as I would like it to be. This is where my love for the clarisonic began. The first time I used it I was a little worried how hard to press and how to navigate the brush around my face but after a few times I found that by pressing firmly but not hard against the skin and concentrating on chin, nose, cheeks and forehead I could remove every last trace of make up in only 1 minute. 

The brush head has soft but firm bristles which cleanse and exfoliate the skin. I like to hold the tool lightly in my hand and move in small circular motions on each area of the face. I quickly learnt how long each area would take and now I do the routine without even thinking about it. My face was left a little red after the first few times so I made sure that I didn't press too firmly onto the face and now I have found the perfect amount of pressure. If you are left a little red after each time, don't be too worried, it is simply exfoliating the skin and therefore a little redness is expected. If it is painful or uncomfortable you may be pressing too hard. Clarisonic are always available on twitter to give advice or tips too.

The tool itself does most of the work for you and beeps when your minute is over. I can honestly say that my face has never felt as clean as after the first time I used this. It looked and felt so smooth and radiant and when I applied some toner after with a cotton pad there was no make up trace as I am used to with normal cleansing routines. I find the results similar to the Liz Earle cleanse and polish routine with a muslin cloth as this is a wonderful way to remove make up. If you enjoy the clean feeling you get from that routine then you will love this! It is like taking cleansing and exfoliating one step further and I saw significant improvements in skin texture within weeks. I have had less blemishes and I generally feel better going to bed with a completely clean face.

My clarisonic came with its own cleanser which I either applied to the brush or worked into my face before using the brush, I slightly prefer the latter technique. I enjoyed the cleanser but have found that my Cetaphil cleanser works very well. I have nearly run out of cleanser though so if any of you have suggestions for cleansers that work well with the Clarisonic then please comment below! 

I only use this tool once a day, preferably at night to remove all traces of grime and make up but some people choose to use it morning and night. For me this would be a little too harsh on my skin but my sisters who both have sensitive skin have their own Mia too which they enjoy using day and night and have had no issues whatsoever. Yes this product is expensive but I see it as an investment. Considering the amount of money I spend on skincare and make up it seems silly not to look after my skin and give it a proper cleanse each night so for me the Mia is now an essential part of my skincare regime. The Mia is small, portable, sturdy and most importantly effective. I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to take their cleansing routine to the next level. 

Have you tried this product and what cleansers do you use with it?


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My March Favourites

I can't believe its April already! Where has this year gone?! To celebrate the arrival of Spring and some sunshine (and showers) I have been looking at my most used and favourite products from last month and thought I would share them with you. I love reading monthly favourites posts so I hope you will enjoy reading mine! I have split them into sections and picked my favourite from each :)


 Kerastase Elixir Ultime


This product is the ultimate luxurious haircare product, which quickly smooths and control the hair without leaving residue and simply makes it more manageable and healthy looking. The product looks and smells amazing and I despite using it very often my bottle is still almost completely full! I only need one pump in my hair as its relatively smooth and straight anyway however frizzy or thicker hair may need two or three. I love using this product before blow drying on damp hair and running it through from the mid section to the ends of the hair. Kerastase is well known as one of the top haircare brands and I am definitely interested in trying the shampoo and conditioners too. Luckily I received this product as part of a gift set over Christmas as it is quite pricey, however if you have out of control hair you need this!

Make Up 

Topshop Sunbeam Highlighter


I have been incredibly impressed with the Topshop make up range so far. The lipsticks in particular are great quality and highly pigmented. However I wanted to give the face products a try and the highlighter caught my eye due to its bright gold colour and large size. I usually use cream highlighters so a powder formula was quite a new concept to me however I have been loving it! The colour is a real yellow gold which sits beautifully on cheekbones, eyes and the body. This product will be perfect for summer months because the gold will compliment a tan and give a real radiance to skin. I used it a lot during the warmer weather we had during March and it sat beautifully against my bronzer. I am not completely converted to powder highlighters and would usually choose cream however this product must be included in my favourites because its easy to use and is highly pigmented.


 Bioderma crealine H20

I recently reviewed this product on my blog so I won't go on about it too much but it had to be included because I have used it every single day to remove make up before cleansing properly. It easily removes make up including mascara and long wear gel liner and doesn't leave any oily residue on the skin. I have used about half of the bottle but it has lasted really well and feels soft and soothing on the skin. I will definitely be repurchasing when I run out despite the fact it is a little difficult to get hold of in the UK. I even set up an Ebay account purely to purchase this product! I bought from a seller recommended by other bloggers called monsieurgeorgew and the product cost roughly £15 including p&p 


Essie polishes 
L- R Island Hopping, She's picture perfect


I recently purchased two polishes from the Essie stand at the Pro beauty show in London and have been loving both shades! The lilac is perfect for the pastel spring trend and the darker plum shade is a more natural tone but is very different to anything I have owned before and I think it is the perfect nail colour for evenings out. They last well without chipping and have a lovely depth of colour. I will be buying more products from the brand and particularly have my eye on the brighter Summer colours. I have also just found out that they will be available in Boots store soon!


Neals Yard Remedies limited edition citrus shower gel 

Ok so despite loving this and having to put it into my favourites I am going to warn you now that this product is not for sale :( It was a limited edition available over Christmas as a free gift with purchase and when my boyfriend and I bought gifts for our mothers from the store we received this free gift which I was rather excited about as I had never tried the brand before. The product smells divine! It is a true citrus fragrance which smells like its literally just been squeezed from the fruit rather than a gel loaded with synthetic fragrances. The texture is very runny and it has no pump so I find myself using a little too much sometimes and it doesn't lather like other shower products however it provides a wonderful clean feeling and the smell lingers in the bathroom and on the skin. There is a geranium and orange shower gel which sounds amazing and could be a good alternative for anyone who wishes this product was still available! I will be trying more of the range in particular any body creams because the quality of the fragrances and texture is amazing.


 Living Nature active manuka honey Refreshing body lotion


I have previously raved about the skincare products from this range and the body products have impressed me just as much. This lotion is quick absorbing, light, fresh and softening. The fragrance is light and delicate and would be suitable for men and women. The texture is light enough that you can use it before getting dressed in the morning but provides a good level of moisture to the skin. The packaging is quite simple and not particularly exciting however the product inside is effective and full of high quality natural ingredients. I received this as a PR sample and it retails at just under £20 online. I am not sure that I could warrant spending that much on a body lotion however you get a lot of product for that price and it works. It is in my monthly favourites because I have been using it almost every day and the smell is pleasant but not overpowering - making it a great daily use product!

What are your March favourites?