Sunday, 29 December 2013

Blend blend blend!

I am addicted to blending brushes! Granted I am addicted to any makeup brushes but blending brushes are truly a makeup artist essential. Blending brushes can come in different shapes and sizes but generally are fluffy and fit perfectly into the natural crease of the eye. I have many blending brushes but I have a select few which I constantly reach for because they do the job so well.

I thought I would share my favourites with you and tell you why they are so fantastic!

Left to Right Bottom to top - MAC 217, Crown Brush C433 Pro blending brush, Tom Ford blending brush, Cozette brush S165 Large Contour brush, Hakuhodo blending brush (from a set)

First up is the legendary MAC 217 brush. This fluffy brush is a makeup artist must have and the perfect size and shape for both applying crease colours and blending them! It fits perfectly into the socket and using circular buffing motions can blend out any harsh lines. I also find the tip of the brush the perfect size for placing deeper colours into the very outer corner and then using a different clean 217 to blend. I always have at least 4 with me on jobs and if you have never tried a blending brush it is a great brush to add to your collection. At £18 it's not too pricey and they really do last for years.

Next is the Crown brush C455 Pro blending brush and at about £6 this is an absolute bargain. Crown also do a pro scheme for makeup artists so you can really stock up on these. Again I carry a lot of these in my kit. Obviously the hair isn't as soft as the more expensive options but mine have lasted a good couple of years without losing their shape and they do the job well. The brush is almost identical to the MAC 217 so if you are on a tight budget this is a great option.

The Tom Ford blending brush is an absolute beauty of a brush. The hair is incredibly soft and the design of the brush is as you would expect sophisticated and luxurious. The brush is slightly slimmer than the previous two brushes and because of this the end is fantastic for placing darker colours into the crease or blending out a dark smokey eye. At £42 this brush is definitely an investment but its one worth making if you are a makeup addict or you regularly like to wear smokey eyes. 

The next brush you may notice is larger than the others and this Cozette S165 large contour brush is definitely more for useful for blending than for applying. This large fluffy tapered brush really does the job and any harsh lines are buffed away. This is a great brush to do a super quick job of blending because of the size and a great brush to have at hand if you get a little heavy handed with colours on the eye lid! Cozette brushes are vegan, lovely and soft and at only £13.50 it is a must have in my opinion.

Last but not least this Hakuhodo blending brush is the newest in my collection. I bought it at IMATS this year as part of a travel set so the handle is shorter but the brush size is not compromised. This brand is a cult favourite amongst makeup artists because the quality is second to none. This brush doesn't have a name or number on it but it looks very similar to their S142 model when I looked online. It is similar to the long tapered blending brush the mac 224 but a million times softer and easier to work with! Because the shape is longer and thinner it is less firm than the MAC 217 and creates a softer blend where the outer edges of the eyeshadow can be buffed to disappear to nothing. The prices are quite high with a blending brush retailing for about $38 but they are worth every penny. This tapered brush is soft, moveable and blends like a dream! 

What are your favourite blending brushes?


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Makeup for Photography Tips from John Cassidy

As a makeup artist I am constantly working with a variety of photographers and find that getting both makeup and photography right are the key to getting the best out of an image or a client. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with John Cassidy online about the relationship between the two creatives and he asked me to write a blog post for him on his website which can be found at 

In return, I received a fab article on makeup for photography through the eyes of the photographer and what he looks for in a makeup look and thought I would share this interesting piece with you below:

When it comes to headshots for Ladies I have to take into consideration the make-up that has been applied and use all the tools that are available to me to capture the best photo possible. I’ve always preferred the natural look when it comes to headshots but it depends entirely on the individual, their business and what they are hoping to communicate with this photograph. 

To achieve a natural and complimentary look I use a soft wrap around lighting set-up, this helps to give all skin types a smooth look for their over-all complexion. When make-up is used in the right way it helps to accentuate facial features and draw focus to certain areas. The feature that I prefer to be the most predominant is the eyes. We’ve all heard the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul and it is something that I see time and time again in my profession. The best headshots that I see are when the clients eyes are warm and inviting – giving them an approachable look. Using a good foundation is also essential as it prevents the skin from reflecting the lights that I use. 

By using a professional make-up artist, female clients tend to feel more confident and make the most of their shoot. The added confidence tends to make clients feel as though the shoot is more of an experience rather than a daunting task. 

It all comes down to personal preference. I find that make-up, like hair, is a personal choice for female clients to make. Some women prefer more make-up whilst others prefer to keep it simple and natural. 

To find out more please visit my website 

If you have any questions at all please feel free to get in touch via Twitter 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas TAG

I saw the Christmas tag post on one of my favourite blogs by Vicky and had to do it for myself! I don't really get into the Christmas spirit until mid December, perhaps because my birthday is early December but when I do get into it I really go for it! I love the atmosphere at this time of year and don't feel as guilty about being in my pjs or eating chocolate :) I hope you enjoy my answers! 

1. What's your favourite Christmas movie?

Miracle on 34th Street! The version starring Richard Attenborough. I adore this movie because I used to watch it religiously as a child so even watching it now makes me feel young again. 

2. Do you stay in your PJs or get dressed on Christmas Day?

I try to wear my Pj's till as late as possible then usually go out for lunch with the family so I like to make an effort and wear a nice dress and sparkly makeup. I like to make the most of having a special day by wearing as much sparkle and colour as possible! 

3. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

I have never opened them Christmas eve! Always Christmas day and occasionally we keep some for Boxing day too to make the whole Christmas experience last a little longer.

4. Favourite Christmas smell?

This has to be a toss up between my ChristmasYankee candles and the scent of a real xmas tree. We used to get a real tree every year but the up keep is a lot harder. The smell is beautiful though and always makes me feel festive. But if we get a fake tree, my candles always cheer me up! 

5. What is your favourite Christmas song?

Anything by Michael Buble of course! 

6. What's your favourite Christmas drink?

Hazelnut Hot chocolate! It is the best time of year for hot chocolate because its warming and tasty! On Christmas Day I do quite like a glass of something alcoholic and bubbly too ;)

7. Favourite Christmas meal?

As a vegetarian I usually have the traditional roast with lots of veggies and no meat! I especially love Brussel Sprouts!

8. Wrapping presents - love or loathe?

Loathe.I am terrible at wrapping! I have no patience for it so I am always impressed when people create such beautiful wrapping! 

9. What's your favourite thing about Christmas?

Too many favourite things but I think spending time with loved ones and snuggling in pjs are top of my list! 

10. Christmas tree - real or fake?

I prefer real but due to maintenance I don't mind a fake! There are some lovely fake trees about this year that it can be hard to tell apart from the smell! 

11. Homemade cards or shop bought ones?

I wish I had the time or patience for homemade but always charity shop cards! My family like to buy cards that support charities of illness that have affected us personally so we always feel good about purchasing them.

12. What do you do on Christmas Eve?

I usually go out for drinks with friends but never come home too late as I like to be asleep before Santa comes ;)

13. Favourite Christmas memory?

One Christmas morning my sisters and I woke to find a wooden rocking horse in our living room. We asked mum and dad how Santa had got it down the chimney and mum explained that she had given him the keys to the porch and we never even questioned it. I still smile when I think about that story :)

14. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I can't remember exactly when or how but I do remember feeling upset!

15. Snow - love it or hate it?

LOVE if its Xmas day and I have nowhere to be. HATE if I'm working or having to travel! 

I tag all of you to do this quiz too so please leave links below if you have done it too as I would love to see your answers! 


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Pamper Evening Essentials

Every week I like to treat myself to a DIY pamper evening to relax and give my face and body some extra special treatment and I thought I would share my favourite pampering essentials with you.

I always start by turning the lights down and putting a candle on to help my relax. My White tea and Linen candle has been going for months and the "Our own candle company" products are a bargain but I have some Yankee Candles on my christmas list too. This scent is clean and homely and always makes me feel much more chilled out.

I am a skincare addict and always cleanse, tone and moisturise at night so for pamper evenings I like to add something special into my routine. I won this face mask from Sisley in an online competition and it has become one of my all time favourite products. It is a pricey product but feels so luxurious and being an express mask it works in only 3-5 minutes! The Radiant Glow express mask instantly improves the texture and tone of the skin and anything that works that quickly is a winner in my book. A real treat for the skin!

I usually wear the mask whilst in the bath which I pour this gorgeous oil into. Neals Yard Remedies makes some beautiful smelling products and this Seaweed and Arnica foaming bath oil is no exception. It creates a soft bubbly bath and the smell is perfect to ease tension and help me sleep better at night. 

Tanning is definitely part of my weekly routine especially at this time of year when my skin looks sallow and pasty! I like to use a medium to dark tan this time of year so it looks more natural so Laurens Way Glam Tan is the perfect tone. This spray action tan its easy to use and dries quickly. I spritz the product onto my tanning mitt and glides it over the skin in circular motions. The colour is perfectly golden and I can choose to do a second layer the next day if I want it deeper.

The last step in my pamper evening routine is always a spritz of Goodness sleep enhance spray which contains lavender and chamomile bay to help promote a better nights sleep. I love this scent because it lingers after I have blown my candle out for bed time and I like to spritz it onto my pillow so I can breathe the scent in. It definitely helps me switch off after a busy day.

What are your pamper essentials and what should I add to my routine?


Monday, 25 November 2013

November Empties

Another month, another collection of empties! I am *trying* to use up lots of products before buying new things at the moment so save money and make sure I don't neglect products I buy! Here are the products I have finished this month and my thoughts on them.

Chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation 

I knew I was coming to the end of this foundation so I have already got another lined up to replace it. This is my all time favourite foundation for a few reasons. Firstly it is water based which means when you shake it up it creates the most beautiful fine texture. Secondly it surprises me with a light to medium but build able coverage which means that it is definitely enough coverage for me day to day. Thirdly it is Chanel and lets be honest who doesn't love using a luxury foundation. I will keep repurchasing this product because it is just beautiful.

TIGI bedhead "Some like it hot" hair serum

As far as I know this serum has been discontinued as I cannot find it anywhere. I have had this a while and slightly rejected it when I found Kerastase elixir ultime (LOVE) but thats not to say this isn't a good product. It is lovely for running through damp hair then keeps the hair in great condition whilst using heat tools. As with all Tigi products it also smells amazing.

Diptyque Mimosa candle

I got this miniature candle in my space nk goody bag when I spent £150 there (oops) a few months ago. I only tend to use candles in the colder months so I have had it on nearly every night so it has come to an end. However as much as I adore Diptyque fragrances (Philosykos is my current go to perfume) I have to say I was slightly disappointed with this. For me I could barely smell it, The subtlety of the scent was a little too subtle and only when it had been burning for a while could I detect the actual smell. I won't be buying this again however I will definitely look into trying their other scents.

MAC Lingering eyebrow pencil

This pencil is fantastic for mid blonde to light brown hair because it is the perfect balance between warm and cool tones. It perfectly matches my eyebrow colour and is handy for on the go. I tend to use brow powders more because I like the soft texture but for travel touch ups or to give a little more definition this is great. I have been using Anastasia brow wiz as an alternative too which I am loving so I'm not sure if and when I will repurchase this purely because I think brow wiz has a slightly nicer texture but this is still a great product for a quick fix.

Xen Tan Dark lotion 

I have repurchased this tan countless times because it always delivers a great colour. The tone is natural and not remotely orange so for me it does exactly what I want. I have recently been loving Laurens way and Sienna x tans so I may not go back to this for a while whilst using the other two however if I'm ever unsure which tan to go for this always finds a way into my basket! The scent is lovely, the texture is full but not too thick to work into the skin and the colour guide washes off to leave a very natural medium to dark colour.

 I wonder how my using up products project will go now that there is so much Christmas temptation! 


Monday, 18 November 2013

My Christmas Wishlist

There is nothing more exciting than looking at Christmas beauty and makeup gifts online (for a beauty addict anyway) and this year I have not been disappointed with the offerings out there! This list is of the products that have really caught my eye and I would love to receive this Christmas day! (Boyfriend: Take Note)

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Yes it is big news on the beauty addict street, Urban Decay are launching yet another neutral palette and yet this is the first one I have truly lusted after. I skipped 1 and 2 purely because I own so many MAC neutrals already but something about this one has caught my eye. The rose gold tones are much more appealing to me, perhaps because they tend to warm up the tone of the skin or because I have green eyes. Either way this palette is definitely on my wish list and may or may not make it into my professional kit ;) Rumoured to be launching December 16th in Debenhams in UK. 

Photo from

Ellis Faas

This makeup brand has been on my radar for a while because of its sleek packaging and awesome colour range. The futuristic feel of this brand makes it a definite on my wish list. The silver pens are the perfect handy size and contain any product a makeup addict would need. Mascara, eyeshadows, lipgloss, blushers, foundation, concealer the list goes on! The creamy lips in deep plum wine,  creamy eyes in deep warm taupe and light in holographic bordeaux are some of my favourites i've seen online. The "pens" can also be slotted into their own holder which almost looks space age! An incredibly exciting brand.

Louise Young Cosmetics 

I have been lusting after these brushes for a long time but my brush addiction has been slightly out of control recently so I have resisted buying them. However it wouldn't be the worst thing to open these gorgeous brushes on xmas morning ;) I particularly have my eye on the super foundation brush and the LY24 for gel liner but would love to try any these after hearing rave reviews from fellow makeup artists! The packaging and styling is simple yet luxurious and I love the fact that the brushes are created by a makeup up artist for makeup artists.

Yankee Candles

Yankee Candles will always have a place on my wish list because the scents are incredible. The packaging may not be as sleek as some other brands but the fragrances are second to none. Last year  I burned the "Christmas eve" candle which I have now finished so on my wish list this year is "Christmas memories" a new scent for 2013 which has a hint of gingerbread - yum! To be honest I would love to receive any of the Christmas collection but this one has particularly caught my eye. I tend to only burn candles in the Autumn/Winter and Yankee scents always make me feel warm and cosy.

What is on your wish list this year?


Friday, 8 November 2013


So I went to Westfield earlier this week with friend and fellow MUA Jesse and may have gone on a mini shopping spree! H&M is fantastic for Winter essentials and I treated myself to some knitwear, Bobbi Brown had a little visit with some eye products being purchased (review coming soon) but my most exciting visit was to LUSH. As soon as Winter comes, I feel the need to purchase more bath and body products to treat myself in the harsher weather and darker nights and LUSH provides everything I need! 

I went in with the intention of browsing, in particular the new Christmas products because as much as I love to shop online, when it comes to body products I like to be able to feel and smell them. We were greeted by a very helpful member of staff (LUSH staff are always incredible) who asked us if we were looking for anything in particular. I told him I would love to see the new products and immediately fell in love with the Celebrate body lotion. This Christmassy, citrus scented body lotion literally melted into my skin and smells uplifting and fresh. I had to have it.

Next I had a sniff of the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. This amazing shower cream hydrates the skin, leaving it silky soft and means if I forget to moisturise I won't be left with dry skin. The Rose smell is not my usual kind of scent but its very subtle and feels so luxurious. The helpful member of staff let me try it in store on my hand and arm and the difference between each hand was incredible so I it was straight into my basket!

Last but not least I decided to try my first Bath ballistic in the form of "Shoot for the Stars". I very rarely have baths but when winter comes I do like to try and have one before bed to relax and warm me up. I decided to try this design but the look of it is incredible. The colours are so pretty and the star design has a really Wintery feel. I was shown the results of a small amount of it in the bowl in store and immediately fell in love with the colour swirls and the tiny glitter stars that began to ooze out into the water. This will be a real treat for me and I might save it for a detox bath after my birthday in December! 

I will definitely be buying more LUSH products because the service in store is always fantastic and the products never disappoint! What are your favourite LUSH products this Winter?


Sunday, 3 November 2013

NARS Favourites

NARS is one of my favourite makeup brands to use both on myself and in my professional kit. I recently applied for their pro makeup discount too and with 40% off I will certainly be filling my kit with more of their amazing products. I already have some must haves in my own personal collection and thought I would share them with you!

The prices, packaging and quality reflect their prices and I believe they are 100% products worth investing in. Not only do they last a long time but the colours and pigments are fantastic. 

Left to Right Top to Bottom: Mekong eyeshadow £18, Silk Road eyeshadow duo £25, Albatross highlighter £21.50, Laguna bronzing powder £26, St Moriz tinted moisturiser £28, Chelsea Girls lip lacquer £17.50, Ginger Radiant creamy concealer £21, Stromboli Sheer Glow foundation £30.50.

Mekong eyeshadow is a beautiful shimmery deep brown with different coloured sparkles running through it. It is gorgeous packed onto the lid for a dark smokey eye or used in the crease to create a classic smokey eye with a lighter colour on the lid. I love it because it is so much more interesting than my other brown shades and is much more glamorous for a night out. The pigment in this eyeshadow is so high that you barely need to touch it to get a good strength of colour.

Silk Road eyeshadow duo is another favourite because the two shades are so wearable for day and yet when used within a smokey eye for evening create the most stunning sheen on the lid. I use the two colours in several variations but I love to highlight under the brow bone with the lighter colour then wear a wash of the darker colour all over the lid. For a more natural look I wear the lighter shade on the lid, with the darker as a soft crease colour. If you like neutrals and are looking for something with a sheen but not glittery this is a must have.

Chelsea girls lip lacquer is a very popular lip product because it truly is the perfect nude! The texture is somewhere between a balm, gloss and lipstick and goes onto the lips so smoothly providing a good amount of colour. If I am wearing a smokey eye I love to wear this as an understated lip colour which compliments any makeup look! It has a peachy undertone and looks incredible with a tan! I will definitely buy this again and am hoping to try more lacquers from the range.

Albatross highlighter is a stunning gold based highlighter which gives an incredible luminosity to the skin. I love to use this for nights out because it photographs beautifully and the cheek bones literally pop. It is very light so can look a little too much when I fake tan so I tend to wear this for evenings rather than day time.

Laguna bronzing powder is a cult classic because the tone is perfect for contouring, with enough warmth in it to look like a tan but not too red to wear below the cheekbone. I like to dust this on my temples, cheeks, nose, anywhere I want to look bronzed! I have almost run out so will definitely be repurchasing soon!

Pure radiant tinted moisturizer in St Moritz is the best tinted moisturiser I have ever used. It gives a surprisingly good amount of coverage, I would say better than some light coverage foundations I have tried. And yet it retains a completely natural skin look. Spf 30 means its ideal for everyday protection and the skin looks flawless after one application. I have been wearing this instead of foundation in the day which is a big change for a girl who usually wear medium to full coverage but it really does provide all the cover I need and I like to add concealer on any red areas or blemishes. I will be adding these to my professional kit.

Radiant creamy concealer in Ginger is another new skin must have. I use this to touch up areas that the tinted moisturiser hasn't quite covered and again it has a beautiful skin like texture. It is perfect for under eyes too ( just needs to be set with powder). This colour is perfect for me with a good mixture of yellow and pink tones it suits me with or without tan. I will be buying these for my kit too!

Last but not least is one of my all time favourite foundations Sheer Glow in the colour Stromboli. This shade is perfect for nc30 skin, tanned with a yellow undertone. This foundation is anything but sheer with medium to full coverage and provides the most gorgeous glow to the skin. It is not shiny be any means but simply improves the radiance of the skin but without compromising on coverage. I adore this foundation and wear it on most evenings out because it also has incredible staying powder. I own this in shade Barcelona too which is my summer shade. I will continue to repurchase and repurchase! 

What are your NARS favourites?


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

La Luxe mink lashes

I ordered these lashes from the website after seeing them on twitter used by makeup artist Krystal Dawn on Jessica Wright TOWIE. Her lashes always look incredible so I knew I had to get my mitts on these lashes. The lashes are cruelty free and incredible quality. I had excellent customer service from the brand who told me about their discount for Makeup artists at a fantastic 40%! 

There are 6 styles of lashes in the collection although I have just seen on their twitter that more styles will be launching soon which is very exciting! I ordered 3 of the styles: Hey Doll, Natural Flirt and Rock Chick and I will definitely be ordering more soon.

The packaging is simple yet luxurious. A piece of pink ribbon neatly lifts the lash tray from the box and adds a lovely extra touch. The lashes themselves look and feel amazing. You really can see why the price point is higher than some other lash brands because these can be used again and again and still retain their shape and texture. The strip on the lashes is robust but not too thick that it doesn't mould well to the shape of the eye lid.

I wore the "Hey doll" lashes which are the smallest of the three to dinner and had so many compliments on them! I wore the "Rock Chick" much longer lashes on a night out and they looked incredible with a strong dark smokey eye.

At £19.99-£22.99 these lashes are an investment but if you are a makeup artist or lash addict they are definitely worth getting! 


Monday, 14 October 2013


Hi everyone! So I have decided to sell some of my wares because they don't fit or because I simply don't have the space! I have lots of goodies to sell but thought I would upload a first batch to keep it organised. If you are interested in purchasing any of the items please leave your name and email address below with the item you would like and I will contact you to confirm your purchase and exchange details. 

Please note that I am giving everything a guide price but would be willing to negotiate on prices! Would like to have items paid for via Paypal

XL blonde Bun Ring from Sleep Rollers (no packaging) never used RRP £10  


Topshop petite size 8 lace pink/nude dress - Used but in good condition


Scarves - Cream (unknown where purchased) Beige (Topshop) Used but in good condition 

£5 each or £8 for both

Genuine UGG Australia bag - Used twice in great condition


 Next petite size 6 coat (would fit a small 8 too) - Used but in good condition


River island dress with belt size 8 -Used but in good condition


River island blue chunky knit jumper size 8 - Used but in good condition 


Topshop flower print shorts size 10 - Worn once 


Topshop petite size 8 black leopard cami - Used but in good condition


Topshop petite size 8 brown leopard cami - Used but in good condition


Junk food "Neverland" T shirt size small (will fit 6/8) - Used but in good condition


Tommy Hilfiger Jumper size XS (6/8) - Used few times but in good condition 


2 pairs of NYX Cosmetics lashes 

£5 for both

Hayley x