Carmex, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
And what's that exactly?


When I was a teenager, I used Vaseline as a lip balm.
Then I remember the craze of the actual lip balms, that I think took over the world.

I remember the first pot I bought, with my pocket money.
It was from a local chemist, around 99p, in a glass jar and smelt of Oranges.

The actual balm was so 'liquidy' ( is that even a word? ) I remember it melting, instantly on contact with the skin. My mom used to ask:
'Why does it look like you have smeared cooking oil all over you lips?'

I actually loved the effect as it looked like I had a high shine lipgloss on.

Now, I don't remember, when I discovered Carmex, but I can tell you this.
When I did, no-one else I knew, had even heard of it, let alone used it.
I initially bought it because I loved the retro, eye-catching packaging.
I bought it from Superdrug. There were only a few on the shelf, and just the original, no fancy different flavours......

Anyway, I remember the very first time I used it. I remember opening it, applying it to my lips and thinking,
Wow, this stuff feels unlike any other lip balm I have used.

Anyone who has used it, will know what I mean.
You feel the product, working, on the lips. A slight tingle, almost a 'cold' feeling to the lips.
I was addicted. I loved it.
As with any product, I like to either feel it working, or see it has worked.

This did both.
You feel it working, and if you have sore, chapped, poorly winter lips, this stuff if a must.

Forget Vaseline. Sorry, but I never found it worked on my lips. If my lips were chapped, they were chapped, and Vaseline just provided a protective layer while my lips naturally healed.
Carmex provides a protective layer, heals and soothes.....

Now, as I said, when I first used it, people would ask, what is that?! I've never seen that before?
I had it a good while before it seemed, the magazine world caught on to it's benefits.

Then I remember reading a magazine article, the beauty pages (see, I loved makeup and beauty from an early age ) and reading that Sarah Jessica Parker was a fan of this little thing called, Carmex.

I remember feeling ever so clever that I too had discovered this little pot of magic and that I shared a love for a product that SJP also used.

Then the Carmex boom began, I have yet to find a person who has not tried it.
I use this in my makeup kit. I love it. I love using it as a lip exfoliator on clients. I apply a small amount and rub it away with a makeup wipe.
I also use it on most brides, especially if their lips are a little dehydrated or chapped. The lipstick glides on so much easier after.

My trusty tube of Carmex. Fantatsic for Makeup artist use, squeeze and go!

So what does this product contain that makes it so magical? I knew some of the ingredients, well, mainly Menthol ( the one that makes your lips tingle ) but I did not know it also contained all of the following. Read on my dear friends:

Camphor - Alleviates pain ( tingly ingredient )
Phenol - Kills germs, exfoliates and anesthetizes
Lanolin - softens, lubricates, and protects
Cocoa Butter - Moisturises and protects
Shea Butter - Prevents dry, cracked lips
Aloe Vera - Helps heal and soothe
Vitamin E - Reduces damaging free radicals
Petrolatum - A barrier that protects the lips
Salicylic Acid - Exfoliates and relieves pain
Menthol - Kills germs and relieves discomfort ( another tingly ingredient )

Yes! All of the above is contained in that little pot. No wonder it's so absolutely fantastic at healing chapped lips and reducing redness.
I always reach for this little pot when my lips are dehydrated or chapped. I didn't know how, but I knew, that just applying a little, instantly took away the stinging, softened, smoothed, hydrated, and without doubt, healed.
Well, now I know why!
What a fab product! The ingredients and results, speak for themselves.
This is a product, I have faithfully used for at least ten years, and will continue to use, on myself, in my Makeup kit, and recommend to others

Where do you keep yours?

Have you tried the Cherry one? I haven't, although I would love too.
What do you think.
Check out their fantastic website here!

Carmex, the lip balm Saviour of the world.


Kitten. No cats involved.

Ohhhhhhhh, how I adore this colour!

From the first time I used it, I was hooked!

I used it when Stila brought out their, 'In the Light palette'.

Check my bridal makeup post for further info.
Bridal makeup

Now, I have worked in the makeup field for 12 yrs this year, that's a long time. It's also a lot of time looking at, messing with, experimenting and finding the perfect colour's. Finding the colour's I feel are, 'fit and worthy' to adorn my professional makeup kit.

This colour is, oh so worthy.

The product is a powder, but it has a creamy texture. It gives the most beautiful illuminous, radiant glow to your skin.
The colour can only be described as a, champagne, gold , peach tone. Just perfect.

Sorry, couldn't resist the kitten......

I have gone through two, since March. Whenever I wear it, I can guarantee at least two, or more of the following.
'ohhhhh, what colour are you wearing on your eyes? '
I should have shares in this company!

This colour would look great on so many skin tones. If you have blue eyes, the gold, peach tone will really make you eye colour stand out. Perfect colour if your eyes look a bit tired. Pop on a little mascara, and you're good to go!

This colour would also be just perfect for a bridal look.
I use it on endless brides and bridesmaids and it is always met with... ohhhhh, ahhhhh, I love it!

If you haven't yet, get down to your nearest Stila and get swatching and buying.
At only £12 a pop, it's a bargain.
Well worth splashing your hard earned cash on.


Another skin care post - Bobbi Brown Face Oil

My pursuit for perfect, angelic, flawless skin is proving to be a little obsessive.

To you regular reader's, you will know only too well I am always on the look out for new products that will perfect my skin and get rid of all known ailments.

I have found some fabulous products that really work at curing and nursing poorly, acne ridden skin.
Again, I mention a lot that during my teenage years, the choice available for those of us with acne, was very limited.
We were subjected to OXY or Clearasil. If these did not suffice then there was always the doctors prescription......

It' great to see so many products out there now which genuinly help to control spots and also help minimise their appearance.

One thing, even more so now. I am thirty, and I have noticed a change in my skin. It still loves to erupt every so often, and the fear overwhelmes me that my adult acne is back to stay, but more so I have noticed it's need for more moisture.

I dont know why this is.
I know I do not drink as much water as I should, I also know working with air conditioning and central heating, full time, is not great for your skin either.
I don't think my skin thanks me for the fact I wear makeup everyday to work. ( I have too )

But in my defense I have never had a 'normal' skin type. More so, very combination and very erratic.
So what to do?

A while ago, when I worked for Bobbi Brown, ( who's skincare products I have an absolute weakness for )
I was introduced to her Face oil.

Funnily enough, and tell me if you agree, I was always under the impression if you had problem skin, you wouldn't want to add anything oily to it? Surely that would contribute to the oiliness?

Oh how wrong I was!

When I used harsh 'oil stripping' skin products as a teenager it seriously played havoc with my skin.
So, on one hand I had these angry, red spots, then I had excessively dry skin also, as the products dried my skin out.
Then I would overload my skin with moisturiser to compensate the dryness.
So all in all, my skin was a right bloody mess.

My skin was in overdrive, it wasn't sure if it was too dry or too oily. It didnt know how to react, the balance of my natural skin was completely off the scale.

What to do?

So I was told by a Bobbi Brown trainer that this oil is amazing.
I looked at him like, well for that price I should expect miracles.

I invested in one, again, in the pursuit of skin perfection ( keep dreaming Ruth )
Now, you may wonder, you just bought it, like that? What if it's awful?

I have read so much about face oils, and they are, it seems, the 'in' thing.
So many companies now sell them, and a lot sell the cleansing oils, of which I am a big fan.

The selling point for me though?

A girl who was at the training with me. I had seen her 6 months previous.
In the six months previous, her skin had been red ( roseacea ) and spotty.
Now six months in, her skin looked amazing!

She told me she was given the oil, to trial. As she had tried everything out there, with no avail, and she had serious skin confidence issues, nothing like me.

The oil had worked wonder's to balance her skin out, So, instead of stripping her skin of natural oils, therefore producing far too much and aggravating the skin. The oil had soothed her skin. Because oils are so light they absorb through the hair follicle quicker.
Also, the oils help to 'balance' the skin. So when the oil is applied the skin tells the brain:
'Hey, im okay here, my skin is in balance, dont produce anymore oil.'

Seeing the difference in her skin sold the product to me.

Who would I recommend it for?
Teenagers, it will calm and balance your skin, You WILL see a difference. Give it three to four weeks.
Normal skin - Use it as a weekly treat or a bedtime moisuriser
Dry skin. It can be used UNDER moisturiser for extra hydration, before makeup too.
Mature skin - I used it on a 50 plus bride the weekend, before applying her foundation. Her skin looked plump, hydrated and dewy. Heavenly.

Which oils does it contain?
Sweet Almond
Also scented with the following oils:

Now, something I am hot on, is this.
Do not expect miracles overnight. The amount of customers who complain that skin products dont work.
How long have you been using it? Four days.
Don't expect dry skin, to magically disappear overnight or your blemsihes to be gone by the weekend.

Skins natural renewal process is four to six weeks. The older you are, the longer it takes for your skin cells to renew. Younger skin renews a lot quicker than say a 30 - 40 - 50 year old.

Persist and be patient. I look at it a little like this:
You go to weight watchers, to gradually lose weight. It will take a while, not overnight. Skincare is the same. Give it time, you will see the results.

Liposuction or weight watchers?
Skin peel or good skincare regime?

Its worth the wait.

When I had more time on my hands, I would take a good twenty minutes, to half  hour a night, taking my makeup off, exfoliating, massaging oil in etc.
The condition of my skin, was fantastic. But it took time, and I have seen the difference to now, when I'm a quick cleanse and moisturiser kind of girl.

Another tip with this product? Usage.

Don't tip it into your hand. You will use far too much, and it will be gone in no time.
Use it properly and you will have it for months.

When you open the bottle, it has, what I call a 'well'. Tip the bottle, BEFORE you open it. The residue collects in the 'well'. Open and just use what is left in the well. More than enough.

Another great tip, if you crave that lovely dewy look from your foundation, with the added bonus of skin goodness and hydration, mix a tinniest bit of this in with your fave foundation.


£40 for 30ml.

If you cant justify this, think of ALL the oils that are contained in it, there is alot of oil in that glass bottle.
Spa facials are pricey, just one a month adds up. Here you have your own Spa facial.

I have tried other face oils, this, is my fave.
Other don't feel as hydrating. This feels richer, and the results are, I feel, second to none.

All skin textures, tones and ages will benefit, in some way.

Do you use a face oil already? Which ones do you rate?


And the winner is......

Really quick post here guys and girls!

The giveaway for my 100 followers has now ended!

Thank you to everyone who entered! If you haven't won this time, fret not! I will be doing another ( possibly bigger and better one! ) when I reach 200!

So, who would like to know who the winner is?

Drum roll please..............

Random Number Generator / Picker

Enter a number:


Random number code based on JavaScript documentation on the Mozilla Developer Center.

No 11 is Ashton Turnbull!

Well done honey!

You selected Shy girl. If you are still happy with that choice, email me your address!

Till next time!


PS. I did actually type between 1 -21, but it won't copy and paste that for some reason!

Dita Von Teese

I think Dita Von Teese is fabulous. She ( to me ) echoes true femininity, how I would love to look on a daily basis. I love her take on the 1940s - 1950s.
The fair, flawless complexion. The perfectly arched, dark brows. The matte, red lip.

Her ebony hair contrasts beautifully with her porcelain skin.

When I finally get a web cam, I will be uploading video's of certain looks. So, get requesting!

I have a few more looks up my sleeve for this week, which I will be uploading shortly. 
This is a series. Timeless beauty, on screen. Big screen or small. Who would you like to see me re-create?

MAC NC15 Studio Fix Liquid as a base. Full coverage. Fixed with Studio Fix NC15 Powder.

Eyes. All MAC. Painterly paint pot as a base. Brule eyeshadow on top. Wedge eyeshadow in outer crease. Blacktrack eyeliner. Spiked Brow pencil.

Lips. Russian Red, MAC. Worn by Dita herself. Brick lip liner by MAC

Sorry guys, no burlesque pictures.
So, who's look would you love to see next? Let me know!


Hair dilemmas

Funnily enough I used to have extremely greasy hair, and also extremely thick hair.
I loved the thickness, I did not love the greasiness.....

Now I'm 30, I've noticed my hair changing. Gone are the days of greasy fringes, and daily washing, but sadly, also are gone the days of thick, lustorous locks.

In my twenties ( the craze of the GHD and hair straightening in full swing ) I curled, waved, straightened and re-curled my hair, only God knows how many times. It's safe to say my hair was in dire need of some serious TLC.

After that fad was well and truly over, I got all my hair chopped off, into a lovely asymmetrical bob.
I loved it, for about a week. I like my hair long. I like the versatility of how I can adapt my hair to the mood I may be feeling, but more importantly the fact I can scrape it back off my face when I cannot be bothered to do anything creative or time-consuming with it.

With my ever hectic life, becoming ever the more hectic, I booked myself in for some 'me' time, at my local Rachel Hammond Hair Salon.

Anyhow, when the stylist saw the state of my hair, he slowly prised out of me my hair habit's.

In all honesty, I spend money on decent skincare and makeup, but my hair seems to get left out. I mean, it's only hair, right?
He asked what shampoo I used, and if I styled it.

Too ashamed / embarrassed to tell him that during mine and my husbands truly, skint, redundant, out of work years ( the past two ) I was using Tesco value shampoo. Yes, it really was that bad. Some might gasp in horror, but when the choice is eat for a week, or buy an expensive shampoo and conditioner. Food has to come out on top.
I no longer have the time to fit in curling my hair etc. I wash, and go. My hair is lucky if it gets to see even a minute of a hair dryer.

So, bemused at why my hair was so dry, and why my split ends were no longer split, more so tripled even quadruple split, he continued to explain that like skin, hair ages.

I explained that I only have to brush my hair and it breaks off, into the bathroom sink.

He told me that decent, salon quality products are essential, and especially with age, as like skin, hair deteriorates.
I knew this to be true, as I can physically see the difference in my hair.

He also told me that Silicon in shampoos can damage the hair. Especially over longer periods of time, creating a build up of product on the hair shaft.

Now, not one to splash out on expensive products, unless I KNOW they work, I went out and treated myself to a little Ojon product.

Check out there website for full details, but I tell you now, this stuff is not to be missed.

The Ojon company get their secret ingredient for their elixir from the Miskito people of native America.
When the founder first visited them he was astonished at how healthy, lustorous, full of body bounce and volume their hair was. This was due, they claim, to them applying this 'elixir' to their hair every day.

Now this lovely little product contains this fabulous Ojon oil, which is obtained from the Ojon tree.

Now, any company who can cultivate natural products to make your hair amazing, is good in my books.

So I treated myself to their restorative mask.

Smaller size as always, to see if it is worth investing full size next time.

What I love about this is it's is a mask, so the product is in solid form.
Instructions state to apply to DRY hair. Leave on for twenty minutes or longer.

When you apply it to the hair, it melts into the most wondrous smelling, divine, hair oil.
Imagine coconut oil. It's solid in the pot then melts on contact with the skin, this product works just like that.

I left it on while doing some house chores.
The smell was just heavenly. I cannot quite put my finger on what it smells like, but its something like this.

1) Christmas
2) Chocolate Orange
3) Nuts

I suppose you could leave this on overnight if you wanted.
Washing it out was easy enough. I didn't feel the need to double wash, so the oil was not that greasy.

My hair felt genuinely healthier, undoubtedly shinier, and fantastically fuller.

Serious hair envy will be yours.

Ladies, this stuff is great.
Granted, its not a quick fix. When I read you needed to leave it on for at least twenty minutes or more, I was like, hang on, that's too long! I want model like hair in no more than ten minutes!

But if you have things to do, maybe watching a double Corrie episode? Pop it on just before and Bob's your Uncle, you're done!

50ml - £16.00
100ml - £32.50
Ojon products online
I bought my product online. According to website sources some House of Fraser store also sell it.

Try it.
What are your favourite hair products, and why? Do tell, I'd love to know.


Mask of Magniminty


I love this company. When I was younger, single and living at home. ( In other words, had a lot of spare cash ) I would regularly treat myself to lush products.

I went through a phase of bath bombs, then I tried a few of their shampoos, then it was their bubble bars.

Now, after a bit of a bonus in my payslip this month ( very rare occurance ) I decided to treat myself to a little product I have heard so much about, and was dying to try.

Following on from my witch stick post. ( the one where I moan incessantly about my on/off adult acne ) I wanted to try something to calm down spots, you know the spots that wont budge, or the ones where they seem to reproduce, so what started as one now has another 5 sitting right next to it!

Now, I do try and stay well clear of face masks, I live in fear they will just bring me out in more spots.

This little pot of magic claims to actually clear breakouts. Perfect.

I have my sisters wedding tomorrow, so I've been on blemish watch the past week.

I smothered my face in this last night. I only tried it on one side. The right side of my face which seems to have erupted.

Again, I wasn't expecting miracles.

The mask feels like a thick paste. Its very grainy, which I love ( thats the Adzuki Beans ) .
Instructions state to apply to a clean face and leave to dry, when it has dried, wash it off, exfoliating as you go.
Its a very satisfying 'clean'

The first thing that hit me when I opened the tub was the smell. Gorgeooooooous.
When I was little my mom would buy After Eight chocolates, but they were only for her and dad.
'Grown up ' Chocolates she called them. I honestly think that was just her way of saying hands off, you have your selection box. ( I still sneaked a few )

Anyway......The smell of Magnaminty is like After Eight chocolates. I'm hooked already.

When you apply the product, it feels very cooling ( I'm guessing thats the peppermint.) It is a deep green colour, almost looks like you are smearing your face in swamp mud..... although I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have the same effect as using this product would....

I woke up this morning and the right side of my face looks considerably better. I had a particular spot on my chin that I was so tempted to mess with, but instead I popped some of this stuff on it.
It worked.

My skin looks fab this morning, very happy!

As the product is advertised as a treatment for spots, I would recommend just applying it to problems areas ( mine are my cheeks, jawline and chin )

It's also supposed to be fab for the back. You may have to get your other half to do that for you!

A fab product. Ideal if you have had a breakout, have a wedding coming up, special occasion etc and want a quick fix.
What I also love is the fact it's a spot treatment that isn't loaded with alcohol, so it wont dry up your skin neither.

When I was a teengaer, Clearasil and Oxy were the only solutions, which in hindsight, dried up my skin that much, I'm sure it made it all a lot worse.

Peppermint - Stimulates sluggish/tired skin. Your skin looks 'awake' after usage.
Honey - Helps to condition and moisturise. Is also midly antiseptic.
Evening Primrose and Adzuki Beans - Exfoliate

They do the two sizes, I opted for the smaller one to see how it worked. I'm thinking the larger tub next time is without question.

Im very impressed with this. Again, there are so many products out there now to help with problem skin, products that will help and not hinder. This is one of them.
Keep it in the bathroom cupboard and draw it out when the inevitable 'date spot' pops up...


Which stick? Witch hazel stick...

I'm sure I have mentioned many times before, in several other posts the struggles I have had with my skin, well, since forever.

I had teenage acne develop when I was only 12, right through till I was 16.
It then calmed down dramatically. I remember the absolute freedom I felt, not having to cake makeup on every morning, or dread looking in the bathroom mirror, to find yet another one staring right back at me.

Then in my late teens, early 20s my skin decided it missed the drama, and re-introduced itself ( without warning me first ) to acne. This time, it was what the doctors like to call, 'adult acne'. Far from impressed is an under-statement.

During this time, I experienced the angriest, reddest spots on my cheeks. Horrid.
Eventually they calmed down after, give or take three years.

I have decided, my skin will always have problems. I also get eczema, which decides to pop up even more so when I am particularly stressed or run down. Like now.

I am currently receiving from the acne world, the lovely red, angry spots, that dont need popping. Rather they sit on your face for days, and take at least a week to disappear.

Now, a few months back, I won flawless follower, with Witch. I got to choose a product to try. After having a snoop through their fabulous range, I chose the blemish stick.
To be perfectly honest, in my cynicism, I did not expect miracles. ( I have tried EVERYTHING )

How wrong I was.
This stuff is amazing.

Now, I had two whoppers this week. One right in the middle of my forehead ( perfect, right? ) and the other on the side of my cheek.

I took the stick and popped some on, BEFORE my makeup.
Now I didnt 'dab' it on. I used it in circular motions. When it dried it left a white-ish mark.

I applied makeup ontop.

When I got home in the evening, it had gone down completley. The one on the cheek, went down overnight.
I mean, don't get me wrong, it didn't completely disappear. But the intense redness? Gone. The huge lump? Gone.
I was left with a shrunken version of what was their previously.

My mom, when I was a teenager, kept a bottle of witch hazel in the bathroom cupboard for my breakouts, she swore by it.
Witch have harnessed the power of it, in this fabulous little, handbag sized stick.
Witch hazel is renowned in calming the skin and being mildly astringent.
In a word, fabulous.
Ideal for initial breakouts, pop it on the minute you feel the dreaded tingling I know only too well.

On application, it feels cool and refreshing. To really see how amazing this product is, try it on the large angry spots you get, not the little blemishes some people cry over. These are not a problem, really!

This nifty product wins RuthEs stamp of recommendation. I am impressed.

Invest. Now!


100 followers giveaway - CLOSED

Hello gorgeous viewers!

I have had a fab few months blogging, and getting to know lots of, new, lovely peeps!

It was only a few weeks back I held a competition for my first 50 followers, now its time for a 100 follow giveaway!

So one lucky winner will get to choose ANY MAC lipstick of their choice.

To enter all you need to do is:

1) Follow me here via GFC or Twitter
2 ) Comment here - Leaving me the colour you would like to win and why

That is it. I am not going to complicate things!

Please note - please choose a MAC lipstick from their permanent line ( not limited edition ) and not PRO store.

This competition is for UK Citizens only.
Winner will be announced on the 11th of August 2012!
Winner will be chosen via

Having trouble deciding? Check out my MAC lipstick blog here

Good luck lovely viewers!

Can't live without you

I'm hoping to start a trend here.
A very simple one, yet one I think will be popular with beauty bloggers and makeup lovers alike.

I have had some well deserved time off work starting from this weekend. ( I really needed it )
Unable to actually relax for too long, or try to, NOT TRY and do 'something productive', ( I have serious issues, I need to feel like I have achieved something each day ) I find, some what, difficult.

I decided to label/sort/decant my makeup kit.
This is usually a long, drawn out process, but the feeling of satisfaction once completed, is second to none. ( see, I really do have issues! )

As I was looking through, I found a lot of products I actually forgot I had and started to swatch, play and try them all on. ( I'm easily distracted )
The fact that my face now resembled a clown, and my hands were covered in, well, I'm unsure exactly what towards the end did not concern me.
Nor did the sense of achievement I felt looking down at all my labelled drawers/clear bags/palettes.....

The fact that I had found six Collection Cosmetics Clear mascaras did. This is my 'can't live without product', so if I fear I have lost one ( usually I misplace it, or it decides to go make friends with another makeup drawer, usually blushers ) I go out and buy myself a brand new one. This happens a few times a month, so I end up with more than one.
So, why I had six is pretty obvious now.
Three of them were empty, and the other three had half the product still remnant.

So, this particular product is my, 'I need this product, everyday, without fail, product'
I'm sure we all have one. Eyelash curlers, concealer.....

Mine, is this.

This was the first cosmetic product I ever bought. My mom did not let me wear 'makeup' till my late teens, so I figured buying this was crafty, as my mom couldn't say I was wearing anything, 'cus you couldn't see it. Ha!

I loved it because it separated my eyelashes without the colour, but more than anything because I could use it on my, wait for it....
Bushy eyebrows.

I had thick brows when I was younger, I was teased, and people called them caterpillar eyebrows, now I pretty like 'em, because I can shape them better than I could if they were thin.

But I love this particular mascara because it controls the brows hairs and keeps the shape in place.

See, I caught on long before companies were making expensive 'brow gels' ( when let's just be honest, they are just clear mascaras )

Thank you Collection Cosmetics, please, please do not ever discontinue this product, because quite frankly, I have become so attached to it I wouldn't quite know what to do if you ever did.

So what was your first makeup purchase, ever? Do you still use it to this day? What product can you, really, not live without?


Saw you blushing

I remember the first time I ever used a blusher. I fell in love. I bought it with my first ever pay packet, from my first ever job. I remember feeling ever so grown up as I handed the cashier my own money to purchase my own blusher.

It was from Maybelline. They don't even make this particular colour anymore ( I was 18 at the time ) It was cased in a slimline plastic, rectangular case, and was the softest, candy coloured pink. I loved it.

It's pretty evident that my love for blusher may have spiraled, a little out of control.
Yes, I work as a makeup artist, but sometimes I seriously judge the motives behind my makeup buying.

You know the good angel and bad angel you sometimes see on peoples shoulders in particular films? When the character is considering whether or not they should be doing something? When the little angels balancing on the shoulders whisper little words, to validate ( or not as the case maybe ) the characters actions.
I get that. When buying makeup.

Do I really need ANOTHER blusher?
Yes Ruth, it's for your kit. You need it.
But I already own, so many, and I'm sure I have one similar to this.
No, you don't. You have one that has less glitter. You need the glitter.
But I could just build the other one up, or add more glitter to it.
No, just buy it.

Okay, justified.
As you can see, I don't need much persuasion.

So, here I have tried, ever so hard I might add, to narrow down my collection, to my absolute favourites.
Please don't ask if I had to choose one, which would it be, because quite frankly, I can't.

First off. My favourite for blushers, without question is Nars.
I Love Nars. The pigments are so strong, and the colour's you see, are what you get.
I am on a mission to own all their blushers, but my budget does not allow. Yet.

So, my favourites.

Angelika - NARS This is one of my long time loves. Its a soft, baby pink, with a 'soft diamond sparkle' running through it. Looks amazing on very fair skins.

Crazed - NARS This is one of the most pigmented blushers I have ever used. Unfortunately, I think it was a limited edition, as it is no longer on their website. Gorgeous. Amazing colour on a dark / deep toned skin. Stunning. Can be used on fairer, just use sparingly. Deep/claret colour, again, with a subtle shimmer.

I think we've all heard of this one. Orgasm - NARS. 'Nuff said.

Taj Mahal - NARS Burnt orange/copper. Looks amazing on Asian skin tone / Olive skin tones. Lush

MAC - I have lots of MAC blushers, but I have chosen the ones that are in their permanent line. From left to right. Dollymix  - Deep red/pink. Strong colour, slightly frosted.
Dainty - soft pink, frosted. ( mineralise ) 
 Pinch 'o' peach - Matte, peach/pink tone. Lovely on all skin tones. This colour even suits the darker of skin tones. Blushbaby - A Matte, pink/nude. A great colour to contour on a lighter skin.
Tenderling - This is another 'dont judge by appearance' blush. Looks very plain and ordinary sitting on the tester stand. When you apply it, it is the loveliest, softest pink nude tone. Great for minimal blush, and for bridal makeup.
Harmony - A little darker for a nude, looks great teamed up with a nude lip and smoky eyes.

Stargazer. I bough these when I was studying. I got them from New Look. They also sell them at Charles Fox in London. I would seriously recommend these. They were only £3 each, and they are fantastically pigmented. This picture does not do the colours justice. They are NEON colours. They come out stronger the more you apply. Love these.

What are your favourite blusher's? What's the next blusher on your list to buy?

Stay tuned for my final Bridal Makeup installment coming soon. Lips and cheeks.

Till then my lovelies.


Chocolate Heaven

I know I am a Makeup Artist, I also know I have a beauty blog. But as anyone who knows me well enough knows, I also have a little obsession with all things Chocolate.

I have always loved chocolate. For all problems and situations, Chocolate is at hand.
Bad day at work = Chocolate
Lady pains = Chocolate
Snuggled up with my duvet and film = Chocolate
Cup of tea = Chocolate

Yes, I love Chocolate.

All followers on twitter will see I make a joke of commenting I will write reviews for any Chocolate company, if they send me plenty of chocolate, no, really, I will......

Well, funnily enough some companies are getting in touch asking me to do exactly that. Who am I to refuse?

So, I have decided to allocate a special place for all things Chocolate on my beauty blog.

Chocolate and makeup. My two favourite things.....

Royston Broadley

Now, it was very hard to not eat these BEFORE taking the pictures.....

Top right hand ( on saucer ) White Raspberry. Gluten free.
The heavenly Coffee truffle. Delicious.

Amaretto milk chocolate. Gluten free.
Comes in a lovely gold box, with your choice of message on front. I had four chocolates in each of my boxes.


This lovely little company makes personalised Chocolates, just for you.
Perfect if you want to proclaim your love, maybe you are unsure just how to propose? ( just a thought.... )
Birthday? Leaving pressie?

I was sent two, lovely dainty boxes, with some delicious chocolates in.

The heart truffles, alongside the white hexagon shaped truffles are gluten free.

These Chocolates are, are top quality. I kid you not.
The white truffle was heaven. Crispy outer shell, that cracks to reveal a soft, silky, buttery centre.
Now, I am not a keen fan of coffee Chocolate, but I would eat these coffee truffles over and over again. Not over powering, but subtle coffee undertones.

I would highly recommend this lovely little company for wedding favours
The company director, Royston, is friendly and seems happy to accomodate.

If someone bought me these as a gift I would be a very, very happy lady.

Order here:

Here's to Chocolate tasting heaven.


Brushes that beautify

I love makeup brushes.

I remember, being a little girl and wondering just how on earth celebrities got their makeup looking so amazing, and attempting to replicate their flawless eye makeup with my moms disposable, sponge, applicators. You know the ones I mean? The ones that still come with certain branded makeup. They are about as big as your thumb, and have a pathetic little sponge tip. I sometimes wish they would just completely re-think them, scrap 'em, and stick a mini mascara in there instead.

Brushes do make a massive difference to your makeup. Some particular looks can only be obtained with certain brushes, and some can be obtained with using just a few.

I have picked a few out of my kit, these are my personal favourites. As always, I am a creature of ( I wouldn't say habit, but..... ) ... well, if it ain't broke don't fix it mentality. In other words, these brushes work, so, I'm sticking with them.

So which ones do I love, and why?

Lets start with face brushes. Some of these I have had ever since I started my career, many have been added to the brush belt family in time.

I have found MAC and Bobbi Brown the best. Also, Nars.

I wouldn't say all the brushes from each of these companies are, in my personal opinion, fantastic. Some of them I have, and I wouldn't replace if they went missing. But the following, if I ever misplace, or if they somehow re-house themselves in a makeup draw without consulting me first, leaving me in a panic, I would have to go out and re-purchase. Immediately.

MAC #130
One of my all time fave's. What can't you do with this brush? I love it. Its great at 'buffing' products into the skin. So instead of leaving a full, obvious look of makeup. You are left with flawless, airbrushed makeup without the residue. It's fab. Its a popular brush amongst brides to be, who want the flawless skin, but don't want to see the makeup that is hiding any flaws.This brush is great if you find you powder has gone cakey. Just buff it away. Also great for applying cream blush to the cheeks. It is called a stipple brush. This brush is particularly handy if you have uneven skin texture, larger pores or acne, as stippling into the skin first creates the coverage, and helps balance texture and create a fuller, flawless coverage.
An absolute must for any of you out there who are on a mission for attainable, perfect skin.

Bobbi Brown Powder Brush.
Love this brush. Bobbi's brushes are so soft, they are gorgeous. This brush distributes just enough product on the skin without overloading. The shape also has benefits. It has a slightly 'domed' shape, which is perfect for a very soft, subtle contour. Great at giving a slight depth to cheekbones. I wouldn't recommend this brush if you were looking for a specific contour one, but it could double up as one in an emergency, but only for very soft contouring.

Nars buffing brush.
I have had this brush for, I would say, at least 10 years. I use it constantly and look how brand new it still looks. Perfect brush - my absolute favourite brush. Why? It makes my layers of, foundation, concealer, powder and bronzer, look natural, Now, any brush that can do that is pretty amazing. Wouldn't you agree?
Its great to buff bronzer on top of foundation. I hate a powdery look on my skin, unless that's the particular look I am going for. So, this brush is always on hand to buff down any naughty powder particles.

Bobbi Brown blusher brush.
Again, I love this brush as the hairs are so silky soft! This means little product is left on the face, so no clown looking blusher..........

MAC - #168 Brush.
My all time favourite blush/contouring brush.
I remember the first time I used this brush. It was like I had unearthed some kind of treasure, I was that excited. If you were not blessed with Kate Moss style cheekbones ( I certainly wasn't ) and you don't fancy cheek implants ( yes, these really do exist. Ouch ) then invest in one of these. I love, love, love this brush!
If you have amazing cheekbone-age, using this brush will accentuate them even more. If you don't, using this brush will give you the amazing cheekbone-age.
The sharp angle of the brush means more product is placed in a certain area, so gradual build up of colour is obtained.

MAC - #226 Brush.
Now I bought this from a limited collection line, so I am unsure if its still in circulation. It was this year, so it may be, and it may be available in the MAC Pro Store.....

I love this brush for deep crease definition, Its cone shaped, but still very soft. So it's great at building crease colour definition. I love this brush for bridal makeup. The shape of the brush creates great, even shape on the eyelids. Perfect if your bride feel's tired, or want's a soft defintion to her crease. The colour build's, without the intensity. So you don't need to buff after to soften.

MAC - #224 Brush.
I have lots of these. Its a staple in my kit. Great at diffusing colour. Buffing colour down if you have gone in too heavy handed. So great at rectifying mistakes. Also great if you are a fan of the very 'blown' out makeup.
I also love this brush to apply concealer to the face and under eye area. Buffs it in, for a barely there finish.

MAC - #217 Brush.
Another staple. Lots in my kit. I little bit firmer and shorter than the #224. Great for soft crease definition.
Great for smokey eye also.

MAC - #219 Brush.
Love this. A great brush for strong, crease cut eye makeup. Perfect for Asian bridal makeup where they like strong lines, and strong crease definition. Also great at smudging down eyeliner, for a more 'slept in'  look.

MAC - #266 Brush.
Great for applying eyeliner, the angle really helps create a nice 'cat flick' if you desire. Also fab for applying product to the brows. I've also been known ( when I cannot find my lip brush, or if it is covered in red lippy) to use it for lips. The angle is great for the cupids bow.

What are your favourite brushes? Which brands do you rate?
Let me know! I'm always on the look out for new little ones for the brush family.....


Cosmopolitan Beauty Blog Award - Best Newcomer

Hello lovely readers/viewers.

I saw this competition advertised a few weeks back and was too chicken, yes chicken, to go for it.
Which is just, well silly.

I put up a blog post the other day about women, their insecurities and how we should just believe in ourselves and go for our dreams, and I thought, hang on, that was my new years resolution this year. So here I am practicing what I preach, facing my fears head on, and doing it!

I would truly love if you would vote for me. I know it's late in the competition, but I would still appreciate it.
Please only vote if you really want to!

Thank you so much.

The 'invisible' generation

A while ago, my mom said to me, if I could design a makeup lesson for the 'more mature' women, or cater my skill, for the 'more mature' women, I could make a lot of money.

My mom is in her mid 50s. She hate's being hounded my beauty girls when she walks through department store's and she's very select with what product's she buys. She like's samples, good manner's and someone who will listen to what it is she actually want's, as a pose to just sticking a brown eyeshadow on her 'cus she has blue eyes.

Working in the beauty world, I completely understand where she is coming from.

Certain makeup brands do, possibly, without realising it, unintentionally cater towards the 'younger' generation. Yes, I would say, ALL makeup brands could cater for the more mature woman, but many don't advertise the fact they do.

For example, when you think of 'mature' women, make up shopping. Which brands come to mind? Channel? Estee Lauder?
When you think of the 'younger generation', which brands spring to mind? MAC? Urban Decay? Benefit?

All these brands have makeup for all age's, yet many women 50 plus would not feel comfortable going to a counter such as MAC or Benefit.

Ive asked a few, why?
The most common answers:

They talk to me like I'm a teenager, or an old lady. ie: Talk down to me
I believe they think because I am older I do not fit in, and couldn't possibly have any reason to be there.
In the past when I have approached these counters I have been made up so strongly, it has put me off.

I served a lovely lady the other day called Margaret. I would say she was late 50s, early sixties.
She was booked in for a make up application.

Now, because I have worked in the make up industry such a long time, I am confident in doing makeup on all ages.
She was very nervous to start, as she explained she had never, ever, had a make over done before. Her family had booked it for her birthday.
I instantly knew I would enjoy doing her makeup. Why? Because she appreciated the time I took asking questions. She was happy that I took an interest in what she already used and she 'felt comfortable in knowing that no question she asked was silly'.
She asked so many questions that I though I would do a 'mini-makeup' post for the more mature women.

Now, the most popular makeup for mature women, is very classic, polished and pulled together. They rarely like to look 'over done'.

I have found the following questions and queries are the most requested.

I want my skin to look plumped, youthful, fresh, natural and even, but not caked in make up.
I want my eyes to stand out, but not look overly done. I do not want to have to spend hours getting ready in the morning.
My eyes seem to be more 'sunk' than they used to be, and the skin of my lids hangs more, making my eyes look smaller.
My eyebrows are sparse.

Susan Sarandon. Looks absolutely incredible for 65. Natural Make up and colours that complement her skin and hair colouring.

The above, most requested concerns are easily addressed.
So here you are!

If you want your skin to appear more plumped than get the skincare in order. Many mature women have an idea of what suits their skin and what doesn't. This is another reason I love working with them, they know what works for them already. They know their mind, and are not afraid to speak it!
Layering your moisturisers is a great way to plump the skin. You can also add a little facial oil to your moisturiser or just to very dry, dehydrated ares. Just watch how much you apply, too much and you will look more greasy, than plumped up!

Sheer foundation look great on you skin. Even a concealer just buffed in where it is needed is also a great alternative. Fuller coverage,oil free and overly powdered makeup will accentuate fine lines, on any age skin and instantly make the skin look tired and lack- lustre.

Helen Mirren. 66 years old. I think her acting is just as fantastic as her good looks. She is stunning. Always look elegant.

Eyes - Ahh, I love this feature. Eyes tell a story. The lady I did earlier in the week, Margaret. Had stunning blue eyes. She never wore eyeshadow and she 'hated' eyeliner. In her words, it made her eyes look tired and small.....
Now, she explained that the skin on her eyelid was starting to hang and she felt it was making her look tired.
Again, less is more.
I used only one eye colour on Margaret. An orange under-toned, matte brown, which brought out the blue perfectly.
Margaret also commeted her eyelashes were sparse.
So wanting to make her eyes bigger and lashes looking fuller, I suggested an eyeliner.
She looked horrified. I adapted the eyeliner to her individuality and eye shape.
So, I pressed a chocolate brown colour into her top lashes only. I did one eye, The difference was amazing.
Her eyes looked more shaped, larger and her lashes thicker. All with one product. Don't underestimate the power of eyeliner. I used a gel one, as a pose to a pencil.

Matte eyeshadows are always more flattering as they do not reflect light, therefore do not enhance fine lines.

If you are worried about 'sunken eyes' the good old dark verses light trick is paramount. Dark recedes, light brings forward.
So use lighter colours as a base to 'pull' your eyes forward. Yoghurt/Ivory/Biscuit colors would be perfect.

Meryl Streep. Was always so pretty, still is. She has the best cheekbones in the business. I would love to work on this face.

As lashes thin, so do brows. I have found a soft eyeshadow, a little lighter than the hair colour, helps frame the face but also 'lift' the eye. See it as a mini eye lift. It works.

Lastly, lips. Usually, lips tend to get smaller with age. A very soft lipliner before lipstick is a great idea as it helps re-define the lip and give the illusion of fullness.
Lip glosses on top of lipsticks are a great way to really enhance the lip.

After I had completed Margarets makeup, she was so happy and she looked incredible.
In her words, she looked and felt like 'a new woman'

I love doing makeup for, as my mom would say, 'the invisible generation'. Less is so much more on you, and it takes the fewest product's to make the biggest difference.

Why not book yourself in for a make up lesson?


Confessions of a Makeup artist

Well I have a lovely day off from working today. Although saying I have a day off, doesn't really seem honest.
I'm always busy working towards something 'business' like. Today I gave myself a good talking to and had a lie in. After this I will make myself a nice, tasty lunch, before starting the work!

Today I'm feeling quite reflective, on many different levels.
I'm naturally an over thinker. I tend to over think or over analyze situation's.
The events of work the past week have left me 'analyzing' and 'reflecting' over quiet a few thing's, but the following have really stood out to me.

So many women are insecure, not only in how they look, but how they are perceived by others. Not only that, they are conscious of their future and how they will get there.

I have heard this past week, these following statements. All directed at me, or during a conversation with me.
'You always look amazing'
'I wish I had skin like you'
'I bet you love your job'
'I can't wait until I am old enough to have a life'

What I will say to this my lovelies is, never judge a book by it's cover. Truly. And in my experience, the people who seem the most 'pulled' together, usually have a lot going on!
Don't get me wrong, it's highly valued and greatly received when people see me like this. It's always nice to be greeted with a compliment.

But let me share my insecurities.
I do not always look amazing, at least I do not think it, nor do I feel it! I wake up many a morning and despair at what stares back at me in the bathroom mirror. Luckily I have a hoard of makeup and the know how to fix most complaints! Makeup is what looks amazing, if you saw me at 7am in the morning you would not think I looked amazing.
My skin is a mess. I thank God for makeup. I have had acne from the age of 12, and it seems to love me. We have a love hate relationship. In fact, I have become quite attached to it. When I have a ' clear face ' phase I start to panic. And without fail, a week later a few will pop up, just to say hello.
I had teenage acne and also awful adult acne in my early twenties. Now, late twenties ( well thirty actually ) it has calmed down, but clearly, it wants my love forever.

My job. Well, I could talk on this level forever, but really, I won't. It would just bore the socks off you.
I do love my job, as a Makeup artist. I love transforming faces, I love how a little makeup can lift a crushed spirit. There is nothing more satisfying to me, in my job, than a person who has tears in their eyes after I have done their makeup. Yes, this really happens. And, the all consuming, tear jerking hug I get afterwards.
' Thank you so much, you have made me so happy '
What competes with that? Those are the days I go home, encouraged and feeling worthwhile in the job I do.
I DO NOT however, enjoy working in retail. Yes I work for a big Makeup company.
I do not enjoy the abuse off customers, the awful, unsociable work hours, the fact I cannot pick and choose my holiday days as I have to work AROUND the store I work in, and for.
The fact I have to, as a Christian, work awful Christmas shifts which include Christmas eve till 8pm and Boxing day from 7am in the morning till 9 in the evening. Again, on the whole, to serve rude customers.

I am a freelance makeup artist, but as uncontrollable situations call, I have to work in a 'secure, regular' paying job also, for now, to bring regular money in. This is full-time and leaves little time for an actual life.
So on one hand, I love my job. I have without doubt, chosen the profession for me. On the other I hate where I am right now and I terribly wish I had a magic Harry Potter wand I could just wave and it would all be the way I would prefer.
On the days I get particularly down after work, I come home and dream of where I would like to be. These dreams usually consist of me, traveling the world, based somewhere in London.( my all time favourite place )
In these dreams, I make a lot of very important connections, and meet a lot of celebrities, who, naturally want me to be their personal makeup artist ( this is a dream, so it is on a large scale )

I sometimes wish I had really knuckled down to my career when I was a lot younger, and I had the money and time, so I could be where I would like to be now.
I sometimes wish I had believed in myself enough to go for the opportunities when I had the chance
I sometimes wish of a different life to what I have now.

But you know what? Everything I have had to do, to get me here is making me who I am today and preparing me for what lies ahead.
There is no guarantee that 'knuckling' down when I was younger would have made a difference. When certain situations arise, for which you are called to be selfless, when certain situations arise over which you have no control. These 'situations' change things.
I enjoyed my youth, there are always things you wish you could change. But the famous saying springs to mind:
' Life is not a rehearsal '
I can't go back and change it now.

I'm stronger than I was ten years ago, and I never give up. I'm a fighter!
Over the past ten years my makeup skills have exceeded what I ever thought possible.
I have learnt so much, not just about my job, but about life and people.

Don't wish your life away, don't hope to be ten years older than you are now, in the hope things will be easier, enjoy where you are now.
What are you going to get out of this day?
Never people watch and assume you know their life from how they look. Don't look at their 'physical shell' and wish for their life. You never know what their life is like.

Dream of your life, dream big!

We all have a story. And we are all aiming to write our own book.

Whats your story?


Competition time......

Well lovely followers/viewers, I have been promising a giveaway for a while, and seeing as I have had a flux of people following recently I thought now would be the perfect time.

Before we get to the goodies, I wanted to thank you all for the support, follows, views, and comments here. And to those who also follow me on twitter, thankyou for the follows and re-tweets.
It mean's a lot.

Since the Sanctuary BB Cream post was such a hit, I've decided to feature one of these beauties in the giveaway, along with:

Yes, a MAC product. Always a hit. I have one of these in my kit. It was a limited edition. I bought too many, so one lucky viewer will get a chance to have it and use it instead!
Its a great highlighter or frosted blusher. Beaut.

So want to hear to rules? Boring I know! But necessary!

To enter:
2) You need to follow me here, and on twitter. RT to your followers this competition link. ( 1 POINT FOR EACH )
3) You need to RT the following link. 
This is really important to me. Please read the link to see why. ( 2 POINTS FOR EACH RT. PER DAY. MAX 5 A DAY )
4) Tell me, here, why you think you should win these goodies ( 5 BONUS POINTS FOR BEST ANSWER )

Please, if you do RT, let me know with the link. Thank you.

That's it folk's!
This competition is open until the 25th of June 2012.
I will announce the winner here and on twitter.
The goodie's will be sent out to you within the week!

Good Luck.

RuthE cannot accept any responsibility for the products once they have been sent out.
Ie. Lost/damaged/late delivery/.
If any of the above ( unlikely, but possible ! ) occurs, no replacements will be sent out.