Ardere Eye Glitters

If Chanel made glitter......

The Winter months have quickly desended upon us, and suddenly Christmas seems just around the corner. What better time to get glammed up, than at Christmas? It's the perfect excuse to buy that dress you've been eyeing up for the past few weeks, and an even better excuse for upping your game in the makeup stakes.
Introducing Ardere, Eye glitters.

These little gems could have been made, for the holiday season. The packaging alone exudes luxury and glamour. With it's gold rimmed lid and clear casing, it perfectly showcases the gorgeous sparkles that are contained inside. Just like a pre-wrapped Christmas gift, you could quite easily pop it under the tree as it is, no fancy wrapping or tying of bows needed. 

I think I speak for all ladies, alike - when I say we all love a little glitter, right? I'm not talking bright green glitter, resembling the wicked witch of the west, reserved for children parties. I'm talking - grown up glitter.
Is there such a thing? There is now.

Ardere cosmetics have hit the nail on the head, with their colour range. The colours are rich, luxurious, tempting you in.
With names such as Mocha, True Gold, Peony, it's only a matter of time before you treat yourself to one (or two)

Being a makeup artist, I have used my fair share of cosmetic glitters. Unfortunately, alot look very pretty, but don't feel as great once applied. Scratchy, heavy, and gritty are my personal experience of many cosmetic glitters. Ardere's eye glitters are so fine, almost like small grains of glittering sand.
Weightless when on, you will forget you are wearing them.

I have all eight colours, and still find it hard to choose which one to wear!
Apply using the Ardere eye fix, adhesive. This glue is not gloopy nor sticky. The application using this is nothing like trying to use an eyelash glue to apply glitter, which let's be honest, ends up a sticky mess. Arderes glitter adhesive, feels more like a skincare product when applied to the skin, and leaves no residue. Amazing.

Displaying, Top right, downwards - True Gold/Silver/Peony/copper. Lower right: Amber/Peony/Taupe/Mocha

I like to mix the glitter in with the glue and pat the product where needed, layering it for intensity. You can just quite as easily, sport a fab smokey eye and add a few sparkles to add some extra glamour to your makeup. The possibilities are endless!
These pictures alone do not do these gorgeous glitters, justice. Head over to my Instagram page to see a short video showcasing them in all their glory! 

Head over to their website to take a look at these gorgeous products, along with other products. Perfect treat to yourself for Christmas or New Year.
Official Ardere Cosmetics Website
£10.00 each for 4g of product.
£7.00 for Eye Glitter fix adhesive


How to get a job at MAC

I have been asked this question, so many times.
'How did you get a job at MAC?'

I worked for this company a good few years ago now, for around 3 years.
I had worked on various makeup counters from the age of 21 and when I was 29, decided to apply for a position there.
It's daunting, and a little intimidating applying for a job on a counter where nearly all staff who work there, look like they've stepped off a catwalk. But really, it's like any other job in retail/makeup counter job.

MAC is part of the Estee Lauder 'umbrella', and the first piece of advice I would give you is:

Whatever brand you are interested in working for, if they are part of the Estee Lauder group they will want to see that you have a genuine interest in working for the brand. A passion for the products. A knowledge of the brands history and ethics is crucial, and the first step to securing a face to face interview.

I worked for many brands under the Estee Lauder name, and unless it's changed since I had my first interview for Bobbi Brown ( another Estee lauder company ) almost ten years ago, the first step once you find a job online, is a telephone interview.
You will need to call to apply for the position, and THAT'S when you have your telephone interview, so make sure you are prepared.

Questions you may be asked.
Why do you like this Brand?
Why do you want to work for this brand?
What can you tell me about the beginnings of the brand, and give me some history? ( how it was founded, by who, when it was founded )
Name a product from this brand you like, and tell me about it.

This part of the Interview lasts around 10 - 15 mins. It may not even last that long, but it's to give them an idea of your genuine interest,
TIP: Don't be fooled into thinking just because you have a makeup qualification you will automatically get the job. I had a friend who made this mistake and had not researched the brand, so got told on the phone interview she had not been successful. If memory serves me correctly, if you are unsuccessful you cannot apply again for another 6 months. Again, this may have now changed.

I also think, that they now require anyone who applies to already have either retail experience/ makeup counter experience, but this will be told to you when you apply.

IF you pass this telephone stage, you will be told straight away, and then the next step is a Manager from the brand, usually the Counter Manager, or Area Manager will contact you for your face to face interview.

The face to face interview with MAC, is to determine your Makeup skills and to see if they think you will be suitable for the position. I was interviewed by both the Manager and Assistant manger.
It works in your favour to provide a portfolio of any Makeup work you may have done. You are applying for a Makeup artist job, so you need to demonstrate and sell yourself as a Makeup artist should.
I'm pretty sure when I was told to attend the interview I was told to dress, as I would if I had a job at MAC.
I was apprehensive at first thinking they maybe wanted me to do some work on the counter, as part of the interview, but they don't! ( Benefit does this, I also worked for them many moons ago! )

So it goes withour saying, MAKE AN EFFORT. Wear your BEST black clothes. MAC is not Bobbi Brown and Bobbi Brown is not MAC. Both companies portray a certain image. I didn't attend my MAC interview wearing a suit. I wore an embellished black dress, leggings and boots. Makeup was strong, nails painted and hair done.
You need to stand out, look the part. This is part of the interview.

You will be asked about the brand again, Makeup trends, how you would deal with customer situations, the usual. The interview was long, and intense. You will be expected to know about the Makeup trends, Makeup of the season, colours that are now in - again they are almost probing you to ensure you follow Makeup and have a genuine passion for it.

If you pass this stage, you are then invited to a Makeup test.
This is the final stage. This can vary, depending on who takes your test.
It is normally done in store, so you will on the counter while everyone is working, a normal day. You are sometimes asked to provide a model, or they get a MAC girl to be your model. You are normaly assessed by a regional trainer for this.
What you are asked to do will vary.
I was asked to do an everyday Makeup look, and then transform it into an evening look. During this time you need to speak to the model as though she is a customer. You have to talk about the products you are using, and why you are using them.
You will be expected to know the products. Don't use the excuse,
'Well I don't work for you yet, so I don't know the products.'
If you want the job, you should have looked into the products.
Make sure you TALK. Do not do the makeup in silence, you have to be seen to be interacting with the 'customer'
You will have the regional trainer, also asking you makeup related questions whilst you are doing this.

Do not panic about the makeup you have done, not being perfect. Obviously, it need's to look decent! But they are determining that you comfortable applying makeup, that you can communicate effectively with your customer and can also get it done in the set time.

They are assessing your makeup skills, communication skllls, time management, all of it.

Once done - the regional trainer will ask you a few questions and assess the makeup you have  applied.
I then found out within a few months if I had the job, which i did!
IF you are applying for a job for MAC, within a department store it doesn't end there. You will then be asked to do a Store approval interview. This is where the store determine if you are suitable to work in their store. Not half as stressfull as what you have had to already do to get this far. Nothing to worry about.

Alot of people look at these jobs and assume it's an easy job, with a similar, easy process to apply for it. It's not. The process is long and intense, and is designed to find the best staff. The job is also just as demanding. If you want a job in the makeup field, MAC is a great place to start. You have daily, hands on experience, and alot of the time working under time restrictions. It really helps prepare Makeup artists who eventually want to work for themselves or in the Fashion/Media Makeup scene.


Freedom Makeup

I love working for myself, and I love how I can work from home too. I'm a self-confessed Social, media fiend. I'm obsessed. I'm constantly checking my Instagram, Emails etc etc. What did we do before mobile phones? Seriously? I couldn't do my job, successfully without mine.

The one dowfall from constantly surfing the net, and working from home, is I can't resist, as the temptation is too great, TO NOT BUY MAKEUP.

I am a full time, Makeup artist. So yes, it's part of my job. But some days, I do find myself wondering, do I need yet, another nude, eyeshadow palette?

So once again I succumb to the Makeup buying devil on my shoulder, and bought more stuff for my kit.
In my defence, this was stuff I actually needed, and in that I found consolation as my poor bank balance dwindled, even more.
I had heard alot about Freedom Makeup, and had seen they were offering 3 for 2 on all products. I knew I needed some Brush cleansing spray, and I had run out of my Anastasia Beverley Hills, Dipbrow but was reluctant to spend another £15 to replace it.

So out came my debit card ( no moths in my wallet ) and I purchased their Brush bath, Brush shower and their own version of Brow Pomade in Dark Brown.

Pro Studio - Brush shower - £5.00
I cannot, tell you guys and gals just HOW much I love this stuff. I have a hectic work life. I work on Photoshoots, Film sets, and with huge Bridal parties. Yes, I have alot of brushes, but all MUA's will sympathise, sometimes you don't have enough and you need something you can use quickly and efficiently to clean, and more importantly, sanitise your brushes to use again asap. I can't be carrying around 10 Blusher brushes, 10 Foundation brushes etc etc.
Just spritz the fab stuff, onto your brush 3-4 times and wipe onto a clean tissue. Done! It doesn't saturate or leave any residue, so brushes can be used straight away!
I have finally found a brush spray that work's. It's not greasy, leaves no nasty residue on your brushes, and (yes there's more) smells amazing? How does it smell so good? Freedom makeup? TELL ME!

This is now a permanent addition to my kit.

Pro Studio - Brush Bath - £7.00
I was working away a few weeks ago, and this would have been a life saver. It's a round 'block' of solid, brush cleaner. Gone are the days of swishing the cleanser in you hands, and using baby shampoo.
'Wet brush, swirl around in jar until it lathers. Work brush in palm of hand to clean. Rinse well. Sqeeze off excess, leave to dry.'
The only downside with this, was it was advertised as an 'on the go solution to cleaning brushes' my small mind assumed it was a quick swirl, clean and done. 'On the go', I now see, means you can take it with you, pack it away and use where you are.
You will need to source some water, so if you were on a job, you would need to take a spray bottle, already filled. You wouldn't be able to use your brushes after, as they would be saturated. This little beauty is perfect for the dreaded, deep cleansing brush days. Worst than leg day at the gym.

EyeBrow pomade - Dark Brown- £5.00
So happy to have found this. I wanted to try it before purchasing any others. They have a fab range of colours, and it's an exact dupe of Anastasia Beverley Hills, at a quarter of the price. £5.00 is a bargain for this.
It's light, creamy and glides onto the brow - Another product I am so glad to have found and will be using it on set next week!
They also have some new skincare launched, I also want to try. Dear God, help me.

Im so impressed with this range! I would love to try the brow powders they stock. Have you tried their products? What would you recommend?


Cosmic Beauty

Aloe Vera and Vitamin E Sheet mask.

A few weeks ago, the lovely people at, Cosmic Beauty contacted me and within a few days a lovely face mask popped through my letter box.
I love face masks. I love the fact I use face masks, with the sole intent of it being a good 15 minutes of relaxation time. Face masks equal, time to myself.

The Aloe Vera and Vitamin E Mask was part of my weekly facial, ritual.

The mask I was sent was the Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, sheet mask. Unlike other masks that you spread across the face, these are directly placed onto the face, something I have never tried before.
Great idea, if you really don't have the time to allocate for some serious pampering.
Pop it on, and carry on with house work if need be! I watched a re-run of the Great British Bake Off, with a cuppa wearing mine......

A few recommendations if you decide to purchase one or two of these masks.
The mask is SATURATED with skin care, goodness. When you take it out of the packaging, be careful as it can drip everywhere. Best applied in the bathroom, over the sink, even if you have no intention of staying in there with it on. I have a vision of housewives all over the UK, doing the hoovering in these masks. Just remember to take it off before the school run.........

I was worried that it would drip down my neck, so wore a lower cut t-shirt, but had no problems. Any excess from the mask I just rubbed into my neck! It didn't drip at all, but I found myself using any excess and rubbing it down my neck, regardless. Very satisfying.

Tip - once you have finished, squeeze the excess liquid into your hands and rub it over your skin. Why not? Waste not, want not! 

The instructions state that you do not need to wash off the excess, and they are right.
I'm always, slightly dubious about cleansers or masks that you just wipe on, and that's it. I like my face to feel clean, so much prefer a cleaser or mask you wash off.
Once you remove the mask, your face will feel relaxed and hydrated, and the excess product just absorbs into the skin within a few minutes! No sticky residue is left, so you are left to carry on with your every day chores, if need be!

My skin was left looking fresh and revitalised! I might just to have to buy myself a few more!

The price of the masks from Cosmic Beauty are a bargain. Prices range from only £1.50 to around £3.00, and postage is free within the UK. You can't get any better than that!
They provide masks for acne prone skin, masks to help tighten pores, they even have eye masks that I am dying to try!

Pop over to their website and pop a few in you basket. You won't find them cheaper on the high street and with free postage, you have no excuse!

Cosmic Beauty Face Masks


Embryolisse - Creme Concentrate

Everyone knows the great feeling, when you discover that 'Cult' beauty product.
Whether it be your perfect red lippie or that foundation you can't now live without.

Being a professional Makeup artist and working on hundreds of faces a year - It may be a brides special day or a celebrity on a photoshoot so having the very best products in your kit that this growing beauty industry has to offer, is imperitive.

I've narrowed down my kit, to products I absolutely love. Products that have taken me alot of time, testing and money to find, but all, very much worth it.

Finding a product so great, deserves recognition, and finally after years of trying and testing ( some of the most expensive, and sought after face creams ) I have found my perfect mosituriser.

All hail. Embryolisse Creme Concentrate.

Yes, you may have seen this in your latest glossy magazine, and maybe you have seen it on the latest Makeup artists, post on Instagram. Maybe you think, it's just hype? Yes, it's a hype, but an honest one....

In my job, alot of the time I dont get to meet the client(s) before hand. I never know the kind of skin I may face. Dry, dehydrated, oily, it's anyones guess. I dont have the time, space or arm/back capabilites to carry around a whole case of skin care, so what I do carry needs to be pretty special.

This cream is a miracle worker. It somehow works on any skin type. Dry skin and dry patches, 'dissolve', combination skin looks fresh, and dehydrated skin looks plump.

The texture of the cream is not oily, but leaves a lovely 'feel' to the skin and a fabulous, fresh glow. Clients always comment once it's been applied on how great their skin looks and feels.

Shea Butter to hydrate and smooth.
Beeswax, which helps protect, seal in moisture and soothe the skin.
Aloe Vera, renowned for its healing and anti - inflammatory properties.

Throw away your primers, ( I did a long time ago ) as this seems to do that aswell. This gorgeous cream instantly prepares skin for makeup application, making foundations and concealers glide on effortessly and like a dream.

This handy tube contains 75ml for only £20.00 on  Look fantastic. (Pricing correct as 7/1/2017) That's a bargain, as you only need the smallest amount.

They also have a smaller tube 30ml, £13.00 ( buy the larger one ... )

Have you tried this? If not, you need to! I'm dying to try more of their range!


EX1 Invisiwear Foundation

'THE EX1 STORY... EX1 Cosmetics is a multi-award winning line of cosmetics founded by British Asian Farah Naz. She turned a personal frustration at her limited choice of high street cosmetics into a single-minded passion to create the make up range of her dreams. Calling on her background as a biochemist Farah dedicated herself to developing a line of cosmetics that perfectly suited skin tones like her own. 

Farah's philosophy was simple: to design the highest quality collection of products for olive-skinned women, using only the best in cosmetic technology.

Developed in Milan Italy, EX1 Cosmetics have been formulated by world leading cosmetic scientists working in collaboration with top European universities. With two years dedicated to research and development, Farah has created a line of cosmetics that not only caters for the skin tones for Olive complexions, but also takes into account the differing biophysical characteristics of this skin type'

Source - EX1 Cosmetics Website

With such a varied client base of my own, I am always on the look out for new products that will be perfect for women of different skin tones.
I had seen EX1 Invisiwear Foundation on a few websites, but was reluctant to buy them before getting the chance to try them.

It was on a job with another Makeup artist, that I was offered the opportunity to have a little play with them as she had the full range in her kit, and I'm really glad that I did!

Aside from MAC, there aren't many foundations out there that TRULY match warmer/olive skin tones. They may match in colour, but undertones can give the skin a pink or sallow finish which is incredibly frustrating. To me there is nothing more sad, than a beautifully made up face, with an incorrect foundation shade to finish it off!
Finally, a foundation that glides on olive/golden skins, like a second skin.

This foundation is a real find. It's a perfect foundation for those of you who prefer a more natural finish. It gives a gorgous glow and looks fabulous on camera.
I would say the foundation gives a light to medium coverage, with a luminous finish. If you prefer a more fuller coverage buff a little concealer on top.

I use this on alot of my clientelle with olive/golden skins and they love how it looks and feels. I tend to buff a little concealer on top if they have blemishes and then pop a setting powder on top to set it and boost longevity.

Another great thing about these foundations? Great quality, minus the hefty price tag.
Only £12.00 each? I mean seriously, the more established brands out there need to watch their backs with new prouducts like this on the market.

Packaged in a lovely 'Rose gold' finish - they even look great carrying them around in your kit.

If you're still not convinced, the awards won for this fabulous foundation and makeup brand may sway you....

This particular foundation comes in 5 shades:
F100 - for you fairer beauties
F200 and F300 both being around one shade darker than each other.
F500 having a much richer almost 'milk chocolate' colour. If you are using this for your makeup kit and are looking at trying a few before buying the full range, I invested in the lightest shade, F300 and F500 - and mixed them to get a clients perfect colour before investing in all 5!

With just a one application of this foundation your skin will glow with radiance and health!
Have you tried it? This fabulous makeup range also has pressed powders and concealers I am dying to get my hands on!

I purchased mine from Look Fantastic at only £12.00 a bottle.


Anastasia Beverly Hills - Dipbrow Pomade

If you are a follower of all things beauty social media wise, you will have witnessed the craze that currently surrounds 'eyebrow makeup'.

Eyebrow tutorials are forever arising on different platforms, with a host of new makeup products to choose as your makeup medium.

Unless you have been living on another planet, any avid follower of beauty will have heard of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Renowned as the 'eyebrow queen' to celebrities and clients alike.
This lady styles top celebrities eyebrows such as the Kardashians and top models, to name but a few.

Several years back she launched her first eyebrow, makeup range - including brow pencils and stencils.

Back in 2014 I purchased her new eyebrow makeup, which was a worldwide success - Dipbrow Pomade.
I had got to the point where I was using MACs, Dipdown eyeliner through my brows, to give a nice strong colour and sharpness ( not to be mistaken with sharpie.... )

Anastasia's Dipbrows were plastered all over every social media site with photographs of perfect brows filling my social media feed, so naturally I had to give them a go.

I purchased the colours Blonde, Chocolate and Dark Brown. I know that just recently the colours for this successful makeup line, have expanded. New, lighter browns have been added which would be perfect if Blonde was too light and Chocolate/Dark brown, too dark.

I found that most people who purchase these, feel it takes them a while to master an application technique they feel comfortable with. It does take a little practise and also several attempts to determine, how much you actually NEED to apply at one time.
The texture of the product is very similar to a cream eyeliner, which helps it glide on perfectly, and the pigment being rich enough to ensure you do not need to go over one area, more than once.

I personally found that less is more with this product. You really only need a small amount for maximum effect. I also like to use a disposable mascara wand to brush through the brow after application, to remove any excess product.

Blonde - A great colour for very fairer blonde, grey hair. I have a few mature clients, who now have this in their makeup kit. It's a soft colour, and is virtually undetectable once applied. Very natural.

Chocolate - My personal favourite. I have dark brown hair and this is perfect for me.

Dark brown - Not too dissimilar to Chocolate - I sometimes switch between the two.

It's a perfect product if you want to strengthen the shape of your brow, add definition while you are growing them out or even add more depth to the natural colour of your brow.

I use an angle brush to apply, and find that once it dries - it stays put all day.

A perfect product for the brows, once you have mastered how to apply it! Also great value for money. I find eyebrow pencils, with daily use need replacing alot sooner than these do.

I purchased mine from Cult beauty at £15.00 for one.

Have you tried these? What was your first impression?


Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder

VICHY - Dermablend Setting Powder

I can spend, literally hours scouting department stores and the internet on the hunt for new makeup to fill my bridal, makeup kit.
One product I found to be a lifesaver for bridal makeup, is Vichy - Dermablend Setting powder.

A good 25 mins can be spent hydrating, priming, blending and perfecting the desired, Bridal base makeup. But if all this work is going to slide off in August temperatures, ( well, maybe not in England ) and the hustle and bustle of busy wedding morning preperations - what's the point?

I have been using this product on my brides for the past two years, and they love it!
It's a finely milled powder, with a translucent finish. I use the powder puff included, to 'press' the powder onto the skin, using a soft powder brush to brush away excess.
The skin is left velvety matte with a lovely High-Definition finish. It diminishes shine and helps to disguise large pores.

It's a fabulous product for helping to keep makeup, intact. For excessively oily skin, I do find it hard to find a product that will keep faces, shine-free pretty much all day.

This powder is perfect for use in conjuction with their fabulous foundations and concealers.
See my previous post on their 16hr Corrective Foundation here

I use this powder to set various foundations, or to get rid of unwanted shine.

As with all translucent powders, I still find they work best on fairer skins - although I did use this on a bride the weekend who was around a NC35 in MAC foundation. I applied using only a large powder brush, ommiting the powder puff usage and it didn't alter the colour of the foundation or give her skin an ashey tone.

Now a staple in my professional makeup kit - It's a must for bridal makeup, perfection and for everyday wear.
Prices at £17.00 on Feel Unique for 28g. Pricing correct on January 9th 2017.
Grab yourself a bargain.


Vichy - Fluid Corrective Foundation. 
'Don't be labelled just because of your skin concern'

Acne. Once you have experienced it, you know how it feels to suffer with it. In a world where so much relies on, and so much emphasis is placed on image, being an acne suffer can make you feel like an outsider.

From the age of 13 onwards - I had acne.
13 - 16 my skin erupted and all during my secondary school years I endured the teasing from class 'mates'.
From the age of 18-20 I then experienced ' adult acne' which re-surfaced on my cheeks in painful, unsightly red sores.
The stress, bullying and torment of these years left me mentally and emotionally scarred.

I still get spots and blemishes now regardless of what I use on my skin and what I eat. Thankfully, my skin has never reverted back to the way it was during my teens and early 20s. I have accepted the fact I have acne prone skin, and this alone has slowly helped build my confidence.

Looking back, I think my experiences with acne lead me towards and into the makeup field. I loved how makeup could transform you, not only physically but also emotionally. It's no suprise that I now work as a full-time, freelance makeup artist.
With the knowledge I now have, I can disguise unexpected breakouts leaving me confident and ready to face the world, instead of hiding behind closed doors.

Always on the search for that 'perfect' base makeup I have tried, God only knows how many foundations. I went through the phase of using MAC studio fix ( too drying ) MAC studio sculpt ( too oily ) and Estee Lauder double wear ( too heavy AND too drying )
You name it - I've tried it.

I wanted a foundation that didn't look heavy on the skin, but also gave great coverage. I also wanted a foundation that didn't budge on my oily skin, but also didn't start to look shiny and get patchy after a few hours. Yes, I also began to think I was searching for the impossible.

Finally - after searching, for what feels like an eternity I have found my miracle product.
Introducing Vichy, Fluid Corrective Foundation 16hr.

The foundations come in this 'tube like' packaging, with a screw lid. It helps save on usage, as you can just squeeze out the amount you need. This 'God send' also has a SPF of 35

I dread to think how many foundations I have tried and the thousands I must have spent. It just doesn't bear thinking about!
With my job, I can be up at 4am, and back home at 7pm. It's imperitive that I have a foundation that is longlasting but also gives great coverage.

This foundation is creamy, gliding onto the skin and drying beautifully. It doesn't oxidise ( get darker throughout the day ) and it looks exactly the same when I get home from a job, as it did when I applied it that morning. I set the foundation with their setting powder, which also helps to prolong it's hold, giving a lovely matte finish.

I used this foundation on a client,only the other day. This lady had rosacea and thread veins. Like many ladies who suffer from this, she did not want a foundation that was going to look heavy on the skin, but also didn't want a foundation that was too 'high' maintenance. Ie - need's touching up every hour or so. This foundation gave a lovely coverage without looking caked on. Just beautiful.

Vichy do 5 colours in this range
Opal - being the lightest

The ONLY downside to this product is the colour range. I really hope as this brand becomes more popular they expand the range of shades.
Opal - being the lightest shade, is still a little too dark for me. I do need to blend it down the neck to ensure I dont get the dreaded 'tide' mark.

This foundation has been a god-send for me this summer. No more worrying that my makeup is sliding off whilst I'm working, or that my spots/blemishes are visible to clients.
I will be doing a seperate post for their Dermablend, setting powder, as I feel it needs a review all of it's own!

Vichy can be purchased online, but if you want to test the colours out first, large branches of Boots sell it. This particular foundation cost me £18.00 from Boots, but is currently on offer at £13.50. (23/07/2015 )
Worth every penny.
Vichy do other products for base makeup, including concealers and a cream foundation. I would love to try the concealers on myself and clients.
Have you tried any of the Vichy range?



Not a name I had heard in the beauty world, until a few weeks ago.

During one of my Admin days, which are better spent nosying through Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, I discovered these guys.

I think everyone on planet earth has heard of Elizabeth Ardens, Eight hour cream.
I myself have used if for years, and swear by it - but have I stumbled across a product just like it, or better?

LipGlam retails at £9.99 for a 12ml tube.
It's a handy size so can be popped in your handbag or like me, next to my office computer alongside my makeup brushes.

It's advertised as a 100% natural lip balm that lasts up to 8 hours - but just like Ardens 8 hour cream, it is a multi-purpose product, and who doesn't love a multi-purpose beauty product?

It can be used as a:
Lip Balm
Cuticle ointment
To smooth split ends ( yes, really )
Eyebrow balm
For dry skin relief

Hypoallergenic and 100% fragrance/colour free/paraben free

If you already use Ardens 8 hour cream, you will know it has quite an oily consistency once blended onto the skin area, but it also has a distinct smell.

The texture of LipGlam is quite dense but non-greasy which I like, but it has no fragrance.

I had very dehydrated lips after a bout of illness, and this stuff worked wonders after just a few hours.

I'm impressed - I love how such a compact, beauty product can have so many uses. I've started to use this before applying Lipliner/Lipstick.
Lipliner glides on and does not 'drag' and lipstick is left with a delicate, sheer sheen.

One tip with this product. If like me you live in the UK, which is renowned for its unpredictable weather - this product does not like the cold.
This may be due to the product containing Lanolin - I'm not sure, but like other lip balms it will solidify in the tube.
Not too bad if you are home, just run it under a hot tap but if you are out - this may prove a little more difficult!

Regardless, I've popped this in my Makeup kit and only product's I deem worthy have a place there.

Check out their website
Official LipGlam Website


*This product was sent to me for review
LA Girl Concealers

Another company who it seems, business has boomed for during 2014/2015 is LA Girl Cosmetics.
Like so many new makeup companies, LA Girl now has a huge following with Makeup Artists and on Social media sites, especially Instagram.

Top to bottom - Nude/Medium Bisque/Warm Sand/Warm Honey/Classic Ivory/Beautiful Bronze

Makeup gurus, and Instagram 'celebrities' have gone crazy for these concealers, so naturally - I had to see what all the fuss was about.
The majority of the makeup work I do is going to be seen on camera, and live on for years to come in photographs - so it's imperitive that the makeup I use is suitable.
I constantly have clients who ask why they look so white or washed out in photographs and the reason is always the foundation/concealer/powder being used.

Certain foundations can look great to the naked eye, but in photographs can look lifeless, grey and washed out.
Any makeup product with a high SPF and even talcs will interfere with flash photography, but not only flash photgraphy, just photographs in general.
Flash photography - Wear an SPF? The flash will reflect, leaving you looking as white as a ghost.

The LA Girl concealers are HD - High Definition. If you see makeup that specifies this, you can be sure it will look great in photos.
HD makeup is not just reserved for foundations now, but concealers, blushers and powders are also popping up from different makeup companies - claiming the all important 'HD' stamp.

Why are the LA Girl concealers so popular?

Seveal reasons:
They don't cost the earth - and for this I LOVE LA Girl. I think alot of people are finally cottoning on, that alot of bigger brands really do mark their products up far too high, price wise. If you can get a product just as good, at a quarter of the price - it's really, a no brainer....

They are compact and 'mess' free - I love how versatile they are. If you are a follower on Instagram - you will know how crazy people went for these last year. They are used alot in contouring/highlighting techniques.
With the design of the packaging, its easy to pop it into your makeup bag for re-touch ups during the day.

They are HD - Look great in photographs.

Give great, customisable coverage with a creamy texture

Great range of colours, on their website there are 18 colours advertised.

They have a 'brush' applicator - which again is great for contouring. Just apply them directly to the skin.

One downside for people outside US - are the shipping fees. You will need to do your homework and search sites to find the best deal and what you are prepared to pay.
I tracked a supplier down on Ebay - so didn't pay a fortune in shipping fees.
All six of these concealers came to around £28.00 - with postage.
As with ALL successful makeup companies/products you will get the odd idiot selling / charging a fortune for them, so be careful - shop around.

LA Girl have other fab makeup products that I am dying to try - but annoyingly, I need to eat and pay bills.
Being a makeup artist is an expensive game................

Have you tried any LA Girl products?


W7 Eyeshadow Palettes

This week, I have felt like a child at Christmas. I have had a few unexpected parcels land at my door, and W7 was one of them.
I have a HUGE bundle of makeup from them that I will be working through, so I thought I'd start with these fabulous, eyeshadows palettes.

First glance, you would be mistaken into thinking they were the Urban Decay, eyeshadow palettes.
They have the same 'tin' packaging - which I personally love, as they are easy to clean! (What's with the cardboard packaging that is so popular at the moment? It looks nice for a while, give it a few weeks in my kit and it look's a tatty mess - let's all make these tins please... )
They are the same size, and once opened they have the same design, containing 12 eyeshadows, and a small applicator/brush.

In the Nude
The camera doesn't pick up the lovely shimmery highlights, but they are there!
12 colours.
Natural Nudes
3 Matte colours in Cream/Light/Mid Browns. Great if you just want a matte eye makeup or to define your eye crease.
Alot of the colours in this palette I can see are similar to many MAC colours. Think of the colours:
Jest/Naked Lunch/Mulch/Satin Taupe/Woodwinked
Altogether, a gorgeous palette.

In the Buff, Lightly Toasted
Two Matte tones, in a colour similar to 'Brule' from MAC and a colour that looks a little like 'Cork' from MAC.
You have 7 frosted shades, which are of fabulous pigment. Colours similar to, 'Amber lights', 'All that glitters' by MAC.
Colours are very 'earthy' tones 
You also have two darker shades. One is a Black, with glitter running through it and the other a Charcoal, again with glitter running through it.

In the Night 
One Matte colour in this one - In Black.
This palette has three neutral shades, think Peach/Champagne tones.
You have one deep Purple, alongside another light Purple.
A gorgeous rustic Red, very much like 'Cranberry' from MAC, acompanied by an AMAZING pink, with glitter running through it. This colour would be great, 'patted' on top of a colour or straight onto the eyelid.

I know alot of the brushes you get included with eyeshadow palettes are usually pretty naff - but I would use the finer end of these brushes. It's really great at running under the eyes to add colour and definition - as for the sponge applicator tip - I still wish companies wouldn't bother. It CAN be used to PAT eyeshadow on with, but apart from that - there's really no point.

Now - as for the eyeshadows themselves, how do they compare to other higher end, or higher priced
or a SINGLE eyeshadow it's great.

I have A LOT of what would be classed as 'cheaper' makeup in my kit, not because it's cheap - but because I use it, rate it and it does the job. That's it.

These shadows are of high quality. They are rich in pigment, not full of talc, giving a wishy washy application of colour.
The colours are rich, and they blend well. I would recommend popping an eye primer on first, to give the best colour pay off.

If you are after an eyeshadow palette, but cannot afford £35 upwards for one invest in one of these . You will not be disappointed.
These cost a mere £9.99 each

W7 also do another palette called, 'In the Buff' - Which seems to be filled with very natural, earthy tones - with a mix of frost and mattes.

Take a look at their website here

What do you think? Have you tried these? If so which palette?
Stay tuned to me on Instagram - where I will be posting some new makeup looks using these.


* These makeup items were sent to me for review

Crown Brushes - Best Makeup brushes in the business. Yes, really!

If you are a regular client of mine, then you will know - I love my Crown Brushes.
Whether I am working on a Photoshoot, doing a lovely Brides makeup, or even a one to one Makeup lesson - you will always find me using my trusty Crown brushes.

Now, I own ALOT of makeup brushes - Although my excuse is, I have been buying them for the past 13 years!
Having worked for some of the biggest brand's in makeup, I know a good makeup brush when I see and use one - and you can't go far wrong with brushes from these guys.

If you already use their brushes, you will know that the quality is second to none - but you will also know that their prices are amazing.
Yes, you can buy two or three brushes from Crown, and not have to take out a second mortgage to pay for them.

Here I have listed a few of my favourite brushes from Crown. Let's start with a few of my favourite base brushes.

Love, love love this brush. I always reach for this brush when I want more of a natural finish to the foundation I am using. Being a larger brush, less product is distributed - leaving the skin looking deceptively flawless. The popular duo brush - buffs the product onto the skin. I also love to use this brush if applying makeup to the body.

This is my FAVOURITE Crown, Face brush. This is catergorised under their bronzer brushes section - but I also use it with cream foundation. The bristles are so tightly packed it buffs whatever makeup product you have on them so effortlessley onto the skin - it's fab for anyone with larger pores as it smooths makeup over them. It is also great for powders, and bronzers - as it leaves a natural, subtle look - helping mimick a natural tan.

A relatively new purchase, the brush hairs are tightly packed into the furrell and softly angled.
This brush is great is you are a fan of contouring your cheeks - and buffs whatever makeup medium, whether it be powder or cream beautifully into the skin.

Another new purchase, great brush for more controlled, contour work and more precise placement of product.

Love this duo brush, in smaller form. You have to feel the brush hairs, to believe how fine, and delicate they are. Absolutely love this brush at buffing concealer onto problem areas. It's so soft, it  distributes just enough product - so you get no build up. Heaven.

I use this brush for concealer under the eye - the shape makes it easy to 'pat' and 'place' the product just where you need it - you can then use the same brush to pat until evenly distributed.

Here are a few Crown brushes I have, that not many people own - and many ask about when they see them in my brush belt.

I like to call this a 'bigger blending brush' - bigger than your average blending brush.
It's great at softening down any harsh edges in re to eyeshadows and using transition colours ( lighter, complimenting colours ) to soften. A great brush to have to really 'blow' shadow out - resulting in a soft fusion and gruduation of colour.

My all time favourite angle brush for eyeliner, whether it be powder or gel - and also for applying product to your brows. I find the brush handle, longer than other brands - therefore giving greater ease of use.

Finally! A brush to use with cosmetic glitter! Any Makeup artist will know the pain of trying to apply eye glitters/glues with your average makeup brush - and also trying to clean them after!
This silicon 'brush'  means you can pat the glitter onto the eye/face, avoiding a lot less product fall down. Cleaning of this brush is also so easy - wash in warm water!

Love this brush - for so many reasons. It's a true multi-purpose brush.
Use it to smudge eyeliners, shadows, create a cut crease, crease work, applying highlighter to inner corners of the eye/brown bone - the list is endless.

Tiny smudge brush. Feels softer on the eyes than a larger brush, great for more detailed eye makeup - I've even used this as a lip brush on more than one occasion.

BK41 Bought this over Christmas - love using this to 'clean' up eyeliner - making it look sharper and more defined. It's also great if you are a fan of the sharp, clean brow - great for applying concealer with.

Check out the official Crown Brushes website here - for lots of other fab brushes and also makeup and accessories.

For an exclusive 15% off all brushes and accessories, Using the link below type 'Blush' in at checkout. 

You are welcome!