Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Cost Of Beauty - Truth behind animal testing

Most of you are probably unaware as to the true extent of animal testing in the cosmetics industry, like myself. I was ignorant, and until doing some research did not realise animal testing was still so prominent within the industry, like I did, you may think animal testing is a thing of the past.

Think again! Huge companies like Mac, L'Oreal, Estée Lauder, Johnson and Johnson just to name a couple still use animal testing for their products. You can find a complete list of companies that do use animal testing here; http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.aspx

What is Animal Testing?
Animal Testing is carried out by certain companies to test the safeness of products for humans. Animals like rabbits are often subject to extremely painful and often lethal tests, which include toxic substances being placed in the eyes of rabbits. The rabbits often scream out in pain and end up breaking their necks and backs in an effort to escape. Lethal Dosage (LD) test are carried out on the animals to test the dosage of the toxins that proves lethal, leading to the death of numerous animals. Often painful and slow deaths.
Other tests include force feeding rats chemicals, known for causing cancer, for 2 years to see if they get cancer, then either way they are all destroyed.

Why Animal Test?
Companies have a responsibility to ensure products are safe to consumers, however animal testing has been proved irrelevant. A test on a mouse, for example, will have different results than a test on a rat, therefore how can this be translated to the result on humans? DNA between species vary hugely and tests on different sexes of animals also affect test results, therefore results of the tests on animals do not reflect the result the product will have on humans. Products sold and manufactured in China are by law required to test on animals, a country which saw an increase in profit in the beauty industry of 18% last year, taking profits to £10 billion, making it a lucrative business with many cosmetics companies happily ditching their cruelty free logos to sell products in China.

There are better alternatives.
With modern technology their are more humane and effective tests that companies can use. For example, synthetic membranes grown by artificial means, which provide better results in relation to human reactions to cosmetics ingredients. With technology as advanced as it is in this day and age there is simply no reason or excuse for animal testing.

What can you do?
Whilst people are still purchasing products from companies who use these barbaric test, companies will continue to animal test. It may be that people are unaware, or don't like to think about it (ignorance is bliss!) but by boycotting companies who still use animal testing we can put a stop to this unjust cruelty. I will be boycotting these companies now, until their ethos on the matter changes!

You can also sign a petition and learn more about the 'Cruelty Free Campaign' here; http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/the-issue

And spread the word, people should be aware of what their hard earned money is funding when buying cosmetics!

Look out on products for the 'leaping bunny' logo below. This is issued by the CCIC (The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics) to companies who comply with the cruelty free regulations.

It up to you who you purchase your products from but everyone should be aware of exactly what their money is funding.

I'm sorry but I have to add some horrid pics below to really highlight this plight!

For continued info see the following links;



Monday, 10 September 2012

Sunkissed Beauty - Bridal Look

I was contacted by the lovely guys at Sunkissed Beauty about taking part in their new competition to create a Bridal look using their products. The competition entries are a range of makeup artists and beauty bloggers, showing just how many looks can be created with the versatile products!

The products used for this competition consist of;
Beyond Bronze Flexi Cosmetics Kit - £14.99
Sunkissed Jumbo Bronzing Pearls - £2.50
Sunkissed Cosmetic Bronzing Brush - £3.49
All available at www.sunkissedbronzing.co.uk

As you can see the products are really good value, and of a very good quality. I loved the Bronzing Pearls, and the Beyond Bronze Flexi Kit has a great range of products and colours and is an absolute bargain! The Shadows within the kit are highly blendable and offer really good pigment payoff, I loved these shadows!

Below are the pics of the look I created on my friend Tanya Shepherd. Here is a run down of how I created this look!

Skin was prepped and primed using Dermalogica. I then evened out skin tone using Makeup Forever HD foundation mixed with Mac Strobe Cream for luminosity. Base was set with Makeup Forever translucent powder.

Using the gold/brown trio from the Sunkissed Beyond Bronze Flexi Cosmetic Kit, I swept the middle golden shade on the lid up to the crease then blende shadow upwards and outwards. Then using darkest shade I blended this into the crease and outer corner of eyelid to add depth and definition to the eye, ensuring this was well blended. I then used the lightest shade as a highlighter on the inner corner of the eye and underneath the brow bone. Taking again the darkest shadow shade I swept this under the eye thinly along the lash line and then did the same for the upper lash line to define eyes. Eyelashes were curled and two coats of the Mascara from the kit were coated onto top and bottom lashes, ensuring good separation of lashes.

Using the Bronzing Pearls and Bronzing Brush I swept the Bronzer anywhere the sun naturally hits your face, forehead, nose, cheeks etc. I then added the Peachy Pink Blusher from The Beyond Bronze Kit to the apples of the cheeks sweeping up towards the hairline. I then used a highlighter around the temples, centre of forehead, downwards along the very centre of the nose and Cupids bow.

Using the pink peach lipstick shade from the Beyond Bronze Kit I applied to lips lightly for a natural hint of gloss and colour

Hope you like the look I created! Please take a second and click vote on my picture if you do! It takes less than 10 seconds.. Here is the link; http://www.sunkissedbronzing.co.uk/wedding_look

If I win I will be doing a Sunkissed Cosmetics giveaway so keep voting and keep a look out!


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Paris Beauty Bargains!

Now I know there are a fair few posts out their about makeup/cosmetic shopping in Paris, so I'm not going to do a big blog repeating info that's already out there, I just want to share the products I love, and that I found were worth a purchase!

Now I visited the Cite Pharma, Rue 4 in Saint Germain to purchase these goodies, which I found to be the best value for money.

Here are some of the products I purchased;

Bioderma Crealine - €15.90 for two 500ml bottles;
A Makeup Artist's absolute essential, especially loved at Fashion Weeks. This is a hardworking cleanser that quickly rids skin of makeup and dirt, and is suitable for all skin, so gentle and water-like it's a treat for sensitive skin.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré - €18.30 for two 75ml
This hydrating Moisturiser is an absolute must in my kit. It combats very dry skin, without being too oily. It's a beautifully hydrating base for makeup application.

Caudalíe - Eau De Beautè - €8.90 for 30ml
This is a refreshing mist spray, and is an absolute treat to skin. Used as a refreshing toner, or over makeup as a face freshener. This product also contains natural plant and fruit extracts which means its aromatherapy properties wake up your senses too.

Homeoplasmine - approx €5
This is actually more commonly used a treatment cream for irritated skin, (some call it nipple cream!) but this product is used by Makeup Artists as an amazing chapped lip and dry skin cream!

Here's a pic of my Paris haul..

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Japonesque's pretty Safari NEW range!

If you haven't heard of Japonesque, they are a US professional, high quality brand who make a makeup artists job that much easier, and kits that bit prettier! They also make brushes for brands such as MAC.

I love Japonesque brushes and amazing storage containers like the fabulous lip palette which helps condense all many lipsticks in one handy compact case.

Japonesque has branched out to the UK and products are now available at Boots, John Lewis and HQ Hair. You can also view and purchase online direct at www.japonesque.com

So I was excited to be sent some brushes from the new 'Safari' range from Japonesque. The new brushes not only look absolutely beautiful and brighten up any makeup bag, they are a pleasure to apply makeup with.

The new brushes consist of animal print designs and are synthetic and animal friendly!

I love the super-luxe Bronzer brush, it applies powders and bronzers evenly, blending makeup beautifully, plus its compact enough to carry around for touch ups on the go and to show off it's chic design to the envy of your friends!

See the pics below of the new range and grab them whilst their still around, they are selling fast!

Super-luxe Bronzer brush - £19.50
Safari Brush set - £28 (includes Powder Brush, Shadow Brush and Crease Brush contained in a Microfibre case)

Monday, 2 July 2012

My Top Ten Beauty Must Haves!

As a self confessed beauty and makeup junkie, I have tried a ridiculous amount of potions and lotions so those that make it into my regular beauty regime have to be pretty special!

So here's a little peek into the products I use regularly;

1) St Ives Apricot Facial Scrub
I love this facial exfoliator, it buffs and scrubs away dead skin cells and impurities to leave skin feeling fresh and clean! It's gentle enough to be used everyday if your skins requires, and has a lovely apricot scent! Exfoliation leaves skin nicely prepped for makeup application.

2) Carmex Cherry Lipbalm
I am totally addicted to this Lipbalm, and use it both personally and on client/models lips. It instantly hydrates lips, and has a gorgeous smell. It's also non sticky but leaves a lovely glossy sheen on lips. This amazing balm is SPF 15, so it also protects your lips.

3) Bioderma Crealine
This makeup remover/cleanser is a cult favourite of makeup artists, and for good reason. The gentle makeup remover basically melts away makeup, but is as gentle on the skin as water. It leaves skin cleansed, refreshed and makeup free in minutes! I love using this for myself, and is a staple in my kit at fashion shows to cleanse and revive the models face when the skin is feeling a little worse for wear after constant makeup application and removal.

4) Makeup Forever HD Translucent Powder
I have oily skin, which is much the blight of many, so if your skin is like mine, you will be well aware of the annoyance of a shiny T-Zone appearing an hour or so after makeup application. I use this product lightly on my oily prone areas after foundation and concealer application concentrating mainly on forehead, nose, chin and under eyes to set concealer. This powder is so fine and invisible, it avoid making makeup cakey, which is not a good look! I also use Kleenex Blotting sheets and a little more powder during the day as needed!

5) MUA Cosmetics Eye Shadow Primer
I swear by this amazing product! Used under eyeshadow it primes the eye for shadow application, and stops eyeshadow from creasing! It also adds depth to shadow colour and eliminates discolouration of eyelids. I use this daily, and it prevents creasing for at least 10 hours! This product is a bargain at £2.50, and rivals more expensive primers I have used in the past.

6) Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner
If your like me and are constantly using heated hair styling products, hair dye and the like, your hair will start to show the strain. Using this intensive conditioning treatment restores shine and the condition of your hair, it also smells like bubblegum! Lush!

7) Palmer Cocoa Butter Body Lotion
I love this amazing body moisturiser for instant skin rehydration. It also smells delicious! For added moisture use straight after a bath or shower!

8) Biore Pore Strips
These pore strips are designed either for nose, chin or forehead. They cleverly remove blackheads and impurities from blocked pores, this therefore also prevents spots! I use once a week on problem areas.

9) Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers
These are the best eyelash curlers you can buy and are a firm favourite with makeup artists. They curl even the most stubborn eyelashes. Use prior to mascara, and curl lashes at base, middle and end of lashes for a natural rounded curl.

10) E45 Cream
I love this cream for dry skin, it instantly hydrates skin, and is for use on face and body. I also on dry elbows and knees when needed. I always carry this product in my kit.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Charles Fox Marathon Masterclass

I was lucky enough to be one of the select few Makeup Artists to be invited to the Charles Fox Marathon Masterclass, so for those who weren't there, I thought I'd provide a little glimpse of what happened!

The Masterclass was held by the fantastic team at Charles Fox at the beautiful Royal Opera House. The event was filled with amazingly talented Makeup Artists at the top of their fields giving demonstrations on lots of different areas of makeup over the two days the event was held.

I attended Saturday's Masterclass which started the day of with Makeup Artist Chris Dennis who was demoing Drag Makeup - which I personally love!

Chris Dennis' client base include Pamela Anderson, Cherie Blair and Julie Walters to name just a couple, as well as working at fashion week on shows for Vivienne Westwood and Amanda Wakely amongst many others.

Chris demonstration blocked brows stubble colour correction and how to get that Drag makeup exaggerated eye, incorporating lots of colour and glitter! What's not to love! 


Second demonstrator was Liz Bylett, who demonstrated some amazing Body Paint. Liz is the founder of Foillies Face and Body paint, and as well as providing her services to clients including Richard Branson, she is also competing in the UK's body paint competition next month. Liz created a Great Britain inspired look using aqua colours and lots of glitter!!

Next up was Lan Nguyen, who is known for her amazing crystal and glitter looks. Lan specialises in Fashion, heading up many shows for London Fashion Week, as well as providing makeup for her celeb client base.

Lan Demoed 3 high fashion makeup looks, using lots of glitters, crystals and greasepaint's!

Stuart Bray was up next, Stuart is a Special Effects (SFX) artist who has worked on films such as 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Saving Private Ryan'. Stuart demonstrated a Zombie look, using latex pieces, and lots of fake blood!!

Last but by no means least was James Vincent, Makeup Artist to the Stars! James has worked with top celebs like Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart!

James Demo'd 3 looks based on looks he did on 3 very well know faces! 1st was Florence Welch, 2nd Kirsten Stewart and 3rd Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters).

Huge thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the event so amazing... Paul Merchant and the team at Charles Fox, all of the amazing artists who gave amazing classes, Joey Bevan Stylist - Assistant Angela Gates, Hair by Kasia Fortuna & Spencer Silver. 
Also the photographers who got some amazing shots from the event you can check out; Martin Higgs, Gary Nunn and HelenShotMe
Film Maker: Paul Bates - Assistant; Adam Galways

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Red lips that suit YOU!

I love love love a red lip, it has a real Hollywood glamour feel, and can make you instantly feel fab and more confident!

If you think you can't, or are a bit weary of wearing a red lip, think again.. As long a you choose the right shade for you, anyone can pull it off, and I'm here to help you find your perfect shade!

The Right Red for YOU!
There are so many shades of reds with many different undertones etc, so which one to pick?

Firstly you need to know whether your skin has Pink or Yellow (Cool or Warm) undertones. If your not sure, there is an easy way to tell..

Check your wrists or arms, where your veins are visible, if your veins are mainly green, then your undertones are yellow (warm) if your veins are mainly blue the your undertones are pink (cool). If your a mixture of both then your neutral toned!

Yellow (warm) undertones:
The best reds for warm undertones are Orangey Reds, Warm Reds, Brown and Golden Based Reds

My Favourite; Estée Lauder Spanish Red

Pink (cool) undertones:
Pink Tones Reds, Berry and Plum Shades, and Blue based Reds.

My favourite; Mac Russian Red - This is a Blue based red.

*Blue based reds will also give the Illusion of Whiter teeth!

*If you have small lips, avoid the darkest shades of red, as these will make your lips look smaller.

If your still not sure a red lipstick is for you, try a lip stain first, such as Benefit Benetint!

So go on get the right red lippy, and see how it makes you feel!



Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review and Swatches of New Revlon Lip Butters!

With many rave reviews and buzz on Revlons new lip butters, I had to see what all the fuss was about, and these beautiful lipstick balms do not disappoint!

The lip butters offer great pigmentation and colour density with a shine, and double up as a hydrating balm for your lips.. With great colour and lip softening ingredients everyone is a winner!

The product is also relatively long wearing for a balm, lasting between 2-3 hours, which is also a plus.

These are a must for fellow Makeup Artists kits, as well beauty lovers alike!

They retail at £7.99 and are currently on offer of 3 for 2 at Boots. There are a wide range of shades so there is a shade to suit all..

I went for some bright on trend summer shades, swatches below, from left to right; 035 Candy Apple, 075 Lollipop and 015 Tutti Frutti.

Love the packaging which is coloured to match the butters, making it easy to find the colour I need when in a rush on set! I shall definately be expanding my collection!


Friday, 30 March 2012

A great year to be British!

So 2012 is set to be a great year for us Brits, what with London hosting the Olympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee! In such tough economic times, it's great to celebrate being British, and it truely feels like a sense of patriotism is being restored with such events!

To celebrate the upcoming events I wanted to do a beauty shoot... So here are the results...

Products used;
Mac Studio Fix mixed with Shu Uemura UV base.
Bobbi Brown Correctors and Concealers.
Makeup Forever HD translucent setting powder.
MUA Bronzer and Blusher in English Rose.
Mac Vanilla Pigment used for highlighting.

Mac Kohl Eye Liner in Smolder set with a mixture of Sleek matte black eyeshadows.
Shu Uemura eyelash curlers used and lashes set with 2 coats of Dior Show Mascara.
Eyebrows set and defined using Bobbi Brown Pencil and shadows.

Violent Lips Tattoo, set with Ben Ny paints.

Photography; Kaye Ford
Model; Stacey @ Leni's Model Management

Hope you like!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Ethereal Shoot at Hyde Park

Wanted to share with you one of most favourite's shoots!

Teaming up with talented Photographer Hannah-Beth Todd, we shoot this at Hyde Park in London, on a beautifully sunny September day.

Hannah has a beautifully personal photography style which really creates a mood a feel to the photos. We wanted to create something almost dream like, girlie, soft and beautiful.. Which I think we did!

How I created the look;

Base was soft, matte and natural, using Mac Face and Body, Makeup Forever HD setting power, and natural highlights around temple, Cupids bow, centre of nose, using Mac pigment in Vanilla.

Blush was Bobbi Brown in pale pink and slopes. Used lightly to recreate a natural skin hue across apples of cheeks and blended outwards.

Eyes were left very natural, almost a no makeup look, brows were naturally filled with featured brush strokes, and further brushed through with a clean brush. Lids were evened out with a Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ocre. Lashes were curled and set with a brown mascara on top and bottom lashes. A beige eye pencil was then used on waterline to brighten and open eyes.

Lips were the main focus of the look, OCC lips tars were mixed to create bespoke colours for each girl, pigment was then pressed onto lips to mattify and create a slight two tone lip on a couple of shots.

Hope you like!


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Photoshoot with Adam Goodwin and Kat @ Profile and Fords

Here are some images from a shoot I did with the talented photographer Adam Goodwin. Model is Kat @ Profile models and Fords.

For this look, I used Mac Face and Body foundation as the model had such beautiful skin. I wanted a fresh natural coverage so face and body is perfect. For concealing I used Bobbi Brown creamy concealers and a corrector for under eye area.

Blush was left natural with some contouring under cheekbone. I used Bobbi Brown blusher in Slopes and contouring was a matte Bobbi Brown eyeshadow mix to match models skin tone.

Smokey eyes were created used Mac Smolder eye pencil on upper and lower lash line blended upwards and outwards for a winged cat eye shape. I then used Sleeks Storm I-Divine pallette using the vanilla colour in the inner corner of eye to open up eyes. I then used the black colour to set liner on top and bottom blending to a gradual fade upwards and outwards. I then used the smoulder pencil on the lower and upper waterlines of eyes. After curling lashes I applied 2 coats of Maybeline volumising mascara in black.

Lips were left with a natural gloss using Vaseline mixed with a dab of Bobbi Brown pot rouge.

Hope you like!


London Fashion Week Feb 2012

Hi All,

This is my first blog post EVER! So I thought I'd start with a good'un and take you behind the scenes at London Fashion Week where I had the pleasure of working a few weeks ago...

The first show I worked was the amazing "Corrie Nielsen" AW12 show, one of the first shows kicking off London Fashion Week. My morning started with an early wake up of 4.30am, when I then made my way excitedly and heavy makeup kit in tow to Somerset House for the show.

Arriving and being ushered backstage to set up, the area was beginning to fill with dressers, photographers, hair stylist etc, all busily rushing to prepare the models for the show. The atmosphere backstage is always buzzing and filled with creativity!

The key artist for the show was Yin Lee, a super talented MUA, who designed the makeup look for the show taking into account the gorgeous Tartan adorned designs. After a briefing from Yin myself and my fellow makeup artists were off making up the gorgeous array of models!

The makeup for the show was..
  • A beautiful, flawless and fresh face, I used Mac Studio Fix with a few drops of Mac Lustre Drops.
  • Exaggerated peach/orange was used for a blush that extended to the temple.
  • Neutral eyelids - using a Mac Paint Pot with a very thin -barely there, eyeliner on the upper lash.
  • Lips were a bold red, made using a mix of OCC Lip Tars, Mac Paint Pots and a dark shade of foundation.
  • The face was finished with an adhesive lace applied to the models forehead, created by the amazing Face Lace - http://face-lace.com/

The show was amazing and I loved every minute of it, and here are some pictures, hope you like!....