Monday, 30 September 2013


Urban Decay 'Eden' Eyeshadow Primer Potion, £15 for 11ml.

Back when I used to work next to an Urban Decay counter the girls let me take a little sample of 'Eden' home with me, and I gotta say, it surpassed all expectations. I went out and bought the full size tube and it is now something I use on myself regularly (when I can be bothered to wear eyeshadow that is) and is a constant in my makeup kit.

It's creamy on first squirt, but as it is worked into the eyelid it dries down to a stiff, matte finish. While it clearly has amazing grip for eyeshadows, the super matte finish means you have to work quite fast when applying eye makeup, blending quickly as you go to ensure that eyeshadow doesn't get stuck where you didn't want it to be, because boy it is hard to budge if you don't blend in time.

It's very yellow, and while I'm sure this is purposeful in order to counteract any redness, so commonly found on eyelids, it is so visible on a pale, pink person such as me that I do have to wear colours that balance it out i.e. I cannot wear it simply as a colour correcter or tiny-vein-hider. When I use it, I can only use it if eyeshadow is actually going on top. The same goes for when I use it on a dark skinned model, I have to be so careful to only apply it where I know eyeshadow will be, or it is visible against them. You can be the one to judge whether you think this would be an issue for yourself or not.

It grips and holds onto every particle of eyeshadow that you put on top of it. There's no creasing after 8 hours and it definitely helps bright and deep colours alike 'pop' to their full potential, true to pan colour. The tiniest bit is needed to cover both eyes, but sometimes the squeezy tube can dispense more than is needed, a problem I find commong amongst all of the eyeshadow primers I have used. It's not a deal breaker, because I think it is fantastic value for money and something that I know will last me a long time, and something that I will definitely be buying again. Thumbs up from me!

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 23 September 2013

Una Brennan Super Fan

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Renew Cleansing Oil, £10.99 for 200ml.

It's no secret how much I love and trust the Super Facialist by Una Brennan range, specifically the Tea Flower products designed to combat combination and oily skins. I've had good experiences with both the Foaming cleanser and the mattifying moisturiser (I've gone through several tubes of this myself and also carry it in my makeup kit) so when I saw a product that I hadn't spotted before, I had to give it a go.

I am a cleansing oil newbie, and I haven't been disappointed, infact I'd say I am pretty much converted and will be seeking to use them more. Many of you who have oily or combination skin similar to mine might have been worried or put off by the word 'oil', sending you into panic with visions of greasy skin and clogged oily pores, however with the cold weather change setting in, it's important to maintain and lock as much good moisture into your skin as possible, and using a harsh or foaming cleanser is probably not the way to achieve this (though of course there are exceptions).

This cleansing oil lathers a little, into a soft layer of small bubbles when massaged onto the face with warm water. It rinses off easily and doesn't leave a greasy film behind, which is what I was most concerned would happen. Alas, it doesn't! In the evenings I double cleanse with this and my skin is left feeling soft and nourished, not dry or tight. It has quite an overwhelming scent, sort of citrusy, though my fiance did insist the other night that I smelt of oranges. Either way, it's pretty fruity. My skin is never perfect (I'm hoping my new Clarisonic Mia 2 will change this) but this cleanser has certainly calmed my, at times, irritated and sore skin and seems to balance my oily t-zone. It hasn't tightened my pores, which is one of the reasons I like her foaming Tea Flower cleanser, however I reckon they could make a pretty sweet duo. It is gentle, and something I would recommend to all skin types.

As with all of the Una Brennan range, it is free from nasty ingredients such as mineral oil and parabens. The majority of my skincare regime is completely free of these ingredients generally, I have absolutely no desire to go out and buy a £40 Clarins moisturiser bursting with the stuff. This one contains lots of seed oil extracts- sunflower & olive along with more exciting passionfruit, cucumber and rosehip.

PS I've been absent again. Thankyou for putting up with me and for continuing to read my blog, I spent a few weeks back and forth to London (makeup lyf- assisting on a very exciting campaign that I will tell you more about on its release) and then been ill for a week and a half inbetween which has been boring as hell. i.e. not ideal circumstances for blogging, but I am feeling better and looking forward to sharing more stuff with you over the coming weeks!

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Red Lips.

Hi peeps! It's really nice to log back on and see some new followers. Thankyou and hello! Going to chat about a trend I have noticed the last few weeks, I cannot escape it, it's on all the pages of my magazines! Red lipstick...

It could be argued that red lips are a classic, timeless trend. But flicking through my Elle Collections A/W '13 magazine I couldn't help but notice the abundance of red lipstick used on the catwalk models on this seasons runway.

Red lips were sported on models walking for Lanvin, Armani, Meadham Kirchoff, Prada and Louis Vuitton to name a few, however the red in question was worn all different ways. 
The majority wore it glossy or with a balm finish, mattes weren't as popular this year.

Louis Vuitton and Prada sported red in a more smudged or 'just bitten' way whereas the Meadham Kirchoff and Armani models were much more polished with clean lip lines and an orange infused finish. Armani kept models super pale, with no sign of blush or even contouring which lead to a very striking 2D look, in comparison to the softer complexions on display at the other shows.

It's interesting to note that on the other end of the spectrum, the totally nude lip also cropped up an awful lot. There was a serious lack of any other colour other than red or barely-there, no signs of plums or purples so commonly seen on an Autumn/Winter catwalk. So whether you're prone to a bright pop of red, or a little shy and more comfortable with lip balm, either way you'll certainly be on trend this winter! Whichever you choose, wear it with soft eye makeup (if any at all), and refrain from pairing it with heavy eyeliner or brows, if you want to be a totally fashion-forward gal.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, 11 August 2013


A face of the day post for ya'll today. I recently caved to the Illamasqua summer sale and bought 'Hype' an acid yellow eyeshadow with a matte finish. I'm aiming to increase the colour range in my kit, but couldn't resist trying it out on myself first!

I used Benefit's 'Stay Don't Stray' eye primer, two brown shades from the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, and Illamasqua 'Hype.' I smudged MAC Kohl in 'Smoulder' underneath my bottom lashes, and added some falsies, finishing off with a slick of black gel liner. Totally over the top, but it was fun, and I am surprised by how much I liked yellow!

Blogging is going to be a wee bit absent for the next week, as I don't have a day off now until next Sunday on which I am sure I will be gently rocking myself back and forth in a corner, in blankets, with my phone turned off, catching up on BINTM or some shizz. Then I am off to London for a few days but hope to get a couple of posts sorted for then. All the best til then.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 5 August 2013

Daniel Sandler: Tornado.

Daniel Sandler eyeshadow in 'Tornado', £9.21 from

Not to be put off by my slightly odd first experience dabbling in Daniel Sandler cosmetics I hopped straight back on that horse and have a powder eyeshadow review for you today.

Firstly I'll applaud that the online stock photo is a lot clearer and true to life than the longlasting waterproof eyeliner photos are. This eyeshadow is the colour and consistency as described- a mid brown with taupey grey/cool undertones, matte finish and powder texture. 2g of product is generous for it's £9.21 pricetag (in comparison to 1.5g for a MAC shadow at £12.50) however there's a slight discrepency where the website states it is 2.3g and the packaging I have here states 2g.

With eye primer (I've been using Urban Decay 'Eden' Primer Potion) this stayed put all day and into the night. There was minimal fall out when I was applying it, and it blended well too. There isn't one aspect of this product that is not satisfactory or that doesn't deliver- it's a very good eyeshadow and has reaffirmed my belief that Daniel Sandler cosmetics are of good quality. This colour in a palette with other high quality neutrals would definitely be something that I would purchase for both myself and as a gift. For now, this'll join my other single eyeshadows ready to be depotted into a Z Palette when I eventually get round to it! I can see that it'll be used a lot in the future as it is such an important, natural shade and the quality would encourage me to use it often.

Thanks for reading,


This product was sent for me to review. is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products. You can order this product by clicking here.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Recent Empties: Shower.


L'Oreal Elvive Nutrigloss Sparkling Conditioner: I was sucked in by the new product advertising and purchased the matching shampoo which I am yet to finish. The shampoo is so pretty- a pink jelly with sparkles! The conditioner however is not so pretty, just a plain creamy milky pink in colour, and to be honest it made my hair feel soft like any conditioner would, but also quite heavy and weighed down even though I had rinsed it all out. I didn't like it, and won't be buying it again. 

John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner: This I bought after using it back in September (full review here), it softened my hair and made it easier to comb through. As deep conditioners go, it is a good one, but as always the tub size doesn't last me that long!

Charles Worthington Mineral Hair Rescue: I loved this. This was really effective in what it did, it wasn't as heavy as other conditioners and a little seemed to go a long way. I noticed good results with this and will buy it again.


L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil: (Full review here) This is a wonderful, luxury product. It smells like almonds in a nutty way, rather than an amaretto way. It lathers nicely, though not greatly, leaves skin feeling clean and soft and best of all is is paraben and SLS-free.

Original Source Vanilla Milk and Raspberry Shower Gel: I adore the smell and consistency of this. It is so foamy, yet it still feels gentle on the skin. I try not to buy this often, but it is on offer quite a lot and I can't always justify splashing out on the more expensive, kind to skin shower gels.

Burt's Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint and Rosemary Body Wash: (Full Review here) This is a good value for money shower gel, it's free from nasty ingredients and it's 350ml lasts a long time. The scent is fresh and herby, and it lathers and foams really well. The scent lingers on your skin for a little while too, I love that fresh feeling.

Original Source Lemon and Tea Tree Shower Gel: Just a small travel size shower gel I took with me when I was staying in London for a week. It's so so, not as nice as the vanilla milk and raspberry one, and again, I do try and avoid SLS as much as I can. 

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Green People Foaming Face Wash.

£10.95 for 100ml.

It's no secret that I have been endeavouring to use more and more natural, cruelty free and organic skincare products. It's an interesting process, with some good and bad surprises along the way! I don't think that my face will ever be 100% cruelty free but I am a believer that every bit makes a difference.

I found this in my local independant health food shop and thought I'd give it a go. At just over a tenner it is good value for money in terms of amount of product you get, not cheap yet not expensive- a happy middleground in terms of price. Affordable.
The term 'foaming face wash' had me assuming that the product would foam up, once massaged into the face with water. Infact, this product comes out of the dispenser as foam, something I've not had to work with before! I found this initially, and still, quite disappointing. I would much rather this came out in liquid form and foamed up once wet as it would feel like a more thorough cleanse. It also made me worry I would experience tightness or dryness in my skin, as foaming washes are often famed for.

I've been using this for both my morning and evening cleanse for about three weeks and not noticed any negative side effects. I haven't experienced dryness, tightness that I had worried about. My skin feels balanced and looks healthy, I've had the odd hormonal induced spot here and there but nothing severe. It does a good job at removing any left over makeup that I have missed with my micellar water, though I wouldn't advise using this as your soul makeup remover as it does struggle a little with mascara.

Getting used to the foam has been quite a strain, as at times I feel the product didn't coat my face enough. The cleanse just didn't feel indepth or thorough, which took away from the enjoyable experience that I normally find cleansing to be. However it must be doing a good job, as I said before- my skin feels balanced and I've not experienced any nasty outbreaks or problems.

This cleanser claims to be suitable for all skin types (though I would suggest it would be best for combination or oily skin types due to it's foam consistency), it contains 96% organic ingredients, many of them fair trade. It is worth noting that it contains salicylic acid- a favourite of mine for clearing out blocked pores. It's is alcohol and soap free, therefore ideal for sensitive skin, the product is not tested on animals and does not contain any nasties such as SLS (unusual for a foaming product), parabens, lanolin etc and last but not least they donate 10% of their profits to charity. Talk about ethical! Perfect for anyone concerned about using harsh chemicals in their skincare, vegans/vegetarians, or who favour a foam for their face wash.

This isn't and won't be my 'holy grail' cleanser, there are many more on the market for me to discover and test. That said, I would recommend this. The ingredients and the company ethos is fantastic and faultless. The brand 'Green People' have all to offer; including toothpaste, a cosmetics range and lovely products to cater especially for babies and children. I will definitely be looking into them more in the future, but I don't think that I'll repurchase this particular product.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, 28 July 2013



My current wants and wishes, all squished into a polyvore moodboard. Items include;
Silk shorts from TopShop boutique,
Chain leather bracelet and ankle strap pumps from Whistles, 
Off the shoulder stripe top from the COS sale,
black Superga's, 
MAC 'Teddy' eye kohl, Daniel Sandler watercolour blush and Bobbi Brown BB Cream.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Hydra Veil.

Illamasqua Hydra Veil, £27 for 30ml.

When I first heard about Hydra Veil I thought it was a very daring move for a colour brand like Illamasqua to release something with a rather large nod to skincare. They market it as a hydrating fluid with it's high content of hyaluronic acid, however for me it works fantastically as a primer.

HydraVeil smoothes out my skin, it isn't full of silica and it doesn't feel like a thick, heavy paste like other primers that I have used in the past. It prolongs the wear of my foundation by 2-3 hours than if I wear it without. Even on high heat days, it performs well. I use it regularly on clients and models alike because it has no SPF so benefits the photography, it also seems to suit all skin types and help the foundation apply as smoothly as possible.
I don't notice any skin care benefits, I don't even notice the 'flood of hydration' that Illamasqua describe, rather the finish is actually quite sticky which I am sure helps adhere the foundation. Expecting my skin to look dewy and refreshed, it actually makes the finish of my foundation quite matte.

It's a very unique consistency. A wobbly jelly in the pot it smoothes to a more liquid finish when being massaged into the skin. No matter how many times you stir the product, it always settles back down into a smooth, ice like finish in the end.

The packaging lets the product down. It isn't very nice to look at, it's a bulky black cauldron and the 'Illamasqua' branding rubbed off after about three uses. There's a flip lid underneath the main screw lid, and this has snapped off and won't go back on. It's a pretty integral part of the design as it protects the jelly from any dust etc. It's really disappointing because I have over half of the product left. These are the sort of elements that should have been tested thoroughly before a product release, it seems rushed and the packaging would definitely benefit from a redesign.

While primers often get forgotten in my daily routine more often that not, I do use this product in my kit on the regular. It's hard to say right now whether I'll repurchase or try something else, at £27 it deserves to have sturdier or more aesthetically pleasing packaging!

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 22 July 2013


MAC 'Nightmoth' Lip Pencil, £12 for 4.5g

I had a shoot coming up where I was told I would be creating a 'burlesque' look. I had visions of bronze and gold eyelids with deep purple lips and diamond details. When I was actually at the shoot the spec changed slightly. I had bought 'Nightmoth' especially, but as I had been eyeing it up for a while I needed any excuse to make the purchase. 
I ran with dark plum lips as a theme, as a recent trip to the cinema left me mesmorised by the hair, makeup and costume in The Great Gatsby. I lined the lips with Nightmoth and filled the lips in the centre with Illamasqua's 'Drench' (a raspberry red) and blended them together with a lip brush to create an ombre effect. I've included a photo to show the result. I know this pencil will come in handy, it's important to have a suitable matching lip liner for dark colours and I love creating a graduated effect with brighter lipsticks in the centre too. 

Nightmoth is a very deep plum purple with brown undertones. Similarly to other MAC Lip Liners- while there is great and long lasting colour pay off, the consistency can be a little dry at times and does pull at the lips if you press hard (which sometimes you need to.) However that aside, they sharpen and perform really well.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, 20 July 2013

Iggy Azalea inspired; Tuxedo Eyeliner

Thought I'd try out 'Tuxedo Eyeliner' after spotting it on the video of one of my favourite songs this year so far- Iggy Azalea Work. It has been non stop in our household, let me tell you that. Though did anyone else hear her interview on Radio 1 last Sunday? Talk about bland.

To create this look, it is quite straight forward but does take a bit of time and does need a steady hand. I chose a soft smokey eye as a base, main colours used were my Urban Decay Naked Basics palette (couldn't be without it) and Daniel Sandler eyeshadow in 'Tornado' (review to come on that one soon.) I first lined and winged my eyes, following the eyeline using MAC 'Blacktrack' gel liner and a thin brush. Secondly I followed the line on top using Illamasqua's liquid eyeliner in 'Scribe'- a pure white. A bit watery at first, this does need two coats to be opaque. After that had dried, I re-lined the black line, to correct any bleeds and to deepen the colour. 
Followed with lashings of mascara and my base makeup as usual, the look was done. Probably not the most wearable, everyday looks but I haven't done anything for just a bit of fun in a while. I've been so bogged down with bridal trials and wedding days (not that I'm complaining, I love what I do) that I was itching to try something a bit creative!!

Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Dr Bronner's Magic Soap

I've seen it in American Apparel, I've seen it in & Other Stories, but I finally caved when I saw the infamous Dr Bronner's Magic Soap in my local HomeSense store for a few pounds off it's RRP. After contemplating which 'flavour' to choose I decided to go with Peppermint, because you just can't beat the freshness of a mint scent. My intention was to use it for all sorts, but mainly for cleaning my makeup brushes as it had been recommended to me.

The first thing I must say is that this is such a thorough cleaner. It makes things squeaky clean, and I mean squeaky, in little to no time at all. I tested it in three ways: My makeup brushes, as a bathroom cleaner, and as a shower gel. It does state it's multipurpose, after all.

On my makeup brushes it didn't lather up much, but cleans them very well. Unfortunately I can't detect a peppermint smell once they have dried, but that would have just been an added bonus. I've noticed no difference to the quality of my brushes, nor has it left any residue behind or was hard to rinse out.
A few squirts of this around my bath, shower and sink and lathered up with a cleaning sponge, this worked fantastically. I love that it isn't pumping any nasty or dangerous chemicals back into the environment, and a little really does go a long way. My bathroom was dazzling within minutes, as it works grime and smudges off immediately.
This really foamed up when I used it as a shower gel, and it was a very luxurious clean. However, I didn't like that it made my body squeak after I had washed it off!! Loved the peppermint scent lingering on my skin for the rest of the day though.

Magic Soap is a fantastic product because it is multipurpose and also cruelty free. None of the ingredients nor the final product are tested on animals (which for me always makes a product way more enjoyable to use) plus they are vegan as they don't use any tallow in the soap making process. Magic Soap is completely free of harmful and/or nasty ingredients such as SLS or parabens. Not only this, but it is a 100% organic product AND fair trade! If there was ever a completely ethical product to buy, this is it. Next time I see it locally I'll be stocking up, I've really enjoyed using this and have been so impressed by it too. I would be intrigued to try more products from Dr Bronner too, especially the hand sanitizer and the the body soaps. What a fantastic brand, definitely one I will be looking into more and would completely recommend this.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 8 July 2013

Bioscultpure experience! Plus a henna tattoo or two.

My friend who threads my eyebrows so marvelously has recently rented a space in a salon local to me. Things seem to be going well for her and I am so pleased, it's not often you find a thoroughly talented and knowledgeable beauty therapist (we've all had a bad experience with one whether it be leaving a wax appointment still with hairs on our legs or wonky eyebrows with a dodgy tint.)

She offered me a biosculpture treatment for free as she was training her sister. Obviously I jumped at the chance, my nails have gotten into an unkempt state recently and I was so thankful when I left with them looking 100% better. Biosculpture is just another brand similar to Shellac or Gelish. A gel treatment that doesn't offer extension, just a shiny coat on top of your existing nail length. My friend told me that Biosculpture helped nail growth and protected the underneath, so when I go for a soak off they will be in no worse state than when I came in. (I can assure you, I'm not sure it's possible for them to get into a worse state than they already were!)

I opted for the shade 'Prince' from the Royal collection. A turquoise, mid blue with sparkle running through it. I thought why not choose something different, and I've been really enjoying the colour! In the sun it looks like the sea on an exotic island- at least I can daydream that I am on holiday!!

I also left with a henna tattoo or two. Her sister is a trained henna artist and used natural brown henna, I've got a peacock feather on my right wrist and a mandala on my left arm. I love how they look a few days on, slirghtly worn and faded, that's the beauty of henna in my opinion.

Let me know if you have ever had Bioscultpure/Shellac/Gelish and which you think is best.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Etat Pur Review

Etat Pur Express Purifying Mask, £7.50 for 50ml.

I won a couple of products quite a while ago in Sandra's Giveaway. They were both from Etat Pur, a brand I hadn't previously used, but both I have enjoyed using so much.

The mask uses white clay and is therefore white in colour with a fairly thick texture. Clay based masks are great for drawing out any impurities and clearing the skin, and that is exactly what this mask claims to do, along with creating a fresh and radiant complexion.

I find this mask much more comfortable to wear than the other clay masks I own. It does dry and consequently set, but doesn't feel too heavy. I once had it on for hours, I was pottering around the house and completely forgot it was still there until I looked in the mirror! The instructions state that this only has to be left on for 5 minutes, hence the 'express' in it's name, but as always a like to leave it on a little longer to ensure maximum results (normally half an hour to 45 minutes if I can.)

One thing I really notice is how soft and plump my skin feels afterwards. It doesn't feel dry or tight, like my skin does feel after many other clay based masks. It really does seem like it has worked with the balance of my skin rather than stripping it completely, so I would therefore recommend it for sensitive skins too.

The main factor I really noticed when looking on the Etat Pur website is the value for money. For the quality I have noticed with the products, the price point is actually very affordable. This mask costs only £7.50 and the micellar cleansing water Sandra also sent me is £7.40 in comparison to the La Roche-Posay I am currently using which is about £11 in Boots. 

Check out Etat Pur, I know I will definitely be buying from them in the near future as they have surpassed my expectations!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Daniel Sandler Waterproof Eyeliner Review

Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner in 'Purple Velvet', £9.24 for 0.35g here.

I was really looking forward to trying my first ever Daniel Sandler product. The makeup line is quite highly regarded and I've not read any negative reviews myself. I have been itching to try the Watercolour blush for years now and when my budget allows it, I know I'll be stocking up on a few.

'Purple Velvet' on the stock photo looked so vivid and beautiful. I had visions of a shock of purple blended into water and lashline, great for emphasising green eyes and something a bit different to what I am usually reach for. On first swatch I noticed that the purple is actually a deep aubergiene colour, perhaps a more sophisticated version of the electric purple I was expecting. It has fine silver glitter running through it and became opaque on my hand after three swipes.
The colour pay off is quite weak on my eyes in comparison to other pencils I own, I found I had to work quite hard for the colour to show up well, as the product seems more suitable for a slight wash of colour/liner rather than anything vivid or intense.  I had terrible trouble trying to apply this to my waterline, I got absolutely no colour pay-off after rubbing it on there several times before giving up. Slightly disappointing, but as this liner doesn't claim to be a 'kohl' I cannot be too disappointed and it shouldn't affect my review.

The liner can be quite easily smudged and softened, something quite unusual in a waterproof  product as they are normally a lot more stiff in consistency. This is an element to the liner that I really like. For me this works better as an eyeshadow crayon, something to be worked into a smokey eye or smudged to create a purple wash of shadow. Due to it's twist-up mechanism, the pencil can't be sharpened which I find also lends itself to being used as an eyeshadow crayon because it is hard to get a precise finish after it has been used a couple of times as there is no way to sharpen it.

In terms of it's waterproof claims, it performs quite well. I wore it on a 2k jog, which although isn't a long or gruelling run, definitely put it to the test. It remained intact with a little fade. Not bad!!

I had high expectations for this but it just doesn't deliver as an eyeliner in my opinion. I am glad however, that I have found a use for it. Due it it's soft crayon texture, and it's fantastic blendability, I will certainly be using it as an eyeshadow rather than a liner from now on. This slight disappointment hasn't put me off, I would definitely be interested in trying more Daniel Sandler products in the future. 

Thankyou for reading,


This product was sent for me to review. is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products. You can order this product by clicking here.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Model Makeup #2

This is the second in my series about makeup looks I have done on recent photoshoots. 

Today's model is Abi Green. It was great working on Abi because she is an agency represented model, and had a face that just comes alive with makeup (and the most perfect baby soft, blemish free skin I have ever seen!!)

Instagram: emilylaurenbeth
I was shown the outfit (it was all from Urban Outfitters) and was immediately drawn to the gorgeous neon coral colour of the top. I knew I wanted to reflect how fun and beautiful this colour was in her makeup too. For her lips I mixed two Illamasqua shades together, a bright matte orange called 'Flare' and a bright neon pink 'Immodest'. I used Bobbi Brown Foundation Sticks for her base and contoured with MAC 'Harmony' blush to accentuate her amazing cheekbones and then added a sweep of pink blusher to add some warmth and colour  as contour alone would have looked quite severe.

On her eyes I primed her lids with Urban Decay's matte primer potion, which is so good I have to say. On top I created a blown-out, soft wash of colour using the pink and copper shades from the Paranormal Palette from Illamasqua's latest collection. Using MAC's soft kohl eyeliner in 'Smoulder' I lined her waterline and finished off with lashings of MAC Opulash mascara. Her eyebrows were very fair so I added some definition with MAC 'Omega' eyeshadow. 
The finishing touches...
I painted her nails with the brightest pink I had on me, which was one by Maybelline. I wanted to keep her amazing skin quite fresh and glowing so I didn't add any powder until just before she was photographed, and only to her T-Zone.

The shoot was in preperation for an exhibition which has been on show in Urban Cardiff for a couple of weeks now. It's nice seeing some of my work on the walls, makes me remember why I love doing makeup so much. And I would love to work with Abi again!

Here's a final shot:

Lewis Hughes-Evans photography, Abi Green model.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Nails: Little Hearts

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I don't do nail art!! But my sister was visiting last week and asked me to do her nails, and I couldn't resist popping a little heart on her ring finger.

The main colour I used was In Style Coral from Nails Inc which I don't think is available anymore. The beige base colour on her ring finger was Essie's 'Sand Tropez'- one of my all time faves. With a bit of help of some cotton buds soaked in nail varnish remover and a steady hand I managed to whip out two little hearts pretty quickly. Perhaps not the neatest of jobs, but maybe not bad for a first timer ;-)

We used a Nails Inc basecoat and topped the final mani with my trusty Sally Hansen MegaShine. 

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Shopping for foundation and knowing your skin tone!

I thought it might be helpful to provide a few tips to do with determining your skin tone and how to shop for foundations. Hopefully this will be useful to a couple of people :-)

What is skin tone?

There are three types of skin tone. By skin tone, I mean the underlying tone in your skin, not whether somebody is white, asian or black. Despite their shade, people are cool, warm, or neutral toned.

Neutral skin tone is a balance of pigment, but neutral foundations can be harder to come by. Many brands don't put enough research into tone and their foundations sometimes sway too yellow or pink throughout the whole line as a result. A neutral foundation is a great choice if you're really not sure what tone you are, or if pink based foundations and yellow based foundations alike just don't work on you.
Neutral foundation is also an option if you want to balance an abundance of either pink or yellow in your skin, because the foundation has yellow and pink pigments running through it and will act as a happy medium.

Are there ways to spot what skin tone I have?

If you use fake tan regularly, then you will probably want to a buy a foundation that matches your tanned skin colour. From my experience, 9/10 fake tanned people will automatically be changing their skin tone to warm, which means yellow toned. (Some could also wear a neutral toned foundation if they are very pink naturally and fake tanning on top)

To make a sweeping generalisation, knowing your skin tone can be deduced to whether you tan naturally in the sun, or if you burn. 
If you burn, like myself, you are more than likely pink (cool) this often means you may be pale, freckly or naturally fair in hair colour (arm hairs, lashes and eyebrows can be included in this!) 
Those that will automatically tan in the sun, are warm toned, with more yellow pigment in their skin, you may have been called 'olive' in the past if this is you, you might be naturally dark haired, with dark features such as brown or hazel eyes in comparison to cool toned people who often have blue/grey/green eyes. 
However this is a generalisation and not everyone will fit in to one category unfortunately. If only it was that easy!

Take a look at the veins on your wrists and arms. In natural light, do they look more blue or do they look more green? If they look blue then you probably have a pink undertone and are therefore classed as 'cool', if they are green, you're probably more yellow therefore 'warm'. That is how your skin will be considered in makeup terms- warm or cool.

Tips and advice on shopping for a foundation.

Don't forget the bigger picture when shopping for a foundation. While it is important to match the colour of your face, you have to take a step back and look at the colour of your neck, chest and even hands. The most visible parts of your body.
Example: Some people have very pale necks but high colour on their face. In this case, it may be best to foundation match to their neck so that the foundation evens out the high colour on their face, so that they look more uniform. i.e. one colour all over.

Think of how many times throughout the day we lift our hands to our face, if we have a super tanned face and pale little hands we will look crazy. Think of the bigger picture and try and match the correct foundation accordingly.

There are advisors at beauty counters to help you with stuff like foundation matches. The only advice I can offer is take a bit of time to research before you hit the shops. It makes both yours and the advisors life easier if you can be clear on what it is you want. Look on the brands website, what factors are most important to you? Shade range? Long wearing? Matte or dewy finish? Full coverage or a BB cream? And do they sell a foundation that seems like it includes the qualities you're after? I can't tell you how many times I had customers approach me, who thought they wanted a particular product but when asked about their skin type, their wants and needs from a foundation, needed the total opposite. 
Don't buy DoubleWear Maximum Cover if you love your freckles and want a fresh faced finish. Don't buy a tinted moisturiser if you want a matte, long lasting finish, etc.

I am going to be very general again, but look at the girl on the counter. Do you like how they have done their own makeup? As they are likely to follow the same rules when putting makeup on you. Do they have foundation lines, an orange face and pale neck? Then don't ask them for a foundation match. Ask the girl who's face skin matches the rest of her body. If you are super pale, try and shop with the super pale beauty advisor, because they will understand what it is like and are more likely to match you to the right colour as well as offer the best advice for complementary colours for blusher and lipstick etc if you want it.

I know this is a long post, but stuff like skin deserves a lot of attention! Shopping for something as important as a good foundation can be a baffling, confusing or stressful experience, so it helps to have as much knowledge as you can before putting yourself out there as it is an expensive mistake to keep making.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Mini MAC Haul- 'All About Orange' Collection.

I'll be honest and say I had gone off MAC a bit. After working for a short while for Illamasqua and getting to work with such strongly pigmented products, anything I swatched at MAC just seemed watery in comparison. Alas, when I saw they were releasing a collection dedicated to orange I knew I would cave. I love orange and coral. They are without a doubt my go-to colours in the summer, give me an orange lipstick over a pink one anyday.

Afer a bit of deliberation I knew I could sort of justify a MAC splurge if it was for my kit. I've got enough MAC lippies to last me a life time.

I originally thought I wanted 'Sushi Flower' lipstick as it such a 'me' shade but I opted for a slightly more wearable 'Razzledazzler' as it would have more of a universal appeal, would suit more people and would be perfect for bridal. It's a milky coral. By no means is it bright or neon-esque, the lustre finish means it has an underlying 'sheer' quality about it and a glisten-y finish. It very much reminds me of the permanent lip glass Pink Lemonade with it's mid-tone yet brightening qualities. This will suit pale and tanned girls alike though I probably wouldn't advise it for asian skin tone or deeper. It's pretty long lasting considering the slip of the finish, 2-3 hours wear and leaves a pretty coral 'just bitten' stain behind. Easy enough to top up on the go though.

After thinking one of my MAC blushes was faulty due to it's absolute lack of pigment ('Pink Swoon' FYI) I was dubious to spend money on another. Unlike 'Pink Swoon' which is a sheertone blush (which may explain it's lack of colour when swatched) 'Immortal Flower' is a satin finish which means it's not totally matte, but there's no detectable glitter or shimmer present either. It's very peach in the pan which doesn't come across in my photos unfortunately. On me, a light dusting gives a soft peachy glow, but it can be built up a little more intense. Again, this will look simply gorgeous on a bride because it hasn't got that disco ball shimmer in it and it makes you 'glow' rather than look too blusher-y. It photographs beautifully.

Both 'Razzledazzler' and 'Immortal Flower' compliment one another when worn together. I do wish I had a bit more money to spend as I would have caved into 'Sushi Flower' any way and would have probably picked up 'Neon Orange' for the hell of it too. Unlike the other MAC collections released this year, this one has impressed me.

Thankyou for reading,