Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Makeup Addict Tag.

The lovely Kat from Tales of A Pale Face created this makeup tag which I had to steal from her once I'd seen it on her blog. I love doing Blogger Tags as you can find out loads of info about others, learn about new products and also spread the blogger love.

1. Which product do you still keep buying more of despite having plenty in your collection?
Mascara. I am never 100% happy unless it's super ££ in general so I am forever trying and buying high street brands to try and find a better cheap one - any new launches or offers, I'm usually a' buyin'. Also for my pro kit, I need to replace mascara's like every other month.

2. What's the one product you couldn't live without?
Brow pencils. I have so many now : high street, high end, all different formulas and types. My brows are really sparse without makeup and I look like a boiled egg without brows so it's one thing I need to put on. (You can look more into my favourite brow makeup & application here)

3. Favourite makeup brand?
Eurgh the dreaded question.
Sorry, I just can't.

4. How big is your makeup collection?
Ridiculously big but that is because it is my profession so it's hard to compare. I have a seperate 'Makeup up/Beauty room' at home. Aside from my professional makeup kits (I have x 3 suitcases) I still have piles and piles and drawers of excess, replacement bits, hygiene etc. My personal makeup is pretty excessive in it's own right but that's because I am makeup obsessed and it's my everything!!

5. And how do you like to store it? 
I spent £000's in MUJI a while back stocking up on their little clear storage drawers. I really like them, they are good for holding smaller makeup items, but for bigger things/foundations I use some cheap plastic drawers I got from just a local odds n' sods shop in Islington. I wish decent storage drawers/units were a bit cheaper though. MUJI is $$$$$$. I seperate my makeup into different sections and label the drawers accordingly.
I will be doing a storage post soon as I have been asked about this a few times. Below is a sneak peek:
6. How many items of makeup have you got in your handbag at the moment?
Maybe like 20 which sounds a lot but a lot of it is small pencils and brushes. I always carry around this little makeup bag in my handbag, and it's pretty much what I will do my everyday makeup with. I love the Urban Decay Naked Flush palette as this acts as my bronze/blush/highlight all in one and is a decent compact mirror also. 
7. If you could raid another blogger's stash, who would it be?
I struggled to answer this as I don't often have product envy unless it's someone like Wayne Goss who has a ridiculous amount of stuff [just look here GAAAAAAH] but he's more of a Vlogger right? Zara from Mouldy Fruit has an impressive stash and I love her storage & makeup in general.

8. How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?
My own makeup routine takes between 5-10 mins max. If I'm going out/special occasion and having a heavy eye and lashes etc then maybe 20 mins. Daytime makeup I will use ......just counting....under 10 products for sure.

9. Have you ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn't use it?
Different for me as I am a makeup artist so YES. But if I've bought it for myself personally knowing I wasn't going to use it.....mmmm no. Although I DO have makeup I have purchased from like 3 months ago still in the shopping bag but I will use it at some point (!).

10. Tag a few other makeup addicts to do the tag! 
I'm tagging Zoe from Zoe Newlove , Gemma from Miss Makeup Magpie, Zara from Mouldy Fruit and Alice from Super Gorgeous. Wanna read your answers biatchaaz!!!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Travel Essentials & Favourites.

Amongst everything else going on lately, one thing I have been doing a lot of is travelling. Whether it be back and forth to my home isle of Jersey or to Ibiza, I think I've seen the inside of Gatwick Airport no less than 12 times in the last 2 months. This has not only made me an expert at packing my cabin luggage with ridiculous precision, but I've also been in, out and around most beauty product travel-sizes that you can shake a stick at. Here are a hand-picked selection of what I'm currently packing.
For my shampoo and conditioner I am not overly fussy, I will usually take away whatever is to hand and small. The Aussie 3-minute miracle has been a winner for me for years & recently saw this travel-size in Boots which is great. Alternatively, if they dont have this small size, you can grab 1 or 2 individual sachets of this conditioner/mask in pretty much all Boots/ Superdrugs.

Percy & Reed do a great selection of travel size sets and individual bits. The Dry shampoo I have used since the launch religiously and the mini-size for just £4 is perfect to last you a week away. This is probably my 30th can.  The 'No-oil oil' that they do is also great and the miniature size of this comes within their travel sets which I got as a pressie last Christmas so goes everywhere with me. I simply refill this with my full-size one whenever it runs out. Yes, some people call me a genius.

Bumble & Bumble do this hair texturising spray called 'Surf Spray' you may have heard of it...! Of course you have heard of it, it's brilliant. This is a weeny 50ml size that I got in a goody bag or on a fashion show.... This surf spray adds texture and a bit of volume/ bed head look and is essential for my fine flyaway hair to give it some grab.

Skincare bits
Depending on if I have any small sizes of skincare or loads of sample sachets (always save them!) I will mix and match the skincare I use. Currently I am using this absolutely fabulous amazing skin-loving duo from Antipodes.  Antipodes is one of my new favourite skincare finds and it is certified organic containing 100% natural thangs. This Moisture boost duo* contains the Vanilla Pod hydrating cream (15ml) & the delicious Divine Face Oil (10ml) which works for ALL SKINTYPES and the oil is anti-ageing. Big fan and highly recommend just to try this set for a mere £12.99 inc delivery from HERE. From just trying these I am buying full sizes plus another mini duo set for travel. Fow Real.

I tend to buy face washes that I can get my hands on in Boots after I have been through security as these can take up a lot of room. There's not usually a great selection so I continually opt for the old trusty faithful that is the Simple moisturising face wash. They also do a travel size in the gel formula wash but for some reason I prefer this formula on my skin.

Any kind of face spritz-pray is a must-have for travelling beauties. Great for an instant burst of hydration and refreshment, particulary on long-haul flights when your skin will turn prune-like from the air-con. Also good to layer under your serums to boost hydration levels. My current favourite is Melvita Pulpe de Rose* which I honestly think is the best I have tried (full review here) : Other brands who do good affordable mini facial sprays are Jurlique, Caudalie, Simple, Pai & The Body Shop.

I always take a mini micellar water with me, and that will either be Bioderma or B.Pure depending on which I find first. I also just top these up as I run out. If you are confused or overwhelmed by micellar/cleansing waters then I have a great guide here. Also take some sachets or a sample sizes of face masks with you, perhaps not if you are going away for just one night as that's a little extravagant and unnecessary but 3 days or more I always chuck in some kind of exfoliator, clay mask and a hydration mask. Hydration is key is you are on long flights, stressful journeys or in the sun. My favourite hydration mask is Glamglow Thirstymud*. It's just everything. Big fan of every single mask that these guys do and you can try a travel-friendly selection for £13 which is a good option.

Travel absolute MUST-HAVE = A multi-purpose balm. This saves space and most balms can be used for so many different things, from lips to cuticles to taming brows, using onto any dry/chapped skin, face masks and more. I have a huge bunch of faves when it comes to balms but currently I am loving the Lanolips 101 ointment. I'm obsessed with this brand and they stock it all in my local Waitrose which is even better. Other great multi-use balms include Lucas Papaw, Dr.Lipp, Yu-Be, 8-hr cream, Balance Me Stellar balm & Antipodes skin saviour balm.

KIKO do some great Intensive hand gloves and Foot treatment booties which come in individual one-use sachets which I love. I got sent a sample of each a few months back but have purchased 2 of each since. (£4.90 per pack) They are pre-soaked mitts and socks that contain intense hydrating and soothing ingredients and they are a great quick-fix. I just like the fact that you use them and then throw them, very easy and fuss-free.
Makeup-wise I try and pack as minimally as possible otherwise I end up taking over half my hand luggage with beautiful but uneccesarry makeup bits .... 

'oh I might need that contour brush just in case, I HAVE to take that MAC glitter pigment in case I go out' etc etc. 

NO! Just take your basic daytime makeup look with one deeper eyeshadow colour in case you go dancing. Maybe some cheeky lashes in case, and a bright lippy, job done! So I don't take up too much space in that horrid little plastic bag for liquids, I always take a sample size foundation and at the moment it's the amazing new YSL Fusion Ink foundation as they were giving out these generous mini bottle samples when it first launched. Good thing to do because wow this foundation is unreal and as soon as I've eeked out my last drop from this sample bottle I'm skipping down to my local counter to buy myself one. It's unreal. Also will absolutely keep this mini bottle to top up for travel. Another handy travel makeup friend is my Amazing Concealer which when I am away, doubles up perfectly as my undereye/ blemish/ everything concealer and I have the smaller 6ml tube so it's teeny. Full review here if you are interested.

I'm off again on my 'travels' this week so will be again stuffing lots of these bits into my cabin luggage. Obvs I can't take all of the above in one trip as I defo cannot fit it all into that small plastic bag, but you'd be surprised at how much, if you are clever with your packing, that you can squeeze in and you can always accidently leave a couple of things sporadically scattered in your bag. Wink-Nudge-WinkWink. Another option is to be hold-out on your shampoos/conditioners/ face washes all the bigger things until you get through security and then hit up boots where they have huge travel selections you can dive into.

Any travel beauty tips you can add? what are your favourite mini's to stock up on? I always have to have my bottle of Rescue remedy on hand as this is great mixed with vodka if you aren't great with flying like me.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

London Fashion Week Inspired Makeup.

This week I've been looking & lusting over some of the looks created for LFW shows and there was so many amazing and beautiful creations. A lot of the looks that I have seen or worked on seemed to be all about skin ; perfect skin, flawless, glossy, glowing and fresh. There were flashes of colour here and there on some shows but the majority I think was quite muted this season.

One look that I thought was so beautiful and would be fun to re-create was the Matthew Williamson look designed by Charlotte Tilbury. The fashion was 70's inspired with a collection of exotic pieces and embellishments and the makeup matched up perfectly. I've seen the list of products used (which is Benefit BTW) and I have some of the bits, so will kind of work with what I have and a few extras from my kit.

Inspired by a hibiscus flower, the skin is gorgeous, supple, youthful and glowing with a fresh dab of colour on the cheeks to keep it looking sprightly. Eyes were the main focus of the look with an amazing pop of fuschia that is smoked out softly all the way up to the perfectly groomed, fluffy brows. I love the look so much:
Now we need to remember I am not a model with luscious lips, perfect facial structure and mesmerising eyes. Also, this is a 'fashion/editorial' look as opposed to everyday makeup, so it's not something I would wear usually but it's fun to have a play around and re-create runway looks. The skin I left really dewy and glowy on purpose, so I used a flash to show this up. All the products I used are listed below.
I quite like the effect of my brows being left more au natural and just groomed through, I think I'm going to do this more frequently now. I added a bit more depth to it with some warmer orange tones underneath and some heavier liner in the lower waterline/lashline. I also added some individual lashes underneath.....just because I was having a mess about (pics below).
Product List:
Charlotte Tilbury's 'Magic Cream' to hydrate a plump the skin
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl (used all over as a primer to give SUPER skin glow)
Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation Toasted Beige (I'm tanned)
Benefit 'Fake Up' concealer Shade 02
GOSH 'Giant Blush' in Pink Parfait
Benefit High Beam used over & mixed in with the cream blusher
Laura Mercier brow pencil Brunette (old formula)
Eylure brow gel Transparent
GOSH 'Giant Blush' in Pink Parfait as an eye primer
MAC pigment 'Bright Fuschia'
Laura Mercier baked eyeshadow 'Rubellite' (ltd edition)
Laura Mercier eyeshadow 'Fire Glow' (ltd edition)
Rimmel liquid eyeliner
L'Oreal Miss Manga black mascara
Eylure individual flare eyelashes
By Terry 'Or de Rose' lipbalm
Chantecaille 'Sweet' lipgloss
When using pinks around the eyes, be careful of the tone so it doesn't end up just making you look tired which is really easy to do!  A good tip is to also add a deep brown/black around the lashline to break up the pink tone close to the eyes.

Did you have any stand-out looks for London Fashion Week shows? 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Fashion Week Backstage Essentials.

Hi everyone! Well today is the final day of this season's London Fashion Week, SS15. You probably would have caught some essence of it, either by being in London and not being able to avoid the try-hard fashionista hub around the infamous key showspace that is Somerset House or just general social media hype with fashion blogger craziness, tweets, makeup artist updates, backstage looks etc etc.
I have been lucky enough to work on shows now for gulp maybe 14 seasons, assisting makeup designers and working amongst some of the best backstage glam teams. The backstage team (stylists, dressers, makeup artists, hair stylists, nail technicians and of course the gorgeous models) will usually arrive around 3-4hrs before *showtime* to prep up the models with the already-decided looks. 

Aside from all the backstage team, after a couple of hours we will be joined by a huge influx of other fashion peeps ; photographers, journalists, bloggers, blaggers, agencies and AOB. It soon becomes a flurry of noise, shouting, model-searching and it is then a to-ing and fro-ing between the hair, makeup and styling teams for the model until they have their look completed and are runway ready.

 Above: This photo was taken at a show I was working on on Saturday. The model turned up very late from another show and there was about 15 minutes to do her hair, makeup & nails. What a great snap!

Over the years, I have whittled down and tailored my 'fashion week' makeup kit to be as neat, useful, space-saving and as small as possible, and here is what is looked like this season. The wheeniest and best ever.

 Beauty Backstage Essentials
The Case
My smallest one. This is an Antler that has a few zippy compartments and pouches which makes it great for packing all the different components. I have just added my personalised Aspinal luggage tag (Selfridges are personaling EVERYTHAANG this season) as I'm forever scurrying around trying to find what zip opens the actual bag, so this just makes it easier to whizz open and also locate my kit amongst a hoard of other similar looking ones. Some makeup artists will use ZUCA pro's but I find these a little cumbersome to wheel and transport, overpriced, plus it's not often I have a kit that small, so it won't get much use. This small antler case is my least-used case out of the three I have, and it's only really for private clients, occasional bridal and fashion week.
Makeup Stuff
Some shows will be sponsored by a brand, in that case, you will often be given the *Colour* to use so only your basic bases, concealers etc will be needed.  This was the case for me this season, so I literally only packed a basic SKIN bag (foundation, concealers) , a BROW/MASCARA pencil case, a POWDER case, my trusty MAC FAB's and that was it. I try and pack all the different bits together in a sensible order and always into see-through bags of some sort so it's easy to locate and see when you are in a rush. Most of my clear cases are the M&S beauty ones which I buy by the TON and a selection of pencil cases.
This is bare minimal foundations! I have my trusty Estee Lauder Maximum covers (my review here) which I take EVERYWHERE and also a bunch of foundation sticks from Chantecaille and Bobbi Brown as this are great for space-saving, do great shades for darker skintones and double up as foundation & concealer. One kit must-have is the Illamasqua skinbase in white and every makeup artist should have this in their kit. I bumped in another MUA I had worked with on shows before and after recommending this she said it was a 'game-changer' for her. Just super handy to have to blend down the colours of your foundations when you need a really pale shade and also works as a highlighter.
Again, I packed bare minimal concealers : If I was desperate I could double up most of my foundations as concealers, but I like to pack a few specifics just in case. I have my custom-made 'MAC' concealer palette, which is literally an empty MAC palette where I have stuck my favourite Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage & NARS concealers in. This is perfect for shows and is a great alternative to the BBU palette which a load of MUA's have.  I use this a lot of bodies also to cover imperfections. The concealers in the top photo are more undereye and brightners ; favourites are the Bobbi Brown tinted eye brighteners at the moment, along with Laura Mercier Secret Concealers and of course a bunch of YSL Touche Eclats and a few By Terry Touche Experts.
Powders are mainly MAC Mineral Skin Finish, where I have pretty much all shades. Perfect for blotting away shine without that powdery finish.
My favourite brow pencils everrrrr are the OLD Laura Mercier triangular ones. These are discontinued now and don't bother with the new ones as they are rubbish. I usually carry around a couple of fresh mascaras ; one more of a volume on and one which is more minimal lashes and the NYX Fly with me mascara is perfect for au natural lashes.
Pretty much the only body makeup I will use backstage is MAC Face & Body and I can probably vouch for most other makeup artists too. Nothing I have used comes close to this lovely lightweight texture that is quick to apply on the legs and is transfer proof. Once the models are dressed in their first look, their legs, hands and any body bits showing need a going over with some body lotion and then any imperfections, scars, blisters, spots, red knees, red heels, and blotchiness needs to be banished with a dose of MAC FAB and a dot of concealer from my wonder palette.

I try to keep my brushes to a *perfect edit* and usually take around 20 which fit into my favourite brush holder from  Crownbrush. This protects my beauties perfectly in transit and also opens out to two tub-like brush holders. I don't go to any job without this. My makeup brushes are a selection of Hakuhodo (from my IMATS haul), Shu Uemura, Charlotte Tilbury, Crownbrush and Bobbi Brown.

All the bits n' bobs for keeping your makeup application clean and hygienic.
I have this little bundle of beauty accessories and tools including my mini and big Shu Uemura lash curlers (the BEST!), scissors, tweezers, a mirror, my mixing palette, lash glue and other bits & bobs.

Any minature sizes are always handy. I often will decant lotions, sprays and other things into smaller travel sizes if they are too bulky to pack.
This is also a vital section of a makeup kit. I keep all these small bits in a little side pouch and will take out if needed or someone asks for something. A makeup artist always needs to be prepared for any situation! Painkillers, tampons, nappy bags (for rubbish), deodrant, gum, straws (if a look requires a bright lip but the model wants to drink after you've finished the look), and other silly bits that someone backstage might need.
I hope you liked having a look into my fashion week makeup kit. Can you spot any of your favourites here? Until next season.....

Friday, 5 September 2014

Life Update & Ibiza Advice.

I never know how much to share on here and what to keep to myself with regards to my personal life. I have been 'off' from the blog for the last few weeks, and although I have good reason, there is a teeny tiny smidgen 5% of me that is thinking 'SH!T, I am letting people who read my blog down, PRs who send me stuff etc etc' as it is just kind of piling up. Anyway, I have taken a huge chunk of my life/work off over the last 6 months as my mum had terminal cancer and I needed to keep flying home to Jersey to see her/help her and spend time with her. At the same time, trying to keep afloat financially, keeping up this blog and actually having a normal life has not been easy. I flew back 3 weeks ago or thereabouts and was lucky enough to spend the last weeks of my mum's life next to her bedside which I am so grateful for. I'm not dusting this aside, but that's all I think I need to share <3>

Aside from that , I had booked my hen do to Ibiza around 6 months ago for last weekend, and it fell the day after my mum's funeral. I decided to go, as I didn't want to let all my beautiful friends down and also, where else would be a better place to be than surrounded by your oldest and best pals? We had an amazing secluded villa, and so much fun over the weekend. Whilst we went out for dinner on the last night, our villa was completely ransacked by a gang (I'm assuming) of professional thieves. We only left the villa for 2 hours and when we returned it had been turned over. Four out of nine of us had EVERYTHING stolen ; I'm talking my whole suitcase, designer handbags, wallet, all my personal makeup,Tom Ford brushes, skincare, beauty products, perfumes, shoes, trainers (my limited edition super expensive nikes!!!!), all my clothes, my GHD's, my hairdryer.....they even took my iphone charger out of the wall. Not only was this sickening but I felt so sad for all my heartbroken friends around me.....some of them lost more than myself and it was just terrible. 
 My insurance cover up to a certain amount but it won't cover the total amount, plus I had quite a few of my mum's posessions with me which is irreplaceable. The one thing that I want back the most was this small, heart-shaped pebble she had given me over a year ago and I had kept this in my Mulberry wallet...which was obviously stolen. If I could just get this back I think I would be happy as many of the other bits can be re-purchased. It's infuriating that this little precious stone would have just been chucked out somehwere in Ibiza and it will never be seen again. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I wish I could find those awful people. 

Anyway, if you read this and are going to Ibiza, or know girls who are going to Ibiza, and staying in a villa, PLEASE SHOW THEM THIS. It's SO common for groups of girls to be targeted in villas, and my friend who organised this warned us all before we went about villa robberies. The police told us that they will keep watch on hundreds of villas, and these people must have been watching us from the woods that we looked out onto, which is pretty horrifying. They knew the exact time we all vacated the property and it was a small window of oppurtunity that they had. You also have to use ONE 'proper' taxi firm the entire time you are there, rather than using loads of different ones/drivers as these can also be dodgy and they will often report to gangs if they pick you all up for a night out, so they know the villa is empty. We were really careful about this and even when talking in the back of a cab, don't mention you are all together / the villa is empty / anything about keys / or where you are going for the night.I wanted to share this with as many people as possible so other girls don't have to go through this violation. 

*ALSO REMEMBER YOUR HOLIDAY INSURANCE!!!..The girl who lost the most, maybe around £5,000 worth of clothing/jewellry & more had no insurance for her things :-( **

I will be back to normal soon. In the meantime, I have an insurance claim to make and a bloody wedding to sort out!!!

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