Thursday, 13 March 2014

One of my favourite products Pixi 2013 Crayon combo-Wide awake and a link to a video I filmed in New York.

So the crayon combo is a duo ended pen I use it all the time to *highlight & lift* and I like this film, you can't see me I am droning on in the background :)

But this is one of my *secret* techniques to create a beautiful, soft contour, it lifts and refines the bone structure in such an imperceptible way.

Stills from the film:

A link to the actual film if you would like to see it.

Wedding- Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey).

Photos of the beautiful bride Lana courtesy of
Hair by Natalie Shirlaw  & Make up  Me

Make up happening and the beautiful dress
What a send off! Not for me obvs :) "Thank you for doing the make up bye" whizz...boom! LOL!

I was thrilled to be asked to do the make up for a wedding at Highclere Castle which is known more commonly as Downton Abbey. I was unprepared for just how beautiful and majestic it actually is.
I was working alongside one of my all-time session hair stylist favourites and together we created a chic timeless look for the bride.

I wanted to create a look that enhanced the natural beauty of the bride and would fit seamlessly with the classic feel at the wedding, I used velvety matte base, peaches to burnished bronze on the eyes, single lashes from medium to small along the lash line. Contoured & spot highlighted. delicate peach blusher and a lip colour that I created for the bride.

My photos are next as I just could not help myself the drive up to the castle. It was so beautiful and the green lush, manicured lawns even had *breeding* and after rain of biblical proportions the sun shone.

To see more pictures of the beautiful wedding a link is here, it really is stunning!

Hair was by the utterly fantastic: Natalie Shirlaw 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

John Lennon McCullagh- new track my work on the cover.

Produced by Alabama 3 and I did the grooming and styling for the shot.
Photo credited to: Andrea Vecchiato.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

LOVE this mascara Maybelline The Colossal Volm Express Cat Eye.

So Maybelline describe the wand as a *claw* hmmm I wouldn't it is a curved crescent but that would not fit as *neatly* with the cats eye theme for sure.

What I love about it:
  • A rich formulation with perfect consistency to *build up* the lashes.
  • The curve to the brush really *lifts* lashes upwards (when you sweep from under the lashes)
  • Highly pigmented
  • The curved brush actually coats each lash evenly
  • Helps to *fan lashes out*
  • Visibly lengthens & thickens lashes
  • Did not flake/drop or irritate my eyes
Would I purchase it again? For the (around £5.99 ) mascara it is incredible value and performs as well as some of the much more pricey (high end mascaras) I most certainly will! A brilliant all rounder and no cons for this......for the price it is excellent quality and value.

Colour crush...Tawny Blusher.

A Full spectrum of *tawny shades*.
I was born in the 70's and *tawny* is a blusher shade that fills me with nostalgia, it is traditionally a soft peachy brown, that just gives a healthy outdoorsy look which was a  look that was commonplace among models in the 70's early 80's that Californian honey blonde or the just gorgeous girl next door which was a very *fresh* and glowing look.
I was obsessed with make up from such an early age and I have *polaroids* in my mind of faces/looks, colours used in creating the look. One of the models that I adored around this time was *Willow Bay* and she *rocked* that Tawny blush.
The Many faces of Willow Bay.

Willow was the face of Estee Lauder and could morph from fresh faced and girlish to power dressing sophisticate always with a flawlessly glossy bob!
So my current love of a tawny blush is quite understandable, it is very flattering there is a *tawny for every skin tone, looks great very sheer or a little more *built* up, can be part of an ultra natural look or paired with a stronger lip & eye, just so versatile.

A look I created with a subtle smokey eye and juicy lip with a tawny cheek colour.
My favourite variations of *tawny* & a highlighter.

2 pots: Bobbi Brown cream cheek colour in: Uber beige and Fresh melon- very soft and *buildable *

Pixi- sheer cheek gel in Peachy: a beautiful sheer tawny peach.

Daniel Sandler Water colour: Spicey a fabulous tawny for deeper skin tones.

2 x Pixi sticks: Cheek sheen sticks in bronze and gold the bronze is a beautiful lustrous tawny and the gold is such a complimentary highlighting shade. (Both Spring shades) available 1st March.

A tawny cheek on me, with barely there make up but glossy lip.

*Note* Pixi Cheek Sheens were press samples a they are *new* for Spring and I LOVE them, the rest I purchased and have been using in my kit.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Grubby hands no more....Espa Zesty Lemon hand wash & moisturiser.

Oh the smell, it is just beautiful!

I wash my hands so many times a day as well as using alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer because I have to keep my hands scrupulously clean before and after touching somebody's face also factor in ... previously trying to get my grubby fingered 8 year old son to wash his hands before a meal was hit and miss at the very best.

But...I treated myself to this duo and EUREKA firstly (My son who admittedly has a natural affinity with the finer things in life) has loved the hand wash and uses it without me having to get all troll king about it. For me it is just the most delicious combo with a very *natural* zesty lemon smell opposed to something synthetic and cloying. And the hand cream is a light yet nourishing texture, it is easily absorbed and does not leave the skin at all greasy.
The aroma is: Lemon, Ylang Ylang and Tonka bean and it is literally heavenly and although I don't need a nudge to wash my hands, I do need something that although very effective does not make my skin feel like sand paper :)

I bought this in the sale online at Espa it was one of my MANY purchases in sales (EEK)!! But I am definitely going to buy a couple more to keep in as gifts (oh yes I do that)!

Trio of favourite brush/sponge cleaners: Shu Uemura, Bobbi Brown & Beauty Blender Solid.

Beauty blender cleanser-solid, Shu Uemura liquid & Bobbi Brown brush cleanser  (wash off).

To start off the new year with best practice and seriously clean brushes/sponges. I actually one of those *tweaks* that  really enjoys cleaning my brushes and if you look after your brushes properly you will keep them for years.

Best cleanser for *quick* cleaning: Shu Uemura 125ml £12.50
  • I have used this brush cleanser for years, it instantly dissolves make up from all brushes (hair and nylon), it dries immediately and I have never, ever seen an irritation occur after using this on any skin (even the most sensitive). It is very effective, quick and within a short period of time it has dried and the brush is hygienic and re-usable.  
  • Pro: I have been a fan for such a long time because, it is so effective, keeps brushes scrupulously clean and in fab condition
  • Cons: I go through a bottle of this in literally no time (I wish there was a HUGE size at a better price) and it does admittedly have that slight *solventy* smell- but that smell disappears pretty much immediately.
How I use: Pour a couple of inches of cleaner into a cup/glass and dip the tip/dirty part of the brush in the liquid, swirl the brush in the liquid, gently squeeze excess liquid off on the side of the glass, when the brush is clean remove and dry thoroughly on clean kitchen towel by moving back and forth. Squeeze brush back into shape.

Best cleanser for use with *water*: Bobbi Brown Conditioning brush cleanser 100 ml £10.50
  • This is literally the best foaming brush was I have tried (better than shampoo or any other foaming cleanser. It cleans both nylon and real hair brushes thoroughly and removes even stubborn pigment, and it has a delicate *minty* smell. I ordered this not expecting too much but I have been very impressed with the performance of this cleanser.
  • Pro: Very concentrated, a little goes a long way, very thorough and rinses well and definitely leaves brushes soft and in excellent condition, I find this superior to a shampoo.
  • Cons: Not really a con but.. the brushes need to be left to air dry for some hours, so this is not a quick fix cleaner
How I use:  I run a sink of clean tepid water, I dip the tip of the brush into the water, apply a small amount of cleanser (foam it up)with fingertips massaging it into the brush (keeping brush downwards) and rinse thoroughly in clean tepid water (keeping brush facing downwards) so that no moisture makes it back into the ferrule of  the brush. I squeeze excess moisture out of the brush using a clean towel (that is used solely for this purpose) and leave to dry upside down in a glass with a brush guard on. *See at the end for a link for brush guards*

Best cleanser for sponges: Beauty blender cleanser solid 28 g £14.00
  • I prefer this solid cleanser for sponges, powder puffs, any kind of sponge blender and plastic implement *eg: brow comb*, it is brilliant for travelling also as there is no spillage possible. It creates a rich and creamy foam that lifts pigment easily from sponges and leaves them very clean without them loosing their shape.
  • Pro: Natural non toxic ingredients: Soy, Lavender & Aloe, it is very effective and brilliant for travelling
  • Cons: Not a con per se but I have found it excellent for:sponges, powder puffs, any kind of sponge blender and plastic implement *eg: brow comb* rather than as my *go to* brush cleaner.
How I use: I wet  the sponge or tool . I then work the solid  cleanser into a lather  (by swirling the sponge across the surface of the cleanser) and spread across the Sponge, I massage the lather into the rinse until clean , squeeze the sponge to remove excess water.

*Note: These are all my personal recommendations that I genuinely use and have paid for myself* 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Goodbye 2013 *Hello* New Year!

Answers on a postcard please about where the year has disappeared to? It feels like this year in particular has disappeared at warp factor 9.
As somebody who normally has a touch of the Grinch or even Ebeneezer Scrooge about them I was surprised at my gung ho love of Christmas this year. The decorations and tree were all in place for the 2nd of Dec and down for the 1st of Jan which actually felt *right*.

This year it was about quality not quantity of gifts, so not piles and piles of presents but really lovely and thoughtful ones. Just right..... :)

I am not normally one for New Year resolutions but last year 2013 was a year of immense change and change is good.

This little film about empathy vs sympathy really resonated with me and is something that I am taking on board for 2014.... as it is a beautiful message.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Review..not beauty :)... The Croods DVD.

Lou Lou clearly approves of the choice of film :)
Watching The Croods accompanied a morning wrapped in a duvet.
The Croods launches imminently on DVD & Blue ray and it is a fabulous release just in time for Christmas as it is a film for the entire family.

It is a film from the Dreamworks studio and it is a computer-animated adventure. I LOVE cartoons (maybe a little too much ) and as a family we really enjoyed The Croods.

There are some points that really set it a part: John Cleese was one of the writers -so the story moves along a brisk pace with lots of slapstick moments and the strong female characters opposed to the females being *lacking*. The music is orchestral and definitely enhances the dramatic scenes. The cast of actors is A list ranging from: Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone & Ryan Reynolds.

The Croods is essentially a story about family/growing up and how parents adapt to that (in particular Father/teenage daughter) relationships. How change sometimes is thrust upon us, not just a physical change but changes in our environment and how we adapt as a family dynamic. How as parents you sometimes need to listen to other advice and even the age old story about realising as a parent when your children are actually adults. It is about evolution in more than one sense of the word.

The Croods are cavemen that see danger in *everything* with the Father's mantra being "Never not being afraid". At the end of each day he tells a story that pretty much results in somebody being killed because they weren't cautious enough. The family bicker and have the normal disputes but because this is a cartoon all ends well and we are taken along on this coming of age/ 1st love story with many implausible parts (of course) but it is a sweet story. Eventually through circumstance The Croods stop seeing everything as a potential *threat* and start to see the wonder and beauty around them, they start to change. The cartoon has some genuinely laugh out loud moments and some touching ones too. To sum up...Children grow up, the world changes at breakneck speed around us, there is danger everywhere but you have to *live* and enjoy life.

We LOVED it!  We are: 2 parents and an 8yr old and it kept us thoroughly entertained throughout the whole film.

Some beautiful animation.

PS: There are some REALLY cute animal characters and the 1st incarnation of the domestic cat (a sabre tooth tiger).
The family *cat*.
*Belt* the sweetest sloth in cartoon history.
The Croods, their extended family including *pets*.
Token *baddy*
More than a passing resemblance to the bad guy (but our Mr Whiskers) is no baddy :)
* I was sent this film to review by Mumsnet*  The DVD/blueray is out on Monday 9th.