Sunday, 29 August 2010

I have a dream...

...and I know it's a dream that lots of you share. The dream of becoming a make up artist.

When I was younger, I used to spend hours playing with make up... not in the classic little girl way of super bright pink lips and too much blusher (although I'm sure that happened sometimes) but in the artistic way. While other kids were drawing pictures of their teddies and painting seascenes with dolphins (seriously, every girl I knew was obsessed with dolphins - I never did quite get why), I was busy perfecting the fake bruise, the scar and the black eye. I loved the way that colours blended together and the utter transformational approach to make up.

Moving on, I never got why the girls at school caked themselves in make up. I didn't get the heavily applied foundation and the clumpy eyelashes. I didn't understand the use of using supposedly "natural" make up as a mask. I chose to ignore the natural look and went down the root of pink eyeshadow, black eyeliner and an ever changing selection of drawn on shapes and patterns. It worked. I'll say it myself, but I looked flipping awesome in those days.

Moving on again, I got a boyfriend. Let's just say he liked the very natural look.... say hello to years of make up fear.

Eventually, my sanity is regained and I discover make up again and fall in love. There's a part of me that just feels like I've come home. I love creating a natural look, I love creating a more fun dramatic look. I love the sheer act of playing with make up. The time when things started to get serious again? My wedding make up trial - hello drag queen, hello tears. It was awful. So off I trotted to Lancome and then I was faced with something I really hadn't wanted to do - I had to do my own make up on my wedding day.

And you know something? I pulled it off. I had tonnes of friends on the day asking who'd done my make up and I was so happy to be able to say it was me!

Fastforward to spring of this year and whilst sat illl in bed (a regular occurance) I discovered the wonderful world of beauty blogging and all of those childhood dreams of becoming an MUA have come flooding back. A couple of friends found out about it and asked me to do their make up for the shoot a couple of weeks back. I didn't tell them I'd never actually done anyone's make up! After 4 hours and 4 different looks, I was exhausted but so incredibly happy! At a Body Shop party a few weeks later, a couple of friends asked me to do their make up and loved it. I jokingly comment on feeling like a make up artist and deadly serious, they agreed that I should.

So what's this rambling post about? I guess it's just me starting to let myself vocalise the dreams I have. It's also a first, very shy step out into the world about this. I remember once I saw a beauty blogger on twitter being kinda mean about someone daring to call themselves an MUA and I became terrified about even suggesting that it's something I'd like to do! I'm not going to be scared of saying it any more!

I would love to be an MUA and I know that I'm nowhere near being able to charge yet (nor do I have anywhere near a big enough kit to be able to do make up properly) but over this next year or so, I'm planning on making some big investments (financial yes, but also time and confidence) and reading/practicing as much as possible.

This means you'll be seeing more FOTDs, hopefully more makeover/photoshoot type looks and also more tidbits of my inspiration cropping up. It might never happen, but hey, a girl's gotta try right?!
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Friday, 27 August 2010

Summer Lovin' Series - Make up part two

Hello again! Time for another Summer Lovin' post - this time (as promised) it's all about eyes!

Illamaqua Powder Eye Shadow in Servant

I picked this up a while ago from a blog sale, and I utterly adore it. It's been great as a base for some of the more dramatic looks I've done, or just quickly popped on to add a hint of colour in a fairly nude and natural look.

Sleek Storm Palette

This one has got tonnes of use this summer as it's really easy to dip into for something quick - whether you're looking for a neutral look or something more smokey and sultry, this palette is perfect!

Elf Warm Bronzer Palette

It crops up everywhere doesn't it?! I took this on holiday with me and I personally think that it's a brilliant multi-purpose product! The colours work really nicely on the eye and there's a whole range of shades to work with.

No 17 Va Va Voom Mascara

Yep, I'm still harping on about it. It's very much my holy grail mascara. Just ace :)
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Summer Lovin' Series - Make up part one

Oke, so today's Summer Lovin' post is going to focus on my favourite "Face" make up - foundations, bronzers, blush etc. Part two will feature my favourite products for eyes and part three will be my favourite products for lips!

I've switched between two foundations for the whole of summer - one liquid and one mineral, although generally I've been sticking with mineral as I prefer a lighter, more matte finish during the summer. Oddly enough, both of these products are from The Body Shop. They are:

The Body Shop Mineral Foundation in Shade 03 and The Body Shop Moisture Foundation in Shade 04. Excellent foundations that perform well every time. Neither of them are the best foundations I've ever used in my whole history of foundation use, but they both provide good day to day coverage that leaves you looking "finished" by not looking over done.

I'm becoming a blusher fiend.... it's all I ever seem to want to buy at the moment. This summer I've mostly been using:

Boots 17 Blush & Glow in Strawberry Swirl and Peaches and Cream

I've mentioned these before, but they're still one of the first things I reach for blusher wise. Excellent for giving you a healthy glow, with a wonderful highlighter to boot!

Mac Ripe Peach Blush Ombre

I picked this one up in a blog sale as it reminded me of an Estee Lauder Blusher I'd one had applied at a make up counter and fell in love with (but being 16 couldn't quite justify buying). I adore this. I tend to layer it up with a little something extra (normally one of the Blush&Glows). Lovely :)

ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

The famous "is it a Nars dupe" duo. I like to team these two with a sexy brown eye and a pop of pink lipstick (normally Soft Peony by The Body Shop). Richly pigmented, so I tend to give my brush a really good tap first!

Benefit Benetint

As I've said before, I'm fully away of how slow on the uptake I was with this - I spent years dismissing it as faffy and annoying, but now I can't get enough of this rose scented bottle of awesomeness. 

ELF Warm Bronzer

Another great multi tasker, doubling up as an eyeshadow palette when you're packing light! Great for warming up the skin - especially if your regular foundation feels a tad too light on summer tanned skin.

What are face makeup are you loving this summer?

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Summer Lovin' Series - Skin care

Hello :) This is the first of my Summer Lovin' series, and I've chosen the three products that have been making my skin feel lovely this summer. I know that there should probably be something with an SPF in there, but I never actually enjoy using sunscreen, so it'd be a bit of a lie to claim I'd been loving it! Let's get the ball rolling...

Garnier Soft Essentials

This little post over at Makeup Savvy pretty much sums up what's happened to my skin as a result of being a beauty blogger - its gone mental! To try and put this right, I've tried all sorts - just using water, just using Lush products, going back to my old Origins regime.... nothing worked. However, when I was up in Durham for a wee stay with my sister in law and her husband, I noticed that she used the Garnier Soft Essentials range and I'll be honest - she has beautiful skin!
Conveniantly, it was only on 2 for £4 at Boots, so I decided to give it a go and I loved it - it's completely sorted out my skin! It's packed full of rose oil and is actually a lot more natural than I originally thought it would be. Win!

Aveeno Lotions

A while ago I signed up to join the Aveeno discoverers programme as I have excema and a weird sort of dermatitis on my hands (seriously, it's rank - little tiny blistersall over *shudders*) and figured that "discovering" their products would be no bad thing. Anyway, months passed and I heard nothing until one day a massive parcel turned up on my doorstep full of Aveeno products. It was a very surreal moment to say the least. They suggest giving some away, so my (then pregnant) friend Katie got one box full and I left myself with the other.

They are amazing. Seriously, incredible. Fix my scabby legs and hands in no time, and they're not perfumed either which means I can wear them regularly without a)getting a migrane b)attracting wasps c)not being able to sleep because I smell like a bottle of perfume. Definite winners for me!

St Ives Deep Cleansing Body Scrub

As part of my "I'm gonna be a runner" kick when I signed up to the York 10k, I decided that a subscription to Zest magazine would probably be a useful monthly kick up the backside to keep me motivated. When I subscribed, they were giving away tonnes of St Ives products with your subscription. So anyway, I subscribed and my magazines started coming but not St Ives treats, until a few months later (see a recurring theme in my life?!) when I got a massive box of St Ives goodies (no... seriously... it's weird how often these "oh it's never gonna come.. oh wait here it is" type things happen).  I've never really used St Ives stuff, so I was intruiged. My favourite is definitely the big tubs of Body Scrub - they're super scrubby but not drying either, so they were perfect in the hot, sticky weather we had towards the start of summer for declogging those sweat ridden pores :) I've mainly used the Deep Cleansing one, but I also have a Moisturising one to work my way through as well! Even though the Deep Cleansing is for "Oily, blemish prone skin" (which I don't actually have) I haven't found it drying at all :)

*Disclaimer* Some of these products were received free for review purposes

*Disclaimer 2* I have been accepted on to the AVEENO® Discoverer Programme (insert link to the programme), helping to spread the word about AVEENO® products.  I get sent free AVEENO® samples and have the possibility of being rewarded with additional benefits.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

New Series - Summer Lovin'

Ok, I have to admit, since the Groom's function band did the Grease Megamix at the wedding I went to on Saturday, this song has been popping in and out of my head! To try and get it out, I thought I'd channel it into blogging and put together a "Summer Lovin'" series of all the things I've been using this summer :) Over the next few days, I'll be bringing you my favourite make up and beauty bits and there might even be a little something something for you!

To start though I want to know, what have you been loving this summer?
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Lovea Bio Argan Oil Cell Renewal Body Scrub Review

You might have noticed a lack of My Pure reviews from me over the last couple of months - unfortunately my 2nd box got sent back and then sent out and then lost in the land of Royal Mail so this month is going to be choc-full of reviews! I thought I'd start with this Lovea Bio Argan Oil Cell Renewal Body Scrub:
Some of you will know (and those of you that don't will no doubt be happy to hear) that My Pure is changing the way that they put together the packages for bloggers to review (this month was a customised box and from next month bloggers will be selecting their own products) - hopefully this means a little less repetition in the blogging circles :)

Annnnyway, onto reviewing the actual product. I'm very much in two minds about this body scrub - one the one hand, it does an alright job and leaves your skin relatively smooth etc, but on the other hand, it's just... weird. 

The texture of it is odd - the scrub itself is held in a gel type substance, which occasionally separates and drips oil (I'm guessing Argan Oil) all over you as you open the lid. The actual scrubby bit doesn't really feel that effective either - all the particles are varying sizes (I'm guessing due to being made of a variety of different nuts and seeds) and you don't get that satisfying "scrubbed" feeling after using it.... well you do on about 1/3 of your scrubbed area, but there's no where near enough actual scrubbyness to make it a satisfying or worth while experience. 

The argan oil means that your skin does feel quite nourished afterwards and I definitely didn't need to use a moisturiser (although it's no where near as moisturising as something like Origins Incredible Spreadable Scrub), but my overwhelming feeling after using this product is just a bit "meh". Sorry Lovea - your shampoo was lovely, your scrub is kinda blah.

♥ ♥ and a half out of 5
Would I buy this again? Probably not to be honest - at £7.50 I expect a lot more scrub satisfaction
Price: £7.50 from My pure

Disclaimer: I was given this product for free for review purposes as part of the My Pure Blogging Panel
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Monday, 23 August 2010

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual Book Review

So seeing as I'm trapped in the house with some sort of fluey, throat hurty thing, I figured now would be a good time to get a couple of blog posts done, starting with a review of the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

I've been eyeing up this book for ages, and almost bought it a while back (but went up for  "Makeup: The Ultimate Guide" by Rae Morris instead), so I was super happy when I discovered it nestled in the shelves of my local library (if you haven't already heard me waxing lyrical about the newly refurbished York library, let me tell you know that it's amazing). Looking around like a crazed woman, I grabbed it (possibly letting the words "my precious" fall from my lips in a golum esq manner) and made a mad dash towards the extremely space age and whizzy self service machines (no seriously, I LOVE this new library...*cough*)

So, does Bobbi Brown's Makeup Manual live up to what I hoped it would be? In a word, yes. The tagline of this book is that it's "For everyone from beginner to pro" and I think I'd agree. This book really does cover everything you need to know about make up - from the basics of what different brushes do, how to shop for cosmetics and how to look after your skin, to step by step make up application techniques, to more advanced techniques and a great chapter about getting into the make up industry including kit lists, contacts, hints and tips and even a history of make up (always good for a pub quiz)!

Bobbie goes into a lot of detail about how to apply make up to achieve a flawless, natural looking finish and I found the sections on concealers and correctors really useful, as I tend to shy away from using them. Obviously, I'm not a complete novice, but I never felt too challenged or too patronised by anything in this book, and instead felt inspired to crank it up a notch and really work at getting a more flawless finish when I was doing my make up for a wedding I went to on Saturday.

The downside? Not many really. The one thing I will say is that it doesn't contain much inspiration for more colourful/daring looks but this isn't really Bobbi Brown's style (I mean come on, is the woman whose line started with 10 brown lipsticks really going to be sharing how to pull off the perfect bright green lipstick? I think not). That said, she does have some slightly more fun/editorial looks and also makes reference to other make up artists who do specialise more in this sort of look.

All in all, I'd say that this is an excellent reference tool that pretty much everyone would benefit from owning - whether you're a complete beginner, or an old pro who just wants to remember how to brush up their techniques, or maybe (a bit like me) you're toying around with the idea of becoming a make up artist and want to read a little more about what that entails and how to build up your kit and portfolio, there's something here for you. I know that I plan on getting my own pretty much the minute this has to return to those wonderful library shelves!

Bobbi Brown Make Up Manual: RRP £20 
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Thursday, 19 August 2010

May Loves Makeup Giveaway

The incredibly gorgeous and extremely lovely May Loves Makeup has got a giveaway to celebrate reaching a whopping 500 followers :D Heres the goodies you could win:

If you aren't following her already, you should! May is one of the first girls I got to know in the beauty blogging world and she really is ace :) Go enter!!
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Current Lusts

As a result of buying a car and going on holiday and lots of other nice things, we're currently a little low on pennies to buy lovely things. However, that doesn't stop a girl from looking! Here's a few of my current lusts:

ELF 141 Piece Master Makeup Collection £35

Urban Decay NYC Book of Shadows Vol III £30 from Debenhams

Urban Decay Naked Palette £27 from Debenhams (from October)

The 25 Shiro Cosmetics colours I don't currently own

Whatever Chanel lipstick it is that Vanessa Paradis is wearing in this advert (anyone know what shade it is?)

What are your current lusts?
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