Thursday, 29 September 2011

Daniel Sandler Products

Daniel Sandler is a top UK make-up artist who has his own make-up collection, fuelling his knowledge and expertise from years in the business into the creations. The line is available at numerous places online and in stores also. See his website here. The line has had quite a bit of press recently so here are a few highlights from the range...
... and why not follow Daniel on Twitter. He is fun and gives out lots of helpful make-up tips.

Watercolour Crème Bronzers in Riviera and Fiji
Pressed Powder Blush-on
Luxury Lipstick in Impulse and Micro Bubble Lipstick in Micro Red. The texture of these is both rich and creamy. I found both of these incredibly comfortable to wear and long lasting. Also, On a side note, both of these colours are utterly divine.

Dimensional Shadow (black), Sheer Satin Shadows (Blue & Aqua)
You may have noticed that I have a passion for black eyeshadow and their various colours and textures. I Love, Love, LOVE this one. It is flecked with tiny particles of royal blue and silver. The sparkle stays even when not blended over a creme shadow.

Watch Nic use some of Daniel's products to create a Nicole Scherzinger look here.


Monday, 26 September 2011

The Halloween Series continues..

This year we have added two new tutorials to the Halloween Series, Corpse Bride and Catwoman, we hope that you enjoy them.
Here are a few of our favourites. Click here If you would like to see our Halloween Playlist with lots more tutorials.


Friday, 23 September 2011

Christopher Kane SS12

(image from

London fashion week has just come to a close and I have been dipping in and out of all the action, checking in on the different shows and catching up on the news. I have to say that out of all the shows that I caught up on, Christopher Kane was the one that was utterly inspiring to me. The collection was a beautiful confluence of make-up, hair, clothes and music. I loved the simple, natural make up with the spring-like rosy cheeks which complimented the collection wonderfully. The hair too, swept across the face in a side parting, tied loosely at the back, allowing the hair to fall freely and innocently. Everything appeared natural, but it was the naturalness of the show that conveyed the collection's beauty with an ethereal twist.

Christopher Kane is a designer who has captivated the fashion world with successions of wonderful collections after graduating in 2006, he has experimented with a wealth of different materials and for the SS12 collection it seems he has matured from the bright neons from last year and instead opted for bright florals and shining pastels, giving an all over fresh and graceful appearance. Kane even sent the models down the catwalk in plimsols and rubber-soled sandals (I have to say, not a huge fan, but I'm sure in a few months everyone will be wearing them), giving a comfortable and light aspect to the show, despite not loving the shoes themselves, I loved the unique gesture of them. The collection was gentle and soft and even though there was structure and sharpness in the tailoring, heavy embellishment, even the slightly masculine look to the shoes, they had their edge softened throughout by the constant flow of floral, light and iridescent fabrics that appeared throughout the show, giving the collection its delicate and light image.

In particular, I loved Kane's take on embellishment, which was done in such a modern way, from the sparkling denim to crystal encrusted skirts. The glittering and bejewelled pieces just added to the awe-inspiring effect that the collection had on me and provided some eye-catching and head turning (sometimes casual) glamour and sophistication, which was further accentuated by the matching footwear, equally as embellished, to complete the look. I also really loved the bold and bright floral prints which slightly resembled 1960's wallpaper but completely came to life in the clothing with Kane's use of such a striking blue. The clothes came together to give off the image of a carefree, happy and youthful collection which oozed innocence and sheer elegance.

Finally, the song played during the show was 'Video Games' by Lana Del Rey, can't stop listening to it.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Urban Decay 'Urban Defence' Tinted Moisturiser

In the summer I tend to use a tinted moisturiser over foundation partly because I prefer the more natural, glowing look but also because it takes no time to apply and is easy to work with. I use the Laura Mercier one as a rule, but recently I turned to the newly repackaged Urban Decay 'defence' tinted moisturiser which  also has a smaller price tag than the Mercier one.

The moisturiser benefits from SPF 20 so is great to wear on a day to day basis, especially when the sun is out (which hasn't been much in the UK!), it is easy to apply and blends into the skin well and has quite a warm tone to it so it doesn't go at all ashy on the face. However, it has quite a matte like finish, and although it definitely does give a healthy sheen to the skin, because it is quite matte it sets onto the skin quickly so it requires quite a bit of product. Alternatively, to get the more dewy finish I put a good layer of moisturiser underneath it so it looks more luminous. 

It also evens out skin tone with no patchiness or difficulty to achieve a flawless look. It is buildable, so depending on what kind of look you like you can amend it to suit you. Personally, I prefer a small amount of tint because too much appears powdery on my face with this product. I must also mention that it doesn't work well at covering blemishes but it is a fantastic base for the skin. 

I also prefer the packaging much more than the older design which was much more busy and chaotic. The new packaging is sleek and simple yet bright and eye-catching. Compared with other tinted moisturisers in it's league this is a really great one that quickly transforms and lifts the face with a quick squeeze of the product!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Kate Moss Lipsticks for Rimmel

It's been ten years since Kate Moss first started fronting campaigns for Rimmel and to celebrate Rimmel threw a party at Battersea Power Station last week to kick off London Fashion Week, to mark the decade of Kate and Rimmel, Kate Moss collaborated with Rimmel by creating a series of lipsticks to mark the 10 year event which have just launched in store. I have four of the lipsticks designed by Kate Moss. Here's what they look like...

The lipsticks don't have names, instead they are identified by numbers (from left to right here, number 1, 2, 3 and 4) as part of the 'Kate' collection.  I have to say I am so impressed with the lipsticks, I have mostly been wearing number 1, the red one, which is also the one that Kate wears in the adverts - it is fantastic. It is such a gorgeous red which I think captures Kate's style down to a t, it is the one that reminds me of her most in the collection, and it is brilliant for a simple and instant red slick of colour in the perfect shade. The lipsticks are designed to have a lasting finish and they certainly do last, I found that the highly pigmented colour remains and they don't shed or at all looks messy after a while of wearing them. Of course bright and colourful lipsticks do need to be reapplied after eating and drinking and so on but they really do last well.

They have a gorgeous and glossy texture that feels moisturising and comfortable on the lip, whilst staying firmly in place. They also smell great so it is a pleasure to wear them. The colour range is beautiful and extra appealing purely because these are shades that Kate Moss has chosen, definitely helping you on your way to get 'the London look' (!)

The packaging is a chic matte black with the classic Rimmel crown on top, but also Kate's signature on the side, adding a personal and identifiable touch. I like the simplicity of the packing, yet it also makes a statement and becomes recognisable because of the signature. Perfect for the uber-cool lipstick range.

I think this is such a brilliant collaboration full of fantastic colours, fantastic quality and a fantastic creator. Not to mention these lipsticks are amazing value (£5.49) and for the greatness of the product, they are totally and utterly worth purchasing. See Kate Moss in action in the extended advert for the lipsticks below

Disclaimer: This review was written by Kate Gowing. 
Neither Nic or I have tried these products due to uncertainty over Rimmel's testing policies

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Louise Young Essential Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow palette from Louise Young is absolutely fantastic and versatile. A compact palette that includes five matte shades that are perfect for both the eyes and brows, working brilliantly to create definition and a wealth of looks.

From left to right:
1. Ting
2. Maowi
3. Pom Pom
4. Black Bear
5. Sislet

The palette includes a sable shadow brush which actually works quite well for on the go application, the large mirror helps with this too! The shadows are highly pigmented and blend beautifully and compliment each other well. The matte shadows are perfect for the fast approaching autumnal season -from the cool tones to Maowi to the rich warmth of Sislet there are many looks this palette has to offer. I love how that in one compact palette the shadows can be used for liner and brows too. Louise Young has a fantastic range of brushes too which are available, along with the eyeshadow palette, from her website (here). This really is a lovely eyeshadow set which I have been using non stop recently.


Friday, 9 September 2011

Win front row tickets to Ashley Isham @LFW

London Fashion Week launches next week and Ashley Isham has called upon Illamasqua to complement his signature glamorous designs with directional, artistic make-up looks for his SS12 show.

To celebrate this collaboration, They are giving away 2 money-can't-buy FRONT ROW tickets to the Ashley Isham show on Friday 16th September at 7:45pm as a guest of Illamasqua.
Illamasqua will also throw in a course voucher worth £100 that can be redeemed at the School of Make-up Art in our Flagship store at 20 Beak Street, London W1 and a goody bag filled with Illamasqua products for the lucky winner and a friend.

So if you want to join me in the front row click here

Terms and Conditions: Competition closes online at 11.59pm GMT Tuesday 13th September 2011. Winner to be drawn at random and notified Wednesday 14th September 2011. This competition is open internationally but Illamasqua will not be paying for any travel. Prize is non-transferable and has no cash value. Not open to Illamasqua employees. Course voucher must be used within 12 months. The course will be a Night-Time Diva course - please call the school on 0203 432 3277 for availability. Illamasqua reserves the right to refuse. Promoter: Illamasqua Ltd, 6-8 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UQ

Life's a Drag

My most recent tutorial shows how to create a fun drag look and it wouldn't be fair to not mention my inspiration.
Gozra Lozano - Photographer, Make-up Artist and friend.
Gozra photographs all the 80s legends. I love the work that he has done with Pete Burns and recently Martin Degville. The images he produces are a fusion of imagination, photography and photoshop and the finished result is pure art.

Gozra's book is available from or


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Soundtrack of my life - Nic

Following in Sam's footsteps as I always do, I have also put together the Albums that shaped my life.
I actually expected Sam and I to have more albums the same due to being sisters.

1. The XX - I love this album so much, Every year my family all head to a festival just outside Norwich called Latitude. We all camp and have the best time together, XX played one year and were so fantastic, that now when oi listen to them I drift off to that festival every time surrounded by my loved ones. Islands from the album is also one of mine and Ian's songs.   

2. Prince - Purple Rain Tour was one of the first Live gig's I ever went to with my Mum, Dad and Sister and I remember loving it so much, the concert was at Wembley Stadium and we got the tube there. This was my first time I had been on the tube and I was so excited and felt so grown up.

3. Adele - 19 and 21 are both the most beautiful album, this lady has so much talent I find her a real inspiration and at the same time she seems like she would be so much fun to hang out with. I love her. Make you feel my love is so amazing. Also makes me think of Ian, I'm very soppy like that.

4. Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best of, I can't pick an Album as all there songs are classic so i have gone for best of.

5. Tracy Chapman, One word.....Amazing. Grow up listening to this album. Love it just as much now as then. Maybe I understand a little more about the stories behind the songs now that helps.

6. Jamiroquai, Emergency on Planet Earth. I love this album and all of JK's Albums they are so good to dance to and to relax too. I have always been a massive fan of his work.

 7. Matchbox 20 - Yourself or someone like you. I don't really know how I stumbled across Matchbox 20 but I think I must have been about 17 when I first heard this album and it was love at first listen. I think I must have been going though that troubled relationships time of my life when music was all I had to express myself and Matchbox 20 helped with that.

8.  Nivana - Nevermind, I'm pretty sure that everyone I know has at one point in there life found themselves falling in love with this album. I feel it is a cult classic for people around my age. I was at High School when I first came across Nevermind and from then on for a least a year walked around with my headphones on listening to this one album. I even went as far as dating one of the boys in the school Nivana Tribute band..... I thought I was so cool

9. 2 Many Dj's - This Album reminds me of my first job in Morgen the retail clothes store. I loved it so much and at the end of the day we would put this album on really loud and dance around while we cleaned up......Oh the stories of the Morgan days are never ending

10. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the key of Life, I think this may be the only album that Sam and I both have the same. We grow up listening to this sort of music so it is only right that it features in the soundtrack of my life.  An amazing Album. 

11. Plan B, The defamation of Strickland banks. Fantastic album, well written, well produced and completely unique. An all round amazing talent. 

12. Micheal Jackson, BAD. I listened to Micheal Jackson more than any other artist I can remember and would put my leotard on and dance around the living room to this album along this all his other albums. I am also still the only person in my family that can do the moonwalk.

13. Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust, My collage album when walking between classes I would turn this on full blast and block out the world....Just me and the music.

14. The Gossip - Standing in the way of Control, I just love love love Beth Ditto. Amazing voice, amazing make up, Amazing self confidence. 

15. Dire Straits - Brother in Arms, Classic I remember watching Nelson Mandela concert in 1988 and loving Dire Straits when they song with Eric Clapton and have been a fan of both ever since. When the guitar kicks in its like nothing else. 

other albums -

Maroon 5 -  Songs about Jane
Chase and Status - More than alot
Aerosmith - Gold
Paolo Nutini - These Streets
Eric Clapton - Clapton Chronicles


    Tuesday, 6 September 2011

    Une Promenade Chanel Installation at Harrods

    Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak at the Chanel exhibition in Harrods. This is an absolute must for Chanel fans.
    I took plenty of pictures but you will have to trust me that pictures will never be able to do the installation justice.
     To enter the installation you walk through a curtain of pearls and into a beautiful garden room with a fountain at the center and miniature trees with chamilia flowers around the edges. The quilted Chanel watering can and gardening tools were a highlight.
    The next room was too dark to photograph but replicates being inside a Chanel 2.55 handbag. There is a giant zip on the lined wall and another wall shows video footage of the bags being handmade.

     The third room is a playroom. The miniature replica of the Chanel store on Place Vendome, Paris is utterly mind blowing.
     I also clocked this doll dressed from the Byzantine collection

    The fourth is the Couture Room. The walls are mirrored just like the stairs in Rue Cambon that lead up to Mademoiselles apartment and Karl Lagerfelds offices.

    The fifth is Karl's Office. A huge cut out of Karl adorns the book covered walls and his voice can be heard.

    And finally into the Fragrance Room. This room is dark and atmospheric and probably the highlight for me was a gigantic bottle of No.5 through which the advertising history of the fragrance was being shown. I filmed a short clip but it is a little shaky.

    Then, I realised that the book that I had been given upon exit was the most delightful pop-up addition to this wonderful experience.

    I honestly cannot recommend this exhibition enough. It is on until the 24th of September so get your skates on, guys.

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