Saturday, 30 June 2012

Michael Aston Make up Artist

At Pixiwoo we are inspired every day by the work of great Make up artists and we wanted to write a piece on Michael Ashton who for the last five years has been the personal make up artist to British singing sensation Adele.
Michael began his career twelve years ago as a senior stylist and part of the Stephen Marr Artistic team becoming a renowned hairstylist in New Zealand.
Since these beginnings he made the move to New York where he worked alongside the MAC Pro team.Later this led him across Europe to London.

His work has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, Glamour and Vanity Fair and his endless client list from Adele, Elle McPherson to Amber Heard and many more in between has given him a firm footing on the international make up artist scene.

Michael created the amazing beauty look Adele has become known for and was responsible for Adele's make up at The Grammy Awards and The BRIT Awards 2012.
 I think you will agree these were both amazing iconic looks and here at Pixiwoo we were inundated with tutorial requests.

If you would like to see more of Michael Ashton's work you can view more on
 or follow him on Twitter
or view his Facebook page

Have a look at the tutorials below to see how we re created Michael Ashtons work.

Adele at the Brits

Adele at the Grammys


Friday, 29 June 2012

Jennifer Lopez 'I'm into you'

This make-up is from the 'I'm into you' video.
The make-up artist was Mary Phillips. See her work here
Follow her on twitter

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturising Foundation
Anastasia brow wiz
MAC Brun eyeshadow
MAC 263 brush RMK Metallic Gold e/s
Tom Ford Platinum creme eyeshadow
Ben Nye grey eyeshadow
MAC Blacktrack fluid line
Revlon grow luscious mascara
Liz Martins Enhance False Lashes
Tom Ford Contour & Illuminate Intensity One
Chanel loose powder
Collection 2000 concealer Lasting perfection
Bobbi Brown Pink Sunset Lipgloss

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Clinique superbalanced powder bronzer

I love a bronzed sunkissed look to my skin but having oily skin I often find some powder bronzers darken up in the areas where my skin gets oily and go patchy.
I have discovered Cliniques new Superbalanced powder bronzer which is a long wearing bronzer that helps to absorb oil.Perfect for any skin type but especially amazing for an oily or combination skin.
Mineral based this powder gives a subtle radiance and is available in two shades of Bronzed 1 and 2.
This product is a baked compact style with a twist top that contains tiny blades that grate the desired amount of product off leaving you with a loose powder to dust over the skin.
To complement this summer limited edition it comes in a pucci style printed bag.Perfect for any summer make up bag.
Retailing at £25.00 and available now.
This product is limited edition so hurry to avoid disappointment!

Written by Stacey 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Brush and tool cleansing solutions

Make up brushes can be an expensive investment so it is important to take care of them by cleaning them effectively.
You may think just rinsing them in baby shampoo is enough but using a proper brush cleanser is important as they contain many different ingredients that will not only condition the hairs of the brush but also anti bacterial ingredients that disinfect and remove bacteria build up from the brush.
 If you suffer from skin break outs, have sensitive skin or have had skin infections then it is even more important to clean your brushes.
 Using a regular shampoo does certainly get a lot of product out but it can also mean your brushes are soaking wet for days. Real brush cleanser often contains alcohol which allows the brushes to dry much quicker.
 The best way to use brush cleansers are to pour a small amount onto a thick tissue such as kitchen roll and then buff the brush back and forth.Make sure you re shape the brush after doing this so that the brush keeps its correct shape.
Be sure to not to get the base of the brush hairs too wet as you may find it will cause the glue that holds the hairs will become loose resulting in shedding hairs.

Most cosmetic brands do their own brush cleansers.Here are a selection from different price points.

Beauty So clean

Formulated with natural ingredients and dermatology tested this cleanser comes in a handy125ml spray bottle so great for travel(£11.50).
 Containing a high percentage of alcohol it removes bacteria with ease.
This brand also does a cosmetic sanitizer mist (£9.50) which removes bacteria and germs from powder products. Powder products often get a glazed seal over them which comes from oils in the skin being transferred from powder puffs or make up brushes. Spray this mist directly onto the powder and then rub over with a tissue.The oily seal is removed and the powder is disinfected.
They also have handy little sanitizer wipes which come in packs of 48 (£9.50) which you can use on pencils, lipsticks and glosses.



MAC Brush cleanser

This 235ml cleanser at £8.50 does exactly the same as most but also has an added ingredient of wheat protein which conditions the hairs.This product is specifically designed to extend the life of you brushes.
 MAC is used backstage at various events so it is vital that the brushes dry quickly and are ready to use almost straight away again.
 A little goes a long way and there is no strong alcohol odour.


Beauty blender cleanser

This gentle cleanser(£15.00)is great to clean all your make up sponges with.
 The 180ml plastic bottle has a special adapter that you sit the sponge on, press down and the liquid will then dispurse out onto the sponge.
 Usually sponges are in expensive and can just as easily be replaced but if you feel you want to clean them in between buying your next one then this is ideal.
 The soft lavender scent also makes them smell fresh and clean.

What are your best tips for keeping your most important tools in top condition?


Thursday, 21 June 2012

EMJ Products

As working make up artists we are always on the lookout for the best storage and transportation solutions for our kit. We are all aware of the fabulous cases that companies such as Zuca and Glamcor provide but you must take a look at EMJ products.

 The lady behind the brand is Emily-Jane Williams and in 2011 she created her boutique style brand especially catered for make-up artists.
 Her line up of products include brush belts holding up to 28 brushes with adjustable straps, Make-up rolls which are designed to hold pencils and glosses, roll up mats to set your products down on, set bags, aprons and capes.

The classic black material used looks polished and professional but here at Pixiwoo we just love the polka dot or floral varieties.
 With products starting at £4.00 these are a great addition to any make-up fanatics kit list.

Get your kit organised and view the whole range on



Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Caroline Barnes Make-up artist

Caroline Barnes is a world class make up artist who has been working in the industry for over 12 years.
Her work has graced all of the major editorials and catwalk shows and with a client list including Kylie Minogue, David Beckham and Naomi Campbell it's no surprise she is in great demand.

Along with being Cheryl Coles' personal make-up artist her work has been featured in some iconic images over the years and now as Max Factors UK ambassador she is teaching other new upcoming make-up artists the craft.

After watching The Queens Jubilee where Cheryl Cole performed, Nic decided she really wanted to re create Caroline's design.
At Pixiwoo we were inundated with requests for this look as a tutorial. It seems you were loving the flawless skin and winged out midnight blue eyeshadow as much as us.

In this tutorial Nic shows you how to use these colours and where to place the colour to create this beautiful twist on a smoky eye.

For more information on Caroline Barnes check out her website on 
or follow here on twitter

We hope you all enjoy the tutorial. 


Monday, 18 June 2012

Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm

If you like a lip balm that gives you  subtle colour and moisture but prefer the typical bullet style application of a lipstick then you will love these.

To look at they resemble a hard candy lollipop with an outer shell of a transparent balm and an inner core of soft colour.
 As you apply the inner core gives you the colour whilst the outer shell provides a sheen that is not tacky or sticky but creamy and smooth.

A colour line up of five shades including crystal pink, violet,  two types of coral and a red.  
 We have four of the shades here to show you.

Because the inner core gives you the colour you need to make sure you rub your lips together after applying to evenly distribute the colour all over the lip.
 A really lovely easy to use summer lip product. 

 If you are lucky enough to be in a hot country I wouldn't leave the metal case in the sun(obviously!) or you will end up with a divine smelling colourful goo in your handbag and a metal case that feels hotter than the sun!

They are £16.50 each and available from

Friday, 15 June 2012

June Perfect dupes

Lots of you lovely make-up savvy consumers commented on how helpful our previous post on the perfect dupe was so we decided to bring it back each month showing you a cheaper, close match to a more expensive brand.



Chanel Pro Lumiere V's Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

At Pixiwoo we all loved Chanel Pro Lumiere and we were disappointed when Chanel discontinued it.
 After trying tons of different brands including Chanel's replacement perfection Lumiere we decided our opinion on the closest match was the fabulous Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation.
 Healthy mix serum foundation is a radiant, gel based, vitamin infused foundation that provides medium buildable coverage whilst being long wearing on the skin.
 At £9.99 its definitely worth a try, the only downside is that it is only available in 6 colours so may not suit all skin tones.

                                                                     Saving of £22.01

MAC Aqualine liquidlast V's Marks & Spencer turquoise liquid liner 

In my opinion one of the best colours MAC did in their Liquidlast liner was Aqualine. It was a real vibrant metallic turquoise that once it dried it did not budge.
When we saw Marks & Spencer new Limited collection we couldn't believe how similar the turquoise was to MAC's version.
 If anything I actually prefer the brush on the cheaper dupe as its slightly shorter and firmer.
This liner has the same colour payoff and longevity too.
Priced at £4.00 and available from

Saving of £9.50

MAC No 4 Lash V's Amazing Shine lash No 747-S item 663

MAC No 4 lashes are a hand made natural length, wispy lash.Great for creating natural volume without looking too bulky.
 Amazing shine lashes have a huge variety of lashes that they probably make a dupe for most premium cosmetic lashes.
 Item No 663 is almost identical and is 100% human hair.Looks pretty much the same on.I would still use Duo glue to apply though just to make sure they stay secure.
Priced at £1.99  and available from


Saving of £8.01



Becca compact concealer V's MAC Studio finish concealer

Becca compact concealer is slightly different in the fact that it contains two colours in one product which is really great to mix or for blending.
Giving medium-full coverage it is a similar texture and finish to MAC Studio finish.
 Mac Studio finish is just a tiny bit more creamier. MAC concealer has an SPF of 35.This SPF is obviously really great for protection but just be careful of the flash back that SPF causes when having your photograph taken.
At £13.50 Studio finish is a real bargain and a huge saving.


 Saving of £16.50


Let us know if you have found any amazing dupes recently


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Our favourite Sunglasses

We are all major sunglasses lovers here at Pixiwoo. Even on an overcast day (most of the time) you will still find us rocking our favourite eye protection.
 As we are noticing those fine lines creeping up around the eyes it's a really good idea to wear sunglasses on a bright day to avoid squinting and frowning and if you live in a sunny country I'm sure you know the importance of adequate eye wear.

We thought it would be a fun blog to tell you about our own personal favourites


Nic's favourite this summer are her new Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.The frame name is called Bordeaux and the lens colour is gradient pink violet.
Nic loves retro old school style and actually has the same style glasses in a few different colours.

 This colour looks like a deep maroon colour once on and is a really nice alternative to the classic black.
Ray Bans come in all different shapes and styles so check their website out to find your perfect style.
These were £135



I love my new Biba sunglasses.They are not my normal type as I usually go for the typical aviator style but I tried them on really for a laugh because I thought they would look massive and ridiculous! You may think they do!!

As soon as I put them on I fell in love with them.The style type is called Bianca and they are a squarish lens that is a brown/grey colour that then fades down to a dark peach.
 The sides have the Biba logo and the arms scoop down in a wave like shape.They sit really close to your face which I love as it stops any light getting in at the sides.
They come in a few different colour options but I like this colour as it just blends down into my skin tone.
 They were £65.00 which I think is really reasonable for such a beautiful pair of glasses with an iconic name such as Biba.
I purchased mine from House of Fraser


Judy is the girls mum and she is often here in the studio helping us out.She always says that we leave her out so we thought we would get her involved in the great sunglass debate!
Judy loves her Marc Jacobs sunglasses with the classic turnlock detail on the side.

They are a square plastic frame in shiny black and Judy says that they sit nice and close on her face and are such a classic shape that they just go with everything.

Sorry about the dark picture of Judy, we make her sit in a dark damp corner where she is seen and not heard (just kidding, we love Judy)
Judy brought her sunglasses from and they were £65.00

  Normally Sam would be included in this blog but as she is currently in New York with her Real Techniques brushes she isn't here to get involved.
But she is in New York so we don't feel too bad!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

DuWop Products

Duwop is an innovative cosmetic brand that aims to make products that all modern cosmetic consumers need in their make-up collection.
 They do have colour cosmetics within their range but we have been sampling some of their products that assist in creating the foundations for a great make-up look.

We tried Circle block which is a colour corrector and concealer in one product.
In the lid there is an orange based cream that helps to correct blueish or purple dark circles around the eyes.You only need a real small amount of this product and gently pat into the areas where dark circles appear.
 Next unscrew the lid and underneath is a creamy concealer which provides a medium coverage with a matte finish.
I would opt for fingers when applying the concealer over the top so that you are not brushing the colour corrector off underneath.
Colours come in extra light,light, medium and dark and are $28 (around £18)

If you find that eye shadows don't look as intense on you as you would like then you may like DuWop Payoff ($17).
It is a water based, clear liquid that you mix with your powder eyeshadow to then turn it into a more creamy vibrant intense version of itself!
 The easiest way I have found to use this is to scrape a little of your powder eyeshadow out and mix a few drops of payoff into it.
 I tested it and mixed  it in with Tempting Eyeshadow by MAC

Using Payoff definitely made the colour darker and more intense as you can see from the visual.It also stained the skin a lot more once removed so if you have sensitive eyes beware that it may take a little more effort to remove.

If you like to have the natural flushed look to your cheeks and don't mind a slight tingling sensation on application then you may want to take a look at DuWop Cheek venom ($24).
 In two different shades of a hot coral or nude flush this creme blush is feels quite dry to the touch, not too greasy or creamy.
 It gives a matte stain to the cheeks.The cinnamon scent of this product is quite strong so if you're like me and detest cinnamon then you may find it slightly over powering.
 The overall finish I actually really like.It looks like you have pinched the skin and are naturally flushing.
 I expected it to feel uncomfortably tingly but it didn't.The only downside for me was the fragrance.
Cinnamon just reminds me of hideous alcoholic shots that made me ill in my younger days!

DuWop have many other key products in their line up from plumping gloss to dramatic thickening mascara.You can view their range on


Friday, 8 June 2012

The Best of British

2012 is gearing up to be a great year for all things British.The Queens Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics are both putting the UK into the forefront of worldwide media.
 All this bunting hanging in every window has inspired me to write a post on our fabulous British brands.

Liz Earle

Liz Earle is a British beauty brand founded in 1995 by two close friends Liz and Kim.The products have a strong background in using the finest naturally active ingredients.They wanted a brand that was affordable combined with the best ingredients that could be quick and easy to use.

As an oily skinned person my absolutely favourite product from Liz Earle is their Deep Cleansing Mask.
This clay based mask goes on as a grey paste and tingles on application.The clay helps draw out imperfections and regulate oil.
Easy to remove with the sponges included without finding white mask marks in your hairline 2 hours after!
Instantly areas of my skin where I could feel the beginnings of a blemish coming up were soothed and inflammation reduced.A real star product for people who suffer from breakouts.
A little goes a long way so a real bargain at £14.00


Burberry was founded in 1856 in Basingstoke by Thomas Burberry a 21 year old drapers assistant.
Famous for its tartan check pattern clothing line they have gone on to produce accessories, fragrance and more recently cosmetics.
The cosmetic range is in a weighty gunmetal casing and has the Burberry check running through the product. 

I adore the lip cover lipsticks.Available in 5 colours this rich, moisturised lipstick glides over the skin. Perfect for people who like sheer lipsticks with a soft moisturised sheen.
You almost don't want to use it incase you ruin the perfect check pattern.
 At £22.50 it is definitely a more luxurious expensive treat.


Founded in the 1860's Penhaligons is a fragrance brand created by William Henry Penhaligon who was a barber and perfumer to Queen Victoria.
His original shop in Jermyn street London was destroyed in The Blitz in 1941 but they re opened in 1975 in Covent Garden.
The signature clear glass bottles with a ribbon tied stopper are still made in England using the finest rare ingredients.With 34 different scents to offer there will be something to suit all tastes even if it's just to have a little slice of Great Britain on you bathroom shelf.
I love anything mildly citrus smelling and Penhaligons Bluebell is light and fresh with notes from Hyacinth and Jasmine.You will smell like a beautiful British woodland!
Said to be a favourite fragrance of Princess Diana, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller makes it even more appealing I think you will agree.
Available in different sizes that start from 50ml for £58.00


Illamasqua is a relitively new UK brand that is now also available globally.
It prides itself on being an alternative slightly dark cosmetic brand that encourages people to step out of their make-up comfort zone and let their alter ego shine through.
Inspirational make-up artist Alex Box(Creative director) has used her art background in developing the brands products and imagery.
Illamasqua products are a regular in Pixiwoo tutorials and their Skin Base is a particular favourite of ours.
 We love that it caters for all from the lightest of skin tones up to a much deeper skin tone. With a medium/buildable coverage it also photographs well with no flash back and looks great in HD.
Skin base is priced at £25

Daniel Sandler 

Daniel Sandler is a British Make-up artist who has been in the industry for over 20 years and his work has graced many international magazines.
His cosmetic line caters for all your make-up needs whilst keeping it simple and fuss free.
His product line has won many awards and one of our all time favourite products are his multi award winning Watercolour fluid blush.

A moisturising fluid that is silicone based to help with staying power.
Provides a delicate flush to the cheeks that gives radiance and warmth back into the skin.
After shaking well a single drop to each cheek is enough for a natural day look or for a stronger look you can buff in more product.
These are £14.50 but will last you so long.

What are your favourite products from your home country?



Thursday, 7 June 2012

First Date Make Up

First dates are always a really anxious scenario to be in so I think it is a good idea to keep your look as simple and fuss free as possible.
Nothing worse than getting home from a first date, looking in the mirror and realising you've had half your false lashes hanging off all night and red lipstick on your teeth.

I have many male friends and also brothers so I get to hear lots of feedback on what guys think of the way girls look. I’m not saying you should ever change your style or how you want to look to snare the guy of your dreams and you should definitely always be yourself and look how you feel comfortable but I think on a first date less is more.

Try and keep the skin as natural looking as possible. If you are blessed with a flawless complexion then I would opt for a natural foundation to suit your skin type and make sure it blends in naturally with the rest of your body. An orange head on a white neck is not a good look on anyone.
If you need a little more coverage use a medium cover foundation and add concealer just on the areas you need it so your not too heavy all over.
Healthy skin has a radiant look to it so if possible add some subtle sheen to the skin on the high points of the face with creamy light reflecting highlights. Try to avoid glittery powders for this though as it can look fake.

Keep blusher natural, matte and if you’re not confidant with your contour then just add a pop of colour on the apples of the cheeks. If you will be drinking alcohol on your first date then you might want to avoid anything with to much colour in case you flush.

Your eyes are going to play a massive part in a first date so keep them natural but defined.
Apply a natural base colour all over the lid to the brow and then use a slightly darker shade through the socket to define the eye.
It’s quite nice to line the lash line with a liner to make the eyes really stand out. You could go for standard black but maybe opt for a brown, grey or plum depending on your eye colour to soften the look, and try swapping the gel liner for an eyeshadow applied with an angle brush for a softer fuss free finish.
Give those eyelashes a massive curl and add mascara making sure you build it up but don’t make it clumpy like spiders legs!
It’s quite nice if you have a fleshy coloured pencil to line the inner waterline of the eye to really brighten the eye up.

Although a strong glossy lip can look really sexy it’s a lot to worry about. You will never relax if you are worrying the lipgloss is patchy or all over the glass. You never know you may get a kiss on the first date and you wouldn’t want lipstick everywhere!
Opt for a soft colour that is just slightly deeper or brighter than your own lip colour. Try and go for a matte or satin texture so it doesn’t transfer too much and your hair doesn’t get stuck in it or even better a tinted lip balm
You wont want to take your whole make-up bag out on the date so just put a few essentials in a handbag such as powder to touch up, your lip product and I like to take a small cream concealer with me just to go over areas that may have become red or blemishes that have now unveiled themselves.

Sam created a first date look for you to see how to do a beautiful natural look with definition on the eyes however if you would like something a bit more dramatic with corner lashes then check out the second video which Nic a while ago.

Good luck and we would love to hear about  first date make-up essentials and stories from you.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

HD Brows

Eyebrows are such a huge structural focus to the face and also an area in the past that used to always get forgotten.
No longer are they forgotten with so many amazing brow products on the market and icon images showing the likes of Kim Kardashian with her perfectly sculptured brow.
 We love how a different brow shape can alter your whole face or style so Nic decided to get in a friend of ours here at Pixiwoo  to demonstrate the new craze of HD Brows.
 Laura trained in HD Brows at the HD Brow school in the UK and ever since has had a packed appointment diary from ladies and men wanting that perfected brow.

A HD Brow treatment is suitable for anyone and consists of certain precise steps that are shaping, waxing, threading, tinting, tweezing and trimming!
Wow who knew there was so much that could be done to two little eyebrows!

The overall result is a shape that has been analysed and fitted especially to your face and whilst normal tweezed hairs grow back within a few weeks HD Brows lasts up to two months.
 Check out Nic's tutorial to see how this works and the finished result.

If you would like more information or an appointment with Laura then you can visit her website on
 If you are interested in training in HD Brows then check out where Laura trained at


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Products of the Week

Embryolisse - Baume Riche
I've been using this intensively nourishing cold cream for a few weeks and it has quickly become a staple in my kit and personal make-up bag. Great for dry, irritated and sensitive skin. Available from Guru Make-up Emporium
This is a brand new product on the market, made by Fujifilm... yes, the camera people!
They have used their 70 years of experience and research about collagen, antioxidation and nanotechnology to make this fabulous range of anti-ageing skincare.
I am using the Jelly Aquarysta Rejuvenating Concentrate, £69 and the Replenishing Day Cream, £44 (available from Debenhams).
It is expensive but I will definitely be buying these when my samples run out. 
My skin feels luminous and lifted and looks great after application. My mum has also been trying this and she is amazed by the results.

Marks & Spencer - Limited Collection
The new and really rather fabulous launch from M&S has us all very excited in the office. 
The products are well priced, (foundation £6, eyeshadow £4, lipstick £5) but the best thing about them is the quality.
The Foundation is sheer and matte, so absolutely perfect for the coming summer months. The eyeshadows and blushes are beautifully pigmented and the nail polish lasts longer than some luxury brands. Read more about this range and see swatches here


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Perfect Base for Acne sufferers

Acne is a really common skin complaint that can affect anyone at any age.Usually more prominent in areas of the skin where there are more sebaceous glands present as this is where more oil will naturally occur.
Acne does not only occur on an oily skin but also a dryer skin so it is really important to ensure you are using the correct skincare for your skin type especially focusing on cleansing the skin.
 Raised acne on the skin is notoriously hard to cover with make-up and whilst you can tone down the colour you will never be able to cover the added texture that acne or spots have.Often more make-up only makes the spots more obvious.

We all feel conscious when we have blemishes and it really can ruin your whole day when you have a break out.They always seem to pop up on a really important day such as a job interview or your wedding day!

Nic has created a tutorial on our model Ellie to show you how to create a flawless base on skin that has areas of redness caused by acne.
Nic wanted to show you products that were specially formulated for sensitive acneic skin.These products are usually medicated and are tested to ensure they will not block pores.


Its vital to keep skin clean and Nic used Aveda Blemish relief pads which cleanse, exfoliate and unblock pores whilst helping to prevent new breakouts.

 Next up was Clarins Lisse minute instant smooth.Sometimes due to skin type or medication skin can become dry and flaky.Because of this primers can cling on dry areas.
 This product moisturises the skin but also helps to fill in fine lines and pores.Can also be mixed in with your foundation.

Clinique do some good foundations for blemished skin including their redness solutions foundation which is also good for Rosacea  and blushing.
 In the tutorial Nic has used Clinique anti blemish solutions as this has soothing ingredients that calm and tone down skin redness.
Oil free formula that glides over skin without looking chalky.
 Once foundation is on and has had time to sink in then apply concealer to areas that require extra coverage.
 Vichy Dermablend cosmetic corrective stick helps to give high coverage with up to 12 hours wear time.

Once this has all had chance to melt into the skin then gently press a lightweight powder into the skin.Be careful not to over powder to avoid that chalky finish.

Think you will agree the finished look is flawless without looking cakey.
What are your essentials for problematic skin?

Check out the websites for more information

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