Thursday, 29 June 2017

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Stick

Most makeup fanatics would have tried the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer but there’s a new one in town if you are someone with a combination or oily skin.

The latest 12-Hour Oil Control Primer comes in a stick form and applies in a blurring transparent film.
 Upon application it immediately gives a soft focus effect to the skin and leaves a matte veil. It doesn’t cling to any dryness whatsoever and feels hydrated and silky to the touch.

Ideally you would apply this after your moisturiser, once it has had time to sink in, but before your foundation. I also found it useful to touch up any oily patches with during the day. By doing this it will mattify but won’t add any texture or cakiness to your skin. It also doesn’t alter the shade of your foundation at all, which can be a problem when using powder on an oily area.

The stick makes it very convenient to dab on and blend out but if you have any breakouts or blemishes then I would advise using a small synthetic, flat brush or stippling brush to apply so that you don’t contaminate the stick.

Photographs well and helps increase makeup longevity. Perfect if you’re a bride or someone who doesn’t have time to touch their makeup up throughout the day.

This is available from 12th July here and will be £22.00

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Giorgio Armani Eyes to kill Pro liner

 The new Eyes to Kill Pro Liner from Giorgio Armani is an art liner, which features a flexible sponge applicator wand. It’s an ink well style liner, which needs to be shaken well before use. I also found I needed to re-dip a few times throughout application.
 Initially the black is very black. It gives an opaque finish that dries off completely matte. No gloss or shine whatsoever. After the liner had totally dried I felt the black didn’t look quite so intense but I think that’s just because it’s a flat matte rather than the glossy wet look liner I am used to.

The tip is nicely flexible and allows a relatively thin line with good precision. If you like a super fine line then it may not be the liner for you. It does enable you to create a variety of shapes and the liquid lays down well on the skin making it easy to rectify mistakes.

The negatives I would say is that the tip dries out quickly. I needed to re-dip to be able to build up the line.  It dries to a matte finish fast so you may find you have to build the shape in stages. There’s not much playtime.

Longevity is amazing. It lasted the whole day with no cracking or smudging but removed fine with regular eye makeup remover.

This is available now here for £27.00 and is also available in a coral and a blue also.


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Bobbi Brown Face Mist

So this a rather lovely find for the summer! Bobbi Brown Face mist is like a shot of hydration for the face which not only feels wonderfully cooling on the skin, but also helps revive a mid day skin. It’s in a handy sized 100ml, which, means it’s fine to take on board aircraft, and also fits nicely into your handbag.

It’s great to spritz over a bare skin for a veil of dewiness, mist onto the skin before you apply foundation to sheer the texture out and aid blending over dry patches. As mentioned, it’s nice to keep handy to revive a patchy foundation or blusher. Spray a fine mist and then whip out your blending brush to rebuff in any settled makeup.

A nice product for any makeup artist working on a shoot to treat their model to inbetween takes.

Contains Chamomile, greet tea and cucumber so no annoying strong scents, just subtle summery freshness that calms and soothes a stressed out skin.
 I also like that its in black packaging gives it a unisex feel. Guys need a little skin freshen up too you know!

Available here now for £22.00

Monday, 26 June 2017

My Secret Illness

We're so glad that we can share this video with you and wanted to say a huge thank you for all the messages, tweets and comments that everybody has sent. Nic has a treatment plan in place and has been successfully following this for a number of years now. She hasn't gone into the details of this simply because what works for one may not work for another and she believes everybody should follow the advice and treatment which works individually for them.
 We hope this video will help to raise awareness and help people to connect and find support in each other.


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Hair by Sam McKnight

 This new range of hair care from legendary session hairstylist Sam McKnight has been developed after 40 years of working in the industry and knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Possibly the best-looking set of hair products that we have gotten hold of for a while but whilst they are aesthetically pleasing in their pastel bottles they also do exactly what they say on the tin. The fragrance, which is slightly floral but fresh, has been created by British perfumer Lyn Harris taking into consideration Sam’s love of gardens.

Easy-Up Do

This is the product to reach for if you plan on having your hair up but are worried that it’s not going to last through the day. Sam McKnight actually say’s “It’s 20 hair pins in a can”

 Spritz it through dry hair prior to creating your ‘up do’ to create a texture that will enable your hair to grip and maintain its shape.

Cool Girl

If you like a little texture and shape to your hair without it feeling brittle or sticky then this texture mist is the one to go for. It’s a lightweight spritz that gives the hair an undone tousled finish. It also adds volume without frizz.

Modern Hairspray

Strong hold hairspray that allows you to position and shape your hair without saturating it or weighing it down. It brushes out nicely too so you can adapt your style from day into evening.

Lazy Girl

This is the dry shampoo in the range and when spritzed at the roots will absorb oil, freshen and give hair back a bit of oomph. It has a delicate, slightly cucumber (is that a word?) scent that doesn’t overpower. In fact, they all have this same scent.It's beautiful.

The whole collection is available from Liberty here.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Origins Ginzing Tinted moisturiser and Eye cream


 We have been using the Estee Lauder Sheer tint release for years so we were really excited by the new Origins Tinted Moisturiser.
 It works in a similar way by applying as a colourless cream but upon blending it trasforms into a sheer tinted base.
 It's a relatively thick cream that would possibly be too rich for an oily skin type (and probably too radiant also).

It applies as an off-white with a undertone of blue pearl, sounds weird but the blue pearl provides the most amazing radiance. It definitely doesn't look blue on the skin so don't panic!

 Select a firm buffing brush to blend this out so that the firm brush hairs can effectively break down the pigments within to give the skin a sheer wash of skin smoothing colour.

After blending out
  There is only one shade option and I would say this would work for a very fair through to medium skin tone. Any deeper skin tones may look a little ashy.

This tinted moisturiser is great for summer when you feel like you need a little something on the skin but nothing that will mask your natural skin tone. It contains an SPF40 for protection, coffee beans to stimulate the skin and ginseng to boost hydration.

Overall an awesome skin base that will see you through the summer months. Also great for holiday as it will adapt to your skin as your tan deepens. Saves having to take multiple foundations!

Available now here for £30.00.

Another amazing product from Origins is their GinZing refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff. Pretty much does what it says on the tin but what we love about this is it's slightly tinted with a delicate pink pearl which works really well to diffuse the light from dark circles.

 If you're a little dark on the eyelid it also works as a great base for your eyeshadow, toning down any natural redness or yellowing that often occurs on the eyelid.
 Again, this wouldn't be suitable for any skin tone darker than a medium as it will draw more attention to the under eye darkness by making it look ashy. Brilliant on a lighter skin tone.

 Nice to use on its own, as a base or mixed with your regular under eye concealer.
 This eye cream is £20.50 and available here.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sam's Q&A

Last week we thought we would do a Q&A. Let us know if you enjoy these...


Friday, 16 June 2017

Real Techniques 6 Miracle Sponges

Don’t forget Real Techniques also do amazing sponges and if you’re unsure which ones to choose from them why not opt for three different styles all nestled neatly in one pack!

In this kit there are 6 sponges in total. Two Miracle complexion sponges, three Miracle mini eraser sponges and a Miracle Sculpting Sponge.

The Miracle Complexion Sponge is the Grandma of our sponge world. It’s for people who want to create a perfect base quickly. It can be used dry for a fuller coverage or damp for a sheer base.
 The angle of it means that you can reach the corners of the face and work with the contours of the face. It’s also nice to use on a base that is a few hours old to rebuff and freshen up the skin.

Miracle mini eraser sponges are the same shape as the larger complexion sponge but shrunken. Why are miniature products so cute?
 These little guys are great for touching up smaller areas of the skin but also correcting mishaps without disturbing your makeup. They are handy to sling into your make up bag or vanity case for emergency touch ups or for when space is limited. They are also really nice to apply cream blush with as the curvature of the sponge means you can apply with precision and blend.

The Miracle Sculpting sponge is for those who love the contoured look but hate having to use multiple brushes to create the desired look. The larger angled head can sculpt out a shadow under the cheekbones whilst the opposite projected side can accurately dab on the highlighter.
 The smaller tip can apply your contour to the eye socket, the sides of the nose or the Cupid’s bow.  It really is a one-stop shop of a sponge.

You can clean your sponge in warm water after each use but replace after 3 months.

You can shop the collection here. Each sponge is also sold separately here if you prefer.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Hourglass often features in our tutorials. It’s Nic’s go-to foundation if she has to have her photograph taken. Nic usually wears the Veil Fluid Foundation, which is great for a dryer skin but if you’re more on the combination to oily spectrum then you may prefer the immaculate liquid powder foundation.
 It’s already been out before in a pump style container however Hourglass have reformulated it and popped it into a more travel friendly squeezy packaging.

Immaculate applies in a cream but as you massage it into the skin it transforms into a powder finish. It’s like it almost evaporates into the skin, it’s a joy to apply
I think it provides a light to medium coverage but Hourglass does state it’s a medium to full cover. You can easily build it up if you feel you need a fuller cover although I would imagine you are going to get through a tube of this in no time at all. If you prefer a fuller cover I would maybe consider an alternative.

The cream is easy to work with and doesn’t dry off too quickly. It provides a beautiful velvet-matte finish that is neither flat nor overly dewy. It has an almost buttery balmy finish but without the residue. Being oil free it feels comfortable on an oily skin and contains Cashmere Kaolinite Clay, which absorbs its weight in oil but still retains moisture.

The new formula specifically targets the oxidisation of colour. Often on an oily skin, foundation will mix with the natural oils in the skin and will gradually deepen or change tone. The ingredients within help to keep the colour pigments true so you can be confident that the colour you apply in the morning will look the same at 4pm.

Immaculate foundation lasted really well on my skin and still looked fresh without any pooling in oily areas. I did feel that on really close inspection it had caught in a little dry skin around my nose so if you suffer with a little patchy texture on the skin then use a moisturising facial spritz to aid buffing it in.

Immaculate has a good colour range of 22 shades and would suit a pink toned porcelain skin through to a mid-deep warm tone. We only have three shades to share with you but check out the Hourglass site for more colour information

You can check out Immaculate liquid powder foundation here for £50.00.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Medik8 Beta Gel Blemish Gel

Even into my mid 30’s I get the odd blemish cropping up, usually on a Friday before the weekend I might add. It’s annoying but over the years I have learnt to try my best to just ignore it and not irritate it further by picking at it. Unless it has come to a head (gross) then I leave it alone to just do its thing.
 Whenever I start to feel a lump under the skin brewing I like to apply a treatment to try and tame the beast before it raises its ugly head!

I have been testing out the Beta Gel by Medik8 recently. It’s a 15ml tube containing a transparent gel. It can be used as a thin layer over a larger problematic area or you can use it over the top of a lone blemish.

What’s in it?

Dioic acid-Helps to reduce sebum output

Azelaic Acid- Anti inflammatory and also assists in reducing the redness associated with blemishes. It also helps to kill of the blemish causing bacteria.

Salicylic Acid- Great at de-clogging the pores and loosening all the blemish-causing gunk!

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)- Reduces inflammation, doesn’t dry out the skin and strengthens the skins barrier.

When you apply this gel it has a slight sting. Not eye wateringly but more of a pleasant “ahh it must be doing something because I can feel the tingle” kind of sting. If you suffer with blemishes you’ll probably weirdly like this sting, I do anyway!

After about 20 minutes of applying this the blemish redness was taken down and appeared less angry! I feel like it accelerated the speed of healing too (providing I didn’t pick at it).

The best thing about this gel is that once it dries off it leaves behind a clear film. The film evens out the texture of the blemish and allows any foundation or concealer applied on top to appear smoother. The film will also protect the blemish underneath and to promote the healing.

It’s not a cheap product but I would say if you suffer from the odd blemish then it’s a good investment. The use by date is 12 months so if you’re only using it occasionally it’ll get you through the year!

The 15ml tube is £33.00 and available here.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Urban Decay Basquiat collection

Check out Sam's latest tutorial showing how to wear the latest Urban Decay collection.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Perricone MD Blush and Highlighter

If you’re someone who prefers to wear a little less makeup in the summer or at least prefers it to look that way then you may want to take a look at these key products from Perricone MD.

No Blush Blush is a 10ml liquid blusher with a doe foot applicator.

 I love the little Perricone MD bottles. They make transporting your cosmetics easy and the small glass bottle ensures the product is less likely to crack or break in your make up bag. 

Applies as a liquid but blends into a sheer wash of powder-like blush. Don’t be put off by the bold petal pink pigment; it tones down massively to leave the skin with only a flush of colour.

 The texture is wonderful. It’s not so watery that it becomes hard to control but after dabbing on three dots of colour you can achieve a beautiful natural effect.

 Doesn’t feel greasy and doesn’t cling to dryness or fine lines making it suitable for all skin types and ages.

It contains DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol which, is a derivative of Vitamin B) to help tighten the skin as well as calm any irritation.

 It also contains an SPF 30 making it an excellent blusher choice during the summer months or holidays.

 The colour lasted so well on the skin and provided a stain to the cheeks so ensure you have blended this in well to avoid patchiness.

To compliment the blush the No Highlighter Highlighter works well. It applies in the same way as the blush and highlights through mica and titanium dioxide particles, which radiate a pink pearl sheen rather than a shimmer.

 This highlighter works really well on a mature skin as it sinks in well and doesn’t sit in fine lines or enhance skin texture. The watery texture sinks in and reflects a gentle light rather than an extreme silver highlight.

 The applicator makes applying to the brow bone and cupids bow easy and precise and a gentle tap form your ring finger is all you need to buff it into the high points.

 It also contains Vitamin C to brighten and firm the skin.

Shades of both would work well on a fair to medium skin tone, all skin types but particularly great for a mature skin.

You can check out both here.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Nip+Fab Sculpted Eyeshadow Palette

It’s always nice when an affordable(and also good), palette arrives in the studio for us to take a look. Nip+Fab have recently added some new colour cosmetics to sit alongside their skincare and we have their Sculpted eye palette to share with you.

 Being a sculpted palette you may have guessed that the shades are a collection of natural and deeper tones, which create the kind of shadow you would expect the light to naturally cast.

 Ten matte shades and two shimmer in a mix of off white, cream, sepia, warming browns and a couple of plums. No black shade however, which I personally think would’ve been a no brainer for a sculpting eye shadow palette.

The lightest shades were a little crumbly on the palette and created the most fall out on the skin. The deeper shades seemed to hold their texture well with minimal drop down.

 Pigment wise there is still room for improvement but nothing that a cream base a firmer flat brush and a couple of layers can’t correct.

 The shades look as though they will lay down pretty dark in the palette but on the skin they are much more muted. They create a blendable wash of shade that can be built upon but never really give you massive colour intensity.

I would say this palette is perfect for someone who likes the idea of a smoky eye but is a little nervous of strong pigments, which may look like a punch in the eye.

  All the colours work well together so go wild and experiment as pretty much any of them can be worn together for a complimentary blend.

This palette is £10.95 and available from Superdrug here.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Chanel Chance Three Moods

I remember going on holiday to Majorca as a child and purchasing a gel fragrance. I was attracted to its beautifully decorated pot but the actual scent was a massive insult to the olfactory system. Totally headaches inducingly rank. 

The Chanel Three moods gel perfumes, which launch today, are a world away from my original experience.

 Three 5g pots in the three Chance scents of Eau Vive (peach lid), Eau Fraiche (mint lid) and Eau Tendre (lilac lid). 

Each pot holds a whipped fragranced gel that contains smatterings of super fine golden shimmer. They apply in a smooth, silky slightly cooling gel that leaves a balmy softening layer on the skin. The shimmer effect is minimal so don’t expect to be blinded by the sparkle but it delicately twinkles on the skin in certain lights.

I found the fragrance lasts as well on the skin as the regular perfume and would be lovely to use on holiday when you fancy something both lighter in scent and to carry around. Awesome for holidays or to just sling in your bag for touch ups.

 Would also make a ridiculously lovely gift for someone special.

Three moods will be available here from today.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Victoria Beckham for Estee Lauder #ad

We recently created a sponsored video for Estee Lauder using the Victoria Beckham range. Most of the products you may have seen before however there are two new products in the lineup that we also wanted to share with you.
 We created two Victoria Beckham inspired looks for you, an LA look and also a London look. For the London look the new product we are using is the new Nude Spice lipstick and for the LA look it’s the new lighter shade of bronzer in Saffron sun.

Watch us recreating the looks using the new products below…

Let’s take a closer look at the range.

The Morning Aura is a balmy illuminating crème, which must be what gives Victoria her enviable radiance.
 It’s a hybrid product, which combines part moisturiser and part brightening primer. If you have a dry skin that lacks a little radiance then this is a massive winner. It feels super luxurious to massage over the skin and we would advise spending a few minutes to really blend and work this into the skin. By doing this you will plump and awaken the skin, leaving it looking flushed, healthy and ready to receive your foundation base on top.
 If you have a combination to oily skin they just sweep it over the high points of the face.

Saffron sun is the newest bronzer added to the lineup and it’s a great choice for a fair skin. It’s totally matte and serves to softly warm up the skin with a delicate apricot hue.

This bronzer is one to select if you want the lightest of colour to ease you into summer.

The collection only has two eye shadows and in true Victoria Beckham style they are smudgy and sooty but infused with a micro-fine shimmer to add a slight wet look and hint of understated glamour.
  Eye ink in Black Myrrh is a midnight blue but with the right amount of black pigment to give it a cool edge. The silver shimmers lift it to stop it becoming flat.

Bitter clove lays down in a warming ochre/taupe tone and is again shot with a mix of gold and silver shimmers. It’s beautiful worn as a block colour swept around the eye for a slightly grungy effect or layered on top of the Black Myrrh to enhance its warmth and sheen.

There are two eye foils in the collection which are liquid shadows applied via a doe foot applicator wand. One is gunmetal and the other is a pale gold. They provide a metallic, wet look layer, which can be worn alone or layered on top of powder shadows.

 These dry off pretty fast so apply and blend immediately. The longevity is amazing so once these guys are dry then they’re not budging.

One thing I’ve always noticed about Victoria’s makeup is her statement kohl lined eye. Even back in the 90’s she would rock buffed in kohl along the lower waterline. It was inevitable that one would crop up in this collection.
 It’s a dual ended eye kajal in a ridiculously soft and easy to blend formula. One end is jet black and the other is a fleshy nude but with more of a peach base. Great for enhancing a blue eye.

There is just the one lipstick in the shade nude Spice and on the first glimpse looks like a cool mauve. Once on the lip, it transforms to a delicate mink.

 It’s like a better version of your own lip colour but with a creamy finish.

This collection is available now and can be purchased over at

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