A few behind the scenes shots from yesterday’s shoot for Panagea Laboratories, so good to work with the team again and the laid back Oran Tarjan. We were shooting for product results, I was so impressed with how the hair thickener reacted when being blown into the hair – it smelled really fresh, and instantly thickened the hair from the roots. They were lovely enough to let me keep a sample for my kit, happy days!
My skin has been the most misbehaved over the last month that it’s ever been, due to stress and a couple of toxin removing face masks (which brought it ALL out) for three weeks I could draw dot to dot patterns on my face- frankly the only amusement that can come with getting spots…
It has meant my attention has been purely on my skin care and this has meant I’ve bought a total of… 8 new skincare products within a month. Ladies I am STOCKED.
The first batch came from My Showcase a beauty party held at my cousin’s apartment. I was cautious. Most of us at some point have had or been to a Body Shop party. I had one once before I studied make up. I’ll be honest- it wasn’t my choice, a sales girl befriended me and told me I was having it. It was like that naked dream you have, but real. I was in front of a room of bemused girls, she PILED my face with every product possible and then used profuse amounts of ‘setting spray’ which didn’t so much set as completely melted all her work.
The party was excellent though (cue massive relief) the demonstrator
Sarah, was friendly, talked to us about the company and the natural brands they sell- Balance Me (a brand I love), Balm Balm, Wild About Beauty (Louise Rednapp’s make up brand) all tick my ethical skincare boxes. I loved the Neom candles, made using vegetable waxes and essential oils only- Sarah suggested to burn the Jasmine, Lavendar and Rosewood half an hour before bedtime as the scent lasts for hours afterwards and relaxes you ready for sleep.
Orba’s goats milk soothing moisturiser- I really wanted something that would soothe and hydrate my skin post evening gym workouts. I’d prefer this to be unfragranced, the scent is quite strong. It sinks in super quickly though which is great for me.
Balance Me’s Stellar Beauty Balm – I wanted to see exactly what this did, it’s quite a solid balm, not really pliable but I’ll be testing it over the next few weeks to see if it makes any apparent difference.
Balm Balm’s Baby Balm- considering this was only £5.99 (I got it to top my order up for free postage…what? it made financial sense..!) it’s brilliant, both my cousin and I bought it. It makes your skin so soft afterwards, as a balm it’s very pliable but doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy for long afterwards. I’ve been using it on my hands, feet and lips and my cousin said it helped soften the skin on the tops of her arms where she gets dry/ sensitive patches.
It was great to go to a party like this again after so long and actually have an opportunity to test products from small start ups in beauty to larger but ethical beauty groups. I could have bought so much more but I held back as it’s likely I will go to another very soon!
Let me know if you’ve been to any beauty parties recently and if they worked for you 🙂
More often than I’d like, I have wake up and hop off to a photo shoot or wedding at early doors. This means a schedule streamlined to the minute and usually leaving the bare minimum time to get myself ready! But of course I still want to look, awake, fresh and ready. So here’s a few things I’ve learned…
Preliminary – I’ve previously worked as a costume assistant in Theatre -so clothes are usually out in a pile – but in the order I’ll put them on. My bag is packed with the essentials I’ll need for the day, including mints, apple & water. Make-up bag is emptied in front of my mirror – ready for the morning so I’m not rummaging around!
1) Wake up, DHC oil cleanser smooth over face quickly- rinse with warm water, then splash with cold a few times. Clean towel- pat dry.
2) First Aid Beauty’s triple duty eye cream takes away the dark shadows (otherwise a normal eye cream and illuminating concealer will do) but seriously FAB’s eye cream is such a time saver. I tap on a small amount then pull on underwear, clean my teeth and spray on deodorant whilst it’s sinking in a little, then pat any excess in.
3) Tinted moisturiser (pref with SPF) all over – I use Wild About Beauty’s Golden Glow (it’s more olive than orange and gives a lovely soft bronzed finish). I dust on a quick bit of highlighter, either Kiko’s illuminating stick or MAC’s classic Soft and Gentle.
4) With little time for makeup, I find it’s best to be brave and editorial – I curl my lashes and run a line of Daniel Sandler’s waterproof velvet black liner along the roots of my top lashes (not on the eyelid- in the waterline). It makes the lashes look fuller and longer without mascara.
5) Balm to prime the lips and then a quick bold lipstick, I love MAC’s lip mattes so depending on my clothes I’ll go for either Relentlessly Red (a cheeky bright pinky red) or Flat out fabulous (a vibrant pink with purple tones).
6) Cream concealer on any red areas really quickly- if you’re doing this in a hurry it’s best to smudge your finger/ brush on the concealer first- then onto the area as if you put the stick directly onto the area you may transfer bacteria if it’s a spot, or you risk leaving un-blended edges!
7) I pull on the rest of my outfit and spritz CoLab dry shampoo in the hair. If on a good hair day it’ll be brushed and left down, or tied into a messy top bun or if there are fuzzy bits and random kinks I twist it round into a french ballet bun to keep it looking neat and chic.
My key tip would always be that if you’re in a hurry, it’s best not to look like you’ve been hurried. So be decisive and use the products you know work every time. A bun, white shirt and bright lipstick hide all manner of sins, especially a bold lip as it’s captivating, communicates confidence and intention. Just make sure it’s kept between the lip lines and not on your teeth!
I can’t reveal the photos as yet, they’re going to be published- so until then they’re under wraps! I thought I’d show a few sneak behind the scenes bits as I loved the shoot so much and being given the direction from the photographer of ‘I want bold eyes so go nuts!’ is one way to my creative heart.
It was a slick, quick shoot, 2 models (1 Brazilian and 1 Spanish oh mama!) check. Photographer check. Stylist with an amazing armoury of Stella style sports luxe – check. MUA check!
The first model Andrea was so beautiful and petite featured, with soft thick heavy hair. I layered in some bumble prep and my redken sea salt spray
(it’s nice and lightweight, not as sugary as other sea salt sprays) blew it through with my dryer ready for setting into a loose, textured up do post make up. The eyes I kept soft, using kohl and purple powdery shades to smoke out Andrea’s eyes, and then pow EYEBROWS!
Second model Maira had these amazing cheekbones and big brown eyes. I wanted her to have a striking look to match. I went for a bold black cat eye using MAC gel liner, layered in the middle of the lid with antique gold from Illamasqua’s neutral palette. American Football stripes to finish the look…HAWWWT.
End of the shoot my table always looks like a disaster zone, although since purchasing 3 of the boots Clam bags, it’s gotten relatively easier to repack…
Recently I was in London for a networking event held by The Freelancer Club. It was a great excuse to hang out for the day and pick the brains of my stylist friend @Stylitch! We arrived in Carnaby early afternoon and browsed around all the make-up stores so I could stock up on essentials such as the Muji unbleached cotton pads (they are so much kinder to your skin than the treated ones in drug stores).
We were in & Other Stories sampling all the soaps and scrubs, I’m a sucker for anything that smells like the Korres Guava shower gel and also anything Fig related. I found the Fig Fiction Scrub and was in heaven, so of course I bought it 🙂 it’s a really thick body scrub, leaving your skin soft with a gorgeous light musky scent that’s like walking out into a summer evening garden in Barbados. Irresistible.
Since then I’ve had two kit additions. Whilst I was in Brussels I visited the Make Up Forever store there, London doesn’t have a stand alone store so it was nice to go in and see the whole product range. I held myself back though and got just the HD Foundation in 130, I’d love to get more of these- the finish is fantastic. It’s a medium to full coverage product and makes the skin look practically poreless even without a base primer.
Meanwhile Stateside, my best friend & food photographer @thisisjenrich bought me the Anastasia Contour Palette for my kit! I’m so excited to get using it. Often I use dermacolor/ illamasqua foundations to contour but it’s useful to have the banana yellow and deeper browns in powder form as well for different skin types.
Lastly, I’ve just picked up on the hair care brand Windle & Moodie (yes probably late to the party there!) and purchased the Invisible Day & Night Cream for the hair kit. I’ve sampled it on myself and it’s lightweight but smooths out fly aways and nourishes those frizzy dead ends in between hair cuts! Should be handy for models for a lot of heat damage to their locks!
The Bold lip has been my staple look for summer 2014 until the end of February, the shades adapted throughout the seasons. It’s a classic that can’t fail, but I finally got tired of it. BRING ME SOFT PASTELS and DARKER SHEER EYES with LASHINGS of ROLLERLASH and LINER!
Friday I was invited to The Snug Cocktail Bar in Cambridge for their 10th Anniversary, it was a really lovely evening and great to meet other bloggers whilst sampling some of their amazing cocktails (there were so so many to try!).
For the evening I decided to go for a softer look, simple sheer smoked out eyes & peachy glowing bronzed skin with pale pink lips.
I’ve always been very disciplined, keeping my own make-up entirely separate from my kit and never dipping in. I buy luxury for my kit as it’s an investment and I need the best items in my armoury. For myself I have mostly drugstore with a few key luxe items thrown in.
For my base I used Burberry Beauty Fluid in Nude Radiance, it really lifts your complexion and gives skin a dewy finish.
I used a Kiko stick concealer for the necessary cover ups (it contains antioxidants so better for covering blemishes!).
Under the eyes I used the L’oreal Touche Magique in light beige. Still the best under the eye concealer I’ve found on the high street for banishing the dark circles.
Bourjois Bronze 8 in 1 BB Cream I blended across my cheeks, nose, in my temples and swept the remainder across the sunshine band of my forehead. Just a light amount as a base for a sunkissed glow.
The Body Shop Shimmer Bricks in neutral/ bronze shades are another staple, they rarely crease on the eye and last all night. I curled my lashes and taking the lighter mauve/brown shade, swept this all over the eyelids and just above the socket line onto the brow bone, blending out with a MAC 217 brush. It gave the eyes some depth and impact without being too strong.
L’oreal’s Superliner for a semi-bold cat eye, along 3/4 of my lash line, by not going right into the inner corner this gives the illusion of elongating my eyes.
Next Clinique’s conditioning eyelash primer, I ALWAYS use a lash primer to protect my lashes first underneath any mascara. They’re a fragile part of your face and take a lot of punishment with curling, mascara application and make-up removal.
I blackened my lashes out with Benefit’s amazing Rollerlash mascara, I’ve reviewed this previously and for the evening it gave me beautiful fanned out fluffy lashes!
Lastly I swept my MAC Bronzer over in shade Golden Touch, and on the apples of my cheeks used Bodyshop peach blusher on (the shade name has unfortunately disappeared already).
All done and ready to go, I grabbed a taxi with my plus 1, Tyfenne and we hit the cocktails with blogger @Jessinyourear!
If you’re ever in Cambridge, definitely check out The Snug, they’re so friendly and they pride themselves on their cocktail creations (with quirky names like Ginspector Morse!)… the Barnamint Baileys will be my summer favourite, a chocolate mint ice cream cocktail with an OREO in for dipping! HEAVEN.
It feels to me like Spring is finally just beginning, ok so I expect it to start mid- February but now the chilliness is going and when I finish work I get to walk out into the light, which totally lifts my spirits 🙂
I’ve invested in my new batch of skincare, I started Vichy Aqualia Thermal Riche during January & February. It’s a fantastic base for make up, absorbs well and contains a lovely helping of hyaluronic acid- vital for my dehydrated skin. It seemed a no brainer to switch to the light version for Spring/ Summer. I’m still dying to get the Vichy Idealia Serum, sampling it every time I go to Boots!
The First Aid Eye Duty Triple Remedy is another no brainer, it’s popular for a reason. I’ve always been cautious of using products with Caffeine in as I’m intolerant to it in drinks, but applying a tiny dose of this under the eyes has had no nasty side effects! For me I need rich nourishment in winter, but in Spring/ Summer this is ideal and tackles my blueish tinged under eye shadows like no other. It’s calming, soothing, de-puffing and illuminating. The price for 10ml may seem out of your regular budget, but the 10ml goes a long way and the quality of the product is worth it.
My scrummy smelling Di Palomo Wild Fig & Grape ran out this week so I got typically over excited to find a new scent for Spring! Korres Bergamot Pear is now on the shower shelf, I love Korres showergels (the GUAVA oh my god it’s like being in my friend’s garden in Barbados) the scent stays on your skin all day, they feel moisturising and have serious last-ability.
Lastly I received some gorgeous skincare goodies from the #CambridgeMeetup a bloggers’ network event organised by @Pippa_CTx (Pippa Artus). Lush, Neils Yard and L’Occitaine all contributed samples. I haven’t yet started testing these as I have a trip coming up to Brussels at the start of April and samples are a must for light weight packing for a short trip! (Especially when like me, you insist on taking your Salon Pro massive hair dryer and hair straighteners too!) That said I trust in Lush and L’Occitaine, they’ve never failed to impress. Watch this space for a samples post…