Sunday, 30 June 2013

Bridal Skincare

A big part of my make-up and hair work in Liverpool is Weddings, and its a part I really adore!  
All of the brides I 'make-up' for their big days are special. But the one I have in less than three weeks time? Well, shes just something else entirely. Not only is she special, she is one of my bestest, closest and oldest friends.

Moi, and the bride-to-be also called Sian!

After being present at their first meeting, secretly being in on him popping the question last year, and now finding myself in my first (of many, i hope!!) bridesmaid dress, to say this bride and her wedding are a big part of my life is an understatement. 

And as a make-up, hair and beauty junkee it was pretty obvious from the off that I would be taking the role of 'Wedding Beautifier' (along with my bridesmaid title of course!)
So, with lots of you getting married this summer, I thought it was the perfect time to reveal 
'The Sian's' pre-wedding beauty kit! 

First up- Skincare! Although every bride I work with wear's a type of foundation on the big day, having a glowing complexion to begin with really enables us to the minimal amount possible. After all, make-up should be used to enhance your beauty, not mask it.
For the past few months Sian has been using the award winning range from Liz Earle- the Beautiful Skin Kit in particular, which features the celebrated Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.

You start by applying 2 pumps of cleanser to dry skin and massaging in circular motions - starting at the centre of the face. Rich enough to remove a full face of make-up, this cleanser is still gentle enough to use over the most delicate eyes to remove stubborn eye make up too! Next, wring one of the muslin cloths in warm-hot water and hold open over skin for a few seconds, before using to sweep off cleanser. Finish with a splash of cold water before sweeping a cotton pad soaked with Instant Boost Skin Tonic over skin. 
For super soft and hydrated skin, massage Skin Repair Moisturiser in upwards and outwards movements twice a day. Packed with Vitamin E and Anti-oxidants, this replaces lost moisture and protects against dryness. 

For the perfect first kiss, its essential brides-to-be keep their lips hydrated 24/7!
Sian loves the Fabulips kit from Bliss, which includes a lip cleanser, scrub, plumper and balm for under £40. They are also the products used in the Bliss Spa for their lip treatments- so you can treat yourself to a spa treatment at home every day!
Begin with the foaming lip cleanser, which removes even the darkest lip stain! Next, remove any dry rough areas with the sugar lip scrub- featuring vanilla and orange it smells delightful!
(NB- this does contain nuts and is NOT suitable for those with nut allergies)
Finish with the minty flavoured lip plumper and/or Fabulips lip balm for smoother, softer lips.
How can he resist?!

Next we'll be looking at making our locks luscious and our body beautiful!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Festival favourites- Hair

Well now you have your Festival make-up and beauty sorted lets move onto hair!
From the early noughties when Kate Moss and Sienna Miller sported tousled bed-head locks, the words festival hair and boho have gone hand in hand. And when you don't have a mirror or plug socket in reach, relaxed hair is definitely the way forward!

So where to start?! Well, if your budget allows, I would highly recommend visiting your local salon for a wash and blow dry the day before. If not, use a deep cleansing shampoo twice, to ensure your hair is squeaky clean! After all its going to be a while before its washed again! 

Toni and Guy Cleanse Shampoo is fantastic on virgin and highlighted hair, however if like me, you regularly colour your hair be careful with detox shampoo's. Just make sure you give your hair a really good scrub! Finish with your usual conditioner.

If you are having your hair blown at a salon, discuss the option of having it blown curly. Hugely popular in our Liverpool salon, So Coco Rouge, this will leave your hair full of bounce and volume which will last for days- especially if you ask to have the curls pinned until you arrive at your camp site!

If you are styling your hair yourself, start by applying a volumising mousse to roots and blow dry straight. Next, take sections around 1 inch thick and wind around either a wand or tong. My favourites are Remington Pearl Curling Wand and Babyliss Glamour Tong. To keep your curls tighter for longer, roll each section back up and pin close to the scalp, leaving for as long as possible. Misting a flexible hold hairspray all over to finish.
Once you are unpacked, with tent set up and a cold cider waiting, un-pin your curls and brush through using your fingers or a soft bristle brush. For extra volume you could also add backcombing at the root and crown area.

Now its time to decorate! Floral crowns are always a popular choice at festivals, I love the range by Rock N Rose - well if it's good enough for Pixie Lott its good enough for me! These guys have a great selection to choose from- you could easily choose a different one for each day your there!

Don't forget to pack the festival hair must have Batiste Dry Shampoo. As the days go on, this will not only absorb excess oil but add texture and volume too! Worried about loosing your curls? Try plaiting your hair overnight- this will help to eliminate frizz and keep your waves in place until you get home! 

Know that you will really struggle with your hair? Then head over to the Vanity Van!
Simply book your treatment online before you leave to avoid the queues!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Festival Favourites- Beauty

So our festival make-up is sorted- but what about our pre-festival pamper?
Surely no Festival look is complete without a summer tan and bright nails!

First up its a sun kissed glow. As the UK sunshine has disappeared once again, its back to the bottle we go! And when time is short, its Fake Bake 60 to the rescue!
The latest product from the award winning brand, delivers the natural looking tan we know and love in only 60 minutes. Simply apply the tinted lotion with the mitt provided and leave for 1 hour (or 2-3 hours if you prefer a deeper colour) before showering off. 
Voila- a fortnights holiday tan in your dinner hour!

But what should we do if the sun does finally decide to shine on us?! Which SPF should we turn to? 
For a speedy, non sticky application I LOVE Jane Iredale Mineral SPF. A dry powder which you simply pat onto skin, leaving a gorgeous glow as well as protection from UV rays!

Next, its nails. For the ultimate chip free polish I'd always suggest booking into your favourite salon for OPI Gel or Shellac polish, you could even venture into glitter or nail art!
Nail Art from So Coco Rouge

But, when time and money is tight, there is lots of DIY options around!
I'm a huge fan of OPI Liquid Sand, which delivers a matte finish whilst still packed full of sparkle. There is a great range of shades available- including a summery coral and fuchsia!
All OPI nail lacquers are chip resistant but the matte finish also means its tougher than normal- ideal for the days of lugging camping gear around a muddy field!
For extra longevity apply Chip Skip before your base coat. This removes an excess oil on the nail plate and acts as a primer!

Finally, when it comes to hair removal, especially waxing delicate areas I would highly suggest avoiding a DIY job- I have heard far too many horror stories!! Instead, leave this to the professionals. It's one thing worth paying a little more for!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Festival Favourites- Make-up

Festival season is once again upon us! From isle of Wight last weekend, to the daddy of all festivals Glastonbury in a matter of days and V, Reading and Leeds finishing our Summer off nicely, UK festivals have become pinnacles of the British Summer.

So whats a girl to do when she wants to maintain that glamorous glow during 4 days of mud, hot sun (or heavy rain depending on the weathers mood!) and un-comfy camping?!

Well, its simple- follow this weeks blog posts for the professional tips to keep you festival fabulous all weekend long!

First up- it's a girls best friend-  make-up.

When my clients ask me if their make-up will last all night, I can honestly say I know it will not only last all night, but that it will still be immaculate when they wake up the next day.
How do I know this? Because I take my time applying make-up in light layers, rather than speedily applying a heavy coverage.  

Now, I'm not suggesting you wear the same make-up all weekend long (Believe me, it has been and can be done if you so wish!) but following the layering tips, will ensure your make up will stay in place from breakfast through to a midnight rave and beyond.

So, how do we layer?

Starting with your base, apply a small amount of concealer to any areas needed.
Next, take a small amount of your foundation (I would HIGHLY recommend Smashbox Studio Skin for longevity) and buff into skin using a dual fibre brush on circular motions. Crown 406 is ideal for this.

Repeat until you have achieved the level of coverage needed. 

For a long lasting bronzed glow and peachy cheek,  using the same dual fibre brush, take a cream bronzer and apply where the sun usually hits- forehead, cheeks, chin and nose. Chanel Bronze Universal is expensive but its my absolute favourite. Next, apply a cream blush, such as Kryolan Lip N Cheek to the apples of the cheek, again using your dual fibre brush. 
(If you hadn't guessed already, this brush comes in rather handy!)
Then lightly powder skin using a translucent powder, I like Rimmel Stay Matte Powder for a budget buy on a fluffy powder brush such as MUA F4

Now for the next layer! Taking your powder brush, apply a powder bronzer and blusher over where you have applied your cream. Remember this will add an extra strength of colour, so apply lightly and repeat if and when neccessary. My favourites include- Max factor Bronzing Powder and MAC Blusher.

For eyes, it's the same technique as cheeks! Start by applying a long lasting eye shadow cream using your fingers- Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadow Paints are available in a wide range of colours and do not budge!
Layer your eye shadows on top, using a flat brush to apply, pressing the colour firmly. MAC Eye Shadows and their 239 Brush are the perfect tools for the job! 

Finish with a flick of No7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Liner and two coats of Stay Perfect Mascara (this mascara is seriously life-proof- perfect for our festival look!)

And for lips?! If you like a natural look, I would suggest lining and filling in lips with a liner, Bourjois Lip Pencils are a great bargain, and finish with a tinted balm like the selection by  Burts Bee's. For a stronger look, why not try my favourite No7 Stay Perfect Lip Stain

And voila! Your long lasting festival make-up is complete!

Next up- ultimate festival hair!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Rock N Kohl with Charlotte Tilbury

After returning to the North after a few days working in London, I had a horrible feeling I had planned to stay in the big smoke for longer. But, what on earth for?

Then a twitter and Instagram trending hashtag appears like a great big lightning bolt. 

image- Selfridges
One of my inspirations, make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury was hosting a week long beauty festival at one of my favouitre beauty meccas, Selfridges. 
Due to launch her own brand in September, House of Rock N Kohl, the event is a great introduction to whats in store, and a fantastic chance to learn from the UK's best.

Image- Selfridges

The event consists of a variety of events- including an evening of backstage beauty chat with Lisa Eldridge , Charlotte herself and Vogue Beauty Director Nicola Moulton, 'Tilbury' style transformations and a chance to have your lipstick read by the Psychic Sisters.
You can even bring along your make-up bag for a health check- Team Tilbury will be on hand to recommend the best products for you and teach you the best ways to use what you already have! 

Us make-up artists love having a nosey in each others kits, and Charlotte is obviously no different! Her kit favourites are even on display, and available to buy in store. What a great way of finding out what the top pro's can't work without!

Image- Selfridges

So, if you are in London this week and are a bit of a beauty junkie like me, then head down to Selfridges! Judging by this video it looks like you will have a ball!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A peek behind the scenes at QVC

The past few days the OPI team have set up camp at QVC! 
Not only was I on air on Sunday lunchtime, but Lisa and Julie spent a number of hours on air yesterday with our Today's Special Value. (A product at a lower price for 24 hours only.)

The show I was part of, was a Love Beauty show with the handsome Craig Rowe, who picked his favourite beauty products to demonstrate- one of which being the OPI Avoplex range!
We were in great company, with other featured brands including Liz EarleDecleorElemis, and SBC.

Backstage with Craig

There is a great buzz backstage at QVC, and the production staff there are a pleasure to work with. They really help keep those nerves at bay- and I should know, I suffer BADLY with them!!

Lisa and Julie working hard on air!

If you are a fan of OPI make sure you follow @OPINAILS on Twitter to hear about our next show!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Red Lippy Project

If you have enjoyed reading my past blog posts then you'll be well aware of the following two facts-
1. I love wearing every shade of Red Lipstick (not that this page title gives that away...)
2. I am a great supporter of raising awareness of cancer and finally finding a cure.

So, when I heard about the Eve Appeal joining forces with The Red Lippy Project during Cervical Screening Awareness Week, I knew getting involved would be right up my street. 

From the 9th, until the 15th June, I'll be rocking a new shade of red every day, in the hope it will spark conversations leading to the topic of cervical screening. Which, lets be honest girls, is a topic we all shy away from more often than we should. If Movember has worked in getting our guys checking themselves, then a girly gossip over a MAC lipstick should surely be easy?!

Cervical screening, or smear tests as we most commonly refer to the process as, is a topic my close friends and I have discussed at length, especially since the sad passing of Jade Goody back in 2009 and the introduction of the HPV vaccine in schools.
Until we reached the screening age of 25 last year, we often left in limbo- too old for the vaccine and too young for screening. What about us? What if our health is already in danger?

That said,  when my 25th birthday arrived, along with the clearly marked NHS letter, I honestly couldn't of been more scared. So scared, that I was nearly in the 32% of 25-29 year olds who missed their first screening.  Thankfully, during a routine doctors appointment 9 months later, my GP put her foot down. I wasn't leaving until it was done. 

And, honestly? It was nowhere near as bad as I imagined and thankfully I was one of the lucky ones, my results came back clear.

So ladies, lets get involved and encourage all of our female friends to attend screening!
 'Be bold, be glamorous, and join the Red Lippy Project'

You can follow the fun by visiting their TwitterInstagram and Facebook
To finacially support the Eve Appeal's important research, you can also donate here

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Red Lips even in Summer?

As a girl who wears a matte pillarbox red lip on a daily basis, when it comes to Summer I am usually at a loss as which lip colour and texture to turn to.

Last year, for example, I rocked orange toned reds, such as MAC Vegas Volt and Lady Danger finished with a slick of MAC Lip Conditioner to protect my lips from the UK's mild sun.
The year before I even headed down the pink route, with my all time favourite MAC bright  Girl About Town, but this year I was really at a loss.

Left- Vegas Volt.                   Right- Lady Danger

That was until the team at No7 introduced me to their new BB Lips and High Shine Lip Crayon.
Both offer a sheer slick of my favourite 'real red' colour, perfect for the long hot summer we are all awaiting!

I must admit I was a little bit wary of BB Lips to begin- really yet another product spouting this 'BB' / 'CC' nonsense?!! (I'm a little concerned this will carry on until we reach 'ZZ' in 2038....)

But, one simple application later and I had quickly reversed my opinion. 
My initial reaction was to how pigmented my 'Berry Rose' shade was. I imagined it would be a very sheer tint, but it actually gave me the depth of colour I usually experience from a cream or moisturising lipstick. The angled plastic end makes for simple application, even when mirror-less. But as the colour is so strong, I would still advise taking a peek in your compact just to check its looking good and neat!

With such a glossy finish, you would usually expect a sticky, tacky texture- but surprisingly BB Lips feel smooth and  very comfortable to wear. Packed with rich emollients and anti-oxidents, as well as an SPF 15, its the ideal lip care product to wear all year round.

Now, onto my High Shine Lip Crayon, in which I chose the red toned shade (surprise, surprise) 'Berry'.

Shaped like a kids jumbo crayon, these glossy lip colours are perfect for a soft lip look. But, if like me you have an odd lip line, you may want to lightly line your lips in a matching shade, just to act as a guide line when applying.

One application leaves my lips with a slight hint of colour, but brilliantly, you can re-apply as many times as you wish to achieve as strong a colour as you wish! Like BB Lips, the finish is glossy, yet feels smooth and highly moisturising. 

Priced at only £8.50 and £9.00, and currently on a Buy 1 Get 2nd Half Price offer, these are definitely two summer staples I won't be without!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

OPI Nail Envy

Carrying heavy make-up kits, daily typing and the rubbish weather we have had this spring have definitely taken its toll on my poor nails.
Breaking, cracks and splits are a pain to most people- but when you work in the beauty industry it is even more important that your nails look good 24/7!

So, for me its OPI's hero product, award winner and best seller Nail Envy to the resuce!
Containing hydrolised wheat protein, (which is very similar to Keratin the protein our nails are made of!) calcium and vitamin E, this is one nail strengthener that packs a punch. 

Application is simple- clean your nails of all varnish using a non-acetone nail varnish remover and file nails down to a suitable length. I like mine just over the finger tip, perfect for when I am working around the delicate eye area!!
Nail file wise, I absolutely love the OPI crystal file, which enables you to file in any direction without the risk of causing splits. Be careful not to drop yours though- trust me, they do shatter when dropped on a tiled floor!!!!

1. Apply your first coat of nail envy, which acts as your base coat. 
2. Follow with two coats of your favourite OPI nail lacquer, if you wish
3. Apply a second coat of envy as your top coat
4. Apply another coat of envy every other day 
5.Remove on day 7 and start again!

OPI claim you will see visible results within 4-6 weeks- and they are not wrong!!

I like to use the Original formula, which has a high gloss, but the Matte formula is perfect as the base coat as it ensures your nail lacquer adheres well for a long lasting chip free finish.

The Matte formula is also a favourite amongst men, children and those of us who work in catering or care industries. My mum for instance works for the NHS and the alcohol hygiene gels they constantly use causes havoc with her nails. Using Matte envy protects her nails and creates a healthy looking nail, but it's completely undetectable. Win win!

If like me, you are a fan of gel polish like OPI Gel Colour or Shellac, its important give our nails some extra TLC in-between appointments. I like to give my nails a break one week a month, treating them to some Nail Envy love, to prepare them for the next gel application. The beauty being I can still wear my favourite red polish whilst treating them!

OPI is available from most UK salons, Boots, John Lewis.
But, for a real bargain, tune into QVC on Sunday 16th June at 12 noon where you will find a fantastic OPI offer to celebrate their latest nomination at this years QVC Customer Beauty Awards!

If like me, you already love Nail Envy, then you can place your vote here!