Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Something a little different..

As most of my regular readers would have guessed by now (or so I hope!!) my little corner of the Internet has always been dedicated to all things fashion and beauty. I'm lucky enough to live out my dream career in the beauty and fashion industries, and as a lover of putting pen to paper, this blog has been the perfect hobby, and a way to relax after a heavy day of lugging around my immense kit.

But, today I've decided to share a little more with you.  So please bare with me if it feels like I'd led you astray!

I've been 'lucky' enough to always get the job opportunities I have wanted- even if I haven't gone after them in the first place. But then, actually, I don't really believe in being 'lucky', I believe that we make our own 'luck' through working hard and constantly striving to improve. And a generous dollop of ambition doesn't go a miss either.

For example, I have always loved passing on my make-up artistry knowledge, and could see teaching in a local college to those who could not afford the teaching I was blessed to have, in my future. Then, last year I receive a phone call from my post-school beauty college, offering me the fashion make-up teacher role. No application, no interview, no hard sell presentation. 
The job was mine.

And this is only one of many things that have occurred in my 27 years- seriously the list is endless. It's only now I'm realising it.

More recently, I've been reading the widely discussed book 'The Secret'. After downloading it first last summer, I read and re-read the first few chapters before putting it down utterly confused. But, a few weeks ago everything changed. I had a bizarre urge to start reading it again, and I honestly have no idea where the urge came from.

And boy I'm glad I did. Coincidence or not, I have been feeling like the happiest girl in the world since. And no, I haven't come into enough cash to get my own place, had a handsome man fall head over heels in love with me or won a Range Rover Evoque (although all these things ARE happening this year) 

If you have ever read Rhona Byrnes books, I think you might agree that at times is quite OTT and a little hard to take in- probably the reason I put it down so frequently last year!
However, after reading fellow scouser and beauty lover Scouse Bird blog on the topic, my mind for Asking, Believing, Receiving was set.

Well, back to the here and now.

 I have been desperate to go to Glastonbury for the past few years, and always told myself I'd never be 'lucky' enough to get tickets. So last autumn, Myself and my bessie, both fresh as daisies, set up camp ready for the ticket release- 6 computers, 4 phones and a hell of a lot of determination. Two hours later- no tickets.
Cut to the scene in my living room last weekend- not long out of bed, hangover from hell kicking in, alone, 2 computers, 10 minutes and re-sale tickets booked and paid for.

Say what you like about having a Positive Mental Attitude, but if it's helping me make a life my dreams are made of, then long may mine continue!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Behind the scenes of Doodah Farms first music video

A few months back the lovely lads from the Liverpool based band Doodah Farm booked the So Coco Rouge team for their first ever music video- but when we first agreed to get out magic make-up brushes out, we didn't expect to end up being in it too. Although,with my camera loving ego- I obviously didn't need asking twice, and jumped at the chance!

With a plot based around the dreaded 'beer goggles' some of us (yes me included) suffer from time to time, the video also 'starred' the gorgeous Alice Barlow who I've worked with on many occasions including her time on The Voice

As the tale was set in a busy nightclub, we could really go to town with Alice's make-up. I created dark, sultry smokey eyes using rich charcoals and black finishing her look with a neutral lip.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the delightful tones of the Doodah Farm boys- oh and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for a certain ginger Rougette....

PS- Yeah, my hands still killing me from that heck of a slap! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A sneak peek at the OPI Coca Cola Collection

So, we've had the Gwen Steffani, Mariah Carey and even Muppets collection, but now it's time for a completely new collaboration from nail giant OPI.

Early this summer we'll see the launch of a 9 piece collection inspired by the Coca Cola brand.
Coca Cola I hear you cry?! Well what's more iconic than a refreshing cold drink on a hot summers day?! And every Summers day needs a salon worthy manicure doesn't it!

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI co-founder and executive vice president said of the collaboration - “These two iconic brands truly deliver happiness in a bottle – whether it’s a refreshing, invigorating sip of Coke, or a set of fingers and toes perfectly polished with OPI nail lacquer.”
I couldn't agree more Suzi!

This limited edition collection features inspiration from The Coca Cola Companies best loved brands, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Sprite, Fanta, and Coke Zero. So we can expect a wide shade range, with one to suit us all!

After last weeks QVC TSV shows, the team released a sneak peek of the shade swatches on their Instagram page- and I must admit I was dying to get my hands on them!
But soon my wait will be over, and I can share my favourite's with you all. In a short few weeks I'll be attending the collection launch before launching the collection LIVE on QVC on June 21st- so make sure you tune in for my FIRST EVER hour long show.
(Butterflies are kicking in already!!)

Monday, 21 April 2014

My Skin Base U-Turn

If you regularly catch up with my blog, you'll know how much I love Illamasqua products. From their cream pigments to their gel eyeliner, Illamasqua feature heavily in the So Coco Rouge kit box. 

Well, that is except our foundation box. 

When Illamasqua first launched in Manchester, I purchased their original foundations- Light Liquid and Rich Liquid- and I can hand on heart, honestly say, I was not a fan. In fact, they lay dormat at the bottom of my kit bag, squashed by my staples of MAC Face and Body, MUFE HD and Smashbox Studio Skin, until I finally threw them into the bin a few years later. 

When Skin Base launched in June 2011, I was unindated with squeals of declaration of love for it from my fellow MUA's. So, I half heartily popped into the Liverpool store, grumbling that I would certainly not like it, and deciding after around 30 seconds of blending the lightest shade into the back of hand, that Illamasqua foundations just 'weren't for me'. 

But, this Spring I have come to my senses and realised how wrong I was. 

Being dragged back to the Liverpool store after around 6 weeks of nagging from Robyn that we should give it one more chance, we were greeted by the absolutely lovely store manager, Rachel Murray, who told us a little more about this MUA favourite.

Illamasqua say- " Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily bendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage."

So, I let Rachel suggest a shade to suit my skintone (and luckily Robyns too- we are both practically transparent naturally) and headed back to the salon to try it out once again.

Grabbing my two favourite foundation brushes- a Crown Brush Dual Fibre and a Sephora Precision Brush, I swiftly buffed skin base into my combination complexion. Looking into the mirror 2 minutes later, I expected to be met with a cakey, dry looking finish. Instead, I found myself in awe of my flawless complexion, with a natural glow. 

Crown Dual Fibre
Sephora Pro Precision Brush

Three weeks on, and I am seriously obsessed with Skin Base. So much so, that we are planning on purchasing another 5 shades of Skin Base, Hydra Veil Primer (which we've heard makes skin base glide onto drier skin types) and hopefully the Skin Base Mixers which British Beauty Blogger featured on her site recently!

The moral of my story? Don't give up on a product. Especially when the hype is still buzzing three years on. Keep persisting, because you never know when your going to fall head over heels in love! 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Karla Powell Nail Art Charts

As you'll know if you read this weeks blog, last weekend the amazing Karla Powell was in the So Coco Rouge salon, teaching lots of make-up artists her Lip Art techniques.

Karla brought along her famous Face Charts, which are available in both A4 and A5 sizes from Crown Brush, and her new Nail Charts, which haven't even been launched yet! 

As I'm not the most artistic girl in the world, I've never really used face charts, but the nail charts really intrigued me! When I'm prepping for each QVC show for OPI Nails, I usually use a blank nail wheel, which allows me to play with the products and see the true shade. However, by the looks of it, these A5 Nail Charts would make carrying my own back catalogue of OPI shades even easier!

Karla says- "My Nail Charts are ideal for experimenting with hard wearing nail varnishes, different types of pens to draw nail art designs. The sheets work well with all wet nail varnish formula's, drying to the nail varnishes true colour. Perfect for swatching nail varnishes too! Each page features a minimal hand outline with short nails , with ample space for notes and the chance to extend the nails into a desired shape." 

Now, I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the best at staying between the lines when 'colouring in' so I was a little worried my nail charts would look like a 5 year old had got their hands on them- but for my 1st and 2nd attempt I'm pretty impressed with myself! 
These charts feature 1 quick coat of polish- please excuse my mini smudge!

The specially designed paper makes painting gloss and textured glitter polishes really simple, and they dry pretty quickly too.

Definitely a must buy for manicurists, and make-up artists prepping for artistic shoots- and certainly one of my favourite buys of the year so far! So next time you tune into one of my QVC shows, remember backstage will be  my little book of OPI nail swatches!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Workshops at SCR

Over at SCR we hold a variety of workshops- some held by other artists and others by myself and Robyn.

This weekend for example, the absolutely lovely and extremely talented make-up artist and social media guru Karla Powell held her popular Lip Art workshop at the salon, welcoming 8 make-up artists to hear about her journey and learn lots of tricks of the trade!

All Set Up
Work stations

Karla working her magic!

Karla used her favourite products from IllamasquaCrown BrushesLime CrimeMehron and OCC, whilst showcasing three unique lip looks and her lip prep routine. If you are a new or experienced make-up artist or simply a make-up obsessed consumer, I would highly suggest Karla's classes- lots of fun and really inspirational!

For the past four years, we have held a number of workshops at SCR, from Catwalk Trends, to Special Effects and 1-2-1 training, welcoming lots of lovely students through our doors!
This summer, we are increasing these 1 day workshops- to create our very own Summer camp!

First up is our Cosmetic Camp, perfect for complete make-up novices. Perhaps you want to try your hands at a few techniques before starting a formal make-up qualification, or maybe just to hear and see what a role as a make-up artist is really like? This workshop is for you.

Starting on August 5th and running until the 8th, you will gain in depth knowledge of skin types, correct skin care, working with face shapes, natural day make-up, sophisticated evening make-up and sultry smokey eyes. Plus, we'll play with colour and create creative looks too!
Each student will leave with a mini portfolio- a great opportunity to see how far you've come!

Secondly, there's our Finishing School. Designed for newly qualified make-up artists or those who want to make the move from fashion and special occasion make-up into film and TV.

Taking place from August 12th-15th, this workshop covers basic SFX, script breakdown, working to a brief, continuity and the essential skills required for such a rewarding role.

Each workshop is available to SIX students only, and places are already limited.
Each workshop costs £100 (only £25 per day!!) and places can be secured with a simple £25 deposit.

For further information, and to book your place, call the salon on 0151 708 7245 and speak to Sian or Robyn. We'll be happy to talk you through everything and start you on your path to a future career!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014


Every once in a while we get the chance to snap up the latest goodies from our favourite beauty brands in the comfort of our own homes- for a snip of the recommended retail price.

This Wednesday, it's time for the first OPI  QVC 'Todays Special Value' of 2014- and boy is it a good 'un!
Featuring over £100 worth of OPI professional lacquer and treatment, for around a third of the price, if you are a OPI lover or maybe tipping your first pedicured toe into OPI, this collection should not be missed!

This TSV collection features two of the latest film collaboration-  Muppet's Most Wanted shades, the rich sapphire, Miss Piggy's Big Number and the multi-tonal rosy mauve, Kermit Me To Speak. Plus, you also get the rosy gold, rainbow sparkle Rose of Light, a textured glitter which is a gorgeous addition to any manicure. Why not try it on your ring finger!

Kermit Me To Speak
Miss Piggy's Big Number

Rose Of Light

Speaking of glitter- we all know what an utter pain removing glitter lacquers can be. Sometimes, it takes so long, I avoid glitter all together!
Well, not for much longer- As this week, OPI launch Glitter Off Base Coat!
Simply apply a thin coat as your base and wait for the base to turn clear. Next, follow with two coats of your glitter, textured or dark lacquers- any, which you find tricky to remove!
When you are ready to remove your lacquer, take a cuticle stick and gently push the polish from base to tip. Finally, sweep over nails with Acetone Polish Remover to remove any residue. 
Voila, clean, glitter free nails in seconds!
You can see a demonstration of Glitter Off Here.

Glitter Off Base Coat

Finally, we have our treatments! Multi Award winning nail strengthener Nail Envy and the avocado enriched cuticle oil, Avoplex.
QVC customers already have access to the exclusive cool pink shade of Nail Envy, and now they have another shade to add to their collection- Nude!
This beautiful soft nude shade, compliments all skin tones, and is ideal for wearing a hint of colour whilst treating your nail problems. Plus this is the only place in the WORLD you can try it!

Nude Envy
Original Envy

Whether you choose to wear Original or Nude Nail Envy, it's important you follow our care routine to see the nail strengthening benefits-


1. Apply two coats of either nude or original envy
2. Apply another coat of envy every other day 
3.Remove on day 7 with non acetone polish remover, file down excess length and start again!

For best results, OPI advise massaging Avoplex oil into cuticles twice a day whether you are following the envy routine, wearing lacquer or not.

So, I'd suggest keeping yourself awake and tuning into QVC as the clock strikes onto Wednesday 16th 2014. 
But if you can't keep your eyes open, you can also catch the OPI team at 4am, 8am, 12pm and 6pm, but remember- there is only limited stock!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

OPI Muppets Most Wanted

I'm sure lots of you will be treating your little ones to a trip to the flicks this half term- with Muppet's Most Wanted no doubt being high on your wish list.
The Muppet's have been back on our radar massively of late, with lots of chatter surrounding the launch of OPI Muppet Most Wanted collection, which is now on sale.

This collection is perfect for Spring, featuring soft cream and iridescent tones plus fine and chunky glitters. 
Let's begin with the softer feminine shades of Chillin Like A Villain, a pinky nude, I Love Applause, a sheer baby pink and International Crime Caper, an opalescent pearl.
For a fuller coverage simply apply two-three coats of these girly shades, perfectly accompanying the summer pastel trend.

Then we have the stronger vivid tones of rich sapphire, Miss Piggys Big Number and multi-tonal purple and green shade, Kermit Me To Speak

Finally, we have out gorgeous glitters! Fine silver and white flecks Muppet's World Tour, Rose gold with white confetti Let's Do Anything We Want and the chunkiest metallic pink Gaining Mole-Mentum.

Whatever your style this spring, your sure to find a Muppet's mani for you!