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MakeUp 101

MakeUp 101

MakeUp Brush 101

posted by Wendy December 23, 2016 0 comments

You may not be a Picasso but good make-up brushes make for good make-up artistry, and one of the questions I am frequently asked is which are the best and which the most essential. So here it is, Brush 101, for the make-up addict and the newbie alike.

If you’ve attempted make-up brush buying recently, in shops or online, you might be overwhelmed at all the choices. At various price points and styles, it can be confusing, unless you’ve used a lot of them or are already loyal to a particular brand. I’m going to give you some good advice which I hope will help if you’re doing your Father Christmas (aka Santa) list or if you want to get gifts for a make-up addict.

I have, over the course of my career, amassed many brushes! My first make-up job was at MAC, and we were lucky enough to get a generous amount of free stuff, twice a year. I mostly chose brushes because they were most costly, and I had an endless supply of makeup, so even though I was there just over a year before my freelance career really took off, I had a good collection of basic brushes to use for work. I’ve took great care of them and even have some of those original MAC brushes (when they were still fabriqué en France). Today I lug around a vast number of brushes, each one with a specific job to do, made with real hair and acrylic (both have their purpose); I have to have multiples because there are days when I can use upwards of a hundred to get a job done. I have my favourites, use them constantly and get anxious if I can’t find them! Which happens occasionally (intro sad music).

My working makeup brushes ; they need their own chauffeur

For my personal use, it’s a different story, so here’s what I think you need to be able to create beautiful makeups on yourself. With these basic but splendid brushes you can achieve most looks without blowing the budget, and of course you can build on them as budget and desire allow. As with most things it’s worth spending the money on good quality brushes but it’s not always necessary. The ones I’ll recommend here are not specialty brushes and are the ones I have in my makeup bag. You may be surprised at how few I think you need!

Concealer brush – This is one of the occasions when acrylic rules. A good brush for concealing under and around the eyes should be flat but flexible. The brush needs to have acrylic “bristles” because they are better for use with creamy products. My fave concealer brush looks like a miniature oar, and it can bend around all the curves of the eye. I got mine in Canada from a line called Quo and it was cheap! Look for a brush like this…

Looks like an oar and can paddle around the curves of your face


Spot brush – for deleting life’s imperfections. This brush should be very small and have a good point to it, because you’ll literally use it to ‘dot’ concealer on to whatever it is that needs vanishing. If you use a big brush and lots of product you’ll draw attention to a spot or blemish. My very favourite dot brush was one from Japonesque which went “missing”, grrrr, and was then discontinued. The trials and tribulations of a MakeUp Artist! I was introduced last year to the handmade brushes of London Brush Co and now love them for dotting.

Dot dot dot

Medium eyeshadow brush – it’s better if this one is a bit fluffy, to pick up lots of product and deposit it onto your eyelid! Soft bristle brushes are gentle on the eye area and a medium size is the most useful to start with. Because I am clever I have a double-ended one, two brushes in one, from iT Cosmetics.

Crease brush – so called because the shape of the brush fits comfortable into the crease of your eyelid. It should be nicely tapered to deposit shadow into that crease and then blend it beautifully. I’m currently using an acrylic one from the Sephora/Pantone collaboration and really love it. The Pantone Colour of the Year that year was emerald and it’s gorge.












Pencil brush – You may not have even heard of a pencil brush, but believe me, you can rewrite your makeup with a pencil! It looks just like a stubby pencil and is magnificent for smudging and smoking up your eye makeup. Use it to smudge pencil eyeliners close to the lash line or to apply eyeshadow all around the eye for a true smokey eye. I love pencil brushes! Honestly, invest in one, it’ll change things. My favourite one is #219 from MAC and looks like this…

I always carry a pencil or five

Powder brush – I intend to change your opinion about powder brushes. They are not essential. If you think you have to “set” your makeup with powder then we should talk. Gone are those days, products are made to last and you’ll lose all your glow. Too much powder makes your skin look flat, it looks like makeup, and it’s ageing. Nobody likes a Mrs Danvers. If you must have one (say you need need to wear powder in the t-zone) make it a small and fluffy one. Made from real hair, it should gently deposit powder onto the areas you need it and not your whole face. If you really, really think you need to powder your whole face you’re probably not in the right foundation for your skin type. There are so many beautiful foundations for oilier skins. If you need recommendations, please message me, I’m so happy to help. My favourite powder brush is a small square-shaped natural hair brush from Japonesque which is incredibly soft.





Dome brush – a dark horse of the brush world but an amazing and useful tool. Dome brushes are fantastic for contour and blush because they blend and blend and blend. I really love my dome brush. It’s from Royal & Langnickel in LA, is 100% vegan with supersoft synthetic bristles and was about U.S$15 US. A great investment, I’ve had it for ages. Check them out online, they have amazing brushes.

These last three aren’t essential but you might want to add them sooner rather than later..

Bronzer brush
– instead of the powder brush, the bronzer brush should be the biggest, softest brush in your arsenal. I love a real hair brush for bronzer and use a large tapered MAC brush (#138) to pick up the bronzer and sweep it where it needs to go – over the cheekbones, down the nose, across the forehead. I do a sweep on the neck as well. The tapered brush is a perfect shape for sweeping around, doesn’t deposit too much product because it’s fluffy and soft, and blends beautifully. There are loads of lovely acrylics that will do the same job, try to find a tapered one. Remeber, the larger the brush the less product it will pick up, which is what you want when you do bronzer so it looks real and not baked. If you never wear bronzer then a) you are very lucky  b) you needn’t have read this part!

M.A.C brush #138 – tapered to give beautiful bronzes on the countours of the face

Lip brush – If you’re a glossaholic then just use the wand it comes with, same for so many lip products. Lipstick bullets are shaped to be applied straight to the lip, but if you are more comfortable with a brush, get a proper one and not one of those weeny retractable things which I swear are made for dolls. I use a lip brush (when doing someone else’s makeup) that wasn’t designed to be one but it works for me; it’s paddle shaped and not too tiny and it’s flat edge means I can do all the lip shaping with the brush itself. I picked up loads of these at a trade show, the company name has worn off but it looks like this and has flexible bristles for applying to curves.

Flat Eyeshadow Brush -these come in handy for doing fancier eye makeups. The flat shape is good for picking up and depositing eyeshadow if you do more dramatic eyes. Then use your crease brush or medium brush to blend it. This one is #195 from M.A.C.

Great shape for shaping!


And the most essential Brush of all! Just can’t help myself. Boom Boom.


So I think that’s it! Shocked? Only seven brushes in the essential category and three more for fun, think how much money Father Christmas will save.

Seven Sisters and three cousins. With these, your art will flourish!

By the way, I’m not sure about the necessity of an angled liner brush (though I know that many people love them). So many eyelining products have pen applicators which are brilliant; this brush has been made almost redundant, not to mention it’s quite hard to do a great liner on yourself with one of these. If you’re an aspiring makeup artist then by all means have a few, because you can do someone else’s cream or gel liner with them.

I’m hoping very few of you are using them to put powder in your brows because there are much better choices out there.  I was never a fan of powder in brows because it looks like….powder in brows!

Yes, I do have one. This one is sharp and lovely and from NARS

If you add a Beautyblender to your essentials you’ll be laughing. It does away with an expensive foundation brush, takes your makeup to the next level AND you can use it for powder (see previous post).

When buying brushes hold them in your hand to feel the weight and to see if the length of the handle is right for you. I prefer long handled brushes, which are pretty standard. Short handled ones are best left to travelling brush sets I think but if they feel better to you then do it. By the way I don’t have a travelling brush set – I take my trusty brushes wrapped in paper towel in a ziploc. They are great travelling companions.

My very first makeup brushes were a gift from a glamourous aunt, and from Marks & Spencer. They had ceramic handles and I knew nothing about the world of makeup then, oh happy days! I kept them in a Snoopy container, which I still have and is as precious to me as my KitKat 25th Anniversary mug.

Brushes have come a long way since then baby, but you don’t have to go a long way to find good ones. Department stores, chemists (drug stores in N America), makeup stores and online, take your pick and have loads of fun with them! Doing makeup, your own or someone else’s, is not called artistry for nothing. The canvas may be human but the techniques are similar, and like any artist, the tools of your trade can help you or hinder you. Best of luck!

P.S Don’t forget to take care of your beloved brushes!! They will serve you long and well if you do…(see “Spring Cleaning” post from last year on how to take care of them).

There’s lots of price points for makeup brushes here:
Space NK UK

For those of you in Quo territory:
Beauty Boutique

In kangaroo territory (lucky you!):
Shop Australia's Largest Online Beauty Store at Free Delivery $99+ & Free Returns. Click Here!

PRODUCT REVIEWS does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.

MakeUp 101

Pretty cheeky Part II

posted by Wendy November 20, 2016 0 comments

Glossaholics, I may have mentioned before that I love blush! And I am always on the lookout for new and wonderful textures and colours.

But. Not all blush is created equal. Before there was Daniel Sander and his watercolour liquid blush, a recent discovery for me, there was NARS. Francois Nars and his amazing range of powder blushes to be exact.  I have been a NARSissist for as long as I’ve been a makeup artist and thats quite a long time! It’s an exquisite makeup and skincare line, and their range of colours for all skin tones is yet to be beaten, so there’s a lot of NARS in my professional makeup kit and my personal makeup bag. I turn to NARS first when looking for makeup for black skin and the inclusion of models for all ages I find inspirational. Hope you caught the Spring 2015 campaign featuring Tilda Swanton, just one of the trailblazing campaigns the company has produced.

Spring 2015 NARS launch featuring Tilda, breaking beauty boundaries

Spring 2015 NARS launch featuring Tilda, breaking beauty boundaries

A cheek colour can change your day. In a previous post ( I said that concealer, mascara and blush were all you needed to get out the door. In a pinch. I add to those three, wholeheartedly, all the time, but if I had to pick my top three makeup essentials it would be those.

When it comes to cheek colour choices, we have a huge market of amazing products on offer. Powders, creams, liquids, gels and stains and at so many price points. All of them play a part and I use them all, depending on the makeup I am doing and the skin of the subject. Different skin textures and different seasons mean you should have a blush wardrobe, to stay pretty cheeky all year round!

Powder blush is where it all started for me, back in the Miss Selfridge “Kiss and Makeup” days and the makeup memory of Coty’s red “rouge” on my grandma’s dressing table will stay with me forever.

The original Coty rouge, my beloved grandma's cheek colour

The original Coty rouge, my beloved grandma’s cheek colour

I love cream and liquid blushes for their beautiful transclucency and blendability, but powder blush is a still staple in my kit. It’s a winner for it’s pigmentation and staying power, and I very often “pop” one over a cream or liquid blush to give more intensity, depending on the look I am doing and how long it has to last. Powder textures obviously work better on an oilier skin so there is always that to consider, but if that’s you don’t disregard some of the incredible long-lasting cheek stains out there for a more natural, glowing look.

NARS powder blushes are my go-to for the reasons I gave above and I set myself a HUGE challenge for today’s blogpost: my top three colours, one for each skin tone. 

Can you guess which ones I picked?

Narrowing it down to three colours was not an easy task

Believe me, picking only three of their thirty-two amazing colour range is like asking Mother Hubbard to choose her three favourite children! But I’ve done it, so here they are.

Can you guess which three I chose?

Can you guess which three I chose?

If you’re a makeup artist, having these three will set you in great stead to be able to great a gorgeous makeup on anyone.

If you’re trying to choose a colour for your own use, you can’t go wrong with these and  you’ll look like a million $, £ or whatever your currency of choice for a reasonable investment. And The Winners Are….

My choice for the best blush for light skin tones may surprise you…if you’re a NARS fan yourself you will probably have expected me to pick the infamous ORGASM that is as famous as blush itself. BUT. I love a quieter, prettier, non-sparkly (all of my choices have a sheen not a sparkle) version of those beautiful peachy tones, with a tad more pink in it; if you haven’t yet tried it, please give DEEP THROAT, ORGASM‘s quieter sister, a chance and let me know what you think. I like to think of this one as the Cinderella choice- kept hidden away from the public but once revealed it will win the heart. (Note to Francois – the names you pick make it impossible to hashtag them on Insta or anywhere else without lots of negative consequences! Also not possible to recommend to teenage girls)

Deep Throat from NARS. My all-time favourite powder blush for lighter skin tones. NOT TO BE DISCONTINUED fingers crossed.

Deep Throat from NARS. My all-time favourite powder blush for lighter skin tones. NOT TO BE DISCONTINUED fingers crossed.

For medium toned skins my choice is SIN, a soft plummy tone with a shot of gold running through it, immensely flattering and a great everyday colour.

One deadly SIN is enough for medium skin tones

One deadly SIN is enough for medium skin tones

For my dark skinned sisters (and brothers) I love to rock an orange! You are so lucky to be able to pull off the most powerful of colours so don’t be shy. Forget the dark pinks and cranberries and try the regal shade to transform your day. I wish I could show you who I’ve used this colour on but I can’t due to confidentiality agreements; please please please go to the TAJ MAHAL next time you’re at the NARS counter and you’ll see what I mean. This shade is a beautiful bright yet burnished orange with golden highlights and everyone needs to go to the Taj Mahal at least once in their lives.

Taj Mahal, created for love

Taj Mahal, a colour to love

So there it is, and these three are from the original powder blush line; I haven’t even delved into the dual-intensity products (wet/dry blushes) or the NARS Multiples which are in creamy stick form and amazing.

Needless to say, with all these beautiful things around, I will be a NARSicissist until my last makeup application. Please let me know what you think of my choices and send photos of yourself if you try any of them! Here’s to staying pretty cheeky all of your days, xo.


PRODUCT REVIEWS does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
MakeUp 101These Are A Few of my Fave Things

The BeautyBlender

posted by Wendy August 9, 2016 0 comments

There are few things I would say are absolutely essential for great makeup application. The Beautyblender sponge is one of them. It makes putting on your makeup easy, fast and gives gorgeous results, so if you want something that will change your face forever, get yourself one.

The Beautyblender sponge looks like a big pink egg. Which in itself is very appealing! What it is, is an edgeless, latex-free, non-disposable cosmetic sponge applicator. It was created by makeup artist Ree Ann Silva in 2002 for use for high-definition television, which was then a new format. The anti-bacterial sponge holds water, not product, evenly distributing and blending the perfect amount of product into the skin without leaving tell-tale lines. It is a beauty of a blender! And as I am all about blending, and natural-looking foundation, this sponge has become one of my essential kit items. The results you can achieve by adding one of these to your routine is like having your very own soft-focus lens!

Soft focus

The Beautyblender softens all the edges; your very own soft focus lens

I started using them professionally in 2005 and still swear by them; in fact I am so obsessed with them I get a bit cross when makeup artists say they “can’t” use one.  I think it’s more a question of them not wanting to try something new, yes there are still these kinds of makeup artists around, can you believe it, shock, horror??!  In their stubbornness what they won’t discover is that these sponges are really versatile and can be used for skincare application and makeup application (foundation, contour, highlight, blush, concealer) and speed up application time considerably. I also use them for powder touch-ups. You, dear reader, are more open-minded than they, so read on.

The most important thing to remember is to use the sponge wet! Run it under water, squeeze out the excess and blot it with a paper towel. You’ll be left with a soft sponge that is double the size of it’s dry state and will feel lovely on your face, won’t drag the skin at all and will amaze you and your makeup.

And so to begin. You can use it to apply your moisturiser and/or primer. Simply dip the sponge into the jar and gently glide it over you face and neck.

Use the tip to apply your skin creams and primer

Use the pointed end to apply your skin creams and primer

Do the same with foundations or tinted moisturiser – whatever your base of choice. Apply a little of the product to the tip of the sponge, then onto your face.

You will get the best blend if you apply foundation with the Beauty Blender

You will get the best blend if you apply foundation with the Beauty Blender

Continue to use the sponge for more of your makeup application. I apply contour stick to my cheekbones and blend it with…you guessed it…

Now that's a look.

Now that’s a look.



The Universal "Doing my Make-Up" Face

The Universal “Doing my Make-Up” Face

The pointed tip of the egg is brilliant for getting into the corners of the eyes so use it for perfecting under eye concealer.

I also use that end to clean up eye shadow mistakes IF they should ever happen. Which of course they never do for professional makeup artists!

Use the pointed end to shape the shadow at the corners of your eyes and/or to clean up mistakes

Use the pointed end to shape the shadow at the corners of your eyes and/or to clean up mistakes








Same goes for your cream blush…apply to the apples of your cheeks then use the big end of the sponge to blend it. Unless you’d prefer to look like a OompaLoompa. Which could be fun once in a while.

Blend. blend. blend!

blend. blend. blend!

And there you have it. Some of you will know I don’t use powder on myself, but if you do, the Beautyblender applies it beautifully, of course. Here’s a faster version of how to use it:

Beautyblenders are easy to wash and dry and taken care of, will last ages. Wash it with warm water and a mild detergent; there is a beautyblender solid soap that is sold separately or comes with it sometimes as a bundle purchase but my personal recommendation is London Brush Company‘s lavender or non-scented solid bar. I’ve mentioned it a few times because I love it and use it for cleaning my brushes (see the post about cleaning your makeup brushes for more details). A mild shampoo would work too and you will only need a tiny amount. Whichever soap you use, work a tiny amount into the parts of the sponge that are stained. Be gentle. Rinse your sponge, squeeze out the excess water and leave to dry. Or use it immediately if you need to! The sponge will need washing once a week or so, but takes no time at all so it won’t take up valuable time of your busy lives. The original sponge comes with a handy container that I use a drying stand..


The original and it’s case


I use the case as a stand to dry it in










As the product line has grown (they always do) many sizes and colours of the sponge have been born. There are mini ones for the getting into tiny placed and that can be used as eyeshadow blenders, and black ones to use for self-tanner and/or body makeup. My favourite is still the original.

There are other sponges out there in the marketplace. I have tried many of them but can honestly say this is the one to beat. The texture of this sponge is finer compared to others on the market which are dense and heavy, making them harder to use as they don’t soften with water,  and drag on delicate facial skin. Despite the ladylike qualities of the BB, it’s a hardy little thing which makes it a great beauty investment and though it is not “new” it  does merit special attention. The original has won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award five times, as has the the micro-mini beautyblender, in 2014.

the micro mini beautyblender

the micro mini beautyblender

newly introduced, the oil blotting blotterazzi sponge

newly introduced, the oil blotting blotterazzi sponge










Carry On Blending, glossaholics!

To shop:

In the UK BeautyBlender Classic Makeup Sponge, 1 Applicator

In the US beautyblender Original Blender Sponge + Mini Solid Cleanser Kit

In Canada Beautyblender Pure Blender Single

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PRODUCT REVIEWS does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.





MakeUp 101These Are A Few of my Fave Things

Pretty in Pink

posted by Wendy April 17, 2016 0 comments

Spring has sprung! At least it has where I am, and that means spring makeup for warmer weather, with sheer textures and lots of glow.


Amongst my faves for a beautiful blushing look are a couple of cult beauty products from Benefit  Cosmetics Benetint and Posietint liquid tints for a sheer, beautiful hint of colour for your cheeks and lips. Posietint is a light rose pink that looks great on lighter skin tones; Benetint  is an all-round super colour for everyone and the first product the founders of the line that was destined to become Benefit ever made. Twin sisters Jane and Jean Ford created the tint to colour the nipples of an exotic dancer from San Francisco – it’s the stuff of beauty legends and it does indeed give a healthy flush of crimson. I use it myself for a real flush/blush that is a bit less innocent than Posietint but subtle nonetheless. And I use them on other people for a natural look that will last all day. If your skin is oily you can do two sheer layers and even add a pop of powder blush over top; if you’re dry like me do moisture underneath, and then the tint just on top of that or over your foundation, BB cream, tinted moisturiser or whatever your choice for base is. This is the kind of product that will give you a real pick-me-up if you’re feeling a bit cardboard but don’t fancy wearing a lot of makeup. It’s a really good one to have on hand and there’s good reason over 10 million bottles have been sold.

Two fab choices for cheek and lip stains – Benetint and Posietint from Benefit Cosmetics

A liquid form of blush adds a juicy look to the skin which I love for spring/summer and once the stain is set it should stay on for a long time. Not a huge fan of powder blush on dry skin at the best of times, because Two Dries Make A Drier. I get that people with oily skins love powder and there are loads of beautiful ones out there. The joy of a stain is that they work for every skin type.

The trick to using these is to get them on and blended FAST. I use a dense dome-shaped brush to swish the tint on the apples of cheeks before it stains. Which is does. See the photo of what happens if it sits too long!

Posietint stain done wrong

Posietint stain done wrong., this is after leaving it on without blending  for about 20 seconds

Dome-shaped brush for blending all things cheeky

Of course the fantastic BeautyBlender works amazingly too (as long as it is damp). I can’t believe I haven’t done post about that yet, cos it’s a Modern Marv Beauty Product. And it’s pink! Even better xo.

Posietint done right gives you a sheer, healthy glow

How’s that for a speedy glow for spring? I’m getting all pinked up and stepping out into the sunshine. Might stop for some treats along the way…


You are what you pink

You are what you pink


PRODUCT REVIEWS does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
MakeUp 101These Are A Few of my Fave Things

Going for Gold

posted by Wendy December 30, 2015 0 comments

That’s a bit extreme but you get the idea….

If you are going to show any skin tomorrow night (at your New year’s Eve Party I mean, what were you thinking?!) then don’t forget to give it a boost of gold!  A shot of gold adds length and dimension to bare arms, legs and décolletage too. As long as it is not in an entirely different colour than your face, it will really complete your look, believe me. This goes for all brides in strapless dresses and special occasion gowns too.

This will be a short post (short skirt = leg makeup please) but here are a few top tips:

  • Do a body scrub the day before. Yikes, that’s tonight! Ok, the morning of would work too.  In the picture is the last of my homemade body scrub which I love and was super easy to make. Coconut oil, coffee (without the grinds), organic cocoa butter, brown sugar, that’s it. Scrub up in the shower, any bits that will be showing (and tummy and bum, just sayin)  and rinse well to get rid of the scrubby stuff. Then stay indoors! Seriously, I went into the garden in the summer after I used it, and was a magnet to all flying things. I must have appeared and smelt like the largest yummiest flower they had ever seen, in fact, so delicious that a big bumble got under my top and bulls-eyed me right in the right t.t!  I am not even joking!! it was very painful but makes for a good story.
  • Load up on body oil or body lotion and sleep in it. But not on rubber sheets which is probably not very comfortable, although I WOULD NOT KNOW. Shirley Eaton probably does – she, by the way, is the gold woman from Goldfinger. As she is part of makeup history, you should know that! Your body will absorb most of the oil anyway, or just keep your jammies on so your sheets don’t get oily.
  • Once you are in your special outfit, apply lotion/oil to bare bits. Nobody wants to see or touch dry skin! Let’s face it, winter legs are not always at their best. I have been doing the Daisy Duke workout (see Pinterest), but sometimes get a peppermint latte and do the Boss Hogg one instead.  Point is, the pins haven’t seen much sunlight recently. If yours have you live in a nicer climate than I do.

These two are my favourites:

These are a Few of My Favourite Glows

These are a Few of My Favourite Glows

Nars Monoi Body Glow I – this really makes your skin glory and gold and smells AMAZING. You will become your own tropical island! Anyone I use this on immediately loves it. The only thing  would say is…not so good with a white dress. If you know what I mean.

Gold effect of Nars Monoi Oil I

Gold effect of Nars Monoi Oil I

Which leads me to….

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body – this is incredible, it shapes and contours as well as giving gorgeous colour. Apply to high points and blend out with your hands, e.g., roll the roll applicator down the front of the leg, then blend with your hands: the front of your leg will be highlighted, which makes it look……you guessed it….LONGER! AND even better, once it’s on, out doesn’t move! So wear the white dress and don’t worry bout it xo

Shimmer from Charlotte Tilbury

Shimmer from Charlotte Tilbury

Both the Supermodel Body and Monoi Oil I are beautiful on every skin colour xo

Nars Monoi Oil II – is a moisturising body oil without the golden glow, and with unique properties of traditional French Polynesian Monoi de Tahiti oil. It smells divine, and is really nice if you are already golden or don’t care about adding colour.

Sally Hansen  Airbrush Legs – this is a great leg makeup if leg makeup is all you need, and it’s available at the drug store. It is quite opaque which can be good and bad: bad because you can’t really use it as a full body makeup because I think it’s too heavy, but it is good for leg coverage, without a glow. Blend it for sheer effect with a damp powder puff.


Good luck goldies!   Glam on for the last night of Twenty-fifteen xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooo


PRODUCT REVIEWS does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained in 18 years as a professional makeup artist. is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
MakeUp 101

Carry On Up The Concealer

posted by Wendy December 28, 2015 0 comments

Have you been a naughty elf this holiday? Is there anything you’d like to hide?! If your skin is perhaps a little tired or over-indulged after the chocolate and cheers, read on and I’ll give you some top tips on how to diminish  your Christmas tinsel!

It’s not just the holidays that makes us see red. Allergies, medications, some skin treatments and of course the dreaded sunburn can take a toll on any skin colour. Whatever the reason for your rosy nose (Bad Santa!) here is a foolproof way to deal with it.

We have already covered how to deal with under eye darkness that diminishes the look of bright eyes. Now is not the time to forget about that, because you might be feeling (and looking) a wee bit tired after all the festivities and lack of sleep.

Concealing stuff on the face (and sometimes the neck) takes some different product, skill and tools. Commonly, the tones or blemishes on the face we want to hide are red. Ironically, Santa’s favourite colour! So the colour you want to pick to hide these things should be yellow-based, (which is opposite red on the colour wheel, Colour Theory 101) and in the same tone as your skin colour. If you find a product which is exactly the same as your skin colour, you are very lucky. Buy it all before it’s discontinued! NOT that that happens very often. YES IT DOES! OH NO IT DOESN’T!

Easy Rules for Hide’n Seek

  • Apply your foundation/ tinted moisturizer/ whatever your base is, first.  (Of course you have already prepped your skin with lots of moisture to give yourself a post-Chrimbo glow). This evens out your complexion,  and means you need to less concealer. Nothing wrong with that! It also gives some sun protection if you’re getting outside.
  • Next, target the thing you want to hide. Do this in a good light and invest in a really small pointy brush. I really love The  London Brushes Company’s small character brush but there’s lots on the market to fit any budget. I also use a mini MAC brush #228 for blending the concealer seamlessly into the skin. If your budget doesn’t run to these, just look for small brushes with similar shapes.

    Tiny brushes are best for concealing blemishes

    Tiny brushes are best for concealing blemishes

  • If it’s a blemish you’re trying to hide, pick up some concealer on the pointier brush and dab it onto that thing! Use a short, stabbing motion, without actually stabbing yourself, but getting the point of the brush in the centre of your zit. Then use the rounder-shaped brush a different shape brush (MAC #228) to blend out the product from the middle, I use tiny but rounded brushes to blend the edge right away.
  • Get a tiny bit of powder on the same pointy brush and apply it to where you’ve concealed, to set the product. (If you feel you need another round need of concealer do it before you apply the powder). You might not be able to hide the shape or bump of a zit (although here are some things that can help- eye drops, ice packs, zit cream as long as it’s clear) but if you get rid of that red you’ll feel a lot happier with the state of your skin and the rest of the cosmetics you apply will have maximum effect.
  • If it’s not a single blemish or three you’re trying to hide, but larger areas (chin, cheeks or nose maybe) it’s even easier: warm up your hands by rubbing them together, then use your fingers to apply the concealer directly onto the skin, then press it gently into your skin. The warmth of your fingers will blend it right in. If your facial concealer is in a stick form, you can even use it as you would a crayon,  draw it on what you want to conceal, and use the warm fingers trick! No brush required xo

    Load concealer onto your fingers

    Load concealer onto your fingers

Top Tip: one or two thin applications of the right concealer is better than a lot of the wrong product, especially a dry one that simply draws the eye to the problem instead of disguising it. Spend the time to find something that works for you and is the right tone and texture. A rule of concealing is that less is more, to achieve beautiful skin that looks flawlessSo take the steps and carry on concealing, best faces forward Glossaholics!

MakeUp 101

Excess Baggage: How to Apply Under-Eye Concealer

posted by Wendy December 9, 2015 0 comments

The discolouration under our eyes that almost everybody has, all the time to at least some of the time, can occur for many reasons. In most cases, the dark circles under the eyes are blood vessels that can be seen through the skin. The skin around the eyelids is the thinnest skin in the body (around 0.5 mm thick compared with 2mm in other areas)and dark circles under the eyes are usually an inherited trait. When blood passes through the large veins close to the surface of the skin, it can produce a bluish tint. The more transparent the skin—also an inherited trait—the darker the circles appear. In people with a deep-set bone structure, shadowing can also contribute to the dark colour under the eyes.

Allergies, asthma, and eczema
Any condition that causes the eyes to itch can contribute to darker circles due to rubbing or scratching the skin around them. Hay fever sufferers in particular will notice under-eye “smudges” during the height of the allergy season. Some food allergies can also cause the area under the eyes to appear darker.

Any medications that cause blood vessels to dilate can cause circles under the eyes to darken. Because the skin under the eyes is very delicate, any increased blood flow shows through the skin.

The lack of nutrients in the diet, or the lack of a balanced diet, can contribute to the discoloration of the area under the eyes. It is believed that iron deficiency can cause dark circles as well. Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia and this condition is a sign that not enough oxygen is getting to the body tissue. The skin can also become more pale during pregnancy and menstruation (due to lack of iron), allowing the underlying veins under the eyes to become more visible.

A lack of sleep can cause paleness of the skin, allowing the blood underneath the skin to become more visible and appear bluer or darker.

Dark circles are likely to become more noticeable and permanent with age. This is because as people get older, their skin loses collagen, becoming thinner and more translucent. That’s marvellous news, isn’t it?


Personally, my excess baggage is much worse during allergy season, but whatever the reason for yours, here’s an easy how-to for getting your undereye concealer perfect. Banish dark circles forever!

Apply your eye cream and / or moisturizer to a clean face. Then a sheer layer of your foundation (if you choose to wear it), blending it up to the eye. This in itself will give you some coverage under the eye, and you can use less concealer as a result.

Get into good light and use a mirror big enough to see your whole face. Pinpoint the discolouration you want to hide. You’ll be able to see the difference in tones.

Find the area you want to conceal

Find the area you want to conceal

Dab a tiny amount of your chosen concealer on your ring finger. Start with a little. You can always add a little more if you miss anywhere.

Use a tiny amount of your chosen concealer to start

Use a tiny amount of your chosen concealer to start

Press the concealer gently onto the skin, only on the area you want to conceal, not under the whole eye. In this case, less is more! Especially for those of use of “a certain age”!

Gently press the concealer onto your skin where you want to conceal

Gently press the concealer onto your skin where you want to conceal

You can use a brush to blend if you want, but it’s not entirely necessary. If you do, use one that has length to the hairs and is flexible, so it moves easily around the eye area. The skin here is delicate, so go gently.

Best brush for applying and blending concealer

Best brush for applying and blending concealer

Separate a tissue/Kleenex into two sheets, and use one of them to gently blot any excess concealer. If, after this step, you feel you need more, repeat from Step One.

Separate the kleenex into two sheets

Separate the kleenex into two sheets

Dab a one-ply of tissue over concealer to remove excess

Dab a one-ply of tissue over concealer to remove excess

You should be looking fresh and even toned by now! With the right placement of the right concealer, your eyes will become the focus of your face.

Do not apply powder. Unless you’re under 21! Voila! Now you’re ready to apply the eye makeup du jour!

P.S Winter top tip – if you’re hanging out in one of the chillier climates (like I am), let your hands get cold once in a while and use those cold fingertips to press lightly all around your eye to de-puff and bring to life. Olaf told me that xo

P.P.S  If you have severe eye baggage, train to yourself to sleep on your back and learn hoe to give yourself a lymph-draining eye massage. Seriously.

MakeUp 101

Bend it Like Bridget – How to Curl Straight Lashes

posted by Wendy December 6, 2015 0 comments

I go through a fairly elaborate routine (actually it’s probably best to refer to it as a ritual!) to get my lashes the best they can be, and am resigned to knowing they will never be perfect. Even after my steps to better lashes, they have been known to collapse, and I sometimes commit the cardinal sin of re-curling throughout the day! Because for me, a lifted lash makes for a happier face. And I was not blessed with much lash lusciousness. They have even fallen out in times of high stress. In general I am not wrong in saying I am lash-challenged.

My routine now consists of curling my lashes like this (pay attention, it’s complicated!)

  1. I use a very fine small silver spoon and run it along my lashes from root to ends, using the edge of one side. Have you ever curled ribbon for wrapping presents? It’s a similar process, without the pulling. Be careful! Overdoing it may mean you loose one so be gentle. Basically you are just using the spoon edge to press along the length of the lash so that you are curling them upwards.
  2. Next I curl with a regular curler. Shu Uemera is my curler of choice. I’ve tried loads but the Shu stays tight for ages so you don’t need to replace it for a long time, and the size of it fits my eye nicely and most eye shapes, I’ve found. It’s a makeup investment. I also have a mini curler to use on people that it doesn’t fit, or for strays that won’t curl.
  3. Apply mascara, top lashes first, getting the brush as close to the roots as you can, give a little wiggle, then glide the brush right along lashes to the ends. It  has to be waterproof- as it dries it shrinks a bit so the lashes curl up. Two coats is good, waiting a minute for the first coat to dry.
  4. Next apply to bottom lashes. I just do one coat on the bottom and love Blinc mascara for the bottom lashes only, because it will not move until you apply water. I find it a bit heavy for the top lashes myself cos it makes mine drop immediately. It goes on and dries in individual tubes, which look like spiders legs in your sink when you wash them off. 
  5. Voila! Fortunately most of the people I make up have much nicer lashes than I do and can skip Step One. Lucky them!

Shu Uemura Canada

MakeUp 101

MakeUp 101 – Prep Your Canvas, Excel at Your Art

posted by Wendy November 27, 2015 0 comments

Where to begin?  What’s the most important cosmetic?  What’s a good daily routine? Well I guess it all depends on what it is you want to achieve. I have my opinions, but they may not be yours.

Anyone’s attitude to and use of makeup will of course depend on their personal preferences:

  •  Do you want to look polished and put-together for work?
  • Do you apply a full face of makeup every day?
  • Do you want to look fresh and healthy and only need a little help?
  • Do you want to look fabulous for a special event such as a wedding or prom?
  • Are you a teenager, a new mom, a workaholic, a grandmother?

All of the above require different needs and different answers.

My first priority is always skin prep.  If the canvas is good, the finished product will be better. So how do we achieve that?

You have to determine the condition of your skin and then treat it well. That part is very important. Treat your skin well! It is your body’s largest organ, it protects you and presents you to the world, it’s your wrapping!.  You’ll have it your whole life, treat it accordingly! Advice to women of every age, especially the 20-somethings: take care of your neck and hands.  I wish someone had told me that.

Is your skin dry? Dehydrated on the surface only? Oily, or oily in only a couple of areas? Do you have severe or mild acne? Is it super sensitive and prone to redness, or rosacea?  Be honest about your needs without judging yourself for it, and then go from there.

Most makeup artists and skin specialists would agree that there are basic steps to achieving the best skin possible. These are Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise. I would add three more: ExfoliateTreat and Protect.  

Let’s call this Six Basic Steps to Our Best Skin.

  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone
  3. Moisturise
  4. Exfoliate
  5. Treat
  6. Protect

There are products out there that do these things for us, some even do two things at the same time. I’ll try not to go on  and on about product, because when I get started there’s no stopping me! I will get to my faves/ least faces in other posts.  For now I’ll start with a general overview:




In addition to removing makeup, washing your face removes excess buildup that can occur throughout the day like pollutants, oils, and debris. To wash your face effectively use lukewarm water to open pores. Water that is too hot or too cold can irritate the skin. Then apply cleanser in a circular motion. Your choice of cleanser will depend on your skin type. I like creams for drier skins and gels for oilier ones.


Toners rebalance your skin after cleansing. Some toners will help the absorption of other products onto the skin. A toner’s function is to complete the cleansing of your skin removing the dust, pollution, and impurities that can still be lingering after washing with a cleanser. Getting off all the last bits of dirt with a (damp) cotton pad soaked in toner makes me feel like my skin is really clean.  There are hydrating toners and more astringent types, again depending on what it is your skin needs most.


For a radiant, healthy glow, moisturising needs to be an essential part of your skincare routine. There are water-based moisturisers, oil-based, products with SPF (sun protection factor) and salicylic acid. So many!  Choose one that fits your needs and budget and it will be invaluable.  The one thing I will recommend here, for everyone, is pure hyaluronic acid.  It’s my No. 1 for adding moisture (i.e. water) to the skin. Applied to a damp face it will plump and smooth the skin. I use it under my regular moisturiser and it gets my skin through winter and summer alike.  It’s available at most health food and natural product stores.


To exfoliate: to “wash or rub (a part of the body) with a granular substance to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin.” Pretty self-explanatory that!  Some skins can only tolerate a weekly treatment, others are better with every day.


There are extra boosters that can be added to your personal routine depending on what it is that ails you. Products that fight the aging process, acne, rosacea, and more are in abundance. Target your needs and desires and you are bound to find something to help.


The final step is protection from sun damage. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen and while you’re at it apply some sunscreen. Not forgetting your hands and décolletage. Do not forget this! Unless you like the look of a sun damaged chest. Think Donatella Versace.  It’s just not good. the sun is good for us in small doses, not large ones. Nothing will age you faster.

These six steps for great skin may seem like a lot of work, and they are. I get irritated sometimes going through all these steps morning and night when time is of the essence (and, truth be told, don’t always manage all of them all of the time) but if you conscientiously work hard to perfect your canvas, you will be rewarded, whether you apply very little make-up to it or a lot.