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MakeUp 101

MakeUp 101

Golden Girls

posted by Wendy July 6, 2017 0 comments

If you are going golden this summer (purposely or not) remember to change the tone of your under eye concealer to match the warmer tone of your face.

I am not a sun worshipper and wear sunscreen every day but in the warmer months my skin tone changes and I go from my usual Amazing Concealer in “Medium Beige” to “Medium Golden”. You’ll being to see right away of your usual undereye concealer is too light – and remember, a really light concealer on tanned skin is a no no.

sun

Don’t forget your sunscreen.

MakeUp 101

Samples Are A Girl’s Best Friend

posted by Wendy May 16, 2017 0 comments

Marilyn may have been right about a few things and diamonds are pretty high up on the list, but in the beauty stakes, samples are a girl’s best friend!

The French are glad to freeze their faces

They delight in using ice

But I prefer a brand who gives samples of all things nice

A jar in the hand might be quite continental

But samples are a girl’s best friend

A gloss may be grand

But it won’t pay the rental

On your humble flat or help you at the laundromat

Shops grow cold as girls grow old

And we all lose collagen in the end

But square cut or round shaped these packs don’t lose their shape

Samples are a girl’s best friend!

I save mine up and take them on trips

If you’re a Hey Big Spender at the cosmetics and skincare counters, or even if you are not, there is a way to try before you buy, and to stock up on some yummy things. Many companies and department stores have an in-built policy to give samples to those that ask and some of them offer without an ask: Kiehls is so far the best I’ve come across, and their samples are brilliantly packaged, making them superb for adding to your holiday packing so you don’t have to take big sizes of everything with you. I usually manage to save enough samples to have skincare and hair stuff for trips, saving on baggage allowance  and extra purchasing once you land. Just a thought! Charlotte Tilbury and other brands offer free samples with online shopping but it’s worth asking at the counter too. Don’t be shy – they want you to try their stuff!

MakeUp 101

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

posted by Wendy January 30, 2017 0 comments

Here’s a nifty little trick to do if you have a metal-tubed highlighter pen like the cult classic Touche Éclat from YSL Beauty. Don’t throw them away when they run out xo

MakeUp 101

Glossaholics Giveaway

posted by Wendy January 7, 2017 0 comments

Glossaholics! Welcome to my first ever makeup giveaway!

I am as much of a glowaholic as a glossaholic and the new year is a good time to think about reviving your skin and getting a glow back after the busy holidays season.  So I’m giving away an amazing Wonderglow from Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics, which is a beautiful primer/ moisturiser/all-round amazing thing.

Worn alone it gives a beautiful dewy finish that not only moisturises but reflects light, creating a soft -focus look for you skin and blurring imperfections.  Alternatively, it can be worn under foundation, mixed with your foundation to sheer it out with a glow (this is one of my favourite tricks for camera), or patted over it at highlight points. It’s a hugely versatile beauty product whether you like the look of makeup or not.

Because it has a warm gold undertone and not a pink one, it boosts but doesn’t look metallic or ashy on darker skins yet also compliments lighter ones; basically it’s your skin but better, which is why it’s always in my kit! It’s packed with lots of good things including a form of hyaluronic acid. By the way, Wonderglow won a CEW Insiders Choice Award in 2015, which, if you haven’t heard of it, is like an Academy Award for beauty products.

A glow is as good as a rest!

The rules of the competition are fun and easy:

  • follow @glossaholics
  • “like” the photo of the Wonderglow prize I’ve posted on Instagram
  • tag 2 friends in the comment section

The competition is open until Jan 31st, to residents of the UK, USA and Canada. The winning entrant will be announced Feb 1st on Instagram so your account must be public on that date. The prize will be sent by mail. Good luck and I hope you enjoy participating!

Get glowing, Glossaholics, here’s to a beautiful 2017 xxoo

 

Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
MakeUp 101

We Are Sixteen Going On Seventeen

posted by Wendy December 30, 2016 5 Comments

So here we are, twenty-sixteen going on seventeen! If you need someone older and wiser, telling you what to do, I’ll take care of you. These are my top picks of 2016, the things that made My Life In Makeup more beautiful. They are not necessarily new, and are not in any particular order, just sixteen products or treatments that served me well in my professional and personal life. There’s sometimes a bit of a crossover.

Kate Somerville DermalQuench LiquidLift

This is one of those crazy miracle products and all the rage on the west coast. A blast of hyaluronic acid and a special blend of Kate-y ingredients “fill” and “lift” the face, and blimey, it’s quite surprising to see the results. Use it regularly am and pm, or on special occasions, underneath your regular skincare and makeup. Kate Somerville is beloved in Hollywood with  an amazing skincare clinic on Melrose (you can imagine who her clients are). I consistently experience magnificent results using her products at work.

This one also looks and acts like a dalek so is quite fun to have on your top shelf.

 

Sarah Moon for NARS “Give In Take” Palette

This year has been the year of superb makeup palettes. I tend to stay away from them, preferring to buy individual eyeshadows, blushes etc, so I can pick the colours I want and need, but this year’s palettes have been exceptional and I’ve bought several. Where Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look palettes give you fresh and easy, albeit sexy makeup, the release of the Sarah Moon “Give in Take” Dual Intensity palette from NARS offered a different story. Sarah Moon, aka Marielle Warin, is a French model turned fashion photographer. The Moon palette is urbane, cool and utterly sophisticated; it’s a weekend in Berlin without having to go to the airport. Six sublime shadows, a contour/bronzer, highlighter and gorgeous blush. The dual intensity products also give you options for subtle or dramatic. Wear it with a nude or a burgundy matte lip, or a white sparkly lipgloss for achtung baby.  I’m very tempted to keep this one at home.

 

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Liquid Blush

I finally got my hands on these in 2016. The ultimate in liquid blush, they stand alone or can be layered with other liquid or dry blushes. Gorgeous (see “Pretty Cheeky Part I” for the whole story).

 

 

 

My first day with lash extensions, January

 

Eyelash Extensions

I came late to the party (it wasn’t the first time); I first tried these at the beginning of the year out of sheer desperation, after what seemed like an endless battle with the lashes, or lack of them. Apparently I do have quite a few, but they are blonde and short so the extensions changed my makeup life without looking ridiculous and have saved my eyes from a daily ordeal. Saving twenty minutes in the morning is also a bonus when starting work at 5am! In the summer I even went so far as to try a perming and tinting treatment before the extensions were applied. I had a summer of good lashes, without having to work hard. Finally (Read “Length Matters” for the full story).

 

Make-Up Brushes from London Brush Co.

The London Brush Co. makes premium natural and vegan makeup brushes; they are “designed by a Brit, made by hand, loved by all”. Try them if you can, they are worth the expenditure.

 

 

 

TF has me covered but leaves a glow. It’s a win-win situation! Do you like the sneaky way I’ve included one of my have lipsticks of the year?…Audacious Lipstick by NARS in “Claudia”

 

Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation

Foundations are the foundation of a makeup artist’s career. Without a good canvas the rest gets lost so I need to have hundreds of them, for all skin tines and types and to create different looks.  Over the years I’ve developed foundation radar; this one became an overnight favourite. It gives a beautiful dewy finish that is perfectly traceless, with coverage ranging from sheer to full depending on your needs. The stick format makes it easy to apply, easy to layer and very easy to pop into your handbag for touch-ups. Use with either the moisturising or illuminating  primer for a lovely base for lovely makeups.

 

 

 

This beautiful shade is “Love Liberty”

Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics

If you’re a regular reader you will know all about my love for this line which was very new in 2016. It launched in late 2015 which meant my 2016 was slightly obsessive. The “problem” is, Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics makes it very easy to do great makeup! On yourself or someone else. I remain overwhelmingly impressed with it. Standout products include lipglosses and pencils, Miracle skincare, Instant Look palettes, Ibiza beachstick, cream shadows, big stubby eye crayons, Feline Flick eyeliner and Supermodel Body body makeup. Not to mention the Gold Bar! I gave mine to my favourite boy who dresses like a girl (watch this space) and my kit realllllly misses it. Sorry if this is cheating, but I can’t pick just one thing because I love so many.

Chanel Nail Polish in Vendetta

I go back to this one all the time and bought more than one when it came out. A glam and gorgeous dark purple on short or long nails. Including my own, which are sometimes long (time off) but mostly short (at work!). I am always rooting for nail varnishes to be good because I love them so. Chanel always delivers, in terms of pigment and silkiness. In a pinch, one coat does it all. I don’t even think this one’s around anymore (why do they do that?) but there’s bound to be a new colour close to it.

The terrible cuticles are all my own!

For recovery at midnight or midday

 

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I have loads of Kiehl’s in my kit and have been a fan ever since I visited their flagship NYC store many many years ago. It’s a fabulous beauty pharmacy. It also has a motorcycle in it. Kiehl’s is constantly at the forefront of skincare technology and brought out some amazing things this year, which deserve their own post. This one, however, is a cult classic that I dole out constantly, especially after people have had a long flight, for reviving and nourishing tired skin overnight. Do an exfoliation first and hear your skin say “thanks!”

Containing squalane, evening primrose oil and essential oils including lavender, it’s a forever favourite. It also has a honourary place on my home top shelf.

Award winning lip balm from The Blue Lagoon skincare line

 

Blue Lagoon Rejuvenating Lip Balm

A lucky discovery in the spa shop of the Blue Lagoon, Iceland. I took a dream-come-true trip there this summer and came away with some superb Icelandic beauty products. This one stays firmly in my handbag.

Just noticed that it’s Made in Denmark. Bit cheeky but explains why it’s so good, doesn’t it? It’s hygge for the lips!

 

 

 

 

Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk

A great chemists/drugstore find from Vichy and a bargain compared to my other fave body lotions. As a makeup artist I am not just responsible for making faces beautiful; it’s all about hands and bodies too. This one is gently scented and nourishing and containing thermal spa water, LHA, hyaluronic acid but no parabens, so it softens you up nicely.

 

 

Make you own candlelight with “Bounce Around”

MAC Soft Serve Eyeshadows

This summer MAC launched twelve Limited Edition shadows that looked like fairy dust and were just as magical. I use them alone for a gentle sparkle, or layered over other shadows for instant night-time gorgeous; they look amazing in candlelight, just saying. Because they were limited edition there’s not many left around – in fact I recently saw them in the sale items at a MAC PRO store, so if you find one, snap it up. This one is called Bounce Around and works over any shadow. Apologies if they’re already sold out.

 

 

The sign of a good inner eye pencil is it’s stubbiness!

 

Laura Mercier Inner Eye Definer

Formerly known as kohl eye pencil and a staple in my kit and my own makeup bag (I wear Antique Jade on an almost daily basis). Creamy, pigmented and stays put on the water line, i.e., the inner eyelid. After my favourite Bourjois pencils were discontinued, Laura Mercier’s have taken their place. The colours are beautiful – black violet and black navy are worth a second look.

 

 

 

 

Josie Maran Intensive Hydrating Treatment

What goes under makeup is as important as the makeup itself, and this one saturates and glows without interfering with foundation. Wear alone for juicy skin. Made from only natural ingredients including argan oil, and from the amazing Josie Maran, it’s one that gets used a lot.

 

 

 

Aveda Hand Relief

Hands off this hand cream. I can’t keep this around very long – the salicylic acid formulation works wonders, short or long term. Another surprise find, as I don’t usually go to Aveda for skincare. The scent is non-offensive and everybody seems to love it. I use it to counteract my grandpa hands.

P.S it’s got French on the packaging because I bought it in Canada. C’est la loi!

Barefoot Venus Therapeutic Mustard Bath

Last but not least. At the end of long days, this is where it’s at. Barefoot Venus is a wonderful line of bath and body products that I was lucky enough to come across in Canada. They are made in a small town, with the best ingredients, and the retro packaging looks fun and fab in the bathroom.

Containing essences of mustard, wintergreen , eucalyptus and rosemary, it is therapeutic indeed, whether your days are short or long. Run a hot bath, throw in the salts, immerse yourself and relllllaaaaax. Kindly, they also sell refill salts so you don’t have to buy the tin over and over. Unkindly, they only ship to the US and Canada so far but I’m thinking of starting a smuggling ring.

 

That’s it, sixteen for sixteen and another year of My Life In Makeup almost over. I am looking forward to a new year of using all my favourites and discovering new ones. I will, of course, keep you posted! I didn’t even get to the best lipsticks of the year.

Dedicating this post to Charmian Carr, another beauty who left us this year and who will be forever sixteen going on seventeen as far as I’m concerned.

 

Happy Shopping!

UK:
Space NK UK

Charlotte Tilbury

Cult Beauty Ltd.

 

Canada:

Beauty Boutique Free Shipping on Orders Over $55

Charlotte Tilbury CA

US:

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited US

Australia:

Shop Australia's Largest Online Beauty Store at RY.com.au. Free Delivery $99+ & Free Returns. Click Here!

 

PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
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 RY.com.au. Free Delivery $99+ & Free Returns. Click Here!

PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com 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 (http://mylifeinmakeup.com/2016/09/pretty-cheeky-part-i/) 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 Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com 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.

blend

 

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..

&case

The original and it’s case

dryit

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

Read more:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3710314/The-Beautyblender-millionaire-Make-artist-invented-simple-makeup-sponge-garage-raise-college-funds-children-turns-100million.html#ixzz4G5yarbgi
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PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.

 

 

 

 

MakeUp 101

The Tide Is High

posted by Wendy June 6, 2016 0 comments

Some people in my world are raving about water cleansers. This new breed of cleansers are called micellar waters. And the tide is high.

The first one of these water cleansers to hit my headlines was by Koh Gen Do…..the people (mentioning no names) sung loudly of its praises and so I felt the need to jump on the bandwagon, or to catch a wave. I have tried three of them for comparison, Bioderma Sensible H20, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water and La Roche-Posay Eau Micellaire.

The latest breed of cleansers are micellar waters

The latest breed of cleansers are micellar waters

 

Originally created in the 90s to help Parisian women deal with the region’s notoriously harsh water, micellar cleansers were a well kept secret, until makeup artists and models started raving about the benefits of the no-rinse formula.

Print

The Supermodels of the 1990s must have been among the first to use the new cleansers n'est pas?

The Supermodels of the 1990s must have been among the first to use the new cleansers n’est-ce pas?

Very quick and easy to use, a micellar cleanser is a lifesaver for on-the-go beauty and late nights. I concur, that sometimes my usual cleansing routine can seem like a chore, and that micellar versions don’t even need water to work. But does that make them any better for your skin? One of the good things about them is that they have mostly been adapted for sensitive skin and have been formulated with mild and non-irritating surfactants; one of their biggest marketing points is their suitability for sensitive skin types.

Even stubbon make-up can be theoretically removed with one sweep of a cotton pad and with no harsh chemicals or detergents to irritate and inflame skin. The waters contain tiny micelles (microscopic oil spheres) that dissolve impurities without stripping the skin so “even the most troublesome complexions are left feeling soft, nourished and hydrated”. So they say.

There is one big advantage to removing your makeup this way, and that is that you have to use cotton pads together with the cleansing waters. This actually plays a major role in why they are so effective at removing makeup. Cotton is hydrophilic (“tending to dissolve in, mix with, or be wetted by water”) so  when you pour a micellar solution on the cotton pad, the hydrophilic heads are attracted to the cotton, leaving the hydrophobic tails sticking up to trap oil, wax based substances and dirt i.e., makeup and oils. When applied to skin, micellar water and cotton pads cleanse the skin by acting like a magnet, attracting and entrapping impurities without harsh rubbing or scraping. So you get clean, without damaging the skin.

They sound too good to be true, n’est ce pas? How could I not give them a go? So I have tried and tested them. I sampled three leaders in the market which are available most everywhere and range in price: Bioderma Sensible H20, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water and La Roche-Posay Eau Micellaire.

laroche

LA ROCHE POSAY Eau Micellaire

BIODERMA Sensibio H20

BIODERMA Sensibio H20

kohgendo

KOH GEN DO Cleansing Spa Water

There are many many more, with lots of brands putting one into the marketplace. Go to your local drugstore/chemist and you’ll find lots of options. I tried each one for a week each, and here are my conclusions which are not watered down.

There is no doubt that a sweep of micellar water can take away all your bronzer!

There is no doubt that a sweep of micellar water can take away all your bronzer!

  • Micellar waters are really easy and quick to use.
  • They do a good job of removing make-up and clean a dirty face.
  • They do not feel nourishing in any way – not so good for dry skin
  • They come in handy for lots of makeup changes in a short period of time so cannot deny that they are good for make up artists to have in their kits.
  • Great for travel or short-term skincare. I will be packing a mini one in the holiday makeup bag
  • Because they don’t offer that much in the way of nourishing or anti-aging skincare, I don’t think they can replace a good three-step routine (which, granted, takes longer at the end of the day).

To be honest I found them all one and the same, maybe the things that would point you towards a particular brand are not the same reasons I would pick that one…fragrance or lack of, and even colour, and price. They all left my skin feeling dry, but the Bioderma one is ok to use to remove eye makeup if you have lash extensions, and it’s not too expensive, so it’s my winner. The Koh Gen Do is runner up because the packaging makes it look like pink water. A stupid reason to like it, but there you go!

Bioderma retails for approx $15.00/ BPS8.00 for 250ml

Koh Gen Do retails for approx $39.00 for 300ml and doesn’t appear to be available to buy online on the UK although other products on that line are

La Roche-Posay retails for approx $10/ BPS 12.00 for 115ml

I concur that they do speed up the cleansing process, and yes I think they are much better than cleansing wipes which are usually loaded with chemicals, but the speediness of using them is mostly what I don’t like about them: they take away the process of cleansing. For me one of the reasons to take the time to cleanse your face is the ritual of it; the whole process of it, the feel, smell and texture of your favourite cleanser and most importantly, being in actual touch with your face. I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way as so many beauty experts emphasise the need for massage of facial skin and muscles and a new breed of oil-based slippery cleansers are marketed with specific instructions on how to do facial massage.

So the micellar water method leaves me feeling a bit jipped to be honest, but then again I grind my coffee beans every morning for the same reason: the joy of the ritual and the way it slows me down in an otherwise frenetic world. Slow food, slow travel, talking instead of texting, I am a bit of a dinosaur, a Cleanasaurus. But I’ll have one in my kit for fast changes.

model1

To shop:

In Canada:
Beauty Boutique
PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com 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.

rhodo

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 Mylifeinmakeup.com 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. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.