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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Makeup Tips for the Ordinary Girl! Part 1

We've all made fashion faux pas over the years, and it's usually something we can learn from, look back and laugh (and cringe) at! But makeup and style and fashion are very personal things and we all have different tastes, so one person's golden rule will be another person's worst nightmare. When it comes to makeup there are a few basic things we can all do that will make subtle differences to our look, without doing anything drastic. Some of these things have been mentioned over and over again, so why are we still getting it wrong? Here are a few makeup mistakes I've heard of (or made myself!) and ways to correct them! I've divided this post into several parts as there are too many to go into in one go and I want to go into a little bit of detail about each one.

  • Wrong shade/tone of foundation - This can be anything from too dark to too light, too pink, too yellow...

How to correct 

Foundation is the one area I'd recommend to spend money on if you can, and one great aspect of buying an expensive foundation from a luxury brand is that there is usually a girl on a makeup counter who is trained and experienced and can advise you on which foundation type and colour will suit you best. Take advantage of this, she's there to help and should be happy to talk you through your options and give you a sample if you require it. If your budget doesn't stretch that far, there are some brilliant drugstore foundations out there - I've written a blog post about how to pick the right drugstore foundation and which brands I like.

  • Pale/Blank/Non-existent Lips - This usually occurs when the face is quite dark (sometimes from fake tan or foundation - or both) and the lips are made paler.

How to correct
Just don't apply lipstick that is lighter than your skin! Very few of us can get away with it, it generally doesn't suit anyone and only when it's done very well by a makeup artist will anyone manage to pull it off. Lots of women (and men!) have quite a lot of pigment in their lips, as in their lips can be quite pink or even red - this is usually an indication that this look will not suit you, it just doesn't look natural (I know lots of lip colours don't look natural but a bright colour that suits you can look really nice). My best advice is to go nude rather than pale. Pick a colour that suits the undertone of your skin - pinks and peaches will usually suit pale girls, darker girls can wear caramel or golden tones. Or pick a colour that is close to your natural lip colour - test lipsticks on your fingertips as this is slightly redder than other parts of your body and therefore will be closer to your natural lip colour. Trust me on this one, your photos will turn out a lot better!

  • No eyebrows  - Usually occurs when the hair is dyed darker than the natural colour and the eyebrows are not filled in/coloured to match. Some people may have naturally dark hair and light eyebrows.

How to correct
The best thing I find for adding just a bit of definition to the eyebrows is to apply a little eyeshadow through the hairs of the eyebrows with a stiff angled brush (a good example is a MAC 266 brush). In most cases a cool colour should be used, such as light greyish brown for blondes and a dark brown with no red or chocolate undertones for brunettes and black hair (never use black eyeshadow even if you have black hair - it's too harsh). The only time I'd advise using a warm colour is if you have red hair, whether natural or coloured. Always use a matte shadow, never shimmery. The eyebrows don't have to be the centre of attention but adding a tiny bit of definition will frame your face, look polished and again, will make a huge difference to your photos!

  • Too much eyebrow! - When the eyebrows are too dark/heavy,overdrawn, usually doesn't look right if the eyebrows aren't naturally that way.

How to correct
As with most things, just don't draw them on so heavy! Natural thick eyebrows can look really nice and youthful, and don't need a lot of attention, but we're not all lucky enough to have them so we have to make the most with what we've got. Of course you can make your eyebrows look a little bit fuller than they naturally are, just don't overdo it! Don't draw the eyebrows on with a dark pencil and don't use a heavy hand to do it. By all means use a pencil if you like, but use short, light strokes that replicate the hairs of your eyebrows. There are so many products out there aimed specifically at eyebrows, and if you're struggling to keep your eyebrows in shape, maybe think about getting them shaped or threaded at a salon or brow bar. Otherwise, this is a good example to follow 

So these are just a few of the most common makeup mistakes, I'll be back with more soon!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 23 January 2012

Babyliss Big Hair - My thoughts!

Just before I moved to the UK, I decided to get a haircut. I had always had quite long hair but after years of heat-styling and not getting regular haircuts, my hair was in really bad condition so I had to face reality and get quite a lot chopped off. So my hair went from being halfways down my back to being shoulder length. This was fine and I was happy with it, until I had to wash and style it myself for the first time - my hair is thick and coarse and fairly unmanageable at the best of times, so I found that, with it being so much shorter than I was used to, I couldn't do anything with it!

Now I will point out, I am not good with hair! So I ended up always pulling it back into a bun-type thing and I only had to style my side-swept fringe; this was no bad thing because I wasn't using straighteners on it so it got the chance to grow and stay healthy.

So because I was so frustrated with it, I asked for the Babyliss Big Hair for Christmas, and OMG, what a godsend!

What I found with it was, it put a really nice shape in my hair, gave it volume and added shine - basically it does everything I always wished I could do myself and couldn't! It works by applying heat hairdryer-style from the vents between the bristles. The brush part then rotates at different speeds (medium and high) and basically does the job of a hair-stylist in one product! The bristles are soft enough to add a shine as it works, but strong enough to keep grip of the hair if you want to bring it close to the head to add volume. Also, I have found that it doesn't tangle my hair, even in the early days of using it when I had to try and get the hang of it. There are lots of tutorials on how to use it on Youtube, Tanya Burr has made a really good one with Babyliss on their channel. So here's what I do:

    • After washing my hair I apply Tresemme Thermal Creations Style Creator Spray all over my hair but mostly focusing on the ends and midlengths (I have naturally greasy hair so I don't apply a lot of product to the roots) and comb it through.

    • If I want extra volume for a night out or some other occasion, I'll apply a volumizing mousse - I'm currently using L'Oreal Studio Silk & Gloss Volume mousse.

    • Then I blowdry my hair on a medium heat setting to leave it slightly damp - I don't use a brush or anything for this, I just use my hands/fingers if necessary.
    • Sometimes I separate my hair into an upper and lower section and begin to use the Big Hair on the lower section and finish on the upper section; other times I'll just use the Big Hair on the ends of my hair to put a bit of shape into it and I always use it on my fringe because I love how it makes it big and bouncy!
    • For a touch more volume, I'll use the Big Hair on the upper layers and hold the brush and hair close to the scalp for a few seconds. This saves on back-combing too!
    • I may use my GHD straightener to run through my hair very quickly just to make sure I've no kinks and the finished result is the one I want.
    • I'll finish off with a decent layer of hairspray, not too much though, I don't want to make the hole in the ozone layer any bigger! I love the classic L'Oreal Elnett, and I love how you can get small bottles to fit in your handbag ;)


    So all in all, I think the Babyliss Big Hair is a brilliant product, it's made a huge difference to the way I style my hair and the results I get, and after hating my haircut for months, I'm starting to love it again! I reckon it's suitable for all hair typed and lengths - as I said I've got very thick, coarse hair so if it works on my it'll work on most people's hair. It's not too expensive either, so I think it's a great investment and most people could benefit from owning one.

    Thanks for reading!


    Tuesday, 17 January 2012

    My Work










    Hi everyone, I thought I'd just show you a few photos of work I have done in the past - these photos are not professional and are taken with a digital camera but they also haven't been enhanced or photoshopped, so the makeup appears exactly as it was applied! Hope you like them!


    Monday, 16 January 2012

    Onto bigger and better things!

    I know I said I'd talk about how I got on with the work experience but to cut a long story short, it was a non-start! The lady who I spoke to got her wires crossed and thought I was a trained beauty therapist, which I'm not, so we weren't really able to come up with something that would work for both of us. They were very nice and helpful, don't get me wrong, but I'm trying to get a makeup career going here and they weren't really the right ones to help me. Oh well, I lost nothing by going to speak to them! So now I'm moving on.

    I've been very busy lately, which is why I haven't updated my blog in a while. Unfortunately, what's been keeping me busy isn't makeup related, but it is still good things! When we first moved to the Uk, myself and my partner didn't know anything about anything - we thought that it was going to be very similar to Ireland, and in some ways it is, but in other ways, it's so different! And when you're used to doing things one way, it's a pain in the bum trying to get your head around things being done in a different way! Without boring you with all the details, we're moving soon, and I cannot wait! Where we live now has absolutely nothing going on, and we're moving to somewhere bigger, better, busier... So it's been all systems go looking for somewhere to live, starting to pack, all the usual stress that comes along with moving. And before we move, we're going home to Ireland for a few days (YAY!). We cannot wait! We found Christmas quite difficult as it was just the two of us and it really does emphasise how much you need your family (to us it did anyway). So the next few weeks are busy busy busy!

    Getting back to makeup, I'm a bit fed up all the heavy, glittery, dark, perfect makeup of Christmas and New Year's - I want fresh, natural, pretty, things that are not always easily achievable when one suffers from mild acne! I have been trying something which I'll blog about soon, I'm still testing it out but I think it's helping. In the meantime, I'll be depending on a good foundation and concealer to help me get the look I want, and everything else will fall into place after that! I do really love the "no makeup" makeup look, I'm quite envious of people who look like they've got no makeup on but they're still looking amaze-balls, but now I know that they're using lots of little tricks to achieve that look. Hmmm, that's getting me thinking, maybe I should focus on that and write up a blog of my experiences. I've heard lots and lots of the same tips again and again but to be honest, I'm still trying to find what works best for me. We're not all the same, thank fook, life would be so boring if we were! And I find that a lot of this advice is directed towards people who don't have any issues with their skin, but the truth is, most of us do have issues.

    If I ever find the charger for my camera, maybe I'll take a photo of before and after and see if the changes are obvious! Until then, I'll practice perfecting it! Let me know if you have any tips I may not have heard for the "no makeup" look!

    Thanks for reading,


    Wednesday, 4 January 2012

    Work Experience

    I have to admit, I was under false illusions when I first came to the Uk about how easily I would get a job in the beauty business. Not only can I not get one, even though there seems to be few jobs going, I can't even get a standard retail job! I've worked in retail since I was 16, and I've come to have knowledge of many different aspects of it - I've run a small department, worked on a customer service desk/reception, been trained in a large department store's cash office, trained staff, had some management experience (not on an official scale), and I also have experience in working in a high end shop, making huge sales. I could list everything I've done but I'd be here all day! I've only had 2 jobs, one I was in for 5 years and the other 3 years. To top that off, I now have a diploma in Fashion Media and Photography makeup. Not trying to blow my own trumpet but based on all that, there's no reason why I shouldn't get a job! But for some reason, it's just not happening, and I can't understand why. I know there's a recession and the economy in the Uk isn't fantastic, but if you want to see how bad things can get, go to Ireland! In Ireland I couldn't even get a sniff of a job because there simply aren't any jobs going. But in the Uk I've been able to apply for tons of jobs and I've had 5 interviews, which seemed to bode well for me. But I haven't been able to land any of these jobs, much to my frustration. (Someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong, ha ha!)

    So, in the midst of my frustration, before Christmas I decided to randomly email a few companies in Bath (which is near where I live) asking if they needed anyone, for anything! I didn't expect to hear anything back but I was pleasantly surprised to find I did get one reply. It was from a lady who owns a beauty salon in Bath, and she told me they weren't looking to take anyone on as they were a relatively new business but I was more than welcome to come and spend time in the salon and observe things, basically gaining some work experience. She said it'd be unlikely that I'd be working on clients which is unfortunate but understandable (insurance and all that), and it's unpaid. So after discussing it with my partner I decided I had nothing to lose by doing it. She said I could come as much or as little as I wanted and see how things pan out. I also realised that I need to spend time with people who are on my wavelength in terms of what we do for a living. My partner is the best in the world and I can talk to him about anything but he just doesn't know anything or have any interest in the world of beauty, and I can't subject him to it anymore! Once I had the ok from him I was happy.

    So, I start tomorrow. I'm going in on a casual basis, I don't know what to expect but I'm fairly confident that I can only stand to benefit from it. I've been so disappointed by my bad experiences that I can't help thinking that things can only go forward from here, and I'm really hoping that it's the start of good things to come for me and I finally get the chance to kickstart my career. So on that note, fingers crossed! I'll keep you updated about how it goes!

    Thanks for reading!