Instagram Love

I do believe in the world of social media that sharing is caring. So with that in mind here are a few of the Instagram accounts I never tire of seeing. 

Gracie Charteris MUA

This girl is a personal friend of mine, and I just love her to bits! I’ve only known her a short time – really – but her Positive Mental Attitude to makeup and the beauty industry is truly infectious, and inspiring! Her help and advice (in many ways) was essential to me whilst we worked together in Selfridges, and if you ever need a glam partner in crime, look no further! #glamlifeforever ❀️

Eva Telejko

The skills of this woman are IN-SANE! Another amazing artist I met while working in Selfridges Birmingham, she describes herself as a ‘makeup architect’, and I couldn’t agree more, Eva is certainly not average in any way! And what stunning blue eyes! πŸ’™

Girl With No Job

Just for laughs, I always giggle when I see the meme’s on this page. Too much truth coming from one person! ✌🏼️

NY On Air

Put simply, the most beautiful images and videos taken from the NY On Air helicopter. They offer trips for tourists and having done one, this is just tearing me until I get to go back!  They can sometimes be found in Vegas and Miami and other stunning cities, but it’s all about the Manhatten skyline for me. πŸ’œ

Mixed Gems Beauty

For those who don’t know, Rose is a blogger and the Beauty Personal Shopper in Selfridges Birmingham. When it was first announced to us that she was going to have that job, I was star struck! I had been reading her blog for a couple of years and couldn’t think of anyone better to do that job, and was just so excited to meet her! In my opinion she has done an amazing job with putting the Birmingham beauty hall on the map and long may it continue! πŸ’›

Hachi Gori

Gotta get a cute one in here as well! Like, seriously, I can’t even!! I think the picture says it all! πŸ’š

Smokey Eye Tutorial feat. Naked 2

*Edit* This has been sat in drafts for about 2 weeks! – Apologies for being on the QT recently! 

Hi everyone!
I’ve been a little lax on the blog post front recently – why change the habit of a lifetime! – but I have uploaded a smokey eye tutorial to the blog Facebook page this week! 

If you’re not following that page already, click through and make sure you are following as I ​​often upload different content to what’s ‘on the blog’! 

I hope you like the video, and please do leave any comments or pictures of your favourite smokey eyes either here or on the video! 😘 

Have a great weekend! xx

Marks & Spencer Beauty Hall | Haul & Review

If you’ve been following my blog recently or seen the videos I’ve posted on Facebook, you will no doubt have seen that quite a few products that I’ve talked about have come from the M&S beauty department! 

Over the last couple of years they have really upped their beauty game and are stocking some fab brands, giving them a real point of difference when up against the likes of Boots and big department store beauty halls! 

I wanted to a bit of a review on the beauty hall in general but also to give a special shout out to the Shrewsbury store. 

Essentially the M&S beauty hall is a self selection department – however they do now have specialist consultants to cover all of the brands sold. (Having worked on counters for many years, it’s hard enough knowing one brands products in and out, let alone multiple ones!)  Generally this can give the best of both worlds for customers. Opportunity to browse without feeling overwhelmed by staff, but also an expert on hand to advise when you need it. 

I feel that M&S have really considered which brands they want to feature, and stayed in line with their modern demographic of customers. They haven’t chosen any brands that you can get in the majority of department stores (possibly some cross over with Selfridges, but they are only in 3 cities), and they are all somewhere between drugstore and luxury brands, so the quality of products is certainly very reliable.  

Ranges like Pixi, REN, Diego Della Palma, Rosie for Autograph, GlamGlow, Percy & Reed, and Emma Hardie are all making subtle splashes in the beauty ocean at the moment, but when you’re up against beauty giants like EstΓ©e Lauder, MAC, Loreal etc, I think it’s brilliant that M&S are carving their own way in such a booming industry. 

The reason I wanted to go to the M&S beauty hall was for Pixi. I live in Telford and it hasn’t appeared there, so one afternoon whilst I was in Shrewsbury I popped in – and am I glad I did! The assistant told me she had just taken delivery of the range so if I wanted to see it she’d have to wheel the box onto the shopfloor. We both had a good rummage through and just chatted about how amazing we had heard the range was! I left with the products I wanted plus a cheeky little free gift because I’d bought a couple of things. πŸ™‚ 

A few months later I was given some vouchers to spend in M&S and so had my mom. I knew exactly where we were headed! The young lady who served me last time was there, Laura, and she was so helpful again – she wouldn’t have remembered me, but I remembered her! Her knowledge of the ranges and products was second to none! My mom is hard to impress and she said how good Laura was! πŸ˜„

Some M&S stores don’t get all of the ranges of products, and that then means that the consultants aren’t all then trained in the same way by all of the brands, which I think is a bit of a shame, but I can safely say I think M&S have well and truly put themselves on the beauty map in the last few years, and I hope will only get better! 

If you’d like to see what I’ve purchased from the M&S beauty hall, take a look at my video below! 

Don’t forget to follow my blog and like my Facebook page to keep up to date with everything I’m doing!

Brush Cleaning 101

So, I recently shared my five favourite brushes, today I’m going to show you how I clean my brushes.  

Keeping your brushes nice and clean will prolong their lifespan (assuming you clean them correctly!) and make them work much better for you when you use them!

There are many brush cleaning products on the market now, but what I am currently using is an Asda shampoo! It makes the brushes smell gorgeous and does work extremely well. You can also use baby shampoo, solid brush cleaning soaps and many other products specifically for brush cleaning. 

(1. Blob some shampoo into the palm of your hand. // 2. Wet the bristles of the brush with warm water. // 3. Swirl your brush in the shampoo to dissolve makeup. // 4. Squeeze out excess water and makeup. 5. // Repeat as necessary until shampoo is foaming and clean. // 6. Remove all shampoo and squeeze excess water out of bristles. Re shape and place on a towel to air dry overnight.)

Personally, I think this is the most effective way of cleaning brushes and ensuring everything is removed. The only thing I would alter in the future is the product I used to wash the brushes in, but this shampoo does work well to break down the makeup in the brushes.  It’s always worth mentioning that the soap and hot water shouldn’t get to the the base of the bristles as the glue that holds them together can become dislodged and softened; which will eventually shed the bristles and ruin the brush. Always hold the brushes vertically – bristles down – and dry them horizontal on a towel over night. 

I spent years cleaning my brushes with just my hands and using them to get all the product out and finishing an hour later with the most prune like hands ever! Until… A friend of mine from Estee Lauder (Emma) dropped the best tip ever on my Facebook page – wear washing up gloves! It’s genius! The texture of the gloves really helps to work the makeup off the bristles, and your hand doesn’t get all manky from all the warm water constantly running! 

I’d recommend this is done once a week and then spray your brushes inbetween uses with a brush cleaning spray to maintain their ‘clean’! I am currently using the Primark one, which I’m not sure is that good, but is doing the job at the moment. MAC, EstΓ©e Lauder, Clinique, Real Techniques and many other brush companies all do their own brush cleaner, plenty to choose from! 

One of the problems with people thinking brushes ‘don’t work’ is that they aren’t washed often enough, so I hope this has been useful! 

When was the last time you washed your brushes?

5 Makeup Brushes Every Girl NeedsΒ 

A hairdresser would never be without their scissors, and I for one could not be without my makeup brushes! 

Whilst working on counter I would often be asked ‘why do you use a brush, what’s the point ?’ Well, in short, you get better application, a smoother finish and more control. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need a whole load of brushes (promise I don’t! πŸ™ˆ) for average makeup use, but it is extremely handy to have a collection of brushes that work well for you that you are confident in using that will make you’re makeup look amazing! 

Here are my picks of brushes I cannot live without!

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

If I had to have a desert island brush, this would be it! I started using this not long after it was released around 3 or 4 years ago and have never looked back where foundation application is concerned! 

I use it for Double Wear, lighter foundations and BB creams alike and it will continuously give such an amazing finish I will never be without! (I currently have three!)

You can get a gorgeous light ‘buffed’ look with it, but you can also stipple the brush to build coverage – this is especially good where Double Wear is concerned! The thing I love about it is that it gives such quick application. It has quite a wide dense set of bristles so application can be as quick or detailed as you like! 

*Buffing Brush is part of a 4 piece set Β£21

Real Techniques Blush Brush

Another RT brush, again for good reason! 

I simply use this every day for my blush and highlight. It’s the perfect size so doesn’t leave me with a streaky line that some smaller brushes can, and it’s not too big that I’m covered in blusher on my entire face! 

And similar to the 217, the way the bristles are shaped means that the product is only picked up on the top, so the bristles around the edge will blend everything out really softly. Extremely foolproof!

Real Techniques Powder Brush

You will see I’m a big fan of RT brushes, but they really are amazing! This brush is what I use for loose powder to fix my makeup in place. I know I could use something more delicate, but again I like the size, and picks up just enough product to apply without leaving you ‘powdered’! 

It’s a great one for bronzer too, used in sweeping motions around your temples to under your cheekbones and jawline. Because of its size, the outer bristles will buff and soften any excess application and do the job for you – easy peasy!

MAC 217

I only have a couple of MAC brushes, but this is my fave! It’s perfect for socket and crease work on the eyes. 

It fits perfectly in the socket line, and you can use with product on for a subtle smoke, or without product to blend out excess that you may have already applied. It’s so soft, and because the bristles are white you can see how much product you’ve got on the brush. 

My Mystery Brush

I have to include this brush, but unfortunately I don’t know what it’s called, who it’s by or where it’s from! 

I’ve had it in my collection forever and it doesn’t have any distinctive markings to help know what it is! All I know is that it’s perfect for a sublime smudge of eye liner pencil, and to soften eyeshadow under they eyes. It seems to give the perfect smoke for lower lash line, and I will often use it purely for that! 

But if you like a nice softly smudged eye pencil and a slick of mascara for every day, this brush is brill! 

I would say a ‘pencil’ shading brush would be the best type to look for if you’re looking for something that will give a similar effect to what I get with this one. 

I hope you’ve found this useful, I’ve had quite a few people ask about the brushes I used in one of my live videos of Facebook so thought this would be a good idea! 

Make sure you follow me on all my social media – I’ve a got a brush cleaning post coming up next!!