All posts by Kirsty

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Book Review – Lauren Luke, Look Like A Star

Published 2009 by Hodder & Stoughton

I, like many, enjoy watching Lauren’s make-up vidoes on You Tube, and this book is exactly what you would expect a make-up book by Lauren to be. It’s colourful, simply written and FUN!

Reading through each colourful, post-it covered page I definately got the feeling that this book is aimed at the younger people among us. With it’s scrapbook styling and “hand drawn” patterns the STYLE of the book is more appropriate for your teenage daughter opposed to your elderly aunty. The pages are very busy, with images of make-up, jewellery, butterflies and shoes. However, once you’ve pulled your eyes away from the pretty pictures, the instructions are straight forward and easy for ANYONE to copy, which is the whole point!

There are tips and tricks, product lists and photos. Lauren even dons a few wigs to help you get a feel for the looks (loving the Lady Gaga wig by the way!).

This book is clear and concise and great for anybody who wants to see their favourite starlets make-up become something totally wearable and, most importantly, DO-able!

Available at Amazon :

Here is one of her videos:

Make-up Review – Jane Iredale, Amazing Base

This loose powder has an SPF of 20 with UVA protection so great for any time of year. It can be used as a concealer, foundation and powder.

I was really sceptical about the coverage I would get from a loose powder, but this suprised me. I primed with JI’s Dream Tint first then blended the powder all over my face. I tend to be quite red across my forehead, cheeks and chin and this product reduced the redness and took away unwanted shine. I’ve heard of this product making people itch but so far I haven’t had that problem.

I’m interested to find out if this has worked for you as I’m a little unsure how well it would cover bad acne (the adverts show very bad acne being covered) as it does seem to be quite subtle, although It did reduce the redness of a large spot I had on my chin. If you have bad skin and have tried Jane Iredales Amazing Base I’d love to get your feedback!

Book Review – Jemma Kidd, Make-up Masterclass

Jemma Kidd, Make-up Masterclass

Published 2009 by Jacqui Small

On the cover page there’s a tag-line saying “Beauty bible of professional techniques and wearable looks”. I would have to say that, in my opinion, if this isn’t THE make-up bible then it certainly comes close!

Jemma starts off with a section telling the reader about herself, her make-up career history and why she wanted to write a book which could help people become their most beautiful. Good stuff. Then it gets better!

The book starts with the basics on skin types and skin care, then onto skin tone and colour charts, into looking “10 years younger”, the make-up kit and then kit maintenance. Jemma doesn’t skip a beat as she moves you into the “Masterclass” and shows you how to create different look for many occasions.

One thing I love about this book is that there is an entire section dedicated to each type of application and stage of make-up, which means that you can concentrate on each aspect of make-up individually, as you need to, without getting distracted by other tips for seperate problems. For example, there is a 23 page section solely dedicated to the eyes!

A great book for learning from and for using as a reference  when creating your own looks. I would definately recommend it to anyone who loves experimenting with different types of make-up and to anyone that wants to learn those extra little tips in make-up application.

Available at Amazon:

Book Review – Bobbi Brown, Living Beauty

Bobbi Brown, Living Beauty

Published in 2007

This was specificlly written with the mature woman in mind, starting off with quotes from a selection of women who Bobbi finds inspirational, for both their outer and inner beauty.

There is more than just make-up. Bobbie talks about everything from rejuvinating facials, to non-surgical face lifts and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). There are a few mixed messages as it talks about natural beauty and then tells us about Botox, but each to their own!

There are plenty of make-overs using mature women, with some nice before and after photos (although I do think there may be too many photos instead of more in depth explanations). There are short explanations about how the looks were achieved and advice on what mistakes to avoid. Everything is written simply, nicely explained and even includes a few tips from the women receiving the make-overs and comments on how they felt before and after their treatments.

I do have to say that I easily read this book in an evening so it’s definately only “light reading” material and a lot of it I’ve seen before, but there are still bits in here to inspire you, with plenty of handy hints. I would say this is a book for beginners and although it is aimed at older women it is still a good book for all ages as, lets face it, none of us are getting any younger so we may as well arm ourselves with great skin care routines, fab make-up advice and all the HRT we can handle!

Available at Amazon from £3.09 :

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice Parties

Since deciding that Make-up artistry is the career I want to follow I’ve had loads of time to look at the THEORY of make-up, but not much time with the PRACTICAL side (other than doing make-up on myself and trying out a few new products). So when Greg and I got back to Cumbria in August after the first leg of our travels (quick break for attending weddings and birthdays) I decided that a practice session was in need. I called my sister who promptly organised an evening at hers with a group of friends and family, me, Greg and a friend of ours Rob.

The idea was simple! I did the make-up, Greg and Rob did the photographs and everyone else modeled. If the looks are good then use them on web-site/blog/portfolio.

What I didn’t take into account here was, well, ME! I’m not at all the orgainsed type so when it got to the actual night I got myself into a little muddle. I was calm on the outside but inside I was thinking “Crap! What look was I doing for her?! What did I write on my list?! Where’s my blusher brush?! Aargh!”. Uncharacteristically, I had actually made a list of looks that I wanted to try and who I wanted to try them on, but in my muddle I forgot to even look at it (it stayed in my handbag all night!). Eventually I did get through everyone (far too many for my first night!) and we got some good photos, but 1 or 2 people did go away looking a little crazy instead of beautiful (Oops!) and I was a little frazzled by the end of the night.

So, even though my first Practice Party was a bit of a mess, it hasn’t put me off doing them, I’m simply going to do things a bit differently.

  1. Only invite 1 or 2 people and try 1 or 2 looks on each (instead of the entire family and 12 looks each!).
  2. Set up the table with all make-up needed (instead of having to hunt through messy make-up bags to find things).
  3. Let the models (or friends and family) know what it is they are having done, so that there is no “Ooh! Can I wear that?” “Am I allowed the false lashes?” “Can you make me look like Pink?”.
  4. Create face charts (or lists) for each look I want to do, so that I know what I’m doing and don’t lose the plot, and then look at them!

How about you, had any hellish make-up sessions? (I’d feel better if it wasn’t just me ;-) )

Any ideas on the best looks for portfolios?

Random Tips 1-9

Random Make-up and Skin care tips

Here’s a bunch of tips I’ve collected from books, the internet, friends and family that I thought might be helpful. I’ll add more as I find them. Perfect make-up is the outcome of trial and error, so don’t give up now.

If you try them and they don’t work for you please don’t shoot the messanger, but do let us all know your views and experiences, and If you have any useful tips let everyone know by commenting below.

  1. Face primers are great if you are oily skinned and you won’t have to reapply your makeup as often throughout the day if you use a primer first.
  2. A second coat of mascara can make your lashes look much thicker.
  3. You can use your normal shampoo to wash your make-up brushes to keep them clean  and help them last longer.
  4. Do not pump your mascara wand in the tube as this can quickly dry out your mascara.
  5. For longer lasting lip colour apply, blot, re-apply and blot again.
  6. Start with a littel foundation and to build it up to the coverage you want. It’s easier to add product than it is to take away.
  7. Don’t spray water or toner on makeup to set or freshen it up. It doesn’t work as the mist of water can streak foundation, powder, and mascara.
  8. Use cool cucumber slices to reduce puffiness around the eyes (and oldy but a goldy!).
  9. The larger the makeup brush the softer the effect.

Make-Up Can Make A Difference

The London College of Fashion was commissioned by cosmetics brand Avon to perform a  survey of 1,026 people. It found 80% of women said wearing make-up helped put them in a better mood.

Anne Emblem, Cosmetic science course director at London College of Fashion, said the study showed women used make-up to help them feel better about themselves (I know I do!). She says “When we get it right, we know we look good and this knowledge gives us confidence and makes us feel positive about ourselves’.’

82% of the women surveyed said they actually prefer that their female colleagues wear make-up and when asked to choose from a series of photos, 80% of the women surveyed  said they would rather employ a woman who wore cosmetics than one who didn’t.

Also, 100 women were asked to approach shop assistants with a request at a grocery store in Camden Town, H&M on Oxford Street and Selfridges on Oxford Street, while wearing no make-up, very light make-up and full make-up. From this, 78% thought wearing cosmetics affected the way they were treated by other people.

Personally, I’m not bothered whether other women do or do not wear make-up but I think it definately has an impact on my mood as I leave the house. I feel a bit better prepared for the day when I’m wearing something, even if it’s just a bit of mascara. I’ve never thought to take notice of how I’m treated with and without make-up, but I may put it to the test next time I’m in Tesco ;-)

Do you find that you’re treated differently with a bare face?