29 April 2013

Social Media

Not all of you know, but I have a Facebook Page.  I post General Looks, Face of The Day Tutorials and I am currently holding a giveaway.  When the page gets to 500 likes I will be choosing 1 lucky person to win a fabulous bundle of make up, fragrance and brushes (as mentioned in The Brush Blog).  

My Website is pretty much what you can expect from a Make Up Artist.  But my Face of The Day Page is a little different to most.  I post a photo there of the make up that I am wearing that day, together with a full breakdown of all products used.  

I also have a Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram.  

On a less make up related note, I also run another Blog alongside this one, it's called Life, Love and Everything In Between.  It's a personal blog about being a mummy & wife, living with a Chronic Illness (or few) and trying to maintain a balance and not lose my sense of self.  

Until next time, stay beautiful, 
~ Gem xx

27 April 2013

They're more like Guidelines...

I don’t like to moan in my Blog but, recently, I have been seeing the same things on an almost daily basis and it’s really started to annoy me.  I promise I’ll try and keep the ranting to a minimum; I’m actually doing this to try and help others.

Google, YouTube, Facebook, the internet in general is full of “gurus” in certain subjects and, of course, makeup is no exception. 

I don’t class myself as a guru, or even an expert (I'm just a Make Up Artist who is passionate about her field of work) but, that said, I do offer tutorials as part of my service and I also do mini tutorials on my Facebook Page on how to achieve the eye look in my Face of The Day pictures. 

One thing that I always say, be it in blogs, YouTube videos, or even when I am doing a one-to-one make up lesson is that this is my way of doing things.  Time and time again, I say that, just because something works for one person, it doesn’t mean it will work for another; this can be from what foundation I use, through to how I apply eyeshadows, in what order I apply face products, etc. 

I see so many “how-to” videos, pictorials, blogs, etc., that don’t ever say that they are Guidelines.  For example, the highlighting and contouring which is growing ever more popular, I see countless videos and pictures on that but none of them ever take skin type (or personal preference) into consideration. 

A lot of the guides (and that is what they are, regardless of whether or not they admit it!) say that you should put highlighter in the center of your forehead and on your chin. Really?! I have quite an oily forehead and chin, and these are always the places that show up any shine first – as a result of which I tend to powder them within an inch of their lives whenever I apply my make up so why would I want to make them look shiny again? I do, sometimes, apply a slightly shimmery bronzer for a sun kissed glow, but never a highlighter.  This is what I mean, take all of these “how-to’s” with a pinch of salt and adapt them to suit you.

Most Make Up Artists will tell you that they adapt the techniques they are taught in order to suit them, their working style and what is comfortable for them too.  Most Make Up Artists stand to do make up on their Clients but I know of some that actually sit down to apply make up.  I can’t sit to apply make up to others but I have a stool that I always take with me on jobs (unless it’s on location) because it is height adjustable and, therefore, makes my job easier. 

As I said in my Brush Blog, there are no set rules for applying make up, contrary to what others might have you believe.  Make up is all about experimentation, pushing the boundaries and finding what suits you – this is the only way you can achieve great results; whether as a Make Up Artist or as an individual.

Another thing that really grinds my gears is the misconception that expensive is better.  There are certain “gurus” (I actually hate that word) that only ever use high end brands, mostly MAC and every brush is MAC or something equally expensive. 

Well, good for them! They obviously have the money to spend on expensive products and expensive brushes and, I am sure, that some of them do get products sent to them (not that they ever admit it) but what about the people that can’t afford to pay £16 for 1 eyeshadow or £24 for 1 brush?

Wherever possible I will always use Drugstore Brands, and this includes my brushes (again, see The Brush Blog).  The whole reason behind my doing tutorials is so that people can recreate them and I appreciate that not everyone can afford to buy the expensive brands and, more to the point, the Drugstore Brands are, as a rule, much more easily accessible too.   

There are so many brands in the likes of Superdrug that are much cheaper than the high end brands but they still perform just as well (if not better in some cases) so, just because something might cost a lot of money, it doesn’t mean that it is the best one tobuy.

For example, MUA (Make Up Academy) do 2 palettes (Undressed and Undress Me Too) which have been blogged about as being perfect dupes for Urban Decay’s Naked and Naked2 palettes.  I can’t comment on how good (or bad) UD’s products are as I have never used them.  However, I will say that, from the blogs I have seen relating to these palettes, the MUA ones look just as good as their high end competitors, but they are 9 times cheaper; MUA’s palettes retail at £4.00, Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes retail at £37.50. 

People have said to me “but if you had the money to spend on Department Store make up you wouldn’t buy Drugstore any more”. That is absolute rubbish! I love nothing more than value for money. I know that, from experience, if I went out and spent, for example, £50.00 on make up and only had 2 products to show for it, I would be really quite disappointed, regardless of how much money I may have at my disposal.  For £50.00 I would expect to have, at least, enough products to do an entire face look!

I love Drugstore Brands, I always have and I always will.  There are some that I don’t think very much of but then there are others that I absolutely love; the same goes for the high end products (although I have tried significantly fewer of them than the Drugstore Brands), there are some that I love, like Benefit’s Hello Flawless Foundation and there are some that I think are the biggest rip off going. 

On closing:
* Take everything in “how-to’s”as Guidelines; try it, practice it, develop your technique
* Just because something is expensive, it doesn’t mean it is best. Read comparison blogs, shop within your means and don’t be afraid to say that you love drugstore brands!
* As always, everything in this blog, is what I think and the views are mine and mine alone – just because this is what I think, doesn’t mean I’m right or that you have to agree with me (see, I’m not afraid to say it)

Until next time,stay beautiful
~ Gem xx

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and mine alone
I am not affiliated or financially involved with any of the Companies mentioned in this blog, or their Employees/Products

25 April 2013

The Brush Blog

Brushes...the one thing everyone who does make up uses. 

Like make up, there are good brushes and there are bad brushes, there are expensive brushes and there are cheap brushes. 

A very common misconception in make up is that if something is expensive then it’s bound to be brilliant and better than the cheaper versions, but that is so wrong.  Yes, some of the more expensive Brands are good, but then there are a lot of brilliant Drugstore Brands that perform just as well, if not better, than some of their high priced competitors. 

One of the best Drugstore Brands is MUA (Make Up Academy).  The Brand itself is only 3 years old but, in that time, it has grown and gone from strength to strength and is continuing to grow on a daily basis. 

MUA offer a large range of products, with new lines being added all the time.  Their prices range from just £1 up to £8 (which is their 24 Colour Immaculate Collection eye shadow palette). 

Recently MUA expanded their collection to include a MakeUp Organiser Case and a line of BrushesThe brushes range from £1.50 t0 £5.00. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, for £1.50, these brushes aren’t going to be much good.  I’ll admit that I was expecting something that looked and felt cheap and was also expecting a lot of shedding from the bristles at the first sign of work and complete destruction upon washing. 

I’ve been using MUA products for over 2 years now and I have always been pleasantly surprised by all of the new ranges, but I really was sceptical about the brushes.  I have used all manner of brushes in the past, ranging from the high priced ones, right through to a generic, brand-less set that I found on eBay for £14 (which actually turned out to be one of my best bargains!).  I have experienced the good brushes, but I have also experienced the very, very bad brushes. 

I decided that I would buy some brushes from MUA, after all, even if they turned out to be no good, it’s not like I would have spent £15 per brush or anything silly like that. 

When my order arrived, I have to say that I was really impressed. 

The brushes were packaged in their individual plastic wallet and have cellophane around the bristles to keep the shape.  However, it was the brushes themselves that really caught my attention. 

As I said above, I was expecting something that felt and looked cheap, but these brushes are neither.  They all have sleek, black handles with MUA’s logo embossed on them, together with their brush number (e.g.: F4, E2, L1, etc.), the ferrule is shiny, black metal and the bristles are black, synthetic fibre.  The only exception is the stippling brush, which is designed to look like badger hair, and is a “salt and pepper” colour with a white tip.  

None of these brushes feel cheap to hold and the bristles are amazingly soft; even the likes of the eyeliner brush and the eyebrow brush that, although firmer than the likes of the blending brush, are still so soft. 

MUA currently have 14 brushes in the range, out of which I have 10.  I have the Kabuki Brush on order, so that will bring me up to 11.  I did think about ordering the other 3, but I know I wouldn’t use them, so thought it better to save my money for something I would use. 

© Gemma Peters - Make Up Artist 2013
The brushes that I have (see above) are the ones that I think essential to anyone who does make up, whether as a Make Up Artist, or just for themselves. 

Before I go into the breakdown for each brush I just have to say that, like make up, there are no set rules for brush use.  Just because a brush is expected to be used on the eyes for example, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for something else – as with make up, just because a lip-gloss is designed for use on the mouth, it doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment and use it on the cheeks or eyes.  Make up is all about experimentation and finding what works best for you.  That is the beauty of MUA products – they are all cheap enough that you can afford to experiment without breaking the bank but, at the same time, they perform just as well as the high end Brands, so you can still achieve the same results, just at a fraction of the cost. 

I am now going to do a breakdown about the particular brushes I have and what I use them for on a day to day basis but, like I said above, it doesn’t mean that this is what you have to use them for – dare to experiment and push the boundaries. 

The first set of brushes I will talk about are my essential face brushes. 

© Gemma Peters - Make Up Artist 2013
The brushes, from left to right, are:

All-purpose for bronzer, blush and face powder.  Full and dense for dusting pressed powder and bronzer on face or body with soft synthetic fibres that form a full, rounded shape that glides effortlessly over skin to achieve the perfect finish.” - MUA 

I have 2 of these brushes and I use 1 for applying my powder and the other for applying my blusher. 

I love the size of this brush; it is large enough that it covers a good area of skin in one sweep, but it is not too large so that (when applying blusher) you end up with an out of control flush of colour. 

It’s a great brush for people experimenting with product placement and pros alike. 

“Shaped to fit the facial contours and cheekbones.  This multi-use brush is a great way to apply your powder blush as well as your cream blush enabling you to effectively sculpt the face” – MUA

Like the Powder Brush, I have 2 of these.  I use 1 for my contouring (using MUA’s Bronzed Perfection) and the other I use for my highlight (using MUA’s Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder or their Shimmer Kisses Bronzer). 

This brush is by far the best face contour brush that I have used.  I used to use a contour brush but found it too soft and it didn’t fit to the contours very well and I ended up not using one for years.  I decided to purchase the MUA one to see how it went and I loved it (which is why I ordered another). 

Although the bristles on this brush feel very soft, they are dense enough that they don’t splay out on contact with the face, and the head is small enough that the bristles nestle nicely under the cheekbones and make following your natural contour a breeze. 

It also performs just as well for sweeping a highlight across the top of your cheekbones, down your nose and anywhere else you may want to highlight. 

All in all, a good brush, especially for people unsure on how to find/follow their natural contour.  This brush will do the work for you with little effort but maximum satisfaction. 

“A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any foundation.  Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures to the skin” – MUA

I love stippling brushes and this one is no exception. 

I love how they can create the look of perfect, smooth, dream skin. 

I start by applying my foundation to the back of my hand and then dip the bristles of the brush into the foundation.  I stipple any excess of onto my hand and then start to apply it to the face.  I stipple over the area(s) that I want to cover and then, when that is done, using the same brush and whatever product is left on it, buff into the skin in circular motions.  I then, if needed, go back and build my coverage in the same manner. 

I will say that this sort of brush can take some getting used to, especially if you are used to using a flat foundation brush or a sponge.  Initially I wasn’t over keen on stippling brushes but, after more practice and finding a technique that suited me, the results were well worth it. 

“The rounded flat shape makes this brush ideal to concealer under the eye area for precision application and blending of all concealer formulas.” – MUA

I love this little brush. 

I use concealer every time I wear make up, even if I am using a BB Cream, especially around my eyes. 

My favourite concealer is MUA’s Cover &Conceal but, every now and then, I still get the “concealer lines” under the eye – you know, where the product sits in the creases of your eyes and looks awful. 

Since using this brush I have noticed that frequency in which the lines appear is significantly reduced and, in fact, the concealer blends in a lot nicer and the “cakey” appearance that can sometimes happen, especially after powdering, has also reduced. 

It is a smart little brush and is well worth the £1.95 price tag. 

Now, the brushes that can really make or break a look; the eye brushes. 

© Gemma Peters - Make Up Artist 2013
Regardless of whether you apply your foundation and concealer with a brush, a sponge or even your fingers, I am 95% certain that you use, at least, 1 eye brush (other than your mascara wand). 

It doesn’t matter how expensive (or cheap) a product is, I really believe that the right brush makes all the difference. 

These are my must have eye brushes. 

“Small angled brush designed for eyebrow and eyeliner definition.  Use to define or add and fill in brows and for application of powder, liquid or cream products on the upper and lower lash line.  Its precise angled tip provides professional application” – MUA

I couldn’t have put it better myself.  This brush is my ultimate must have. 

For someone who has non-existent eyebrows, I always fill in my brows using pencil, shadow or a combination of the 2 but, whichever method I use, I always use an eyebrow brush. 

This brush has such a fine, sharp edge which enables the most perfect of lines when defining brows. 

You can use it for the “hair stroke” effect, for defining the brow lines, for filling the brow or for smudging product through the brow. 

I have had more compliments on my brows since I started using this brush than at any other time. 

I also have another of these brushes which, like MUA say, I use for lining the top/bottom lashes.  I do use an eyeliner brush when working with gels/creams but, when I am using a shadow as a liner or just to add that little extra definition when I don’t want the hardness of a liner, this is the brush I turn to.  I use it either to push the shadow on, to draw the shadow on or to smudge the shadow line. 

It is one of the most versatile brushes in the collection and, for £1.50, I think it is one that everyone should have at least 1 of. 

*Sometimes referred to as a fine angle brush

“This brush has a tapered, rounded edge with smooth, firm, fine fibres with a soft and dense rounded finish.  Can be used to apply pressed powder or loose eye shadows and pigments to the eyes” – MUA

This is a really lovely brush. 

It is so soft and doesn’t drag at the delicate skin of the eyes at all. 

It can be used to press colour onto the eyes or to sweep it across the lid too.  It picks up a good amount of product and performs consistently well with both pressed shadows and pigments.  It also works well with cosmetic glitter. 

This is definitely a brush that everyone needs in their collection, as it is the staple brush to have when applying eyeshadows. 

It’s non-shedding and is a dream to clean either with a spot brush cleaner or when doing the deep clean wash. 

*Sometimes referred to as a flat eyeshadow brush or flat, round eyeshadow brush. 

“Medium angled, tapered, flat top brush.  Ideal for applying shadow in the corner, in the crease or all over the lid.  It is especially handy for contouring and smudging any eye look” – MUA

Another bargain brush from MUA. 

This is the brush I use to apply colour into the crease of my eye and to start the smudging and blending. 

It is perfect for following the contour of your eye and would be great for people who are trying out new eye looks and experimenting with product placement. 

With this brush you don’t need to try to find you eye’s natural contour, the brush does the work for you.  It is best used with a light touch as then it glides effortlessly over the lid and smoothes colour onto the eye without damaging the delicate skin. 

I find it hard to believe that MUA only charge £1.95 for this brush, it is worth so much more.  Definitely a brush to add to your collection. 

*Sometimes referred to as an angle brush, soft angle brush or fluffy angle brush

“A blending brush for shaping your eye make-up to perfection with powder and loose eye shadows, and its moulded shape is perfect for a soft colour application and perfect for a defined blended smoky eye” – MUA

The Don of the eye make up world, the brush that is a Make Up Artist’s Best Friend and the brush that everyone needs in their collection.  This is the brush that makes an eye look come together. 

It is used for blending your colours together, softening edges/hard lines, etc.  It can also be used for applying shadows for a much softer finish. 

I wouldn’t be without this brush (I have 5 from MUA in my collection and at least another 10 from varying brands). 

MUA’s version of this brush is perfect.  The bristles appear long, but they are dense enough that they do their job brilliantly.  Like the other brushes, the bristles are very soft so you hardly feel them against your skin. 

I have used this brush both for blending looks together and for applying shadows for a softer look and  it performs consistently every time.  It holds its shape well when blending and doesn’t fan out, which can ruin the look. 

This brush requires very little pressure on it and works well either in small, circular motions for blending, side to side or smudging upwards. 

Definitely a steal at £1.95; I would have paid much more for this brush.  Do not be fooled by the price, it in no way reflects the quality. 

* Often referred to as the fluffy brush, sometimes referred to as the blending brush 

“A compact eyeliner brush for the handbag with top.  With a precise finely pointed brush with finished tapered tip, provides a controlled, ultra-fine application of any powder, liquid or cream-based eye liners” – MUA

I love this little brush.  I love that fact that it is compact and can be stored within itself for space saving/travel and that, unlike a lot of other compact brushes, it doesn’t feel flimsy or like it will come apart when stored or when in use. 

© Gemma Peters - Make Up Artist 2013
The tip of this brush is ultra-fine.  I couldn’t get a clear enough picture to illustrate just how fine it is, but it really is perfect. 

It applies gel/cream liners with ease and in such a smooth, fine line.  The fact that tip is tapered means that it allows for a precision fine line, but also handles the thicker lines just as well, while keeping them looking neat and professional. 

It holds its shape during application and doesn’t bend from the ferrule like some eyeliner brushes can. 

If you love your eyeliner then this is definitely the brush for you!

“A compact lip brush for the handbag with lid.  Perfect for definition and precision lip application” – MUA

I rarely use lip brushes for personal use however, since purchasing MUA’s Lip Trios, my need for a lip brush increased and so I purchased this one. 

I have used lip brushes before but have found them really rigid and they tended to push the colour around the mouth rather than actually place the colour.  When on jobs I use disposable lip brushes and, to be honest, I find them too soft and flimsy, especially when trying to achieve that perfectly defined lip line so I wasn’t altogether sure what to expect from this brush. 

Apart from looking like a much more expensive brush and having the compact feature in its favour, I immediately liked the shape of the tip itself. 

 © Gemma Peters - Make Up Artist 2013
Like the other MUA brushes the bristles are soft, which lead me to think that it would behave like one of the disposable brushes.  I was so wrong.  It holds its shape perfectly and creates the sharpest and most defined lip line when working with balms, glosses or cream products but, at the same time, it deposits the colour on to your lips, rather than push it around or leave brush lines. 

I’m so happy with this brush that I will be ordering more to take on jobs with me, even if it does mean that I have more brushes to wash when I get home, this one is definitely a keeper. 

In conclusion, these brushes are brilliant and in NO way does the price reflect the quality or performance. 

I am proud to tell my Clients that I am using MUA brushes/products on them and I am always amused by their reactions when they find out how little the products actually cost.  MUA makes experimenting with make up both fun and affordable. 

If you’ve been thinking about buying some new make up brushes and weren’t sure which to get I hope that you have found this blog useful or even if you have brushes and weren’t entirely sure on the best way to use them. 

Before I sign off, I will mention that I am running a massive giveaway over on my Facebook Page.  Once I reach 500 likes I will be selecting one lucky person to win a fantastic bundle of make up, fragrances, nail bits and, as announced last night, a set of brushes from MUA (at least 1 of each brush mentioned in this blog).  Head over there now, check out the list of brushes up for grabs, like the page and then you too will be in with a chance of winning all the goodies. 

Until next time, stay beautiful.
~ Gem xx

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and mine alone
All of the products mentioned within this post are mine and were bought and paid for by me
All images in this blog, unless otherwise stated, are mine and taken by me.  PLEASE DO NOT take my photos without my express knowledge and consent 

17 April 2013

Fibro Face

You'd be forgiven for looking at the title of this post and wondering just what it is I'm going to write about, so let me shed some light on the situation. 

I make no secret of the fact that I am living with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome but, as much as possible, I try not to let it affect my Make Up World although sometimes, understandably, the 2 collide - today is one of those days.  

I had a very busy day yesterday working at a Hair Show put on by a local College and, today, I'm paying for it. 

Long story short is that this morning when I woke up I felt incredibly rough and have been in considerable pain all day.  

Usually when I am feeling this bad I don't bother with make up, however, today I thought that I would at least try and put something together. I have occasions when I feel like this and have no choice but to go out, for example on the School Run, and the last thing I want to do is face the general public without some sort of face on, least of all when I am feeling (and looking) beastly.  When those occasions present themselves, this is usually the sort of look I go for (hence the name Fibro Face), so I thought I would share it. I'm not saying you need to have Fibro in order to wear this make up, after all, we all have rough days where we could, at least, do with looking better than we feel, so I hope this post helps people achieve that. 

When you're feeling horrible, the last thing you really want to be doing is spending ages doing your make up or worrying about getting it looking too perfect, so the products I've chosen are all easy to work with and are great for perking the skin up.  

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013
The biggest problem I have when I feel rough is that my skin automatically shows it. This can be through my face looking dull and/or very tired looking eyes.  

As this particular make up look doesn't use a lot of products, I decided that I wouldn't use a primer but, of course, if you prefer to do this then you can.  

The first product I applied after moisturising was Famous Cosmetics' Bronze Highlighter. This is a liquid Bronzer with a gorgeous shimmer in it.  I applied this across my cheekbones, down my nose and across my forehead (all the places that the sun naturally hits). This instantly lifted and brightened my skin and, generally, made me look healthier.  

It's not necessary to put foundation over the top of the bronzer but, out of personal preference, I then applied Almay Pure-Blends foundation; this product is more like a tinted moisturiser and I therefore applied it as a moisturiser. Rather than leave my skin looking like it had product on, it just helped even the skin tone out and added a healthy glow. 

I then applied a little of MUA (Make Up Academy)'s Radiant Under Eye Concealer from their "Undress Your Skin" Range. I applied this under/around the eye area and blended it in gently with finger - this instantly brightened my eyes and helped to stop me looking so tired and worn out. 

If you don't suffer with skin prone to shine you could skip straight to blusher but, because I am prone to shine/oily patches, I dusted a little of MUA's Matte Perfect loose powder across my t-zone and chin.  

To add a healthy flush to my cheeks I wanted a subtle coloured blusher that also had some shimmer in it. Accessorize's Merged Baked Blusher has just the right amount of shimmer in it to pick the skin up and, because it is merged, it has a flattering combination of tones to suit most skin.

Moving on to the eyes. I didn't want the "heaviness" of an eye shadow, nor the intense shimmer of a pearl shadow.  I decided that MUA's Shimmer Kisses Bronzer would be an excellent alternative.  It has 4 squares of complimentary colours that, when merged together, provide a beautiful wash of highlight for the face but, used separately, can be a perfect alternative for eyeshadow.  

I used the shade on the bottom left of the palette across the eyelid and then blended the shade in the top right into the crease of my eye, up towards the browbone.  I then put a little of the shade in the bottom right of the palette under the eyebrow and in the inner corner of my eye to brighten it.  

To finish the eye look I used 2 coats of MUA's brown mascara and put a slick of their white eyeliner in the waterline.  

I have to define my eyebrows (on account of them being practically non-existent) but, rather than use my usual darkest shade, I used a blonde shade instead, which automatically made my face look less harsh and "done". It looks much more natural, and very pretty too. 

I finished the overall look by applying Look Beauty's Pout Stain in Pucker Up Peach to line the lips and add more of an even tone to them and then topped with a slick of Revlon's Lip Butter in Peach Parfait.  

This look isn't as heavy as some of my recent looks but for perking up the face and making me feel a little better about myself it is perfect. I also think this would be a good look for Summer parties, etc., as it is minimalistic yet pretty. 

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013
You can find more examples of my "Face of The Day" over on my Facebook Page.  

Until next time, stay beautiful.
~ Gem xx

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and mine alone.  
I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies/products mentioned or their employees. 
All of the products mentioned within this post are mine and were bought and paid for by me.
All images in this Blog are taken by me, unless stated otherwise. PLEASE DO NOT take my photos without my express knowledge and consent.  

12 April 2013

Here's LOOK(ing) at You

Today's post is all about nails; specifically Look Beauty!  

I have been playing with their "Winter Brights" Nail Varnish set which contains 3 gorgeously bright polishes; the pink is Shade 22 Prom, Shade 9 Fluro is the orange and Shade 3 Flare is the purple. The fourth shade is Shade 24 Sequin Effect.  

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013
The set is available to buy from their website and retails for £12.00. 

The set is described as follows: 
"Winter is the perfect season to add some colour intensity to your nails and cast away those winter blues. This collection also contains an amazing top coat that transforms any shade into a gorgeously sparkling sequin effect - genius!"

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013
I completely agree with the description. This winter has been especially long and hard, so I am always looking for ways to inject a little colour into my day, either with bright nail colours or through the medium of make up.  

I think that bright nails look good at any time of year though. In winter they can brighten your mood; through Spring and Summer it's great to have bright, happy colours to match the weather (hopefully the "Great British Weather" will join in with Summer this year) and in Autumn, I especially love bright oranges, golds and greens.  

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013
I couldn't decide which of these 3 beautiful colours to use so, you probably guess, I decided to use all 3 in an alternating fashion and use the sequin effect polish to accent the ring finger on each hand.  

This is the first time that I have used Look's Nail Pop and I really was very pleased with the coverage.  1 coat of these polishes is more than sufficient to give a perfect, full cover of colour to the nail. The formula goes on smoothly and doesn't have that "sticky" feeling at application.  It also dries very quickly to a glossy, rock hard finish.  

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013

I did apply a second coat of colour to my nails but, in no way, was this needed; it was purely through personal preference

Once I had given the colours sufficient time to dry I went on to apply the sequin top coat.  I love this top coat.  It has a generous amount of green/holographic glitter shards (of different sizes) and applies as well as the colours in the kit.  

When the top coat had had the time to dry it reminded me of an Opal Stone; the way the glitter catches the light and the colours dance is stunning.  I can't wait to try it over different shades of polish.  

The photo doesn't do the top coat the justice it deserves, but I hope you can get an idea of how pretty it is. 

© Gemma Peters - Make-Up Artist 2013
After trying this kit I'll definitely be getting myself a few of the other kits; I rather fancy the look of the "Glitz and Glam" kit and the limited edition single Nail Pop in "Cool Britannia". 

Until next time, 
Stay Beautiful ~ Gem x

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and mine alone.  
This product was sent to me by Look Beauty for the purpose of this review/blog.
All images in this Blog are taken by me, unless stated otherwise. PLEASE DO NOT take my photos without my express knowledge and consent.

05 April 2013

My Personal Travelling Kit

I have been asked before how I decide what Make Up to take with me when I go away for the night/for a few days.  

I will be totally honest, I find it a complete nightmare!! When I am at home I have the choice of my full kit and full set of brushes but, if I am away for an evening or, like the last few days, staying with family, I can't very well take my entire Make Up Kit and all of my brushes...well I suppose I could, but there wouldn't be much room for anything else, including myself and my little boy! 

When my Mum invited us down to stay for a couple of days the age old question of "what make up" raised it's head.  The products I take are my favourites for that time but they always have one thing in common - they are products that I know I can always rely on for performance and they tend to be quite easy to work with too. 

With regard to my brushes, even when I am at home, I have a certain few face brushes that I always use and, for general day to day looks, a few certain eye brushes, so these are the ones I take with me.  I'll deal with brushes first and do a little explanation as to why I choose these particular brushes.   

© Gemma Peters - Make- Up Artist 2013 
My must have face brush (at the moment at least) is my Sigma f82 Round Top Kabuki. I use this brush for all of my foundations, whether liquid, cream to powder, mousse, etc. It really does give the look of "dream skin" whether using the more expensive, high end foundations or the cheap drugstore brands. 

The next brush is my Bdellium Tools 955 Finishing and Blending Face Brush. This is my powder brush. I use this with both pressed powder and loose powder and it delivers consistently.  It blends all powder in really well and, at the same time, it prevents streaking and lines when using loose powder. 

The brush I use for applying Blusher is a MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush. This is personal preference for me as, like the Bdellium, I find it applies products effortlessly and evenly and stops the appearance of streaking, etc. 

I've recently started using angle brushes for applying my contour bronzer and highlighters. The one with the red handle is from part of a generic brand-less set. The other one I use is Make Up Academy MUA's F6 Blusher & Contouring Brush.  I must say that, for a cheaper brush, I am beyond impressed with just how well this brush performs.  I will be adding many more of the MUA Brushes to my collection in due course.  

© Gemma Peters - Make- Up Artist 2013 
Moving on to the brushes I use for applying my eye make up. As you can tell from the picture, the majority of these brushes are from the same brand-less set as the angle brush above, however, they do the job for which they were intended and, regardless of brand (or lack there of), these are the brushes that I would recommend to anyone who wanted a basic set of brushes with endless possibilities.  

From l-r:
The first 4 brushes are flat eyeshadow brushes of varying lengths and width.  A selection of eyeshadow brushes really should be a must have for anyone. These brushes are designed to apply all manner of products, ranging from the "traditional" pressed eyeshadow, through to the cremes and loose pigments that are now available.  Obviously you would use the larger brushes if you were wanting to cover a larger area; for example applying your base shadow, and then use the smaller brushes for applying product to the tear ducts, creating lines, etc. 

The next 2 must have brushes are angle brushes; known also as crease brushes, contour brushes, slanted brushes, etc. These little beauties are fantastic for applying colour into the crease of your eye and can also be used to line the upper/lower lashes with colour too.  

The brush next to them (Make Up Academy MUA's E7 Eyebrow Brush) can also be used for creating a more precise line along the top or bottom lashes.  However, as it's name might suggest, this brush is designed for eyebrow work.  Whereas some people may not need to fill/define their brows, I am one who, until such time as I can afford to get them done by a Semi-Permanent Make Up Artist, will continue to apply my brows on a daily basis.  

Ever since I was 17 and had someone be more than a little over zealous with the tweezers, my eyebrows have been pretty much non-existent. I do have some hair there, but no where near enough for me to do a full face of make up and leave the brows undone; perhaps if I were going for an alien look it would work.  

Over the years I have changed style of brows and also my technique for applying them.  I have done the hideous "sperm brow" in the past; you know the one, with a little bulb near your nose and then just a line. Thankfully, with age and experience, some wisdom has crept in and I now have a fuller, shaped brow. 

I have 2 main techniques for doing my brows but, in both, the E7 is always paramount to achieving the groomed look. It helps to apply products in a beautiful, sharp line and, therefore, delivers the perfect definition that I like for my eyebrow look. This brush can also be used to "draw" the thinner, more natural, brush stroke lines, as well as being able to blend powder and pencil alike to fill the brows in.  

If you do fill/define your brows then, for £1.50, this really must be a brush that is in your collection.  

Lastly, the ultimate brushes for your kit; the brush that all Make Up Artists love and use regularly; and a brush that I am always mentioning: "The Fluffy Brush"; aka blending brush, shading brush, etc. I have, no word of a lie, at least 10 of these in my kit; all of varying thickness, length, fibre, etc.  The 2 pictured are Make Up Academy MUA's E3 Blending and Shading Brush

These brushes can be used for all manner of application but, primarily, again as the name might suggest, they are blending brushes. They ensure that your looks blend seamlessly together and that there are no harsh lines of colour, etc to ruin your look.  The MUA ones are just £1.95 each so, if you are unsure of how best to use these brushes, then perhaps buy one of the MUA ones (the price in no way reflects the quality of these brushes) and practice. 

With regard to products, I will post the pictures together with a list of what they are. Where I think necessary, I will post a short explanation as to my choice: 

© Gemma Peters - Make- Up Artist 2013 

Working from l-r; t-b: 
* Make Up Academy MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation - Porcelain 
* Make Up Academy MUA Eyebrow Pencil - Brunette 
* Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Your Skin Makeup - 1000-05 Ecru Beige 
* Accessorize Collagen Mascara - Black 
* L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara - Black 
* Make Up Academy MUA Every Lash Mascara - Black 
* Make Up Academy MUA Cover & Conceal Concealer - Natural 
* Make Up Academy MUA Intense Colour Eyeliner Pencil 
* Make Up Academy "Power Pout" Colour Intense Tint & Balm - all shades 

Most the items above speak for themselves.  I like to have an Illuminating/Brightening Foundation to help perk my skin up if, for whatever reason, I don't get much sleep.  I also always have a full coverage, more matte finish foundation too.

I like to have a selection of mascaras with me, I never really know what eye look I want to achieve until such time as I am actually applying the Make Up. 

I tend to only take 1 concealer with me and it always one that I know offers a full coverage and isn't drying or harsh to the skin.  The Cover & Conceal is a liquid concealer with s soft sponge tip applicator.  

With regard to my particular choice of lip colour; my current favourites are MUA's new "Power Pout".  They are a wind up pencil, the bullet of which is an intense colour stain and nourishing, minty balm in one.  The colour glides on smoothly and without any dragging; it is also incredibly buildable; 1 coat gives a sheer wash of glossy colour, but you can intensify the colour by applying a coat or 2 more as desired, all the time the product maintains the glossy finish but does not leave your lips feeling caked in product.  The balm has a minty fragrance and you can feel the cooling sensation on your lips but it is in no way an unpleasant feeling.  The Power Pouts, together with all of the other Make Up Academy MUA products can be found over on their website

© Gemma Peters - Make- Up Artist 2013 
* Famous Cosmetics "The Zebra Palette"
* Make Up Academy MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter 
* Make Up Academy MUA Matte Perfect Loose Powder - Translucent 
* Make Up Academy MUA Pro-Base Complexion Kit - Ivory 
* Famous Cosmetics First Date Blush - Scarlett 
* Make Up Academy MUA Bronzed Perfection 
* Make Up Academy MUA "Undress Me Too" Palette 
* Make Up Academy MUA Shimmer Kisses Bronzer - Bronzed Shimmer Kiss 
* Famous Cosmetics No Shine Face Powder - Saturday Night
* Kryolan for GlossyBox Blusher - Glossy Rosewood 
* Vivo Ultimate Brow & Eye Kit 
* Make Up Academy MUA Professional Primer 
* NYX Eyeshadow Base - White 

With regard to The Zebra Palette and Undress Me Too, I always like to have a variety of eyeshadows with me, without feeling bogged down with loads of different palettes.  The Zebra Palette offers a variety of shadow colours (together with a pressed powder, a bronzer and 3 shades of blush), ranging from the neutrals, through to the classic grey/black smokey eye colours.  Undress Me Too was a necessity for me because, if all else fails, a classic neutral eye make up; or even the more earthy colours for a smokey eye always deliver.  

Similar to my choice of Illuminating Foundation, I like to bring at least 1 highlighter with me to help add that extra glow to my skin. The Shimmer Kisses Bronzer is a highlighting bronzer and the Complexion Kit contains a cream highlighter.  

The Complexion Kit is a quick and easy 3-in-1 face kit.  It contains a cream to powder foundation, a concealer and a cream highlighter.  

I always take my Bronzed Perfection with me, even if I don't use it.  It is the only matte bronzer I have found that I can use for contouring without looking like I've been licked by the Tango Man! It is a very buildable colour and suits all skin tones, ranging from my fair tones through to the darker tones.  

I'll always take a face primer with me and, usually, an eye primer/eyeshadow base too. I rather like the NYX one at the moment, it applies really nicely (I use my finger) and forms a lovely sticky base for eyeshadows to cling onto.  

I hope this answers the "what make up do you take with you" question and also helps anyone who may be wondering what brushes to have for personal use/as a starting point.  

If you want to know anything else, please leave a comment.  

Until next time, stay beautiful 
~ Gem xx

All of the views expressed within this blog are mine and mine alone.  
I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies/products mentioned or their employees. 
All of the products mentioned within this post are mine and were bought and paid for by me save as for the Famous Cosmetics Products - these were sent to me for the purposes of another blog.
All images in this Blog are taken by me, unless stated otherwise. PLEASE DO NOT take my photos without my express knowledge and consent. 

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