Friday, 23 October 2015

My Acne Journey

My struggle with acne hasn't been a quiet one - with the absence of blogs etc through the worst of it in my teenage years, I didn't really talk about it. This was more so fuelled by the fact that I wanted to hide in embarrassment for most of 2006-2008. I've since shared my scarring journey with you. 
And now my acne has returned. Although not as bad as it once was as a teenager, it's vicious. Large, extremely painful bumps have appeared all over my cheeks, chin and jawline. I'm fed up and feeling down. The most recent addition is an extremely painful and large lump on my lip. The doctor has referred me for a second course of roaccutane, which I'm praying is the answer. I feel as though I've tried everything, but I'm trying to be as optimistic as possible. Meanwhile I'm back on the pill, which my GP hopes might help. I'm praying in the meantime that I don't get more scarring. My little niece, who is just shy of two years old even pointed out that my face was "sore". God bless her. I feel too old for this now and am so fed up. Has anybody else suffered with adult acne? I came off the pill in March as I wasn't entirely happy with and it seems to have flared up since then, but most recently in the last month. Need any advice and support that you can give me... 

I will be blogging my experience as much as possible! I have a few friends on roaccutane at the moment and will definitely try to get their opinions too...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan

The search for the perfect false tan is almost as frustrating as the search for the perfect foundation. Over the years, I've tried them all. St. Tropez (not dark enough), St. Moritz (stinks), Sublime Bronze (Can't see where you're putting it - streak extravaganza), Fake Bake (love but it comes off in a terrible fashion) and finally Xen Tan - which is my ultimate favourite tan. For me, it's an amazing colour, it has a redder undertone, which compliments the pinky tones of my skin and doesn't leave me with a yellow/green tinge to my skin. Importantly though, at least for me anyway, it comes off nicely. It doesn't go patchy and disgusting in the usual areas - collarbone, wrists etc, although it does stick to my dry underarms. A small price to pay I feel.

Could I just stop though and say, I've found the perfect tan, stop trying others. No, I couldn't. This was of course only exacerbated by a boots 3 for 2 offer on false tan. I decided to try Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan. My friend has raved about it for a while now and I trust her as her tan is always beautiful. And this tan does not disappoint. I got the dark mousse. My only qualms are that it's not very dark, and it doesn't last 2-3 weeks. But it's super easy to apply and it dries straight away, meaning you can apply it in the morning and go about your daily business - it even has no smell whatsoever. And it fades like a natural tan. Its not cheap - I think I paid £40 but it is in my opinion, one of the nicest tans that you can buy. I still use my Xen Tan dark lotion when I want a really deep tan, but for every day, this is now my go to tan. And if it's on 3 for 2, you're getting money off in a way. Well worth it. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Just stop it with the brows now!

Usually, I will try to remain as professional as I can when writing these blogs - impartial, well-rounded and considerate. I can no longer do this - STOP IT WITH THESE BROWS. I have no idea why or how this brow trend has come about, and let's face it, we've probably all been guilty of filling them in and then getting a glimpse of yourself through the train window and thinking "wow, I've overdone the brows a bit today". Myself included. Sometimes it's really hard to put your make-up on at 6am, I know. 

Somewhere along the line, somebody has got their wires crossed and so people think that it's ok for your eyebrows to have a perfectly geometric SQUARE at the front of them. It's not. It's also not ok for them to be 3 shades darker than your hair for that matter, or black. Even if you have black hair. There's a reason that MAC discontinued their Velvetone brow pencil. 

Here's a few tips to consider when picking a shade for your brows:

  • Go cool! - anything with a warm undertone always looks completely false and harsh in the brow. That having been said, if you are a natural ginger, or have red tones in your hair, you're more likely to get away with it. If you don't, then you need to think of colours that have a more grey undertone to them. Trust me, they won't look grey when they're on. If you don't trust me, try it and see for yourself. 
  • Go for a shade that looks a couple of shades lighter than your hair - this is particularly true if you're picking a brow powder. Brow powders are usually applied with a stiff, angled brush which will pick up and deposit a lot of product. Remember too that it sticks to the hairs, which is going to make your brows appear immediately darker. You'll be surprised how much darker the colour looks after application. This rule is true for brow pencils too. If a client has brown hair, I usually always go for lingering pencil, which is a medium brown from MAC. 
  • A little can look like a lot - I always usually start by filling in the arch of the brow with a powder. Instantly, the brow looks a lot stronger without getting my ruler out and drawing a square at the front! Sometimes, if the client wants a more defined brow (this wouldn't really work on a softer brow), I will draw a base line under the arch so that the brow has more structure. The front of the brow is always filled in by using what's left on the brush and flicking it upwards to create a soft shadow. Remember this is the part of the brow that has the least hairs and in order for it to look natural, it must look lighter than the rest. 
Look at this picture of Rosie Huntington-Whitely...

The top pictures features a lighter brow - the first thing you see is her amazing skin and voluptuous red lip. The focus is not on the brow at all, which perfectly compliments the make up by staying in the background. The brows are a few shades lighter than her hair. The second picture, in which she is still looking super gorgeous, is an old burberry ad that I came across. Her brows are darker, although they still match her hair. They are the focus of that make up though. Even being the focus, they are still a shade lighter than her hair! The overall effect of the first image is that we see the make up before we see her brows. She could have worn a strong brow here but would have to have done away with the flick liner - it would all be too much. 

This is demonstrated by this picture, which shows what celebs would look like should they all have what is fondly (can you sense my sarcasm?) known as 'The Scouse Brow"; 
It completely detracts from the beauty and femininity of these women, making them look harsh. I'm all for filling your brows in but I just wish somebody would stand with a megaphone in Liverpool one and give people some tips! I'm not volunteering by the way! If you've read this, then hopefully, you won't need the megaphone treatment! 

Lisa x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Jump the gun??

You'll probably remember (it was only the other day), I went in all guns blazing, raving about the tube BB bronzers that mac have brought out. Now...when I've tried them in work, it has been when my makeup has been on for a fair few hours and we are having a play with new products - and I've loved it every time! However, for the past couple of days, I've applied it after foundation and before powder and for some reason, it just hasn't worked. It's looked patchy and quite ashy. I have no idea why it's doing this and now I'm fearing that I've jumped the gun and should have waited until I had given it a good test drive before I insisted that you all buy it. I've still to try the compact one so maybe I will give that a go and see if it's any better. I love the normal BB compact so have a feeling I will love the bronzers too but I will let you all know when I have used them enough to make a rounded judgement!

I hope you haven't all gone out to buy it but if you have, and you loved it, tell me how you're applying it. In work, I've used a 131 brush (discontinued) and outside of work I've used a Real Techniques buffing brush. 

Thanks for reading, 

Lisa x

Friday, 6 June 2014

FINALLY!!! A cream bronzer for oily skin!

Oily skin has its benefits - less wrinkles, looking like you glow from within, that kind of thing. It also has its disadvantages and not being able to use cream products is one of them. Now really, I haven't had any need to use cream products because an hour after I put on my powder bronzer it looks dewy anyway but nevertheless, I've always loved the idea of using creams and creating a gorgeous glowing skin that will last and most importantly won't look like I've washed my face with a deep fat fryer! 

The day has finally came. Yesterday, MAC released their range of BB bronzers. I've got to say that I've been in LOVE with their compact BB cream for dry skins - it looks like silk on the skin and actually has a really nice coverage to it, a little more than your average BB cream but not so that it looks or feels heavy on the skin. Alas, I cannot wear it because its properties mean that it pumps moisture into the skin. The tube version, created for a more oily skin, doesn't settle right on me either. Now they have expanded the range to include a compact cream bronzer, and a tube gel bronzer. I was sceptical at first about the tube, having not been a fan of the original tube BB, however when I've tried it, all of my scepticisms have been blown away. I cannot get enough. And here's SETS!!! It gives my skin a glow and then stays there. It doesn't move around the skin like it's compact cream sister, but stays where I put it. Better still, the colours are so gorgeous! Golden, refined golden and amber all give gorgeous bronze glows with a slight shimmer - perfect for the summer! I've just bought Amber so far as I've yet to try the others but I have a feeling that refined golden (the darkest of the three) will be coming with me on holiday this year. They're just to die for. 

I haven't tried the compact on anybody yet with it just having came out yesterday but I'm sure it will be gorgeous! And they're permanent! LOVE!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bridal Makeup - How much should I expect to pay?

Ahh bridal make up. It's a make up artist's bread and butter, but most of all, especially for me, it's the best part of a make up artist's job. I love the buzz on the morning of a wedding but also, it's such a nice feeling to know that you have been a part of somebody's big day in such a special way. Just think about your hair and make up on your average night out - if it goes wrong, it has an effect on the way your whole night goes because the way you feel about the way you look effects your attitude for the whole day. As shallow as it sounds, it's the foundation on which my whole job is built. Making somebody feel good about themselves is addictive. And on no other day is this more important than on your wedding day. And, it's the reason why people seem to get away with charging so much for bridal make up.

That having been said, I completely agree with a higher charge for a bridal application. Bridal make up is not your average Saturday night make up. I have had various people say to me that they want their make up the exact same way that they wore it last Saturday and despite the fact that it may look the same, there will be subtle changes such as a different primer, or highlighter to avoid flashback. A different texture lipstick to avoid an awkward hair stuck to the lip situation as well as waterproof eyeliner and mascaras. Not to mention the fact that more time, care and effort is taken to ensure that the makeup fits in perfectly to your theme. 

I ask where you're getting married, what style of dress you're having, the colour of the bridesmaids dresses, the time of day, the flowers. I want to know every little detail, and not just because I'm being nosey, but because all of this adds to my thought and creativity process when designing a look just for you. Say for example, you are having peach bridesmaids and soft peach and white flowers and I put a pink blusher and lipstick on you, this will be glaringly obvious and will stand out a mile. 

Then there's the weather on the day! Last July saw one of the hottest days on record for us in the UK and as I was on my way  to my bride that day, I could feel the sweat on my forehead and knew I would have to make changes to her make up so that it would stay all day. And it did. Because she hired a professional who charged her that little bit more for her expertise. I do charge more for a bride than for a bridesmaid because that extra time and effort goes on the bride on her big day. I will of course give the mother of the bride and bridesmaids a fabulous service that they will not be unhappy with, but there's no denying that it's the bride's  day and it's so important that they are happy with their make up and how they feel on the day. They are going to be photographed more than they have ever been in their lives. 

So you should expect to pay more for your bridal make up - not a ridiculous amount but if a make up artist was giving you the same service that they give you on a Saturday night, then they're not doing their job properly. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Body Shop Tea Tree Range

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we all know my skin is problematic and very, very oily. We all know I do the odd stint at MAC - put the two together and it spells disaster for my skin. I'm now used to wearing minimal makeup when going about my daily business and only ever really wear it when I'm going somewhere nice, like having lunch with friends etc. Wearing it every day really took its toll on my skin and I had a breakout. I feel like I've tried every product on the planet. 

I didn't go into the body shop for skincare. I went into the body shop for a facial massager. Which I got, and I've got to admit, despite not really having used it enough to see a difference, I'm not really sure what the point is. Perhaps it's one of those things that needs to be used regularly enough to see a difference. It feels nice though. However, I'm waffling. I saw a bottle of Tea Tree Facial Wash (£5) and thought it couldn't hurt to give it a whirl. I saw an instant difference in my skin. The next day my skin was visibly clearer. I had two massive spots on my cheek and they had almost completely gone. So much so that my boyfriend, who knows to tip-toe around the whole skin issue, mentioned how clear my skin looked. He even used it himself and was so impressed that he asked me to buy him a bottle for his own house. He loves it too. 

I use it every morning and every night. In the morning as a first cleanse and in the evening as a second cleanse, once I have removed my makeup. Loving it. And so cheap! I want to buy some other bits in the range. The website says the evening lotion is a best seller so I may give that a try next time I'm passing The Body Shop. It's so cheap, and I've honestly not found anything that has been so effective for a while!

Give it a try if you have oily, problematic skin!

On a side note, I have been using simple moisturiser throughout my dermaroller process but reverted back to my Clarins Hydraquench lotion again last week - my skin came out in a million tiny little bumps. I think it's just too rich for my skin, which is a shame as I have a full £40 tube of it left!