September Birchbox

September 2016

September's Birchbox has made me very happy. I was so pleased with every product and even happier to find out that it contained one of my favourite products of all time... The Laura Mercier Primer! The box was so pretty too and I am loving the new draw style box! 

Laura Mercier Primer

So the main reason I was so pleased with this box is the mini version of the Laura Mercier Primer that I now have! It is such a lovely primer and is water based so doesn't make your foundation cake or stick. I love it! I already have this product but actually can't get enough of it so was overjoyed to find this little sample. 

Batiste Styling Volume Spray 

So we have all used the batiste dry shampoo to give a little lift to a back comb. It seems they have figured out that this is what we are using it for and created a better version to help with the lift and volume. So I used this product when I really should have washed my hair that morning but decide on a few extra minutes in bed. The mistake I made the first time I used this was using too much! It really doesn't take much to create a texture and volume in your hair and still works as a dry shampoo at the same time! Great!! 

Polar La Veritable Creme De Laponie

Is it too early to suggest this as a great stocking filler? Who doesn't love a hand cream? It smells great and feels like velvet

Nue Prodigieux Huile De Douche

Iv taken to using my birchbox items at the gym mainly due to the miniature sizes of them and it seems that my usual shower routine after a workout has changed from using soap that is usually dispensed off the side of the wall to bathing in luxury. It seems that all of the non-birchbox users are missing out here. This shower gel makes me feel a million bucks after a good swim or workout! Instead of using dry soap I'm now coming out of the gym glowing and fresh. 

Model Co Highlight Wheel

So this was the full size surprise this month. I have taken to using these highlight wheels when I want a more natural makeup look. I have been using the bronze colour when out in the sun and without foundation and the cream lighter colours indoors when I need a little extra glow at 5.30am in the morning to brighten me up.

August Birchbox

August 2016

Inside this month 

I always look forward to seeing the latest design of my birchbox each month. To find that this month I had received a birch-bag, made me high-pitched 'ohh'. I immediately started thinking of where I can take my new bathroom bath. Inside, did not disappoint. 

 

1. Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner 

Unlike most waterproof products, the Marcelle eyeliner does not feel waxy or difficult to apply. It is soft and glides on smoothly with full pigmentation. I have already used this on the waterline of a few brides with confidence that it will not be cried off by happy tears as they walk down the isle. 

2. Philip Kingsley 

This was the product that I first reached for in a last minute rush out of the door at 5am on route to my first makeup appointment of the day. It was a product that I immediately thought was a necessary item, rather than a nice to have. I have since used it many times and even on a friend who said 'wow, that is refreshing'. All in all, a product that I will be purchasing :) Thanks Birchbox.

3. Balance Me - Congested Skin Serum

Another product that I now can not live without! Iv never found a blemish cream that has worked for me until now. I can't decide if I am angry or sad about finding this product as I will now need to repurchase this, over and over again. 

4. Anatomicals - Citrus Body Scrub

This week I have discovered body scrubs, not only have I now used this product but have also had  a body scrub treatment on a spa day. Wow, what a discovery! 

5. Merci Handy - Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel

I always carry antibacterial gel in my kit and seem to obsessively use it. This was a very welcoming product in this months birch-bag. It smells delish! Great to use when I have my hands next to faces all day 

6. English Laundry

This fruity perfume smells like a fresh garden and fits perfectly in your hand bag. . 

The Oscars 2016

My favourite makeup look for the Oscars 2016 this year has got to be Mara Rooney's. She stood out a mile to me with her sleek hair style, soft smokey eye and bold red lip. 

Chanel makeup artist Kate Lee used the Chanel Aqua Crayon Lip Colour Stick in Cinnamon and the Chanel Roughe Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in La Sensuelle for Mara’s scarlet red lip.

If you are interested in seeing more of the makeup looks from this years Oscars, you will find everything you need to know at either of the following links, including some of the products used on the night.

Vogue's best beauty looks from the Oscars 2016

Vanity Fair's best beauty looks from the oscars 2016

Hope you enjoy looking through these. Take note - no insta brows, heavy contouring or overdrawn lips!!! My kind of make-up!!

Love love love xxx

Most Popular foundations

My most asked question is probably 'what is the best foundation?'. The truth is, it really does depend on the individuals preference and skin type. 

I have therefore decided to write a readable, mini review of the most popular foundations and the main qualities you might want to know about them. Save money on buying foundations and give this a read before you buy.

Estee lauder - Double Wear

This is truly a long lasting foundation, it is great for anyone who has any acne scaring and redness or rosacea they want to cover. It lasts all day or night gives a heavy coverage. I use this foundation on those with dry and oily skin and it tends to work on both, I would however always use with a setting powder, especially on oily skin. The best thing about this foundation is that is does stay all day. If you're after a long lasting coverage, this one is for you

  • Coverage - Full
  • Finish - Matte
  • Skin Type - Combination/Oily 
  • Wear - Very Long Lasting
  • Price point - £23

Nars - All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

I tend to use this foundation on anyone with very oily skin. I find this foundation gives a really lovely glow on anyone with great skin. Whats great about it, is that you can use it without setting powder and it still has a long lasting wear, but I wouldn't ever use it on someone with dry skin. It is very matte and can sometimes cling to any dry patches. The difficult thing about this foundation is the packaging. The foundation does tend to spill out of the spout sometimes which can make it messy.

  • Coverage - Medium coverage
  • Finish - Matte
  • Skin Type - Oily
  • Wear - Long Lasting
  • Price point - £32

Illamasque - Skin Base

This shade range of this foundation is great. It feels very light on the skin and has a good amount of coverage. It is great for building up, meaning you can really even out the complexion no matter what your skin type. It gives a semi-matt glow but still looks natural. I tend to use it on combination skin and build it up as applicable.

MUA Tip - It also has no SPF which makes it great for photoshoots.

  • Coverage - Medium/Full - (build-able) 
  • Finish - Matte
  • Skin Type - Combination/Oily
  • Wear - Medium lasting
  • Price point - £32.50

Chanel - Perfection Lumiere

This is one of the most natural foundations. It is brilliant for anyone with great skin and gives a lovely, fresh, healthy glow. It is great for combination skin and smells great. It is weightless and blends like a dream but doesn't come in a huge range of shades. It gives a fresh dewy finish and I find I use this on a lot of brides. It is long lasting when used with a setting powder, but can fade quickly without powder. It does feel very light and invisible on the face.

  • Coverage - Medium
  • Finish - Dewy
  • Skin Type - Combination
  • Wear - Medium lasting
  • Price point - £36

Chanel - Perfection Lumiere Velvet

This foundation has been overtaking its sisters by storm. Its matte finish and velvet feel is great for oily skin. This foundation has all the plus points to the perfection lumiere but seems to have been repackaged in a much more efficient plastic, rather than glass bottle. It also gives a better coverage and is longer lasting. It gives a real pore minimised look and is great for combination or oily skin. 

  • Coverage - Medium/Full (build-able)
  • Finish - Matte
  • Skin Type - Oily
  • Wear - Long Lasting
  • Price point - £33

Bobbi Brown - Skin Foundation Stick

These foundation sticks are very easy to carry around and top up with. I find them a little creamy but not too greasy. They provide a good range of shades and a full coverage. It is build-able and I would tend to use it on combination skin rather than dry skin as it tends to stick to any dry patches. It can double as a spot concealer as well as a foundation and is very practice. It gives a glowing dewy finish for anyone wanting a more fresh look.  

  • Coverage - Medium/Full (build-able)
  • Finish - Dewy
  • Skin Type - Combination
  • Wear - Medium lasting
  • Price point - £29.50

Mac - Face and Body

This is a great foundation for anyone with already good skin. It give a light to medium coverage and is very lightweight on the skin. It is great for anyone wanting to cover acne on the chest or any areas other than the face. This foundation is great for anyone wanting to look fresh and natural. It has a build able coverage and is best used on dry skin. 

  • Coverage - Light to Medium (Build-able)
  • Finish - Dewy
  • Skin Type - dry
  • Wear - Medium lasting
  • Price point - £22

 

 

I hope this helps. If you have any questions about any foundations or products that I have not talked about, let me know and I will give you my feedback. 

Love love love, 

Kimmy x

Eyeliner tips

Pen or Pot?

I have tried many different eyeliners. Pens, Felt Pens, Pencils, Gels, Pot liner and I can see a clear winner when it comes to which product I feel works best. The Bobbi Brown gel pot liner is my fav for a few different reasons:-

  • It doesn't dry out too quick 
  • The shades are great  
  • It is very long lasting

TIPS?

A few tips for getting your eyeliner right and to stay on

  • Prime the eyes! Eyelids can be very oily and without primer first, it isn't going to last very long. 
  • Use a good brush. I can recommend the real techniques liner brush or Mac 266 and 210 are both great.
  • Use brown (espresso) instead of black. Bobbi brown do an espresso colour which gives a much softer liner look than the jet black. I use this a LOT for weddings or more natural makeup and it makes a dramatic difference
  • Use Micropore tape to get your lines straight. Don't use sellotape as this can rip off the tiny hairs on your face around your eye. (I will do a YouTube Tutorial on this one day)
  • Always put liner on after your lashes and fill in any gaps. 
  • Use olive oil Q-Tips. (Buy here) These are so tiny and great for correcting any little mistakes. You can get 25% off these until Monday 1st Feb using the code ESCENTUAL25.
  • Practise. It really is possible to simply practise and get better and better at it with the right tools. :) 

I hope this post helps!

Love love love xxx

Salt Bath detox

Clear your skin in the most relaxing way. 

Beauty comes from inside as well as out. Looking after your body will give you a healthy glow and clear your skin. Add some Himalayan salt to detoxify and rejuvenate your body and skin. A salt bath can help cleanse and draw out any toxins in the body, giving it a deep cleanse. Add about 4 cups of Himalayan salt to a warm (not too hot) bath. It is advised not to stay in the bath for longer than 20 mins. Remember to stay hydrated, drink lots of water and always check with your doctor before any detox if you have any medical conditions.

Benefits of this bath include:-

    Reduces muscle cramps by improving minerals and hydration

    Helps balance blood sugar

    Supports hormone balance for everyone, no matter what hormonal issues you face

    Helps balance blood pressure because it provides unrefined, mineral-rich salt in an ionic solution

    Improves sleep by supporting blood sugar and hormone balance

    Acts as a powerful antihistamine

    Supports weight loss by balancing hormones and improving energy

 

This toxin sucking soak is perfect for a relaxing Sunday. For a home spa experience, add lemongrass essential oil or a choice of your own. 

 

These salts are available at a few supermarkets or health food stores. I happened to get mine at Sainsburys. Get them HERE on sale for £5! 

Insta-update

I have decided to give my Instagram a makeover. I have noticed that I have become someone who posts a picture without any thought or need to do so. This has given me the idea to revamp my instagram and also create a YouTube channel with useful information. I don't want to become just another 'selfie' Instagram and I dislike 99% of the images I see of myself so would find it near impossible to manage. Given all this, I have decided to create an account with useful daily tips.  

Give my Instagram a follow and start learning the tricks of the trade and get daily product tips. :)

Kimmy xxx

 

COCOWHITE Oil Pulling

With celebs such as Kylie Jenner and Gwyneth Paltrow jumping on the Oil Pulling band wagon, I decided to review the product and see what all the fuss is about.

I firstly realised that Oil pulling isn't a new fad but has been around for centuries and is an ancient folk remedy. It involves swishing oil around the mouth and is said to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth which in turn can help whiten the teeth and detox the body.

After looking at different products I decided to use the Cocowhite Oil Pulling. All ingredients of this brand are 100% natural and preservative free and are a reasonable price of £19.99 for a two week course. Cocowhite comes in sachets with the exact amount needed each day and are also flavoured.

I will be using the sachets for around 10-15mins a day and will be posting my progress.

The results I am hoping for within 14 days are:-

  • Whiter Teeth
  • Cleaner Mouth and Teeth
  • Feeling Detoxed
  • Easy to use

I will be posting updates throughout the two weeks so I hope you enjoy. 

Kimmy xxx

 

 

Change of Direction - Makeup Reviews

I have decided to change the direction of my blog and start reviewing products here. I will post progress pictures and review scores. I am asked about which products are good/bad on a daily basis and have tried so many I feel like sharing this information could save others fortune.

 

Have you ever gone foundation shopping and been torn between spending £30 on a foundation you might not like or never wear again? Foundation and mascara are two very difficult things to purchase, once you have found one you like you never want to change but formulas are always improving. I will be reviewing lots of foundations and scoring things like coverage, thickness, feeling on face and even smell. 

If you have any requests of products you wish for me to review then feel free to message me and Ill get to it. 

Kimmy xxx

London Fashion Week AW2015

I was lucky enough to assist Dani Ginsberg at Hemyca's London Fashion Week AW15 show. The call time was 6.00am, which meant getting up at 4am after two hours sleep and a 6hour drive from the North East (it was worth it). The show was held at the prestigious ME hotel in The Strand London. It was beautiful. We worked from the bathroom of one of the hotel rooms, which managed to fit the whole makeup team and models in. 

The look was subtle and dewy, fresh skin with a smudged colour of blue under the eye and a slight silver/grey eyelid. Lips were fresh and hydrated and cheeks were pink and rosy. We used the Monu Face products which are fantastic and smell beautiful. The Monu treatment oil really helped to give that dewy look to the skin. 

The Makeup products we used were by Lola which I could not fault. Each product worked exactly as I wanted it to. The eye pencil and shadows was highly pigmented and velvety to use and the powder has became a favourite product of mine.

Assisting Dani Guinsberg was very much a pleasure. She was so lovely to work for and was very calm even during the manic moments. We were surrounded by photographers, stylists, nail technicians, hair stylists, bloggers and many more people buzzing around helping to make sure the show was a success. We were very well looked after with a constant supply of Voss water and fresh fruit. Seeing the final looks all put together at the show was a proud moment for me. I very much enjoyed the buzz and hype around LFW and hope to work it again. 

 

The Session School - Week 2

Week 2 at the Session school was the advanced makeup period. I was very much looking forward to it and itching to get started.

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Amanda Bell

The first tutor we had was Amanda Bell. It was immediately recognised that Amanda had an extensive knowledge of products, ingredients, skin and cosmetology. She has worked for names such as Grazia, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Elle as well as brands such as NARS, Laura Mercier, Lancome and Shu Uemura. 

Amanda really helped to increase my confidence levels. The brand advice she has is invaluable and very helpful, especially whilst I am still building my kit. Amanda showed us the beauty of mineral makeup and how to get a fresh faced look and a natural makeup look. It was great having the opportunity to use such a wide range of products without having to purchase them all first. Amanda also went through a modern and classic smokey eye. Amanda's humour really made me laugh too. She was a pleasure to be around and made my time with her very memorable. 

Website 

Julie Jacobs

The next Tutor we were introduced to was Julie Jacobs. She has worked for names such as British Vogue, Harper's, Bazaar, Queen, and Marie Claire. Julie went through catwalk designs, Avant Garde and different textures of makeup with us. I found this section of the course most challenging and was really pleased that Julie pushed me out of my comfort zone. I learnt so much from her doing this. One of the sessions was all about creativity and letting this flow, whilst taking inspiration from something. This lesson made me very aware that we were all artists creating our own styles and different inspirations. It was a huge lesson for me and a great step in the right direction for my career. Thank you Julie. 

Website

Blog 

Katie Campbell

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Katie Campbell was the third tutor we had the pleasure of being trained by. Katie specialises in Vintage inspired makeup and has worked for names such as BBC, Disney Channel, SUPERSUPER magazine and the National Portrait Gallery. Katie again pushed us to be creative with our work and to take vintage inspiration. I found myself being drawn to TV and Film work after speaking to Katie and think this is an avenue that I will pursue in the future. I like the thought of following a character on set and having the challenge of continuity. Katie went through the eras and history of Makeup which I find fascinating. She showed us how to take inspiration from these eras and how to modernise these looks. I started to see vintage inspiration in all makeup. This lesson really helped my creative side to grow and to understand a better was of taking inspiration. 

Website

Facebook

Twitter 

All that glitters

As you might have realised, I am a huge fan of glitter over the festive period. A lot of makeup artists stay away from glitter because it can be messy but I love a challenge and my over-obsessed perfectionism takes over when I'm working on any glitter jobs.

I recently  worked a photoshoot for Oxfam who were looking for a 'Christmas party' themed makeup. This gave me an excuse to get the glitter out. I have shown how you can achieve this look in 4 simple steps. 

Step 1 - Smokey eye

Firstly I did a basic smokey eye using reds and browns. I used Mac's painterly as a base and blended this. 

Step 2 - Glitter glue

Next I used a glitter glue and placed this carefully over the eyelid, taking it right to the crease line. I used glitter lips glue by beauty boulevard but you can use any glitter fix. I then used Mac glitter pot in copper and placed this on the eye using my finger, carefully pressing it on over the glue. 

Step 3 - Clean up

There was a lot of fall out from the glitter so a clean up job was in order. Using makeup remover, I used cotton buds to remove the excess glitter. This takes a little while to get every speck of glitter, but stick with it, the final look is worth it. 

Step 4 - Lashes and face

Next I used Rimmel lashes to add some volume and continued to complete the makeup with face, blush and lips. I went for an brown toned nude to ensure focus was kept on the eyes.  

You can get this look with any colour and the great thing is, you can buy glitter very cheap off eBay like this one:- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FRAULEIN3-8-48-COLOURS-EYESHADOW-MAKEUP-NAIL-ART-PIGMENT-GLITTER-DUST-POWDER-SET-/400709074535?pt=Nail_Polish&hash=item5d4c1f3e67 

This really is a great was to turn any outfit into a Christmas look. Oxfam had some amazing outfits on the day and are working towards a great cause of re-using items that are in great condition. To see more about what the outfits that were used make sure you go to http://herfashionblog.com where you can see all details including prices. 

I hope you enjoy giving this look a try. Tag your instagram looks to kimmy_mua so I can see what magic you can all create. :)

Love Love Love

Mac's cosmetics Christmas keepsake pigments objects of affection

Having purchased Mac Cosmetic pigments before, I was very unsure of how often I would use these new pigments. Knowing that they are not as easy to use as a pressed shadow and can be messy, I figured these Christmas minis would be for special occasions only, HOWEVER…..this has not been the case! I purchase the copper and blue set around 2 weeks ago now and keep finding myself using them for everyday wear as well as shoots and fashion shows. I have also become very fond of using the blue pigment set to give a tint of blue to a black smokey eye.

Pigment tips:-

1) My biggest tip when using pigments is to make sure you start with eyes before the foundation or skin. There is always more fall out when using pigments so make sure to wipe any excess off that falls before putting foundation/concealer on.

2) Use the right tools. Make sure you are using a good brush. Mac’s 217 is great. Always buff the pigment onto the back of your hand before using it, rather than taking the products straight from the pot.


3) Always use an eye primer. I have used many eye primers including smash box to urban decay and find I always go back to Mac paint pot in painterly. Using the primer makes a huge difference when applying eyeshadow but makes an even bigger difference when applying any pigments.

3) Glitter pigments – the glitter pigments can be difficult to use without a base or glitter glue. Glitter glue is the most effective and safest way to apply glitter, especially when putting it around your eyes. If you do not have glitter glue, use a cream shadow first then apply directly on top. This will help the glitter to stick.

 

4) Blend blend blend. Blend is your friend. Again using a Mac 217 blend the pigment out so that there are no patchy pigment blots on your eyelid. Build it gradually, you will most likely be surprised as to how little you will need to use.

Overall I would give Mac’s Christmas Pigments a 9/10. Each pigment keepsake collection comes with 5 different colours and is only £26. Considering one pigment is usually £17 this is a fantastic deal. They come in a lovely box and would be a great Christmas present. Highly recommended.

See my Instagram page for some mac pigment ideas and looks.

Love love love xxx

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