The path to bushy, boy brows…

The path to bushy boy brows is not an easy one. As long as boy brows have been a ‘thing’ i’ve longed for them. I adore that brushed up brow look. Give me a natural brow over the ‘Instagram’ brow any day. The irony of it all is when i was 15 i had those brows (albeit, slightly more unruly). They were dark, thick and resembled that of a Gallagher brother, believe me, i’ve got the 5th year prom photos to prove it, but i hated them. I begged my mum to pluck them, which she very kindly did, until she eventually got bored of that and let me get them waxed. Hurrah! And once you go down that road of constant plucking and waxing it’s very hard to turn back. After a few years my caterpillars were gone and in true early noughties style they were bang on – thin and not even a smidge of pencil through them to try and even match my hair colour – Ah, what a time to be alive.

Fast forward 15 years and i miss my caterpillars, throw in Megan from Love Island flouncing those luscious brows around every night and you’ve got one desperate lady! Enter Rapid Brow.

I’ve always heard ace things about Rapid Brow and likewise, Rapid Lash. I’ve yet to venture down that road, one facial area at a time. It advises that you use religiously, twice a day for at least 6 weeks, so i did. 6 weeks came and went and i wasn’t really noticing the Megan effect, but literally overnight the hair started to sprout. I couldn’t believe it, they were coming in thick and fast! Determined to crack on (note the Love Island reference again, #obsessed) i decided to let them keep on growing, if brow growing was a sport i’d be up there with the best. I didn’t care that they were looking like they were growing down the side of my face – no, really they were nearly sideburns – and even my husband asked what was going on with my brows – it was then i knew it was working!

The time came to get them seen to and for that i will always reach out to Shelley Milne, the brow queen of Aberdeen. I think even she thought i’d maybe embraced the natural brow a little too long. Half an hour of wincing, waxing, tweezing, threading and tinting and my bushy brows were looking better than ever. The wincing came from the fact that my skin must have super sensitised by the new hair and my god the air was blue…but as the old saying goes, no pain, no gain. Shelley commented that i definitely have hair growth (i think that was plain to see if you saw me these last few weeks) but not necessarily in the areas that you want the growth (you want the growth underneath the brow to add the thickness). Hey ho, i’ll take the thicker hair on the top of the brow as a win.

Today, i’m owning the fuller brow and i’m ready to hit up Majorca this weekend…no, not to enter the Villa, i’m not that sad…plus i’m not sure 33 year old with Mum Tum and an M&S cossie is what the producers are after.  Their loss.

I cannot recommend Rapid Brow enough to anyone that struggles with thin brows. I bought mine from Amazon – link here




A Makeup Revolution?



Chances are you’ve maybe never heard of Makeup Revolution, and i’ll be honest i didn’t pay it much attention to it whenever i passed their counter in Superdrug, but with the launch of their Conceal and Define Full Coverage Conceal and Contour a few months ago (and the social media hype that followed) i felt compelled to try it out.

Hailed as ‘Mac for the masses’ Makeup Revolution is making quality makeup accessible for all ages and budgets. Before, if you wanted to buy a quality concealer you had to shell out for it, but at £4 this one means that you don’t have to save your hard-earned cash for a pay day treat. And their product range doesn’t start and end at concealers – they have eyeshadow palletes, mascara, bronzer, highlight – you name it, it’s there, and at a fraction of the cost of other big brands. Hurrah, 14 year old girls rejoice (although chances are they are feeling more flush than me mid-month!)

I can’t comment on any of their other products because i have never tried them but i can easily see why this concealer is their number one best seller – one of these concealers sells every five seconds! It sold out of Superdrug at lightening speed and getting your hands on it became quite a challenge, surely this could only mean good things?

It had been likened to Tarte Shape Tape, a concealer of which i am a huge fan of, but after chatting with a fellow mua (Hi Faye!) her comparison was much more agreeable to me – it’s like Urban Decay Naked Concealer; the texture, the coverage, the way it applies – it’s definitely more like it than Shape Tape. Shape Tape is heavy duty, but this one feels a bit lighter but still packs a coverage punch! It doesn’t feel heavy on skin, it blends seamlessly and is great stuff for sorting spots and dark circles. Plus, the shade range has expanded from 18 to 24 colours, so there’s plenty of choice. I opted for C5 which is ideal for me on a day when i’m paler, i’d probably need a darker shade in the Summer months.

I’ll be honest, i’m not sure if i’ll continue to reach for it, i’m more likely to reach for my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer or Shape Tape (creature of habit so i am) but i’m delighted that the high street has listened to consumers and realised there is a gap for a budget concealer. I love that makeup is becoming more accessible to all, especially younger girls who are keen to forge a career and build up their collections. I feel a makeup revolution a’brewing!


Nars Radiant Longwear foundation – The Marmite of the foundation world



Let me just start by putting my hands up and saying that i am a Nars girl through and through. I love their foundations, concealers, bronzers, liquid highlighters, cream blushes, in fact, it’s probably easier to list the products i don’t like, the list is definitely shorter! So whenever Nars launch a new foundation i am chomping at the bit to get my hands on it. I’m a big Sheer Glow fan and an even bigger All day Luminous Weightless fan – I wore it on my wedding day so in my opinion that is the highest praise possible.

‘Radiant’ and ‘Longwear’ are two of my favourite words when it comes to foundation, i mean surely that’s the dream? I like glow, but i also like it to last past lunchtime. This foundation is marketed as #strongwear and with claims that it last 16 hours it really was making all the right noises. And 33 shades? Bravo Nars, bravo.

Suffice to say i instantly enjoyed this foundation. It is extremely pigmented which meant that a little went a long way. It covered all of my redness and evened out my skintone and it wasn’t matte. I don’t necessarily think that ‘radiant’ is the right word for this – i mean it’s not what i would call dewy – i would just say it’s ‘not overly matte’ but as a marketing person i know that doesn’t really have the same ring to it! I find that it lasts pretty well on me (although i can’t think i’ve ever worn it for 16 hours) and towards the end of the day my natural oils give it a nice finish, i do enjoy a foundation that gets better with wear.

The consistency is heavier than Sheer Glow and much heavier than All Day Luminous Weightless and i find that i like to apply it with a firmer buffing brush to really work it into the skin to give it a more skin-like finish. I think it would be very easy to go over the score with the pumps and end up with a full coverage face. Again, i must stress, a little does go a long way. My favourite thing about this foundation? It comes with a pump! Hurrah, Nars finally got the memo.

So while this foundation works for me and my skin i have read / heard / seen a lot of people saying that this foundation just does nothing for them and in cases even separates on the skin throughout the day. It really has divided opinion and seems to be a lot of people who love it or hate it – the marmite of the foundation world.

I’m most definitely a lover, but if you are considering it maybe pop to a counter to pick up a sample of your shade before you invest.

Charlotte Tilbury – Hollywood Flawless Filter – Review

Hello! No, your eyes do not deceive you, i am finally back in a blogging space after 2 years of a child who does not sleep. I can’t promise it will be a regular thing but you have my word i will try! She’s sleeping just now if you hadn’t already guessed.

When i thought about making my return to the world of make up blogging there was only one obvious choice about what i should write about. It’s the product that most people have asked me about the last few weeks (mainly because i’ve been using it pretty religiously in tutorials) and that is…drum roll, please…Charlotte Tilbury’s new cult product ‘Hollywood Flawless Filter’. Launched in February it describes itself as, ” a revolutionary, customisable complexion booster” – acting as a primer, a highlighter and a foundation enhancer, this product made some bold claims. Can i really look like a Victoria Secret model if i part with the best part of £30? Well you know me, i’m a sucker for anything by Ms T so i was first in line, pleading with her to take my money.

I’ve had a good play around with this product and tried it in a variety of ways and it’s fair to say i know how i like to wear it best, here’s my breakdown:

Primer – I’ll be honest, i noticed very little evidence of this under my foundation. I’ve tried it under full coverage foundations and sheerer formulations and it really doesn’t do much for me wearing it under product, especially when it looks so banging on top of it!

Highlight – on top of foundation on the high points of your cheeks it’s more subtle than a powder highlighter or the Hollywood Beauty Light Wand (another product i adore from CT) but it does add a nice sheen to the skin, but if i’m wearing highlight i want it to be blinding…not subtle. Yep, i am that walking disco ball.

Complexion booster – now here is where i think this product packs a punch. I add this product on top of foundation, mainly concentrating on the apples of my cheeks and it gives the most beeeeeautiful (that is me stressing how beautiful) glossy, sheen to the skin. It’s like sitting under soft lighting – how your skin might look if it was drenched in candle light. It is just perfect. I love sheen (i’m sure this is perfectly clear to anyone who’s watched my videos, looks at my photos, generally talks to me!) i love my skin to look like it’s glowing from within and i’m not even kidding when i say this does that. As a complexion booster,it’s inevitably going to add more coverage to the skin, so please bear that in mind if you prefer a more natural looking skin, but if you do prefer something more natural this product could still be a great one for you. I can see this looking stunning on sun-kissed holiday skin on it’s own – that’s how i plan to wear it on holiday.

This product comes in 7 shades and i’ve been wearing number 3 in light medium. I find this to be perfect for my skin tone.

When there’s been lots of hype about a product there’s nothing worse when it fails to deliver but i can put my hand on my heart and honestly say that this already has a firm place in my kit and on my dressing table.


My bridal essentials

I’ll be honest, when the idea of sharing my bridal make up essentials in a blog post popped in to my head I did think, “Stace, are you crazy? You could be doing yourself out of a job here!” but then i thought to myself not everyone has the luxury of having a make up artist create their bridal make up on their big day, that could be down to; cost, location, circumstance or simply because they don’t want to pay someone to do something that they are happy enough to do themselves. Whatever the reason, I thought I’d share a few of my bridal make up kit essentials. I can’t go into specifics like colours – I don’t think I would have enough characters for that – consider this  more of an overview of the products that will take a make up from “oh she looks lovely” to “WOW” with just a few simple additions – secret weapons if you will.

Without a doubt the first essential is well maintained skin. I’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, make up sits best on well cared for skin. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you do need to take care of it in the weeks leading up to your big day, trust me on that.

Right, you have fabulous, juicy, plump, cleansed and moisturised skin – what next? Well you’re going to need a primer. I like an illuminating one personally because every bride should glow from within on her big day. My favourite is the Estee Lauder one, it also comes in matifying if you prefer a more matte finish. I then like to add some liquid highlight before applying foundation because I’m all about the glow – think Blackpool Illuminations! My favourite is the Nars Illuminator in Copacabana, it’s a serious glow giver. Pop it on your high points where the light would naturally hit and you’re sorted.

Now foundation…a minefield of sheers, mattes, coverages, tints, tones – to say there is an ‘array’ is the understatement of the century. There are HUNDREDS of foundations out there and if you are doing your make up yourself and you know what you like then by all means, stick to what you know. Me, i’m a Nars girl, always have been, always will be. I use a mixture of Sheer Glow and All Day Luminous because I find they cover the wide range of skin types and create the best variety of finishes. It would be impossible to cater for every skin type in terms of a foundation and brand so as an artist I use Nars and Chanel. I feel they give me the options and colour range I need to meet skincare requirements.

I would always say to set your foundation with a translucent powder – even if you have dry skin, just give it a light dusting. It really will help keep your foundation on longer without changing its colour. I like Mac’s Prep and Prime Powder and Laura Mercier’s Translucent powder.

Always prime your eyes with a cream base shadow or eye primer (I’m a Mac paint pot girl personally) it will help shadows blend easier and last longer. Once your eyes are primed you can decide what colour you want to wear on the day. It’s your day so you do you boo.

Once your base is in place you can decide on bronzers, blushes, additional highlight, liners, lipsticks and the formulations that work best for you and your skin. I have a selection of colours in my kit to match different skin tones and types, but you will know what suits you and your colourings.

Eyebrows are a funny one because so many people say to me “Oh I don’t bother with my brows” or protest that they don’t want them too dark – and that’s cool, but please I must urge that you do SOMETHING with your brows, even just a light powdering with an eyeshadow. Brows frame your face and if you have a full face of make up and leave your brows they will stick out like a sore thumb, you don’t need to go Gallagher brothers with them but please promise me you’ll run a little something through them! I like the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencils, for me the texture is just right. They are so workable (is that even a word?) so if you do invest in a pencil make sure it has some give.

Finally, lashes – I think a coat or two of mascara followed by some gorgeous lashes does the job beautifully, for me they finish off the bridal look perfectly, but I get they aren’t for everyone. If not, get a good mascara, Loreal and Max Factor do fabulous high street ones, and give yourself a good coating.

So there you have it, my bridal must haves. I hope that’s enough of a taster to help you pick up some tips and products if you decide to do your own make up on your wedding day – and not enough that I do myself out of business 😉

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Channelling my inner Gigi Hadid

It’s safe to say I’m not feeling much like a Victoria’s Secret model right now, unless next seasons look is ‘husband’s oversized t-shirt with spots of baby spew’ then I’ve got the look nailed – until then the closest I’ll get to Gigi Hadid and her goddess-like face is Maybelline’s ‘The Falsies Push Up Drama’ mascara – the mascara that the beautiful Miss Hadid is the face of. 

Readers of the blog will know that I’m a high street mascara gal through and through, they are just so good I don’t feel the need to spend more money than is needed on a designer one and whilst having a much loved snoop around Boots I picked up Maybelline’s latest one. I’ve always been a fan of the falsie range so I had no reason to think this one wouldn’t be just as good…but fair to say it’s definitely not for me. 

Firstly, I don’t like the wand, I prefer a brush rather than the comb style wands but it’s not a deal breaker…if only that was all I disliked about this mascara. The consistency is really wet and it takes a lifetime to dry! God forbid you blink or worse still, sneeze!!! – if you do then its tatties. It’s guaranteed to be half way down your face (ok, not really, but definitely under your eyes messing up your concealer). It’s also very clumpy. Now, I know that look is very much on trend right now, but it’s not the look I want for my everyday, pop to the shop make up. And last, but certainly not least, it’s an absolute BEAST to get off and that is coming from a double cleanse kind of girl. Every night I’m there with the cotton pads furiously trying to remove the worst of it before I have to go in with an oil cleanser, and just when you think you’ve got it all off, the next day you still wake up with panda eyes, not what us ladies want from a mascara. 

Moral of the mascara story, find your high street fave and stick to it…right I’m off to Boots to hit up Loreal, it never lets me down. 

Mum life and makeup…

Well it’s been a while since I took to my blog, but my darling girl is sleeping so I thought I’d grab a minute to pen my mum life and makeup musings of late. 

Firstly, shout out to all the parents, grandparents, foster parents, guardians and everyone else on this crazy parenting journey. NOTHING can prepare you for this massive life-changing arrival; the late nights, early mornings, strange smelling nappies and the fact that this tiny person is 100% dependant on you – I don’t know what else I expected??!! It’s hard work and believe me there have been tears, mostly at 5am after being wakened for the 4th time by a hungry baby, but with all that said, every time I look at my gorgeous girls smiling face I cannot help but beam, she’s my everything, my little masterpiece. 

So yes, I have a new role as mum and that will always come first, but I’m looking forward to getting back to my other love – creating beautiful makeup for my 2016 clients. The diary is filling up nicely and every time I get a new enquiry I am so grateful that people want me to help them create their perfect bridal make up or make them feel beautiful for a special occasion, it truly is a pleasure. I cannot wait to meet all of my confirmed ladies of 2016 and any new clients who I meet along the way. 

As of April I’m back in full flight so if you have a special occasion, wedding or just fancy a treat, drop me a line. I have a head full of plans for the coming year, mostly conjured up at 3am while I feed the wee one and in between googling ridiculous questions that often lead back to netmums…word of advice, take everything they say with a pinch of salt!!! 

I look forward to sharing my makeup musings, reviews, inspiration and client pics with you all soon. It feels good to be back! Sx