Sultry Smokey Summer with Versace Eyes

Bringing high fashion fierceness to your sexy summer self!

versacess13This Summer we have seen stunning makeup trends on the runway from pop colours on eyes and lips to back to basics bare looks.

Chanel and Dior were amongst some of the designers who sported beaming bold beautiful eyes. Every window looks better dressed with glorious curtains, so I’m going to tell you how to dress the windows to your soul with easy to do techniques!

Using a Versace SS13 look as a template and Urban Decay NAKED palette as a colour referral guide here is how to recreate it:

Start with prepping your eyelid with an eye primer (Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion), use your ring finger to work the product all over the eyelid area to the browbone. Also carefully apply the smallest amount of primer underneath the bottom lashes.

Eye Primer

Eye Primer Potion

Take an eyeshadow brush take a base colour (close to your skin colour) and apply all over eyelid. [The colour ‘naked’ 3rd in the palette].

With a small flat shadow brush take a light brown pigment and apply over the eyelid. [The colour ‘buck’ 5th in the palette].

Take your eyeshadow brush and apply a gold metallic colour on the middle of your lids . [The colour ‘half baked’ 6th in the palette].

Using another eyeshadow brush take a black pigment and place it on the outer corner of the lids. [The colour ‘creep’ 11th in the palette].

Take a fluffy brush and using a dark brown shadow go over the black blending the colours into each other softly and create a mid arch in the crease. [The colour ‘hustle’ 10th in the palette].


Urban Decay Naked Pallette

With the same dark brown [‘hustle’],use an eyeshadow brush and put this just before the inner corners of the eyes (so the brown should now be on both ends of the gold). Take the fluffy brush and blend all areas where the colours bleed into each other so it looks flawless.

To create the bolder brighter look, take a light gold/ivory colour and place on the inner corners of the eyes and also on the brow bone using your brow shape as a guideline to highlight. [The colour ‘virgin’ 1st in the palette].

Take a brown eye pencil and holding your outer eye taut, line the upper lash line.

With a small flat eyeshadow brush take a brown pigment eyeshadow [‘hustle’] and work this along your lower lash line.

Follow with a black liquid or gel eyeliner on top, bottom or both depending on your eye shape and the eye shape you desire.

Finish your look with a pair of false lashes to give you an instant glamourous high fashion look. Don’t forget to use a coat of mascara to help your lashes blend in with the falsies!

Smoulder with your bolder brighter eye enhancing, eye catching eye makeup this summer.

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Bronzed Beach Beauty

Planning a getaway to a tropical island or beautiful beach resort? Or just want to re-create a Victoria’s Secret look? Here are some tips on how to get a beach babe inspired ‘no makeup’ makeup face.


BB Cream
It is preferable to choose a BB cream with spf as you always want to keep your skin protected and also has a light texture so you feel hydrated and not so caked and baked in the scorching sun! (If the product does not have SPF make sure the moisturiser applied prior to BB cream does have sun protection).
There are various brands out there to try, so make sure you pick the perfect CCC – colour, consistency and comfort for your skin! Everyone will react differently to different products, so I recommend testing a swatch on a small area of your face before wearing it fully. This will help you tick off the CCC checklist. Prices vary depending on the brand. New products to keep an eye out for: 

HIGH END: Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets BB Creme Skin Perfector SPF 20 for £38.00 (price found on website).


FOR LESS: The Body Shop All in One BB Cream for £12 (price found on website).


So you want to make sure your skin has a gorgeous golden glow to match your tanned body, I would advise opting for a matte bronzer as it looks more natural. Too much glitter can highlight imperfections. My personal favourite is NARS Multiple Bronzer £29 (price found on


I think it is always paired nicely and looks more radiant when adding a little pink pigment to the cheeks to show a natural flush of colour. Should be applied lightly to the apples of the cheek or in between the hollow of the cheeks and cheek bones.

I would recommend lighter pinks for fair skins, medium pinks for medium skin tones and deeper pinks for darker skin tones. My personal favourite is Bobbi Brown Blush £18.00 (price found on


For the lips I would steer towards something light and glossy rather than a lipstick. It gives the illusion of sheer, effortless and natural and when it hits the light will draw attention to your pretty pout. My personal favourite is Bare Minerals Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish £18.00 (price found on


Eyes can be left bare but I always think it’s nice to go for a light sweep of colour on the eyelids to brighten the eyes. Opt for colours a shade or two lighter and brighter than your skin tone. My personal favourite:
MAC Pigment £16.50 (price found on


To finish the look curl your lashes and coat once with a long lasting mascara (Tip: always use an eyelash brush to separate lashes after application of mascara as it will look more natural, less clumpy and create volume as lashes will not be stuck together!) I would recommend Clarins Wonder Waterproof Mascara £21.00 (price found on


And there you have it – the effortless looking ‘bare-faced’ bronzed beach makeup look is complete!

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High Maintenance: Does Beauty Matter?

high maintenance beautyIn a changing world, women are taking on more masculine jobs which do not include the daily ritual of makeup, perfume, manicures, etc. Well, you get the point.

It makes me cringe every time I hear the phrase “High Maintenance”. It’s a a term that has come about over the last few years, in my view it is a phrase you would refer to when describing perhaps a garden or an old classic car!

So does beauty matter?

In the surgical and non-surgical cosmetic clinics across the board, it seems it does matter! As demand has rocketed over the last few years, it is not just celebrities that are on the client list of many top clinics, it is everyday ordinary people that want to hold back the years, slim down or make a change to their lives and the way it would make them feel about themselves.

They do not necessarily fit the stereotype you would imagine. In a survey I carried out recently High Maintenance could also mean to some people – emotional, needy, materialistic, attention-seeking, someone that spends a lot of money on themselves or expects their partner to pay for lavish demands that they may not be able to afford. But for most I surveyed the finger pointed quite clearly to High Maintenance meaning a visual thing, a woman who had fake hair, fake tan, too much makeup, false eyelashes, acrylic nails and designer clothes. In fact, it’s things that fashionable women in the 1960s could not live without and nobody questioned or said a bad word against.

Would a guy still date a woman who spent hundreds on horse riding? Who still had her hair done every month and got Botox regularly? Would he call that High Maintenance? There are a few women out there that are secretly High Maintenance even though you may not think so to look at them.

So does beauty matter?

In my opinion, yes it does matter.

In the corporate world of fashion and design, these job roles demand a well-groomed look. I myself have been in the beauty industry a long time and would not possibly turn up at work looking like I was going out on my morning jog or a stroll along the beach. However some job roles you can be more relaxed in your appearance but who are we to judge. Certainly if you turn up at a wedding you would not wear tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt! We all make the effort at special occasions.

Let’s just say through the decades men and woman have made a huge effort with their looks, for example 80s Punk fashion whose look would take loads of time and effort, but did we care? No.

Women have loved clothes, gone to the hair salon, manicured their nails, prettied up their toe nails, wore a little makeup since the early civilisations. It’s called being feminine.

In an article I read recently many British men are reportedly turning towards other nationalities because women are more feminine and demure in those foreign cultures. It is not that these women are weak in any way, many are high earners and don’t need any financial assistance. What it comes down to is simply the way they look and act which attracts these men.

I feel the word High Maintenance is somewhat used quite flippantly lately. If she has lipstick on then she is high maintenance. Although an attractive girl can look like a supermodel just getting out of bed, running a brush through their hair, putting on a good outfit and they are as good as done, there will still be people who could call her High Maintenance because she is naturally beautiful, but for most women we all need a little time to beautify ourselves and this tends to become longer as we get older.

Modern men these days love to look good as well. They want toned muscular bodies. They have a daily skincare routine. A far cry from a long haired hippie of the Seventies who didn’t wash their hair for days!

If today’s guys and girls want to spend their hard earned cash on looking good then why not? Nobody bats an eyelid at people that smoke or drink and spend money on this. Surely, it’s a matter of choice.

So does beauty matter?

YES it does. Where would we all be without TV shows like “10 Years Younger” and Gok Wan’s “How To Look Good Naked”. So many people on these shows have partners who want them to lose weight or care about themselves a little more, apply a little makeup or put a feminine dress on once in a while. It really does not take much more time to look good.

In a world full of beauty hype and magazines promoting the latest health craze and must-have skincare product, who doesn’t want to look good and stay fit and healthy. There are even those who are obsessed with it all.

I say thumbs up to all of you out there who bother about yourselves.

There is a huge demand for gyms, spas, salons, nail bars, beauty clinics, health farms, pageants etc. so it seems that BEAUTY DOES MATTER and if it didn’t the world would be a very dull place without it.

Do you agree or disagree with Joanna that beauty really does matter? Let us know your comments.

Neon Nails & Blue Mascara? Yes, You Can!

Best-Summer-Lip-Colors1So as we come to the end of the few glorious weeks of the year that us Brits know as the season of ‘Summer’ ( never mind that a season should technically constitute three months minimum, not that I’m bitter or anything…) I sit here writing this high on Vitamin D and enjoying the look of newly stimulated melanin. Yes, summer really does have a positive effect on us all both physically and mentally, and I really do believe it has the power to make a person more beautiful (within reason of course, I would not consider my Portugal sunburn of 2010 a look to be repeated anytime soon…)

I believe this is down to a number of reasons. No one can deny the effects of a healthy, glowing tan, but the sun also has the power to aid the healing of many common skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis and acne to name a few). It also has been proven to the increase the ‘happy hormones’ in our bodies to enhance your mood and even aid sleep. Sounds good, right?

Not to mention how much more creative and vibrant our wardrobes and make-up bags become when the sun is shining. I see so many women suddenly swapping their matte taupe eyeshadow for a glimmering turquoise and their dusky pink lipstick for a tropical coral.

With all this is mind, it got me to thinking about how we can capture this spirit for year round summer glam. After all, that tropical coral lipstick cost £20, why should it only be used for the one week you’re on holiday then stashed away with the neon nail varnish (Zante, 2009) and blue mascara (Majorca, 2011) in the vault of ‘Impulse Beauty Buys’, never to be used again?

imagesCAYE1QP9Here I will be quashing some common make up myths to encourage you to inject a little summer sassiness into your make up bag, all year round:

1. “Blue mascara? My boss will laugh me out the office!”
If the idea of applying coloured mascara to your lashes terrifies you, don’t worry you’re not alone. But with the range or colours available it doesn’t have to be so daunting. Try applying plum or violet coloured mascara just to your bottom lashes for a more subtle look. Yves Saint Laurent offers a fantastic range of colours.

2. “But I don’t want to look like I’ve drawn inspiration from a parrot!”
Try adding a more vibrant colour (think turquoise, purple or gold) to the inner corner or centre of the eyelid to make eyes pop. Keep the rest of the colour palette neutral so the look is wearable and not too dramatic (unless that’s what you’re going for!) Bare Minerals offer some gorgeous shades in all colours.

3. “Bronzer in November? Now I’ve heard it all…”
Strategically placed highlighter and bronzer can easily recreate a holiday glow without looking like you’re auditioning for a role in ‘The Only Way Is Essex’. Apply a gold tone highlighter (try St. Tropez Skin Illuminator in ‘gold’) in a ‘C’ shape around the outside of the eye down to the top of the cheekbone, on the inner corner of the eye, along the centre of the nose, and in the centre of the chin. Apply bronzer in a ‘C’ shape from the hairline to underneath the cheekbone, along the jawline and either side of the nose.

4. “Tangerine lipstick? Shame on me, stick to beige.”
Bright lipstick can look stunning for daytime and evening, summer or winter. Try coral or fuchsia tones to really enhance and lift the complexion. Team with mascara and flawless foundation for a sophisticated look.

So dear readers, go forth and dig deep into the darkest depths of your make up bags and get creative! While you’re doing that I’ll be raiding my fridge, all this summer talk has me craving a piña colada…

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Boyfriend Proofing Your Make-Up

The honeymoon period. Arguably one of the happiest times of any relationship. He picks the wine on your eagerly-anticipated date nights in romantic restaurants, giggling while sneaking into the back of the cinema like a couple of loved-up teenagers, and all his charming little habits like the adorable way he corrects your grammar. Even the way he forgets to call you back because he’s caught up in an incredibly important Xbox war with his mates doesn’t irritate you. And vice versa; he laughs it off when you’re late because your meeting ran over (AKA having a pre-date mental breakdown because you have NOTHING TO WEAR), and he only ever sees you looking your most fabulous.

Fast forward six months and it’s all trackies, Croydon facelifts and un-waxed legs. (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about…) We’ve all been there, It’s the first time you’ve stayed over his house, you wake up in the morning knowing full well the pillow will be covered in foundation and your hair will have moulded itself into a style that even Russell Brand would deem offensive. And while you’re lying there wondering if he owns hairspray (and secretly hoping he doesn’t) and debating whether you could fashion some concealer out of his toothpaste, he wakes up and sees what he’s really let himself in for.

Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s nice to want to look good for your man. Granted it’s not always possible (acceptable excuses including: festivals- even the lucky few natural beauties amongst us struggle here, and long haul flights- too much air con and alcohol dehydration to contend with) but I don’t see anything wrong with trying to keep the spark alive for as long as possible. Now I’m not saying a full face of make up 24/7 is essential to do this, but a bit of strategically placed concealer here and there can never be a bad thing, right?

With this in mind, I started thinking about how to achieve this with minimum effort. Or as I like to call it; ‘Boyfriend Proofing’ (trademark pending). Boyfriend Proofing is the art of looking as gorgeous as possible for as long as possible for as little effort as possible. Trust me, it’s possible. Here are my favourite tried and tested (by yours truly) products to guarantee they’ll never be a Picasso style version of your face imprinted onto the pillow ever again.

smeared makeupStarting with foundation. There’s nothing worse than the above crime (pillow soiling) or even worse, leaving a cloud of powder on his nose every time you kiss him. The key term here is ‘transfer proof’! A lot claim they can do this but few truly can. It’s a tricky job trying to find a long wear base that won’t look too cakey, but lucky for you I’ve held a few experiments (and thrown away half a dozen pillow cases in the process). Here are my top 5:

1. Dior ‘Forever’ (£32)- Does what it says on the tin!
2. Bare Minerals Original Foundation (£25)- Very natural finish, but won’t clog your pores if you leave it on overnight.
3. Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear’ or ‘Double Wear Light’ (£28.50)- this is not for the feint hearted. Very full coverage but will not budge!
4. Lancôme ‘Teint Idole Ultra’ (£27.50)- Gives a very flawless, smooth finish and has serious staying power too.
5. B. Flawless Complete Coverage (only in Superdrug £9.99)- Slightly more purse-friendly, but just as good as its more expensive competitors.

Next up; Mascara. Morning panda eyes is an unflattering affliction to say the least. However nowadays mascara formulations have advanced so much that this need not be an issue. There exists a breed of mascara that can only be removed with water and comes off in ‘tubes’ as opposed to smudging under your eyes. Here’s my top 3:

1. Shu Uemura ‘Tokyo Lash’ (£20)
2. Blinc Mascara (£19.50)
3. L’Oreal ‘Double Extension Beauty Tubes’ (£11.29)

So there you have it ladies, the tools for waking up as much as of a goddess as you looked the night before. Now there really is no excuse is there?! As for the trackies, Croydon facelifts and un-waxed legs? That’s all on you…

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Vintage Makeup Styling

vintage makeupVintage style hair and makeup has always been a passion of mine. There is something very glamorous and feminine about all of these looks. When I talk about Vintage I mean 1920s through to 1960s era. The Great Gatsby has brought through some amazing looks which has now transposed onto the catwalks and into the high street.

Recreating that finger waved hair and making the hair look shorter by securing the back. There are ways of recreating the Finger wave using either a small barrelled tong or wand and brushing through the hair and clamping the wave section and spraying into place instead of the old traditional method of wet setting and finger waving the front of the hair section by section until it dried naturally. The makeup for the 1920s and 1930s was very strong which was almost as if in rebellion as makeup could only be bought under the counter up until this era. The eye makeup was more rounded and with dark pencil and the lips were painted on to appear smaller in darker colours. Mac and Art Deco both have some amazing Eye Palette Colours with strong pigmentation and staying power to recreate the 1920s/1930s eras.  Another fantastic Eye Palette is the Danielle Sandler Quad which come in three different elements Beyond Sunset, Scandal at Midnight and Sheer Beauty.  All three of these palettes can be used to create all the different eras.  The Scandal at Midnight Palette could be used for a simplistic sparkly look or a really strong smokey look as the palette offers a number of options.

Some amazing glosses that I have recently worked with are from Miners Cosmetics and they are wonderful with a strong pop of colour added to the lip or a small amount as a slight stain with the gloss.  They have a luxurious feel to them really moisturise the lip.  This is definitely a gloss I can no longer do without.

One of my favourite eras is the 1940s for Hair and Makeup. I love to recreate the Victory Rolls. I find the Patrick Cameron brush and hair kit works brilliantly for this. You can back brush a section of hair into a roll shape and take another section to smooth over to create the roll and secure into the back brushed roll. The makeup for this era was fairly natural and neutral on the eyes and the red lip was almost a statement for the men that were out at war to come home to their glamorous wives and partners. Illamasqua have some lovely eye palettes that come in a quad. The Neutral Palette works really well for the eye makeup for this era

Mac have a lovely MAC Red Lipstick which could be put on lighter as a stain for less of an Impact.

The 1950s era is all about the feline flicks on the eyes with lashes and the beautiful Hollywood rounded red lip. A really nice red lip is the Art Deco Dita Von Teese Golden Vintage Collection and they have numbers 15,28 and 36 in the red lip with a wonderful gloss in 28 and 70. These work beautifully for this era and their Mineral Lip Liner glides on beautifully and does not move to seal the lipstick on the lips. This collection has powder, blusher, eye palette and lashes and I believe has everything you need to recreated that look.

Lekeux Cosmetics also do some lovely Vintage Styled pots with a double ended brush, one end for lip, one end for eye liner. The three pots come in Whistlebait (red lip), Peachy Keen (coral lip) and Black Cadillac Liner. These three pots come in a gift set with the brush.

1950s hair is all about the set curls and waves for the Hollywood Glamour look, think Marilyn Monroe.

The 1960s era is all about making a statement. With the strong smokey eye and black kohl pencil and false eyelashes. Eyelashes can also be drawn on under the eye to recreate the look adopted by Twiggy. With this strong eye comes the nude lip and contoured cheek bones. Some nice smokey colours to try would be Carbon Eyeshadow from Mac and Smoulder Kohl Pencil or Louise Young Eye Palette which has all the colours you need to create a Smoky eye. Mac number 10 corner lashes are a good option if you are not confident at fitting full lashes on your eyes. Mac also do a matte lip colour called Myth which works in synergy with the eyes for this look or another option would be the pale pink lipstick at Helen E Cosmetics which is a Candy Pink colour called Marshmallow.

With the strong eye and nude lip comes the flawless opaque look foundation. I love the Helen E stage liquid foundation that adapt to your skintones in the aptly named Monroe, Bardot, Loren and Hepburn and it looks flawless. Another option for the foundation is the Art Deco HD Foundation which gives a lovely airbrushed appearance without looking too heavy.

Whichever era you like it is nice to be transported back in time. The Goodwood Revival Festival allows you to do just that. You can opt for an era and wear the appropriate style clothing and pop into the Goodwood Revival Salon for an appointment and get your hair and makeup styled according to the era you have chosen. It is an amazing event and there are lots of stalls and shops and entertainment, music and bars to while away the time.

What A Cheek!

Do you know that blusher is the most versatile product in your make-up bag. Don’t just use it on your cheeks though, there are plenty of ways you can lift your looks with artful brush strokes.

beauty blusherPowder is by far the most popular type of blusher today as it suits all skin types, but is especially good for oily skins, helping to preserve a good matt finish. Dust it on your face with a thick brush after powdering, not straight on top of moisturiser as this tends to make it look caked and blotchy.

Cream is especially good for dry skin and gives it a healthy glow. Use on top of foundation but before powdering. Apply with a damp sponge for best results.

Gel helps to give your skin a sheer transparent sheen. Most gels are waterproof so they are great for swimmers and sunbathers. Use just a dab on top of moisturiser and blend well with your fingertips for soft, long lasting colour.

When it comes to application use a soft fluffy brush to put on your powder blusher. The bigger the brush, the softer the effect. Always tap off any excess colour on the back of your hand before you start – begin with very little colour and gradually build it up – it is easier than having to wipe it off and starting again if you put on too much. Use dabbing rather than stroking movements so you do not end up with theatrical-looking stripes across your face! Professionals like to use two brushes, one to put the colour on and one for blending, to give a cover girl finish.

Wash brushes frequently, as they collect dust and bacteria that can cause acne. Leave brushes to dry flat rather than standing them upright so the bristles do not splay out and lose their shape. With cream and gel blushers use dampened cosmetic sponges for a really even, natural finish and to stop it getting on your fingers. Put a few small dots on your cheeks and blend away!

Blusher is not just for your cheeks but can also be used to give your face a touch of healthy colour too. Try it over your eyelids and brow bones but stick to soft matt shades for daytime make-up. Across the bridge of your nose for a sun kissed look-but keep it light or you may end up looking sunburnt. On the tip of your chin-this helps to shorten a long face. If you have a round face you can slim down your face with a concentration of colour on the cheekbones, fading out at the temples.

Check your profile carefully in the mirror for any hard edges on the sides of your cheeks, then blend them in with a brush. For those of you with an oval face add colour to the fullest part of your cheeks. Smile with your mouth closed to find the right starting point.

When mixing shades for your cheeks, stick to the same textures-powder with powder or gel with gel. If you have a square face add colour just below the cheekbone and blend outwards, then stroke the same colour along your jawline to soften it.

Do not forget to check the finished look with your hair styled in place. You may need to re-shade to balance the look. And finally if you have a long face apply a dark matt blusher on the tip of your chin to give the illusion of a shorter face.

Always use the lightest touch and brush outwards and downwards to prevent any fine facial hairs from sticking up.

Reader’s Questions

Q. My blusher always fades away leaving me looking pale. What can I do to make it last longer?
A. Try layering the colour by using a cream blusher first, then dusting a powder blusher over the top of your make-up once you have powdered your face.

Q. Blusher makes me look flushed. What am I doing wrong?
A. It may be the shade that you are using, the amount you are putting on or where you are applying it!

Q. Sometimes when I am in a hurry, I put on too much blusher. How can I correct this?
A. Powder blush can be toned down with a little light face powder. Dust it over the top with a brush. With cream or gel, just smooth foundation over the top.