Smokey Eye Tutorial

This weekend, the lovely Holly Willis reacted to a post we shared on our Facebook page about how to do a Smokey eye look.  So what else could I do when I got to the shop today but prepare a little tutorial ?  Hope you like it Holly, Kate, Alyssa, Sara, Marijke and everyone else !!!

Step one – PRIME !!!

Primer – why aren’t you using it yet ?

Even though step one on all my makeup tutorials is to prime, it’s worth while repeating it here.  Every great artist starts with a properly primed and prepared canvass and you should too !!!  As well as drinking lots of water, adopting a good skincare regime and staying out of sunlight, an absolute essential for good makeup application is to use primer.

It won’t surprise you to learn that I personally use Younique primer, which you can get from my main site here, primarily because it’s a great mid price range product which gives a nice finish, but there are a  number out there to suit all budgets – just be sure to choose one and use it. OK ?



Step two – choose your shade


Pallette 1
Pallette 1 – Warm Peach

Today I’m going to be working on Denise who has the most lovely shade of green eyes.  Green (and brown eyes) are great to work on as a makeup artist as they suit a number of colour pallettes that makeup companies produce.

Pallette 2
Palette 2 – Grey and Silver

I’m using a mix of Palletes 1 and 2 from Youniques range of eye-shadows here today as they’re the backbone of my kit, but in general, you’ll find a single palette is ideal for creating your look.  The only reason I’m using two pallettes on Denise today is that I wanted to use the mid shade of palette 2 to generate more of a contrast around her eye, which you’ll see later.

Step three – lets get started !!

Step two  –

To start with, I’m going to use shade 1 of palette 1 to apply the first base layer, using a shadow brush (I prefer to use this brush to start with, moving to a blending brush for the final stages).  The reason for using this neutral colour today is to emphasise the eye definition which I’ll be applying in stage fourThe reason for using this neutral colour today is to emphasise the eye definition which I’ll be applying in stage four.  The key point is that you don’t apply too much powder and to get it reasonably even (Don’t worry too much about it as we’ll be blending later).  You want to let the colours do the work for you, rather than layer on layer upon layer after colour.  This can cause flecks of shadow to drop of the eye onto the upper cheek area and make you look a little speckly.  In general I apply two layers of each colour and certainly no more than three.  If you find you’re using more, you’re probably using a low pigment colour content powder and it might be time to reconsider the brand that you’re using.  I say this because lots of layers of makeup tend to drag the eye down. make you look older (sounds weird but it’s true) and make it look as if you are trying to hide something with your makeup.  Ideally you want to keep it nice and light.

Stage four – eye definition

Picture 2
Step three – Using a pencil on the lower eye area

So, I’ve got a nice coloured even base, the next thing to do is to start defining the eyes. In order to match palette 1, I’m going to be using the prim chocolate shade of the Moodstruck precision pencil eyeliner below the area for the lower eyeliner, and the proper, dark chocolate shade of the Moodstruck Liquid eyeliner for the upper and lower eye edge definition.  Two things to note here are that you want your pencil to be a soft “kohl” style one, because you’re going to be smudging this out later and the eyeliner itself needs to be capable of generating a really hard line, in order to get the edge definition to blend into.  As you’ll see in the picture on the left, I’ve given Denise a little bit of a “cat eye” ( eyeliner which extends past the outer edge of the eye)

Picture 3
Using a liquid eyeliner to create a strong bold edge definition

The reason I’ve done this is to give a edge to blend the main part of the eyeshadow into, past the eye, which will extend it and make the look more dramatic.  You’ll also see that I accidentally went a bit wonky with the pencil in the corner of the eye.  If the same happens to you, don’t worry about it, the smudging will cover all later !!!! Although some makeup tutorials suggest applying the eyeliner first and then the pencil, I personally prefer the other way around, as I find the edge definition holds a little better.  But that’s just personal preference.


Step five – Little bit of smudging !!

Picture 4
Smudge the lower eye pencilled area to even out the application

Now that we’ve got the eye defined, we just need to smudge the lower pencil line.  Taking a clean brush (this bits really important, you don’t want to drag in colour from other areas of the eye) lightly brush over the pencil line that you applied in stage four.  You might need to add another layer of pencil at this stage to build up a little bit of colour as you’ll probably find that the brush will pull some colour off.  Another good reason for using a clean brush (or a ear bud) at this stage is that it allows you to correct any mistakes that you may have made (remember that wonky edge ? – GONE !!!)


The shape you’re aiming to create blends out to nothing at either edge and about 3-4mm depth in the middle.  I personally find it easier to blend from the inner eye to the outer edge in a smooth gentle motion, adding the odd spot of pencil in the middle to get the shape in the picture.  Don’t be afraid to take it to the edge of the cats eye that you created earlier to extend the eye.  It will all make sense in a bit !!!

Step six – bring the colour !!

Picture 5
First application of colour.  Note where it starts and stops and the taper on the front edge

Edges done, its time to add the colour which is the signature of the smokey eye look.  Going back to palette 1, I’m using shades 5 and 6 from the pallete and shade 4 off palette 2 for Denise’s look today.  The trick here is that I’m applying the darker shade first and then the lighter shades over the top of it.  Again, some tutorials that you see will show a transition from light to dark, but I prefer to apply the other way around.  The reason being that it adds depth to the lighter colours and makes the blending that we’ll be doing later really shine.    You’ll see in the picture that to start with, I’m only applying the darker colour from the middle of the eyelid out to the edge of the cats eye that I created in stage four.  You should also notice that I’ve applied it in a taper on the front edge.

Picture 5a
Add shimmer and shine with your lighter metallic shade

The reason for this is that it opens the inner eye up and creates a more natural shape for the eyelid. Next, I’m using shades five from palette 2 and shade four from palette 1 on the inner edge of the eye.  Although I’m using three colours here for my colours, most Smokey eye looks are a blend of two colours directly from a single palette.  If you’d prefer, leave out shade four from palette 1 (You’ll save yourself a little blending later) Again, a couple of key points of this stage are, use a clean brush and don’t take the lighter colours all the way to the inside of the eye.  Remember, you’re not looking for smooth transitions at this point, as you’re going to be blending later.


Step seven – Blend girl blend !!! Get the look !!!


Picture 6
Blend the edges – you can carry it up into the brow area to add shape and arch

Edges defined, colour applied, its time for the most fun bit, blending !!! This is where you bland and smudge (carefully) in a range of stokes across the eyelid.  You can also be a little daring and take it up into the eyebrow area as you can see here.  The nice thing about using shades four and five as I did here is that it creates the “shimmer” that you can see in the picture, which lightens the whole overall eye.  For blending, I recommend you use a specialist brush, like the one in the link, but I also use blending buds occasionally, depending on the consistency of the powder that I’m blending.

Picture 8
And voila !!! one Smokey eye look !!!

You’ll get to work out which one works best for you with practice and depending on which makeup brand you use.


Finish the look with some of Younique’s epic lash mascara to really add to the look – you wont regret it !!!

There really isn’t a product like this on the market at the moment – it’s just that Younique !!!!

Get yours here – You’ll thank me later !!!

Know the basics – Makeup Primer


makeup primerI was asked this weekend by the lovely “Friend of the store” Allison (it’s a new thing for us – go with it !!!) if I could write some articles going over some Makeup basics, which sounded like a great idea to me !!!

I thought for this series of articles, I’d start with (naturally enough) makeup primer. If you’re one of the many ladies who don’t use (or have heard of) this little gem, this essential is a worthwhile addition to your makeup bag. So, come with me into the store and let’s have a play !!! After all, that’s how I roll !!!)

Younique Touch Glorious Primer
As you know, I present for Younique and their version is called “Touch Glorious primer” which you can find here. If you’ve not tried Younique, or prefer a different makeup brand, don’t worry, pretty much all of what I’ll be talking about here is equally applicable to other brands products, so you won’t be losing out, except when I’m talking about ingredients, which I know a lot of girls are interested in, particularly when it comes to using a product that is cruelty free. So let’s get that out the way first shall we ? Are you ready ? Here comes the sciencey bit !!
Younique’s primer contains the following ingredients. Isododecane, Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid and Tocopheryl Acetate. That’s a lot of chemistry !!! But you needn’t worry, like a lot of cosmetics suppliers, Younique is cruelty free and I’m sure your preferred brand will be too.
Most primers contain silicon-polymers which help flatten out or smooth the skin, so you’ll probably notice your products ingredients will be similar to the above. Taking the above list as an example though, if like me, you have sensitive skin, the ones to look for are Dimethicone and Retinyl variants. The reason for this is that they can cause some skin irritation, or in extreme circumstances and allergic reaction, so it’s worth getting a small sample to check before you start using, particularly if you suffer with acne or eczema.

How do primers work ???

Unlike a moisturiser, which you apply to soften the skin, a primer smoothens the skin, improves the adhesion of your makeup and hence it’s resistance to coming off through the day. When used over nourished skin they create a thin, weightless film on the surface of your skin, which provides the key for your foundation to stick to. It can also help keep your foundation in place in wet or humid environments (it can even help if you tend to sweat your makeup off during the day !!!)

How to apply your primer

Apply your primer in a circular motion over your skin
You should apply your choice of primer onto clean, dry skin, but you don’t need a lot. This is definitely a case of less is more !!!! A spot the size of a 5p coin (or similar) is enough for most people. All you need to do is massage it into your skin with your finger tips in a circular motion. Some people find it easier to apply under their eyes using a small, thin brush (like an eyeshadow brush) but I don’t find a need to do this personally. Some people also find the area under their eyes to be a little more sensitive than the rest of their face and will use a specialist, gentler eye primer, but, even with my sensitive skin, I don’t tend to find I need this. The key after application is to allow it to dry on the skin for a 2-3 minutes to get completely dry before you apply the rest of your makeup.

Advantages of Using Makeup Primer

As a makeup artist, makeup primer is an essential piece of kit, which I always keep to hand in my makeup bag of tricks.  Why ? Well, here’s my top 3 reasons……….!!!
  • It reduces the appearance of pores – I’m not proud of it, but just to the side of my nose, I have a large pore (You could probably serve dip out of it at parties, gross but true). If like me, you have the occasional deep pore, you’ll find that using a primer will seal, fill and reduces their appearance. Even if you’re one of those lucky women who are blessed with small pores, you’ll find that it a useful to use a primer, particularly if you use a liquid foundation, which can sometimes magnify their appearance.
  • It smoothens your skin and evens its tone – Using a primer will make your skin smooth and soft to the touch – Glorious !!!! (See what I did there ?) If you have redness, burst blood vessels, moles or freckles on the face, a primer will help minimize all these. Using a Primer, gives your skin a smoother more even tone. It will also help with evening out fine lines around the eyes or edges of the lips.
  • It makes the makeup more resisilient – The main task of a primer is to make your makeup more resistant. A primer helps reduce sweating through the pores; it helps the makeup remain longer held in its place. A primer also acts as a certain shield for dust, water, and dirt, which erases makeup.
So, finishing up, a makeup primer is really simple to use. It dries instantly without leaving a sticky sensation. And reduces the appearance of fine lines, pores and skin redness. Don’t think of it as adding more time to your daily beauty ritual. Think of it as adding 2-3 minutes, which will give you extra confidence that smudged makeup is a thing of the past, as well as the need for constant re-applying !!! (And if you are worried about the 2-3 minutes, use it to work on your nails with some lovely Jamberry Nail wraps !!!!)
I’d love to know what your experience of using makeup primer is, or, if reading this you’re tempted to try it – why not pop me a line and tell me ?
Love always

2017 UK Pride dates


Eleanor popped us a message on Saturday, asking if we knew when a pride event was happening in her area, so we created this little list of the main 2017 events to share with you – if you’d like some help looking fabulous for your big weekend – be sure to let us know !!  You can contact us through our main page at


This years pride events !!

  •  Belfast Gay Pride                              2017-07-28 to 2017-08-06
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  • Birmingham Gay Pride                   2017-05-27 and 2017-05-28
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  • Blackpool Pride                                 2017-06-11 and 2017-06-12
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  • Brighton Pride                                   2017-08-04 to 2017-08-06
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  • Brighton Trans Pride                       2017-07-21
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  • Bristol Pride                                       2017-06-30 to 2017-07-09
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  • Burnley Pride                                     2017-05-26
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  • Canterbury Pride                              2017-06-10
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  • Chester Pride                                     2017-08-19
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  • Coventry Pride                                  2017-06-10 to 2017-06-11
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  • Cymru Pride                                       2017-08-25 to 2017-08-27
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  • Doncaster Pride                                2017-08-19
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  • Dublin Pride                                       2017-06-24
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  • Durham Pride                                    2017-05-29
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  • Eastbourne Gay Pride                     2017-07-22
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  • Essex Pride                                         2017-06-24
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  • Exeter Pride                                       2017-05-13
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  • Exmouth Pride                                  2017-07-01
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  • Flintshire Pride                                  2017-05-27
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  • Gloucestershire Gay Pride            2017-06-10
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  • Hampshire Pride                               2017-02-25
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  • Hereford Pride                                  2017-07-29
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  • Herts Pride                                         2017-09-02
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  • Hull Pride                                            2017-07-22
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  • Lancaster Pride                                 2017-05-20
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  • Leeds Gay Pride                                2017-08-05
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  • Liverpool Pride                                  2017-07-29
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  • London Pride                                     2017-06-24 to 2017-07-09
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  • Manchester Pride                            2017-08-25
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  • Newcastle Pride                               2017-07-21
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  • Norwich Pride                                    2017-07-29
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  • Oxford Pride                                      2017-06-03
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  • Plymouth Pride                                 2017-08-05
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  • Pride Cymru                                       2017-08-25 to 2017-08-27
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  • Pride Sheffield                                  2017-07-29
  • Wesbite :-                                 
  • Reading Pride                                    2017-09-02
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  • Rotherham Pride                              2017-07-15
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  • Sheffield Pride                                  2017-07-29
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  • Southampton Pride                         2017-08-26
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  • Sparkle                                                 2017-07-07
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  • Totnes Pride                                       2017-09-02
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  • Walsall Gay Pride                             2017-08-26
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  • Warwickshire Pride                         2017-08-19
  • Website :-                                 
  • Weston Super Mare Pride            2017-07-29
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  • York Pride                                           2017-06-10
  • Website :-                                 

How to apply your blusher



We had a fun email from Amy today, who wanted to learn a little more about how to apply blusher. I’m not going to go into all the details, (it was a very funny letter) but suffice it to say, she is fed up looking like a bit of a tart. (and not the scrummy type that you service with custard) Although I am not a fan of blusher personally ( I prefer highlighting and sculpting) there’s no denying that for a lot of women, it’s a make-up essential, so it seemed only right and proper that I wrote a little about how to apply your blusher correctly.
The key thing about highlighting, sculpting and blushing (was that the right way to say that ?) is to work out what your face shape is before you start. Take a look at the diagram below and then pick the one that most looks like your face shape.

What’s your face type ?


Most makeup artists will tell you that when it comes to applying your makeup and highlighting, Oval faces are often considered the ideal face shape. This is because they have prominent cheekbones and a forehead that is slightly wider than the chin. Heart shaped faces have a wide forehead and high cheekbones, and the face tapers to a narrow chin. Square faces have a forehead that is roughly the same width as the cheekbones and chin, while round faces are as wide as they are long. Long faces, or “rectangular” as it is sometimes called, are similar to oval and square-shaped faces. The only difference is, the face is longer and less wide. Your forehead, cheeks and jawline should all be pretty much the same width. If you have a triangular-shaped face, your chin will be narrow and pointed and your high cheekbones will be your most prominent feature. So with this in mind. How do you make the most of your features with a little blusher ? Well, the key point is “Less is more” You don’t need to apply so much that it’s visible from a distance. You want your blusher to be subtle, elegant and delicate. Now lets take a look at how to WHERE to apply it.
Oval faces – sweep your blush over your cheekbones. You can easily find your cheekbone with your fingers – aim to place the colour just above the bone rather than towards the hollow beneath it to help raise the height of your cheekbone.
Heart shaped faces – because your face can appear pointy, we need to soften the edges so it appears more like an oval. Apply blush to the outer corner of your cheekbone, starting by your ear and ending at a point below the outer corner of your eye. Also add a touch of colour by your temples, towards the centre of your forehead, to help balance the width of your forehead with your chin.
Square faces – your cheekbones are the same width as your chin, so to help define them apply your blush slightly below the cheekbone. Blush in the hairline will help soften the edges of your face.
Round faces – try not to use pearlised or highly reflective blushers as these reflect the light well and make a surface appear more round, which we want to avoid – matte blushers would be best for you. Sweep your blush from the ear down the cheekbone towards the mouth. Add a little touch of blush to the chin and blend it well to make your face appear longer.
Long faces – Apply blush on cheekbones below the outer corners of the eyes and blend well. Be sure the blush never extends lower than the tip of the nose.
Triangular faces – Blush should be applied in a sideways V on the cheekbones. Blend up from your cheekbones to your temple and then extend the blush over your brow a bit toward the centre of your forehead. This will help to balance the width of your forehead with the rest of your face.

Which is the best blusher to use though ?

Cream blusher – Apply the satin-like, creamy, non-greasy texture with fingers for an anti-ageing effect. It blends beautifully over naked skin or foundation leaving a hint of flattering colour. Perfect for all skin-types and drier skins will love it the most as it feels comfortable and non-drying on the skin.
Liquid blusher – This is probably the easiest type to misuse, as it’s easy to over-apply. That said though, the silicone in these types of product, makes it virtually rub-off proof and water-resistant.
Powder blusher – Sheer colour, some with shimmer finish. Smooth, satiny powder finish that floats over skin. Creates a soft transparency that lasts for hours.

How to apply makeup for glasses wearers

Header image.jpg

Darlene recently got in touch with me complaining that as a glasses wearer, it seems everytime she tries to apply makeup, things go wrong and she ends up “looking like a clown” or “not getting the look that she wants”. This got methinking, there are lots of guides out there for looks you can achieve, products to use etc, but how DO you apply makeup if you wear glasses ? I mean, not everyone can or wants to wear contact lenses, right ?
So, Darlene, here are some hints and tips, which I hope will be of help to you !
First of all, you’ll benefit from a little planning up front. I know, it’s boring, but a little planning and preparation up front really gives you a clear picture of what to achieve. When you’re selecting your look, look at pictures of women wearing glasses already !!! More than that, look at pictures of women wearing glasses similar to YOURS !!!! We know, it sounds obvious, but a lot of girls forget this and look at pictures of dramatic evening wear makeup (like the smokey eye look, or cats eyes) which when framed by your glasses, can make your eyes look really heavy and deep set.
Once you’ve chosen your look, as strange as it seems, you’ll benefit from a really good mirror.

Waneway makeup mirror
When I say good, I mean good magnification and also illuminated. My personal favourite is this one from Waneway. It’s got 20 dimmable LED lights around the edge which help illuminate your whole face (it also has a memory function which saves you having to pfaff with setting it each time you use it) It also has a 10x removable spot mirror, which really helps see detail when you are doing fine work – finishing lash edges, wingtips, that sort of thing. Best of all its less than £20 !!! BARGAIN !!!!
Another really handy product is this little beauty I came across when researching this article

Foldable glasses – who’d have thought ?
Foldable glasses !!! I have to admit, I don’t wear glasses (I had laser surgery a little while ago to correct my vision) but I’ve heard a few ladies say they use these and although fiddly at first to get to grips with, they’ve found that with time, they have learned to make the most of them. One comment that I did hear from ladies that use these is that they are more useful for doing eyeshadow than eyeliner. I also noticed when looking at them, they tend to come in standard magnifications (1.00 +1.50 +2.00 +2.50 +3.00 +3.50 +4.00 were the most common, so they might not be exactly right for your prescription. But at £6.99 for a pair, they’re worth trying if you’re struggling with fine detail.
So, you’ve got some great tools (you can get your brushes here) now, what to do with them ?

Youniques Glorious Primer
Well, first things first, you’re best to apply primer to your face. There are two reasons for this. (1) It provides the perfect surface to apply your foundation on. (2) It helps even out blemishes across the skin which can be magnified by glasses, particularly under the eye. My personal favourite is Youniques Glorious Primer. This is absolutely PERFECT for building your foundation on and stay in place. It’s a little heavy for the eyes though, so there’s a special formulation that you can get for your eyes here.
With your primer set, you’re ready to move onto your concealer. When you wear glasses,

Tounch mineral foundation
your eyes will tend to need a little more attention in this area, as the glasses will tend to magnify any circles, dark areas or pores by drawing attention to this area of your face. Concealer is great for prepping your eyelids before applying your eye shadow application. You’re looking to apply a concealer 1-2 shades lighter under your eye (remember, not too heavy) and then smudge it out. A lot of girls like to use their fingers for this, but I personally prefer to use Youniques blending buds for this – the pink one is perfect for fine detail around the eyes and they leave a smooth even finish without to much pressure, which is important in delicate areas like the eye. Depending on the shape of your glasses, you may find that you need to apply a little more concealer in the under eye area than your used to, because big bold circular glasses (like the lady on the cover photo of this article) tend to magnify a large are under the eye. As before, blend it out with a blending bud (this time the purple one)

Younique touch mineral foundation
Now you’re ready for your foundation. As with all makeup, its a personal choice, but my personal favourite is Touch mineral foundation at the moment. I use it with a foundation brush, rather than pads, sponges or fingers (but this is just my preference) Check out the tips section at the bottom of the page for a really useful tip for how to use your brushes !! If the frame of your glasses is quite thick, don’t worry about applying foundation in the area of the bridge of your nose. There’s simply no point applying in this area, it will only come off and the finish of your foundation will encourage your glasses to slide down your nose. It will take a little more blending (and hence time) but the result will be worth it. Don’t forget to blott away excess foundation to keep your makeup from coming off onto your frames in the cheek area. If you’re set on applying foundation in this area, fix it in place with a little setting powder which will also help stop your glasses sticking to your foundation and lifting it from your face.
Before we leave this area, I want you to put your glasses on. Why ? Well, while the frames of

Flawless Complexion enhancer
glasses frame your face, your cheeks and brows frame your glasses. So, we’re looking to accentuate these features to draw attention to your eyes! Use sculpting trio with a dark brown shadow and an angled brush to fill in your brows so they are prominent. Then apply a bit of pink blush on the apples of your cheeks. If your glasses are larger frames that hide a bit of your cheekbone, use them as guidance for where to apply the blush so the colour doesn’t rise up past the frame. With the glasses on, use a highlighter to add some shimmer to the outer cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and above your eyebrows. Blend bronzer into the hollows of your cheekbones for added definition.

Moodstruck addition eye shadow
Now…… It’s time for those funny looking glasses !!! (or if you’d prefer, the spot illuminate mirror) Because, we’re going to focus on our eye shadow, eye liner and mascara !!! Exciting huh ? I personally prefer a light, clean and simple look for the eye lid because the glare from the lenses can sometimes be distracting enough. Apply a nude, neutral or bronze, matte shade just above the crease with a fluffy brush. Then use a velvety, peach shade in the inner corner of the eye and on the centre of the lower lid. There are lots of fun shades to choose from out there though if you want to be a little daring – Younique offer an amazing range of colours here.

Younique liquid eyeliner
We’re almost done !!! Use black, liquid eyeliner to apply a thin line along the upper lash line, finishing it with a small upward flick at the end (Winged eyeliner is so IN at the moment !!!) and then finish your look with mascara – 3d lash mascara (or a lash enhancer if you prefer) is ideal for this !!! Don’t forget your brows too – pluck any stray hairs and give them a nice shape using one of our contour guides. I personally prefer to colour my brows, but a lot of girls are choosing to go for shaping and fixing in place with a clear mascara (You can use liquid one from the 3d mascara set for this) Then pop your glasses on for the ultimate finishing touch – LIPSTICK !!!!

Stiff upper lip stain by Younique
Because you’ve kept your eye makeup clean and simple to this point, you can have some real fun with your lip colour – and the best news is there are some amazing shades out there at the moment, which better yet, really stay in place !!! My personal favourite at the moment is the “Savvy shade” from the Younique lip stain product range, which you can find here.
And that’s all there is to it, you’re all good to go girl !!! If you’re a spectacle wearer, I’d love to hear what tips you have for your makeup and products you use – it’s always great to learn new things and who knows, you might even get a personal message of thanks from Darlene !!

My top tips

  • The thicker your glasses frames – the thicker your eyeliner can be and, if your frames are tiny – draw thinner line with your eyeliner. This adds balance and harmony to your look.
  • Smudging your eyeliner draws attention to your eyes without looking too sharp and angular. If you find your eyes water when applying eyeliner, try this my pro tip: draw a thick line with your black/brown eyeliner pencil on the back of your hand and then, using a smudging brush and apply the product on your lash line (try to keep it as close to your lash line, as possible). This helps make your eyeliner look very soft and elegant.
  • Curling your eyelashes can help move them away from contact with the lens of your glasses, prevening marks on them which you have to clean off and lets be honest, who has time to do that in the office ?
  • When you wear glasses, eye shadow that has “shimmer” in it can make your eyes look smaller. A light amount of shimmer for your brow bone area is the one exception to this rule.
  • Using a moistened brush helps move the product over your face. I find that if the brush is too dry, it can pick up too much of the product and pull too much at the sensitive skin under the eye.
  • Black liner or shadow can be too heavy for most girls with glasses, but a sparkly navy or a deep burgundy liner, makes everyone look good, no matter what skin tone or hair colour you have.
  • Use a tinted moisturizer to help hide those annoying red marks that glasses often leave behind on your nose. That way if you take your glasses off at any point during the night (when you’re snogging a guy for instance), you won’t have those annoying little red marks that glasses tend to leave on the bridge of your nose. BB creams and BB Foundations will also help get rid of any uneven redness from the start, making your skin look really polished so that your eyes standout even more.
  • Even though your glasses may hide them, it’s equally important to tend to your brows because they help frame your face for a makeup look that feels complete. To make them standout, use a clear or coloured brow mascara and brush your brows upward and outward to darken them slightly and ultimately give your face a gorgeous, polished look.
  • Let the colour of your frames guide your choice of eyeliner shades. If you have black frames, you can pull off any colour of liner. But, if your glasses aren’t solid black, try a dark bronze or smoky quartz shade. For tortoise frames, choose one of the colours within the frames of your glasses to make your eye makeup look softer.

October Cover Girl

Well !!! What a month September was !!! Not only did I have a wonderful holiday travelling through Australia and Samoa for over three weeks meeting friends and just generally relaxing, but when I got back, I received the wonderful news that we had raised over £100 for the transgender charity “My Umbrella” and as if that wasn’t enough, I had the pleasure of announcing that the lovely Sara-Jayne Crawford as the winner of our cover girl competition !!! Just look at her lovely smile !!!

Sarah will be featured in our October “YNotBu” magazine, which will be the first release since we acquired the rights to the magazine in August, something we’re super excited about – we cant wait to share it with you and some of our new ideas for it !!!

Safe Tanning Tips

tannnigNow that summer is upon us (no honest – it REALLY is here in the UK, the rain is getting warmer !!) it’s seems a good time to remind ourselves about safe tanning.  If you’re unfortunate like I am and one of those people who seem to burn if you’re out for more than half an hour or so in the sun, then hopefully, you’ll find this guide a useful reminder of how to enjoy the sun safely.

Specifically, who needs to take care, what the risks are, sun protection factors and the all important what to do when things go wrong………..

So pay attention girls – here comes the “sciencey bit” !!!  Also – its a bit of a long one today – so you might want to settle in with a nice cuppa and a biscuit (or two)





What is a Tan ?

Did you know that a tan is actually a sign the skin has been damaged and is trying to protect itself ? You’d be surprised to know that if you did, you’re in good company, nearly two thirds of the ladies in my Facebook group thought the exact opposite !!! Mist commonly quoting “You look a lot healthier with a tan – it gives you a healthy glow and makes you feel better about yourself”.  The truth is a little different though !!!  The dark pigment that gives the skin its natural colour is a substance called melanin which is manufactured in the skin by pigment cells called melanocytes.  After our skin has been exposed to sunlight the melanocytes produce more melanin in attempt to absorb further UV radiation, and so the skin becomes darker.

Why should you be careful?

Summer’s great isn’t it ? Holidays, days out at the beach, picnics and barbecues.  Let’s be honest, nobody wants to spend summer indoors !!!  And, some sunshine, below sunburn level, can be good for us.  It helps the body to create vitamin D and giving many of us a feeling of general wellbeing as we enjoy outdoor summer activities.  The problem is of course when we over do our exposure which can lead to a range of skin problems.  Everyone is aware of the most serious of problems (the dreaded C word) of course, but there are a whole range of other issues including sunburn, photosensitive rashes and prickly heat. Over exposure can also worsen existing conditions like rosacea.

As I mentioned before, a number of my friends associate a tan with looking healthy.  But, the truth is that a tan is actually a sign our skin has been harmed by UV radiation and is trying to defend itself against further damage. This kind of damage can in turn increase your risk of developing skin cancer.  Its estimated that over 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the UK, and while the disease can also occur on parts of the body not exposed to sunlight, extensive sun exposure is thought to be responsible for the vast majority of cases. In more than four out of five these cases skin cancer is a preventable disease.

UVA and UVB radiation (Deep breath, its another sciencey bit)

UV radiation from the sun is transmitted in three forms, which are differentiated by their wavelengths.  Their names are UVA, UVB and UVC.  Fortunately, because UVC doesn’t penetrate the atmosphere, we only really need to protect against UVA and UVB.  UVA irradiation is most commonly associated with skin ageing. This is because it affects the elastin in the skin, leading to wrinkles, leathery skin and brown pigmentation.  UVA is capable of penetrating window glass and penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB.  UVA protection in a sunscreen will help defend the skin against photo ageing. and potentially skin cancer.

UVB on the other hand, is mostly responsible for sunburn and has strong links to malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma risk (types of skin cancer).  A sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor) will help block UVB rays and prevent the skin from burning, and by association, any damage that can lead to skin cancer.

So, tell me about SPF – what’s that about ?

Sunscreens here in the UK are labelled with an ‘SPF’ rating, which stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and is usually followed by a number.  SPF is a measure of the level of protection against UVB, not the protection against UVA.   Because of this, you’ll sometimes hear people refer to it as the “Sun burn protection factor”.  SPFs are rated on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with ratings between 2 to 14 forming the least protected end of the spectrum and ratings of 50+ offering the strongest forms of UVB protection. Most dermatologists I spoke to when I was researching this article recommended going for an SPF of at least 30, with some going as high as 50 if you have fair skin.

As well as the SPF number, Most sunscreens I saw while browsing in Boots had the following table on them.  You should also check that your chosen sun protection is photostable. ‘Photostability’ means that the filters do not break down in the sun.

New Label SPF
Low protection 6   to 14   (i.e. SPF 6 and 10)
Medium protection 15 to 29   (i.e. SPF 15, 20 and 25)
High protection 30 to 50   (i.e. SPF 30 and 50)
Very high protection 50 +         (i.e. SPF 50+)






I see some foundation and moisturisers now have SPF ratings – is that the same ?

SPF used in moisturisers are tested the same way as sunscreens, so an SPF 15 moisturiser should provide an SPF of 15. However, these formulas are less likely to be rub-resistant and water resistant, and most importantly are likely to be applied a lot more thinly than sunscreen. They therefore are unlikely to offer the same level of protection.

A moisturiser with an SPF will help protect you against small amounts of UV exposure, such as when you walk to the car or pop outside to hang out the washing, but sunscreen is better suited for longer, more deliberate UV exposure, such as spending your lunch hour outside.

It is also worth noting that moisturisers containing an SPF may not contain any UVA protection and as a result will not protect against UV ageing.

How should I apply sunscreen?

Think its easy ?  Surprisingly not !!! a number of studies have found that people apply less than half of the amount required to provide the level of protection indicated on the packaging. While you might guess that tricky to reach areas such as the back would be missed, most people also miss the sides of their neck, temples and even ears !!! Like the Australian motto says “Slip, Slap, Slop” says – don’t be shy, apply it generously !!!!

Nowadays there is a vast range of different product types available, including lotions, mousses, sprays and gels. Because of this variation, it is not possible to give a set amount that you should apply that is the same for all products. Individual manufacturers can provide further details specific to the application of their particular sunscreens. When using lotions, as the bare minimum you should to apply at least six full teaspoons (approximately 36 grams) to cover the body of an average adult, which is more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm and the face/neck (including ears), and just over one teaspoon to each leg, front of body and back of body. This is the amount used when products are tested for their SPF (it equates to 2 mg /cm²). Applying less will reduce the protection to a higher degree than is proportionate – for example, only applying half the required amount can actually reduce the protection by as much as two-thirds. The overall message in terms of sunscreen use is “more is better.” It is also easy to forget to reapply sunscreen as often as necessary. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun to allow it to dry, and then again shortly after heading outdoors to cover any missed patches and to make sure you’re wearing a sufficient layer. Reapply it at least every 2 hours, and immediately after swimming, perspiring and towel drying or if it has rubbed off.

Skin types

Any article about tanning wouldn’t be complete without talking a little about the different types of skin.  Dermatologists generally divide skin types into six categories, from phototype 1 – fair skin that burns very easily in the sun and does not tan, to phototype 6, which is darker black skin that does not burn easily.  People with a darker complexion have more natural sun protection, and fair-skinned individuals are more susceptible to sun burn, skin cancer and photodamage. See our leaflet on ‘Skindex’ for more information.

The key character difference between black and white skin is that of melanin packaging and processing.  Naturally occurring biological agents in the skin absorb a proportion of UV irradiation, melanin being one of these. Melanin is a pigment molecule in the skin and is packaged slightly differently in people of different ethnic backgrounds. The type of melanin of all skin colours is eumelanin except for those with red hair and freckles, who have phaeomelanin, which is less well able to cope with UV irradiation.

If you tan very easily, as with black or Asian skin (e.g. types 5 and 6) you need less ultraviolet damage to initiate the tanning process. You do not need a sunscreen to stop skin cancer and skin ageing to the same extent as a fair skinned person, but sunscreen will still be needed during intense or prolonged exposure.
If you are of Mediterranean type skin (e.g. Type 4), you also tan easily, but you will need more ultraviolet to tan than lighter skins. You can still suffer from UV damage and although you are less likely to develop melanoma than skin types 1 to 3, your skin will age with sun exposure.
If you are very fair and cannot tan at all (e.g. Type 1), you will not tan with or without a sunscreen, but you will damage your skin badly if exposed without protection. You need to take particular care to regularly apply lots of high SPF sunscreen (i.e. 30 or above) with high UVA protection too. It is also important to remember to wear proectedtive clothing, such as long t-shirts, and spend time in the shade during the hottest parts of the day.

Recommendations regarding sun protection (e.g. clothing, shade and sunscreen) should be used in conjunction with the skin type guide. For example, the use of clothing and sunscreen applies to skin types I and II at all times in the sun, and to skin types V and VI during periods of prolonged or intense sun exposure. Darker skin types do not need to routinely use sunscreens.

Top sun safety tips

So, that’s it !! Tanning in a nutshell – so lets finish with a few tips to help you get a safe tan this summer.

  • Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, t-shirt, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny
  • Use a ‘high protection’ sunscreen of at least SPF 30 which also has high UVA protection, and make sure you apply it generously and frequently when in the sun.
  • The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you tell your doctor about any changes to a mole – if your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist (on the GMC register of specialists), the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS.