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 !!!

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.

Clean your makeup brushes !

WP2016_07_23_011Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes ?  When I told Laura I was thinking about writing this, she confessed to me – “I don’t think I’ve ever even done that – I usually just throw them away……”

Does that sound like you ?  You can’t be as bad as Laura surely ?  (She even buys cheap brushes to make herself feel a little less bad when she throw them away)  But Laura aside, did you know how important it is to clean your makeup brushes regularly ?  Besides being a basic hygiene routine, leftover makeup in brushes particularly foundation, can be a cause of skin irritation leading to redness, stop you getting a matt smooth finish to your look and change the colour of what you’re applying.

Also, when you pay for quality in your tools, you want to look after them so they last, particularly those made from natural materials like fitch or squirrel (yes you read that right !!!)  so a regular cleaning regime not only protects your investment but helps to prevent them shedding bristles when you use them and keeps them soft and supple for the next application ensuring your makeup always looks flawless.

So why don’t we  clean them more often ?  Well, the most common reason my friends gave me was that “they didn’t have time”.  This was closely followed by “I find they lose shape if I clean them” and “they shed their bristles quickly if I clean them too often”.  All valid reasons, but if you follow my top tips below – you’ll find that it won’t take too long and you’ll keep your brushes in tip top shape !!!

  • After you’ve used them, spend a couple of minutes just wiping off any excess from the brush.  I personally use a tissue to do this, but one lady I spoke to suggested using a microfiber towel to do it as she felt it was more environmentally friendly.  Sounds like a good idea to me !!!  Remember natural hair brushes aren’t so porous as synthetic ones, so should release pigment a little easier, so you won’t need to work them too hard.
  • Next, like the photo shows, mist your brushes with a no rinse spray cleaner.  I personally use BeautySoClean Conditioning Brush Spray but there are a number of others out there.  Having just started as a makeup artist I can’t speak highly enough of this product, its an alcohol based cleaner which sanitizes the brush whose emollients keep the hairs soft between uses.
  • If you use natural brushes, deep clean them every 1-2 months with a gentle brush “shampoo”. A friend of mine uses Clean Apothecary Brush Shampoo which removes dirt, oil, makeup and bacteria—all without stripping your brushes !!!  I’ve included her tips for using below !
    • Gently moisten the bristles under lukewarm running water, making sure you angle the brush downwards to ensure the metal ferrule of the brush doesn’t get wet. (Water in the brush’s ferrule can lead to the glue holding the handle and the bristles together breaking down – Yuk !!!)
    • Give your brush a gentle “swoosh” across the your Brush Shampoo block to create a delicate lather. Easy !!!
    • Next, using the palm of your hand, ease the brush in gentle circles to create a foam, after a few short moments , you’ll begin to see makeup pigment release.  (Apparently, this is really relaxing too !!!)
    • After you see all the pigment release, rinse your brush just like you did in the first step, using your fingers to gently move the hair around  to ensure that all makeup and soap has been removed.
    • Once you’re done, squeeze out any excess water and place your brush in a Brush Guard.  If you’re on the move as often as I am, these guards are an absolute godsend for keeping your brushes in great condition – literally a must have !!!! These breathable mesh sleeves help to maintain your brush’s shape and keep bristles in like-new condition.
  • Lastly, allow your brushes to dry upside down overnight so that water doesn’t leak into the ferrule and loosen the bristles. The Benjabelle Brush Tree is absolutely perfect for this !!!!

Do you clean your brushes ?  How do you do it, do you have a routine ? I’d love to hear !!!

How to make your lipstick last longer


Ahhhhh Lipstick….. lipstick, lipstick lipstick !!!!!  How I love you !!!

Applying lipstick might seem like one of the easiest things in the world to do, particularly when you compare it to the more complicated application of the rest of your makeup regime !!!!!  But the reality is there’s more to it than meets the eye – there are literally dozens of tricks and techniques out there to experiment with and master, even for this seemingly simple procedure. But fear not !!! I’ve had a look at a number of them and picked out some of my favourites.

Do you have trouble with your lipstick staying in place or smearing ?  Well, try this, before applying it trace your lips with a pencil lip liner in the same colour and tone as your lipstick. It takes a little longer, but it’s well worth it !!! A lot of cosmetic companies are now offering sets of lipstick and lip liner in the same tones for just this purpose. The other thing you can try is to trace the outer line of your lips with a clear pencil lip liner. Its waxy structure will prevent the colour from smudging and since the lip liner is clear, there is no risk of it ruining your look.

If you need a little more staying power, another neat trick is to apply a small amount of concealer around the lips and it will hold the colour in place.  Keep the rest of your makeup in a more neutral tone overall and it will make your lips appear plumper and depending on the shape you choose, fuller.  If you’re going to go for bold colours ( a particular must this season ) bear in mind it can be quite a dramatic look, so balance it out by applying a couple of coats of black mascara in combination with well-maintained eyebrows. Be careful not to apply too much eye makeup or you risk looking fake or vulgar.

Last and by no means least – accessorise !!! Pick out a matching  purse, belt or shoes to accentuate your colour and bring your look together !!!

If you’re looking for something to try – why not check out my Younique page for some ideas ?  I’d love to hear from you and know what you’re thinking of trying !!!

Younique highlighting – really !!!

Younique highlighterI’ve always been a little sceptical about highlighter as a product, preferring just a flat, neutral complexion, its always seemed to me that your face is shape it is (and probably born with) and that no amount of trickery with colours would be able to change that.

Add to that that one of my friends tends to wear it so that she can highlight her cleavage when she is wearing a low top dress, or even an open fronted one and you can see why it’s not really been high on my list of things to do or try………

That said though, with so many “beauty hacks” being published about highlighting this summer, I thought I’d give it a go and where better to start than this beauty pack ?  As you can see, it takes a lot of the guess work out of the process with the pictures that are included, comes with a handy, good quality mirror and best of all, as part of the May Kudos offer – also comes with the perfect makeup brush to help you make the most of your new gift !!

But how to use it ?  Well, It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 !!! Read on !




We’re going to use the cream contour  to start with – so taking the angled end of your contour brush, apply the cream from the corner of your mouth up towardhighlight 1 your ear. This has the effect of drawing the eye down to your mouth and raising your cheekbones subtly.  Some ladies also like to go for a little “sculpting” around the sides of the nose,  (which helps make the bridge of the nose appear a little narrower) You can also apply a little to the tip of your nose, which will prepare it for the highlighting stage, helping light reflect off it, which can make it appear a little more “pointy”.  Be careful not to overdo your application in these areas though, otherwise you’ll end up with a heavy look which will look like you have over applied your concealer.  another favourite place for application is around the edges of the chin, which can give the effect of slimming your face by contouring around your hairline and below the jawline under your chin.  Blend all areas where you applied the Contour Cream using the angled end of your Contour Brush for a flawless finish.


highlight 2Next, we’re going to apply the highlighter powder (see how quick this is ?) You’re looking to apply the highlighter under your eye, the bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and cheekbones.  This part is pretty tricky though – remember ladies, LESS is more !!! You can always add more powder if you need to later on……..

Its worth taking a little time with this step in my opinion and definitely worth practicing before you wear it out.  I’ve seen a few ladies over apply powder a couple of times, thinking it hasn’t gone on (particularly after applying the first one which is easier to see) If you find yourself in this position, taking it off is a little tricky but you can do it gently using a lint free cotton wool ball.  Don’t be tempted to work it in if you have over applied it – it will just make your foundation look weird and artificial.

highlight 3Now this last bit is going to seem a bit weird, particularly after you have gone to all the trouble to buy a proper highlighting kit and brush, but bear with me !!! The last powder in the kit to apply is the 3d cream (the one on the right) and its at this stage that you’ll get to see the benefits of all your work in stages one and two.  Using the pad of your index finger, you want to dab spots on all the bridge of the nose and around the edges of the eyes then carefully blend it in , up and down the nose and left to right around the eyes.  Using your finger might seem a little odd for this stage, but, the benefit of it is that it slightly warms the powder, which helps to work it in.

highlight 4
             Before – all products applied
highlight 5
                  After – all products blended


And that’s all there is to it – check out my other more detailed post about highlighting here if you would like to know more about the technique.  If you would like to buy some of Younique’s excellent Trio highlighter, you can get some here.

Alternatively, if you have another favourite product, why not let me know ? That’s what the comment section is for !!

Holiday Prep & Beauty Routine

holiday.jpgHoliday season is almost upon us !!!! Where are you planning to go ?  Are you getting excited yet ?

No matter where you’re going, whether its a short or long break to somewhere exotic, or just down to the beach for a days picnic under the local sun, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your holiday beauty routine to ensure you’re picture perfect for all those selfies I know you’re going to take !!!

First off all, it’s  a good idea to prepare your skin before going away if you’re going to a change of scenery, somewhere tropical for example.  Before you go, you want your skin in optimum tanning condition, so follow this quick guide and check out the products for silky tan ready skin……….

sanctuary body scrubFirst things first, let’s start with the scrubs – body first and then face.  I’m currently using the Sanctuary salt scrub which I get from Amazon here.  I tend to flip around on the ones that I use, but am using this one at the moment principally because I was getting fed up with having an “oil slick” left in the bath after I showered.  At just £8 a pot, it’s also a bargain !!!!

Packed with sea salt flakes, aloe vera and fresh-scented cucumber water, it’s gritty enough to get real purchase on your skin.  I’m finding it cleans my pores out and removes dead skin really well, but it’s not drying at all.  It washes off really well too and leaves your limbs polished, glowing and smooth. Ideal !!!

On my face, I generally prefer something a little gentler and at the moment I’m using Illuminate cleanser.jpgIlluminate Clean Facial cleanser from Younique.  This cleanser comes in two types – the Clean one is for normal / dry skin, whereas the Clear one is for Oily skin. I really enjoy using this in the morning, it washes away impurities and gets my skin glowing with its unique (or should I say Younique ?) blend of ginkgo biloba and the purifying power of horse chestnut.  It leaves your skin feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Having soft skin is only part of our preparation though, its a great idea to start self tanning before you go.  This gives you a healthy brown look, with minimal risk, allowing you to build up your time in the sun slowly and safely.  There’s also another benefit in that it protects you getting assaulted by timeshare salesmen, who are lining up to prey on the white and pasty !!! beachfront self tan.jpg

I’m actually new to self tanning, so I can’t really recommend anything to you at the moment, other than the one that I’m using right now.  Which one ? Well, its the one on the left from Younique (I’m not addicted, honest !!)  and its called Beachfront Self-Tanning Body Lotion.  What I have found since using it, is that it’s best to apply onto clean, exfoliated skin with the applicator. It’s best to do this in a circular motion as it helps to get it even and  streak free .

So, with our skin all clean, glowing and tanned, what else is there to do ? Well, for me, the next thing is………..feet…….  Yep, you read that right – feet !!! but why ?

Well unless you live on a beach all the time already – or are from the gold coast in Australia, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be wearing flip flops more than you do normally and well, lets face it, you’ll be wanting to show your toe nails off, won’t you ?


But, lets be honest, we’re on holiday aren’t we ? Will you be content with just Nail polish ? or do you want to glam our nails up ?  Glam ? Of course you do !!!!! If you’re like me and a bit of a clutz when it comes to painting your toenails or trying to do something arty on them – then Jamberry nail wraps are just the thing for you !!! They’re easy to apply and best of all, easy to mix and match – I swear I even managed to find one set that matched a t shirt of mine – that’s co-ordinated !!!! My favourite to wear at the moment is “berry sparkler” but, if you’re looking for something to say you’re going on holiday – how about this one called ‘picnic’ ?    You can learn more at Jamberry’s UK website, or pop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with a party !!!wanderlust.jpg

This ones called wanderlust – doesn’t it just make you want to travel ?   Wherever you travel this year, happy holidays and don’t forget to send me some lovely pictures !!!

Benefits of using Rose Water

rose water

It’s time to blossom like a rose !!!! Just in case you haven’t heard about this new offering from Younique, I thought I’d write a short blog about the product, its benefits and how you can get the most from it as part of your daily beauty pamper.

If you’re anything like me, you occasionally browse through the beauty pages of your favourite magazines looking for inspiration for gifts for friends as their birthdays approach and just occasionally buy “one for them and one for me” if there is an offer on.

That’s how I came to get my own bottle of this little wonder.  “But” I hear you say – what’s it for ?  What are its benefits ? What’s the point? What’s it used for ?  I can feel a list coming on !!!

Read enough articles and you’ll believe it can be used for pretty much anything, but leaving aside some of the more outrageous claims I read while doing my research, the ones I’ll be talking about are

  • Healing
    • Rose water has antibacterial properties which help in controlling or reducing acne breakouts.
    • It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help in reducing redness caused by irritated or overheated skin, such as what happens after going to the gym, sauna or steam room,.
  • Aromatherapy
    • It has an aromatherapic quality, which can enhance and refresh moods, relax, promote emotional well-being and help sleep. (try keeping it in the fridge and spraying it on your face on a hot summers day.  Amazing !!!)
    • You can also use it as room freshener, really nice to come home to after a hard day in the office.
  • Face cleansing
    • Younique Rose water works as a cleanser or toner if used after washing your face. Its anti oxidants aid in removing oil, dirt and help clear clogged pores.
    • It  also has astringent qualities help tighten large pores, capillaries, reduce redness and blotchiness.
    • Helps control shine on oily skin.
  • Make up supplement
    •  It helps set powder foundation, control shine and it gives skin a natural glow as opposed to cakey appearance that we often get after using some powdery cosmetics. Apply it to your eyelids before smoothing on some moodstruck mineral powder for long lasting makeup wear.
    • You can use rose water spray on a make-up brush to moisten it before applying your Younique minerals pigment powder.  This simple tip makes the powder smoother to apply and gives a more even finish.
  • Make it yourself cosmetics
    • Rose water makes a great addition to do it yourself moisturiser products.  Try it for yourself and see !!


What are you waiting for ? You’re just a spritz away from a revitalising treat !!  Order here !!!

10 Facts Every Woman Should Know: ❤

1. Everyone has rolls when they bend over.

2. When someone tells you that you’re beautiful, believe them. They aren’t lying.

3. Sometimes we all wake up with breath that could kill a goat.

4. For every woman unhappy with her stretch marks is another woman who wishes she had them.

5. You should definitely have more confidence. And if you saw yourself the way others see you, you would.

6. Don’t look for a man to save you. Be able to save yourself.

7. It’s okay to not love every part of your body….but you should.

8. We all have that one friend who seems to have it all together. That woman with the seemingly perfect life. Well, you might be that woman to someone else.

9. You should be a priority. Not an option, a last resort, or a backup plan.

10. You’re a woman. That alone makes you pretty damn remarkable.