LFW Day 2: Bloody Grey – Bas Kosters

On Sunday I was doing make up for the Bloody Grey Showcase – which had five designers showcasing their work in a presentation. The designers were Bas Kosters and Jane Bowler – who’s make up looks were keyed by Yin Lee, and Tom Van Der Borght and Jayne Pierson who’s looks were keyed by Michelle Webb. Martina Spetlova was also showcasing, but via film. Both key make up artists had an AOFM Pro Team with them – I was with Yin Lee doing Bas Kosters. 

Bas himself is such a lovely man, and came to speak to us for a while – his collection is inspired by the fact we don’t think about the important things any more – we seem to be more worried about who’s first in the queue for a coffee, and don’t protest enough. The collection was called ‘Rebellious Shadow’ and the make up had a protest theme to it – we didn’t apply any bases to add to the roughness, and just went mad with the black gel liner and MAC paints. It was quite liberating not to have to be neat and tidy with the make up – it took a bit of getting used to! 

Bas Kosters Face Charts
My make up – the one on the right had to look like he hadn’t slept in days. Left as per face chart.
Bas Kosters himself
Bas Kosters Penis Leggings
Yin Lee with one of the models 
Gorgeous model

The look for Jane Bowler which the rest of the team did, was very clean and pretty. They had customised nails applied too.
Jane Bowler make up
Jane Bowler nails

Our models were done a little before call time so I moved over to help Michelle Webb with one of the Jayne Pierson models – they had a very powdered look with a gorgeous eye that reminded me of the sky, with false top and bottom lashes.

One of the Jayne Pierson models in progress

The others of her team were working on Tom Van Der Borght which was a colourful fun painted look.

Michelle Webb working on one of the models
One of the models by Kerri-Anne
Benny Hancock working on one of the models

LFW Day 1: Fyodor Golan, #HPMLFW, Eudon Choi

Phew, it’s been a busy old weekend for me – London Fashion Week is here, showcasing the designers’ Autumn Winter collections for 2013-2014. It kicked off on Friday, which is where I began… you’ll have to forgive the picture heavy post, but it was a busy day!

It started at The Savoy, doing make up for Fyodor Golan as part of the AOFM Pro Team with key make up artist Michelle Webb. Here is the model who’s make up I did.

To create this look, we prepped the skin then applied an illuminating cream (I used MAC Strobe Cream) then used a Bobbi Brown stick foundation one shade lighter than the skin to create a pale base.
We then used Make Up Forever HD Foundation mixed with a little more of the illuminating cream mixed together, stippled on then buffed in with a clean brush.
We used a peach concealer under the eyes then let the foundation set in while we got to work with the rest of the face.
We then used a matt sand colour eyeshadow all over the lid (I used MAC Wedge) and up to the eyebrow then using the foundation brush blended it in at the eyebrow area to create and natural and seamless finish.
We added Urban Decay Sidecar to the lid, making sure to pat off the brush on the back of the hand to remove excess shimmer, then took the sand shadow under the lower lash line and buffed it out to blend the edges.
The brows were concealed out which we did a tiny bit at a time using a light shade of concealer on a mascara wand through the brows layer by layer, then a little liquid concealer to create a nice finish, and buffed out the edges of the concealer.

Photo by houseofmari.com

We used a mixture of Make Up Forever Aqua Rouge 9 and 11 for the lip colour, creating a pointed edge to the lips, then used black gel eye liner to line the lips then blended it up using a small cotton bud, then added the gloss from the Aqua Rouge and went around the edges of the lips with a nude coloured pencil and blended out with a cotton bud.

Photo by houseofmari.com

We used MAC Lightscapade for a light contour then a sandy coloured blush on the cheeks.
To highlight the face we used MAC Soft & Gentle down the nose, on the chin, forehead and cheekbones.
To finish, we added MAC Vanilla pigment to the inner corner of the eye using the little finger and blended out with a brush, then added white liner to the waterline. Powder was added in the lineup.

Photo by houseofmari.com
Photo from Vogue
A film crew were with me filming for Handpicked Media’s YouTube Channel – HandpickedMediaTV which was rather exciting, although I was having one of those days where I just didn’t feel I looked like myself so it’ll be interesting to see the video once it’s finished!
There was time for a quick pitstop at the Handpicked Media London Fashion Week Suite at the One Aldwych Hotel, which is always a pleasure. It’s a little bubble of calm in amongst the hecticness. Seascape were offering massages which I was so gutted I didn’t have time for, but still enjoyed sitting down for a few minutes with a Vita Coco and Curly Wurly and looking at the goodies on display. Superdry were there doing make up – it looks like a really great range and the prices look good too, I’m looking forward to having more of a play with that. Playful Promises were showcasing their underwear, which was gorgeous too, and I was surprised with the prices as I thought they’d be a lot more than they were! 

It was then onto Somerset House for the Eudon Choi show – which I was working as part of the AOFM Pro Team with Adam de Cruz as the key make up artist.

The collection was based around Russian doll styling and Russian folklore, so the makeup was kept very simple with the main focus being on the skin. We were trying to achieve clean, expensive looking skin with dewy highlights and glossy lids. Here is the model I made up for the show.

We started with prepping the face then giving it a massage with Embryolisse moisturiser to wake up the  skin. We then buffed it in with a brush and added a light cover of Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturiser.
We used Bobbi Brown concealer with a pointed brush around the nose and any other areas that needed concealing, then buffed it out with a bigger brush.
We used a pink Bobbi Brown colour corrector under the eyes and for the inner corner of the eyes.
To achieve the smokey brow we brushed them up then added eyebrow powder on a brush which had most of the product brushed off it already, then a dry cotton bud to blend out the edges.
We curled the lashes then added Bobbi Brown gel liner to the waterline depending on what colour hair the model had – the blonde girls had grey, black hair had black, and brown hair had brown.
Glitter was added to the eyelid in lineup, and Tom Ford cream Highlighter to the cheekbones.

Photo from Vogue

I’ll be back from more tales from behind the scenes in the next couple of days. Hope you enjoy!

AOFM Bridal Make Up Course GIVEAWAY!

I soooo super-duper excited to tell you that AOFM, The Academy of Freelance Makeup – where I trained at in 2011, are offering TWO  extremely lucky Super Gorgeous readers a spot on their Bridal Make Up Course this March.

The course runs over 5 days where you will learn everything from basic bridal make up application to advanced techniques, as well as bridal hair. It’s a great idea for anyone into make up looking for some training, already working as a make up artist but would like a bit of guidance with bridal work, if you’d like to work as a bridal make up artist, or if your sister has roped you in to do the make up at her wedding later in the year! You can find out full details of the course here.

AOFM’s way of teaching is something I really enjoyed – every day is taught by a different industry-leading make up artist or hair stylist, so you can pick up different tips and techniques and grill them on how they got to where they are today.

As well as the make up course (which costs £950), they will also be giving each winner an AOFM brush set which has a £250 value – whoever the lucky winners are are going to be extremely happy boys or girls! All you have to do to enter is put your details in the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post, where you will find a number of different ways to gain extra entries.

The giveaway is open internationally but please note that the course takes place daily at the AOFM studio in Soho, London – the prize does not include travel or accommodation. You will have to attend every day from 11th-15th March 2013. As a past student myself I know that AOFM do not tollerate lateness as it disrupts the rest of the class. If you are repeatedly late or miss a day you will not be invited back – so PLEASE only enter if you are passionate about make up and this is something you really want – this is an amazing opportunity for two very fortunate people so please don’t waste it.

The giveaway ends on Wednesday 6th February when a winner will be selected at random. Both winners will be contacted via email and announced on Twitter and the Rafflecopter widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model Live – Backstage Makeup Tutorials

I am just about back in the land of living after my trip to Birmingham with AOFM for the Clothes Show Live where we did make up for Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model, and the Diet Coke stages – I had such an amazing time I cannot begin to tell you!

The key make up artist for Britain & Irelands Next Top Model was Michelle Webb. The look started off as per the face chart below, and the make up I did on Roxanne.

We started this look by preparing the skin and making sure the lips were well moisturised which I did using my new fave, Dr Lipp.
We wanted a velvet finish to the skin so used an appropriate foundation according to the model we were making up – I used a variety, from MAC Face & Body, to Bobbi Brown’s BBU Palette, and Illamasqua’s Skin Base – after day one we had more of an idea of what each models skin was like and which foundation would suit them.
We used MAC Luna as a base on the eyelid, and added a small pat to the cheekbone, then used MAC Smoulder pencil tightly in between the upper lashes.
We then used MAC Naked Lunch shadow on the lid and inner corner of the eye, and MAC Wedge with a small crease brush along the entire crease and outer corner of the eye which we then blended with a fluffy brush.
We then added a flick of black eyeliner using MAC Blacktrack, and lined the inner rim of the eyes with MAC Fascinating pencil.
We added black mascara to the top lashes only then brushed through the brown, filled them in then gelled them in place.
For the lips, we used MAC Brick pencil, then MAC Redd pencil to fill the lips in. We then used MAC Diva lipstick in the center of the lip and blended it out.
We then contoured using MAC Harmony under the cheekbone and into the temple, then used MAC Melba blush on the apples of the cheeks and blended up into the contour and temple.
We highlighted the cheekbones using MAC Soft & Gentle MSF and added a small amount to above the cupids bow.
We then set the face with powder – I used Make Up Forever’s HD Powder.

By day two, the look changed slightly, with Michelle Webb adding more of a powerful lip – we were now using MAC Nightmoth liner on the lips, filled in with OCC Lip Tar in NSFW, blended together.

Here is Michelle demonstrating the look on Emma G, and the finished make up look.

Here is Emma S with the same look, that I did on her.

On the final day, Michelle decided to go out with a little sparkle, so once again, we changed the lips! This time we lined the lips with MAC Redd lipliner, added OCC Lip Tar in NSFW, then patted on Helen E glitter in Red Disco. Their lips looked amazing, especially under the lights of the catwalk! Here are some of the make ups I did on Madeline and Anita with this look.

The girls were so friendly, such a gorgeous bunch of girlies. We had lots of others popping backstage too, Amy Childs who was showcasing her collection, Times Red, Charley Speed who was presenting, Grace Woodward, and Danny Shah who was singing on the same stage. Here are a few more pics from the BINTM stage.

The AOFM Team with some of the BINTM Girls

The BINTM Dream Team!

Crowds watching the show

The AOFM Team with Charley Speed

The AOFM Team with Danny Shah

Touchups on the glitter lip for Emma S!

The AOFM Team with Grace Woodward

Touch ups on Letitia, this years winner

Letitia Herod


AOFM Team with Times Red (no one else got the ‘stick your tongue out’ memo, obvs!)

Backstage touchups

AOFM Team with Amy Childs

As well as doing the make up at Britain & Irelands Next Top Model, we were also doing make up for the Diet Coke ‘Image Stage’, which was a catwalk graced by some gorgeous models. AOFM artist Kelly Mitchell designed the look using Rimmel, who was the sponsor for the show.

Here is the face chart and look that Kelly created, on Molly, one of the stunning models.

For this look, after prepping the skin, we applied foundation and concealed around the eyes.
We used the Rimmel brown eyeliner, and thickly lined the upper lid, then blended it out using a brush. We also added a thin line under the eyes, and again, blended it, this time using a small brush.
We used the ‘002 Smokey Brun’ palette – using the darkest brown colour we pressed the shadow onto the lid, over the liner, and using a small brush, added it to under the eye too.
We then used the gold tone on the lid, from where the dark brown colour ended, up to the crease – making sure not to take it into the crease. We added a small amount onto the first 1/4 of the eyelid.
We lined the inner rim of the lower lash-line with a white Rimmel eyeliner then got to work with the brows! The brows were fairly strong, using a colour slightly deeper than the natural brow colour. We then added a small amount of the lightest colour from the Smokey Brun palette under the brow and into the inner corners of the eyes. We didn’t use any mascara to keep it fresh and innocent looking.
We used a fairly strong contour then added ‘012 Coral Rose’ blush on the apples of the cheeks then blended slightly upwards.
We used Pink Impact eyeliner as a lipliner quite softly, for a little definition then added a mix of lip glosses on ‘701 Outrageous’ and ‘640 All Day Seduction’.

Here are some more images from the Diet Coke ‘Image’ Stage.

The days were very long, but I was working with such a fabulous team of people, the adrenaline pushed me through! Normal blogging service should resume as of now! x

BECCA London’s Nail Masterclass

As a make up artist, I am often required to do a model’s nails – although I feel I can paint my own nails well, painting someone elses nails is quite a different story! I haven’t had any training, and although I always do the best I can, I’ve often thought it would be great to have someone who actually knows to show me if I’m doing things right, and some tips and tricks as well as general nail etiquette on shoots.

BECCA London are running some nail masterclasses taught by manicure queen Katie Jane Hughes – one is the ‘Pro Nail Masterclass’, aimed at make up artists wanting to add another string to their bow and give them the confidence to be able to say “I can do nails too!”. The other is aimed at non make-up artists – teaching them how to master the DIY manicure – how to make it look professional, working with light and dark colours, nail art and nail trends.

BECCA invited me along to experience the Pro Nail Masterclass on a one to one basis before the real deal kicks off on 16th May, so on Tuesday, off I went to BECCA’s flagship store in South Kensington to add that string to my bow!

Katie started by whipping off my nail varnish, then showed me on one of my hands, the correct way to do a manicure. Although I had been doing this to myself for years, evidently I hadn’t been doing it quite right. As she prepped my nails, we chatted about the tools she was using and her technique – it was very useful to be able to feel the pressure that she used for shaping, cuticle removal and buffing.

Once the nails had been prepped, Katie proceeded to paint them – again, I’d been holding the brush at the wrong angle all these years! She decided to work in red as it’s one of the harder colours to paint with – to remove the colour if you get it on the skin. When the topcoat was on and they were done, it was my turn. I worked on the other hand, under Katie’s guidance – I think it was the best paint job I’d ever done on myself! She then got me to do one of my nails in an accent colour of white, again, a hard colour to paint with.

Katie then showed me how to do some basic nail art on one of my hands – using a dotting tool, a nail art brush and acrylic paints. I’ve never used any of these on nails before so it was a real eye opener to me! I learned how to do bow ties, polka dots, leopard print, hearts and lips – here are some of my nails that I did.

Then it was my turn to do Katie’s nails! As I was doing them, I asked questions – Katie was a fab teacher – she didn’t make me feel stupid for asking how to do things, and was very patient with me. She showed me on one of her hands how to do a double mani, which I copied on her other – she said was very good going for my first attempt!

At that point I felt my head was well and truly jammed with new-found knowledge – Katie gave me a list of tools that I would need to make up my basic nail kit and did this amazing piece of handiwork on my nails before I left…

Now that I know the correct way of doing things, and knowing the fact that I can do it, I am going to practice on as many different people as I can (free manicures going at my house peeps!) and next time I’m on a shoot I will definitely offer my services to nails. I really feel the masterclass taught me loads, and filled me with a huge amount of confidence – thank you so much to BECCA and of course my wonderful teacher, Katie!

The Pro Nail Masterclass runs next Wednesday 16th May 10am-6pm priced at  £150.

The two non-professional masterclasses run on Saturday 19th May at 10am-2pm or  3pm-7pm for £85 which includes a free BECCA polish. Email joanne@beccacosmetics.com for more info.

Backstage Makeup at London Fashion Week

This past weekend I was at London Fashion week, working on a couple of shows as part of the make up team.

On Friday I worked on the Bora Aksu show which was keyed by Janeen Witherspoon – this is my model Charlie May after I had done her make up.

Once we had prepped the skin, we started by giving the models a lovely face massage with essential oils. Then, after using a small amount of MAC Face & Body we applied Kryolan Shimmer Foundation over the top which is a gorgeous product I hadn’t worked with before. To get the additional highlight on the temple, cheekbones, nose and chin, we used MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl, with a MAC Highlighting powder over the top.

We used black cream liner to dig inside the upper lashes, to create some definition without drawing a line. We then used a brown eye pencil in the crease of the eye, and blended it out, followed by the same technique with the grey pencil.

We added a bit of contour to the face using MAC’s Sculpt, and then applied a silver lipstick and silver shimmer powder over the top.

These photos have been taken from the Vogue website

On Saturday I was part of the team working on Eudon Choi, which was keyed by Adam De Cruz. We got the blood in the models faces going by really buffing the moisutriser into their faces using a stippling brush. We then used a very small amount of Sheisedo foundation – it had to look like skin, so we buffed it in using the same brush.

I then used a Shu Uemera eyebrow pencil then blended the edges to make a smokey brow kind of look. We brushed the brows upwards using clear brow gel, to make them look fuller, and applied a little amont of a nude eyeshadow in the inner corner of the eye up to the brow. We curled the lashes but didn’t use any mascara.

This photo has been taken from the Vogue website

We used a lip shade similar to the models’ natural lips and applied it using a pencil brush to give a just bitten feel. We then gave the models freckles across their noses and cheeks – we used a Tom Ford cream bronzer and a stippling brush to create that effect.

I had such an amazing time, and am going back tomorrow to do the Lou Dalton show which I am also looking forward to. If anyone would like to know about the make up on that show, please let me know – I’m not sure if you find these kinds of posts useful!?

AOFM Week Three

Thank you very much to the person that reminded me yesterday I hadn’t written up week three of my course at AOFM (Academy of Freelance Makeup)!

So… on the Saturday at the end of week two we’d completed the make up part of the course. On the Sunday I had my photoshoot. This is included as part of the course – you get to make up two models – one has to be a natural look, which would be used as a beauty shot, and other had to be an editorial look, but nothing to ‘out there’!

We had a week to plan and make mood boards, so by the time the day came round we knew what we were doing. We had our photoshoots in groups of 6, so it wasn’t too crowded in the rooms we were working in. We didn’t know which model we would get – just whoever sat at our stations first! All of the models were gorgeous, but I was really happy with the two I got!

We had a hair stylist working with us – Jan Prezemyk, who asked what kind of thing we wanted, asked what kind of clothes we had chosen (we had a stylist and a big rack of clothes to choose from) and he then created a hair style based on that. We then went and shot the photos in one of the rooms that had been converted into a studio for the day, with photographer Lou Denim.

We had 45 minutes to create each look…

For my editorial look I went with smokey eyes and nude lips.

And for my beauty shot I tried to make it look like my model wasn’t wearing too much make up, while enhancing her natural good looks.

On the Monday, we started learning about hair. We had a different teacher on each day, again, which was really interesting as we got the chance to find out different tips and tricks that each of them had. Our teachers during the week were Jan Prezemyk, Desmond Murray, Ben Gregory, Chrysostomos Chamalidis and Simon Maynard. We learned a variety of stuff but a lot of it was aimed at the editorial route.

We learned about the products and what they did, how to reate texture, how to blow dry properly, how to section, how to curl using rollers (wet set, directional set, and brickwork), GHDs, curling tongs, tin foil and wands. How to get wavy hair, how to get mad crazy hair, how to give someone with straight hair an afro, how to crimp, back comb, finger wave, and make dread locks.

We learned hair up styles – pony tails, low bun, chignon, a bun, how to use padding and nets, how to create volume on the top, putting hair into a bow shape, a french pleat, onion hair, glam big hair, fishtail plait, rikracking, sleek hair, and how to apply extensions.

On the Saturday we had to take in an image we wanted to recreate, which we did under the guidance of our tutor.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I did in hair week:

I feel like I learned a lot, but as I had absolutely no hair experience before I found it quite a lot to take in. I have written a zillion notes so I plan to buy a dummy and practise at home.

AOFM do offer a fourth week, which I decided not to do – it covers nails and air brushing, which I couldn’t really justify the cost of learning about to be honest! So at the end of the Saturday, we all graduated. We were given a certificate and had a 5 minute feedback session each – we all had champagne and chocolates and said goodbye to one another. Working with people in such an intense environment for three weeks solid created some really good friendships and it was hard to say goodbye! We’ve created a Facebook group so we can keep up with what each other are doing – in the 4 weeks since we graduated we have been busy! Two of the girls are working for MAC, one for NARS and one for Chanel. Another is working for an agency which provides luxury department stores with make up artists. Others are doing their own thing, getting shoots organised and trying to build their portfolio.

Once you graduate from AOFM it acts as an agency, posting jobs on it’s Facebook page which the graduates of the three and four week classes are invited to apply to. I have done some amazing jobs through them – Profile 2011, The Ideal Christmas Home Show, Fashion In Style, Sheer Cover launch and I assisted the amazing Yin Lee on a music video. If you’d like to keep up with my journey as a make up artist, please ‘like’ my personal Facebok page.

Also on offer to graduates are the free aftercare Masterclasses. I attended a MAC Masterclass at the MAC training centre which was learning about the new season catwalk trends, and a Dior Masterclass where Dior PRO artist Jamie Coombes gave a stunning make up demonstration and showed us the new seasons products about to launch, and we had a chat with Lisa Oxenham, Beauty Editor of Marie Claire magazine, about what she looks for when hiring a make up artist, the trends from fashion week, and her advice for us.

I think the aftercare is one of the best things that sets AOFM apart from all the other make up schools. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to do a make up course.

AOFM Make Up Course – Week One

You may have noticed I haven’t been around much this week – that is because I have started my Professional Hair & Make Up course at AOFM (Academy of Freelance Makeup). Before I continue I want to make it clear that I wasn’t invited on the course to review it for the blog – I have paid to do this as make up is clearly something I love and would like to take further.

When I made the decision to do a course, there were only a few available that did short courses, and in the end AOFM seemed the best choice to me – they are well connected and offer graduates assisting jobs which can sometimes be hard to get when you are starting out.

I booked the course towards the start of the year and had felt like forever waiting for it to start. Now it’s started it seems to be zooming by, but I am enjoying every minute (apart from having to wash my brushes at the end of every night!) I have just completed my first week of three, so thought I’d show you a little run down of what I’ve been up to.

The school is based in Dean Street, Soho – and has two ‘classrooms’ which are set up with portable make up desks round the edges. There are 28 of us doing the course, split in to two classes – my class has 16 in it, the other has 12.

Every day we have been taught by a different make up artist, which has been great – we get to hear their way of doing things, how they made a name for themselves and can ask them any questions we may have. We spend the morning chatting and having a demo, then after lunch we get in pairs and do the look on our partner.

On day one we were given our AOFM brush set which is a really nice set of 24 brushes in a roll. Jana Ririnui, the owner, came and chatted to us, and with Maria Papadopoulou we were taught the basics – how to do a no-make-up make-up look. Put simply, how to do foundation properly. Every day a new range of make up is brought to us, but for today we worked with MAC Face & Body. It was quite daunting having to put make up on someone else for the first time, and it took a while for us all to get how to choose the right shade.

Once we had done that, we were taught how to do a smokey eye

On day 2 Barbara, the eyebrow expert, showed us how peoples eyebrows should be shaped, we had to tweeze our partners eyebrows (omg how scary!) and draw them in how they should be. I never colour in my eyebrows so this is totally new to me and something I want to practice. We were shown how to do a Dita Von Teese look, and applied strip lashes to one eye and individual lashes to the other.

On day 3 Valentina Creti showed us how to contour, and how to create glowy skin. I won’t show you the scary contour only pic! This was my finished look.

Louise Dartford came in on day 4 to talk to us about bridal make up. We had to do a classic bridal look – I found it really interesting to work with an oriental face, and learning how to flatter the eyes.

Day 5 was taught by Michelle Webb and was all about catwalk. It was fab to break out of the classic looks and get really creative! We based our looks on two of hers that she did at Fashion Week 2011.

Day 6 was taught by Barbara Braeunlich – who does a lot of make up for photographic work. We were taught how to apply make up for different lighting situations, and for black and white photography. She gave us a demo and we were told to find an image during lunch time that we wanted to use for inspiration – and we had free reign to create a look that would look good in both colour and black and white. I decided I wanted to do a glossy black eye, Barbara suggested I made it look really messy, which I found hard as we’d been learning to do everything so precisely!

So, that’s basically been my week! I have loved it all – meeting some people that are amazing at what they do and having the chance to ask questions, being taught their ways of doing things – for instance Barbara (the eyebrow expert) likes to curl eyelashes with a spoon! It’s really interesting to hear different ways of doing things from different people and finding the best way that works for you. All my course-mates are lovely – I have made some fab friends. We are all exhausted but really looking forward to next week!

My MAC Make Up Lesson & Tutorial

For Christmas I had been given a £50 MAC gift card. With this, you can have a 1.5hr make up lesson with a MAC make up artist – or rather, you book a 1.5hr MAC make-up lesson for £50 which is redeemable against products in store on the day. These can only be done at ‘proper’ MAC stores not concessions within House of Fraser etc. I booked mine in with Tabby at the Kensington Church Street branch, who I would definitely recommend.

Tabby asked if there was a particular part of my make up that I would like help with – I said my eyes as I have quite hooded lids and small, down-turned eyes which I would like to appear bigger and brighter. We discussed what kind of colours I liked, and which brushes I already had at home so she could try to work with those so I could recreate the look on my own. She explained that she would be doing one side of my face, and I would do the other. If it looked un-even at the end she would sort it out – phew!

I told Tabby that I wanted a look that was suitable for bright evenings – i.e. made up but not too ott for the sunshine – I personally prefer much fresher, less made up looks for the warmer days, but wanted something that I could wear when meeting friends in the evening but was still light. Tabby first suggested pinky tones for my eyes, but I said I haven’t really got on with the pinks I’d had in the past and would prefer to go down the gold-toned route (figures as most of my collection falls into the gold/nude/brown category!)

This is what we ended up with:

Tabby started by taking off my existing make up using MAC wipes and Cleanse Off Oil, she then used the Complete Comfort Cream as a moisturiser which is good for sensitive skin, and then added a layer of Prep & Prime using the 130 brush in circular motions.

I had told Tabby that my skin was dry in patches, gets shiny throughout the day and is prone to spots. I was after a foundation that didn’t look too cakey but had enough coverage for my skin, which is red in places and has old scars (I sound such a treat, don’t I!?). She picked out Studio Sculpt foundation in NC25 which is medium-full coverage and buildable but with a satin finish. This was applied using the same 130 brush, but what I was really surprised at was how little product was actually on the brush. Tabby stippled on a small amount, then wiped off the excess before using small circular motions on my face to apply the foundation. She then used it much more lightly to get rid of the lines that had been made. I felt this was too sheer for me so we did 3 coats in this way.

She then used the 209 brush, which is actually a very fine-tipped eyeliner brush, to apply my concealer – Select Moisture Cover in NC20. She used the very tip of the brush to dot the concealer on to any blemishes, then used the 224 fluffy brush to smooth out the edges.

Using a 187 brush she put a fine dusting of Mineralize powder in Medium all over my face to set the foundation and make it a little less glowy, making sure to leave out the cheek area as she felt that its nice to have that part a little ‘glisteny’.

Tabby used a 116 blush brush to pick up some Give Me Sun bronzer, which I really liked as it a flat colour, similar to Hoola by Benefit. Shimmery bronzers have their place, but so do flat ones. She showed me the area below my cheekbone and applied the bronzer in the corner near my ear. It looked rather scary at one point, but she then blended it down underneath the whole of my cheekbone and then up my temple a little as well as a small bit under my chin / on my neck. She then applied a very fine layer of it all over my face.

For the blush, we used Sunbasque which is a terracotta toned colour – I’d say it was in the same family as Stereo Rose which is what I use most often (and guess what? it’s coming back again this year!). Tabby got me to smile, then applied it to the apples of my cheeks in circular motions.

Once the face was done, I was sprayed with Fix+, which is another MAC product I love, for setting my make up. When I had seen just the founation with concealer I have to admit I was a little scared, wondering if Tabby had ‘got’ me – it just didn’t look very nice and loads lighter than I would normally wear. Once we had got to this point, I was far more pleased – it had all come together perfectly.

Next were the eyes! We used a Paint Pot in Soft Ocher as a natural coloured primer. This took out any pigmentation from the eye, helps the eyeshadow to be its true colour, and helps it to last longer where it’s meant to be! We applied this just over the eyelid using a 239 brush.

We then used All That Glitters all over my eyelids using the 239 brush. Tabby showed me to pack the shadow on to both sides of the brush – using one side do one side of your eye, then using the other side of the brush do the other side of your eye – this is for maximum colour and coverage. Using the same brush we used Naked Lunch for a bit of a ‘pow pop’. We drew a line of this right down the middle of each eyelid, then used the 224 fluffy brush to very gently buff away the edges of the line. We also added a little of it to the inner corners of my eyes, near the tear duct, to open them up more.

The next part was slightly tricker – I was a bit scared to do my side, but it turned out fine! A great tip that Tabby told me, is that when you do your eyes, tilt your head up slightly – this helps you to see the definition in your crease and whole eye shape and will make things easier to apply, especially when contouring. Using the tip of the brush we put Cork eyeshadow into the corner of my crease, and down into the ‘V’ of my eye, then blended it using the 224 brush. We brought the crease line quite far over when blending, probably to the middle of my eye. For a little more oomph we brought in another shade – using the same technique as with Cork, we applied Handwritten in the crease but not so far over.

We then used Technakohl eyeliner in Brown Border in the lower corners of my eyes, at the bottom, then went over the top of the line with a small amount of Handwritten on a 219 brush. We also put a bit of All That Glitters under the eye before the darker part, so it didn’t look too stark. As a highlighter, Tabby applied a small amount of the concealer under my brows.

I cheated and got Tabby to do the eyeliner on both my eyes! She used a 208 angled brow brush to do my eyeliner, with Bootblack liquid liner, which I wish I had purchased now, as it’s just so black and lovely! Lifting my lid slightly from above, she started at the outside of my eye, going in in small lines. She then went over the lids with one line to give the lines definition and smoothness. She then drew a flick by looking where my eye naturally goes upwards, drawing a small dot, then joining that dot to the rest of the eyeliner. The flick looked rather long for me, but using a 212 flat defining brush and Fix+, she got rid of a lot of the eyeliner on the flick to make it much more defined, thinner and flickier! We finished off the eyes with the Wonderwoman Haught + Naughty in zig-zag movements, which to be honest I wasn’t overly impressed with – it didn’t make my eyelashes as fat as I normally like! To clean up any smudges Tabby used a dry make-up sponge which is another fab tip I picked up!

Tabby first brought out a combination of Lady Gaga Viva Glam 2 and I <3 U for my lips, but I told her I didn’t really want a gloss and I wasn’t particularly keen on the Gaga shade… so she came back with Cherished, which is a nice peachy brown colour, probably darker than I would normally choose but nice nonetheless.

I was given a sample of Prep+Prime and I spent my £50 on 2 eyeshadows – All That Glitters, and Mulch, a 239 brush and a Select Cover-Up concealer.

I tried taking a pic on my phone quite soon after but was quite conscious of the passers-by thinking I was taking photos of myself! I also realise I look like I have a spam-head in this pic, but it’s the best one I got, trying to do it inconspicuously!

I did have an evening out after this and received lots of compliments on how I looked, one man on the bus asked if I was on my way to a film premier! I took this pics once I got in – the foundation has gone a bit shiny, but the eyes are still looking good – I  love how she lined them! (I’d added lip gloss by this point)

All in all it was a wonderful experience which I feel I have learned a lot from. Tabby made me feel comfortable the whole time and I wasn’t made to feel stupid for asking questions. I think next time I know I want to have a big MAC spree, I will pre-book one of these, it was really interesting. I thoroughly recommend anyone to do it!