Why airbrush?

I love make up and I’m constantly trying and testing out new products and brands to achieve the best results for my clients. Yet, through all my experiments and endeavours I have yet to find a foundation that surpasses airbrush.


So, what differentiates airbrush from other types? Without any hesitancy I can say that airbrush foundation beats all others for durability and flawless finish. It’s my personal favourite for any special occasion, I know it won’t let me down and that I won’t need to top it up throughout the day, whether I’m wearing it or more importantly a client is.


Hooked on airbrush 


I grew up listening to 90’s RnB music and there where so many female singers with iconic looks, Aaliyah and Jennifer Lopez were a few of my favourite style icons. I can remember watching a behind the scenes documentary on JLo and seeing the makeup artist applying her make up with an airbrush gun, it was really fascinating to watch and the finish was astounding.


At the time I didn’t know how and when I was going to get my hands on one of these amazing kits but I knew that when I became a makeup artist all my clients would be privy to the JLo treatment.


Fast forward a number of years and after doing a lot of research into airbrush I trained with the airbrush brand Airbase. I loved the product so much that I became a trainer and now teach the technique to students in collages and academies all over the UK.


What is airbrush exactly?


I’ve found that the term airbrush often conjures an image of a huge spray gun very similar to those used in spray tanning, just picturing one being directed towards someone’s face makes me chuckle – personally I would run for cover. And my Nan, I love her! asked in earnest how on earth a gun could be used to “put your face on” thinking it was something used to decorate cakes with. Though I’m not entirely sure what my Nan’s been up to in the kitchen, thankfully neither of these two imaginings are a reality.


While the makeup is applied through an airbrush gun it’s nothing like a spray tan gun. It’s much smaller in size and is gentle on the skin, in fact you can hardly feel it.


High Definition 


Airbrush is a true HD or high definition form of makeup. Most cameras these days are high definition, whether film or photo, and expose any subject’s creases, wrinkles and blemishes – oh hoorah!


Using heavy makeup is one way to hide these flaws but it isn’t great, often feeling and looking thick and cakey, even behind a lens.


One of the many amazing benefits airbrush makeup has is that even under the scrutiny of high-resolution tech it still delivers flawless looking skin, blurring the pores and hiding imperfections. The airbrush gun achieves this by atomising the product and making the makeup particles tiny, lightweight and hard to distinguish. I guess you could call me a smooth operator.


Why I love this product?


So many reasons. I tend to find that no matter what foundation I buy it never lasts more than 6 hours even with a primer and setting powder. Airbrush is the only foundation I’ve found that gives me truly long-lasting results.


On holiday I never wear regular foundation because it doesn’t last with the heat but airbrush makeup stays in place. It’s a big part of why airbrush is so popular with brides getting married in the summer and abroad.


I used airbrush makeup for a beautiful bride at a UK wedding this summer, on one of the hottest days of the year. I knew one of the bridesmaids who did her own makeup along with the others using well-known brands to save on costs. These were her comments:


“It was a wonderful day but unbelievably hot and impossible to keep cool. Whilst [the bridesmaids’] foundation (liquid and powder) seemed to have melted off by the end of the ceremony [the bride’s] makeup looked immaculate and stayed that way for the rest of the event, which lasted into the early hours. The wedding photos were beautiful too, crystal clear and the bride looked gorgeous! 


For any special occasion, if you want to take centre stage and be the envy of all that see you I can’t recommend airbrush enough. With an airbrush gun you also can contour and highlight, and easily turn a natural or day look into a night-time or glam look, perfect for turn about the red carpet.


An added plus for me, because airbrush foundation negates the need to top up, is that I can leave the house with the bare essentials – keys, perfume, card and lipstick – freeing up space in my handbag. Handbags are definitely not designed for weightlifting and clutch bags surely lose their je ne sais quoi when bursting at the seams.


Water based or silicone


There are two types of airbrush make available, water based and silicone based and they both have their pros and cons. For example, you can apply the water based airbrush makeup to the eyes whereas you can’t with silicone. Yet silicone is more durable than the water based and pliable too. What this means is that if you need to do any correcting you can do this before the makeup sets, something you can’t with the water based. On the whole however they both give an amazing finish and if you are a makeup artist looking to venture into body art, water based is a great option for a broad spectrum of colours.


Where to go for an airbrush makeover and when to use it


Airbrush Makeup is no longer just something for TV presenters and celebrities but for me and you, and with it so readily available why shouldn’t we experience and enjoy the amazing benefits?


Though it’s not a product you can simply buy in store, you can seek out a qualified makeup artist who specialises in this technique, or learn how to airbrush yourself.


True, it will cost more to have your makeup applied but airbrush is a luxury product and experience that’s worth investing in. Whether for a wedding, photo shoot or simply a treat for a special night out, airbrush foundation will not let you down.


I use it on men and women for bridal, occasion makeup, personal branding. modelling shoots and more, I really can’t fault the product. For a closer look at airbrush please visit my gallery. And if I’ve sparked your interest I’m available to book direct or through my website. I’m here too to answer any questions that you might have on the product or pservice.

Featured post

Winter Skin Hero’s

There’s a lot I love about winter, the Christmas festivities, twinkling lights and being bundled up in gorgeous knits being a big part of that. But winter and my skin? The lack of sunshine and cold, moisture sucking weather is not skin-friendly. As the weather changes our skincare regimes have to adapt.

To ensure we bring the best out in our skin we have to appreciate what we have, how it responds to different conditions and nourish it with what it needs. Having problematic skin in my younger years helped me appreciate the benefits of a good skin regime, and one reason I want to share my winter saviours with you. These products are just so good and this post also gives me the opportunity to rave about them a bit.

So, here are the skin heroes that get me through the colder months.

Andalou’s Coconut Water Firming Cleanser 163ml

I’ve always believed in the power of coconuts, my mother comes from the South Pacific and has always included them in her beauty regime and diet. If you’ve ever seen my mum you’ll be interested in coconuts too. Her hair is super glossy and she barely has a wrinkle, absolutely no deep lines to speak of whatsoever.

Andalou’s Coconut Water Firming Cleanser with coconut water electrolytes is incredibly hydrating and why it’s great for parched winter skin. As well as gently lifting impurities away from my skin, this vitamin C rich product also leaves it looking and feeling firmer and plumper. Goodbye fine lines!

Rose Water

I keep it simple when it comes to toning, and simpler still when it comes to the ingredient list. Rose water is so refreshing, it minimises pores and hydrates the skin in just a spritz or two. I sometimes even use it as a primer for makeup. Because pure rose water doesn’t contain alcohol or any harsh chemicals it’s suitable for even the most sensitive of skin. It’s natural anti-bacterial and soothing properties also help to prevent outbreaks and calm angry patches.

Lots of health food shops sell pure rose water. Pukka’s Organic Rose Water 100ml is one trusted brand, simply spritz after cleansing!

Neal’s Yard Frankincense Nourishing Cream 50g

Neal’s Yard products are jammed packed with amazing beauty ingredients and gorgeous aromas. One of my favourites is their Frankincense Nourishing Cream. In the nativity story frankincense and myrrh were gifted alongside gold because they were valuable commodities and they’re very much superstar beauty ingredients.

Both have been used in skincare for thousands of years for their rejuvenating properties and this rich cream contains both! The cream aids cellular turnover for fresher, brighter skin and leaves my skin feeling luxurious soft for hours, even when exposed to the elements.

Dr. Hauschka’s Night Serum 25ml

My grandmother is 91, and her skin is sensational. She maintains that the secret to her age defying looks in moisturising day and night. Whatever your beauty mantra, we all need extra help in the winter months.

Overheated rooms, contrasting freezing temperatures and late nights can dry our skin right out and leave it looking lacklustre. One of my favourite night treatments is Dr. Hauschka’s Night Serum.

Our skin does a lot of its repair work at night and this oil-free product, as well as nourishing the skin, allows it to breathe. Oxygen is so important, like all other organs our skin needs it and it has endless beautifying effects. Harnessing and perfecting this science Dr Hauschka’s Night Serum boosts the skin’s natural renewal and balancing process. For a glowing, dewy complexion in the morning I haven’t found a product to beat it. As an aside, their Rose Day Cream is incredible too.

Facial Oil

I love makeup but I like to give it a break from time to time. The prospect of going makeup free in the winter months can seem like a big ask, but nutrient rich facial oils can transform your complexion, they really can. In fact, Alicia Keys’ makeup artist Dotti swears by them as an essential step in the star’s no makeup beauty regime to glowing, healthy skin.

With such a large variety of facial oils available there is a formula to suit everyone, even oily prone skin – I have combination skin so suffer from an oily t-zone and I love face oils.

I have a particular penchant for the Organic Rose and Neroli Day Facial Oil by Siskyn. It’s a substitute for moisturiser and though it sinks right in it also manages to give you a day long radiant glow. If you have dry or normal skin, it’s also light enough to wear under makeup, just give it 5 minutes to be absorbed a bit. It’s blended with seventeen organic botanical oils that provide multiple beauty benefits including collagen production, cell regeneration and skin firming. I can’t recommend it enough.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue 15ml

My favourite eye cream is Magic Eye Rescue by Charlotte Tilbury.

Like most women who own their own business I’m always busy and this little pot of cream never fails to lift and soothe my tired eyes after a long day or a late night. It combines red algae, which incidentally isn’t just good for sushi. Rich in antioxidants and with amazing moisture retaining properties, this magic ingredient helps the skin to stay hydrated and improves its barrier function against environmental harms. Magic Eye Rescue also includes retinol to rejuvenate skin cells and saccharide isomerate to brighten and firm that delicate under eye skin, so no more papery bags. This really does leave me looking well rested, even when I haven’t been good to myself.

Arbonnes RE9 Advanced Cellular Renewal Mask 50 ml

When I’ve really put my skin through its paces I turn to Arbonnes RE9 Advanced Cellular Renewal Mask as my special skin treatment. This under-sung brand is a gem in skincare and the RE9 range shows off its botanical best with pineapple and papaya enzymes. One of the best things about this mask is that it gently removes dead skin cells, it’s not drying, and it gives me clearer, better textured skin. Every time I use it I see my pores visibly reduced. It always leaves my skin feeling velvety soft and my spirits high.

Dr Jackson’s 04 Coconut Melt 15ml

Boosting and maintaining hydration is a key theme through my winter skincare and this includes lips. The lips are super sensitive to the cold and one of the best balms I’ve come across is Dr Jackson’s 04 Coconut Melt, it’s brilliant. This organic oil (solid like a regular balm though easily melts) comes in a makeup bag sized pot ready to soothe, plump and repair chapped lips. It also remedies a myriad of other beauty ills, such as spit ends or dry cuticles. Those coconuts again!

BB Creams

When it comes to makeup we’re spoilt for choice. Too spoilt? Never, but what to pick? For a fresh, glowing complexion in winter I love moisturising BB creams for a daytime look.

The BB stands for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm”. Designed to even out skin tone and offer light to medium coverage, BB creams give lighter coverage than a standard foundation but are thicker than a tinted moisturiser. They also deliver great hydration. I love their texture and they leave you with a gloriously dewy complexion.

I have a couple in my makeup bag but my favourite is Bobbi Browns BB Cream SPF 35. It contains light reflective pearls that brighten dull winter skin and it blurs the appearance of pores for a flawless, youthful appearance. As well as covering up a flaw or two, with long term use this product’s collagen boosting ingredients also minimise fine lines! If that wasn’t enough, it includes broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection to ensure you stay looking your best. As a plus, Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream comes in a variety or shades, unfortunately many brands only stock a couple.

So those are my heroes. Cleansing toning and moisturising is key to healthier looking skin and it makes the application of make-up look even better. Exfoliating at least once a week to remove any dead skin cells and using a hydration treatment will also help improve your skin’s appearance and texture.

If you have any bug bears with your skin come the winter months comment below, I also offer a skin consultation and programme with a number of my makeup packages.

Top Six Stocking Fillers To Wow!

Top Six Stocking Fillers To Wow!

I love this season, the lights and decorations adorning the streets, the crisp weather and of course the changes in fashion and makeup. I adore Christmas shopping too, but I know coming up with the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be troublesome. To help, I have put together my top six picks for makeup lovers!

Fortune Favours The Brave Eye Shadow Palette by Revolution

You can’t beat Fortune Favours The Brave Eye Shadow Palette for value. Created and designed by British Beauty Blogger Jane Cunningham, The quality and selection of colours you get for the price is amazing!

It’s a truly stunning and generous palette. Packed with 30 highly pigmented shades it gives you everything you need to create a variety of day and night looks, fantastic for the party season and every other.

With matte, glimmer and sheen shades this versatile palette would make a great gift for women of all ages and all colouring, whether you’re warm, cool or deep. I have it in my kit and it attracts lots of enthusiastic comments from my clients.

The Feline Flick Kit by Charlotte Tilbury

The Feline Flick Kit from Charlotte Tilbury will make hearts flutter! It includes one of my favourite mascaras of all time, the Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black. The wand is magic and gives curl, separation and incredible volume with just a little of the product.

It also comes with the Feline Flick Eyeliner Pen in Panther giving you everything you need to create an impactful winged eyeliner look. Felt liners are also great for precision, making the kit a great gift for all abilities. This quick setting liner also prevents feathering and smudging, ideal for long days or late nights!

Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black (8ml) is the PERFECT 5-in-1 mascara you need for fuller, fluttering eyelashes that will take you from day to night. In a glossy black formula, you will get curl, separation, volume, length & drama!

The Feline Flick Eyeliner Pen in Panther (1ml) is a glossy, intense, ink-rich pen that glides on perfectly & sets quickly to prevent feathering and smudging. No re-tracing necessary to create a defined result.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter by Fenty

I’ve waxed lyrical about this product lately and for good reason. The Killawatt Freestyle highlighter from the new mega brand Fenty will literally light up Christmas. The texture of this longwearing cream-powder highlighter is unbelievable, it just melts into the skin and blends effortlessly.

The striking Killawatt compacts contain either solo or duo highlighters. Currently my favourite is the Hustla Baby and Mean Money duo and with its rose gold tones it’s fab for creating a sun-kissed look in winter.

I love using it to highlight cheekbones, the collar bone, brow arch and so much more. It’s great in the inner eye for a bright-eyed look and even doubles up as eyeshadow. For a party look, adding a little to the lips before applying lip gloss is also great for giving extra shine.

Total Control Drop Foundation by NYX

This gem could be the perfect gift to reward yourself with for all your thoughtful purchases.

This inexpensive foundation is in my makeup bag and punches way above its price point. I love its sheer consistency and as the label suggests it’s completely buildable so you can achieve the perfect level of coverage by adding one or two more drops.

It’s a velvety, matte foundation however by adding a little liquid luminizer you can create a dewy look. It also comes in wide array of shades to suit lots of different skin tones.

Party of Four Mini Lip Gloss Set by Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown has so many yummy lip products, it’s hard to pick one. But this set of four mini lip glosses lets you have your Christmas cake and eat it, for just £27.

The glosses include four sumptuous and dazzling shades for the party season. They come in nude, pink and rich red and in a handy size for on- the-go. Infused with jojoba and avocado oil and a bunch of nourishing vitamins, theses must-have glosses deliver hydration and conditioning as well as gorgeous shine.

If that wasn’t enough, buy online at Bobbi Brown and get your hands on exclusive discounts or free products with spin and win. Who needs Santa when there’s Bobbi Brown?

The Best of Benefit by Benefit

And last but not least, because Benefit has come up with the ultimate stocking filler! You can select three of the brand’s most iconic products in a makeup bag and get a free brow highlighting pencil, all for just £69. And because there’s so many great products to choose from, this gift will please even the trickiest to buy for!

This set provides endless possibilities and with all the options you could even achieve a complete look. Benefits’s bestselling hello flawless oxygen wow! liquid foundation, Hoola bronzer and precisely, my brow eyebrow pencil are just a couple of the products on offer.

I hope this has made your job a little easier, if your need any further advice feel free to contact me direct or comment below. Happy Christmas shopping!!

Makeup is my Therapy

Why Makeup Is my Therapy

We all have talents and my gifts happen to be makeup and listening. I’ve always known this but the journey of life doesn’t always take us in a linear direction, in fact my path to get here looks more like a Cadbury’s Twirly Whirly.

This post is about my journey to becoming a makeup artist, but also self-belief and having the conviction to do what you love and what excites you.

I love makeup and it has driven me to make changes in my life for the better, helped me overcome my own limitations and strive for things I thought were out of reach. Being brave enough to do what I love has been a big life lesson and my ultimate kind of therapy.

Lipstick and incredibly big heels

My obsession with makeup started at a young age, I would sit on my mother’s bed and riffle through her makeup bag, experimenting with whatever she had available. I remember tottering about in front of the mirror with my sister in our mum’s heels and necklaces, bright red lipstick crayoned across our cheeks and lips. Applying red lipstick still sparks those playful memories.

More of this experimenting ensued, though I fitted into my mum’s shoes a bit better and I like to think my makeup skills improved. So, by the age of 15 I thought I was set, I wanted to do makeup. But I didn’t know a great deal about the world and I soon wobbled in my resolve. My dad worried that makeup wasn’t a recognised or lucrative enough profession and encouraged me to take a different career path, and with experience on his side I took his advice.

Instead of makeup I tried my hand at a respectable job, or several. I didn’t necessarily know I was moving in the wrong direction, I was just busy trying to get on with things and work my way up the ladder. In retrospect it’s easy to tell something was missing.

My attraction to makeup was shaken up again when I had the opportunity to do some modelling and instead found myself much more interested in what the makeup artist was doing: watching her work with all her different products had my sole attention.

So why didn’t I go for it?

I saw the makeup industry as extrovert, but I certainly wasn’t and my lack of self-confidence kept tripping me up.

As a child I was painfully shy and hated school, I was socially awkward and never spoke to anyone. Because of this I had a tough time establishing friendships, and ally-less I was a prime target for bullying.

Thankfully secondary school was better and I had made some friends. I was still quite shy and reserved though and perhaps like most teenagers I was also incredibly self-conscious. I had really bad acne and this compounded the situation ten-fold.

Then, at twelve years old I had my first panic attack. I remember how frightened I was. I suffered with them for a while at sixteen but I seemed to grow out of them. I didn’t know why I was getting them but at twenty-nine they came back with a vengeance.

They were pretty debilitating. They starting happening a couple times a week and then a couple of times a day before my everyday was consumed by these paralysing attacks. I had to strop driving and because of sheer embarrassment I stopped doing basic things like using public transport and doing the food shopping. I was in constant fear of an attack and became agoraphobic, feeling I was only safe if I stayed home.

This continued for years until I woke up one day and decided I had to help myself. I was at the lowest I’d ever been and something had to change.

Tapping into the spiritual and becoming a counsellor

I have always been interested in spirituality. My mother is a very positive person, she’s a holistic therapist and has practiced meditation as part of her daily routine for years. It was my mum who introduced me to mediation and EFT (emotional freedom tapping) therapy and this is what really helped the panic attacks stop. I was still scared to go out in public so I started having counselling and then took a conscious decision to integrate myself back into society, kind of like exposure therapy.

So I’d go into Sainsbury’s and buy something small and use the self-checkouts. I did this for a while and then my next step was walking around the supermarket. I built up my confidence till I felt ready to go food shopping again. I applied the same tactics to driving, going out and using public transport.

In time my anxiety went and I got my life back on track. Counselling was really empowering for me, it helped me to better understand myself as a person and to address the good as well as the bad. And that gave me strength. I wanted to help others in the same way and so I trained to be a counsellor.

I’ve counselled young adults and children for six years, and one thing I know more now than ever is the world is full of people who struggle with self-confidence and body-image, which I can relate to. There are so many expectations and ‘ideals’ levied at us, men as well as women, and it’s without a doubt one of the biggest reasons we have so many hang-ups about ourselves.

Combining my loves

Counselling was a move in the right direction, but I still wanted to get into makeup. You just know what makes your heart sing. Playing with makeup and putting it on has always made me feel infinitely better about myself and the day ahead. I knew makeup had the power to empower and I needed to work out a way to share that with others.

Having grown and learnt a lot, I finally began my career in makeup, but with a twist. ‘Makeup is Therapy’ is my business’s mantra, I specialise in bridal, personal branding and fashion but when my clients come to me they also know they can offload their day, talk about their insecurities, whether it be about skincare, body image or other issues, in a strictly confidential setting. I also help my clients build their confidence in the application of makeup and I’m training as a mentor in self-help.

I have continued to develop myself as a person. I don’t think you can ever stop working on yourself and why I actively sought a mentor who could help me enhance my makeup skills, teach me business and improve my mindset even further.

One of my biggest fears was to stand up in front of people and speak and now I teach airbrush makeup application to colleges and at academies.

My mentor encouraged me to face my fears to achieve my goals and this has helped me attract makeup jobs I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to do. But my passion for makeup itself has been the underlining driving force, it makes me so happy and I know I wouldn’t have pushed myself nearly as hard without that. I now have the confidence to do live videos on social media and to be proud at what I’m good at. I think I’ve even surprised myself. I truly believe that anything is possible if you have the right mindset and go after what you love.

I still have my off days, we all do, but I now know how to cope. Simply picking up my brushes is like medicine, it fills me with so many possibilities. That’s why makeup is my therapy.

I now share my passion for makeup with others and my everyday goal to inspire confidence in women, especially those who have low self-esteem like I did. As long as I’m achieving this I know I’m right where I need to be.


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