Saturday, 30 October 2010

More Make Up Schools: Quick fire round

So, to wrap up my Make Up Schools feature, I have put together a brief overview of a few other make up schools I know about (via websites because I didn't get a response back from any of these schools whilst I was compiling this feature.

The Cassie Lomas Make-Up Academy
Unlike the other schools, which are located in London, the Cassie Lomas Make-Up Academy is based in Manchester. Founded by two former models and best friends, Make Up Artist Cassie Lomas and former Atomic Kitten Jenny Frost.

All tutors are freelancers, handpicked by Cassie. Students who exceed expectations are invited to assist Cassie at creative events.

The school is due to open January 2011.

The courses range from hair, make-up and bridal, such as;

  • Media Make-Up and Hairstyling
A 9 week course which covers all make up techniques required for TV, Fashion, Music, Photographic, Period and Bridal. Course also includes portfolio shoots and kit.

Fee: £4,900

  • Fashion Make-Up
6 week course which teaches students about all aspects of make up needed for today’s Fashion, Photographic and TV Industry as well as skills to undertake Bridal and Celebrity work. Photoshoots and kits are included

Fee: £3,500

Not sure which brands of Make-Up are used at the Cassie Lomas Academy.

Jemma Kidd Make-Up Academy

Former model and big sister to supermodel Jodie Kidd, Jemma Kidd preferred to be behind the camera doing make-up, so she decided to create her make-up range. In 2003, the Jemma Kidd Make-Up Academy was launched to train professional make-up artists and to launch their careers in the industry.

A variety of courses within each of these categories;
• Professional Masterclasses (courses in this category range from 1 day – 8 weeks)

• Non-professional Masterclass

• Bespoke Masterclass

Couldn’t find any information on fees or make-up brands used (assuming it will be the Jemma Kidd range).

London Academy of Freelance Make-Up (AOFM)
The academy is the first in the industry, where its owned and operated by freelance hair and make-up artists. AOFM is more like an association which has International links and is sponsored and supported by many hair and make-up brands.

The Artists (tutors) at AOFM work with some of the biggest names in the beauty, fashion and media industry, including celebrities.

Courses range from Foundation Level Freelance Make-Up to a Shu Uemura Cosmetics Master Class. All courses include 24 piece pro tool brush collection with brush belt. I’ve just listed two below;

Foundation Freelance Make-Up Course: designed for a true beginner, course covers everything from basic hygiene, skin prep to bridal make up and smokey eyes.

Fee: £1,200

Advanced Freelance Make-Up Course: this course covers a much wider range of techniques, such as ethnic make-up, glamour, 20’s -80’s make-up, body pains, male corrective, stencil, catwalk, fashion, TV, film and theatre.

Fee: £1,400


Delamar Academy
The Delamar Academy, based in Ealing is the only make-up school in the UK to have trained the winners of two Academy awards, a BAFTA and two emmy awards.

Some make up courses;
Higher Education Certificate in Professional Make-up Design Course (1 Year Full-time)

Fee: £16.500

Complete Make-up Artist Course (12, 14 or 16 Weeks Full-time)

Fee: £7,000

Advanced Beauty and Fashion Course (5 Weeks Full-time)

Fee: Couldn’t find it.

Summer Course (As individual 1 Week modules or 6 Weeks Full-time)

Fee: £3,995.00

Short Courses (1 or 2 weeks Full-time)

Fee: £750 - £1,300

Love that they do ‘Barbie’ and ‘Sad doll’ bodypainting.


I hope my make up schools feature has helped budding/existing make up artists.
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Make Up School Part Deux: The Session School

The Session School is located in the heart of Central London and offers a range of make up and hair courses for the freelance industry.

This new and exciting school was founded by distinguished Make-Up Artist Dani Guinsberg (also a Fashion Week regular) to teach future Make-Up professionals the art of make-up within the fashion, beauty and advertising industry. With over 14 years experience in the industry, Dani has become a very well respected and fully qualified expert in Make-Up Artistry.

So, students can expect no less than to be taught by some of the most talented in the industry, tutors have a wealth of experience - from working on make up backstage at Vivienne Westwood, to styling Victoria Beckham's hair for her wedding!


The Session School offers a range of hair and make up courses, such as;

Professional Foundation Make Up Courses

11 week beginner course (option to choose Saturdays/weekdays).

Includes a small professional basic make-up starter kit worth £300 and a professional brush kit worth £70 (from Illamasqua and Pixie).

Fee: £2,500

Combined Hair and Make Up Course

5 week beginner course (weekdays).

Fee: £4,500

Bridal Make Up and Hair Courses

5 day course for intermediate level.

Fee: £1,500

• Skincare workshops

2 day course, for either personal or professional.

Fee: £375

• Asian Bridal Make Up Workshop

2 day course for those with previous make up experience.

Fee: £375

Vintage Beauty Master Class (love the idea of this one)

2 day course for those with previous make up experience.

Fee: £375

Taster classes (which are only £15)

2 hour session for all levels. Great way to decide which course you would like to take.

Make up is available to use on all the short courses, but obviously for hygiene reasons and to build your own kit, you can buy pro brushes at the school for a discounted price of £40.

A variety of make up brands are used, such as Illamasqua, Laura Mercier, Pixie, Lucas PawPaw Ointment. However, the experts build their kits according to what they like to use.

The Session School is also BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology) and HABIA certified.

For more information, visit The Session School website.

In mourning for Bella....

Last week, I went on the hunt for the Bella bronzer by La Metier de Beaute. I was so upset to find out that it has been discontinued. Why? Just look at the golden glow of this product, it 'was' an illuminator for face and body and now I can't get it.

Does anyone know where can I get one from?

Eye Candy Competition

Here's a question, have you ever seen Cheryl Cole without her false lashes?

I certainly haven't. Huge lashes whether fake or real are so imperative when wearing dark or smokey eye make-up, hence why Cheryl is always rocking hers.

Eye Candy is a new range of hand-made lashes which has a massive waiting list in Boots. They are really light, so don't feel uncomfortable half way through a night out, where you just end up ripping them off.

False Lash Tips: When using strip lashes, I cut them in two halves and then apply them, so they look more natural (actually easier to apply on yourself this way) and sometimes I will just cut a third off to give that 'fluttery' eyelashes effect.

When using the glue, let it go a bit sticky before applying to lashes, if the glue is still watery, the strip won't stick to lashes properly.

I have three sets of the Eye Candy natural look strip lashes to give away. All you have to do is post a comment below with the name of your eye candy (could be a celeb, boyfriend, your get the idea right?)

Depending on the number of comments, I'll write names down and pick three at random.

Competition ends Sunday at midnight.

Have fun thinking about your eye get yours!

RRP: £4.85

Available from Boots, Gordons Chemists and

Inika: The First in Halal Natural Cosmetics

Inika is a 100% natural Australian cosmetics brand which has revolutionised natural make up.

• All products are 100% Certified Halal
• Certified organic with Austrialia’s Organic Food Chain
• Inika is certified Vegan with the UK Vegan Society.
• Inika is 100% Certified Cruelty Free with Australia’s Choose Cruelty Free Organisation.
• Inika’s boxes are made from recycled materials and all packaging is recyclable.
• Cosmetic brushes are made from synthetic fibres.

I need this stand at home!

The founders of Inika, Miranda Bond and Jenni Williams created this range out of their need for a toxic-free lifestyle combined with their passion for glamorous, high quality cosmetics. They found that other ‘natural’ cosmetic brands were either not as ‘natural’ as they claimed to be or the quality was poor.

Inika products are guaranteed to be completely free from harsh petrochemicals, fillers, talc, bismuth oxychloride (which causes irritation, this is a common ingredient in other mineral make up), GM ingredients, parabens, preservatives, mineral oils, phthalates and fragrances. All products are also non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog the pores, and are so gentle that women who have suffered allergies and sensitivities to cosmetics for years have been able to wear Inika without any reaction.

“Inika is all about creating glamour that’s good for you!” (Miranda bond, CEO and co-founder of Inika)

Inika cosmetics are also recommended by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons for use following procedures like laser resurfacing, chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion. The reason being because of the purity of the ingredients.

Ingredients in inika: only natural minerals.

Who is it for: Everyone, whether you’re health conscious, have problem skin (rosacea, psoriasis, acne scarring, dry, mature, problem or sensitive skin) or if you’re like me, just love exciting great quality cosmetics.
The quality of these products is far superior to any other mineral cosmetic brand I have tried. I’ve always liked the concept of mineral make up, but found that the colours were wishy-washy. However, the eye shadows within the Inika collection really wowed me, they are like the MAC pigments, extremely highly pigmented and a little goes a very long way (just look at the swatches on my hand).

The foundations come in powder or liquid form, They contain mica, which reflects light away from fine lines and wrinkles. The Titanium and Zinc Oxide offer a built in sun protection (which varies between products).
I love the liquid foundation, I tested some on the back of my hand and just a small amount gave a flawless finish, for women who prefer more coverage, there is the option to build it up gradually.

Just a drop of the Liquid Mineral Foundation
The Mineral foundation is equally as glorious, the Kabuki brush ensures a perfect application. I was so shocked to discover that the bristles are synthetic, I never use synthetic brushes because they are usually awful. However, the Kabuki brush is beautifully cut, and it’s really thick – like real hair. I’ll be using this to apply my blusher and I’ll be getting another one for contouring/bronzer. It feels so soft and silky on my skin. It’s one of my ‘IT’ products!

Oh my God, I just stood in awe of the amazing range of colours of Organic eyeliners and the eye shadows! I want every colour! The eyeshadows can be used wet or dry and layered over the eyeliners.

Top: black eyeshadow, black eyeshadow when wet (as a liner)
The black eyeshadow is the best, most matte black I have seen. I have found that black eyeshadows tend to look more of a graphite/dark grey. I have to get this black. It’s brilliant!

I love the genius idea of incorporating the sharpener in the lid of the eyeliner! Clever ladies! Why didn’t anyone think of this before? I’ve lost so many sharpeners.

Built in pencil sharpener
Certified Organic Lip Whips and lip pencils. The Lip Whips are like a tinted lip balm which applies like a gloss. They contain ultra moisturising ingredients such as organic honey and shea butter (so no grosse lip gloss build up). Tastes so good, I licked it off my lips (oops).

The liquid highlighter is gorgeous, it’s a peachy gold, so perfect for most skin colours (need to add that to my shopping list too). The loose highlighting powder gives more of a pearlised glow and can be mixed with the matt bronzers, blushers or worn alone. The bronzers have cool names like ‘Sunloving’ and ‘Sunseeker’ (love both of these colours, for different times of the year of course),

100% natural and can be used with lash extensions.

Also within the range: primer, blushers, lipsticks and setting powder.

I could go on about make up all day long, so, I’ll end with a little trivia.

Inika means ‘small earth’ in Hindi. The world is a small place, so it’s nice to know that there are brands like Inika who care about it.

Inika is available online here or selected Wholefoods stores.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Make-Up Schools: Part One

I had an email through from a lovely girl who wants a career in make up but doesn’t know which route to take or which academy to go to.

I explained that my career path into make up was rather unconventional. While I was at college, I started working for Calvin Klein Cosmetics, then moved to Space.NK and eventually moved to London doing freelance make-up work for music videos, photo shoots, fashion shows and brides.

I must say, everything I know about make-up is as a result of experimenting with different brands, products, colours and also because of my passion for the beauty world. I remember my dad telling me that I loved lipstick before I could even walk and when I first started talking, I called lipstick – ‘licky-mouth’. When my ma would be in the bath, I would raid her beauty products, the chunky double ended Rimmel eye pencils, Avon lipsticks/gloss with the sponge applicator, which I doubled up as ‘rouge’ for my cheeks.

So, I was curious about what make-up schools are out there and what exactly can they offer? I know of the infamous ‘Greasepaint’ Academy and I met quite a few excellent Make-Up Artists who went there.

I contacted all of the Make-Up Schools I know about;

• Greasepaint

• AOFM (The Academy of Freelance Make Up

• Jemma Kidd Make Up School

• The Session School

• Cassie Lomas Make Up Academy

The schools which replied to my email;

• Greasepaint

• The Session School

I will give a brief overview of the schools who didn’t reply to my email, based on the information on their websites.

Today, I’ll begin with the innovator in make-up school.


Greasepaint has been established for over 30 years and was the first private make-up school in the UK. The tutors are all industry-based make-up designers with many years of teaching experience. The school prepares its students for working life as a make-up artist, whether for film, television, theatre or fashion. Studying here also has the benefit of work experience in the industry.


- Excellent industry connections

- Chance to gain work experience within the industry (TV/Film/Theatre/Fashion Shows)

- Former students have worked/are working on huge films like X-Men and Hunky Dory.

Greasepaint offers a range of courses make-up and hair for High Definition, TV, Film, Theatre and Fashion.

Make –Up Courses

- 20-week 5* Programme. This is the most popular course, which offers comprehensive training for today’s make-up artist industry. It combines training in make-up for HDTV, Film, Fashion and Theatre, including prosthetics, special effects and airbrushing techniques (I’ve always wanted to learn how to this type of make-up). All kits you require are included within the fee of this course.

Fee: Ranges from £14,500 - £15, 862.50 (depending on the time of year)

14-week HDTV, Film and Theatre Make-up and Hair (including prosthetic special effects.

Fee: Ranges from £7,800 - £9,500 (again, depending on the time of year).

- 1-week Airbrushing: This is such a must-have skill for today’s industry. It’s widely used in TV, film, fashion and beauty. This technique puts a fine layer of tiny, light-reflecting particles on the skin, producing a flawless finish. Equipment required is also included for this course.

Fee: £1,600+VAT

- 5-week Fashion Make-up and Hair (can also be taken as a weekend course). This is the course if you want to train for catwalk and photographic make-up.

Fee: £4,800 - £5,500 (depending on the time of year)

Requirements to study at Greasepaint: As long as you’re over 18, you can study any of the courses without previous experience because all courses begin with the basics.

Greasepaint certificates are recognised throughout the industry.

Open day: 5 February 2011

Tomorrow, I’ll cover The Session School.

Have I missed out any make-up schools?

Have you been to any of these schools?

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Shout-out to the creater of these cupcakes

I am the cause of that empty space on the second tier

This is the company who made those gorgeous bite size cupcakes

Cupcake face

Thanks for the amazing cupcakes at the Davina Peace launch, I actually can't stop thinking about them. The icing was perfect, not sickly and the sponge was divine! Yum!!

Party Survival Kit from KORRES

It's almost that time of year for when the real partying begins. So, KORRES introduce you to their 'Party Survival Kit'. 

This genius kit contains all the essentials a gal needs when she's not sure where the night will take her.

Milk Proteins 3 in 1 Cleansing Tonic/Eye Make-up Remover, which gently cleanses, tones and moisturises, removing make up and dirt allowing skin to breathe (I think it's so grosse when girls sleep in their make-up, don't do it. I read somewhere that each night you sleep in your make-up, you age by 12 days).

Wild Rose 24 hour Moisturising and Brightening Cream, the Wild Rose repairs skin, treating fine lines and skin colour disorders.

Evening Primrose Eye Cream for the Reduction of Fine Lines and Dark Circles. Evening Primrose and Vitamin C stimulate collagen synthesis. Vitamin K is something all good eye creams should contain, it promotes blood microcirculation, illuminating skin under the eyes, gradually reducing dark circles. Natural sunscreen Zinc Oxide prevents premature ageing whilst diffusing a light whitening concealer effect.

Guava Showergel and Body Butter, one word for these products 'WOW', they smell glorious! The body butter is one of my star products from KORRES, they are super moisturising and full of wonderful natural ingredients such as Avocado and Shea Butter! A must have product for your bathroom as well!

Lemon Chewing Gum. Those clever guys at KORRES have included the all important gum in this kit.  It's sugar free and contains naural lemon oil. What's the point of looking great and smelling clean when breath isn't so....erm....fresh?

RRP: All of this for £18.00.

Available from Liberty's, John Lewis and

Friday, 22 October 2010

The day I met the Queen… of Eco-Luxury

On Wednesday, the gorgeous Priya of Beautywowsa invited me to a beauty event showcasing a brand new, luxury and organic Body Care and candle range - Davina Peace. So I hot trotted over to meet the lady herself - Davina Peace (yes, it is her real name).

Davina is of striking beauty and has an amazing calming presence, as soon as she walked into the room; all eyes were on this gorgeous lady in a red dress with a supermodel figure (if that figure is the result of her new body cream, I’ll need to stock up). It’s hard to believe that this beautiful woman was once very ill, during this period of ill health; she decided to re-evaluate her lifestyle, exploring nutrition and organic beauty products.

None of the eco brands Davina discovered could offer a pampering indulgent experience. They all had the traditional herbaceous smell associated with eco products. So, you can imagine my reaction when I heard the words eco and luxury in the same sentence to describe this exquisite range..I knew I just had to try it out and come and meet Davina myself to learn more.

Me and Davina

I discovered that Davina has always had a passion for nature, beauty and the environment; add this with years of experience working on beauty brands at Saatchi and it was her destiny to create something as unique as an eco-luxury beauty range.

The Davina Peace range is the first of its kind within the beauty sector- offering luxury organic products which are environmentally and socially responsible with 70% organic ingredients, and if they’re not organic then they are fair trade.

This is an indulgent luxury organic range, which is a first of its kind with active ingredients that deliver. The products will pamper, protect and cocoon (love that word) the skin and all fragrances are created using 100% organic essential oils.

I love learning about new ingredients (as well as being careful not to use animal ingredients because I’m vegetarian and Muslim) and I was fascinated to learn about an ingredient exclusive to the Davina Peace range, it’s a vegetable substitute to Silicone called Crambe Oil (cultivated in the UK in a secret location, may have to google map the pod cast to find it’s location- just joking Davina).

Crambe Oil has a unique characteristic which delivers the silky texture of a luxury product without synthetic silicones, whilst plumping and smoothing skin.

I tested the body cream on my arms and it melted on my skin like butter and absorbed immediately, leaving my arms smooth and I could still smell the scent on the train home. I haven’t had a chance to have my pampering session yet (not with my new puppy who needs attention like a baby) but once I have tried out the products I was generously given, I’ll write a full review.

Even the packaging of the products is recyclable, including gold branding on the (recyclable frosted glass bottle) body oil, but at the same time, the packaging is the epitome of luxury, which sits elegantly the bathroom.

I noticed something else about the packaging, the ingredients have been translated into English (with Latin underneath), it is part of the law to have ingredients listed in Latin, I don’t understand why because who speaks Latin these days? Davina is so open and honest that she wants to show us that all the ingredients are natural and not disguised as something else in Latin, I love how she ends the ingredients list with “and that’s all”.

Products within the Body Care range:

Body Cream for nourishing, smoothing and toning.

Body Oil which is enriched with anti-ageing properties and protects skin.

Hand Cream which softens, rejuvenates and hydrates skin on hands.

The candles within the home range are stunning and I can still smell the scent of Spiced Punch, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I can imagine burning this whilst sitting on a beautiful cosy rug in front of a log fire (not that I’ve experienced this..yet). I am very particular about candles because I don’t like the synthetic smell some have. However, the Davina Peace candles are made from 100% eco wax and do not contain synthetic fragrances, but even better, the handmade Japanese porcelain packaging is re-usable. There are currently three candles in the home range collection, which have all been inspired from some of Davina’s fondest memories.

The Davina Peace range has been snapped up by Harrods (now those guys know luxury when they see it) and will be available in store from 1st November or online at

“and that’s all”

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Neglected blog post and puppy needs a name!

I must introduce you to the latest addition to my family, she is a four week old abandoned puppy and she is the reason I have neglected my blog over the weekend.

I have to feed her from a baby bottle every two hours and she cries throughout the night, hence the provisional name of 'Siren', she has very expensive taste already, loves leopard print, has amazing talons and the cutest little face ever, I'm in love with her. We were thinking of finding her a home but we just have to keep her, she's now part of the family.

I'm still trying to come up with a good name, what do you think?




or something else?

Ps, got quite a few posts coming up on Korres, make up schools and Emma Hardie Skincare.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Happy Chocolate Week - Thursday

Check out this baby from Hotel Chocolat! Scrumptious!!!


(Ps, I am wearing Orly's Naughty or Nice on my nails, a new colour from the Christmas collection 'Tis the Season')

Busted! by LIERAC

I received the most intriguing product a few days ago and I really like it.

The 'Bust Lift Tensor Spray' by LIERAC.

LIERAC is a French brand which uses the power of nature and plants in their products, they select the most active part of plants which contain the highest concentration of active nutrients, such as the root, leaves and flowers. LIERAC have become specialists of active phytocosmetics with physiological and restorative benefits for the skin.

The Bust Lift spray is very light and fresh, rich in bio-polymers that instantly weave a meshwork on the skin's surface to lift the skin and help strengthen bust support. It smells divine and absorbs into skin within seconds, it also leaves an iridescent glow due to the pearly particles, like a highlighter for your decollete without the worry of transferring make up on a nice dress.

Back to the primary purpose of this product, it's enriched with moisturising agents and botanical active ingredients to give your bust an instant radiance boost and a fuller look.

I have been using it for a few days at morning and night, I'll report back in a month to let you know if I have noticed any difference. I think this is a great post holiday product to try and reverse some of that sunbathing damage (something I'm guilty of).

Active ingredients

Wheat biopolymers: a tensing agent that forms a subtle film on the surface of the skin (creating a 'lift')

Botanical extracts of elderberry and terminalia: restructuring agents which leaves skin firmer and more elasticated.

Hyaluronic Acid and AHA: moisturising agents which leaves skin feeling instantly smoother.

I've been informed that some of the benefits include;

- Immediate smoothing effect

- Better toned bust

- Instant radiance for the decollete

Price: £25.00

Stockists: Harrods Pharmacy and

In 'Ore' of Illamasqua

After my indulgent wax at STRIP, I just had to check out the new Illamasqua store on Beak Street. I felt so left out when reading about the beauty bloggers trip there, I just had to see it for myself.

I walked out of Carnaby Street and it was like a scene from a film, like only I could see the Illamasqua store, illuminated with a golden halo, calling for me. As soon as I stepped in the store, I  could see why fellow beauty bloggers are loving this place. It's a make up addict's fix!

Last week I bought a blush and lipgloss from Illamasqua in Selfridges and I foolishly believed that I could simply browse and not buy anything. I just couldn't resist buying a Liquid Metal (in Solstice) and a Pure Pigment in Ore.

These are amazing alone but glorious if used together. I quickly dabbed my finger in the Liquid Metal first and then the Pure Pigment, they can be used all over, anywhere and with fingers or brushes. 

I feel like giving myself 'gold fingers' with the Liquid Metal, he he.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I’ve joined the ‘STRIP’ Club

I have now joined the 'STRIP' Club– The Best Waxers in Town. What were you thinking? (tut tut)

After checking out Harper’s ‘Beauty Hot 100’ list, there are some products I really questioned what the hell they were doing in there, such as Revlon’s nail polish (Over Orly seriously?) and others I have added on my next beauty shopping list;

-Suqqu foundation

- Sarah Chapman facial,

- Vichy Eye Make-Up Remover

- SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic

- NuFace Face Firming Tool

- Dr Sebagh Serum Repair

- Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion

- Bliss Super Slough Scrub

- Liz Earle Body Scrub

- Best Salon Waxing – STRIP

I can cross the last one off my list now. I booked myself in yesterday in the Soho branch of Strip.

STRIP is London's original and premiere waxing boutique that has revolutionised the waxing industry by dispelling the myth that waxing is painful and boring.

Founded in 2005 by sisters Danielle Featherstone-Price and Maria-Louise Featherstone, STRIP’s three luxurious and unique boutiques in Chelsea, Notting Hill and Soho have made hair removal glamorous! Offering global clients the ultimate waxing and shopping experience - pairing your perfect wax treatments with pampering products and beautiful lingerie.

STRIP's therapists are sourced from all over the globe (I had a lovely therapist called Chelsea from Australia) and are trained to the highest standards ensuring the ultimate waxing experience that is fast, effective, hygienic and virtually pain free (I promise you it is pain-free). They use their own specially blended Lycon waxes to suit your skin and hair type depending what mood you are in.

I was offered the choice between opulent Chocolate Wax for a heavenly scented treatment, fruity berry, moisturizing olive or relaxing lavender to stimulate the senses. I chose fruity berry because I could smell it wafting out of the treatment room. The scent is divine and when I saw the wax pots I was tempted to dip my finger in (strongly advise against it though), the wax looks like melted starburst.

STRIP also has a 'Manifico' treatment room created especially for their male clients. The best part? The premium Lycon waxes prevent hair breakages, ingrown hairs, redness and the associated painful sting, leaving you soft and smooth with no sticky residue.

The berry room is gorgeous, with a superior, comfy treatment bed, plasma TV, amazing furniture and cool artwork on the wall. STRIP's sumptuous treatments rooms are designed using opulent fabrics and furnishings carefully selected to compliment each wax flavour or colour.

I laid back, watched Love Actually and talked about electric blankets with Chelsea. I was actually disappointed when Chelsea told me I was ‘all done’. I was in there for around half an hour but could have stayed there all afternoon. Usually, I can’t wait to get my clothes on and get out of the treatment room after a wax.

The overall experience was memorable, amazing and I can’t wait for my next wax appointment! Every single hair has been removed, in-growing hairs were thoroughly extracted and I was given instructions/recommended products on how to look after the skin on my erm ‘Vajayjay’ to keep it looking super smooth.

The cost: I have a Hollywood which cost £50.

STRIP’s unique philosophy has made waxing a treat and not a chore. It's no wonder that STRIP have a legion of loyal celebrity followers, including Victoria Beckham, Emily Blunt, Poppy Delevigne, Jasmine Guinness and Emilia Fox.

Check out the STRIP website here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

National Chocolate Week

Anyone who knows me, knows that another passion in my life besides beauty products is chocolate! I literally get through a minimum of five bars per day (my favourites include Ripple, Minstrels, Wispa, Flake, Vintage Buttons and anything praline from Hotel Chocolat.

So, Hooray for National Chocolate Week which begins today, now I can get everyone at work to indulge with me. However, if you want to indulge without feeling guilty, check out Delice de Poudre by Bourjois, a bronzing powder with the look and fragrance of chocolate! I went to look for it in my local Boots but sadly they didn't have it, I'm guessing it's that great they sold out. Once I get hold of one, I'll let you know what it's like.

Have you got it or tried it? Would love to hear your comments.

So until I get my manicured paws on one of these, I'll be indulging on the real thing.

Bare Eyes, Bright Lips

On Friday, I rocked the ‘No Mascara’ trend which was hot at the Christopher Kane A/W show. I thought I would be horrified to look at myself without mascara and my signature eyeliner but I actually quite liked it. I enjoyed the freedom of not wearing mascara.

Only two people at work even noticed a difference, they both commented how much they liked it and how natural and fresh I looked. I’m glad I didn’t scare everyone at work and I will definitely be rocking this look again. I’ve listed all the products I used below.

The base: It’s important to have a flawless base with the no mascara look. I achieved this by using;

• Korres Quercetine & Oak Face Primer: a silicone free, wrinkle filling and skin perfecting primer which is enriched with powerful antioxidants and creates a super smooth surface.

• My face cosmetics ‘my mix foundation’ in Med/Dark. I never usually wear foundation, I normally use Chantecaille’s tinted moisturiser but I like this product because it is just like a tinted moisturiser. It matches my skin colour with and without fake tan.

• Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Oil on my cheekbones.

Cheeks: I tried to be as natural as possible with my cheeks but blusher is my make up weakness, just can’t live without it and you’ll never find me rocking the no blush look that Grazia was raving on about recently.

• Korres luminous finish blush in 15 Natural with Nars Deep Throat.

Eyes: Trish McEvoy is my eye-saviour. If I hadn’t been using the Lash Enhancer, I don’t think I would have had the courage to wear this look. The night time lash enhancer treatment has made my lashes so thick, healthy and a bit longer. I have also discovered a new star product – the Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift. This is an under-eye concealer which fills in lines and brightens eyes. I even used this on my eyelids and my colleague commented how she loved my ‘eyeshadow’, this would also make a great base for eyeshadow if you’re after a multi-purpose product. I used to recommend Bobbi Brown’s Secret Brightener or By Terry’s VIP Touche expert but I highly recommend the Trish Instant Eye Lift – especially if you have dark circles (like me) and you want smooth under-eye skin.

Lips: A pop of colour is key with the no mascara look, so I wore Mac’s amplified lipstick in Impassioned with Illamasqua’s Intense lipgloss in Indulge.

What do you think? Would you be brave enough to ditch your mascara for the day?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Meet Newcastle's finest Nail tech

Finally, I got to speak to Award Winning Nail Technician, Vikki Taylor-Dodds. This interview was supposed to be joint with the Sam Biddle post. However, Vikki took a well deserved holiday after her hard work at this year’s Nailympics, she’s back home, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

So, Vikki, how did you get into nails and how long have you been in the industry?

I started in the nail industry in 2002, I have always enjoyed creative hobbies and especially nail art.

I have been truly wowed by your competition nails. Tell me more about how you got into handcrafting little fairies and mermaids on nails?

I start building designs much same way I would draw them, If you take any item you break it down into sections it makes it much easier to build.

How long does it take you to complete a set of competition nails?

Many competitions nails are handcrafted from scratch, so at the excel show last year they took me 2 & 1/2hrs. The nailympics allows you to pre build your nails it can take you months, my last set took about 75 hours.

You must be a great artist. Do you think you can be taught this type of design work whether you’re creative or not?

Yes i think you can be taught the skills to build & design, It’s harder to teach someone how to come up with the original ideas, It's all about looking for inspiration.

I have never seen anything like your competition designs. Where does your inspiration come from?

Magazines, Clothing, TV, I even look for inspiration in my local supermarket. People think I’m crazy because I can admire someone’s shoes on a night out and my brain is working overtime thinking of how I can put that design onto a nail!

What brands do you use to do your design work? And which are the best brands to use for aspiring nailista’s?

I use EZflow, their competition white is excellent for building and the colour range is fantastic, the products you use makes a huge difference to your work.

Out of all your creations, which are you most proud of?

I don’t have a particular design because I’m a perfectionist I can always see room for improvement, an hour after I have finished them, i think oooh I wish I had done that!

Do you do ‘regular’ nails anymore?

Yes, I do nails in my salon every Saturday and I teach most days. I still love doing a regular set of nails (I must say they normally have a little design in them).

Thank you Vikki. I can't wait to see your next set of competition nails!

Vikki is the owner of Spoilt for Choice Salon in Newcastle and runs an education academy, Educationail. For more information on Vikki and her education school, visit her website

If you are willing for a grilling from me, email me. I would love to interview you if you have your own blog, cool website or if you know your 'stuff'.

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