Thursday, 28 April 2011

Here comes the bridal make up artist!

This is the final interview from my 'beautiful women in beauty' series. I thought I'd wrap it up with an inspiring success story from a good friend of mine.

Meet Raj Dhillon, specialist in asian bride make-up artistry and hair. Raj began her make up career at MAC Cosmetics 8 years ago and to this day remains loyal to the brand. This beautiful woman's passion for make up has driven her to create numerous looks and the ability to learn how to adapt her craft and ability to complement every face she works on.

What were you doing before you began your career at MAC?
I worked in retail and then worked front of house in a beauty & hair salon

Does your job require specific qualifications/training/experience?
Experience is the key element, practise is the only way to perfect this skill. Some are born with a natural talent so no specific qualifications are needed.

I agree and that will be inspiring to all of my readers who are trying to find a way into make up. Why did you decide to go into make-up?
I always loved art and the colour side to it but never saw myself taking art further as in a career, I always loved playing with make up and couldn't see myself sticking to a 9-5 office job so thought I'd give it a go and thankfully I'm still going strong with no boredom.

"..Make up is an enhancement and brings confidence that some never even imagine having." Raj Dhillon

What do you do on a daily basis?
Day to Day I'm  at my Beautique (Raj's own business in Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham) with clients who are getting married and want  trials to see what look I can create for them.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to get into make-up?
I would say to practise as often as you can to perfect your skills so they are more confident for when they do approach a company for a job

Which products do you highly recommend?
I work for MAC so products I highly recommend are the creamsheen glosses/lipsticks, cream colour base, boot black liquid liner.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning and for a night out?
I don't wear make up during the day unless its a bit of concealer. However in the evenings if I have a function or a night out I can spend upto an hour putting on my makeup

What is your most favourite must-have product/make up item? (only one)
I would have to say my concealer! If i could have 2 then it would be lipgloss too. Haha.

Cream blush or powder blush?
Cream blush all the way

Lipstick or lip gloss?
That's a hard one..I'd have to say lipstick as I could go for a glossy texture in it but I do love my lipglosses!!

High St make up or Beauty Hall brands?
Beauty hall brands

What or who is your definition of beauty?
Beauty to me is when an individual feels perfect in their own way. Whether it be polished with a red lip and eyeliner like Marylin Manroe or sultry with smokey eyes and nude lips like Kim Kardashian or even just immaculate skin like Angelina Jolie. Make up is an enhancement and brings confidence that some never even imagine having.
Finally, what are your top tips for brides-to-be?

1. The must have product for every bride is lip conditioner! The worst thing is chapped or dry lips!

2. Facials are great leading up to the wedding to keep the skin looking fresh, hydrated and plump. Don't leave it to close to the wedding spread it out over 10-12 weeks so you can enjoy the full benefits. If your skin looks amazing you can go with less foundation.

3. When choosing a look always think how you will feel looking back on your photos in 5 years time. You don't want to cringe and regret the way you looked. Smokey is great as you can combine colours that compliment your outfit aswell as your skin tone and eye colour. Smokey is a technique not a colour so always remember it doesn't mean black eyes!

Thank you Raj. If you want more information about Raj or her services, visit or if you live in Birmingham, you can find her at her 'Beautique' loacted at 115 Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The 'ORLY' way is Essex

I was in Manchester and Liverpool a few weeks ago at the Lipsy Celebrity Retreat! Laura and I took ORLY's latest colour collections, Pin Up, Precious and Happy (due out in May). Guess who came up all the way from essex to play with our polishes?

The Towie cast!

SHUT UP?!!! yes, really!

Sam, Billie and Jess all fell in love with Va Va Voom and Coquette Cutie! (Excellent taste and such hot girls)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Summer Blushin'

Ok, so it's been like a month since I went to NYC and I never did show you the tarte or FACE Stockholm blushers I got. Well, these are the colours I'll be rockin' on my cheeks this Summer.

Around 10 years ago when I first discovered NARS, I used to wear a combo of two blushers called Gina and Gilda (not sure if NARS still make these colours now), anyway, so I discovered the combo of Gina and Gilda in the form of Tarte's Amazonian clay long-wear blush in Tipsy! It's my favourite shade of coral/orange blush EVER and the quality is utterly amazing! I wish I bought all of the colours in the range.

I usually mix cream and powder blushers because I find cream blushers lack the high pigmentation I need. That was until I discovered FACE Stockholm's creme blush-on, the colour below is called 'London' (I got this in NY too). I have been wearing this on my lips too. Addicted!

The next FACE product below is actually an eyeshadow (now discontinued) called 'Shocking'. If you know me well, you know I love my bright cheeks and lips, this is like a highlighter/neon colour blusher, can't wait to wear this with a tan.

The bad news, tarte cosmetics is not available in the UK. Good news, FACE is! It's available from

Sunday, 24 April 2011


I currently have some dresses and shoes for sale. These will be up for a week only before they go on ebay.

Postage charge will be separate depending on location and I will send recorded delivery.


Karen Millen beige leather knee-high boots, with a kitten heel in size 3 (36). They have only been worn once. Originally £225, I paid £110.

Blog price: £55 - £70 (or nearest offer)


Mellow Yellow Mary Jane shoes, navy with gold t-bar detail. Size 3 (36) worn approx 3 times. I paid £45.

Blog price: £10 (or nearest offer)


Karen Millen leather/patent pewter shoes with leopard print detail. Size 3 (36). One of the bows is broken but can easily be repaired. Worn approx 6 times. I paid £135.

Blog price: £25 (or nearest offer)


Grey leather 'shoots' (shoe boots) from Topshop. Worn twice, size 4 (37). I paid £80.

Blog price: £25 - £30 (or nearest offer)


Karen Millen knee length, purple silk and chiffon dress, size 6. Worn once. Originally £145.

Blog price: £40 - £50 (or nearest offer)


Brand new and unworn maxi dress by Lipsy. It has a flower print all over, adjustable straps and elasticated back. Size 8. Price on tag is £50.

Blog price: £25 (or nearest offer)


Karen Millen, silk champagne dress in size 8. Worn once for around an hour. Ultra elegant with the one shoulder detail and silk flap behind the shoulder. You'll feel like Cinderella at the ball in this dress. Fits perfectly in all the right places. Originally £225.

Blog price: £60 (or nearest offer)

If you have any questions, need more images or wish to make a bid, please email me at

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Beautiful Women in Beauty..Meet VB

This week, I got to interview Victoria, founder of specialist on-line retailer Victoria Loves Beauty (VLB). Due to the easter weekend, I have decided to post this up a day early as I'm guessing, like me, fellow bloggers will be gorging on chocolate all weekend.

VLB provides professional make up tools and niche make up brands (including my favourite FACE Stockholm) for professional make up artists as well as the regular make up savvy gals.

VLB pledges to offer excellent quality beauty products at great prices. VLB also offers further discount to professional MUA students, salons and make up academies (no excuse now to use but nothing but the best in your career as a MUA)

Hi Victoria, thank you for allowing me to interview you. I love the range of products and professional MUA tools on your website (

How long have you had your own website?
1 Year

What were you doing before that?
I was a full time mummy.

Does your job require specific qualifications/training/experience?
Not necessarily, but it does require a lot of research. Sales knowledge and core business skills are definitely a big advantage. Good time management, organisation and the ability to plan and work to set goals are also very important skills.

What inspired you to set up your own business?
After being in the retail fashion industry for many years, I decided that I wanted a change of direction. So after starting a family, I knew I wanted to rebuild my career doing something different. I have always had a passion for cosmetics however wanted to stay in retail. So I decided to combine the two and that’s when the idea of Victoria Loves Beauty came about. After a lot of planning and research, VLB was formed in 2010 and started trading in 2011 and its the best decision I had ever made.

What do you do on a daily basis?
Sales, business development, marketing, product sourcing, purchasing and all aspects of day to day running of an SME (small to medium sized enterprise) with my business partner.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to set up their own business/website?
Always conduct thorough research. I spent over a year on my market research and in that time I gained a lot of useful knowledge and contacts. Listen to the advice and information given by credible people with a proven track record; take it on board and put it to good use. If you want to get into the make-up industry, try doing some work experience. You may not get paid, but the advice and knowledge that you walk away with is far more valuable. Most imortantly, you should also maintain a positive , ''can do'' attitude. Stay focused and you will achieve your goals!

Which products do you highly recommend and why?
There are a few that come to mind; firstly our Long tipped & amp short tipped eye-liner applicators. These are fantastic for creating a precise, defined line when applying eye-liner. Secondly, would have to be Face Stockholm's volumising mascara, you will never need false eyelashes again once you have tried this. Finally, Model in a bottle setting spray, once your make-up has been applied, just a quick spray of this and there is no need for touch ups for the rest of the day.

Now some beauty questions, how long does it take you to put your make up on in the morning? and if you're going out.
Including skin prep, I would say around 20 minutes on a normal day, and around 40 minutes if I am going out. Once it's done, I spray my Model in a Bottle then I don't have to re-touch it again.

What is your most favourite must-have product/make up item? (only one…I know it’s hard)
You're right, this is hard. It would have to be Model in a Bottle fixing spray. I never need to re-touch my make-up once I have sprayed this. It doesn't clog the pores and makes your skin feel super soft. (I need me some of this model in a bottle!)

Lipstick or lip gloss?
Both. Once I have applied my lipstick, I will go over with a clear gloss.

Cream blush or powder blush?
Both again. I always use a a cream blush first, then go over with a powder to add shimmer.

High St make up or Beauty Hall brands?
Either. There are some great high street brands out there. Don't be afraid to mix and match.

Finally, what or who is your definition of beauty?
Beauty comes from within, make-up just enhances it.

Thank you so much Victoria, check out the super selection of FACE Stockholm products here.

 "Beauty comes from within, make-up just enhances it." Victoria (VLB)


Forget nails of the day, I'm rocking nails of the week. I literally cannot stop wearing orly's va va voom!

I've been rocking this colour since I had the sample from America before christmas! This is definitely my summer shade!

Va va voom is from the pin up collection and is available to buy at

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

News flash! He-shi in Harvey nics!

The He-shi tanning range will be available in the beyond beauty halls of Harvey Nichols in London, Manchester and Leeds.

If you haven't tried he-shi, now is your chance to get your mitts on some, it doesn't have that awful scent usually associated with fake tans. It's fragrance free!

I love the bronzer and the tanning face gel.

I also love how more professional brands are now so available for us savvy gals.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 18 April 2011


Wow! This is so crazy! Thanks to get Lippie, I can now update my blog on the go!

So be prepared for short but sweet posts.

Night night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Pout Spotter

Many of you know how obsessed I am with full lips, I would love some fillers or something to give me the perfect pout.

While I was in Liverpool at the Celebrity Retreat (spearate blog post coming) I spotted a girl with Marilyn Monroe's nose and Angelina's lips! I had to ask if they were real...

This is Hannah, a make up artist in Liverpool.

Take a look and take a guess...

Do you think her lips are real or fake?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Beautiful Women in Beauty: The 'Street's' Talkin'

Welcome to the second week of 'Beautiful Women in Beauty'. This week, freelance beauty writer and make up artist Ami Streets shares her story on how she got into the make up industry. You must check out some of her work on facebook, she is super talented!

What is your job title?
Make-up Artist / Beauty Writer

How long have you been in your job/industry?
I’ve been working in make-up for almost 5 years, and been writing for a year since graduating from a journalism course.

What were you doing before that?
Prior to working in make-up I worked in fashion retail and gained some experience in styling before becoming a fashion student and studying make-up.

Does your job require specific qualifications/training/experience?
I don’t necessarily believe that to be a good make-up artist you need to gain a qualification, in fact I found I gained more practical experience by working with customers through various make-up brands who also gave great in-house training. I think it helps to be artistic and creative – some people have a natural talent for this.

I enjoy learning and so wanted to do courses for that reason (and because some job roles and artist discount schemes require qualifications/proof of ability.) Last year I wanted to diversify my fashion education and did a Post Grad Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism course at LCF. As a short course it was brilliant to get straight into practical work, and building a portfolio – gaining contacts has also been very helpful as I often find who you know is really key in this industry.

Why did you decide to go into this particular job role/industry?
It sounds clich├ęd, but I’ve been obsessed with fashion and make-up ever since I can remember (I began wearing it in Junior School!) I love working in a fast-paced and creative environment. It’s a very sociable industry and always great to meet new people as you never know what opportunities might arise. More importantly I think it’s important to be passionate about what you do, it never feels like I’m actually, “at work” and I feel lucky to be able to do what I do for a living.

What do you do on a daily basis?
Social networking has become a big part of my daily work life, as it’s great for promotion and networking across all the creative industries. I try to update sites such as facebook several times a week as well as writing a beauty blog as much as I can.

I don’t really have a daily routine with work as it seems to change most weeks. As a freelancer I can be working on editorial shoots, projects, in the studio or with private clients – I enjoy varying my work as it keeps it interesting!

What advice would you give to someone wishing to get in your industry?
Always be open to learning and gaining inspiration from anyone and anywhere! I think networking and testing within a team is also essential – it allows you to meet great creatives and build up a strong portfolio.

Which are the key products you highly recommend?
Previously working with MAC (and using their products in my kit) I would definitely recommend; Blacktrack fluidline eyeliner – intense black gel liner that is great for inside the waterline/lining the eye, but also for creating a sexy smoky eye by blending and buffing into the lid.

Mineralize Skinfinish powder – great for skin of any age as it leaves a soft glow, sets your makeup and helps with shine without leaving a totally flat matte finish.

Pigments – intense coloured powders which are multi-purpose – very blendable and long lasting. Naked & Vanilla are great for an eyeshadow base/natural look and highlight colour.

Now some beauty questions, I love your make up. How long does it take you to put your make up on in the morning? And for the evening/night out/party?
I seem to have got my morning make-up routine down to ten minutes, and tend to go for mac face & body foundation with mineralize powder, a blush, and liquid liner. I love a bright lip colour to add some interest. For a night out if I’m experimenting with a new look it can take anything up to about an hour!

What is your most favourite must-have product/make up item? (only one…)
I’m obsessed with my black eyeliner as I wear it daily and couldn’t be without it! My favourite is M.A.C’s liquid last liner in Coal Black, as it applies really easily and stays on all day.

Lipstick or lip gloss?
Definitely lipstick! I seem to have collected most of M.A.C’s colours (favourites are Costa Chic and Myth) YSL also do some gorgeous colours that are long-lasting and moisturising.

Cream blush or powder blush?
Powder blush – my favourite is Orgasm by Nars (definitely a classic!) however, in Summer I think cream blush can give a pretty dewy effect that lasts.

High St make up or Beauty Hall brands?
I love shopping the Beauty Hall brands – the advertising and product collections are always more inspirational, and it’s always helpful to have informed staff who can help with anything you need.

Finally, what or who is your definition of beauty?
There are too many beautiful women to name just one, but I think the best beauty attribute someone can have is confidence – it makes all the difference to how people perceive you.

"Always be open to learning and gaining inspiration from anyone and anywhere! I think networking and testing within a team is also essential – it allows you to meet great creatives and build up a strong portfolio." Ami Streets
Thank you Ami!

Follow Ami's blog here.
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