My Kit Must-Haves!

Today I thought I’d give you a little insight into a few of my favourite products from my makeup kit. You might find this useful if you’re just starting out as a makeup artist and need to build your kit or if you’re just a bit of a product junkie!

I think it’s so unnecessary to carry a billion different shades of foundation in your kit. Not only is it crazy expensive but it means your kit bag will need to be huge and heavy. I only ever carry these four shades of foundation, nothing else and I’ve never struggled to match anyone. Most of my clients are a mix of the lightest two shades (as am I), or the middle two.

This foundation is Cosmetics a la Carte’s Skin Velvet and I really love it. It’s not too thick or thin, not too matte or too dewy, meaning it works nicely with all skin types and it’s extremely long-lasting which makes it perfect for brides (the majority of my clients).

Other Base Products
MAC Prep+Prime is a must for preparing the skin for foundation and ensuring it will last all day.
The blush pictured is MAC Fleur Power and I have used it on the palest of skin tones to the darkest and it looks stunning on everyone!
The Illamasqua Sculpting Duo in Lumos & Heliopolis is another product that works on most skin tones (except the very very dark). It contains a matte, light brown contouring powder that can be applied really lightly to achieve a subtle contoured effect or built up for a more dramatic look. It also contains a lovely shimmery highlighter powder.
Benefits Boi-ing is the best concealer I’ve ever used and covers a multitude of sins!
And finally translucent setting powder is a must as a final step to set all the makeup and ensure longevity!

I forgot to photograph the eyeshadow primer but the one I use is Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray and I wouldn’t apply eyeshadow without it!
The MAC palette is their Warm Neutral palette and it’s ideal for all bridal makeup artists because it has a perfect mix of matte and shimmery neutrals ideal for most bridal looks and all skin tones!
I also love the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette for bridal looks. All the colours are matte except the lightest shade which has a very subtle shimmer to it and is lovely as a brow bone highlight.
The best mascara I’ve ever used is Lancôme Hypnose and the best liner is MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack!

I carry a lot of lipsticks in my kit but I always come back to these and I think you’ll always be safe as long as you’re carrying a red, a bright pink, a nudey pink and a plum. My favourites are all by MAC and they are (from left to right), Girl About Town, Ruby Woo, Angel and Plumful.
I carry glosses in these sort of shades as well but my most used is Tanya Burr’s Afternoon Tea.
It’s also a good idea to have some long lasting lip lacquers too. This Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist is a good all round shade and lasts hours on the lips!
Finally, MAC’s lip pencil in Spice matches almost every different shade of lips and is a great tool for keeping lipstick on longer!

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post which will be all about my must-have brushes and tools!


MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base

In the heat my makeup has the tendency to slide right off my face and I don’t think I’m alone. Who’s with me girls? I don’t have particularly oily skin but I go seriously shiny on hot summer days and the longevity of my foundation definitely suffers. This summer I’ve noticed it more than ever so have been researching products to combat it.

Enter…MAC’s Prep & Prime. I’ve heard lots of good things about this product and as an avid MAC fan, when I saw they were giving away free samples of this on their Facebook page I nearly squealed out loud. Unfortunately the offer is no longer running (sorry girls) but I thought I’d give you my thoughts in case you were interested in purchasing the product yourself.

In a nutshell, I like it. This sample may look tiny but I’ve got at least a week’s worth of uses out if it so feel I can give you a good reflection of it’s performance.

It works well with my skin and definitely makes my makeup last longer. I can’t say it completely eradicates the shine but it does help reduce it and I have better confidence in my makeup’s performance when I’m wearing it.

The best part for me about this product however, is how it makes my makeup look when applied. It applies nicely (it comes in a white cream formula) and sinks well into the skin so you don’t have to wait around for a long time before applying your foundation/concealer and it creates a lovely smooth surface, filling in any lines to ensure your makeup looks even and flawless.

For me, this product is a winner and definitely one I will be purchasing full size. It costs £21 for 30ml so not too bad and given how long this tiny sample has lasted I think the full size product would give me loads of uses. It can be purchased from here or MAC stores and counters.

What is your favourite skin primer?

Thanks for reading!
Abi x

Rimmel Stay Matte vs MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

I have very specific requirements when it comes to face powder. I want it to keep my make up in place and ensure I am shine-free all day without making me look too matte and 2 dimensional. I don’t have oily skin, it’s more normal-combination but that said, I do suffer from a lot of shine when I’m at work all day so I do need something to combat that.

I have tried lots of finishing powders over the years (two I wouldn’t recommend are the ELF Complexion Perfection and the Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder – both very chalky) but the Rimmel Stay Matte and the MAC MSF Natural are two that I always come back to. Some might call them my ‘holy grail’ powders, although I’m not keen on those cliché beauty blogger phrases!

The most obvious difference with these two powders is the price. The Rimmel retails for a teeny tiny £3.99 whilst the MAC will set you back a much more sizeable £22. That’s quite a price comparison. I am a huge MAC fan and it is definitely my favourite high end make-up brand but it does pain me to spend over £20 on a powder – although I have repurchased it time and time again! It is a truly beautiful powder, it’s so finely milled that it’s effortless to use because it’s almost impossible to apply too much and achieve the oh so sexy (NOT!) cakey look. As you can see from the image above, I have well and truly ‘hit pan’ (another of those beauty blogger clichés haha).

I do find I need take more care when applying the Rimmel Stay Matte as it is slightly chunkier and chalkier in consistency but with a light hand a few taps of the powder brush before applying to your face, this too achieves a beautiful natural looking shine free face.

To conclude, if you are on a budget I would highly recommend the Rimmel powder. It is a bit of a cult favourite and for good reason. I think it’d be very hard to find a better quality powder for such a bargain!

On the other hand, if you’re feeling a bit spendy I don’t think you could go wrong with the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. You just have to look on the UK MAC website (where you will currently find every single shade out of stock-boo!) for proof that this powder is well worth the hefty price tag.

Whichever powder I am going for I always apply it with the brilliant Real Techniques Powder Brush. A bloody brilliant purchase and thoroughly recommended!


Thanks for reading!

Abi x

Brow 101

For my first post I thought I would talk about something that I’m sure anyone who was left alone with a pair of tweezers in their early teens can relate to…the daily challenge of making your eyebrows look fuller than they actually are. I’ve tried loads of the products on the market – pencils (too hard), waxes (too, er, waxy), gels (too sticky), but I think I’ve finally found my go to brow combo and unfortunately, it’s not cheap.

These are my top 3 eyebrow picks of the moment. I start by brushing my brows upwards and then I take my MAC 208 brush and a little MAC Omega eye shadow and draw an outline slightly outside my eyebrows to make them the desired shape and size. I then fill this in with the shadow. MAC’s Omega is a neutral greyish taupe colour which is perfect for ashy blondes like me and the tiny angled 208 brush allows me to achieve a really precise, delicate line.

The final step in my brow routine is to again brush the brows in an upwards direction but this time using Benefit’s Gimme Brow in Light/Medium. This truly is a wonder product and to me it’s definitely worth the £17.50 price tag as I haven’t been able to achieve the same look with any product in the past. The fibres in the gel formula adhere to your own hairs to make your brows appear thicker (much like mascara but for your eyebrows).

I follow these steps everyday and am so pleased with the results, not only because they make my brows look better than they ever have before but also because it’s really quick and easy! As you can see from the photo, my MAC Omega is well loved! I have another on the way to me in the post, I think that will be my fourth,

In a bid to thicken up my hideously sparse brows I have also been applying canola oil on a cotton bud before I go to bed at night as I read that this is said to aid regrowth. The verdict is still out on that one but I will keep you posted!

Thanks for reading!

Abi x