Sunday, 31 January 2016

Tools of the Trade

An artist can't create a masterpiece without the necessary tools. And that is something I have learned over my MANY years of applying makeup, watching my fave MUAs and admiring makeup looks in magazines.

I think brushes have come a long way, specifically in the last 18 months or so. With the tutorial generation just a click away on YouTube, the general public want pro-products and tools to enable them to apply makeup the way the MUAs do!

Years ago, you had to pay some serious money for good quality makeup brushes whereas nowadays you can get some really high quality brushes without the price tag. I have pictured my faves above but I also use Real Techniques brushes along with some very old and well loved brushes from Pout which used to be the cutest little makeup brand on Carnaby Street and in Harvey Nichols in Manchester!

I got the Rose Gold Zoeva set for Christmas and I love them. They do what I need them to do and I am really impressed with them. My Kit Co was a new introduction for me at the Makeup Masterclass I recently attended and I got one of their contour brushes which is SO GOOD.

I am also a really big fan of the Lottie London Brushes sold in Superdrug Stores - their most recent set is the tools on tour pictured above and they are so cute! Also a really good inexpensive purchase for a teens first foray in to the world of brushes :)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

A Very Important Task Ticked Off My To Do List

I am probably the BIGGEST wimp when it comes to doctors and going for tests I know I need to have but in true Sally style my procrastination skills reach their peak and before you know it, 5 years have elapsed before you go for said test.

I am not proud of the fact that I waited so long to go for a smear test. In fact it's pretty irresponsible. My excuse to myself was that I have never actually received an invite letter so in that respect, outta sight, outta mind! But how ridiculous!

Last year (and this year!) I got the opportunity to work with the amazing Brazilian Waxing Company in Manchester and I got my very first bikini wax. I usually go for a Hollywood, which is everything off (oo-er!) as I like to be super groomed down there. So I kept telling myself, if you can go and have someone thoroughly remove all hair from down there then you can go and have a perfectly normal test with a nurse that takes seriously less than 5 mins.

I think for me it was the thought of something going where it ain't wanted. But 5 mins of discomfort now, to avoid a hell of a lot more discomfort further down the line is worth it to me!

All women aged between 25 and 64 are invited for cervical screening every three to five years. The procedure is used to detect abnormal cells which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in the cervix.

Screening coverage - the percentage of eligible women recorded as having been properly tested at least once in the last five years - has been falling.

On March 31 2014, the figure stood at 77.8%, down from 78.3% a year earlier and 80.6% a decade ago. Data released last year also revealed that the uptake of smear tests is lowest among younger women.

Although screening coverage for women aged 25 to 29 had increased to 63.3% on March 31 last year from 62% in 2013, it was still "considerably lower" than in any other age group.

Professor Julietta Patnick, director of NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, said: "It is evident that women in this younger age group still need encouragement to be screened and Public Health England is working hard to address this with research underway to investigate new ways of improving cervical screening uptake among younger women.

"Regular attendance at screening remains the top preventative measure against cervical cancer and we would encourage all women to make the decision to attend when invited."

I haven't had my results letter through as yet but I am ready for it when it does come. I can't tell you enough how it's really not a big deal, the nurses have seen many many va-jayjays and if I urge you to do one thing today it is get yourself booked in. It isn't the most pleasant of experiences, I ain't gonna sugar coat it. But, that said it's over and done before you know it and hopefully I am not back there for 3 years.

I really like the #smearforsmear campaign as it is a lighthearted reminder about something super serious. Cervical Cancer can be treated and there are lots of options if you catch it early enough. It is cervical cancer awareness week so don't ignore your letter or delay going. You won't regret it!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Beauty Wishlist

Since attending the Makeup Masterclass I have been even more enamoured with Makeup, which I actually didn't think was possible!

I have a few things I am drooling over.. the Ellie Goulding MAC collection in general! It's right up my street in terms of colours and finish. I'm also loving the MAC palette in Amber x Nine. Looks like you would be able to get a fair few looks from those colours... this is what I am telling myself anyway.

The MAC paint pots are now firmly on my lust list after the Masterclass and Painterly seems to be the fave due to it's versatility as both a neutral day time look on it's own or as a primer under other shadows.

The next two things are the Make Up Geek Cosmetics Sparklers in Satellite. This just is the most amazing colour of glitter!!!! LOVE!

I am also VERY excited by the arrival of NYC Lingerie Gloss - nude lips are very much my jam so I shall be hot footing it to Boots when these bad boys land :)

Monday, 18 January 2016

The Celebrity Makeup Masterclass

Yesterday I had a nice girly day attending the Celebrity Makeup Masterclass hosted by Sarra and Janine from Artiste Creative and Sam from The Glambox!

I absolutely love makeup so for me this was like sitting with my gal pals and exchanging tips to make at home application that bit easier. We were given overviews of 3 key celebrity looks, Rita Ora and her famed red lip, neutral eye combo. Kylie's winged dramatic eye, contour and THAT famous overdrawn plumped lip and finally Cheryl's classic smoky eye.

All seemed very achievable and I must admit I gave my contouring kit a look at this morning and thought hmm.. do I attempt to break it out for work?? I didn't.. but mainly because I want to practice and get it right before unleashing the look onto my unsuspecting colleagues!!

I think the beauty of makeup is something that people forget - you can always remove it!! Practice is absolutely the key, along with having the correct tools. The girls talked us through their fave products and introduced My Kit Co Brushes which are formulated by Makeup Artists, for Makeup Artists.

For me the main points I will take away are the power of a good transition product which is something that will blend away any lines and merge colours together. The products mentioned yesterday as being great at this were MAC Saddle Eyeshadow or MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Medium Dark. Another tip which is such common sense yet I never remember to do it is do your eye makeup first, then apply foundation. This ensures any product fallout is removed and your base remains flawless! Another thing which I have never thought to do is to stack false eyelashes. Now, I appreciate that is probably for the braver makeup applicator out of us, but the effects were fabulous!

Other notable products were;
MAC Omega Eyeshadow: A great ashy toned brown shadow perfect for filling in brows for people with blonde hair.
MAC Brown Down Eyeshadow: Mid brown shadow perfect for brows for brunettes!
NYC Matte Lipcreams: Stockholm, London or Abu Dhabi - Kylie Jenner matte lips at a bargainous £5.50.
By Terry Black Print Eyeliner: All three ladies raved over this.. smudgey yet serious staying power!
MUA Highlighters: Various colour options, available at Superdrug.
Lash Unlimited Lashes: Cheap and high quality - just £2.50 per pair!!
MAC Paint Pots: Amazing priming quality that locks powder shadow to your eyelid without creasing.

Big thanks to event Sponsors; Salon Spy, Lash Unlimited and My Kit Co Makeup Brushes and Ledigo PR.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

One from the To-Do List

So next Sunday I am ticking off one of my 2016 to-do list items and attending a Makeup Masterclass with Sarra and Janine from Artiste Creative and Sam from the Glam Box! With over 30 years combined experience in the industry, Sam, Sarra and Janine have painted a fair few faces between them and I am so excited to learn some of the tips and tricks of the trade.

There are still tickets available if anyone fancies it, click on the link above to purchase your ticket and you too can learn from the lovely ladies :)

Monday, 4 January 2016

What I Got For Christmas

I just have to add a little disclaimer here and say that this post is in no way me bragging, I just personally really enjoy reading these posts so thought I would show a couple of bits I got for Christmas!

I've been wanting to read Girl Boss for ages so I am really looking forward to getting in to it!

My gorgeous god daughter (via the able shopping skills of her mum) got me a gorgeous candle and little sign which makes me smile every time I see it :)

I got some gorgeous gifts including perfume, Zoeva Makeup Brushes, some Charlotte Tilbury and other bits and bobs! I was very fortunate so thank you to all my friends and family who bought me gifts I love them xx

Sunday, 3 January 2016

#LittleBlackDress Challenge with Urban Exchange Manchester

This post has been a long time comin'!

In early December I was set the challenge of selecting a LBD from Marks and Sparks and embarking on a little diet and fitness programme in collaboration with Urban Exchange Manchester!

I was set up with a month long membership to Pure Gym and tasked with kitting out my cupboards with a healthy food shop from Aldi. Rather than a dress I decided to get this gorgeous sequinned skirt to wear over the festive season! Annoyingly, I didn't end up getting any pictures of myself in it!!

Urban Exchange is really fab given it's close proximity to the City Centre, own parking and it is super easy to get to for those of you who may not like driving through town (like me.. ha!) You can go do your workout then pick up your healthy food shop straight after!!

The Marks and Spencers store is an outlet store so you can pick up some absolute bargains!!! Make sure you get yourself down there, it's also a fab gym for anyone looking to join in 2016!
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