Friday, 26 October 2018

My First Beauty Column

I have always dreamed of working for a magazine, especially those that specialise in beauty. However, like most industries these days, the world of journalism is hard to break into. I completed my journalism degree in 2013, and the lack of opportunities where I am from spurred me to write my own blog. In truth, I was worried I'd lose my passion and flare for writing, and thought I should put it good use even if it was just through writing blog posts now and again.

Fast forward a year, and here I am writing my first beauty column (or should I say page?) for a local magazine, and fulfilling that dream. Some may say it's only a small magazine for an equally small city, but you've got to start somewhere, right? I always have and always will have a keen interest in beauty and for me, writing a page for a magazine and sharing all the amazing products, tips and ideas I have has reiterated why I love the industry so much.

If you live in or around Derry/Londonderry, I hope you can pick up a copy of Jook magazine and have a read for yourself. You can also find an autumnal fashion shoot I did with Inspired Photography for River Island and Topshop in this issue, so my face is pretty much everywhere!


Thursday, 18 October 2018

Fashion Shoot By Inspired Photography For Jook Magazine


Top 6 Bobbi Brown Must-Haves

If you read my blog regularly or follow me on Instagram, you'll probably be aware I recently switched beauty counters and I am now a retail make up artist for Bobbi Brown. The range of products that Bobbi Brown has to offer means I am constantly swatching, swiping and drooling over their huge collection.

I have picked some standout products that I've encountered and thought I'd share them with you all. I know some brands can be slightly intimidating because of the extensive range of shades and finishes, so here's a quick post on where to start.

Black Plum Eye Shadow 
I am and always will be a fan of a smokey eye, and the darker the better. This shade called Black Plum instantly caught my eye and I just had to have it. It's exactly as described, a dark, matte, blackened plum and it can also be used with a damp or dry brush to line the eyes. It's also a great alternative to black if having really dark eyes scares you. I've got my smokey eyes firmly set on the Rich Navy shade too, perfect for the upcoming party season.

Cocoa Lip Liner
The perfect nude lip liner to add definition or create a base colour for your lipstick. I sometimes wear the lip liners all over my lips without adding a lipstick, and it never goes dry or flaky like some lip liners do on me. They are soft, smooth, and super pigmented. Sangria is another personal favourite!

Art Stick in Bare
These huge crayons can be used on both lips and cheeks. I of course chose a nude shade and the staying power really impressed me. I am quite picky when it comes to choosing the perfect nude, and this ticks all the boxes. Because of its shape and texture, you don't need a lip liner and it gives a gorgeous matte finish.

Highlighting Powder in Pink Glow
The most flattering highlighter to ever grace my cheekbones. This gives a subtle sheen with one swipe, or can be built up to ensure you are beaming to high Heaven. It's nothing short of amazing, and the current limited edition mini version is the perfect size for travelling. Honestly, next time you are near a Bobbi Brown counter, go and give it a swatch.

Smokey Eye Mascara
I really struggle to find a mascara that I can wholeheartedly say I love, but I think I might just have found it. This holds the curl in my lashes and doesn't flake or smudge throughout the day. I used to swear by waterproof formulas, but not anymore. Trust me, try it.

Instant Full Cover Concealer
From dark circles to blemishes, this award winning concealer is super heavy duty. It is the thickest liquid concealer I have come across but that doesn't mean it difficult to work with. My skin has been misbehaving recently and this has been a lifesaver. It has covered everything seamlessly, lasts all day and does a great job at not looking cakey nor heavy.

Those are my top picks for now, but I am sure I'll come across many more fabulous products that I'll just have to share!


Monday, 15 October 2018

Beauty Lookbook

Primer: Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier
Foundation: Bobbi Brown Long-wear Weightless Foundation in Golden Natural
Concealer: ColourPop No Filter concealer in Light under the eyes, Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer in Natural Tan
Powder: Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Loose Powder 
Bronzer: L'Oreal Glam Bronze to bronze and Sleek Contour Kit in Light
Highlighter: Bobbi Brown Highlighter in Pink Glow
Blusher: Inglot Blusher shade 21
Brows: Clinique Super Fine Liner for Brows in Soft Brown
Eyes: Hyper Precise All Day Liquid Liner. Maybelline Mac Nylon on brow bone and ColourPop Flexitarian on inner corner.
Mascara: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara 
Lips: Bobbi Brown Luxe Matte Lip Colour in Red Carpet

Beauty Lookbook

Primer: Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier 
Foundation: Bobbi Brown Long-wear Weightless Foundation in Golden Natural
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Light under the eyes, and Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer in Natural Tan
Powder: Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Loose Powder 
Bronzer: L'Oreal Glam Bronze to bronze and Sleek Contour Palette in Light
Highlighter: Iconic London illuminating drops in Original and Bobbi Brown Pink Glow Highlighter.
Blusher: Mac Melba
Brows: Benefit Precisely My Brow in shade 3
Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer. Bobbi Brown Rich Navy and Black Plum Eyeshadow. ColourPop Flexitarian to highlight inner corners.
Mascara: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara
Lips: Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Bare

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Goodbye Benefit, Hello Bobbi Brown

After two fun filled (slightly stressful) years of working for the number one brow brand in the UK, I have decided to wave goodbye to the pink, fluffy world of Benefit and manoeuvre my pointy boots into the land of luxurious Bobbi Brown lipsticks.

I have learnt so much while working for Benefit, as it was my first beauty counter experience. And although there were days where I wanted to use the uniquely shaped brow pencils as darts, I made some great friends and had my eyes opened to the world of beauty.

A lot of people may sniff if you say you work on a beauty counter, and I have had many people say, "Oh this must be a lovely job, just applying make up all day." Well, those who think we have it easy obviously have never worked for a fast paced, high targeted, traffic stopping beauty brand before. Yes, it does come with its perks; being given new launches before they come out, making ladies with no eyebrows feel better about themselves when they see the magic you've worked with a simple brow product, and of course working with some fab products. However, working for a cosmetic brand comes with a target, a pressure to look the part even when you feel like hiding in a back room, and being genuine, approachable and passionate about the brand at all times.

Contrary to popular belief, us beauty gals do not stand about from 9 to 5 painting each others faces. It is a lot more challenging both mentally and physically than some people would care to believe. You do however meet some great people and I felt like I was leaving a  family behind the day I handed in my notice, even though I've really only moved across the beauty hall.

I feel that Benefit provided me with a fantastic foundation of skills for working my way into the beauty industry and it taught me a lot about not only make up but how to perform to the best of my ability in a sales environment. Within those two years I learned a lot about the brand, their values, how they differ from other cosmetic brands, and the customer base they cater for.

Just under a year ago, a fresh new counter popped up in our beauty hall and as the Bobbi Brown sign was placed in all its glory, I knew exactly where I wanted to be. Patiently I waited for the opportunity to arise and when it did I grabbed it without hesitation. Well, there was a slight hesitation as I thought what if I move, don't like it and can't come back to the counter where I feel so comfortable? However, I talked myself round, thought of how I'd have to watch another person do the job I could have had, and came to my senses. I knew it was time to take on a new challenge, as after working for the same brand for two years I had learnt all I needed to know, and my passion for the brand was dwindling.
At this stage, I have completed my first week on the Bobbi Brown counter and to say I am enjoying it might be a slight understatement. My days have been flying in, and I put it down to the fact there are a mountain of products, shades, and exciting new launches that I get to sink my teeth into, and thus far I love it. The fact BB has such an array of products in a multitude of shades makes me so excited, as my Benefit family soon discovered when I was over highlighting them all to high heaven with a BB Shimmer Brick.

I am so grateful for all the girls I otherwise wouldn't have met had I not worked on the Benefit counter, and although we came up against some challenging times, we always helped each other through. That beauty room has witnessed its fair share of rants, tears, and laughter, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Thankfully I am just across the beauty hall if I am ever needed for a mini counselling session, so I'll always be part of the Benefit family.

Between switching beauty brands, writing a magazine beauty column, and doing a bit of modelling on the side, I feel like I have been quite busy, and maybe slightly neglectful of my blog. I have just been so busy, and sometimes struggle to find the time to sit down and write, however, I am going to make more of an effort and ensure I set time aside to update my page more often. Just watch this space!

Beauty Lookbook

After recently jumping ship and now being part of the Bobbi Brown team, I pulled out my pot of Vitamin Enriched Face Base and used a Beauty Blender to apply the Long Wear Weightless Foundation. It gave such a smooth, even finish that looked fresh and glowing, and didn't feel heavy or greasy. These two are definitely top of my current favourites list. 

Primer: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base
Foundation: Bobbi Brown Long-wear Weightless Foundation in Golden Natural
Concealer: ColourPop No Filter concealer in Light under the eyes, and GOSH High Coverage Concealer in Natural to cover blemishes.
Powder: Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Loose Powder 
Bronzer: L'Oreal Glam Bronze to bronze and Make Up Geek contour powder in Bad Habit. 
Highlighter: Iconic London illuminating drops in Original and OFRA Glazed Donut
Blusher: Mac Melba
Brows: Benefit Precisely My Brow in shade 3
Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer. Make Up Geek Morocco, Cabin Fever and Secret Garden. Also used a sparkly teal shade from the Huda Beauty Sapphire palette. Laura Geller Eye Calligraphy Pen on top lash line, and KIKO Jelly Jungle eye pencil in 02 on lower lash line, smoked out with a navy shade from the Huda Palette. Mac Nylon on brow bone and ColourPop Flexitarian on inner corner.
Mascara: Maybelline Big Shot mascara.
Lashes: Red Cherry lashes in the style Harper
Lips: Lime Crime Wet Cherry Lipgloss in Naked Cherry and Morphe lipgloss in Pop
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