Duty Free Makeup Addiction

I have an addiction to duty free shops in airports. I find it next to impossible to walk by without a quick look, even if it means dragging an unwilling 5 year old in with me. The thrill of all those travel sized , multi-buy and travel exclusive packs are what gets me. Purchases made at this time are usually done so in a rush. I totally blank out and suddenly can't remember what I already have and what I need, which is in fact nothing. If I try to be systematic and go in armed with a list, inevitably what I want is not there and once again I drift aimlessly, yet in total time restricted panic ... and I usually come away with lipsticks. Lots of lipsticks.

 Behold Guerlain's Rouge Automatique lipsticks which are cap free meaning you can apply with one hand! Genius.

Behold Guerlain's Rouge Automatique lipsticks which are cap free meaning you can apply with one hand! Genius.

My trip home from Dubrovnik last weekend included a typical stint of duty free shopping before my flight. Stalking the aisles in confused panic lead me to come away with a box of 3 Guerlain lipsticks, none of which were actually needed, and a 'Clinique to go' pack which includes a powder compact and lipstick which is a duty free exclusive!

 Superpowder Double Face Powder in 02 matte beige

Superpowder Double Face Powder in 02 matte beige

 Long last lipstick in 12 'Blushing Nude' 

Long last lipstick in 12 'Blushing Nude' 

Clinique do such a good job of multi-packing products and making it seem totally reasonable to buy 3 mascaras at the one time. The other brand who wins packaging awards is YSL. Have you seen their travel eyeshadow sets which come in a reusable hot pink wallet? Gorgeous!

Armed with my goodies I sauntered back to the lounge feeling satisfied and completely able to shrug off the raised eyebrows directed at me by my husband. Job done. May she who has the most lipsticks win!

 Can we just take a moment to admire Guerlain's Coque D'or lipstick? Sparkly perfection in a tube.

Can we just take a moment to admire Guerlain's Coque D'or lipstick? Sparkly perfection in a tube.

Luxe skincare - Antonia Burrell

I haven't posted a product review in a while. This is due in part to my ban on unnecessary purchases and for the fact that for the past few months I have been trialling the products I sell via My Showcase. The range that I have been the most impressed with on the skincare side has been Antonia Burrell.


Antonia is an amazing facialist and works out of the Urban Bliss Retreat in Ladbroke Grove. Her treatments are of the highest calibre and I am thrilled to have been introduced to her and her products through My Showcase. I had been searching for a truly excellent skin guru ever since arriving in London and i'm so pleased to have found someone with such amazing knowledge, who focusses on women aged 30+ with problematic skin.  My first facial with her was so good that I went out that night without wearing makeup and I promptly rebooked to see her again.

Her range, entitled Antonia Burrell Holistic Skincare, is 100% natural and predominantly organic. The products come housed in violet glass which feels luxuriously weighty and helps to preserve the natural ingredients inside.

The Natural Glow Cleansing Oil is the first product from her range that I have tried and I knew within the first few uses that I will be repurchasing it when my rather large, 200ml bottle runs out. It smells incredible making my nightly cleanse a treat and being an oil that you apply with dry hands to a dry face means that you really spend the time to massage it in. It is easily removed with warm water as it emulsifies from an oil to a milky liquid. After I use it my skin is unbelievably soft. ยฃ39.50 for 100ml and ยฃ59.50 for 200ml.


The second product I have tried is the Luminous Light Polishing Powder. I had been unhappy with my exfoliating regime for a while. Using acid toners as I had been for the past 12 months doesn't give you the satisfaction of sloughing off the dead skin, yet I was also aware that I have to be careful not to over scrub my problem areas. This Polishing Powder has a lovely texture that transfers to a foam as you apply water. It buffs the skin rather than scrubbing it so it doesn't feel abrasive. The smell again is rather lovely in an earthy way and the jar comes with a spoon to help dispense the product. ยฃ45.50.


Next on my hit list for this range is the Pure Therapy Facial Serum, the Forest Dew Skin Conditioner and the Cream Supreme Facial Moisturiser. I am so impressed with the range so far and I really can't wait to give these a try too. You can buy Antonia's products via My Showcase here. Although not widely available, you can find these in Australia, to view the stockists click here.


New Work: Beauty Shoot

Here are some shots from a beauty shoot I did last week with the photographer JC Candanedo of Grey Pistachio and our lovely model, Chantelle Masuku. These were actually taken in my house - my daughter's play room to be exact. JC did a stellar job of working in a tough environment, having to negotiate his way around the toys and general kids rubble that permeates my home. I'm really pleased with the final results!

The first look we did was very natural. Chantelle has the most incredible lips - a makeup artist's dream to work on!

We did another set playing around with a beautiful feathered neckpiece by Eva Orive ....

And then finally I unleashed my glitter!

A massive thanks to JC and Chantelle for being absolutely delightful to work with, and for travelling to me for this shoot!

Operation Beach


It's almost time to head off on Summer holidays here in the UK and this year I am so excited as we are heading to Croatia for the first time. I don't tend to wear much makeup when i'm away, but I will be slipping a few fast favourites into my clutch. Here my little edit for operation beach.


Becca Beach Tint in Guava ยฃ20.00 - Glowing colour for your cheeks which is also waterproof.

Chanel lip gloss in Imaginaire (similar here) ยฃ26.00 - The perfect coral gloss.

Tom Ford lipstick in Paradiso (similar here)  ยฃ36.00 - A more intense coral pink colour for dinner out.


Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser in Nude  ยฃ58.00 - For when you need a tiny bit of coverage (with SPF 15).

New CID i-gloss Compact Shimmer Powder in Coral Crush ยฃ24.00 - A quick swipe on the cheeks which also works as a highlight.

Clutch by Star Mela at Iris ยฃ32.00 - I just can't go past a boho embroidered clutch!


New work - Regents University Fashion Parade

I was recently chosen to be the lead makeup artist for the Regents University fashion show. Seriously flattered to even be asked, I was thrilled to head up the team of graduates from The Session School.

It very quickly became apparent that his was unlike any 'student' fashion show I have ever been involved in! The first step was to meet with John Watford, the show's producer, and the design students from the university to work out the look. Working in collaboration with one of the hair stylists from Electric in Marylebone, for hair they decided on a dishevelled 'wet-look' style. 

 Close up of the final look we settled upon at the trial

Close up of the final look we settled upon at the trial

The makeup look we settled on was ultra-dewy skin, a softly contoured eye with a hint of shimmer and a nude lip. I achieved this by using MAC Strobe Cream under very light layers of foundation. On some models I only used concealer and just let their amazing skin shine through.

 Demonstrating to the team of graduates from The Session School

Demonstrating to the team of graduates from The Session School

On the day, I demonstrated the look to the team on the first model to arrive. The vibe backstage was quite relaxed and enjoyable - a massive change from some other shows I have worked on I must say. We got through all the models in good time and even managed to have fun while we worked. Everything was so professionally organised and the models were of such a high standard, it was truly a pleasure to be involved.

 In full swing ....

In full swing ....

 The final look - with hair

The final look - with hair

You can even watch the full fashion show below should you wish to see more! There are even some lovely male models .....

I'm so pleased with how it all turned out - my team were amazing and an absolute pleasure to work with. A special thanks to Catherine from The Session School who gave a much needed helping hand on the day as well as taking some amazing pictures. 


Nude Stix Revisited

A few weeks back I posted about the prize I won on Instagram via Space NK (which you can read about here). In brief, I was a little disappointed when I received my prize as I really wanted to give these products a good try and felt what was sent to me wasn't the best representation of the brand. Amazingly, my review was picked up by the Nude Stix team and they reached out to me to offer to give me another chance to try the full range this time. Lucky - yes I know!

I submitted a little wish list of items, and a week later they were Fedex'd to my door. So lucky! This time around I was well impressed. 


The lip and cheek crayon is delicious. The colour I was sent is Mystic, to borrow the tagline, it is the perfect 'nude but better' shade for my lips. It is moisturising, easy to apply and has gone straight into my handbag. 


The concealer sticks are creamy in consistency and pleasingly chunky. I am 38 and have lots of broken capillaries on my skin which need coverage. For me personally, I would have to be having a very good skin day to be able to pull these off without adding some foundation. They work well to conceal in addition to my foundation, but i'm not brave enough to wear only these alone. 

These are extremely soft and you need to be very careful when putting the lids back on to avoid gouging the sides of the pencil. I learnt this the hard way! The shade Light 1 works well in the inner corner of my eye's where I have darkness and Light 2 is a good shade for other areas of my face.


The magnetic eye pencils are dreamy. These were what I was really hoping to try from the moment I saw the range. I was sent 'Angel' and 'Twilight' and they are buttery soft and blend like a charm. I started with an eye-primer underneath as I have a hard time getting eye products to stay crease-free on my lids, but once these were applied on top they did stay put which is rare in an eye crayon. 


The Eye Pencils come with a sponge on their end which makes smudging out and creating a smokey eye on the go extremely simple and fuss free. They are lovely as a pure eye pencil but seem a little flat in comparison to their magnetic cousins.

My top picks are the Magnetic Eye Colours for their rich colour pay-off and their non-creasing formula and the Lip and Cheek Pencils for their amazing colour range (8 in total). 


Nude Stix are available exclusively through Space NK here in the UK. All the pencils cost ยฃ24.00 and all except the eye pencils come with their own sharpener. This time around I can certainly say that I will be adding to my collection!