#fiftyshades Beauty Shoot

#fiftyshades I’ve read the first book, it was ok… I haven’t, as yet, booked to see the film – BUT I did work on a shoot with a subtle (yea right!) nod towards the style. I decided to try out some of the new foundations I’ve added to my kit and MAC Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation is a winner for a flawless complexion.


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COVERAGE & APPLICATION: MAC Studio Sculpt (RRP £25.00) is nearly a full coverage foundation yet has a slight dewy finish. There is none of the fancy Colour Correcting elements so you definitely have to get colour matched at a MAC Counter or Store – beware though you will definitely buy more goodies when you are there lol!

I’ve applied it with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (RRP £11.99) in a circular, blending motion to get an even finish and coverage. On Nina, at the shoot I added slightly more to the under eye area with my finger tips to use it as a concealer.

Another standout feature are the lips – come back early next week and I’ll add a tutorial on the application for the Top Shop Lip Bullet… For now, check out how much fun we had behind the scenes.

Karen x


Photography – Jeanette Lendon Photography

Model – Nina Hearne

Body Art – The Glitterbox Face Painting


Illamasqua Lipstick in Sangers

Stop searching for the ‘Perfect Red Lipstick’ and buy Illamasqua Lipstick in Sangers I’ve used it on all the below shoots and it it amazing! I hope you agree it suits all the different skin tones and colourings?

The Illamasqua Lipsticks in my kit seem to be Matt, very pigmented and dry to apply direct from the stick. I try buffing my lips first to get an even application rather than it cracking as it goes on. Some of my favourites below…

Left to right: Sangers, Luster (Glamore Collection), Shard, Eurydice, Underworld

I was hoping I had used the shade Maneater, perfect for Valentines Day or a hint towards the long awaited film 50 Shades of Grey but I’ll cover that next week :) Karen x

Illamasqua Lipsticks



Back in the studio this week and LOVED it! ‘Bridal Beauty’ gave me the perfect excuse to use my new 2015 makeup goodies. Too Faced Melted is my New Year favourite for lips – it’s a liquified, long wear lipstick. I’ve used Melted Peony but am off to order the rest of the colours. It has a thick consistency (see colour swatch) and is so easy to apply!

Jeanette Lendon Photography has captured the colours perfectly – soft, shimmering shades with the ever loved Vintage look. Which colour will you be wearing? Karen x

Too Faced Melted

Bridal wear by Shimmering Ivory Couture Bridal

Makeup Used: BASE: Illamasqua – Hydra Veil, Stila – Stay All Day Foundation. BROWS: Anastasia Beverly Hills – Dipbrow Pomade. CHEEKS: Illamasqua – Sculpting Powder Duo. EYES: Stila – Eyeshadow and Magnificent Metals in Kitten, Benefit – They’re Real! Mascara, Younique – Moodstruck 3D Fibre Lashes.


Happy Belated New Year! I wanted to have new nails to post a picture of before I wrote this piece. This year I will have my nails done approximately 25 times and will spend over £500 doing it (ok, ok, so not quote a £500 mani)! Is that normal? I’m a Shellac addict it seems, as are many of my friends, colleagues and clients. I will post a picture every time I have them done – make it even more worthwhile…

Above are some of my favourites’ from 2014 (left to right: Cerulean Sea, Wildfire and Lobster Roll) expertly applied by Nails by Tanya. Check out my shiny new colours throughout 2015 on my Instagram Page here.

No idea what Shellac is? I first saw it in the UK about 3 years ago but finally converted from *whisper* acrylics only last year. Shellac is a 14 day nail colour that lasts on the nails like a gel system. The application is a varnish (bottle & brush) with base, colour and top coat, then it is ‘sealed’ under a UV lamp. They now have an array of 79 shades that can be mixed and matched to create further colour ways, plus it’s great for nail art. I’m quite boring with my choices and stick to the ones I know. One thing I would love to see from them are some Neon colours… Any suggestions welcome for other brands? (I’m not a nail varnish girl though hehe).

Karen x


Bridal Hair and Makeup

I have a massive passion for working on weddings. As a Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist I get to do the full package. 2014 requests included Vintage looks, pale complexions and soft, pulled out hair – what will 2015 bring?

Check out my Pinboard for more of my bridal work, Im adding to it all of the time.

Pretty Bridal Makeup

A few favourite products include:
LIPS: Bobbi Brown Rich Colour Gloss in Dusty Rose RRP £18.50
EYES: Illamasqua Vintage Metallix in Courtier RRP £16.50
CHEEKS: Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip & Cheek Cream in Lilium RRP £16.00

Top products for Bridal Makeup

Top Tip: Whatever lip colour you decide on for your special day invest in it so you have it for quick touch ups throughout the day. You will be doing a lot of kissing!

Karen x


Fairytale of Fashion

Second year on the trot, I jumped at the chance of working at St Albans Fashion Week 2014 and was privileged to be appointed ‘Head of Beauty’ WHOOP! The makeup brand I immediately asked to join me were Stila UK. Having discovered the brand when I worked at Estee Lauder Companies in 2001 I know and love their key ‘Stay All Day’ product line up.

I got to work on a series of looks for both the Advertising and Catwalk Shows, the theme being ‘Fairytale of Fashion’. I did this bearing in mind there would be over 50 models all with different skin tones, colouring and ages.


Rapunzel Makeup


Sleeping Beauty Makeup


Little Red Riding Hood Hair and Makeup

Who is your favourite?


All Photography Courtesy of Pink Soul Pictures


Stila Lipgloss

In 1939 it may have been all about Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers, but in 2014, it’s all about Dorothy’s Ruby Red Lips. Here’s how to recreate this ‘Fairytale of Fashion’ look from #SAFW2014.

All products courtesy of Stila UK, beauty sponsor for St Albans Fashion Week.

Makeup Tutorial

Once you have created your base and eyes it’s time for those glossy lips, the product I chose to use was Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lipgloss in Poppy – RRP £18.00

Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lipgloss

This is a high-shine, high pigment lip gloss. As it is there to last (and believe me it does!) it is important to apply in as few, swift strokes as possible to avoid it staining the skin.

Stila Poppy Vinyl Lipgloss
  1. Apply your base – I’ve used foundation, concealer and setting powder, then wipe your lip area clean with a makeup wipe.
  2. Use the tip of the wand to create a lipliner. In one swift movement draw a line just inside the edge of your lip from the outer corner to the cupids bow on both sides and repeat on the bottom lip.
  3. If you make an error and it goes onto the skin be sure to wipe clean, fix your base, set and start again – practice makes perfect!
  4. Fill in the lips within the line, Vinyl Lip Gloss is very gooey so you wont need to keep loading the wand with product.
  5. Check the line and fill in any gaps. If at this point there are any errors then tidy them up with foundation on a small lip liner brush working around the outside of the lip.
  6. Go out and turn some heads with your beautifully glossy ruby red lips!

Check out how to apply a dewy cheek colour a la Sleeping Beauty…

Karen x

Photography Courtesy of Pink Soul Pictures


Kendall Jenner


The question on all of our lips is ‘Will Kendall Jenner be bigger than her older sister Kim’? Modelling for Estee Lauder and having three big sisters on side can only catapult her career beyond the hemisphere – to boot, she looks and comes across as the quiet one, working on her career and doing extremely well! It must be in the genes though surely? I think the Kardashian/Jenner Mum, Kris must have the strongest, most amazing genes as she has not one, not two, but five female beauties in her clan (six including Rob)! Check out Kendall’s cute video, she seems so humble, lovely and BEAUTIFUL!

I would love to find out the colour of her nail lacquer, it’s definitely Matt and not the usual Estee Lauder High Gloss.

Pictured: Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Bittersweet, Dark Desire and Viper, RRP £14.50

Kendall Jenner Estee Lauder


I have the privilege of having two young, beautiful boys in my life and I think they have picked up their genes from my Dad… 7 years between them and the only difference in my opinion is eye colour – if I were to have a third would they end up looking different or would I end up with a Kardashian-esque clan with a rainbow of eye colours – who knows?

Kendall Jenner for Estee Lauder

Karen x