#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.


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


Illamasqua on Discover Beauty

Spent a FAB weekend with my BFF Nicola @nickloveslippy who works at cult beauty brand, Illamasqua, as Head of Communications. I thought I would abuse my friendship rights and insist she answer some questions for my blog whilst I snooped around her makeup bag at the new Once… Collection.

Illamasqua Discover Beauty

Here’s the scoop…

K: What are your 3 favourite Illamasqua products of all time?

N: Naked Rose Blusher, an everyday perfect natural blusher (pictured below). Skin Base Lift – an under-eye concealer that lightens and brightens. Precision Gel Liner – for the perfect black flick and as a smokey eye base.

K: What is the most expensive beauty product you have ever bought?

NLa Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask for £204.00 (WHAT!!) A massive, massive extravagance but literally one treatment later I believed the hype about it!

K: What is the one product you would cant live without?

N: Noooo I literally cant pick just one I have to pick 2 plus a brush! Illamasqua Masquara in Raven, Eye Brow Cake in Thunder and an angle brush to apply.

I’ve never tried the Precision Gel Liner for a smokey eye base so have just ordered it (to arrive Tuesday), after watching the makeup tutorial I cant wait to get into the studio and try it out!

Whilst routing through her travel case of makeup (yes she has that much!) I tried out the new Once… Vintage Metallix eyeshadows – OMG Im in love. I managed to ‘borrow’ the Bibelot Vintage Green which really set off my brown eyes.

Discover Beauty Illamasqua

Stay tuned for tutorials using the Beautiful Illamasqua Once… collection!

Karen x



3 models, 3 looks and 100’s of super sparkling statement necklaces, I was in heaven… Newly founded Jewels brand #STANDOUT asked me to work behind the scenes as Hair & Makeup Artist on their Jewel photoshoot for 2014.  Close cropping on the lips and neck meant a precise pout and flawless skin was essential. I thought it was a great chance to try out the new Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 03 Hot Pepper and 05 Ole Flamingo RRP £8.00.

Bourjois YSL Touche Eclat

Here’s my tips for achieving the PERFECT POUT!

After perfecting a flawless base, outline the lips with a concealer pen like the YSL Touche Eclat then blend by patting over with fingertips. This will create a crisp outline like a liner to prevent the colour bleeding onto the skin.

For a soft matt finish, more like a colour wash effect, apply one coat of Rouge Edition, brushing from the outer corners of the lips inwards. For a more dramatic effect that will last pretty much all day, apply a second, heavier coat. It will dry MATT.

Add a final dab of Touche Eclat to your cupids bow and blend to maximise the PERFECT POUT.

Karen x