Beauty · elections · Eye pencils · Eyeliner · lipstick · Love · Makeup · Makeup artist · MUA · Sanity · Shopping · Uncategorized

Impulsive makeup buys

Hands up who else is also guilty of trying a new brand of lipstick, eye pencil or shadow, liking it, buying it, only to discover when they get home that it’s almost an exact replica of a product shade they already own. This has happened to me multiple times. I must have accidentally bought at least 3 identical shades of red and 2 dark purple lipsticks around the same time; two similar blue/grey eyeshadow palettes​, 3 exactly the same shade of green eyeshadow in wet and dry form and 4 different types of purple shadow which on application ended up looking pretty much the same.

That’s because I am what you might call an “impulsive buyer” sometimes.  Does that happen to you too? Always going for the same thing just in slightly different packaging or with only a minor (unnoticeable to others) difference?

I am also guilty of absolutely detesting the idea of throwing useful things away. Even if they are not useful to me! It’s a conservative streak I have always had.  For one, growing up I was taught that throwing away leftover food is a sin. And it makes sense to not waste food in a world where there are people starving.  Similarly, I hate getting rid of belongings​. My mum actually told me off once for wearing an expensive jacket (which I thought still looked amazing years after I bought it) that was worn out.

So if I end up with lots of similar makeup products which I impulsively bought they usually just stay in my possession, collecting dust. Unless they are that bad that even I have to chuck them out eventually.

Needless to say that I own way too much makeup for my own good.

Testament to this is when four years ago I decided to have a 1-2-1 makeup lesson with a well known Cypriot makeup artist to perfect doing my own makeup. The poor guy didn’t know what he was in for when he suggested I bring along the products I have to our session. He probably thought I only had one makeup bag. Instead, I showed up on his doorstep with 4 big plastic carrier bags full of palettes and vanity bags filled with all kinds of makeup products. Even he thought I had far too many products for a non professional.

And that’s one of the reasons I decided earlier this year to do something about this and take the MUA course which in turn inspired this blog.  So at least something good (I think at least) came out of my impulsiveness 😏

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Beauty · Eyes · foundation · lipstick · Makeup · Makeup academy · Makeup artist · MUA · Personal diary · Uncategorized

Rediscovering my makeup and blogging mojo

It’s been 2 months since my last blog post and it feels scary to even attempt writing again.

Initially tired from the move back home and then absorbed by my new job and trying to regain a social life in my homeland meant that I had much less time available for my previous favourite past times: playing with make up and blogging about it.  I even went into a comfort zone of make up routine where I, a person obsessed with colours, felt absolutely content wearing the same nude makeup day in, day out to go to work! Unthinkable for me who used to find nude makeup looks as boring as watching paint dry.

I knew I had lost my mojo and the longer I thought about it the scarier the thought of getting back on the saddle of makeup experimentation and blogging became.  So I decided on taking baby steps and combat my rustiness.

I started by finally putting my MUA certificate to some good use and got a discount card  from the newly opened INGLOT store in The Mall of Nicosia.  I then proceed to buy with my discount a plum matte eye shadow I had ordered from them and had to wait 2.5 months to finally receive, along with an eye shadow primer cream product called Eyeshadow Keeper that works wonders, a loose powder and the AMC pure eyeshadow pigment.  I first heard of INGLOT from my instructor in the make up academy.  She raved about their glitters and pigmented eyeshadows so I wanted to buy at least one.  The AMC colour is a glittery purple that on application looks like what I imagine to be the colour of magical unicorns!

 

The next step was to invite my friend and Maid-of-Honour Maria round for a make over last Saturday. In preparation, I thoroughly cleansed my makeup brushes the night before and spread out all my make up products on my dining table on the day.

 

I was feeling rusty and apprehensive to begin with but Maria was patient with me, open to all my suggestions and helped me regain my confidence.  Both sufferers of sun damage to our skin, we discussed full coverage foundations, the oxidisation that happens with some foundations that can lead to buying a foundation tone that on initial application looks a perfect match but after a few minutes takes a different colour tone.( I am now convinced that this is what happened with my purchase of my Kat Von D Lock It foundation which I’m finding too warm for my skin tone).

I love purple as a colour. Not only do I find it aesthetically pleasing but I find that it compliments all eye colours. A lot of girls I know seem to not like purple for their eyes but I am a proponent of it. Maria has beautiful blue eyes but she never wore purple eye shadow before.  She didn’t mind letting me show her how it would make her eyes pop and I’m glad that she liked the result as much as I did!

Not only did she like the colours I used on her but she even told me today that the whole make up look lasted her all day! So I was super pleased 🙂 🙂

The next step to regaining my make up mojo was that this morning, as I was getting ready for work I dared wear light green eyeshadow and pink lipstick after months and  last but not least I just wrote this short blog post.

 

Beauty · certification · exams · inspiration · interview · Makeup · Makeup artist · MUA · Uncategorized

Interview with my MUA teacher (Part 2)

I am really excited about my personal challenge (Make up your mind! (Part 1 of my personal challenge) coming to an end in 24 hours but in the meantime I have a lot of unfinished blog business to catch up with. It’s been more than 2 weeks since I last posted and I have a lot to share before I launch into Part 2 of my interview with Kiera.

  1.  I passed my exam!!! I am officially a certified makeup artist myself now. But I know I have to practice, practice, practice before I feel confident to put my certification into use.
  2. As a qualified and certified MUA I get to get professional discounts on certain makeup brands! Now that’s definitely something worth celebrating for!
  3. To add to all the stress of the exam, I was also preparing for job interviews for a job I really wanted back in Cyprus. A few days before my exam I found out I was successful! So in less than a month I am returning home to work for a great company and I am very excited but also consumed and overwhelmed by all that comes with arranging a move to another country in a matter of weeks.

With all my news out of the way let me dive back into the interview with Kiera. In Part 1 (Interview with my MUA teacher (Part 1) I covered how Kiera started taking an interest in makeup and how she became a professional artist. Following on you’ll find out more about her professional journey in her continuation of her answer to my last question. I was asking Kiera what prompted her to qualify as a makeup instructor and what steps did she take to meet that goal.

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Kiera started telling me about being offered a teaching job at a local, government funded college and here’s the rest of her answer:

A: That for me really was such a big eye-opener in the sense of the things that the students were being taught was so dated. It wasn’t really industry relevant, the girls didn’t feel confident in applying makeup; they didn’t have the basic makeup knowledge. Teachers would come in and literally just play a YouTube clip and that was the lesson.  It wasn’t hands on, they weren’t getting constructive feedback. The turning point for me was when I had a job opportunity to offer to one of my students.  I was going to work on a photoshoot for one of JD Sports’ campaigns and I needed an assistant.  So, I decided that I was going to set a competition for my students at the college and whoever’s luck won could then come and be an assistant for me which was an amazing opportunity and everyone was really excited for being able to produce some great stuff.  Then, just 2 days before the shoot was due to commence, the Head of Year pulled me to one side and she told me that there was a Safeguarding issue with the college not allowing me to take the students on work experience.  I was baffled because the students were adults, they were older than 16, with parental consent, this would be a great opportunity for them. So I just thought, you can try and make it better but no-one wants to do it. I felt upset for the students because I remembered just how much I wanted to just get out there and start making progress.  That’s the only way you learn.  After that I thought “You need to do this now”. That was my motivation really.

Q: How many students have you taught so far?

A: I don’t know actually. It’s been quite a lot. The academy will be 2 years in February but before that I taught for a year at my friend’s salon. So I would say a couple of hundred.

Q: What would it take for someone to fail your classes? 

A:  For somebody to fail it would literally be them not articulating the look correctly. So if they’re not following the technique and the steps that they’ve been shown.  For them not meeting  good standards of hygiene (i.e. turning up with dirty brushes, not sanitazing their hands, using products that would cause adverse reactions for clients’ skin).  Also, not following what the client asks.  Because essentially in makeup artistry although as an artist we have a free reign to be creative to produce this look it’s also paramount that you actually listen to your client. It’s all well and good if that’s what we want but it’s all about them.  I think that’s something that a lot of people really need to be conscious of.

Q: Apart from teaching others to do makeup what else do you do as a makeup artist?

A: As well as teaching, I have a large client base.  There are a lot of party and occasion makeups, I do a lot of weddings, I do quite a lot of Asian Bridal, I did used to be represented by Nemesis Agency in Manchester so I used to do quite a lot of editorial and photo shoots. I don’t really do as many now with the academy being my main focus now.

I’ve also worked in Ibiza doing body painting. I worked with Zoo Project and Kiss my Fairy and that was quite cool. I used to do all the makeup for the acrobats and the dancers.  It was very out there and creative. I’ve done a bit of everything really.

Q9: What does your average work day/week look like?

A: Gosh! I won’t lie to you. This year, since January I have a Sunday off. I work 6 days a week and I work from 9 am until 9 pm pretty much most days. It is long hours but I love it and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Every day is different. There’s such good variety with it and I always feel that I’m so  blessed that I can do something I enjoy.

Q: I’m jealous! What makeup look do you like the most?

To find the answer to that and the rest of my questions you’ll have to tune in to Part 3 of the interview!

I hope you are enjoying this interview series.

Beauty · Diary · inspiration · interview · Makeup · Makeup artist · MUA · Uncategorized

Interview with my MUA teacher (Part 1)

As promised, today’s blog post is an interview with the lovely Kiera Louise Harrison, my talented makeup teacher.  From the moment I met Kiera, enquiring about her Make Up Artist Masterclass I felt inspired!  The 12 week course I am taking with her takes an absolute makeup beginner through to the professional level but the makeup academy Kiera has founded also provides a number of other makeup and hair courses. Check out her Facebook page here.

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A couple of weeks ago, I asked Kiera if she wouldn’t mind giving me an interview for my blog and she happily accepted. So I made a list of the things I was dying to ask her and arranged to talk with her last week half an hour before the start of our last lesson. Tomorrow we will have our practical exam (eek)! So, because the interview is a bit long (and transcribing from a recorder is taking much longer than I thought it would) I’ve decided to produce the interview in 3 parts.

So let’s dive in Part 1 of the interview, shall we?

Q: Kiera, you are a successful, young entrepreneur, owner of a professional make up academy and a professional makeup artist. What is the secret of your success?

A: Wow! What a question! I suppose there isn’t one secret. I would probably say that it’s a combination of lot of different things, the main thing being continuous hard work,  continuous research about the industry and continuously striving to be better I suppose.

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Q: What is your first memory of make up?  

A: I was a tomboy growing up.  I was never interested in makeup, I played football, I was more interested in building a tree house than lipstick and then I suppose growing up as I got into my last year of high-school all my peers and friends were all starting to look really glam and I thought “Ooh, I need to start doing this” and I saw my mum applying some bronzer and I tried it and from then I was just “Wow, I love looking tanned” ; and to be honest that was all I ever used to really wear.  A little bit of bronzer, a little bit of lip gloss. Then it was only as I went to college, I went to uni and I started working part time in a photo studio that is really when my love for make up really started to come out and progress really.  I loved watching the transformation of people and I really loved seeing how happy they were once they saw themselves. I suppose that sparked the passion for it really. It was working at that studio.

Q: Is that how your make up love affair begun?    

A: Yes. I’ve always loved art and I’ve always been quite a creative person. So I suppose makeup for me then became a form of expression for painting the face, if you like. I’ve always been experimental with colours and liked playing with things that stereotypically you wouldn’t be taught, just to create beauty really.

Q: When did you become a professional makeup artist?

A: At 18, working at the photo studio part-time while I was at uni studying Media Styling. Then I got the opportunity to work at the BBC as a makeup artist and that’s when it begun to flourish and I decided that that I want was the avenue I wanted to go down professionally as opposed to it being a hobby.

Q: What prompted you to qualify as a makeup instructor and what steps did you take to meet that goal? 

A: I was working at MAC Cosmetics and during that time I was working on various different roles.  One of those was working in the Events Team and I came back from London Fashion Week they approached me and asked me to become a Trainer. I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would enjoy but decided to give it a go. And when I stepped into it and started learning more about the products and showing people how to use them (I was also a product specialist so basically my job was to use the new collections that came in and design a look with them and showing the team how to wear it). So I suppose that came hand-in-hand with my art background and my creativity, which I really enjoyed. I loved teaching people. Found it so rewarding, watching somebody grow from knowing nothing to then being that expert so that sparked another trigger in me.

So I talked to my dad about this and said “I’m really enjoying this” and he asked me “What do you see your future? Do you want to stay at MAC all your life”?And I said, “No, I want my own make up academy but I always thought it would be in my early 50s like before I’d take that plunge”. And he said, “If that’s the goal that you would like to do, then I think you need to get a teaching qualification”. Initially I thought I had had enough of uni and it wasn’t all I thought it would be as I was sick of academics, but I went back to uni and did my PGCA which is a teaching qualification. I did that part-time while I continued to work and while I was there I got offered a teaching post at Bolton College teaching make up to young students. I decided to drop my days at MAC, going part-time while still being present in the industry and picked up 2 days teaching at the college.

To find out more about Kiera’s experience of teaching at college and how she was motivated to create her own academy stay tuned to my blog for Parts 2 and 3 coming up soon.

For now, I’ve got to go and study and prep for my exam tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!!wp-image--1383816572

award · Beauty · Coffee · Diary · Food · inspiration · Love · Makeup · nominations · Personal challenge · Shopping · Uncategorized

LIEBSTER AWARD (Q+A Plus 11 Facts about Me)

I am new to blogging, with just passing over 50 followers on WordPress and 75 on Facebook so far so I was really surprised but also honoured to be one of the 11 bloggers recently nominated the Liebster Award by Sofia whose blog is A no one’s diary.  Sofia likes writing about life, random stuff and make up and you can click on her link here  https://anoonesdiary.wordpress.com/ to find out out more about her and her lovely blog.

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The Liebster Award gives bloggers the opportunity to grow their followership by telling other bloggers a bit more about themselves and engaging with fellow bloggers through nominating them further.  It helps promote each others’ blogs. So thank you Sofia for the opportunity and I’d like to pay it forward too!

The rules are:

  • The nominated blogger must acknowledge who has nominated them and also share their links
  • Share 11 facts about themselves
  • Answer the 11 questions that they have been asked
  • Nominate 11 more bloggers whose blog they recommend
  • Ask 11 questions that they would like those bloggers to answer
  • Let the bloggers they’ve nominated know that they’ve been nominated.

So here it goes!

11 Facts about me:

  1. I started Flamenco dance classes (and took them for about 5 years) after I was inspired by watching live Flamenco dancing in Barcelona while travelling there with friends as a graduate student.
  2. I am a huge Kate Bush fan. My lifetime dream to one day see her perform live became a reality 3 years ago!
  3. When we bought an Espresso coffee machine with my husband about a year ago we started a tradition without even discussing it which we continue to this day. Everytime we open a packet of espresso coffee capsules we stack them next to the coffee machine in different formations. Every time one of us uses a capsule or adds more capsules to the kitchen counter we change the shape of the formation. I don’t know if what I’m trying to explain makes any sense so here are some photos to show you better some examples of our formations.

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4. I was a ferocious nail biter from a young age until I turned 22. Just before going to graduate school I woke up one day and thought to myself “Kiki, you’re too old to be biting your nails. Grow up and grow your nails already”. After that I grew my nails really long and have managed to quit my bad habit for good. I now love having well manicured nails and painting them different colours.

5. I love travelling and made it my goal a few years ago to travel to new destinations every year and visit as many different countries as possible. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do this lately but so far I have visited 30 different countries (if I include my homeland Cyprus) in my 42 years of living on earth :

  • Greece
  • UK
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Luxemburg
  • Switzerlan (only passing through though)
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Malta
  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • UAE
  • USA
  • Egyp
  • Israel
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Latvia
  • Australia (I don’t know this one escaped me. A friend who read the blog just notified me to add it)

Hopefully I will get to visit another 30 in my lifetime.

6. I once won a karaoke contest in a bar in Patra (Greece) while on a weekend get away with friends. I won singing the song “Black Velvet” by Alanah Myles. It was the highlight of my singing career.

7. My husband and I became Wombassadors ever since we came back from Sydney (Australia) after we spent 6 weeks there in 2013. Wombats are animals native only to Australia, less known than koalas but equally cute. Australian organisations that care for them depend on charity to pay for their needs and we are happy to give a donation every year and buy promotional materials as gifts from them. We also hope to hug a few wombats one day. They’re adorable.

8. I love attending live concerts. Last night I had the opportunity to watch Robbie Williams in Manchester. It was so much fun!

9. I played the cello in highschool. Even though I was pretty much useless I really enjoyed being in the symphonic orchestra.

10. In case you haven’t realised already I love make-up.

11. I am a big foodie so I have been struggling with my weight for most of my life. Dieting is a real challenge for me. So in order to look nice for my wedding (which was in October 2016) I purposely ordered my wedding dress a size smaller. Setting that goal was the only way to lose weight but I still had to join a gym and exercise 2 hours a day, every day in the month leading up to the wedding to fit in it. Thankfully the hard work paid off and the dress did not rip when I wore it on the big day.

Now, on to Part 2. The questions assigned to me were:

  1. What’s your guilty pleasure?

There’s so many to choose from. From chocolate, coffee, cakes … but the one that my husband finds worrying is my fascination with murder mysteries whether they are real life or fiction (reading about them or watching series and documentaries). He thinks I’m disturbed.

2. Describe your first kiss.

I am over 40 so it was a very long time ago but I’m sure it was awkward and I probably didn’t breathe during my first kiss as I wouldn’t know what to do.

3. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I love this question! When I was a child I wanted to be a fashion designer. Then I grew up, studied Psychology and HRM and followed a 20 year career in Human Resource Management. Growing up even further my dream I guess would be to become an exceptional and renowned make-up artist.  But it’s probably only going to stay just a dream.  But dreaming never hurt anyway so I’ll keep on dreaming.

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4. Most cringey situation.

I think I’ve had quite a few of those that I’d rather forget or have a selective memory of!

5. Tell us a secret!

When I was doing my Master’s degree as a graduate student I wanted to dye my hair bright red (the Coca-Cola can colour kind) but was too scared I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I resorted to going for 1 blue strand instead. I thought it would look cool against my dyed blue-black hair. It was a botched attempt at the dormitory. I tried to bleach a strand of my (already dyed) blue black hair and then dying it blue on top. I ended up looking ridiculous with a patch in the middle of my head looking orange/purple! After my perplexed university tutor asked me what I’d done to my hair I dyed it back to black.

6. What is the worst purchase you’ve ever made?

I’ve made a few bad purchases in my life, from buying beautiful, very expensive shoes that turned out to be uncomfortable and unwearable to make up products that turned out to be rubbish. A recent bad one that comes to mind was a L’Oreal hair spray product that’s meant to cover grey roots. It just makes a mess! I’d rather dye my roots every fortnight than use that product again.

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Sorry L’Oreal, I do like you as a brand in general but I wasn’t worth THAT product!

7. What’s the most useless talent you have?

I can’t think of any. I’d like to think that any talents I may have are useful in one way or another.

8. What trends do you hate?

Throughout the decades I’ve hated trends like shoulder pads and straight fringes on afro hair but the latest trend I can’t get over is “scouser eyebrows”.

9. Have you ever messed up, but no one ever found out it was you?

Hmm. I’m pretty sure I always fessed up to things I messed up. I’m not one to deny a mistake I’ve made. I sometimes even tend to apologise for things I didn’t do wrong rather than try to argue that I haven’t. So that’s something I need to work on.

10. What’s the worst habit you have?

Picking my spots. I don’t have the patience to let them go away naturally. I know it makes things worse but I can’t control myself. I know it’s a disgusting habit but you asked, sorry!

11. What’s your dream travel?

Going to the Seychelles. Ever since I saw a documentary from the 70s on the Seychelles islands with their dreamy beaches I’ve always wanted to go there one day for a romantic holiday.  At some point I decided that that’s where I would go for my honeymoon if I ever got married.  When I got engaged I told my (now) husband that this was my dream honeymoon destination but he wants to do a grand tour of Australia instead as he’s not interested in sitting by a beach for 2 weeks. To comprise, we’re planning (a very belated) honeymoon comprising of 2 or 3 days in Bali AND go on an adventure around Australia.

My nominees are:

  1. Ephemeral to stay
  2. maddy loves life 
  3. Life with Meg

  4. Cats and contours
  5. the girl with an accent
  6. Kim Styles Cards
  7. cassixmakeup
  8. Tales of Belle
  9. the lil beauty bean
  10. whos that girl blog
  11. hollife

and the questions I want to ask them are:

  1.  What inspired you to start your blog?
  2.  What is your favourite vice?
  3.  If you were a colour which one would it be?
  4.  How lucky are you and why?
  5. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
  6. What was the last gift you gave someone?
  7. What is your most favourite thing about humanity?
  8. What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently?
  9. What inspires you?
  10. If a genie granted you 3 wishes what would you want to wish?
  11. If you were a tree, what would you be?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that those nominated have fun answering my questions and continuing the nominations!

liebsteraward2017

Beauty · Coffee · Diary · Food · Friends · Makeup · Shopping · Uncategorized

Ladies who brunch and go make-up shopping (Part 1 / London)

I hadn’t seen Asha, my good friend from uni, since my wedding in Cyprus last October. She lives in Surrey (but commutes to London for work) and has a busy schedule so although we now live in the same country again, meeting up is not that often and requires some planning.  We keep in touch regularly, sending each other messages via social media but so far since 2014 we managed to see each other about twice a year. She was due to visit me in Manchester at the end of June but in the meantime she suggested we arrange a meet-up for the day in London sometime in May. So, I booked my train ticket a few weeks in advance to avoid the ridiculously extortionate prices that the Manchester-London trains sometimes charge and off I was yesterday for a girly day out!  We planned to do the things we like the most: eat nice food, chat, have coffee, talk about make-up, look at make-up and eat cake!

We met in Euston train station and took the underground to Covent Garden where we were booked to have brunch at Bill’s in St Martin’s Courtyard.

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Asha in Bill’s

Our nice, filling late breakfasts (Asha had the veggie breakfast and I went for a yummy avocado on toast with poached eggs and streaky bacon) were followed by a cup of coffee and a stroll around the make up stores in Covent Garden.  We had been having a running debate about whether Asha’s foundation number/colour was too dark for her skin tone and we wanted to check it out in MAC where she buys it from.

First off though we visited the Charlotte Tilbury shop. It must have been a very new shop there because although it was very busy with people more than half of them were staff members!  The staff to customer ration seemed to be 3:1! The staff were very eager to service customers but I’m not sure how many sales were being made. We had a good look at the face creams and make up products and asked about the prices (which were a bit high) but we didn’t find anything that we couldn’t live with so we left without any purchases.  I then spotted, on the opposite side of the street, a KIKO store. I first had heard of this Milanese brand in Sweden on a 2009 trip there where while at a shopping mall with my friend Maria we stumbled across it and bought a few colour correcting/concealer products.  Asha hadn’t heard of it before so we went inside to have a look there as well.  KIKO prices are very reasonable and they had a good range of quality make-up brushes and I ended up buying an eyeshadow pencil brush at half the price of a MAC one as well as a loose face powder and a powder puff.  I also bought a few make-up goodies a late birthday present for Asha, one of them was a very promising highlighter.

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Kiki, the happy KIKO shopper

3 shops to the right was the MAC store which felt really crammed and the staff on the first floor were too busy to attend to all the customers.  We almost left with nothing when we realised there was a basement floor. I am SO glad we took the stairs down. It was not busy and that’s where we found a make-up artist who finally put mine and Asha’s debate at rest (the correct foundation number apparently is somewhere between the one she has and the number I suggested).  The make-up artist/assistant even gave Asha a freebie with the suggested foundation to try the lighter tone at home (woohoo!) and I was overjoyed to finally be re-united with the eyeshadow brush no. 227.  It is by far the best blender eyeshadow brush I have ever used.  I had bought it from the Cyprus MAC store 10 years ago and it was stolen from my car in Cyprus 2.5 years ago when someone broke into it at Christmas time and stole my make up bag. Since then I had been mourning that brush more than my expensive sunglasses and other items taken from my car as I was unable to find the same brush in the Cyprus or Manchester MAC stores I looked into.  I couldn’t find it in the UK online MAC store either. So I shrieked with delight when I saw it in the Covent Garden store. The shop assistant there who heard me couldn’t believe how happy I was over a brush!  So the MAC visit was a win for both my friend and I!

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My KIKO and MAC purchases

The last thing on our day’s To -Do list was a must visit to Hummingbird in Soho.  We wanted to have some cake but also take some treats back home but we were still quite full from our brunch so we only bought cupcakes to take home.  Although we both have a sweet tooth we still could not have cake in the afternoon so we decided that we would have them as dessert after dinner at our homes. I chose Carrot, Dark Bottom, Salted Caramel and Red Velvet to share with my husband back home. (He loved them so much he now wants me to go to London again just for the cupcakes).

All in all, it was a lovely day, catching up with my friend, doing some shopping and enjoying yummy things!  Even the weather wasn’t too bad with sunshine most of the day. We ended up using our umbrellas only for a minute as the showers were sporadic and we were indoors most of the time.

Having one last cup of tea at Pret-a-Manger before taking our respective trains back we decided that we could meet more regularly in different towns to shorten the distance between us. However, the next time will be a proper visit in a month’s time when my friend comes to stay over in Manchester to spend some quality time and be make-up guinea pig . So part 2 of ladies who brunch and shop for make-up will be in Manchester at the end of June!

P.S. I do have to try some different eyeshadows for my course homework but I am continuing with my personal make-up challenge and was wearing the MAC Deep Truth and Cien’s sky blue eyeshadows on my London day trip.

Beauty · Diary · Makeup · Personal challenge · Uncategorized

Make up your mind! (Part 1 of my personal challenge)

The title of this blog post came to me yesterday morning when the sound of heavy rain, (instead of sunrays through my bedroom window), woke me 20 minutes before my alarm was due to ring.  And yes, the pun is intentional.

The British weather is notorious for its unpredictability but it is mid-May and with the weather not being able to decide whether it wants to spring into summer or step back into the Ice Ages I think I’m going slightly mad! Can’t the weather make up its mind already? Not only I do not know how to dress from one day to the next, I also don’t know what make up look to go for.

I once had a one-to-one make up lesson in Cyprus with a famous local make-up artist who, amongst other useful tips and tricks he taught me on make-up, he talked to me about the winter and summer make up colour trends.  These can only work when you live in a country where seasons and weather are stable, more or less.  In Britain, they go out the window!

One day in Great Britain can contain all four seasons. Anyone who’s lived in this country knows this. As there is absolutely no straightforward winter / spring / summer / autumn seasonality in this country, sticking to fashionable colour themes to align looks with the weather seems impossible.  Equally seemingly impossible is my ability to stop buying more and more make-up products.

I love variety too much, which is why I could never stick to the same make up look on a daily basis. I would get bored if I made my face exactly the same day in, day out. My love for different looks often gets me into trouble with trying and buying new make-up products and experimenting with new looks.  As a result, I have accumulated over the years a large collection of products that is always difficult to go through and use up.  Unless I lose a lipstick or an eyeshadow (or have it stolen as it so happened once but that’s a sad and bitter story for another blog post) it’s extremely rare that I will have to buy a replacement of the same thing.  That’s because I have too much of a variety to choose from at home already.  (Foundations, concealers, mascaras, eye pencils and powders don’t fall into this category of course as they are the staples of every woman’s daily make up routine).

So, I’ve thought of a way of combating the indecisiveness of not knowing what make up look to go for while using my existing products and slowly getting rid of some.

I dare say, I’ve come up with a strategic decision on make-up usage!

I have decided that every day of each of the following 8 weeks I will use the exact same blusher and eye products.  Shocker isn’t it?! This is probably not so alien to most people. But the thought of this to me was!

Starting as of yesterday (Monday) with the 1st day of the 1st of the 8 weeks of my challenge, I will be using the same blusher Estee Lauder bronzer as blusher and a cheap and cheerful blue/grey eyeshadow palette for the eyes, my MAC Deep Truth (a sapphire deep blue) eye shadow, my mascara, my black eye pencil  as eyeliner. Only! It does not have to be the exact same look every day but I will stick to the same colour palette for eyes and cheeks.

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Cien’s 19 Blue Magic trio palette & MAC’s Deep Truth

I will continue using the same mascara (Rimmel’s Super Curler 24HR) throughout the 8 weeks, unless it runs out earlier, as mascaras have a short life and I need to use this one up before opening up the new one I recently bought.

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Mascara and bronzer/blusher

The purpose of this personal challenge is to repeatedly use the same products so that I get more use out of them before they reach their use-by-date and need throwing out.  I’m hoping that this attempt will help me spend less time thinking what make up to go for on a daily basis but also get some results in getting specific products used that otherwise would be left in my make up box unused.

But already by day 2 of the personal challenge, which was this morning, I struggled a bit.  My day did not start very well. I was already running late to get ready for work when I accidentally squirted concealer inside my eye (it really stung) and then squirted foundation all over my dress. I had to run upstairs to change into something else (still wondering if the stain will ever come out of the dress) and didn’t have time for an elaborate eye make up. I just used the silvery light blue shadow of my eyeshadow palette to apply on the eyelid and using a pencil brush I used my dark blue MAC eyeshadow as eyeliner on the upper lid for a blue feline look.  I didn’t even reach for the eye pencil. It was a struggle against time but I managed to stick to my self-administered basic rules.

I wonder how much difference the challenge will make to the usage of my products but I will be checking them all at the end of this attempt.  The end of the 8 weeks happens to fall on my birthday so it should be an interesting one.  Watch this space for Part 2 of this post in 8 weeks’ time!