The title of this post pretty much says it all! My favourite gel eyeliner was coming to an end so I just had to restock.

Whilst on the Illamasqua website I saw the most gorgeous eyeshadow palette, I thought to myself I probably have more than enough eyeshadow palettes, but then I saw….FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE….argh! I’m such a sucker for a G.W.P and anything trial size, perfect for in your handbag, to try new products and for travel.

So anyway as you will have gathered all the items ended up in my basket, through the checkout and arrived at my door…eek!


Since the brand launched in 2008, they made a strong commitment to never support or permit animal testing on any of their products, and only work with suppliers who uphold these principles. All their products are cruelty free their make-up brushes are made entirely out of synthetic hair and the range also houses over 100 Vegan products.

The products I have tried from their range have been great quality and highly pigmented so I was excited to try more.

Let’s look at what I ordered:

Firstly, the whole reason for the order:



£21.00 colour Infinity

What Illamasqua says:

“A smooth, water-resistant formula, the liner applies effortlessly to deliver intense colour with ultimate staying power. Achieve long-wearing, high definition results with ease.”

My thoughts:

Abso-bloomin-lutely! They hit the nail on the head, I have tried many gel liners, some smudged and transferred to the eyelid, some turned grey when they dried, others dried up whilst I was less than half way through the pot.

This eyeliner is AMAZING, it’s creamy and easy to apply, yet dries to a water-resistant finish, it remains black and I get to use the whole pot without it drying out.

I apply this with a Mac 266 brush to define the eyes and also blend in strip lashes.

Next up my new purchase:




What Illamasqua says:

“Create the ultimate Smokey eye with the Elemental Palette. Created to celebrate Illamasqua’s 10th anniversary, this palette has 12 universal powder eyeshadows, suitable for all skin tones. Effortlessly transform your look with these highly-pigmented shades that work for both day and night time looks and are housed in luxurious, limited edition packaging”

My thoughts:

Whilst I love anything sparkly I am a bit fan of matte palettes as opposed to shimmer. I prefer to add colour, depth and blend with matte and then go in with my sparkle if and where it is required.

I do get quite a lot of clients requesting a matte eye look and always use more of a matte shadow on my mature clients.

Usually when I get a larger palette I end up using the same 3 or 4 colours, so what attracted me to this palette is that 11 out of the 12 colours are matte and the shimmer shade is gold so I can foresee using every single colour in it making it great value for money.


As you can see from the swatches below these shadow’s are super pigmented, the texture is quite buttery which makes them a dream to apply, build and blend.

The tones of these shades are so wearable there are lighter, brighter inner eye and brow bone matte highlight colours, some great transistion shades and deep tones for creating a gorgeous smoke. I’m super happy with this palette and can see me reaching for it a lot.


And finally my fab free gift:


Makeup bag containing:

Mini Hydra veil – I have this product in a full size in my studio, so this handy mini will be great either in my kit (or my makeup bag). When I first tried the hydra veil I was suprised at it’s strange jelly like texture, however it leaves the skin feeling super hydrated and refreshed.


Gel Sculpt – Silhouette – I opened this product, rolled it up and thought, well it will come in handy for makeup on black skin, the colour was so dark and intense I was unsure on who and when I would use it. Don’t let the colour put you off when you apply this it is a super sheer, nice golden brown. It’s gel like texture makes it easy to apply yet its not a cream so it seems to dry/set which I prefer, as I find creams slide around.


Lipstick – In the shade Binary, a beautiful coral shade. It’s semi – matte finish means it’s long lasting, but not drying on the lips. I haven’t tried the Illamasqua lip colours before and so was very pleasantly surprised when I tried this at it’s high pigment. A beautiful shade heading into Spring/Summer too.


What have you tried from the Illamasqua range?


Many things influence our decision to purchase a particular cosmetic product from the array of selection we are faced with, however how many of those items do you actually use up and would you repurchase?

Entering shops such as Boots, Selfridges, Debenhams and even more so online, we are greeted with a very wide selection of choice when it comes to cosmetics.

I’m sure I’m not alone in the amount of bags, boxes and even cupboards stuffed with cosmetics that I seem to have accumulated over time.

What makes you choose a product? For me it can be a whole host of reasons from recommendation, special offers (I’m a sucker for a GWP), what it claims to acheive and….dare I say it packaging! The amount of items I have bought because of the logo or the fact that it’s pink or gold or that it’s just insta worthy, it’s ridiculous (bet I’m not alone though).

I am actually a nightmare for buying something new that isn’t really required and starting to use it before finishing my current product, which quickly escalates to bags and boxes of half used products.

As I entered 2019 I tried to consciously finish a product and discard the packaging before buying something similar, or at least before opening something new.


My professional kit is a different matter I have selected items, probably about half my kit that I use on almost every job and all those items I would and do replace before they run out, that still leaves half of my kit that is purely there just so I can be prepared for lots of skin types/colours and offer a range of looks.

By clinging on to half empty cosmetics we are just being wasteful and potentially allowing a breeding ground for bacteria, as once opened some products should really be used within months.

So when we wade through the mountain of products how many of them have we used and loved so much that we would repurchase?

For this post though I want to focus on my personal beauty items that I use on myself, if you would like me to do a post on my kit favourites please comment below.

When I decided to write about this topic and actually gave it some thought I was really surprised how few items there actually are.

I love skincare and love trying out new products however I have wasted a lot of money trying things that don’t agree with my skin or I just don’t like so now I try to keep my staple things that I know work for me.


Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-up Remover – A definite multiple repuchase for me. This product I love, it is super affordable and does the job. I wear waterproof mascara so need something super effective to remove all traces without endless rubbing. I also use this all over my face as a first step cleanse to breakdown my foundation, as its more affordable than the cleansers I use it means I am using less of my more expensive cleansers to remove my makeup.


Garnier Micellar water – Another multiple repurchase, I use this both personally and professionally. I have tried other micellar waters and always seem to go back to this one. I don’t use it to remove my makeup but I always use it in a morning to wipe over my skin before I apply my morning skincare.


La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intensive – This is another product I love and again I’ve tried other products that claim to be similar but this is my personal preference. Read more about this product in my post Hydration Helpers


Paula’s Choice Retinol – I have only ever used over the counter Retinol and have tried a few brands and in my opinion this is by far the best. It’s not cheap, but it works and I have and will continue to repurchase this


These are the skincare items I have repurchased so far, I am currently using a few more items that I’m sure I will repurchase once they are finished, so I will keep you posted in a Part 2.

On to Make-up:


Estee Lauder Doublewear – I’m sure I mention this product in every post…I should have shares in it I buy that much! I have tried soooooooo many foundations and ALWAYS come back to this one. It’s purely the longevity of this product for me, I don’t need to powder, it doesn’t transfer and it last’s all day.


Nars Creamy Concealer – There was a Dior concealer that I loved however they annoyingly discontinued it. I’m not sure it’s a Holy Grail product on myself but I have tried a LOT of concealers and for me this one is always my preferred choice.


L’Oreal False Lash Architect waterproof mascara – I have tried a LOT of mascaras and there are a few I have repurchased in the past. I was using both the Diorshow waterproof mascara and Charlotte Tilbury Legendary lashes volume 2 and I do love them both, however once I tried this I was hooked, the performance is amazing and it’s just more affordable.

Mascara is definitely something you don’t want to be hanging on to unnecessarily, it is advised you only keep a mascara for 3 months once opened.


Those are the only repurchase items that I won’t deviate from, I tend to swap about with my other items and try something new once the item I’m using has run out.

How many items would you repurchase? Please feel free to share some of your favourites below


My makeup philosophy is that you should look like “you on a good day look” I believe makeup should be used to enhance the natural beauty and features we have, not mask them. I feel this Get the look Soft Pinks shows that beautifully, if I do say so myself!

This makeup was for a bridesmaid, I like to show that you can still wear a good amount of makeup and it look soft and bridal.


Skin – My client had a lovely clear skin so I made sure it was ready for makeup by wiping over with Garnier Micellar water and applying Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched face base.


Base – Estee Lauder Doublewear was lightly applied to even out the skin tone, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer was used to lighten and conceal under the eye. Bronzer was applied to add warmth and definition to the face and blush for a pop of colour.

Brows – A strong brow is everything to young girls, well most girls today, so I used my trusted Anastasia Beverly hills brow powder and gel to create a slightly fuller, more defined brow.


Eyes – Lids were primed with Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre and the eye area was kept light and soft with delicate pink shadows and soft definition in the crease. Mac Soft and Gentle highlight was used in the corner of the eye to give a more awake look and Eldora lashes were applied for a full fluttery finish.


Lips – My client wanted a fuller lip and I explained how lip shape can be enhanced with just makeup, so I added fullness and created shape with Mac lipliner in Soar and applied Bobbi Brown Pale Pink over the top.

Hope you like this look, if you have any questions feel free to comment below.

Check out my other GET THE LOOKS Here , Here and Here


All this cold weather and central heating can really play havoc with our skin and leave it feeling quite dry and dehydrated. Sometimes our everyday skincare is just not enough, lets look at some Hydration helpers that we can add into our skincare routine.


Dry and dehydrated skin is quite different, they can both look ‘dry’, dull and appear more lined, however dry skin is a skin type where as dehydration is a skin condition caused by external factors. The difference between how we treat dry and dehydrated skin is that – dry skin lacks oil and dehydrated skin lacks water.

So your skin could be Normal or even Combination, yet due to external factors and lifestyle could still appear quite parched.

This is the case for my skin, I have combination skin, I have some open pores and can get an oily T-zone, however my skin is definitely showing signs of dehydration.

When it comes to treating my dehydrated skin I can’t use rich, thick creams as they are too heavy for my oilier areas and it can cause me to break out, my skin is mainly lacking water.

So as well as obviously trying to drink plenty of water, eating water rich foods and also trying to keep caffiene and fizzy drinks to a minimum I find that my skin needs an extra boost and by adding these items into my skincare routine, as well as a moisturiser, not instead of, helps my skin to look more hydrated and less parched.


Bobbi Brown Extra Treatment Lotion – This product I came across when I was in London with Bobbi Brown and loved the sound of it, when I first tried it I was slightly unsure, it looks like a water however it doesn’t ‘drip’ out of the bottle you need to shake the bottle to dispense it and I was worried it was going to feel sticky on my skin, as a lot of other products from other companies have. However this has turned into a must have in my skincare routine, I use it every morning and night after cleansing and before my other serums and moisturisers. It smells like a heavenly spa treatment and I love applying it to my skin, it is lightweight, not sticky and absorbs beautifully into the skin.

Avene Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum – Another favourite of mine, this product is slightly more lotion like out of the 3 as it’s white in colour and opaque. It seems a simple product yet extremly effective, it is lightly fragranced and sinks beautifully into the skin.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum – I just love this product and I am actually on my 4th bottle, I’ve tried many other products that claim to do the same thing and found them really sticky and just not enjoyable to use. It’s unscented and just a dream to apply, very soothing and cooling, I do really feel like this is a drink for my skin.

All of the above are lightweight oil free boosters that will help to hydrate and smooth any parched skin.

Another couple of items I love when my skin is feeling more on the dry side or if I have used a lot of ‘active’ products on my skin and it just needs some soothing, hydration and just general TLC are:


Kiehls Ultra Face Cream – This fragrance free, no frills yet effective moisturiser is a perfect base under makeup. It seems rich yet feels lightweight and leaves skin feeling nourished.

Bobbi Brown Extra Face oil – A new addition to my skincare collection, this beautiful lightweight oil seems to nourish yet rebalance the skin. I apply a tiny amount of this when my skin needs it, as part of my evening or Sunday pamper rountine. Just like the treatment lotion it’s delicate spa like scent makes applying this an absolute dream, I like to inhale the essential oil fragrance from my hands as I apply it to make me feel relaxed before bed.

I hope this post has been helpful, if you have any hydrating favourites I would love to hear about them, let me know in the comments below


With my busy work schedule and summer far from sight, there is not much chance of me seeing sunshine anytime soon. Like a lot of people I prefer myself with a bit of colour, so it was time to fake it…let’s take a look at a new product I came across whilst shopping, here’s my Isle of paradise tanning water review.

I do like having some colour, however I’m not a fan of self tanning, the whole process is too faffy for me, so I need something that’s straight forward.

I had heard great things about the Isle of Paradise Tanning water so I thought I’d give it a try, as with everything I write about on here I like to give it a good try before telling you about it, unless it’s my first impressions.


This product comes in 3 shades Light, Medium and Dark.

I opted for Dark as my skin tone is quite olive based and I do like a bronzed look, I was quite nervous about there being no guide colour but hey you have to try these things out.

So I’ve tried out this product a few times now, the first time I just wanted a bit of colour to my upper body, I like wearing a warmer foundation and the whole brown face, white chest and arms is never going to be a look so I spritzed a bit all over my upper body, rubbed it in a forgot about it. The next day I was a lovely natural, shade darker than my natural skin tone. It was winter and this was perfect for me I didn’t want to be “tanned” I was just trying to remove the white glow and blend in with my foundation.

So I was over the moon with my results, I had worried before application that without a guide colour I wouldn’t be able to see where I had applied it and so may have an uneven result. However my tan looked lovely and so natural.


Now I think because of how well my first application went I got a bit cocky, so on my 2nd time using the product, I was going out and wanted a deeper tan. I seemed to just spritz it on and rub in like the first time but I must have done a bit more spritzing and a little less rubbing and the next day the colour was a lot darker and there were some areas I’d missed due to it being colourless.

All that being said I do like the product, the fact it is a water and not a cream or mousse means it’s not sticky or greasy after and it only has a hint of ‘self tan smell’ BUT you need to pay attention when applying it, work methodically around your body and make sure you cover everywhere.

Have you tried the Isle of Paradise range?