Sunday, 15 January 2017
So last week, I finally got my brows microbladed. I thought I'd do a little round up post of what microblading is, what my experience was, and include my before and afters!
What is it?
Microblading is essentially a type of semi permanent makeup - not a tattoo! Pigments are used rather than ink, and does not go as deep into the dermis of your skin. With microblading, a hand held pen is used, rather than a motorised tattoo device. You can expect microbladed brows to last 1-2 years. This will depend on your skin type (drier skin will cling to the pigment better and therefore will last longer) and how well you look after them. A tiny blade is used to create hair-like strokes in your brow, to create the illusion of fullness and give them more shape. Prices for the treatment varies, but I'd say the average is £200-£250.
Firstly, my beautician pencilled in my brow shape with a removable pencil, so we could both see where the microblading was going to go, and how my brows would look. This way, I could easily ask to change things and get the shape exactly how I wanted it. This is customised for each client, and it is measured precisely to make sure they are as symmetrical as possible.
Once I was happy with my shape, we picked the best ink colour for my brows to match my existing brow hair. Then, she began to actually microblade. I did have numbing cream on before this began, but you can definitely still feel it. Whilst I wouldn't describe it as painful, it's definitely a little uncomfortable and it does sting a little bit after a while. I have a pretty low pain threshold though, and so if I can manage it, I'd say most people could too! The actual microblading took around 45 minutes for me. My brows weren't too sparse to begin with though, so it could take much longer if you have little to no hair. Once it was done, she put a liquid that acts as a 'liquid plaster' over the top and I was good to go!
As for aftercare, you have to wash your brows with a special shampoo every 2 hours on the first day and apply lots of aftercare cream. This will stop any blood drying and keep them clean so they don't scab over. The first night that you have them, you put plenty of cream on then apply some clingfilm over the brows (attractive, I know!) to protect them. After the first day, you no longer need to wash the brows, and you just apply the cream 4-5 times a day and overnight (clingfilm no longer needed!) for 5-7 days. Once that's done, they should be fully healed.
One thing I should mention is that during this time, you can't really wear makeup on the brow area, to avoid irritation and hinder the healing process. For me, this has been especially hard haha! You should also avoid saunas, intense exercise, swimming etc.
The final step in the process is a touch up 4-6 weeks after the initial treatment. As I haven't had this yet, I can't share too much about it, but it's basically to ensure you're still happy with the shape and the colour etc and add any final touch ups.
Before & After!
Hope you enjoyed this post, and it was useful if you're thinking about getting your brows microbladed! If you have any other questions, message me or leave a comment below.
Thursday, 12 January 2017
This pink toned spotlight eye has got a lot of love over on my Instagram recently, so I thought it was about time I did a breakdown of the look with products and a step by step! Let me know what you think of this look in the comments.
- I started with MAC Peachlite Strobe Cream as a base, then followed with Illamasqua Skin Base in 8 all over my skin. I'd forgotten just how stunning this foundation is!
- I then used my Maybelline Age Rewind concealer to highlight under my eyes, forehead, centre of the nose and my chin, and the Fit Me concealer on any blemishes.
- To set all that, I use Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder.
- To bronze, I used MAC Give Me Sun MSF (review) very lightly to warm up the skin, then used MAC Warm Soul Mineralize blush.
- For highlight, I used Girlactik 'Lustre' Face Glow which is a stunning purple toned highlight (see my review here) and topped it with the purple shade from Sleek's Solstice palette (review here). I applied both of these on the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose and on my cupid's bow.
- I first filled in my brows with Anastasia Dip Brow in Chocolate and MAC's brow pencil in Lingering.
- Then, I cleaned up underneath and primed my eyes with MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW15.
- I started off with 'Red Ochre' from the ABH Modern Renaissance palette and buffed it all over my crease and lid (missing out the centre portion of the lid). Then, I deepened that with 'Love Letter' from the same palette. Blend this on the outer and inner part of the eye until you get the depth and colour you want.
- I then took Pink Champagne (also from ABH) and started packing that onto the centre of my lid. I found that this worked best with a wet brush (I just spray Fix+ onto my brush) as the sparkle in the eyeshadow really came out nicely with that. I then just blended my Red Ochre and Love Letter in so there were no harsh lines and just kept adding colour and blending until I was happy.
- I followed the same pattern on my lower lash line - using the red tones on the inner and outer portion, then packing Pink Champagne into the centre.
- I applied Benefit They're Real mascara onto top and bottom lashes, then added my House of Lashes 'Siren' lashes - these work especially well with spotlight eyeshadow looks as they're fuller in the centre.
- To highlight, I used the same Girlactik and Sleek highlighters mentioned above on my tear duct and brow bone.
- For lips, I just applied MAC Soar liner to outline the lips, then went in with Jeffree Star 'Mannequin' liquid lipstick (review) - I'd forgotten how stunning this colour is, and I always get questions whenever I wear it!
Monday, 9 January 2017
I posted the picture above on New Year's Day as a little reflection on 2016 - the first image was taken December 2015, the second December 2016. I hadn't even realised how much my makeup skills had improved over the course of the year! In 2016, I also qualified as a Makeup Artist, and then went on to get a job with MAC - something I never would have imagined happening! I had a couple of requests to share more about how I became a MUA and some advice etc, so here's a comprehensive post all about my experience. I may also do a separate 'How to get a job at MAC' post if that's of interest too.
How I got started
For me, makeup has been a love of mine since I left school at 16. I started off watching YouTube tutorials and reading blogs, and to this day, it's still something I favour over watching TV or Netflix. I think it's really important that you're sure this is for you before you pay for a course. Therefore, I recommend being self-taught to some level - there's so many amazing makeup channels out there, and honestly practice makes perfect! Another thing I've found really helpful is starting my makeup Instagram - this is something I've fully thrown myself into from the beginning of 2016, and I can't believe how much it has grown. Getting amazing comments and feeling really part of the makeup/beauty community has motivated me to keep going and keep trying out new looks and techniques. Getting featured by amazing brands also makes me strive to improve - if you'd like to see a post about growing your Instagram let me know too! Therefore, I'd highly recommend starting a makeup Instagram if you'd like to become a MUA - it's so interesting to see how much you improve. Doing this for a good few months made me sure that I wanted to become a qualified MUA and it wasn't just a phase.
The first thing I'd recommend when you're sure you want to get a qualification is to do your research. I never realised quite how many makeup courses were out there and all the different things they offer. First consider exactly what kind of makeup you want to do. For example, I didn't really want to do SFX makeup, so knew the courses including that weren't for me. There's so much out there from media, TV, SFX, face painting etc so pinpoint exactly what it is you want to learn. Then, I'd think about the following questions:
- How long do I want to do the course for? I wanted to get qualified ASAP, so I chose a 12 week course but there are courses that run for 1+ years.
- Is it a day or evening course?
- Do I want a recognised qualification or just a course with a MUA? For a job in the makeup industry, you really do need a recognised qualification from someone like VTCT. If you just want to learn some skills for your own makeup, or to top up after doing a recognised course, then I'd say to do a course with a MUA or studio. These aren't recognised in the industry, and could prevent you getting a job!
- How much do you want to pay?
I eventually chose a course with Chill Out Training Academy which was Level 2 in Makeup. Personally, if you feel you are quite strong with makeup, I'd go straight for Level 3, as I felt this was a bit too easy for me (but the course was shorter so I stayed with this one). Once I got this qualification, I had already got my job at MAC so I basically just started with that! Alongside this, I also do freelance makeup - for that it's all about advertising - use Instagram, Facebook etc and good old fashion business cards are great too. A lot of salons allow you to rent chairs to use for freelance makeup, so that way you have a base, rather than travelling to clients' houses etc. And with freelance, it is definitely a case of practice makes perfect - whilst you are studying, try and do as many makeups as you can, just to get practice on different face shapes, skin types and tones as the more experience you have the better!
I hope this post is somewhat helpful if you're looking into becoming a MUA yourself! As I said, if you'd like a post about how I got my job at MAC, let me know (I thought the post would be way too long if I joined both of them together!). If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to email or DM me.
Friday, 11 November 2016
When Colourpop had their 'free international shipping' offer a few weeks ago, I really couldn't turn down the chance to get my hands on some of their products. Having seen them raved about all over Youtube, I went for some of their most popular products: an Ultra Satin and Ultra Matte lip, along with an eyeshadow and blusher (more to come on them in future blog posts!). The shades I was drawn to was 'Trap' from the Ultra Matte range, and 'Marshmallow' from the Ultra Satin range. 'Trap' is a beautiful grey toned pink shade, perfect for autumn/winter and a really unique colour that would be difficult to dupe. 'Marshmallow' is another unique shade - a cool toned lilac/purple shade, darker than the MUA one I posted about last month, but still nowhere near a darker berry purple shade.
I've worn both of these shades in looks on my Instagram, so click to see Trap and Marshmallow. As you can see, Trap looks much darker on me than it looks in the tube, but I actually love that as it just makes the colour even more unique for me.
In terms of the formula, I have been pleasantly surprised. The Ultra Matte definitely is completely matte, and although I do find it more drying than my Dose of Colors or Lipland liquid lips, it isn't uncomfortable and it is definitely long wearing. I also like that it doesn't cling or dry weirdly in any lines or drier areas - although I always recommend exfoliating and using plenty of balm when you use liquid lipsticks. The Ultra Satin is a lovely formula, and a nice change from a matte lipstick. It still has all the opacity and pigmentation of the matte formula, but dries with a slight sheen to it. It doesn't feel drying at all, although the only thing I would say is it feels slightly thicker on the lips than the matte formula. I love the colour though, and I've had so many compliments on it!
Have you tried anything from Colourpop? Let me know in the comments.
Quick Colourpop US to UK review: Delivery probably took around 10 days, and it was free over $50 as they specified in the offer. However, I was hit with a pretty hefty customs fee, as anything over $15 is now being charged apparently. I kind of saw this as paying for the delivery, but I wouldn't recommend paying for delivery and then customs as you'll probably pay twice for the products! They are lovely products, but I'd definitely be wary of ordering to the UK again.
Wednesday, 9 November 2016
I cannot quite believe how long this post has been sitting in my drafts for - I suppose I was waiting for the right makeup look to upload for this review! I got Club eyeshadow from MAC probably about a year ago, and what I love about this one is just how unique the colour is. It's a beautiful duo chrome (satin finish) red-brown shade with a olive green pearl in it. I find it's one of those colours that looks different on everyone, so definitely worth swatching it in store if you get the chance! I bought it when Carli Bybel used it in a tutorial ages ago, and it definitely looks more green on her pictures than on me. It's definitely a colour that would look especially beautiful on brown eyes.
As with all MAC shadows, this one doesn't disappoint in terms of pigmentation and I never have any problems with blending or fall out when it comes to MAC either. This one I find I do have to build up a little bit to pack it on the lid, and I find it most beautiful layered with Kiko's 213 water shadow as they complement each other beautifully. In this look, I smoked it out with autumnal orange/red shades from the ABH Modern Renaissance palette.
Do you have MAC Club eyeshadow? What are your fave MAC shadows? Let me know in the comments!
Monday, 7 November 2016
The palette comes in gorgeous sleek gold and purple packaging, and there are 12 shadows inside, ranging from browns, to purples, to lighter neutral shades. The one struggle with a lot of matte shadows tends to be a lack of pigment, but these shadows don't disappoint at all, and are really nice and have pretty strong pigmentation for matte shades! I wouldn't say they are quite as pigmented as Urban Decay or Makeup Geek mattes, but still lovely. They blend like an absolute dream - I used it for the makeup look above, and there is absolutely no editing on the eye makeup, they really do blend that seamlessly! The shades are not overly powdery at all, and I have not had any issues with fallout - which may be due to their less intense pigmentation, so you win some you lose some!
I would say my most used shades are the browns and the two darker purples - the first column doesn't get much love from my I have to say! I have used the dark purple in so many of my makeup looks, it is gorgeously pigmented and adds a gorgeous depth to the outer corner of the eye.
Overall, I'd say this is a great beginner's palette as it has all the basic shades you need for every eye look - just add a few shimmery shadows in and you've got a great starter eyeshadow kit! Have you tried this palette - or anything else from Tarte? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Friday, 4 November 2016
I wouldn't exactly call myself a Kardashian obsessive, but when Charlotte Tilbury's range of celebrity inspired Hot Lips lipsticks came out earlier this year, I definitely gravitated towards the Kim K inspired shade. I mean, it really is the perfect nude. Packaged in the stunning signature rose gold, this is going to look incredibly pretty on anyone's dressing table. I especially love the lip print embossed into the side. The square shaped bullet makes it easier to apply, and really get into the corners of your lips. I'm wearing the shade in the picture above (with a little bit of MAC 'Soar' liner to outline my lips), and it is quite a pale pink shade - but definitely nowhere near the likes of MAC 'Myth'! It's in a matte formulation, but I do find it still has a very slight sheen to it, and it doesn't feel drying on the lips at all which I love.
Overall, Charlotte never fails to impress me with her beautiful line, and this has got to be one of my favourite pieces! They are slightly more on the pricey side (£23) but with a shade like this, I know I'll wear it enough to justify the price! If you want a slightly darker nude, I'd recommend the Super Cindy shade.
© Cocoa May | All rights reserved.