The Only 8 Brushes You Need in Your Makeup Bag

Anyone who has had their makeup done by a professional makeup artist knows that our kits can be pretty intimidating. We have more brushes at our disposal than Morphe so it’s easy to assume that as a makeup enthusiast, that you also need a huge range of makeup brushes to create a lovely makeup look at home! Well, I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case.  

But using the right makeup rushes really can make a difference, even in the hands of amateurs, and can help anyone get a polished look that makes the most of both their features and their favourite products. Using the right tools not only makes our makeup look better, it means we don’t waste product.

I’ve narrowed it down to the eight must-have brushes you’ll find yourself using again and again. Trust me — it’ll help you avoid wasting time and money on brushes bound for the “I don’t even remember what that’s for” pile.

And always remember that brush maintenance/cleanliness is key. Brushes can last a really long time if you take good care of them. I’ve had some of my professional brushes for over a decade and they’re still as good as new.

At least twice a month you need to give your brushes a nice wash with shampoo and leave them out to dry. They’re going to last longer and you’re going to get better makeup application that way. See my post on how to wash your brushes without ruining them here.

All of the brushes I will be speaking about are personal favourites and are from My Kit Co however please note that I AM NOT sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They links to the brushes on the website but there are alternatives out there.

1. Buffing Foundation Brush

Using a foundation brush is one of the best ways to get a flawless, professional-looking finish. A brush allows you to apply a light, even coat that’s always streak-free, and then blend it into the skin for a barely-there look. My absolute favourite is the Flawless Foundation Brush.

The brush has a gently curved brush head made from Takelon fibers and blends cream, liquid and powder formulas to a high definition finish. The angle of this brush fits snugly into the contours of the face making this a great tool for contouring too.

My Flawless Foundation™ Brush £18.50

Alternatives that you can try:

MORPHE Pro Deluxe Buffer Brush (M439) £17.00

NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation Brush £14.50

HUDA BEAUTY Face, Buff & Blend Brush £22.00


2. Powder brush

The medium My Flawless Powder Brush is perfect for that final touch of translucent powder to set a makeup look or to naturally apply bronzer. The brush is super soft and has a large rounded Takelon fiber brush head that delivers an even blend of powder or cream formulas across the skin. Each bristle has an ultra-fine tip made for high definition skin finishing.

My Flawless Powder™ Brush £18.50

Alternatives that you can try:

MORPHE Elite Precision Pointed Powder Brush (E3) £19.00

TOO FACED Mr. Right Brush £30.00

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Powder & Sculpt Brush £35.00


03. Concealer brush

Some concealers come in a self-applying stick or pen, so this brush is one that many people skip, but that can be a mistake. Concealer brushes can get into those areas that your fingers can’t get into and blend. Especially if you’re a little older and your skin is a little crepe-y around the eye area, in those inner corners, a concealer brush is really going to evenly smooth the product out.

I also like to use concealer brushes around the nose to even out the redness. I prefer to use two different types of brush for concealing: a soft brush like My Smoothing Concealer brush which is a flat-tipped concealing brush that has been created to smooth out concealer to achieve a sheer, natural finish, or a concealer buffer brush like No142 by Zoeva. This style of concealer brush allows you to apply and blend full-coverage products flawlessly, with ultra-fine bristles to distribute the right amount of colour.

My Smoothing Concealer™ Brush £12.00

ZOEVA Concealer Buffer Brush (142) £10.00

Alternatives that you can try:

HUDA BEAUTY Face Conceal & Blend Dual-Ended Concealing Complexion Brush £22.00

HOURGLASS Vanish Seamless Finish Concealer Brush £35.00


4. Blush brush

One brush you should never be without is a blush brush. “The softer the brush, the more delicate the application is going to be. The more dense the brush is, the more colour you’re going to get. Many blush brushes have a slight angle, which follows the natural contour of the cheekbones and helps to ensure you put the right amount in just the right place.

This super soft, synthetic, tapered brush is shaped to fit the contours of the face, whether buffing in powder, applying blush, or even foundation.

The shape and texture of the brush allows for a flawless finish every time.

My Flawless Face™ – Medium  £18.50

Alternatives that you can try:

MORPHE Elite Precision Pointed Powder Brush (E3) £19.00


5. Eye shadow brush

You don’t need a handful of brushes to create lovely blended eyeshadow. Just 3 brushes; an eyeshadow brush for packing on the colour, a bullet brush for precise colour application and a blending brush to blend the colour out.

You need to look for a brush with flat, rounded bristles and My Shade & Shadow™ brush is your perfect multipurpose eyeshadow brush. This super soft yet densely packed brush picks up product without any fallout and lays colour down beautifully. This simple brush is ideal for applying a powder eye shadow smoothly and evenly over the entire eyelid.

My Shade & Shadow £13.50

Alternatives that you can try:

HUDA BEAUTY Build & Blend Dual-Ended Eyeshadow Blending Brush £14.00

ZOEVA Luxe Classic Shader Brush (232) £10.00


6. Blending brush

My Blending Shadow™ Brush is a must-have in my kit and for those who like to blend shades at the crease of the eyelid for those softly smoky eye looks.

My Blending Shadow™ has a soft full rounded brush head made from natural fiber and is essential when creating natural and more dramatic eye looks and works well with both powder and cream formulas. This is one of those brushes that I always have in both my personal and professional eye makeup brush kits. It is ideal for blending eyeshadow and applying highlighter to make your makeup pop.

Pro – My Blending Shadow™ £16.00

Alternatives that you can try:

ZOEVA Luxe Crease Brush (228) £10.00

URBAN DECAY Pro Tapered Blending Brush E209 £16.50


7. Detailing eye shadow brush

The Pro – My Detailing Crease is one of the brushes that my clients are surprised that I recommend in my top 8 must have brushes My Detailing Crease™ has a gently pointed brush head made from plush natural fibers. The silky fibers allow for exceptional product pick up and dispersion while the crafted tip fits snugly into the crease of the eye, helping to achieve an expertly defined finish. Great for precise application of shadow under the eyes for a blown out smokey look too!

Pro – My Detailing Crease™ £16.50


8. Angled brush

A lot of people think of this as a brush for the brows, but it is incredibly versatile, and is great for applying cream or gel eye liner, or even applying a powder eye shadow as a liner. It can be used for everything, not just the brows. It’s one of those brushes where I sanitise it and I do something else with it. Ideally you want to look for hair that is short and quite firm to get precise results such as detailed brows and winged eyeliner such as My Sharp Angle Brush.

My Sharp Angle™ £13.00

Alternatives that you can try:

ZOEVA Screen Queen Wing Liner Brush (317) £9.00

CHANTECAILLE Eye Liner Brush £23.50

HOURGLASS No.10 Angled Liner Brush £31.00

With these 8 brushes in your makeup bag you can apply almost any makeup product. Just remember that you can apply cheap makeup with a good brush but you will always run into problems when using bad brushes. That’s now to say that they must break the bank as there are many great brushes out there and the ones mentioned in my post today are some of my favourites ranging from affordable to luxury.

Let me know which are your favourite brushes and tag me in photos of your brushes on Instagram @makeupbyclaire01


If you have any other useful tips on brushes that I can add to this post, please post a comment or comment on this post on my Instagram. All additions will be credited.
Follow this blog for more tips on makeup, hair and beauty, info and tutorials. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give step by step tutorials on, please email me at claire@makeup-byclaire.co.uk


Don’t forget to check out my website – http://www.makeup-byclaire.co.uk.
Claire xx

Note: This blog post DOES NOT contain affiliate links.


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Best Budget Beauty Buys under £12

As you all know I’m a professional makeup artist, Media Makeup Tutor and blogger and am completely independent. My blog posts and Social Media are not sponsored or paid for and I don’t receive free products to review therefore all opinions are my own and correct at the time of posting.

As a woman and a makeup artist I like to have high end makeup and skincare products in my professional makeup kit and also my personal makeup bag however over the years some high street products have become much, much better and therefore there is now a time and place for these products in our lives, both personally and professionally.

I’m based in the UK and so we unfortunately don’t have shops such as Walmart or Ulta Beauty however we do have Boots and Superdrug which stock a range of products at different prices as well as websites such as Beauty Bay, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic and Cult Beauty.

Here is a list of my favourite budget buys that I think are definitely worth the money (all under £12) and are a must for your beauty routine.

MUA Pro Base Primer Oils £4

These products are excellent value and are in my makeup bag (and professional makeup kit). Having used many different facial oils in the past, mainly from high end cosmetics companies I have personally decided that the MUA 24K gold oil and their Pro Base Oil Stick are amazing. For clients or anyone with dry skin including myself they not only ass moisture to your skin but also provide a base for your makeup to grab onto and give you a flawless looking application.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation, £5.70

This is one of my go-to foundation for those days where I don’t feel like I need a lot of coverage. I would say it’s a light-medium, buildable foundation that’s better suited for normal to dry skin. It lasts 6-8 hrs on my skin and it’s really hydrating, so it doesn’t cling to any of my dry patches. The colour match is also AMAZING. I use the shade 1.2P and other than MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15 I’ve yet to find another foundation that matches my skin tone just as well. It’s definitely a natural to dewy foundation so if you like the natural look with good coverage, this is a great foundation.

Revolution Pro 4K Blush Palette in Pink, £8

Different looks call for varying shades and levels of blush, and this colourful quad doesn’t disappoint. Blend, mix or isolate to create your perfect tone. These blush shades are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way and this palette also has a beautiful highlighter/blush topper. I am light – Medium skin toned, and all of the shades look lovely on me and would definitely suit a light skin tone.

Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner, £8.99

As you all know, I love my Gel Eyeliner Pots but sometimes you just need a quick and ready-to-draw alternative. You have two options with this unique paddle-shaped tip: keep it classic or dial up the drama. This eyeliner glides on smoothly use after use and is a quick and easy way to switch from thick to thin line.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal, £4.99

A fail-safe favourite among smoky-eye fanatics, this blacker than black liner won’t run or smudge, fade, melt off, or dent the wallet when it comes to replacing it. This soft, precision Kohl Kajal liner glides on smooth and creamy. The waterproof formula withstands tears, sweat, humidity, rubbing – and whatever else the night might throw at you!

L’Oreal Castor Oil-Enriched Paradise Volumising Mascara £11.99

This mascara is my holy grail mascara and has replaced Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara in my personal makeup bag and professional makeup kit. The formula is lovely, not too thick but makes lashes look naturally long and thick without clumping. This mascara has a nice smooth texture and it won’t smudge during the day and is also easy to remove.
The only downside is that it must be replaced every 6-8 weeks as it dries out quite quickly but at this price, it won’t break the bank.

Maybelline Color Sensational Mattes Siren in Scarlet £6.99

These lipsticks come in 37 shades and don’t disappoint. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Loaded Bolds give dramatic depth and bold colour intensity, even with their nude shades. They have single stroke coverage with impact that is truer and crisper on every lip tone. 

 Batiste Rose Gold Dry Shampoo, £4.99

This scent is exclusive to Superdrug and is so much more than a grease dissolver. This beauty favourite adds volume and has a lovely fragrance, but most importantly, facilitates an extra 30 minutes in bed! What more could a girl want in the morning?

Garnier Micellar Water Oil Infused Dry & Sensitive £6.99

If you are looking for an efficient, yet gentle cleanser that removes all makeup, even waterproof, and also cleanses the skin of dirt and impurities whilst leaving your skin feeling nourished, then this is the cleansing product for you!
This cleanser is especially suitable for dry, and sensitive skin and I use it every day. Don’t be put off by the oil in the product as it doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts, but adds enough essential oils to hydrate your skin, eliminating any dry patches.

Garnier Nutri Bomb Coconut and Hyaluronic Acid Tissue Mask £2.99

Everyone knows that I love a good soak in the bath with a book and a face mask however I have a new favourite treat. I have dry skin, sometimes with eczema and this mask gives my skin an intense hit of hydration. This milky sheet mask is packed with a milky serum enriched with coconut milk & hyaluronic acid, what’s not to love about that combination for your skin?
I also like to use the excess serum in the package as a moisturiser for my face and neck when I get out of the bath.


As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They link to the brand’s Instagram accounts.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email, and please also let me know in the comments what your favourite budget beauty products are.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx


Whilst you’re here, you may also like these blog posts:

Decluttering my personal foundations

I dont know about you but with the current bad weather during lockdown and the Covid-19 crisis and the fact that Boris Johnson has again stopped half of the beauty industry including Makeup Artists from working again, Ive been looking at things to keep me busy. At the moment Im decluttering, sanitising and disinfecting my entire house including my wardrobe and large, ever growing personal makeup collection!

Its very easy to go through all of my makeup during lockdown as Ive been avoiding wearing makeup and looking after my skin so the first step was pulling together all of my foundations. I honestly thought I had more than those pictured below but 14 foundations (one isnt pictured as I found it in my bathroom!) is still too many.

I do keep 2 different sets, one for summer and one for winter (my natural colour).

My foundations:

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid
  • Loreal True Match
  • The Ordinary Coverage Foundation
  • The Ordinary Serum Foundation
  • MAC Face & Body
  • Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Mineral Foundation
  • IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination

It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination

The first foundation that Im definitly getting rid of is the It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination in Light. As you can see from the swatch even the ‘Light’ shade is very dark and yellow toned on my skin. The foundation is also a heavy coverage and I prefer some of the other foundations that I own to this one. It does last most of the day however it feels heavy on my skin and when Im wearing it, I never forget that I have foundation on. Its also never going to be a shade match for me and so it has to go.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

One of my favourite foundations had always been MAC Studio Fix Fluid and Ive been in love with it for years for both my clients and myself. Whilst I do still adore this foundation I must admit that I have found 2 more reasonably priced dupes for this formula and coverage (see below) and so I will be using up my NC15 and NC20 then I wont be replacing them within my personal makeup, however I will still be using them for clients.

Loreal True Match Foundation

One of the dupes that I have found for MAC Studio Fix Fluid is Loreal True Match. I have the shades 2N and 3N and I believe that they are an almost perfect dupe for their MAC counterparts.

Loreal True Match is available in 40 shadesand the formula provides perfect, ‘natural and true-to-skin’ coverage. I find that it is a medium / buildable coverage that lasts on my skin for upto 8 hours and also wears well. It is also enriched with Hyaluronic Acid to keep skin moisturised throughout the day and look more radiant. As most of you will know, I have sensitive skin and Eczema and this foundation is suitable for my skin. Not only that it also has the added benefit of SPF17 and when powdered, doesnt create any flashback on cameras! Whats not to love? As you can see, mine are well used and due to be replaced soon. The only question is, will I continue using Loreal True Match or keep using the next dupe for MAC Studio Fix which I am also loving at the moment?

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation is my second dupe for MAC Studio Fix Fluid. They have a similar consitency and coverage. This foundation is medium to full coverage blends very easy and for my skin type, lasts at least 6-8 hours before a touch-up and it wears really nicely. Another benefit for me personally is that whilst I get the coverage I want, I dont feel like Im wearing a ‘thick’ foundation.

The only downside is that there are currently only 21 shades (full swatch list can be found here) however the two that I own are a perfect match for me in both summer 2.0P and winter 1.2P.

I actually think that at this moment in time, when I have finished the MAC and Loreal foundations, I wont be repurchasing them for my personal makeup bag as I do prefer the £5.90 price point of this foundation.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation

Unfortunately, I will be giving away The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.2P. There is nothing wrong with this foundation. It is lightweight in formula with a light to medium coverage. Again it only comes in a shade range of 21 shades but the shades are varied to cover most skin tones. The foundation looks natural with a lightweight serum feel, as the name suggests however whilst it is a great product, I cant bear to swap this foundation for my MAC Face & Body foundations!

MAC Face & Body Foundation

This leads me on nicely to my go-to summer foundation for myself and natural/dewy foundation for clients: MAC Face & Body. I have 3 shades which I use independently or mix together to get that perfect shade all year around. I have C1, C2 and C3.

This foundation gets bad reviews by many people as they try to apply it with a sponge or brush, and without first really shaking the bottle to mix the suspended pigment. After vigerous shaking, this unique formula needs to be warmed up in the hands which emulsifies the product (it gets thicker), then is applied with fingers to the skin. Whilst this isnt ideal at the moment for use on clients, I love, love, love this foundation for my everyday makeup.

I will definitly be repurchasing MAC Face & Body Foundation foundations. I have dry skin with some pigmentation/unevenness due to my age but most days I only want light coverage and don’t have time to mess around with sponges and brushes. I love that it is so quick to apply, is lightweight but also evens out my complexion without drying ot my skin. This foundation also lasts well and doesnt break apart or cling to any dry patches making it perfect for my eczema prome skin.

It’s affordable since the price, especially if you get the large bottle brings this to drugstore price level, although you may need to have two shades to mix to get a good match. TLDR: Quick, reliable, doesn’t dry me out, oxidize or irritate, I can get a great match thanks to the white, and gives me a my skin but better look in no time. I truly love it! The only downside to this foundation is the price at £27 for 50ml however I believe that its definitly worth the costs.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation

Last but not least is the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation. This was one of my first professional foundations that I purchased for clients and I still adore mineral foundations. This product is a powder foundation, concealer and sunscreen in one with SPF 20 UVB/UVA. It looks like your skin but better and is almost weightless. The only reason why I am decluttering these powder foundations (I have Satin for my lighter shade and Suntan for my summer shade), is that they are now quite old and I know that I wont apply them onto my skin.

Conclusion

So to sum up, I will be passing on the IT Cosmetics CC+ Illimination foundation and either using up most of my current foundations or passing them onto family.

The only ones that I will be using up and repurchasing are The Ordinary Coverage Foundation and MAC Face and Body Foundation. This will give me two different types of foundation in different shades: a light to medium coverage foundation (MAC Face & Body Foundation) and a medium to full coverage foundation (The Ordinary Full Coverage Foundation) to suit any of my needs or wants when it comes to foundation. I will try The Ordinary Serum Foundation again before I pass it on however I dont think it will replace my beloved Face & Body!

As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They link to the brand’s Instagram accounts.
Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment
If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email, and please also let me know in the comments what your favourite foundations are.
Thank you for reading 💋
Claire xx

Why not check out some of my other posts whilst your here????

De-Cluttering my Personal Makeup – Part 3

Part 3 – Bronzer, Blusher and Highlighter

Thank you for getting to Part 3 of my Summer Makeup Bag de-clutter. This all began when I de-cluttered my Professional Makeup kit and felt so much better just having the products which I loved rather than hoarding products just because I’d purchased them. I looked at my personal makeup bag and spare case and felt that same dread of not being able to find anything and made my mind up that the products that I don’t like or don’t reach for, have to go.

When I say that products have to go, they go to one of 4 places: My winter makeup bag, Friends and Family, Donate to a charity (see the end of the email for details) or they go in the bin (expired or completely minging products).


Bronzers

A girl can never have too many bronzers, or so I believed! I cant believe that I had all different shades which were much too warm for my skin tone and made me look extremely orange (more like Donald Trump!!!)

With this horrific look in mind, I made the decision that all of my really warm bronzers had to go to a good home, and not mine. I only kept 3 bronzers in the end. One cream and two powder products.

😨 What did I de-clutter? 😨

As much as I used to adore my @maccosmeticsuk Give Me Sun, I’m definitely not warm skinned or tanned enough to wear this shade. I’m also currently more into subtle sun ☀️ kissed shades and so I’ve sanitised this product and donated it.

I have also de-cluttered my Benefit Hula Bronzer. I know that its a cult favourite but I just couldn’t get it to work for me with the tricky little box that you cant get your brush into, and don’t get me started on the weird little brush that comes with the product!

It hurt my heart to get rid of my Jane Iredale Moonglow and So-Bronze 2 bronzers but they were really old and far too glittery and gold toned for my current preferences. These went in the bin as I’m sure that they have now expired.

💖 What did I keep? 💖

I decided that only need 3 bronzers. Well I only really need two but I couldnt choose between 2 of them and so theyr’e both staying!!!

Firstly is my Marc Jacobs Beauty Omega Bronze in shade 102 Tantric. This is a universally flattering shade that blends seamlessly with your skin and comes in a gorgeous super-sized glossy black compact.  What more can I say other than it is beautiful.

I also can’t live without my @toofaced Chocolate Soleil ☀️ bronzer as it’s a perfect shade, not too cool or too warm and can be built up or worn delicately for a sun kissed glow.  Did I also mention that this bronzer is infused with cocoa powder into its formula, so not only is it long wearing but it smells as good as it looks.

For days when I’m using cream products or no foundation I love my @nipandfab Fix Stick In Golden Tan. I buy mine from @lookfantastic and it’s currently £8.21 instead of the usual price of £10.95 (July 2019). This product is so easy to blend and can be built up when I have more of a tan. Even though the shade is called golden tan, it’s still not too warm on my skin. (see the image below). It is also really easy to use and much cheaper than a lot of other bronzing sticks on the market and in my opinion, just as good.


Blusher

After pulling all my blushers, highlighters and face palettes together, I realised that I do own a lot of these products (they’re mostly in palettes) however I only use certain shades depending upon my skin colour throughout the year and so I don’t need to keep my winter products in my summer makeup bag. I equally don’t need several of the same shade or shades that I don’t wear.

😨 What did I de-clutter? 😨

As much as I adore my @maccosmeticsuk blushers, especially those with an illuminating glow such as Peachykeen 🍑 I have to admit that they are not getting old and I’ve hit pan on all 3 shades. I made the heart wrenching decision to add them to my ‘Back to MAC’ pile and move on!  
I also felt that my @nyxcosmetics blushes, whilst great products, were either the wrong shade for me or I had similar colours in products that I preferred.

💖 What did I keep? 💖

I obviously kept my two @narscoventgarden ‘The Multiple’ in shades Orgasm and Portifino. These two shades are gorgeous for summer and give a lovely glow to the skin 😊  This multi-purpose stick can be used on eyes, cheeks, and lips to give you a sheer shimmer that actually lasts all day. It’s creamy formula blends effortlessly and can be built up on all skin tones. This is a ‘must have’ product for holidays and summer.

I also kept one my Marc Jacobs Air Blush in Kink and Kisses. This Soft Glow Duo features two shades that merge together so you can customise your colour for a natural-looking glow. I also want the shade ‘Lines and Last Night’ but at £28 per blush I think I may have to wait a while.

Some days I want cream and others I want powder, depending upon the look I’m wearing. Same for wanting Matte or Shimmer and so I kept my everyday favourite blush by L’Oreal in Sandlewood Pink. I also had to keep my Ciate London Glow To Illuminating Blushes in Matchmaker and Pinch Me. These blushes combine a silky matte blush with an ultra fine powder highlighter which gives a gorgeous glow to your cheeks.


Face Palettes

I wont go into a lot of detail with what I donated as I gave all of them away apart from 2!!!

The Bobbi Brown Peach Illuminating Cheek Palette is ideal for travel as it has an illuminating bronzer in the shade Havana, a blush in shade Pink Coral and a Highlighter in shade Peach. This is a gorgeous palette that is beautiful when worn with or without a tan and saves the problem of travelling with 3 different products. A definite must have.

The next palette which I saved was the Tarte Cosmetics, Double Duty Beauty palette which is a highlight and contour palette. Both the highlight and contour are the perfect shade for my skin tone and it also smells like chocolate. Whats not to love?


Highlighter

Again I had collected far too many of these in my journey to find the perfect shade and formula for my skin. I had many amazing highlighters but I didn’t like or use most of them as I prefer a more natural champagne colour rather than a blinding glow (I am 43 now!)

😨 What did I de-clutter? 😨

I did de-clutter my @clinique highlighting chubby stick as you will see below I had a very similar product which I actually preferred. I found this highlighter to be a bit to stiff and would sometimes take off my foundation.

I also de-cluttered my Illamasqua Beyond Powder in Deity as it was an amazing highlighter but you could see the glow from outer space, which is not my thing!

I also got rid of my Benefit High Beam and MAC Lightscapade highlighters as they are far too pink/white for me.

💖 What did I keep? 💖

As I’m all about the glow this summer, I obvuously kept my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette as the shade incandescent light is a beautiful natural highlighter.

I also kept my The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter as it is the perfect champagne colour and the formula is so buttery and soft and it blends easily.

The two cream/liquid products I kept were the @urbandecaycosmetics naked skin highlighting fluid in Sin and the KIKO Radiant Touch Highlighter Stick in 100. Both of these blend beautifully and can be worn to give either a subtle look or built to an amazing glow ✨  All 4 of the highlighters that I kept look good on my skin all year around and so I don’t need to keep searching for a better product when I believe I have found the right ones for me!


As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They link to the brand’s Instagram accounts.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email, and please also let me know in the comments what are your favourite Bronzers, Blushers and Highlighters.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx

You may also like these blog posts:


To donate any of your unwanted makeup and skincare, please visit Give and Makeup for more information.

De-Cluttering my Personal Makeup – Part 2

Part 2 – Concealer, Foundation & Powders

Following on from Part 1 of my de-cluttering my personal makeup series, I decided to tackle concealers, foundation and powders.

Concealer

As with other aspects of my makeup bag, my summer and winter makeup were mixed in together and there were also products that I had tried and just wasn’t reaching for.

After pulling all my makeup together into sections I discovered that I do own a lot of concealers and don’t use most of them. Some because the shade is more for my winter skin colour and some because I personally don’t like them on my skin. Like most women I’m constantly looking for my favourite under eye concealer for the perfect fresh faced look! 👀

😨 What did I de-clutter? 😨

With regards to throwing away concealers, I got rid of the Maybelline eraser eye concealer as I couldn’t find a shade to suit me and it was also too dry for my ageing under eyes! I also threw out the Obsession Makeup London concealer as this also has a sponge applicator and would be unhygienic to donate.

The following concealers and illuminating products are my absolute favourites and so I kept all of these however I moved some of the shades into to winter makeup case.

I didn’t keep the @benefitcosmeticsuk Boiing concealer in shade 1 in my summer makeup bag however as I love this concealer I have saved it for winter use. Same for my @yslbeauty Touch Eclat in shade 1. I actually threw away my @

💖 What did I keep? 💖

I couldn’t not use my @yslbeauty touch eclat illuminating pen as this is an all year round ‘holy grail’ product for me. I kept the shades 2&3 in my summer makeup bag and put shade 1 away for winter. Not only are they cult classics but no2 brightens up my under eye area naturally and no3 has just enough peach 🍑 tones in it for my skin that is is great for a light weight corrector.

My next favourite is also a cult classic- @benefitcosmetics boi-ing concealer. I moved shade 1 to my winter makeup bag and kept shades 2&3. These cover absolutely anything on my face and blend beautifully. I ❤️ them and have been using them for years. I also have them in my professional makeup kit.

For dark circles, as I suffer from bouts of insomnia, 💤 I can’t live without my @bobbibrownuk corrector in Bisque. When I have darker circles under my eyes 👀 this product is perfect. Its heavier than the YSL Touche Eclat and perfect for those days when I look like a raccoon!!!

Last but not least, for lighter coverage days, rather than using the benefit Boi-ing concealers, I’m turning to the @maccosmeticsuk Studio Fix concealer in shade NC15 and the @loreal true match concealer in shade N2. This seems like a lot of concealer but I only use one or possibly two of them depending upon my dark circles and condition my skin but some days I prefer heavier coverage than others!


Foundation

After pulling all my foundations together into sections I discovered that I only had 3 types of foundation and 2 BB Creams. The foundations are MAC Studio Fix Fluid, MAC Face & Body and L’Oreal True Match. The BB Creams are Garnier BB Cream and the Rimmel BB Cream 9 in 1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup.

I can tell you now that I threw out all of the BB creams as each of them exaggerated my pores and disappeared from around my nose and chin as the day wore on. I was really disappointed, however due to watching an amazing Beauty Vlogger on YouTube, Jamie Paige (check out her vlogs here) I have decided to possibly try out the IT Cosmetics CC Cream instead.

💖 What did I keep? 💖

I absolutely love all 3 of these foundations that I own and so I made the decision to keep the lighter shades in my winter makeup bag and the darker shades in my summer makeup bag! Makes sense eh?  

The foundations are: @maccosmeticsuk Face & Body in shades C1, C2, N3 and NC20. These are a cult favourite for good reason. They are light cover which is buildable to medium coverage but still looks like skin with a soft glow. Beautiful for summer 💋 (Makeup Artist Tip – Apply the first layer of Face & Body with your fingers. The heat from your fingers makes the product much more emollient and adds a tacky layer which is perfect for laying down your 2nd layer with a brush or damp beauty sponge. Your’e welcome xx)

The next are medium buildable foundations which are: @maccosmeticsuk Studio Fix Fluid and @loreal True Match Foundation. I find that the L’Oreal product is actually a dupe for the Studio Fix Fluid but I find that if I’m going to sheer a foundation out, then I’d rather do it with a cheaper foundation! I prefer mixing the L’Oreal product with moisturiser and save the MAC foundation for heavier makeup days. 

You don’t need loads of foundation in your personal makeup bag as it will go off before you could ever use it all. Save your money and just pick a couple of favourites.


Setting and Finishing Powders

Over the years I have tried many many powders to find the right ones for my dry, ageing skin and I believe that I have found the perfect ones for me!

I used to use MAC Prep + Prime translucent setting powder but I found that on photographs I ended up with a lot of flash back. Also if I didn’t use enough setting spray, the powder could also be visible on photographs sometimes. I have now moved over to 2 loose setting powders and both of them come in massive jars and so I have to decant them into something more manageable for my dressing table! The first is the Makeup Forever HD Powder and the 2nd is the Coty Airspun powder in Translucent Extra Coverage. You can only buy the Coty powder in the UK through Amazon here. This is my new all time favourite loose setting powder as it is very finely milled and leaves your foundation with an airbrushed finish. The only drawback is the fragrance. It reminds me of my nanna’s makeup bag and so I don’t mind it but if you don’t like fragrance, stay away from this powder.

I have also kept my MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium however this will be living in my handbag as I find touching up with loose powder when I’m out can be a bit of a nightmare.

My new favourite finishing powder is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. When I save up enough money I will be buying a separate compact of Dim Light and swapping it out for my Mineralize Skinfinish.

These Lighting Powders, use “Photoluminescent Technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion. Each of these high-tech, soft-focus finishing powders recreate an exquisitely flattering light source. The powders can be applied individually or layered to imbue skin with a multidimensional glow”. This advertising is absolutely true, these are little miracle powders which now I’ve tried them I will be buying the full size compacts.


As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email, and please also let me know in the comments what your favourite concealers, foundations and setting/finishing powders are.

Also let me know what you think of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream?

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx

You may also like these blog posts:


To donate any of your unwanted makeup and skincare, please visit Give and Makeup for more information.

De-Cluttering my Personal Makeup Part 1

Part 1 – Setting and Finishing Sprays and Primers

So as with any makeup lover my collection of personal makeup was getting out of hand. My winter and summer makeup were mixed in together and I had plenty of makeup which I just haven’t reached for in a long time. As I’ve already de-cluttered my professional makeup kit, I thought it was time that I did the same for my personal products !

Setting & Finishing Sprays

Not only did I have setting/finishing sprays on my dressing table but also more in my backup makeup case. After pulling all my makeup together into sections I discovered that I had 9 setting sprays and only one face!!! 

😨 What did I De-Clutter? 😨

Whilst I did get rid of my NYX Dewy and Matte Setting Sprays, and the OSMO Blinding Shine Illuminating Finisher. I want to note that there was nothing wrong with them. They just didn’t suit my skin type.  Even though I have dry to normal skin, they dewy sprays made my skin look ‘sweaty’ and the matte spray dried my skin out.

I also de-cluttered my Tarte Cosmetics Rain Forest of the Sea Setting Mist. This was a lovely product but I only had the travel size (30ml) and so as I had virtually used up the product I decided to finish it off and keep the bottle for when I’m travelling with hand luggage only.

💖 What did I Keep 💖

Anyone that knows me will guess that I kept my Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray and MAC Cosmetics Fix + These two were no brainers 🧠 as they are by far the best two setting sprays that I have ever tried. Both extend the life of my makeup, even in heat!!!! 

The next product is a bit bougie but it’s the Marc Jacobs Beauty re(cover)
perfecting coconut setting mist. This product is new to me and smells absolutely gorgeous 🥥 It’s also supposed to be hydrating which is what I’m looking for in the summer months. 

The setting spray contains “five coconut actives: coconut alkanes for long wear, coconut milk for deep hydration, coconut water for refreshing electrolytes, coconut polysaccharides to help condition skin, and coconut-derived fragrance for a delicate, delicious experience” I must say that so far it feels and smells beautiful on my skin but I’ve only been wearing it on no makeup days ! Now I need to really test it under makeup.


Finally and not least is the Prep-set-glow finishing spray by @iconic.london This finishing spray is an absolutely gorgeous hydrating mist that moisturises & contains light reflecting properties to give you a gentle illuminated glow rather than looking sweaty or glittery! I have the original spray but have them both in my professional makeup kit.

The next spray is a bit of a cheat as I don’t use it as a setting spray!!! I love the ELF Illuminating Primer Mist for spraying onto my beauty blender when I’m blending my makeup. (Its now called the Dewy setting mist). My philosophy is Sponge+Setting Spray = Non Moving Makeup.


Primer and under makeup Products

After pulling all my makeup together into sections, I discovered that I do own a lot of primer and under makeup products/moisturisers and as it’s summer my needs have changed with my foundation (or lack of). 

😨 What did I De-Clutter? 😨

I’m afraid to say that I have moved my Illamasqua Hydra Veil and Beyond Veil primers, @maccosmetics skin base visage and ELF under eye primer, Into my winter makeup bag. Whilst I love these products under heavier coverage foundation I just don’t need them during the summer.  I prefer something more light weight or something that I can wear on its own. The only 2 primers which I donated were the Smashbox Photo Finish and W7 Camera Ready primers. They are both great primers but as I have older skin (Im 43 – Shhhhhhh) and its also normal to dry, I prefer my products to be more hydrating.

💖 What did I Keep 💖

As its summer, my Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (decanted as I broke the lid 😲)  and Marc Jacobs Dew You? Dew Drops are a must for luminous, healthy looking skin. These two products are more light weight and give your skin a radiant glow. Great for under MAC Face & Body foundation.  I also mix the Dew You? Dew Drops into the Face & Body foundation for more of a dewy look.

I also kept the Marc Jacobs Perfecting Coconut 🥥 face primer as it is super hydrating and nourishing for the summer months and it smells absolutely beautiful.

Finally, I kept my Clinique Moisture Surge Intense on my dressing table as in summer I also like to wear this under foundation and find that I don’t need to wear a primer at all. I have found as a Makeup Artist that you don’t need to wear a primer every day, a good moisturiser will do the trick and give you the same results. You will notice that all of my personal primers and hydrating or illuminating rather than heavy duty.


As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They link to the brand’s Instagram accounts.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email, and please also let me know in the comments what your favourite primers and setting/finishing sprays are.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx

You may also like these blog posts:


To donate any of your unwanted makeup and skincare, please visit Give and Makeup for more information.

6 Mascara mistakes we all make

We all strive to find the best mascara because let’s face it, it’s hard to find one that provides that perfect length, volume and staying power. But if your lashes aren’t living up to your dream, part of the problem might lie in how you apply it. Change these common mascara mistakes to achieve long, luscious lashes – without using extensions or falsies.


Not Curling Your Lashes
Mascara will give you lift, but to get that extension and open eye effect you see on the red carpet, you need to use a lash curler. It doesn’t matter if you use a manual lash curler or one of the new heated ones but make sure to curl before applying mascara. Curling after when the lashes are hard can cause breakage.

My Current Favourite Eyelash Curlers:

  1. The Vintage Cosmetics Company Eyelash Curlers – Rose Gold – £7.00 – Look Fantastic
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Life-Changing Lashes Curler – £18 – Feel Unique
  3. Tweezerman ProCurl Lash Curler – £20.95 – Look Fantastic
  4. ELF Eyelash Curler – £3.00 – Elfcosmetics
  5. NYX Professional Makeup Eye Lash Curler – £5.50 – Boots

Applying Too Many Coats
The more coats you apply, the less likely your mascara will dry during application, causing clumping and that unnatural spidery look. If a single swipe of mascara isn’t giving you the volume boost you need, wait until it is completely dry then add a second layer. If this still isn’t giving you your desired effect, it may be time to consider switching to a thicker formula.


Pumping the Wand
When you pump the wand in and out of the tube to get more product, you’re actually adding air to the tube. This dries out the mascara and causes it to clump when being applied to the lashes and even clump or flake off.   Instead, when you want more product for a second coat, dip the wand in once and swirl around. Still not enough mascara? You’ve probably run out and it’s now time to invest in a new one.


Using Expired Products
I don’t often preach about throwing away good useable makeup however after three months, you should part ways with your mascara. At this point, bacteria starts to grow on the wand and inside the tube, which can lead to red, itchy eyes and even infections. With a product that goes so close to the eye, you want to be extra careful. Most women wear mascara every day so by 3 months were ready for a new one anyway! Even if you’ve only used the mascara a few times, you should seriously consider the three-month rule.

For more information on how to tell if your makeup has expired, read my blog post HERE


Coating Just the Tips of Your Lashes
To get lashes to their full length potential, you can’t just swipe mascara on the ends. You need to apply the wand to the roots of your lashes and wiggle the mascara wand as you lift up and outwards to give lashes that extra lift. Remember to also coat the top of your lashes as the tops are also seen when you blink your eyes!


Smudging on the Lids
We’ve all done this one and not noticed until we’ve arrived at work or dinner! When in a rush, we often apply mascara too fast or too hard, brushing past the lashes and onto our eye lids. Mascara only takes a few seconds to apply so take your time! Better to have lovely lashes than a black smudge on your lid!!! And if you still have a slip-up, DON’T PANIC! Wait until the mascara has completely dried. Yes, I said leave the mascara on your eyelid and wait until it has dried. Grab a dry q tip and swipe it off gently. The mascara will crumble away – no need to redo your entire eye makeup again.

If you are really bad at applying mascara and smudging everywhere, my tip is to have a selection of business cards and hold them on your lid. You will be able to see your lashes better against the white background and the card will act as a barrier if you make any slip ups!



My Top 5 Current Favourite Mascaras:

  1. L’Oreal Paradise Volumising Mascara – £11.99 – Superdrug
  2. Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – £19 – Cult Beauty
  3. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – £22.00 – Look Fantastic
  4. Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara – £7.99 – Superdrug
  5. MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara – £20 – MAC Cosmetics

As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx

You may also like these blog posts:

How To Tell If Your Makeup Has Expired

How To Tell If Your Makeup Has Expired

Unfortunately, just like food, makeup has an expiration date and most of the makeup that we hoard will expire before we have a chance to use it all.

I know what you’re thinking: it doesn’t matter of my makeup has expired, “I’m still going to use it”!  As well as the product not working the way that it should, it could actually be dangerous and cause irritation, breakouts, swelling, and dermatitis.


PAO symbol (Period after opening)

The easiest way to tell if a product has expired is to check the expiration date.

Look for the PAO symbol (Period after opening) on your packaging, which indicates how long it’s safe to keep the products once you open them.

When I open a new product, I use an ultra fine sharpie marker and write the date of opening on the back. This way I can easily check if my product needs to be thrown away.


If you are more into tech and want an app for your phone, Apple have an app called ‘Makeup Expiration App – Countdown Timer

Makeup Expiration App - Countdown Timer

I don’t know when I opened my products?

If you have a bag full of makeup and skincare but haven’t yet started to note the opening dates, there are plenty of ways to determine if your product has expired without knowing the expiration date. All it takes is a bit of common sense and a quick check of your products.

My general rule is “If your product doesn’t look or smell right, then it probably isn’t

Here are a few ways to check whether your makeup is still OK to use without knowing when you opened it:

Smell

We all know what the scent of new makeup smells like. So if your makeup smells off, like chemicals just smells bad then do the same as you would with food and throw it away.


Colour

One of the tell-tale signs that your makeup has expired is if the colour has changed. If you’ve noticed that your makeup has oxidised to a different colour than it was when you purchased it, then it’s time to throw it out. Products such as creams and foundations without a pump are more prone to oxidisation, but all makeup and skincare products will eventually oxidise and grow bacteria. Remember that you’re not saving money by keeping an ‘off’ product as you’ll have to spend more on skincare to rectify the problems that the product causes!


Texture

For example, cream products are meant to be creamy. If you’ve noticed a product applying poorly or unevenly, it’s texture may be off.

Another example of texture changing is if a product splits. This happens a lot with foundations, sunscreen and skincare products. If you shake the bottle and the product doesn’t come back together then it has definitely ‘gone off’ and its time to throw that product in the bin.

One more common texture product with makeup and skincare if clumping/clumps in the product. Liquid makeup products such as creams, foundations and mascaras aren’t supposed to be clumpy. If you’re noticing any bumps or lumps in your products, then make sure to toss them. Clumps can be a sign of bacterial growth.


Hard or Chalky Layer

Unfortunately, powder makeup products are subject to expiration dates as well. A tell-tale sign that your powders need to be replaced is if a film or chalky layer has developed over the product. Another sign of your powder products expiring is if you get a hard layer over the top of your powder and you cannot therefore pick up any powder on your brush. Both of these signs mean that it’s time to throw that product away and treat yourself to a new one.


White Spots

If you’re eyeliners or lip pencils begin to develop a white spot on their tip that can’t be sharpened off, then the product as expired. This is a sign of bacteria and the product should be thrown away immediately.


Cleaning your Makeup Products

How long your makeup lasts also depends on how you treat it. 

Always avoid touching your makeup with your fingers, whenever you can. If you must use your fingers, use an antibacterial gel before you dip those digits into your favourite product.

If possible, look for products with a pump so that you can avoid exposing it to outside elements. Many brands sell pumps that fit onto all of their products such as foundations and this by far, is the most hygienic way to use creams/liquids.

Sanitise your products like a Makeup Artist. There are many sanitisation products out there, but I only use Isopropyl Alcohol 70% and Beauty So Clean. Sanitising your products after each use helps to preserve the shelf life of your products by reducing bacterial growth.

I mist Beauty So Clean over my powder products

and spray Isopropyl Alcohol 70% (Medical Grade Antiseptic Disinfectant ) onto my lip and cream eyeshadow palettes and gel products.

If you have bullet lipsticks and not palettes, then just fill an egg cup with the alcohol and dip your lipstick straight into it. (You must use 70% isopropyl alcohol as anything higher will evaporate too quickly and therefore won’t sanitise your products and you must let the alcohol evaporate before you close the lid on your clean products)

The two products I purchase are:

Harley Street Care Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 70% 500ml, £5.65  Amazon

Beauty So Clean 120ml, £18.60 Amazon



Storing your products in a cool, dry place will also prolong the life of your makeup and skincare. I’m not saying that you need to go out and purchase a skincare fridge, although they are cute, but don’t leave your skincare on the windowsill to get hot in the sun, and keep your makeup in a drawer or makeup bag in a cool part of your room, not next to a radiator etc.

While it may be hard to part with your makeup, it’s worth it in the long run. It’s not worth contracting bacterial infections like Katie Wright who contracted Cellulitis from a dirty makeup brush. Read the full article here.

If you want to find out more information on cleaning your makeup brushes, read my blog post: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes without damaging them.

Download your free Makeup Expiration guide

Download your free Makeup Expiration guide (click Here)


As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx


Self Tanning Tips for a Natural Bronze Glow


Protecting yourself from the harmful suns rays doesn’t mean that you have to give up your gorgeous summer glow. You can get your pre-summer / summer tan the safe way: with a spray tan or use self-tanning products at home.

Apologies for the length of this blog post but as a Tanning Technician as well as a Makeup Artist I have a lot of tips that I have learnt over the years. No 1 being: Practice makes perfect if you choose the self-tanning option.

Here are a few self-tanning tips for making you naturally sun kissed rather than a streaky mess!

1. Pre-Tan Prep

Waxing/Shaving

Before you Begin – make sure that you have waxed (24 hrs before) or shaved, exfoliated and moisturise your skin. I know what you’re thinking; thats a lot of prep for an ‘at home tan’ but I can assure that its necessary.

Shaving or waxing after a tan can remove the product from your skin and so its better to get waxing done the day before or shave in the shower before you start to apply your tan.

Exfoliate

Applying tan over skin that hasn’t been exfoliated will only fade as the cells shed and so if you get rid of those dead cells first you will end up with a longer lasting, non patchy tan.
Focusing on rough areas like your knees, elbows, ankles, and heels. For your face, use a facial cleaner to remove dead, dull skin. Avoid anything oil-based, since it leaves behind residue that causes streaks.

Moisturise!

BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE! Moisturisers that contain oil can prevent the tanning agents from developing properly but sometimes we need a little help with very dry areas like hands, feet, elbows, knees and face. These areas tend to be dry and will absorb more pigment than other areas of your body, causing unevenness.
If you have fair hair, add a light layer to your hairline and eyebrows to stop them from absorbing tan and changing colour too!

With regards to your actual moisturiser, you need to make sure that it is OIL FREE. If possible use the self tan brands own moisturiser that they recommend such as Fake Bake’s Oil Free Moisturiser . As with your body scrub, if you use an oil based product it will leave behind a residue that the self tan cannot adhere to.


2. Application Tools

After applying my moisturiser I wait for 5 minutes to allow it to sink into my skin before beginning to apply the fake tan lotion with a tanning mitt.

I like to use the Xen Tan Luxury Tanning Mitt from Look Fantastic as its only £4 and is super soft and washable (hand wash).

There are loads of tanning mitts on the market but some other favourites are:

  • Velvotan Deluxe Double Sided Tanning Mitt – Amazon £4.95
  • Velvotan Self Tan Applicator Original Body Mitt – Amazon – £2.99

I begin with my legs and work up and inwards including my tummy, arms, legs and neck. I then get my husband to help me reach my back and ‘colour me in’! However if you’re not lucky enough to have someone to do your back for you, you can also use a ‘back and body tanning mitt such as :

  • Bronzie Back and Body Tanning Mitt – Amazon £17.95
  • Sunny Kiss Self Tanning Mitt New 2019 Edition Extended  – Amazon £9.99
  • Ultimate Back & Body Velvet 3 in 1 Self Tanning Mitt – Amazon £8.99 (This is my personal favourite if I’m applying tan myself)
  • Tan Wand – Amazon £7.99

Previously I have tried extendable tanning arms/wands which you can use for applying fake tan to your back. I tried the one from Boots a couple of years ago however I found it to be quite awkward to use as the pad on the end was quite small however the Tan Wand (above) which I’ve found on Amazon seems to have a larger surface area which should be easier to use. Let me know if you but something like this and how you found it.


3. Application Method

Always apply self-tanner in a cool, dry area to keep yourself from perspiring. If you’ve just had a shower (See Pre-Tan Prep) you’ll want to leave your hot and steamy bathroom before you apply your tan as humidity/steam, water, and sweat can break down the
self-tanner, creating a streaky application. Its best to move to another cooler
room and if you have carpet, put a towel on the floor first.

Don’t be scared when applying your self-tan. The product is meant to be
applied liberally to ensure that your whole body is covered thoroughly. If you
apply tour tan with a light hand, you won’t get a more subtle effect; just
streaks and dark patches. To help avoid streaks, apply tanner in circular
motions, approximately one teaspoon at a time, from your feet up to your face, otherwise,
it could gather in creases and make marks as you bend over. Remember to
save your arms and hands for last.


Professional Tips

Professional Tip: To successfully apply tanner in your knuckles,
bend your fingers so your hand looks like a claw. This way you will cover
the insides of the creases and avoid white stripes across your knuckles.

Professional Tip: Modify Your Technique for Your Face – I like to mix the self-tan with a small amount of oil free moisturiser to
just thin out the formula a little bit so it applies easier but also to ensure
that the colour isn’t quite as dark as my body. Mix the two together on the
mitt and gently apply to the face. Don’t forget your hairline, ears and eye
area.

Professional Tip: Wipe your nails, palms and
brows after application and apply some oil free moisturiser at the bottom of
your wrists and buff in using the buffing mitt to minimise the chance of a
tanning sleeve.

Professional Tip: Most self-tans dry very quickly, and you can go to bed after approx. 30-45 mins. If you will be wearing the
self-tan with clothing or going to bed, I sometimes add a fine layer of talc
free baby powder (my favourite is ‘My Little Star Baby Powder’ from Superdrug)
with a talc puff. It stops the tanner from transferring to your clothes. I bought mine from Amazon for £2.49. Even though I have lightly powdered my face and body before bed, I like to cover my pillow with a towel so that it doesn’t stain.

You need to take care of your tan whilst it develops and this means loose clothes (preferably dark ones.  Avoid showering or sweating for 6 to 8 hours. Definitely don’t do any washing up! Try to drink through a re-usable straw so that you don’t dribble onto your chin and don’t watch a sad film that will make you cry. A streaky face is not what you want after all of this hard work.


4. Preserve Your Tan

No one can guarantee how long your tan will last, but you can take certain measures to prolong it as long as possible.

Keep Moisturising – To help lock in your new sun kissed glow, apply a moisturiser to your skin after you have bathed or showered. Whilst some self-tanning lotions are moisturising in themselves, having moist, hydrated skin will prolong your tan. You can now buy lots of moisturisers with a tan prolonger in them. I like the Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Hydrating Tan Maintainer which I get from Amazon or Superdrug but there are many on sale these days, especially in the summer months.

Use baby body wash  –  Oil-based products will make your fake tan fade faster, so skip all products with oil while trying to preserve your tan. Also, stay away from exfoliators and opt for gentle cleansers to allow your tan to fade evenly and naturally.


Some of my favourite self-tanners

  • James Read Gradual Tan Coconut Water Tan Mist – £25 Feel Unique
  • Benefit Hoola Zero Tan Lines Body Bronzer – £25.50 Benefit Cosmetics
  • Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning – £20 Clarins
  • Sienna X 1 Hour Self Tan Tinted Lotion – £24 Look Fantastic
  • He-shi Express Liquid Tan – £21 Feel Unique (On sale for £14 as of 16.04.2019)
  • Lancôme Flash Bronzer Instant Natural Tan – £26 Lancome
  • Fake Bake Luxurious Golden Bronze Original Self Tanning Lotion – £17.96 Amazon

There are many more self tans on the market for various prices however these are the ones which I have personally used or have been recommended by clients.


Have fun with your self tanning and be brave. If you make a mistake you can always soak yourself in a hot bubble bath and give yourself a body scrub and most of it will wash away!

As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx

You may also like these blog posts:

7 ways to use concealer for better results

For a tired girl like me, concealer is a girl’s best friend, but it isn’t always the easiest makeup product to apply. From using the wrong colour to applying it incorrectly, we all make a few of concealer mistakes. You can learn how to fake flawless skin by following these concealer tips.

If you use foundation, apply it first, and then apply your concealer

When you apply liquid foundation over concealer, you’re thinning out the concealer you strategically placed over a blemish or other trouble area. If you apply your foundation first, you’ll find that you don’t need to use as much concealer. You want to dab the concealer over liquid foundation where a trouble spot hasn’t been completely covered.


Use concealer as an eye primer

To prevent your eye shadow from falling off your lid onto your freshly done makeup and settling in the creases, prime your eyelids first with a dab of primer.

If you can’t justify spending extra on eye shadow primer, a dab of concealer works just as well. I use L’Oreal True Match Concealer as it covers any discolouration and veins in the eyelids and isn’t super sticky once applied (£7.99 Superdrug)


Use a colour corrector for concealing under eye circles

Because under eye circles are dark, you need a different shade than you would use to cover them. For those with lighter skin, the circles tend to have a purple tint to them. Peach toned concealers work best. For darker skin tones whose circles are a darker purple or brown, a concealer with an orange pigment will help to camouflage these areas.

Dab an orange- or peach-colored concealer over dark under-eye circles with your ring finger. The colour corrector’s in my makeup kit and personal makeup bag are Bobbi Brown Correctors in shades light bisque, med-dark bisque and bisque (£19.50 Bobbi Brown)

Your ring finger, which is your weakest, will apply just the right amount of pressure to blend in the concealer without pulling at your delicate eye skin.

Next top your corrector with your foundation and if necessary, a concealer that matches your skin tone. Don’t forget the next step.

To see a more in-depth tutorial on how to cover under eye circles please read the following blog post: How to Conceal Under-Eye Circles and Brighten Your Look


Setting your concealer

Whenever you cover a blemish or your under-eye circles, try to use a concealer that matches your skin tone. To avoid the concealer moving/wearing off during the day, set your concealer with a translucent powder.

  1. First, let your concealer “cook” (or, oxidise and slowly melt) on your face for a minute.
  2. Next, I find it best to use a flocked sponge/pad to apply the powder in a dabbing motion so as to set the powder in place and not wipe away the concealer (as you can do with a brush!)

If you need higher coverage on a blemish, continue to alternate concealer and setting powder until the mark is undetectable.

To see a more in-depth tutorial on how to cover under eye circles please read the following blog post: How to Conceal Under-Eye Circles and Brighten Your Look


Use a concealer to tidy up eyeliner mistakes

Sharpen your wing and cover any eyeliner /eye makeup mistakes with an angled or fine brush brush dipped in concealer. This is much easier than removing it altogether and starting over completely.


Use Green-based Concealers Sparingly or switch to yellow

A few years ago it was all the rage to use green based concealers however, contrary to popular belief, green-based concealers do not cancel out skin redness. This works only in photographs, but in natural light, the green is always slightly visible and only makes the blemish look more obvious or your skin look a bit green/greyish under your makeup!

Instead, you want a concealer almost identical to your skin tone or if an area is very red use white or yellow toned concealer very lightly.

As a general use of thumb, the colour corrector rules are below however please note that if you are using these colours for every day makeup and not for a photo shoot, use very sparingly with a light hand.


Use the correct formula for the job

The thicker the formula, the more caked on it looks. As a makeup artist I only use thicker concealers for covering tattoos and birth marks etc. Generally, I will use a liquid concealer.

Use a liquid-based product for concealing under your eyes as it is easier to blend. My 4 current favourites (in no particular order) are:

Use a cream or stick concealer for covering pimples and blemishes as it is a much thicker formula than liquid but still blendable. I like the NARS stick concealer £21.00 Nars Cosmetics.

To brighten under eyes and areas of your face, use a pen with a built-in blending brush. These are much lighter in formula and tend to have light reflecting pigments within them. They don’t tend to be great at concealing but do lighten the area which they are applied to. My favourite is Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat £26.00 Look Fantastic


Remember the key to concealing is blend, blend, blend.

As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates.

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Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx