Beauty and Make Up by Rhianna Backwell


Follow me on Facebook:
Email me on Facebook:

Follow me on Twitter:

Follow me on Pinterest:


July 2013

So it looks like the sun has finally decided to show itself and maybe the SPF and summer beauty collection purchases won’t be fruitless after all?!  The summer trend for bold, bright and beautiful statement shades in make up and nails continues and I was actually spoilt for choice in products to include but thought I would keep it drug store/high-street end this month.  I hope you’re all out enjoying the weather and please remember to put on your sunscreen!

Product Review:

Soap & Glory - Sugar Crush Body Butter & Glow All Out Face Powder
First up on the list is “Moisture-Extreme Re-energising Body Butter” from Soap & Glory’s Sugar Crush range.  If you are looking for a rich and creamy body moisturiser that encapsulates the fragrance of summer then this hasto be your next purchase.  The smell is so gorgeous I want to get a spoon and eat it!  It is described as “sweet lime”, which is spot on and reminds me of summer holidays and fruity cocktails.  The body butter is smooth in texture and white in colour, which makes it feel clean and fresh on application.  My skin felt hydrated for the entire day and appeared healthy and smooth.  This product contains lime, coconut and almond oils that lock in moisture and nourish the skin and leave it feeling fantastic.  At around £10 for 300ml this is a great bargain and even tougher competition for it’s higher end counterparts.
The “Luminizing Radiance Face Powder” is basically a powder highlighter and ideally used on the highest parts of the face to create a healthy glow to the skin.  I would apply this product to the tops of the cheekbones, under the eyebrow on the brow bone, lightly on the cupids bow and down the bridge of the nose.  The colour is soft peach shot through with flecks of silver and pearl giving an iridescent finish, which is typically the job of a highlighter.  You could also use this product lightly dusted over the décolletage and shoulders if you are wearing a summer dress and/or to enhance a tan as it is very easy to blend and can be worn quite sheer.  I really like the natural look for summer and this product could be worn on its own or perfectly matched with a BB cream for a look that isn’t too overdone.  It comes in a mirrored compact so can be popped into your handbag for convenience although there isn’t an applicator.  I wouldn’t use this product all over the face, neck and shoulders as instructed as I feel it would lose its punch and you may well end up looking a little silly.  Used in smaller more defined areas though and this product is a lovely go to highlighter suitable on virtually any skintone.
Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo 24hr
These gel cream eye products have been out a while now but they have just added several new colours to the range.  I picked up number 15 – Endless Purple and number 25 – Everlasting Navy as these two colours are bang on trend right now.  These products apply easily due to the creamy texture but set with a matte satin finish.  If your lids are oily or you find that your make up creases after a few hours wear then you will need to use a primer specifically designed for the eye - Urban Decay and NARS both do excellent versions.  As these colours are both dark I found that I had to build the colour with several layers so it didn’t look washed out although once it was on and set the colours didn’t move.  You could also use these products as bases for a more intense eye and layer a powder eyeshadow or glitter over the top of it before it fully sets.  I don’t like these products as much as some other similar items out there on the market but for a high-street budget they are definitely worth a look.
Models Own Artistix Duo Polish
No summer look is ever complete without attention to nails particularly as those toes are most likely to be on show after months of hiding in boots!  Nail Art is a rising phenomenon in the beauty realm and now more so than ever there are products on the market aimed at the individual and not the salons to encourage our personal creativity.  Models Own have a large selection of nail products from glitters to beads and nail pens in an assortment of colours.  I was drawn to several new combinations in the Duo Polish collection as they seemed quite bright and summery which are “Jade Flakes” and “Snow Mix”.  I like the idea of layering different textured products on the nail as it doesn’t have to be a perfect application to gain a great result.  I found the double-ended applicator easy to use and although a novelty packaging idea it means you don’t have to carry around separate bottles in your kit or bag.  The polish isn’t too thin but I always recommend applying two coats for a decent colour pay off.  I didn’t find it too streaky either but you would need a little more care if you weren’t going to use the glitter finish over the top.  Overall these products are designed for fun and are great for a night out or to liven up your nails with casual day wear.
Pennies vs. Paper
Soap & Glory “Glow All Out” Face Powder £11.00 Vs.NARS Highlighting Blush in “Miss Liberty” £21.50
Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo 24hr Gel CreamEyeshadow £4.99   Vs. Bobbi Brown Metallic Long WearCream Shadow £18.50
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain £7.99 Vs. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm £17.00
Monthly Must Have’s:
Charlotte Tilbury Kissing Make Up Bag for Kids Company £15.00
Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter £10.50
Selfridges “Festival Beauty Box” £25.00
Total £50.50

June 2013

Hi my gorgeous KIX readers! I'm really sorry for leaving you hanging but it was for a good cause. After having a beautiful baby boy I am back in time for summer 2013, which I am hoping we get as there are some truly beautiful summer collections being launched this month.  The key make up trends for summer 2013 are focusing on bright tropical colours – typically blues, aqua marine, greens, purples and gold on the eyes and corals and fuchsia pinks on the lips.  Nail colours have been a mixture of all of these colours and of course the introduction of polishes with “bits” in, moving on from glitter to actual little shapes and different textures has seen an explosion of nail art applied by the individual and not by a nail bar.

To see make up and nail mood board/images for this summer check out my pins on interest:

Product Review:

Yves Saint Laurent: Baby Doll Collection

Launching in time for this season, YSL’s Baby Doll Collection fronted by model of the moment the beautiful Cara Delevingne, introduces a mascara in four colours(Black, Brown, Purple and Blue) £24.50, eyeliner in three colours (01 Black, 15 Sparkling Gold and 16 Rose Baby Doll) £24.00, a new Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres (13 Rose Tempera) £23.50 and Baby Doll La Laque Couture (10 Fuchsia Neo-Classic) £18.00.

I picked up the Baby Doll Mascaras in Black and Purple and the eyeliners in Sparkling Gold and Rose Baby Doll to review for you guys and to test out for inclusion in my kit.

The mascara wand has large bristles on one side to coat the lashes and create volume and is complimented with much finer bristles on the other side intended to separate the lashes and ensure each lash stands on its own including the smaller ones at the inner corner of the eye.  I used the black mascara on myself to test the wand and was impressed by how well the product adhered to my lashes making them appear instantly darker and fuller using the larger bristles and then rather than using a comb to separate i simply turned the wand 180 degrees and used the micro bristles on the wand to fan my lashes out.  Yes the mascara is a hit if you want the product for yourself.  The drawback for me personally as a make up artist is that for hygiene and health reasons i do not use the mascara wands provided unless i am giving the client the product after using it so all the magical wands that are being introduced on the market are a little redundant in the short term.

(Top Tip:  Once the mascara has run out throw the tube away but keep the wand and clean and sterilise thoroughly.  The wand can then be used for future use with other products.)

The purple mascara is not a vibrant or neon purple which can be intimidating for people who aren’t as confident with experimenting with colour mascaras and i feel this is a perfect step into the realm of colourful lashes as the subletly of this shade can be used without fear of overpowering the eyes.  It is also the perfect accompaniment to either a day or evening look and would flatter green eyes in particular.

The eyeliners are much more dramatic than the mascaras in terms of pigment and you don’t need to apply more than one layer to get a striking effect and pop of extreme highlight along the upper lash line (or wherever you want to put it).  I have fallen in love with both of the colours and can assure you that each one is staking a firm claim in the eyeliner compartment of my make up case.  I honestly cant decide which colour i prefer as i am a sucker for gold make up and the sparkling gold is so smooth, easy to apply and not too watery and feint like some others on the market.  However, the Rose Baby Doll is again a stunning pigmented glossy pinky coral that remains in place once applied and makes a change to the eyeliner colours currently on the market.  My verdict – get both ASAP before they sell out!  I have already designed a pro chart to use both eyeliners in the same look, which should be dramatic and fun!


Happy shopping:

Essie Nail Varnishes:

I am getting much more into nail polishes at the moment and have been keen to try an ombreeffect on my nails after watching several artists on youtube show you how its done.  As favour pink nail polish Ii thought I’d take the chance to experiment with a different brand and went for the highly popular “Essie” nail polish brand.  I picked up three pink polishes in “Fiji”, “Muchi,Muchi” and “Lovie Dovie” to try out and have been very impressed with the products.  The colour choice first of all at Essie is unrivalled – i have yet to see so many polishes in such an array of colours from any of the cheaper priced brands and honestly took a bit of time picking out just 3!



The colour pay off is pretty good and although i usually apply two coats of almost all polishes ifound i didn’t have to with these – one was good enough to get the desired colour.  If you are going to try the ombre look (putting all 3 onto a sponge and applying to get a gradual fade of colours on each nail) then i would advise that you paint your nails with a white or very light colour first to give you the most dramtic effect and best pop of colour.


I have had the polish on my nails for 3 days and have several nails that are starting to chip at the ends, which isn’t that bad considering i am using my hands all the time and putting them through their paces.  At £6.99 each i will definitely be going back for more and they are 3 for 2 at the moment in Superdrug so what are you waiting for?!

Pennies vs. Paper:

Sleek Face Form in “Light” £9.99 vs Illamasqua Gleam in “Supernatural” £18.00
Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush £6.99 vs Clinique Blushwear Creamstick £21.00 
Max Factor Max Effect Gloss Cube “001 Soft Rose” £5.99 vs Dior Addict Lip Maximiser in “002” £23.00  

Bourjois Paris BB Bronzing Cream 8 in 1” £6.99 vs. Stila “Stay All Day” 10 in 1 HD Bronzing Beauty Balm £26.00  

Monthly Must Have’s £50:

YSL Baby Doll Eyeliner (Sparkling Gold/Rose Baby Doll) £24.00

Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush (x2)  £13.98MAC Lipstick in “Ri Ri Woo” £14.00


  If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!

November 2012

November is one of my favourite months of the year with Christmas fast approaching (which I LOVE) the Autumn season in full flow and the move towards warm festive hues and glittery party make up trends.  This month with Fireworks Night, Diwali – the Festival of Light and the Christmas Lights being switched on in London’s Oxford Street my monthly theme is geared around lots of sparkle!



Product Review:


I have purchased a MAC Pro Palette with the 15 eyeshadow insert (£14 + £6.50) and filled with a selection of eye shadow refill pans (£10 each) in essential colours ranging from the lightest cream colours to rich dark chocolate browns, which I use the most frequently on clients, weddings, photo shoots and tutorials.  The colours are a mixture of matte and iridescent finishes and all have a great colour pay off and are easy to blend and intensify as desired.  The colours are as follows:



Top Line (Left to Right): Vanilla; Naked Lunch; Woodwinked; Brun and Embark.

Middle Line (Left to Right): Nylon; Arena; Patina; Tempting and Mystery.

Bottom Line (Left to Right): Shroom; All That Glitters; Wedge; Cranberry and Carbon.



The lighter reflective tones of Vanilla, Nylon, Shroom and All That Glitters are perfect for using in the inner corners of the eyes to open up the eye and make the eye appear larger and brighter.  These colours can also be used on the brow bone and cupid’s bow particularly to accentuate the face shape and I’ve even used these eye shadows as highlighters on the cheekbones and over cream based highlighters to set the product and add radiance.


The mid range tones of Arena, Wedge, Naked Lunch are perfect to create a softer depth to the socket crease and essentially can be used as the base on the eyelid for a natural look or combined with lighter and darker tones of the same range to provide a beautiful blended smoky eye look.


The darker earthier colours of red and yellow tinted browns in Brun, Embark, Mystery, Patina and Woodwinked can be used to develop very natural soft smoky eyes and layered to create extremely dramatic party eyes.  To keep a natural look on any model it is best to use iridescent colours sparingly and stick to matte textures to keep in line with the skin’s regular appearance.  Blending in colours with added sparkle is perfect for enhancing an everyday make up look and the more shimmer added the greater the effect.



I have also been keen to get hold of Benefit’s new “They’re Real” Mascara (£18.50) and I have not been disappointed with their effort to create a product that combines more than one feature.  This mascara indeed lengthened, curled and separated my lashes so that my eyes looked fresh and my lashes amplified.  Since having this mascara I have used it personally everyday and bought another for my kit.  The brush is slim and easy to use with hardly any excess mascara left on the wand when removed so clumping of the lashes is avoided.  The “jet black formula” gives a solid block colour to the lashes after just one application and remains in place all day without smudging or fall out on to

the eye area.  My favourite aspect of this product is the ability to separate my eyelashes and with such ease and lack of having to take the wand repeatedly through the lashes which can sometimes lead to using more product than necessary.  I give this one a huge thumbs up and if you’re on the look out for a new mascara anytime soon then this is the one to go out and purchase.


Lastly, I have a couple of lip glosses up for review as it is getting closer to the party season and no party look would be complete without a good slick of gloss across the lips.  MAC’s Cremesheen Glass in “Richer, Longer” is a coral tinted gloss that is really creamy and the perfect colour to accompany a statement eye.  The formula is not too sticky, which is a difficulty in the realm of lip-glosses and easily applicable with the wand applicator.  Alternatively, you could use this gloss as a little punch of colour on an everyday look with a natural brown/peachy eye or use over a heavily pigmented coral lipstick for more of a statement lip.  MAC’s Lipgelee in “Luxure” is the ultimate party lip-gloss with an intense boost of pink glitter and sparkle worked through the silvery pink gloss.  A great gloss for an occasion but be warned, I found this product quite sticky and touch ups would almost certainly be needed to maintain the quality of the desired effect.  Either that or use straws to drink and avoid kissing and eating!


So on to my party look tutorial with added sparkle!


Step One: Skin Base

After cleansing, toning and moisturising your face, apply Estee Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer to your face keeping away from the eye area.  This primer helps to set the foundation and provides radiance and added vibrancy to the skin.  Then apply NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (I used the colour “Ceylan”) with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush in a circular motion to ensure an even and flawless coverage.  I then used MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in “NC20” under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin to cover small blemishes and uneven skin tone.  To set the foundation and concealer I used Illamasqua’s Translucent Powder in “010”.  To contour and highlight the face I used Tom Ford’s Shade and Illuminate in “Intensity 1” on the cheekbones, brow bone, down the centre of my nose (avoiding the tip) and on my cupid’s bow.


Step Two: Eyes

I used MAC’s Wedge and Brun eye shadows to fill in and shape my eyebrows and used MAC’s angled brush “266” to achieve a strong brow and accentuated arch.  I then applied NARS Smudgeproof Primer over each eyelid using my fingers.  I then applied MAC’s eye shadow in “Naked Lunch” over the entire lid and blended “Patina” into the eyelid from the outer corner going a third of the way into the lid and along the bottom lash lines.  I then applied “Tempting” just above the natural eye crease and blended with MAC’s 217 brush, reapplying the colour and blending to gain intensity.  Using the same blending brush I then added a mix of “Mystery” and “Carbon” into the outer corner and using a clean 217 brush blended this colour into “Patina” and “Naked Lunch” moving the darker shades along the socket to create depth and brushing under the eye to create a darker dramatic look.  I then applied “All That Glitters” into the inner corners of my eyes and onto the brow bone.


I then applied Maybelline’s Gel Eyeliner in “Black” in the upper lash line flicking out into a winged shape at the outer corner of my eye.  I used Benefit’s BADgal Pencil in Black on the water line and along the lower lash line to frame the eye using Benefit’s “They’re Real” Mascara on both top and

bottom lashes.  Then, for the ultimate statement eye I applied Shu Uemura’s false lashes in “Dazzling Diamante” on the upper lashes – which have a line of diamantes running the length of the upper lash and also applied Shu Uemura’s false lashes in “Mini Star Glitz” to the outer corner lower lashes – which have 3 little diamante stars on each.


Step Three: Cheeks

As I am going for a sparkly eye and lip I am keeping the cheeks warm and shimmer free so as not to detract from either feature.  Using Illamasqua’s cream blush in “Zygomatic” which is a warm peachy rose keeps the right balance to the sparkly brown and black eyes.  I blended this product in using my fingers across the apples of my cheeks and up towards my temple.


Step Four: Lips

On the lips I am using Revlon’s new Lip Butter in “Creamsicle 065”, which is a gorgeous soft nude upon which MAC’s Lipgelee in “Luxure” is then generously applied.


Pennies vs. Paper:

Revlon Lip Butter £8.00 vs. Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick £19.50


No 7 Deco Darling Eye Shadow Palette £9.95 vs. DIOR Grand Bal Collection 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow Palette -

Night Gold’s £40.00


Rimmel Sunshimmer 3 in 1 Shimmering Bronzer “Gold Princess” £6.12 vs. Clarins Odyssey Face Palette £35.00


Monthly Must Have’s £50:

Benefit’s “They’re Real” Mascara £18.50

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette (Limited Edition) £35.00


Total £53.50


Follow me on Facebook

Email me on Facebook:

Follow me on Twitter:


If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!

October 2012

I honestly cannot believe it is October already?! Summer has typically come and gone in a flash and I’ve already had to overhaul my wardrobe to get out the knitwear. I’m already seeing Christmas lines for new make-up products popping up in my inbox and can’t wait to get my hands on the products that are about to launch. Seeing as its Halloween this month, which often entails fancy dress and great make up creations and with me also attending a 1980’s party I thought it only appropriate for my tutorial to follow this theme!

Product Review:
This month Sleek brought out their limited edition PPQ Shangri-La Collection, which consists of two new eye shadow palettes – “Respect” and “Supreme” and two new lip glosses – “Soul” and “Jazz”. The palettes retail at £7.99 each and the glosses retail at £4.99 each.
Inspired by the Motown genre of the 1960’s the “Respect” palette and “Jazz” gloss features hues of orange, coral and pink with complimenting rich plums and earthy tones which remind me of a red sky in the morning. The soft matte red gloss captures the true essence of the glamorous 60’s Motown look and really makes the eye colours pop although your lips will need to be in tip top condition to withstand the matte texture of this gloss – it is not forgiving on dry lips. The eye shadow colours look absolutely fantastic on Medium and Darker skin tones although with such an array of colours the 12 shades can be mixed up to suit a fairer skin tone too. My favourite colours are: Vandellas; Shalamar; Aretha Orange; Otis Red and New Jack Pink.

The “Supreme” palette and “Soul” gloss are the opposite colour tones with yellow, blue and green pigmented shadows in matte and creamy textures that have a great pigment pay off. There are many colour combinations and lots of fun to be had with this palette with more adventurous shades: Grand Master Flash (Yellow); P-Funk (Olive Green); Blue Suede and La Belle Blue. Teamed with the intensely pigmented matte pink “Soul” gloss you can be sure of a statement look with these products. Again, though lips must be conditioned and smooth to pull off this gloss.

At such reasonable prices especially for the eye shadow palettes (each individual colour works out at £0.66p compared with MAC’s individual pans at £11 each) and with a good colour pay off that blends quite well in comparison to other brands in the same price range I can’t really fault these items. A great selection of shadow colours that can be used to create subtle or dramatic looks for any occasion.

So on to my 1980’s inspired make up tutorial, using a selection of the above eye shadows and gloss I wanted to create a colourful and playful image with bright eyes and lips synonymous with the 1980’s era.

Step One: Skin Base
After cleansing, toning and moisturising your face, apply a layer of Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer to your face keeping away from the eye area. This primer helps to set the foundation and enhances the appearance of the skin. I applied Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation in “6.5” with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush in a circular motion to ensure an even and flawless coverage.

I then used MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in “NC20” under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin to cover small blemishes and uneven skin tone. To set the foundation and concealer I used Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder, which is “Translucent”. To contour and highlight the face I used MAC’s Matte Bronzing Powder and Illamasqua’s Gleam in “Aurora” mostly on the cheekbones and brow bone.

Step Two: Eyes
I used MUA Pro Brow Kit in to shape my eyebrows and used the Smashbox angled brush to get the perfect extended arch. I then applied Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion over each eyelid using my fingers. I then applied Sleek’s eye shadow in “Cameo Cream” over the entire lid and blended Sleek’s “Aretha Orange” into the eyelid and along the bottom lash lines. I then applied “Grans Master Flash” into the inner corners of my eyes pulling up slightly into the upper lash line over the tear duct and also down into a slight point like a cat’s eye. As this is a colour free for all I then applied “Blue Suede” along the upper lash line and winged out at the end adding a touch of “La Bella Blue” in the outer corner blending with the orange lid. For definition in the inner corner eye crease I used “Otis Red” to provide depth, which I blended up towards the brow.

I then applied MAC’s Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in “Designer Purple” on the water line to frame the eye and accentuate the colours (Purple is the colour opposite of Orange). I used MAC’s false eyelashes in “7 Lash” to give an everyday glamorous effect on the upper lashes. I then applied several coats of Clinique’s bottom lash mascara in “Black” on the lower lashes to balance the eyes.

Step Three: Cheeks
In 80’s make up more was always more and the cheeks certainly weren’t missing out on any action! I used MAC’s Blusher in “Dollymix” for an extra pop of vibrant pink dusted over the apples of my cheeks and up into the temple.

Step Four: Lips
Lips were always a make-up focus in the 80’s too – well what face feature wasn’t?! Bright oranges pinks, coppers and reds were all on trend and for this look I decided to go all out and splash on MAC’s ultra-bright blue/pink lipstick in “Saint Germain” using Sleek’s “Soul” Matte Gloss over the top for added intensity.

Pennies vs. Paper:
Sleek i-Divine Eye Shadow Palette “Supreme” £7.99 vs. YSL Pure Chromatics Eye Shadow Palette “10” (Autumn Look 2012) £39.00

Sleek i-Divine Eye Shadow Palette “Respect” £7.99 vs. Tom Ford Eye Colour Quad “Burnished Amber” £62.00

Sleek Lip Gloss in “Jazz” £4.99 vs. NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in “Rouge Tribal” £19.00

Monthly Must Have’s £50:
NARS Andy Warhol Collection (Limited Edition):
NARS Andy Warhol Eyeshadow Palette “Self Portrait 1” £39.50
NARS Andy Warhol Nail Polish “New York Dolls” £14.00
Total £53.50

Follow me on Facebook

Email me on Facebook:
Follow me on Twitter:
If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!

September 2012

Yes, it’s that time in our seasonal calendar that we start to think ahead to winter even though our sun cream remains at reach on dressers in the hopes of some final rays of sunshine. With New York Fashion Week over already, London Fashion Week firmly under way and preparations in place for Milan Fashion Week many trends are beginning to emerge for Spring/Summer 2013 although many make up product launches are quite rightly addressing the current Autumn/Winter 2012 trends. For Autumn/Winter 2012 there is a distinct move towards deep hues of purple and plum eyes and lips with a strong hint of gothic make up made wearable for an everyday look. I’ve also noticed that quite a few nude lips have been teamed with mauve eyes with MAC, NARS, Bobbi Brown to name but a few jumping on this trend band wagon.

Product Review: MAC Cremesheen Lipsticks + Pearl

MAC have this month launched their Cremesheen Lipsticks + Pearl which is a collection of eight adorable shades in MAC’s creamiest formula - Cremesheen, subtly infused with crushed Pearl to add a little sparkle to the colour palette. MAC have also launched seven Cremesheen Glass lip finishes to compliment the lipsticks, with the entire collection focused on a pink and peachy nudes with a little pop of colour in several shades.

I must confess I deliberated for some time when it came to purchasing a selection from the Pro MAC store in Soho as I could’ve easily bought the lot. Instead I opted for three of the lipsticks in the following colours; Japanese Maple; Peach Blossom and Pink Pearl Pop. Each of the lipsticks retail for £14.00 with the Cremesheen Glass’ retailing at £17.00 each. I am already a major fan of MAC lipsticks with the Cremesheen finish being my all-time favourite so I just knew I had to review these little beauties. Each colour is easily suited to most skin types and the neutral colours are very complimentary to a darker eye make-up. There are ranges of peach, pink and even a bolder coral colour in the collection, which make choosing a nude lipstick quite fun and easy. The Cremesheen formula nourishes the lips and gives a smooth and effortless finish with the crushed pearl adding a playful shimmer, highlighting the natural contour of the lip.


Firstly I tried out the palest colour I bought – Japanese Maple – for a revamp of my daily work look and received enquiries about my “gorgeous” lipstick within the first hour. I usually opt for a peachy

nude in the day and I liked the twist of the crushed pearl to brighten up my look. I only had to touch up the lip after eating and didn’t need to apply too much of the product to get the desired effect. Peach Blossom and Pink Pearl Pop are also perfect variants to a nude lip to combine with an enhanced eye make-up although the Pink Pearl Pop is at the brighter end of the range.


This new MAC Cremesheen + Pearl range made me rediscover some of my old favourite Cremesheen lipsticks from MAC and moreover made me raid my lipstick cache for MAC lipsticks in general as I do love their quality. So this month I thought I’d give you my Top 10 MAC lipstick favourites from past and present which in no particular order are as follows:


Top 10 MAC Lipsticks:

#1 Crème D’Nude (Cremesheen)

#2 Crème Cup (Cremesheen)

#3 Chatterbox (Amplified Crème)

#4 Saint Germain (Amplified Crème)

#5 Angel (Frost)

#6 Please Me (Matte)

#7 MAC Red (Satin)

#8 Viva Glam Gaga (Lustre)

#9 Japanese Maple (Cremesheen)

#10 Pink Pearl Pop (Cremesheen)


Pennies vs. Paper:


MAC Electric Cool Eye Shadow “Highly Charged” (Frost) £14.50 vs. L’Oreal Colour Infallible Eye Shadow “05 Purple Obsession” £7.00

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil “Calabria” £17.00 vs. Avon Supershock Eye Shadow Pencil “Princess Pink & Royal Velvet” £7.00


Bobbi Brown City Twilight Collection £65.00 vs. NYX Palette S124 - Be Fierce £20.00


Monthly Must Have’s £50:


NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil “Calabria” £17.00

MAC Cremesheen +Pearl Lipstick “Japanese Maple” £14.00

Urban Decay Complexion Primer £19.00


Total £50.00

Follow me on Facebook

Email me on Facebook:

Follow me on Twitter:

If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!



August 2012

Hi my lovelies! I hope you're all well?! This month I've been busy with Weddings and the Make Up Show Live, waving farewell to the London 2012 Olympics and welcoming the Paralympics. I've been spending a little more time in the high-street drugstores this month and testing out a few products to include in this month's review. I am really impressed with the broad choice of products available in the high-street and some of the items I found are incredibly priced and of a decent quality in comparison with some of their more expensive competitors.


Product Review:
My August product reviews this month are: MUA Cosmetics - 8 lipsticks, 4 lip liners and an eye shadow palette – for which the entire haul cost £16.00?! Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Moroccan Oil (Hair Treatment) and Real Techniques Stippling Brush.


The first of the MUA products I tried were the lipsticks at £1 each, which I swatched on my arm to give a representation of colour on my skin tone. I usually opt for a colourful eye and a softer nude lip on me personally but I was immediately drawn to the first three shades, which are rich in colour and provide an intense and dramatic lift to the lips. The lipsticks are creamy in texture and all of the shades I bought and tested are of a satin/cream finish. None of the shades I bought are matte, which I avoid as my lips tend to be quite dry and crying out for moisture and conditioning. There are only 4 lip liners in the MUA Cosmetics collection and for £1 each I bought them all. Although there are only 4 colours to choose from, each is a staple to have in any make up kit and all had an ingenious little sharpener in the lid so no more searching for my elusive sharpener at the last minute. The liners aren’t the softest I’ve used but certainly aren’t the hardest and don’t drag the lip, which always makes the application harder. The colour richness is quite accurate to the package indication and I will be keeping them in my kit for a while. This brand is definitely worth a look whether you are on a budget or not and shopping online couldn’t be easier. The website frequently offers free delivery with purchases so your orders could be even cheaper than anticipated. The only drawback with the product would be that I had to frequently reapply the lipsticks to maintain the desired colour so a durable and longwearing lipstick this is not but a pop in the handbag for a pop of colour it is. All MUA products I have reviewed can be bought form their website:
My second product – Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – was actually a recommendation from a friend. There are two ways to use the product: either to apply a thin layer across the face (not rubbing it in) and then applying your make up straight over it; or to use as a treatment to the skin so applying a thicker layer like a mask and leaving it on the skin for 10-15minutes. I tried both methods and was pleased with the results from each technique. My skin looked fresh and dewy after applying different foundations so if you have a dry/normal combination skin like mine then this product could go in you kit. I would avoid this product if you have a more oily type of skin as it would only increase the oil production and make your face too shiny. This product is approximately £28.00 for 50ml and is at the higher end of the beauty market but I think if you are after a skincare product that eliminates signs of stress and tiredness as well as smoothing your skin and enhancing your make up then this could be a great investment. This product can be bought form the Clarins website:


Third on my product hit list this month is the much raved about Moroccan Oil – Treatment for All Hair Types. Although their website sells internationally it doesn’t include the UK so you have to buy online form other beauty sites. The product retails for approximately £30.00 for 100ml, which I think is actually quite reasonable for such a recommended hair treatment. The treatment instantly conditions dry hair and provides a gorgeous shine without feeling too heavy or greasy, which I am particularly anxious about when putting any oily product on my head! I have used this product each week and can actually notice the difference in the appearance of my hair for the better. I have this product in travel size but may well be investing in this in the long term. My only criticism is that if I wanted a long term solution to my damaged hair then I might consider checking out their shampoo and conditioners rather than keep treating my hair but I’ll keep you posted on that!


Lastly, I invested in the Real Techniques Stippling Brush by Samantha Chapman after falling for the two core collection, which I reviewed back in June. This brush is around £13.50 from most online stores and can be bought from various different online retailers depending on where you are in the world. If you live in the UK then you can actually buy the brushes from Boots, which is very handy. Check online for stockists. I had high hopes for this high definition finishing brush and I wasn’t disappointed. As an alternative to the buffing brush in the application of liquid and powder foundations I found this brush worked well with some of the heavier products. The buffing brush seems to absorb some of the thicker liquid foundations whereas this brush doesn’t. I was thoroughly impressed with the finish of my makeup application and have had several compliments from clients and friends asking about what products I’ve changed to when in fact I haven’t, I’ve just changed the application technique! I haven’t lost any bristles yet, unlike the MAC 187 Duo Fibre stippling brush which retails at £32.50. So I highly recommend this product if you prefer to buff your make up products into your face to achieve a flawless finish.


I used each of the above make up products to help recreate this month’s make up tutorial of Jessie J’s look from the Olympics Closing Ceremony. I was inspired by Jessie’s gorgeous glossy black wavy hair and her spot on red lips. I love Jessie’s approach to hair and makeup, her experiments with styles and being at the forefront of current urban trends. Here’s how I went about recreating her show stopping look:


Step One: Skin Base
After cleansing, toning and moisturising your face, apply a thin layer of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm to your face keeping away from the eye area. This acts as a primer to the foundation and make up and enhances the appearance of the skin. I applied Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Foundation in “Soft Beige” with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush in a buffing motion to ensure an even and flawless coverage. I then used Max Factor Mastertouch Concealer in “Fair 306” under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin to cover small blemishes and uneven skin tone. To set the foundation and concealer I used Rimmel’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder in “Sandstorm” (although I generally prefer loose powders I thought I’d try out a few pressed powders – this is my current fave).
To contour and highlight the face I used Tom Ford’s Shade and Illuminate in “Intensity One”. As a
cream based product this is in keeping with Jessie’s dewy skin.


Step Two: Eyes
I used MAC’s eye shadow in “Brun” to shape my eyebrows and used MAC’s 266 angled brush to get the perfect arch and imitate Jessie’s brow. I then applied NARS smudge proof eye shadow base over each eyelid using the applicator and my fingers. I then quickly applied Illamasqua’s eye shadow in “Wolf” over the entire lid and blended Illamasqua’s “Antique Gold” into the crease of the eye and along the top and bottom lash lines. I then applied MAC’s Smoulder black Kohl eyeliner on the upper lash line and in my water line to frame the eye and accentuate the shape. I used Eyelure Naturalites False eyelashes in “206” to give a great winged effect on the upper lashes. I then applied several coats of Clinique’s bottom lash mascara in “Black” on the lower lashes to balance the eyes.


Step Three: Cheeks
Jessie J has a peachy cheek to match her gold eyes and red lip so I opted for Liz Earle’s Healthy Glow Cream Blush in “Nude 03”, which I blended into the apples of my cheeks with my fingers.


Step Four: Lips
I outlined my lips with MUA lip liner in “Red Drama” and filled in the lip with MUA Lipstick in “Shade 13”. I then applied MAC’s tinted Lip Glass in “Russian Red” to complete the lip look.


Pennies vs. Paper:
MUA Lip Liner “Red Drama” £1.00 vs. Bobbi Brown Lip Liner in “Red” £15.00
MUA Lipstick in “Shade 13” £1.00 vs. Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in “Incognito” £25.00
Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Primer Potion £19.00 vs. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm £28.00


Monthly Must Have’s £50:
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder £4.00
Real Techniques Stippling Brush £13.50
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm £28.00
2x MUA Lipstick £2.00
2x MUA Lip Liner £2.00
Total £49.50


Follow me on Facebook
Email me on Facebook:
Follow me on Twitter:
If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!

July 2012

Monthly Update: July 2012
So how many of you have tried the “Sunkissed Look” I devised for June? What with all the rain I guess we should be digging out our waterproof make up! July has been a busy month for me so far where my work has included a photo shoot for a tattoo editorial, an album cover for a girl group and assisting on the music video for Cover Drive & Dappy’s new track out later this year. On each shoot I included the following three items up for review this month together with some other great July purchases that I bought specifically for this month’s Rita Ora tutorial.


Product Review:
Yves Saint Laurent’s “Le Teint Touché Éclat” Liquid Foundation:
To celebrate 20 years of the infamous Touché Éclat, YSL have transformed the highlighting pen into a liquid foundation boasting the same if not better qualities of coverage and radiance, which I believe has been 10 years in the making. As I class the Touché Éclat pen as one of my “Holy Grail” products, it wasn’t even a question of whether I was to purchase this foundation but how soon! With 22 shades to choose from in 3 colour categories; Beige, Beige Rose and Beige Dore, the chances are that you will find a near perfect match to your complexion. I not only picked up the full sized 30ml bottle in Beige Dore 20 but also 6 smaller glass bottle samples to use on my clients in various shades – lucky them! I had extremely high hopes for this foundation and I was not disappointed. To be honest this has been my go to foundation since it came to live with me. The colour match is perfect, the finish is flawless and exactly the right coverage is provided with very little product used. The liquid is of a smooth consistency; more gel like than watery, which I prefer in a liquid foundation and is easy to work into the skin. I have not needed to reapply or touch up throughout the day so it wins in the longwearing contest too. At a higher end price of around £28 for 30ml this appears to be a pricier liquid foundation compared to others available on the market but in my opinion this is money well spent.
Sleek’s “2012 Olympic Glory Palette” Eye shadows:


The second product new to the market this month is Sleek’s “Glory Palette”, which is a set of 12 highly pigmented bright and colourful eye shadows. I am already a fan of Sleek’s eye shadow palettes as they provide a decent variety of good sized shadows in each palette that are cleverly matched by theme and tone and are only around £8 each. In this particular set eye shadow colours are named after London’s underground tube lines so you can imagine the bright hues included and aimed purposefully to provoke and entice the artist in us. The palette packs attitude with District, Circle, Victoria and Central (Green, Yellow, Light Blue and Red to those not familiar with London Underground) and cheekily includes Bronze, Silver and Gold to tie in with the Olympic theme. A
mixture of matte and shimmer shadows and intensity of colours, which can be layered for effect, this palette is a must have for the summer.


Real Techniques Brushes by Samantha Chapman:
Lastly on my review list of purchases (and long overdue as these brushes have been around for a while now) are the Real Techniques Brushes by Samantha Chapman (Pixiwoos). I bought the “Face” and “Eye” core collections both of which retail for around £21 each – not bad for 9 brushes all together. I have used each brush since purchasing them several weeks ago and already have some firm favourites. In particular I love the “Buffing Brush”, which I use with the YSL foundation as it doesn’t leave any streaks that can occur with some foundation brushes. The other brushes to catch my attention are the “Contouring Brush” which is the perfect size and tapered beautifully to provide a lovely seamless application of highlighter or shade to the face and the “Base Shadow” and “Accent Brush” both trusty new favourites for eye makeup application. Each brush is made with soft hand cut taklon bristles which are synthetic and 100% cruelty free. I have yet to fault these brushes, they’re even colour coded so you know which brush to use for each step of makeup application!


I used these products to recreate Rita Ora’s look in the MTV “Push” New Artist shoot ( To achieve her stunning look follow my tutorial...
Tutorial for “Rita Ora – MTV Push Photo Shoot”:


Step One: Skin Base
Always prepare and prime your face by cleansing, toning and moisturising (CTM) to keep your face clean and healthy and looking its best. If you have large pores like me then applying Benefit’s Porefessional Pore Minimiser to the problem areas can help to achieve a smoother and tighter appearance of the skin. I applied the YSL Le Teint Touché Éclat Foundation in BD20 to my face with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush and in circular motions gently buffed the product into my skin. I then used Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer in “51 Light” under my eyes, on several moles and around my nose where I am prone to redness. Setting the foundation and concealer to ensure the products remain in place can be done using a powder. I personally prefer loose powder and used Laura Mercier’s Translucent Setting Powder lightly dusted over my face, particularly over my T-Zone to combat any shine. To contour my cheekbones and add some colour to my neutral base I used the Real Techniques Contouring Brush to apply MAC’s Matte Bronze Bronzing Powder.


Step Two: Eyes
I used the GOSH eyebrow palette for my eyebrows and went in slightly darker than I usually would to define the eyebrows like Rita Ora. With her blonde hair and black eyebrows the look relies upon this definition in the face. Using a Real Techniques Shadow Base brush I applied the colour “Tube” from Sleek’s Glory palette all over my lid concentrating this light colour in the inner corner of my eye. I then took MAC’s 239 brush and applied “Overground” to the upper and lower lash line and worked the colour “Bakerloo” into the lid blending up to my natural crease to imitate the gorgeous bronze eye that Rita has. To get the fantastic pop of electric blue on the lash line I used Illamasqua’s Liquid Metal in “Superior” and mixed it with several drops of Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel to ensure long lasting wear. Using the Real Techniques Eye Liner Brush I applied the blue liner all the way along the upper lash line and winged it out at the outer corner. I made the line quite thick to make the liner a focal point of the eye makeup. To enhance the bronze powder I used a Barry M Eye shadow Pencil in No2 (Bronze) across the lid above the liner and also on the lower lash line to create a 3D effect against the lighter bronze powder shadow. I then curled my natural lashes and applied “Girls With Attitude Eyelashes” in “Look of Lust” to the top lash line making sure the seam was as close to the lash line as possible so as not to obscure the blue liner. One coat of mascara on the lower lashes and the eyes are done - I used Estee Lauder’s “Magnoscopic” mascara for this look.


Step Three: Cheeks
I kept the cheeks fresh and simple with a little powder blusher from Ben Nye in “Blushing Bride”, which is a gorgeous flattering pinky peach almost identical to the colour Rita is wearing. I applied this to the outer edge of the apple of my cheeks and blended up to my temple give a pop of colour over my contoured bronzer.


Step Four: Lips

To recreate the pale baby pink lips on Rita I used a Barry M lip liner in “LL13 Baby Pink” all over the lips which instantly gave me the base colour on which I applied MAC’s Crème Cup followed by Barry M Lip Lacquer Crayon in “No.5”. To accentuate the lips I used Maybelline’s clear gloss on the fullest parts of my lips which I patted on with my finger.


Pennies vs. Paper:
Marks & Spencer Blue Liquid Eye Liner £4.00 vs. Illamasqua Liquid Metal in “Superior” £17.50
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation £7.00 vs. YSL Le Teint Touché Éclat Foundation £28.00
Barry M Lip Liner in “LL13 Baby Pink” £2.99 vs. MAC Lip Liner in “In Synch” £11.50
“Girls With Attitude” False Eyelashes in “Look of Lust” £7.99 vs. Shu Uemura False Eyelashes in “Farfallina” £22.00
Monthly Must Have’s £50:
YSL Le Teint Touché Éclat Foundation £28.00
Sleek’s Glory Eye Shadow Palette £7.99
MAC Lipstick in Crème Cup £13.50
Total £49.49


Follow me on Facebook Email me on Facebook: Follow me on Twitter:
If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!

June 2012

Hi Readers! I’m Rhianna and I’ll be here each month bringing you the highlights of the beauty world from my doorstep – London - to your doorstep – wherever that may be! I’ll be reviewing new fresh and exciting make-up and beauty products together with application techniques and looking at the current trends on the circuit and emerging trends rising from the underground.

Fresh from two summer wedding bookings over the Jubilee Bank Holiday, my tutorial was partly inspired by make-up styles, which the brides, bridesmaids and I had decided in previous make-up trials. The 2012 summer wedding trend appears to be fresh, natural, sun kissed skin, with the emphasis being on highlighting and shading, soft cheeks in subtle shades of pink and peach together with barely there natural eyes and lips. I hunted down a few new products for these particular wedding looks, which are in the following review...


Illamasqua’s “Naked Strangers” Product Review:

To kick us off this Summer Illamasqua have literally just launched their “Naked Strangers” range for Spring/Summer 2012. I visited their Beak Street flagship store in London on 31 May 2012 for their product launch party. Needless to say the range emphasises an Olympic Summer with soft warm natural tones interspersed with metallic twists of bronze and gold. I left quite happily after purchasing their neutral eye shadow palette; nail varnishes in “Monogamous” (peachy nude) and “Swinger” (gold); Cream Blusher in “Zygomatic” which are obviously all complimentary when used in conjunction. As I already have Sleek’s “Molton Metal” I opted for the liquid metallic in “Surge”, which is more of a pewter colour as opposed to “Electum” which is a straight up shimmering gold.

Illamasqua’s liquid metal range can be used as a highlighter on the brow bone, eyelid, cheek bone, cupid’s bow or mixed with Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel to create a waterproof and long wearing product that can be used almost anywhere, although I love to use this method to create an eyeliner, which I apply with a small liner brush such as Bobbi Brown’s Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush.

I used these products to help create a natural sun kissed day wear look, which can easily be worn to work or out to lunch – whatever your day activities may be! To achieve this look follow my tutorial...


Tutorial for “Sunkissed Summer Day Wear”:

Step One: Skin Base

Prepare and prime your face by cleansing, toning and moisturising (CTM). The CTM routine is a must before and after make-up application to keep your face clean and healthy and looking it’s best. Apply Illamasqua’s Satin Primer to your face avoiding your eye area to create a naturally dewy look, which is a popular summer trend at the moment. If you have oily skin then you should opt for

Illamasqua’s Matte Primer to balance the skin’s oils and prevent any over shine. Illamasqua have also just launched a new foundation range called “Skin Base Foundation”, which I used in shade “SB 6.5” and applied with MAC’s Foundation brush (190). I used a little translucent powder from Screenface on my nose as I have combination skin and my 2pm shine needs to be kept at bay! I didn’t use concealer on this look just a few dots of light reflective YSL Touche Eclat under my eyes and up my cheekbone, gently patted in with my finger. To complete the skin base I used Christian Dior’s Bronzing powder (001 Healthy Glow) on Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Brush, which should be swept over the areas on the face that naturally catch the sun; cheeks and up the temples; lightly over the nose and forehead and down under the jaw line and neck to maintain a natural glow and enhance the bone structure of the jaw.

Step Two: Eyes

I used Illamasqua’s Neutral Palette for my eyebrows and eyes. Using a No7 angled eyebrow brush I filled in my brows with “Wolf” - a dark brown shadow, which is slightly lighter than my hair colour. I then applied “Stealth” – a pale cream shade - all over my eyelid and up to my brow with MAC’s Shading brush (239). I then applied the Dior bronzing powder along the eye crease and Illamasqua’s “Vintage” to the outer corner of my eye and blended all three products together using MAC’s infamous Blending brush (217). I applied a small amount of Illamasqua’s Liquid Metal in “Surge” in to the inner corners of my eyes to help open and brighten the socket. I completed the eye with two coats of Christian Dior’s Diorshow Waterproof Mascara in Black (090) on the upper lashes and one coat on the lower lashes.

Step Three: Cheeks

I applied Illamasqua’s Cream Blusher in “Zygomatic” to the apples of my cheeks and blended up to my temples. I tend to use my fingers for cream products as the warmth of my fingers helps the cream to blend into the skin. I use one finger to apply the product and another to blend to avoid overloading the product onto the face and to keep the blush effect clean and even. Most cream blushers can be built up gradually to suit skin tone, with more layers required for darker complexions.

Step Four: Lips

I used MAC’s Cremesheen in “Creme D’Nude” on my lips, which has a warm peachy tone followed by Tom Ford’s Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in “Naked”. I wanted to keep the balance of the natural palette by opting for a nude lip with only a hint of shimmer in the gloss to help accentuate and highlight the dewy approach of the skin base.


For added sparkle you could replace Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation with their limited edition “AU”, which contains actual gold and would be perfect for summer holidays!

A matte bronzer can also be used slightly heavier under the cheekbone to contour the face and enhance the bone structure and make the face appear slimmer. Bobbi Brown’s bronzer is great for this type of contouring.


Pennies vs. Paper:

Sleek I-Divine Palette £6.49 vs. Illamasqua Neutral Palette £30.00

No7 Tint Cream Blush in “Clove” £10.00 vs. Illamasqua Cream Blush in “Zygomatic” £16.50

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in “235 Nude” £8.19 vs. MAC Cremeshene Lipstick in “Creme D’Nude” £13.50

Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Lip Gloss in “Nude” £5.00 vs. Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in “Naked” £32.00


Monthly Must Have’s £50:

Illamasqua’s Neutral Palette £30.00

MAC’s Cremesheen “Creme D’Nude” Lipstick £13.50

Sleek’s Molton Metal “Gold Leaf” & “Pewter” £7.00

Total £50.50


Follow me on Facebook Email me on Facebook: Follow me on Twitter:


If you have any specific make-up queries please feel free to contact me!