Lovely Followers

Thursday, 29 October 2009

HA and more HA!

I received this email about a week ago from a company (who I had never heard of and even googling I couldn't find anything) and this post is for all people who would like to know how I handle companies who would like to make use of my YouTube channel and blog to advertise their products. Ultimately they would like to make use of the effort, hard work and time I have put in to making it successful and hopefully respected. I hope this clarifies my position on blogging new products whether they are sent to me or I have bought them.

Dear Jasmine,

We would like to hire you to create a Christmas Makeup tutorial video exclusively advertising our products.

Our collection is very fashionable, of high European quality and health standards.
We carry the latest in fashion color cosmetics and sell them at the lowest prices.

We are going to be launching our website very soon. We will also be shipping worldwide.
As soon as we launch our website we will send you the link in order for you to take a look at our collection.

We will send you the samples you want to use for your video tutorial free of charge.

If you are interested, please inform us of your rate per tutorial video, your mailing address and contact information.

Best Regards,

So I wrote back:

Dear XXX,

Thank you for your email. I would be interested in making a tutorial using your products but as you know I only use cruelty free cosmetics. As a company not listed with PETA or BUAV would you be so kind to confirm that your cosmetics are cruelty free e.g ingredients and products not tested on animals.

My services as a make up artist are for hire, however my YouTube channel make up videos and Blog are only of products that I like and have used, whether those products have been free or I have purchased. So before I do any videos with your products I would need to try the products to be happy that what I am advertising is worth it. I do not mean to be rude or insult your product line, but you can imagine that I am approached often to advertise products and so I impose this standard on all companies I work with. It is really important that I am honest about products that I use in my tutorials. If your products are good then I will have no problem using them and advocating them.

*For this I do not require payment.*

If you would like to use the video I produce to advertise your products for example on your website then I do expect a fee that we can discuss in due course.

Kind regards,

Funnily enough I haven't heard from them again and would be surprised if I did!

So peeps, that's how I roll with PR and Cosmetics companies, and I would encourage others to consider this stance if they don't already! I am quite bored of the blame game between bloggers blaming PR companies for the hard sell and pressure to review and the viewers feeling tricked by bloggers who are trying new products and don't say where they got them. Do you think bloggers should say, or are you content that they've been sent them to try and tell you about?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Featured in The Indepndent no less

Last week I was featured in the Independent Newspaper's Fashion Section. The article was about bridal make up tutorials and two of mine were mentioned no less! The ones mentioned were the
Asian Bridal Book Cover Girl and then for my Winter Bride Look.

I was very honoured to be mentioned amongst the brilliant Panacea81, Apropomakeup, MizzChevious and TiffanyD considering they have so many views and subscribers on YouTube!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

What a girl wants, KthxBai

Urban Decay Book of Shadows 2, I blame Sirvinya as it looks so gorgeous and I don't have any UD shadows, I always thought I had something similar already but the more I look and play with them, I want them! I also bought BOS1 for my sister in law last Christmas and she has criminally never used it, bah!

If I can find it a grey long woollen jumper, to wear with a grey belt that I haven't worn since I bought it! Imagine with black or dark blue skinny jeans and tan knee length cowboy boots... All I am finding at the moment is cowl/V neck - which is not what I want! It's always the way, I get an idea in my head about what I want and nothing else will do! The one I have seen is Marylin Moore for £300 which is a little over my budget!

Some clip in hair extensions, DressJunkie tells me she ordered some from foxylockextensions which look lovely, however I need to "feel" the hair to see if it's the same texture as mine or it will look too fake, considering most extensions sold here are European or Chinese hair both of which are more wiry than mine so I need Indian hair. If you have any ideas then please leave me a little comment as I'd like to get some soon!

A new perfume, I currently wear Prada but that's been my scent for about four years and it's time for a change. I like violet/sandal wood/orange blossom based perfumes. If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment please! What do you wear and why do you like it?

A new train case for my make up. I would like something that can contain every thing in a well organised way and that I can take with me to jobs! At the moment I rely on talking with the client and photos before the trial makeover, as I can't carry every little thing! The one below is perfect and is about £150 from Perhaps Santa will bring it but I doubt it somehow!

I've just added my blog to Bloglovin!

After much twitter talk, I have signed up, tut tut peer pressure! Bloglovin's a great way to follow all blogs you like whether they are on blogger, wordpress or otherwise! Please give me a follow if you like my blog and are on Bloglovin!

Friday, 23 October 2009

If you're bored, clean your brushes!

Guaranteed fun fun fun!

Spot Squeezing Tutorial

Here's a very useful video from Karin Herzog about how to extract spots the safe, hygienically and to prevent scarring. I use this method as I have some of the products. I hope you find this useful, I certainly did!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Gel Liners from Coastal Scents

I recently was sent 12 of the new gel liners from Coastal Scents, with some awesome Crown Brushes (separate post once I have exhaustively tested them!). I tried four of the liners on my eyes to see how they performed.

In terms of pigmentation, in the pot they look amazing, on the eye however they are sheer. To be fair I used them on a bare eye lid rather than over shadow, so the pigmentation would improve slightly but I feel not enough for my skin tone to give me a thick, defined line.

However what you get from less pigmentation is that the texture is smooth and light, it doesn't drag the skin when you apply like some can and they are also not greasy.

To remove the liner a good oil based eye make up remover works for me.

Personally I think they make wonderful eye shadow bases and for those of you who like their gel eyeliners to be more subtle then these are pretty good. I think they might look different on someone with different skin tone, but for me, the lighter colours don't show up as vibrant as I would like.

There are 24 different colours in the range and they are $6.95 each (+ shipping to your country and in some cases import tax) from the Coastal Scents Website.

Lolcat Hallowe'en Tutorial

This was so much fun! I am not normally one to make dramatic looks, but once I got started and let the creativity guide me, I was grinning like a "cheshire lolcat"! If you don't know what a lolcat is then you should check out icanhascheezburger website!

I have been trying out some of the NYX from Smart Beauty. I've never tried it before so when I started using the jumbo eye pencils, this just happened! I only used five products to create this look, two jumbo eye pencils (black bean and milk), Tea Rose lipstick, Platinum loose eye shadow and a black eye liner.

I was very impressed with the formulation of the jumbo pencils in particular, they are greasy so should be used for bases as they are wonderfully smudgy - with powder eye shadow over the top to minimise creasing.

The lipsticks are creamy and glide on, the deeper colours like Eucalyptus can stain the lips, which is not a bad thing as at least it doesn't leave a patchy mess when it is wearing off. I love Tea Rose as it is such a gorgeous girly cool pink. The sacrifice you pay for moisture, creaminess and glide is that it doesn't last very long.

Just goes to show that you don't need a zillion products to make an interesting look!

NYX will be available from Smart Beauty in November 2009. There is a large range of NYX at pretty reasonable prices and postage from the UK. Note that not all of the NYX range is available but if you don't ask, you don't get - so ask them!

Naked Products Prize Draw

A little newsflash!

The next 100 new fans to join the Naked fan page and email will be entered into a draw for a £50 hamper.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Inspirational Beauty

Katie Piper is my heroine, she didn't deserve to be attacked by having acid thrown in her face as revenge for leaving her abusive partner. She may have been a model and presenter before the attack, but to me her bravery and poise make her even more beautiful and inspirational. The link above will take you to an interview on the BBC and tell you about her documentary programme due to air this month about her journey through so many facial operations.

I hope you take from this post and the video the fact that real beauty is not what you see, it's what's underneath, this is the kind of beauty we should all strive for.

Perfect Mascara Tips

I've just been sent two mascaras (Eyeko, NYX) and bought an Almay one. Being a fair minded scientist, I need to compare them properly and empirically! So I thought I'd do a post about how I review Mascaras as well as a few tips I've learned on how to deal with different lashes!

Smell = Too chemically and I know that I am going to be allergic and red eyes are not attractive however beautiful my lashes might look. You should also check your mascara choice is safe for contact lens wearers too.

Glossiness = This is probably the most important to me. This attribute tells you a lot about the consistency and how old a mascara is. A good mascara should have a lustre about it, that tells you that it is smooth and will go on the lashes without clumping. I should add that clumping is not due to the brush or the product (unless the mascara is old and dry), it is how you use it! Be patient, one thin coat at a time with enough drying time between coats means that you can do loads of coats! Don't be tempted to do several at once, going over the same lashes several times before dry or clumping will ensue!

Waterproof - I like waterproof mascara as I have a habit of rubbing my eyes without remembering that I am wearing mascara! If you are nodding your head after reading that, it just shows how normal we are!

Pigmentation - There are so many colours to choose from these days, personally I have three favourites - blue, black and brown. A good black mascara should contain a blue pigment which really adds depth. Blue mascaras are great for framing brown and hazel eyes and vice versa brown mascara really compliments blue and green eyes.

Brush/Wand - This is probably the next most important part of a mascara. It's also a very personal attribute that can either help or hinder great lashes, it depends on what your lashes are like.

The image above is a selection of different brushes that you might find, there are even weirder and more wonderful spiky balls, vibrating wands, combs etc...

You know what your lashes are like; some people have thick or thin lashes, long or short or like me, a mixture. My lashes are long (thanks largely to Lilash, remember Lilash will lengthen but not increase thickness or number of lashes!) but of varying lengths.

If you have short lashes, volume is not what you need from your mascara, so avoid brushes which are too bristly i.e. quite dense as that will just make them look thick and short! Instead go for a brush which is quite thin with short bristles that you can turn 90 degrees (pointing the tip of the brush at your eyeball) and pull through the lashes, coating a few at a time.

For long lashes, curl your lashes in several places, root, half way and then near the end. Go for a brush which is has more spiral to it which you can use on the top of the lashes, rather than brushing upwards from underneath the lashes, try curling the wand on the top of the lashes, and see how much more curl and length you get by catching the lashes right at the end!

For thin or sparse lashes, use a mascara with plenty of fibre and has a slightly thicker consistency, but apply sparingly and in several coats to build up a natural looking thickness. would also perhaps think about dyeing them unless they are weak as the hairs will swell slightly when dyed. Also be careful when removing mascara, in particular waterproof, as rubbing at the lashes will weaken them. Invest in a good eye make up remover or even use my recipe and method which if you follow the links will take you to the videos.

For thick lashes, use a mascara which has a thinner consistency so it doesn't stick the lashes together and with a fairly dense bristly brush which is going to catch all of the little lashes at the root. Wiggle the brush sideways and work to the end of the lashes.

Lower lashes, this is a personal choice, sometimes I do my lower lashes but not always as it's easy for them to look a bit creepy and thin. If in doubt just touch the ends of the lashes with the brush to transfer a little colour which will emphasise without looking spidery.

So those are my views on reviewing mascara and a few tips for getting the best out of yours!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

New Website

If you'd like to see a few portfolio shots, I've put a few on my website

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Tuesday Tag!

Thanks LottieB for this tag!

1. Mood:
A passing sadness when I was thinking about Harvey and looking through a few photos. The lovely Cosmetic Candy has jokingly offered me her kitties but I don't think I could love another kitty more than I loved Harvey. His companion Mewser (my other kitty) is a lovely girl and she would not cope with another cat in the house, she and Harvey didn't get on. He would wash her and she would hiss at him. They were largely time share cats, one in one out so they were never really in the same place together!

I am also feeling determined today, I need to get my act together and sort out my aspirations. I love being a freelance make up artist so I need to make more of the opportunities I am presented with. Sign up with an agent perhaps and work on a website portfolio.

2. Do you read or study with the TV or music playing in the background?
I like complete silence, sometimes I like music in the background but I get bored of it quickly. I generally drive without the radio or music on.

3. Do you wear glasses?
Just sunglasses!

4. Outfit:
Skinny jeans, warm fluffy jumper and long black cardigan

5. Cold weather — love it or hate it?
I love the bright sunny days that are slighly cold at the same time!

6. Eyes/Lips/Cheeks:
I'm wearing Clinique SPF30 Sun Block and that it's today!

7. What was the last nice thing to happen to you?
Husband came home from work and cheered me up!

8. Something you’d like to remind yourself of today:
There are always choices, it's up to me whether I am brave enough to make them.

9. Guys who carry man purses — yes or no?
My husband carries a back pack with him, generally containing the lunch I make him and who knows what else is in there!

10. Weekly goals: Make some videos for my channel and work on website!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Just going to Powder my Nose!

I've been asked a lot about miracle products for keeping shine at bay and setting make up, well look no further than the faithful translucent powder. An under rated but essential part of your make up. You can wear on its own, under mineral foundation or over liquid and cream foundations/concealers.

You normally can find translucent powders as either a pressed compact or loose in a sifter tub. I love it because it is finely milled so feels light and soft on the skin. Unlike other powders it minimizes pores and really sets my liquid or cream make up.

On darker skins, you have to go carefully with translucent powder. It has to be really fine and of a darker colour which is not always available in some cheaper brands but persevere and you will find a tone that suits. Otherwise you will be able to see it and it makes skin look ashen and grey.

So the best way to apply it is with a light dusting using a powder brush and then press it in to the skin with a sponge. Then finally take your powder brush and remove any excess from your face.

Where you apply it is also key, if you have combination skin then use it in the places where you get oily, like round the nose, forehead and chin. If you have drier skin then try a translucent powder which contains moisturising ingredients to make sure that your skin doesn't look flaky.

If you have very oily skin then consider using a gel mattifying primer (like Kryolan or The Body Shop antishine gels).

If you have acne scarring or any bumpy spots, then avoid any sort of face powders with shimmer, which will accentuate rather than downplay any irregular textures.

I generally use e.l.f Mattifying Tranlucent Pressed Powder and Beauty Without Cruelty Loose Tranluscent Powder (also great for catching eye shadow fall out)

Friday, 9 October 2009

My latest crush...Christian Bale, oops I mean Brown Mascara

I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never used brown mascara, what have I been missing out on? I thought it might look a bit strange because I have black lashes but I think I will be using it for my natural day looks from now on. It looks natural and thickening without looking obvious.

The e.l.f Everyday Eyes kit has been sitting in my make up stash for a while and the other day I broke it open and started to use the brown mascara. I totally forgot to read the step by step instructions on the back but I like how many companies are now starting to do this so we really can "get the look"!

Here are some photos from the tutorial.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

September's Five Favourites!

This month's five favourite products are:

O.P.I Do you Lilac It Nail Lacquer (£10 from Selfridges)
Kryolan Kajal Jumbo Pencil (£5 from Charles Fox)
M.A.C Floof e/s
Beauty Without Cruelty Hot Chestnut Satin Finish Blusher (£6)
Karin Herzog Vita Kombi 3 Face Cream

For your chance to win a tailor made skin care regime from Karin Herzog, check out the link: for more details of the contest and to enter!

UK entrants only sorry! If you're not from the UK and want to know more about how to get hold of Karin Herzog products, email

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Indian Bridal

It's natural for people who book me for their bridal make up to want to see photos, until now I've only had my fashion portfolio. My clients photos are confidential so I can't use those either. Now I have a few Indian Bridal photos to show clients! There is a tutorial for this look on my channel. The jewellery is my own and I got it from the Asiana Bridal Show which was held in Birmingham earlier this year.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Lily Lolo YouTube Channel

Great tips for choosing and applying Mineral Make Up as well get the look tutorials from leading make up artists. One of my fave blushers is Lily Lolo (ooh La la)!

NYX coming to the UK soon!



Can't wait! Reviews, swatches and looks will surely follow!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Wish List

Here's my wish list of things that I have been hankering for and will be trying soon or flights of fancy that if I could beg borrow or steal, I would! The things I have on my wish list are expensive, which is why I haven't bought them for myself! In this world where every penny counts it feels weird to want these things that I don't need but I keep them at the back of my mind as things to work for rather than wait for!

An HD Video Camera
I am very depressed about the quality of my videos, my husband bless him bought me a DV camera a year ago as it was on offer in a store. It is so much better than my digital camera that I was using, but we both wish we had put a little research in first and bought an HD camera.

This is the camera I would love to own! A Canon EOS 5D Mark II, at 21 MP and a fabulous CMOS sensor which means that I won't need loads of artificial and hot lights (imho) it's the pinnacle of digital photography. But at £2,700 it's more than a little out of my price range but I can hope, can't I?

Kryolan Perfect Matt
A brilliant filler, primer, mattifyer and base for make up. It's everything the GOSH velvet primer should have been!

Another flight of fancy:
I've been using Airbrush for a while, and although I don't have my own compressor and needles, it's an amazing technique which is really easy. Once you've done it a few times and understood the right pressures to use, how much to use and how to apply it to give a flawless look; the real knowledge is how to care for your needles and what to do if the equipment is not functioning properly.

A full range of Airbrush Foundation and blusher and a full compressor and needle set is upwards of £400, it's a lot but I see it as an investment and a real time saver.

The best I could do so far is go for some Kryolan HD Micro Foundation On Air sprays. There are 9 natural colours from Kryolan, this formulation is more for arms, legs and neck because it comes out of the can in a spray rather than a mist which is easier to control. You can also use this on the face if you spray it on the back of your hand and apply with a brush. A really great airbrush alternative for photography.

Every single Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Cheeks and Lips! I love the consistency and colours in this range, I like the way they aren't too greasy like a lot of cream blushers and they last a lot longer than powder blushes! They are £16 each so I am going to have to buy them once in a while.
Facials and massages every week! Oh, you know I am addicted to facials and massages, they are relaxing and beneficial for skin and muscles. I work out every day and the wear and tear on my joints and muscles sometimes leaves me a bit achy and stiff!

What's on your wish list?

Thursday, 1 October 2009

PR, Free Products and Review - My pledge.

When Allesandro Volta proved that electricity could travel along wires over two hundred years ago, I don't think he could have imagined the world we now live in being dominated by electricity, telecommunications and computing.

I feel a bit like Volta when just over two years ago I started watching make up videos on YouTube and I can't believe where it has lead me.

So it got me thinking about what I have been doing and seeing recently. Gurus, myself included, promoting things for PR companies, how do I feel about that? Well I am quite picky about who I promote and why. Mainly because of my cruelty free only ethic but also that I don't want to be seen as a mere marketing channel to be used to reach an audience who don't respond to conventional marketing (TV and magazines). What I think of products and how I use them are personal and I put time and effort in to trying to make my reviews useful and honest.

I am genuinely pleased and flattered to be considered a spokesperson for the make up enthusiast and that on some level people care what I think of a product when considering whether to try it. But I don't like what I am seeing on Blogs and YouTube lately, people only writing blogs and making videos to get free stuff - why, if you want to be popular and appreciated it takes more than free stuff.

I pledge to you readers and viewers:

To be honest about where my cosmetic products come from, whether they have been given to me to try or whether I have bought them. I buy about 95% of what I review and try out.

I will always be honest about what I think of them but I will not slate something or cast aspersions on companies, I can only speak of my experiences. I welcome feedback on your thoughts on products that I have reviewed and whether they have worked for you.

When I do a giveaway, it will only be for products that I use myself and like to use. They may be given to me by PR agencies and companies but they way I see it is that if I like the product and got it for free, I want to give something to my viewers and readers so they can try it for free too.

A note to PR and cosmetics companies: expect to be grilled about being cruelty free and I expect to try products I select and not the latest product being promoted by everyone else! Do not think I will just give products a glowing review just because I got a product for free, which I could have bought myself, that novelty has worn off!
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