Here we are, (finally) my first beauty post! Bare with me as it's my first time and I'm kinda nervous... I really shouldn't be nervous considering I was a make up artist for a while but anyway - be gentle!

I figured I'd start with the products for my good old standard shooting look. Usually I'll bang this on whenever I'm not 100% sure what I'm wearing/where I'll be and I just need a classic look to go with anything and everything. Keeping the lips clean and drama on the eyes is the most maintenance friendly way I can think of to go about my day. So, here we go;

The Base - First things first, make sure you're cleansing and moisturising your face thoroughly before you even reach for the make up. Dehydrated skin can cause your make up to flake and look dull so keep your glorious skin hydrated. On a side note - PLEASE take care of your skin, that means protection! Make up can offer small amounts of sun protection but really it's no substitute for sunscreen so be sure to use SPF everyday.

Primer/Foundation - ALWAYS use a primer, always... most foundations are pretty silky but there's nothing worse than having patchy or dry sections on your beautiful face. Once primed, start applying the foundation to your nose and blending outwards. Using whatever tool you're most comfortable with (either brushes or sponges) you want the bulk of the product in the middle of your face, blend, blend, blending away till there's nearly none on the edges of your face. When in doubt, keep blending!

Concealers (light/creamy) - I'm a fan of using two concealers at once. A lighter weight and coloured one for under my eyes and a slightly creamier one for my eternally red nose and any blemishes I may have. Keep in mind that if you have pink based skin, having a slightly yellow based concealer is a good way to hide away those pesky blemishes and vice versa. Use it sparingly and build up if necessary. Don't be tempted to douse those pimples in concealer as it just makes them stand out more. Go easy and if in doubt, the art of distraction works perfectly. E.g. blemish on the forehead? Red lips are the answer! Blemish on your chin? Accentuate those eyes!

Powder - I really see this as an optional step, one you can half ass if you want to. Unless you're shooting a movie and need your foundation to sit up and pay attention all day, there's not really much need to power your whole face. There's something beautiful about being able to see your skin beneath the foundation. After all, I see make up as just a way to enhance your natural beauty, not a mask to hide behind.

Bronzer/Blush - You can use both, one or the other or none at all, this is totally up to you! For this look I use both - the bronzer under my cheek bones to give a little warmth and a sweep of blush over my cheeks for a glow. Go easy on these bad boys, it's easier to add a little more than to take it off!

Eyebrows - I really feel that these are a must for any look you're going for. Running a small amount of colour through and brushing your brows defines your face in the most gorgeous way. It even hides if you're due for a wax! Follow your natural shape and again, starting with a small amount of pigment and building up if necessary.

Eyeshadow/liner (gel/felt-tip) - For this look I keep the eyeshadow to a minimum, slightly defining the crease and adding a highlight on the brow bone and inner corner of the eye. For the liner the most I can say is that practice makes perfect! A good rule of thumb is to follow the shape of your eye from the outer corner to the brow bone and that will give you a great line to work off. If you're struggling, there's no harm in marking out the wing before starting to paint. Play around with options as it might be that a brush is easier for you or you may favour the felt tip. I use both, the gel liner to do the body of the wing then the felt to define the line.

Lashes - This is my all time favourite mascara! As with all make up, you can build up the coverage but depending on how old the product is (thus how thick it is) you may need to wipe some off before using to avoid clumps. Leave them to dry for a minute of so then do another coat if you like... beware - too much of a good thing can have you ending up with thick spider lashes! I don't use an eyelash curler but that's not to say I'm against them - I've taken to just running the side of my finger along the length of the lashes as they dry to get more of a curl.

Lips - I'm a balm kinda girl simply for ease of use and maintenance. This one has an SPF as well it's with me all day, every day. If you're going to add a lippy, whack a balm on when you start your make up then blot off just before applying the colour.

At the end of the day there is no such thing as perfection, all I can say is take time and don't pressure yourself - remember make up washes off so any faux pas are manageable!

Choker - Asos, Shirt - Oxford (borrowed)



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