Not your average Sunday reading topic but talking about porn stars…

I read this the other day online and found it fascinating and so I thought I would share it with you.

These photos are by make-up artist Melissa Murphy who took before and after shots of porn stars before she did their hair and make-up.  The difference is immense!



There is no doubting of the extreme change make-up made to these women but for me, one big element was the how much of a difference the eyebrows made.

Don’t take my word for it, check the story out here on the Daily Mail for yourself and see for yourself.  If it doesn’t leave you feeling inspired and motivated about what we can achieved by perfecting our crafts then I would wonder if the make-up industry is really for you.


Lacking inspiration?

We all have those moments where we lack inspiration and we feel a little blah.

For me that has been today and I have been hunting for places I can find inspiration to keep myself motivated and to remind myself why this is something I want to do as a career.

Most of us will use social media of some sort to find our inspiration, be it Pinterest, Facebook groups or following the blogs of our favourite salons and make-up artists.  I know I for one am a huge fan of companies like Illamasqua and follow their Facebook page to see all the beautiful images they share but what about the lesser known places for inspiration?


Make-up by Noreen O’Connor and Photo by Michael O’Sullivan

 Having seen the above photo on a beauty forum I instantly thought of how it could rival the better known Karla Powells “Snow Queen of Sweets” image and no doubt many of us follow and admire Karla Powell? But how many of us have heard of Noreen O’Connor? No? Me either but I am sure glad I stumbled across her talent.  Noreen is from the same patch of land as myself and based in Co.Cork.  Her website has a range of images showing her work, many of which have been taken by Michael O’Sullivan – why not visit both of their sites to see if they inspire you too?

While in the mood for checking out the work of the pros I also came across the following local make-up artists who may interest you:

Saks Designs

Emma Hanna

Make-up Bangor

Ashley Morhej

So when your having a blah day – get thee to Google and get to looking for the locals who are already doing what you want to do.  At best you will find inspiration and at worst you might find a few and think “Gee, if they can do it, I sure as heck can!”  

Remember, if you happen to find a gem amongst the chaff then there is no harm in approaching them to offer your assistance for free in exchange for gaining some valuable advice and experience.  Just remember to ask nicely 🙂

Eyeshadow : Playing with colour

I had some time to kill so figured I should get to trying to make myself brave with colours.

This is my attempt at using purple, yellow, a little green and a bit of white to hilight. I can’t say what brand as they are all generic little pots that I bought off e-bay perhaps 4 years ago for my university ball. (Please note, you may need to look beyond the messy hair and brows to see the make-up 😉 )


Looking at the photos I can see a few things I would change.  I think I would be better taking the colour up more? I would work harder at making the shading even and include a little more deffinition to the green section.

Any tips on how to improve are greatly accepted.  I am well aware that I need to get better with my use of colour as I really do rather sticking to safe options.

Hand and Arm massage elements of the manicure

Bliss.  That is how I can describe this.  It really was quite lovely to have an arm and hand massage and it was not something I would have went out to have.  I think a lot of people are going to enjoy me practicing the routine on them to get it in my head to start formatives as soon as my polishing skills are up to scratch.

To aid the nail art element of the course I spent Saturday evening on E-bay browsing.  I ordered some metal studs, some coloured crystals, caviar beads, striping tape, dotting tools and brushes.  I tried to buy only from the UK to avoid shipping taking weeks and I was very shocked when the crystals, studs and caviar beads all arrived on Tuesday!  Fantastic service really and I am happy to recommend the following ebay stores:

Hail the nails  




 I loved the cute bottle the caviar beads came in and its great that all the crystals came in a little divider box.

Trying to practice nail art is a little tricky.  I only have myself to practice on at the moment and I will be honest – it isn’t that easy to do your own nails with art and not smudge them.  I decided to just try a basic shevron with some dots and nail crystals on my ring fingers.


The colours I used were Nails Inc Motcomb Street for the dark navy, Nails Inc Glamour Glitter for the glitter top coat and the pink is a No.7 colour called ME! ME! ME!

I still need to figure out how to get my lines nice and clean.  Robin Moses manages to make it look so easy while I find it tricky.  I am sure it will come in time though.

On Thursday I had my summative for make-up.  I am pleased to say I got a distinction with full marks.  I had my mum come in for this exam as I was desperate to get it over and done with so I can focus on the new stuff.  She was very pleased with her look which gave me a sense of pride.  The only irritating thing was the tutor hadn’t realised who she was and commented on how dedicated my friend was to travel all that way (she lives 1 hr 30 from my college).  Well… of course my mum loved this and the tutor started to go on about how we did not look the right ages to be mother and daughter… yes, thanks for that.  I will now have to listen to my mum brag about how young she looks from now until easter ha.

I am also toying with the idea of putting in for an online *Be Inspired* make up competition on the Karla Powell Facebook page. If I decide to go for it I will of course post my photos here but I just need to find the time to not only do the look but to go shopping for a few supplies.  If you feel you have a bit of talent in the area or like me just fancy a go at something new even if you doubt you can achieve the standard of other applicants then head over to her page and upload your photo.  I wish you good luck!


It’s time to “Love Your Body”

When I go shopping for toiletries I tend to air on the side of caution.  I don’t want to buy an item unless I know it is cruelty free which often means I need to google the company.  This is where The Body Shop have me cornered.  I know when I go into this shop that ALL of their products are animal friendly and I don’t need to think about what I can or can not buy.

To cheer me up this week, my lovely partner brought me and my daughter out on a shopping trip to Belfast.  While there, I wandered into The Body Shop store for a look at their make-up brushes.  I lifted a lipstick and concealer brush for £9 as I currently have no lip brushes in my college kit.  As I am not often in The Body Shop I decided I may as well look for a second brush and ended up with a Line Softener to use with lip and eyeliner which had been reduced from £8 to £5 in the sale.

Body Shop Brushes

My small collection of Body Shop Brushes – oldest brush to the back (slightly faded)

I do actually love the body shop brushes and I am building up my collection of them.  I find them very durable and extremely soft.  My current face and body brush is around 4 – 5 years old and it is still as soft as they day I got it.  I really can not recommend their brushes enough if you are trying to get good quality brushes at a reasonable price that will last you beyond your time at college.

The make-up section ended up talking to me once I was done looking at the brushes.  Pressed powder compacts had been reduced from £12.50 to £7 and as they had one in my shade (01) I lifted it to try as well.  I have to say I am very impressed with it.  I bought it to put on over my own foundation to mattify and prevent an oily look (my current foundation is from the Marks and Spencers Autograph range and can look a little oily at times) and it does a great job.  The powder matches my pale skin colouring well and the packaging is rather cute too.  You can see just how pale it is in a photo further down the blog.

At this point my daughter decided she needed something for her “beauty kit”.  Nanny had kindly bought her a Barbie beauty case for Christmas with some make-up in it and now she feels as if she needs to expand her kit as I do mine.  She chose a mango lip butter.  The lip butter itself smells divine however I am not allowed to touch it…

I decided we should head to the till before we bought anything else and remembered about the “Love Your Body” card they offer.  These cost £5 and are very easy to sign up for.  I decided I would buy one as I will make good use of it this year.  This is where my shop got interesting.

As a thank you for joining I got a free solid perfume in White Musk and as it’s my birthday this month I was also told I could pick another gift up to £5 for free, I opted for a foot file as I need a new one.

Purchases minus lip butter

Purchases minus lip butter

Total of my full shop – £41 … what I actually paid – £23.40.

My total was after my free items, a 3 for 2 on make-up items and a 10% discount for buying the card.  A saving of £17.60 and that’s before you include the savings on my sale items which would have totalled an extra £8.50.  Further still they gave me a voucher for £10 off if I spend £30 or more between now and the end of the month.

If you find that you shop here at all I would suggest you get the Love Your Body card as it will not only offer you 10% discount and a free £5 gift for your birthday but also on your fourth purchase you will get a second free £5 gift and on your eighth shop you will receive a free £10 gift (both of your own choosing).

I don’t know about you but give me free items and a good discount and I sure will love spending my money with your store – good work Body Shop!