Comment, skincare

Signs of ageing: What does this mean?

ageing, tashas's face, blue light, skin care, darker skin

I decided to write this post after becoming fed up with being told we need to fight the “signs of aging”. Skin is meant to age, just as the rest of our body does, but it seems this is not allowed.

The real trigger point was a Sunday Times Style magazine article (28th Nay 2017) called “Is your screen killing your skin?” by Claire Coleman. The first paragraph ended with “But if the prospect of a sleepless night isn’t enough to have you powering down, would the news that this type of light could also be prematurely ageing your skin have you reaching for the off button?”

Continue reading “Signs of ageing: What does this mean?”


All my posts are now on!

I started to blog about having fun with makeup and to share with others the makeup that worked for me so that they could decide what would work for them too.

I then decided to write about skin, hair and nails but as they were not intended to be as creative, I set up separate blogs.   Running 4 separate blogs is actually quite difficult.  Not only could I not put in the time needed, throughout my years of blogging I have realised that sometimes you just can’t easily separate out the different beauty products.  For example, if I receive a beauty box or event goodie bag, I’d have to do up to 4 separate posts on the same thing. That’s a lot when I could be producing 4 pieces of different content.

I’ve imported all of the posts from my other blogs into so everything is now in one place.

I hope you like the change – comment below and let me know what you think!


Doing make-up for other people

Doing make-up for other people
Doing make-up for other people

I have now done make-up for two people other than myself – of completely different ages and with mainly different requirements. They both wanted to look fairly natural as they wanted to look like themselves when they looked in the mirror. In general, they both only wore make-up on special occasions. That meant no face-shape changing contouring, no false lashes and not too much drama on the eyes, because this would be too much of a transformation. It wasn’t necessary anyway because they are both beautiful people!

They also had different skin issues they wanted addressed- one had an uneven skintone with darker blemishes, the other had uneven skin due to pimples. For both, I talked to them about the importance of using the right skincare for their skin issues as the better the condition of the skin, the better the make-up will look. Plus, they would feel better about themselves if they knew they didn’t have to always cover up with make-up, a good skincare regime will be sufficient.

They key thing I learned was that you must communicate. Listen to their wishes and concerns. You are in their personal space, touching their face. They need to feel comfortable with you doing that, and confident that you will deliver what they have asked. For someone particularly nervous, let them see what you are doing at regular intervals. I like to explain what I am doing as I go along, for example, “I’m now going to blend”, otherwise it can seem a little strange if they don’t know what to expect!

If you are going to do make-up for other people, the preparation counts too. If you are organised, you will feel good. If you look organised, your client will feel good. Lay out what you need neatly and pack it away properly when done. Hygiene is also very important. Wash your brushes and sanitise your products and tools that can’t be washed like pencil sharpeners. I use a conditioning brush cleanser for my brushes and surgical spirit in a mini spray bottle to sanitise (both are available from pharmacies). You can also wipe the surfaces of lipsticks, creams and gels using a tissue. Try using disposable tools such as mascara spoolies and sponges. Also, make sure your hands are clean!

I enjoy making people feel like the best version of themselves, although I am willing to get creative and transform you if you like! I think that’s what make-up is about really. What do you think?


No Mascara Hayfever Make-up

No Mascara Hayfever Make-up
No Mascara Hayfever Make-up

Like millions of other people, I have hayfever which is an allergy to pollen. Some people might suffer from some or all of the symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose  and itchy, watery eyes. It tends to be seasonal, hitting hardest in spring or summer, depending on whether the sufferer has an allergy to tree pollen (spring) or grass pollen (summer).

My eyes are quite badly affected when the pollen count is high so technically I shouldn’t really wear any eye make-up because it will just make the irritation worse. Let’s face it, you only get one set of eyes. The thing is, I feel like I need a little something, just to give me that confidence boost and emphasise my favourite features.

The safest and easiest thing to do is wear a bright lip colour in red, orange or fuchsia, to draw attention away from my eyes completely. That way my eyes will not be further irritated and my whole face will get a lift from the flattering hot lip colour.  Besides, bold lips go perfectly with big, dark sunglasses, which are a summer fashion and  sun safety essential anyway!

The thing is, sometimes my eyes really do need a bit of defining .  I have a couple of hayfever eye make-up rules.

  1. No eyeliner on the waterline.  This is a sensitive part of the eye for anyone, allergy sufferer or not . Generally speaking I don’t use eyeliner on my waterline just because I think it increases the risk of infection. I tend to do it only for special events such as weddings, parties, and other times when professional or close-up photos will be taken because it really does make a difference in the photos. Also, when my eyes water or use eye drops it will wash away the eyeliner making it pointless.
  2. No mascara.  I definitely don’t use mascara on the bottom lashes as it will just run when  my eyes water or use eye drops.  I don’t wear mascara on the upper lashes either as the pollen sticks to the mascara which just leads to a mega-itching attack!

So, I guess you’re now wondering what I am left with, considering I skip what most people consider to be the most important eye defining steps. I cheat and create illusions! I can also hide behind thick rimmed glasses or sunglasses. Even if you don’t need glasses you can still wear the frames with non-prescription lenses for a change.

My steps for hayfever  eyes include:

  1. Prime then conceal any dark circles. I recently discovered that under-eye concealer primer exists. I prime the under eye area then conceal with a cream concealer. I might then set it with powder. I use primer in the summer in an attempt to make my concealer last longer in the make-up melting heat. I also need the extra layer because if I use eye drops or my eyes water, I don’t want the product to wash away too easily exposing the dark circles..
  2. Black liquid or gel eyeliner on the top lash line only.  If you have brown eyelashes, dark brown eyeliner would work for a daytime look. The eyeliner needs to go right into the lashes to give the appearance of fuller lashes, which would otherwise have been achieved with a volumising mascara.
  3. Curl the eyelashes with an eyelash curler. I have a little confession – I don’t actually do this as I am scared of eyelash curlers since I painfully curled my eyelids as a child! But, if I did ever get over that, I would curl my eyelashes to open up my eyes, which also replaces the need for mascara.
  4. Black waterproof pencil eyeliner on the top lash line only.  If I don’t have time to create a precise line with liquid or gel, I line my eyes with a waterproof black eyeliner pencil again, as close to the lash line as possible to create the illusion of thicker eyelashes. I then use a small, soft blending brush to soften the line and push the colour between the lashes if needed. It’s a quick and easy way to cheat a defined eye as if you draw the line a but so by, it all disappears when you blend. Sometimes I blend the line out further and into the crease a little to make a smoky eye. So it’s also a cheat for a simple smoky eye too! I use waterproof eyeliner in the summer so it doesn’t melt into an undesired mess.
  5. Make sure all tools, makeup and pencils are kept extra clean.  You don’t want an infection on top of the hayfever! Sharpen pencils with every use and and use a spray brush cleanser in between brush shampoos.

I don’t tend to spend ages contouring or colouring my eyelids with eyeshadow. If the hayfever defeats me, I’ll rub my eyes and smudge it everywhere wasting my time and making me look very silly indeed.

Remember, the best thing to do is to avoid wearing eye make-up but if you really can’t, try these tips. Do you have any of your own for me?

Comment, Events

Photographing Product Summer School Course with Topshop and Olympus Pen

If you have time to photo edit, here's what you can achieve. Note that nothing has changed from the photo below except the gap where the two pieces of background card has been removed.
If you have time to photo edit, here’s what you can achieve. Note that nothing has changed from the photo below except the gap where the two pieces of background card has been removed.

I found out via a Periscope broadcast by London Beauty Queen that Topshop were running a photography summer school with Olympus Pen, a micro four thirds digital camera. I discovered it quite late but managed to book myself on the penultimate course – “Shooting Product”.

The Shooting Product course is relevant to beauty blogging as we take pictures of the beauty products we use (among other things). I really needed some help improving the photographs on my blog so I simply had to attend!

When I arrived I met the absolutely lovely Hayley, who is the London Beauty Queen. I was a little star-struck but she soon put me at ease.

I learned some really useful things and I want to share these with you. I will say now that I do not have a micro four thirds or DSLR camera. I just have a really good point-and-shoot digital camera with manual settings.

The manual settings are important. One of the first things our tutor Cleveland taught us was that you will not be able to get a good photo on the “auto” setting. I agree, which is why I bought my particular camera but that doesn’t mean I know how to use it properly. It used to stay firmly on “auto”!

We set our cameras to deal with the aperture size automatically (the hole that lets the light through) and adjusted the shutter speed. We also learned how to use the “white balance” which for me was the most important thing.

To get the most accurate reflection of what you are looking at in the photograph, the white balance, which is how the camera sees the colour white, must be set to suit the environment. If this is not correct, the colours in the product will not be truly represented making photographs accompanying a review not as useful as they could be.

Also, if you are going for something artistic, the white balance can affect the mood of the photo and therefore influence the mood of the reader.

Here are some of my photos:

Bad photo - poor lighting and poor colour reproduction as a minimum!
Bad photo – poor lighting and poor colour reproduction as a minimum!
Gloomy mood
Gloomy mood
Ice cold..brrr...chilly!
Ice cold..brrr…chilly!
Better mood but the colour's have still not been accurately reproduced. The overall effect is cold
Better mood but the colour’s have still not been accurately reproduced. The overall effect is still cold.

I have some white balance presets on my camera so if I am outside in natural light, I pick the daylight setting. If I am inside with the light on, I’ll pick the tungsten setting. If he presets are still producing the wrong colours, I can manually set the white balance using the metering mode.

Incorrect white balance so the true colour of the product has not been reproduced. You can see it is too blue.
Incorrect white balance so the true colour of the product has not been reproduced. You can see it is too blue.
Perfect colour reproduction by using the correct white balance setting.
Perfect colour reproduction by using the correct white balance setting.

Hayley gave me a very helpful tip- place the camera square-on to the object to get an angle agreeable to the eye. This tip has revolutionised my Instagram photos. Have you noticed? (Thank you Hayley!)

Taking the photo square-on
Taking the photo square-on

Another very helpful tip I learned was that the human eye sees things at around a 50cm perspective. I don’t know the science of it but when I zoomed my camera in to 50cm then took photos, the image looked so much better. So, if you want to re-create what the human eye sees, get a lens that can cope with the 50cm distance. It was possible but a little difficult on my camera because I had to stand so far away, so maybe I’ll upgrade! Also, thanks to the gentleman who showed me that tip!

I also had a play around composing the photos, leaning how to make the, look interesting. Hayley helped me use the “rule of thirds”. Imagine that the area you see when you look at the screen or through the viewfinder is split into three equal parts (or even set the guidelines on your camera like I have done). Place the product in each of the three thirds to see where you can get the most interesting picture. This is my attempt:

Rule of thirds making the lone lipstick look more interesting. Also working with the shadows. Plus, the overall effect is warm and welcoming.
Rule of thirds making the lone lipstick look more interesting. Also working with the shadows. Plus, the overall effect is warm and welcoming.

I prefer this to a photo where he product is placed in the centre but of course, there is also a centre third which can be used.
It was an amazing course and as you can see, I learned a lot. I have begun putting this into practice to improve your reading experience!


Practicing my make-up lesson skills

Face and eye close-up
Face and eye close-up

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram you might recall that I attended a make-up lesson with Make Up London Academy in north London. I must have looked a little crazy trying to find a good angle to take a couple of selfies to post after the lesson whilst standing in the middle of Finsbury Park!

I picked up a few new tips such as:

  • Apply the dark contour colour with a thick fan brush – it helps to control the colour application.
  • How to use an angled brush to apply gone gel eyeliner to the top lashes – I always use MAC brush 209 which resembles a fine paint brush but now I know that I can use an angled brush to push the eyeliner into the lash line for the appearance of full lashes.
  • Which primers suit which different kinds of skin and that ideally, different primers should be used if one person has several skin types (I have misplaced my notebook so I can’t remember which primer goes with which skin!)
  • Why HD powder is so good and that even though it looks a scary white in the container, if used sparingly it is fine for daylight.
  • Always use a primer on the face and the eyelids.
  • How to use a stippling brush – I bought one from e.l.f. but hadn’t used it as I didn’t know how but now I use it all the time!

The next day I practiced my new found skills using the make-up and brushed pictured but I just couldn’t get a good photo of my face.

I used:

  • Bobbi Brown Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation SPF12 in Golden 6 (no longer available) applied with a sponge
  • YSL Le Teint Touch Éclat foundation in B70 to highlight under my eyes using the Real Techniques pointed foundation brush
  • Bourjois Délice de Poudre Duo in shade 55 to countour the shadows and highlights of my face using my Models Own angled blush brush
  • The matte camel shade from my Sleek Storm eyeshadow palette applied under the brow to the crease using the flat end of the Urban Decay dual brush
  • Gold eyeshadow from the Sleek Storm palette on my eyelids and blended out just above the crease using my Urban Decay dual ended brush and blended with my Real Techniques base shadow brush
  • The darkest matte brown eyeshadow from the same palette to define my brows using the angled liner brush end of my Bella Pierre Cosmetics Dual Brush
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Sepia pushed into the upper lash line using my Real Techniques angled eyeliner brush (new skill for me!)
  • YSL Touch Éclat in shade 5 to neaten the brow shape using my Real Techniques detailer brush
    A combination of blush shades from my Makeup Revolution Sugar and Spice blush palette to add a splash of colour using my Real Techniques blush brush
  • Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl eyeliner in Cocoa Bean on the lower lash line
    Clinique mascara
  • Maybelline lipstick in Ravishing Rose 538

Nice and simple!

Comment, Eyes

Nudes for brown skin – now the eyes have it!

Nudes for brown skin - Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette!
Nudes for brown skin – Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette

If you have followed me for a while you might have read my post on nude lipsticks for brown skin. There was a time where there really wasn’t anything on the high street for us brown-skinned folk who wanted a nude lip. Thankfully this has improved greatly.

Later, the trend was for natural (or nude) eyes and the Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palettes seemed to have led the way, being all over the blogs and still being incredibly popular.

I own the original Urban Decay Naked palette – the one with the gorgeous chocolate-brown velvet packaging. It took me a long time to decide to buy that one. Why? Because when you put very shimmery or too-pale eyeshadow on black skin, it just comes up looking either ghostly white or you can’t see the colour at all.

The original Naked palette seemed to have the best colour range so I felt it was more likely to be able to find useable shades. Naked 2 has the second best colour range although more of the colours may be too pale – perhaps I will still try it one day. I really wanted Naked 3 but shimmery pinks are the most risky for my skin tone.

Well after all that deliberation, Maybelline brought out their eye palette – “The Nudes”. This palette looks perfect for me and presumably it will be my perfect nude palette shade wise, as they had Jourdan Dunn fronting the advertising campaign. Needless to say, I’m pleased that at last, it has been acknowledged that nude can be brown based.

Then to add to my joy Maybelline release the Blushed nudes. Could this be my perfect Naked 3 alternative?

When I have reached the end of my epic spending ban, perhaps I will buy the Maybelline Nudes palettes. Please don’t let them disappoint me!

Comment, Creative

Make-up looks from the unpublished archives…

Eye close-up from "I Don't care what you think orange and white"
Eye close-up from “I Don’t care what you think orange and white”

I’ll admit, there have been some huge gaps in my blogging activity. I enjoy blogging as a hobby but every now and then, try as I might, I just cannot get around to posting anything.  I even go so far as to take the pictures but then I don’t have time to do the write-up.  I was looking through my pictures and I came across some looks from a little while back that I would like to share with you.  I’ll call them:

Daytime Glow

Daytime Glow eye close-up
Daytime Glow eye close-up

Flawless Photoshoot Face

Flawless Photoshoot eyes
Flawless Photoshoot eyes

I Don’t Care What You Think Orange and White

Eye close-up from "I Don't care what you think orange and white"
Eye close-up from “I Don’t care what you think orange and white”

Evening Peach

Evening Peach full face
Evening Peach full face

I’ll post more pictures soon. Do you have any favourites from these glimpses?