Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Working in Retail

You may have noticed, I've been a little quiet in the world of blogging lately!! (I promise I will improve!) but as many of you might not realise, I work in retail full time.

I work for an amazing luxury women's clothing brand and I love my job! I was promoted to 'Supervisor' earlier this year, and since then my work life has been a little hectic (I wouldn't have it any other way!). 

Working in retail has taught me so much about fashion, trends, style, and people and because I am a make-up artist I don't just sell people clothes, I sell them an entire look. I sell them my vision. 

If one thing is for sure, what we wear can definitely determine our mood or how we feel for the day-trust me I am the queen of bitch fit tantrums because 'I HAVE NO CLOTHES' (my boyfriend will second this), so I wanted to give you a little insight into a normal day in retail for me.

The approach
We all know it, the sales assistant gives you about 30 seconds (or just pounces immediately!) to look around the store, and then asks if he/she can 'help' you with anything. 9/10 times the answer to this question is no. (Or in some cases a not-so subtle 'Please go away' stare lol!). But then there is that 1 'yes' that makes my job worth while. 

'I'm looking for.....'
A dress, a coat....a feckin' miracle. We've all been there, panicked and in need of something to wear to a wedding or for an occasion, and feeling like what we want just isn't made yet and slowly accepting the idea of staying at home in our pyjamas and watching 'Friends' This is where I come in. 

The 'idea'
No matter what we say we always have an idea of what we would like to look like. For most of my clients, this takes a lot (!!) of questions about colours, styles, dress lengths etc, and a lot (!!) of trying on, before we hit the nail on the head that you actually wanted a little black dress with sleeves. I try to get to the bottom of what the outfit is for, the time of year it is for and what makes them feel most comfortable. Yes, trends are cool and hot pink might be 'so now', but these don't always suit everyone so I try to steer my clients towards pieces that will flatter them and that will still look stylish in three months time. Remember it is never a bargain if it is not right!!

The dress 
When we eventually find the piece that we love we just know. And from a sales advisor's point of view, this is the piece that your client is smiling in. I love the moment when they are looking so intently at themselves in the mirror because they genuinely love something you have suggested. This right here is the reason I do what I do. 

Decision time
I don't believe in impulse buying. It doesn't work, and you will more than likely get buyer's remorse and have to live off cereal for a month because of the outrageous purchase you 'loved' in the store but can't tell anybody how much you detest it now, as it hangs in your wardrobe judging you. I always tell clients to go and have a coffee and a think about it, because when they see the piece with fresh eyes, they will know for sure. Of course this sometimes means they will come back with a sister or a friend who will veto it, then buy it for themselves two hours later- but hey, that's life! But seriously, this is always the way to purchase timeless pieces. 

Closing the sale
When the decision is made, and I am wrapping the garment up I always like to suggest ways to finish off the look. Maybe it's the perfectionist in me, but knowing what make-up and hair to pair with the dress is just as important as wearing it. There has been so many times that I have suggested a certain shoe or some foundation-wear to a client to wear with an outfit, and ended up bringing them to the store myself to help them shop for it. It comes parcelled with the job really, but I love to know they value my opinion and it gives great satisfaction when they come back with photos and stories of how the outfit turned out for their special occasion. 

And again...
Of course it would be great if a normal working day consisted of helping just one client on their merry way to finding the perfect outfit, but that's not how retail works. As soon as that client leaves, it's back to the drawing board for the next 100 people who walk through the door.........

Coffee break anybody??? 

Leanne X

Friday, 28 February 2014

Oscars-Worthy Make-Up

The Oscars are this weekend, I'm wondering will we see the same makeup trends as previous years, or will anyone dare to brave a bold look????

Here is a little peek at some of the make-up looks we've seen over the past years! Natural, neutral colours seem to be the go-to choice, with most actresses donning a nude/light pink lip! 

The secret when trying to achieve this elegant, feminine look is definitely 'less is more'!!

Good skin prep is essential, so start with cleansing, toning and moisturising as normal, then pop on a little primer (personally, I love Benefit's Porefessional primer for flawless skin!). 

Next, using a stipple brush, apply a light amount of MAC's cream colour base in 'pearl' all over the skin, for that luminous glow that gives a fresh and healthy appearance!

For the foundation, it is best to avoid overly matte or heavy coverage as you want the make-up to look very natural, and suitable for day time. I'm choosing Armani luminious silk foundation, because it has a light to medium coverage, it is a really gorgeous product, and although it is sold as 'matte finish', when mixed with the cream pearl base, it gives that perfect balance between dewy and shiny!! 

For the apples of the cheeks, tap a little of Illamasquas cream blush colour in 'rude' using your ring finger to blend lightly. This product is very pigmented, so again use sparingly! 

Lastly, to achieve that perfect nude/pink colour we see every year, I like MAC's Creme cup lipstick, as it suits almost all skin tones! Some mascara, and wholia, your red carpet ready!!

I can't wait to see what looks are sported this year, and of course to see the stunningly beautiful gowns every girl only dreams of wearing!! I'm anticipating that we will see lots from Michael Costello, his gowns are amazing! Oscar de la Renta, and Ellie Saab, two of my favourite designers, never disappoint either!! 

In the meantime, here is a little look I did on myself, hope you like! 

Leanne X

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Power of Contouring

'Contouring' is the word on everyone's lips these days! Made famous by celebrities and supermodels, the chiselled look has completely changed how we do our make-up!

Makeup brand Crown Brush is constantly out of stock of their infamous cream concealer contour palette (below), as every girl wants to achieve the perfect cheekbones and look super skinny (wahey for makeup!)

So what exactly is contouring, and how do we do it i hear you ask??

Basically, contouring is the highlighting and shading of your natural features using light and dark shades to create the illusion of that 'perfect' facial shape! We all have different features on our faces that we would like to either change or enhance, and by using shading and highlighting techniques we can achieve this!!

The shape of people's faces differ, and the 'oval' face shape is considered the most desirable. To achieve this, we need to blend out the sharp/round features of our face, and this is where the beauty of makeup comes into play. I have created a little pictorial below, using both a light concealer and a dark concealer, applied to certain areas of my face and blending them together to create a contoured look. 

You can contour using creams, concealers, foundations, and powders and they will all have the same effect. 

Product List:

- MAC Pro longwear concealers in NC15 and NC45
- Blank Canvas F20 Buffer Brush
- MAC Mineralize Powder to set

Image 1: Before Picture
Image 2: applying the darker colour to areas I want to detract the light from, or appear slimmer.. And applying the lighter shade to areas I want to highlight.
Image 3: buff the product into the skin and blend together
Image 4: the finished look!!

Try this at home!!!

Leanne X

Friday, 24 January 2014

Review: Kardashian Khroma Beauty 'Joysticks'

As major influences within the beauty and fashion industry, it seemed only fitting that the Kardashian sisters would launch their own range of make-up! The collection is based on the three different girls, and their own personal style. It is said that they wanted to mirror some of their favourite beauty products and re-create them for the brand, which means cheaper dupes of some of the hottest beauty products around (yay for us!).

For this post, I've decided to review their range of lipsticks, aptly named 'joysticks' :)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on all of the shades above in CVS Pharmacy while I was travelling in the States before Christmas, as they are proving difficult to get here in Ireland. However, I have spotted them since in some pharmacies, so keep an eye out! They were priced around $9 in the U.S. so quite reasonable for a lippy!


Packaging:             ***** 5 Stars

I love how the joysticks are slim enough to fit into the inside zip pocket on my handbag, or even in my purse without being overly bulky. The lid stays put even with travel, which is a plus too because I find on some lipsticks the lids can come loose, and then stain my bag! The colour is clearly marked on the bottom, so you know exactly what shade to reach for when you need it :)

Price:                    ***** 5 Stars

At $9 a pop, I feel like you get a lot of bang for your buck! There seems to be tons of product fitted into the slim packaging, which means it will last for quite some time.

Product:              ***** 5 Stars

The lipsticks are cleverly pointed, for easy application on the go which eliminates the need for carrying a lip liner with you everywhere you go. That is a plus for me, as I am always looking to downsize my carry around make-up! They are heavily pigmented, which is something I was worried about before trying them. The colour on the packaging is definitely relative to the actual product, so a thumbs up there. They also smell amazing (like chocolate) , and as an avid fan of MAC's vanilla scented lippies, I like this little added touch.

Availability:       *** 3 Stars

At the moment in Ireland, these are proving difficult to get your hands on, which is my only criticism of the entire product, but hopefully over the next few months we will start to see it in-stores more as it is becoming a staple in my make-up bag!

'Retro Red'

'Sea Coral'

'Shocking Pink'

Above are some images of different looks with some of the beautiful shades available!

Let me know what you guys think!

Leanne X

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

How to wash your make-up brushes!

As a make-up artist, your brushes are your babies, so it is essential that you look after them correctly! I have accumulated an array of brushes over the years, and I must admit that, before I was trained, I wasn't always aware that there was a certain way to wash them (I would just throw the out when I thought they were gone- I know, I know, shocking!). It was only when I enquired about skin breakouts to a make-up artist on holidays one year, and she asked me about washing them, that I realised where I was going wrong! 

Thankfully, I learned how to care for my brushes correctly, and in turn, noticed a massive difference in my skin and my make-up, and this certainly paid off when I went to college to study make-up artistry. I was interested to discover that a lot of girls in my class had, like me before, been un-aware of how to care for their brushes and wash them properly. 

                                             My Brush Belt

How to Wash your Brushes:

I've put together this step-by-step pictorial for you guys, on how to clean your brushes properly, all you will need is some Johnson's Baby Shampoo and luke-warm water :)

*Johnson's Baby Shampoo is kind to your brush hair and will leave them soft and good as new!

Step 1- Put a pea-sized amount in the palm of your hand and gently lather the hair of your brush, remebering to AVOID the handle/wooden part as this will cause your brush to damage and weaken the glue!

Step 2- Rinse the hair under luke-warm water, and manipulate the shape of the hairs back to it's original shape.

Step 3- Leave to dry over a flat surface, and hang the hair over the edge so as air can get to it to dry!

Happy Cleaning Dolls!

Leanne X

Monday, 20 January 2014

Welcome to my Make-Up World!

Hi Dolls!

I'm Leanne, a qualified Make-Up Artist and Image Consultant with a passion for beauty, fashion and travel!

I have been toying with the idea of setting up my own blog for a while now, but have finally bit the bullet, and here goes!

As a working make-up artist I am constantly learning new things about the beauty industry, picking up useful tips and spotting trends, and I want to share my journey with you guys! I create daily make-up looks which currently feature on my Facebook page and post images of makeovers on my clients :)

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts,

Leanne X