Beauty From Around The World

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Beautyworld – Middle East
Beautyworld Image
I just visited Dubai for a holiday and, as a very pleasant surprise, my trip got combined with a ticket to Dubai’s Beautyworld Exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, UAE.   Held from 27-29 May 2014, my access pass was organised for by my friend and fellow makeup artist, Dubai based Eirini Hannah.

The exhibition, the 19th one held, is put together annually by Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH, one of the world’s leading trade show organisers.  It was huge, with over 1300 exhibitors, covering everything from manufacturing, beauty packaging, well being, spa, fragrances, general beauty products, cosmetics, hair styling and nails.  A number of stands were offering treatments at special exhibition rates, or for demo purposes.  You could have a manicure, a pedicure, get your teeth whitened and have your hair styled, all as onlookers walked by, watching the talents of the beauticians and specialists conducting their treatments.  To be honest, it’s exactly what you would expect to find at this type of event.

Visiting the exhibition, I saw that there are differences in the beauty industry in the Middle East, compared to the UK.  I guess I hadn’t given it consideration before, but the number of men in the industry, visiting and working on the stands was far higher than that of similar beauty exhibitions held in the UK.  The number of buyers (again mostly male) attending actual booked meetings with exhibitors was very popular too.  These could be organised by an online registration and booking system, which I had a look at before attending the exhibition.  An appointment was simple to arrange and meant that you could have pre arranged meetings with companies you wanted to see, and not waste precious time during your day.

Being held in the Middle East, not surprisingly, the majority of stands exhibiting were Asian, significantly outnumbering the European and American beauty brands.  That wasn’t a bad thing for a UK makeup artist, beauty product reviewer and writer!  Not knowing the vast number of companies there meant that I got to try lots of new and unknown brands that I probably wouldn’t have ever discovered.  I met some talented and experienced personnel from these companies and I got to try some great products from a completely different market.

Afrina Cosmetics had the biggest range of powder eye shadows and blushers, making up bespoke palettes for you.  With superb prices and fabulous pigments, my friend bought a refillable palette of 15 colours – 5 blushers, 5 matte natural shades from beige to brown to black and 5 shimmery eye shadows.  A great purchase from a UAE based firm, local and previously unknown to her.

One of the other makeup brands, Paese Cosmetics, had a gorgeous illuminating makeup primer that I fell in love with, as well as a range of long lasting lipsticks and eye shadows and some great foundations, for a variety of skin types.  Once I persuaded them to actually allow me to buy some stock from their shelves (because I was visiting Dubai and wouldn’t be able to visit their store), I invested in the primer and one of their shimmery eye shadows too.

‘Not selling’ wasn’t unusual for the stands, many of them were there just for an awareness campaign and weren’t selling anything despite having fully stocked shelves!  But more disappointing was that some staff working on their stands didn’t even know the prices for their products, when they were launching and when they would be available to buy in Dubai, or elsewhere in the world for that matter.  I won’t name the stands that I encountered this with, but I will say that wasn’t very impressive!

GHD made its debut at Beautyworld this year, with ‘Hair Education’; the creative team presented 9 shows daily on the stand, and just walking past you could get a great feel for their top styling techniques and tips.  OPI also had an enormous stand, with nail technicians competing over the three days to win free trips to OPI USA.   The  Dermalogica stand gave them a presence, and we easily found them, but blink and you’d miss the small St Tropez stand tucked away in one of the more dominated fragrance and perfume halls.  They were there with exhibition prices for their products, including their brilliant new tanning product, Luxe Dry Oil.  Whilst you may nearly have missed their stand, don’t miss this new product!

It was also great to see some UK cosmetics firms there too.  I spent time with the team from Stargazer who were making their usual trip to Beautyworld and had an amazing array of UV ‘glow in the dark’ face and body makeup and hair products.  I even got to try out their UV hair chalk too, but I’ll write about that separately.  We then had a demo from Chelsea Boutique on their exceptionally easy to use brow shaping kits, and bought some of their stunning real hair lashes – these are well worth investing in, the quality of the lashes is outstanding.

We also went and said hi to the team working the Atelier Paris Makeup Stand, who were happily demo’ing and selling their products.  Twenty minutes later, and a hand covered in testers, I had a new waterproof liquid foundation to add to my kit!

Overall it was a really good experience, meeting and seeing other beauty products from across the world.  It’s opened my eyes to try new global brands and I’ll be reviewing some of the products I tried and bought during my visit.  I’ll post more product reviews online, so please come back and read about them.


Flawless Makeup? Airbrushing Myself!

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So what a great result – Airbase Make-Up have brought out an airbrushing system for High Definition (HD) Airbrush Makeup that ANYONE can use – at home!!  I got in contact with Airbase Make-up to have a look at their new system and find out how it works – I posted a recent blog detailing how easy it is to set up and assemble the airbrush at home yourself, and you can read that here – Kit Unpacked

HD airbrushed makeup gives beautiful, flawless coverage that, using a silicone based foundation, will last ALL day.  It’s perfect for brides for their wedding day makeup because it stays put!  It’s also essential for TV and Film work because the HD quality is so good.

Prepping for Airbrushing
Airbase Foundations & ThinnerSo inside my Mirrored Vanity Unit with its LED lit mirror there’s a Perfecting Primer, a couple of 10ml bottles containing silicone based foundations (you choose two colours to match your own skin tone), a 10ml bottle of bronze (you may get a bronzer or a blusher) and a Mini Eye Shadow Palette – all of these I’m going to use now to try this kit out with the airbrush.

I’ve cleansed, toned and moisturised my skin and clipped my hair back out of my way as I don’t want to spray that!  Now time to apply the Primer.

The idea of a cosmetic primers (eyes, lips, foundation, mascara) is to prep the skin before applying your makeup. By using a foundation primer first the skin will be smoother to start with, meaning that your foundation will sit much more evenly and smoothly on your skin, and your foundation will last longer.   Airbase PrimerFoundation primers work by decreasing the look of fine lines, blemishes and pigmentation.  Some give a more matte appearance, reducing shine, some contain light reflecting particles to make the skin more radiant and some are tinted to improve skin tone.  Whatever, your preference a good primer provides a good base giving a great flawless complexion and helping your makeup last.

It’s a real bonus that I get one as part of my kit, so I use the pump to dispense some onto my hand and apply it all over my face with my finger tips.  It’s a good one – a clear gel, non greasy, smells nice and it leaves my skin really soft with a more matte cover.

Using The Airbrush
I’ve added about 10 drops of the foundation that best matches my skin tone and diluted it a little with some of the Thinner and Cleaner.  The instructions say that the thinner will help to get the right thickness so that when I switch the airbrush on it sprays smoothly and evenly onto the tissue before I spray my face.  It’s great and sprays out colour onto the tissue when I press the green trigger down.  The closer I move the nozzle to the tissue, the more dense the colour, and further away, the lighter the colour.

Ready to go!  I face the mirror and without pressing the trigger, let the air blow over my face to get used to it.  Nothing scary about this!  So I press the trigger and it feels slightly colder when the foundation comes out.  It works!  Avoiding my eye brows and eye lashes, and the hairline, I carry on spraying the foundation all over my face – I can see the foundation start to build, but it doesn’t look cakey or heavy at all.  It looks great, and even, and yes – it actually does look “flawless”

Once the product runs out of the cup I stop.  It’s been enough to give my face a light foundation coverage, and I like it.  I will definitely use this again, even though it takes slightly longer to apply foundation in this method as opposed to with a brush.  But it’s worth it and I also note that I don’t need to use a powder to set the foundation either because the finish is so good.

Completing The Look
Airbase Eyeshadow PaletteIt’s just a case now of blusher, eye makeup and lips to finish my look.  The Mini Eye Shadow Palette has six colours in it, and the pigment is really strong.  I blend two of the colours together – the lighter grey over my eyelid and the darker grey into my socket line.

With everything else applied in the normal way – liner, mascara, lips – I am done and ready to go.


Later on …… I’m still pleased to see that my makeup, especially my foundation hasn’t moved and looks just as good!






Flawless Makeup? Airbrush it.. Yourself!

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If you haven’t heard of High Definition (HD) Airbrush Makeup yet – you’re missing a trick!
If you’re getting married and your makeup artist hasn’t told you about airbrushing your makeup for your day – ask them why!!

HD airbrushed makeup gives beautiful, flawless coverage that, with a silicone based foundation, lasts ALL day.  Just fabulous for brides for their wedding day makeup!

Airbrushing makeup has been around for a while and HD airbrushed makeup is one of those essential skills that makeup artists, who want to work in TV and film have to get qualified in.  The results are so good.  For all the films and music videos I do, and always for a bride on her wedding day, I’ll airbrush makeup on.  I also use it for male makeup too, because it’s so light and doesn’t make them look like they’re wearing makeup.

So what a great result – Airbase Make-Up have brought out an airbrushing system that ANYONE can use – at home!!

There are lots of companies on the market that provide airbrushing equipment and makeup, but I already use Airbase Make-Up professionally, so I got in contact with the company to have a look at their new system and find out how it works – I thought I’d share my experiences with you in this blog.

Airbase Make-Up say the new system that they have designed is for everyone (the retail market), and anyone can use it, at home, every day!  Anyone?  Every day?  Let’s see how easy it really is…..

The Kit Arrives
It’s here – I unbox it all carefully and check everything off against the list of contents.Airbase Kit Unpacked

Mirrored Vanity Unit with LED lit mirror
Airbrush Compressor
High Definition Airbrush
3 x 10ml silicone based Foundation, Blush or Bronze *
30ml Thinner & Cleaner

* I have two foundations and a bronzer.

But I’m missing the Mini Eye Shadow Palette and the Perfecting Primer, so I contact Airbase Make-Up and they both arrive in the post for me the next day – Super quick service!

Assembling The Airbrush
It really is straightforward – providing you READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!Airbase Kit Assembled

The kit comes with a Step by Step guide on how to assemble the airbrush.  It’s also got very clear pictures, so I follow them as they detail and it’s going OK so far.

I now have the nozzle on the airbrush, it’s tightened as I’m guided to do, the product cup is in place, ready for the foundation to go into and the airbrush hose is now attached to the back.  It looks like the picture – always a good start!

So I’m finished and I’m ready to start using it now!

Using The Airbrush
I’ve removed the protective temporary cover from the mirror, and plugged the unit in.  The power cable could do with being a little longer, but as the mirror in the lid of the case angles right back, I can plug it in where convenient.  There’s a switch at the top for the five very bright LED lights on each side of the mirror.

Now it’s time to get the foundation into the airbrush – back to the step by step guide – and I’m following it to the letter.

I shake the foundation bottle then put about 6 drops into the holder on the side of the airbrush.  It’s quite thick and nothing comes out when I turn the power on and test spray against a tissue.  Back to the instructions!
Airbase Test Spray
On the back is a Trouble Shooting section – and the first point is one called ‘No Product Flow’ – as soon as I look at the things to check for, I don’t think there’s enough foundation there as well as it looks too thick, so I dilute with a little bit of the Thinner and Cleaner and add a little more foundation too.

Let’s try again!

Bingo, it works and the foundation sprays out onto the tissue!

I practice for a bit on the tissue to get the flow right so I don’t get too much product in one area, and now’s time to give it a go on my face!


Come back for part 2 – Airbrushing HD Foundation

Fresh Faced & Flawless

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Have you seen the new Fresh Faced range of foundations, powders and concealers from Miners Cosmetics?Miners Fresh Faced Foundations

I wrote abut their new products for Meade Magazine this month – you can read it here:


The foundations retail at £4.99, concealers at £2.99 each and powders are £3.99 each – all available from and quality pharmaciesMiners Fresh Faced Powder

Miners FF Concealers



EX1 Foundations for Olive Skin

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EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundations_ __10_50 - EX1 Cosmetics

Just received the latest sample to test from EX1 Cosmetics for their new range of five foundations, especially formulated for olive skins.  Until now, women with olive skin have had no choice but to buy premium department store brands for make-up that matches their skin colour, but now EX1 Cosmetics is the first affordable, high street brand of its kind which now offers olive skinned women the chance to buy make up without the premium price tag.

The colour range, they offer is from Latino, Mediterranean and North African to Far Eastern, Middle Eastern and Asian.

It’s good.  The foundation is light weight and applies easily, blends well and gives good coverage.

The EX1 ‘Invisiwear’ Liquid Foundations retail at £10.50 and are available from Harvey Nichols and online from