Prime Time

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Getting married?  Have a major event where you need your makeup to look flawless AND have your foundation last? Then use a Primer! If you’re getting married, your makeup needs to look as flawless for your evening celebrations as it does for your arrival to the wedding ceremony and your photographs. But, foundation isn’t what makes your makeup look even and last, a good foundation primer is.

So what is a primer and why use it?  

There are a number of cosmetic primers (eyes, lips, foundation, mascara) available on the market, all with the purpose of prepping the area before applying in makeup. By using a foundation primer first, after your moisturiser has sunk in but before you apply your foundation, the skin will be smoother to start with meaning that your foundation will sit much more evenly and smoothly on your skin, and the longevity of your foundation increases.   In respect of foundation primers, they work like a moisturiser under foundation, 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.  They ease the application of foundation and are meant to create a barrier between foundation and skin.  Whatever, your preference a good primer provides a good base giving a great flawless complexion and helping your makeup last.  

I reviewed five on the market (previously printed in Just Weddings Magazine, September 2013) and there’s some more detail about each one here –

MAC Prep and Prime Skin Base Visage – £20.50
An ultra-fluid lotion formulated with special effect silicones.  The primer calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Armani FLUID MASTER PRIMERMAC Prep & PrimeBy using this primer the lay down and application of foundation or powder is improved.

Giorgio Armani Fluid Master Primer – £34.50
This luxurious ‘second skin’ primer once applied matifies and smoothes, instantly creating the illusion of flawless skin, leaving it soft and prolonging your makeup wear.

Mehron Velvet Finish Primer Serum – £18.28 + pp Velvet Finish Mehron Primer
This primer has been formulated with a fully stabilized Vitamin C Complex that resists normal breakdown from air, heat and moisture. It also contains Aloe Vera Extract and Vitamin E to heal, soothe, and hydrate your skin. The glass bottle of primer even comes packaged in a little black
drawstring bag!  Nice finishing touch.  So cute and just looks fabulous on your dressing table.

Prime Magic Face Primer – £4.95 W7 PRIME_MAGIC_TUBES
This silicone based primer has a fabulous matt, silky finish and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores making the complexion smooth and flawless.

Look Beauty Prime Perfect – £10
Any slight skin wobbles? Meet your makeup’s BFF.  A thin, skin-perfecting layer before you apply the rest of your makeup will see your look last much longer.  Can be worn alone or under foundation.SONY DSC

Shu Uemura! Wow!

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If you haven’t tried their beauty products, you are missing a trick!

Famous for their brushes, lashes and beautiful makeup application techniques, and a convert of these already, I’ve recently discovered a couple more of their other beauty products. Superb!

A talented makeup friend recently joined their makeup team in their flagship store and he has been guiding me through how to use the products professionally to get the best results. It’s worth spending time with counter staff, who are all trained in the makeup they are selling and how to use them best. They are there to help you understand what’s what, so do make the most of them for any brand.

But two new discoveries for me start with the cleansing oils….. Beautiful soft cleansing oils, EVEN if you have greasy skin, they are amazing. I have the Balancing Cleansing Oil and it’s so easy to use. Apply with dry hands to dry skin, rub in to remove makeup and grime, then rinse off. Soft clean skin. They work with just hands and water or muslin cleansing cloths too and are fabulous with stubborn waterproof liners and mascaras too.

I’ve also been using the eye treatment Tsuya Eye, which is £32 and fabulous. I’ve just taken a long haul flight and the effects of jet lag have been taking their toll. But this is great, and it works. Noticeably so (so many don’t!)
Shu Uemura say, on their own site, that it’s a “”youth power switch” for petal-soft, glowing, more youthful-looking skin” – and that 100% of women who tried it would but it afterwards. I have to say its definitely one to have on the list if you have tired eyes, suffer from dark circles and puffiness.

Read my latest blog on UV Under Base Mousse from Shu Uemura (£29) here –



Waterproof eyeliner that actually works!

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Popped into Selfridges the other day for a press event and on the way through I stopped to see George one of the assistants on the Giorgio Armani counter to buy Eyes to Kill Excess Mascara (try it – it is THE BEST!)

He then asked me if I’d tried their Waterproof Smooth Silk Eye Pencil, which I hadn’t.  To be honest, one waterpoof eyeliner is pretty much the same as the next, and none really work; they all end up sliding down under your eyes throughout the day or evening.

That’s what I thought!  I hadn’t tried this one!!!

A jet black, smooth, soft and absolutely waterpoof pencil with a soft smdger on the opposite end if you want to create a waterpoof smoky eye look.  BUT, once it’s set, it stays put.

Brilliant result, so I’m coming back in to get the grey taupe colour next, which has sold out everywhere!!

Gleam and Shine with Glo Minerals

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If you’re reading this, come and say hello to four of my favourite products from Glo Minerals

Introducing –

Gleam Shimmer Brick – £27.50
Metallic Smoky Eye Kit – £27
24k Gold Dust – £30.95
Clear Lip Plumper – £11.50

Testing these products and reviewing them for my magazine beauty pages, has been a pleasure, so much so that I thought I’d share my comments with you too.  Check out the latest edition of Just Weddings Magazine (September 2013) and you’ll see two of them feature in there!

Gleam Shimmer Brick is made up of four gorgeous, light, shimmery colours in four equal segments.  You can apply easily with a soft blusher or bronzing brush, swirling all four of them together forShimmer Brick, gleam - glominerals a captivating all-over-highlight or use each colour individually to highlight and define your face, cheeks and eyes.  I love the effect, and I love how effective the shimmery powder is!   This product has now stayed in my makeup kit, as a permanent fixture and is absolutely recommended!

Glo Minerals tells me it’s formulated with an exclusive antioxidant blend of Vitamins A, C, E and Green Tea Extract.  Can’t be bad!Metallic Smoky Eye Kit - glominerals

And then there’s the Metallic Smoky Eye Kit! This is gorgeous!  The eyeshadow box has four fabulous metallic colours that blend beautifully together creating a sultry, metallic smoky eye.  It’s all boxed up in a sleek, mirrored compact and includes an easy five step application guide.

The 24k Gold Dust is a fabulous, indulgently rich shimmering gold powder, which highlights any area with a rich golden sheen!  Apply to brow bones to highlight eyes, wear as a shadow over the whole lid, or dust over cheeks, arms and decolletage for a real party feel!

And I also love the Glo Minerals Clear Lip Plumper.  I’m told it’s “infused with spheres of Marine Collagen Atelocollgen and (like other Glo products) exclusive antioxidant blend of vitamins A, C, E and green tea extract”, and works “by plumping lips by trapping water and swelling, thus providing volume to the skin’s structures”.

When you use it you feel a light tingling sensation as the plumper starts working immediately. You can wear it alone or before you apply your lip colour.  I love it.  I like the sensation as it works and love the look it gives my lips making them fuller.

All of the Glo Minerals products I’ve tried and tested so far have won me over, but these are my fab 4!

Avant Guarde Crazy Makeup Fun!

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Had such a great, crazy time being super creative and styling this model Chloe Burton on the photoshoot with Harvey Gordon last week (photographer from I was given a free rein on the makeup and styling, with only these two conditions – avant guarde and Chloe’s height to be excessive (yes – she’s stood on a bucket!!)

Here is the end result!Avant Guarde Crazy Makeup Fun!

For her makeup look I primed Chloe’s skin with Mehron Velvet Finish Primer, before applying her foundation – Mehron’s Celebre Pro HD Foundation.  This foundation is superb; oil and fragrance free, smooth, non greasy and contains anti oxidants! Great if you have someone with sensitve skin, and it can be applied as little as needed or layered to get a fuller coverage.

To stop any shine, I applied Ben Nye’s Media Pro HD Powder (colourless), which holds the makeup perfectly and doesn’t look heavy or caked on.

Her eyes were defined using highly pigmented Ben Nye’s Essential Eye Shadow Palette in black and lined with Mehron’s black kohl eyeliner pencil to get a dark gothic effect. False lashes applied from the Eyelure Girls Aloud range and coated with extra mascara to increase the thickness.

But the best part was drawing in OTT eyebrows in red, and colouring her lips blue black! Thanks Barry M Cosmetics! Your vibrant red lip liner and navy and black eyeliners did this job perfectly.

Makeup done, I dressed Chloe in swathes of velvet and wrapped a boa of ostrich feathers around her head!

Crazy day and more images on my website and my Facebook page – Katrina Stamp Makeup Artist

Ben Nye & Mehron makeup supplied from Treasure House of Makeup

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