Category Archives: Products

Top Tip Tuesday – High Street Blusher

Affordable and really pretty blusher comes to you this Tuesday morning, care of High Street staple Maybelline, NY.

Dream Touch Blush is a cream/mousse blusher which dries to a powder finish but still appears beautifully fresh and dewy on the skin. There are a few shades to choose from, from a peachy ‘barely there’ sheen, to a deeper plum pink and I’ve found that I like to use two together for a beautiful glowing finish which is still a bargain when buying two!

top left, Maybelline Dream Touch blush are now in the kit!

top left, Maybelline Dream Touch blush are now in the kit!

Shade options are ‘apricot’, ‘peach’, ‘berry’ and ‘plum’. All have a beautiful built in highlighter which reflects light and enhances the condition of the skin. They are perfect as part of a bridal or daytime make up palette and can help you achieve of of my favourite London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 16 looks by Pat McGrath for Gucci.

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My Top Tip for creating this fresh peachy look and keeping it well blended is to use ‘apricot’ as a blusher base. On most skin tones it will be invisible but just add a bit of a sheen. Then dot and dab to blend upwards along the cheek bones with any of the other shades. It gives you something to work into if you’re not wearing foundation and prevents any hard line of blush developing.12662722_956554594427317_6740260878929970402_n

It’s priced at roughly £6.50 per pot and currently on 3 for 2 at Boots! Total bargain. Blush with abandon.

Carolanne x

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Valentine’s Day Red Lipstick Tutorial

It’s the best seasonal excuse this side of Christmas to wear a bold red lipstick, whether you give a fig about Valentine’s Day or not. I love vibrant red lips and here’s how I would recommend making it current and wearable.

Step 1. Really important: apply some lip balm or something that will soften and lift off any dry skin. Carmex, Paw Paw ointment, and Lanolips are all used in my kit depending on condition of the skin. Skin Food is a really great emergency remedy. Apply and allow to absorb.www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist

 

Step 2. Do the rest of your make up. I really like the lips to be the main focus with the rest of the face quite simple. This stops you looking too made up and keeps the look current. I’ve applied serum, foundation, filled my eyebrows, cream blusher and mascara. I’m thinking runway red lip, not 50’s pin-up. (If you’re not wearing any other makeup, talk amongst yourselves for a minute.)


Step 3.  gently scrub lips to remove any skin that’s lifted off and wipe away excess balm. Use a lip liner no darker than your chosen colour to line and fill the lips. It doesn’t need to match exactly. In fact a nude lip liner is good under most lip shades. Don’t over-draw, just trace the edge of your own lip. Repeat after me: I am not Jodie Marsh/Shannon Doherty in 90210 (The Original!) The purpose of the lipliner is to prevent bleeding and give your lipstick something to stick to.image-3-e1454678726567 www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist

Step 4. Using a lip brush, start at the cupid’s bow and fill away from the middle, following the liner. I recommend a red lipstick with a moisturising matt finish in this process. I’m using Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Matt Lip Colour in 51 ‘La Bouleversante’. Don’t venture too far into the corners or it can look clownish. www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist

Step 5. Blot, and repeat step 4. When I say blot, I mean press firmly. You want the colour to be pressed in,  and become stained.  (Depending on how bold you want it, you can repeat step 4 again to add another layer of colour.)www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist

Alternatively: To wear it in a  ‘not too fussed actually’ style, paint only onto the centre of the lips, dab and lightly blend by tapping outwards with a fingertip. It doesn’t need to look perfect, just deliberate.www.carolannearmstrong.com // hair and makeup artist

You will probably need to touch up if you’re eating and drinking. A retractable lip brush is a great thing to have with you. A straw is always helpful, but actually, I think it’s perfectly fine to leave your mark.

Carolanne x

A Make Up Artist’s Kit Secret: Skin Food

Skin Food. It’s multi-purpose wonder stuff.

I know a lot of you are interested in ‘no nasties’ in your skin products and Weleda are marvellous for thatSkin Food is something of a cult wonder product, rated highly by celebs and my model favourite Erin O’Connor I’ve been in love with it for years and thought I’d add a post here for anyone still unfamiliar with it. Skin Food contains organic plant extracts, plant oils and waxes, essential oils orange and lavandulae and almond oil, sunflower oil,organic beeswax and hypoallergenic lanolin. No artificial preservatives or parabens. Nobody likes a paraben.

image: carolanne armstrong

The key active plant ingredients in Skin Food read like my dream garden: Chamomile Flower Extract. The flowers of this plant possess gentle healing and anti-inflammatory properties. In skin care it is often paired with Calendula, the combination having a soothing, calming effect. Wild Pansy Extract: the tiny viola tricolour is particularly good for rough or cracked skin, and helps keep skin supple. Calendula Flower Extract is known for it’s soothing and healing effects on irritated or inflamed skin and has antibacterial properties, protecting from infection. Rosemary Leaf Extract which  is revitalising and stimulating to the complexion.

So with all that in mind, here are my 5 favourite applications of Skin Food…

5. Elbows and knees – target dry skin patches.

4. Hand cream – especially in the winter, apply with abandon. It’s great for nail and cuticle conditioning. It’s a good day when even your nails look moisturised.

3. Baby safe – I happily use on my baby’s skin, you only need a teeny amount.

2. Overnight foot treatment for cracked heels and dry toes.

***drumroll please***

1. If you have dry lips from the assault of the winter winds but want to wear a statement lipstick, Skin Food makes for quite the awesome matt lip primer, as used on this photoshoot. (Apply sparingly, pat in and allow to dry)

Image ©www.fanniwilliams.com

I have lots of samples of Skin Food in my kit for any clients with skin in need of feeding (I am a feeder).

Carolanne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 30-something Skin Care

If you want makeup to look good, you might need to invest in your skin care…

I don’t claim that any skin care product will halt, reverse, or reduce the effect of time on your fabulous face. I will say that make up application is easier…nay, JOYFUL when skin is cared for. Your face feels great and looks healthier which isn’t a bad place to start. Applying makeup to dry, dehydrated, uneven skin is a challenge and means more product layers which I prefer to avoid.

My much fussed-over face 2015 © www.photographybybea.co.uk

I’ve worked my way through a huge variety of skin care products trying to find the right ones for me, and I’m loathe to admit that as I’ve aged, the price has gone up. I remember fondly when I would whack on a bit of Olay in my early 20’s. As a student, £5 on a moisturiser was an indulgence! I needed a light, easily absorbed moisturiser before make up. Boxes were ticked, make up was ace, good times were had.olay

I loved that stuff. Most importantly, my skin loved it…because my skin was 20. It’s now 35, and a massive diva.

After some years of smoking, hormonal sabotage during pregnancies, sleep deprivation, a lot of coffee and natural ageing the £5 indulgence is now jokes. Skin care  must evolve, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t wear a lot of make up but want your skin to look good. So if you feel like you need to work a bit harder to feel fresh-faced, here’s what I find beneficial. (I use these everyday and I’m happy with them because they make my skin feel clean, fresh, smooth, moisturised and genuinely appear brighter. They are paraben free and most have ‘sensitive’ alternatives.)

Cleansing:

Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution Bioderma-h20-Micellaire

Cleanses skin, removes makeup, no scrubbing. Claims to reduce redness encourage your skin to moisturise itself. I genuinely look forward to cleaning my face and and I use this on my clients before a primer.

Available online and in many local pharmacies/ larger Boots stores.

 

 

Daytime:

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum

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I could go evangelical on this. You’ll actually need a pea-sized amount. The consistency is watery and brings to mind a lubricant…or something. It applies like silk and is totally absorbed, leaving a perfect smooth and non-greasy base. I use it in the morning before everyday makeup.

Available as above.

Night time:

After another BioDerma cleanse I use this if skin is feeling especially thirsty, dry and tight from the weather/heating/aircon.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream

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I couldn’t wear this under makeup. It’s very rich and feels wonderful the following morning, skin is touchably moisturised. Available as above.

 

Avene Night

 

 

If  my skin’s feeling ok and not especially dry I use Avene Physiolift Night Balm. Again, a small amount needed and I apply everywhere except eyes. Available as above.

 

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When I started noticing that the skin around my eyes had changed, become more papery and I couldn’t apply my eyeliner as easily, that’s when I started using eye cream. I’m using this Midnight Recovery Eye at night. My eyes aren’t puffy and I don’t have dark circles. I’m looking for moisture and plumping to improve the base for make up.

SO that’s my daily skin care (FYI my skin would be described as ‘normal’ with oily t-zone tendencies). Your needs will likely be different, but the pharmacy brands are pretty universally safe and I can wholeheartedly recommend them if you want an unendorsed, picky, passionate and pale-skinned opinion. (I have a separate lip-care post coming soon!)

 

Carolanne x

 

New Website + Competition Winners!

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Ta-da! Welcome to the new website! I hope first impressions are good; I have tried to make myself presentable.

Please do have a look around and tell me what you think?

As my first blog post I’d like to thank all my gorgeous Facebook followers who offered feedback on what they’d like to see on my blog. I have my categories lined up as you can see, plenty of food for thought and lots of ideas to be getting on with. I hope you’ll enjoy and find my posts useful, if not essential to your life..!

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For now, as promised, the winners of my prize draw (picked at random by in-house reluctant model, V) as a thank you for all your great feedback. If your name is below, please could you email your postal address to info@carolannearmstrong.com and I’ll post them out tomorrow.

1. Charlotte Harris
2. Kim Andrews
3. Helen Seidler
4. Sarah Nuttall
5. Lindsay Parker
6. Debbie Hall
7. Michelle Antill
8. Kate Marchant
9. Gemma Thompson
10. Kate Andrews

Huge thanks again for taking the time to help. If you missed out this time, there will be more product giveaway posts in the future, so keep in touch.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Carolanne x