Tag Archives: skin

I’m a makeup artist and I have a bad reputation.

Most of our exposure to makeup artists before we book one for a wedding, or meet one on a photoshoot is through the makeup counters. This seems to be the birth place for my bad reputation and I just want to say: I know and I get it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tarring every counter guy/girl with an unfair brush. I know, love and recommend many artists who have worked in retail, but I have never had a client with all good things to say about retail counter experiences. I myself am nervous on approach to some of my favourite brand displays because I  dread the hard sell, the faux-friendly pushiness, and the outright bullshit.MAC counterThe other occasion where you might experience emotional damage through makeup is when you’ve been a bridesmaid and basically been assaulted. ‘Too much makeup, the wrong colours, caked, heavy, harsh, ageing’ have all been words used to describe awful makeup trials or that time you were a bridesmaid and had to scrub some off in the bathroom without alerting your friend, the bride. 

Two things are happening here: in one instance there is a retail employee paid to sell you products. They are paid to make you believe that any given pot of cream or disc of powder is going to change your face and your life. In the second instance, there is someone who has not met you before, hasn’t had a trial with you (bridesmaids are rarely afforded a trial session) and they both have an idea of what to make you look like. It’s a very British thing we apparently do to nod and smile and then scurry away to find a cotton pad. It’s the same with hairdressers but that’s a whole different post….

The online trend for face shape-altering makeup (thanks Kim K) has been plaguing me for a couple of years now and I spend the first five minutes of any appointment reassuring clients that ‘it’s ok, I don’t do that’. The clients I seem to attract want to look polished, flawless and natural – the best version of themselves’ and thankfully that’s what I want to achieve too. Even when the brief for makeup is something more expressive, creative and bold especially for photo shoots, when its more about colour, texture and graphic lines, my starting point is always for the face of that individual to look it’s best. Skin looking flawless, fresh and healthy means everything else will be a bonus.









Historically makeup has been used, where available, to celebrate, decorate, protect, and party. A fabulous moment in makeup history was when Queen Victoria  publicly declared all makeup to be improper, vulgar, and acceptable only for use by actors. Luckily for Vic she didn’t have access to Instagram and ‘concealer brow’. We have so much more access to make up than ever before. So many colours, styles and products are crammed on to shelves and counters and I can appreciate the temptation to use them all, but for most people on an average Tuesday, it’s going to look bad. There is a time and a place (and it’s night time, under a disco ball).image image

So, yes I get it. I know what you want makeup to do and I feel the same way. Just to demonstrate, here’s my makeup on an average Tuesday. Before and after (gulp). image image

This is a first for me and while I’m loathe to put this on the internet I think it’s important because I’m a makeup artist and I want to have a good reputation.

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.)


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.




Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum


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



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.




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