The Makeup Artists Choice

A beauty/lifestyle blog By Kate Emma

Many moon ago I took my Makeup Artistry exams. Too many being ten.
For one exam  I had to to take a model (my best friend) with me, and execute a look on her. Only when starting my exam did I realise I had left my whole bag of lipsticks at home, on the end of my bed, waiting patiently for me to pick them up.
All the blood went straight to my head.
Panic erupted, and if I didnt think on my feet quickly before my tutor realised, then it was going to also be erupting from elsewhere (soz for TMI).
Luckily for me, I had my good ole faithfull Illamasqua cream blushers on me, that I used not only as a blush, but as a lipstick.
Crisis averted and I passed my exams. 

So this got me thinking recently, that as a makeup artist I have to think on my feet and be creative, as you can be a hundred percent sure, at some point in your career, the photographer who wanted "natural makeup darling!" has a change of heart and decides "Glitter darling, think disco ball!"is actually what his camera shaped heart desires, and you just have to quietly cry inside while you smash a iridescent limited edition MAC eyeshadow into smithereens, because when packing for a natural makeup, glitter didn't pass across your mind as a necessity.....

True story *sob*

 I have to think this way, but what about the girl who just likes to play with makeup? 
Brands will have us believe we need approx 100,000 products to create our everyday faces. But the reality is, you really dont.
So here's some of my tips and tricks that hopefully you may find useful too.

1 - Mix lipsticks.

I should really take my own advice with this one, I currently have a rather large stash of lipsticks that am pretty sure will never see the light of day or a lip. You really dont need XXX amounts of lipsticks to have a extensive collection of colours. Pop one colour on your lip, then another and rub. Using basic colour knowledge will help you get some great custom made colours here, ie red + blue = purple etc.

2 Waste not Want not -

When you get to the end of your lipstick tube, scrape out the rest and pop it in a little cosmetic jar like these from Amazon. You get ten and they only cost £2.59. There's always loads of product left at the bottom of a lipstick, so this is a great cost effective way to use it all up, and get all the bang for your buck.

3 - Blushing Lips

Using a cream blusher on the lips is nothing new, but not somthing I see as much anymore. I personally love a matching lip and blush combo, It's very swarve.

4 - Ditto Cheeks

Lipstick on the apples of your cheeks is another great way of making the most of your products. Just pop some on your fingertips and then dab,dab, dab. Just maybe not that beige lipstick... But each to their own!

5 - Mascara Brushes

When your mascaras hit the dust, simple give the brush a very (very) good wash and ta-da, you've got yourself a spooly for keeping them eyebrows under control!

6 - Pinky it

Tape is great for creating a great sharp crisp wing, but when you haven't got time for that or just don't want to ruin your foundation. Create a slight wing and using your little fingers nail, gently pull your nail along the liner. Super simple and quick.

 7 - Everything everywhere

Use bronzer as a eyeshadow, use eyeshadow (think pink) as blusher, Use (clean) lip pencils as eyeliner and eyeliner as lip liner. Makeup really is about having fun and being creative, not just about looking hawt as shit, even though I'm sure you do that pretty well!
 Look at your makeup bag in a whole different light (kinky!) and you could well of found yourself a whole lot more products to play with.

bargain beauty buys

I love a good budget buy. I know that may be hard to tell from my previous post, as my makeup bag does contain some serious 'have a sit down and word with yourself' purchases. But I am by no means snobby when it comes to more affordable buys.
 In fact there's something quite satisfying about them. Like youve got one up on the rich power house brands.
So you may not get that instagrammable cardboard carrier bag, but that glossy bag (in particularly Superdrugs) contains just as much excitement as its expensive cousin (yes I get excited about carrier bags, and find them to be one of the reasons I don't do a lot of online shopping,exceptions being Amazon, but Amazon is the Woolworths (RIP) of the internet).
Excitement of carrier bags aside,  here's a not to extensive list of my current favorite beauty bargain buys.

*Carmex £3

Super affordable and super effective. This cult classic is still one of the best lip balms on the market. It doesn't give you that super glossy slippy finish, so its perfect for sitting underneath your lipstick and not interfering with the finish. Plus sometimes you can find quirky limited edition packaging, which is always a treat.

Avon Supershock eyeliner (possibly discontinued or renamed, meltdown imminent) -

I remember this having a bit of a moment a few years back, and rightly so as well! Its one of the most incredibly soft eyeliners that doesn't have the common trait of smudging like soft eyeliners usually do. Its one of the blackest black eyeliners that I've come across, and definitely deserves a place in any eyeliner enthusiasts makeup bag, ie me.

*Nicky Clarkes Sheer Blonde  £5.99- 

I don't think I will never not use this. It's perfect for those months when you just want a change but don't want to spend £££ on a new shampoo and conditioner. Or when your strapped for cash and cannot justify paying £££ for shampoo. Or if you just dont like spending £££ on haircare. I use the original formula which I have done since I was a teen and it will always have a place in my heart. 

*Bourjois Nail Polish 1 Second £5.99 + Magic Nail Polish Remover £4.99 -

 Double whammy here (slightly cheating I know)! The remover may be one of my all-time favorite beauty inventions. I'm quite a newbie at jumping on this band wagon, so excuse my excitement, but I bloody love it. No more nail polish remover spills, no more stench that clears all the cats out the room, no more cotton wool bits stuck to your nails. Just simple, put finger in and swirl, TA-DA polish gone! 
Their nail polishes are equally just as good. The colors are elegant and the brush applicator is a fantastic firm full brush. I detest nail polishes that have a long flimsy brush, and really wish more brands would follow Bourjois lead. Am also pretty sure that a certain future queen wore Bonjour polish on her wedding day, and if its good enough for her.....

*Neutrogena hand cream currently on offer for £2.89 -

 Hands are one of the first things to age. They get used every day, and are constantly exposed to the elements. I do not take good enough care of my hands I admit, but I've recently purchased this classic hand cream and now I'm not sure my hands can live without it. They genuinely feel like sand paper without! This is such a gloriously thick balm, yet it absorbs almost immediately.
 My hands are definitely appreciating the extra love.

*Please note: This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own as always. The Links are affiliate links. 
All images are my own ,and prices/offers may vary from those stated online compared to in stores. 

Im not a particularly loyal customer when it comes to makeup. 
I'm constantly clearing
out the contents of my makeup bag, and I quite happily replace a favorite if something better comes along. 
Fickle creature that I am.
I also find it quite boring constantly replacing the same products. Running out of something is always a excuse to try something new and spend money that I definitely shouldn't be spending.
So with that being said, here's the contents of my makeup bag right now, right now being the optimal phrase as I'm sure next month it will be completely different.


Instant top marks for packaging here. Its sleek, sexy and closes properly, not a magnetic strip in sight. Every single one of these shadows is designed to be flattering and wearable, completely timeless. 
The shadows are extremely buttery soft, and blend to perfection. A great palette for any skill set.


If there's one concealer I know I can rely on its Macs Studio Finish. It has super high coverage, covering the most prominent under eye circles. And the added SPF just makes for a bonus, 

Bobbi knows her skin and her highlighters are no exception. This is simply stunning across the hightops of your face and body. You're not going to get a full on mega glow with it, but if you're into more subtle natural looking highlighters then the warmth that the pink gives to this highlight, is flattering and looks slightly more realistic than straight-forward in-your-face pearlised china doll skin .


Can you get any more luxury then Chanel makeup? For me personally its no. I've had this powder for years and even though I try not to use it that often, when I do I feel a million pounds. The powder not only beautifully sets makeup, but it also gives a touch of extra coverage. It works perfectly fine on my drier areas and looks amazing on any dressing table.


Im literally on the last drugs of this, which is one of the worst feelings when you know its been discontinued. Why do brands do this!!!

Gel liners are all pretty much the same I find. So no wow factor here I'm afraid. It works lovely though, and does its job well. Plus the packaging is rather pretty. 

The best eyebrow/lash gel ever. This will set your brows in place until the end of time. It leaves no flakey residue that some others do throughout the day, and is a complete must, if like myself, you're a eyebrow obsessive.  May it never leave my life.

Laura does some of the best lip pencils I have ever tried. If you have never checked out the range that she does, I urge you to. The staying power is fab, and they have just the right amount of firmness the give you that sharp edge but without the harshness. Natural lips and plumberry are my all time favorites.

I go in and out of phrases with this primer. Its nice to use, and it does keep my makeup in place. However once you've used Laura Merciers radiance primer you never really go back. This is in my makeup bag purely because ive run out of LMs and I knew this was kicking around. Its you just want more of a subtle sheen compared to the Laura Mercier one, then possibly give this one a try. 

I jadore this foundation. The smell, the packaging, the coverage. the glow. I have to different shades of this, so I can mix my foundation for a all year round  finish. If your not after massive coverage, and love a glowy skin, then this is your girl. I doubt there will ever be a time I will not love this. 

What can I say. I like eyeliner variety.! I find a liquid liner can give a much sharper wing then  a gel. But a gel is a lot easier to handle. So really depending on how much time I have to do a eyeliner, i will go between the Estee Lauder gel and this liquid. This is quite simply the blackest liquid eyeliner I have ever used, and the easiest to hold , thanks to its longer handle. 

One of the most iconic makeup products. If I feel like I need a little extra help in the skin department I will always reach for this. Used in the inner eye ducts it makes you look more awake, used around the mouth area it can help to makes your lips look more plumped. 
Its is definitely not a concealer! Use it as it was meant, a highlight. 

Its so hard to find eyebrow products when your blonde that aren't orange. I find the ABH dipbrow in taupe is the perfect flat colour with no warmth to it. The Instagram product of the year. I feel so clique having this in my makeup bag. I say no more... 

This is a great eye primer which I often use just as a shadow if my eyes are looking a little tired. Its slightly drying, so is perfect for a oilier lid.

My favorite matte lipsticks. These are super long lasting but without the horrible drying effect. Im currently going between the shades Sensual and Embrace. 


I always use a puff to set my powder. I find pressing my finishing powder into my skin rather then dusting it, helps to really push the foundation into the skin, giving it a long lasting power.

A fan brush is a great way of applying a finishing powder if you want just a  really light dusting, but is also perfect for applying highlighter. 

So thats it. 
As you can see Im currently missing a mascara. Which is fine as sometimes I do like the no mascara look, but I also just havent found one recently thats been any good! So if you have any recommendations for a mascara that would be aces.
I also need to replace my little angle brush that I use for my gel liner and dip brow. I usually just stick to a little MAC angle brush, but if anyone knows of any better ones, hook me up in the comments below! 

*Please note: This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own as always. The Links are affiliate links. 
All images are my own, and prices/offers may vary from those stated online compared to in stores. 

estee lauder free gift 2017

There's a awesome gift with purchase running currently over at Estee Lauder. The toiletry bag (which is extremity pretty and a great summer makeup bag!) is full of their best selling products all at deluxe sample sizes. There's everything from lip gloss to eye cream, and best of all they all seem to be different from store to store (ie. Boots, debenhams, etc).

Products included in the Boots version are -








And free with a third purchase


Personal highlights for me are the Advanced Night Repair Serum and eye cream.
 Advance night serum is a lovely light texture, almost silky perhaps, and there’s no tackiness after application. 
It packs some serious hydration and is literally forty winks in a bottle. 
The Advanced Repair eye cream is just as good, I've used it on and off over the years and I always baffle myself as to why I don't use it continuously. Perhaps it's the packaging, it's just not that sexy and Im a sucker for pretty packaging. 

To receive my goodie bag all I did was spend £20! I purchased two sample sizes of my moisturiser which actually works out cheaper than me buying the full sized product 

Trial sizes £10 for 15 ml x 2 = £20 for 30 ml 

Full size £42 for 50ml

So you're actually better off buying four trial sizes for £40 (£2 cheaper) and getting 60ml.

The moisturiser is the Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Sheer Tint Release SPF15 Moisturizer, which is the perfect summer time moisturiser. It smells like cucumbers and as you rub it in, it releases a lovely glowy bronzy tint to the skin. 

estee lauder free gift 2017

So if you're a Estee Lauder lover or if you have been waiting to try out the brand nows the time! Limited stocks are available, *unless you live near me then dont bother, I've brought them all!

*I'm only slightly kidding...

*Please note: This post is not sponsored by Boots or Estee Lauder. All opinions are my own as always. The Links are affiliate links. 

All images are my own or taken from Boot’s website, and prices/offers may vary from those stated online compared to in stores. 

Tatler magazine
Summer is coming.... 
It's been coming for almost as long as winter has been coming in Game Of Thrones, well maybe not as long as that but it feels like it. However, fear not dear people, our wait is not too long now, for both UK British Summer time and The Game Of Thrones impending winter/doom. 
GOT references aside, Summer really is on its way. June will soon be upon us and when it comes it always brings with it some warmer weather, YAY.
 So what better time to start stocking up on Summertime beauty essentials!
 I for one will be, before the sun makes its surprise visit (aren't we always shocked when summer does happen?) and I'm sniffing last year's SPF with hopes that it might not be off (it always is, dont risk it!).
piz buin sun allergy

Sun Cream - *Piz Buin Allergy SPF 50+ - £7

Starting with the most obviously important product first, sun cream. I suffer horrendously with heat bumps. If the sun gets a glimpse of my naked skin, my skin immediately freaks out and covers itself with itchy, lumpy, red hives. Not quite the accessory that I want going with my sun hat. Piz Buin Allergy sun cream is the only sun cream that I have tried so far that prevents the pesky bumps from appearing. It also smells like sun, sea and sexy men all bottled into one. 

dove derma spa

Moisturiser - *Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived Medium to Dark Skin Body Lotion 200ml - Currently on offer for £3.89 

I'm a massive fan of Dove skincare in general so perhaps im a bit biased in saying this, but I do truly believe they do one of the best gradual tanners on the market. Not only is it simply the best at keeping you hydrated and not drying like some others, but im personally also a huge fan of the smell. The colour is always very natural looking ( I use it as a top up in between fake tanning) and if you blend it in properly it's always streak free. 
estee lauder perfectly clean multi action foam clenser

Cleanser - *Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask 30ml - £10 Currently on a buy two get a free gift bag full of goodies offer!! 

I love Estee Lauder's skincare, they just get it so right. And now that they've released these little treat sized versions of some of their iconic skincare, I cannot wait to give them all a whirl! This cleanser not only works extremely well at removing makeup, but it also doubles up as a purifying face mask! This is perfect if you still wear makeup during the summer, but are worried about sweaty blocked pores (we have all been there, no judgement is passed here).
rimmel london fix and protect

Now I'm not going to tell you any fibs here, this is not my favorite primer. That would be Laura Merciers primers and particularly at this time of year her protect version with SPF 30 in it. However that one costs £30 and I would much rather be spending thirty quid on cocktails. 
The Rimmel Fix and Protect, has a high SPF in it, which for drugstore is amazing, and it does its job well enough. Its biggest selling point is the SPF included, which for 6,99 is fab.
revlon colourburst

I cannot bare the thought of wearing a matte lip this summer. In fact I think my lips just shriveled up a bit just typing that! Hydrated, plump lips are definitly on the agenda this summer, and I'll be getting my Revlon Balms back out. The hydrating formula changes in opacity depending how many layers you apply, and is surprisingly long lasting. 
barry m gelly polish

If you follow my Instagram, you would know I'm having a real love affair with this white nail polish. When I purchased it, I thought it was going to just be another wishy washy faded white, but wow was I wrong! After two coats of this paint, I look like I've dipped my nails in Tippex. I may even go as bold as saying this may be the best white nail polish I have ever tried, and it has some serious staying power behind it. White nails against a tan is definitly one of my favorite summer time looks. 
benefit rollerlash

Mascara -* Benefit Rollerlash - £10.50

Ok, Ok, I'm very aware this is 50p over, but it's 50p well spent! I'm not a huge Benefit lover, but I was fortunate enough to try this mascara when it first came out and I've loved it ever since. I tend to get smudgy under eyes in the summer if i wear mascara on my lower lashes, but this is one of the very few mascaras that doesn't create that problem. It's also classed as water resistant. In other words, sweat proof.
bumble and bumble surf spray

Set the scene. Your swaggering out of the sea, with the sun glistening off of your sun kissed skin. Your hair swishes from side to side, like some mighty majestic lions mane. 
You are smokin!
Now back to reality. I'm not going away (as of yet!) this year, so im going to have to recreate this fantasy with a million and one products instead of the sun, sea and sand. Bumble's surf spray does give you that fantasy hair look, but unfortunately it will also leave your hair minging to the tough. 
It's the price we pay to look beautiful.
 I haven't met a single salt spray that hasn't done that mind you, so this is no offense to Bumble and Bumble. 

So there's eight of my best beauty buys that I'll be stocking up with in time for summer! What will you be buying?
For more from me, follow along on instagram and twitter@theMUAchoice

*Please note: This post is not sponsored by Boots or any of the brands mentioned above. All opinions are my own as always. The Links are affiliate links. 
All images are taken from Boot’s website, and prices/offers may vary from those stated online compared to in stores. 

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