Friday 28 June 2013

My IMATS London 2013 Experience


Since becoming a Makeup Artist going to Imats has always been something I wanted to do.  After watching all the vlogs and reading all the blog posts from London Imats 2012 I blatantly told my best friend and fellow MUA Amy that nothing was stopping us going in 2013. This year they decided to to move the show to June as the snow in January 2012 was horrendous. Me and Amy had to wait a whole 18 months for the show it killed us!

Our day started at six o'clock Saturday morning (well mine started 12 hours before that but if I talk about that it will turn into a rant.) Me and Amy had decided to fly over in the morning and fly back in the evening to give us more money to play around with shopping. We flew into Gatwick Airport at half nine and headed straight into the train station. The station is in the airport so pretty simply to catch the train. I had pre-booked our tickets online so I had our whole journey planned our prior to arriving. We had to get a train to Clapham Junction and then from there to Kensington Olympia. Clapham Junction is Crazy confusing with 17 different platforms trains arriving every minute enclosed underground tunnels, you think Connolly station is busy you have seen nothing yet. With a quick pit stop to the shop for some energy drinks and oaty breakfast bar we hoped on the train to Kensington and 10 minutes later we were at Imats.

There was a little queue outside when we got there as even though we had our online tickets you still had to register at the door. When we arrived there at 11am the show was in full swing and the hall was quickly filling up. We had a little walk around first, got lay of the land a bit and decided to head to M.A.C first as it looked quite busy.

M.A.C had one of the biggest stands in the centre of the room. Each side had a till in the centre and the corners had 4 mini stands. Each stand had 4/5 sales assistants standing by them. The mini stands each had different products. One foundation, one lipstick and lip pencils, one eye shadows and blushers and one with all their other products. Amy had a long list for each section. Me myself only wanted some foundation so I left her to it. I headed straight to its mini stand and was quickly served by a very friendly lad with floppy hair and a tan. He popped my foundations in a bag and gave me a ticket and to go stand in the till queue.

The queue was atrocious there was only 15 ahead of me but it took an hour to get to the top as they were handling Mac Pro card applications at the till. Frankly I think they should of had a separate till for it as it just held things up significantly. During this time the hall got even busier and the heat got unbearable.

From there we went onto Love Makeup I could not get into to see anything so decided to pop back a while later. We headed to Inglot only to find it was basically cheaper to shop at home with our pro discount. I picked up one thing but only because I needed it ASAP. Otherwise we both left disappointed from Inglot.

We then headed to Stargazer. They had a great selection of products and some good bargains so I scooped up a few things. From there we headed to Makeup Forever.

I did not need anything but Amy had a little list, unfortunately she did not have a great experience here. The stand was pretty busy but the customer service was not up to par. I stood away from the stand but could see the sales assistants standing in the middle of the stand having a chinwag and poor Amy been one of many trying to get their attention. After 25 minutes she left the stand with no products and in the height of it.

We headed to Crown Brush one of our favourite stands at the Irish Beauty Show. We both wanted a palette and I picked up a few brushes even though I have near 200, can never have enough!

Next onto Royal and Langnickel where Amy picked up a brush set for herself and I restrained myself and only got one brush.

I headed back to Love Makeup and picked up some Lime Crime goodies. I really wanted a Pigment from Sugapill and the powder brush from Real Techniques but they had sold out of both. Can I just say the women that served me was extremely friendly and helpful and got me the last Lime Crime lipstick in the shade I wanted.

I then went onto to Charles Fox and picked up some Special Effects goodies. Their prices were super and the stand was not to packed either so I was in and out in a jiffy.

Amy hit a few more smaller stands to pick up stencils and paints and I had a look around some other brush stands looking for the perfect powder brush but alas I had yet to find one that matches my LA Makeup one. 

The hall was extremely crowded now and me and Amy had small wheelie suitcases. This seemed to annoy some other fellow shoppers even though we tried really hard to manoeuvre where the crowds were dense and if we had to squeeze through people we lifted the cases. We decided to head back to Makeup Forever so Amy could give them another go hoping for better service.

I stood to the side and waited 40 minutes for her to reemerge during this time I caught glimpses of Fleur de Force, BeautyCrush and Sprinkle of Glitter. I was a bit star struck and did not go say hi which I am kicking myself over. Crowds of young girls crowded around them for pictures and chats. I barely saw them move in the 40 minutes they were close to me every time they tried to approach a stand they were quickly surrounded by another group of girls. I kind of felt for them in a way.

Amy soon emerged and we decided to leave we were tired and extremely warm and needed some food. It was only past 3pm. I did not attend any talks which I am a bit disappointed about but I missed the one I really wanted to go to waiting at the M.A.C stand and my concentration was gone for the later ones.

Me and Amy's plan is to head to Canada next year on a work visa so London IMATS is not on the cards but we do plan to hit the Vancouver one in Canada except this time we will plan to do it a little different. We plan on on getting our Makeup Artist Gold Pro card which entitles us to head to the Pro only event. Which means easier more relaxed shopping and not so many people.  Also I am going to write a better list heading to the busy stands i.e M.A.C with a list means faster service as the assistant takes your list and gets your products.

I did not take many pictures but here is a few I did take of the amazing work created at IMATS.

Karla Powell and Assistant at the Crown Brush Stand recreating her Pop Art inspired look.

At the Makeup Forever Stand

This was at the Mehron stand it was my favourite of the day till I saw the one below.

This was at the Makeup Atelier Paris stand. Not only did she have 3d skulls on her buttocks and breasts she glowed in the dark it was just fantastic.

I nearly forgot to mention I met the fantastic Laura from All Made Up 21 on the day. It was great to see a fellow blogger over there and I know she got some goodies while she was there so keep an eye out  for her haul.

My Haul will be appearing on my Youtube Channel probably Monday or Tuesday so keep an eye out its a big one!

Thursday 6 June 2013

Pür Minerals Starter Kit Review

* I received this starter kit from the Wizard PR event, honestly I was a bit apprehensive about it I was never really a fan of mineral cosmetics. I never thought that they gave me enough coverage or sat right on my skin, I am talking from low end mineral powders to high end, nothing ever did the job and quickly went back to my liquid foundation.

The 5 piece starter kit containers a compact foundation, a compact bronzer, a correcting primer, mascara and chisel brush. The foundation and bronzer are the size of eyeshadows and honestly I do not know how long they will last but when applying you do not use that much and literally no fall out.

The primer is pretty small with only 10mls but by god is this primer amazing. you instantly see it smoothing out pores and a little goes along way. The mascara is small but I have yet to try it. I have like 6 mascaras open at the moment and they only last 6 months, so I am refraining from opening another one.

 On first impressions the brush did not seem appealing to me, it just did not look luxurious. (Bit of magpie syndrome.) Looks can be deceiving and this brush does the business. Its sturdy, does not inhale the product and blends super easy. It is not too big and easily controlled with its palm length handle.

Aghh me mug with all my flaws present!
Now for the foundation, as I said I was not optimistic, as you can see from the extra large picture of my face I suffer from redness around my nose and chin. I have slight dark circles( this was a Friday night I was well rested from few days off work. A few spots and not visible but I have broken capillaries on my cheeks.

Flaws begone!
In shock so was I! This is literally just the powder, I did two full face applications, I can get away with one application during the day but for work max coverage is best coverage. With this little powder I do not even need concealer or powder. It literally takes two processes out of my makeup application and saving on all the blending that is involved in foundation and concealer application saves me about 15 minutes.

Full face of makeup mug shot!
Excuse my big Heineken fleecy. TA DA check out my flawless face, I joke, but golly gosh what a difference makeup can make. I applied the bronzer as a contour around the outside of my face and along my nose. Otherwise I just applied a bit of blush, my eyebrows and my eye makeup.

Longevity it stays put pretty well this is a picture at around 6 in the morn so about 10 hours after application. Not as glamorous as my other pic and my redness around my nose is becoming visible, but this is after a long shift in work, been sprayed with alcohol countless times and maybe sweating a little. I know us women do not sweat but during work I am one of the boys and these things happen.

All in all I am ecstatic with this kit, I was so surprised with the results that when I do run out I will be highly thinking of repurchasing. Which is pretty big as I have no repurchased a foundation in about 6 years.

Pür Minerals Starter Kit retails at £39.50 on the English Marks and Spencer website no word yet on the Irish website on how much it will be but they do have the rest of the Pür Minerals range and the foundation compact retails at  33 euro for 8g of products. A bit steep but the results are amazing.

 * Pr sample but as always opinions are my own

Tuesday 4 June 2013

We Only Get Summer For A Week But Your Skin Is For Life! Stay Safe In The Sun

Us Irish long for the sun to come it makes everything better and we can not wait to bare the flesh. We spend €€€ each year on fake tan , sunbeds etc that any chance to get a bit of colour for free, we lap it up. We have this perception that Irish sun is weaker then the sun in hotter climates*

We tend to only break out the sunscreen when we get a scolding from the mother or our bodies have been burned to a crisp that you vow never to do it again and the sun cream is your new best friend. But us Irish tend to forget, mainly due to our one week summers and even when we do not a majority of us are not even applying it right.

My Skin and The Sun
I have been on many holidays in my life, I have even lived abroad but there is two holidays that have made me cherish my skin more then anything.

First off was when I went on 3 day hen weekend to Benidorm in Spain. I was 16 and naive, getting a tan in the shortest time possible was the goal. On our second day me and my auntie headed to the beach after a late night the night before it was not too long before we snoozed off and no sun cream  was never reapplied. 

I went out that night with a half a body red and half a body white literally, I was very hot and uncomfortable and in pain but I partied on. Till the next day I woke with the shakes, been violently ill and in dire need of water this continued on for 12 hours. 

Even when I arrived home the torture was not over, while sunbathing not only had I burnt my arms back and legs I had burnt the soles of my feet. A few days home my soles did not peel the skin literally came off in one go and walking was excruciating for days.

Rash is visible on arms

Fast forward four years and I went on my next holiday, I was much more sun conscious  and my sister was working as a sun care rep at the time so I had the best in sun cream and religiously applied it. It did not matter my skin had literally became allergic to the heat. I had extreme prickly heat( as us Irish call it) and my whole body came out with a rash. Not only that but I was extremely tired throughout the whole holiday and spent most of the days asleep my room.

Over next two years I tended to avoid the sun. I worked full time anyway for most of the time that I missed the sunny days. Factor 50 became my new best friend worn every day under my makeup and my skin went a nice shade of ghostly white. It did not bother me one bit fake tan is always there when I need a bit of bronzing up.

So last year when it came to moving to Portugal I was in a bit of a panic, I feared the rash would come back and ruin all my fun in the sun. But I was sensible I paced myself in the sun for first two weeks spending more time in shade constantly topping up with sunscreen and even though I was there for six months I never went below a 20 SPF. I never spent hours lying in the sun nor did I ever leave the house with out sunscreen even when I was going to work at 5pm. I never got sun burnt, but I did have a beautiful brown tan and my skin was safe.

I had learnt my lesson, well until I fell back into the Irish forgetfulness routine and with working nights I had become a vampire that never saw the sun. With working in the bar and pictures been constantly taken my appearance is important and flash back is a no no! My factor 50 got left on the shelf and forgotten about.

Last weekend the summer came to Ireland, after work Friday night we decided to carry on partying and went to a friends for a garden BBQ. Alcohol and sheer forgetfulness I sat in the sun unprotected for hours. Literally thought nothing of it till I went back to work that evening, the redness came first and then the undying thirst. Shaking was unbearable and made doing my job very difficult. Then the vomiting.... I ended up in bed all of Sunday and half of Monday. By Tuesday I was still not a 100% nearly collapsed in town waiting on a friend. My sleep is all over the place and my whole body is dehydrated.

The burns well the photos says it all and these photos were taken 5 days after initial sunburns and countless amounts of aloe vera cream.

Now I back to sun conscious factor 50 all the way, never going to leave my bag. Not only am I sensitive to the sun but I have nearly 300 moles/beauty spots and the risk of skin cancer if not properly cared for is extremely high for me.

Choose a high factor with UVA protection, us Irish are not used to the sun and just because it is not as hot as Spain does not mean you need to wear a lower factor.
Protect yourself in whatever the weather, over exposure to UVA can lead to premature ageing and skin cancer. Just because its dull does not mean your safe.
Reapply, reapply, reapply. Any contact with water, even sweating can remove your sunscreen. Apply a good fifteen minutes before venturing out into the sun and reapply every 30-40 minutes.

*1 in 4 people believe 25 degrees in Ireland is not as hot as 25 degrees in Spain. Source:
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