Minimising My Pro Make Up Kit – Lipstick Depotting

I’ve been meaning to blog about lipstick depotting for months but thought that I would wait until I had used my lovely organised lipstick pallettes for a while before I did a blogpost. I guess I wanted to use them in my make up kit for a bit and then give you my thoughts on them not only as something pleasing to the eye but as a workable bit of gear.

My Make Up Kit has grown and grown and grown over the years and as much as I finish a lot of products and get rid of cosmetics gone past viable use by way of a kit clearout every 6 months, it just keeps getting bigger. I like a lot of my fellow MUA’s had a lipstick collection that was kind of taking over – I do not apologise for this as they are all loved and used A LOT!

However it got to a point where I decided enough was enough and I needed a better storage solution for my Lippy’s, so a few months back I purchased some empty pallettes from Guru Makeup Emporium with an aim to claim back some space in my overflowing lipstick drawer. I purchased a label maker too, so that I could put the names of the lipsticks on the back of the pallettes making it easier to know what colours to replace once depleted but also so I could inform my clients of a shade that they might want to purchase themselves.

Ok so there are a couple of ways you can fill your pallettes one is to just scoop your lipstick out and squish it into its new home and smooth out with a spatula but as I am a little bit OCD when it comes to my kit and wanted it to look good I melted mine on a tablespoon over a candle and poured it carefully into the pallette the lipstick hardens up again in seconds and is perfectly smooth.

I have to admit it was a labour of love as it took me hours, a lot longer than I had anticipated. I filled three pallettes and labelled those babies up. There are tutorials online where the artists stick the pallettes in the microwave to melt the lipsticks down but I was scared to try as have heard of pallettes melting or cracking and didn’t want to risk losing my lipsticks that way.

I split the pallettes into Reds/Plums, Nudes/Browns, Pinks/Brights

Here are the pallettes in my kit….and yes as you can see I now have more lipstick colours to depot!

So what’s my verdict? Well I love my pallettes! Why? Because not only do I not have to open my lip colours individually the one I want to use. The colours are now visible at a glance, so its easy to grab what I need…but also I find I am mixing my colours a little more then I used to which makes me happy as it inspires me as an artist to create more colours.

I now have some ACE pallettes by Vueset that I got from Cocktail cosmetics and the genius in their design is they are microwaveable woohoo…… I will be doing my next batch of lip colours in those.

Here I have depotted Concealers and correctors into a Vueset pallette and have been surprised by how much product the pallettes hold and just how much they have minimised what I have to carry

I forgot to take an after picture of the pallette when it was fresh out the microwave and as you can see it has been used loads but the bottom row is still looking as smooth as they looked out of the microwave so you can see the final effect. I have to say for a little pallette it feels very robust and I know it will fair well in my kit.

I hope this helps anyone trying to reduce their kit or even their own personal collection of make up. There is no reason why these pallettes can’t be used by anyone wanting to downsize their own make up, as in one tiny pallette you can fit cream shadows, cream blushers and lipsticks imagine how handy that would be for at home use and to take away on holiday?

Here’s to de cluttering…I will be back again soon with more tips on organising

Ana xx

Dealing with Problem Skin

I’ve recently been asked by a few of my lovely clients and friends how I can best advise them to deal with their problem skins. Now I am not by any means a Beautician or Skincare Specialist, however I do have years of experience in the Beauty Industry a couple of those years in the late 90’s working with skincare brand Sisley as their In House Make-Up Artist in Harrods and another couple of years working with Shu Uemura cosmetics who’s mantra has always been “Beautiful Make-Up Starts with Beautiful Skin”. So I feel I can share a few ideas and hopefully help a few of you in need of direction. I have tested numerous skincare products over time on my own skin, before I even consider recommending or using it in my professional make-up kit (bit of a guinea-pig me)…..however a few months ago I developed problem skin on my lower back which although I used fab products on, just didn’t want to improve. I knew my concerns needed more help by way of a medical treatment and thankfully I got the products I needed to help my skin and now thankfully I am back to my normal blemish free self. It did get me down for a while so I am fully aware how sensitive we can feel about our looks and am sharing this post and my experiences so that those of you going through skincare issues can be made aware that you are by no means on your own.

So Dermol were the treatments that worked for me and surprisingly they are for treating exzema and dermatitis but as the Doctor explained it is an antibacterial product that will cleanse your skin inplace of your shower gels or soaps and balance your skin without any further irritants such as fragrance and added soap agents. The cream I was advised to use instead of soap and the bath treatment I mixed in a small bowl of warm water and soaked some cotton wool and used as compresses to soothe my inflamed skin. Truly it worked wonders and within a month my skin had totally cleared. I am not saying that Dermol will work for everyone as what might aggravate my skin may not be the same for you but if the products you are trying are not working, a trip to the GP is not to be ruled out as they have several treatments they can recommend to you.

The causes for skin conditions can be vast and the majority of us mere mortals will have flare ups in our skin at some point in our lives due to hormone imbalances, stress, change of environment, diet, pregnancy or even age, the list of reasons and even the resulting skin conditions are endless. Be it Acne breakouts, Exzema, Rosacea and so on…… I recommend not trying to overload the skin with too many products targeted for that specific skin condition infact the least amount of products the better until you find the right combination of products that suit your skin. Introduce new products to your regime one at a time giving 1-2 months in between for the skin to adjust and adapt to your products and for you to clearly see wether your products are working for you or not. If you bombard your skin with a whole new range of products that are too rich or to astringent your skin may react and flare up even more, so be wary and cautious with your skin. Most treatments are trial and error and it can be a long process until you find the right products that suit your skin. An example of this is using products containing tea tree for example to tackle blemishes but you are then using this all over the face. Your skin may in the areas that do not need treating then begin to feel tight and dry because it is being stripped of it’s natural oils giving you not only blemishes to deal with but drier or dehydrated skin elsewhere. Then even your make-up application becomes more of a complicated issue as you are trying to cover up blemishes yet not let the rest of the complexion look dry or flaky. So what is the solution? well I dont hold all the answers like I said before but just some simple suggestions.

* Try and work out what might be causing the flare-ups in your skin e.g are you tired or stressed or have you not been taking care of your diet? if you make a list of what might be causing the issue you may find it easier to find a solution.

*Use products that are mild, unfragranced and preferably natural in their ingredients to aid your skin in its healing process. Products that contain stronger ingredients to treat a condition should be treated like a topical cream and only applied on the areas of concern. Dry skins need exfoliating before moisturising treatments or products are applied but if the skin is sensitive due to exzema or dermatitis or other skin conditions of a similar nature exfoliating would not be ideal until you have seen some improvement in your skin from your creams and probably under the advise of a beauty therapist or dermatologist

* This may seem a basic thing to suggest but hygiene is key in a number of situations. If you have a fab diet, no stresses, no hormone issues etc but you are still getting blemishes maybe just maybe look to cleaning out your make-up bag and washing your make-up brushes as bacteria can cause the skin to erupt. Discard old make-up and dirty sponges and puffs and wash that make-up bag. You may find that your skin starts to get better by making these few simple changes. It’s amazing what a mild shampoo can remove from your powder puffs and brushes and is surprising how those of us who wouldn’t dream of going out with dirty hair will use brushes on our faces that may not have been washed in weeks if at all (food for thought right!)

image by Kat Hill Photography

Hope this Helps

Ana xx

I Love shooting Video Tutorials

I was involved recently in a fab shoot for James Read “The Tan King” for his tanning video tutorials. The shoot took place at The Sanderson Hotel in a suite on the same floor as where James has his Tanning Rooms in their Gorgeous SPA. The model was there to demo some of the New and easy to use Tan and Go type products, that have been introduced to the James Read range. They are a fab mix of tan and make-up, with the added bonus of skincare benefits included….and from what I saw on the Day you can’t get a better or more natural looking colour. I for one can’t wait to try it for myself as the colour it delivered was golden yet natural looking and the most surprising aspect is that there is non of that strong odour associated with tanning products….and you can pretty much get dressed straight after….Ah-mazing right!!!!

Here are a few sneak peeks from what was a very fun shoot with a great model.

You can find out more about James Read Tanning Products at I cant wait to see how the actual Video Tutorials Look……WATCH THIS SPACE!!!