How To Achieve The Perfect Winged Liner

There is a reason the winged liner has been around since Cleopatra and why it has made such a resurgence recently. It remains one of the most classic and flattering looks for all eyes.

However, some of us battle to master this look. It takes practice, a steady hand and some handy step-by-step tips to help you ensure that you will never again leave the house with crooked liner.

First, you will need the right tools and one of the most important implements in your makeup bag are good quality brushes. For this liner application you will need an angled liner brush. I use an Alila or MAC angled liner brush.


Next you should opt for a gel liner. I adore Bobbi Brown’s Longwear Gel Liner in Black Ink because of its gorgeous consistency and staying power but you can use your favourite.

To draw the perfect wing, follow the easy steps in the info graphic below, taking care to note the position of the eye, and therefore the lid, during each step.

If you battle to get a nice point on the end of your wing, try drawing the line from the outside in, towards the eye. This method also helps to ensure that the wing on both eyes is symmetrical in length and angle.

We hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to share your tips in the comments section.



Christine – Bridal

On an overcast and misty morning, I headed to Calderwood Hall in the Natal Midlands for Christine’s wedding. A more beautiful setting one could not wish for, especially when the mists are rolling in over the lake and the sun is just peeking through the clouds.

Christine was an absolute delight to work with and someone I now call friend. For her bridal look we decided on low key glamour, as she is very sporty and doesn’t wear makeup often so we wanted her to feel comfortable yet special on her wedding day. We used a palette of silver and grey to show off her blue eyes and finished off with a blush lip.

All images are courtesy of David Rees Photography and all rights are reserved.

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How Not To Contour The Eyes

When contouring the eyes, do not fall into the trap of tight lining the bottom lid in black.

While tight lining the upper lid will lend to the illusion of longer lashes, though extensions have been used in this picture as well, tight lining the lower lid makes the eye appear much smaller.

Rather contour the crease of the upper lid and corner of the eye with eye shadow which will open up the eyes. If you forego the black liner on the lower lid you won’t have to contend with the black gumph that collects in the corner of the eye or with raccoon eyes.

Don’t forget to fill in and comb your eyebrows, framing your eyes and polishing your overall look.

Claudia – Bridal

Claudia has to be one of the most relaxed brides I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She has a quirky sense of humour, is poised, kind and, as you can see from her photos, beautiful.
Her wedding to Malcolm was a romantic affair set in the grandiose and fairytale venue of Camelot in Hillcrest.
Claudia is very sporty and was concerned that she did not want to look like anyone other than herself on her wedding day, and we achieved this by creating a neutral palate with a soft grey smokey eye and nude shimmery lip.

We wish Claudia and Malcolm everything of the best as they embark on their journey as husband and wife.

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All images courtesy of O’Toole Photography.
All rights are reserved.

Get Your Halo On


It’s product review time and in today’s post I will be talking about the wonder of Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder. If, like me, you are not a fan of liquid or cake makeup then this product may just about change your life!

As you can see in the picture, the foundation is in powder form and one of the massive pros of this product is the ability to turn the top of the compact and loosen only the required amount of powder. Sure you can do this with tubes and pump bottles but this compact has a higher cool factor.

Fancy packaging aside, I am well impressed with this foundation. I use it successfully for both day and glamorous night applications.
During the day after my moisturiser and sunblock, I apply some BB cream to areas that need a little extra coverage and then I apply a light covering of Halo powder all over the face with a large powder brush. You can use a kabuki brush if you need more coverage. There is no heavily made up or cakey look to my skin, which maintains a healthy glow and is precisely what I am after; especially in the humid summer we are about to hit in Durban.

The only products I add if I am going for a more glamorous night application are a primer and an under eye concealer.
Primer as we have discussed previously, is an essential tool that you need to have in your makeup arsenal and using it over a BB cream makes the halo powder glide onto the skin and gives a near flawless appearance.*
*This of course depends on the condition of your blank canvas.

For night I use a bronzer to contour my face, adding back some dimension that can be lost under a heavier makeup application and artificial lighting.

I am so impressed with Halo powder that it’s now a permanent fixture in my makeup bag. The cost of the product (ZAR625 at Woolworths) is tempered by how long it lasts. I am more than 6 months into my compact without any signs of it coming to an end. I am told you can expect it to last in the region of between 8 to 12 months, of course depending on how much you use. If you need more coverage I would suggest using Halo powder in conjunction with a foundation or it will prove to be rather costly to keep using.

I give this product a 10/10, it wears very well, lasts more than 6 months, is easy to work with, gives the skin a gorgeous finish and primer makes this product truly glorious.

The Collagen Question

collagen diagram

One of the things I am often asked is if collagen can do anything when applied to the skin.
The short answer is: No.

The most you can hope for is a temporary improvement in the appearance and texture of your skin. The collagen molecule is too big to penetrate the epidermis so using collagen creams and lotions will provide a temporary and superficial effect only, which halts the moment you stop using the product. For lasting results one needs to stimulate collagen production in one’s own skin and therein lies the key.

To understand what collagen is, we also need to look at elastin, where they come from, how they differ, look at how they work in unison in the skin and why they are so vital in the fight against premature ageing.

Collagen and elastin are both manufactured by cells in our dermis called fibroblasts and they work in synergy to provide support and elasticity to our skins. They are types of connective tissue though they are different types of proteins. Collagen provides a more supportive and connective function and is found in structures like tendons, bones, the eye and the skin.  Elastin gives elasticity to structures like arterial walls, intestines and of course, the skin and enables those structures to ‘bounce back’ after being stretched or contracted. So while collagen provides strength and support to the skin, elastin provides the movement network around the collagen and gives skin it’s supple nature.

As we age collagen and elastin production decreases. How quickly depends on a number of intrinsic (internal or genetic) and extrinsic (external or environmental) factors.
The slowing down of the fibroblast cells means that less new collagen and elastin is manufactured to keep the skin firm and supple. If you cannot push the collagen molecule into the skin, we need to provide the tools with which our skin can manufacture it’s own collagen and elastin and keep our skins firm, supple and youthful.young-skin-old-skin

Among those ingredients are things like L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic acid, peptides, Vitamin A and alpha hydroxy acids.

L-Ascorbic acid, which must be in a stable long release form, has been shown to stimulate collagen in adults to the levels of that of a new born child.
Hyaluronic acid is an exceptionally powerful water holding molecule and is essential to skin functioning, cell proliferation and overall systemic health in humans. Exposure to UVB rays significantly disrupts hyaluron production in the skin. Hyaluronic acid provides moisture to the skin at cellular level and hydrated skin is skin that works efficiently.
Peptides have been shown to be instrumental in the body’s response to wound healing and increasing the skin’s ability to produce collagen.
Retinoic acid is the most stable form of vitamin A. Vitamin A has a long and well documented history in skin care and has been shown to significantly stimulate cell proliferation (cell turnover). Isotretinoin, vitamin A in oral form, is still the best treatment for acne. Vitamin A in it’s many forms remains a powerful ally in the fight against ageing.
*Lamelle’s RA cream has been shown to lift elastosis (broken elastin fibres which look like white bumps under the epidermis) out of the skin and repair YEARS of damage and prepares the skin to be ‘fixed’.
Alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs have a profound effect on epidermal cells and keratinisation, whereby they dissolve the bonds between corneocytes and speed up cell turnover, which means that dead cells are shed more speedily revealing a healthier and more youthful skin.
The work of AHAs is not confined to the epidermis however, biopsies show increased amounts of collagen production without inflammation. It is worth noting that inflammation is a key factor in the development of acne and hyper pigmentation.
AHAs are a key ingredient in chemical peels and these should NEVER be undertaken by anyone other than a trained professional or you run the risk of causing irreversible damage to your skin.

So with all of this in mind, choose your skin care products wisely. Using products off the shelf is money down the toilet as only 0.08% of the product is being used by your skin. Professional products increase penetration exponentially which translates to visible and lasting results that you can see.

For more information or to share your views, please comment or get in touch with us via our contact form.