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.



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.

Lip Speak Easy

Statement lip

One of the best ways to vamp up your day look for an after work social or dinner date, is a statement lip. One of the pitfalls of just smearing on some lip colour is that it doesn’t stay put past the first few sips of your chosen beverage. In this article I will show you how to get more mileage out of your new favourite red, berry or coral lip colour.

Step 1 – Start off by exfoliating your lips. You can use a soft bristled tooth brush along with some of your face wash, or you can use a mixture of sugar and a few drops of grape seed oil. Be gentle
Step 2 – Apply a lip balm or lip primer to lock in moisture and even out the delicate skin of your lips
Step 3 – Apply some foundation over your lips
Step 4 – Using a lip pencil in the correct shade for your lipstick, fill in your entire lip area with the liner pencil. This will help your lipstick stay put and ensure your lip colour doesn’t vanish whilst eating
Step 5 – Using a lip brush, carefully apply an even layer of colour over the lip area
Step 6 – Next, dip your powder brush into some translucent powder, place the tissue over your lips and gently dust the powder over the lip area. Use the tissue to prevent the brush sticking to your lips and smearing the colour
Step 7 – For added lip colour longevity, apply a lip stain that is within two shades of your lipstick
Step 8 – Apply another layer of lipstick, using a lip brush
Step 9 – Finally, using a cream concealer and concealer brush, perfect the outline of your lips and highlight your cupid’s bow–the highest points of your upper lip
Step 10 – Put down the lipgloss. Gloss makes lipstick slide – fast!

Have a look at this great info graphic which details the steps as mentioned above;

Perfect lip liner step by step guide

In conclusion, do not be afraid to experiment with colour! Deep purple shades are eye-catching on pale skins regardless of hair and eye colour. Coral and intense pinks are particularly striking on dark skin. Scarlet and berry shades look good on all skin tones.

One thing to remember when doing a statement lip, is to keep your eye makeup uncomplicated and classic. A heavily smoked eye makeup plus a statement lip will make you look like you are wearing too much makeup and no one (read: men) likes makeup that looks like you need a paint scraper to remove it.

Until next time, thank you for reading!


The Forgotten… Eyebrows!

The "No Brow" look

The “No Brow” look. Only acceptable on the runway, if that.

Today we are going to talk about, what seem to be, the red headed step child of many a woman’s make up application… ‘Brows!

I myself have been guilty of this crime (shock, horror, gasp!) having altogether forgotten to enhance my very fair brows and as a consequence, had them absolutely disappear in photographs.
Those of us lucky enough to have been blessed with dark haired loveliness are just as guilty of applying foundation and powder over them and neglecting to even run a brow brush through them before leaving the mirror.

How not to enhance your brows. Too solid and too thin a line.

How not to enhance your brows. Too solid and too thin a line.

Lastly, there are also those of us who are too heavy handed and end up looking like we have stencilled them on with a permanent marker.
Not sexy, ladies. Not sexy at all.

Eyebrows really are frames for our eyes and to use the blackest of black pencils and solid lines is to do them a grand disservice.
You wouldn’t hang an expensive piece of art in a cheap black plastic frame, so why do that to your eyes?

There is a wealth of information on shaping your brows, The Beauty Department does a fabulous and easy to follow tutorial.
If you are in any doubt or you have accidentally savaged your brows with over zealous tweezing, I recommend you get referrals to a good brow shaping professional and visit her once every three to six months, depending on how thick your brows are or how coarse your hair is, for maintenance.
I am a big fan of threading. It’s kinder to the skin than smearing hot wax on your delicate eye area, not to mention the savage ripping off of said wax and it provides a vastly cleaner line than tweezing.

Once your brows have been expertly shaped to beautifully frame your eyes, you need to get to your favourite make up counter and get yourself a brow pencil, brow shadow or even a brow gel.
Bobbi Brown–by now we know she is one of my favourite lines–has all three different types of brow enhancers and you are guaranteed to find your perfect match. My absolute favourite is the brow gel which comes in a little bottle with a shorter mascara type wand. It colours and combs in one easy step.

I also find a brow pencil very easy to work with but you need to be careful that you don’t draw but rather ‘feather’ in your brows using short, light strokes. You could also run the tip of the pencil, holding the pencil parallel to your face, against the direction of hair growth. This will colour your hair but not your skin, ensuring a very natural look.

Lauren Conrad shows us how it's done right.

Lauren Conrad shows us how it’s done right.

When selecting the colour, always go for a shade lighter than you think you need. Even ladies with the darkest of hair should steer clear of black and rather use a dark brown. Remember we want to enhance the brow to give you a polished look and show off your eyes, not make your brows the main feature of your face for all the wrong reasons.

Of course if you have neither the time or inclination you have the option of tinting your brows, just remember to comb out some of the foundation and powder and perhaps keep a pencil around to touch up when the colour fades between appointments.

Yet another option that exists for those of us who have little to no brows, is tattooing. I have seen some beautiful work on women who have lost more than 80% of their brow hair to various factors, one being menopause. Before choosing this method I would suggest taking a look at a few tattooists and include in your research photos of recent and older clients so that you can get a sense of how their work ages.
Don’t rush into it or consult with only one person, this is your face we are speaking of. All tattoos are a lifetime commitment–even if you choose laser removal you will have a scar–and undertaking a tattoo procedure on your face is not something you should leave to a novice or undertake lightly.

Whatever method of brow enhancement you choose, abide by the less is more rule and don’t overdo it.

I hope you found this post useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Until next time, stay beautiful!



To Prime or not to Prime… That is the question

Smashbox, MAC & L'Oreal Primers

Smashbox, MAC & L’Oreal Primers

I received a question from a reader wanting to know if it really is a necessary item in a make up kit, which ones are good ones, when and where you use it and most importantly, why use it at all. All very good questions. Let me start by saying that primers do for your foundation what lingerie does for your clothing. If you need a little extra help smoothing out wrinkles around your eyes and mouth or disguising pores on your nose and cheeks, primer is what you need.  Some contain light reflective ingredients to give your skin the J-Lo glow. (Some of us may not like her but we have to admit, she has really great skin!) Others contain ingredients to help even out your sallow or ruddy (reddish) complexion. Others still contain vitamins and other ingredients to lighten, brighten and perfect. Some deliver on their promises, a lot don’t. Whilst moisturiser is important crucial prior to foundation application, primers can be saved for special occasions or when you need your makeup to work a little harder. In general, I favour mineral primers because they leave out more of the ingredients that can irritate sensitive skins and oil which can aggravate acne prone skins. Mineral makeup usually contains ingredients like mica and silica instead of talc and oil. They are hard to come by in South Africa though and attract a very different price tag. One primer can be applied all over your face, including your eyes. Let’s remember that the molecules used in primer are designed to sit on top of the epidermis, not to penetrate it so you don’t need to buy a primer for your eyes, lips and face. Use one for all areas, cutting down on costs and time of application. My favourite primers include Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer. It is iconic for a reason. Smashbox has gone a step further and created a range of primers for different things including hydration, luminescence, sallow skins and redness to name a few, ensuring that everyone is able to find the primer they need. Another favourite is MAC’s Prep & Prime Skin which targets oil, redness and soothes all in one product and creates a near flawless canvas for the application of foundation. Truly a magnificent tool to have in your makeup kit! Another favourite is L’Oréal’s Lumi Magique which provides a luscious dewy glow if applied all over the skin but it can also be applied to the forehead, cheeks and the bridge of the nose for subtle yet noticeable luminescence. One of the primers I purchased and tried out recently was Stila’s One Step Correct. It looks great with the triple helix swirl but it didn’t deliver on it’s radiance or redness reducing promises and I found the texture thin and unimpressive which was disappointing because while Stila have some amazing products in their range, this is not one of them. At the end of the day you really need to decide what you like and how it suits your pocket but my advice is a resounding ‘Yes!’ to the question of using primer, especially when you know you’ll be in front of a camera lense! Please continue to send in your questions! Thank you for reading!

Tips & Tricks: Mascara Application


One of the most used items in all of ‘makeupdom’, the wondrous mascara! What would we do without it? This little bottle of instant lash tint, volumiser, lengthener and curler is the one item most women refuse to do without, and rightly so, it’s the one item that truthfully is a miracle product.  We are spoilt for choice these days and there is a mascara to suit each and every woman’s individual needs and desires for the kind of look she wants to achieve.

Firstly, you want to find the wand that best separates and coats your lashes, with so many out there this really is a trial and error job for you. I’d have to create a whole series just for wands if I were to speak of them all. I can tell you which ones are my favourite (and least favourite) and perhaps this will aid you in finding your perfect fit.

Firstly, I detest the rubber wands with short bristles as pictured above second from the right. I find that they do more to clump mascara than anything else and the nubs that extend off the end of the wand are hardly long enough to coat my lashes correctly.
I also dislike the “two brushes in one” types that you see third from the left in the graphic above. I like to turn and wiggle my wand and these therefore present a problem for me during application.
Lastly, I do not like wands with bristles that are spaced too far apart because they cause my lashes to stick together during application and I need a lash brush to separate my lashes once they have dried. Who has time for that?
I like wands, as pictured above, first, second and third from the left, especially the first one.

My absolute favourite and first choice of a mascara is Bobbi Brown’s Everything mascara. The brush is the most perfect one I have ever used and the wand is a great length.
My second favourite is MAC’s Plush Lash. The brush has long bristles on two sides and shorter, almost flattened on the other two sides which catches all of your  shorter lashes. The only reason it’s not my favourite is that it’s not as long wearing as the Everything and requires a touch up when going from day to night.
Lastly, I absolutely adore Mabelline’s Great Lash. They have recently revived the wand which is round and conical and takes some getting used to but the pointy end is absolutely perfect for lower lash mascara application, especially on clients. Great Lash has a long history of being the go to mascara for makeup artists because mascara is the product that gets changed most often in a kit so the value and quality and this mascara fits the bill perfectly.


The favourites

For your mascara application you want to position the wand horizontally, lifting your eyelid gently at the arch of your brow. Firstly blink your eye so your lashes are coated from the root right to the ends all the way along your eyelid. Then turn the brush in the same position using the other side and starting at the base of your lashes, wiggle the still horizontal wand in a zig-zag manner to lift and separate your lashes. Allow that coat to dry a little and apply a second coat being careful to avoid applying too much mascara and risk a clumping situation.


 Apply one coat of mascara to your lower lashes by holding the wand parallel to your nose and moving only the tip of the wand along the lash line. Tilt your head forward very slightly to get the best angle and to avoid smearing mascara on your cheek.  Something you can do to boost your lash volume is apply a light dusting of powder to them between coats. Do not dawdle with your mascara application as the powder and air will set your mascara very quickly so apply quickly and don’t over work the application or you will have a clumpy mess on your hands. You want to dust powder onto the lashes without actually touching them with your brush, so dab a medium sized powder brush into a small amount of loose powder, position your finger parallel to your lower lashes (but off of your face) and with your other hand gently knock the brush against your finger. You can also try running your index finger over the top of the brush creating a light cloud of powder that coats your lashes. Any loose powder that falls around your eyes can quickly and easily be dusted off without ruining your eye make up application.
You may want to practice the powder between coats method once or twice to get the hang of it.

In closing, I would encourage every woman out there to become very good friends with a lash curler! No mascara can replicate the effect of first curling your lashes and then applying your magic wand mascara. It creates the effect of significantly longer lashes and your mascara should set the curl giving you a truly luscious and captivating look.