This Sunday I had a little impulse buy (it happens from time to time). I was browsing the Bobbi Brown stand and I set my eyes on the pro artist lip pallet. I originally wanted to get the BBU pallet but it was out of stock (sad face).

So after having a little browse of the lip pallet I took the plunge, and decided to get it. I think the wide range of colours and the compact style of the pallet is perfect for a freelance makeup artist like me. Travelling with your kit is always a struggle. Having to take as few products as possible, but still ensuring they are versatile. Tough decisions have to be made.

The pallet has a range of warm/cool colours, as well as nudes, peaches, reds. It also has a number of satin, mattes, and frosts. I’d say it’s the smallest, yet most versatile product in my kit, and is perfect for a makeup artist who’d like to build their lipstick collection.

Top Tip – when using the pallete use a makeup spatula to take the product you need out rather than double dipping.

OCC Lip Tars

| Tashan Cian

Over the weekend I attended the makeup trade show IMATS there was lots of exciting brands there. It was one particular brand that caught my eye: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC). I ended up spending about half an hour browsing the Lip Tars and Glosses, as well as the glitters and foundations.

My favourite product was the Lip Tars. I’d say there is nothing else on the market like them. Their consistency was highly pigmented throughout the entire range, and if I’m honest, I could of bought every colour. Instead, I decided on four nudes and a bold pink.

What I like about the product is that they have a completely opaque pigment. Colour pay off is incredible and true to what you see, yet there is no oxidisation unlike other liquid lipsticks. What is especially useful is that because these Lip Taps are incredibly long wearing, my clients don’t need to touch up later. You can drink, eat, or even wipe your lips and this product will still stay put.

Top Tip: apply a small amount with a lip brush, a little goes a long way.

I feel that Chanel as a makeup brand, doesn’t receive as much limelight as some of the other luxury brands. This is not to say that there are some real gems among what is sometimes seen as a very safe range. Every time I have taken the time to browse at a Chanel counter, I have always found a pleasant surprise such as Soleil Tan De Chanel.

Soleil Tan De formerly known as Bronze de Chanel is somewhat of a niché product, something that is very rare in the makeup world.

I originally bought the product a year ago as a bronzer, to use when I did not fancy wearing foundation. I had no expectations of the product, but was pleasantly surprised at the performance, longevity and versatility it displayed.

I would say Soleil Tan De Chanel is one the best products Chanel has to offer. The main reason being that is is extremely versatile. It is useful to for bronzing the body and skin, with or without foundation, and it can be used as a base for bronzer or the latest trend contouring. It’s texture is very smooth and fool proof, it blends with complete ease. What I love the most about this product is the neutral bronze tone, this is rare to find in powder bronzers, but perfect for creating the perfect bronze contour sun kissed tone.

Top Tip: Use with a buffing brush over the forehead and in the contours of the cheeks and over the nose to create a golden sun kissed look, set with a bronzer powder or contour powder for increased intensity and longevity.

Yves Saint Laurent Touché Eclate is a cult beauty product. It has a track record of winning Best Beauty Product of the Year, year in year out. I never quite understood the hype, although having used similar highlighter pens I figured they where all pretty similar.

Over Christmas I was shopping in the wonder that is Selfridges’ beauty hall, and decided to have a look at the YSL counter. At which I came across the extended colour range of the Touché Eclate. Maybe it was the  shiny gold packaging or indeed the allure of a yellow based highlighter suited for my skin tone, but lets just say I have not looked back.

The Touché Eclate is commonly mistaken for a concealer but it is in fact described by YSL as a highlighter pen. The formula gives light to medium coverage but with ultimate results. Its perfect for placement in the crease of the eye bag, which has the effect of lightening and correcting this area. It is great if used for photography, because it gives a really bring light and glow to the skin.

Overall I feel that the product is somewhat overlooked despite it’s high selling numbers. “Once you go Touché Eclate you don’t go back”

Top Tip: Use in the tear trough or crease of the under eye bag to illuminate and bring forward/in conjunction with your favourite concealer for a fuller coverage.

Estee Lauder is a brand that is most commonly miss-assigned as being just for older ladies, but over the recent years I have found the brand is becoming increasingly common with younger women.

Whilst away on a photo shoot in Marbella, one the models introduced me to the Double Wear Mineral Rich Loose Powder. I am not in general a fan of mineral products as I feel most mineral products can come out very matte and dry looking. I prefer moist, luminous skin. Although reluctant to try the product, makeup artists are always looking to push the boundaries.

I sampled a little on my hand, and straight away my skin had a luminous finish. I was pleasantly surprised, so then applied more product firstly to my t-zone and then to high plaines of my model’s face. Again straight away the product have a luminous velvet like glow, with a glitter/shimmer (which is rare in “luminous” products).

I have to say this is one of the best powders I have used to date. It out does every mineral powder I have tried and I would say is perfect for a combination skin type. The range currently includes 6 different colours.

Top Tip: use a little powder with a large powder brush to set and finish your foundation/base routine.

Throughout my years as a makeup wearer, and also as a makeup artist, I have been on a quest for the perfect under eye concealer. So of course when NARS launched their latest addition to the NARS concealer family I had to get my hands on this product. After weeks of hunting, and numerous visits to SpaceNK, I finally got my hands on the caramel shade. Makeup lovers everywhere seemed to be going mad for this product, as it was sold out nearly as quickly as a new delivery came in.

NARS as a brand has became one of my favourite since I went freelance two years ago. Their products and formulas are innovative and modern. Perfect for the ever growing cosmetics market and it’s consumers.

The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is without a doubt the best concealer for dry under eye, luminous skin and just everyday wear on the go. The cream formula blends and sits on the skin to form duey luminous finish. The medium coverage is great for under eye circles, highlighting and just general blemishes. The two things I love about the product are that it doesn’t dry out my skin and but instead seems to have moisturising properties. It is also incredibly long wearing.

Top Tip: Apply to desired area with the supplied lip gloss style wand and tap to blend with index finger or ideally a beauty blender for an airbrush style finish.

It may sound bad, but for the first few years of being a make up artist (when I was working in retail),  I never understood face and body. I always wanted more coverage and products that were long wearing. I had not yet understood the skill of perfecting a light coverage on skin.

When I went freelance, I began to experiment more and more with products I had in my kit. One of which was the Face & Body set, which I had never used. As I did experiment, I soon understood the versatility of the product. It is my all means a product of man uses, these include:

  • PRIMER – used underneath dry foundation’s to increase luminosity or dew; or underneath foundation to help improve the visibility of textured skin
  • LIGHT-WEIGHT FOUNDATION – for natural girls it can be used to even skin tone just like a tinted moisturiser (for light coverage).
  • MEDIUM COVERAGE FOUNDATION – this foundation can be built up to create a gorgeous medium, to full coverage.
  • BODY – on legs or the body, to even skin tone or cover imperfections or to just create that airbrush tanned body.

I’d say everyone should try this product at least once, simply because of versatility and wide colour range.

Top Tip: I love to apply this product with a buffing brush because I find it brings outs the coverage and pigments in the foundations.

KIKO is a relatively new brand, that has popped up in various locations over the UK. I was intrigued by the brand, so just had to visit their Regent Street branch, and try a couple of their products. A couple months later I was booked for an editorial shoot; I happened to arrive on the day that some new KIKO products had arrived. I had the pleasure of using them in the shoot.

I am already a MAC and their “In Extreme Dimension” collection. So naturally was drawn to the Kiko Watercolour Eye Shadows. The formula in fact is very similar, if not identical, to their £4.50 pops. This makes this item a great investment for any metallic eye shadow lover. Especially useful for an impactful smokey eye, or depending on your preference something more subtle soft and summery.

Top Tip: Use wet, with a flat brush for ultimate metallic effect.


| Tashan Cian

Bioderma isn’t a new product, but popularity for it has recently blown up in the UK. For years it has been a must have for makeup artists of all kinds.

This product is a staple for any bathroom, or makeup bag. It is a non toxic, gentle makeup cleanser/remover perfect for removing or cleaning up any makeup mistakes. It can also be used as a cleanser, both morning and night, as well as before and after makeup.

I love using Bioderma because unlike most makeup removers, this product removes makeup with ease. Redness or discomfort are not a problem, even for the most sensitive of skin.

Top Tip: Use with a cotton pad at the end of the day (after makeup removal) to cleanse and get rid of any unwanted residue.