Category archives: Product Reviews

  • My Wedding Skincare Routine (2014)

  • As a makeup artist, I thought it would be helpful to share my wedding skincare routine!

    In my experience as a wedding makeup artist, one of the main worries I encounter from my brides is troublesome skin. It can be too oily, or dry and if they are lucky, adult acne can be added to the mix. The skin can react to emotion and anxiety levels making it worse the more stressed you are.

    As an adult that has suffered from acne, this is certainly something I can completely relate to. ANY event, occasion, this is always my main worry. My wedding day is just under two months away and I am feeling the pressure.

    mature bridal makeup preston court wedding venue
    Photography Credit:

    Starting from today

    I know what terrible skin is and at the moment my skin isn’t terrible. The trouble I have is my hormones, stress levels, and I do pick them – Please don’t judge!

    Every day I will have one or two spots but when I am hormonal my chin and sometimes my cheeks erupt in nasty cysts. Worse still, when I am anxious my back then decides to join in and before I know it I have spots spreading from my shoulder blades to my neck and hairline.

    Positive thinking

    In the last two months, I have started noting my bad skin days in a diary and I think this has helped understand my skin’s behaviour better than ever. My skin is at its worst in the week and a half before my period, fizzling out during and a few days after. Mainly on my chin, but a few nasty ones pop up on my forehead and cheeks.

    Post-period I am feeling more chilled and with that, my back acne has calmed down. I would find myself picking and scratching my back without even realising!! This obviously caused a bit of scarring and spread bacteria so the spots kept coming back.

    I made sure I exfoliated my back with a facecloth and my cleanser, and would then moisturise. It seems silly but I neglected my back because I couldn’t see it. As soon as I started to treat my back in the same way as my face it began to clear up. I would also apply my antibiotic cream to my back at night.

    I advise my brides not to try strong and abrasive products without being advised by a skincare pro. Most importantly whilst there is the time to book an appointment with their GP. Don’t pick and don’t squeeze.

    Listen to my own advice

    After making an appointment to see my GP he recommended I changed antibiotic creams. I had always used an antibiotic cream at night but I think my skin grew used to it. The new cream (Epiduo) helped remove redness and the swelling of existing spots whilst gently clearing my pores preventing new spots from appearing.

    Morning and night I use Bioderma Foam Cleanser and moisturise my face and body with Cetaphil Cream. Cetaphil is a non-comedogenic moisturiser that works with medicated skincare.

    The morning I use the above but before applying my moisturiser I apply ARK’s Skin Defence Regenerating Serum. It containers lots of essential vitamins, antioxidants and lipids that regenerate and renew the skin. One of the key ingredients is Allantoin which soothes, heals and repairs damaged skin and scarring. This has helped with my leftover acne scarring.

    I have recently found out that I am product sensitive so as a makeup artist this makes things a little tricky! I do try to stick with what works for me, but I do love to try new products. A few weeks ago I purchased all new skincare products, (all premium brands) a cleanser, moisturised, mask and exfoliator. After using these lovely products for a week my skin became dry, flaky and the many, many spots that followed took a long time to go!

    Needless to say, I stopped using them straight away and I will carry on using what I was using before… If it’s not broke why try to fix it? When you have skin like me, it seems like a great idea to do some pre-wedding pampering. In reality I need to tread carefully and go with what works.

    Here are my tips for better skin!

    wedding skincare routine

    Over cleansing strips natural oils which leads to overproduction of sebum, blocking pores making acne worse. Try using gentle cleansers like Bioderma Sebum control or if that’s too much opt for a hypersensitive cleanser like Dermalogica’s UltraCalming Cleanser.

    If you are having a breakout that won’t budge, and you are finding it hard to manage its probably time to book an appointment with your GP. You may need antibiotics. Most contain a form of retinoid cream used at night that increases cell renewal and prevents pores from clogging (this is what I use). In extreme cases you may need antibiotics in tablet form, and be patient it won’t work overnight sometimes it can take over a month for you to start seeing results but it will be worth the wait. If it doesn’t work, go back and try a different type.

    Exfoliants and Masks.
    It’s better to keep things simple so don’t use anything that could aggravate your skin. It may be better to stick with cleansing and moisturiser but an exception and one of the gentlest exfoliants I have found and love using is Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant it’s gentle enough to use every day and contains salicylic acid and rice enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter.

    Don’t be afraid of moisturising. If you don’t your sebaceous glands will have to work harder to hydrate your skin. As a result, your skin may become oily and shiny. Go for a moisturiser that’s gentle and works with your skin.

    Facials are lovely but can be too indulgent (if that’s even possible) depending on the type of facial. It may have the opposite effect if you break out from the products and deep massage. Go for a gentle and relaxing treatment to feel pampered or look into something that will be more targeted to help with any skin issues you may have.

    Book a course of 4-6 treatments as you may not see the benefit from a one-off facial.

    I hope this is helpful and if you want any more advice please email me
  • Inside Out Beauty Event at LFW

  • I am relatively new to blogging so it was a lovely surprise to be invited to the London Grace Belgravia for an exclusive ‘Inside Out Beauty’ press event with ARK Skincare and The Elixir Clinic.

    I am already aware of the Skincare brand as I have quite a few ARK products in my professional kit. I love what this unique brand represents, everyone’s skin is completely individual and the products are prescribed to target your personal skin concearns. I have been using their Age Prepare, Age Maintain and Age Repair moisturisers on my bridal clients.

    ARK’s Ethos
    “ARK Age Aware Skincare is a revolutionary way if treating your skin through every life stage. We don’t believe in skin types at ARK. You’re unique and so is your skin. Skin reflects lifestyle choices, stress levels and hormonal changes. The products your skin needs to look its best will be unique to you, different to those of your best friend, daughter and mother.
    Our Skincare is prescribed by skin age as we know there are two key periods in the ageing process when a dramatic shift in hormones production changes the way the body works.”

    Amazing ARK goody bag!

    Amazing products in the ARK goody bag!

    The Elixir Clinic was something completely new to me. I have heard of various Celebs and Supermodels having detox infusions through a drip, and when I have seen their Instagram and Twitter photos it looks quite extreme. Like they are getting ready for an operation! After talking to the specialists and Co-founder this eradicated my ignorance and helped my greater understanding of what it does and how it benefits your long term health.

    The clinics IV infusions range from a bespoke combination of vitamins, nutrients and minerals that detox, help with fatigue, aid weight loss, help anti ageing, hair loss, and improves skin condition… And this is only the tip of the iceberg!
    Infusions are the administration of nutrients by intravenous delivery and is used to help treat a broad spectrum of health conditions while aiding nutrition and the immune system. The key benefit of intravenous administration over creams and supplements are that your body can only absorb 0-10%, whereas when its IV your body absorbs 100% of the good stuff so you will really benefit in the long term.

    “The Elixir Clinic believe and seek to deliver to our clients “inside out” beauty. With the newest ideas for long term health and well-being. The Vitamins Infusions are the most effective, as a natural and safe detox method for sustaining the long-term well-being.”


    inside out beauty

    It was great meeting other fashion and beauty bloggers!



    The Elixir Clinic

    ARK Age Aware Skincare


  • Beauty on the Beach - Sea Bathing Machine!

  • I feel like its been so long since my last blog post… Blame it on crazy wedding season! My other half is watching the Football (yawn!) so I thought I would bring something very cool to your attention!!

    I live on the coast and feel very lucky that I do, especially as the beach is such a novelty to all of my clients that come to my home. Every time they ask ‘How close are we to the beach?’ and ‘We have to make the most of being by the seaside and get fish and chips’ I love it!

    My neighbouring towns are Whitstable on one side and Margate on the other, both very iconic seaside destinations. 

    In Margate there is a lovely seaweed and perfume brand Haeckels and they’re working on a project to raise £30,000 in order to build the worlds first sea bathing sauna machine!!

    Sea bathing sauna machine margate

    They have taken the heritage of Margate’s sea bathing machines and fused it with a state of the art sauna and treatment room; in essence this will be a mobile spa where users can use the sea as a plunge pool.

    The machine itself is not for the benefit of Haeckels it will be a stand-alone unit to create interesting jobs for locals and create a moveable shore side space for local practitioners to rent.

    The idea is of Dom Bridge’s who runs and owns ‘Haeckels’, a seaweed skincare and perfume business.

    Mr Bridges says, “The knowledge of the health benefits of the Margate coast and seawater has been lost and forgotten about since its Victorian heyday.

    “By reminding the town of its rich health-based heritage, we think that we will encourage regeneration and give a spark to the community that could to bringing the town back to a mecca of natural health.

    “Being run by members of the community is important to us as it means that the profits will go back into the local economy which could mean that by creating the sea bathing machine the locals will have more employment, prospects and an improved outlook on where they live.”

    Mr Bridges has commissioned a local architect and carpenter to design and construct the machine which should be ready next summer.

    For more information or make a pledge, visit the Sea Bathing Machine Sauna Kickstarter page.

    30,000 pledges of £1 gets us there or 3,000 pledges of £10 every penny counts so please get involved and lets give Margate another amazing attraction!

    Kent Margate sea bathing machine

  • Do I get a Spray Tan for my Wedding???

  • Is your wedding coming up and you are feeling a tad pale?? Time to think about tanning!

    It’s a bit of a worry for any bride when it comes to tanning. What’s best to use? Will I be too dark? Will it rub off on my dress? Will I look patchy?…

    Here is what I know about Spray tanning:
    First things first, DO NOT get your ‘tan on’ the day/night before you get married! So much can go wrong here!… Your tan will always be at its darkest on the day after your spray tan and wearing white will only intensify the colour. If you wait for the second or third day the colour will be a subtle bronze next to your white dress. Another big point is that the dark  bronze ‘guide’ (this is the colour that is left on your skin straight after getting sprayed) takes two washes to completely come off your skin and if anything is going to transfer onto your wedding dress it will be this and not the actual tan.
    If you have dry skin spray tan will cling to these areas so make sure you are well moisturised prior and when you come to have your spray tan a good barrier cream is needed for your hands/feet/elbows/knees.

    *I think the only exception is Sienna-X 6% as the following day it looks great and not too dark at all. So natural!!

    Sienna X Tan before and after application

    Before my Sienna-X Spray Tan 6% and then day after! Tantastic!!

    Here are my tips for having a  successful spray tan:

     You must thoroughly exfoliate and moisturise your skin the day PRIOR to your spray tan, to remove all of your dead skin.

     Shave or wax at least 24 hrs prior to your spray tan application.

    Do not moisturise on the day of the treatment unless your skin is very dry. Daily moisturising is recommended after the bronzer is removed when you shower, this will extend your spray tan by 2-3 days.

    Remove all traces of makeup, deodorant and perfume as they can create a barrier.

    After your tan application wear loose dark clothing immediately after your spray tan. This avoids the bronzer rubbing off onto lighter garments. The bronzer is water-soluble and will wash away. 

    DO NOT wear tight items of footwear or clothing that can cause friction and rub marks, for example socks, trainers, boots and belts.

    DO NOT wash your hands for the first 2-3 hours to avoid watermarks. Leave your tan application on the skin for a minimum of 6-8 hrs. For optimum results, leave on the skin overnight.

    Shower as usual the following morning. Your spray tan contains a cosmetic bronzer and this will wash off during showering. Do not worry, this is usual and does not affect the end result of your spray tan.

    It takes two showers for the bronzer to be removed from your skin completely, you will be the darker after the first wash but by the second day/shower it will look natural.

    What the bronzer looks like in spray tan

    This is how dark the bronzer is in the Sienna-X Spray Tan. Don't worry, it washes off to leave a lovely natural tan!!

    Over the years I have used a few different tans here are my favourites:

    1. For a darker colour go for a Xen Tan or Fake Bake

    2. If you tan well but want a natural bronzed glow, St Tropez or Sienna-X (8% or 10%)

    3. If you are fair skinned and want a hint of colour then Sienna-X 6% is the one for you. (This is the lightest I have found and perfect for a bridal tan) 

    Of course all tans will work with your natural coloring so if two people were to use Xen Tan (for example) one fair and one olive toned the colour would vary and the lighter skinned person would have a much lighter colour. I don’t think that some tans give enough variation for those pale skinned folk . When it comes to booking your bridal tan the key is to try your tan first approx 3 weeks prior with the same spray tan specialist you will use for your wedding tan. That way the technique won’t vary and if the tan is a bit too dark or light the specialist can alter the colour by the wedding so you have your perfect glow!

    tanned bridesmaids in kent

    Gorgeous tanned bridesmaids!

    I hope this sheds some light on wedding tanning! Don’t be scared ladies just make sure you trial it first and I am sure you will find the perfect tan…. Good Luck! x

  • 'Born Pretty' Affordable Makeup Brush Review

  • Makeup Brush Review

    I recently came across the Born Pretty Website. They have an abundance of makeup brushes and beauty products at really reasonable prices. Normally when something is ‘reasonable’ the quality suffers so I thought I would try out a couple of brushes and a creme eyeliner. In my opinion, you can never have too many makeup brushes and I am always on the lookout for the perfect eyeliner.

    I have always used a flat foundation brush to apply the product and then another to buff in the foundation so I wanted to try out the Tapered Face Brush. The bristles are ultra-soft goat hair and the tapered tip is great for applying the foundation and also buffing it into the skin.

    The shape is perfect for blending foundation into any hard to reach areas with better precision than using a flat brush. I used this brush to apply my everyday foundation (Ester Lauder Doublewear) it is medium/full coverage foundation so I like to blend it in to avoid it looking heavy on my skin.

    I was really happy with this brush and the shape of it is fab for using with any cream blushes as it blends so well without holding too much product.

    tapered born pretty makeup brush
    Makeup Brush

    born pretty store angled brush
    Makeup Brush

    The second brush I used was the Born Pretty Angled Face Brush. I used this with my cream bronzer (Chanel Universel Bronzing Makeup Base). Too much of this bronzer can make my skin look too dark so I like to apply a small amount and build up the desired colour by lots of blending and a little contouring on my cheekbones/jawbone.

    This brush worked well as it is so soft it didn’t create any harsh lines. The soft shape was great for subtle contouring and adding powder blush onto the apples of my cheeks.

    Some brushes have hairs that fall out which can be a bit of a pain (even some of my most expensive brushes do!). These don’t!! 

    adofee waterproof eyeliner

    I wanted to try out the Adofee Waterproof Cream Eyeliner. The packaging and product is very similar to the Maybelline Cream Liner and it comes with a portable brush (very handy!). The size and tapered flat edge worked well to give the perfect eyeliner flick but the liner wasn’t as waterproof as I had hoped.

    It lasted a good 10-12 hrs but was a bit smudged by the end of the day. I would still carry on using it as its great value and the colour is very deep black. 

    Here I am using the Born Pretty Brushes and Eyeliner in my everyday makeup routine. I will be using these products for myself and my clients!

    The finished look. Ta-Da!!

    finished makeup look

    If you would like to purchase any of the Born Pretty Products they have given me a discount code for my lovely followers!

    Discount Code: LJH10


    Lucy Jayne xx

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