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Illamasqua Sculpting Palette Review

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After seeing the launch of the new Illamasqua collection, Dusk, I was really intrigued by the addition of the Sculpting Palette. A palette which contains ’six versatile powder shades which work in harmony to contour and highlight. From champagne shimmer to matte light peach, ash taupe and deep coffee, the range of shades and textures allow you to shape and define your features to perfection.’

Being a former employee of Illamasqua, I know full well that the company isn’t telling fibs when they rave about the high pigment of their products. A little goes a long way at Illamasqua which means that not only do you get a great colour payoff on products, but that you also get a lot of bang for your buck in terms of how long a product will last.

I’d been searching for a highlight and contour palette for a while, and after considering Anastasia Beverly Hills and Kat Von D, I was happy to come across this one much closer to home. So of course, I hit the order button and checked it out immediately.

The palette arrived a few days later in the customary sleek, black Illamasqua packaging and I couldn’t wait to open it up and try it out. Even my mum and dad sat curiously looking on as I tore into the package and shouted ‘LOOK AT THAT! JUST LOOK AT THAT! BEAUTIFUL!’

So, here is my Illamasqua Sculpting Palette review broken down into a few sections…

Packaging
I love the sleek packaging design and the palette is actually larger than I expected which is a pleasant surprise. The palette comes with a mirror for handy on-the-go touch-ups which I also really like.

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Colours
The palette comes with six different powder colours: Rush, Cirrus, Heroine, Nimbus, Steal and Create.

Cirrus is great for adding light back into the face – think of the brightening Kim K look – and Rush is gorgeous for adding a beautiful champagne shimmer to the high points of the face and illuminating.

For my fair skin tone, Heroine is the perfect contour shade to add that natural definition to cheekbones, I also loved warming this up with a touch of Steal over the contour and just above my temples.

The powders are buttery smooth when blending them in and work into the skin beautifully. There does seem to be a lot of fall out from the brush gliding over the powders on the palette, but I would expect this to a certain extent considering how silky the powder feels when you touch it, but the fall out doesn’t transfer onto the face as you apply the product.

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Price
The palette retails at £44 which I think is more than reasonable – considering that an eye shadow costs £16.50 for 2g. Here you are getting six 3g shades for £44 which works out at just over £7 per shade.

Overall
I’m really impressed with this sleek little palette and I’m pleased that I decided to make that impulse purchase without trying it out in store first. In fact, I’m that impressed that I’ll be re-purchasing this for my own makeup bag as it’s just too heartbreaking to see it be put away into my kit solely for use on my clients! Great for makeup artists and makeup lovers alike – I also think that this would make a cherished gift.

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Illamasqua Artists tip
‘Apply Cirrus to the highest points of the face to subtly highlight features…create an under-shadow by applying Nimbus to the hollow of the cheek and down the sides of the nose. Follow by blending Heroine (light to medium skin-tones) or Create (medium to deep skin-tones) over the under-shadow created with Nimbus for a more realistic finish. Achieve a cooler tone to your contour by mixing in Nimbus; or create a warmer effect by mixing in Steal. Illuminate your highlighted areas by layering Rush down the bridge of the nose, and above the cheekbones, blending towards the hairline.’

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© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2015.

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Halloween 2015 look book

Halloween is fast approaching so I thought it was about high time I released my Halloween 2015 look book! The look book shows each Halloween look that I’ll be offering this year along with the prices for each individual look from a half face to a full face.

Please note: Liquid latex, Spirit Gum, Rigid Collodion and Third Degree are used in the majority of Halloween looks. You will be required to fill out an allergy form before your appointment takes place.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2015.

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10 things you should never say to your Makeup Artist

After years of working as a makeup artist, I’ve had my fair share of strange (and sometimes kinda infuriating) questions that have had me both confused and in stitches. I thought I’d share my handy little list of some of the most amusing things that you should never, ever say to your makeup artist! Have a read and enjoy – my personal favourite, and one I get asked a lot, is number 10!

1. “I wasn’t going to book with you but I couldn’t find anybody else last minute.”
I. Cant. Even.

2. “Can you just do my makeup for free?”
How’s about I ask MAC if they can supply my kit for free or if Sigma can send me my brushes for free? While I’m at it, let me see if BP will let me have my diesel for free. It’s not gonna happen. What you’re paying for is a quality, professional service using tried and tested products that will be kind to your skin all the while making you look and feel fabulous. Would you walk into a shop and ask to take your shopping away for free? I doubt it. So don’t even go there because it’s a surefire way to get heckles up immediately.

3. “I have a few makeup brushes I’ve never washed them. Would you recommend I do?”
Say what?! Do you have any idea how much bacteria will be lurking on those scruffy little bristles that you continue to smear over your face on a daily basis? If you find you start to suffer with skin complaints, then your brushes may well be the problem. I find it absolutely horrifying when people tell me that they don’t wash their makeup brushes. That’s like using the bathroom then swanking on out without washing your hands. You nasteeeh.

Mr Bean

4. “I’d like to try a new lipstick. I think I’d like a nudey red colour…”
Okay. Now I’m real confused. The line between nude and red is not a fine one and I’m totally not sure where you’ve got your inspiration for this new breakthrough lippie from. Most people who have asked me for this end up choosing a deep purple or dark brown in the end. Mind = blown.

5. “I want to book for my wedding but I don’t want to pay a booking fee.”
I’m very sorry, but without a booking fee, your booking will not be made. If I gained a MAC lipstick for every time I’ve booked a client in and they haven’t showed up and wasted my time and an appointment, MAC in Nottingham would be swiftly calling in a stock crisis.

6. “I’ve been using the same tube of foundation for about three years now. It’s lasted so long!”
Jesus Christ on a bike. Please, for the love of God, throw it out and get a fresh new one and be kind to your skin! Most foundation bottles have a little symbol on the back telling you exactly how long a product can be kept, it’s important to stick to these time frames as nasty bacteria can start to fester and cause havoc for your skin.

7. “Do you know how to contour?”
Does Kim K love a selfie?!

Contour

8. “Can you just hold on while I text my friend/pop out for a cigarette/take a call?”
No. Emergency calls are of course acceptable, but do you have any idea how hard it is to apply makeup to somebody who is constantly blocking you with their mobile? For one it’s terrible manners and for two, if you want your liner on fleek, please do sit still for a few minutes. It’ll all be worth it in the end, I promise.

9. “Could you colour match my friend for me?” *pulls out an iPhone and shows me a picture*
Um. I think it might be better if she could pop into the shop to see me so I can make a good colour match instead of trying to guess from a blurry picture where she’s one of seven people in a dark club with a flash…

10. “How much for a bride?”
I’m terribly sorry, I don’t sell brides.

And still, even after the strange questions and some of the absolutely baffling requests, I still LOVE my job as a makeup artist and wouldn’t want it any other way!

Sephora

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2015.

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Five lies people believe about being a self employed Makeup Artist

Ever since I can remember, my parents have owned and run a successful business in photography. Unlike their clients over the years who only ever see the best of what the business has to offer and the sparkling exterior, I get to see the nitty gritty behind the scenes. The endless sleepless nights full of working away to structure the business, the hours of keeping up with the accounts, the extensive training to continuously improve and stay up to date with new trends, the cost of buying in the latest and best equipment to ensure a seamless job…it was and still is bloody hard work. Despite all of this, I still decided that I too wanted to become self employed. Sure, I saw the really hard stuff, but I also saw the benefits. Nobody to answer to each day or anybody breathing down your neck, the luxury of choosing your own working hours and not having to worry about booking time off for important events, the flexibility of being able to pick and choose how your business is run and building your own brand.

The freedom sounded amazing and after having been tied to office or retail jobs in the past, it was a breath of fresh air to me to think of having free rein of my time. However, I find it funny how people seem to believe certain ideals when it comes to self employment – that can be any form of self employment, but let me focus on the one I know for a little while. Here are the five lies people believe of being a self employed Makeup Artist…

1. Being self employed means that you don’t have anybody answer to

Lies! Being self employed doesn’t mean you don’t have anybody to answer to at all. Hell, you’ve got the tax man blowin’ up your letterbox, your clients expecting a friendly voice at the end of their phone or on their social media (24/7 I might add) and constant questioning from your nearest and dearest about how exactly your finances are coming along and if you’ll be ‘getting  a job anytime soon?’ Just don’t.

2. Being self employed means you can go to work in your pyjamas!

Say you’ve got a little admin to do on a Monday morning, sure, you could sit around in your pj’s with JK on the TV sipping away at your Australian Skybury coffee and not having a care in the world. That’s all well and good. But there’s this little thing called MOTIVATION and if you’re snuggling on down in your comfies with your backside glued to the sofa, that bit of get up and go is gonna have gotten up and gone before you can say Real Housewives of New York. That process of a morning routine and actually getting up, doing your hair and makeup and putting on a little business attire really seals your frame of mind for how the day is going to pan out. Also, you can’t rock up to do a makeover in your penguin pjs and rollers. Unless it’s family. Jk.

3. Being a Makeup Artist is a really glamorous job

LOL! If you could only see me dashing from client to client mid prom season in the beating summer heat you’d realise that it’s really not all that glamorous at all. Sure, I get to visit some amazing places and make over some gorgeous people, I get to work on exciting studio shoots and take the lead on creative projects, but I also get my fair share of slogging too. Here’s the thing; I have a full case of heavy makeup products, a fold away chair that isn’t as ‘fold away’ as it claims to be and a damn good pair of heels that I need to use to scale my way up two flights of stairs to arrive on my bridal clients doorstep looking as perky and fresh as I did the second I left my own house. I don’t have an assistant, the groundwork has to be done by me and only me. I’m responsible for making sure my kit is cleaned thoroughly between each client and that I arrive with the correct equipment to be able to do my job in a timely manner. Speaking of correct equipment, or lack thereof, I’ll not even torture myself with reminiscing about the times I’ve visited clients at home to find they haven’t got anywhere for me to work properly so I’ve had to sit on my knees on a bathroom floor to paint their face. And I also won’t go into that time I was forced to work in front of a roaring fire at the heart of summer that was so ridiculously warm that my lipsticks along with a good 3/4 of my face melted. That’s the thing about working mobile – you never know what you’ll be walking in to, and sometimes the uncomfortable situations are unavoidable. So buckle up, buttercup! Nobody said this was going to be easy.

4. Being a self employed Makeup Artist, I bet you’ve got loads of money!

This assumption just pains me to the absolute bone. Just because you see me taking a wad of money away with me on a bridal job, doesn’t mean I’m rolling in it. That money that’s sitting in my hand, that glorious wad of stinking notes that I’d kill to head straight to Selfridges with…that money is only going to one place. The bank. Because it needs to be declared as an earning and needs to be subjected to tax like everything else we earn just like regular employment wages. Any money that I earn is banked, declared and taxed and whatever is left over goes to pay my bills. And not just the regular bills of living in my own place. Bills like paying for an accountant to make sure my books are well kept, bills like replacing products or buying new brushes because the current ones are worn out. Bills like petrol to and from jobs, insurance payments to make sure I’m covered should anything bad happen. There’s a whole host of things I need to pay out for just to run my business successfully and trust me when I say, it’s slim pickings after they’ve all been taken into account.

5. You must be able to take all the holidays and days off that you want!

In theory, yes. I could take the whole year off if I chose to keep my diary free, but who’s gonna pay the bills? Being self employed in a business like mine means that if I’m not actively out there working, there’s no way the money can be trickling in to pay for my bills. And you know what? I kinda like to eat, so taking too many breaks just isn’t an option. Also, contrary to what people may think, on the days I’m not physically out doing a makeover, I’m still working! I have a website to run, social media to engage in, accounts to arrange, promotions to plan, pricing structures to look over, PDF’s to update and a whole host of other jobs that I need to fit in so that when I go to bed on a night, I can close my eyes and happily drift off into a less worrisome sleep that at least I’ve completed half of my ‘to do’ list for the day. Being self employed is a full time job and if you aren’t prepared to put the work in, it’ll never work out. You have a reputation to uphold, emails and calls to answer and books to keep updated so that when Mr Tax Man comes knockin’, you can confidently produce the records.

Beauty Trolley

Don’t get me wrong, being self employed is the best move I ever made career wise. It’s taught me so much about people, life and most of all, about myself. It’s taught me how to react more diplomatically to certain situations (even if it’s my Dad who has to frequently rein me in and make me see the wider picture – I’m getting there Paps, right?) and how to stand on my own two feet.

I think it’s so strange that people have so many misconceptions about being self employed, but if you are able to try out running your own business, go for it! It’s not something to take lightly but you’ll learn to laugh at the hard times and roll with the good. Eventually. Maybe.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2015.

 

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