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The Holy Grail of waterproof mascaras

After my MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash dried up after a couple of weeks, I decided it was not the Hobnob of the mascara world, but rather the Rich Tea despite the lovely application and sleek packaging that I had come to love. I set out to find another alternative and what I found was actually quite surprising.

On a trip to Meadowhall for dinner at TGI Friday’s, I dragged my long-suffering Mr Wright into the The Body Shop to take a look around and had a pretty fun twenty minutes subjecting his hands to primers and foundations, swatching and marvelling at the formulations. I came across the Big and Curvy Waterproof mascara due to the lovely bright blue packaging and thought I’d pick it up and try it out. As there was a 3 for 2 sale on at the time, I actually got the mascara for free so I thought I might as well take it home and sample it to see if it would be a good addition to my professional kit.

The Body Shop

The Body Shop’s Big and Curvy Waterproof Mascara

The next day, I applied the mascara instead of my current favourite Thick and Fast by Soap and Glory. I found the mascara went on quite beautifully and separated my lashes quite well. Although this mascara is a volumising mascara, I’m happy to say that it wasn’t clump city as so many thickening formulations are. My lashes looked longer, thicker and a little more curved than usual.

I wore the mascara for the duration of the day as I went about my mobile makeovers travelling up and down to visit clients. When I got home later on that afternoon, there was just enough time to apply my mum’s makeup before we were both out the door and heading to my lovely friend’s Hen party. After a fabulous time at the party, we finally returned home at around 10pm and I was pleased to see that my eye makeup looked exactly the same as it had done when I’d applied it at 7am that morning. Pretty good going if you ask me – that’s 15 hours of excellent results!

Ready for the Mexican Hen party - mascara still intact!

Ready for the Mexican Hen party – mascara still intact!

When the time came to remove the mascara, I learned just how amazingly waterproof this little formula is…I tried my usual DHC Cleansing Oil to no avail and also tried my Mum’s Nivea eye makeup remover. I still had traces of the mascara on my lashes! I cleansed the rest of my face with my favourite facial scrub and again came back to my lashes to try and remove the remainder of the mascara. Despite my efforts, I couldn’t quite get the very last traces of the mascara off and had to retire to bed. The next morning, the dregs of the mascara were still intact and I was happy to see there were no panda eyes. After a gentle cleanse with my DHC Cleansing Oil, the remainder of the mascara slid away and my lashes were fresh and clean once again.

Separated, volumised natural lashes with serious staying power

Separated, volumised natural lashes with serious staying power

I am seriously impressed with the longevity and performance of this mascara, and at the retail price of £10, it’s £4.50 cheaper than my previous MAC offering. I can’t tell you about how long the mascara lasts without drying out just yet as I’ve only had it for less than a week so far, but I’ll keep you posted.

I’d highly recommend this mascara to all you party animals, water babies or simply ladies who have problems with their mascara imprinting onto their faces after a full days wear. Great value for money, and serious staying power. Just ensure to remove the mascara gently and carefully to make sure you don’t irritate your eyes or damage your lashes in the process.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

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Retin-A for problem skin – the journey so far using Tretinoin

As somebody who has had clear skin for pretty much all of their life, I was absolutely heartbroken last year to find myself suffering with a stubborn bout of adult acne. My skin was absolutely full of spots, blemishes and dry patches and felt unbelievably sore and irritated. It took me a really long time to get my skin back to health again, so imagine my horror when my skin started to play up again just a few months ago.

Despite having a great skincare routine, following a healthy diet and taking regular exercise, my skin still wouldn’t behave. I decided that I needed something more potent to help me along in my quest for clear skin once again.

Tretinoin 0.1% gel

Tretinoin 0.1% gel

I’d read up enough about Retin-A to know that it was a really beneficial treatment to put onto my skin and after trying out Indeed Labs Retinol Reface a while ago and not really seeing much difference to my skin, I decided to try something a little stronger.

I found out about Tretinoin which is a derivative of vitamin A and is used on the skin to treat acne, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and rough skin. The treatment causes the cells of the skin to grow and die more rapidly which is why Tretinoin is well known to cause flaking skin and redness. This speeds up the cell renewing process revealing fresher, less problematic skin underneath.

According to medical reports, improvements in sun-damaged or skin with hyperpigmentation can be seen within the first three to four weeks of treatment with dark spots fading after around six to eight weeks. Wrinkles decrease or disappear after around three to six months. Some people have reported that their acne has seemed to improve within the first few weeks of use.

The treatment comes in either a gel, cream or capsule form. I opted for the gel which comes in the following strengths from weakest to strongest: 0.01%, 0.025%, 0.04%, 0.05% and 0.1%. The gel strength which I have is 0.1% – the highest strength.

My experience

I was so excited to get hold of my Tretinoin and read up carefully about the application process and what to expect. On the first evening of using my Tretinoin, I cleansed my face with my usual routine and waited the recommended 20-30 minutes before applying the treatment. This is done to ensure that the skin is thoroughly dry and help to alleviate irritation of the product.


Here’s day one of starting treatment with very unhappy skin!

Day one: I was advised that a pea-sized amount was enough to cover the whole of my face so I took a small amount and carefully spread it firstly over my problem areas – my chin, jaw line and cheeks. I was careful to avoid contact with my eyes and lips. I’d read that many people experienced either a stinging or burning sensation when applying tretinoin, I only felt a mild warming sensation which wasn’t uncomfortable at all.

Day two: When I woke up the next morning, my skin had already started to peel and looked a little red. After cleansing my face in the morning, I found that my skin felt extremely tight and stung a little. I made sure to moisturise throughout the day.

On the second evening of applying the gel, I felt quite a strong burning sensation which was actually quite unpleasant. I had mixed a moisturiser with the tretinoin and after a few minutes the burning subsided and my face felt normal again.

Day three: The next morning, my skin didn’t appear to be peeling so I applied a little makeup and went out for Sunday lunch. After lunch, I popped to the powder room and was absolutely horrified to find that my skin was literally hanging off my face around my mouth. Even worse that nobody had told me despite sitting next to me at the dinner table for over an hour! The only thing I had to hand was a suncream so I applied this to my face. Big mistake. The suncream was blue. I looked like I had a blue beard. So for the rest of the afternoon, I braved the world with my strange blue beard and just put up with it.

The third evening of applying the cream really stung and I was getting a little worried that the gel was too strong for my face. If this was the case, I would have to start using the gel once every other night rather than every single night. After a few minutes, the burning subsided again.

Day four: This morning I woke up to find my skin looking healthier and was happy to see that my acne looked less inflamed. My skin could almost pass for semi-clear! My skin didn’t feel quite so tight and wasn’t peeling as much as it had on the previous days. Even my mum commented at how fresh my complexion looked. I applied my normal moisturiser throughout the day and didn’t really see any peeling until the evening.

I applied the Tretinoin again in the evening with the moisturiser and was pleased to only feel a mild warming sensation again.

Day five: Today is day five and I have woken up once again with clearer, fresher looking skin. After just five days I have already seen a remarkable improvement in my skin which I didn’t think was even possible. Although my skin does feel a little tight, it feels much better than it has in a long time. With continued use, I have every faith that this little wonder gel will work miracles and give me my skin back!

Day five - much clearer skin with a healthy glow

Day five – much clearer skin with a healthy glow

A few things to note

  • Tretinoin makes the skin more sensitive to UVA and UVB, it’s really important to wear a high SPF each day to protect your skin
  • The treatment will make your skin look a little red and peel – this is completely normal. Don’t give up too soon! As embarrassing as it might be to have peeling skin while you’re out and about, think of the benefits you will reap in the longterm. Your skin WILL get used to this in time and the peeling will subside
  • Tretinoin is not to be used during pregnancy and nursing – the effects of Tretinoin within pregnancy and during nursing is not really known, so the manufacturer advise that it should not be used during these times to exercise caution
  • This is not a quick fix, it’s a longterm commitment. Starting to use Retin-A from a young age will be beneficial to skin and help to keep a youthful complexion with happy, healthy skin
From day one to day five

From day one to day five


© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

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Tips for choosing your Wedding Makeup Artist

Booking your wedding makeup artist is no small decision; after all, you have to be able to trust your artist to deliver the goods on your special day.

Makeup is such a personal thing and there is no ‘one size fits all’, what suits one bride might not be suitable for another and the definition of of ‘natural’ might differ greatly from one bride to another. It’s so important to make sure that can put your trust into your makeup artist to make you look and feel beautiful for your big day. Here are some helpful tips when looking for your perfect fit.

Beautiful Bridal makeover at Worley HallHotel | Rachael Divers \ Wedding Makeup Artist in Barnsley

Beautiful Bridal makeover at Worley HallHotel | Rachael Divers \ Wedding Makeup Artist in Barnsley

Take a trial
Having a makeup trial is the perfect way to find out whether your chosen artist is the kind of artist that you’d like for your big day. You need to find somebody who you feel at ease with and who will listen to your requirements and help to create your perfect look. It’s always useful if you have a few ideas prior to your trial that you can show to your makeup artist. This helps them to get a good idea of the kind of look you’d like and gives them something to work towards. If you really aren’t sure what you’d like, talk through the options with your artist and ask for their opinion on the colours and styles that will suit you. Remember, your trial is all about trying things out to determine what you like, it’s your chance to experiment. A great makeup artist will spend the time to discuss your look with you, suggest ideas and come up with the goods. They should also be able to tailor the products to suit your skin type – for example, a bride with oily skin getting married in the summer will need to have their skin properly prepped with an oil controlling moisturiser and mattifyer to ensure that their makeup hasn’t slipped off by midday.

Be honest
Don’t be afraid to tell your makeup artist if you really don’t like something they have applied. Not happy with your brows? Tell them. Personally, I’d be gutted if I thought my clients weren’t happy with my work but were too afraid or embarrassed to tell me. By telling your artist what you aren’t so keen on, they can work to correct it and give you something that you are happy with. If they don’t know, they can’t change it for you.

Check your Makeup Artist’s insurance
In a perfect scenario, your big day will arrive and your makeup artist will show up to make you look and feel beautiful with no glitches at all. In reality, things can go wrong. It’s so important to make sure that you can fully trust in your makeup artist and have peace of mind, which is why it’s really important to book an artist who is fully insured by a professional body such as BABTAC – The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology.



Is your makeup artist fully trained?
I know of quite a few amazing (and famous) makeup artists who are completely self-taught. However, having a makeup artist who has been fully trained in the art and who has some great experience behind them is always an added bonus. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better, it just means they’re more likely to be up to speed on new developments or techniques and are more likely to be insured. Most professional insurance companies require evidence of training and certificates. Please do not book a makeup artist for your special day if they are not insured. Cover your back under all circumstances.

Consider the cost
We get what we pay for, and if your makeup artist is charging you £50 for both the trial and the on-the-day makeup, it might be time to question how good they are and whether their products are up to the mark. Professional makeup artists spend a wealth of time building up their kit, expanding their knowledge and paying out for insurance to protect both you and themselves. You are not just paying for their time, but for their expertise and skills and the peace of mind. If something is too good to be true, it usually is.

Check out the brands that your artist uses
Professional makeup artists will use professional products that are high in quality and perform well. If you are paying well for your makeup artistry on your trial and on your actual day, you should expect a kit full of professional products and not a bargain basement selection. It’s important that your makeup artist uses reliable products that are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction on your skin. My own kit consists of the likes of Charlotte Tilbury, MAC, Graftobian, Ben Nye and Illamasqua.

Any professional makeup artist should have a clean kit ready for each client. Ensure that your artist has clean, sanitised brushes ready for your makeup application and that the brushes are cleaned between each persons makeup. Dirty makeup kits and unclean brushes can spread bacteria and cause breakouts and allergic reactions – professionals will deep clean brushes after every set of clients and should also clean off brushes with a quick cleaning spray before each person in your party. If you think your artist isn’t working hygienically, then please speak up. Ultimately, it’s you who could suffer the consequences.

Take a look at their website
Most professionals will have a fully functioning website and even a Facebook and Twitter page. Take a look at their gallery of images and look at any reviews left on their site by past clients. Contact a few of the people who have left reviews and ask for their opinion if you feel that you’d like the extra reassurance.

The stunning Bride | Beautiful Bridal Makeovers at Wentbridge House for Sian | Rachael Divers | Makeup Artist in Barnsley

A few additional tips for brides-to-be

  • Have your makeup artist take a before and after shot for reference for your big day.
  • Make sure your makeup artist has a clean space to work in with plenty of natural daylight. If you aren’t visiting your artist’s studio for your trial or bridal makeup, it’s so important to make sure that you have a good space for your artist to be able to work in. Natural lighting will show any flaws in the makeup and allow your artist to match your foundation perfectly to your skin.
  • Purchase the lipstick and pressed powder that your artist will be using so that you can touch your makeup up throughout the day.
  • Get into a great skincare routine to ensure that your skin looks fabulous ready for your big day. Beautiful makeup relies on a good base.
  • Bridal makeup can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or even longer. Give yourself and your artist plenty of time to apply your makeup and perfect your look. Rushing things and being under extra pressure can lead to mistakes. Your wedding morning should be exciting and enjoyable, relax and enjoy every minute.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

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Seeing double: Mum and Me

Over at the studio this month, there’s been a real buzz about Mother and Daughter makeover shoots and just how much us ladies look like our mums. When I was younger, I was always told that I was the double of my Dad. This used to upset me for one reason: he had a moustache. Anyway, in the past few years, people have started to say that my mum and me look the double of each other – whether this has anything to do with my Dad ditching the tash, I don’t even want to think about –  so I thought I’d try a little experiment to see just how much my mum and myself look like each other.

The results were a little freaky! Here’s what you get when you take half of me, and half of my mum Sue!

Rachael Divers Makeup Artistry

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.


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