What are your top 5 make-up essentials?

Gemma's finishing touches!

I often have to pack light when going away filming, I can’t be taking my massive suitcase of make-up with me everywhere so I have a few items that are my essentials. I’ve listed these below for you and would love to know what your can’t live without items are too!

1. Mascara

It’s a definite must for me! If I can only wear one thing it’s always mascara. It opens your eyes up and frames your lashes to add that girlie charm. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but when applying your make-up mascara always comes last and until you’ve added it your look is not complete and looks strange! Mascara rocks!

My current favourite is NO7 Lash Adapt Mascara £12.95

2. Foundation

This is a must for me on a daily basis as I just don’t have the most brilliant skin, also once you’ve seen foundation applied property and the difference it makes it’s hard not to use it. Remember if you use liquid or cream foundation, always use a brush. A foundation brush will give you the most even complexion. For a guide to perfect streak free foundation take a look at my previous blog post.

Recommended foundation brush is Body Shop foundation brush £12.00


When it comes to great foundations this can change with the seasons and obviously new products are always hitting the market but my current fav is L’Oréal Paris Infallible Foundation currently £12.29 in Boots.
It lasts for 16 hours and comes in loads of shades.


3. Vaseline

For soft lips I really believe Vaseline is the best. I love it so much and it acts as a clear lip gloss too. I love the fact it comes in lots of flavours, particularly loving the cocoa butter one.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Tin £1.99


4. Shimmer Waves

My passion for the Body Shop Shimmer Waves came when I was working as a consultant for them. It’s a compact that incorporates 5 eyeshadows and a bronzer in one! Perfect for holidays or just packing light. You can create many eye make-up looks with this products as the colours all compliment eachother and are really easy to use, wet or dry!! As a bronzer / blusher it’s brilliant. They sell it in a lighter blush colour or bronzer, so it depends on your skin tones which you go for. I personally use the bronzer as it suits my more olive skin tone. The 5 shades provide a great bronzer on your skin as you’re not just using one colour and it blends in really nicely.

Body Shop Shimmer Waves £16.00


5. Eye liner

I know eye liner isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I have to wear it everyday! Not always in black, I have silver, plum, green, brown and lots of others inbetween. I just feel my eyes look so much more wide and awake with eye liner. It has to be applied properly though. Don’t go all the way round. The rule is to work in from the outer corner of your eye to the widest point and then stop! If you go all round it will make your eyes look smaller! If you’re not great at applying eye liner then use a smudger to help create a smoother line.

My favourite eye pencil is the Benefit Badgal Waterproof black eye liner. It has a smudger brush at the other end to make application easier. If you need more tips let me know and I’ll blog about it for you.


So that’s my top 5 – but what is yours?

E x

Looking after your skin, the do’s and don’ts!

Whilst working as Body Shop consultant the most common arguement was how people look after their skin! I thought I would open this up to my blogging audience for all of your feedback and also give those of you that are interested a few tips on how’s best to look after your skin.

Firstly avoid anything too strong smelling or harsh. The skin on your face is very delicate and should be looked after with the greatest of care, camomile, aloe vera and vitamin e creams are very popular in facial products and these tend to be suitable for all skin types too so give these a try.

When cleansing and toning my brides on their wedding day I always use the Body Shop Vitamin E range. It’s so kind and gentle on your skin and smells really calming.


I’ve listed 3 main things to remember and if you stick with these you can’t go far wrong!

1. Always remove your make-up before bed

As much as I appreciate this is a pain and usually the last thing you want to do I would try to make removing your make-up a habit. You skin does the majority of it’s work whilst you’re asleep so allow it to breath and remove all your gunk from the day! You skin will thank you for it!

2. Never use face wipes!

I know lots of you will be horrified that I’m saying this but face wipes are just too harsh on your skin. The better alterntive is cotton wool with a cream cleanser. Dampen your cotton wool first and apply a small blob of cleanser (ideally one that suggests you can remove eye make-up with it too). By dampening your cotton wool you won’t need to use so much cleanser and it will last longer. Once your cotton wool is loaded up use it in circular motions to remove your make up, do this gently and keep going until your cotton wool is remaining clean. This may mean using 3 or 4 pieces of cotton wool. The cotton wool pads are better than the balls, the balls have loose fibres that can get in your eyes if you’re not careful.

3. Moisturise

Make sure you moisturise daily. There are creams that are good for day and night wear but ideally you would want to buy 2 seperate creams. Night creams are thicker and are not appropriate for day wear as your make-up won’t sit well over the top of it. Most brands will offer a day and night cream version of the product and if you’re clever you can usually buy them in a BOGOF deal so look out for this.

Body shop have many different cream ranges, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Tea Tree etc. I highly reccomend the Vitamin E and Vitamin C brands. I also trust Boots NO7 creams. Carefully read what skin types they advise they’re suitable for as no one cream is suitable for everyone.

If you only want to moisturise once a day go for night time, this is when your skin will get the most out of the product you’re using!

Other products I would advise are brilliant for looking after your skin are…

Eye Creams: these are more delicate to face creams and are just to be focused around the eye area

Toners: You use a toner after your cleanser, it removes any further traces of dirt or make-up and leaves your skin feeling refreshed

Exfoliating cream: You can buy specific facial exfoliator creams, I would advise using this once a week. It removes dead skin and leaves your face feeling really soft.

Skin Reviver: One of my all time favourite products is Vitamin C Skin Reviver from Body Shop. It’s absolutely brilliant. You apply it after cleansing and toning but before moisturiser. Everyone I’ve used this on always comments on the lovely zesty orange smell and how soft it makes their skin feel. It really does give your skin a lift too a real radiance!


If you have any questions just post a comment and I’ll reply!

E x

Tips for a bride to be…. and relax…


Do you worry that you’re going to be a bag of nerves on your wedding day? This is perfectly normal. Yes I appreciate that I’m not married (I’m regularly reminded of this fact) but I do have experience of being there. I’ve seen extreme nerves a few times but more often than not brides are just rediculously excited, and with good reason. I thought I would tell you a few tales from my wedding travels and give you a few tips on how to relax and ultimately enjoy it.

Tips to keeping your cool!

1. Try to get a good nights sleep, don’t eat or drink too much the night before as this could easily disturb your normal sleeping patterns. Try to read to help you drop off properly and think about something else. A good tip is starting a good book about a week before the day. This will mean you ‘ve got something to take your mind off it all and you can get lost in it the night before to get you off to sleep.

2. Try to eat breakfast. I know many brides who are so afraid of getting into their dress that they miss breakfast. This isn’t a good idea. Obviously maybe avoid a massively fatty heavy fry up but you must eat. To line your stomach if nothing else.

3. Don’t drink too much. Obviously a glass of fizz or two with your bridal party is lovely, but don’t over do it. The last thing you won’t to be remembered for is being that drunk bride!! 🙂

4. Delegate! You’ll have lots of people around you to help out with delivering things, making tea, tidying, meeting and greeting etc. Give people you can trust these jobs and then you don’t have to worry about it.

5. Have a relaxing bath. Have a deep bubble bath with relaxtion bubbles. Tests have shown that baths actually relax you, plus its 20 mins to yourself. Enjoy it, you’ll be surrounded by people wanting to talk to you for the rest of the day.

6. Try to be well organised. i.e don’t be packing for your honeymoon on the morning of your wedding. Ensure all you need to think about is getting you ready and having fun!

7. Put the phone down! Get a bridesmaid / family member to answer your mobile. Most people won’t ring you on your wedding day but just in case there is a crisis (which there won’t be), they can look after it for you.

8. If you can, get a bit of fresh air. On Katy’s wedding day she took the dog for a walk. Initally I thought, why is she walking the dog on her wedding day, surely someone else can do this? But actually it’s a great way to relax and do something perfectly normal.

9. Make a good time plan with your hairdresser and make-up artist. They will know what they’re doing so can advise you how long things will take and when’s best for them to arrive. So don’t be afraid to keep them in the loop. If they say they need 4 hours then that’s what needs to happen, trust them. That’s what you’re paying them for.

I did a wedding a while ago that was a last minute booking where timings hadn’t been discussed, all was very stressful and rushed and the bride was still getting ready when the church bells (which you could hear in the distance) stopped ringing. Don’t be her! Plan ahead! believe me your hired help will thank you for it!

10. Give your a suppliers a quick bell a few days before the wedding. Just put your mind at ease that all is in hand. Take mobile numbers for everyone just in case!!

11. Ask your bridesmaids to help you put together a survival kit. Hair pins, mini can of hair spray, lip gloss, tissues, safety pins (everyone seems to need these at least once!!!), needle and thread, face powder, mints etc. You may not need it but if you do you’ll be very grateful you had it.

12. Smile, there’s nothing worse than a miserable bride. I appreciate this is usually down to nerves but conciously remind yourself to smile and enjoy it, this day only happens once (or is supposed to!!!)

13. Rescue Remedy. Invest in a bottle of Bach’s Rescue Remedy, you can buy it in Boots or health food stores. It works wonders at calming the nerves. Definitely better than a brandy!

14. Breathe! If you do start to feel anxious just focus on your breathing and nothing else. Sit down, grab a glass of water and breathe. Everyone will understand and will be happy to support you. If you’re one of my brides I will look after you. I take pride in being that calming influence. I know what I’m doing and I love it, therefore I can guarantee I won’t stop smiling and will do my best to make you laugh. I’m used to nerves and know how to tackle them. If you don’t want anyone else to know how you’re feeling you can take me to one side and I’ll help you deal with it. Make-up artist and therapist in one! A package deal 🙂

If none of this is helping you maybe this little story will…

Laura Billington nee Woolley (who one day if I’m lucky enough might be my sister in law!!) got married in August 2011 in the beautiful grounds of Gants Mill, Bruton. Everything was going to plan (as you would expect because she’s super organised), marquee dressed, suits all in order, flowers beautifully arranged by her mum, favours made and displayed, bridesmaids at her side, and guests getting ready in local hotels. All set for a wonderful day. My make-up area was in a hotel room in a nearby hotel we had talked timings on the day as I do with all my brides but there was one element that was always going to be a little bit tricky and unpredictable. Laura had a 5 week old baby – Henry!! This didn’t faze Laura one bit, or it didn’t seem to. I rarely have boys present on the wedding morning as Dad’s usually like to keep out of the way, but Henry was a wonderful edition. He focused Laura’s attention away from the stress and nerves of getting married and was so well behaved even with lots of ladies cooing all over him.The day was expertly planned around Henry’s feeds and I can’t have imagined the day without him.So next time you panic about your wedding day spare a thought for Laura – you can do it! Just have faith!