Product Review… Monu Primer

I’m so sorry I’ve been so quiet recently. I’ve decided to give myself a few months off whilst doing up our house and concentrating on my full time job as a production manager in television. I will however try to keep blogging for you all. As you know I subscribe to Glossybox, it’s a great way to keep in touch with new products to the market and to try new brands. The majority of the time a product comes in my box I use it and enjoy it and then go back to what I usually buy, but on receiving one of the items in my October box I’m now a complete convert to the Monu Illuminating Primer. I’ve never heard of Monu as a brand before and always open to new things, so gave this one a bash.

Monu primer

I always use primers in my work but I’m not a total advocate of them as until now I’d not come across anything that I felt was really worth the money for day to day use, but agree that the addition of a primer for bridal make-up adds a longer lasting effect and much more flawless look. Read my blog here about primers. The Monu Primer was quite a different texture to other primers I’ve tried. It’s a thick white cream with a slight (illuminating) shimmer to it, not that the shimmer is visible after the application of foundation though.



Apply to the face and neck in the morning after cleansing and toning, using gentle upward movements.

My experience:

I have quite greasy skin, certianly as the day goes on I find that my foundation has worn a bit especially on my forehead and around my t-zone and feels very greasy. I’ve tried all sorts to combat this, from using soap, loads of different moisturisers and serums. Initially I used this over my moisturiser which is a No7 Protect and Perfect for oily skin one, I found it improved the greasiness but it still wasn’t great, so I then cut out the moisturiser and tried just the primer. It amazing, it goes on well and my make-up really does last all day and no shininess. I’ve also tried it on some of my clients, it seems to work well with all skin types and really does help to give a good surface to work on and a healthy glow.

How much?

It’s not cheap but the hope is that you don’t need to use very much so it would last you. A 50ml bottle is £24.95 and can be bought from the Monu Shop online.

I highly recommend this product, so give it a go and let me know what you think.

E x

Thought for the day… how to wear foundation well…

This is just a quick thought for the day… I don’t normally do this but it really bothers me so I’ve decided to write about it….

I was sitting on the bus this morning and group of girls got on all dolled up for college and I couldn’t help but notice how badly applied their foundation was. I appreciate not everyone is a whizz with make-up but there are a few simple rules to ensuring you don’t leave the house looking a) fake and b) like your head is separate to the rest of your body.

Now I’m a true believer in make-up should enhance you and make you look and feel more fabulous and it’s for this reason that I find it baffling that so many girls apply a foundation numerous shades darker than their actual skin tone and then they apply it so thick that any slight itch reveals a virtually white mark underneath. The vast majority of the time these girls have great skin and would actually look better with no make-up at all.  My biggest bug bear is the foundation face / neck line, where the foundation stops in one neat line under your chin up to your ear. I wish I had an example to show you but I couldn’t bring myself to do it on me and funnily enough I don’t think these girls would like me to approach them for a photo for my blog!! But I think you all know where I’m coming from.

A&J extras WEB 013

Amy with just her base make up on – fresh faced! Photo by Benjamin Thapa

The key is in the blending and of using other products such as bronzer to help create a more even skin tone and to add definition. Here are a few quick tips to avoid such an occurrence.

1. Chose a foundation as close to your skin tone as possible, test it on your jawline and blend it in as much as possible when doing this test as this will give you a good idea of whether it’s the right shade.

2. Apply your foundation in thin layers using a brush, you can always add more but it’s really hard to take it away.

3. Use concealer on problem areas and not a heavier layer of foundation and try powder over the top to help hide these problems.

4. Blend your foundation down your neck almost to where your collarbone begins.

5. Use a bronzer (particularly in the summer months) to help match your face to the rest of your body, but be careful not to over do it on the bronzer, no one likes the tangoed look! And again blend into your neck too.

6. This should probably have been tip 1 but use a mirror in good light, daylight is best if possible, everything looks different in artificial light.


Kelly having her base applied. Photo by Abi Moore Photography

Like I said I appreciate that it’s not everyone’s forte but the key is less is more and blend blend blend!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic so feel free to message me or comment…

Make-up Tips – The wonderful world of eyeliner…

Ok so this blog has been a long time coming, many of you have asked for advice on applying eyeliner and particularly more daring eyeliner. So when my lovely (hopefully one day) sister in law Katy offered to model for me I took her up on the offer straight away. I find it really tricky and time consuming to photograph myself and what’s more Katy has a brill camera so it makes it soooo much easier.

Anyway down to business. You need the right tools for the job and it can be a bit of a  mine field with so much choice and options so I thought I would explain each one and how to get the best from each.


Eyeliner Pencil – Recommended Benefit Badgal waterproof eyeliner

The eyeliner pencil is the most common eyeliner around and I would imagine almost everyone woman has one of these in their make-up bag. A good pencil eyeliner can produce most eye looks but you have to know how to use them. I use pencil eyeliner everyday. I line my upper and lower lashlines with the pencil liner and use a smudger (Badgal comes with one on the other end) to blend it in. This reduces the chance of it smudging later in the day and helps to avoid any flaking. By applying eyeliner along the upper lashes makes the lashes look thicker and fuller at the base. If you have small eyes be careful not to apply eyeliner all the way around your eyes as it will make them look smaller.


Liquid eyeliner – Recommended – Body Shop liquid eyeliner

Liquid eyeliners are for those with a steady hand, as you need to work in straight sweeping lines accross the eye. It doesn’t work so well on more wrinkly eyelids either so that’s worth remember. Liquid eyeliner should always be applied after eyeshadow as any eyeshadow on top will dull it. The brush works into a tip and helps to make a very neat flick for cat eyes!


Felt tip liners – Recommended – Maybelline New York Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

I personally don’t get on with felt tip liners, but I know lots that do. Again they require a steady hand, but are slightly easier to use than standard liquid eye liners. The felt tips tend to be a thinner liquid and so you can apply it in more layers if you want a deeper colour. It’s also good for creating a good flick.


Gel Eyeliners – Recommended  Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

I’m a recent convert to gel eyeliners. Specifically Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, you do need a extra fine brush to go with it in order to create the best looks. The beauty of gel eye liner is it creates the look of a liquid without the difficulty of applying it. It’s a lot easier to apply because you can add small strokes and build it up gradually rather than needing a really steady hand. It’s imperative you keep your brush clean for doing this though as when it drys it flakes and makes the brush rock hard so it’s important to wash your brush between uses for the best results.

For any eye look you need to apply a base. Apply your foundation and blusher as normal and shape your eye brows. Think about the kind of look you’re going for. If you want to apply full on eye liner then keep the eyeshadow simple and not too overpowering, less is more! I’ve started with a simple base of Bourjois eyeshadow in creamy beige. It’s a great base to use as it has a slight shimmer which has a brightening effect. Apply it all over the lid blending upwards towards the brow.

For starters

A simple base is best!

All of the following looks have been created using Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner and Bobbi Brown Extra fine brush. For a daytime, easy to apply liner load your brush with make-up and lift the lid upwards and outwards to create a flat surface to work on and run the brush along the lash line. Start no further in than where your lashes start and this line should be at it’s thinest point in the corner of the eye increasing gently in thickness as you work outwards.

Look 1

For the beginner

A thin line along the upper lashes will help to give the illusion of extra volume in your lashes

for beginners part 2

By using the brush you can blend easily and ensure the line is straight and fully covered with make-up

Look 2

The second look I’ve created is again a look you could easily where during the daytime, but if you’re not overly confident with make-up then it could be a night time look too.


Increase the thickness of the line and work outwards and gently upwards to create the flick

small flick

Use the end bristles of the brush loaded with gel eye liner to create a neat flick

Look 3

Ok so we’re getting a little more confident now. This look is a little bolder and the focus is on a cute little flick in the corners.

Work the flick upwards for a smal winged look

Use the end bristles of the brush curving upwards to create a cute flick and make sure the line above the lashes joins it neatly

Increase the flick to make it a little more cat eyed

I think you’ll agree this is pretty cool and easily worn with a bolder eyeshadow if you wish! 🙂

Look 4

This look is very similar to look 3 but a little bolder. I’ve widened the eyeliner from the start and made the end flick a little thicker.

small winged

Also known as a winged eye!


This is my version of this on me! Got a lot of compliments on this day!

Look 5

This is one of my favourites. This time I lost the flick and drew a line from the end of the previous flick to 2 thirds of the way along the line and filled in the gap! A confident eye look for sure but love it!

Join the dots for a full wing look

Aka the Winehouse eye!

Look 6

The full eye flick. This look helps to make small eyes look bigger. Working outwards instead of upwards and when you open your eyes it turns into a cat eye! Love it!


Its easy to create because its a straight line, just remember not to add too much of an angle

428 (2)

An elegant outward flick. Adding glamour without lots of eyeshadow.

Look 7

Not sure how to name this look as it took it’s own way as I was building it up – names welcomed but I like it. It has an awesome curl effect. Only really suitable for tight eyelids as any excess lids can make the shape look strange once eyes are open.


Keep the liner thin up until the centre of the eye then work upwards and gently on a 45 degree angle outwards

Ok so that’s my lot for now. Is there something I’ve missed would you rather a step by step approach to applying eyeliner rather than a range of looks. Tell me! I’d love to hear from you.

E x