Pioneers Of Beauty – Barry Mero

Here is the latest post in my Pioneers Of Beauty series looking at people who have shaped the beauty industry as we know it. Today’s beauty pioneer, Barry Mero, is not exactly a household name. Chances are, you have probably never even heard of him. But you have probably heard of the London based cosmetics company that bears his name – Barry M. One of my favourite budget (and cruelty free) beauty brands, Barry M are famed for their multicoloured, sparkly and reasonably priced products. When I first came across Barry M products, I honestly thought that Barry Manilow had his own makeup line. But no, the Barry M behind the company isn’t Mr. Manilow, it’s Barry Mero. Barry began his career in beauty by selling cosmetics and hair products on a market stall near his home in east London. He had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age and quickly spotted a gap in the beauty market – colourful, trend led makeup in keeping with the outrageous goth, punk and new romantic fashions of the 80’s. 

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Barry M’s famous Dazzle Dust

And so in 1982, the Barry M brand was born. The first products in the Barry M range were the famous Nail Paints. Barry introduced cruelty free, quality nail polishes in bright, vivid colours that were like nothing else available at the time, all at very affordable prices. I absolutely love them and own way too many colours to count. Finely milled nail glitters, crackle effect and black nail polishes are just some of the innovative products that he has bought to the world of beauty. Far from being an obscure, cult brand, Barry M count Angelina Jolie, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham as fans. Barry M has evolved from a small, niche brand selling colourful nail polishes to a fully fledged cosmetics company offering a full range of makeup including lip glosses, eyeshadows and foundations. 

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Still a best seller… Black Nail Paint

A true innovator, Barry definitely deserves his place on my list as a Pioneer Of Beauty. 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Pioneers Of Beauty – Barbara Daly

This is the first post in a series entitled ‘Pioneers Of Beauty’. This series will look at people who have shaped the beauty world as we know it. The artists and innovators who have made a lasting impact on the cosmetics industry and have changed the way we view makeup and indeed, ourselves. My first ‘beauty pioneer’ is British makeup artist Barbara Daly. Even if you have never heard of her before, most of you will be familiar with her work. She was the makeup artist for the Stanley Kubrick films ‘The Shining’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and has inspired countless Halloween makeup looks since!

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Barbara Daly’s infamous work on the film ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Barbara began her career as a makeup artist in the 1960’s working on TV shows for the BBC before embarking upon a career as a freelancer. She has worked with numerous well known photographers such as Helmut Newton, David Bailey and Lord Snowdon and was the makeup artist behind some of the most iconic Vogue covers of the 1970’s and 80’s. She was also called upon to be the makeup artist for one of the most famous and photographed weddings in history – Princess Diana’s. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also a client of Barbara’s.

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Barbara Daly’s highest profile commission – Princess Diana’s wedding day

If you live in the UK, Barbara has a self titled range of makeup available from Tesco. From the outlandish style of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ through to smokey eyes and the fashionable ‘no makeup’ makeup look, Barbara Daly’s influence can be felt to this day throughout the world of makeup artistry. There are many well known makeup artists these days such as Bobbi Brown, Jemma Kidd, Jeffree Star and countless others. But Barbara truly paved the way for makeup artists to become ‘stars’ in their own right. A true pioneer of beauty. 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Beauty Tips For Bad Days

We all have days where we feel (and look) a little bit below par. Even the most naturally beautiful women. Days where we wish we could just hide away and not have to grace anyone with our spotty, tired looking face. Unless you’re like me and work from home, this is however not an option for the majority of people. Not to worry though. There are some ways we can cheat the appearance of looking good on a bad day, even if we woke up this morning looking far from our best. 

Add some colour – The appearance of sallow looking skin can be improved by adding a hint of colour. Try using a tinted moisturiser, BB creambronzer or self tanner to add a hint of colour to a pale complexion. Finish with a hint of blusher. Don’t go too heavy though! Try to make your skin look natural with your colouring. For example I’m a redhead and naturally have pale skin and eyes. If I use bronzer, my skin just looks dirty! Tailor your makeup to your natural colouring. 

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Add a touch of Bronzer to add some colour to your face

Concealer – Concealer is the ultimate weapon in your beauty arsenal. Blemishes, bruises, dark under eye circles, redness, scars and spots can all be covered using a good quality concealer. Dark under eye circles in particular can make a face appear tired looking. Concealer will help to lift and brighten your face. I recommend Younique’s Touch Mineral Skin Perfecting Concealer. It’s an amazing concealer that works so well, it even covers tattoos! 

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Using Younique’s Touch Mineral Skin Perfecting Concealer to cover a tattoo

Lip colour – Lip colour can draw attention away from tired looking eyes and brighten up your look. 

Moisturise – Those of you who are regulars of this blog know how much I stress the importance of looking after your skin. When your skin is dehydrated your skin can look dull and appear older. Make sure that you moisturise your skin in the mornings and ensure that you are drinking enough water to keep your skin and the rest of your body healthy and hydrated. A good quality moisturiser is one of the best beauty investments you will make. 

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Make moisturising a daily habit 

Sunburn – My nemesis. After sun exposure, if you’re suffering from sunburn take a cool shower or bath and apply a cold compress to help cool the skin. Younique’s Rosewater Toning Spritz is a soothing natural toner that works well on sunburn. It’s non-irritating, helps to reduce redness and encourages your skin to heal itself. If your skin is still red, applying a light tinted moisturiser can help to disguise it. 

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Rosewater can help soothe burnt skin

Tired Eyes – You really shouldn’t get in the habit of depriving yourself of sleep. However if you’re sleep deprived and have tired looking eyes, there are a couple of tricks you can use. As I mentioned before, concealer is amazing for giving tired eyes a lift. Also try curling your lashes to open up your eyes and look a bit more awake (even if you’re not!) Dark eyeliners and eyeshadows can make you appear even more tired than you already are so stick to lighter colours on those days. If all else fails – put your sunglasses on! 

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My husband looked good, I was having a bad day so hid behind the glasses! 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Starting My Own Makeup Business

I’ve been a little bit quiet on my blog recently and not posting quite as often as I usually do. But I’ve had a very good reason for not doing so – I’ve recently started my own makeup business! A friend of mine and fellow beauty blogger recently introduced me to an American makeup and skincare brand called Younique. I’d never heard of it before, probably because it has only been in my native UK for two years (the company was founded in 2012) so I didn’t know what to expect. Like other direct sales cosmetic companies such as Avon and Mary Kay, Younique is sold entirely through independent distributors known as ‘Presenters’. Younique’s parent company is Coty Inc, one of the largest beauty brands in the world which will take the company onto a truly global scale (although Younique are only four years old, Reuters has already valued them as a billion dollar company!) Coty are the people behind many top brands including GHD, Tiffany & Co, Marc Jacobs, Covergirl, Chloe, Rimmel, Max Factor, Clairol and Calvin Klein so expect to hear a lot more about Younique… 

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Me! 

Some people are completely loyal to one or two makeup brands and some are ‘brand snobs’. Me? I am a total makeup junkie and am open to trying products from any brand! Some people are also reluctant to buy cosmetics online or through a direct sales consultant but every Younique product comes with a full, money back guarantee of satisfaction and quality so they have you covered. So with an open mind, I tried Younique’s best selling product – the 3D Fiber Lashes mascara. And wow! I was totally blown away by how amazing my lashes looked after applying it. If you love the false lash look (which I do), you will love this product! I will definitely write a product review and tell you more about it in a future post… 

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The incredible 3D Fiber Lashes mascara was my first introduction to Younique

As I was so impressed with the mascara, I also decided to try the Touch Liquid Foundation and also treated myself to an Addiction Eyeshadow Palette. I was equally impressed with the performance of these products too. As the brand was completely unknown to me before, I decided to find out a little bit more about them…

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The beautiful kit that new Presenters are given when they start their business

Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft, a brother and sister team, founded Younique in September 2012. Derek and Melanie firmly believe that all women should feel valued, smart and empowered. Younique is a premium brand (many customers liken their products in quality and performance to MAC but with the ethics of Bareminerals) and they use all natural ingredients and minerals in their products. Younique’s cosmetics development processes utilise scientific research to ensure that the products contain high quality ingredients that enrich and nourish the skin. The result is a beautifully efficacious product that is safely compatible with virtually every skin type. Younique begins by looking to Mother Nature for the inspiration behind their cosmetics. The in-house scientific team then formulates a product that honours that inspiration while delivering cutting edge cosmetics. The goal is to provide healthy, clean and pure cosmetics. 

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A selection of Younique products

They never test ingredients or products on animals and products are hypoallergenic and suitable for women of all ages, colours and skin types. Their products are also free of talc, paraben, carcinogen and other nasties often found in cosmetics. Many products are also gluten free and vegan friendly. As I said before, they sell their products through independent Presenters so they also offer a business opportunity for women with a love of makeup (like me!)

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Before and after results from the Touch Liquid Foundation

After finding out more about Younique, I was really curious about the business opportunity. There are two ways to earn with Younique – selling the products and by coaching others to become successful with their own Younique businesses. My friend who is a Presenter seemed to have so much fun and had made some great friends with her ‘Y-Sisters’ (as Younique Presenters refer to each other). As a company, their mission is to ‘uplift, empower, validate and ultimately build self esteem in women around the world through high quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward’. A pretty impressive mission.

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You even get your own company credit card!

As well as the sisterhood among Presenters, fun and rewards, the other thing that really impressed me about the company is The Younique Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to inspire hope in women who were sexually abused as children or adolescents by hosting them at a retreat, where they are uplifted by each other and learn skills that can help them find individual healing. The sale of every product contributes to this great cause. Younique also support, recognise and reward their Presenters and really value their contribution to the business – very rare in this day and age!

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Younique provide support to women victims of sexual abuse through The Younique Foundation

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and am always on the lookout for a good business opportunity. They are a relatively new but fast growing company with so many markets they are yet to enter, they have a fantastic range of high quality products. I could see what an amazing ground floor opportunity this is… So I decided to invest in myself and become a Presenter too! In my first week, I began building my business and earning right away! I am very early on in my journey with Younique but I am already having a lot of fun sharing the wonderful products with everyone and I have also had the pleasure of being introduced to some really lovely, inspirational women who are fellow Presenters. I am lucky in that I have joined one of the most positive and supportive teams in the company. Owning a Younique business allows you the opportunity to work flexibly from home (or anywhere else that has wifi), choose your own hours and dictate the time and effort you want to put into your business, on your own terms. I also love the fact I get to share my love of makeup and cosmetics with others (and get paid for it).

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A selection of the beautiful charms that Younique reward Presenters with as they hit milestones in their business

When you first start your Younique business, you receive a kit full of products to try and share with your friends (this kit is worth almost £300 – not bad for £69), a free personal online store and back office for life and all of the training, support and encouragement you will ever need to build your own business. Working with Younique is exciting, rewarding and you can totally change your life if you put in a little time each day to learn the ropes! This is the beginning of a fantastic journey of believing in myself, growing myself and taking action. For me, now is the time to start dreaming BIG dreams! With Younique, so much is possible if you put in the work and effort. Success loves speed and anyone can succeed when they put their plans into action! If you would like to earn some free Younique products by holding your own online ‘Virtual Party’ then please get in touch with me using the contact page. If you would like to learn more about the products or make a purchase, take a look at my virtual shop. If you have ever wanted to own your own business, set your own hours and pursue your own income, this is the time to do it. Join Younique and share your passion for makeup and cosmetics with others. It has given freedom, financial independence and changed the lives of so many other women, perhaps it can do the same for you…

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One of the amazing incentive trips on offer to Younique Presenters

By becoming a Younique Presenter, you have the opportunity to build your own business, have access to a supportive community of women who love cosmetics like you and everything can be done online. If you would like to join my team and become a Presenter, please head to my website

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I am really enjoying my Younique journey – building my business each day and meeting some really inspirational women

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

All About Aromatherapy

To me, there are few things as relaxing as enjoying a hot bath scented with beautiful smelling oils. Lots of bathing and shower products contain essential oils which are extracted from natural sources such as flowers, fruits, leaves, bark and other plant parts. It is widely acknowledged that essential oils can benefit your mind as well as your body.

Here’s a quick rundown of some common essential oils and their benefits. Try adding these oils to your bathwater or if you can’t find the proper aromatherapy oils, look out for one of the many products that contain these ingredients. As well as in bath and body products, you can also enjoy the aroma of these oils in other products such as scented bags, candles and diffusers.

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Essential oils are available from retailers such as Neal’s Yard

Please note that some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant women and there is a lot of debate (and confusion) as to which ones are suitable and which ones aren’t. However, if you’re not pregnant, go ahead and enjoy…

Eucalyptus – Great for when you’re feeling ill. It helps to relieve joint pain and will help you to breathe easier.

Frankincense – A relaxing oil that’s good for the skin.

Lavender – A calming oil to relax the mind, soothe tired muscles and promote sleep.

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Lavender is one of the most well known oils

Lemon – Lemon can help to lift your mood and ease a sore throat.

Lemongrass – Can help to relax muscles and ease digestive discomfort.

Mandarin – A citrus oil that can help to relax and de-stress.

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Mandarin oil has a lovely, citrus scent

Neroli – A floral oil that can benefit your skin and uplift your mood.

Orange – A sweet, citrus oil that can help you breathe easier and promote a feeling of calmness.

Patchouli – A soothing oil that can help to look after your skin.

Peppermint – A cooling oil that can help with digestive discomfort and help you breathe easier when you have a cold or flu.

Pine – A fresh scented oil that can help to relax aching muscles.

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Pine oil has a lovely fresh scent and can help to relax tired, aching muscles

Rose – A sweet smelling, floral oil that benefits the skin.

Sage – A cooling oil that can help to ease joint and muscle pain.

Sandalwood – A woody, masculine oil that can help to promote relaxation.

Tea Tree – A cleansing oil that can act as a natural antiseptic.

Ylang Ylang – A calming oil that can benefit your hair.

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Ylang Ylang, a sweet smelling, exotic flower found in many bath products

These are some of the most commonly found but there are also many other oils available. Beauty is all about the mind as well as the body and it’s so beneficial to take some time out from your day to relax and unwind. I’m pretty keen on keeping fit and after a hard workout, taking a hot bath with oils such as eucalyptus and pine feels so good! Hopefully this post has taught you a little bit about the different oils so you can choose the products that will benefit you the most.

Until next time, stay beautiful x

An Ancient Egyptian Guide To Beauty

Makeup and cosmetic products are far from being a recent invention. For centuries, men as well as women have been looking for ways to enhance their appearance using cosmetics. The Ancient Egyptians were innovative thinkers that made a massive contribution to mankind with inventions that are still in use to this day such as the doorlock and written language. But we can also thank them for another thing which many of us also use on a daily basis – makeup.

We now know that some of the techniques they employed were highly inadvisable such as painting their faces with a deadly mixture of lead carbonate and water. They did however pioneer techniques we can learn from and use today. Here are some of them.

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The Ancient Egyptians didn’t just give the world the spectacular pyramids, they also invented some great beauty products too

Beeswax – The Ancient Egyptians realised that beeswax had moisturising properties and regularly used it to moisturise their skin from the effects of the hot Egyptian sun. You can buy ready made moisturisers containing beeswax or alternatively you can make your own in combination with other ingredients such as olive oil.

Egg white facials – Ancient Egyptian women used egg white facials to pamper their skin. To make your own, simply whisk one egg white with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, apply and leave for 10-15 minutes before rinsing away with tepid water.

Perfume – Perfumed oils containing frankincense and myrhh were popular in Ancient Egypt. DKNY Delicious Night is an example of a modern perfume containing these ingredients.

Kohl – Outline your eyes with a thick line of kohl eyeliner to recreate the look of beautiful Ancient Egyptian women such as Cleopatra. For a really authentic look, team with coloured eyeshadow.

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The Ancient Egyptians created kohl eyeliner

Milk and honey – The Egyptian queen Cleopatra famously bathed in milk to maintain her beautiful skin. To try this for yourself mix fresh milk, honey and almond oil into your bathwater.

Sea salt scrub – For a truly authentic Ancient Egyptian style bath, use ground sea salt as a body scrub to exfoliate your skin after a milk bath.

Rosewater – The Ancient Egyptians created all manner of cosmetic and beauty products using natural ingredients. One such product was rosewater which they used to nourish their skin. There are a number of rosewater beauty products available to buy from facial toners to bath oils. Or if you enjoy getting creative, make your own rosewater by boiling rose petals (make sure they are free of chemicals) in spring water.

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Rosewater works as a great natural toner for skin

Apple cider vinegar – This was used as an invigorating face wash. To try it for yourself, add a 3:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar to warm water.

This is just a few of the amazing, natural beauty techniques that the Ancient Egyptians pioneered. The trend for cosmetics derived from naturally based ingredients is far from a recent phenomenon. The Ancient Egyptians were way ahead of their time.

Until next time, stay beautiful x

Is Beauty A ‘Soft’ Subject?

I am new to blogging and upon discussing the content of my blog with a friend, they expressed their surprise that ‘someone so academic’ would be writing about a ‘soft’ subject like beauty. Now I wasn’t at all happy at this remark. Not only is it one of my passions and the topic that my whole blog is based on, but I also have numerous friends that are employed in the beauty industry in some way. I have friends who are professional makeup artists, beauty therapists, hairdressers and nail technicians. I also have friends who run their own franchised beauty businesses such as Avon. All of these people are smart, creative, passionate and highly trained professionals. And yet there are still those that doubt whether it is a worthwhile industry to work in or whether as a field of study it deserves respect.

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The cosmetics industry worldwide is worth billions

The beauty industry in the UK alone employs over 1 million people. Despite a global recession in recent years, the beauty and cosmetics industry has increased it’s market share year after year and is predicted to be worth over $200 billion worldwide by 2017. That’s far bigger than many other industries and is a figure that is still growing. Many women (and an increasing number of men) enjoy the confidence that using cosmetics gives them. Even in times of recession, there are plenty of us out there who enjoy looking our best and will still purchase makeup and enjoy beauty treatments at the expense of other luxuries. In fact, it is the view of many economists that the beauty industry is one of the few that is ‘recession proof’. So if you’re thinking about your employment options after leaving school or considering a change of career, the beauty industry is a good choice.

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Many jobs in the beauty industry require academic study for a formal qualification

The beauty industry employs millions of highly trained personnel all over the world in various capacities. Cosmetic companies are constantly developing and innovating new products. To do this, they employ scientists known as ‘cosmetic chemists’ – this job alone requires you to have a university or college degree in chemistry or another related science. As well as learning about makeup and beauty treatments, an NVQ in Beauty Therapy requires students to have a knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Students study the workings of the human body –  about the circulatory and lymphatic systems, bones and the skeletal system, muscles, the skin and conditions affecting the human body such as fungal infections. As well as this, students also study the business side of the beauty industry. I would hardly call that a ‘soft’ qualification.

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Makeup artists deserve the same respect given to other creative professionals

Even to those who are not pursuing formal training in the beauty industry, there is still much to be learnt and to offer those with an enquiring mind. Makeup can transform your appearance and give a huge boost of self confidence. True beauty comes from within but when you know you look your best, it can make you feel so much better about yourself. Being able to apply makeup correctly, is a skill that I believe should be taught and encouraged. With skillful makeup application, a plain, ‘blank canvas’ face can be transformed into a beautiful work of art. A quick Google search of makeup artistry will show you just how imaginative makeup artists can be. They certainly deserve as much respect as other creative professionals are given such as musicians and fashion designers.

For too long, people that work in the beauty industry haven’t always been given the respect they deserve in my opinion. Because it is not seen as a ‘traditional’ academic subject, it is sometimes dismissed as a fluffy, lightweight subject that doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. That needs to change. The beauty industry is massive and isn’t going away anytime soon. If you work as a beauty professional, give yourself a huge pat on the back and be proud that you are employed in an industry that helps millions of women worldwide to feel that little bit better about themselves.

Until next time, stay beautiful x