Tag Archives: makeup


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To say I was struggling to come up with a topic for my next blog post is a bit of an understatement. Usually at this time of year I’d be busy with weddings and would have loads to write about. Not this year though!

Girl smiling

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

So I decided to do a quick Google search to give me some inspiration. I came across lots of different lists of hair and makeup blog ideas, and as I read through them, one particular subject caught my attention….. how to edit makeup pictures. My immediate response to that was ‘well I would never edit my makeup pictures’… So I decided this is what I’d write about – why I don’t edit my makeup pictures!

Nine times out of ten, when I arrive at a client’s house to do their makeup they show me a picture of what they’re looking for. However, nine times out of ten, the picture they show me will have been edited in some way, shape or form.

Girl smiling

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

I do always encourage my clients to show me a picture of styles they like, as it’s a great starting point. But a starting point is all it is for me. I always make sure to let them know I can create a style ‘similar’ to the picture they’re showing me, because what they’re seeing in the picture isn’t real life.

And it’s for this reason that I never edit or filter my makeup pictures. It isn’t real life!

With so many young people following social media these days, it’s never been more important to keep things realistic. Social media is heavily criticised for being a major contributor to poor mental health in young people. Seeing so many airbrushed and filtered pictures can make people really insecure with their own looks and believe they aren’t good enough as they are. We’re often guilty of painting a ‘perfect’ picture on social media, and far too many of us are constantly striving to achieve that ‘perfect’ image.

Girl looking down

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

But social media isn’t all bad. Think how much of a lifeline it’s been to a lot of people during the recent lockdown, myself included. I think it’s also a great way of getting young people interested in makeup in the first place. With so many different accounts to follow with tips and tricks, there’s an abundance of makeup advice out there.

But as a makeup artist, I think it’s my responsibility to keep it real and encourage people to show their natural beauty. And I don’t just mean not wearing any makeup at all (although it’s OK to do that too!). It’s great to get made up, and to wear makeup as bold, colourful or as natural as you like. But don’t edit your pictures…. let people see the real you. We don’t need to photoshop and filter beauty. We’re all beautiful in our own way, and the sooner we realise this, the better.

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

Another reason I will never edit my pictures, is because I think it’s really important that when you’re looking at pictures on my website and social media, you can see what my work is really like. Whether you’re looking for wedding makeup, or makeup for a night out, I want to give you an accurate view of my work so you can make an informed choice. There’s really no point in me pretending to be something I’m not.

I’d love for people, especially young people, to be happy enough with their looks so they don’t feel like they have to filter their pictures all the time. And by keeping my pictures real I can hopefully set an example and encourage people to be comfortable with their looks.

Girl smiling

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

Because in reality, we will never be happy until we’re comfortable in our own skin.

High Street vs High End

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For those of you who follow me on social media, you may have seen one of my recent videos where I used only high street brands to create a makeup look. I really liked the look, so that got me thinking about whether you can actually tell the difference between high street and high end makeup when you compare them side by side.

So for this post, I’ve decided to do my makeup using high street brands on one side of my face, and high end brands on the other. I searched through my full makeup collection and think I’ve managed to come up with some pretty good matches for each product.

Girl smiling with makeup on

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

And here’s the finished result!

I’m going to keep you guessing for a bit longer as to which side is which, as first I’m going to give you a run-down of the products I used.

High End
Primer – Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Illuminator – NARS Copacabana
Foundation – Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation
Concealer – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Powder – Mac Pro Longwear Pressed Powder
Eyeshadow – Urban Decay Naked Cherry Palette
Eyeliner – Mac Pro Longwear Fluidline Gel Liner ‘Black Track’
Bronzer – Mac Mineralize Skin Finish
Eyebrows – Morphe Micro Brow Pencil and Benefit Gimmie Brow
Mascara – Illamasqua Masquara ‘Raven’
Blush – Mac Powder Blush ‘Harmony’
Highlighter – Mac Pigment ‘Vanilla’ and Mac Mineralize Skin Finish ‘Soft and Gentle’
Lip Gloss – Benefit Lip Gloss ‘Friends in High Places’
Setting Spray – Urban Decay All Nighter

High Street
Primer – Nivea for Men Aftershave Balm (there’s a hack for you – works great as a primer!)
Illuminator – L’Oreal Glow Mon Amour
Foundation – Maybelleine Dream Radiant Liquid Foundation
Concealer – Revolution Conceal and Hydrate Concealer
Powder – W7 Banana Dreams Loose Powder
Eyeshadow – Revolution Newtrals 2 Palette
Eyeliner – Rimmel Scandal Eyes Precision Micro Liner
Bronzer – W7 Very Vegan Bronzer
Eyebrows – Barry M Brow Wand
Mascara – Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Blush – L’Oreal Le Blush ‘Rose Nude’
Highlighter – Revolution Soph X Highlighter Palette
Lip Gloss – Rimmel Oh My Gloss ‘Snog’
Setting Spray – Collection Fix Me Up

High street makeup brands and high end makeup brands

High Street Vs High End – the products I used!

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with how well the high street products have matched the high end products in terms of the finished look. Although, with the exception of the eyeshadow and lipstick, I had to apply considerably more of the high street products to get the same build up and finished look.

Having said that, I was really impressed with the Revolution eyeshadow palette when I compared it directly to the Urban Decay one. The colours are just as pigmented (perhaps even slightly more) and they apply and blend just as well.

After I’d finished applying my makeup, I asked my teenage daughter to guess which side she thought was which. She studied my face for a bit, before confessing that she really wasn’t sure! When I pushed her to take a guess, she did get it right in the end, but I think that was more down to luck than anything.

Did you guess right?

Girl smiling with makeup done, half high street bands, half high end brands

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

After sharing this picture on social media a couple of days ago, I found the results were really quite mixed, so it definitely goes to show that when placed side by side, it’s difficult to tell the difference.

I think the main thing I’ve learned from this experiment, is there are some fantastic high street dupes out there, which will most definitely give you a look similar to one you could create using high end brands. However, high end products are luxury items, and in my opinion, what you won’t get with high street brands is the luxury in application and the longevity. High end brands should be much easier to apply and you won’t have to use anywhere near as much of a product to get the look you’re after. You also shouldn’t have to reapply these products over the course of the day. In turn, this will mean your high end products should last a lot longer before you have to re-stock.

Obviously there will be exceptions to this, but on the whole, and in my opinion, you definitely get what you pay for!

Get your glam on for Christmas!

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I know I keep saying it, but the years are flying by…. And this year is no exception.

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

December is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Which also means it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas party makeup.

I do love Christmas, and I especially love the makeup trends at this time of year. I really enjoy getting my clients glammed up for the Christmas party season, so I thought it would be nice to share some

of my tips with you.

If you’re struggling for a bit of inspiration for your Christmas makeup, then read on…..

A nice warm glow….

Christmas party makeup

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

A nice dewy glow to your skin is perfect for this time of year, and highlighter is definitely one of our favourite makeup pieces at the moment. A sweep over your cheekbones, under your brows, the inner corners of your eyes and your cupid’s bow will add a lovely subtle glow to your Christmas makeup.

Add a bit of sparkle and shimmer…

If you can’t add a bit of sparkle and shimmer at Christmas, then really, when can you? And this most definitely applies to makeup! Whether it’s some shimmery eye makeup, or full on glitter, you just can’t go wrong.

Dare to be bold….

Christmas party makeup

Makeup by Sarah-Lou

Winter is generally a good time to experiment with bolder makeup looks, so what better time to go bold than at Christmas? Try some heavier eyeliner, or darker eyeshadow colours, and finish off with a statement lip colour, such as dark red or plum, and you have the perfect look for Christmas.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing my own Christmas party makeup on this blog. Watch this space for a step-by-step guide and run-down of the products I’ve used.

What’s your favourite?

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We all have our favourite make-up pieces…. you know one the ones I mean…. those that we use religiously and would have a meltdown if they were ever discontinued…. yep that’s the ones!

As a professional make-up artist I’ve gone through more than my fair share of make-up, so I thought it was about time I shared some of my favourite items from my own kit with you!

Now, bearing in mind my own kit is more than likely ten times the size of the average person’s, I wouldn’t have time to share all of my key pieces with you in just one blog post, but here goes with some of my absolute favourites……

make-up, glam make-up

Make-up by Sarah-Lou Beauty

Smashbox Primer…. I just love this primer as it helps to create a flawless blank canvas to start any make-up look.  What’s more, there are several different formulas of this primer to suit all types of skin.  My favourites are the original oil free photo finish primer, hydrating photo finish primer (great for dry skin!) and colour correcting photo finish primer, which helps for covering up red patches of skin and conditions such as rosacea.

Urban Decay Naked Eye Palettes….. right from when I bought my very first Naked eyeshadow palette (the original one) I have been hooked on these, and have since added Naked 3 and Naked Smokey to my collection.  The colours are fantastic and with these 3 palettes alone I can create so many different make-up looks.

NARS Illuminator in Copacabana….. this is quite a recent addition to my kit, but I absolutely love it!  A little goes a long with with this, and you only need a tiny amount to achieve a natural glow, but you can also build it up to give a more intense look.  It’s really versatile as it can be used under or over foundation, as well as mixed with it (or moisturiser) to create many different looks.

make-up, glam make-up

Make-up by Sarah-Lou Beauty

Mac Lipsticks….. in my opinion, a Mac lipstick is a must have for any girl’s make-up bag.  They come in different textures such as matte, satin and frost, and the colours are so pigmented.  They last really well, especially if you use Mac lip primer before applying.  Three of my favourite colours are ‘Velvet Teddy’, ‘Mehr’ and ‘Russian Red’.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Volume Mascara….. As well as the high-end make-up brands I’ve recommended, I also wanted to include some of my favourite items from high-street ranges, and here’s one of them.  This mascara is great for adding volume and length to any lashes without looking too clumpy.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush…… This is another one of my favourite high-street brands! Real Techniques brushes are very reasonably priced when you compare them to other similar high-end brushes, yet they do such a fantastic job.  I use my buffing brush for both powder and liquid as it’s so good at getting the product right into the skin for a flawless finish.

Mac Powder Blush….. As you would expect from Mac, the colours are highly pigmented so this blush lasts for ages!  A fantastic range of colours, two of my favourites are ‘Peaches’ and ‘Harmony’ (which is also great for contouring!).

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray….. this setting spray is the perfect finishing touch to any make-up and helps it to stay in place all day.  Leaves your skin feeling nice and refreshed as well!

make-up collection, award-winning make-up artistThere are so many other fabby make-up pieces that I could mention here, but unfortunately don’t have the space to go into detail about why I love them so much, but here’s just a few more…… NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (great for under the eyes), Mac Fluidline Brow Gelcreme (for killer brows), Rimmel Brow This Way Eyebrow Gel (for even more killer brows), Anastasia Beverley Hills Cream Contour Kit (fab colours for contouring) and not forgetting Salon System strip lashes to finish the look!

The list could go on even more, but I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of my favourite pieces of make-up….. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list again!