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Make-Up 101 Series

Foundation, M.A.C, Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Brushes / Tools

The ins and outs of Stippling

The stippling technique for make-up application is quite popular at the moment. I was asked by a reader to explain the ins and outs of stippling and what I use.

Just in case your new to make-up, stippling is a blending technique used to blend make-up. Many of us have stippling brushes in our make-up collection but you don’t actually need one to stipple. Stippling is really just patting so you can stipple with a make-up sponge or even your fingers.

My preference is to use a sponge. I love the black ones from Make Up For Ever (think they’re called Ellipse sponges), I repurchase these over and over again. I searched google images for a picture of one and could only find the light coloured version. I would have photographed my own except I poured boiling water on it and it shrivelled up :)

It’s a great technique for blending foundation, concealer. I like to use a stippling brush to blend the edges of concealer into the rest of my make-up.

The technique is also useful for layering one product over another. You could stipple on some foundation over your concealer (or vice versa) without disrupting the bottom layer.

As many of you know stippling brushes are also available. These are duo fibre brushes – they contain two different types of brush hairs, in two layers of different length. Some people swear by these and use them religiously to apply their foundation. For me they involve more work for a perfect finish. On an occasion where I have plenty of time to perfect my make-up then I might but on a daily basis I use my fingers or a stippling sponge.


I have the MAC 187. I have also had the Sigma version (F15) €11 , which I have since given to my sister. In my opinion, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the two and the Sigma is cheaper so I recommend that one.

A stippling brush is also great for applying cream cheek products like blush, bronzer and highlighters. Although I’m not a huge fan of stippling on foundation, I always used a stippling brush to apply cream blush. It gives that glow from within effect and it looks very natural.

Sigma Brushes

Eyebrows, Make-Up 101 Series

The Worst Eyebrow Shapes…

After many requests, I am putting together a post on brow shaping. I learned a little about brow shaping at a  Make Up For Ever make-up course about 8 years ago (how times flies). Before this I was very confused about eyebrow shape and was guilty of over-plucking and god knows how many weird brow shapes. I’m no expert but will share what I now know.

In the meantime, a little look at some widely accepted ‘do nots’…

1. Avoid over-plucking or making your eyebrows very thin, unless that is the look you’re going for. I found this picture in google images to demonstrate how over-plucking can completely change the face (I searched and searched but could not find the original source of the image to credit it, I linked the google page above).

I think this comparison says it all!


2. The ‘tadpole brow’ –  I don’t know about the rest of the world but this is a common one in Ireland. It happens when you leave the thickness at the beginning of the brow but then pluck an arc right after it instead of waiting until you get to the arch.


There are thousands of women in this country alone with this eyebrow shape, the above image is quite mild. It always looks ageing. I don’t think it has ever been a fashionable eyebrow shape, it just happens after years of over plucking and confusion over where the arch should be. If you’re trying to correct a tadpole brow, grow the hair from the beginning of the brow to the arch. In the meantime fill it in with some matte shadow. I guarantee you will look 10 years younger. The tadpole shape is a clowns secret weapon, best left to them.


3. Shaved and drawn on – Unless you’re a make-up artist this is a humongous no no. Think Jodie Marsh!


I have seen a few girls from the local secondary school donning this look. Just don’t.

My post on eyebrow shaping will be up tomorrow. I hope it helps. Man I missed blogging!

Have you battled with your eyebrows over the years?

Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Tips

Make-up Tip: How to Correct Facial Masking

I recently received an email from a reader who is concerned about her facial masking. She wanted to know how best to correct it. I decided to post the information for all.

Facial Masking is where the skin appears to have it’s own natural mask. The edges of the face tend to be darker and the centre of the face lighter. It sometimes affects those with dark skin.

If the colour difference is subtle you have already achieved definition; Make-up artists often use a slightly darker shade of foundation on the outer edge of the face to create definition. If on the other hand the difference is much more noticeable it is very easy to correct.

I have worked with a few women who consider masking a big problem. It’s not usually noticeable to others but it’s very easy to correct if it bothers you.

Choosing Foundation

When buying foundation you will need to buy two shade –  one to brighten the darker area and one to deepen the lighter area. When you’re choosing colours you want the light shade and the darker shade on the opposite area and the goal is that the shades meet in the middle and look the same. I would recommend getting some help at a beauty counter with this. Just make sure you highlight the masking to the sales assistant and tell her your needs.


Apply the darker shade to the lighter area and the lighter shade to the darker area. Make sure you blend very well. I like to apply both shades and then blend the line between the two with a damp cosmetic sponge of stippling brush.

Finishing Touches

Finish the face by highlighting cheekbones with a highlighting powder and contouring powder below the cheekbones and at temples.

Et voila!

I hope this helped!

Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Tips, Tutorials

Make-up for Glasses Wearers

This is one of most commonly requested posts/videos. Here are some make-up tips for glasses wearers. The video tutorial will be up soon.

If you’re long sighted:

Eyes appear bigger through the lenses. It’s best to use darker shades on the lid to give the illusion of smaller eyes through the glasses. This doesn’t mean choosing dramatic black or similar dark colours, it just means choosing a shade that’s darker rather than lighter. For example, if you want to wear neutral shades go for  medium brown instead of a light brown. Avoid highlighting the inner corner of the eye which only makes eyes appear bigger.  For a night time look use darker shades on lid and smudge a little under the eye. You could even add some dark kohl pencil to the inner rim of the eye.

If you’re short sighted:

You eyes appear smaller behind the glasses. It’s best to line along the top lashes and use a lighter or brighter shade on the lip to give the illusion that they eye is bigger through the lenses. Highlight the inner corner of the eye. You could try wearing some taupe or white liner on the inner rim of the eye.

Some other considerations:

  • Don’t overcompensate for glasses by piling on loads of make-up
  • Glasses can cast a shadow under the eyes so a little concealer can go along way. A light reflecting concealer would be perfect (assuming you don’t need colour correction)
  • Consider your frames when choosing your make-up. If you wearing heavy frames a natural look will look great. If your frames are lighter or frameless you could experiment with a more dramatic look.
  • Glasses emphasise your brows so focus on grooming and shaping brows.
  • Curl your lashes before applying mascara to prevent your lashes catching in your glasses.

The video tutorial will be up in the nest few days.

I hope this was helpful!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win MAC Stereo Rose MSF

Amy x

Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Tips, Tutorials

Tips for Hooded Eyelids

You have a hooded eyelid if the lid is mostly hidden by a fold of skin that comes from above the socket. In terms of make-up application here are a few tips to help.

When you look forward into the mirror you probably don’t see a lot of eyelid space. You may think that there is no point to applying shadow to this area but don’t avoid it. Others will see it when you blink.

Apply a light shade on the inner corner of the lid. This will open the eye up and help make the area look larger. If dark shadow is applied here on hooded eyes it makes the eyes appear smaller and only accentuates the hoodedness.

Open your eye and mark about half a centimetre above the point that your eyelid masks. Blend eyeshadow up to that point. This is the area that is visible once your eyes are open.

Soften the shadow and blend upwards towards the brow bone. Get rid of any harsh lines.

You aren’t of course limited to this method but it’s a great way to make the best out of hooded eyes.

I hope this was useful. Thanks for the request.

What eye shape have you?


* Don’t forget – Click here to enter my MAC Stereo Rose giveaway

*Image thanks for

Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Tips, Tutorials

Make-up Tips: Make thin lips look fuller

So we all want full and pouty lips but unfortunately many of us have far from the lips we covet. There are a few things to consider when applying make-up if you want your lips to appear fuller.

When using rich colours make sure you shape the lips with  but add a little shine to the centre

Use lip plumping products to increase blood flow to make the lips appear fuller. A pure peppermint essential oil lip balm will do this naturally by drawing blood to the lip.

Add a little gloss to the centre of the lips to add depth

Choose neutral tones – natural pinks and tans.

Avoid very dark colours

You can also experiment with lining the lip just outside of the natural lip line with a lip liner identical to your natural lip colour. Be careful though as this can look unnatural unless you choose the exact same colour as your lips, even one shade darker will appear a little funny looking.

I hope this was useful!

False Eyelashes, General, Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials, YouTube Videos

How to Video: Apply False Eyelashes (strips)

A false eyelash application video has been requested so many times so I decided it was high time to get it done. I managed to rope my sister into being my model. This demo is also reviews the e.l.f false lash strips

The elf lashes are cheap (from their website). I like the lashes, love the plastic applicator thingy but hate the glue. You would need to buy a better quality glue as it’s not strong enough to hold these stiff lashes.

I hope this was helpful.

Le grá,


Lips, Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

Tips for making your lip colour last

I hate long lasting lipsticks. They’re too drying for me and I never like the finish. If you’re interested in some ways to keep your lip colour on without resorting to long lasting formulas (that often don’t last long at all) here are a few tips:

  • Use pencil on top of lipstick. The wax acts like a barrier. Just make sure you blend away the line. I never use a freshly sharpened pencil for this, a rounded one works best.
  • Blot a little powder on top to keep the lipstick in place for longer. Less is more in this instance. I like to use a little blush instead of powder for added colour depth. On occasion I have used an eyeshadow.
  • Press lip colour into the lips using your finger. This creates a stained satin effect.
  • Completely fill in the lips using a  lip pencil that is the same colour as your lips. This acts as a base and ensures lipstick stays put for longer. I use Continue Reading
Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

Heart Shaped Face: How to balance a Heart-Shaped Face

Before we get started if you’re unsure about what face shape you have click here to find out.

People with a heart-shaped face have a forehead that is wider than their jaw, with  a narrow chin.

Celebrities with heart-shaped faces include Jennifer Love Hewitt, Reece Witherspoon, Faith Hill and Heather Graham.

Here are some tips to balance a heart shaped face:

  • Avoid applying blusher high on the apples of the cheeks. The emphasises the width of the top half of the face.
  • Apply your blusher slightly lower than your cheekbones.
  • Dust some shader on the tip of the chin.
  • Shade the temples to help minimize the width of the upper part of the face. Blend into the hairline.

Click here if you you would like to see how to soften a square face.

Click  here if you would like to see how to slim a round face

Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

Having Trouble Choosing a Blush to Suit your Skin Tone?

I have received quite a few questions about choosing blush. Wear whatever shade you like once it accentuates your features. Make sure it doesn’t make you look tired or older. And for the love of all that is holy do don’t match it to your outfit.

They always say choose a shade that you would naturally blush. I think that’s so 80’s and I disagree. Often people don’t flush a pretty shade. Personally when I blush I look pink and blotchy, not a look I want to recreate with a blusher. For those of you who need more help choosing a blush, here are some guidelines. These are not rules, I don’t believe in make-up rules, they are just a helping hand to those who don’t know where to start. The reference to hair is just there to help you narrow down skin tone, so it’s your natural hair colour I’m talking about.

  • Dark hair, olive skin: Warm brown shade
  • Black hair, dark skin: Terracota shade
  • Dark hair, warm skin: Rosey Brown shade
  • Dark hair, cool skin: Cool toned rose shade
  • Red Hair, warm skin: Warm peach shade
  • Red hair, cool skin: Soft peach shade
  • Blonde hair, cool skin: Baby pink shade
  • Blonde hair, warm skin: Tawny pink shade

Confused between cool and warm toned? Join the queue. Cool toned skins often have pink/red undertones, whilst warm tones have golden undertones. Some people are quite neutral and can pull off most shades of blush.

Maybe a post on determining your undertone would help?

Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

Round Face: How to Slim a Round Face & Blush Tips

Before we get started if you’re unsure what face shape you have click here to find out.

The key to flattering a round shape is to create a slimming effect and make your face look more angular. Celebrities with round faces include: Kirsten Dunst, Chritina Ricci, Amanda Bynes, Kelly Clarkson, Cameron Diaz and Lindsey Lohan.

  • Avoid applying blush to the apples of the cheeks, this accentuates the roundness of the face.
  • Blend your blusher upwards from your cheeks to your hairline. Make sure it gradually gets Continue Reading
Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

What shape is your face?

1. Heart  – this face has a narrow jaw, is wide at cheekbones/and or forehead
2. Square  – this face is usually as wide as it is long
3. Round –  this face is generally as wide as it is long
4. Diamond  – this face is widest at the cheekbones, narrow forehead, jaw line of approximately equal widths
5. Oblong  – this face is longer than it is wide
6. Oval  – this face’s length is equal to one and a half times its width

You can also measure your face to figure out your face shape. Continue Reading