Instagram, love it or loathe it, it’s here to stay, well, for now anyway. 

I love Instagram, no I do honestly, I know how to use it, that’s the difference. Sadly many young girls live through it.

Earlier this summer I was employed for an event to make up girls for their prom night. I thought amazing this is going to be so much fun. Wrong! It was hell!! Worst job this year. 

I was met with super insecure girls whose lives run on how many 'likes' their perfect photos receive. Girls who can only bare to see themselves via a filter. One girl in particular (she was 16 years old & stunning) wanted cut crease, she was half Thai, her eye shape did not lend itself to this type of look. She was inconsolable. Her friend later showed me her instagram photos. What I saw was a completely different girl, she had changed her skin tone & face shape. Basically created a version of what she had in her head of how she would like to look. Out of the 10 or so girls I made up most stared at themselves for AGES in the magnified part of the mirror picking over tiny flaws wanting utter perfection. I could feel the tension & fear seeping out of every pore, taking selfie after selfie, zooming in then putting it through the filter they so love. I felt so sad that young girls have so much to live up to & I fear for what is in store when my 6 year old hits 16! it’s a lot of pressure for sure. 

Next came the brows, the dreaded ‘Insta brow’. Whilst I admit it may suit some faces, it can lookdrawn on & fake on many others.

Every makeup course that I run, there will be at least 4/8 that will have the ‘Brow”.  Yes, I understand it’s a trend, BUT a makeup artist will never be asked to do this on a shoot. The proof is in the pudding. Look at Prada campaigns, Burberry campaigns, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Emily Ratajkowski. You will not see any of these models rock an ‘instagram eyebrow’ 


I feel frustrated for these young girls taking guidance from instagram tutorials. I would say that most of the models perpetrating these looks are actually incredibly stunning girls with the perfect huge pout, glossy skin, great brows et al. All looking pretty similar to one of theKardashians, right?

99.99% of us do not look like that though!! Plus not one Kardashian is 100% au natural, they have ALL had work done. So, for us gals who are au natural to try & copy this look is a game changer. It’s actually really ugly & you could probably end up looking more Pete Burns than Kimmy K, which is why you will never open Vogue, Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire, to name a few. & find their models sporting these eyebrows for a photo shoot. Don’t even get me going on contouring, or the super heavy ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ inspired cut crease.

My advise…

Look at the high fashion campaigns. Surely you can see that Instagram makeup is for the ‘sheeple'… don’t stand out for all the wrong reasons. xx

Face Chart Lovers...

Face charts are a great way to record a look that has been tried on someone else, like for a photo shoot or bridal trial. They are a fab way to test out or plan a look, however getting your face chart to look sleek & professional is another story! Here I have selected a brilliant tutorial on how to do just this. If you are thinking of downloading one from the internet then make sure the type of paper you use is textured like Conqueror, smooth paper will not hold any makeup that you try & apply. If you are buying from the internet then My Kit Co. is fab! I have also included an amazing link to Pintrest for other MAC face chart ideas. Please take note of the colours used, mostly nudes & tans. Brushes are obviously very important too, using the right size & applying the correct pressure when blending is crucial. 



Warpaint's Juila Townsend reviews The Makeup School

Julia Townsend. One of the most well-known and respected educators in the UK & contributor to the online makeup magazine Warpaint, her legacy from her time at West Thames College is legendary & now combining a successful freelance career along with her makeup range of glitters, TMS was thrilled that Julia found the time to visit us & review the school. Here's what Julia has to say on TMS...

I went to visit The Makeup School (TMS) headed by Jacqui McElroy who is a well-established make-up artist working in editorial, commercials and music video.  TMS offer courses in London and also Glasgow, and has a constructive and detailed website which gives a clear breakdown of the courses, location and prices.

After exploring the training areas in London for make-up artists, Jacqui felt there was a lack of training on a 1:1 basis in small groups and designed her school on this concept.  I arranged to visit her at her London premises based in West London at the prestigious Loft Studios, a short walk from Kensal Green Tube station, and with the very clear instructions from Jacqui’s team, I found the location very easily.  Loft Studios is housed in a scenic Victorian building which has been converted into state of the art photographic spaces and Jacqui uses a set room for her teaching sessions.  This is an impressive location for anyone starting out in the fashion make-up industry, as the studios are in constant use with photographers and fashion industry teams.

Jacqui organises and plans all the courses, adapting training needs for each individual.  The teaching room is well equipped for small groups and can accommodate up to six students comfortably.  The sessions are well planned with Jacqui offering two demonstrations of key designs each day, to encourage the students to work on ideas and build up their own skills and speeds to work in a demanding industry.  Jacqui is the main tutor and brings in a high quality team of other reputable tutors who are very established in the fashion make-up industries.  I watched an impressive demonstration of a dramatic eye make-up and was pleased to see Jacqui review health and safety aspects, care of the artiste while introducing the students to a wide selection of products to use to create this look.  Productwise the school is very well stocked with an impressive range of brands including MAC, Laura Mercier, Nars, Stila, Kryolan and Bobbi Brown.

Aftercare is important too and the TMS Agency was established to give students a kick start to their careers.  Jobs on offer are exclusive to TMS graduates and can vary enormously, generally ranging from production companies shooting commercials, pop promos or short films, to photographers shooting look books or fashion.  Graduates are not cherry picked, instead this works on a first come, first served basis with opportunities promoted on the website and social media pages.

The courses are aimed at make-up artists aiming to work in the fashion sector of the industry.  Jacqui’s knowledge and experience is a real strength to the teaching delivered on the programme, as she knows the industry inside out and teaches well.  The courses are clearly defined and are structured into four sections.

Bronze – 1 Day Taster Class £200

An entry level day, this taster offers the student an opportunity to view the facilities, watch demos and then practice make-up application under Jacqui’s supervision and guidance.  All products and brushes are supplied for this class.  Fundamentally this is a chance to see if this is the right course for the student and allows Jacqui to do Q&A sessions alongside gaining new skills.  It’s a great value option, as if students then book onto either the Silver or Platinum class, the cost of the taster day will be deducted.

Silver – 5 Day Beginners Course £995

This is a five day intensive course offering two demonstrations on a daily basis to allow students to achieve two make-up applications each day.  Following the demo, students work in pairs practicing to build up their technical ability and all student work is supervised by the watchful eye of Jacqui.  All skincare and make-up products are supplied for this course and students will learn the basics of health and safety, skin care, make-up applications to include contouring, highlighting, foundation selections, natural and dramatic make-up.  Structured to be intensive and in-depth covering a wide selection of techniques, the course also includes a brush set and a shopping day to build up the students’ kits, which give them an opportunity to visit pro makeup stores and receive a generous discount that they would struggle to access on their own.  On completion of this course, the student will be able to work in the fashion, editorial, makeover and bridal industries, and it’s also a good investment for anyone wishing to embark on a career in Makeup Retail.

Gold – 4 Day Advanced Course £1250

Running over four days, this offers the student the prospect of gaining more in-depth creative skills to build into the skills they have previously gained on the Silver training programme.  This schedule includes editorial themed makeup including cut crease and glitter style designs, and students get a brush set, a photographic shoot and a shopping day.

Platinum – 10 Day Combined Course £2000

A cost-effective option that combines the Silver and Gold courses, students cover all the work in the Silver and Gold from beginner to advanced during a two week period at a saving of £245.

I enjoyed the session I attended at TMS.  A good quality teacher, Jacqui is very knowledgeable about her subject and she shares this freely with her students.  These courses are designed for individuals and small group learning which in turn offers plenty of 1:1 training.  For more information, contact TMS at

Charlotte Tilbury's Multi-Miracle Glow

The clue is in the title & this lush pot certainly does work miracles.  

Not only does it smell divine (frangipani, my favourite smell) it really does melt away makeup & helps protect your skin from every day pollutants that we pick up. I generally have very sensitive eyes & most cleansers tend to sting, thankfully this one doesn't, so I'm happy to say that it will also remove stubborn mascara without the tears. 

My 6 year old INSISTED that she use it to remove her facepaints at the weekend, telling me that 'if it's good enough for you mummy then it's good enough for me' 

not only does the MMG cleanse, you can also use it as a mask - I do this part whilst I have a soak in the bath, your skin will be glowing after 30mins (also perfect if you have had a late night night before) & finally, you can use as a body balm to smooth over dry elbows, shins or rub over cracked heels. TMS LOVES this multi functioning product & we think you will too ❤️

Multi Miracle Glow £45

Products across the Pond

My favourite New Yorker & MUA Rachel Toledo has kindly offered to do this months blog on 2 of her most favourite new discoveries in the beauty industry. Soon to be making their way to UK, until then though if you can’t wait to get your hands on these products, you can of course order via the websites listed. 

There’s something about ‘boutique’ or niche beauty brands that I love. They always seem to come out of a place from a professional not finding what they need or in search for a better quality of product. I find they are brands born out of passion and perseverance. Here are two of my favourites..



Kim Borio, CEO/Founder of Glycelene Skincare & Celebrity Makeup Artist


Kim had suffered from sensitive, reactive skin that flared up with eczema her whole life. Here is a Kim's bio on her fabulous product.

I started off as a skincare specialist before I became a professional makeup artist. When I started working as a makeup artist, I noticed I wasn't the only one suffering from these issues. My actresses used to come in with Vaseline slathered all over there face; an old Hollywood trick that Marilyn Monroe was known to do. I had always focused on skin prep before applying makeup and I was never truly satisfied with the products out there. I used to always say that one day, I'm going to invent a new version of Vaseline and create the most amazing breathable skincare line. Petroleum Jelly acts more like a barrier on the skin.  We came out with a technology that created a breathable ointment based on organic Glycerin, hence the name Glycelene (pronounced Gliss-uh-leen) and The Beauty Ointment was the very first product we ever made. I've used it everyday since. 

When it comes to your skin, it's wise to use non toxic products. Especially if you suffer from sensitive skin.

I really want people to know that we are also 100% Vegan and Eco-friendly, we hand-craft and hand-pour every product for superior quality control and we also polish every bottle and hand label. There is so much detail and TLC put into each and every batch. Also, as a makeup artist, I really wanted a skincare line for my fellow makeup artists to use as a skin-prep behind the scenes, pre and post makeup. Glycelene is currently behind the scenes in the makeup trailers on many TV shows and several major motion pictures being filmed such as "Office Christmas Party" and Steven Spielberg's, "Ready Player One" to name a few along with Reality Shows including The Bachelor franchise. 

Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson, Founder & President  of Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty


Jessica has developed products that treat & enhance healthy eyebrows, lashes and skin. 

Her products are based on tried and true classic European formulas with a modern twist. Delivering her 25 years of hands on work & knowledge directly to the consumer through at home products that deliver results. So for those that have over plucked eyebrows that have failed to grow back & for those wishing to achieve lush lashes.. Check out the products on the website listed above. 


TMS Giveaway.

I thought it would be fun to do a special Christmas competition! The prize (see photo) - lots of fabulous makeup by Laura Mercier, a set of individual eyelashes plus a 16 piece brush set. For a chance to win all you have to do is like TMS Facebook page (you can find the Facebook logo on website homepage) and share the post. The winner will be announced in 2 weeks time (20th December). GOOD LUCK! xx

Tis the season for all that shimmers....

JT Makeup has all the glitters you need to see you through the festive season. The Metallic leaf is perhaps my favourite.. Jars of delightful little flakes in copper, gold, silver, peacock & autumn rose. Add a few flakes to a smokey eye or along the lash line for a different twist.. After your makeup is complete, using glitter gel & tweezers, apply the gel where you want the gold flakes, pick up each flake delicatley and place on the gel. This will brighten up any look, its also a quick trick to liven up makeup from dest to dance floor!! 

Charlotte's World

Trinkets & Treasures

Trinkets & Treasures

Stuck for Christmas ideas? Not anymore. Take advantage of these super little treats from Charlotte Tilbury trio of matte lipsticks in Very Victoria, Amazing Grace & Red Carpet Red, finished with a cute little ribbon tied into a bow on the ends of each lipstick £29.50. My other favourite is the little 'Pocket Pout' in 'Kiss me quick' £16 these products are flying off the shelves, I'd stock up now or even better, treat YOURSELF to one of these little trinkets as so aptly described. ❤️❤️ 

Mad about 'Madness"

As promised, here is the final cut of the "Madness TV Commercial' Its come along way from the plain green background the guys were filmed against. Hours & hours of work goes into this type of post production. This was such an incredible fun job to work on. Its a London thing for sure.... The pop promo is soon to follow.. xx

Your London Wedding.

Last month I had the pleasure of being asked some contouring tips from the bridal magazine 'Your London Wedding" This is a fab mag for any bride that needs help with planning a wedding, from venues, flowers, cakes, makeup & of courses dresses! The mag covers more areas than London, so have a browse by clicking the link above. You can read the full article on contouring below.