Beauty secrets I learnt at KIKO MILANO

Last year I worked at KIKO MILANO for 7 months and I genuinely adored my job. Not only were the staff wonderful but I learnt so many tips and tricks from the company but also the staff which I wanted to share.

  • When cleaning brushes, the quickest and easiest way to do so is by spritzing some brush cleaner into a tissue and swirling the brush around until there is barely any colour transfer from brush to the tissue. Before I would just rub the brush into a bar of soap which heavily ruined the bristles of my brushes.
  • This one isn’t really a secret as it was something staff had to do everyday but SHARPEN SHARPEN SHARPEN! Everytime you apply a pencil product always sharpen it! Not only will it give you a more clean and precise look but it gives you more control when applying the product on your face.
  • I worked with the queen of liquid eyeliner ( Sharan if you ever see this I am talking about you!) and she told me the brush of liquid eyeliner makes such a difference in terms of the ease of application. Now I only look for thin brushes which offer more precision. For me personally, chunky brushes are just harder to use.
  • Eyeshadows can make wonderful contours. KIKO has such an amazing range of shadows and the pigments are generally fairly strong therefore some taupe shades or earthy tones make effective contours. A slightly grey shadow makes a much better contour than some typical contour pallets which tend to be orangey.
  • Don’t neglect fixing spray. My colleagues would use fixing spray for every makeup look and I genuinely think it makes a difference. When I was working a long shift I would apply fixing spray in the mornings before my shift and my makeup would last up until closing. I never really used fixing spray before working at KIKO but now I can’t go without it. I do prefer the liquid setting sprays much more than the aerosol ones but that is because it adds a more dewy finish.
  • Applying lip liner before lipstick can help to make it stay put for longer as the lipstick has something to grip on to. It doesn’t have to be a lip primer specifically but just putting something before your lipstick really helps keep the colour in place.
  • Prepping skin is essential for a long-lasting look. Removing all traces of makeup before a fresh application as well as priming and applying lotion really contribute to a glowing complexion.
  • Dabbing your face with tissue after you have done your makeup gets rid of any excess such as those annoying powdery patches of blusher which collect on baby hairs.

Anyone else worked or work at KIKO?

Bronzed radiant base makeup

I posted a picture up online a few days ago and I had a few messages complimenting me about my base makeup, and saying it looked bronzed and radiant ( thanks guys!) If you know me personally, or have read my previous blog posts you will know that I am obsessed with looking sun-kissed and bronzed. Hey, it even says so in my “about” page . . About

I have stuck with the same base makeup regime for a while now as it works for me but I wanted to mention some ways in which you can look extra bronzed and glowing and radiant and well just all things sun-kissed. 

img_6955 This was the picture I posted

Firstly, I always apply a big scoop of facial moisturizer the night before ( I use oil free lotions because I have very oily skin so I don’t need it to look like I am melting when I apply my makeup) I feel this to be a very important step as it soothes the skin whilst you sleep creating a clear canvas for the next morning whilst also plumping up the skin.

When I worked at KIKO Milano, I got to try the ” Glowing Potion Serum” which was part of a seasonal collection and I must say . . It is a game changer! It has pearly beads in it which adds instant glow to the skin but the slightly sticky texture acts as a primer as I have found out from own experience. I know the glow potion is not sold anymore however KIKO do have similar serum products from their skin care range which works just as effectively, minus the packaging of the original glowing potion serum. ( I just wish I stocked up on more bottles when they were put in the sale) 

The foundation I use is Clinique Beyond Perfecting which I genuinely swear by. It is my favourite foundation by far and I have been using it for many years. It is also oil-free for those of you with oily skin like mine. I know a lot of people probably wonder why I want radiance if I have oily skin that shines but an oily chin is not the same as glowing cheekbones! To blend my foundation I ALWAYS USE A BEAUTYBLENDER WITH FIXING SPRAY ON IT, INSTEAD OF WATER. I love ELF fixing spray as it is a liquid so it adds a certain amount of gleam to the skin when lightly buffed into the foundation. I would say this is the thing that made the biggest difference to the radiance of my skin in this picture.

I usually use two shades of foundation to add some dimension to the skin! The face is not one colour therefore mimicking natural light on the face defo adds the glow! When doing this I also add a TINY bit of powder highlight to add to the lighter areas of foundation to really open up the face and make it POP.

Without a doubt, highlight is crucial for this look! I swear by Revolution London Highlight ( I will never stop saying this, read why here:This highlight? It’s £3! ) However instead of applying on my cheekbones I have noticed that applying it on the apples of your cheeks aka the meaty parts, really gives definition when you smile or even just move your mouth. It levels the eye with the highlight too which adds attention to the eyes and brows.

Lastly, I skip setting powder. I know I probably need to use it but I much prefer blotting papers as it doesn’t add or remove makeup, it simply creates a more matte look to the areas that need it rather than the whole face. Therefore my cheeks and brow bone can glow but my chin and forehead certainly can’t.



All things skin . . .

I wanted to just write a little about skin and how it is crucial to any kind of beauty which is why we should all look after it! I used to be one of those people who would just remove my makeup with wipes and that was it. I never use to apply lotions or creams and only occasionally would use a face scrub. There were a few problems with this, my skin was constantly oily looking and didn’t have any radiance to it, it was just kinda grey?

That is why this year I have been trying really hard to make my skin a priority and I have been seeing absolutely excellent results. My skin has never looked better and more glowing. The thing that made the most difference was using a cleanser after I wash my makeup off as this really draws out any build-up in the pores.

I usually wash my face with a bar of soap and warm water, then use a makeup wipe to remove any patches of makeup that weren’t removed followed by a cotton pad and cleanser to get rid of impurities. This routine has been something I try to do every night especially in cold water months! 

I wanted to give a few tips on making the most out of your skin and how to maximise the potential of your skin as after seeing how happy I am with my skin currently I wanted to share the things I noticed:

  • Use suncream whenever you can! Even makeup containing suncream is better than nothing at all. Nothing ages skin more than the sun, you might not see damage at the moment but it is always better to prevent ageing from an early age rather than try to reverse the impact of the sun when you are older!
  • Exfoliate your skin not only with an exfoliating face wash but also by using an eyebrow razor to get rid of the top layer of skin. This is something that really creates a smooth canvas as not only is peach fuzz gone but the top layer of skin is removed meaning more radiance as a glowing layer of skin is underneath.
  • Drink water. Yup an obvious one but really, nothing is better for skin than the things you put inside your body which show on the outside. I also take supplements such as omega 3 supplements to boost the radiance to my skin and I have to say they are worth the unpleasant taste as my skin looks more firm from taking them.
  • definitely invest in a cleanser. I recently raved about Tesco’s eyes and face cleanser which is only £1.50 and it is so creamy! It works as a 2-1 as it is also a makeup remover ( it says on the bottle!) 
  • Massage your creams and products into your skin properly! I used to just slap on my creams and face washes and not really work the product into the skin, but now I give myself enough time to really massage and work the products into my skin.
  • Don’t neglect your body either! I know the feeling of wanting to skip lotions on the body because it makes your skin feel greasy but I am loving those spray lotions that Vaseline have come up with as you can literally spray them in the shower and then go. It is quick, easy and non-sticky.
  • I mentioned this in another post but once a week try to deep-steam your face to open up the pores and remove the dirt from them. I do this simply by boiling water and pouring it in a bowl, then putting a towel over my head and above the bowl of steaming water. It is so relaxing too, and just 5 minutes really works to remove any impurities the skin may have. After splash the face with cold water to close the pores.
  • This one is kinda optional but I love to use a light moisturizer with a hint of fake tan on my face. Gradual tanners for face are extremely light so it takes a while to notice any colour and often it is more of a glow rather than a ” tan” but this just makes those no makeup days look so much better for me.

I hope these little skin care reminders will motivate everyone to look after their skin as it really is the key for flawless and effortless beauty.

Spray tans: The low-down

I know a spray tan might seem daunting. Going to a salon and having to strip down to a paper thong and stand in a little tent? Yeah not the highlight of my week. . . However so many times people come out disappointed with having their spray tans done ” professionally” I know I have! So here is a lil low down with tips on what to expect, how to get exactly what you want and how to keep your tan lasting. I haven’t had a spray tan done professionally in about 6 months ( that is a long time for me!) but I defo know a thing or two about them having got them done every week last year!

When you walk in, you will have to remove your makeup and wear a paper thong, you can keep your bra on if you want but most salons ask you to remove your bra to get an even colour. You will be given a hair net and some sticky soles to put on your feet so that the bottom does not turn orange when you are standing in the tent. Next, the spray tanner ( is that a word? ) will put lotion on your ankles and elbows so the tan does not settle in these dry parts of the body.

Depending on what brand of tan is used, the tans usually go 8, 10,12, 16 I belive with eight being the lightest. In my experience, I usually have a 12 but it is not as dark as I want it to look. For reference, a 12 is about a medium shade and 8-1o are fairly light. 16 is the colour they all tell you never to get ” It is so orange” says the tanner to me when I ask about it however I have a feeling this would be the level of tan I would want so I need to try it at some point . .

You will be given lots of poses to do such as lunges so the tanner can spray all areas of the body, WARNING: the spray is so cold on the skin but it lasts 2 minutes so try to put up with it! OK here is something I learnt. The skin on the stomach doesn’t hold tan as well as the arms or legs so ask for the tanner to double spray this area. That way it will look more like the colour of your arms and legs when developed. 

If you feel like the colour looks too pale even when it is sprayed on then speak up! Tan doesn’t develop that dramatically ( again depending on what brand is used) so the colour you have when instantly sprayed isn’t gonna be totally different to when it is developed. Also if an area goes patchy within a few days, go back to the salon and they should spray you again free of charge. One time I had a massive orange line down my arm and the inner side was pure white which I didn’t realise! So I was offered a correction . .  Do not try to scrub it off as the tan will split and go patchy.

Perhaps the worst part is leaving the salon feeling sticky and self-conscious of the fact you temporarily look like a shiny orange human being. However wear all black and loose clothing and you won’t see any tan stains so you can reach your home in peace. I also suggest blotting the face with a tissue so that the colour isn’t as obvious on the face. The face should always be a little lighter than the rest of the body so it looks more natural.

Some little tips:

  1. Do not shave before your appointment! I repeat! You will be left with an orange shaving rash instead of a red one as the tan collects into the pores and trust me, it takes weeks to remove! 
  2. Try if you can to sleep in the tan overnight then wash off the next morning as washing the tan off too soon will mean it hasn’t had time to develop.
  3. If you must go out straight away after getting your tan, apply baby powder to soak up any wet areas of tan so it kind of dries the tan and means less transfer of colour on clothing.
  4. Use oil free lotions ( the cheapest variety works just as well) as oil in lotions breaks down tan super quickly. One of the best lotions for fake tanners like myself is Vaseline Aloe Vera as aloe vera is known to keep skin from drying. Ultimately fake tan fades as the skin naturally sheds the top layer of skin so applying lotion daily means you can get a few more days until the dreaded patchy tan moment commences . .
  5. Always stick to cold showers or room temp showers to ensure your fake tan lasts longer, hot water opens the pores and strips away the colour meaning a quicker fade.

I have a tanning post about my favourite tans which I will link below: Fake tan favourites I can’t live without

Let me know if you guys have ever had a dodgy tanning experience as I would love to hear! I have defo had some dodgy tanning moments in my lifetime . . .

A different type of post, ways to be beauty confident . . .

This topic is something I wanted to talk about, anyone that knows me personally will know I am a confident human but it defo wasn’t always like this. For many years I went through extreme body anxiety and my appearance was bringing me down, I do still get these days a lot but I have found ways to manage this and I wanted to share them. It kind of started whilst at school and looking completely different to others, I felt insecure because of my exotic background and was picked on ( I got the last laugh though). After secondary school I became obsessed with my weight having been like a yo-yo throughout my teen years. A few years ago I experienced a toxic relationship which became the worst part and triggered even more self-esteem issues as I was constantly having to compete with the needs of an extreme womanizer. This last year being in America has really changed my perspective on things, leading to a slow increase in confidence but nonetheless major progress . . . 

  • Don’t compare yourself. I know this is easier said than done but comparisons are what triggers everyone to feel inadequate. Those people you see looking flawless online? They probably have a photographer and the best makeup products and hair stylist to make themselves look good- anyone can look good with the right items is what I am trying to say. Don’t compare your everyday life to others as often there is so much we don’t see.
  • Ditch anyone who makes you feel un-confident with your appearance. I had to break off a toxic relationship after I felt as if I was in competition with the other girls my ex was always eyeing up. I wanted to be like them and tried to look like them, then I realised it was making me lose my identity. You should not feel like you are in a competition with anyone.
  • Do what you need to do, if someone tells you that you wear too much make-up then f**k ’em. Maybe you feel more confident with lashes and your nails done? Don’t let people’s remarks stop you from doing you. I used to get told all the time that I dress up too much but that is just me. Don’t be afraid to embrace your features or style.
  • A feature is only a flaw once you point it out. If you constantly expose your flaws, other people may start to notice it more if that makes sense. I learnt to not speak about my insecurities as when my insecurities are secret, people can’t use them against you. 
  • Enhance your features. Have big eyes? Show them off with white eyeliner in the tear duct. Have awesome brows? Highlight the brow bone. Little makeup tricks like these really helped to enhance what I had rather than spending time on what I don’t have.
  • It sounds kind of obvious but just taking care of my skin and body made me feel better so don’t neglect those night creams and the power of drinking water as a large part of beauty is what your body creates, in order to fuel your body you need to be putting in the right things. Things like exfoliation and moisturisers as well as keeping your hair in good condition are crucial for a more polished appearance. I have a post about little changes that make a mega impact so I will link it below: Little beauty changes that make a huge difference
  • Almost everything can be fixed or altered so don’t beat yourself up about it. I say almost everything as some things require nothing but surgery but this should never be a first option ( Not hating on anyone with surgery btw ). Most of the top models we see have had some form of surgical enhacement ( trust me, working for a magazine made these things more noticeable) 
  • Finally, not everyone likes the same look! You don’t need to look the same as everyone to be noticed, I know people want to ” appear” like those ” bad bitch”  girls on social media these days however this is not to say anything other than this is flawed. Once again, this stems from comparisons which goes to show so many issues come from comparing oneself to others. Nowadays I try to make myself the best version of myself I can be ( with the help of enhancements ) rather than feel intimidated by others.

These little realisations help me a lot when I start to feel my body and appearance anxieties creep up on me, I hope they help others realise their worth does not depend on features as features and looks can be changed easily but a beautiful soul is permanent. I am such a girly girl so I love to dress up and present myself well but these days I don’t stress if I am having an ” ugly” day because if you don’t accept yourself then who will? 

Finessing the contour game with one bottle . . .

Hello everyone, I just wanted to talk about one winning way to contour the face and the answer is fake tan. YES REALLY. The thing is, whilst contour with makeup such as grey eyeshadows, brown contour products and bronzers make such a difference to features, once you wash off makeup its gone . . .

Therefore if you contour with fake tan you will get at least a few days of permanent 3 day contour for the face, so when you aren’t wearing makeup your features will still be perfectly contoured. A bit of a sneaky trick but oh so worth it. You can apply this ideolgy to other body parts too such as the whole slimming leg trick, with bronzer or tan on the sides to sculpt the leg.

To start, ensure face is clean from all lotion and makeup as fake tan doesn’t adhere to the skin as well if there is an existing product. Use a thin angled brush and apply a little bit of fake tan on the brush, truthfully fake tan specifically for faces tends to be more subtle so I use a body tan for my face. Next draw the lines where you want to contour such as cheekbones or nose or forehead and use a separate and CLEAN buffing brush to blend it away and repeat this step a few times. The idea is to get a little more heavy-handed as you repeat the steps but obviously not too much! You want it to look like a subtle shadow which will develop overnight and can be washed the following morning. Once you have

I have linked my previous tanning post below in case anyone wants some more tips: Fake tan favourites I can’t live without

For this little trick I love using COCOA BROWN tan in DARK as the foamy texture makes it easier to blend than lotions. The tinted shade means you can see exactly where you are applying too! I would avoid spraying the lines on to the face directly as it will not create as much definition so I wouldn’t suggest a tan that is a spray formula. If you really want to use a spray formula then use sellotape to put where you want the contour lines so for example, down the sides of the nose. This way the colour only goes on the uncovered area and the tape gives a straight line- did that make sense? Hahaha

This was just a quick tip which makes life so much easier on those no-makeup days, let me know if you guys have tried this before!

Budget beauty basics

As a broke college student I know the struggle all too well of wanting to look groomed and put together without using your overdraft to fund your beauty desires. Over the years I have found some ways or alternatives that work extremely well for those on a serious budget.

  1. Use washing up powder capsules to remove old or patchy tan INSTEAD of buying that £7 tan remover that seems to finish in just one use. I learnt this trick from a celeb obsessed with fake tan, and hey if it works for them . . .Haha but seriously! If you use a exfoliation glove and a washing up powder capsule any tough stain on the skin appears to vanish ( No pun intended) 
  2. Use an eyebrow shaper INSTEAD of booking into an expensive derma session to exfoliate away dead skin cells. These eyebrow razors are available so cheaply online and work so well in removing dead layers of skin. Just gently move up and down the face and finish off with a splash of cold water to close the pores, it works brilliantly for removing peach fuzz thus allowing makeup to glide on more smoothly.
  3. Makeup products that are in pencil form are never worth spending a ton of money on. After all, they require constant sharpening and have a short lifespan. To be honest I have learnt lip liners and eye pencils are pretty much all made of the same ingredients and a lot of the time it is just branding you are paying for. If you have read my previous posts you will know I am obsessed with lip liners from the dollar store or MUA lip liners which are £1 in Superdrug. I have been using these for years.
  4. I mentioned this a few times in other posts but in case anyone missed it . .  I adore baby powder as a setting or baking powder for the face! Baby powder sets my makeup so nicely and the white shade really defines my under-eye concealer.
  5. A cheap trick to get silky locks from your fridge, put a ton of mayonnaise on your hair and leave for 30 minutes then wash off, YES REALLY. I first got told this trick by my hairdresser and I love how it makes my hair feel. The proteins in the product also promote hair growth which is a bonus as you are nourishing the scalp.  
  6. Another one from the fridge . . . .Egg whites whisked and placed on the face as a mask helps to tighten pores, this is something Kimmy K recently admitted to doing and I can see why as the egg whites really target the pores of the skin and help to remove impurities.
  7. Finally another one for pores, simply microwave a bowl of water until steaming and put your face above it with a towel over your head to trap the steam. This really irons out any minor wrinkles and leaves skin looking as fresh as a daisy. I try to do this at least once a week.

I hope these were useful for all your people seeking alternatives to expensive treatments  or products! Let me know if you think I missed anything crucial!