Face B4: two weeks on…

Sarah skin was a cause of deep insecurity for her, despite her balanced diet and regular exercise.

Sarah’s skin was a cause of deep insecurity for her, despite her fairly balanced diet and regular exercise. She also only wears a full face of make-up if she’s working or going out.

So my case study has now been using the FaceB4 Antibacterial Facial Wash and Antibacterial Serum for just over two weeks. Before this she, like Sarah Harding and so many others, was a face wipe girl. She, like brand ambassador Sarah Harding, mainly uses MAC make-up, but wears a full coverage foundation every day.

Her skin has cleared a lot. It was prone to breakouts and quite dehydrated, dry/oily in places, congested and unbalanced, but now she has clear skin across her face, no bumps or congestion and almost no redness. In my professional opinion her skin is much more balanced with far fewer blemishes. She can use a good moisturiser without having to worry about those oily patches becoming oilier. However, as Bruce Green CSci CChem MRSC (resident science dude at FaceB4) says – it is not oil production (usually caused by diet) that causes acne and breakouts; it is bacteria. To eliminate bacteria in the skin, there is no one better to formulate a range than a company that has specialised in sterilisation at a medical level – MediChem.

The products work as a two-step process. The first being a dual action facial cleanser & toner. The two solutions are only mixed together when you pump the product into your hands. This activates the formula. One side has a sodium (salt) solution to gently sterilise without alcohol, and the other contains a tri-acid formula made up of citric, lactic and salicylic acid to gently but deeply exfoliate and cleanse. The patented components for the packaging alone took 18 months to develop and are in themselves very unique, pumping out a foam of macro bubbles for maximum skin contact. This face wash claims to kill bacteria in 20 seconds and has been tested against every mass-market skin-clearing brand in the UK, consistently coming out on top.

The second stage is using the Antibacterial serum after cleansing. This works by very simply going into the thoroughly cleansed pores and lubricating them to stop bacteria shacking up there, thus eliminating grounds for blackheads, whiteheads, bumps and spots. The serum contains various vitamins to nourish and retinol to help shrink pores. Bruce recommends continued use of this, even after your skin has cleared, as the vitamin content will help to heal any scarring which may have occurred previously.

It is also rapidly becoming a new make-up artist essential as it makes an excellent primer under make-up. YouTube make-up artist Olivia Newman-Young says:

Olivia Newman-Young

Olivia Newman-Young is a YouTube sensation and well-known blogger.

“I discovered FaceB4 back on the Sarah Harding campaign that I worked on last year. The serum is such an essential for me now, because it’s so hydrating and the texture is so silky it’s ideal for photo shoots as it creates a matte finish and allows me to build on a fresh clean base, also because it’s anti-bacterial if I am swapping and changing the make-up looks all day it keeps the skin calm and soothes any irritation. “

I think this shows how versatile the products are. What I like is that they’re gentle enough to use as a preventative routine everyday, even if your skin has cleared up or if you just want to maintain your skin’s natural health. The formulation means that over time, the products would have many other benefits to the skin other than simply killing bacteria. There are so many harsh,  stripping ranges on the market, with five or six steps and very strong formulation that can sometimes cause more harm than good to acne prone skin, which tends to also be very sensitive. FaceB4’s alcohol-free, clinically proven formula is a fraction of the price of these ranges and much easier to use.

The products are available online and in Boots stores now at the reasonable RRP of 14.95 each and should last about 30 days, depending on usage.


Has acne finally met its match?

Last week I was invited to attend a skincare seminar and the press launch of the new mass market product to target acne and problem skin – FaceB4

As a person who hasn’t suffered from problem skin since my teenage years, I was aware I wasn’t really the target market, but as a professional who sees acne causing problems for women and girls alike I was interested to find out what the science behind it was, and whether it would be able to help the millions of people who have deep insecurities about their skin.

Sarah snaps her "Selfie-ready skin"

Sarah snaps her “Selfie-ready skin”

One of the people who has suffered in the past is none other than former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding, who is now the brand ambassador for the FaceB4 range. During the seminar she admitted to having had big insecurities about her skin, having suffered from acne during her teens and for most of her twenties. As someone who was living a whirlwind lifestyle on stage and screen, wearing lots of make up, she said found it hard to take care of her skin. Sarah also said she’s more of a quick-fix person when it comes to skincare, a face wipe girl! She wasn’t really into the full cleansing routine with several different stages so when she found out about FaceB4 and their simple two-step range, she felt finally she had found something that might fit in with her busy schedule.

The products have been developed and tested by Medichem, who used to specialise in pre and post-op tool sterilisation, but have moved over to the beauty industry. You may have heard of their colour restore range ColourB4 – a bleach and ammonia free way of removing unwanted colour from your locks. They also benefit from the expertise of Bruce Green CSci CChem MRSC, who has an impressive portfolio that includes product formulation for the like of Avon and Aveda US among many others.

I’m very excited to try the products, and I have selected another busy girl with very different skin to my own to also try them. Stay tuned for the skin update and more information on how the products work (the science bit – my favourite!). I will post the first results in the next few days.

2014 – The year of the Minx

So after many years dabbling in and out of the idea of writing a blog, I have finally been persuaded to do so, properly this time. Things have really taken off for me in the last six months, since going freelance again, and having previously seen blog-writing as rather self-indulgent (because some of them can be) I now think that my life is just about interesting enough to write about.

Iceland Press Feb 2014

Iceland Press Feb 2014

From the MakeUpMinx blog you will be able to read about not just the beauty industry, skin care, science and make up, but also bits of London lifestyle (food, culture etc.) will be dropped in from time to time, so as to keep things varied. Having worked for a number of years in hospitality both as a chef and front of house, I think I’m qualified to pass comment on food, wine and service across the capital. Also being a MUA for New CID Cosmetics means I travel quite a lot, so I’ll be sure to update the blog with cool stuff from other countries and recommendations on things to see, as well as essential products to keep in your hand luggage. This is just one international girl’s opinion on life, beauty, the universe and… Well… Everything.

Stay classy!

Voulez-vous coucher avec Moi, Savoir?

On Tuesday May 15th, the legendary Savoir Beds of King’s Road, London, opened its doors for an evening of sensory delights. For more than one hundred years (since 1905), Savoir have been making beds for the infamous Savoy Hotel where the Duran Duran film ‘Girl Panic’ was shot. This was the brief for the party. Organised and hosted by event Wonder Woman Freya St. Johnson, the bourgeoisie were invited to the store to feast their eyes (and tummies!) on the beautiful handmade beds, adorned by glamourous Matching Models sporting lingerie

Gina shoe porn!

supplied by Myla London, bling from Theo Fennell and shoes by Gina.

As if that wasn’t enough to excite both sexes, there was also Thiénot Champagne on tap, cocktails galore and mouth watering canapé served all night, by yet more of the Matching Models.

My two glamourous assistants and I were on hand to get the girls ready for the catwalk and subsequent pillow fight. As well as hair and make-up, I also ended up being chief stocking stylist for the five models, assisting them with a few Myla mishaps! Our brief was Big shoes, big lips, big eyes, big hair. Rock and roll after party in a hotel room.

Guests included Made in Chelsea, the girls from Grazia, loads of fab designers and a judge from Holland’s Next Top Model.

A few shots from behind the scenes for your viewing pleasure, click on the slideshow to enlarge the gallery:

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Not your average Saturday…

Why are people so scared of mental health problems and disability? It has always been a mystery to me, and having thought that the world was becoming more accepting and understanding, on Saturday I found out just how wrong I was.

Stylizers Ltd.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of working with Style Guru Ronke Fashola on a catwalk show of her designs for her label Love ur Look, and then a month or so later helping put together her designs for a shoot with Mature Model – Jan Bryant. When Ronke asked a few weeks ago about some dates in the future for styling events with her other company, Stylizers Ltd. I jumped at the chance to work with her again (she’s so inspiring!)

The job was a personal styling, hair & make-up session for nine women, all with some form of disability. They are all members of The Westminster Society for people

Hair with the lovely Shahade

with learning disabilities – a great organisation that provide support and services for people with learning disabilities and their families. We met in the very glamourous Personal Styling Suite in Westfields Designer Village, where Ronke, her assistant Boo, myself and 5 support helpers from The Westminster Society were on hand to style, groom, and above all, have fun with the girls. Each person had an individual make-up and hair consultation with myself, a body-shape analysis with the Stylizers and a one-to-one style consultation with either Ronke or Boo. The girls tried on loads of fab clothes, kindly leant to us by New Look, Evans, Primark and DPS, as well as some of Ronke’s own pieces. At the end of it all we had a catwalk show so that everyone could strut their respective stuff and gain a little more confidence with their new look. I can honestly say I haven’t enjoyed a job that much in… Well I can’t even remember how long. The women and their helpers were so lovely – big hearts, big personalities and a fantastic sense of humour.

After the day had finished and everyone had made their way home the Stylizers and myself were packing up our stuff and Ronke turned to me and thanked me for my work today. Then she said something that I did not expect: Two other style consultancy companies had turned down the job before it was offered to Ronke. Why? Because the women had disabilities. This upset me a lot, which is why I’m blogging about it – those of you who read my blogs often will know that I’m not really into being preachy, mainly I just state the facts of the day!

In short – don’t be prejudiced or scared of people who are different from you. Those with learning disabilities are the same as any other person, they just have a little more trouble communicating their thoughts and ideas. Long term mental illness is also just another long-term illness. It’s not something people can choose to have. Open your minds and hearts, you never know – you might actually enjoy it!

If you want to find out more about The Westminster Society and their work, have a look at their Facebook page by clicking this link:

FB – The Westminster Society

Here are some other pages that may interest those who like this article:

Volunteer work with Vinspired

The Mental Health Foundation

No Waste Man Ting!

On Easter Sunday, I peeled myself out of bed and made my way (albeit about 1 mile down the road) to Camberwell Studios to shoot the video for an up-and-coming UK Hip Hop artist. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having not heard the track and having never used the location before, but I was very impressed by the concept and direction for the video, and by the professionalism and hospitality we received at Camberwell Studios. Josef is the man to talk to – he’s great fun and very knowledgeable about what kit and studio spaces to use. He has also played host to some of my favourite UK artists including Skunk Anansie, La Roux and Beardyman.

The video for Dano – No Waste was filmed on the green screen and has a dark, 1920’s feel to it. It stars writer and producer Dan-O Ggm, DJ King and fresh new dance crew ‘iSoCrazy’ as well as many more faces to watch. The track and clip are released on 28th May 2012, but until then here’s some pictures from behind the scenes:

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How about that?!

No Easy Way Out

On Monday afternoon, we wrapped NEWO after nearly 40 hours of filming in 3 days. The story is about a married woman who cannot conceive. She finds out that not only has her husband been having an affair, but his lover is also with child. We follow her in a short film that illustrates the desperation and madness this ensues. A tragic story, beautifully written and beautifully shot, starring James Alexandrou, Cathrin Blickling and Sylwia Kaczmarek.

Below are some of my favourite stills from the making of the short film. Click on Film & TV above to see the full gallery.

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And I’m back in the game!

Greetings beauty queens! After a month off from all this online business (laptop broke) I feel I have lots to catch you all up on…

I now have the proper stills from the Oh! Gunquit video for their single ‘Bad Bad Milk’ that we filmed back in February at Teddington Studios. Check them out in the slideshow below:

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