Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Top 5 December Beauty Products

Can we believe that we are less than a week away from 2016, as usual the year has flown by. I always think there is not enough hours in the day never mind how quick these last few days have been.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas with loved ones, eating and drinking yourselves to sleep every night, but get ready for the rave of fitness in January, you have 3 days to consume all of your Christmas chocolates haha.

For my last blogpost of 2015 I decided show you my top 5 beauty products of December.
I have either used the products everyday or just realised my love for them and need them as a staple in my makeup kit.

These come in a pack of 3 containing a highlight, bronze and contour, they are pretty much self explanatory. Starting of with contouring the hollow of your cheeks, adding the bronze just above which helps blend them both in an ombré effect and the highlight just above to add the light onto the face. These steps can be applied anywhere on the face that you are choosing to contour.
In this pack also has a sharpener which is the correct size for the pencils and a mini step by step booklet of how to use.
I also use mine with the beauty blender and this helps blend each colour well together but your fingers will work just as well as they are very creamy and easy to blend.
To view my blogpost on Contouring click HERE 

This eyeshadow has been my go to Christmas products. Every Christmas my glitter obsession comes out and I just want it on everything! 
This product is easy to encorporate with any look at it is a transparent glitter so it does back on with pigment it layers a shade of glitter, so it can be used over any colour eyeshadow or on its own of course.
Best applied with fingers in a tapping mention as it packs on the glitter in a more intense light.

I have previously blogged about the product HERE more in depth but I had to put this in my top 5 as I have used this every day since I brought it.
I never used to really use under eye concealers on a daily basis but form my Christmas 3am shifts I was starting to detect my dark circles from lack of sleep and this was just a miracle product for me. The creaminess blended easily under the eyes without creasing as it set to a more powdered finish although it kept the radiant glow and just beautifully evened out my skin tone and covered the darkness.

KIKO opened in Derby in Novemeber and from previously purchasing eyeshadows in Marbella and loving the pigments I decided to get a basketful and this was one of my favourites.
It goes on the lips so creamy and silky but dries to a matte effect lipstick and does not budge! This just lasts all day, and the best thing is, it doesn't get that dry tacky feeling that some matte lipsticks can. I was honestly amazed of how this worked and just couldn't get my head around it.
I soon got over it and just wore this every day with it being such a perfect winter shade, slightly purple undertone to this shade also.
Oh and you can not go wrong with the price, just less than £5!!! I need more.

Last but not least number 5 - LOREAL TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION 
This is my staple foundation in my personal makeup bag for the past month! 
I have never really found my favourite premium brand foundation, I actually prefer high street ones believe it or not! 
I don't know what made me buy this £9.99 foundation but I'm so glad I did.
I always go for a medium to full coverage foundation and this was perfect as it also evened out my skin tone and gives a gorgeous healthy glow as this foundation is made to adapt to your skin type, so at first when I applied this it did feel like it would be a powdery matte finish but I was wrong, this settled to a luminous glow which blended easily and lasts all day.

Thes 5 products are what I would highly recommend as I always give my honest opinion and hope you love them as much as I do if I have tempted you to buy any of these.

So with this being my last blog post of 2015 I hope you have a lovely new year and wish you all the best for 2016.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming business ventures included makeup masterclasses and one to one lessons.
I will also be emailing out the first of my Monthly Makeup Newsletters including, offers, images and makeup updates and lots more, so if you want to join my mailing list please leave your email below or visit my website and fill in the mail box with your email.

JANUARY OFFER - 10% of makeup application bookings for the whole month 

Don't miss out ladies
Contact me on 

Love Sophie x


Friday, 4 December 2015

REVIEW: Loreal Colour Riche Collection

Now this may not shock you but I LOVE the Colour Riche Exclusive Collection.
You may recognise this easier by the Loreal TV advert with the celebrities on...
Eva, Blake, Jlo, Cheryl and more. So far there are 3 collections Pure Reds, Nudes and Pinks.

The point of the multiple shades in each collection is a tailor made colour for everyone's skin tone.
They all all enriched with jojoba oils with a velvet texture and pure colour intensity pigments.

I first brought a pack of 4 from the Pure Exclusive Reds range, this was a travel retail buy so it was not available on the high street, but this pretty much started my 'slight' obsession. 
Before these I don't think I owned any Loreal lipsticks as I was never keep on the pearly shines to most of there lipsticks, but these reds where amazing pigments and best of all matte, matte lipsticks are my favourite as I love my lipstick to have the strong bold colour pigments, and these formulas were not drying on your lips at all like some matte lipsticks can be.

Reds Collection Shades: Blake, Eva, Julianne and Liya 
I also have Freida which is not available any more.

After my positive experience with the Pure Reds collection I then moved on to the Nudes...
As well as my love of the formula, colours and textures I new I needed a good collection of nudes in my kit that would suit everyone's skin tone and what better to buy the whole collection if that's what each shade is told to do? 
So yes I went out and brought them all haha! 3 for 2 offer at boots helps a bunch too! 
The nude collection are not Mattes they have a pearly luminescence which I usually steer from but for nude colours it compliments the skin and hair colour to each individual especially when paired with a smokey eye.

Nudes Collection Shades: Jlo, Eva, Doutzen and Julianne.
I do not own the Doutzen shade as I found this didn't have a high colour pay off like the others as it was quite a pale pink although I do have Cheryl's shade but this is not available to buy anymore.

I then saw the latest Loreal advert for the Pink Exclusive Collection and of course pinks are my favourite lip colours I had to start my next collection, as they are Exclusive after all.
The nudes collection do have slight pink shades within a few of the celebrities but this pink collection contains more vibrant, bold pinks to soft romantic warm pinks.
With this collection the formula is back to matte again like the reds which makes that point a lot better.
They claim this collection to be 'most sophisticated pink lipsticks in a velvet matte finish' and again there is a shade for each individual.

Pink Collection Shades: Blake, Eva, Helen, Liya and Naomi.
So far I own Blake, Eva and Naomi. I also need Liya in my kit as I love the neon and orange undertone to this colour! Although Helen doesn't appeal much to me as it is a very pale pink and can't see it doing much justice for many people haha, we don't want to bring back foundation lips that's for sure.

I usually swear by MAC lipsticks from the great colour pay off and long wear but I can put these on neck and neck as I am very pleased with these collections. So if your wanting to save or even splash on the whole collection like me then go for it! You won't be disappointed.

I hope they bring out more.

Sophie x


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Review - Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Decided to blog about my most recent concealer which is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla.
Its always been at the top of my list but have always thought I don't need it desperately like other things, but my gosh I was wrong! I will re purchase this as soon as it runs out without fail! 

I love how creamy and smooth this is to apply, I use this under my eyes only as it has radiance in which should not be used over any spots as this would just highlight them and make them shine in all the light, that's not what you want a concealer to do, so this is made for under eyes only.

The product is of course 'creamy' and very luxurious to apply under the eyes, it's not only medium to high coverage but also enriched with hydrating skincare benefits that smooth out the complexion, hiding fine lines and any signs of fatigue, along with the light diffusing radiant technology.
What more would you want in your concealer? 

When choosing under eye concealers always go 1-2 shades lighter to highlight the area which will also give you face more structure in the way and shape you apply, such as a triangle under eve so that  contouring will compliment this. 

Top tips for this is to apply using the brush provided in a triangle shape under the eye to the apple of your cheek, tap and blend with your fingers and set over with translucent powder to set the product and prevent creasing and over shine (especially people with oily t-zone)

This concealer sells at the retail price of £21.00 but for all of the benefits this gives it is definitely worth it.

If you was to give this a try before you buy a great opportunity would be to book on to one of my masterclasses or a 1-1 makeup lesson to learn more tips and tricks and apply it the correct way.
Or if you are going out and need your makeup doing why not book a full makeup application, saves you time and gives you the chance to try all new products

Contact me on makeupbysophiedowning@yahoo.co.uk
Or follow me on Facebook - Makeupbysophiedowning 

Sophie x


Friday, 20 November 2015

Bridal Collections (Autumn Photoshoot)

These past few months at my wedding trials I've realised i get a lot of brides that have no idea about makeup as they either don't wear much usually or just don't know how to explain what they are wanting for such an important day.

So I now have a new process that i discuss with my brides wither on the trial or prior to the trial if they want a small consultation.
I have 4 separate collection of looks under the titles of

I will explain a little about each collection and what it is described to be.

Classic Bridal - Ladies who don't wear any or much makeup on a regular basis and more aimed on perfecting the skin (HD Airbrushing is the perfect addition to this look) keeping this look natural with fushed cheeks and very minimal eye makeup, either excentuating the lashes to pair with the flawless skin - very Kate Middleton

Sultry Bridal - More exaggerated than the classic with the darker mysterious eyes such as a bolder cat eyeliner or maybe a smudged effect to give more edge - more Cheryl Cole

Radiant Bridal - Perfect flawless skin with that natural radiant glow can be on the face or eyes or maybe both with a more metallic or sparkle on the eyes to make the light enhance these features - think Jennifer Lopez

Statement/Striking Bridal - A more daring bride who loves make-up and has more passion to try different things. Can either go with a bold lip from Reds to Pinks or bold eyes with a pop of colour and more smokey. Bringing some glamour to bridal makeup. Photographers love more makeup anyway as it shows up on the photos better! - How much higher than Beyonce and Kim Kardashian!

(Each of these images are the covers on my Pinterest boards but are set as private for exclusive reasons for my clients)
You can view my other boards of ideas on www.pinterest.com/sdowningmua

At each brides trial or consultation i will be showing there each folder/board or looks for them to flick through and identify key images of what they are wanting their wedding day makeup like.
They can choose as many photos as they like to show what looks they want. I will then look over each image and match them to the collection that suits their needs most.

This will not only help them explain and show what they are wanting easier but also help me in understanding what it is they are wanting for me to create their dream bridal makeup look.

I care about getting everything right for my brides and all my other clients that book me for their makeup. So this is just a more personal one to one consultation that is simple and easy to communicate through.
Not only do i bring these folders along with me, I have the latex bridal magazine, season wedding trends and the everyday makeup trends, so everyone will be able to see these and maybe help influence a new look of wanting to try something different.
I also LOVE the ladies that have photos as they have done their own research into what they want their makeup like so i can then talk to them with their images and explain how to adapt these looks on to my individual clients to enhance and compliment them.

To give you a little idea of these looks I teamed up with some talented people in the industry to create these stunning photos for you all to see.
Each look from these images shows an idea of each collection that i offer.

We had dresses from 'The Wedding Boutique' in Ilkeston, they let us use 4 of their dresses that are sold in their shop and a range of jewellery, shoes and hair pieces.
Our photographer was of course the talented Elena from 'Elen Studio Photography' who specialises in wedding photography.
The stunning professional model Molly Dutton and Kirsty Louise
Hair by the wizard that is Annette Gray
and of course the makeup was all by myself Sophie Downing.

I love doing this shoot as everything was just so dreamy and fresh, the dresses were breathtaking with intricate designs and the hair was highly technical. I planned each look in order of my collections and gave them a romantic feel so it wouldn't outshine the main focus' of the photoshoot.
We of course got the most perfect images from Elen as you can see here.

Classic Bridal with a modern 50's feel from the short dress and lace accessories and perfected undo.

Sultry Bridal with an intricate embroider dress, back detailing also linking with one of the trends from Spring 2016 dresses and a volumised undo.

Radiant Bridal with a Grecian themed dress, very soft, light and elegant to match the glowing dewy makeup, perfect for overseas wedding inspiration on a gorgeous beach. Hair also long soft curls like beach waves to keep the elegant touch.

I hope you love these images as much as we do and maybe this has helped you get ready for our upcoming trial or occasion.
If you love the idea of how i work and how i can adapt all these looks for you then don't hesitate to get in contact, i don't want you loosing out on a big date just because i booked up.

'To look beautiful is your right, to make you beautiful is our duty' My quote explains all!
I look forward to hearing from you and hope you keep up to date all my upcoming posts - makeups a fun world!

Don't forget to like and follow my pages on-
Facebook - www.facebook.com/makeupbysophiedowning
Twitter - @makeupbysophied
Instagram - @makeupbysophiedowning

Contact me on 

Sophie xx


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Contouring Masterclass

One of the biggest makeup trends for year!
Contouring - First thing that comes to most peoples mind is Kim Kardashian, I guess we can call her the queen on contouring as she did make it come alive. As you can see this changed the face completely also!
Her makeup artist Mario Must be the most wanted man on earth for the top contouring applications on you ladies now days.

If you came to the Wedding Event Night hosted by myself and Helena from 'The Wedding Boutique' in Ilkeston on Tuesday Night you ladies would have been the lucky ones to learn contouring step-by-step in my masterclass.
I had the most fun and amazing night with you all and loved how interested you all were in learning this big trend, also for my lovely models that were willing to give it a try themselves.
So as i said i would put a blog post up so that you have it all in one place if you are wanting to keep practicing nailing the look or if your notes weren't clear enough.

(Action shots from the Wedding Event Night - Taken by Paul @

Contouring is easily mastered in 3 simple steps. So no this won't take years to learn, everyone can do it when they are taught correctly. I just don't want you going round with brown lines all over your face so my key word... BLEND

What you need -
- Your everyday foundation 
(Apply your base and foundation before we start contouring)

- Your contour product (cream or powder whatever your preference)
So selecting your contour colour always go a shade darker than your foundation for a  natural look or 2 shades darker if you are wanting it more prominent.

- Brush, Fingers or Beauty Blender Sponge 
For CREAM Contour - i recommend you fingers or beauty blender as these will be the most easiest way to blend but if you prefer a brush make sure you use synthetic brush hairs (this will prevent ruining fibre brush hairs and also successfully smoothly contour)
For POWDER Contour - I recommend using either a angled brush or a tapered blush brush (these types will let you be more direct with the product)

Map Your Face
Remember, Contouring is all about hiding the features to make them smaller, basically bringing everything in.
Best start is to identify your face shape...
I have attached a photo of images to identify. In the masterclass i do help identify your face shape but i will do this in another post.

Today i am explaining the typical places everyone can contour.

To contour your cheeks to give a more slimmer look start with applying your product to the hallow of the cheeks - place your finger under your cheekbone as you will feel where the contour should be placed, another way to identify is to look from the top of your ears down to the corner of your mouth.
OR suck in your cheeks - thats easy!

To contour your nose place the contour product in 2 lines down the sides of your nose.

To contour your forehead place the product around the hairline.

To contour your chin and jawline place the product on the bone.

(Photo of how easy lining the face prior to blending is)

The most important part... Blending will make the contouring look very natural and give you the desired face shape.
Basically merge the contouring into your foundation and leave it with the stunning shadow, in most cases blend in circular motions downwards on the face.
Beauty Blender - Dampen the sponge slightly and stipple onto the product, tightening your grip and squeezing the sponge to blend perfectly on different areas.
Brushes - Go back and forth along the contouring until it starts to soften on the line you have done then go back in circular motions and blend down.

To finish the contouring process dust over your face with ideally a translucent powder to set the contouring (especially cream) then your ready to go!

Like I said 3 easy steps and you've nailed it, now its all about practice to make perfect!
Good luck, i can't wait to see all your perfectly contoured faces around.

If you missed the event on tuesday, don't worry. I will be holding more events in the future and i also take Personal Make-up Lessons that you can book me in for whenever you like.
Just contact me on 
or visit my website at 

Starting in 2016 I will be holding group masterclasses at Bride Lounge in Derby so keep an eye out!

Thankyou xx


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Experience and Review

I remember the first time I went to visit the Charlotte Tilbury counter in Selfridges Birmingham, I wanted to buy something for the sake of it and took around half an hour deciding on the colour I most liked and ended up leaving without buying as I just couldn't decide.

So the second time I visited was last Tuesday and I've heard such good reviews from the products and even customer service on counter so I was determined to buy something and fine out for myself.
One of the consultants did ask me if I needed any help so I took my chance in trying a few lipstick combinations with the nude lip liners and lipsticks. The nudes appealed to me the most and the dark red shades but I decided to play safe and go for nudes as I knew I would get more use from them.

I ended up purchasing Pillow talk Lip cheat (liner) and Hepburn Honey K.I.S.S.I.N.G (lipstick) 
This comes under the Sofisticate Look.
These shades are soft nudes with a caramel undertone which is a lovely warm colour throughout winter.

And when you think that was enough I couldn't walk away without a eyeshadow palette.
I love every palette but I went for the Sophisticate Palette, which all together is a coincidence as I pretty much got the whole collection.
This palette was all matte shades with soft Browns, the consultant did apply these shades on my eyes and I loved it, any colour can be incorporated with this palette, i loved all the others also but felt like I had similar shades even though I will go back and buy more.

So yes that was enough, she then also gave me a sample of the the Magic Foudation.
Which I have tried out. It claims to give you flawless, poreless coverage with a weightless formula, concealing all imperfections.
When applying it on the skin I used my fingers as it felt quite thick and knew a could massage it in better, it did feel quite sticky also which could be a sign on the long wear/high concealing description but I prefer it to glide on smoother than what it did.
I do agree with the concealing aspect as it was a good amount of coverage. It did also last all day but by the end of the day my nose and chin looked like it was sliding off so powder over the top may have set it in longer. 
I did like the look of the foundation but the only negative side was the sticky part, other than that I would recommend for people that want a high coverage.

Overall I've loved my experiences with Charlotte Tilbury and the service and will defined purchase more from her range.

Sophie x


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Bridal Trends - SPRING 2016

2016 will be here in no time!

Its time to know the Spring 2016 trends so you can look stylish on your big day!
Of course ill start with the makeup trends, what other reason would you be sitting reading this ;)

First off we have the 'No Makeup Makeup' this look is of course your natural especially for you brides to be who don't wear any makeup on a day to day basis, maybe a little mascara and blush is as far as you will go, so i wouldn't push you to go all OTT on your big day, you don't want to look like a complete different person but the main thing to focus on would be your skin, you want to look flawless with that even skin tone and dark circles banished.
Luckily I offer HD Airbrushing which would be perfect for this look as theres nothing better than this product to give this trend effect.
Monique Lhuillier went Grecian with this trend.

Ombre Crimson Lip
Ombre is a faded lip from the outer, inwards. This kicked of big in the makeup world but not everyone was daring to wear this on an every day basis but now this has become a wedding trends it shows that everyone can pull it off. 
This look would work by a lipliner 1 shade darker that your lipstick then can be blended in with a gloss if you wanted it softened as it can easily look natural and will make your lips look fuller ready to pucker up at the alter.
'Crimson' is all about there reds to purples, if you love a bold lip get them bold colours out and go minimal everywhere else, if not so soft berry shade would be perfect for everyone to get that pop of colour. I will match you up with the correct shade so this complements your skin tone.
(There is a trick to this)
Badgley Mischka and Reem Acra brought this look to the bridal show, along with the Bobbi Brown Makeup team. 

Winged Liner 
I don't think this will ever go out of fashion for many years to come, winged liner can define an eye shape and even give a lift to those who want a more awakened look.
Winged liner doesn't scream Amy Winehouse no more. Its an elegant touch to lots of brides out there who just want a slight change for their big day. 
Don't only go for black, we can go browns for a more natural look or a deep purple which is an amazing shade for a mature bride!
Ines Di Santo was the key to this trend.

Rosy Cheeks
One beauty product that needs that extra application on for your wedding photos as blusher can easily fade away on photos, I'm not talking about 'coco the clown' cheeks just a soft rosy pink or coral layered a few times to at least show up on your photos and also gives you that perky fresh look.

Purple/Marroon Eyes
So i would say that this trend is going to be the main one for Spring 2016!! all you brides should incorporate the colour purple on your wedding day makeup. Easiest way would be a purple waterline, this changed that boring black to give a better dimension which will open up the eye area more, or like mentioned before use purple to wing it.
Theia models wore a fuchsia/purple shades under there eyes this show and teamed with a highlight on the inner corners.
Carolina Herrera also rocked these shades at their show!


White Liner
Not only do we have purple but white was a bold colour on the catwalk this bride season, we saw a lot of white waterlines and even white flicks. White is the best colour to give that wide open eye effect, it lightens the area and makes your eyes become more awake and gleaming.
If Marchesa did it, You can do it!

Flushed Coral Pout
This is a trend that has carried on from Winter 2015 brides, its just a go to shade that easily matched everyones skin tone which looks fresh and clean and also leaves you to play with more colours on the eyes.
Jenny Packham shows always nail this look!

70's Smokey
So on the highstreet right now 70's is everywhere, from fringing to tan colours every shop has it, but its been brought to the brides for 2016 and what better than to get them warm smokey eyes back, using golds, bronzes and brows to give out them warm shades.
Galia Lahav took us back to the 70's this season.

Ok, these are the colours that scream No to everyone on the eyes, none of us want sore looking eyes on their big day but you don't know the way to get this right... Certain shades match certain skin tones so i would match you up with the correct colours to complement your skin, these colours can looks hugely effective on the eyes and can make your eyes pop by it still looking natural.
I would give this a go on your trial ladies, you won't be disappointed.
The Lela Rose show incorporated this by using it on the eyes, lips and cheeks and finishing it off with a fresh dewy highlight.

Metallic/Wet Look
A trend that always been Couture and High Fashion. But a glossy or metallic eye can look really effective and futuristic. Team this with a flushed coral pout and you will be screaming 'Bobbi Brown did this look'

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