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
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

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 -
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

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